LML in English has received this letter from Philippe Thomas
January 30th Tr Arturusrex
Ways out of the tunnel. The hour of choice.
(3) “Which, Lord,” I asked, “are the vices from which we must abstain?”
“Hearken well”, quoth he: “excesses of drink, sinful indolence, manifold feasting, “luxury born of wealth, ostentation, pride, boasting, lying, slander, hypocrisy, “rancour and all spitefulness.”
“They are by far the worst deeds in men’s lives. From such deeds the servant of God must abstain, for he who does not abstain therefrom cannot live for God”.
(Writings of the Apostolic Fathers. Pastor of Hermas, Precept III (2nd Century)
As ostentation goes, the result is an excellent example of what should not have been done, save to try and gather the fruit of the seed that had been sown. Our rituals shamelessly filmed, our Grand ceremonies on television, our regalia exposed and exhibited for all to see, in violation of our engagements. What could result of it?
Masonry today is at the centre of a media-run torment that goes far beyond the limits of confidentiality that condition it, the limits of Masonic Bodies (Obediences) and, regretfully, even beyond the borders of our country.
Let it be remembered: this is the country where, on August 26th 1789, the Rights of Man and the Citizen were proclaimed. In the terms of Article 2 of that Declaration, “the aim of all political association (in the sense of citizen occupation) is the preservation of the imprescriptible natural rights of Man.
These rights are: Liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression”.
The Revolutionary texts that followed went on to complete the duties of the Citizen faced with unlawfulness and arbitrariness, even when implemented by law.
Simplified, these rights can be resumed in a few words: one Citizen, one vote, one choice. Not to be confused with what happens elsewhere: One man, One vote, once.
An example: Djibouti, where repression, is the political system. On January 24th 2011, an army column from the camp at Galeyla combed the Mablas mountains for all under-30-year-olds. Many were found and brutally treated. To what depths would they not stoop in a country where the dictatror, Ismail Omar Guelleh, holds the highest record of votes in his favour on earth: 100%, in the presidential elections of April 8th 2005. His never-fail method? …one candidate only, re-eligible. The Opposition refused to participate in the election in view of the ruler’s refusal to reform the electoral system described as “ridiculous, rigged, bogus”. Politically, Ismail Omar Guelleh operates by waiting to see what qualities the men have who will serve him; he knows how to choose his Honorary Consuls! And, at least we know what we can expect!
We are at a cross-roads, or, if you prefer, at the end of a tunnel with two possible exits. Which one do you prefer? You are offered the chance to reply to the question on February 5th 2011 at the Assembly for re-founding the GLNF, at Montreuil.
Unfortunately, 2010 turned out to be an annus horribilis and discord struck at our brethren like a plague. Reconciliation, forgiveness, joint concertation, all such slid away beneath the feet of the brethren of good will. The present radicalization of official tone, tune and words leaves no further room for interpretations. On the one hand, we can choose the unquestionable authority of an Order wielded by zealous collaborators, and submission thereunto, and on the other, resistance to them, our personal responsibility as Free Masons and the task of reconstructing within the framework of a national council for the Re-Foundation.
Our choice is between writing off our future and committing concretely and actively to the proposed process of re-foundation. The end of the tunnel by which we shall emerge is the one you will select.
Two possible ways in to the problem are enough. Let us beware of having multiple drill holes. The acts of candidacy for election now flowing in, without dates, terms or means of implementation, system or counter-weights, acidic criticism of everything imperfect, simply undermine our groundwork and weaken the future foundations we shall build.
We should and can also avoid having too many little tunnels. Some of them will no doubt lead to exits but how many will remain in the subterranean obscurity? Our choice must be one based on solidarity and commitment to our going ahead together.
It remains to thank those who have held out during the storm and tacked and trimmed their sails to advance against unfavourable winds. The finest way to thank them take part directly or indirectly in the Assembly for the Re-Foundation of the GLNF on February 5th at Montreuil. Our future lies at our feet. We will not auction it off nor flounder in sinful indolence. Let us be upholding of our engagements and faithful TTGOTGAOTU.