Rivista di Massoneria - Revue de Franc-Maçonnerie - Revista de Masonerìa - Revista de Maçonaria
Make this site your Home Page Print this page Subscribe News Alerts by Email RSS News Feed recommend PS Review of Freemasonry

Arturo de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris

The History and Rituals of a Secret Masonic Rite.

Published by Lewis Masonic, 2008.

Hardback - 288 pages. 40 Illustrations
Price: $19.99
ISBN: 978-0-85318-293-1

Available from: Lewis Masonic

About the authors:

Arturo de Hoyos,pm, 33°, is the Grand Archivist and Grand Historian of the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.

S. Brent Morris, PM,33°, is Managing Editor of the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council, 33°, Southern Jurisdiction, USA.


Between 1826 and 1884, Dr. Robert. B. Folger (1803-1892), a physician and Masonic historian, wrote at least three manuscript ritual books, two of which were in an obscure and virtually impenetrable cipher. Folger, who had a penchant for controversy, was concealing the fact that he was trying to import the "Rectified Scottish Rite" (also called the R.E.R. or C.B.C.S.) into the United States. The R.E.R. was well-known as a European offshoot of the mysterious Rite of Strict Observance, which claimed that freemasonry descended from the Knights Templar.

For the first time, all of Folger’s ritual manuscripts have been deciphered in full. This dramatic and important book presents the full ritual contents of the earliest known English-language version of the R.E.R.’s Craft degrees, as well as Folger’s complete transcriptions of the Scottish Rite (Rose Croix) Craft ritual, with its installation and table ceremonies, and all seven degrees of "Egyptian masonry" (Pastophor, Neocoris, Melanophir, etc.), plus extracts from the American Order of the Red Cross and Knight Templar degrees.

The authors’ introduction places these degrees in their historical context, which occurred during the most turbulent period of Masonic history. Included is the cryptanalysis of Folger’s ciphers and biographies of the principals. Folger was a man of curious contradictions; a passionate Mason, he was twice expelled from Grand Lodge, and yet died a Mason in good standing.


This fascinating and amazing book is “Dedicated to the memory of Ill. Robert B. Folger, 33° Earnest Physician , Passionate Historian,  Zealous Craftsman”.


Folger (1803-1892) was the author of an invaluable book, The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, in Thirty-three degrees [...] with an Appendix containing numerous authentic documents [...] first published in New York in 1862. It was republished in 1881 with a Supplement of 104 pp. inserted before the Appendix, each part having a separate pagination, altogether (362 + 104 + 426) 892 pages. It was never reprinted.


Committed to the flames includes the transcrptions of three manuscripts (Chapters 6 to 8) written by Robert Folger, the first one mostly written in a cipher which « looks like Chinese ideographs », the second one ciphered only in parts. Whereas manuscript 1 was discovered in 1946 by Harold Voorhis and manuscript 2 also by him about 1967, manuscript 3 was discovered by Kent L. Walgren who sent a photocopy of the entire document to Arturo de Hoyos about 1994. The transcriptions are preceded with five chapters incluiding a biography of Folger, explaining when and why these manuscripts were written, and describing how, when and by whom the cipher was broken.


The title of the book comes from a few words inscribed by Robert Benjamin Folger on manuscript 1. If the manuscript was found after his death, it was to be given to one of his friends, Hans B. Gram ; if Gram was not then in America, it may be given to Mr. Ferdinand L. Wilsey « who will know what it contains and also how to preserve its substance in his mind while he commits the manuscript to the flames ».


Manuscript 1 (the Macoy Book) was first published by S. Brent Morris in 1993 as a volume of the Masonic Book Club. This earlier edition prefaced by Wallace McLeod, reproduced the transcription of the whole manuscript facing a facsimile of each page, which makes it extremely valuable. On the other hand, the 2008 edition, thanks to the incredible work and patience of Arturo de Hoyos, reproduces the transcription of all three Folger manucripts. It adds many new elements to the general presentation of manuscript 1 and sets right minor flaws of the previous transcription.


What are these manuscripts about ? Answer from the authors (p. 21) : « a very good interpretation of the first three degrees of the Rectified Scottish Rite [...], the earliest evidence [of that Rite] in the United States ».


This certainly is the most fascinating masonic book printed for many years. A must.


Alain Bernheim
reviewer, PS Review of Freemasonry

newsalerts Subscribe    Books Alerts are email updates of the latest DVD & Books reviewed on this site.
Subscribe PS Review of Freemasonry DVD & Book Reviews RSS Feed DVD & Book Reviews by PS Review of FM

GO to DVD/Book Reviews MAIN INDEX

Home Page | Alphabetical Index | What is New | Freemasons World News
Research Papers | Books online | Freemasons History | Symbolism & Rituals | Book Reviews
Saggi in Italiano | Essais en Langue Française | Monografias em Português | Planchas Masonicas en Español

| Sitemap | Privacy Policy | How to Contribute a Paper |

RSS Feed News Feed | News Alerts Subscribe News by Email|

Please, support PS Review of FM.
CLICK HERE to add our banner to your website

visitors currently on the page | visitors today (GMT+1)