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References to Freemasonry in popular culture range from the vitriolic to the innocuous. Far more often they are merely misinformed allusions from which Freemasonry faces a far more insidious threat; that of being marginalized, trivialized, and fictionalized. Most of the references noted on this site are harmless, simply pointing out that Freemasonry has played a role in our society; some are humorous, yet some are disturbing in their associations.
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Masonic references in the writings of H.G. Wells
The Inexperienced Ghost
Although Wells was not a freemason, he incorporates a masonic theme into this short story regarding a ghost who makes use of certain hand gestures to return to the netherworld. This excerpt is taken from a later conversation between Clayton, who saw the ghost, and several of his friends. The reference to the lodge may be to Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, the premier Lodge of masonic research.
. . . . Now, Sanderson is a Freemason, a member of the lodge of the Four Kings, which devotes itself so ably to the study and elucidation of all the mysteries of Masonry past and present, and among the students of this lodge Sanderson is by no means the least. He followed Clayton’s motions with a singular interest in his reddish eye. "that’s not bad," he said, when it was done. "You really do, you know, put things together, Clayton, in a most amazing fashion. But there’s one little detail out."
. . . . "I know," said Clayton. "I believe I could tell you which."
. . . . "Well?"
. . . . "This," said Clayton, and did a queer little twist and writhing and thrust of the hands.
. . . . "Yes."
. . . . "That, you know, was what he couldn't get right," said Clayton. "But how do you---"
. . . . Most of this business, and particularly how you invented it, I don't understand at all," said Sanderson, "but just that phase - I do." He reflected. "These happen to be a series of gestures–connected with a certain branch of esoteric Masonry– Probably you know. Or else--- How?" He reflected still further. "I do not see I can do any harm in telling you just the proper twist. After all, if you know, you know; if you don't, you don't."

Excerpted from The Complete Short Stories of H. G. Wells. "The Inexperienced Ghost." Herbert George Wells. Ernest Benn Limited, London: 1927-1974. ISBN 0 510-40301-8. [pp.909,910]

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