Jim Tresner, 33
Book Reviews Editor for the Scottish Rite Journal

Editor’s Note:
Publication information has been carefully checked but is subject to change. Before ordering, we recommend you contact the publisher.

“How bold is guilt, and how God taketh it in its own snare and maketh manifest the truth!” Twenty-first Degree

In 1993, the book Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Methods of Anti-Masons came about because two Brethren decided they had had enough distortion of Freemasonry---enough of innuendo, enough of half- or quarter-truths, enough of being lied about. Dr. S. Brent Morris, 33, and Art deHoyos, 32, are two of the best writers and most competent Masonic scholars in the United States. Remembering Pike’s injunction that it is evil to remain silent and let a lie be believed, they decided to focus on six of the most outspoken and extreme anti-Masons and take them in their own snares. By careful analysis and documentation, Bros. deHoyos and Morris show just how corrupt and often malicious these anti-Masons are.

Now the 1993 edition has been expanded by 100 pages, revised, and reissued. This is a very good book to have handy in case a friend, family member, or minister has had their thinking poisoned by anti-Masonic distortions. For far too long, we did nothing to counter Masonry’s critics. Perhaps the first breakthrough came in 1992 when Brother deHoyos published Clouds of Prejudice: A Study in Anti-Masonry. Then in 1993, Ill. John J. Robinson published his autobiographical account A Pilgrim’s Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right which is peppered with several chapters of cogent rebuttal to the usual charges of anti-Masons. Following Ill. Robinson’s bestseller, the Morris/ deHoyos collaboration Is It True? was published, also in 1993, by the Masonic Information Center, and 17,000 copies were distributed. The book became so popular that copies of this first edition quickly became rarities, and the need developed to reprint the book.

The first edition opened a lot of eyes. The authors simply go straight through the claims of several prominent anti-Masons and present the clear documentary evidence that their claims are false. The Rev. James Dayton Shaw’s book The Deadly Deception, for instance, is so thoroughly debunked by Brothers Morris and deHoyos that even a staunch anti-Mason represented in Is It True? has agreed to delete Shaw’s book from his list of “authorities.” Similarly, Bros. deHoyos and Morris use careful scholarship (for example, two alternate translations from French to English of a source book) to explode the ludicrous “Luciferian” accusations against Pike. Indisputably, the whole matter was a hoax repudiated publicly by its originator, Léo Taxil, and exposed by many other sources decades ago, yet some anti-Masons still use it today to condemn Pike and Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

This second edition covers many things which have happened since the first version, so even if you have the first edition, I’d suggest you buy this one as well. Particularly interesting is an exchange of letters between Dr. Morris and one anti-Mason. I have never seen a better example of “my mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts.” How do you talk with someone who is willing to accept unsupported assertions on one side and unwilling to accept even documented public records on the other? As you review the correspondence, you really conclude that Dr. Morris, when it comes to patience, could give St. Simeon Stylites a run for his money. Is It True? is well worth having at several times its modest price of $7.50 (S/H included) if purchased directly from The Masonic Information Center at 8120 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, MD 20910--4785. Receive a 40% reduction for 50 or more copies, but S/H is charged.


You can get It Is True? at a very special price---FREE!

This publication has been selected as the 1997 gift book for members of the Scottish Rite Research Society. If you have not yet joined the Society, there couldn’t be a better time to take the step. Although it is only a few years old, the Scottish Rite Research Society is rapidly becoming the premier Masonic research organization in America, and certainly it is the fastest-growing such group. Membership has its privileges, including The Plumbline (the Society’s quarterly newsletter) and Heredom, an annual publication, hardbound, with cutting-edge papers by the best writers covering many different areas of Masonry, from biographies of Masons to translations and analysis of early Rituals, to studies of the staging of the Scottish Rite Degrees. Annual Membership is $20 (believe it or not!) and Life Membership, individuals only, is $300. Plus nearly every year, special-purchase books are made available to the Society’s members at a substantial reduction from the publisher’s price.

More and more Masons are reading about and researching Masonry. The Scottish Rite Research Society is a good way to meet other Masons who are interested in learning more about Masonry’s history, traditions, and symbolism. To join, send a check for $20 to: Scottish Rite Research Society, 1733 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20009--3103. Please indicate your Lodge, Scottish Rite Valley, and any other relevant Masonic information you wish to make part of your membership record with the Society. By joining now, you will receive a free copy of Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? in addition to all the other benefits of Society membership as noted above. Join now! You will be glad you did!