The Second Crucifixion

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Brother Wayne D. J. Greenley

Whilst rummaging through some dusty old book in the library of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland I came across a piece of Masonic text that I never thought would have existed. It wasn’t the subject matter that I found intriguing but rather the medium it was written. I found a Masonic play named ‘The Second Crucifixion’ by Archibald Huntington Allen (unknown if he is a Brother but most likely). Of course I know of Masonic Operas, but not plays. I was so fascinated by this, and another play he wrote and I’ve written this synopsis and critique from both an Actors perspective and a Masonic perspective. This small 45 minute play may be something to do in lodge if you have no degree work. Enjoy. 

Dramatis Personae 
Christopher East (A believer in Justice) 
Nickolas North (His betrayer) 
Peter Westley (A follower of East) 
John Southman (A follower of East)
Matthew Dakin (A follower of East)
Robert Dakin (A follower of East)
Thomas Stewart (A follower of East)
William Stewart (A follower of East)
James Tyler (A follower of East)

Government Official
Pontlan (The People’s judge) 
Malchusky (Lieutenant in the People’s Police 
Borin (Member of the People’s Police) 
Several Other members of the People’s Police

Synopsis – Spoiler alert


In the year 2000 (this was written in the 1950’s) the world is currently ruled under a socialist dictatorship. This world is slightly reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984 where citizens are under threat of the Peoples Secret Police and food rationing is under governmental control which brings some citizens to physical and mental collapse.
Religion, philosophy and Freemasonry have been made a crime and punishable by death or forced labour. The year of 1987 saw the great purge resulting in the deaths of 4 million Masons. This play begins in Xalta, Socialist Zone 3, previously known as Washington D.C.

 Act One – A Secret Lodge Room

The Lodge opens in the third degree, though the formal meeting is dispensed with by Chris as they are in imminent danger. The lodge comes to the realization that it may be the last lodge in existence. Nick leaves the lodge unnoticed. As the concern grows further for the Great Lights, Chris attempts to raise everyone’s spirits by reading out a quote, “A sense of justice belongs to human nature…” from Albert Pike’s ‘Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry’ .James knocks at the door and passes a note from a young boy informing them the police are on their way. Before they are about to leave shots are heard behind the door and members of the Peoples Police walk in. Chris rushes to James just as he dies. All the men are arrested for plotting against the State. As Chris is separated from the Brethren he tells them not to worry about the Great Lights as they will always shine. 

Act Two – Malchusky’s Office

24 hours after the arrest, the day is dark and it is not caused by a solar eclipse. Malchusky (Mal) is annoyed that everyone, except for Chris, escaped the Secret Police and blames Borin. Borin is sentenced to 30 years in a Labour Camp. Pontlan enters and Mal informs him of the situation at hand and the capture of Chris. Pontlan appears to have sympathies for the Freemasons which Mal finds troubling. In the distance, whipping sounds can be heard which we are informed is Chris being interrogated. He has been silent until he screams out “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’. As Chris is brought into the office Pontlan queries why it is he that has to trail Chris and not Mal himself. Though Mal was empowered to, he didn’t believe he had the authority to carry out punishment on Chris. 
Pontlan asks Chris a series of questions until it is announced another member of the lodge has been captured. It is revealed to be Peter and he has been lurking outside the Hall of Justice in a poor disguise. When Peter doesn’t deny knowledge of Chris, both men are sentenced to death via firing squad. Pontlan is displeased with the judgment he was forced to pass and tells Mal to do his own dirty work in the future. As the lights dim two shots are heard in the distance followed by a crack of thunder and a deep voice that booms “Beware the Judgement of God!”

Act Three – Interior of an Old Cave

Another 24 hours later—The Interior of an old cave has been furnished as a new lodge room. John kneels down at the altar and recites the Lords Prayer. In a short monologue he questions the Lord, if this is truly the Lords will on Earth. The rest of the brethren turn up and inform John that as they escaped from the guards (one of them possibly giving them a sign) they we’re able to hide in a brothel. Thomas informs everybody that he has heard that that is where Chis and Peter have been. As they contemplate the end of Freemasonry, Chris enters. Everyone is shocked and he informs them the people have revolted against the Government. As the Brethren begin to realize who Chris really is they kneel before him. 

Artistic Critique

From an artistic perspective, this isn’t a good play for a myriad reasons:
  • The target audience for this play is small and unless you are a Freemason, you really wouldn’t understand most of what was happening. 
  • It is obvious from reading just the names of the antagonists and name of setting alone, this author had negative attitude towards Russia. However at that time it was the Russian Soviet Union and during the Cold War. This makes this an interesting piece of Masonic work influenced by political propaganda. 
  • The play is too short. Each Act is written in 6 pages or less and is to be performed in 45 minutes. This story has potential to be something bigger than what it is now. A play in which to expand, a book or even a movie (are you up to the challenge Brother Joseph James?)
  • They say there are no small parts only small actors, but Nickolas having only one line and leaving in the first 30 seconds, seems a bit of a waste. As Nickolas North is supposed to be a representation of Judas Iscariot, more story could have been written for him. 
  •   An introduction to set the stage would have been more helpful when reading this. The audience isn’t aware of the veracity of the situation at the beginning of the scene.

  • In general the play doesn’t flow very well and some situations are unlikely. For example:
    • If told the authority were on the way, a reasonable person would flee. Chris however is reluctant to do so. 
    • The character of Malchusky is the personification of ignorance and evil (and quite possibly a representation of the High Priest Caiaphas). Every artist knows, if you want to create a monster the audience can connect to, it needs a human quality (a reason for doing what they’re doing). Malchusky has no quality and it’s hard to make the audience love to hate him. 
    • The downfall of the Government announced by Chris in Act 3 was just a bit too easy and convenient. It is a poor plot ending.
From an actors perspective (not being a Freemason) I would question the need for this play. What overall message was the author trying to get across? I am not surprised that this play isn’t well known and almost zero of it is mentioned anywhere on the internet. 

Masonic Critique

From a Masonic perspective this little play is filled with Masonic allegory. A few brothers would have a good chuckle because of the blatant obviousness of the characters and the offices they hold in a lodge, just by looking at their last names. East, Westley, Southman, Dakin, Stewart and Tyler. I like the symbolism of Nickolas being called and placed in the North, as it is the darkest area in the lodge room. 
This play in some way is genius as it reflects the growing lack of interest in religion in society today and the continuously decreasing numbers of Freemasonry. If you think a bit more in depth, you’ll start to question, what would it be like if Freemasonry was outlawed?
Interesting to note that I thought Act 2 had a hint of a DeMolay ritual. Chris East being brutally interrogated is not unlike the second DeMolay ritual with Jacques de Molay being interrogated behind the scene. 
The Christian aspects of the play were interesting to read and the character of Pontlan (Pontius Pilot) added well to this effect. As a Freemason though, I think it would have been more thought provoking if the true identity of Chris East was left dubious. Other different religious aspects would work well in doing this, e.g. quotes and hints of other religions such as Judaism, Muslim, Buddhism, Hinduism, Neopaganism, Taoism and Sikhism. Not to in anyway bring down the Christian aspects of the play, but just to make it reflect the beliefs of Freemasonry. We are a multi-diverse group of men from different faiths, not a Christian Society.  

In conclusion, I say that though this isn’t a good play, I believe it certainly has its place within any Grand Lodge Library.

If you’re interested in trying to find a copy, the copyright was in 1952 by Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company. 

~W. DJ G

Bro. Wayne DJ Greenley is a Fellowcraaft (Soon to be Master Mason) hailing from Queensland Australia. He is a student at University and loves classical music as well as the theatrical arts. He is anxiously awaiting his next steps in the fraternity.

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