It is time for Malta to start forming an objective view of the Freemasons (1).

By a blog reader

Allow me to declare my interest in this matter before proceeding to correct many misconceptions vis-a-vis the subject of freemasonry and the claims that ‘freemasonry’ is somehow involved in the despicable murder of Daphne Caruana Galiza. I will then proceed to give as objective as possible an account not only of the history, and structure (or rather lack of it) of Freemasonry itself but also of many of the claims its critics accuse it of. I will also address the nonsense that many so-called ‘masonic historians’ try to pass off as masonic history in order to embellish its history and their pockets. I will then proceed to address topics such as Freemasonry and Secrecy, Freemasonry and Religion including the accusation of Deism or the practice of the occult, Freemasonry and nepotism, Freemasonry in Malta and last but not least Freemasonry and the law. This I believe is necessary because one thing that is getting lost in all these claims and counterclaims is the confusion around the subject and the loose use of the term. If members of Opus Dei, the Mafia, and other forms of secret societies and nondescript criminals are all masons, then the term freemason would actually lose all its relevance.

This will obviously necessitate writing at length, and presented to the reader as a series, but I believe it to be necessary given all the misconceptions that surround the subject.

Allow me to also declare that I have known Mr. Simon Cusens for several years and consider him not only a gentleman of impeccable integrity but also a personal and dear friend. The recent revelations that he is not only a freemason but also the Grand Master of one of the regular jurisdictions operating in Malta has not affected my opinion of him not least because several of my own English ancestors have been active freemasons locally as well as abroad. Knowledge of my direct ancestry and a lifetime of experience has taught me to never judge a book by its cover, that life is not black or white and that truth is always more fascinating than fiction.

But enough of that, Mr Cusens can speak for himself, and all who really know him know what kind of man he truly is.

My interest in freemasonry commenced when I was still a young teenager, listening to my relatives speaking in hushed tones that among their own very direct ancestors there were those who were Mażuni buried in ‘unconsecrated ground’ at both the Msida Bastion Cemetry and at ta’ Braxia.  The more the hushed tone, as if their ancestors suffered from the plague or were guilty of some despicable act, the more my curiosity was piqued. Here was something well worth looking into in detail. I needed to know the truth of my own family history, of my own ancestors and their lives and times for it was rationally irreconcilable to me that ancestors that were clearly loved and respected by family and friends had aspects to them that dare not be mentioned in front of distant relatives let alone strangers.

It is this dichotomy that set me to study the subject in considerable detail for many years and which taught me once again that things are never quite as simple as others portray them to be. History as is human life itself, can be very complicated and the temptation to reduce everything into simplistic explanations is very strong – but it is also wrong as is the temptation to embellish it unduly. Today I humbly consider myself to be extremely well versed with this notoriously complex subject to the extent that I have gathered enough material to seriously consider writing a book that addresses not only a general overview of the subject of freemasonry itself but particularly also to feature short biographies of numerous Freemasons, both local and foreign that were members of the Craft in Malta in the 19th century – and the way they have affected local history. If ever this project comes to pass, I will surely restrict myself to the 19th century even though I have substantial information about the 20th because I know that many families, like mine speak of any Freemasons in their families with the same hushed tones and that many still alive would feel very uncomfortable if not outright embarrassed, for reasons that are socially understandable had the public to learn that good old granddad or uncle Joe was a Freemason. Such is the society we live in. 

I also want to make clear, that what I will proceed to state in this series of blogs that I live be publishing on this site is my own opinion and no one else – I speak out of my own direct knowledge and pursuit of objective truth and do not represent the views of anybody, masonic or otherwise.

Finally, I hope and pray that all those truly behind the gruesome murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia are brought to light and face justice and the web of organized crime dismantled. I know that on this at least, whatever their persuasions and denominations, all people of goodwill can agree.

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