The solemn lodge hid from unworthy eyes, unnoticeable forgotten place made of granite. Two Sphinx-like granite lions with women’s heads peered down from the entrance of the lodge. An ‘ankh’ adorned the lion’s neck entwined with a cobra. An image of a woman embellished the neck and breast of the other lion, speaking of fertility and procreation.
Fervent men slowly made their way up the three levels of narrowing steps, passing under the two Egyptian swords with curved serpentine blades, and through the two tall bronze doors.
One man glanced up as he ascended the steps, silently mouthing “the temple of the Supreme Council Freemasons,” made of brass letters and set into stone. He looked toward the plaque cut into stone, “Freemasonry Builds Its Temples in the Hearts of Men and Among Nations.”
Stone columns grew tall, high above the entrance and partially concealed an image of an Egyptian god, backed with radiating sun and flanked by six large golden snakes. He entered into the lodge entirely made of marble, exotic wood and statues carved from gold.
The offices, dining room, Council room, temple room and meeting room were decorated with many symbols, especially the serpent, and portraits of famous and influential men lined the walls. The lights shone above the men, resembling stars in the dark blue sky. And the golden serpents silently watched in the blue heavens.
The dark-headed man slowly removed his clothes and put on the long black robe, placing a hood over his head to partially conceal his face.
In the recesses of the ancient temple, an ornately decorated room is filled with candles, lighting the way for the men filing in. Dressed in long black robes, hands pressed solemnly together, slowly the row of men trudge into the Temple room. Each with their face down and instinctively form a large circle in the room.
The room fell with a deathly silence, then ‘knock, knock, knock.’ The Worshipful Master spoke, “You will admit him in the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and let him be placed in the West.”
Gradually the door creaked open, and a young man enters with a black robe and the left knee and breast exposed. The young man’s face covered by the dark cloth and led around the circle by a rope around his neck. The candidate is lead to the oath of secrecy where the Worshipful Master stands. A sword is pricked to the candidate’s left breast.
“As this is a prick to the flesh at this time, so may the remembrance of it be to your conscience hereafter, should you ever attempt improperly to reveal any of the secrets with which you are about to be entrusted.”
The group silently watch as the candidate is instructed to kneel with his left knee bare and bent, his right foot forming a square and the body being erect in that square. The left hand supports the Volume of the Sacred Law, compass and square and right hand placed thereon.
“‘Vouch safe Thine Aid, Almighty Father, Grand Architect of the Universe, to this our present conviction. Grant that this Candidate for Masonry, now kneeling before thee, may dedicate and devote his life to thy Service, and become a true and faithful Brother amongst us. To this end endue him with such a competency of thy Divine Wisdom, that assisted by the secrets of our Royal Masonic Art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of true godliness to the Honour and glory of Thy Most Holy Name.’ ”
“‘I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows in twenty-four hours … should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath or obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason. So help me God.’ ”
The young man is then presented with white gloves and escorted to the pedestal in the East to become an Entered Apprentice.
Throughout the ceremony the dark-haired man’s heart skipped excitedly. Another man would join them, and this man would be the one. He had done a lot to encourage them to allow this man to be initiated.
But he could never have foretold the events to come.
A candlelit chamber houses a secret meeting where four men sit around a table, each wearing the long black robes and only talking above a whisper.
“The time has come to make our stand and proclaim to our Brothers that it’s time. It’s our time to cause such a panic, that people will not know whom to turn to. That the reliance on religion and government will pass. It’s our time to take control, and whoever does not stand behind us will fall.”
“Yes, we must give a sign to our Brothers that can only be recognised by them, that will shock the world over again.”