July 4 1993
Masons weary of allegations
by Alan Samson
The Masonic Lodge
says it is tired of being associated with conspiracy theories and ritual
abuse allegations such as those made in the Christchurch Civic Childcare
At least four allegations of child abuse in the case referred to the lodge
and are being held up as examples of the "unreality" surrounding
Masonic Lodge national grand secretary Alan Hart said this week that the lodge
had had enough of ridiculous allegations. It was, however, used to them and
almost resigned to them.
He said the lodge often cropped up in all sorts of allegations, most recently
in the Peter Ellis case, but also as examples in ritual abuse seminars which
had been given in New
"How can you put 45 or 50 people in a room and have something like that
going on? And would someone take children to the lodge to abuse them?"
Lodge members had been able to show that statements by the children that they
had looked into the Christchurch
lodge had been untrue: it was impossible to look into the building from the
The court references were made by four different children in evidence from
their parents and a specialist interviewer given at the depositions hearing.
A letter to the Sunday Times from a couple close to the case says that
allegations about the lodge reflect the pervasive influence of the mother who
initiated complaints and who said her own son had been taken to the lodge.
Another child was recorded as saying she had been taken to the lodge, another
that he had broken in — and he had seen 10 children there with a treasure
chest and gold coins.
Yet another boy had said he recognised the lodge after walking past.
Mr Hart said this week that any lodge member breaking a serious law would be
made to resign or be expelled.
"Our whole ethos is to be moral," he said.
* Next week the Sunday Times will carry In full Judge Williamson's address
when he sentenced Ellis.