Monday, May 29, 2006


The Mysteries recognize man actually as a living temple wherein may become domiciled God, the Father of Light, which Light is life and immortality. This is the same temple concerning which we are taught in the Biblical narrative as well as in exoteric Masonry, that it was made without sound of hammer or any noise whatsoever. These Mysteries had for their object, as they still have, the uniting of the awakened (Spiritually Initiated) men into a Universal Brotherhood in which right (true kindness of heart governed by exact justice) is might; a Brotherhood that exercises benevolence, practices virtue (without a smug complacency) and the arts, and studies coordinately the laws of both Nature and God (as they are and not as foolish man would have them be), ready to accept them as of equal importance in the life of man while on the earth plane.
All Masonry of the past dealt largely with the ethics and symbolism of the Ancient Mysteries. If the Masons of the present age will but seek for the spirit of the symbolism upon which the degrees are based, the grandest achievements in knowledge and reconstruction will be possible and the mysteries concealed in the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity will be recovered to them. In its ritualism and monitorial lessons, Masonry teaches nothing in morals, in science, in religion or in any other department of human knowledge or human interest, not taught elsewhere in current forms of thought or by the sages of the past. In these directions it has no secrets of any kind. It is in the ancient symbols of Freemasonry that its real secrets lie concealed and these are as densely veiled to the Mason as to any other, unless he has studied the science of symbolism in general and Masonic symbolism in particular. If, lacking a knowledge of the profound meaning of Masonic symbolism and its transcendent interest and importance, Masons have allowed the whole organization not only to fail in all real progress but to degenerate, that is indeed a reproach.
There never was a greater need than at the present time, never so great an opportunity as now, for Masonry to assume its true place among the institutions of man and to force recognition by the simple power of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, based upon philosophy such as nowhere else exists outside of its ancient symbols. If the majority of Masons do not realize the true significance and value of their possessions, there is all the more need for those who do to speak out, even in the face of discouragement and detraction, and do their utmost to demonstrate the truth. In brief, then, the real secrets of freemasonry lie in its symbols, and the meaning of the symbols reveals a profound philosophy and a Universal Science, that have never been transcended by man.
The force of the obligation is therefore in the obligation and not in the reason. As a matter of fact, the real reason is scientific to the last analysis; scientific to a degree beyond the penetration, up to the present time, of the ‘radiant matter’ of the Roentgen Ray of modern science. Every word, in fact, every letter, creates a vibration and in the vibration there is either life or death as there are but two points, the one point being life and the other death; the pendulum, which in this case, is the type or kind of vibration created by words, must swing to one side or the other.
When we assume an obligation, we call certain forces into being. These forces are held in suspension -or under control- so long as we act in harmony with them. If we betray the spirit, then all control ceases and the created vibrations held in suspension become malicious toward the creator of them and return to rend and destroy. One who is false to an obligation, thereby has loosened a destructive force which can return only to the creator of it. God does not punish man. So-called punishment is the return to himself of the forces created by himself, which on betrayal, return to destroy. In other words, man is not punished for his deeds but by his deeds. It is for this reason that almost forty per cent of those who enter the Secret Fraternity ultimately bring about their own destruction, entering as they do, for utterly selfish, though hidden, reasons. Then because of their inimical spirit, they are unable to secure that which they sought, betray the spirit and purpose of their obligation and so bring upon themselves swift and undefyable punishment.
The whole design of freemasonry as a speculative science is the investigation of Divine Truths. To this great object everything else is subsidiary. The Mason is, from the time of his initiation as an Entered Apprentice, to the time at which he receives the full fruition of Masonic Light, an investigator- a laborer in the quarry and the temple- whose reward is to be truth [wisdom], and all the ceremonies and traditions of the Order tend to this ultimate design. In Speculative Freemasonry there is an advancement from a lower to a higher state- from darkness [ignorance] to light [wisdom]- from death to life- from error to truth- [from mortality into Immortality]. The Mason living and working in the world as his lodge, must seek to raise himself out of it [symbolized by the raising of Hiram from the grave] to that eminence which surmounts it, where alone he can find divine truths.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The truth about the 'Antients' and the 'Moderns'

The truth about the 'Antients' and the 'Moderns'
By Bro. Jeff Peace
Rose Cross of Gold

For many Freemasons the schism between the 'Moderns' and the 'Antients' is a
thing of the remote past. Most believe that it was over the usage of the
secret passwords used during the degrees and never give it any further
consideration. Looking back does it seem reasonable that the entire Masonic
organization would have splintered in two over something so simple? Is it
possible that there was something much deeper taking place - something as
shrouded in secrecy today as it was two hundred and fifty years ago?

As a historian it is my job to ask such probing questions and, if possible,
attept to uncover the answers. Much of the written history of Freemasonry
was written by men who could only speculate upon the details because they
had little, if any, material from the early period of Freemasonry from which
to work. Oliver, Mackey, Pike, Hall, and Wilmshurst were forced to work from
the material they had available at the time they wrote their famous works.
Serious Masonic scholarship wouldn't begin until the 1960's with the
scholarly works of Yates. Today Masons have more accurate material to work
with than at any other point in Masonic history. In 2002 the Russian
government returned thousands of manuscripts, stolen by the Nazis in World
War II, to their rightful owners in Paris and the Netherlands. This is
original material from the eighteenth century when Freemasonry first began.
It is from these documents that any serious history of the conflict between
the 'Moderns' and the 'Antients' must be derived.

The purpose of this paper isn't to discover who was right and who was wrong,
but to discover the details of what ultimately led to the schism. It is
believed that the schism came to an end with the formation of the United
Grand Lodge of England in 1813, when the two opposing Grand Lodges merged.
This, however, may not necessarily be entirely accurate.

The 'Moderns' are typically portrayed as elitists and the 'Antients' as
commoners. This has led to the belief that the 'Moderns' were composed
primarily of educated men, and the 'Antients' were uneducated peasants and
soldiers. On the surface this does indeed appear to be true, but when we
look through the membership rolls of the 'Antients' we discover the names of
many educated men as well as those of certain members of the nobility. This
begs the question "could this schism have really been over secret passwords
and the refusal of some 'Modern' lodges to admit Irish Masons?" The
available evidence suggests something far deeper. Before evaluating the
evidence we need to take a brief look at the merger of 1813 and the changes
in society that led up to it.

The philosophical movement that led to the birth of Freemasonry is commonly
referred to as the Enlightenment. This movement was built upon the ideas
passed down to it by philosophers from the Age of Reason; men such as Sir
Francis Bacon, Renee Descartes, and Benedict Spinoza. The Enlightenment is
characterized by the abandoning of faith for reason. The concepts of human
rights, modern democracy and the equality of people were given birth to
during this period. Science and mathematics went from being heresies and
forms of magic to legitimate disciplines at the universities.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there was a reaction within
society led by certain minor philosophers of the Counter-Enlightenment such
as F. H. Jacobi. Jacobi is usually closely associated with the Romantic
movement and their opposition to the Enlightenment concept of sufficient
reason. Sufficient reason is where all things can be explained through
scientific inquiry and logic. The Romantics saw this as a form of
determinism that effectively removed the concept of freedom of will.

The merger of the two Grand Lodges takes place at a point in history where
the ideas of the Enlightenment were falling victim to the moral fears of the
Romantics. It is also worth noting that the 'Antients' had far more lodges
than the 'Moderns' and out numbered them in Masons significantly. I think
it is safe to say that 'Moderns' simply gave up their quest to continue with
their Enlightenment based ideas.

So what exactly did the 'Moderns' hope to accomplish? What were the
differences that separated these two groups of Freemasons? In short, it was
moral philosophy. The 'Moderns' taught that the Great Architect of the
Universe was eminent in his creation while the 'Antients' taught that he was
transcendent and not even involved in the creation. To the 'Moderns' the
deity was ever present and beyond good and evil. To the 'Antients' the
Cosmos was the creation of a demiergos and the deity was altogether
transcendent of both the demiergos and the Cosmos because all physical
matter was unclean and/or evil.

Ultimately, the argument would come down to a debate over the ideas of
Benedict Spinoza verses those of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. The 'Moderns'
viewed Spinoza's Geometrical Morality as the key to uniting mankind into one
great universal brotherhood. The 'Antients' saw this as pure heresy and
adopted Leibniz as their patron saint because of his open opposition to
Spinoza and his support of Judeo-Christian cosmology. By the time of the
merger in 1813 Jacobi and the Romantics were also ardent supporters of

Throughout the nineteenth century the 'Antients' flourished around the
globe, but more especially in the United States. Then, in 1905, a previously
unknown scientist shook the world with a radical new view of the universe.
Albert Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity ended once and for all the
debate over Leibniz' cosmology. In one brief moment of history the entire
philosophy of the 'Antients' was rendered incorrect. When Einstein was asked
whether or not he believed in god, his reply was "In Spinoza's god."

The early 'Moderns' had been right in their beliefs but it would take almost
200 years to prove it. Unfortunately, for both humanity and Freemasonry the
'Antients' had nothing of value to offer in Einstein's new cosmology. It was
at this point that Freemasonry was set adrift on a high sea without a
guiding star. The philosophy and symbolism of the 'Moderns' had been lost
and forgotten. In 1949 things begin to look better for Freemasonry in
America. It was the beginning of the Age of Social fraternities, and
Freemasonry had the Shrine. Finally, after fifty years of wandering
aimlessly the 'Antients' had found something they could sell and people
would buy. The Shrine reigned supreme up until the 1960's when social
fraternities began to fade. At the beginning of the 21st century Freemasonry
had declined to less than fifty percent of what it had once been.

On December 27th, 2005 a new Grand Lodge was formed based upon the
principles and ideas of the 'Moderns.' The United Grand Lodge of America is
dedicated to continuing the pursuit of the brotherhood of all mankind
through the same peculiar system of Geometrical Morality envisioned by the
'Moderns' of 1717. The United Grand Lodge of America offers a unique form of
natural philosophy, the same as that of Thomas Jefferson. It supports a
progressive scientific agenda believing that through knowledge and
understanding mankind can overcome the many obstacles it faces today. The
United Grand Lodge of America isn't your grandfather's Freemasonry; it is
the Freemasonry of the 21st century.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Formation of the Three Degree Structure

The Formation of the Three Degree Structure
It is customary today for us to speak of the Three Degrees in Craft Masonry. We just accept this and think nothing about how this all came about. The Three Degree system has not existed from time immemorial. It all came about to our Order over a long period of time and in a somewhat laborious manner. The whole change was not an overnight arrangement, but rather grew up over a period of years. In fact, the early years of this change were times of great turbulence. Much of these historic events have been shrouded, in mystery and confusion. The eventual sorting out period by our Masonic historians was done in the face of minimal historical evidence, and a large amount of reasonable assumption. Even today, some Masonic writers still find it a common ground on which to agree to disagree. And because of this lack of historical evidence it would be safe to say that the perplexing questions of the existence and growth of the three degrees, will remain a Masonic discussion point for centuries to come.

One thing is reasonably certain - prior to the early eighteenth century, two degrees were worked, the Entered Apprentice Degree and the Fellowcraft Degree. To confirm the issue, one of the ancient manuscripts, the Edinburgh Register House Ms. of 1696 and the Sloan Ms. of 1659 refer to two degrees, whilst the Trinity College Dublin Ms. of 1711 and the Graham Ms. of 1726 refer to three degrees. And so the argument has carried on for years. In these observations then, we can only give a broad spectrum of the sequence of events that led up to the establishment of the three degree system in our Order.

As our Masonic historians have agreed to disagree on the interpretation of much of the evidence, there is of a consequence no over-riding authority available to say who is right and who is wrong. Let us first look at the word "degree". In its primitive form the word was used by the Operative masons as a method of acquiring different grades of skills, which usually consisted of Apprentices, Journeymen and Masters. (It is pointed out here that later in the sequence of events, one of the big events that caused confusion centered around the interpretation and use of the word Master). To the Speculative mason the word "degree" infers the use of some form of ceremony which would advance the candidate to a higher rank, after he had had communicated to him certain distinguishing words, signs, grip and tokens.

Thus it is reasonable to assume that the Speculative mason attained different ranks of speculative knowledge. Today, the word "degree" indicates a reward of advancing through an esoteric ceremony to a higher degree by the method of communicating words, signs, grips and tokens. A knowledge of the definitions of the words are necessary to make a good foundation towards the understanding of the history of the Masonic degrees.

Although we have a considerable amount of material available to us regarding Freemasonry generally in the pre-Grand Lodge era, there is very little information available to give us an idea of the internal workings of the lodges at that particular time. At this stage it may be as well to remember that at that time in history, when all of this was happening, it was a time of illiteracy. Very few people could either read or write. Hence the bulk of much that happened was handed down by word of mouth. This then was the basic cause of confusion in historical records which resulted. We have seen the results of this in many other aspects of the history of man. Quite a deal of our so called "facts" concerned with these early events have been handed down through the Gothic Constitutions of the seventeenth century. Many of these, fortunately, have been preserved. In some cases to be very valuable historically. But like a great deal of the worlds aging history, some of the confusion is brought back about by the matter of interpretation.

A further source of information is the various Exposures of Freemasonry, that have come to light from time to time. Exposures assumed great prominence after about 1723. Whilst these exposures furnish the historian with valuable historical evidence, as exposures they had little effect on the acceptance of Freemasonry. Other information that one would reasonably expect to carry unlimited historical events and data, is not as readily available as one would wish. This is Lodge Minutes.

Permit the writer to digress for a short time to emphasise the tremendous importance of Lodge minutes today. They will become the major source of the history of the lodge. Unlike many ideas of our present day, too much information cannot be placed in lodge minutes; and much more care should be given to the preservation of these records.

Lodge Minutes of the early days extend back as far as 1598 and are, in the main, of Scottish origin. Only two English Lodges have minutes preserved of the pre-1717 era, and they are from Alnwick 1701 and Yorke 1712. So much information in this regard is lost forever. So, the major source of information regarding the degrees within the Order were the Manuscripts and Charges. They quite definitely marked the existence of the Two Degree System; the First and Second Degrees. By looking at the dates of the Sloane and Dublin Manuscripts it would appear as though the Three Degree System began to appear somewhere between 1659 and 1711.

Stop and ponder for a short while - think of the many similarities of the present First and Second Degree. Think of their general structure and language. The consider the tremendous difference in the structure and language of the Third Degree. The Hiramic Legend, surrounded by the Third Degree, did not happen overnight. This came to fruition over a period of time. There is no cut and dried date for this period of time. The acceptance of the additional degree was not accepted on bloc - for some time it caused great turbulence amongst the Fraternity. In the years prior to the formation of the First Grand Lodge, Lodges were answerable to no central point or control, and consequently they had no uniformity in ceremonial workings.

According to the Graham Manuscript the Third Degree Legend was known in some form in the 17th Century. The phrase "Sublime Degree of a Master Mason" was used on a Grand Lodge Certificate of Ireland in 1754. There is also record that it was used in 1767 by the Lodge of Friendship No. 6. But it does not seem to be in general use until the end of the seventeenth century. The earliest known reference to the degree in Lodge Minutes in London occurred in 1727. So, taking a broad view of the confusing material available, and the reasonable assumptions made due to the lack of historical evidence, it would be, again, reasonable to assume that the Third-Degree System grew up by a gradual process between 1717 and 1730. That is about as precise as we can be.

As a matter of interest, the Third Degree System is said to have been a "fact" in

France in 1731

Scotland in 1735

Sweden in 1737

This proved to be a very unstable period in the History of Freemasonry. As one would expect some lodges were openly against the re-arrangement of the Degrees, particularly in Scotland. This of course made the fixing of a precise date of change even more hazardous.

(Unknown Brother, Hyde Park Bankers Lodge No.193, South Australia)

Monday, May 22, 2006

The History of Freemasonry

The History of Freemasonry

Almost every Freemason learns sooner or later, that the first Grand Lodge in the world is founded on the feast of St. John the Baptist, on the 24th of June, 1717, in the Goose and Gridion, St.Paul’s churchyard in London, when the representatives of four existing Lodges came together.

It is a fact, that all other Grand Lodges in the world accept, that the Grand Lodge of England is the most senior in years, and from that derives all rights, that come with this.

The Lodges, who became part of this formation. And all other Lodges, who existed in that time, must therefore have given themselves charters somehow, they must have given themselves a constitution, because there was simply no Grand Lodge who could have given charters to them. Later, but still in the same century, the Grand Lodge of York claimed, that they were in any case at least fifty years before 1717 a Grand Lodge then the United Grand Lodge of England.

Before I continue here, we need the definition of a Grand Lodge. These days, a Grand Lodge needs to be a independent, sovereign body, which is not obedient towards any other Masonic body. This demand excludes therefore every Provincial Grand Lodge and also all other Lodges who work under the charter of a different Grand East.

A Grand Lodge, which never has given out any charters, will, even if she fulfills all other demands, be only a ‘nominal’ Grand Lodge, one in name only, if it is a Grand Lodge at all.

All English, and Scottish Lodges, except one, who existed before 1717, would pass the test of independency, but they gave out no charters, and were therefore not Grand Lodges.

After the Grand Lodge of 1717 gave out a book of constitutions in 1723, the existence of such rules has become more and more a demand for the establishment of a rightful Grand Lodge. But, this demand is merely a invention of the UGLE as we can see.

One of the Lodges, who existed from before 1717, was the one who is now at the head on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and carries number 0 [ number zero ] . This Lodge, Mother Kilwinning, is one of which the constitution dates from ‘befor 1598’.

The Lodge Kilwinning was self-constituted, very independent, and did not need to pay any obedience to whatever superior body before 1736, when the Grand Lodge of Scotland was constituted. The history of Kilwinning is a extraordinary one, and after you have finished reading, you can see easily, that Mother Kilwinning was the first Grand Lodge on earth, even when we go by the definitions of a Grand Lodge, as given by the UGLE.

The date mostly given, when the Abbey of Kilwinning is mentioned, is 1140. About that period, the Pope created corporations or brotherhoods of masons, and gave them special privileges and immunities, with the goal to send Italian artists, who were famous for church building, abroad, to erect churches in other countries. A company of these foreign masons seem to have come to Kilwinning, in order to build the Abbey of Kilwinning, and they have erected the first regular constituted Lodge of Scotland.

The Lodges were held in the Chapterhouse, a room measuring 38 by19 feet, which lay at the eastside of the Abbey. On the broken walls and crumpled bows of the Abbey, one can still see some very nice Masonic marks.

When the Abbey was being built, inhabitants of the city of Kilwinning were hired to help with the project, because there were only a few other masons available at that time. To gain the trust and the help of the population, to create interest in the construction of an enormous large religious building like the Abbey, the population of Kilwinning was paid largely with privileges. They were allowed to learn the secret of the trade of the mason-monks, and they were given, by the Pope himself, the right to call themselves Freemasons, wherever they went.

And so, the ancient and worthy Lodge Mother Kilwinning is established in the Chapterhouse, where, according to the stories, the first Masonic meeting was held, and the recruits from the population of Kilwinning were initiated in the vital secrets of the Ancient Free and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Kilwinning created the Lodges Scoon and Bertha [ now Scone and Perth ] in about the year 1193, as we can see from a charter, which is now in the archives of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Little else is known about the early history of Mother Kilwinning, because all the early records are lost.

Tradition tells us that the records of the Lodge were taken by the monks to France, after the fall of Catholicism in Scotland. It is, however, reasonable to accept that with the destruction of the Abbey the records are also gone.

After the Grand Lodges of Kilwinning and York had been established [ the jurisdiction and infinity of the Grand Lodge of York has been long since accepted throughout Freemasonry ] Freemasonry grew quickly in both kingdoms, and various Lodges were erected in various parts of the island.

Scottish Freemasonry had as her Grandmaster always their king. He, if he wasn't a Freemason himself, appointed one of the brethren, to act as his deputy at meetings, and to see to it that all affairs concerning Freemasonry was done according the rules. James I [ 1406-37 ] was Royal Grand Master till he arranged a yearly income of four Scottish pounds, to be paid by each Master mason in Scotland to a Grandmaster, who was elected by the Brethren, and approved of by the crown.

James II [ 1437-60 ] was also a Freemason, but gave the job of Grandmaster to William St. Clair, the builder of Roslyn Chapel, Earl of Orkney and Caithness, and to his heirs. The Roslyn family stood without interruption at the head of Freemasonry in Scotland, till 1736, when William St.Clair, the last heir from the direct male line, gave back the title to the Scottish Lodges.

The ancient mother Lodge possesses other Masonic degrees, then the Johaniter, or blue degrees. Laurie, for instance, writes in his book: history of Freemasonry, that the Knight Templars of Scotland, when their order was persecuted, fled to Robert de Bruce. Robert de Bruce created the Masonic order Heredum de Kilwinning after the battle of Bannockburn [ 1314 ] , and claimed for himself, and his successors, the title of Grandmaster. The last Stuart still believed that he had that right, and gave charters to Lodges on the continent. This “Royal Order” is still in high esteem in France, where it was created with a charter from Scotland, and even by the Pretender himself.

The creation of this branch of Freemasonry on the continent is remembered by a medal, which is made in Paris, and which, amongst others, carries the Arms of Scotland. The brothers of the Lodge in Arras still have an original charter of the Order, handed to them in 1747, by Charles Edward Stuart, and signed by this unfortunate prince himself, as a representative of the Scottish kings.

The oldest records now in possession of the Lodge are from December 20, 1642, however a document, found in Englington Castle with the title" the statues and ordinances to be observant be all the masters maissonis within his realme, sett doune by William Shaw, maister of Wark to his Maiestie and General Wardene of the said Craft, with concent ot the Maiesteris efter Specifeit” that goes about the Lodge Kilwinning, is from 1598.

In 1736, St.Clair of Roslyn, grandmaster of Scotland, called a meeting of 32 Lodges in and around Edinburgh, and gave all rights, and other titles, that he or his heirs had, back as Grandmaster of the Freemasons of Scotland. Thus the Grand Lodge of Scotland [ GLoS ] was created at November 30, 1738.

Mother Kilwinning was represented by proxy, and from her midst the first officers of the Grand Lodge were chosen, and she stayed there for several years, until the brothers wanted to number the Lodges, according to their infinity. The point of infinity was naturally claimed by Kilwinning, but was contradicted by the Lodge St. Mary’s Chapel in Roslyn, who claimed to have older written records than Mother Kilwinning. That is how St. Mary’s Chapel became no.1, and Mother Kilwinning no.2. This verdict was of course very much against the representatives of Kilwinning, and therefore, Kilwinning left the Grand Lodge in 1743, regained her independent status, and started to give out charters again. These daughter Lodges did not stay restricted to Scotland, because Lodges were created, from Kilwinning, in Ireland, US, Antigua, and the Caribbean's.

We can see that the Lodge Mother Kilwinning gave out at least 12 charters to Lodges, before the forming of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in 1736, which she later joined again. It is also clear that at least two of those Lodges had been erected in 1678, nearly 40 years before the meeting in the Goose and Gridion in London. We can state safely, even with the rules of the UGLE , that Mother Kilwinning was the first Grand Lodge who worked as a Grand Lodge in the world. Perhaps we can even go a bit further.

The present Grand Lodge of England is, as I already stated here before, not the same as the original one from 1717. The present UGLE was created in 1813, when the original Grand Lodge, and York, finally decided to work together, and the now well known UGLE appeared. It is usual under the English constitution that when two Lodges, or Grand Lodges, merge together the most ancient Grand Lodge gets priority qua status.

If we continue this line of argumentation to Mother Kilwinning, who finally joined the GLoS again in 1818, it is logical to justify the infinity of Kilwinning as a Grand Lodge, when she joined the GLoS. And this, brothers and sisters, would give a date at least from 1195 for the oldest Grand Lodge in the world... Mother Kilwinning.

So mote it be.

Legitimate Masonry?

Legitimate Masonry?

Who gets to decide which Freemasonry is legitimate and which Freemasonry is illegitimate? Should a Masonic body be considered more legitimate merely because it has a larger membership? Because it is older?

When African Lodge, the first Prince Hall lodge in the world began issuing charters for other African American lodges, it did not have a warrant to do so from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Grand Lodge of England or any other Grand Body. Does this mean that from 1827 when African Lodge declared itself a Grand Lodge, till 1995 when Prince Hall Grand Lodges were given charters by the United Grand Lodge of England, that they were illegitimate? Irregular? Does this mean that all of the Prince Hall Grand Lodges in US states which still lack a charter, and recognition from their white counterparts are illegitimate? Does this mean that all of the Prince Hall masons who were initiated, passed, raised and labored in the quarries
from 1827 onward, and gave so much of their time and love to the craft were illegitimate? irregular?

We believe that African Lodge did what it had to in declaring itself independent of any other Grand Body and establishing itself as the first Prince Hall Grand Lodge. We believe that the Grand Lodge of France did the right thing by granting the universal recognition of all Prince Hall Grand Lodges in the United States, for which it lost favor with the larger white Grand Lodges.
Sometimes, doing what your conscience, or the Grand Architect requires of you isn't easy, but we believe that in the long run, it brings far more blessings.

What most masons are unaware of is the significance of the letters A.F. & A.M. which most of the larger Grand Lodges in the United States bear in their name. It stands for "Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons". This means that these Grand Lodges were originally chartered, not by the Grand Lodge of England, but the schismatic "Ancients Grand Lodge" which eventually merged with the Grand Lodge to form the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813. Does this mean that all of the masons who were initiated, passed and raised in Ancients Grand Lodges in the United States, Britain and Ireland from 1751 until 1813 were merely "illegitimate masons" to use a certain commentator's own words? These masons felt that the other "Moderns" or "Premier" Grand Lodge's ritual practices deviated from Masonic tradition so greatly that they were illegitimate.

Common sense would, and indeed does tell most people that having a one-day class in which hundreds of masons are made, simply by watching the degrees at a distance with no time for absorption or proficiency requirements, or as in many lodges in England and overseas the reading of the third degree legend to the candidate rather than putting him through a proper and traditional raising are not only unrecognizeable as legitimate, traditional or regular masonry, and yet they point the finger at others and call them fake? Not only can you take all three degrees of Craft masonry in a day, but you can join the Scottish Rite all in the same day! Does this facilitate true learning, or merely the collection of more money in a shorter period of time?

When the American Colonies declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776, they not only declared their independence from the rule of another nation which was distant from their desires, ideas and hopes, but from a system where power over others was an entitlement by birth, an aristocracy which fattened itself by taxing the working man without any representation or freedom by which he could become master of his own destiny. We, the American Colonies found that such a system of government was not good for our lives. Why is it that in Freemasonry we continue to argue in favor of such a system of entitlement by birth, saying with great passion that those Grand Bodies "born into" such favor are the only such "legitimate heirs" of Freemasonry, even when they have so clearly and egregiously strayed from Masonic tradition? They have authored for themselves a series of laws and executed them in their own kangaroo courts, creating precedents and inventing doctrines which benefit them and no one else, least of all the craft itself. We declare that all true Freemasons are the legitimate heirs of Freemasonry.

It is in the spirit of the American Colonies and the first Prince Hall Grand Lodge declaring their independence that masons of the Regular Grand Lodge of England have declared their independence. They have declared their independence from the very same system of aristocratic entitlement that the American Colonies did, quite literally!

American Grand Bodies who have received a charter from said Grand Lodge, and joined this same movement have not done so out of some naivete, believing they have made contact with some other fabulous and ancient institution as some commentators suppose. We have done so out of our sincere wish for liberty, equality and light and to be a part of a rapidly growing international community of masons throughout the world who share our desire to preserve the traditional insitutions of Freemasonry unhindered by racism, feelings of self-entitlement or the weakening of her sublime institutions.

Why should our presence be seen as a problem for the larger Grand Bodies? Our desire is only for more light. It is our sincerest hope that all masons throughout the world will one day come to respect Freemasonry as much or even more than we have. It is our hope that one day they will also give the same care to her traditions, ideas and symbols, if not even more than we ourselves could hope to.

The Freemasonry which we practice is no mere Service Club, but a living Tradition of intellectual and spiritual englightenment for men of all creeds and colors. It is our sincerest hope that the larger Masonic organizations will allow the same traditions to flourish once more for their sake, and that they will forever put away intolerance and racial segregation. We cannot, however, stand idly by while one opportunity after another for more light is missed. It is time for us to declare our independence, and we have done so.

To those detractors and call us "illegitimate” without considering or knowing what may lie in our hearts, we extend the love of the Almighty Creator, and hope that one day they too will have a desire for light which exceeds their fear. When they say, or even suggest that our presence in America or elsewhere is a problem for them, and that an "unstoppable juggernaut" has been released, what is it that they are really saying? Why should our presence bother them in the least since we are so small and insignificant? They presume to tell the poor, uninformed member of all such "illegitimate" obediences that he is really just an "illegitimate mason", for his own good of course, because he couldn't possibly have knowingly chosen the Grand Lodge he did. What does all of this say about them? More importantly, If this movement within masonry continues to grow as fast as it has in such a short period of time, then what does this say about man's desire for More Light?

These commentators talk about Grand Lodges that charge overly large sums of money for degree work and then talk about us in the same breath, calumniating all of the organizations in their list without any clarification or justification for what they are saying, as if all were one and the same. We invite anyone to look into our practices and see if our joining fees are any greater than what you'd pay in any other lodge, or if any of our officers are earning the large paychecks that Grand Officers in the large Masonic bodies do.

Our claim to Regularity rests on this and this alone: it stems entirely from our own adherence and faithfulness to the traditional customs and original aims and purposes of Craft Freemasonry, the absence of bigotry in our lodges, and the complete absence of any other Masonic institutions in our geographical locations who meet these requirements.

We formally invite all masons, Masonic lodges and Grand Bodies large or small to discuss with us how best to carry on the Traditions of the Ancient Fraternity which we all love so much. To all men and masons with a sincere desire for light, we are your companions whether you agree with our ideas and actions or not.

Men of intelligence and good conscience must decide what is best for themselves. We invite all men who believe in the Almighty Creator, regardless of faith, language, skin color or nationality, whether they are considering initiation for the first time, or have labored in the quarries of Freemasonry for many years, to take a look at our lodges, and judge us not by what others may say about us, but by the fruits of our true labors.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006



ANSWER: Like all other symbols, the meanings of the cross are many. Plato gave one of these meanings when he said, "The Worldsoul is crucified," that is to say: We have four kingdoms in the world-- the mineral, the plant, the animal and the man.

The mineral kingdom ensouls all chemical substance of whatever kind, so that the cross, of whatever material it is made, is first a symbol of that kingdom.

The upright lower limb of the cross is a symbol of the plant kingdom because the currents of the group spirits which give life to the plants come from the center of the earth where these group spirits are located and reach out toward the periphery of our planet and into space.

The upper limb of the cross is the symbol of man, because the life currents of the human kingdom pass downward from the sun through the vertical spine. Thus man is the inverted plant, for as the plant takes its food through the root, passing it UPWARD, so does the man take his nourishment by way of the head, passing it DOWNWARD. The plant is chaste, pure and passionless, and stretches its creative organ, the flower, chastely and unashamed TOWARD THE SUN, a thing of beauty and delight. Man turns his passion filled generative organ TOWARD THE EARTH. Man inhales the life giving oxygen and exhales the poisonous carbon dioxide. The plant takes the poison exhaled by man, building its body therefrom, and returning to us the elixir of life, the cleansed oxygen.

Between the plant and the human kingdom stands the animal with the horizontal spine, and in the horizontal spine the life currents of the animal group spirit play as they circle around our globe. Therefore the horizontal limb of the cross is the symbol of the animal kingdom.

In esotericism the cross was never looked upon as an instrument of torture, and it was not until the sixth century that the crucified Christ was shown in pictures. Previous to that time the symbol of the Christ was a cross and a lamb resting at its foot, to convey the idea that at the time when the Christ was born the sun at the vernal equinox crossed the equator in the sign Aries, the Lamb. The symbols of the different religions have always been made in that way. At the time when the sun by precession crossed the vernal equinox in the sign Taurus, the Bull, a religion was founded in Egypt where they worshiped the Bull Apis in the same sense that we worship the Lamb of God. At a much earlier date, we hear of the Norse God Thor driving his twin goats across the sky. That was at the time when the vernal equinox was in the sign Gemini, the Twins. At the time of the birth of Christ, the vernal equinox was in about 7 degrees of Aries, the Lamb, therefore our Savior was called the Lamb of God. There was a dispute in the earlier centuries regarding the propriety of having the lamb as a symbol of our Savior. Some claimed that the vernal equinox at His birth was really in the sign Pisces, the Fishes, and that the symbol of our Savior should have been a fish. It is in memory of that dispute that the bishop's miter still takes the form of the head of a fish

Tuesday, May 16, 2006



Ever since mankind, the prodigal spirit sons of our Father in Heaven,
wandered into the wilderness of the world and fed upon the husks of its
pleasures, which starve the body, there has been within man's heart a sound-
less voice urging him to return; but most men are so engrossed in material
interests that they hear it not. The Mystic Mason who has heard this inner
voice feels impelled by an inner urge to seek for the Lost Word; to build a
house of God, a temple of the spirit, where he may meet the Father face to
face and answer His call.

Nor is he dependent upon his own resources in this quest, for our Father
in Heaven has Himself prepared a way marked with guide posts which will lead
us to Him if we follow. But as we have forgotten the divine Word and would
be unable now to comprehend its meaning, the Father speaks to us in the language of symbolism, which both hides and reveals the spiritual truths we
must understand before we can come to Him. Just as we give to our children
picture books which reveal to their nascent minds intellectual concepts
which they could not otherwise understand, so also each God-given symbol has
a deep meaning which could not be learned without that symbol.

God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. It is therefore strictly
forbidden to make a material likeness of Him, for nothing we could make
would convey an adequate idea. But as we hail the flag of our country with
joy and enthusiasm because it awakens in our breasts the tenderest feelings
for home and our loved ones, because it stirs our noblest impulse, because
it is a symbol of all the things which we hold dear, so also do different
divine symbols which have been given to mankind from time to time speak to
that forum of truth which is within our hearts, and awaken our consciousness
to divine ideas entirely beyond words. Therefore symbolism, which has
played an all-important part in our past evolution, is still a prime neces-
sity in our spiritual development; hence the advisability of studying it
with our intellects and our hearts.

It is obvious that our mental attitude today depends on how we thought
yesterday, also that our present condition and circumstances depend on how
we worked or shirked in the past. Every new thought or idea which comes to
us we view in the light of our previous experience, and thus we see that our
present and future are determined by our previous living. Similarly the path of spiritual endeavor which we have hewn out for ourselves in past ex-
istences determines our present attitude and the way we must go to attain
our aspirations. Therefore we can gain no true perspective of our future
development unless we first familiarize ourselves with the past.

It is in recognition of this fact that modern Masonry harks back to the
temple of Solomon. That is very well as far as it goes, but in order to
gain the fullest perspective we must also take into consideration the an-
cient Atlantean Mystery Temple, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. We must
understand the relative importance of that Tabernacle, also of the first and
second temples, for there were vital differences between them, each fraught
with cosmic significance; and within them all was the foreshadowing of the
CROSS, sprinkled with BLOOD, which was turned to ROSES.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


As the spiritual gifts of the SONS OF SETH flowered in Solomon, the wisest of men, and enabled him to conceive and design a marvelous temple, according to the plan of his creator, Jehovah, so Hiram, the clever craftsman, embodied within himself the consummate skill of a long line of ancestral artificers. He possessed the concentrated quintessence of the material knowledge gained by the SONS OF CAIN, while they wrought from the wilderness of the world a concrete civilization; and in the execution of the wonderful Temple of Solomon this superlative skill found full fruition.

Thus this glorious edifice was the chef d'oeurve of both lines, an embodiment of the sublime spirituality of the CHURCHMEN, the SONS OF SETH, combined with the superlative skill of THE CRAFTSMEN, THE SONS OF CAIN. So far, the honors were even, the achievement equal. Solomon was contented; he had carried out the design transmitted to him, he had a place of worship worthy of the Lord he revered; but the soul of Hiram was not satisfied. Armed with the art of ages, he had constructed an incomparable masterpiece in architecture. BUT THE DESIGN HAD NOT BEEN HIS OWN; he had been merely the tool of an unseen architect, Jehovah, working through an intermediary Solomon. This rankled in his heart, for it was as necessary for him to originate as to breathe.

In that ancient age when Cain and Abel first found themselves upon earth, Abel contentedly cared for the flocks CREATED like himself and his parents, Adam and Eve, by Jehovah; but in Cain, semi-divine progeny of the Lucifer Spirit, Samael, and Eve, the creature of Jehovah, divine incentive to ORIGINAL EFFORT burned; he tilled the field and made two blades of grass grow where one grew before; the creative instinct must have expression.

Hiram, being the focus of and having inherited all the CRAFTS OF CAIN, was also invested with the Spirit of Samael intensified in commensurate ratio; therefore he was consumed by an overpowering urge to add something to the Temple that would eclipse the rest of the structure in beauty and importance. Out of the travail of his spirit was born the conception of THE MOLTEN SEA, and this great ideal he proceeded to carry into execution, though heaven and earth held their breath in awe at the audacity of his purpose.

The Bible gives very little information about the molten sea. In Second Chronicles, the fourth chapter, we learn that Hiram made such a vessel, that it was of considerable size, that it stood upon 12 oxen arranged so that their heads were at the periphery of this circular basin and their hind parts were towards its center. It was intended solely for use by the priests. Much is said of a nature to bewilder the reader, but the above salient points prove the signal importance of this instrument, as we shall see when we study and compare the Masonic account with this veiled word of the Bible. The Masonic story runs as follows:

When Hiram had about completed the Temple, he commenced to cast the various vessels required in the service according to designs made by Solomon as agent of Jehovah. Chief among these was the great laver, intended to hold the bath of purification, through which all priests must pass to enter the service of the Lord. This, and all the lesser vessels were successfully cast by Hiram, as recorded in the Bible. But there is an important distinction between the vessel and the molten sea which it was designed by Hiram to contain, and until that had been successfully poured, the vessel was without virtue, so far as purifying properties were concerned; until then it could no more cleanse the sin-stained soul than could a dry basin be utilized to cleanse the body. Nor could Solomon speak the Word, the formula for this wonderful work. None but Hiram knew it. This work was to be his Masterpiece, and IF HE SUCCEEDED, HIS ART WOULD HAVE LIFTED HIM ABOVE THE HUMAN, and made him divine like the Elohim Jehovah. In the garden of Eden, his divine progenitor Samael, had assured his mother, Eve; that she might become "as the Elohim," if she ate of the tree of knowledge. For ages his ancestors had wrought in the world; through the accumulated skill of the Sons of Cain, an edifice had been reared, wherein Jehovah hid himself "behind the veil" and communed only with his chosen priests, the Sons of Seth. THE SONS OF CAIN WERE THRUST OUT OF THE TEMPLE WHICH THEY HAD BUILT, as their father, Cain, had been driven from the garden which he had tilled. This Hiram felt to be an outrage and an injustice; so he applied himself to prepare the means whereby the Sons of Cain might "rend the veil" and open the way to God for "whosoever will."

To this end he sent messengers over the world to collect all the metals with which the Sons of Cain had ever wrought. With his hammer he pulverized them and placed them in a fiery furnace to extract by alchemistry, from each particle, the quintessence of knowledge derived in the experience of working with it. Thus the combined quintessence of these various BASE METALS would form a SPIRITUAL SUBLIMATE OF KNOWLEDGE incomparable in potency, valuable beyond all earthly things. Being of ultimate purity it would contain no color, but resemble a "sea of glass." Whoever should lave in it would find himself endowed with perpetual youth. No philosopher could compare with him in wisdom; this "white stone" knowledge would even enable him to lift the veil of invisibility and meet the superhuman Hierarchs, who work in the world with a potency undreamt of by the masses.

Masonic traditions tell us that Hiram's preparations were so perfect that success would have been assured, had not treachery triumphed. But the incompetent craftsmen whom Hiram had been unable to initiate into the higher degrees, conspired to pour WATER into the vessel cast to receive the Molten Sea; for they knew that the Son of Fire was unskilled in the manipulation of the watery element, and could not combine it with his wonderful alloy. Thus, by frustrating Hiram's cherished plan and spoiling his Masterpiece, they aimed to revenge themselves upon the Master. Solomon had been privately informed of the nefarious plot, but jealousy on account of the Queen of Sheba bound his tongue and stayed his arm, for he hoped that when the ambitious plan of Hiram failed, the affections of the queen would turn from his humiliated rival to himself. He therefore closed eyes and ears to plot and plotters.

When Hiram confidently PULLED THE PLUGS, the liquid fire rushed out, was met by the water, and there was a roar that seemed to shake heaven and earth, while the elements boiled and battled. All but Hiram hid their faces at the awful havoc; then from the center of the raging fire he heard the call of Tubal Cain, bidding him jump into the Molten Sea. Full of faith in his ancestor, who had gone before him upon the path of fire, Hiram obeyed and plunged fearlessly into the flames. Sinking through the disintegrated bottom of the vessel, he was conducted successfully through NINE-ARCH-LIKE layers of the earth to the Center, where he found himself in the presence of Cain, the founder of his family, who gave him instructions relative to blending Water and Fire, and who furnished him with a NEW HAMMER AND A NEW WORD, which would enable him to produce these results. Cain looked into the future and uttered a prophecy which has been partially fulfilled; what remains is in process of realization day by day, and as surely as time goes on all will come to pass.

"You, Hiram," said Cain, "are destined to die with hopes unfulfilled, but many sons will be born to the widow and keep your memory green through the ages, and at length one will come who is greater than you. You shall not wake till the Lion of Judah raises you with the powerful grip of His paw. This day you have received your BAPTISM OF FIRE, but He shall BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER AND WITH SPIRIT; you, and every son of the widow, who will come to Him. Greater than Solomon, he will build a new city and a Temple wherein the nations may worship. The Sons of Cain and the Sons of Seth shall there meet in Peace, at the sea of glass. And as Melchisedec, King of Salem (Salem means Peace,) and Priest of God, ministered to Abraham, the father of nations, when mankind was yet in its infancy, so shall this new Light combine in Himself the dual office of King and Priest after the order of Melchisedec. He shall judge the nations with THE LAW OF LOVE and to him that overcometh will be given a White Stone with a name that will serve as passport to the temple. There he may meet the king FACE TO FACE.

Hiram was again conducted to the surface of the earth and as he walked from the scene of his shattered ambition, the conspirators set upon and fatally wounded him; but before he expired, he hid the hammer and disc upon which he had inscribed the Word. This was never found until ages later when Hiram, "the widow's Son," was reborn as Lazarus and became the friend and pupil of the Lion of Judah, who raised him from death through initiation. When the hammer was found it had the shape of a CROSS, and the disc had become a ROSE. Therefore Hiram took his place among the immortals under the new and symbolical name: Christian Rosenkreuz.
He founded the Order of Temple-Builders which bears his name; in that Order aspiring souls are still instructed how to fuse the base metals and make the White Stone.

Max Heindel

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Future: Advancing Masonic Morality in both Natural Philosophy and Geometry, by Bro. Jeff Peace

The Future: Advancing Masonic Morality in both Natural Philosophy and Geometry, by Bro. Jeff Peace

Throughout the past three centuries people have continued to inquire about the meaning of Free-Masonry. Many books have been written on the subject, some to purposefully further obscure its true meaning and others to create meaning where there wasn't any at all. This confusion is due to the fact that in the beginning Free-Masonry was a secret society that concealed what were, at the time, considered dangerous concepts and ideas. Adding to this confusion were the many schisms and internal conflicts that divided the organization and created a maze of competing ideas and philosophies. Today's Free-Masonry is a quagmire of conflicting information that presents a confusing series of ideas to its members, who try desperately to form some type of a rational synthesis of seemingly absurd teachings.

One only need look at the plethora of competing Masonic organizations today to see just how mired the organization has become in the myriad of unrelated philosophical ideas it has acquired over the centuries. Free-Masonry of the 21st century is an organization that has lost its way. The only thing today's Masons can agree to is philanthropy. The concept of a Masonic brotherhood has been torn to pieces by competing factions and ugly internal politics. None of this should come as a surprise. Any organization that has lost its central philosophy — its reason for being — will quickly begin to flounder on the rocks of the high seas of modernity.

The newly established United Grand Lodge of America is a lighthouse of the original Masonic philosophy of the early eighteenth century. These brethren have penetrated the dark fog that has engulfed Free-Masonry and have returned it to the solid foundation of its true roots in the Enlightenment. They are now in the position to advance the Royal Art to levels never before imagined by Masons of any generation. The brotherhood of man under the All-Seeing of Deity was but a dream to the Free-Masons of 1717; it now has the potential to be realized for the first time.

The days of the social Free-Masonry which took root in the 1950’s are numbered. The next generation will inherit nothing from their fathers and grandfathers but empty and decaying buildings. The pseudo-Masonic rituals left to them will be discarded, and then replaced with the true knowledge of Masonic Light. New temples will be erected whose doors will be open to all, regardless of race or religion, and the knowledge that brings peace and harmony will fill every corner with love and Light.

In the beginning Free-Masonry's aims and objectives needed to remain a closely guarded secret revealed only to the few, but those times are now past. What we once held close to our hearts shall now be given freely to all mankind. This knowledge is the rightful inheritance of humanity as a whole; we have been merely its silent keepers over the centuries. The time has come to restore this great gift to its rightful owners.

Free-Masonry's "Geometry" has reached into every corner of the cosmos revealing the true nature of the Great Architect in all of His infiniteness and wholeness. Our "Natural Philosophy" has expanded mankind’s understanding of itself and the world in which we live. It is, however, our "Peculiar System of Morality" that has failed both Masonry and humanity. This is not due to fallacies in the original system as given to us by the patriarchs of our progressive science, but in our failure to maintain and adapt the system to mankind’s ever-growing knowledge of himself and the Universe. The first priority of the next generation of Free-Masons and the United Grand Lodge of America must be the advancement of Masonic Morality in both "Natural Philosophy" and "Geometry." Mankind now stands uneasily at the edge of a precipice and must be given the working tools needed to avoid a catastrophe that could send it spiraling back into the darkness of superstition and fear. No longer can Free-Masons sit silently in their stately halls speculating on the future. The future is here today and our gentle Craft must rise to meet the challenges of generations yet unborn.

Today is the day we must rise up from our slumbers and once again make a difference in the world. The old rules that regulated our conduct must be abandoned and replaced with new ones that better reflect the environment in which Free-Masonry now exists. Masons who live in the past will die with it, but for those who see the necessity for progress and change there is a future filled with hope and service to both the Great Architect and mankind.

Let me finish with a warning to the purveyors of darkness, superstition and tyranny: While your numbers have grown during our fitful slumbers we have not forgotten your treachery or the flames of your pyres. The All-Seeing Eye is ever watching over its children.

— Bro. Jeff Peace, Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

DOT LINE CIRCLE: An Ancient Symbol?

One interpretation of many for the Symbol of the Dot within a Circle with a Line extending from the Dot to the Circle.
A different Symbol of the Trinity.
Circle=Man,Physical Universe

Philosophically condidered, the descent of the rational nature of man into its irrational body is involution; the resurrection of the rational nature from this condition of immersion, evolution. The physical universe is the sphere of ignorance where each creature is at its worst in that it has forgotten the best within itself. So thick and numerous are the veils of the rings that the light of spirit is obscure until but a dim haze bears witness of its defulgence.
It naturally follows that the accomplishments in the physical world is the greatest of all accomplishments, for it is under the most difficult of all situations. Here is the key to the story of the prodigal son, who represents the incarnating soul. The pigsty where he must eat and sleep with the hogs represents one ancient patriarch's concept of the physical universe. When at last the prodigal, having repented of his iniquities and having seen the folly of material existence, returned to the house of his Father(the light-world), the fatted calf was killed in his honor, for his accomplishment was great. Jealous of the attention bestowed upon the improvident youth, the elder brother made his disatisfaction known to his Father, who replied that there was ample cause for rejoicing in that the lost had been found and the dead lived again. The story carries the same thought permeating Egyptian philosophy: namely, that life in the mortal sphere without a realization of the Divine Plan is the true death; That resurrection from this state is the most desired of all attainments. Yet to rise victorious from the dark world of hopeless involvement is an accomplishment so noble that it elevates the conquering soul to a dignity exceeding that of the angels who are never confronted with this problem.

The Egyptian Pharaohs carried three scepters symbolic of their authority from the Demiurgus: The Anubis-headed staff, symbolic of the priesthood and the authority of the World Lord over the souls of men; and the flail, symbolic of he mastery which the Demiurgus exercises over the bodies of all creatures.
Returning to the Dot,Line,Circle symbolism, the Anubis-headed staff is symbolized by the dot, the shepherd's crook by the line, and the flail by the circle. These are representative respectively of rulership through wisdom, rulership through faith, and rulership through force. Thus the dot is now termed governemnt. It was once the crown, but now so large a part of government is administered by the people that crown can only be used in its abstract sense. The dot, however, signifies government by the state. The line is the tiara, or government by the church, and the circumference is the people who are the beneficiaries of government. Thus we find three trmendous forces continually focussed upon the objective life of man, and the perversion of these forces constitutes the threefold fountain-head of evil as opposed to threefold fountain-head of light. Through the perversion of government we have ignorance; throught the perversion of the church, superstition; and through the perversion of the people, fear. Thus come into existence the great Masonic trio of evils: ignorance, superstition, and fear, the murderers of human liberty and the detsroyers of the understanding.