Friday, February 26, 2010

A Skull above any other

Every now and then The Skulls is rerun on TV. It’s a silly, forgettable takeoff of Yale’s Skull & Bones society.

Yet, when you think of it, the appeal of secret societies has much in common with the appeal of the Roman church. Indeed, these intersect in many striking ways. For example, Mozart’s Magic Flute incorporates quite a few Masonic motifs. To what extent is the Magic Flute an allegory of the Roman church? Musicologists spill much ink debating that issue. Mozart was both a Free Mason and a pious Catholic.

The Skulls, with its fictitious secret society, has many of the props and trappings of the Roman church. Rites of initiation. A shrine. A hierarchy. Vestments. A rulebook. The “keys.” Blind allegiance.

And loads of lurid intrigue. Murder, deception, betrayal.

The more you think about it, isn’t the church of Rome the Freemasonry of Roman Emperors, patricians, Medieval kings and Continental monarchs? And, by extension, their servants and subjects?

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