World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Freemasonry

Article Id: WHEBN0000011227
Reproduction Date:

Title: Freemasonry  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Freemasonry, Masonic bodies, Masonic Landmarks, Masonic ritual and symbolism, A.J.E.F.
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Freemasonry

Standard image of masonic square and compasses
The Masonic Square and Compasses.
(Found with or without the letter G)


Freemasonry is a guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by craft, or blue lodge Freemasonry. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are now administered by different bodies than the craft degrees.

The basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the lodge. The lodges are usually supervised and governed at the regional level (usually coterminous with either a state, province, or national border) by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient. There is no international, world-wide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry; each Grand Lodge is independent, and they do not necessarily recognise each other as being legitimate.

Organisation, structure and beliefs

Masonic Lodge

Italian lodge at Palazzo Roffia, Florence
Lodge in Palazzo Roffia, Florence set out for French (Moderns) ritual

The Masonic degree[1] or receive a lecture, which is usually on some aspect of Masonic history or ritual.[2] At the conclusion of the meeting, the lodge might adjourn for a formal dinner, or festive board, sometimes involving toasting and song.[3]

The bulk of Masonic ritual consists of degree ceremonies. Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice. Some time later, in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, and finally they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason. In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords, signs and grips peculiar to his new rank.[4] Another ceremony is the annual installation of the Master and officers of the lodge.[1] In some jurisdictions Installed Master is valued as a separate rank, with its own secrets to distinguish its members.[5] In other jurisdictions, the grade is not recognised, and no inner ceremony conveys new secrets during the installation of a new Master of the lodge.[6]

Most lodges have some sort of social calendar, allowing Masons and their partners to meet in a less ritualised environment.[7] Often coupled with these events is the obligation placed on every Mason to contribute to charity. This occurs at both lodge and Grand Lodge level. Masonic charities contribute to many fields from education to disaster relief.[8][9]

These private local lodges form the backbone of Freemasonry, and a Freemason will necessarily have been initiated into one of these. There also exist specialist lodges where Masons meet to celebrate anything from sport to Masonic research. The rank of Master Mason also entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the craft, or "blue lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings.[10]

There is very little consistency in Freemasonry. Because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures. The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.[10][11]

The officers of the lodge are elected or appointed annually. Every Masonic Lodge has a Master, two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer. There is also a Tyler, or outer guard, who is always present outside the door of a working lodge. Other offices vary between jurisdictions.[10]

Each Masonic lodge exists and operates according to a set of ancient principles known as the Landmarks of Freemasonry. These principles have thus far eluded any universally accepted definition.[12]

Ritual and symbolism

Freemasonry describes itself as a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.[13] The symbolism is mainly, but not exclusively, drawn from the manual tools of stonemasons - the square and compasses, the level and plumb rule, the trowel, among others. A moral lesson is attached to each of these tools, although the assignment is by no means consistent. The meaning of the symbolism is taught and explored through ritual.[10]

All Freemasons begin their journey in the "craft" by being progressively initiated, passed and raised into the three degrees of craft, or blue lodge Masonry. During these three rituals, the candidate is progressively taught the meanings of the lodge symbols, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other Masons that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegory and part lecture, and revolve around the construction of the Temple of Solomon, and the artistry and death of his chief architect, Hiram Abiff. The degrees are those of Entered apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. While many different versions of these rituals exist, with two different lodge layouts and versions of the Hiram myth, each version is recognisable to any Freemason from any jurisdiction.[10]

In some jurisdictions the main themes of each degree are illustrated by tracing boards. These painted depictions of Masonic themes are exhibited in the lodge according to which degree is being worked, and are explained to the candidate to illustrate the legend and symbolism of each degree.[14]

The idea of Masonic brotherhood probably descends from a 16th-century legal definition of a brother as one who has taken an oath of mutual support to another. Accordingly, Masons swear at each degree to keep the contents of that degree secret, and to support and protect their brethren unless they have broken the law.[15] In most lodges the oath or obligation is taken on a Volume of Sacred Law, whichever book of divine revelation is appropriate to the religious beliefs of the individual brother (usually the Bible in the Anglo-American tradition). In Progressive continental Freemasonry, books other than scripture are permissible, a cause of rupture between Grand lodges.[16]

Organisations of lodges

Grand Lodges and Grand Orients are independent and sovereign bodies that govern Masonry in a given country, state, or geographical area (termed a jurisdiction). There is no single overarching governing body that presides over worldwide Freemasonry; connections between different jurisdictions depend solely on mutual recognition.[17][18]

Freemasonry, as it exists in various forms all over the world, has a membership estimated by the Grand Lodges (or sometimes Grand Orients), each of which governs its own Masonic jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. The largest single jurisdiction, in terms of membership, is the United Grand Lodge of England (with a membership estimated at around a quarter million). The Grand Lodge of Scotland and Grand Lodge of Ireland (taken together) have approximately 150,000 members.[1] In the United States total membership is just under two million.[19]

Recognition, amity and regularity

Relations between Grand Lodges are determined by the concept of Recognition. Each Grand Lodge maintains a list of other Grand Lodges that it recognises.[20] When two Grand Lodges recognise and are in Masonic communication with each other, they are said to be in amity, and the brethren of each may visit each other's lodges and interact Masonically. When two Grand Lodges are not in amity, inter-visitation is not allowed. There are many reasons why one Grand Lodge will withhold or withdraw recognition from another, but the two most common are Exclusive Jurisdiction and Regularity.[21]

Exclusive Jurisdiction

Exclusive Jurisdiction is a concept whereby only one Grand Lodge will be recognised in any geographical area. If two Grand Lodges claim jurisdiction over the same area, the other Grand Lodges will have to choose between them, and they may not all decide to recognise the same one. (In 1849, for example, the Grand Lodge of New York split into two rival factions, each claiming to be the legitimate Grand Lodge. Other Grand Lodges had to choose between them until the schism was healed.[22]) Exclusive Jurisdiction can be waived when the two over-lapping Grand Lodges are themselves in Amity and agree to share jurisdiction (for example, since the Grand Lodge of Connecticut is in Amity with the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Connecticut, the principle of Exclusive Jurisdiction does not apply, and other Grand Lodges may recognise both).[23]

Regularity

Regularity is a concept based on adherence to Masonic Landmarks, the basic membership requirements, tenets and rituals of the craft. Each Grand Lodge sets its own definition of what these landmarks are, and thus what is Regular and what is Irregular (and the definitions do not necessarily agree between Grand Lodges). Essentially, every Grand Lodge will hold that its landmarks (its requirements, tenets and rituals) are Regular, and judge other Grand Lodges based on those. If the differences are significant, one Grand Lodge may declare the other "Irregular" and withdraw or withhold recognition.[24][25]

First Freemason's Hall, 1809
Freemasons' Hall, London, c. 1809

The most commonly shared rules for Recognition (based on Regularity) are those given by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1929:

  • The Grand Lodge should be established by an existing regular Grand Lodge, or by at least three regular lodges.
  • A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
  • Initiates should take their vows on that scripture.
  • Only men can be admitted, and no relationship exists with mixed lodges.
  • The Grand Lodge has complete control over the first three degrees, and is not subject to another body.
  • All lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
  • There is no discussion of politics or religion.
  • "Antient landmarks, customs and usages" observed.[26]

Other degrees, orders and bodies

Blue lodge Freemasonry offers only three traditional degrees, and in most jurisdictions, the rank of past or installed master. Master Masons are also able to extend their Masonic experience by taking further degrees, in appendant bodies approved by their own Grand Lodge.[27]

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a system of 33 degrees (including the three blue lodge degrees) administered by a local or national Supreme Council. This system is popular in North America and in Continental Europe. The York Rite, with a similar range, administers three orders of Masonry, namely the Royal Arch, Cryptic Masonry and Knights Templar.[28]

In Britain, separate bodies administer each order. Freemasons are encouraged to join the Holy Royal Arch, which is linked to Mark Masonry in Scotland and Ireland, but separate in England. Templar and Cryptic Masonry also exist.[29]

In the Nordic countries the Swedish Rite is dominant; a variation of it is also used in parts of Germany.

Joining a lodge

Print from 1870 portraying George Washington as Master of his lodge

Candidates for Freemasonry will have met most active members of the lodge they are joining before they are initiated. The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will typically have been introduced by a friend at a lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the lodge. In modern times, interested people often track down a local lodge through the Internet. The onus is on candidates to ask to join; while candidates may be encouraged to ask, they are never invited. Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview usually follows to determine the candidate's suitability. If the candidate decides to proceed from here, the lodge ballots on the application before he (or she, depending on the Masonic Jurisdiction) can be accepted.[30]

The absolute minimum requirement of any body of Freemasons is that the candidate must be free, and considered to be of good character.[31] There is usually an age requirement, varying greatly between Grand Lodges, and (in some jurisdictions) capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge. The underlying assumption is that the candidate should be a mature adult.[30]

In addition, most Grand Lodges require the candidate to declare a belief in a Supreme Being. In a few cases, the candidate may be required to be of a specific religion. The form of Freemasonry most common in Scandinavia (known as the Swedish Rite), for example, accepts only Christians.[32] At the other end of the spectrum, "Liberal" or Continental Freemasonry, exemplified by the Grand Orient de France, does not require a declaration of belief in any deity, and accepts atheists (a cause of discord with the rest of Freemasonry).[33][34]

During the ceremony of initiation, the candidate is expected to swear (usually on a volume of sacred text appropriate to his personal religious faith) to fulfil certain obligations as a Mason. In the course of three degrees, new masons will promise to keep the secrets of their degree from lower degrees and outsiders, and to support a fellow Mason in distress (as far as practicality and the law permit).[10] There is instruction as to the duties of a Freemason, but on the whole, Freemasons are left to explore the craft in the manner they find most satisfying. Some will further explore the ritual and symbolism of the craft, others will focus their involvement on the social side of the lodge, while still others will concentrate on the charitable functions of the lodge.[35][36]

History

Origins

Goose and Gridiron
Goose and Gridiron, where the Grand Lodge of England was founded

Since the middle of the 19th century, Masonic historians have sought the origins of the movement in a series of similar documents known as the Old Charges, dating from the Regius Poem in about 1425[37] to the beginning of the 18th century. Alluding to the membership of a lodge of operative masons, they relate a mythologised history of the craft, the duties of its grades, and the manner in which oaths of fidelity are to be taken on joining.[38] The fifteenth century also sees the first evidence of ceremonial regalia.[39]

There is no clear mechanism by which these local trade organisations became today's Masonic lodges, but the earliest rituals and passwords known, from operative lodges around the turn of the 17th-18th centuries, show continuity with the rituals developed in the later 18th century by accepted or speculative Masons, as those members who did not practice the physical craft came to be known.[40] The minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No. 1 in Scotland show a continuity from an operative lodge in 1598 to a modern speculative lodge.[41] It is reputed to be the oldest Masonic lodge in the world.[42]

Royal Arch Chapter in England, beginning of c20
View of room at the Masonic Hall, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England, early 20th century, set up for a Holy Royal Arch convocation

The first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster (later called the Grand Lodge of England (GLE)), was founded on 24 June 1717, when four existing London lodges met for a joint dinner. Many English Lodges joined the new regulatory body, which itself entered a period of self-publicity and expansion. However, many lodges could not endorse changes which some lodges of the GLE made to the ritual (they came to be known as the Moderns), and a few of these formed a rival Grand Lodge on 17 July 1751, which is now known as the "Antient Grand Lodge of England." These two Grand Lodges vied for supremacy until the Moderns promised to return to the ancient ritual. They united on 25 November 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).[43][44]

The Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Grand Lodge of Scotland were formed in 1725 and 1736 respectively, although neither persuaded all of the existing lodges in their countries to join for many years.[45][46]

North America

The earliest known American lodges were in Pennsylvania. The Collector for the port of Pennsylvania, John Moore, wrote of attending lodges there in 1715, two years before the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London. The Premier Grand Lodge of England appointed a Provincial Grand Master for North America in 1731, based in Pennsylvania.[47] Other lodges in the colony obtained authorisations from the later Antient Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which was particularly well represented in the travelling lodges of the British Army.[48][49] Many lodges came into existence with no warrant from any Grand Lodge, applying and paying for their authorisation only after they were confident of their own survival.[50]

After the [51]

Prince Hall Freemasonry

Prince Hall Freemasonry exists because of the refusal of early American lodges to admit [53]

Widespread segregation in 19th- and early 20th-century North America made it difficult for African-Americans to join Lodges outside of Prince Hall jurisdictions – and impossible for inter-jurisdiction recognition between the parallel U.S. Masonic authorities. By the 1980s, such discrimination was a thing of the past, and today most U.S. Grand Lodges recognise their Prince Hall counterparts, and the authorities of both traditions are working towards full recognition.[54] The United Grand Lodge of England has no problem with recognising Prince Hall Grand Lodges.[55] While celebrating their heritage as lodges of black Americans, Prince Hall is open to all men regardless of race or religion.[56]

Emergence of Continental Freemasonry

Masonic initiation, Paris, 1745
Masonic initiation, Paris, 1745

English Freemasonry spread to France in the 1720s, first as lodges of expatriates and exiled Jacobites, and then as distinctively French lodges which still follow the ritual of the Moderns. From France and England, Freemasonry spread to most of Continental Europe during the course of the 18th century. The Grande Loge de France formed under the Grand Mastership of the Duke of Clermont, who exercised only nominal authority. His successor, the Duke of Orléans, reconstituted the central body as the Grand Orient de France in 1773. Briefly eclipsed during the French Revolution, French Freemasonry continued to grow in the next century.[57]

Schism

The ritual form on which the Grand Orient of France was based was abolished in England in the events leading to the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. However the two jurisdictions continued in amity (mutual recognition) until events of the 1860s and 1870s drove a seemingly permanent wedge between them. In 1868 the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the State of Louisiana appeared in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, recognised by the Grand Orient de France, but regarded by the older body as an invasion of their jurisdiction. The new Scottish rite body admitted blacks, and the resolution of the Grand Orient the following year that neither colour, race, nor religion could disqualify a man from Masonry prompted the Grand Lodge to withdraw recognition, and it persuaded other American Grand Lodges to do the same.[58]

A dispute during the Lausanne Congress of Supreme Councils of 1875 prompted the Grand Orient de France to commission a report by a Protestant pastor which concluded that, as Freemasonry was not a religion, it should not require a religious belief. The new constitutions read, "Its principles are absolute liberty of conscience and human solidarity", the existence of God and the immortality of the soul being struck out. It is possible that the immediate objections of the United Grand Lodge of England were at least partly motivated by the political tension between France and Britain at the time. The result was the withdrawal of recognition of the Grand Orient of France by the United Grand Lodge of England, a situation that continues today.[34]

Not all French lodges agreed with the new wording. In 1894, lodges favouring the compulsory recognition of the Great Architect of the Universe formed the Grande Loge de France.[59] In 1913, the United Grand Lodge of England recognised a new Grand Lodge of Regular Freemasons, a Grand Lodge that follows a similar rite to Anglo-American Freemasonry with a mandatory belief in a deity.[60]

There are now three strands of Freemasonry in France, which extend into the rest of Continental Europe:-

  • Liberal (also adogmatic or progressive) - Principles of liberty of conscience, and laicity, particularly the separation of the Church and State.[61]
  • Traditional - Old French ritual with a requirement for a belief in a supreme being.[62] (This strand is typified by the Grande Loge de France).
  • Regular - Standard Anglo-American ritual, mandatory belief in Supreme being.[63]

The term Continental Freemasonry was used in Mackey's 1873 Encyclopedia of Freemasonry to "designate the Lodges on the Continent of Europe which retain many usages which have either been abandoned by, or never were observed in, the Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the United States of America".[64] Today, it is frequently used to refer to only the Liberal jurisdictions typified by the Grand Orient de France.[65]

The majority of Freemasonry considers the Liberal (Continental) strand to be Irregular, and thus withhold recognition. For the Continental lodges, however, having a different approach to Freemasonry was not a reason for severing masonic ties. In 1961, an umbrella organisation, [66][67]

Freemasonry and women

The status of women in the old guilds and corporations of mediaeval masons remains uncertain. The principle of "femme sole" allowed a widow to continue the trade of her husband, but its application had wide local variations, ranging from full membership of a trade body to limited trade by deputation to approved members of that body.[68] In masonry, the small available evidence points to the less empowered end of the scale.[69]

At the dawn of the [73]

[74] Annie Besant spread the phenomenon to the English speaking world.[75] Disagreements over ritual led to the formation of exclusively female bodies of Freemasons in England, which spread to other countries. Meanwhile, the French had re-invented Adoption as an all-female lodge in 1901, only to cast it aside again in 1935. The lodges, however, continued to meet, which gave rise, in 1959, to a body of women practising continental Freemasonry.[72]

In general, Continental Freemasonry is sympathetic to Freemasonry amongst women, dating from the 1890s when French lodges assisted the emergent co-masonic movement by promoting enough of their members to the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to allow them, in 1899, to form their own grand council, recognised by the other Continental Grand Councils of that Rite.[76] The United Grand Lodge of England issued a statement in 1999 recognising the two women's grand lodges there to be regular in all but the participants. While they were not, therefore, recognised as regular, they were part of Freemasonry "in general".[1][77] The attitude of most regular Anglo-American grand lodges remains that women Freemasons are not legitimate Masons.[78]

Anti-Masonry

Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, one of the few Masonic temples that survived the Franco dictatorship in Spain.

Anti-Masonry (alternatively called Anti-Freemasonry) has been defined as "opposition to Freemasonry",[79][80] but there is no homogeneous anti-Masonic movement. Anti-Masonry consists of widely differing criticisms from diverse (and often incompatible) groups who are hostile to Freemasonry in some form. Critics have included religious groups, political groups, and conspiracy theorists.

There have been many disclosures and exposés dating as far back as the 18th century. These often lack context,[81] may be outdated for various reasons,[82] or could be outright hoaxes on the part of the author, as in the case of the Taxil hoax.[83]

These hoaxes and exposés have often become the basis for criticism of Masonry, often religious or political in nature or are based on suspicion of corrupt conspiracy of some form. The political opposition that arose after the "Anti-Masonry, which is still in use today, both by Masons in referring to their critics and as a self-descriptor by the critics themselves.[84]

Religious opposition

Freemasonry has attracted criticism from heterodoxy within the fraternity itself, and has long been the target of conspiracy theories, which assert Freemasonry to be an occult and evil power.[85]

Christianity and Freemasonry

Although members of various faiths cite objections, certain Christian denominations have had high profile negative attitudes to Masonry, banning or discouraging their members from being Freemasons.

The denomination with the longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church. The objections raised by the Roman Catholic Church are based on the allegation that Masonry teaches a naturalistic deistic religion which is in conflict with Church doctrine.[86] A number of Papal pronouncements have been issued against Freemasonry. The first was Pope Clement XII's In eminenti apostolatus, 28 April 1738; the most recent was Pope Leo XIII's Ab apostolici, 15 October 1890. The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication, and banned books favouring Freemasonry.[87]

In 1983, the Church issued a new code of canon law. Unlike its predecessor, the 1983 Code of Canon Law did not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies it condemns. It states: "A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; one who promotes or takes office in such an association is to be punished with an interdict." This named omission of Masonic orders caused both Catholics and Freemasons to believe that the ban on Catholics becoming Freemasons may have been lifted, especially after the perceived liberalisation of Vatican II.[88] However, the matter was clarified when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a Declaration on Masonic Associations, which states: "... the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion." Thus, from a Catholic perspective, there is still a ban on Catholics joining Masonic Lodges. For its part, Freemasonry has never objected to Catholics joining their fraternity. Those Grand Lodges in amity with UGLE deny the Church's claims. The UGLE now states that "Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it."[1]

In contrast to Catholic allegations of rationalism and naturalism, Protestant objections are more likely to be based on allegations of mysticism, occultism, and even Satanism.[89] Masonic scholar Albert Pike is often quoted (in some cases misquoted) by Protestant anti-Masons as an authority for the position of Masonry on these issues.[90] However, Pike, although undoubtedly learned, was not a spokesman for Freemasonry and was also controversial among Freemasons in general. His writings represented his personal opinion only, and furthermore an opinion grounded in the attitudes and understandings of late 19th century Southern Freemasonry of the USA. Notably, his book carries in the preface a form of disclaimer from his own Grand Lodge. No one voice has ever spoken for the whole of Freemasonry.[91]

Free Methodist Church founder B.T. Roberts was a vocal opponent of Freemasonry in the mid 19th century. Roberts opposed the society on moral grounds and stated, "The god of the lodge is not the God of the Bible." Roberts believed Freemasonry was a "mystery" or "alternate" religion and encouraged his church not to support ministers who were Freemasons. Freedom from secret societies is one of the "frees" upon which the Free Methodist Church was founded.[92]

Since the founding of Freemasonry, many Bishops of the Church of England have been Freemasons, such as Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher.[93] In the past, few members of the Church of England would have seen any incongruity in concurrently adhering to Anglican Christianity and practicing Freemasonry. In recent decades, however, reservations about Freemasonry have increased within Anglicanism, perhaps due to the increasing prominence of the evangelical wing of the church. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, appeared to harbour some reservations about Masonic ritual, whilst being anxious to avoid causing offence to Freemasons inside and outside the Church of England. In 2003 he felt it necessary to apologise to British Freemasons after he said that their beliefs were incompatible with Christianity and that he had barred the appointment of Freemasons to senior posts in his diocese when he was Bishop of Monmouth.[94]

In 1933, the [95]

Regular Freemasonry has traditionally not responded to these claims, beyond the often repeated statement that those Grand Lodges in amity with UGLE explicitly adhere to the principle that "Freemasonry is not a religion, nor a substitute for religion. There is no separate 'Masonic deity,' and there is no separate proper name for a deity in Freemasonry."[96]

Christian men, who were discouraged from joining the Freemasons by their Churches or who wanted a more religiocentric society, joined similar fraternal organizations, such as the [97][98]

Islam and Freemasonry

Many Islamic anti-Masonic arguments are closely tied to both antisemitism and Anti-Zionism, though other criticisms are made such as linking Freemasonry to al-Masih ad-Dajjal (the false Messiah).[99][100] Some Muslim anti-Masons argue that Freemasonry promotes the interests of the Jews around the world and that one of its aims is to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to rebuild the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.[101] In article 28 of its Covenant, Hamas states that Freemasonry, Rotary, and other similar groups "work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions ..."[102]

Many countries with a significant Muslim population do not allow Masonic establishments within their jurisdictions. However, countries such as Turkey and Morocco have established Grand Lodges,[103] while in countries such as Malaysia[104][105] and Lebanon[106] there are District Grand Lodges operating under a warrant from an established Grand Lodge.

In Pakistan in 1972, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, placed a ban on Freemasonry. Lodge buildings were confiscated by the government.[107]

Masonic lodges existed in [99]

Political opposition

In 1799, English Freemasonry almost came to a halt due to Parliamentary proclamation. In the wake of the French Revolution, the Unlawful Societies Act 1799 banned any meetings of groups that required their members to take an oath or obligation.[109] The Grand Masters of both the Moderns and the Antients Grand Lodges called on Prime Minister William Pitt (who was not a Freemason) and explained to him that Freemasonry was a supporter of the law and lawfully constituted authority and was much involved in charitable work. As a result, Freemasonry was specifically exempted from the terms of the Act, provided that each private lodge's Secretary placed with the local "Clerk of the Peace" a list of the members of his lodge once a year. This continued until 1967 when the obligation of the provision was rescinded by Parliament.[109]

Freemasonry in the United States faced political pressure following the 1826 kidnapping of Jacksonian democracy (Andrew Jackson was a prominent Mason) helped fuel an Anti-Masonic movement, culminating in the formation of a short lived Anti-Masonic Party which fielded candidates for the Presidential elections of 1828 and 1832.[110]

Erlangen Lodge revival, meeting in 1948
Lodge in Erlangen, Germany. First meeting after World War II with guests from USA, France and Czechoslovakia, 1948.

In Italy, Freemasonry has become linked to a scandal concerning the Propaganda Due lodge (a.k.a. P2). This lodge was chartered by the Grande Oriente d'Italia in 1877, as a lodge for visiting Masons unable to attend their own lodges. Under Licio Gelli’s leadership, in the late 1970s, P2 became involved in the financial scandals that nearly bankrupted the Vatican Bank. However, by this time the lodge was operating independently and irregularly, as the Grand Orient had revoked its charter and expelled Gelli in 1976.[111]

far right (e.g., Nazi Germany)[112][113] and the far left (e.g. the former Communist states in Eastern Europe).[114]

Even in modern democracies, Freemasonry is sometimes viewed with distrust.[115] In the UK, Masons working in the justice system, such as judges and police officers, were from 1999 to 2009 required to disclose their membership.[116] While a parliamentary inquiry found that there has been no evidence of wrongdoing, it was felt that any potential loyalties Masons might have, based on their vows to support fellow Masons, should be transparent to the public.[115][116][117] The policy of requiring a declaration of masonic membership of applicants for judicial office (judges and magistrates) was ended in 2009 by Justice Secretary Jack Straw (who had initiated the requirement in the 1990s). Straw stated that the rule was considered disproportionate, since no impropriety or malpractice had been shown as a result of judges being Freemasons.[118]

Freemasonry is both successful and controversial in France; membership is rising, but reporting in the popular media is often negative.[115]

In some countries anti-Masonry is often related to [99] Professor Andrew Prescott of the University of Sheffield writes: "Since at least the time of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, antisemitism has gone hand in hand with anti-masonry, so it is not surprising that allegations that 11 September was a Zionist plot have been accompanied by suggestions that the attacks were inspired by a masonic world order".[119]

The Holocaust

The preserved records of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (the Reich Security Main Office) show the persecution of Freemasons during the Holocaust.[120] RSHA Amt VII (Written Records) was overseen by Professor Franz Six and was responsible for "ideological" tasks, by which was meant the creation of antisemitic and anti-Masonic propaganda. While the number is not accurately known, it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were killed under the Nazi regime.[121] Masonic concentration camp inmates were graded as political prisoners and wore an inverted red triangle.[122]

The small blue [123][124][125]

After [126]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Frequently Asked Questions" United Grand Lodge of England retrieved 30 October 2013
  2. ^ "Materials: Papers and Speakers" Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire, retrieved 30 October 2013
  3. ^ "Gentlemen, please be upstanding" Toasts for the festive board, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon retrieved 30 October 2013
  4. ^ "Words, Grips and Signs" H. L. Haywood, Symbolical Masonry, 1923, Chapter XVIII, Sacred Texts website, retrieved 9 January 2014
  5. ^ "Past Master" Masonic Dictionary, retrieved 31 October 2013
  6. ^ "Maçon célèbre : le Maître Installé" GADLU blog Maçonnique, 3 March 2013, retrieved 2 November 2013
  7. ^ For instance "Introduction into Freemasonry", Provincial Grand Lodge of Hertfordshire, retrieved 8 November 2013
  8. ^ "Charitable work", UGLE, retrieved 8 November 2013
  9. ^ (editors) John Hamill and Robert Gilbert, Freemasonry, Angus, 2004, pp 214-220
  10. ^ a b c d e f Michael Johnstone, The Freemasons, Arcturus, 2005, pp 101-120
  11. ^ "Les Officiers de Loge" Maconnieke Encyclopedie, retrieved 31 October 2013
  12. ^ Alain Bernheim, "My Approach to Masonic History", Pietre Stones, from address of 2011, retrieved 8 November 2013
  13. ^ "What is Freemasonry?" Grand Lodge of Alberta retrieved 7 November 2013
  14. ^ Mark S. Dwor, "Some thoughts on the history of the Tracing Boards", Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, 1999, retrieved 7 November 2013
  15. ^ Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, p79
  16. ^ "Masonic U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 20th century", Paul M. Bessel. retrieved 8 November 2013
  17. ^ (editors) John Hamill and Robert Gilbert, Freemasonry, Angus, 2004, Glossary, p247
  18. ^ "Difficult Questions; Is Freemasonry a Global Conspiracy?" MasterMason.com, retrieved 18 November 2013
  19. ^ Hodapp, Christopher. Freemasons for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley, 2005. p. 52.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Jim Bantolo, "On Recognition", Masonic Short Talk, Pilar lodge, 2007, retrieved 25 November 2013
  22. ^ Ossian Lang, "History of Freemasonry in the State of New York" (pdf), 1922, pp135-140, Masonic Trowel eBooks
  23. ^ "Exclusive Jurisdiction", Paul M. Bessel, 1998, retrieved 25 November 2013
  24. ^ "Regularity in Freemasonry and its Meaning", Grand Lodge of Latvia, retrieved 25 November 2013
  25. ^ Tony Pope, "Regularity and Recognition", from Freemasonry Universal, by Kent Henderson & Tony Pope, 1998, Pietre Stones website, retrieved 25 November 2013
  26. ^ UGLE Book of Constitutions, "Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition", any year since 1930, page numbers may vary.
  27. ^ Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, p229
  28. ^ Michael Johnstone, The Freemasons, Arcturus, 2005, pp 95-98
  29. ^ J S M Ward, "The Higher Degrees Handbook", Pietre Stones, retrieved 11 November 2013
  30. ^ a b "How to become a Freemason", Masonic Lodge of Education, retrieved 20 November 2013
  31. ^ "Comment devenir franc-maçon?", Grande Loge de Luxembourg, retrieved 23 November 2013
  32. ^ "Swedish Rite FAQ", Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon, Accessed 19 November 2013
  33. ^ "Faut-il croire en Dieu?", Foire aux Questions, Grand Orient de France, Retrieved 23 November 2013
  34. ^ a b Jack Buta, "The God Conspiracy, The Politics of Grand Lodge Foreign Relations", Pietre-Stones, retrieved 23 November 2013
  35. ^ "Social events and activities", Hampshire Province, retrieved 20 November 2013
  36. ^ "Who are Masons, and what do they do?", MasonicLodges.com, retrieved 20 November 2013
  37. ^ Andrew Prescott, "The Old Charges Revisited", from Transactions of the Lodge of Research No. 2429 (Leicester), 2006, Pietre-Stones Masonic Papers, retrieved 12 October 2013
  38. ^ A. F. A. Woodford, preface to William James Hughan, The Old Charges of British Freemasons, London, 1872
  39. ^
  40. ^ Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, Chapter 4, p 53
  41. ^ David Murray Lyon, History of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No 1, Blackwood 1873, Preface
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ I. R. Clarke, "The Formation of the Grand Lodge of the Antients" , Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol 79 (1966), p. 270-73, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, retrieved 28 June 2012
  45. ^ H. L. Haywood, "Various Grand Lodges", The Builder, vol X no 5, May 1924, Pietre Stones website, retrieved 9 January 2014
  46. ^ Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, Chapter 1, p 17
  47. ^ Francis Vicente, An Overview of Early Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, Pietre-Stones, retrieved 15 November 2013
  48. ^ Werner Hartmann, "History of St. John's Lodge No. 1", St. John's Lodge No. 1, A.Y.M., 2012, retrieved 16 November 2013
  49. ^ M. Baigent and R. Leigh, The Temple and the Lodge, Arrow 1998, Appendix 2, pp360-362, "Masonic Field Lodges in Regiments in America", 1775-77
  50. ^ Robert L.D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider 2006, p190
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ "Prince Hall History Education Class" by Raymond T. Coleman(pdf) retrieved 13 October 2013
  54. ^
  55. ^ "Foreign Grand Lodges", UGLE Website, retrieved 25 October 2013
  56. ^ "History of Prince Hall Masonry: What is Freemasonry", Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, retrieved 25 October 2013
  57. ^ "History of Freemasonry", Grand Orient de France, retrieved 12 November 2013
  58. ^ Paul Bessel, "U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s", from Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society, vol 5, 1996, pp 221-244, Paul Bessel website, retrieved 12 November 2013
  59. ^ "History of the Grande Loge of France", Grande Loge de France retrieved 14 November 2013
  60. ^ Alain Bernheim, "My approach to Masonic History", Manchester 2011, Pietre-Stones, retrieved 14 November 2013
  61. ^ "Liberal Grand Lodges", French Freemasonry, retrieved 14 November 2013
  62. ^ "Traditional Grand Lodges", French Freemasonry, retrieved 14 November 2013
  63. ^ "Regular Grand Lodges", French Freemasonry, retrieved 14 November 2013
  64. ^ "Continental Lodges",Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, retrieved 30 November 2013
  65. ^ For instance "Women in Freemasonry, and Continental Freemasonry", Corn Wine and Oil, June 2009, retrieved 30 November 2013
  66. ^ Tony Pope, "At a Perpertual Distance: Liberal and Adogmatic Grand Lodges", Presented to Waikato Lodge of Research No 445 at Rotorua, New Zealand, on 9 November 2004, as the annual Verrall Lecture, and subsequently published in the Transactions of the lodge, vol 14 #1, March 2005, Pietre-Stones, retrieved 13 November 2013
  67. ^ "Current members", CLIPSAS, retrieved 14 November 2014
  68. ^ Antonia Frazer, The Weaker Vessel, Mandarin paperbacks, 1989, pp108-109
  69. ^ for example, see David Murray Lyon, History of the lodge of Edinburgh, Blackwood, Edinburgh, 1873, pp 121-123
  70. ^
  71. ^ "Adoptive Freemasonry" Entry from Mackey's Lexicon of Freemasonry
  72. ^ a b Barbara L. Thames, "A History of Women’s Masonry", Phoenix Masonry, retrieved 5 March 2013
  73. ^ "Order of the Eastern Star" Masonic Dictionary, retrieved 9 January 2013
  74. ^ "Maria Deraismes (1828 - 1894)", Droit Humain, retrieved 5 March 2013. (French Language)
  75. ^ Jeanne Heaslewood, "A Brief History of the Founding of Co-Freemasonry", 1999, Phoenix Masonry, retrieved 12 August 2013
  76. ^ "Histoire du Droit Humain", Droit Humain, retrieved 12 August 2013
  77. ^ "Text of UGLE statement", Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, retrieved 12 August 2012
  78. ^ Karen Kidd, Haunted Chambers: the Lives of Early Women Freemasons, Cornerstone, 2009, pp204-205
  79. ^ "Anti-Masonry" – Oxford English Dictionary (Compact Edition), Oxford University Press, 1979, p.369
  80. ^
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ Lists many books which perpetuate Masonic ritual hoaxes.
  84. ^ "Anti-mason" infoplease.com retrieved 9 January 2014
  85. ^ Morris, S. Brent; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha books, 2006, p,204.
  86. ^
  87. ^ Canon 2335, 1917 Code of Canon Law from
  88. ^
  89. ^
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^
  93. ^
  94. ^
  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^ a b
  98. ^ a b
  99. ^ a b c
  100. ^
  101. ^ "Can a Muslim be a Freemason" Wake up from your slumber, 2007, retrieved 8 January 2014
  102. ^
  103. ^ Leyiktez, Celil. "Freemasonry in the Islamic World", Pietre-Stones Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  104. ^ District Grand Lodge of the Eastern Archipelago"Home Page", , retrieved 9 January 2014
  105. ^
  106. ^ Freemasonry in Lebanon Lodges linked to the Grand Lodge of Scotland, retrieved 22 August 2013
  107. ^ Peerzada Salman, "Masonic Mystique", December 2009, Dawn.com (News site), retrieved 3 January 2012
  108. ^ Kent Henderson, "Freemasonry in Islamic Countries", 2007 paper, Pietre Stones, retrieved 4 January 2014
  109. ^ a b Andrew Prescott, "The Unlawful Societies Act", First published in M. D. J. Scanlan, ed., The Social Impact of Freemasonry on the Modern Western World, The Canonbury Papers I (London: Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, 2002), pp. 116-134, Pietre-Stones website, retrieved 9 January 2014
  110. ^ "The Morgan Affair", Reprinted from The Short Talk Bulletin - Vol. XI, March, 1933 No. 3, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, retrieved 4 January 2014
  111. ^
  112. ^
  113. ^
  114. ^ Michael Johnstone, The Freemasons, Arcturus, 2005, pp 73-75
  115. ^ a b c Hodapp, Christopher. Freemasons for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley, 2005. p. 86.
  116. ^ a b Bright, Martin (12 June 2005). "MPs told to declare links to Masons", The Guardian
  117. ^ Cusick, James (27 December 1996). Police want judges and MPs to reveal Masonic links too, The Independent
  118. ^
  119. ^ Prescott, pp. 13–14, 30, 33.
  120. ^
  121. ^ Freemasons for Dummies, by Christopher Hodapp, Wiley Publishing Inc., Indianapolis, 2005, p. 85, sec. Hitler and the Nazi
  122. ^
  123. ^
  124. ^
  125. ^ Also in:
  126. ^ a b

External links

  •  
  • Web of Hiram at the University of Bradford. A database of donated Masonic material.
  • Masonic Books Online of the Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry
  • The Constitutions of the Free-Masons (1734), James Anderson, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Royster. Hosted by the Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • The Mysteries of Free Masonry, by William Morgan, from Project Gutenberg
  • A Legislative Investigation into Masonry (1832) on Internet Archive, OCLC 1560509
  • The United Grand Lodge of England's Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London
  • A page about Freemasonry – claiming to be the world's oldest Masonic website.
  • Articles on Judaism and Freemasonry
  • Anti-Masonry: Points of View – Edward L. King's Masonic website
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.