The Real History of the Freemasons?

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The Real History of the Freemasons?

#1  Postby galexander » May 20, 2020 8:59 pm

The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. However since today most nation states across the globe are now republics and that democracy is now considered the norm, someone else has taken Freemasonry over. Today Freemasonry very much represents the status quo with high ranking aristocrats running things, i.e. the complete opposite of what they used to be and almost a case of The Empire Strikes Back.

The old society they belonged to was very much ruled over by emperors and the church, whereas they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal. Of course back in the good old days such views were not only frowned upon by the emperor and churchmen alike, but they were often considered very much illegal.

It is accepted that Freemasonry had its origins in the Age of Enlightenment. As Wikipedia says, "Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries."

Take for example the Bavarian Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt. This group of progressive intellectuals and politicians sought to undermine the power of the church until the authorities took action and banned them. As Wikipedia says, "The society's goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power."

Freemasonry had apparently played a part in the French Revolution. As Wikipedia says, "After the French Revolution, the Jesuit Augustin Barruel wrote that Freemasons had actively prepared the 1789 revolution, which has been used to back theories of a Masonic plot. This thesis was often reprised later, notably during the French Third Republic, by Catholic authors (using it to oppose both the Republic and Freemasonry) and by Freemasons (so as to reinforce their pro-Republican stance and their positive image with the Republican government)." (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Freemasonry_in_France#First_Empire)

A number of the founding fathers of the United States of America were also Freemasons. As the Encyclopedia Masonic admits, "Many instrumental figures of the American Revolution (1765 - 1783) were Freemasons. Perhaps the most well-known Freemason American Revolutionaries are George Washington, the nation's first President, and Benjamin Franklin." (Source: https://nmasonic.com/wiki/freemasonry/history-of-freemasonry/the-american-revolution-and-freemasonry/)

You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a sword:

Image

However after the changeover when the status quo took over, we see similar Masonic symbolism repeated such as on this UK George VI 1946 Victory postage stamp:

Image

What are everyone's opinions about this?
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#2  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 20, 2020 9:02 pm

galexander wrote:
You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a sword

None of those originate with or are exclusively Freemason.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#3  Postby Hermit » May 20, 2020 9:29 pm

galexander wrote:The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. ...they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal

Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#4  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 20, 2020 9:40 pm

Hermit wrote:
galexander wrote:The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. ...they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal

Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

Must be some quiet sessions then....
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#5  Postby Svartalf » May 20, 2020 11:02 pm

Hermit wrote:
galexander wrote:The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. ...they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal

Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.

Got any serious sources that freemasonry really goes back to the middle ages? All I've seen up to now is undocumented claims by the masons themselves.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#6  Postby Hermit » May 21, 2020 4:10 am

Svartalf wrote:
Hermit wrote:
galexander wrote:The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. ...they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal

Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.

Got any serious sources that freemasonry really goes back to the middle ages? All I've seen up to now is undocumented claims by the masons themselves.

To be honest, I could not be bothered to look for serious sources because the fact that Freemasons originated from medieval stone masons' guilds seems pretty uncontroversial to me, but if you feel sufficiently curious to follow up on the topic, you could worse than to dig into the links provided in the Wikipedia's article conveniently titled History of Freemasonry.

That out of the way, let me ask: What do you think of galexander's hypothesis regarding original Freemasons, their aims and their objectives?
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#7  Postby Svartalf » May 21, 2020 9:09 am

Have dug into the wiki, and some beyond, though I'd need access to the big books and other sources to make further checks, as, in the time I've been delving in the matter, I've yet to find serious evidence of a continuous and uniterrupted transmission of tradition and heritage, rather than a new bunch of occultists pillaging the discourse and trappings of older and vanished structures to build themselves a golden legend and attributing prestious forebears to themselves so as to cow their detractors with a variant of the argument of authority.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#8  Postby Hermit » May 21, 2020 9:38 am

Svartalf wrote:Have dug into the wiki, and some beyond, though I'd need access to the big books and other sources to make further checks, as, in the time I've been delving in the matter, I've yet to find serious evidence of a continuous and uniterrupted transmission of tradition and heritage, rather than a new bunch of occultists pillaging the discourse and trappings of older and vanished structures to build themselves a golden legend and attributing prestious forebears to themselves so as to cow their detractors with a variant of the argument of authority.

This page may get you started on your journey of discovery, but to put it frankly, in my mind the hypothesis offered in the opening post is a load of bullshit regardless of how far a continuous freemasonry can be traced back. As mentioned in post #3 the current rules and structure of the fraternity alone make that abundantly clear.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#9  Postby galexander » May 21, 2020 9:51 am

Hermit wrote:Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.


So the Freemasons originated from medieval trade guilds AND the Age of Enlightenment AND the medieval Knights Templar?

No sorry. You are quoting pseudo-history and the contemporary Freemasons have plenty of it.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.


Again you are referring to latter day Freemasonry and not the original Enlightenment Freemasons.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#10  Postby galexander » May 21, 2020 10:05 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
galexander wrote:
You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a swordd

None of those originate with or are exclusively Freemason.


Managed to find a better image of the coin. You can clearly see the word LIBERTY written on the cap itself:


Image


You say none of these symbols are exclusively Freemasonic, but are you referring to the individual symbols themselves in isolation or all of them together as a group? I suggest all of them together as a group do look fairly Freemasonic.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#11  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 21, 2020 10:13 am

galexander wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
galexander wrote:
You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a swordd

None of those originate with or are exclusively Freemason.


Managed to find a better image of the coin. You can clearly see the word LIBERTY written on the cap itself:

What part of "None of those originate with or are exclusively Freemason" do you not understand?

galexander wrote:
You say none of these symbols are exclusively Freemasonic, but are you referring to the individual symbols themselves in isolation or all of them together as a group? I suggest all of them together as a group do look fairly Freemasonic.

Both and they're not.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#12  Postby Svartalf » May 21, 2020 10:29 am

Hermit wrote:
Svartalf wrote:Have dug into the wiki, and some beyond, though I'd need access to the big books and other sources to make further checks, as, in the time I've been delving in the matter, I've yet to find serious evidence of a continuous and uniterrupted transmission of tradition and heritage, rather than a new bunch of occultists pillaging the discourse and trappings of older and vanished structures to build themselves a golden legend and attributing prestious forebears to themselves so as to cow their detractors with a variant of the argument of authority.

This page may get you started on your journey of discovery, but to put it frankly, in my mind the hypothesis offered in the opening post is a load of bullshit regardless of how far a continuous freemasonry can be traced back. As mentioned in post #3 the current rules and structure of the fraternity alone make that abundantly clear.

As to that, I have to agree... Of course, it is my impression that masons are some of the top bullshitters on the heap, regardless of their true origins. but it is certain that their existence predates the premises of OP, hence voiding them... even if the organisation in its modern form is much, much more recent than they would have us believe.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#13  Postby Hermit » May 21, 2020 10:29 am

galexander wrote:
Hermit wrote:Bullshit from top to tail. The original freemasons were basically medieval trade guilds of stonemasons. Notions of republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism lay several centuries in the future.

Among Masonic rules:
A belief in a supreme being and scripture is a condition of membership.
All Lodges shall display a volume of scripture with the square and compasses while in session.
There is no discussion of politics or religion.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.


So the Freemasons originated from medieval trade guilds AND the Age of Enlightenment AND the medieval Knights Templar?

No sorry. You are quoting pseudo-history and the contemporary Freemasons have plenty of it.

As for 'equality', few organisations are as strictly and rigidly hierarchical as the Masonic one.


Again you are referring to latter day Freemasonry and not the original Enlightenment Freemasons.

1) The enlightenment Freemasons were not the original Freemasons.
2) You have not provided one scintilla of evidence to support your hypothesis that the enlightenment freemason lodges were about fostering republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism. In order to show you were right you'll have to furnish documentary evidence. Providing a list of prominent Freemasons who were in favour of such notions won't do the job. George IV, Frederick the Great, Adolf Frederick, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel were Freemasons during the Enlightenment period.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#14  Postby Svartalf » May 21, 2020 10:32 am

galexander wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
galexander wrote:
You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a swordd

None of those originate with or are exclusively Freemason.


Managed to find a better image of the coin. You can clearly see the word LIBERTY written on the cap itself:


Image


You say none of these symbols are exclusively Freemasonic, but are you referring to the individual symbols themselves in isolation or all of them together as a group? I suggest all of them together as a group do look fairly Freemasonic.

You know, that imagery harks back to the French revolution, especially the freedman's cap, though Republicans (os opposed to Royalists) would also use the law and justice imagery of the law scroll, scales and sword. Oh, and the fact that the cap is surrounded by sunrays is a reference to religious imagery, in old churches (I don't know how common it is in more recent ones), there is such a sunrayed crucifix above the high altar, and in French that particular ornament is called a Glory.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#15  Postby galexander » May 21, 2020 3:53 pm

Hermit wrote:You have not provided one scintilla of evidence to support your hypothesis that the enlightenment freemason lodges were about fostering republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism. In order to show you were right you'll have to furnish documentary evidence. Providing a list of prominent Freemasons who were in favour of such notions won't do the job. George IV, Frederick the Great, Adolf Frederick, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel were Freemasons during the Enlightenment period.


You claim I have not produced "one scintilla of evidence" and yet not only have I supplied historical evidence but in addition to that four well sourced quotations and two revealing historical images. How could you have missed this?

Okay, there seems to have been some historical aristocratic patronage of Freemasonry during the Enlightenment, but then that was probably because the takeover was already in progress at the time. It's a classic method where a high ranking member of the establishment (and you have to remember they all work as a team) offers their benign patronage to a lodge and then that lodge can be technically classed as a "sell-out". Such a method offers a very real alternative to open censure.

The following quotation from the Wikipedia page on the Bavarian Illuminati states, "The Illuminati—along with Freemasonry and other secret societies—were outlawed through edict by Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria with the encouragement of the Catholic Church, in 1784, 1785, 1787, and 1790. In the following several years, the group was vilified by conservative and religious critics who claimed that they continued underground and were responsible for the French Revolution. "

With this one quote we are told two important things:

1) That a high ranking member of the establishment historically banned both the Illuminati AND Freemasonry throughout all of Bavaria.
2) That Freemasons were blamed at that time for causing the French Revolution which was Republican.

Do you still continue to claim that I have not produced any evidence?
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#16  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 21, 2020 4:21 pm

galexander wrote:
Hermit wrote:You have not provided one scintilla of evidence to support your hypothesis that the enlightenment freemason lodges were about fostering republicanism, equality, fraternity and secularism. In order to show you were right you'll have to furnish documentary evidence. Providing a list of prominent Freemasons who were in favour of such notions won't do the job. George IV, Frederick the Great, Adolf Frederick, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel were Freemasons during the Enlightenment period.


You claim I have not produced "one scintilla of evidence" and yet not only have I supplied historical evidence

You haven't. You have provided historical sources in the form of images. You've not demonstrated those sources to be evidence for your hypothesis. You just asserted they were.
You also provided a link to a general wiki page about the Freemasons, which isn't an scientific source, much less evidence.
In fact that wiki page only mentions that a couple of Catholic priests asserted that the FM were involved with the Revolution.
People who'd have had a vested interest in polemics against the Revolution and secret societies like the FM.
The only other written source you supplied was the FM encyclopedia which makes no claims of a link between the ideals of the American Revolution and the FMs. In fact it explicitely notes that there were FMs on the opposing side as well, loyal to king George.

galexander wrote:
Okay, there seems to have been some was historical aristocratic patronage of Freemasonry during the Enlightenment,

FIFY.

galexander wrote:but then that was probably because the takeover was already in progress at the time.

That's just backwards reasoning. You're trying to fit any contradicting piece of fact to suit your preconceived conclusion.

galexander wrote:
The following quotation from the Wikipedia page on the Bavarian Illuminati states,

1. Wikipedia is not a reliable source.
2. The illuminati =/= Freemasons.


galexander wrote:
With this one quote we are told two important things:

1) That a high ranking member of the establishment historically banned both the Illuminati AND Freemasonry throughout all of Bavaria.

Which demonstrates nothing about the true nature of the FMs.

galexander wrote:
2) That Freemasons were blamed at that time for causing the French Revolution which was Republican.

And the Jews were blamed for the economic poverty of Germany in the 1930s. Doesn't mean either of those groups actually were responsible.

galexander wrote:
Do you still continue to claim that I have not produced any evidence?

Yes. None that supports your actual hypothesis at least.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#17  Postby galexander » May 21, 2020 7:19 pm

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
galexander wrote:
Do you still continue to claim that I have not produced any evidence?

Yes. None that supports your actual hypothesis at least.


Okay Thomas Eshuis, answer me this one question and this one question only.

If the Freemasons were entirely neutral, as you say, why were they banned throughout all of Bavaria alongside of the Illuminati unless something was going on there?

I patiently and respectfully await your answer.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#18  Postby Thomas Eshuis » May 21, 2020 7:23 pm

galexander wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
galexander wrote:
Do you still continue to claim that I have not produced any evidence?

Yes. None that supports your actual hypothesis at least.


Okay Thomas Eshuis, answer me this one question and this one question only.

Why, when you completely ignore the points I raised?

galexander wrote:If the Freemasons were entirely neutral, as you say,

I did not say this. Nor even hinted at it.
This is what you get when you ignore what people actually post. Read what I post, before you respond galexander.


galexander wrote: why were they banned throughout all of Bavaria alongside of the Illuminati unless something was going on there?

Because people like to blame other people and things they don't know or understand.
More-over 'something going on' =/= because they supported freedom, equality and republicanism.

galexander wrote: I patiently and respectfully await your answer.

I am still waiting for you to address the points you snipped out of my response. :coffee:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#19  Postby felltoearth » May 21, 2020 7:42 pm

As Bavaria was part of the Holy Roman Empire and there was a distaste among Catholics to Freemasonry as it schmecked of Protestantism (although it is largely secular and not at all homogenous in its attitude toward various religions worldwide), I think the various Bavarian leaders saw it as a challenge to their authority and potentially subversive. Whether there was even the potential for subversion hasn't been established though. Thomas's comparison to Jews being blamed for all sorts of ills is an apt one.
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Re: The Real History of the Freemasons?

#20  Postby The_Metatron » May 21, 2020 8:17 pm

galexander wrote:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The hypothesis I present is that the original Freemasons were republican/democrats who desired to reform the society they belonged to along rational lines based upon the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. However since today most nation states across the globe are now republics and that democracy is now considered the norm, someone else has taken Freemasonry over. Today Freemasonry very much represents the status quo with high ranking aristocrats running things, i.e. the complete opposite of what they used to be and almost a case of The Empire Strikes Back.

The old society they belonged to was very much ruled over by emperors and the church, whereas they themselves desired a secular state where all men were equal. Of course back in the good old days such views were not only frowned upon by the emperor and churchmen alike, but they were often considered very much illegal.

It is accepted that Freemasonry had its origins in the Age of Enlightenment. As Wikipedia says, "Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church and paved the way for the political revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries."

Take for example the Bavarian Illuminati founded by Adam Weishaupt. This group of progressive intellectuals and politicians sought to undermine the power of the church until the authorities took action and banned them. As Wikipedia says, "The society's goals were to oppose superstition, obscurantism, religious influence over public life, and abuses of state power."

Freemasonry had apparently played a part in the French Revolution. As Wikipedia says, "After the French Revolution, the Jesuit Augustin Barruel wrote that Freemasons had actively prepared the 1789 revolution, which has been used to back theories of a Masonic plot. This thesis was often reprised later, notably during the French Third Republic, by Catholic authors (using it to oppose both the Republic and Freemasonry) and by Freemasons (so as to reinforce their pro-Republican stance and their positive image with the Republican government)." (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Freemasonry_in_France#First_Empire)

A number of the founding fathers of the United States of America were also Freemasons. As the Encyclopedia Masonic admits, "Many instrumental figures of the American Revolution (1765 - 1783) were Freemasons. Perhaps the most well-known Freemason American Revolutionaries are George Washington, the nation's first President, and Benjamin Franklin." (Source: https://nmasonic.com/wiki/freemasonry/history-of-freemasonry/the-american-revolution-and-freemasonry/)

You can even see Masonic symbolism on coins from revolutionary Mexico. Take this 20 Pesos gold coin from the 1870's. We see a liberty cap surrounded by the rays of the sun, and underneath are the scales and a sword:

Image

However after the changeover when the status quo took over, we see similar Masonic symbolism repeated such as on this UK George VI 1946 Victory postage stamp:

Image

What are everyone's opinions about this?

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