Rivista di Massoneria - Revue de Franc-Maçonnerie - Revista de Masonerìa - Revista de Maçonaria
History Literature Music Art Architecture Documents Rituals Symbolism

_sc64.gif - 6039 Bytes


by Wor.Bro. MARK A. TABBERT 33

Three Centuries of Building Communities

Introduction to the book

 “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”

—Harry S. Truman, 1952[i]


On October 15, 1948, three weeks before election day and in the midst of the political fight of his life, President Harry S. Truman spent the evening attending a Masonic lodge meeting in Beech Grove, Indiana. Earlier that day, Truman was giving a “whistle-stop” speech in Kokomo when he spotted in the crowd a sailor from his presidential yacht. He invited young Seaman Donald Bauermeister and his father to ride along on the presidential train down to Indianapolis. During the journey, Mr. Bauermeister mentioned to the president that his son Donald was receiving the third degree in Freemasonry at Beech Grove Lodge No. 8 that night. Knowing Truman to be a Mason, the father invited the president to attend.  Much to the surprise of the Bauermeisters, Truman accepted the invitation.

             Following a major speech at the Indianapolis War Memorial, Truman slipped away from the crowd and was driven to Beech Grove five miles away. Despite attempts by the Secret Service and Masonic leaders to keep the visit a secret, scores of local citizens and many prominent Freemasons awaited the president’s arrival in the small town. Truman had been a Mason for nearly 50 years and had served as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, yet the local Masons still followed protocol and examined Truman’s Masonic credentials before he could enter the lodge. The Secret Service agents and presidential aides who were not Masons were made to wait outside the lodge door. After Donald Bauermeister’s initiation, Brother Truman asked the lodge master and was invited to address the brethren. Truman ended his visit to the lodge by asking if he could keep the Masonic apron that he had worn as a token of his visit.[ii]

            Truman’s visit was not an attempt to seek votes. It reflected his genuine interest in the Masonic fraternity and the fraternity’s importance in his life. That the President of the United States, with all his major concerns, would interrupt campaigning for the sake of honoring one sailor speaks volumes about the man Harry Truman. But it also reveals an extraordinary loyalty and respect many Freemasons have toward the Masonic fraternity and toward each other as fraternal brothers. Exploring that relationship is at the heart of this book.

Freemasons, like those in Beech Grove, gather in local groups called lodges. These lodges are private clubs that admit only those who meet prescribed requirements. For instance, Harry Truman was admitted, but some of his aides and Secret Service agents were not. Portions of the initiation rituals and certain modes of membership recognition (principally, certain passwords and handshakes) constitute the confidential or “secret” aspects of the lodge. The centuries-old initiation ceremony that Donald Bauermeister received and Harry Truman witnessed is designed “to unite men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliate true friendship” among them.[iii]

The private aspect of Masonic membership becomes especially important when it intersects with American society. The United States was founded on the proposition that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The dynamic relationship and tension between the privacy of restricted Masonic lodges and the openness of America’s public communities constitute the principal focus of this book. It is the story of men, like Harry Truman, who find refuge from the broader world as “Brother Truman” within a lodge, yet use the principles inculcated and reinforced in the lodge to function more effectively as “Mr. President” in the world. And it is the story of how the private Masonic lodge, like the one in Beech Grove, relates to the American community in which it resides.


 “The tenets of your profession as a Mason are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.”

—Thomas Dunckerly, 1769[iv]


Our story begins when disparate men come together and are united through Freemasonry’s rituals, symbols and obligations into the community of the lodge. Through a progression of three initiation rituals, a man assumes the identity of a Freemason. After taking upon himself an obligation to obey the rules and regulations of the fraternity, he is instructed that the fraternity never recognizes a man by his wealth or appearance. Regardless of his past achievements or limitations, the fraternity and his lodge recognize him as a brother and equal. He is informed that the three tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth should guide his future conduct.

The privacy of the lodge and Freemasonry’s focus on character building does not mean the fraternity is monastic or merely a school for philosophical contemplation. On the contrary, the new Mason is charged to adhere to the Masonic tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth in the world by strengthening his personal relationships and becoming a better father, husband, son and citizen.


Purpose of the Book


“At your leisure hours, study the liberal arts and sciences; and improve in Masonic disquisitions, by the conversation of well-informed Brethren, who will be as ready to give, as you can be to receive instruction.”

—William Preston 1796 edition[v]


This book seeks to explore and understand how generations of Masons have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry and have practiced them in public. To fulfill this purpose is to provide an explanation of what Freemasonry is, why American men have joined it for nearly 300 years, and what Freemasons have done and continue to do. The use of authorized quotations from Masonic initiation ceremonies and the symbols used by Masons to explain their ethical tenets will provide the reader with a deeper insight into Freemasonry’s basic philosophy and a member’s desire to participate.

Part One begins with a basic explanation of some of the legendary and historical origins of the fraternity. Borrowing heavily from three distinct sources, a group of independent, preexisting Masonic lodges came together in London in 1717 to form a so-called “grand” lodge with certain supervisory powers. From this point on, Masons traveled in various directions and adapted the fraternity to fit different locales. In the American colonies, it attracted the social and political elite, entrepreneurs, artisans, farmers and free Africans. Through revolution, war and the establishment of the new republic, Freemasonry was transformed into a forum for equality, liberty, enterprise and civic virtue. By the 1820s, however, its considerable prestige created resentment and fear among some Americans. These attitudes and suspicions about the fraternity helped to fuel the flames of a scandal that caused many political, religious and community leaders to join together to denounce the fraternity, which suffered greatly as a result.

Part Two shows how Freemasonry found new ways to rebuild itself and to grow as the nation expanded in the 1800s. Successive generations of Masons employed the tenets inculcated in thousands of lodges throughout America to build the fraternity and also create new organizations to serve rapidly changing communities. Part Two begins to explore some of the most important reasons for the fraternal involvement of millions of American men, who sought (1) self-improvement, (2) dramatic ritual performance, (3) health and death benefits and (4) social life. Part Three examines life in the 1900s, when they found three more reasons to join: (5) business networks, (6) family participation and (7) community service.

The book does not make predictions for the future of Freemasonry. It relates the past to the present and shows how Freemasonry’s tenets — first established in the 1700s — continue to adorn both the lodge and America today. Hopefully, the reader will gain a greater understanding of the interaction between the private Masonic lodge and the public environment of American community.


Freemasonry’s Symbols and Rituals


“The tools and implements of architecture, symbols the most expressive! Imprint on the memory wise and serious truths, and transmit unimpaired, through a succession of ages, the excellent tenets of this institution.”

—William Preston, 1775[vi]


Freemasonry cannot be understood apart from its rituals and symbols and the way in which its members have interpreted and employed them. The nature of its rituals — their complexity, beauty and symbolism — distinguishes Freemasonry from all other voluntary associations. The initiation rituals attempt to foster brotherly love between the members of the fraternity, impress upon the mind of new Masons the necessity of relief, and encourage the new Mason to be a seeker and lover of truth.

The origin of Freemasonry and its rituals are obscure. While individual lodges are known to have existed in Scotland and England in the 1600s, it was not until 1717 that four London lodges publicly organized a “grand” lodge to supervise and coordinate the work of individual lodges. The year 1717 is thus referred to as the origin of organized Freemasonry. Yet neither researchers nor speculators have been able to conclusively determine when, where and how Freemasonry was born.[vii]  Some Masonic writers have been eager to argue that its rituals are divinely inspired and ancient. Many scholars contend that the fraternity simply employs rituals laced with architectural and biblical metaphors. Regardless of its obscure origins, Freemasonry now operates throughout the world in tens of thousands of lodges and counts nearly three million men as fraternal brothers.[viii]

Freemasonry and other voluntary associations have easily thrived in free and open societies. Unlike many other human institutions, however, the fraternity has persisted through the modern world’s cruelest, oppressive and prejudiced communities. In the 20th century, religious fanaticism, communism, fascism, racism, commercialism and hedonism have all sought to dismiss, discredit or destroy it. Nonetheless, Freemasonry still survives.[ix] Its rituals are its strength and the keystone that has united its members for nearly 300 years.

The act of instructing and receiving instruction through the initiation rituals constitutes the basic operation of the lodge. Freemasonry is deeply rooted in an oral tradition. In some grand lodges the rituals are never written out, while in others, they are reduced to writings that employ codes. By passing the rituals from mouth to ear and from one generation to the next, Freemasonry has been sustained. The emphasis on preservation and continuation of knowledge reflects the worldly concerns of Freemasonry’s founders.

The lessons taught in the rituals are interwoven with ideas central to the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. It is no coincidence that the exponents of Enlightenment thought found much in Freemasonry that resonated with their way of thinking. Enlightenment philosophers, mathematicians, and scientists believed that human beings and their society could be improved by a search for knowledge, rational study and systematic applications.[x]

In the spirit of the Enlightenment, William Preston sought to improve himself in Masonry. More than 50 years after the formation of the first grand lodge in London, Preston, a Scotsman, visited London Masonic lodges to gather their oral rituals and lectures. His 1772 book, Freemasonry Illustrated, contains the fraternity’s first organized, rational and literary published lectures. Preston’s work went through nine editions in his lifetime and much of which today still constitutes Masonic ceremonies throughout America. Preston was, in part, motivated to codify the rituals and teachings so that the fraternity’s message could be preserved against “the lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance and the devastation of war.”[xi]

Freemasonry, as understood and portrayed by Preston, professes to be a universal charitable institution that teaches a system of morality to all men of good will who believe in God, who is referred to as the Grand Architect of the Universe. Freemasonry maintains its universality, because its tenets transcend time and culture. The fraternity thus uses tools and implements of architecture as the basis for its universal language. Like all languages, Masonic symbolism is taught incrementally to make complex lessons of life easier to understand and master. The stages of initiation and knowledge in Freemasonry are called “degrees.”  Rather than the titles of academic degrees (bachelor, master or doctor), Freemasonry uses the terms Entered Apprentice (first degree), Fellowcraft (second degree) and Master Mason (third degree) to describe a progression from the “darkness” of ignorance of Masonic principles to the “light” of their knowledge.

Freemasonry’s symbolic language and its instructional system are derived mostly from medieval stonemason guilds. To differentiate themselves from stonemasons, Freemasons employ the terms “operative Masonry” and “speculative Masonry.” While stonemasonry is the craft of building edifices, Freemasonry professes to be a “craft” devoted to building better men. Operative masons were organized in lodges or guilds and were taught ways to use tools to improve stone for construction. Speculative Masons call their organizations “symbolic” lodges and apply the symbolic meanings of the stonemasons’ tools to discern ways — obvious upon further reflection but often overlooked — to improve themselves and become useful and productive members of their communities.[xii]

Although Freemasonry’s rituals have remained nearly unchanged and are remarkably similar throughout the country, each American grand lodge has its own particular traditions and unique characteristics. While Freemasonry is one universal language, it is one spoken in a myriad of local dialects. For consistency and convenience, many of the ritual quotations and symbols appearing in this book were first published by William Preston, and his American “successor” Thomas Smith Webb, and are similar to those used in Freemasonry today.


Freemasonry’s Governance


“The Grand Lodge consists of, and is form'd by the Masters and Wardens of all the regular particular Lodges upon record, with the Grand Master at the head, and his Deputy on his left-hand, and the Grand Wardens in their proper places.”

—James Anderson, 1723[xiii]


The source for the supposed secrets of Freemasons is an inheritance from medieval operative stonemasons. Just as medieval craftsmen sought to control their profession by not divulging trade secrets, Freemasons seek to maintain the quality of their lodges by regulating their rituals. One of the prime responsibilities of Masonic grand lodges is to maintain the symbolic language and the quality of ritual taught in its subordinate lodges. If a grand lodge or lodge fails these responsibilities, then the credibility of all its brothers suffers in the same way poorly trained workmen jeopardize the soundness of a building.

The fraternity’s jurisprudence and governance are derived from stonemasons’ regulations or “charges” written in the 15th and 16th century.[xiv] It was not until 1723, however, that The Constitutions of the Free-masons — a seminal work in the codification and establishment of Masonic governance — was published by James Anderson, a Scottish Presbyterian minister and member of the Royal Society.

According to his own accounts, Anderson was commissioned to write the book by the Duke of Montagu, who was the Grand Master of the first grand lodge in London. Anderson included several key elements that shaped Freemasonry’s future development. The grand lodge in London accepted, endorsed and promulgated Anderson’s Constitutions. Although it has been frequently revised, it remains the foundation for the governance of most Masonic grand lodges. Anderson’s work limited Freemasonry’s purpose and established enduring precedents. The most important points were that a Mason must be an adult male of good morals and reputation, could not be an atheist and must be a loyal and law-abiding citizen. Furthermore, Anderson’s work established the idea that a lodge of Masons must be chartered by a grand lodge before it can be considered legal and must perform only the ritual work prescribed by its grand lodge. He also insisted that all lodge officers are to be chosen according to personal merit, not seniority, wealth or social status.[xv]


“Do you seriously declare upon your honour, before these gentlemen that you are solely prompted [to solicit the privileges of Masonry,] by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire for knowledge, and a sincere wish to be serviceable to your fellow- creatures?”

—William Preston, 1775[xvi]


No matter what one’s achievements, credentials or titles may be in public life, all Masons assume the equal title of “brother” in a Masonic lodge. Personal or public identities are not relinquished outside the lodge. Quite the opposite, the fraternity’s purpose is to improve the inner man within the security of the lodge so that he might better live his public roles.

Contrary to some accusations, Freemasonry is not on a crusade to control the world or its members. For most of its existence, the fraternity did not actively seek new members. Only in recent years has there been an effort to promote itself. Freemasonry is viewed as a craft in the same way that the term is used to identify stonemasons, metalworkers or carpenters. As a voluntary organization, Freemasonry can make no demands on members’ time or commitment beyond what those members are willing to demand of themselves. Only the members who choose to actively participate assume leadership positions in their lodges. Indeed, many members attend the regular meetings of their lodge infrequently, if at all. It is not uncommon for brothers to attend meetings of their lodge only on special occasions. But an active brother will serve through a progression of offices that culminates in his becoming the Master, or presiding officer, of his lodge. Through diligence and talent he may further preside as the Grand Master of his grand lodge.

As a self-improvement organization, Freemasonry has long described its mission to “make good men better.”[xvii] It does not seek to “make bad men good.” Men are denied admission if the members of a particular lodge feel that an applicant has a bad reputation or is found to have a history of immoral or illegal actions. This is done through an investigative process and a secret ballot. One negative vote (a so-called “black ball”) is sufficient to deny the applicant admission. While this system can be harsh in its application, it is also one of the secrets of Freemasonry’s longevity. By denying any ability to “save,” rehabilitate or reform bad men, Freemasonry has avoided many serious conflicts with religious, medical or governmental authority. Of course, Freemasonry is an institution comprised of fallible individuals — volunteers at that — and as such the application process occasionally fails to function in the manner in which it is intended. The result is that from time to time misguided and reprobate men have been able to gain admission and, in some instances, even assume a leadership position within a lodge. For members who stray from the principles of the craft, there is a due process for expulsion from the fraternity.[xviii]


Defining Freemasonry


“By Speculative Masonry we learn to subdue the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practice charity.”

—William Preston, 1775[xix]


Freemasonry’s rituals, symbols and constitutions have led many Masons and non-Masons to attempt to define the craft. To the extent that it is a unique institution, it is not easily defined. Traditionally, Masons have defined the fraternity as “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”[xx]  While this is essentially true, it is more than a system. Freemasonry is an institution and a collection of distinct communities of men and as such it only exists when men voluntarily come together. The definition, therefore, has varied from Mason to Mason and lodge to lodge over the course of American history.

One basic way to view Freemasonry is to see it as a voluntary association akin to the Elks, Rotary, Boy Scouts or other community clubs. Unlike these clubs, however, a Mason cannot attend a lodge meeting until he takes upon himself various obligations. The importance of maintaining the obligations are emphasized by references to severe “ancient” penalties. He must first pass through a series of three initiation rituals before he is a full member. And in many jurisdictions, a man must prove he has memorized and understood the lessons and symbols of one degree before receiving the next.

Before the 1920s, Freemasonry was often called a “secret society.” Since that time, this terminology has increasingly assumed sinister connotations, and Masons now attempt to counter this definition and the conspiratorial image it conveys by referring to the fraternity as “a society with secrets.” In fact, the society has not had secrets to hide since the 1720s, when its rituals were first exposed in London newspapers. As Benjamin Franklin, himself a leading Freemason in Philadelphia, quipped in the 1730s, “Their grand secret is, that they have no secret at all.”[xxi] The craft’s origin, symbolism, purposes and rituals still strike some people as “weird” and “spooky,” despite the fact that there are lodges in nearly every town, tens of thousands of published books on the craft, millions of members, and a growing number of Internet sites.[xxii] The feelings are largely due to a lack of response from the fraternity in the face of the overactive imagination of conspiracy theorists, the sensationalism of modern journalists and the rigid views of certain well-meaning, but ill-informed, religiously minded individuals.

When scholars attempt to make sense of the fraternity, some dismiss Freemasonry as a patriarchal cult or “old boys” club, where hypocrisy and ambition overrule true fraternity or equality. Its rituals and symbolism are often mistakenly equated to the sophomoric pranks of college fraternities, and its membership is erroneously identified through such television characters as The Honeymooners’ Ralph Cramden and Ed Norton.[xxiii] Other academics, who have given the fraternity serious attention, have discovered in Freemasonry sources for American gender, class, ethnicity, race and intergenerational phenomenon.[xxiv] Still others have sought ways to understand the genuine love and pride generations of American men have felt when they “meet upon the level, act upon the plumb, and part upon the square” — whether in the lodge or on the street.[xxv]  While these scholars have much to say about Freemasonry that is valuable, most of them are not members, have never attended a meeting and have not actually witnessed the rituals performed. This limits their ability to fully understand the craft.

Since the 1730s, the Roman Catholic Church and certain Protestant denominations have, at various times, labeled Freemasonry dangerous.[xxvi]  The craft’s combination of prayer, initiation rituals, obligations, symbolism, morality and charity has caused them to see the fraternity as a rival, parallel or false religion. Some believe Freemasonry is a religion, because lodge meetings begin and end with a prayer, a holy book (in America most frequently the Bible) is open in the center of the lodge room during meetings, and a man swears to be good to his word by placing his hand on the holy book he holds sacred.[xxvii]

When challenged by these positions, Freemasonry replies that its use of the non-sectarian title “Grand Architect of the Universe,” for example, allows those of different faiths to come together in harmony. While each Mason must profess a belief in God, Freemasonry also believes that the relationship between the individual and God is personal, private and sacred. For these reasons Anderson's 1723 Constitutions assured brothers they will neither have to suffer "stupid atheists" nor religious zealots by charging members to "leave their particular opinions [on religion] to themselves."[xxviii] Masons stress that the fraternity encourages men to be more devout in their chosen faith. These explanation do not, however, diminish the spiritual dimensions of the fraternity, anymore than Freemasonry's can prevent some men from professing that attending lodge meetings fulfills their spiritual needs.

American politicians, especially after the French Revolution and during the Napoleonic era, began to suspect and accuse the fraternity of conspiratorial tendencies. These attacks reached their most violent stage during the anti-Masonic hysteria of the 1820s and 1830s. Ever since, the idea of private groups of men bound together by rituals and oaths has troubled certain Americans and political leaders.[xxix] Freemasonry has endeavored to rebut such attacks by pointing to not only the constitutional right of peaceable assembly but also Anderson’s Constitutions which forbids the discussion of politics in the lodge and charges brothers to be “peaceable subjects to the civil powers.”[xxx]

The fact that Freemasonry means different things to so many different people has been one of its greatest strengths. Its definitional elusiveness continues to attract new members while remaining the source of inspiration for its varied detractors and critics. Its supporters and critics notwithstanding, Freemasonry is an important part of many lives, entire families, and communities.

In the course of one lodge meeting, Freemasonry is a spiritual organization when the chaplain leads the brethren in prayer and asks for the blessing of Deity. It is a guild when the Master of the lodge teaches the new Mason the symbolic uses of stonemasons’ tools. It becomes a school of instruction when the new brother learns about the importance of the seven liberal arts and sciences. At other moments, it is an amateur theater company when the ritual is performed. The lodge becomes a men’s social club when the lodge meets for dinner and fellowship is enjoyed. It becomes a charitable group when relief is provided to distressed brothers, their families or the local community, in general. It is also a business association when members with similar interests share ideas. The lodge is a family when fathers and sons, strangers and friends call each other “brother,” and it is a community league when volunteers are sought for a project.

Yet at other times Freemasonry’s constitutions, tenets and symbolism have emanated from the lodge as Masons have carried the principles into their communities. Just as Robert’s Rules of Order caused the birth of infinite committees, so Freemasonry sparked the creation of thousands of American voluntary organizations. Masons and non-Masons have adapted Masonic rituals and symbols to create new fraternities. These groups teach morality and inspire “brotherly love” within diverse communities, such as the B’nai B’rith did among Jewish-Americans, the Order of AHEPA did among Greek-American, and the Knights of Columbus did among the country’s Roman Catholics. Other Masons used Masonic relief to develop mutual benefit associations and life insurance companies or build hospitals, orphanages, and retirement homes, such as the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. Still others, dropping the rituals and symbols, formed social, business, educational and community service clubs, such as Lions International.[xxxi]

All these things cannot adequately explain why Freemasonry has spread around the world and found especially fertile soil in American society. But it does reveal the great desire of men who join a Masonic lodge to improve themselves, care for each other and build their communities. From an obscure past, a fraternity of millions of men has given billions of dollars and untold hours establishing, building and adorning their lodges for the betterment of an unknown future.

Freemasonry is a symbol of man’s search for wisdom, brotherhood and charity. This universal search is ancient and is renewed every time a lodge of Masons initiates a new brother. Through rituals, symbols and obligations, a volunteer becomes a part of a community, as he begins his own individual search. Freemasonry refers to this as a journey in search of light. This book continues that search for light by telling the story of American Freemasons.



[i]William Hillman, Mr. President:…  (NY: Farr, Straus & Young, 1952) 81.

[ii] Allen E. Roberts. Brother Truman: The Masonic Life and Philosophy of Harry S. Truman (Highland Springs, VA: Anchor Communications, 1985) 143-49. Dwight L. Smith, Goodly Heritage: 150 Years of Craft Freemasonry in Indiana, (Indianapolis, IN: GLIN, 1968) 401-402. The author attended the Beech Grove Lodge meeting with President Truman. Truman jokingly asked that his Masonic knowledge be tested before he was allowed in. Furthermore, he insisted he be introduced as a Past Grand Master of Missouri and not as President of the United States.

[iii] William Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, Andrew Prescott, ed. (CD Rom Sheffield, UK:  Academy Electronics Publications Ltd. 2001) 1775 ed., 72

[iv] Masonic lectures vary from lodge to lodge and are not uniform even today. This quote derives from speech made by Thomas Dunckererly, Provincial Grand Master of Freemasons in Hampshire in 1769 and was printed in Wellins Calcott, A Candid Disquisition of the Principle and Practices of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons (London: James Dixwell, 1769 [reprint facsimile of Masonic Book club, Bloomington IN: Masonic Book Club, 1989] on pages 138-139. Later Masonic writers edited this passage for their own purposes, and it is now quoted as it is used today in Massachusetts and most American Masonic lodges.

[v] Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1796 ed., 49

[vi] Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1772 ed., 14

[vii] Freemasonry’s origins remain the single biggest issue in Masonic historiography. Among the best recent scholarly efforts are: John Hamill, The Craft: A History of English Freemasonry (UK: Aquarian Press, 1986) and David Stevenson, The First Freemasons: Scotland's Early Lodges and Their Members (Edinburgh: Grand Lodge of Scotland, 2nd ed. 2001).

[viii] See a 2004 List of Lodges Masonic, (Bloomington IL: Pantagraph Printing & Stationery Co., 2004) and Kent Henderson and Tony Pope, Freemasonry Universal: A New Guide to the Masonic World, 2 vols. (Victoria, Australia: Global Masonic Publications, 2000).

[ix] For example see John Robison, Proof of a Conspiracy against All Religions and Governments of Europe, carried on in the secret meetings of Free Masons, Illuminati, and reading societies. (London: William Creech. T. Cadell, Jr., W. Davies, 1797) Leon Taxil, La Femme et l'Enfant dans la Franc Maconnerie Universelle" (Paris: A.C. DeLa Rive, 1894) and Pat Robertson, The New World Order (Dallas, TX: Word Publishing, 1992).

[x]Alan Charles Kors, The Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, 4 vols, (NY: Oxford University Press, 2003) vol 1, 418-419.

[xi] Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1772 ed., 13

[xii] For a basic explanation of Freemasonry’s rituals see Carl H. Claudy, Introduction to Freemasonry, 3 vols. (Washington DC: Temple Publishers, 1931) and Allen E. Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols (Richmond, VA: Macoy, 1974). For an example of a deeper interpretation see W. Kirk MacNulty, The Way of the Craftsman: A Search for the Spiritual Essence of Craft Freemasonry (London: Central Regalia, 2002).

[xiii] James Anderson, The Constitutions of the Free-Masons. (London: printed by William Hunter, 1723) 61.

[xiv] Wallace McLeod, edt.  The Old Gothic Constitutions; Facsimile Reprints of Four Early Printed text of the Masonic Old Charges…..   (Bloomington IL: The Masonic Book Club, 1985).

[xv] Anderson, The Constitutions of the Free-Masons. (London: printed by William Hunter, 1723) 50-53.

[xvi] Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1775 ed., 59. The “gentlemen” would be the lodge stewards.

[xvii] Where this quote originated is unclear, but the eminent jurist and Freemason, Roscoe Pound in his book, Masonic Addresses and Writings of Roscoe Pound. (NY:­ Macoy, 1953, p.20-21) argued that English Freemasons in the early 1700’s held to this mission. By the 1970s the phrase was universally accepted in American Freemasonry, and one the most popular Masonic books (Allen Roberts, The Craft and Its Symbols: Opening the Door to Masonic Symbols. (Richmond, Va.: Macoy, 1974, 8) states in large type on page eight.

[xviii] Anderson, Constitutions, 56, 60-61; Henry W. Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia (Richmond, VA: Macoy, 1996) 373; Constitutions and Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, (Boston, 1989) Sec. 416-20.

[xix] William Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1772, p.12

[xx] Carl Claudy, Introduction to Freemasonry, 3 vols. (Washington, DC: ­The Temple Publishers, 1931) Vol.1, 8. The phrase originates as least as far back as William Preston who in 1772 wrote: “The whole is one regular system of morality, conceived in a strain of interesting allegory, which unfolds its beauties to the candid and industrious inquirer.” William Preston, Illustrations of Masonry, 1772, 60.

[xxi]As quoted in The Proceedings of the Celebration of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania . . .at Its Celebration of the Bi-Centenary of the Birth of . . . Grand Master Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia, 1906) 59-60.

[xxii] According to Alexander Piatigorsky in his book Freemasonry: A Study of a Phenomenon, (London: Harvill, 1999) 342: There are “more than 64,000 titles of books, articles and other publications devoted to Masonry and written by, or (though far less often) specifically about Freemasons.” Kent Walgren, Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry and Illuminism in the United States: 1734-1850: A Bibliography. 2 Volumes Worcester, MA: American Antiquarian Society, 2003. Walgren’s bibliography cites over 2,700 Masonic publications before the Civil War. A Goggle (www.google.com) search on the Internet for the word “freemasonry” on May 10, 2004 returned 190,000 hits. A search within Amazon.com (www.amazon.com ) listings under “freemasonry” on May 10, 2004 returned 3,127 books.

[xxiii] Arthur M. Schlesinger, "Biography of a Nation of Joiners." American Historical Review, 50 (October 1944): 1-25. Eric Hobsbawn, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the 19th and 20th Centuries (NY: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963) 152-154. In most cases, however, the fraternity is simply ignored by scholars, see Piatigorsky, Freemasonry: A Study of a Phenomenon, 342.

[xxiv] See Mark C. Carnes, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1989); Mary Ann Clawson, Constructing Brotherhood: Class, Gender  and Fraternalism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989) and William Muraskin, Middle-class Blacks in White Society: Prince Hall Freemasonry in America (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1975);

[xxv] See Lynn Duminel, Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984); Steven C. Bullock, Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 1996) and Jasper Ridley. The Freemasons: A History of the World’s Most Powerful Secret Society (New York: Arcade Publishing Co., 2001).

[xxvi] Coil, Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, 55. The Roman Catholic Church has issued several bulls and encyclicals concerning the craft between 1738 and 1902, including Pope Leo XIII’s strong condemnation of Freemasonry in his 1884 encyclical Humanum Genus. American Protestant denominations that have also issued warned its members about Freemasonry, including the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod and in the 1990s, leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and other conservative evangelical denominations rigorously denounced Freemasonry. See Forest Haggard, The Clergy and the Craft (Fulton, MO: Missouri Lodge of Research, 1970) 4 and James J. Holly, The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry , vol. II, (including the complete text of vol. I (Taylor, SC: Faith Printing Company, 1993).

[xxvii] Coil’s Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, 672.  Among the books recognized and accepted as “Volumes of the Sacred Law” are: the Pentateuch for Jews the New Testament for Christians, the Koran for Muslims, the Tripitaka for Buddhists and the Bhagavad-Gita for Hindus.

[xxviii] Anderson, The Constitutions of the Free-masons, 48.

[xxix] See, Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics (New York: Knopf, 1965).

[xxx] Anderson, The Constitutions of the Free-masons, 50.

[xxxi] See Alvin J. Schmidt, Fraternal Organizations (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1966) 52, 23-25, 176-178, 100-105; William R. Denslow, 10,00 Famous Freemasons, 4 vols. (Independence, MO: Missouri Lodge of Research, 1957-1961) vol. 2, 317.