Yesterday I showed the new Mithras pages to a correspondent. He commented that a great deal of what we know about Mithras corresponds to what we know about Free-masonry. An all-male group that got together in a closed room for secret rituals, had grades of initiation and titles, with a special handshake … well, the parallels have not escaped the lunatic fringe, as an article from 1923 shows.
We hear a great deal online from the ignorant about supposed parallels with Christianity. Yet the parallels, if such they are, with Masonic practises seem much closer. Yet there is no actual link.
I suppose that it shows the weakness of any “parallels” argument, that it tends to give false positives. Human beings tend to carry out the same kinds of activities in many lands, ages and cultures. That a group of men have a strange handshake, as a mark of membership, is not enough to indicate connection, or derivation; neither it nor a great many trivial links of the same kind.