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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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A matter of degree
A thinly-veiled anti-masonic attack masquarading as fiction, this book serves to demonstrate both Alex Marcoux's ability to search the internet, and her superficial understanding of what she found there.
Her main character, Jessie Mercer, is a reporter who experiences flashbacks to an incarnation in ancient Egypt while disquising herself as a man to gain admission to Freemasonry and uncover those responsible for the murder of her brother.
The man responsible turns out to be a long-lived alien banished from a "tenth planet" that enters our solar system every 3,600 years. He heads the "Thirty-third Council" that controls the world through such groups as "the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderbergers, the Vatican, the Federal Reserve—". [p. 232]
It seems he created humans as cloned slaves at some unspecified pre-Sumerian time in Mesopotamia and has now graduated to brainwashing American presidents and modifying global behaviour through the use of "electro-magnetic radiation".
From an Egyptian mystery school origin for Freemasonry, to a one-world government run by aliens; from the Morovignian dynasty being the descendants of Jesus, to the American C.I.A protecting freemasons, Marcoux has assembled just about every conspiracy theory and anti-masonic attack available on the internet. This is Nesta Webster without the antisemitism; William Guy Carr without the fear of communism; David Icke without the shape-shifting lizard people.
Unintentionally humorous when she describes the cherubim on the Ark of the Covenant as "chubby children" [p. 260], Marcoux's descriptions of masonic ritual and practice would be equally risible if they were not maliciously defamatory.
In a preface, Alex Marcoux gives credit to the websites of the anti-masonic Saints Alive Ministry and Ephesians 5: 11 Inc., and the writings of discredited anti-mason Jim Shaw. This will explain her—sometimes defamatory—misrepresentations of masonic ritual and procedure, not to mention her reiteration, in an afterward, that "the Thirty-Third Degree is the last degree of Freemasonry (that we know of)". [p. 299]
There is no question that this is a work of fiction, but there is equally no question that it is built on conspiracy theory and anti-masonic rhetoric. Unoriginal and plodding, from the cookie-cutter characters to the unfortunate choice of typography there is nothing good that can be said about this book.

Alex Marcoux, A matter of degree. New York : Harrington Park Press, 2006. ISBN : 1560236116 pb. 299pp.

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