One of the oldest fraternities in the western world, a Freemason is the common name for those initiated into the fraternity of Freemasonry. But, what elements are at work in ones decision to become a one?
From the What is Freemasonry ebook, a Freemason is a man who, in searching for life’s ineffable questions, finds his way into the company of fellow seekers. Comprised of men from every nation, races, social and economic level, all hold similar ideals and beliefs.
The uniting idea is a faith in the divine founded in the certitude in an afterlife. This “belief” is grounded by certain landmark tenants and virtues which ultimately lead in exploration of those invisible questions, leading ultimately to the betterment of all mankind.
The Illuminati is one of those well-known shadowy organization shrouded in myth and legend. They are credited with behind the scenes manipulations of world events and seen as the secret power that controls everything. The Illuminati has become the modern day catch all poster child of the political evils in the world. All of which is highly ironic, as the group historically was founded on May 1, 1776, with the goals of opposing superstitions, religious influence over public life, and the abuse of power by the state.
The Illuminati, along with other secret societies like the Freemasons, were seen as subversive in the late eighteenth century, due in large part to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Since then, the idea of the Illuminati has come to be associated with any secret organization that proclaims to have links with the original society, though in many cases these links are unsubstantiated.
Organized in a way very similar to that of Freemasonry, the Illuminati very likely used the Masons as a pattern for which to their model their own society. Indeed, some present day Illuminati groups claim to have origins far older than the historical 1776 account, using their connection to Freemasonry in their principal argument. Some groups even lay claim to connections that trace back to ancient Egypt and the Ra and Isis cults that thrived in antiquity.
It is difficult to trace the history of the Illuminati much of what it did was in secret. After the original society was outlawed, what was left, allegedly, went underground to continue its work in secret. These claims include involvement in the Napoleonic Wars and were considered, by some, as responsible for the French Revolution in 1789.
Many believe that the subversive goal of the Illuminati was to form a one world government. The Congress of Vienna was, according to these beliefs, brought about by the Illuminati who hoped to achieve their goal by forming a League of Nations. When Russia refused to join, however, their plan was foiled creating, supposedly, a great deal of animosity towards the Russian powers within the Illuminati rank and file.
The Illuminati are said to have devised a plan for there to occur three world wars over the course of the twentieth century that would lead, ultimately, to the formation of a one world government. In line with this theory, they orchestrated the tensions that led to World War 1. With the goal of destroying Imperial Russia and get revenge for the failed Congress of Vienna. World War II was likewise planned by the Illuminati to strengthen communism. There was to be a third war between political Zionists and the leaders of the Muslim world, which was to have weakened everyone to the point where a one world government was the only feasible option left. This makes for an interesting theory given the present state of geopolitical affairs at hand in the world today.
While this is, by far, the most sensational account of the Illuminati available, very little of it can be verified historically. What we do know is that the Illuminati were founded by Adam Weishaupt, who was raised in Bavaria and educated at Jesuit school graduating ultimately from the University of Ingolstadt in 1768 with a doctorate in law. Interestingly, the Jesuits have been accused of broader conspiracies, subversive methods and conspiratorial practices.
Weishaupt joined the Masonic lodge in Munich in 1777, the year after he founded the Illuminati. Once he joined, he reorganized the Illuminati in order to attract more Freemasons to its ranks. While the Masons brought more influential members into Weishaupt’s society, it also led to disagreements between his ideals and those new members. Seeing trouble and seizing an opportunity, the Bavarian government acted on disquiet at the prominence of members in governmental positions, stepped in and disbanded what was left of the Illuminati.
And still, this secret society was not unknown in the world. Letters from George Washington show that he was aware of the Illuminati’s plan to overthrow all current governments. Despite the large number of Masons among American’s founding fathers, Washington was confident that none of his allies were interested in pursuing that agenda. Washington wrote, on October 24, 1798,
…It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am.
The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, or that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects; and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned….
In a modern context, as a secret society, it is impossible to say if the Illuminati still exist today or not, due to their very nature. How do you disprove something that is said to not exist? There are many organizations that claim to have roots that trace back to the Illuminati though they currently exist under different names. The formation of a one world government does not, however, seem like such a far-fetched notion with increasing globalization and the strong presence of multinational businesses and governmental styled agencies including the IMF and the United Nations. But, how much of this is merely a perpetuation of the idea that a shadow society is calling the shots by orchestrating the maneuvering of progress. Perhaps in some respect, the ethos of the Illuminati is its legacy of its continuation in the modern world.
The use of Illuminati symbols in modern day culture helps to perpetuate the belief that the secret society is still operating in the shadows and controlling many of the world’s events. The obvious symbolism of the All-Seeing Eye is linked pervasively with the Illuminati as seen in many places, including the currency United States. The inclusion of on the currency is an obvious chicken before the egg analogy that conspiracy theorists have latched onto as an obvious and overt sign.
The pyramid, once again present on the American $1 bill, is said to represent the hierarchy of the order. It is left unfinished to show that the goals of the society have not yet been accomplished. The Bavarian society did indeed have pyramids displayed at their meetings though once again the same symbol is often attributed to the Masons.
The owl, too, is the symbol of the goddess Minerva who was the goddess of wisdom. The Bavarian Illuminati who had reached Minerval status (in between Novice and Illuminated Minerval) especially considered it a very important symbol and included it on their medallions.
Some contemporary pretenders find a more nefarious image suggesting links to the occult. In these instances, the pentagram is also sometimes said to be a symbol used by the Illuminati in the practice of black magic. But the Bavarian society had no occult practices that we know of in comparison to this modern day context. If a modern day Illuminati group claims the practice of magic, they most likely have no true connection to the original order.
The reality behind the Illuminati is as shadowy as its existence. Their secret nature, combined with the vast number of groups that claim lineage with them makes it impossible to trace their activities through history. Much of what is currently known about the Illuminati is little more than guesswork and greatly influenced by the sensational depiction of them in popular culture.
That they seek to form a one-world government, a one-world monetary system and a one-world religion.
The entertainment industry is controlled by the Illuminati.
Organizations like the United Nations, European Union, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, G-20 Economic Group, the World Court, NATO, Council on Foreign Relations, World Council of Churches and various multinational corporations are pawns of the New World Order.
Denver is an Illuminati world domination layover site to off the grid blacked out labor camps.
First-time author, Mason Pratt, brings to life a story of personal growth and mentorship. Read about the world’s best kept hidden and protected secrets. A story written as a fiction novel, with underlying truths.
Could it be true that there is a path that would lead a person to an unbelievable richness of growth and self-fulfillment as a member of a truly gifted society? Join Drew as he seeks the answer to this profound question.
Don’t we all, or at least most of us, want to see good triumph over evil? Isn’t there an inner self that seeks out the best for the individual and humankind at the same time? The only requirement to activate that which lies deep within us is to listen closely and quietly to where one is being nudged.
Is that God working within? Perhaps in many cases it is. But isn’t it possible that those who dig deep inside themselves can activate forces that the more superficial human cannot fathom?
If you had that little extra power, that higher ability coupled with a higher calling, could you not steer humankind to the preservation and protection of those working to make society a better place to live? At the same time would you not want those who possess such powers to subscribe to a code of virtues, ethics and morality?
And so starts the book Finding El Dorado with an ordinary man named Drew Wyatt who has a burning desire to make a difference in this world we call earth. That goodness which he has brought to the surface from the inner self and displayed publicly is what makes Wyatt attractive to a group called “Strykers.”
The Strykers see in Wyatt a good man that they can make better.
Finding El Dorado Sign of the Order. The triple tau is within a triangle and that is within a circle.
Wyatt tells them:
“I know it sounds a little hokey, but I think we owe a duty to others to make this a better place to live. Especially with the way the world is nowadays. I would like to think I had higher ideals and that my ‘destiny’ is somehow still out there. I do try to help out. I have volunteered at different places, I have given blood at the local Blood Bank and work with a local fraternal group in town working with schools and people down on their luck, but nothing permanent.”
The Strykers explain to Wyatt that:
“The name Stryker is new; we have gone under other names throughout history to stay relatively anonymous. The group goes public for a while every several hundred years or so for reasons I will explain later. However, to answer your question directly, the group has had many names depending on the time of history. We have been called in the last century Ghosts and Spirits when something unexplained happened, in early America we were called Medicine men and Shamans, in the middle ages we were called Magicians, Sorcerers, Wizards and Witches, in ancient countries of Greece, Egypt and Norway we were Seers and Soothsayers, in the ancient Middle East we were Oracles and Prophets, in India and the Far East we were called Genies and Viziers. We have been called Mages, Enchanters, Diviners, Conjurers, and Healers. The list goes on and on.”
“We are convinced that you have what it takes to join our order. You have the empathy to contribute as well as the temperament to control the power and responsibility to help society. Only one in thousand are considered and then only a small portion of them are accepted into the order.” His face suddenly became very serious, as he continued: “BUT…be aware that this group is difficult to join, dangerous to operate in and is a lifetime commitment.”
And that is the beginning of a new life for Drew Wyatt. First he must be interviewed, then initiated and finally he must complete 12 tasks to hone his skills as a Stryker and prove that he understands how to use his new powers correctly and wisely.
It is this story unfolding in which we see the development of an ordinary human being into an extraordinary one. It is a path that leads him to an unbelievable richness of growth and self-fulfillment?
Finding El Dorado Blue Rose
It is also a captivating story that pushes the limits of scientific study and breakthroughs. With the Blue Rose as their symbol Strykers are literally enabled to change the world we live in. They cannot eliminate evil but they can foster and guide the good so that there is order in the world, not anarchy.
While this is a fiction book it is also one with a message. Freemasons will instantly recognize the message that author Brother Mason Pratt is trying to convey. It is exactly the virtues of Freemasonry that Strykers operate with but unlike Freemasons, Strykers have a mission to be deeply involved in the inner workings of society, to preserve and protect society so that it continues onward and upward on its path.
This work can be a tremendous tool to explain how Freemasons think. For that reason, it is a great gift to those men deemed worthy of Masonic membership. It is very difficult for most Freemasons to explain their Craft. Through the use of fiction intertwined with philosophy and morality Pratt has written a book that will give deep understanding as to the nature of fraternal virtues and callings for all who read it. It is written for the Mason and the non-Mason alike.
As Pratt says about the Stryker movement:
Brother Mason Pratt
Their direction is accomplished by forming new leaders using several ancient arts and sciences that move their initiates past the petty struggles of money and power. In this knowledge, Drew discovers a ‘worldwide’ unity of humanity which is held together by these constructive ideals.
I call Finding El Dorado the “Atlas Shrugged” of fraternal societies.
I ran across recently an article written about Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan in Florida. It’s an interesting article and I will reprint it below with the author’s permission. It follows up on an article I posted Here on The Knights Of The Golden Circle. Be sure to link onto the author’s link to Knights Of The Golden Circle where you can view their first degree.
There is no doubt that the KKK infiltrated Southern Mainstream Freemasonry – more in some states and less in others. It’s a very hard claim to prove as both societies remain mum about their membership. And that’s not to say there wasn’t some infiltration in the North and West also but it was few and far between and didn’t last.
Today we still have the KKK in some Lodges and Grand Lodges mostly in some of the states of the old Confederacy. Every time I make this claim I hear from Brothers who say I found a Black Freemason in Mainstream South Carolina and I found 5 in Texas. Out of 40,000 to 80,000 member Grand Lodges a token half dozen or less of Blacks in these Mainstream Grand Lodges does not prove that these jurisdictions are not racist. While Georgia seems to have opened up a bit led by Gate City Lodge No 2 in Atlanta, I am still looking for my first Black Freemason in Mainstream West Virginia and Arkansas.
What it does go to show is that even in Grand Lodges controlled by White Supremists some local Lodges will raise Black men without retaliation because those in control are afraid of the negative publicity and the threat of civil legal action.
While some of this story employs the SWAG method, the real point to be made is that Freemasonry is radically different across the United States and that in the Beehive’s opinion is not a good thing. The Freemasonry in California is so different from the Freemasonry in West Virginia and the Freemasonry in New York is way different from the Freemasonry in Florida. In a highly mobile society this tends to be very disconcerting to Brothers who relocate.
After reading this article from the Laws of Silence below I hope you will have a better perspective on the subject.
The Sunshine State
In March 2011, I dissed Alex Jones’ The Order of Death documentary (Power, Corruption and Lies) for a variety of reasons, one of which is his claim that Albert Pike, whom Jones calls the leader of world Masonry, founded the KKK. Both claims are demonstrably false.
In the comments that followed, however, Terry Melanson and I discussed the links between Freemasonry, the Knights of the Golden Circle and the KKK. Whether the KGC could be described as “Masonic” is debatable, of course, but I’d have to say it was: three degrees, passwords, grips, hailing signs, etc. Freemasonry was, like it was for so many other groups, the KGC’s model, and membership was not mutually exclusive.
Sad to say, the same is true of the KKK. Whereas the original Klan had no degrees, the second group(now in archive), 1915-1944, had four and the ladies auxiliary, three. Freemasonry influenced its rituals and more than a few Klansmen were drawn from its ranks.
All this exposition is really just a prelude to the following two pictures. I mentioned the first in an April 2011 post about political vandalism, but at the time I’d forgotten the second. I don’t think the pictures prove anything beyond the fact that membership in a Masonic Lodge and the KKK were not mutually exclusive, but it will do little dissuade people from thinking one group was the arm of another.
Roy L. Cook, Klansman and Mason
Meet Roy L. Cook, Klansman and Mason, waving his freak flag high from beyond the grave in Oakdale Cemetery, Deland, Florida.
Ignoring these photos won’t make them go away, best to bring them out into the daylight. Personally I don’t see how one could belong to a group promoting universal fraternity and another white supremacy, but there you have it.
This KKK-sponsored page(now in archive) features a photo of Cook’s Klan headstone, but not the Masonic one; it does, however, feature the stone of Imperial Wizard James Colescott (1897-1950). Colescott led the Klan from 1939-1944. His stone bears the square and compasses. The page also pictures the stone of one Samuel Grady Roper (1891-1951)–with the square and compasses–and says it belongs to yet another Imperial Wizard. Trouble is, the Sam W. Roper (b. 1895) who led the Klan in 1949-1950 died in 1986 (after having retired as second director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation). So, given this blatant error, any info on the site must be weighed accordingly.
The Cook grave is located in Deland, Florida. Colescott died in Coral Gables. Roper, in Gainesville. All of them were contemporaries, Klansmen and finished their days in Florida. Which is not surprising; even a cursory glance at Klan history reveals that Florida has always had a particularly strong, and violent, Klan presence.
Florida, the Sunshine State!
(Gid and I are both Florida natives, we can thus rag on Florida with impunity!)
…Syfy will develop “Culture Shock With Tommy Lee,” in which the former Motley Crue member seeks to uncover and expose secret societies. Stern said that any show involving a celebrity was a tough sell to him, but that he was won over by Lee’s sincerity. “This comes from a very deep-seated, personal desire to uncover the truth behind these secret societies,” Stern said, “starting with his father’s membership in the Freemasons.”
From the Syfy channel programming announcement:
Culture Shock with Tommy Lee — This one-hour investigative travel show follows Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee as he attempts to uncover the various rituals, symbols and other mysteries of secret societies around the world. Tommy Lee will dig into the history behind the secret society, search out its meeting locations and members, and meet with former members to reveal the society’s rituals and deepest secrets. A production of ITV Studios America. Executive producers: Tommy Lee and Carl Stubner. Supervising producer: Jenna Barnes.
I don’t know about you, but nothing says investigative travel reporter like glam metal drummer Tommy Lee. Maybe its a play on words, a double entendre, as he exposes their “deepest secrets” – definitely culture shocking.
And didn’t Brad Meltzer try to do something like this on Decoded?
If the show hasn’t hooked you yet, maybe Lee’s bio of his early occult leanings will, especially as his bio reads that he lived in West Covina up through his High School years. It stands to reason that his father, whom he mentions was a Brother in a West Covina Lodge. And everybody knows just what a hot bed of occult activity West Covina is.
Hodapp makes some good observations as to the brand extension of the Syfy channel as the network to “Imagine Greater”, which must mean to imagine bad reality shows, but hey, maybe the show will be a good one, right? Perez Hilton has high hopes for what he’s calling Tommy Lee’s “Ghost Hunters…Rock N’ Roll edition”.
I would think that Lee won’t have far to go, as some of his closest friends sport some “secret society” tattoos in plain sight – just ask Dave Navarro to show you his elbows where he sports Aleister Crowley’s adaptation of the Unicursal Hexagram, one of the emblem/logos of Thelema. Even Lee sported his own esoteric tattoos, at one point wearing a backwards swastika tattoo on his arm – backward from the Nazi rendition which presumably stood for the crooked arm cross from ancient India used in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism religious practice.
In the same Hustler Magazine article, the interviewer asks Lee what his secret to being so lucky is. He answered:
I don’t know if there is one. I definitely don’t try. Maybe that’s the secret right there. I think I have a lust for life. When I wake up in the morning, I’m like: “What are we doing today?!” I still have that little kid thing. I’m not sure what that is. It might be my children’s fault. They keep me young. I still do all the shit that at some point most adults stop doing, like playing in the sandbox. They keep my lust for life alive.
Apparently playing with his kids wasn’t “secret” enough and now he needs to uncover and expose the secret societies that his father belonged to. If its anything like his other reality moments, I’m sure it’ll be all over the internet.
Symbolic or “Speculative Masonry” began to gradually develop during the XVI and XVII in Europe, particularly – though not exclusively – in the kingdoms of England and Scotland.
As the official history relates, on June 24, 1717, four Londonese Lodges gathered to celebrate the Summer Solstice, and to “constitute” the First Grand Speculative Lodge (“Grand Lodge of London”); But, not without the most indignant protest of The Grand Lodge of Operative Masons, which, denounced the “Speculative One” of being Illegitimate and Apocryphal, for many of its subordinate lodges and very leaders (including Anderson himself) had never been affiliated with the Craft – let alone initiated – as “Accepted Masons”.
From that moment on, however, the Grand Lodge of London became the creating source of numerous lodges around the world, which, in turn, were progressively creating their own national bodies (Grand Lodges or Grand orients in every country), all inter-linked by bonds of Solidarity and Mutual Recognition.
In September 1721 (four years later), as a result of the heterogeneity provoked by great errors that existed in all the copies of the Ancient Constitutions, and, at the same time, due to the expansion of Speculative Masonry to Europe and America, the assembly of The Grand Lodge of London charged Pastor James Anderson, chaplain of a subordinate Lodge, with “ordering the old constitutions with a new and better method”. Anderson finalized the assignment in three months and presented his finalized work at the festivity of Winter Solstice of that same year – being thereupon revised by a commission integrated by fourteen erudite masons, shorthly thereafter approved by the same group on March 25, 1722, and subsequently published by William Hunter the following year. In the third article of these “new constitutions”, there is a concrete clause prohibiting women to join the Order. In that sense, Anderson is very clear in stating such prohibition; But, he is rather indifferent in stating the motivations that drove him to such a pronouncement.
2. Emergence in Continental Europe:
Simultaneously, Speculative Masonry started gaining terrain in Continental Europe, mainly in France. In addition to the Irish Lodges that were constituted in Saint Germain in 1690, Free-Masonry attained much strength at the beginning of 1720, under the leadership of the Duke of Wharton, and, posteriorly, under that of Sir John MacLean. The first “londonese styled” election, of which there is historical constancy, was that of Charles Radcliffe, Count of Dervenwater, in 1736, as “Grand Master of the Most Ancient and Most Illustrious Society of Franc-Masons in the Kingdom of France”. The Duke of Anton was the first French Grand Master of the Order in 1738. Later came the Grand Mastership of Louis de Borbon, Count of Claremont and Abbot of Saint Germain from 1743 to 1771, whom at one point was even called “Grand Master of All Regular Masonic Lodges in the Kingdom of France”.
The first french translation of the “Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of London”, better known historically as: “Anderson’s Constitutions”, was made by the Marquis de la Tierce in 1742, twenty years after its first publication in London. In his translation he mentions:
“The famous festivities of Ceres in Eleusis, of Isis in Egypt, of Minerva in Athens, of Urania in Phoenicia, and of Diana in Sitia, had much in common with ours. The celebration of these mysteries contained clear vestiges of the ancient religion of Noah and other patriarchs; they concluded their ceremonies with a feast and libations during which, at the beginning, no one knew of excesses or intemperances, until later when the pagans fell into them gradually. The source of these infamies, was the admission of people from one gender and the other at the nocturnal assemblies of the institution. It was to prevent these abuses that women were excluded from the Order”.
This, could be interpreted as either a tacit or veiled admission that indeed women were admitted to work in Lodge in the past; as a rather poor and quasi-baseless argument to discriminate against women; or, as a political pretext – as the very de la Tierce points out – to keep Queen Elizabeth from joining the Order and using it to her benefit, as she so did with other guilds.
It is possible that due to this draconian transition between the established observance of the real constitution of the Grand Lodge of London and the reissuing of its new general norms (“Anderson’s Constitutions”) which lasted approximately six years, the lodges under its jurisdiction worked without rituals and unifying norms during the first half of the XVIII century, and this was, of course, reflected in the first Speculative or Symbolic Masonic Lodges of Continental Europe, many of which, due to their involuntary or voluntary disavow of Anderson’s Constitutions, welcomed the initiation of women.
3. Pseudo-Initiatic Androgynous Societies of Masonic Appearance:
In the Pre-Revolutionary French Society, there were many organizations created by the growing Bourgeoisie that participated in the process of creating the “Civil Court” which came to gradually substitute the “Imperial Court”; these organizations were circles, clubs, cafes, academies, literary societies, scientific societies, spiritualist societies, alchemical societies, chambers, halls of lecture and singing, etc. The vast majority of these societies were not only bi-gender, but, were also sponsored by women of great economical, social and political power – mainly the “philosophical halls”, a world of initiates that was dominated by the “Court of Seals” of the Duchess of Maine (1676 – 1753), Director ad vitam of the “Order of the Bee”; the hall of the Marquee of Lambert (1647 – 1733); the “Bureau of the Spirit” of Claudine Guerin de Tencin (1681 – 1749); the hall of the Marquee of Deffand (1697 – 1780); the “Kingdom” of Maria Teresa Geoffrin (1699 – 1777) and the “Philosophical Hall” of Julia de Lespinasse (1732 – 1776).
The pseudo-initiatic societies denominated as: “Androgynous” or “Hermaphrodite” that appeared along the XVIII century, have their origins in like organizations created at the end of Louis XIV’s rule, and other social entities of more profane roots where the openness of membership to both genders was not only normal, but, encouraged. These organizations can be divided in two groups:
Secret Societies which were gallant, licentious, fun-seeking and recreational, platonic and charitable.
“Orders” that parodied Free-Masonry and sought to become their competitors and/or substitutes – something that they did so well, that between 1730 and 1740 public powers/officials mistook them for actual Masonic Lodges in a number of occasions. Among these “Orders” were: the “Con-Fraternity of Figs” in Vienna, the “Order of Liberty“, “Order of Felicity“, and “Order of Anthropocentrism” in France. The “Order of Felicity” proliferated and got to be sponsored by high personages of French politics, economics and society at large. On the other hand, the “Order of Anthropocentrism” took its name from maritime language, a fact, which, in the eyes of the profane world, got them often misidentified with Masonic Lodges of naval origin – aside from having passwords and methods of recognition which made reference to bodily parts of men and women, and, that, as such, had erotic, sexual and licentious connotations.
The “Order of Knights and Nymphs of the Rose” was also famous; its membership was mainly constituted of aristocrats and well known free-masons, such as: the Duke of Chartres (then future Duke of Orleans) who was also Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France.
The “Order of Knights and Ladies of Perseverance” equally pseudo-initiatic, but, less “loud”, was created by notable figures such as: the daughter of Stanislav II, Augustus Poniatowski, Last King of Poland, Elizabeth Lubomirska and her daughters, the Countesses Rzewuska and Potocka, all members of the Masonic Lodge of Adoption “Catherine the Northern Star” which was conjoined with its male counterpart of the same name, constituted under the auspices of the Grand Orient of France, and propelled by Ignatius Potocki. Other notables who held membership in this Lodge of Adoption were the Duke of Chartress, the Count of Artois (future Charles X), the Prince of Ligne, Charles Joseph, future Marshall of Russia, the Austrian Duke of Lauzum. Knight Hospitallier of the Order, and a number of prestigious intellectuals.
During the kingdoms of Louis XV and Louis XVI appeared other pseudo-initiatic organizations of Masonic appearance, such as: the “Order of Medusa“, the “Extirpators of Palisades“, the “Knights of the Dove“, the “Order of the Green Apple“, etc.
Since 1730, aside from these more or less “light societies”, in all of Europe we are able to find fraternities (bi-gender or not) which, amused themselves parodying Masonic secrets and rituals out of mere jealousy, contempt, rivalry and/or imbecile humor.
The Order of Mopses (or Order of the Pug) is perhaps the most famous of the aforementioned organizations which used to mocker Free-Masonry. It was born in Strasburg in 1738, after the official prohibition of Masonry emitted by the Empress Mary Therese, as a consequence of the Papal Bull “In Eminenti”. It was presided by Wilhelmina, sister of Frederick II, King of Prussia. With the exception of the Grand Mistress Ad Vitam, all the Sisters may occupy all the “stations”. In every Lodge, every position or office has two titleholders, a man and a woman. Every six months the presidency of the Lodge is alternated between a Man and a Woman, and their ceremony of Initiation is carried out in accordance with the Inductee’s gender, be it by male or female officers.
It was within that context, in 1736, that Andre Michelle, Knight of Ramsay pronounced his over-misogynous speech before the General Assembly of Masonic Lodges in Paris, and which he later repeated in 1737. His public address had the eventually-failed objective of causing Free-Masonry to be under the control of the Monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church, in order to counterattack the incredulity and socio-political discredit in which the Craft had fallen, due to the turmoil and disorder provoked in considerable measure by these Pseudo-Initiatic Institutions of Masonic Resemblance and, of course, by the misconduct of actual Free-Masons.
All this agitation caused a great deal of tension between the Puritan and Orthodox Masonic Jurisdictions of England and their French counterparts. From then on, the English Free-Masons demonstrated an unbelievable efficiency in generating tidal-waves of anti-feminine literature aimed at justifying the non-admittance of women in Lodge. They had three basic arguments which had been tangibly proven in France, at the hands of the previously referenced “Mixed Pseudo-Initiatic Orders”. Such arguments were: the congenital Feminine Indiscretion which made the respect to Masonic secrecy Impossible; the disorders, conflicts and eventual loss of harmony that could be provoked by the “Beautiful Gender” in a Masculine Lodge; and the risks of being accused of Immorality, Lasciviousness and Libertinism by civil and ecclesiastical authorities.
From that moment forward, one of the most colossal anti-feminist campaigns was launched in all of Europe. These campaigns were clearly manifested in Literature, Music, Theater, and, of course, the Media… What’s new?!
In reaction to this, in 1774 the Grand Orient of France legitimized the Lodges of Adoption (Bi-Gender and Feminine Masonic Lodges). Pierre Louis Gouillard Aine, Parliament’s Attorney, Dean of the Faculty of Law in Paris, Royal Auditor, Officer of the Grand Orient of France and Venerable Master of Sophia Lodge prepared a document containing numerous points in defense of Female Free-Masons. Some of those remarks and arguments were:
“The association of both genders is founded upon Natural Law and one cannot separate from this Principle without rebelling against the tenets of this Immutable Law”;
” What a most satisfying spectacle to see a Lodge formed by Brothers and Sisters animated by the desire of practicing the fundamental virtues of our Institution”;
“Which Philosopher – even the most austere – can refuse the pleasure of contemplating in the same place the two most perfect artworks that were ever sculpted by the hand of Nature?!”
Then, he gives historical proof that indeed Women are capable of safe-keeping the most delicate secrets:
“… when being admitted in many of the Mysteries of Antiquity, like those of the Druids, to whom they were Deservers of all Confidence and Respect, even more so than that which they professed toward men, by having been assigned to the office and dignity of Prophetesses and Sages that were considered the elite of the nation …”
He continues on advocating for the innocence of Sisters in Lodge:
“Some of our Brothers, oblivious to the principles of Art and under false pretenses of creating a Lodge of Adoption, have gathered incorrigible females with whom to abandon themselves in orgies and the most uncontrollable excesses of libertinism; But, precisely because we have had the disgrace of nourishing in our bosom those unworthy monsters that I call “men” (for I wish not to call them Masons), these spurious brothers, abusing a title of which they are totally unworthy of, have succumbed to the most execrable superfluities; Can we actually think that the solution is to throw women out of our Temples?, No! Undoubtedly what must be done is to take measures against the perpetrators of these transgressions”.
He then suggested a number of regulative measures to stop the abuses in the Lodges of Adoption – such as the following two:
“To summon, by consent of the majority of the Brethren, to participation in all meetings and special gatherings, which will be indistinctively presided by either the Venerable Master, or one of the Wardens of the Adopting Lodge”;
“Scrupulous Examination of the conduct and state of all female candidates”.
And with this final comment, our French Brethren voted in favor of admitting women into our Order:
“… profiting from lessons of Wisdom that shall be vividly engraved in the hearts of men, when imparted by an amiable mouth which by the sweetness of its accents, shall make the austerity of precepts disappear, and will force us to think of ourselves and to practice virtue …”
From this very moment, many masculine lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of France began to auspice Lodges of Adoption, and, at the same time, to enrich the arguments in defense of Free-Co-Masons (Women Free-Masons), thus creating the Perfect Unification of Human Energies and Labors toiling for the material, moral, spiritual and intellectual progress of Humanity.
All these events gave full or partial pretext or foundation to the “surfacing” or “devising” of an Anglo-Saxon System of Masonry which calls itself “REGULAR” and refuses to “recognize” others, and a “LIBERAL” F-R-E-E-MASONRY, integrated by all those other Sovereign Grand Bodies and Jurisdictions that are “Irregular” in the eyes of our English Styled/Controlled Masonry — An absolute contraposition which seems irremediable still in our days.
Reprinted by permission of Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr.
While listening to an alarming expose on the declining of membership of “Regular” American Masonry and its apparent inexorable demise, I could not help to wonder if that which has been prohibited, the admission of Women into our Order, is not precisely what and whom we need to insure our survival, and, most importantly, to genuinely live up to our Sacred Principle of Equality. As I gathered my thoughts later on that night, I began to gradually immerse myself in my humble essential library, and proceeded to read, compile, and eventually mold my sentiments and commentaries on paper. The following essay is the result of various sleepless nights that began that same evening.
The eagerness to know the Self and his/her Objective and Predominant Surrounding, in order to achieve Self-Transcendence, is one of the peculiar characteristics of human feeling, thinking and acting.
The perennial problems that Humanity has endeavored to resolve since its very origins, are all alike in their roots, though their solutions have been adapted to “the spirit of times”, that is to say, to the appropriate conditions of a particular civilization in a determined time and place.
Since immemorial times, there have existed ritualistic practices exclusively for men, for women, and/or for both.
Nowadays, it has become frequent to observe the rediscovery or resurfacing of Ancient Schools of Thought and Initiatic Organizations engaged in new ways of understanding and implementing (esoterically and exoterically) the Traditional Science. Among these organizations and schools, Organized Free-Masonry distinguishes itself as the most important of all Initiatic Institutions in Western Europe, America and parts of Asia and Africa.
All these aspects – without prejudice to others that are also worthy of consideration – should be kept into account when asking ourselves and others the questions: “What is Masonry?”, and, “What is Mixed Masonry or Co masonry?”.
As we now begin to reflect, with the purpose of building for ourselves and others the most objective possible vision of what Free-Masonry is in general, and Mixed Free-Masonry or Co masonry in particular, we must try to answer, with the utmost honesty, the following three questions:
Have there existed initiatic organizations of mixed and feminine orientation in ancient times, and, if so, did they actively participate in the Art of Architecture?
Has there existed a Mixed and/or a Feminine Speculative Masonry, at least since its alleged “official birth” in 1717, and, if so, how has it evolved?
Is it possible, at this point in time, to conceive a Free-Masonry integrated by Lodges of Women, of Men, or, of Mixed Gender among which there can exist a broad respect to their particular preferences of initiatic realization, while, at the same time, having full conscience that they ALL are part of an unique and indivisible entity known as: Universal Free-Masonry?
A Curious Mythology:
Ever since humans left behind their nomadic conditions and became sedentary, they started to manifest their attitude toward advancement and their aptitude for construction. In fact, Construction is one of the most evident characteristic signs of Civilization in all epochs and cultures; However, with respect to determining its objective origins, History is irremediably mixed with Myth, arriving sometimes to some unsuspected extremes.
Charles Bernardin (1860-1939), notable Masonic Historian and member of the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient of France, was able to compile and prove the existence of 206 authors who contended and presented 39 divergent opinions on the origin of Masonry. Amongst these opinions, the most admiration-worthy are the following:
At the very beginning of “his constitutions”, Anderson himself asserts that the first Mason was Adam, and that the Great Architect of the Universe inscribed in his heart the Liberal Sciences, and, before all, Geometry, fundament of Masonry and Architecture, which, he later taught to his descendants.
Fifteen of the thirty nine Masonic Historians elaborated on the existence of a Lodge at the East of Paradise. Some contend that at the sixth day of the Creation, the issue of women in Lodge was addressed and approved at the Celestial Grand Lodge. Others state that the First Mason was indeed Adam, and from that standpoint Jean Marie Ragon de Bettignies (1781-1866) concluded: “… If our father Adam labored in Lodge, he could not have done it with anyone else, but, with his woman …”.
Elian Brault stated, rather persuasively: “… Given that the Serpent of Genesis approached Eve first, to have her taste the fruit of The Tree of Life, Science and Death, it was Eve evidently the First Initiated, whom, in turn, initiated Adam …”
For his own part, Marc Bedarride sustains that the Patriarch Jabel, son of Lamech, was the first who conceived the felicitous idea of accepting a woman in Lodge. He chose as Grand Mistress his sister Noema, daughter of Lamech and Sella, and sister of Tubalcain. Since the age of seventeen, Noema demonstrated having the most outstanding qualities, by being honest, civilized, gracious, affable, amiable, kind and beautiful. Jabel surrounded himself with other illustrious sisters to help him with his labors – having had their first Lodge meeting at a plain field surrounded by twelve palms, and under a pure and serene sky where Peace, Concord and Harmony reigned.
When some poorly informed people – Masons and Non-Masons – blindedly reject the possibility of a Woman being eligible and/or worthy of Masonic Initiation, whether it be in a Feminine Lodge or a Mixed-one, one cannot help to “sketch” a light smile; for it is clear, even by the accounts and terms of Profane History, that women, in their individual capacities or through their membership in diverse guilds of spinners, weaveresses, carvers, upholsterers, sculptresses, etc. have taken active participation in the Divine Art of Architecture.
Some evidential facts that support the above statement are the following:
The Carpenters Guild of Norwich, a guild that dates from 1375, and to which the Masons of York belonged, recollect that: “Every year, the Saturday following the Ascension, the Brothers and Sisters get together in a determined place to recite their prayers in honor of the Holy Trinity, in favor of the Holy Church, for Peace and Union of the country, and for the repose of the souls of all defunct, not only Fore-Brothers and Fore-Sisters, but, all friends and Christians… If a member of our Guild dies, his/her Brothers and Sisters should pray for him/her and celebrate a mass for the peaceful state of his/her soul”…
In the archives of York Lodge Number 236, which belonged to the Ancient Grand Lodge of England, in the Orient of York whose origin is immemorial, there is a Manuscript dated in 1693 and transcribed on a lightly mutilated parchment, by which we find that, during the reception of a neophyte in the 17th century: “One of the Elders picks-up the Book, and He or She who is to be made a Mason places his/her hand on the Book, and then the instructions are given”.
Another fact comes to contradict the exaggerated misogyny of a vast number of Masons, Grand Jurisdictions and Concordant Bodies: There is a great feminine name, among those “admirable cathedral builders”, that of Sabine de Pierrefonds, daughter of Herve de Pierrefonds, better known by the Germanic name of Erwin Von Steinbach. Sabine participated in the construction of the cathedral of Strasburg, and also sculpted some of the most prominent statues of Notre Dame in Paris. Evidently, however, the construction of these cathedrals, which, usually took up to a couple of centuries to be built, required more than one Master of the Work, and it is highly probable that Sabine de Pierrefonds was not the only woman who toiled in these labors.
On another hand, among those possible feminine receptions of “Accepted Masons”, like those narrated by ancient medieval “Duties” and “Charges”, we can include those of the Masters’ wives, since these “Bylaws” make an invariable reference to them both:
“Thou shall not reveal the secrets or projects of thy Master or thy Mistress…”
(Ancient Constitutions of Franc-Masons, taken from a manuscript written 500 years ago by J. Roberts, Warwick-Lane, 1722, Apprentices’ Bylaws, 1,4,5,7)
The publication of this manuscript was prior to that of “Anderson’s Constitutions”, and it has been found to be more trust-worthy, in light of its antiquity and uniqueness – since in 1724 (seven years after the creation of the alleged “First Grand Lodge”) Anderson simply made a synthesis of various documents, some of which were even second hand; whereas in the case of our aforementioned manuscript, we are in the presence of an unique and complete document. And with respect to the evoked “Mistress”, we can all admit that Sabine de Pierrefonds, artist and sculptress, had to, at the same time, form/train Apprentices and Companions (Fellow crafts). Later on, in due time, the benefits of this Feminine Initiation into “Accepted Free-Masonry” were extended to a female monarch: Queen Anne Stewart, Daughter of James II, who ruled between 1702 and 1714.
I never know where I’ll end up in my meandering on the web. At times (most times in fact) its a journey down a labyrinthine path to no where, the proverbial Alice through the looking glass, only to end up behind the mirror.
But today, in only a short time, I stumbled across two sites that seemed to be the flip side of the same coin, the yin to the yang, the mercury and salt to the philosophers stone.
You get the picture, opposites to the same idea.
Their paring may seem like strange bedfellows, but in the end, what they both represent are studies into the mechanics of the fraternity. Essentially two non-Masonic groups that at some level study Freemasonry, or its practice.
The OVN journal is a clearing house for all things Masonic in an academic standing, from paper calls, to forum and symposia. This is a bit different from what most American Masons are accustomed to, as Freemasonry in Europe has percolated into academia as a path of study as it relates to civil society. As they say of our European neighbors, they do things a little “different” than what we here in the states are familiar with, which is this case is a good thing. So, if you have an interest in the academic approach to Freemasonry, or have been considering a Master or PhD program, perhaps this is an area of study that you would want to explore here in the U.S., and the OVN Journal woudl be a good place to start.
On the other side of that looking glass, I stumbled onto the blog Mysterious Societies which was an all things conspiracy, secret, occult, and, well, mysterious. It is not an academic approach, more like a gad-fly sensational version with images of the pope making devil horns, Nazi occult New World Order fear, lost tomb of Jesus Masonic connections, and invisibility with Masonic symbols. I think you get the point.
Now, you may be saying that this is far from a Masonic research site, but as with anything written and published, it enters into our consciousness and exists, whether we agree with it or not. So, by its existence, it becomes a parallel line of research. The point for consideration is that just as the OVN exists, so to does its obverse exist in the Mysterious Societies. And at times, both can lead you down interesting paths.
And, like Alice, once you start down these paths, you never know where you’ll end up.