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Hauts Grades

The Orange Order

16 Novembre 2007 , Rédigé par Orange Order Publié dans #hauts grades

The Orange Order is a large exclusively Protestant secret society. The Orange Order is one of the biggest secret societies existing throughout the world today, having tens of thousands of members in Ireland, Britain, America, and throughout the British Commonwealth (especially Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Notwithstanding, whilst most people today are aware of the existence of the Order, few know anything about its inner teaching and practices. The Orange Order has succeeded, where other secret bodies have failed, in concealing its secrets and mysteries from outside scrutiny.

The formation of the Orange Order

The Orange Order was founded on 21st September 1795 shortly after the 'Battle of the Diamond' outside a small village in Northern Ireland called Loughgall. Three well-known local men of the area, James Wilson, Dan Winter, and James Sloan, formed the Orange institution. History reveals that all three men were dedicated Freemasons and two of the three were local pub owners.

The 'Battle of the Diamond' itself lasted only fifteen minutes and was centred on Dan Winter's public house, which was located at the Diamond crossroads. This battle (or skirmish) resulted in Winter's premises being burnt to the ground by the attacking Catholic's who were known as 'the Defenders'. The public house itself was the special focus of the attack as it was the gathering house for the local Protestant militia, the 'Peep O Day Boys'.

Winter's supporters, many of whom were Freemasons, gathered around the debris of the public house and pledged themselves to form a new secret society, made up solely of Protestant men. Devoid of Winter's premises as a meeting place the men retired to James Sloan's public house in the local village of Loughgall. It was here that the Orange Institution was properly organised.

James Wilson was probably the most influential of the founding fathers of Orangeism and was an ardent Freemason. Respected Orange historian R.M. Sibbett records, "Wilson was a member of the Society of Freemasons, which fully qualified him for establishing a new Order of a secret character."

The Orange Order in Ireland

The Orange Order draws its members from all classes of Protestant society in Ireland. Its members, in general, are upright law-abiding members of society who are required to give their allegiance to the just principles of the Reformed Faith. The Orange Order is Loyalist in its outlook, strongly supporting the Monarchy of England and the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Politically, the Orange Order is strongly Unionist - in that it passionately supports the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

It is politically over this past hundred years that the Orange Order has been most effective, drawing the varying sides of Unionism together in Northern Ireland into an organised cohesive group. During the worst of the Irish troubles the Orange Order became the largest political voice for the Unionist people. Nevertheless, the Order has become increasingly ineffective politically over this past few years with 'major splits', the 'Drumcree debacle' and a glaring 'lack of leadership'. And whilst the Order has been a vehicle for drawing Protestants together politically, spiritually it has been an impotent machine.

The Orange Order today, however, is suffering from a significant spiritual decline. This fact is seen in the unprecedented wave of bars being introduced into Orange Halls throughout the Province. This has naturally resulted in a stark drop in the standard of behaviour of many of the Orange brethren on the twelfth of July walk - especially in the Greater Belfast parades. Many are barely able to walk straight or upright due to their intoxicated state particularly on the walk home. More and more men are been accepted into the Orange solely on the grounds of their 'nominal Protestantism' and their Loyalist/Unionist credentials rather than their strong Christian belief. This, it seems, has been permitted in some areas simply to prop up their falling ranks. This unfortunate turn of events has caused great disillusionment among the more God fearing elements within the Order.

Many Christians have also been dismayed at the growing liberalism within the Institution at its attitude towards ecumenism. This compromise is especially prevalent among some of its leading clergy. Some of the Orange Order's senior ministers like Rev. Martin Smyth (former Grand Master) and Rev. Robert Coulter (a Grand Chaplain) having recently attended ecumenical prayer breakfasts with the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. Also, some of the most noted political faces in the Orange, like Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, in violation of the rules of the Order, have recently attended the Roman Catholic Mass. This incident would of once caused his immediate expulsion from the Order.

On top of these previous concerns, there has been a growing evangelical opposition to the highly degrading ritualistic practices of the Royal Arch Purple and the Royal Black Institutions within the Orange over this past number of years. This has resulted in the resignation of many good evangelical Christians from the Orders including ministers, lecturers and Worshipful Masters. The impact of this exodus has been felt at Lodge, District, County and Grand Lodge level. It has affected both the Orange and the Independent Orange institutions.

It is these anti-scriptural concerns that are exposed in Evangelical Truth's explosive book - 'behind closed doors.' This book is a must for anyone interested in Orange, or secret society, affairs in Ireland. The book, which is written by former Orangeman Paul Malcomson MA, FETS, goes 'behind closed doors' for the first time publicly, and looks at the highly secretive and deeply ritualistic practices within Orangeism.

Ironically, from its inception in 1798, the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland (the ruling authority of Orangeism) looked upon the ritualism embodied within the Royal Arch Purple and the Black with understandable abhorrence. It was viewed as being incompatible with, and contrary to, both Protestantism and Orangeism. Those ritualistic Orangemen who practised the Arch Purple and Black degrees were persecuted by Grand Lodge, forcing them to practise their degrees in great secrecy for fear of expulsion from the Order. Grand Lodge maintained this position throughout the whole of the 1800s and into the early 20th century. The hard line assumed by the Orange Institution in Ireland mirrored the resolute stance of Orangeism throughout Great Britain.

However, by the start of the 1900s many of these rebellious Orangemen throughout the British Isles had subtly worked themselves into positions of responsibility within their respective Grand Lodges. Thus these ritualistic orders became acceptable.

As the years have passed by, the former hostility from the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland towards the Royal Arch Purple degree has all but been extinguished. The Arch Purple Chapter has exploited the 20th Century indifference, existing within Grand Lodge, by portraying the Arch Purple degree as a natural step of advancement within the Orange Institution. This practice has prevailed, despite the Arch Purple Order still being officially debarred by Irish Orangeism's own rules.

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