4 out of 4 stars
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Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secret societies. Very few people know the truth behind the beliefs and practices of Freemasons. Throughout its history, Freemasonry has been associated with all the wrong and gross things that are characteristic of the underworld. Frank Conway(Ph.D.) took it upon himself to shed the much-needed light about the truth behind Freemasonry through his book, The Masonic Pageant.
The book consists of four chapters. Conway uses each chapter to take the reader through the various degrees of Freemasonry. For instance, the first chapter (The Lodge of Perfection) provides information of the fourth to the fourteenth degree while the second chapter (The Council of Princes of Jerusalem) covers the fifteenth and sixteenth degrees. Freemasonry consists of 33 degrees.
After reading Straight Outta Lonsdale by Ronald E. Pressley (a Scottish Rite Mason), I really wanted to learn more about Freemasonry. Unlike what I had heard through heresy about freemasonry, Pressley’s memoir had nothing that was demeaning to humanity. I am glad that I chose to read The Masonic Pageant, which opened my eyes to the truth about Freemasonry. I even understood why Pressley praised his two brothers who had achieved the highest degree in Freemasonry.
I loved the author’s style of writing. Although the degrees could get quite confusing, Conway takes the reader from one degree to the other in a systematic manner. He even gave the historical background of each of the degrees. Some of the degrees are based on Bible content while others are based on real historical events that took place in America, which he fondly refers to as ‘Americana’. The ‘Americana’ degrees follow the lives of some of the most influential events that were facilitated by a Freemason. I was glad to learn about the story of Major General Benedict Arnold, “the most brilliant soldier of the Continental army... winning for his countrymen the decisive battle of the American Revolution and for himself the rank of Major General.” His struggles and skills in the battlefield form the core of one of the degrees.
Another aspect that I enjoyed about the book is the extensive research that the author did while writing the book. This enabled him to give facts about the many historical aspects that are covered in Freemasonry. For instance, he gives a detailed account of the Essenes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, especially in shedding light on the history of Christianity and the Bible. Readers will be surprised to learn the truth about the Dead Sea scrolls and why many of them were hidden from the public. At some point, I had to ‘Google’ some of the book’s content to see the different versions available on the internet. The author had gone all the way to provide the reader with credible information.
Although the author has done his best to breakdown Freemasonry into easily understandable bits, I felt quite let down when he could not disclose some information, which I thought could have been useful to the reader. For instance, in the fourteenth degree, he stated that “since this is not a play but a Masonic initiation ceremony, I will respect my Masonic obligations and will not describe the drama’s story in any detail as I have done with the previous degrees.” However, I do respect his decision.
The book seemed to be professionally edited. I only noted very few grammatical mistakes and formatting errors. Due to the author’s ability to present Freemasonry in a manner that will help the reader gain more understanding about its beliefs and practices, I give the book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about Freemasonry. This is definitely not a book for those looking for a light read.
The Masonic Pageant
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