Is it about conspirators or benefactors? Numerous legends and rumors entwine around on of the most considerable secret societies.




masons, architects, craftsmen

Anthony Sayer (1672 - 1742)

Dr. James Anderson (1678 - 1739)

George Washington (1732 - 1799)




since 1717




in about 130 countries worldwide


It starts in the Middle Ages: in the shelters masons, architects and other craftsmen incorporate in fraternities to conserve their knowledge and circulate it to the apprentices. Still very early also a social aspect assumed a major role. Sick or needy members are supported by the community. Beneath obligations the men also get privileges that free them from fees and facilitate travelling. They protect their knowledge with a kind of argot, consisting of symbols and hand signals. By and by expert knowledge is no more a secret property which can be handed only from the master craftsmen to the apprentice. Building of churches loses importance so that also the privileges melt. That's why the building fraternities dissolve in 17th century.


In Scotland it's different. There is lot of constructions and the fraternities assimilate also craftsmen outside of the industry, for example intellectuals and aristrocrats. This happens not incidentally in the age of the Enlightenment in which religious doctrines take a back seat and the rationality is centered. Morality and humanity are riding high. More and more people join the lodges, how single groups are called, and new lodges arise. On July 24th 1717 all functionaries of the member lodges meet, found the London Lodge and elect Anthony Sayer as first grand master. 1723 the behavioral rules are generated which were written down by Dr. James Anderson as "Constitutions". As the members act nonpolitical they don't clash with the authority. 1799 the Freemasons  are even excepted from an interdiction of secret societies. This is not everywhere the fact: the catholic church for example prohibits membership to their believers, in 1885 pope Leo XIII. declared the league to a sect.


In France the catholic church also combats the Freemasons, which leads to it, that the lodges, which exist there till today, are more militant than their english ideals. Also in the USA the fast rising members are more insurgent than in England. The first president of the United States, George Washington, is one of them and even took his official oath on a lodge bible.



Today there are about six million Freemasons in umpteen thousand lodges. The script "Constitutions" still counts as basic rule. The secretiveness clearly dimished, even in the internet various pages may be found. Notable is, that from the beginning mainly politicians and other mightful personalities are member of the Freemasons.



source: 111 Mal Wissen (111 times knowledge) by via compact