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NCJ Number: 148758 Find in a Library
Title: Putting Freemasonry into Perspective: The Debate Over Freemasonry and Policing
Journal: Policing and Society  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:(1994)  Pages:257-268
Author(s): D Wall
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 12
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The relationship between the police and freemasonry in the United Kingdom is examined with respect to its history and current status, based on an analysis of historical and current literature on freemasonry and of original material on the subject.
Abstract: Revelations about the practice of freemasonry regularly respond to the public's appetite for conspiracy. However, these revelations are a comparatively recent phenomenon when compared to the longstanding debate over freemasonry and police appointments. This debate has lasted for nearly 100 years and has not progressed substantively, either because the silence of freemasons has prevented further inquiry or because the wrong questions are being asked. The rather diffuse organization of freemasonry makes it impossible to evaluate the full effect of its impact on society. The vacuum created by ignorance provides an environment conducive to rumor, gossip, and speculation. The basic concern regarding police membership in freemasonry is that the police responsibilities may conflict and become secondary to the oath of allegiance toward the craft of freemasonry and to the other freemasons. Additional concerns are that freemasons within the police will use masonic favoritism to gain promotion in preference to non- freemasons. The second is that police will not deal impartially with citizens who are freemasons. In a few cases in the late 19th and early 20th Century, freemasonry appears to have influenced senior police appointments. However, membership in freemasonry was popular, comparatively open, and even revered in the 19th century. Adverse publicity since then has deterred police from joining, while other social organizations have gained in popularity. Overall, the impact of freemasonry is probably more limited than we have been led to believe. Notes and 24 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Foreign police
Index Term(s): Criminology; Police discretion; Police personnel promotion; Religion; United Kingdom (UK)
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