knows just how old freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in
time. It most likely arose from the guilds of stone masons who built the castles
and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights
Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect
pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.
According to the legends contained
in the rituals of Freemasonry, the Masonic fraternity dates back to the
construction of the Temple of King Solomon as described in the Bible - a project
so vast that an organisational structure was devised to ensure that the Temple
was built properly and completed on time. This led to the stone masons and
architects being organised into various grades and classes, each with their own
in the Middle Ages constructed many buildings, but particular attention has
always focused on the great cathedrals of England and Europe. To build these
marvels it was necessary for Masons to gather in large groups, sometimes moving
from one finished castle or cathedral to the next. To construct them, it was
necessary to have considerable knowledge of geometry, arithmetic and engineering
and as a result, bodies of Stone Masons - including architects - became one of
the few places of learning outside of the clergy.
term "Freemason" appears as early as 1375 in a City of London manuscript that
includes regulations for the society; duties to God, church and country; and
repeated references to brotherhood. The Masons used a series of rituals and
procedures to teach their trade and by the 17th Century, as their numbers and
status grew, Lodges began accepting honorary members who were not actually stone
workers. These same rituals and teachings were used to instruct non-working
Freemasons about the craft. From the early 18th century, Freemasonry spread from
England to the Continent and then to America and Latin America. It was
introduced to Australia in 1802 when a ship's officers and several citizens met
1816, Freemasonry had become firmly established in this country. The first Lodge
in South Australia was the Lodge of Friendship, which was established in London
in 1834 for intending settlers to the new colony. Charles Kingston brought the
warrant to establish the Lodge with him when he arrived in South Australia with
Governor Hindmarsh on the Buffalo in 1836. However, because there weren't enough
Freemasons in SA at the time, the first Lodge meeting was not held until 1838,
when a number of Masons met at Blacks Hotel in Franklin Street.
recently been suggested (by Knight and Lomas) that Freemasonry ultimately
evolved from Megalithic tribes who, having discovered science and astronomy,
constructed numerous astounding astronomical observatories including Newgrange
on the river Boyne, Bryn Celli Ddu and Stonehenge between 7100 BC and 2500 BC.
It is believed that these sites enabled those tribes to chart the seasons and
years by observing the rotations of the sun and the third brightest object in
the sky, Venus. These were essential skills as without such timekeeping,
civilisation would be hopelessly unable to plan or progress beyond mere day to
Indeed, the Book of Enoch,
discovered amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Qumran and from which many
higher Masonic Orders draw their inspiration, explains the scientific principles
by which those earliest observatories (or Uriels Machines) operate. It is then
argued that this knowledge was shared and taken to the East prior to a predicted
and devastating comet impact and subsequent world flood in 3150 BC.
survivors maintained Enochian and Noachide customs and when the
Enochian-Zadokite priests were expelled from Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans,
having first hidden their scrolls and treasures deep under the ruins of Solomons
Temple as recorded in the Qumran Copper Scroll, it seems possible that their
alledged descendants, the founding Knights Templar families led by Hugues de
Payens, would return in 1140 AD to dig them up and retrieve them. A great story,
but it is doubtful whether this theory will take hold in serious academic
The word lodge really has two meanings to a Freemason. It is both a place where
Masonic meetings are held, and a collective term for the members who meet there.
So, as weird as it sounds, you could say that a lodge meets in a lodge. In fact,
many different lodges can meet at different times in the same lodge building.
This practice is common in larger cities, where one building may have many rooms
for lodge meetings and dozens of lodges that share
Masonic lodges are named by their
original founding members. They can be named after the town they're in, a
historical figure, a famous Mason, or even a symbolic word or phrase. The name
of the lodge is always followed by a number, such as Washington Lodge #13
or Ancient Landmarks Lodge #319. The number is issued by the governing
Grand Lodge and designates the order in which lodges have been chartered in that
jurisdiction. The older the lodge, the smaller the number.
of the details in a lodge room are patterned after aspects of King Solomon's
Temple, as described in the Bible and other historical records. Freemasonry
teaches by symbolism, and much of that symbolism is based upon the accounts of
Solomon's Temple. The Temple was built in the 10th century B.C. on Mount Moriah
in Jerusalem. Solomon built
it as a temple to God and to store the sacred Ark of the Covenant, which
contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The details
of Solomon's Temple are described in the Bible in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. In
its time, the temple's magnificence was known all over the ancient
stonemasons claimed their guilds originated with the great construction projects
of the Bible, to give themselves a long, proud, and sacred pedigree. When
Freemasonry became a philosophical organization in the 1700s, the Masons who
developed the ceremonies and practices of the fraternity seized on the symbolism
of Solomon's Temple to help teach moral and spiritual ideas.
lodge room contains much that is based on interpretations of descriptions of
Solomon's Temple. There are many variations throughout the world, depending on
differences in customs, rituals, and rules, but in general, lodge rooms are
arranged in a very similar fashion.
Freemasonry accepts members from
almost any religion, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and so
forth. In Lodges following in the Continental tradition, atheists and agnostics
are also accepted, without qualification. Most other branches currently require
a belief in a Supreme Being. But even there, one finds a high degree of
non-dogmatism, and the phrase Supreme Being is often given a very broad
interpretation, usually allowing Deism and often even allowing naturalistic
views of "God/Nature" in the tradition of Spinoza and Goethe (himself a
Freemason), or views of The Ultimate or Cosmic Oneness, such as found in some
Eastern religions and in Western idealism (or for that matter, in modern
cosmology). This leads some to suggest that even Anglo Freemasonry will, in
practice, end up accepting certain kinds of atheistsčthose willing to adopt a
certain brand of spiritual language. Such claims are difficult to evaluate,
since many Anglo jurisdictions consider any further enquiry into a prospective
member's religion, beyond the "Supreme Being" question, to be off limits.
However, in some Anglo jurisdictions (mostly English-speaking), Freemasonry is
actually less tolerant of naturalism than it was in the 18th century, and
specific religious requirements with more theistic and orthodox overtones have
been added since the early 19th century, including (mostly in North America)
belief in the immortality of the soul. The Freemasonry that predominates in
Scandinavia, known as the Swedish Rite, accepts only Christians.
works through the degrees, one studies the lessons and interprets them for
oneself. There are as many ways to interpret the rituals as there are Masons,
and no Mason may dictate to any other Mason how he is to interpret them. No
particular truths are espoused, but a common structure - speaking symbolically
to universal human archetypes - provides for each Mason a means to come to his
own answers to life's important questions. Especially in Europe, Freemasons
working through the degrees are asked to prepare papers on related philosophical
topics, and present these papers in an open Lodge, where others may judge the
suitability of the candidates' ascension through the higher degrees.
are three initial degrees of Freemasonry:
share a concern and respect for human values, moral standards, the laws of
society and the rights of individuals
believe in a Supreme Being
help other people through charity work and community service
promote fellowship and goodwill amongst his fellow members
regularly attend Lodge meetings and participate, with his family, in masonic
Some Famous supposed Masons
Clinton, Senior Demolay
Political conspiracy theories involving the Masons
Freemasonry has been a long-time
target of conspiracy theories, which see it as an occult and evil power - often
associated with the New World Order and other "agents," such as the Pope, the
Illuminati and Jews - either bent on world domination, or already secretly in
control of world politics.
Nowadays, the main theme of
anti-Masonic criticism involves the idea that Masons involve their organization
in covert political activities. This assumption has been influenced by the
assertion of Masons that many political figures in the past 300 years have been
say the Masons constantly plot to increase their power and wealth, others say
the Masonic Brotherhood is engaged in a plot to produce a new world order of a
type different (usually more sinister) than the existing world order. These
theories would be possible to apply to almost any secret society (since a
society with secret meetings allows secret coordination, the very essence of a
conspiracy). Nevertheless, Masons have been the largest target because of their
size and notable membership.
historical complaints that the Masons have secretly plotted to create a society
based on their ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity, and religious tolerance,
are not denied by Masons. In an enlightened age many have now accepted the core
Masonic values as stated, and persistent enemies of the society have been forced
to come up with more sinister motives as to what Freemasons allegedly conspire
Freemasonry is almost universally
banned in totalitarian states. In 1925, it was outlawed in Fascist Italy. In
Nazi Germany, Freemasons were sent to concentration camps and all Masonic Lodges
were ordered shut down. German Masons used the blue forget-me-not as a secret
means of recognition and as a substitute for the traditional (and too easily
recognized) square and compasses
Freemasonry is a new religion
sectarian age many hold that Freemasonry is a new religion. Externally, to some
at least, it has many similarities to a religion: it has its own version of the
Bible (the VSL), it has its own way of saying "amen" ("So mote it be," a literal
translation of "Amen"), it has far more developed rituals than most Protestant
denominations, some groups of Masons (especially the Scottish Rite) call their
Lodges "temples," and it has a large amount of iconography and symbolism. From
the perspective of many religions, which feel that they present the perfect
system of morality, any competing system of morality can be considered opposed
to themčand if not stricly another religion, then certainly as competitor.
Masons argue in response that the ritual observances of Masons should be seen in
the same context as rituals maintained in the military services, in government,
and civil authorities. It has been argued that any organized system of morality
(which the Masons claim to be) is a religion; the Green Party might thus qualify
Freemasonry worships Satan
the practice of any given magical or mystical system is not specifically
associated with Freemasonry (mainstream Masonry has always tended as much to
rationalism as to mysticism), there are some groups of Masons, such as Masonic
Rosicrucians, that may interpret Masonic ritual magically (or "hermetically"),
which is their right as Masons, given the fraternity's non-dogmatic stance.
However, the very existence of
hermetic interpretations within Masonry has lead some Christians to label
Freemasonry as "Satanic". This charge is commonly made about any hermetic
society that has ritualistic practices reserved for the initated.
Anti-Masonic activists quote Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma to "prove" that
Masons worship Lucifer. The oft-quoted section (Chapt. XIX; p.321) reads:
Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of
that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and
works of Lucifer. Licoifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to
give to the Spirit of Darknesss! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who
bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual or
selfish Souls ? Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and
Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and
Philo, also, were inspired.
Masons counter that the critics who cite this as evidence of Freemasonry's
Satanic leanings ignore the first part of the passage while emphasizing the
association of Lucifer with Light. Alternately,the argument is made that because
a Pike claims the works of Plato and Philo were as divinely inspired as the The
Apocalypse of Saint John, and b that Plato and Philo were pre-Christian pagans,
and c that all pagan beliefs are Satanic, and therefore d that Pike (and
Freemasonry) practice Satan worship.
Masons counter simply by pointing out that Masonry is non-dogmatic, and hence
Pike's opinions about it are his own personal (and now somewhat out-dated)
Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned Freemasonry, and although not
claiming that it is directly Satanic, the church has claimed that Freemasonry
has "led on or assisted" "partisans of evil" (from Humanum Genus).
of the landscape of Washington D.C. is thought by many to be inspired by, or
directly designed by, Freemasons, including the layout of national buildings,
the mapping of streets and roadways, and the placement of national monuments.
This has caused some to speculate that some of the esoteric practices and
symbolism in Freemasonry, seen as "occult", have embedded themselves within the
structure of several governments - in this case, the United States.
Masonic Blood Oaths
traditional Masonic obligations, sworn by a candidate during the initiation
ritual, are sometimes called "blood oaths", particularly by those critical of
the fraternity. The candidate wishes severe physical punishment upon himself
should he ever reveal the secrets of Freemasonry to a non-Mason. While many
non-Masons are horrified by this, Masons defend the traditional obligations as
no more literal than the commonplace childhood "blood oaths", like "cross my
heart and hope to die"ča very psychologically powerful way to express a serious
bond or promise.
addition, some Masons argue that the bloody punishments mentioned in the
obligations are, historically, references to the punishments that the state used
to inflict on defenders of civil liberties and religious freedoms, such as
Freemasons. But in spite of repeated attempts to defend them, by the early
1980s, the "blood oaths" had become quite problematic from a public relations
standpoint, and many Masonic jurisdictions replaced them with more politically
correct "bloodless oaths".
Some conspiracy theorists look at certain historical killings and
deduce that they were done as a fulfillment of the blood oath. In particular,
Jack the Ripper is theorized by some to have been a Mason made psychotic for
having to carry out a blood oath, and who then killed random people in the same
fashion. Masons counter that the Ripper mutilations have no similarity to the
symbolic punishments of the Masonic obligations.It should be noted that there
are only 3 penalties that Masonry can actually impose on a member: censure,
suspension of membership, and expulsion.
the Craft so Misunderstood?
answer to that is for hundred of years the members of Freemason lodges
themselves misunderstood what was meant by Masonic Secrecy. Technically the
ĎSecretsí that Masonís are forbidden to discuss with people outside the craft
are the Signs, Tokens and Words of the order traditionally these are the methods
the Masons use to identify one another.
Unfortunately generations of Masons
have taken their obligation of secrecy to mean that they couldnít discuss the
fraternity outside the Masonic Hall at all.
leads to the problem that with no information coming from Masons, itís all too
easy for people to fill the holes with incorrect information or just plain lies,
particularly if they are eager to sell bookís, DVDís or gather subscribers to
their paranoid web sites. Like a game of Chinese Whispers these lies get
compounded as they are repeated.
the time of the Middle Ages, the goat has been the symbol of the Devil and
stories were told of witches who came riding into town on a goat to take part in
their blasphemous activities, later as Freemasonry gained in popularity its
detractors took the opportunity to accuse them of witchcraft and associate them
with the riding of the goat.
have been accused of using their own Satanic bible in their ceremonies, this
stems from a custom of many lodges to present a Master Mason with a
commemorative Bible upon completing the 3rd Degree
Ceremony. This bible is usually the 1611 translation of the King James version
and has additional pages to record the Master Masonís raising date and has
spaces for the Lodge Officers to sign. Copies of the bibles sometimes find their
way on to eBay and other auction sites.
Freemasonry is open to all men with
a belief in a Supreme Beings so it is perfectly natural for more than one holy
book to be open depending on the beliefs on the members of the lodge. The
combined name for these books is the Volume of the Sacred Law or VSL.
is that the ĎAll Seeing Eye on top of the unfinished pyramidí design on
the $1 bill is related to Freemasonry. In reality the bill was initially
designed by a committee of four men, only one of whom was a Freemason, Benjamin
Franklin. The eye was suggested by the artist Pierre du Simitiere.
design was modified by two other committees before being approved the unfinished
pyramid was added at the time and none of these final designers were
Through the Renaissance period the
eye within the triangle was used as a non denominational representation of God.
There is nothing sinister or occult about it.
Another area which is ripe for
misconception and myth is Freemasonry relationship with organised religion, a
lodge meeting is not an act of worship, a Lodge is not a church and Freemasonry
is not a religion. Masonís use prayers to open and close their meetings but so
do many Parliaments and Congressí throughout the world. Freemasons take oaths on
the Volume of Sacred Law but so do Judges, and military personnel even police
officers and boy scouts.
misconception is that Masonic Meetings are some sort of bizarre, secret worship
service, offered up to a Pagan god, a goat or to Satan himself. This ridiculous
notion is alleged to stem from the trials of the Knights Templar in the early
1300ís ce when they were tortured and force to confess to the worship of
Baphomet and these false confessions have been trotted out every since by those
that want to believe the salacious and unbelievable.
Freemasons and World Takeover
are a huge amount of Conspiracy theories linked to the Ancient and Accepted
Rites of Freemasonry. Most of these theories claim that Freemasonry exerts
control over politics at all levels. Perhaps the best-known example is the New
World Order theory, but there are others. These mainly involve aspects and
agencies of the United States government, but actual events are used to lend
credence to claims.
Freemasons are forbidden to discuss
politics in the Lodge, which makes it particularly hard to plot a world takeover
plan and with over a million men in nearly every country in the world in the
Craft, how would it be kept a secret?. So all in all if the Freemasons were
planning to take over the world we are really not very good at it.
Regular Freemasonry does not now,
nor has it ever aspired to be a world-dominating empire. Freemasonry is a
fraternal organization that simply seeks to improve men so that they may, in
turn, improve society around them. It makes good men better. But it does not
tell them how to do it, nor does it give them political, commercial or religious
of the conspiracy theories involving Freemasonry are:
Freemasonry is a Zionist front for world domination. An example of this is the
notorious and fraudulent document The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Freemasonry is controlled by the Illuminati, which refers to a purported
conspiratorial organization which acts as a shadowy power controlling world
affairs through present day governments and corporations.
the Victorian Serial Killer Jack the Ripper was a Freemason whose murders
resembled Masonic initiation rituals.
the September 11 attacks were part of a hidden war between Masonry (as
descendants of the Crusader Knights Templar) and Islam.
Freemasons intertwine various symbols and numerology into modern culture, such
as corporate logos.
the KKK, Skull and Bones, Orange Order and other organizations are intimately
tied to Freemasonry.
Freemasons were behind faked Apollo moon landings
Freemasons were behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, JFK, Diana,
Princess of Wales and even ex-Beatle John Lennon.
sinking of the Titanic was planned and carried out by Freemasons.
Freemasons were behind The French, American and Russian
past European Kings and Religious leaders distrusted Freemasonry because it
encouraged freedom of thought, of religion and expression exactly the kind of
thing they did not want their subjects to have.