Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ah, there is our perpetrator.
Jimmy Branagh: Hoy!
Myrtil Igaly: ‘ello!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Myrtil! Welcome.
Myrtil Igaly: Thank you Baron!
Zaida Gearbox: i’m sorry i rezzed into a wall and had to get out
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hallo, Zaida.
Freya: I did the same, Miss Gearbox
Myrtil Igaly: Hey Zaida!
Caesar Osterham: These things happen
Jimmy Branagh: Awlroight the gift is set. Just left-click the sign.
Zaida Gearbox squees with delight MYRTIL!!!
Jimmy Branagh: Read the instructions
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Jimmy Branagh: hehe
Zaida Gearbox waves to mr. caesar and the professor
Myrtil Igaly looks around the room to see who are the other members
Nicholas Murdock: Do we need sound on or anything for this?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Nein, but Herr Jimmy has some music that can be played via browser for this event.
Freya: Ah, the ambient sound in NB is a treat in itself.
Myrtil Igaly: you don’t “need” sound but you can get in the mood by listening to that:
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, Fraulein Myrtil.
Myrtil Igaly: Welcome!
Nicholas Murdock wonders if he needs his apron 😉
Myrtil Igaly: and also wearing the gift Jimmy provided and that you can get by clicking the big sign next to the stage
Myrtil Igaly: I think everyone’s landing into the wall
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach finds his Baronin in the midnight gloom and waves to her
Darlingmonster Ember: side door only today
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Hallo, Fraulein Ember.
Darlingmonster Ember: the tp point seems to be lockd down
Myrtil Igaly: people outside, go around the building and enter through the right door
Darlingmonster Ember: hullo Herr Baron
Solace Fairlady: Hello your serenity:)
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Ja.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I put out signs in hope they would rez in time.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach looks sardonic
Zantabraxus smiles at her busy husband
Myrtil Igaly: Hey Marianne!
Captain Killian: Hello all
Zantabraxus: Greetings, Solace, DME
Zaida Gearbox waves to marianne
Captain Killian: will this fine lecture be in voice?
Myrtil Igaly: in text
Myrtil Igaly: and ‘ello Captain!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Nein, in chat and with the music mentioned earlier.
Marianne McCann: Hiya
Captain Killian: ah, thank you Miss Myrtil, and nice to see you again
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Marianne! What a delight.
Zaida Gearbox regards a doctor named hannibal with greatest suspicion
Wildstar Beaumont: 🙂
Dr. Hannibal Carthegan smiles at Zaida from behind the mask
Jimmy Branagh: Plaese observe the sign to your left. Free! Stuff! And! Instructions!
Jimmy Branagh: Avail!
Freya holds on to his shoulders protectively. “I vouch for him, Miss Gearbox.”
Zaida Gearbox: you’re sure he won’t eat me miz Freya?
Solace Fairlady: Hello your majesty Zanta! and Admiral Wildstar
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Everyone, bitte, follow the instructions on the brightly-lit sign at the stage before we get started for best effect.
Freya smiles, ‘Well, if you’re a good Zaida, I’d not worry!”
Zaida Gearbox: i’m the best zaida – i’m the very zaidaest zaida who ever zaida’d
Azura Loring giggles.
Nicholas Murdock: Must we wear the mask? I’ve been working hard to aclimate everyone to my visage so they don’t flinch 😉
Myrtil Igaly: It’s not mandatory, but you’ll get recognized :op
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Jimmy Branagh: Yes, someone is taking notes …
Freya: Then you should be fine, Zaida!
Nicholas Murdock: Oh, I’ve been in much more disreputable places than this.
Myrtil Igaly: You dunno yet how disreputable it’s gonna be!
Myrtil Igaly: we’re talking about Jimmy Branagh after all
Lady Sumoku: It has a reputation for being disreputable.
Nicholas Murdock: Hey, I took a date to The Story of O in college. I don’t blush easily 😉
Jimmy Branagh calls from behind the curtain and asks “WHAT IS THE PASSWORD?”
Myrtil Igaly: Swordfish I think
Darlingmonster Ember: What could go wrong!
Captain Killian: umm, password?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Let me thank you all for coming, and issue a few ‘housekeeping’ points of order.
Jimmy Branagh: “WHAT IS THE PASSWORD?”
Zaida Gearbox: open sessame!
Myrtil Igaly: ummm hmmmm
Nicholas Murdock shouts “Oh Lord, have mercy on the son of a Widow” 😉
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.
Lady Sumoku: The password is the phrase used to allow entrance.
Caesar Osterham: Duck season!
Marianne McCann: Walt sent me!
Ceejay Writer: Wabbit season
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact me in IM. We also have chairs set out, feel free to sit in those. The director’s chairs are for Tinies.
Dr. Hannibal Carthegan: Password is secret
Freya: Wabbit Season!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 3) Please remove all lag-feeding thingamajigs you might be wearing.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 4) A tip jar is out for our speaker. Do please show your appreciation!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 5) Any tips to help support the establishment will also be welcome – just click on one of the support signs or this handsome clank floating above us.
Caesar Osterham: I say it’s duck season and I say FIRE!!!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 6) If you are not a member of the AEther Salon group, there are signs that will let you join up. You’ll be most heartily welcome.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 7) Edited and unedited transcripts of these proceedings will be posted at aethersalon.blogspot.com.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: 8) Tea and treats are set out – help yourself! Beware of lurking Hatchies guarding the sweet biscuits.
Freya: Do you want me to shoot you now, or wait ’til you get home?
Zaida Gearbox: shhhhhhhh
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Our speaker, Herr Jimmy Branagh, has been a frequent visitor to the Aether Salon stage, stunning his audiences with his dramatic presentations. He has a few special instructions for you today to enhance this event.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Herr Jimmy, the stage is yours.
Jimmy Branagh: 1) Change lighting to MIDNIGHT, with ALM and local lights on. The more stuff the better. Drop your Draw Distance if necessary.
2) ADD, don’t WEAR your gift and the spinner.
If you would like some musical background when the curtain opens, go to
You can minimize the screen immediately, the music should start on its own.
Keep an eye on the people sitting around you. You just never know.
Myrtil Igaly looks around and jumps in her chair as she spots Zaida
Silas Merlin: Hello everyone
Zaida Gearbox puts her fingers up to her ears and waves them up at myrtil
Myrtil Igaly: Salut Silas!
Darlingmonster Ember mumbles
Jimmy Branagh: Shall we begin?
Holly: so sorry
Myrtil Igaly nods, keeping her mask in place with a hand
Jimmy Branagh: Thank you for coming today. The sheer volume of information on so-called “secret societies” fairly renders them not so secret, and it would be impossible to cover it all in the short time we have today.
Jimmy Branagh: Hopefully, I will peak your interest in doing some research of your own, because after all, the person sitting next to you may well be a member of such a society, and is … observing you.
Mari Moonbeam: where is gift and spinner ?
Jimmy Branagh chuckles and clears his throat.
Jimmy Branagh: A secret society is a club or an organization whose activities, events, and inner functioning are concealed from non-members. The society may or may not attempt to conceal its existence.
Myrtil Igaly: in the big sign on the left of the stage
Jimmy Branagh: The term usually excludes covert groups, such as intelligence agencies or guerrilla insurgencies, that hide their activities and memberships but maintain a public presence.
Jimmy Branagh: The exact qualifications for labeling a group a secret society are disputed, but definitions generally rely on the degree to which the organization insists on secrecy, and might involve the retention and transmission of secret knowledge, the denial of membership or knowledge of the group, the creation of personal bonds between members of the organization, and the use of secret rites or rituals which solidify members of the group.
Jimmy Branagh: Genuine secret societies have existed for centuries, conducting their business in darkened back rooms and more often than not, exerting a mysterious influence upon our culture. Through history there have been many secret societies and countless conspiracy theories about those societies.
Jimmy Branagh: I had planned to bounce around the subject and discuss many of these societies, but due to time constraints I will proceed with the most well-known as there is a lot of information. I will cover as much as possible. It will all be included in the transcript.
Jimmy Branagh: This is the sign of Ordo Templi Orientis.
Jimmy Branagh: Ordo Templi Orientis is a mystic organization that was started in the early twentieth century. The group was established along the same lines as the less secretive Freemasons, and supposedly relied on ritual and occult practices as a means for members to move from one level of prestige to another within the organization.
Jimmy Branagh: The general philosophy of the group was a belief in new age esoteric principles and practices as a method of realizing one’s true identity.
Jimmy Branagh: Famed occultist and all-around eccentric Aleister Crowley composed much of the group’s lore, including a manifesto called the Mysteria Mystica Maxima, and he later became the head of the order.
Otenth Håkon Paderborn: mmmmmmm
Jimmy Branagh: After his death, the influence and popularity of Ordo Templi Orientis began to wane, but it still exists today and has various chapters scattered across the world, chiefly in the United States, the U.K., and other parts of Europe.
Jimmy Branagh: As Aleister Crowley’s popularity as a new age figure has continued to grow, more and more of the teachings of the Ordo Templi Orientis have come to light. As such, the group makes much less of an attempt to be secretive today than it did in the past.
Jimmy Branagh: This doesn’t mean that they don’t still have some bizarre practices. Chief among these is the group’s fixation on – the more sensitive among you forgive me – the sexual, especially their teachings on the “adoration of the phallus” and the magic of masturbation.
Ganymeade Tunwarm: siigned OTO volumes of the Book of Thoth.
Ganymeade Tunwarm: fascinating
Myrtil Igaly: just like Sigmund Freud
Jimmy Branagh: The Bilderburgs
Freya: Oh my. I’m still laughing about the title of the book, though.
Jimmy Branagh: No famous members, but attendees have included Ben Bernanke, the royal families of Spain and the Netherlands, World Bank officials, and representatives from major corporations.
Jimmy Branagh: The Bilderberg Group is not a secret society per se, but it does operate under a similar veil of mystery, which has made it the subject of countless conspiracy theories and criticisms.
Jimmy Branagh: The group was started in 1954, and since then it has convened every year as an exclusive, invitation-only conference of various world leaders, captains of industry, and media moguls.
Jimmy Branagh: The group was originally started as a means of addressing a streak of anti-Americanism that was spreading through Europe following WWII, but over the years it appears to have morphed into a more broad discussion on reaching mutual understanding between cultures.
Jimmy Branagh: The Bilderberg Group has become controversial for one key reason: no press is allowed in the conference and no significant details concerning the topics discussed are ever officially released to the public.
Jimmy Branagh: That kind of secrecy, along with the intense security of the meeting sites, which often feature armed guards, police, and even fighter jets patrolling the skies overhead, has produced a number of conspiracy theories centered on the conference.
Jimmy Branagh: The most popular is that the group tries to steer the direction of public policy, financial markets, and media in certain prescribed directions of their choosing, perhaps even with the goal of forming a so-called “one world government.”
Jimmy Branagh: These claims have been brushed aside by the group, which claims global understanding and the end of nuclear proliferation as its main goals. How influential they may or may not be remains in dispute.
Jimmy Branagh: The Knights Templar
Jimmy Branagh: After Jerusalem fell to the crusaders in 1099, most of the crusaders who did not return to their homelands became dedicated to establishing independent Christian states.
Jimmy Branagh: There arose two problems for the remaining crusaders: how to protect the pilgrim routes to the newly won holy places – and the defense against Moslems surrounding the narrow strip of reconquered lands.
Jimmy Branagh: At this time there were only about five hundred knights available to maintain the kingdom of Jerusalem, therefore small groups banded together to take on these tasks. One such band was formed in 1115 by Hugh de Payens of Burgundy and Godfrey de Saint Adhemar, a Fleming, who recruited seven other knights from northern France.
Jimmy Branagh: This small voluntary group escorted pilgrims from Jerusalem to Jericho and on to Jordan, the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism. In 1118 the group swore an oath to protect the pilgrims and observe the monastic vows of poverty, obedience and chastity.
Jimmy Branagh: The two founder-members had originally only one horse between them, a situation reflected in the order’s seal. Under their vows they were to wear only clothes which were given to them and to own no possessions other than their weapons.
Jimmy Branagh: From these inglorious beginnings came their first name – the Poor Knights of Christ. Impressed by their devotion, the king gave them quarters in a wing of the royal palace which was located on the supposed site of the Temple of Solomon. This soon gave rise to a new name for the group – the Knights of the Temple, or Knights Templar.
Jimmy Branagh: The number of knights had grown by that time and they felt that they should be officially endorsed along monastic lines in accordance with their vows but with allowances for their military role. Around 1124 Hugue de Payens approached the Council of the Catholic Church, meeting at Troyes in France. It was this council which gave the Knights Templar the statutes which established them as an official military-religious order.
Jimmy Branagh glances at the guy in the mask …
Jimmy Branagh: The Order’s hierarchy consisted of the Grand Master, Seneschal, Deputy Master, Marshal, and the commanders or Masters of the provinces. Each province was divided into houses known as preceptories, each with its own commander, or preceptor. These divisions were used both in the field and in the administration of monastic life.
Ceejay Writer: military-religious. A hyphenated phrase that freaks me out
Jimmy Branagh grins
Jimmy Branagh: The seal of approval from both the Pope and Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Clairvaux, and from the beginning a strong supporter of the Templars, resulted in generous donations for the order.
Jimmy Branagh: Preceptories were quickly formed not only in Jerusalem, but in Antioch, Tripoli, Aragon and Portugal. In time preceptories were founded in Hungary, Germany, Sicily, and Greece. By spring of 1129 Templars had established a strong foothold in France, England and Scotland. In Scotland, around Aberdeen alone, a substantial quantity of Templar property was held including houses and churches in Turiff, Tullich, Maryculter, Aboyne, and Kingcausie. South of Aberdeen at Culter, they possessed a huge estate of no less than 8,000 acres.
Freya sends an eloquent, agreeing glance to Miss Writer.
Caesar Osterham: Why is that, Ceejay. The Pope actually had his own army well into the 18th Century
Ceejay Writer: Adn that freaks me out TOO
Tamlorn Carterhaugh Wood: There were quite a few religious orders of knights during the middle ages.
Jimmy Branagh: By the second half of the 12th century the Order was flourishing and had become one of the leading landowners in Syria and Palestine. Funds and recruits continued to arrive from Europe and in order to manage this great wealth the Templars became experts in banking. By as early as 1148 they were moneylenders, despite the Church ban on usury and they soon had one of the most efficient banking networks in the western world.
Solace Fairlady: anywhere in the UK with “Temple” inits name was a former holding of theirs
Freya murmurs, “No one expects the Inquisition….”
Jimmy Branagh: Yes. The Church ran the Western World in that period.
Jimmy Branagh: Pilgrims could now not only rely upon the protection of the Templars but could deposit money at their local preceptory and withdraw it as required by producing a letter of credit at any other preceptory.
Jimmy Branagh: With a common Rule, the Order’s legal and economic status was similar in almost every country, however it was only in the great capitols – London, Rome and Paris – that financial dealings took precedence. Outside the capitols, each commander or preceptor used his allotted lands in the appropriate way – farming, spinning, brewing and baking.
Myrtil Igaly: see, they’re bankers too now
Tamlorn Carterhaugh Wood: the Pope was both a secular and religious ruler, so he had military to defend his lands.
Jimmy Branagh: The Order’s military reputation and strength was also growing swiftly. Throughout the 12th century the Templars, together with the Hospitaller knights, were the finest fighting force in the Holy Lands. In time however, partly because fewer recruits could be found who were willing to die for the faith and partly due to growing rivalry between the various military orders which had now been created, the Templars’ military strength in the Holy Land began to decline.
engacia: my great uncle was a knight of the holy roman empire. he currently lays buried in westminster abby
Myrtil Igaly: Ooooh fame!
Jimmy Branagh: When Acre fell to the Moslems in 1291, after a siege of the castle which lasted weeks and included fire bombs, catapults and mines, the Holy Land was lost forever. Over 20,000 Templar knights and sergeants had met their deaths since the Order’s inception. The Templars had lands in Cyprus and it was here that they created a new headquarters in the Middle East.
Jimmy Branagh: Other than a few unsuccessful raids on the Syrian and Egyptian coasts, the Order deteriorated into one of bankers and moneylenders. A series of verbal attacks was launched against all military orders, the Templars in particular, suggesting they no longer had a purpose for existence since they failed to take steps to regain the Holy Land.
Jimmy Branagh: Nothing came of these attacks until a renegade Templar, Esquiu de Floyrian, made specific charges of blasphemy, idolatry and sodomy against the Order to Phillip the Fair (Phillip IV) of France.
Jimmy Branagh: The Pope was informed of the charges in 1305, and at the end of the following year the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was summoned to Rome. Apparently unaware of the charges against the Order, de Molay rejected the Pope’s proposal that the Templars and Hospitallers unite to form one order and that a new crusade be launched. After de Molay returned to Cyprus in 1307 Phillip once again pressed the charges. The Pope agreed to an inquiry.
Jimmy Branagh: On September 15 of that year Phillip sent sealed instructions for the seizure of all members of the Order and their property throughout France. The brothers were thrown into prison where all except three eventually confessed – under torture – to the charges. Powerless in the light of the confessions, the Pope issued a command to all Christian princes to arrest Templars in their lands.
Jimmy Branagh: Soon, under torture, Templars were confessing to homosexuality, devil worship, blasphemy and corruption. In England, Spain, Cyprus and Germany they were found innocent of the charges; but in France the persecution continued and many Templars who retracted their confessions when the torture ended were burned at the stake as heretics. Finally, in 1312 the Order was suppressed; its vast wealth passed on to the Knights Hospitaller.
Myrtil Igaly: poor Templars
Nicholas Murdock: The Templars were never poor 😉
Jimmy Branagh: That’s what happens. A familiar pattern.
Jimmy Branagh: The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Caesar Osterham: And both Philip the Fair and the Pope died within the year
Myrtil Igaly: hah!
Jimmy Branagh: The order of the Golden Dawn was created by Dr. William Robert Woodman, William Wynn Westcott, and Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers. All three were Freemasons and members of Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, an organization with ties to Masonry.
Caesar Osterham: And they never got their hands on the order’s money
Jimmy Branagh: It is considered by many to be a forerunner of the Ordo Templi Orientis and a majority of modern Occult groups. The belief system of the Golden Dawn is largely taken from Christian mysticism, Qabalah, Hermeticism, the religion of Ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, Alchemy, Theosophy, Magic, and Renaissance writings.
Jimmy Branagh: William Yeats and Aleister Crowley (He’s like everywhere J.B.)are two of the more famous members of the group.
Myrtil Igaly: it’s got a pretty symbol at least
Ceejay Writer: very eclectic
Jimmy Branagh: The fundamental documents of the order are known as the Cipher Documents. These were translated into English using a cipher attributed to Johannes Trithemius. The documents are a series of sixty folios containing magic rituals. The basic structure of many of these rituals appear to originate with Rosicrucianism. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the origins of these documents.
Jimmy Branagh: The Black Hand
Jimmy Branagh: The Black Hand was a secret society of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries that was started in Serbia in 1912. It formed as an offshoot from Narodna Adbrona, a group that sought to unite all of the Slavic people of Europe under one country.
Jimmy Branagh: This required the separation of Serbia from the monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which had annexed the country some years before. With this in mind, the group began disseminating anti-Austrian propaganda and training saboteurs and assassins to disrupt political rule within the province.
Jimmy Branagh: Their plan was to incite a war between Serbia and Austria, which would give them a chance to free their country and unite the different Slavic nations as one.
Jimmy Branagh: The Black Hand would be all but forgotten today if not for their unlikely involvement in one of the biggest events of the twentieth century. In 1914, the group engineered the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
Myrtil Igaly: they got their war
Jimmy Branagh: The job was badly botched, and was only completed when a low-level hood named Gavrilo Princip stumbled upon the Archduke’s car and shot him to death at close range. Still, the results of the assassination were catastrophic.
Jimmy Branagh: Within days, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, and after the allies of both countries joined the fray, the small dispute managed to escalate into WWI.
Jimmy Branagh: The aftermath of WWI eventually led to WWII, and this led to the Cold War, which seemingly makes The Black Hand one of the most strangely influential forces of the twentieth century.
Myrtil Igaly: if they had known…
Jimmy Branagh: Hashshashin
Dr. Hannibal Carthegan: And the Cold War led to the War on Terror
Jimmy Branagh: The Hashshashin, or Nizari, were a mysterious band of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the 13th century. The group was made up of Shia Muslims who broke off from a bigger sect and banded together in order to establish a utopian Shi’ite state.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Which cycles back to the Crusades.
Jimmy Branagh: Because their number was small, the group used guerilla tactics in their battle against their enemies, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination.
Vernden Jervil: I have always been of the opinion that WW1 happened because the powers of Europe wanted to fight, they would have found one reason or another
Jimmy Branagh: The Hashshashin would plant highly trained moles inside enemy strongholds, with instructions to only attack when the time was right. They were known for their extreme discretion in minimizing civilian casualties, as well as their penchant for using stealth to intimidate their targets.
Jimmy Branagh: As the story goes, enemy leaders would often wake in the morning to find a Hashshashin dagger lying on their pillow, along with a note saying “you are in our grip.”
Jimmy Branagh: Their legend soon grew, and before the Mongols finally destroyed the group, they became well known contract killers, supposedly performing jobs for the likes of King Richard the Lionheart.
Lady Sumoku: “I’m in your house, eating your cookies.”
Jimmy Branagh laughs
Myrtil Igaly: would you prefer a dagger on your pillow or a cut horse head?
Jimmy Branagh: Mmm, cookies!
Freya laughs, “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
Jimmy Branagh: Around the time of their downfall, the library that contained all Nizari records was destroyed, so much of what is known about them today has taken on the status of myth.
Darlingmonster Ember: darn
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: I highly disapprove of this rampant destruction of libraries.
Jimmy Branagh: The most controversial legend centers of the group’s use of drugs and other intoxicants– “Hashshashin” translates roughly as “Hashish user”, which some have said were employed by the members in battle.
Freya is still mad about the Library of Alexandria
Jimmy Branagh: This has been widely discredited, but the term “Hashshashin” as it refers to the Nizari is believed to be the origin of the modern word “assassin” although that remains in dispute.
Jimmy Branagh: Say, that’s quite a grudge!
Nicholas Murdock: I’ve found few users under the influence of marijuana capable of stealthy assassinations 😉
Darlingmonster Ember: …and the now lost killer brownie recipe
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Freya struggles not to snort her sip of tea up her nose
Ceejay Writer stifles a million comments
engacia: struggles not to snort period.
Jimmy Branagh: Now the Freemasons, one of the most successful of these types of societies.
Myrtil Igaly: Yay!! Freemasons!
Lady Sumoku: No Homers!
Jimmy Branagh: They’re everywhere
Freya: Hey. Fezzes are cool now.
Nicholas Murdock: No we’re not.
Jimmy Branagh: If you look at the top of the Wax Museum, thay’sve even been there!
Myrtil Igaly: there even was a masonic lodge in Babbage Square once
Jimmy Branagh: The Craft that evolved into modern Freemasonry emerged in the period between the Black Death, 1348, and the Wars of the Roses, 1453. Before that date there are no trends or events that can be identified as leading definitely towards Freemasonry. It appears to have emerged from the building industry as a whole. Equally, there is no part of England that can claim the honour of originating Freemasonry.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fezzes are used in my navy’s uniforms as well.
Freya: Case in point
Jimmy Branagh: The later pre-eminence of London was not apparent at that era. The Regius Poem and Cooke manuscripts, about 1390 and 1410 respectively, are written in the dialects of west and southwest of England. They may have been written for the school of masonry associated with Salisbury Cathedral.
Jimmy Branagh: The first recorded use of the word lodge in a Masonic context was in 1278 during the building of a Cistercian Monastery at Vale Royal near Chester. Initially the lodge was no more than a rude hut in which the masons worked and possibly took their midday meal. At other sites they may also have slept in the lodge.
Jimmy Branagh: By 1352 there were elaborate rules governing the behaviour of the mason connected with the lodge at York Minster. These regulations are described as the “ancient customs of the masons” (consuetudines antiquae quibus cementarii). The Master and Deputy Master were required to swear an oath that the ancient customs would be adhered to.
Jimmy Branagh: Fifty years later all masons were required to swear the same oath. We are not aware of anything esoteric about these customs; they mainly concerned rates of pay, hours of work, holidays etc. However, given the medieval obsession with mysticism it is unlikely that their customs were wHolly mundane.
Marianne McCann: The hut wasn’t rude, just misunderstood
Ceejay Writer: 😀
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Jimmy Branagh: A pen drawing by Matthew Paris, circa 1250, purports to show Henry II in conference with his masons. The men building a wall are shown using a level. The mason actually being addressed by the King is holding a large square and compass almost as if to demonstrate his importance, the implication being that he is the Master Mason.
Jimmy Branagh: There is a similar carving in Worcester Cathedral, circa 1224, which shows the architect clutching a pair of dividers and, apparently, discussing the plans with a monk. These may suggest the beginnings of the ceremonial significance which is now given to the square and compass.
Tamlorn Carterhaugh Wood: the Masons evolved from a trade Guild
Jimmy Branagh: The earliest occurrence of the word Freemason was in London in 1376. Four men were chosen to represent the city’s builders on the Common Council of Trades, this was the first time they had been represented. They were originally listed as Freemasons although the word is then crossed out and replaced with Mason. The possible reason for this error is significant.
Jimmy Branagh: Much of the building in the South of England was done with a material called Freestone. This is a form of limestone which is soft and easily worked when freshly quarried but afterwards hardens and becomes very durable. And the men who worked it were of course, called Freestone Masons. There seems to be no evidence to link the prefix free- with freedom. The balance of probability seems to suggest that Freemason is indeed a contraction of Freestone Mason.
Jimmy Branagh: John Wycliffe, writing about 1383, used the terms “men of sutel craft, as fre masons and others” he also refers to “fraternytes or gildis”. Then Henry Yevele, a master builder who died in 1400 may have been described as a Freemason on his tombstone. On the other hand the word Freemason appears in neither the Regius or the Cooke Manuscripts.
Jimmy Branagh: At this distance in time there can be no certainty but the evidence does strongly support the suggestion the Freemasonry could have developed from Guilds and Lodges of the medieval masons.
Jimmy Branagh: This does not mean that other movements or bodies of ideas or organizations did not also contribute significantly to survival and growth the Freemasonry.
Jimmy Branagh: Indeed it seems very probable an organization that has survived five hundred years must have been prepared to absorb and use any ideas that could contribute to its strength and growth.
Jimmy Branagh: Freemasonry has thus also been said to be a direct descendant of the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” (the Knights Templar); an offshoot of the ancient Mystery schools; an administrative arm of the Priory of Zion; the Roman Collegia; the Comacine masters; intellectual descendants of Noah;
Ceejay Writer: Ideas that were soft at first but hardened when built
Jimmy Branagh: to have existed at the time of King Athelstan of England, in the very late 10th century C.E. – Athelstan is said by some to have been converted to Christianity in York, and to have issued the first Charter to the Masonic Lodges there; and to have many other various and sundry origins.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Well played, Fraulein Ceejay.
Darlingmonster Ember: nods
Ceejay Writer *curtsey*
Jimmy Branagh lets Ceejay enjoy her moment
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Jimmy Branagh: It seems reasonable to suppose that, whatever its precise origins, Freemasonry provided a haven for the unorthodox and their sympathizers during a time when such activity could result in one’s death, and that this has something to do with the tradition of secret meetings and handshakes.
Ceejay Writer: *basks* NOW BACK TO JIMMEH
Jimmy Branagh: 8D
Nicholas Murdock: In the American South it’s said Baptists who like ritual become Masons 😉
Jimmy Branagh: As the Middle Ages gave way to the Modern Age, the need for secrecy subsided, and Freemasons began to openly declare their association with the fraternity, which began to organize itself more formally. In 1717, four Lodges,
Jimmy Branagh: which met at the “Apple-Tree Tavern, the Crown Ale-House near Drury Lane, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul’s Churchyard, and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Westminster” in London, England (as recounted in (2)) combined together and formed the first public Grand Lodge, the Premier Grand Lodge of England (PGLE).
Jimmy Branagh: The years following saw Grand Lodges open throughout Europe, as the new Freemasonry spread rapidly. How much of this was the spreading of Freemasonry itself, and how much was the public organization of pre-existing secret lodges, is not possible to say with certainty. The PGLE in the beginning did not have the current three degrees, but only the first two. The third degree appeared, so far as we know, around 1725.
Jimmy Branagh: The Two Great Schisms of Freemasonry (1753 and 1877)
Jimmy Branagh: The PGLE (Premier Grand Lodge of England), along with those jurisdictions with which it was in amity, later came to be known colloquially as the “Moderns”, to distinguish them from a newer, rival group of Freemasonry, known colloquially as the “Antients”. The Antients broke away and formed their own Grand Lodge in 1753, prompted by the PGLE’s making changes to the secret modes of recognition.
Jimmy Branagh: The differences between the two groups ran deeper than just that, however. The “Antients” were based in York, and claimed that their version of the Freemasonic Ritual (which included an additional fourth degree, the “Royal Arch”, with Christian elements) was truer to ancient tradition.
Nicholas Murdock: It’s rumored the Grand Lodge of England was formed to put English Masonry under Hanoverian control, as opposed to the heavy Jacobite presence in Scottish Rite and Continental groups.
Jimmy Branagh: Interesting.
Jimmy Branagh: From the point of view of the Moderns (actually the older group, in spite of the name), the Antients were trying to Christianize a fraternity that had always been non-Christian and religiously non-dogmatic. From the Antient point of view, on the other hand, the fraternity had been a Christian organization during the Middle Ages, and the Moderns had de-Christianized it.
Jimmy Branagh: In fact, both groups changed Masonry in the eighteenth century by adding new degrees, so neither can claim to be thoroughly ancient in practice. Tensions between the two groups were very high at times. Benjamin Franklin was a “Modern” and a deist, for instance, but by the time he died, his Lodge had gone “Antient”, and would no longer recognize him as one of their own, declining even to give him a Masonic funeral.
Jimmy Branagh: The schism was healed in the years following 1813, when the competing Grand Lodges were amalgamated, by virtue of a delicately worded compromise which left English Masonry clearly not Christian, returned the modes of recognition to their pre-1753 form,
Mari Moonbeam: bad form
Jimmy Branagh: kept Freemasonry per se as consisting of three degrees only, but which was ambiguously worded so as to allow the Moderns to think of the Antient Royal Arch degree as an optional higher degree, while still allowing the Antients to view it as the completion of the third degree.
Jimmy Branagh: Because both the Antients and the Moderns had “daughter” Lodges throughout the world, and because many of those Lodges still exist, there is a great deal of variability in the Ritual used today.
Myrtil Igaly: such diplomacy
Jimmy Branagh: Most Lodges conduct their Work in accordance with an agreed-upon single Rite, such as the York Rite which is popular in the United States, or the Canadian Rite which is, in some ways, a concordance between the Rites used by the “Antients” and “Moderns”.
Jimmy Branagh: The second great schism in Freemasonry occurred in the years following 1877, when the GOdF started accepting atheists unreservedly. This on-going schism is in many ways a re-emergence of the same basic conflict that created the split between the Antients and Moderns: the religious requirements, if any, for being a Freemason.
Jimmy Branagh: While the issue of atheism is probably the greatest single factor in the split with the GOdF, the English also point to the French recognition of women’s Masonry and co-Masonry, as well as the tendency of French Masons to be more willing to discuss religion and politics in Lodge.
Jimmy Branagh: While the French curtail such discussion, they do not ban it as outright as do the English. The schism between the two branches has occasionally been breached for short periods of time, especially during the First World War when American Masons overseas wanted to be able to visit French Lodges.
Jimmy Branagh: Concerning religious requirements, the oldest constitution of Freemasonry that of Anderson, 1723, says only that a Mason “will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine” if he “rightly understands the Art”. The only religion required was “that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves”
Jimmy Branagh: In 1815, the newly amalgamated UGLE changed Anderson’s constitutions to include more orthodox overtones: “Let a man’s religion or mode of worship be what it may, he is not excluded from the Order, provided he believes in the glorious Architect of heaven and earth, and practices the sacred duties of morality.”
Jimmy Branagh: The English enforce this with a requirement for belief in a Supreme Being, and in his revealed will. While these requirements can still be interpreted in a non-theistic manner, they made it more difficult for unorthodox believers to enter the fraternity.
Jimmy Branagh: In 1849, the GOdF followed the English lead by adopting the “Supreme Being” requirement, but there was increasing pressure in Latin countries to openly admit atheists.
Jimmy Branagh: There was an attempt at a compromise in 1875, by allowing the alternative phrase “Creative Principle”, which was less theistic-sounding than “Supreme Being”, but this was ultimately not enough for the GOdF, and in 1877 they went back to having no religious entrance requirements, making the original Anderson document of 1723 their official constitution.
Jimmy Branagh: They also created a modified ritual that made no direct verbal reference to the G.A.O.T.U. although, as a symbol, it was arguably still present. This new Rite did not replace the older ones, but was added as an alternative. European jurisdictions in general tend not to restrict themselves to a single Rite, like most North American jurisdictions, but offer a menu of Rites, from which their Lodges can choose.
Jimmy Branagh: The first Freemasons lodge opened in what would become the United States on July 30, 1733. The influence of Freemasonry in the founding of the United States is still unclear, but is acknowleged to be significant
Oatmeal Cookie whispers: A fresh baked oatmeal cookie!
Jimmy Branagh: Now, the favorite of all the secret societies among conspiracy freaks …
Myrtil Igaly: I wonder what the “G” stands for in the middle of their sign
Jimmy Branagh: The Illuminati!
Jimmy Branagh: Dun dun DUUUUUN! O.o
Lady Sumoku: Godzilla
Myrtil Igaly: Yay!!
Jimmy Branagh: The All Seeing Eye
Sera Puchkina: Impressive!
Myrtil Igaly: shiny!
Jimmy Branagh: The Illuminati is one of those well-known shadowy organizations shrouded in myth and legend. They are credited with behind the scenes manipulations of world events and seen as the secret power that controls everything.
Solace Fairlady: Sauron!
Nicholas Murdock: Fnord!
Ceejay Writer offers visine
Jimmy Branagh chuckles
Jimmy Branagh: The Illuminati has become the modern day catch all poster child of the political evils in the world. All of which is highly ironic, as the group historically was founded on May 1, 1776, with the goals of opposing superstitions, religious influence over public life, and the abuse of power by the state.
Marianne McCann saw Nicholas’ mouth moving, but heard no words
Jimmy Branagh: The Illuminati, along with other secret societies like the Freemasons, were seen as subversive in the late eighteenth century, due in large part to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Since then, the idea of the Illuminati has come to be associated with any secret organization that proclaims to have links with the original society, though in many cases these links are unsubstantiated.
Jimmy Branagh: Organized in a way very similar to that of Freemasonry, the Illuminati very likely used the Masons as a pattern for which to their model their own society. Indeed, some present day Illuminati groups claim to have origins far older than the historical 1776 account, using their connection to Freemasonry in their principal argument.
Jimmy Branagh: Some groups even lay claim to connections that trace back to ancient Egypt and the Ra and Isis cults that thrived in antiquity.
Jimmy Branagh: It is difficult to trace the history of the Illuminati much of what it did was in secret. After the original society was outlawed, what was left, allegedly, went underground to continue its work in secret. These claims include involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and were considered, by some, as responsible for the French Revolution in 1789.
Jimmy Branagh: Many believe that the subversive goal of the Illuminati was to form a one world government. The Congress of Vienna was, according to these beliefs, brought about by the Illuminati who hoped to achieve their goal by forming a League of Nations. When Russia refused to join, however, their plan was foiled creating, supposedly, a great deal of animosity towards the Russian powers within the Illuminati rank and file.
Congress of Vienna
Jimmy Branagh: The Illuminati are said to have devised a plan for there to occur three world wars over the course of the twentieth century that would lead, ultimately, to the formation of a one world government. In line with this theory, they orchestrated the tensions that led to World War 1. With the goal of destroying Imperial Russia and get revenge for the failed Congress of Vienna. World War II was likewise planned by the Illuminati to strengthen communism.
Nicholas Murdock: They replaced G. Washington with Adam Weishaupt 😉
Jimmy Branagh: There was to be a third war between political Zionists and the leaders of the Muslim world, which was to have weakened everyone to the point where a one world government was the only feasible option left. This makes for an interesting theory given the present state of geopolitical affairs at hand in the world today.
Ceejay Writer: Yeek.
Jimmy Branagh: While this is, by far, the most sensational account of the Illuminati available, very little of it can be verified historically. What we do know is that the Illuminati were founded by Adam Weishaupt, who was raised in Bavaria and educated at Jesuit school graduating ultimately from the University of Ingolstadt in 1768 with a doctorate in law. Interestingly, the Jesuits have been accused of broader conspiracies, subversive methods and conspiratorial practices.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fascinating group, the Jesuits.
Jimmy Branagh: Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge in Munich in 1777, the year after he founded the Illuminati. Once he joined, he reorganized the Illuminati in order to attract more Freemasons to its ranks. While the Masons brought more influential members into Weishaupt’s society,
Jimmy Branagh: it also led to disagreements between his ideals and those new members. Seeing trouble and seizing an opportunity, the Bavarian government acted on disquiet at the prominence of members in governmental positions, stepped in and disbanded what was left of the Illuminati.
Jimmy Branagh: And still, this secret society was not unknown in the world. Letters from George Washington show that he was aware of the Illuminati’s plan to overthrow all current governments. Despite the large number of Masons among American’s founding fathers, Washington was confident that none of his allies were interested in pursuing that agenda. Washington wrote, on October 24, 1798,
Jimmy Branagh: “…It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.
Nicholas Murdock: Immanentize the Eschaton!
Jimmy Branagh: The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned…”
Jimmy Branagh: In a modern context, as a secret society, it is impossible to say if the Illuminati still exist today or not, due to their very nature. How do you disprove something that is said to not exist? There are many organizations that claim to have roots that trace back to the Illuminati though they currently exist under different names.
Jimmy Branagh: The formation of a one world government does not, however, seem like such a far-fetched notion with increasing globalization and the strong presence of multinational businesses and governmental styled agencies including the IMF and the United Nations.
Jimmy Branagh: But, how much of this is merely a perpetuation of the idea that a shadow society is calling the shots by orchestrating the maneuvering of progress. Perhaps in some respect, the ethos of the Illuminati is its legacy of its continuation in the modern world.
Jimmy Branagh: The use of Illuminati symbols in modern day culture helps to perpetuate the belief that the secret society is still operating in the shadows and controlling many of the world’s events.
Jimmy Branagh: The obvious symbolism of the All-Seeing Eye is linked pervasively with the Illuminati as seen in many places, including the currency United States. The inclusion of on the currency is an obvious chicken before the egg analogy that conspiracy theorists have latched onto as an obvious and overt sign.
Jimmy Branagh: The pyramid, once again present on the American $1 bill, is said to represent the hierarchy of the order. It is left unfinished to show that the goals of the society have not yet been accomplished. The Bavarian society did indeed have pyramids displayed at their meetings though once again the same symbol is often attributed to the Masons.
Jimmy Branagh: The owl, too, is the symbol of the goddess Minerva who was the goddess of wisdom. The Bavarian Illuminati who had reached Minerval status (in between Novice and Illuminated Minerval) especially considered it a very important symbol and included it on their medallions.
Jimmy Branagh: Some contemporary pretenders find a more nefarious image suggesting links to the occult. In these instances, the pentagram is also sometimes said to be a symbol used by the Illuminati in the practice of black magic.
Jimmy Branagh: But the Bavarian society had no occult practices that we know of in comparison to this modern day context. If a modern day Illuminati group claims the practice of magic, they most likely have no true connection to the original order.
Jimmy Branagh: The reality behind the Illuminati is as shadowy as its existence. Their secret nature, combined with the vast number of groups that claim lineage with them makes it impossible to trace their activities through history. Much of what is currently known about the Illuminati is little more than guesswork and greatly influenced by the sensational depiction of them in popular culture.
Jimmy Branagh: The theories are endless.
Jimmy Branagh: Everyone famous is in the Illuminati, including Jay-Z, the Pope (all of them), Usain Bolt, Glenn Beck, Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, and Lady Gaga are members. Taylor Swift and Howard Stern are some of its biggest promoters. Stanley Kubrick was an insider who tried to expose it in his film Eyes Wide Shut, and the patron saint of the Masonic silver screen, Nicolas Cage, makes films in promoting its ideals.
Jimmy Branagh: That a “global elite” society that is either in control of, or is seeking to take control of, the world.
Jimmy Branagh: That Freemasonry and Satanism are the driving forces behind the Illuminati.
Jimmy Branagh: That they seek to form a one-world government, a one-world monetary system and a one-world religion.
Freya: The Lady Gaga conspiracy videos are worth seeing for the WTF factor.
Jimmy Branagh: The entertainment industry is controlled by the Illuminati.
engacia: wot? no easterners?
Jimmy Branagh: Organizations like the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations are pawns of the New World Order.
Jimmy Branagh: Denver is an Illuminati world domination layover site to off the grid blacked out labor camps.
Ceejay Writer: I love Nick Cage’s stuff about it, really
Nicholas Murdock: And of course, all this spawned the Steve Jackson game “Illuminati” 🙂
Jimmy Branagh: Gay Activism and feminism are an Illuminati Conspiracy.
Darlingmonster Ember: I’ve played the game and can prove it.
Jimmy Branagh: That the Illuminati is governed by a race of shape-shifting reptilian pedophiles who are ultimately behind an “Orwellian Global Super state”
Jimmy Branagh: And a new one on me …
Nicholas Murdock: No no, that’s the grays from Zeta Reticuli.
Jimmy Branagh: The moon is the home base of the Illuminati.
Darlingmonster Ember: …quick, Jimmy is overheating, get some water
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Marianne McCann: SMERSH, aided by the Boy Spouts, will attack to control SMOF
Lady Sumoku: That’s silly.
Lady Sumoku: Everyone knows the moon is where Dracula lives.
Myrtil Igaly: Oooooh
Jimmy Branagh: And with that last bon-mot, we come to a close. Thank you everyone for attending!
Jimmy Branagh bows
Sera Puchkina applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Marianne McCann claps
Captain Killian applaudes
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Myrtil Igaly applauds and claps
Sera Puchkina: Great talk, Jimmy!
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach applauds
Solace Fairlady applauds!
Lady Sumoku makes the secret sign of applause.
Otenth Håkon Paderborn applauds
Father Pizzaro applauds
Darlingmonster Ember applauds
Holly: thank you
Lunesta Matova: Excellent research and presentation, Jimmy, thank you!
Jimmy Branagh: That all timed out perfect this time!
Nicholas Murdock: Well done, good talk. Pity we must kill you after this.
engacia: very interesting! thank you! applauds!
Random Wezzog applauds.
Solace Fairlady: bravo master Jimmy!
Random Wezzog: Very interesting presentation.
Myrtil Igaly: kill h.. wha?
Zaida Gearbox applauds wildly
Zaida Gearbox: Hoooo!
Freya: That was wonderful
Caesar Osterham: Nicely done, Master Branagh
Ceejay Writer: Amazing research Jimmeh. I learned SO MUCH. And will read the transcript about a dozen times.
Jimmy Branagh: Thank you.
Freya: Did I hear mention of a transscript?
Lady Sumoku: He knows too much!
Jimmy Branagh: “)
Myrtil Igaly: So do we now…
Zaida Gearbox: that’s what jimmy does – he drinks and he knows things
Tamlorn Carterhaugh Wood: That was a lot of work to prepare all that, thank you!
Jimmy Branagh: Who is keeping the transcripts these days?
Darlingmonster Ember: Of course, they want us to think he knows too much, but we know that they know
Dr. Hannibal Carthegan: well done, Jimmy
Myrtil Igaly: but they know that we know that they know do you know?
Freya: We know that they know that we know that he knows, you known?
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Baronin Zanta and the clank are both recording.
Myrtil Igaly: hehe
Jimmy Branagh: Thank you everyone. I hope you enjoy it. Watch yer back.
Caesar Osterham: Oh, and I have posted several pictures of you all to the colorcast. So you can expect visits from your local constabulary soon. 🙂
Lady Sumoku has subverted their plans by not knowing anything.
Captain Killian: but i wore a mask!
Freya: Well played, madam
Silas Merlin: Good bye everyone, thank you Jimmy
Jimmy Branagh: Bye Silas
Myrtil Igaly: yes I’m masked too so nothing to worry about
Jimmy Branagh: Oh, you can turn the lights up now
Sera Puchkina waves night and poofs
Caesar Osterham: I am Russian, Captain. We know that masks cover nothing.
Marianne McCann: This was all very interesting. I shall have to report all this to my higher ups, of course
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach grins
Nicholas Murdock: Gotta run. Time for my Lodge meeting with the Lindens to plot the takeover of World of Warcraft.
Solace Fairlady: a wonderful presentation Jimmy, thank you!
Myrtil Igaly: We’ve got some secret societies in Babbage too
Jimmy Branagh: Well, I am probably now on every list in the book, so …
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Are the Moles a branch of the Illuminati?
Marianne McCann: They’re clearly underground operatives
Jimmy Branagh: Oy dunno Herr Baron. It’s quite possible
Father Pizzaro: Conspiracy theories are seeded to keep those sort of people from doing anything of import.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Oh, well done.
Ceejay Writer: *koff* Ceejaytopia *koff*
Myrtil Igaly: that’s a secret society?
Jimmy Branagh laughs at Ceejay
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach notes that Fraulein Marianne is obviously Evil.
Myrtil Igaly: or the one world government?
Ceejay Writer: OKAY, its a blatent society, so sue me.
Marianne McCann curtsies
Ceejay Writer: Wait, don’t.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach chuckles
Random Wezzog: Thank you, Master Branagh 🙂 Very interesting talk.
Jimmy Branagh: Glad you like it
Marianne McCann: I should run along as well. Great talk!
Random Wezzog: Goodnight all.
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Danke, everyone, for attending.
Freya: This was wonderful, thank you, Master Branagh, and thank you, Herr Baron!
Ceejay Writer: This was wonderful. And now I am off! for a SEEKRET MEETING SOMEWHERE