Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Monday, October 30, 2006

History of Freemasonry

History of Freemasonry (from wikipedia)

The first Grand Lodge formed in Freemasonry was The Grand Lodge of England (GLE), founded in 1717, when four existing London Lodges met. This rapidly expanded into a regulatory body, which almost all English Lodges joined. From the 1750s onwards, two competing English Grand Lodges vied for supremacy - the "Moderns" (GLE) and "Ancients" (or Athol) Grand Lodges. They finally united in 1813 to form the present United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
Goose and Gridiron, Home to a London Lodge forming GLE
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Goose and Gridiron, Home to a London Lodge forming GLE

The Grand Lodges Scotland and Ireland were formed in the 1720s, and Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North America by the 1730s - with the English "Ancients" and the "Moderns" Grand Lodges and the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland chartering offspring ("daughter") Lodges, which in turn set up Provincial Grand Lodges. From the American Revolution, and again after the breach caused by "War of 1812", independent US Grand Lodges formed themselves within the State boundaries. Some thought was briefly given to organizing an over-arching "Grand Lodge of the United States", with George Washington as the first Grand Master, but the idea was short-lived. The various Grand Lodges did not wish to diminish their own authority by agreeing to such a body.[40]

The oldest jurisdiction on the continent of Europe, the Grand Orient de France (GOdF), was founded in 1728. Most English-speaking jurisdictions cut formal relations with the GOdF, however, around 1877.[20] The Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF)[41] is currently the only French Grand Lodge that is in regular amity with the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and its many concordant jurisdictions worldwide.

Originally, there was mutual recognition between UGLE and the Grand Orient de France. However, this was changed when the Grand Orient de France removed the term of the Great Architect of the Universe at their convention in 1877, following the request of the protestant clergy Fréderic Desmons who stated that Freemasonry is based on unconditional freedom of conscience and human solidarity; nobody is excluded because of its belief. The United Grand Lodge of England removed their recognition of the Grand Orient de France, and soon afterwards the majority of Grand Lodges around the world followed suit. A Schism was formed. Additionally, while the Grand Orient de France has no female Freemasons itself, it has mutual recognition with Co-Freemasonry, which admits both women and men as Freemasons. Female Co-Masons are allowed to attend the rituals of the GOdF. These are the main reason, why "regular" Grand Lodges consider "liberal" lodges to be irregular. "Regular" Freemasons are not allowed to take part of the rituals of "liberal" Lodges, although they are recognized by "liberal" lodges and made welcome if they do.

Due to the above history, Freemasonry is often said to consist of two branches not in mutual regular amity:

* the UGLE and concordant tradition of jurisdictions (termed Grand Lodges) in amity, and
* the GOdF, European Continental, tradition of jurisdictions (often termed Grand Orients) in amity.

In most Latin countries, the GOdF style of European Continental Freemasonry predominates, although in most of these Latin countries there are also Grand Lodges that are in regular amity with the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the worldwide community of Grand Lodges that share regular "fraternal relations" with the UGLE. The rest of the world, accounting for the bulk of Freemasonry, tends to follow more closely to the UGLE style, although minority variations exist.

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