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The Brotherhood

Автор:
Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2018 год
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22 Government (#litres_trial_promo)

23 The Highest in the Land (#litres_trial_promo)

24 The City of London (#litres_trial_promo)

25 The Devil in Disguise? (#litres_trial_promo)

PART SIX: THE KGB CONNECTION (#litres_trial_promo)

26 The Italian Crisis (#litres_trial_promo)

27 The Chinaman Report (#litres_trial_promo)

28 The Threat to Britain (#litres_trial_promo)

Epilogue (#litres_trial_promo)

Appendix One (#litres_trial_promo)

Appendix Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Appendix Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Further Reading (#litres_trial_promo)

Index (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgements (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

Also by the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Foreword by MARTIN SHORT (#u008cf99f-f0aa-5435-a099-cd5311db03a1)

As the author of the sequel to The Brotherhood, I am proud to be mistaken sometimes for Stephen Knight. This honour has its drawbacks. Recently I came across a Masonic website revealing that in 2004 the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England (otherwise known as the Duke of Kent) received a letter from a non-Mason containing these words:

I admire your decision in 2003 not to ‘cut the throats’ of your members who disclose the Masonic secrets, although this did not help Martin Short (author of Inside the Brotherhood) who unfortunately died of a brain tumour as reported in the press, even though we both know ‘you’ authorised his murder as well as hundreds of other innocent people’s.

Reports of my death are exaggerated but for Stephen Knight they are true to this extent: he did die of a brain tumour in 1985, a little over a year after his explosive exposure of Freemasonry was published.

Four years later, in Inside the Brotherhood, I gave a detailed account of his death, so readers could decide for themselves if he had died from natural causes or a Masonic conspiracy, as was widely rumoured at the time. For some people this remains a matter of intense curiosity. I have learned nothing since to alter what I said then: His troubles began in 1977 when he had an epileptic fit. He had a brain scan which was interpreted as revealing a ‘cerebral infarct’: a small dead area of the brain which might have been caused many years earlier when he had been accidentally hit with a cricket bat. This condition is not necessarily dangerous but it might have been the cause of the epilepsy. In the next three years Stephen suffered many epileptic attacks until they were striking every six weeks.

He had been told to have another scan but did not have £100 to pay for it. However, in 1980 he spotted a newspaper advertisement for guinea-pigs to help with a BBC Horizon programme on epilepsy. He volunteered and was tested on a new brain-scan machine which revealed a cerebral tumour: a malignant cancer which, if untreated, would certainly kill him. Horizon captured this awful moment on film. With Stephen’s full accord his fight for survival now became the programme’s main theme. He promptly underwent a biopsy which removed 70 per cent of the tumour. He was told the rest could be treated with radiation and he had a good chance of full recovery. The epilepsy ceased. Stephen took this to mean the illness was over, and got on with the rest of his life. When I met him in 1981 he was recovering well physically and was in good mental form.

The Brotherhood was published in 1983, but by then the epilepsy had returned. Within six months the tumour also recurred but this time it was much more aggressive. With X-ray treatment and chemotherapy it regressed, but at this point Stephen decided to drop chemotherapy in favour of ‘alternative’, non-medical therapies. His specialist told him he thought this was unwise but the patient’s wish prevailed. A few months later another test showed that the tumour was out of control. Stephen was now walking with difficulty. His speech became hesitant and his ability to muster thoughts was seriously impaired. He tried to live life to the full but in Scotland in July 1985 Stephen died.

I went on to explain that the main proponents of the theory that Freemasons had conspired to kill Stephen were Freemasons themselves. When news had emerged that I was writing the sequel, anonymous members of the fraternity wrote to say they would finish me off just as they had done for Stephen. I interpreted these threats as hoaxes or wishful thinking. Either way they weren’t worth worrying about. And yet I wasn’t entirely satisfied that Stephen’s death was as natural as it seemed when it happened.

Why, for example, did his epilepsy first show itself while he was giving a public lecture in Australia about his equally scandalous book of 1976, Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution) This alleged that the notorious murders of five prostitutes in London’s East End in 1888 were committed not by a crazed loner but by a cluster of scheming Freemasons. Their motive? To protect the royal family by preventing the revelation of a secret marriage between the Duke of Clarence - Queen Victoria’s grandson and Heir Presumptive - and a Catholic commoner. Even more shocking, that marriage had yielded a daughter. Some of the prostitutes knew the bride and the secret so, according to Stephen, they had to die.

Credible or not, this theory and the entire tone of Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution were far more ‘anti-Masonic’ than most of Stephen’s later revelations in The Brotherhood. Indeed Jack the Ripper is a brilliant conspiracy thriller, a far better read than The Da Vinci Code, and so good that it has inspired two gripping feature films: Murder by Decree (starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason) and From Hell (Johnny Depp). It also scooped by 26 years Patricia Cornwell’s much-hyped book, Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed, in claiming that the artist Walter Sickert was involved in the killings. Cornwell went further by claiming Sickert was the Ripper himself but, despite spending an alleged $6 million to prove this, she came up with little evidence to convince anyone but herself. In stark contrast, Stephen worked on a shoestring budget and produced one of the classics in the vast canon of ‘Ripperology’.

I myself do not believe that Sickert had anything to do with the Ripper killings but, despite its factual chasms, Stephen’s book is such a page-turner that I am sure he would have turned out many more best-sellers, had he lived.

This brings me back to his death, an event which adds greatly to the lasting fascination of The Brotherhood. Though probably he died of natural causes, foul play cannot be ruled out. At a public appearance such as his Australian lecture, someone in the audience could have ‘zapped’ him into epilepsy by aiming ionizing- or X-rays or electromagnetic rays (laser-beams) at his head. Alternatively, as one Mason told me, he could have been implanted with a radioactive source or a slow-release capsule containing a cancer-inducing drug. This is not far-fetched. Remember the minute metal sphere, filled with poison and injected by umbrella-tip into Georgi Markov, a dissident Bulgarian exile in 1978.

Also, as Freemasonry was rife at that time in Britain’s armed forces, security services, medical professions and, notoriously, our police, such ways to kill would have been well known to many brethren in Britain as in Australia, and well within their capabilities.

But again I hesitate to endorse this theory. As I wrote in Inside the Brotherhood:

Stephen could have been injected with a cancer-inducing agent or carcinogen (as in the Markov case) but the cancer would probably have arisen in another part of the body, not the brain. The same applies to a carcinogen secreted in someone’s food or drink. Nor, I understand, is it odd that Stephen was first struck with epilepsy when speaking in public. His was a ‘classic left-frontal pole tumour’. In other words it occurred in that part of the brain which is greatly pressured during public lectures and speeches.

Overall, there seems little room for doubt that Stephen Knight’s brain cancer was anything other than natural. The tumour’s progress, histology, its response to X-ray and chemotherapy treatment were all normal. But can a natural brain cancer be induced by unnatural means which cause no visible side effects, cannot be noticed at the time, and are impossible to detect during later tests and examinations?

I still don’t know the answer to that question. And I cannot ignore menacing letters sent by Freemasons to Stephen following The Brotherhood’s publication. They reveal such intense bitterness, as well as a touch of madness, that the writers could have gone on to kill him:

You have been responsible for the persecution of many of our members, who have lost their jobs because of your book. This has caused great hardship to their wives and children, and writers like you ought to know better. I do not know if anyone has committed suicide yet, but it will be you and you alone who has murdered these unfortunate people …

So, what awaits readers in these pages is powerful stuff - enough to drive some Freemasons to distraction - but I believe the book’s continuing appeal lies partly in the fact that Stephen was a genuine seeker after spiritual enlightenment. In his researches he really did set out to discover if it was possible to reach a higher plane of consciousness through Freemasonry. He earnestly wanted to explore its ‘theology’ and its belief in the Great Architect of the Universe (abbreviated to ‘G.A.O.T.U.’ if you happen to find a book of encoded Masonic ceremonies in your grandfather’s attic).

In contrast, when I wrote Inside the Brotherhood I had no desire to go on a spiritual journey because I knew it would reach nowhere. To me the cult’s rituals are man-made mumbo-jumbo, shakily based on myths, fairy-tales and superstitions, some derived from orthodox religions which Freemasonry appropriated to give it a façade of acceptability and went on to distort. Stephen was far less cynical.

Again, I researched my book on Freemasonry already primed in its corrosive capacity to corrupt public life. In television programmes and a book which I had co-authored (The Fall of Scotland Yard), I had investigated Masonic scandals afflicting the police and local government - two areas in which I had also helped Stephen. For me, Freemasonry, whatever its grand claims to morality, had proved the perfect vehicle for grubby, mundane racketeering and back-scratching.

In contrast Stephen had been on a religious quest of his own, as his all too brief life story reveals.

He was born on 26 September 1951 in Hainault, Essex, and retained his roots in the area. He went to West Hatch Technical High School in Chigwell and in 1969 started a series of jobs on local newspapers, including the Horn-church Echo, East London Advertiser and Ilford Recorder where he worked as chief reporter and feature writer. In 1975 he switched to the Travel Trade Gazette but his break came in 1976 when he wrote Jack The Ripper: The Final Solution - a massive commercial success that still sells in substantial numbers today. He was just 25.

By now married and soon to be a father, he next wrote a novel about a series of murders committed in 1902 by the ‘Deptford Strangler’. This book, Requiem at Rogano, was published in 1979. But while his literary career was flourishing, his epilepsy attacks became more frequent. These led to the discovery of the brain tumour (as described above) and its removal by surgeons at the Maudsley Hospital, when all seemed well again. He threw his remarkable energies into researching the Freemasons. During this period he came to see me about my work on the brethren’s murky dealings in local government and the police.

Physically Stephen had a wispy frame and looked (to this tubby observer) in need of good solid meals. I did not know whether to put his debilitated look down to ill-health or if it was his natural build. In due course he published some of what I had told him in The Brotherhood (thanking me in his acknowledgments). I do not think that even he could have foreseen the huge stir that his book would create when it appeared in 1983. To date it has sold a staggering half a million copies.

Seemingly unstoppable, in 1984 he turned out another true-life mystery book: The Killing of Justice Godfrey. This offered a solution to one of the longest unsolved murder cases in British history: the killing of ‘the best JP in London’ in 1678 at a time of anti-Catholic hysteria, greatly inflamed by the poisonous lies of Titus Oates.

It may not be a coincidence that Stephen’s prolonged investigations into religious mania and secret societies overlapped with his decision to embrace the teachings of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the controversial Indian religious leader, whose authorized biography was subtitled, ‘The Most Dangerous Man Since Jesus Christ’. Stephen became his disciple or sannyasin and, for a short while, took to donning the orange robes of the cult in public.

When news of his conversion reached Freemasons’ Hall, the London HQ of the United Grand Lodge of England, the brotherhood used it to try and discredit him. In due course it called him ‘a devotee of the Sri Rajneesh Bagwan cult’ [sic]. Maybe this would convince some people to reject his view of Freemasonry but it struck me as laughable that members of one cult should demean someone else for belonging to another. Not just the pot calling the kettle black, but the men in blue aprons calling the orange people potty.

In fact Stephen followed the Bhagwan for only two years. By the time he died he had been received back into the Church of England. Maybe his death had been hastened by his decision to stop an 18-month course of chemotherapy. This had been prescribed to kill the 30 per cent of the new tumour which surgery could not remove because it was too close to the parts of the brain that control speech and movement. Certainly he knew he was going to die fairly soon so he switched to the natural therapy of a diet of fruit and vegetables to avoid the nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy.

When he died in July 1985 Stephen was just 33 years old. For friends and foes of Freemasonry this fact had serious implications. It convinced some folk that he had indeed been sentenced to death by Masonic justice. To Freemasons the number 33 signifies the 33 degrees of the Rose Croix, an elect ‘Christian’ Masonic order which Stephen had attacked in The Brotherhood. Thirty-three was also Christ’s age when he ‘died’, a death which Rose Croix Masons re-enact in their 31st degree ritual.

To me such hocus-pocus meant nothing. I was just saddened by his death.

More than 20 years after The Brotherhood was first published, new readers may ask several questions. What is the book’s legacy? Has it had a lasting impact on public perceptions of Freemasonry? Has it affected Freemasonry itself?

The importance of The Brotherhood lies not so much in its revelations but in the fact that it brought Freemasonry back into public debate after a century when it had scarcely been discussed. This was not the fault of Freemasons alone. It lay as much with self-censorship by writers, editors and (latterly) radio and TV producers, who, if not Freemasons themselves, may have been scared stiff of retribution from Freemasons above and around them. For generations the brotherhood was spoken of rarely in public, and even then in whispers by bitter men who felt the brotherhood had ruined or victimized them, or by lonely wives wondering if that little case their husbands left home with once a month really did mean he was going to a lodge meeting or if it was just cover for a night out with another woman. The rest was silence.

The Brotherhood shattered that silence but Stephen wasn’t the only person throwing stones at Masonic temples at the time. At last a few newspapers and TV programmes were mocking the institution or raising allegations of corruption. When the book turned into a surprise bestseller, Stephen was invited on phone-in talk shows and defended his book against all-comers. He did well despite his faltering speech brought on by his illness and treatment.

I spent much of the years 1982 to 1984 in the USA, researching and producing a vast TV documentary series on an equally fascinating secret society, the Mafia or La Cosa Nostra, with which Freemasonry shares many characteristics. When Stephen died, I felt privileged to be asked to write a sequel to The Brotherhood. I based my book partly on a stack of 500 letters which had been sent to Stephen’s publisher and his steadfast agent, Andrew Hewson. Many came from disillusioned Freemasons, willing to act as informants or ‘whistle-blowers’ (as we now call purveyors of inside information). I called my book Inside the Brotherhood because it was based partly on what these renegade brothers were telling me. I also read a vast amount of Masonic literature which revealed many of the ludicrous, lunatic claims that the brotherhood has made for itself over the past 300 years. I added a lot of hard evidence from recent court cases that confirmed Masonic corruption in public life - notably among police detectives and especially in Scotland Yard’s elite units such as the Flying Squad and the Obscene Publications Squad.

Naturally I recommend readers of The Brotherhood to read the sequel which also became a best-seller, spending many weeks in the Sunday Times non-fiction charts. It even reached number one in Ireland where the Catholic majority opposes Freemasonry but where Masonic lodges survive, remnants of the old Protestant ascendancy. The book stirred up further controversy. In 1989 it was the basis for a documentary series which I produced and narrated. This went out at peak-time on ITV, then Britain’s most watched station.

By now there was hardly anyone in the country who did not know something about Freemasonry and its secret rituals, which we had enacted with the help of renegades. We also exposed the crimes and rackets of other Freemasons. The order perpetually claims it is the victim of conspiracy theories but refuses to admit that its own oaths of ‘mutual defence and support’ and its cell-like structure are ideal for concocting, perpetrating and covering up conspiratorial acts.

In the early 1990s the brotherhood struck back, in print at least. Suddenly books appeared, written by Freemasons who were breaking their sworn oath not to reveal the order’s secrets but seemed to have the go-ahead to do so. Their books were supportive of Freemasonry and extolled the less reprehensible side of its history.

In the meantime the United Grand Lodge of England, along with its parallel grand lodges in Scotland and Ireland, tried to give an impression of greater transparency, opening their temples to the public and stressing their generosity to non-Masonic charities, but at no point have they disclosed or performed their rituals to the public: no show of ropes or cabletows around necks, no daggers or poignards to the heart, no blindfolds or hoodwinks, no rolled-up trouser legs and no resurrection routines. So no real openness.

Despite these gestures, concern was growing that Freemasonry still had the covert malign influence exposed in our Brotherhood books and elsewhere. Many local authorities were now obliging elected councillors and full-time employees to fill in forms stating if they were Freemasons. Cries of discrimination were over-ruled or neutralized by requiring that the form-fillers declare membership of any other secret or would-be secret societies.

In 1996, for the first time in its history, Freemasonry was scrutinised by the highest authority in Britain: Parliament. The prime mover was Chris Mullin MP, the former investigative journalist renowned for his work on the miscarriage of justice done to the Birmingham Six (six men wrongly imprisoned for 16 years for the 1974 IRA bombing of two Birmingham pubs that killed 21 people).

Taking on this task was the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, of which Chris was then deputy chairman. A cross-party outfit, its chairman was the Conservative MP, Sir Ivan Lawrence. They agreed that the time had come to put the brotherhood under the microscope, and decided to focus on ‘Freemasonry in the Police and the Judiciary’. It fell to me to be the opening witness.
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