On Freemasonry

To William L. Stone, Esq. Quincy, 29 August, 1832. Dear Sir:—Long, and, I fear, tedious, as you have found my last letter, I was compelled by a reluctance at making it longer, to compress the observations in it upon the intrinsic nature of the Masonic oaths, obligations, and penalties within a compass insufficient to disclose my opinion, and the reasons upon which it is founded.   I had said to you that the institution of Freemasonry was vicious, in its first step, the initiation oath, obligation, and penalty of the Entered Apprentice . To sustain this opinion, I assigned to you five reasons. Because they were, 1. Contrary to the laws of the land, extra-judicially taken and administered. 2. In violation of the positive precept of Jesus Christ . 3. A pledge to keep undefined secrets, the swearer being ignorant of their nature. 4. A pledge to the penalty of death for violation of the oath. 5. A pledge to a mode of death—cruel, unusual, unfit for utterance from human lips. If, in the

Source: | John Quincy Adams’ Letter to a Ringknocker