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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Living in a RAW world?

I have written before about the odd fact that, in a sense, I seem to be living in a Robert Anton Wilson novel, working in a city heavily influenced by the Freemason movement.

Here's what I wrote in a blog post last year: "Above is the original plat for the city of Sandusky, Ohio, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. A Freemason named Hector Kilbourne laid out the city streets to reproduce the mason's compass and square design. Masons in Sandusky, where I work for the local newspaper, say Sandusky is the only city in the U.S. with a masonic street design."

When I drive to work, I routinely go through an oddball intersection of five streets, as a result of the design.

Recently I participated in an annual Christmas candlelight home tour in Sandusky, and one of the stops was a place that's not a home: the Masonic Temple, built in 1889. I asked for permission to take photos, and they said sure, so here are a few to share with you.

The lodge room, as seen from the balcony. Note the picture of George Washington, Freemason, on the left. 

View of lodge room from the interior.

Artwork of George Washington, Freemason. 

The locker room, where I am told the Knights Templars put on their uniforms. 

The library, with lots of rather old looking books. 

The Washington Square you see in the above original plat of the city is now Washington Park, which dominates downtown Sandusky. Of course, it's not unusual for an American city to reference the first president, but looking at the Washington picture in the Masonic Temple, I wonder if that also is an illustration of the Freemason influence on Sandusky.


Eric Wagner said...

Bob said living in Dublin seemed like living in a James Joyce theme park and living in LA seemed like living in a Raymond Chandler theme park.

Branka Tesla said...

What a wonderful world to live in RAW novel/world Tom! In a charming small town on Lake Erie populated with larger % of German and Irish.

Just yesterday I re-read Paul Kramer's  interview with Wilson:

Q: What was the purpose of what you call the Christian conspiracy?
A: Well, I regard the Bill of Rights as the result of a conspiracy by the intellectual freemasons of the Enlightenment Era. It's always had a precarious existence because of the rival Christian conspiracy to restore the dark ages - Inquisitions, which-hunts and all. With the Tsarist take-over, the Christians appear to have won. Not a single clause in the Bill of Rights hasn't gotten either diluted or totally reversed. (Email to the Universe, p.261)

Speaking of conspiracies, I noticed many people use the following quote online without any details of which book or which interview that quote comes from: 

  “You should view the world as a conspiracy run by a very closely-knit group of nearly omnipotent people, and you should think of those people as yourself and your friends.” - Robert Anton Wilson 

Does anyone know in which RAW's book that quote appears?

Toby said...

Curiously enough, I found myself in a Masonic Lodge this year, which had been rented out for a viewing of "The Dark Crystal" as part of a local film festival, and they wanted me to come in and talk about working on the movie, before the screening.
I find it weird to go into a ritual space, when the magic isn't happening. (Although I consider it a magick movie).

Curiously enough, back in my youth, when I worked as a cleaner, I used to dust and vacuum a church in Notting Hill - while middle-aged ladies changed the flowers - and found it interesting to run an electric floor-polisher up the aisle. No-one seems to think about the off-duty aspect of ritual. This particular church had a lot of show-biz folks as clients/worshippers/visitors. The vicar made me laugh. He took me backstage for tea and biscuits, showed me his 'dressing room', confessed to stage-fright, and considered his routine much as I thought of as theatre.