Saturday, August 1, 2009

Knight versus Higham - part 6 - Charity

BBC Radio 4'S Tuesday Call
13 November 1984

In this live radio broadcast, listeners phoned in to Tuesday Call to ask questions about Freemasonry, under the chairmanship of Sue Macgregor. In the transcript below, her words are printed in italic, and those of the two participants are prefixed with

(K) -
Stephen Knight author of `The Brotherhood ` or
(H) -
Commander Michael Higham, Grand Secretary of the UGLE

to differentiate them from the questioners.

.......continued from part 5

Thank you Commander, and Mr Begbie for your question. Now to Cardiff we go and talk to Mr Cyril Bond. Mr Bond, what's the point you'd like to make?


(Mr Bond) Well, I was wondering, there's been a terrific slant against Freemasonry, not the emphasis on the good things of it. I've found recently in our local press a series of articles that are slanted against, and there's no doubt about it, against Freemasonry. What on Earth are they afraid of? And in a recent BBC Wales Television programme, was similarly slanted. In half an hour three minutes only were devoted to an interview with a past master of a local lodge trying to, and I emphasise trying to, get in a point about masonic charities. I wonder why, why there's not emphasis on the good points, the very considerable amount raised for such widespread things as famine relief, repairs to cathedrals, to churches, and about fifteen years ago the raising of one million pounds- fifteen years ago- for research, to the Royal College of Surgeons- for research irrespective of religion, colour or creed.

Well, Mr Bond you've made a valuable point about some masonic charity work, let me ask Stephen Knight about that, as he's written a book which is largely critical of the masons. What do you feel about perhaps the influence for evil sometimes overshadowing the influence for good?

(K) The influence for good is very great. The potential for good, and the actual influence for good is very very great indeed. There's an enormous amount of money which goes to various charities. And I mention all that in the book. I come back to my concern with an organisation which has so many members, many of whom, a minority are using it for their own purposes, and what I want to happen is for Grand Lodge to say, 'Okay, well this situation is happening to whatever degree, and what we've got to do is get to the bottom of it and root out as much as we can- no-one can ever loot out all corruption- 'root out whatever corruption there, to whatever extent, in Freemasonry.'

While acknowledging the good of the charitable donations you're saying there is, you have evidence of corruption- we can't go into that on this programme- and you're calling for an enquiry?

(K) An enquiry by Grand Lodge.

Can we turn Mr Bond's original question into a question about an enquiry?

(H) Sorry Mr Bond, I expect we'll come back to your question in a moment. Mr Knight is saying that there's, there has been corruption, or people who are masons have got the way in which they carry out their obligations wrong. If he would provide us with evidence then we would consider it, and I think that's as far as he or I would want to take that at the moment. But to get back to charity, your basic question was why is so little reported about the good side of Freemasonry, I'm afraid it's not news. I hope that if people were, interested in good news they would be able to pick up quite a lot that is favourable to Freemasonry, and not just for our own people. I mean you've quoted quite a lot of examples Mr Bond and I'm very grateful to you for it!

....continued in part 7

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