Thursday, February 28, 2008

Masonic conspiracy in Russia?

My friend Matt Keller called my attention to this story in the Moscow Times:
Perhaps nothing in Russia can whip up public hysteria like the notion of a Masonic conspiracy to take over the country. The word "democrat" has also become a widely pejorative term, and long hair on men is certainly a no-no for much of the Russian public.
Now meet Andrei Bogdanov, the presidential candidate with long, curly hair who heads up the country's largest Masonic lodge as well as the Democratic Party of Russia.
At 38, Bogdanov is Russia's youngest-ever presidential candidate, and he is running a long-shot campaign in the March 2 election that First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President Vladimir Putin's preferred candidate, is all but guaranteed to win.
Bogdanov's party is also widely seen as a Kremlin-controlled project to draw votes away from actual opposition candidates and give voters a tame liberal option.
But Bogdanov says he is truly optimistic that he can eventually draw widespread support among young voters -- despite his Masonic background and cascading locks.
"We are working for the future," Bogdanov said in an interview this week at his party's headquarters in central Moscow. "A new generation of voters will emerge soon with a better knowledge of Freemasonry and with fewer prejudices about it -- and about the long hair."
Kind of funny, given all that the Russians have to worry about, that Bogdanov's long hair and Masonic membership would generate such concerns.

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