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Anti-Freemasonry


House of the Temple

Today in Masonic History we discuss Anti-Freemasonry.

Anti-Freemasonry, sometimes Anti-Masonry, generally falls into three categories. They are political, religious and conspiracy related.

Religious reasons are the oldest when it comes to opposition to Freemasonry. In 1698 a leaflet was printed in London. It stated:

TO ALL GODLY PEOPLE, In the Citie of London.

Having thought it needful to warn you of the Mischiefs and Evils practiced in the Sight of God by those called Freed Masons, I say take Care lest their Ceremonies and secret Swearings take hold of you; and be wary that none cause you to err from Godliness. For this devllish Sect of Men are Meeters in secret which swear against all without ther Following. They are the Anti Christ which was to come leading Men from Fear of God. For how should Men meet in secret Places and with secret Signs taking Care that none observed them to do the Work of GOD; are not these the Ways of Evil-doers?

Knowing how that God observeth privilly them that sit in Darkness they shall be smitten and the Secrets of their Hearts layed bare. Mingle not among this corrupt People lest you be found so at the World's Conflagration.

This is not the earliest point though that Freemasonry has been attacked on religious grounds. In the century that proceeded 1698 there were anti-masonic speeches given trying to tie Freemasonry and Judaism together by referring to Freemasonry as "Judeo-Freemasonry" this would have fed on an antisemitic feeling that was running through Europe at the time.

In the Christian religion, there are two prominent anti-masonic writers who stand out. The first is Leo Taxil. Taxil was an anti-Catholic and anti-cleric from France. It is believed that Taxil tried to join a French masonic lodge and was turned away either before his first degree or immediately after. This turned Taxil anti-masonic. In an attempt to get back at the fraternity and to potentially continue his attacks on Catholicism, Taxil perpetrated the Taxil Hoax. He wrote outlandish accusations about Freemasonry which included devil worship and the keeping of woman in "female lodges" as concubines. Taxil eventually freely and publicly, at a press conference he had called, admitted that he made these facts up and intended it to embarrass the Catholic church, who had held up Taxil as a true Catholic. To this day Taxil's books are quoted by religious figures who are anti-masonic. The second was Abel Clarin de la Rive who was closely associated with Taxil and who wrote fictitious information about Freemasonry and specifically Albert Pike. In 1738, the Catholic Church prohibited membership in Freemasonry. In 1983 the punishment for joining Freemasonry was changed from excommunication to barring the offender from Holy Communion.

For Islam the anti-masonic reasons go more to the belief that Freemasonry is directly tied with Judaism. It also stems form the believe that Freemasonry as a whole hopes to rebuild Solomon's Temple by destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque.

On the political front Anti-Freemasonry has been around since the 1800's in the United States with the rise of the Anti-masonic Party. In Britain an Anti-masonic movement began in 1989 when a book was released claiming that Freemasons were using their positions in Government to grant favors to fellow masons. A law was put forward to require all government officials, including police officers, to declare their membership in the masonic fraternity. Only the Welsh Assembly would pass such a law and it would later be struck down as being disproportionate in it's targeting of Freemasons.

In many Communists countries Freemasonry has been outlawed as subversive to the government. Cuba is a slight exception to this, it is claimed that Fidel Castro during the revolution sought and received refuge in a Masonic Lodge. This caused Castro to be sympathetic to Freemasonry. After assuming power it is claimed that Castro kept Freemasonry on a tight leash believing it to be subversive to his government. Facists, particularly the Nazis, saw Freemasonry as a subversive organization as well.

In Iraq, Freemasonry was outlawed for a combination of religious and political reasons as mostly due to it's percieved tie to Judaism and Zionism.

Conspiracy theorists make up a large segment of Anti-masons in the modern world. This is in large part to the believe that Freemasons and the Illuminati, sometimes considered by conspiracy theorists as being one and the same organization with the Illuminati controlling the Freemasons, are trying to create a one world government. Often they will point, incorrectly, at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C. as the seat of power for Freemasonry. Often in television programs and on websites the building will be identified as the headquarters of all Freemasonry. This is actually incorrect, the House of the Temple is the headquarters for the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America for the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. This is the controlling organization for Scottish Rite, an appendant body of Freemasonry, in the United States with the exception of 15 northern states which stretch from Maine to Illinois which is the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America for the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

Regardless of which Anti-Freemasonry option you choose, in the end what they hold in common is that they believe Freemasonry to be subversive in some way to the government, religious organization or world order in question. An accusation that has been made about Freemasonry in the political arena is that Freemasonry encourages it's members to fight against their government. In fact Freemasonry charges it's members to be loyal citizens in the country they live. In the United States, this potentially leads to some irony and confusion since Freemasonry played a role in the American Revolution. It also played a role in revolutions in other countries including the Philippines. In the religious arena, Freemasonry encourages it's members to explore their faith in their places of worship, again not subversive to religion, but encouraging the practice of the individualschosen religion. As for the one world order, there is no one overarching masonic organization, there is not a central control for Freemasonry so no possibility for a small group of individuals to control Freemasonry. Of the millions of individuals around the world who are Freemasons, some may recognize each other as "true" masons while others may not.

At the core of Anti-masonic stances is the fact that nature abhors a vacuum, when people don't know or understand what really goes on in a masonic lodge and meeting, they will happily fill that gap with whatever they want, often with their worst fears.