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For the good of the craft...
SHORT TALK BULLETIN - Vol.IV September, 1926 No.9
Often we read in the newspapers of what '€śThe Reds'€ť are doing in far off Russia. Or we turn the page and find an item telling how they helped, or tried to help in the English general strike. At that we prick up our ears, but soon lay the paper aside with a feeling of relief that it is all remote from our country, and that we are safe from any such evil.
Down in our hearts we may feel that in old, decaying societies we may expect to find maggots working, but nothing of the kind can infest the strong, healthy body of a new, growing nation. Our America is so vast, so prosperous, so sound that it is immune from such an insane infection. So in the main, it is, thank God. But are we so sure that none of the virus'€™s of anarchy, communism or other distemper'€™s are not at work in America?
The facts are amazing, and The Masonic Service Association proposes to give them to the Craft - just plain facts without any coloring other than their own. They will tell their own story no rhetoric is needed. Alas, they cannot be told in a brief space, but a few facts may be recited to show what is going on and how artfully the poison is being injected into our nation. Others will come later.
Of course the '€śReds'€ť do not often work openly in America it is not safe or good for their health. They do sometimes, as will soon appear, prefer to do their job secretly and by stealth, and one is bound to admire their cleverness. It is uncanny at times, and makes good folk of altruistic spirit its unconscious dupes. as the Bible puts it, their cunning deceives '€śThe Very Elect.'€ť
For example, every sane man hates war. Especially every Christian man hates it, because it is the crucifixion of his faith and all of his ideals. The horrors of the great world conflict made this hatred of war vivid and burning in the hearts of all men. The Reds know how to make use of this feeling for their own ends. Every Red is an ardent advocate of disarmament- for others. They are all innocent pacifists - on the surface. They are members, if not the leaders, in all the pacifists societies, of which we have many. Why? They want the world disarmed - so they can do their work and make a clean job of it.
So, naturally, the man of God in the pulpit is often an unconscious helper of his Red enemies. He is sincere, they are not. They use his noble sentiment to serve their purposes. If he is a fiery pacifist it is more to their liking. Next to the Church they invade the schools. They are back of the movement to '€śDenature'€ť our school books, and belittle or besmirch the heroes of our history. They call it '€śdebunking the fathers,'€ť and the phrase makes a hit.
All this time this boring from within goes on, secretly, cleverly using every art and device of propaganda, now so highly developed. They make fine phrases and put them in the mouths of thoughtless speakers, who keep them going automatically, They know the value of a crisp, striking epigram which cuts both ways.
Take a single instance. A notorious Red, speaking on the Fourth of July - of all days - cracking the clever epigram, in referring to the Fathers of our Nation '€śThe anarchists of yesterday are the patriots of today.'€ť The crowd swallowed it - failing to see that he meant that Washington, Jefferson and Franklin were anarchists. So it goes, unscrupulous men making a toy of our thoughtlessness.
But enough generalities now for some plain facts. In the hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization of Congress, during the present year, one witness was asked by the Chairman'€ť:
'€śYou think that an alien has a perfect right to come here and get into a labor strike, preach communism all he wants to, and advocate the overthrow of government?'€ť
Reply: - '€śYes!'€ť
'€śDid I understand you to say that an alien has the right to preach the overthrow of government, and anarchy?'€ť asked the chairman. Reply: - '€śYes!'€ť
'€śDo you believe a citizen has that right?'€ť
Reply: - '€śYes!'€ť
Along with this let us recall the meeting of the '€śYoung Pioneer'€™s League,'€ť held in Philadelphia, under the shadow of Independence Hall. Delegates from six states attended, and the headquarters from which literature was sent forth was the '€śYoung Worker'€™s - Friends of Soviet Russia.'€ť For two days young foreigners - most of them - trained in our schools, denounced the Republic, derided the President, hissed the Flag, and laid plans to propagate their ideas '€śIn Our Schools!'€ť Indeed, the Flag of the United States of America was not allowed in the room! In its place hung the red Flag of the '€śInternational'€ť and under it pictures of Lenin and Trotsky. Fiery speeches were made, denouncing the Army, Navy, the Constitution and Law, Exhibiting an astonishing familiarity with the writings of Marx - in the year of the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence! One speaker, incidentally, spoke of Deity using the phrase:
'€śThe Goodness of God.'€ť
'€śYes, He'€™s Good For Nothing,'€ť the audience shouted with roars of laughter, and the speaker apologized for his mistake.
Each member call the others '€śComrade,'€ť and all advocated what they called '€śThe Bolshevization of America.'€ť The public schools were held up to scorn. Even grammar came in for stern criticism as '€śA System of Rules Designed to Drug The Mind and Keep It From Thinking.'€ť The question before the house was whether they should carry on their campaign in the schools. Some thought it sneaking to do so, but it was finally agreed that the end justifies the means:
'€śThe only Education worth while is the education of Marx and Lenin.'€ť
'€śGet your education from the literature of the Workers.'€ť '€śNo, we'€™ve got to learn about the capitalist system from the capitalists themselves.'€ť
'€śIf we stay in the schools we can do more for the cause.'€ť
'€śIt is the school principal and the teachers who are sneaks.'€ť
These and similar bits were caught from the debate, and all were reported in the public press - we give only what is of record. The women wore red dresses, the men and boys red ties. They sang '€śThe Scarlet Banner'€ť and '€śThe Red Flag'€ť and made a parody on '€śThe Star Spangled Banner.'€ť Glibly they rolled off their tongues, in good, unaccented English, words like '€śSoviet,'€ť '€śStrikers,'€ť '€śCommunism,'€ť '€śThe Dictatorship of the Proletariat,'€ť and others of a sort.
Hardly a single delegate to the meeting was over twenty years of age. Nearly all wore foreign names. They were often hilarious in their glee, singing other songs than the ones already named - these being the sacred songs of the League, sung with earnestness and solemnity.
Among such songs was one having the following chorus:
Hurrah! Hurrah! We'€™re going to paint her Read! Hurrah! Hurrah! the way is clear ahead - We'€™re gaining shop democracy and liberty and bread/ With one big Industrial Union!
So much for the meeting. If it be said that it was only an assembly of foolish youths, '€śBlowing Off Steam'€ť - so be it. But such steam is hardly the kind with which to run a Republic. As a fact it is only one of many such meetings that go on all the time in our great cities. The present writer has attended a number of equally wild ones in New York, at which ribald words were sung to Church Hymns, ridiculing God, Home, Church and the Republic.
Again it may be contended that the Communists in America are but few in number, not enough to endanger the nation. Besides, it may be argued, they would like the publicity of Martyrdom, and are actually itching to get in the spot light. No doubt but all the same the facts ought to be well known in every Masonic Lodge in the land, that the Craft may Govern itself accordingly. Our business is to find the facts and report them to the Fraternity for its information, not as alarmists but in the coolest spirit and the plainest words.
In the old days the Masonic forefathers were alert and vigilant in watching the nooks and corners for secret foes of the nation. We must not be less so in our day, when more dangers than we realize are afoot. The Soviets of Russia regard America as their greatest enemy, and, thank God, it is. With Europe slowly sinking into despair and ruin, as it seems to be doing now, America may be the only bulwark left to defend Liberty under Law.
Any man who can see straight knows that we live in terrible times, when any thing may happen. If America fails in her faith - fails to train men to rule themselves and the serve their fellow men - so far as we can see civilization is doomed. Every Lodge must be an Altar of light, kept brightly burning to show the path. Too much is a stake - we cannot take a chance or trust to luck, much less be idle when evil is busy.
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