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Category: Reviews & Opinions

33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry

33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry

A Movie About Freemasonry, Made by Freemasons

The funniest part about Freemasonry being called a “Secret Society”, is that most (if not all) our apparent “Secrets” are quite freely available on the internet. The unfortunate issue with this is the massive amount of fake information that goes hand-in-hand with what’s really true. Human’s are inquisitive by nature and we have always enjoyed a good story, so it’s not surprising then that sadly the majority of truth about our order is ignored for the much more exciting-sounding prospect that we’re organising to take over the world (as many a Mason will tell you, we’re hardly able to organise ourselves into a suitable position for group photo’s, let alone world domination).

Masonic Tools and Symbols (a still from the film).

Changing Perceptions

In an organisation which is 3oo+ years old, we of all people know that sometimes it’s hard to move with the times. Tradition is a sticky thing. Only recently have many Lodges really become comfortable with having their own websites and Facebook Pages (give ours a “Like” by the way…). Which is why it is so refreshing to see what looks like a brilliant film being released.

Knights Templar
Another still taken from the film of a Knights Templar.

The Film and it’s Potential

33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry is documentary by renown Writer and Director Johnny Royal, who himself joined Freemasonry in 2008. Gathering over 140 hours of footage consisting of interviews with prominent Freemasons, never before seen footage and from an insider’s perspective – this 7 year long journey by Bro. Royal and his team reached its finale when they premiered the film to a sold-out audience on Friday 13th October 2017 (a nod to Crusader history?) in San Francisco, CA.

Bro. Johnny Royal and Fans at the premier of 33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry.
Bro. Johnny Royal and Fans at the premier of 33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry.

South African Freemasonry Perpsective

Sadly the film won’t be shown in any theatre’s in South Africa and in order to see it you will need to purchase it online (perhaps something a few Lodges may wish to consider doing and holding in their “Library” to lend to their members?).

As mentioned already, Freemasonry has been somewhat slow to evolve – our history of negative perceptions has made us perhaps a little frightened of the outside world. In South Africa, Freemasonry has been viewed from a suspicious perception from Church, State and society in general for a very long time. The dropping numbers and rising average age in Lodges is perhaps testament to Freemasonry being largely “forgotten about” and seen as archaic.

If we could take just the smallest bit of inspiration from our Brother in the USA, Johnny Royal, it is that there is interest in our Fraternity and we can be more open to allowing the world in just a tiny bit and our Masonic light out.

To view the trailer of 33 & Beyond: The Art Royal Art of Freemasonry, click “play” on the video below;

Sources:

33 & Beyond: The Royal Art of Freemasonry Official Trailer (2017)

The RoyalArtMovie.com