This is just me rambling on. I was talking to someone today who was going on about how much influence the Freemasons have within many countries, including the UK and USA. He said not to be fooled by their charity work, as there is a lot more to the organisation than that.
I guess I knew this myself as I have published a few post about the Freemasons including Freemasons: The Solemn Obligation Of A Master Mason. Strangely though, talking to this man, rooted out a long distant memory.
When I left school at 16 years 9 months I went into Police College in London. After some training I was given a police cadet's uniform and a chain with a whistle and a key to open Police Boxes - like Dr Who's Tardis - and was attached to a Police Station. A naive boy in the big, wide world!
I got on okay, at least I thought I did. There was a panic one day as the Police Commissioner (in charge of London policing) was arriving. I was told I would have to offer him tea when he arrived. "Okay," I said. The old sergeant looked at me, shook his head, and said, "You'll make a good copper one day, because if I'd said Jesus Christ was coming you still wouldn't have been bothered" That was the nearest I ever got to any praise or compliment.
Then they posted another cadet to the Police Station. We often had to work on things together but, to my mind, he never knew what he was doing! I worked very hard on one particular project but when it was finished the Superintendent in charge praised the other cadet for a job well done.
I was a bit miffed as I felt I had done all the work. The old sergeant noticed this and took me to one side and explained that the Superintendent's attitude was because he, and the cadet's father were at the same Lodge. I didn't know what a Lodge was, let alone who the Freemasons were. The sergeant went into great detail and explained that if I wanted to get on within the Police I should somehow join the Freemasons at the earliest opportunity. According to him this was how to get rapid advancement, and was why he, who wasn't a Freemason, never made it further than sergeant.
Okay, that was all a long time ago, but it makes you wonder ...
As for my police career. it ended at 18 years 9 months when I failed the eyesight test in a medical and was told I would have to wear glasses. This meant it was the end of the police for me and my wish of becoming a detective!
Looking back, though, I'm very glad things worked out as they did!