Ian Punnett was joined by esoteric researcher, Peter Levenda, who discussed the connections between Freemasonry and the Knights Templar as well as the group's role in a variety of historic events. "For many people, Masonry is the ultimate secret society," he said about the organization, which his research traced all the way back to the 14th century. However, despite suspicions of the Masons throughout history, Levenda had a positive take on the group, citing their stance of equality amongst members, despite social class. To that end, he noted, "if you joined a Masonic lodge and you were a prince, it was just as likely that you would be initiated by a commoner as you would be by a nobleman."
He put forth the theory that Freemasonry grew out of the remnants of the earlier secret society the Knights Templar. Levenda based this, in part, on the close proximity between the fall of the Templars and the birth of the Freemasons. He explained, "within about 80 years after the death of the grand master of the Knights Templar, we have the first Masonic manuscript in Scotland," a location which has long been the rumoured destination of the last Templars who escaped persecution. Levenda also saw clues in the distrust of the institutions of church and state by the earliest Freemasons which would suggest influence by the remaining Templars.
Much like early Freemasonry may have been influenced by the Templars, Levenda suggested that the Revolutionary War era Masons were inspired by the ideals emerging out of Europe at the time. According to him, this could be seen in the deep involvement of Benjamin Franklin in both the Colonial Masonic lodges as well as with the enlightenment philosophers of France. He opined that the American Revolution was not just a movement from within the United States but also "by all of these thinkers like John Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau and the others who contributed the ideas that led to what would become this great experiment in this country."
While most Americans cheerfully celebrate Mother's Day, certain members of the animal world may beg to differ. Whether it's eating their young or simply abandoning them at birth, diverse species such as rabbits, beetles, and black eagles all have unique maternal behavior that wouldn't earn a bouquet of flowers nor a celebratory Snuggie. National Geographic profiles five of the "worst" animal moms and their odd parenting ways.
Bumper music from Sunday May 10, 2009