Dunblane Massacre
Read the full list in the Dunblane Whitewash catalogue. LINK
Dunblane Angels
St Blane's Church Dunblane
The stained glass window in St Blane's Church, Dunblane, which commemorates the victims of the 1996 massacre.
List of the victims of the Dunblane massacre
Victoria Clydesdale
Mhairi MacBeath
Charlotte Dunn
Melissa Currie
Emma Crozier
Kevin Hassell
Ross Irvine
David Kerr
Gwen Hodson/Mayor - schoolteacher
John Petrie
Hanna Scott
Joanna Ross
Sophie North
Emily Morton
Maegan Turner
Brett McKinnon
Abigail McLennan
We know who killed the above victims, but, although we may not care, we do not know for sure who killed Thomas Hamilton, and why that person was carrying a revolver at the time!
Why did Lord Cullen try to bury William Burns' letters to him for 100 years? LINK


100-Year Closure Order - Cullen Inquiry - PE652

10 June 2003

I, the undersigned, declare that the decision to impose a 100-year closure order on the Petitioner's correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane massacre, filed at COM21/4/105/1-2 with the National Archives of Scotland LINK, was indefensible, an impediment to natural justice, and contrary to the public interest, and which, according to the Crown Office itself, "has no statutory basis for such closure orders in Scotland".

William Burns
18 Shore Road
South Queensferry



  1. Introduction.  LINK
  2. Quotes by Authors & Famous People about Masons and Masonry. LINK
  3. Comments about the Quotes on Masons and Masonry. LINK
  4. Reference to Lord Cullen's 100-year Closure Order. LINK
  5. The Cullen Inquiry. LINK
  6. A New Public Inquiry. LINK
  7. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton. LINK
  8. Police call for Disclosure of Masonic Association. LINK
  9. Conclusion. LINK
10. The Petitioner’s Requests to the Scottish Parliament. LINK
11. Documents in Support of this Petition Addenda (28xA/4 sheets in total), including:

  • A. copies of the correspondence with the Petitioner and the Cullen Inquiry between 11 April and 23 August 1996 inclusive, amounting to five letters from the Petitioner and five letters in response from the Cullen Inquiry, all of which were put on a 100-year closure order (11xA/4 sheets); LINK
  • B. letter to the Lord President Lord Cullen dated 27 February 2003, enquiring why the Petitioner's correspondence with him were put on a 100-year closure order (5xA/4 sheets); LINK
  • C. photocopy of the "first" description of the National Archives of Scotland's files of the Petitioner's embargoed documents (1xA/4 sheet); LINK
  • D. photocopy of amended description of the National Archives of Scotland's files of the Petitioner's embargoed documents (1xA/4 sheet); LINK
  • E. photocopies of correspondence with the Petitioner and the National Archives of Scotland, which includes the current amended description of File COM21/4/105/1-2 (4xA/4 sheets); LINK and
  • F. photocopies of two letters to the Lord Advocate LINK and one response from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Department thereto (6xA/4 sheets).
Section 1.

1.   It is hoped that the Petitioner can introduce enough evidence here to influence the Committee sufficiently to make recommendations to the appropriate authorities in the Scottish Parliament to (i) enforce the reversal of the decision to impose a 100-year closure order on my correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry into the Dunblane massacre, filed at COM21/4/105/1-2 in the National Archives of Scotland; LINK and (ii) enact legislation requiring members of the judiciary, and perhaps others employed in the legal profession, and public office, to declare if they are members of organisations such as Masonry, as it is a cause of increasing concern to the public.

2.   It is also hoped that, in the public interest, no members of organisations such as those mentioned above, preside over this Petition, because the final determination could not possibly be perceived as impartial by the public.

3.   Apart from being an exclusive and secretive subculture of self-interest, organisations such as Freemasonry are perceived to be a triumph of mediocrity, which have in them the seeds of menace and as such could be a threat to the established order.

4.   In the experiences of many non-Masons, far too many talentless nobodies, in most walks of life, reach position well beyond their merits, while more naturally talented non-Masons must stand back and be greeted with token gestures of encouragement.  This is not the unfounded claims of someone with sour grapes, as it were; this is the real world.  Masonry has for centuries been the key to preferment in most walks of life.

5.    Even if some among you have the misconceived notion, through some involuntary loyalty to protect fellow politicians, friends or associates who might have become unwittingly, or otherwise, embroiled in the Cullen and/or other cover-ups, in any big or small way, and you find you are unable to be part of what you might claim in your lack of wisdom to be a witch hunt of past transgressors LINK, you still have a solemn and moral duty to at least ensure that such whitewashes are a thing of the past, and do your utmost to prevent them happening again, beginning by supporting this Petition.

6.   Your first duty is a duty of care to the people of Scotland, not to fellow politicians, members of the legal profession, or to other civil servants.  It is incumbent on you, therefore, to lend your support to this Petition; thus ensuring that such atrocities can never again be covered up by operatives in secret societies.

7.   Please do not pretend that Masonry is not a "secret society", just because everyone knows it exists, but that it should more appropriately be referred to as a "society with secrets".  By that same token, the secret services could not be called secret services because everyone knows they exist.  That particular means of "diverting the discourse" (a Masonic ruse to distract detractors from the true path and throw them off at a tangent) ran out of steam more years ago than I care to remember.

8.   The real reason Masonry claims it is a "society with secrets" and not a "secret society" is that under the "Unlawful Societies Act 1799", it is illegal in Britain to be a member of a "secret society".   It is also unlawful under this Act for Masons to have meetings because gatherings in lodges are only permitted if yearly returns, providing names, addresses, and description of brethren are submitted to the local Clerks of Peace, or to the present-day equivalent. You can see where the dilemma lies here for Freemasonry when members of the public - who can see no other logical or apparent reason for whitewashes and cover-ups to occur, such as the Cullen Inquiry - request Grand Lodge to verify if certain characters are members of their organisation.   Invariably, Grand Lodge refuses to provide any names.   Without producing names, most gatherings in Masonic lodges are in breach of the Unlawful Societies Act 1799.  Are we surprised then to learn that the legal profession is inundated with Masons!   (Masons jealously guard their secrets, as divulged by former Master Mason, Rev Charles G Finney at Section 2, items 1 LINK,  4 LINK  and  16 LINK  below.

9.   Initiators into Masonry at the 1st Degree or Entered Apprentice level are subjected to a debasing ritual, which includes bloodcurdling oaths with threats of torture and death, and these oaths supersede any other oath they are likely to take in their entire life.  Very few do not take their oaths seriously because they know how vulnerable they are to unaccountable people, and how easily those unaccountable people can cover up even the most transparent acts of iniquity.  The Cullen Inquiry into the events leading up to and including the Dunblane massacre of 16 schoolchildren and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School on 13 March 1996 is a perfect example of how easy it is to conduct a whitewash into atrocities.  Three examples of Masonic oaths are quoted below at Section 2, items 3 LINK,   11 LINK  and   18 LINK.

Section 2.

Quotes by Famous People about Masons and Masonry

1.   "Freemasonry cannot be known from a perusal of the eulogistic books which adhering Masons have written.  Of course, they are under oath to in no way whatever reveal the secrets of Masonry.  But it is their ‘secrets’ the public want to know.  Now their eulogistic books, as any one may know who will examine them, are silly, and for the most part, little better than twaddle.  If we read their orations and sermons that have been published in support of Masonry, and the books they have written, we shall find much that is silly, much that is false, and a great deal more that is mere bombast and rhodomontade."  Rev Charles G Finney - author of Characters and Claims of Freemasonry.  Charles G Finney is a former Master Mason who went through the first three degrees of Masonry, but after becoming a Christian he renounced his membership of his lodge and the Craft of Freemasonry, realising the uniqueness and the divine sovereignty of Jesus Christ, and that Christianity and Freemasonry are not compatible.

2.   "It [Masonry] has been purposely formulated in the first place by inventively deceitful minds of long ago, and kept alive by similar ones of today.  It might well be defined as the 'Craft of the Crafty'."   Martin Short - author of Inside the Brotherhood.

3.   First Degree or Entered Apprentice Penalty: "Under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by the roots, and with my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, a cable length from the shore, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this, my solemn obligation as an Entered Apprentice, so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same." Jack Harris, former Worshipful Master in Freemasonry - author of Freemasonry.

4.   "Let it be known that adhering Masons do not profess to publish their secrets; therefore we cannot tell from what they write what they are under oath to do."  Rev Charles G Finney - former Master Mason and author of Characters and Claims of Freemasonry.

5.   "The movement as a whole, is a development of cunning."  Martin Short - author of Inside the Brotherhood.

6.   At this period ... the partisans of evil seem to be combining together, and to be struggling with united vehemence, led on or assisted by the strongly organised and widespread association called the Freemasons.  No longer making any secret of their purposes, they are now boldly rising up against God Himself. ... The sect of Freemasons grew with a rapidity beyond conception in the course of a century and a half, until it came to be able, by means of fraud or audacity, to gain entrance into every rank of the State as to seem to be almost its ruling power."  Pope Leo XIII, author of the Papal Bull Humanum Genus (The Race of Man) 1884. LINK

7.   Most Freemasons are prepared to say that Masonry had an influence 'then' [generations ago] - never now."  Stephen Knight - author of The Brotherhood.

8.   “Freemasons are a set of imbeciles who meet to make good cheer and perform ridiculous fooleries."   Napoleon I to Barry E O'Meara at St Helena, 2 Nov. 1816.

9.   “I have little more to add than thanks for your wishes, and favourable sentiments, except to correct an error you have run into of my presiding over English lodges in this country.   The fact is I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice in the last thirty years.”  George Washington at Mount Vernon, 25 September 1798, before his death, as he warned the whole of America to beware of secret societies.

10.   “Freemasonry and paranoia were made for each other; they deserve each other.” Martin Short – author of Inside the Brotherhood.

11.   Third Degree Penalty: “Under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowel taken thence, and with my body burned to ashes, and those ashes scattered to the four winds of Heaven, so that there might remain name, trace nor remembrance of so vile a wretch as I would be, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this, my most solemn obligation, as a Master Mason, so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”  Jack Harris, former Worshipful Master in Freemasonry – author of Freemasonry.

12.   “Masonry is a collection of pagan rites, initiations and religions of Egypt, and the worship of the sun god, sprinkled with enough biblical terminology to deceive the unsuspecting.”  Jack Harris, former Worshipful Master – author of Freemasonry.

13.   “Talkative Philanthropy which is opposed to Christian charity with such pomp is often the passport for Masonic business.”  Pope Leo XIII, 8 Dec. 1892.

14.   “Masonry’s organisations from most walks of life provide one of the most efficient private intelligence networks imaginable.   Private information on anybody in the country could normally be accessed very rapidly through endless permutations of Masonic contacts – police, magistrates, solicitors, bank managers, post office workers (very useful in obtaining a copy of a man’s mail), doctors, government employees, etc.   A dossier of personal data can be built up on anybody very quickly.”  Stephen Knight – author of The Brotherhood.

15.   “For a religious or quasi-religious organisation such as Freemasonry to offer prayers and worship to God from which the name of Jesus Christ has been deliberately excluded represents the abandonment of the Christian faith which it nevertheless professes to uphold.”  Walton Hannah, Church of England clergyman – author of Darkness Visible.

16.   "Masons are sworn to persecute unto death anyone who violates Masonic obligations.”  Former Master Mason, Rev Charles G Finney – author of Characters and Claims of Freemasonry.

17.   “Solicitors are past masters at causing endless delays, generating useless paperwork, ignoring instructions, running up immense bills, and misleading clients into taking decisions damaging to themselves.”  Stephen Knight – author of The Brotherhood

18.   10th Degree Penalty – Scottish Rite: “And in failure of this obligation, I consent to have my body opened perpendicularly, and to be exposed for eight hours in the open air, that the venomous flies may eat of my entrails, my head to be cut off and put on the highest pinnacle of the world and I will always be ready to inflict the same punishment on those who shall 'disclose this degree and break this obligation', so help me God and maintain me, Amen."  Jack Harris, former Worshipful Master in Freemasonry – author of Freemasonry.

19.   “How can men allow themselves to be drawn into a fraternity whose rituals require a total suspension of belief and a taste for the occult?”  Martin Short – author of Inside the Brotherhood.

20.   “Possessing no secrets in the ordinary meaning of the word, Freemasonry has no need of secrecy.  Its members are proud to be Freemasons and have no desire to hide the fact of their membership from the world at large.  The Craft itself can and will face its opponents with no weapons other than honesty and truth.  It will rebut lies with truth, oppose hatred with tolerance, and endure mockery with resignation; it has no need to emulate the moral turpitude of its opponents, for it knows that it is guilty of no crime and of no sin.  Secure in this knowledge it will advance as it always has done the cause of justice and of peace.  It can do no other, for this is the purpose of its being.” LINK  The final paragraph of World Freemasonry by John Hamill and R A Gilbert, reputedly internationally regarded as authorities on Freemasonry.

Section 3.
Comments about the Quotes on Masons and Masonry

1.   Hitherto, the only statement about Freemasonry with which tribunals such as the Public Petitions Committee (PPC), the Justice Committees, the Scottish Executive and the judiciary consistently concur is the type of flippant reference to Freemasonry as applied by Napoleon Bonaparte (see Section 2, item 8 above). LINK   More heed should be paid to the other quotes.

2.   One has only to look at the solemn oath a person takes when he is initiated into the First Degree or Entered Apprentice stage of Masonry (see Section 2, item 3 above), to get some kind of idea about the perplexing mysteries that transpire in life and provide no logical answers. LINK  Masonic activists themselves, some generally well-intentioned, are sometimes forced to make irritable and remorseful decisions when confronted with members of the “Craft” pulling rank on them by playing the “oath card”.   This will always ensure their compliance. I am sure the Committee would be disburdening many well-disposed Masons from certain misplaced obligations and allegiances by accepting the supplications defined by the Petitioner. (See also items 11 LINK and 18 LINK at Section 2 above for other examples of Masonic oaths).

3.   The Committee will note that the above quotes are not taken from a one-sided, narrow point of view, but from the observations and experiences of a diverse range of people, including several Masons.  I would hope that this important point is not missed when making your deliberations.

4.   I intentionally left the final paragraph of Messrs Hamill and Gilbert's book, World Freemasonry, which was complimentary towards Freemasonry, to the end (item 20 of Section 2 above) to allow you to balance these authors’ quote on Masonry with all the other quotes. LINK  I left my own referral to that final quote until the end of my submissions at Section 9, “Conclusions”, because I believe the aforementioned authors’ convictions lend significant support to this Petition. LINK

Section 4.
Reference to Lord Cullen's 100-year Closure Order

1.   It was brought to my notice by a number of people, including sections of the press, that Lord Cullen put a 100-year closure order on documents in relation to his pseudo-inquiry into the Dunblane massacre.  It was claimed that this embargo was put in place to protect the names of children who suffered sexual abuse from Thomas Hamilton and others.  Why then was my five letters to him - which I sent to the Inquiry between 11 April and 16 August 1996 inclusive - put on closure for 100 years when not one of them mentioned one, single, solitary name of a child who was abused? LINK   Irrespective of the closure order, I have included in this Petition my “embargoed” correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry, which proves the Inquiry was a sham beyond refute.

2.   The reference number by the National Archives of Scotland has my correspondence at COM21/4/105/1-2; that is, number 105 of the 106 files put on the closure list.  The National Archives of Scotland claims copyright of my correspondence, but only the writer of a letter can claim copyright; which is why I have provided the Committee with copies of all my correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry.

3.   What is more, there is no statutory basis for the closure of records created by Scottish public bodies, as freely admitted by the Crown Office (see addenda).  The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 (the 1937 Act) makes provision for the preservation, care and custody of the public records of Scotland.  The terms of the legislation are permissive!  On that account, on what authority was the 100-year ban imposed when the closure order is clearly an impediment to the public interest?  Can we next expect the abolition of the printing press, the destruction of books, the closure of schools (other than those preyed upon by paedophiliac “citizens-above-suspicion”), the enthronement of ignorance, and the violation of conscience?

4.   Hansard states that Cullen imposed the closure and it looks like the Lord Advocate is trying to make out that it was a host of bodies responsible, and that Cullen merely approved the closure, allowing him to distance himself from what was a public outrage in which he was centrally involved. LINK  It also stated that, in certain circumstances, this [the closure order] could be waived for those “showing a ‘legitimate’ interest” (my emphasis).  That particular statement could mean anything, or nothing, according to the vagaries of those with a vested interest in, and excel at, bending the rules and executing whitewashes.  This whole charade must be exposed.  Since there is no statutory basis for the closure of records created by Scottish public bodies, the files should be where they belong: in the public domain!

5.   On learning of the “gagging order” put on 106 files, particularly my own at COM21/4/105/1-2, I wrote to Lord Cullen on 27 February 2003 to express my disgust.  I also called for his resignation from the judiciary. LINK   A sinister phenomenon then transpired when my name and address were mysteriously erased from File COM21/4/105/1-2, for which a well-known Sunday Times journalist referred to as “admittedly a bizarre situation”.  The two contrasting descriptions of the Official Scottish Records Index to the 106 embargoed documents held in secret for 100-years by the National Archives of Scotland, lists File COM21/4/105/1-2 as follows, with the earlier one first:
  • 1996 Apr-Jul Additional Productions
    Correspondence between Clerk to the Inquiry and William Burns, South Queensferry, West Lothian, regarding possible affiliations of Thomas Hamilton with Freemasonry, and relevant extracts from Inquiry transcript, and copy letters from Thomas Hamilton (R77)
  • 1996 Apr-Jul Additional Productions
    Correspondence regarding possible affiliations of Thomas Hamilton with Freemasonry, and relevant extracts from Inquiry transcript, and copy letters from Thomas Hamilton (R77)

6.   So the attempt to rewrite the history of the Dunblane Inquiry began.  The fact that I wrote 4 of my 5 letters to Lord Cullen (by name) and not to the clerk, as stated in the first edition of the Index, it seems that the true description of the content of my letters was meant to be lost to researchers.  Even my name was airbrushed from the Index of the Dunblane Inquiry. LINK

7.   After writing to the Lord Advocate to express my concerns (two letters,  one reply - copies appended) LINK and to the National Archives of Scotland (two letters, two replies - copies appended), I was reassured that the description of COM21/4/105/1-2 had been rectified to the more accurate form below:

  • 1996 Apr-Jul Additional Productions
    Correspondence between William Burns, South Queensferry, and Lord Cullen and the Clerk to the Inquiry concerning possible connections with Freemasonry of Thomas Hamilton, Lord Cullen himself, witnesses to the Inquiry and civil servants; also extracts from inquiry transcript relating to possible links with Freemasonry, and letters to and from Thomas Hamilton concerning running of boys clubs, rebuttals of allegations made against him and his claims against Central Regional Council and Central Scotland Police (R77)

However, for fear of the editors (or censors) of the 100-year embargoed documents altering the content of my letters, I have included copies of them in the addenda, as mentioned hereinbefore.

8.   The fact that I wrote to the Inquiry and Lord Cullen to ascertain the Masonic membership of Cullen and asked that all witnesses to the Inquiry declare their Masonic status or otherwise, evidently prompted an attempt to make me a victim of the censor’s red pencil as my reasonable requests to Lord Cullen at that all-important time were never answered by him. LINK  This casts doubt on the integrity of the Inquiry.  So to does the fact that those reasonable requests were disguised and an illegal attempt was made to bury them for 100 years.  It has to be asked if the 4 files that have been released to the public to date, were similarly subjected to injudicious editing!

9.   As mentioned hereinbefore, my own correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry related strictly to the Masonic involvement in the whitewash.  Masons covering up for fellow Masons who were responsible for creating all the loopholes that allowed a crazed paedophile to organise with impunity over many years, for himself and others, sordid practices on children at Dunblane Primary School and Queen Victoria Boarding School.  Thomas Hamilton was given this protection because he paved the way for many other high profile “citizens-above-suspicion” who were similarly acutely involved in the child abuse scandal.  It was precisely to protect those “citizens-above-suspicion” that made Hamilton’s protection so essential. LINK

10.   By committing suicide after he killed the 16 schoolchildren and their teacher, Hamilton must have assumed that all the dirty linen would come out in the wash after his death.  Even he could not have foreseen the enormity of the subsequent whitewash, whereby he alone was deemed an isolated madman in the entire wretched affair.  What was ignored was that a catalogue of loopholes, escapes, reprieves, safety valves, secret passages, drawbridges, flags of convenience, inlets, outlets, get-ins, get-outs, etc., were provided for him by clandestine characters to protect him, and, infinitely more importantly, to protect themselves.  As a result, a highly suspect inquiry was launched and legitimised by the legal process itself.

11.   If Hamilton was dominated by more potent forces, it is incumbent on any inquiry to identify them.  For the Chairman of a tribunal to be mistaken is a misfortune to be pitied; but to know the truth and not conform his actions to it, is a crime that Heaven and Earth condemn.  The victims of the massacre, the victims of child abuse and their relatives and friends, and ultimately the Scottish people, have all been excluded from the fundamental rights of citizenship as a result of the pseudo-inquiry.

12.   Furthermore, as a member of the Speculative Society of Edinburgh, Lord Cullen should have recused himself on the basis of potential or actual bias, prior to the start of the Inquiry. LINK  He was invited to do so, as my first letter to the Clerk to the Inquiry reveals (see item 6 at Section 5 below LINK). He refused to do so and ended up digging a deeper and deeper hole for himself as the Inquiry retrograded. LINK

Section 5.
Cullen Inquiry

1.   The Cullen Inquiry into the shootings at Dunblane Primary School on 13 March 1996 was carried out under the terms of the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921.  In his opening statement, Lord Cullen commented, “I would emphasise that this is to be an Inquiry held in public.  As matters stand, I do not foresee that I would require to exercise my power to direct that any part of it should be held in private.”  Obviously, at some point during the gathering of evidence, he decided that certain aspects of the inquiry could not be heard in public; hence the 100-year “Gagging Order”.

2.   However, accountability lies at the heart of the role of a tribunal appointed under the 1921 Act.  On the rare occasion when a matter of grave public concern needs to be investigated thoroughly and to the full satisfaction of the public, a tribunal is appointed under the terms of the above Act.  There can be no doubt that the events of 13 March 1996 constituted one of these very rare occasions yet Lord Cullen’s Inquiry failed to generate public confidence.  In fact, it actually served to reinforce the perception of the general public that there was something extremely sinister afoot.

3.   For example, Central Scotland Police were given the crucial role of investigating the background to the massacre, yet they themselves were heavily implicated.

4.   When Hamilton’s Masonic affiliation LINK was reported in the press, LINK it fuelled speculation that a lot more people than Hamilton were implicated and that the subsequent public inquiry would be a Masonic whitewash.

5.   During the Inquiry, Lord Cullen had greater difficulty avoiding the very essence of the sordid matters at hand than he would had he actually addressed them.  Given that Cullen alone decided which witnesses were to be questioned, the questions that were allowed or disallowed, and the intensity of the interrogation of those and of such as those, he must take full responsibility for the cover-up.  His 100-year "Gagging Order" illustrates his guilt beyond any shadow of a doubt.  I wrote to him telling him as much in my letter to him of 27 February 2003 (appended). LINK

6.   As a member of the secretive, exclusive and highly suspect "Speculative Society", I assume Lord Cullen is fully aware that, at one time, Freemasonry was comprised entirely of "Operative Masons".  During the Middle Ages, these Masons were builders in the literal sense. This was modified to accept "Speculative Masons" after the Reformation, supposedly due to the lack of "Operative Masons”, but more likely because powerful people realised how influential Freemasonry had become, and how beneficial it would be to take control of such a potent clandestine society.  In 1764, more than 200 years later, Speculative Masonry became even more exclusive when the "Speculative Society" grew from it.  Lord (William Douglas) Cullen appears in the Speculative Society of Edinburgh's Roll of Extraordinary Members at number 1702. LINK

7.    I wrote to the Cullen Inquiry on the 11 April 1996, prior to its commencement, with the following comments (which is also included in my appended, “gagged” productions):

  • "With reference to the 'Notice of Preliminary Hearing' about the 'Dunblane Public Hearing', published in The Scotsman on Wednesday, 10 April 1996, it is in the public interest that Lord Cullen be asked if he is a Freemason, given the widely held view by the public that Thomas Hamilton’s Masonic affiliation was probably the reason that the Ombudsman overturned an earlier decision by Central Regional Council in 1983 to prevent Hamilton from running youth clubs, and that his Masonic affiliation probably facilitated his application for a gun licence. LINK
  • “If Lord Cullen is in fact a Freemason, or anyone else involved in the Inquiry for that matter, it must be insisted that they resign forthwith from the Inquiry because it is far too important to allow the Masonic implication to be whitewashed by furtive operatives in the Freemasons, intent only in 'diverting the discourse' - a Masonic ruse - from the involvement of Freemasons and Freemasonry.
  • "PS Please consider this letter a formal invitation to Lord Cullen to announce his membership or non-membership of Freemasonry."

8.   I received a phone call from the Clerk to the Cullen Inquiry, Glynis McKeand, at 9.45am on Thursday, 18 April 1996, in which she said she approached Lord Cullen with my letter and that he declared he was not, and never had been a Freemason.

9.   To my everlasting regret, I accepted this as the truth at the time without probing further because I believed that Masons are not supposed to deny their membership when asked directly.   I should have been aware that they have ready-made answers to “divert a discourse” when questions are phrased in certain ways.  Apparently, for example, they can regard themselves as "Masons" as opposed to Freemasons and therefore can deny they are "Free" Masons.  I can see the ruse here because how can anyone consider himself "Free", having taken the bloodcurdling oath of the First Degree, or Entered Apprentice, of Masonry. LINK  Another ruse is to get someone else to lie for you.  To which end I asked him again in unequivocal language in that letter of 27 February 2003, which gives him no way of equivocating.  I also expressed that I expected an answer from him personally.  The questions were:

  • (a)  Did you ever take the oath of entered apprentice at 1st degree for the purpose of entering into Masonic association?;   LINK   or
  • (b)  Were you obliged by any expectation of loyalty that had the potential to produce an unbalanced judgement in a tribunal such as the Cullen Inquiry?

10.   I insisted on a straightforward answer to a straightforward question, asking him to try to display a modicum of integrity for the first time in this ongoing saga.   Not surprisingly, I still await a reply.  Who knows: he might well have taken refuge in one of the citadels of silence?  Who knows?

11.   The fact he has since taken refuge in the House of Lords probably answers the question!

12.   During the inquiry, Lord Cullen picked and chose the witnesses to be called to give testimony.  In his opening statement he admitted: “Since this is an investigation I will have the ultimate say as to whether or not a person should be called to give evidence”.

13.   Of these witnesses, there was an arbitrary system of cross-examination.  Some witnesses were exposed to rigorous questioning, whilst others breezed in and out of the witness box with very few questions asked. Cullen stated himself that he would decide the extent to which witnesses should be questioned.  Far too many potentially crucial questions were not asked.  Which begs the question: “Why were Hamilton's friends and associates given such an easy time?”

14.   In his final analogy, Lord Cullen sifted the evidence heard or presented to the Inquiry and eliminated whatever evidence did not fit the picture he wished to portray, that of the "lone madman" seeking revenge on Dunblane.  In his opening statement Lord Cullen admitted: "The criterion which I will apply is whether what is proposed is likely to be of assistance in achieving the objects of this Inquiry."  But what exactly were the objects of the Inquiry, other than covering up all the high-profile, perverted "citizens-above-suspicion" in our society and burying files for 100 years that would implicate them, and Lord Cullen himself, in the high-level Masonic cover-up?

15.  It is patently deceitful that in 1996, we were led to believe that Thomas Hamilton did not actually abuse children (or there was no definite proof of that), but in 2003, we are asked to believe the opposite, that Hamilton did abuse children and that their identities must now be protected.  The Cullen Report states: "The only evidence that the Inquiry heard as to any acts of indecency on the part of Thomas Hamilton comprised two incidents." (page 25, paragraph 4.15).  Why then was there a 100-year "Gagging Order" on 106 files?  Lord Cullen can't eat his cake and have it.  Two incidents do not warrant an attempt to put 106 files on a closure order - an illicit closure order at that.  An attempt to put 106 files on a closure order suggests a cover-up of immeasurable proportions.  I know for a fact that essential questions were avoided at the Inquiry, and my letters to Lord Cullen at that time, in relation to the essential questions, were contumeliously responded to, as the Committee will ascertain after having read them (see addenda).

16.   This was a public inquiry yet the witnesses and the public were systematically manipulated, controlled, directed and misinformed, and the media coverage was restricted to achieve the propagandistic support for the whitewash.  The Scottish people and their democratic institutions were deprived of information essential to sound judgement.

Section 6.
A New Public Inquiry

1.   Had a public register for people who are members of organisations like Freemasonry, the Speculative Society etc., been placed before the Cullen Inquiry before it commenced, it could not have been conducted in the stage-managed manner it most certainly was.  For example, the public would have known Lord Cullen's status in such societies, as they would have with other members of the tribunal, and with all the people who testified, including police officers and others who created loopholes for Thomas Hamilton.  A proper, judicious, impartial inquiry would have ensued.

2.   There are too many discrepancies that nothing short of a brand new investigation and inquiry will suffice, with no stones left unturned.  One thing is for sure; Lord Cullen will not be allowed to put a 100-year "Gagging Order" on my correspondence with his pseudo-inquiry.  It is already in the public domain and there it will remain.  Some things are more important than even the Petitioner's own safety and well-being, which he is aware could well be jeopardised as a result of lodging this Petition but that pales by comparison with the aims of what is trying to be achieved here.

3.   Thomas Hamilton's "friends" have been protected from investigation for the past seven years.  It is time they faced full scrutiny.  A new inquiry should therefore be initiated into the events during the years leading up to the massacre at Dunblane Primary School and the abuse of children at both that school and Queen Victoria School.  Some of them were not called to the original inquiry.  Some of them gave statements and were not called.  Others have never been asked to give statements.  Included in this group are all the boys who attended Hamilton's summer camps, in particular the Loch Lomond camp in 1988.   Since these boys are now adults, it should be their choice whether they wish to give evidence or not.  Most of these boys were adults even at the time of Lord Cullen's Inquiry in 1996 and could have decided for themselves whether they wished to give evidence.

Section 7.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

1.   Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Advocate, the former Scottish Office Minister and presently an MSP, was a member of the Justice 1 and 2 Committees before the Scottish Parliament entered the dissolution period.  He might well be involved to some degree in the decision-making with this Petition.  Like Lord Cullen, he is a member of the secretive, exclusive and highly-suspect "Speculative Society", which has its origins in Masonry. LINK   It is absolutely imperative that no "Spec" members or people who have ever taken the oath of entered apprentice at 1st degree LINK for the purpose of entering into Masonic association, or who are obliged by any expectation of loyalty to extraneous organisations that have the potential to produce an unbalanced judgement in Petitions such as this one, should be allowed to influence the decision-making of it.

2.   If a Mason comes forth to influence this Committee and render judgement on this Petition he must be distrusted as a hypocrite with some secret and ulterior purpose, and his quiet, honest conduct must be branded as mere strategy.

3.   In The Scotsman on 12 November 1996, it was reported that Lord James Douglas-Hamilton said in a written Commons document reply that there had not been enough evidence to prosecute Thomas Hamilton for acts of indecency from his time as a boys' club leader.  He said: "There was in fact very little evidence of any acts of indecency on the part of Hamilton.  So far as can be established no incident amounting to sexual interference with male children was reported to the police while Hamilton was alive." LINK

4.   Coming from an advocate, this is scandalous.  Lord James went on to say that the criminal authorities had not been in possession of evidence that would have justified a prosecution against Thomas Hamilton for sexual interference while he was alive.  We now know the opposite is true; that there was much evidence suppressed to prevent charges being preferred against not only Thomas Hamilton, but also against a number of other people.

5.   In answer to another question, Lord James said that the actions of the police in reporting cases to the Procurator Fiscal were examined by Lord Cullen (Lord James' "Brother" in the "Spec" LINK), who concluded that there was no evidence of any criminal act on (another "Brother") the Masonic Thomas Hamilton's part before the tragedy.  This flies in the face of the truth and is a blatant act of "supporting a brother's character in his absence as in his presence", the fifth of the "Five Points of Fellowship", the strongest oath of Masonic brotherhood.

6.   Lord James also said: "In the light of Lord Cullen's findings the Secretary of State sees no need for further investigation into the actions of the police in making reports to the Procurator Fiscal, and the Lord Advocate considers that further investigation of the actions of the Procurators Fiscal is unnecessary."

7.   This stinks to the high heavens of a cover-up so everyone must now be made accountable.  Every member of the Committee - apart from being accountable - must stand up and be counted!  In the terms of Article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1988, a public authority can be responsible for the acts of people who work for them even if they do not know or approve of what people are doing on its behalf.  The judiciary works on behalf of the Scottish Parliament.

Section 8.

Police call for Disclosure of Masonic Association

1.  On 12 December 1996, The Scotsman carried an article: "Police press for investigation on Masonic links."   It stated: "Rank and file officers from the Grampian board of the Scottish Police Federation, it was reported, called for an investigation into the strength of the links between Freemasonry and the police.  The demand for an inquiry into police membership of the Masons and other secret societies came amid growing concerns about the influence of 'the Brotherhood' in some forces and talk of a possible connection between the Freemasons and the Dunblane murderer, Thomas Hamilton. LINK

  • "South of the border, the Association of Chief Police Officers called on the Home Office to bring in legislation to make it compulsory for officers to register their membership of any organisation whose articles of association demand a bond of loyalty from its members.
  • "It is believed a similar demand is being made by officers from Northern Constabulary." LINK

2.   Police Officers are not allowed to take an active part in politics or to have separate business interests, yet they are allowed to join the Masons, to whom they take a stronger oath of allegiance, without even having to declare they have taken that oath of allegiance at the 1st degree, or Entered Apprentice, stage of Masonry. LINK

3.   There is only one logical reason for people trying to conceal their membership of lodges like the Masons and the Speculative Society and that reason can only be to screen the dubious, suspect or criminal activities of both themselves and their misguided "Brothers".  At least that is the only way the public could perceive it.

Section 9.


1.   At the end of April 2001, the then Scottish Executive Justice Minister, Jim Wallace, made a long-overdue proposal that the exemption of Scots judges and sheriffs from being disciplined for "performance" and "behaviour" discrepancies was set to be removed because under the present system only two sheriffs have been dismissed in 30 years, while a Court of Session judge has never been removed from office.  Sadly, the Scottish public is still waiting impatiently for this to be implemented.  [Ed ~ He calls himself the Justice Minister but if there is no justice he is the Minister of nothing.]

2.   Surely, and particularly in the light of the Cullen Inquiry fiasco, all members of the legal profession, including the police, ought to have a code of conduct, which would include a requirement to declare their membership of Masonic lodges and its offshoot organisations such as the Speculative Society.  The Scottish Police Federation has itself called for "an investigation into the strength of the links between Freemasonry and the police"; and the Association of Chief Police Officers south of the border wants the Home Office to bring in legislation to make it compulsory for officers to register their membership of organisations like Freemasonry.  In fact, everyone seems to be in favour of making "darkness visible" so the Committee should find no difficulty in following suit. LINK

3.   If Masons and Masonry truly adhere to such virtues as defined in that final paragraph of World Freemasonry by Messrs Hamill and Gilbert - and referred to in Section 2, item 20 above - they will "face their opponents [and everyone else] with no weapons other than honesty and truth … for it knows that it is guilty of no crime and of no sin ... [and] it will advance as it has always done the cause of justice and peace ... for this is the purpose of its being", they can have no qualms whatsoever about revealing to the public their "proud" membership of Masonry and/or its offshoots. LINK

4.   By the same token, the Committee should have no qualms about accepting this Petition, which calls for, inter alia, members of the judiciary to reveal their membership of such organisations to the public.

5.   Since Masonry itself lays claim to the above mentioned virtues, it follows that the openness supplicated in this Petition will be welcomed by both Masonry and the general public, therefore the Committee could not justify rejecting the terms of this Petition without themselves portraying a sinister interest in clandestine groups and organisations.  A rejection of this Petition would undoubtedly impoverish the standing of the Committee in the eyes of the public. LINK

6.   To lend weight to this argument, the Petitioner refers to BBC News Online: UK: Scotland on Friday, 1 February 2002, 22:00 GMT, website: which reported: "Finally, the SNP's Tricia Marwick used a meeting of the standards committee to tilt at the freemasons.  'Members of parliament', she said, 'should reveal if they are members of this secret society.'  On Friday, this brought a series of revelations from the Tory benches, starting with Keith Harding and followed more reluctantly by Phil Gallie, Jamie McGrigor and Brian Monteith.  But then the Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Martin McGibbon said it was okay to be open about membership." LINK

7.   If the harmony of prominent and venerated Masons is unmistakable in declaring that it is okay for Masons to reveal their membership, one can only be suspicious of the doubtful honesty and motives of those who reject these sentiments.

8.   By the same token, if the Committee merely structures guidelines that only advise members of the judiciary to declare their amity with organisations like Freemasonry, it will not appease the public.  To avoid this, I would suggest that legislation is enacted in statute to "enforce" the judiciary (and other public servants) to register their affiliations and interests in such organisations.

9.   "Freemasonry," remember, according to Messrs Hamill and Gilbert, "has no need of secrecy [and] its members are proud to be Freemasons and have no desire to hide the fact of their membership from the world at large." LINK  Let us hope that the Committee does not have some arcane desire for proud Masonic members of the judiciary to hide the fact of their membership from the world at large!

10.   Trusting societies cannot be built on foundations of secrecy.

11.   Equally, public inquiries, like the Cullen Inquiry, cannot be conducted under clouds of secrecy.

Section 10.
The Petitioner, therefore, requests that the Scottish Parliament:

(i)   opens up to the public the Petitioner's embargoed correspondence with the Cullen Inquiry, filed at COM21/4/105/1-2 by the National Archives of Scotland; LINK

(ii)   opens up to the public other documents embargoed under the same order, those that do not reveal the names of any children who were victims of abuse;

(iii)   opens up to the public documents embargoed under the same order, those that do reveal names of any children who were victims of abuse, if these children, most of whom are adults now, consent to their names being revealed;

(iv)   enacts legislation to enforce members of the judiciary, the legal profession in general, other public bodies and elected politicians, including councillors, to register any association they might have with organisations, such as Freemasonry, the Speculative Society etc.;

(v)   holds an entirely new public inquiry into the relevant events that went before the Dunblane massacre, the ensuing Cullen Inquiry, the perceived cover-up, and into the false reasons given for the 100-year closure order when the majority of the files held by the National Archives of Scotland did not reveal the names of any abused children.; and

(vi)  removes the exemption of Scots judges and sheriffs from being disciplined for "performance" and "behaviour" discrepancies, as proposed at the end of April 2001 by the then Scottish Justice Minister Jim Wallace.

I, the Petitioner, have already approached Lord Cullen by letter (copy appended), but did not receive a reply, and do not expect to receive one, due to the embarrassing, sensitive and controversial nature of the material involved.  Since I sent him that letter, his Lord Presidency has been shelved and he is now taking refuge in the House of Lords. LINK

William Burns
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