The Freemasons and The Age of Enlightenment

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by James7, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. James7

    James7 Member

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    It appears the original Freemasons of the Enlightenment were liberals and progressives.

    The Wikipedia page has the following to say on The Age of Enlightenment:

    The same source states the following with regard to the connection between Freemasonry and The Age of Enlightenment:

    Such progressive thinking inevitably played a part in the American and French revolutions:

    However the question has to be asked, can the present day Freemasons still be regarded as liberals and progressives? The Freemasons of today have the reputation of being conservative and pro-establishment, i.e. the exact opposite of The Age of Enlightenment Freemasons, with many of its leading members being high ranking members of the establishment.

    Has anyone else noticed this apparent historical contradiction?
     
  2. James7

    James7 Member

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    Within the UK leading Masons are high ranking aristocrats, with local lodges being organized by a local Lord.

    Bishops and Archbishops have also been notable members.

    Rather than the original Enlightenment ethic based upon reason and progressive liberalism, latter day Freemasonry appears to foster moral rectitude and other conservative/aristocratic airs. We could even go so far as to describe latter day Freemasonry as being "Pre-Enlightenment".

    Take a look at the following image of a Freemasonic ritual which is in progress. Note the antiquated headdresses which are being worn and old fashioned decor in the room in general:


    [​IMG]


    Also take a look at the following quote from the Wkipedia page on Freemasonry which is also revealing in this regard:

     
  3. Montegriffo

    Montegriffo Well-Known Member

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    The American and French revolutions were clearly progressive. Monarchy is inherently conservative.
     
  4. James7

    James7 Member

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    The UK is still afflicted by the relics of a class system which has survived from an undemocratic era and which goes against the principles of the Enlightenment.

    This system of hereditary privilege also conflicts with principle of the "free market" as defined by the Enlightenment thinker and economist, Adam Smith.
     
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  5. Tejas

    Tejas Well-Known Member

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    .

    Albert Pike, known as the father of Scottish Rite in America, was a Confederate General in the Civil War.

    My gg-grandfather [who also fought for the Confederacy] was in the same Arkansas Grand Lodge as Pike.

    .
     
  6. gamewell45

    gamewell45 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Can you share with us which ritual they are in allegedly in progress of putting on?
     
  7. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Freemasonry originated in a resistance to feudalism where such things like individual liberty and rejection of hereditary sovereign rule could only grow in the shadows. The secretive international networks of Freemasonry were integral to the spread of classical liberal ideals, movements and eventually revolutions. Once feudalism was (for most part) torn down and replaced by democracy during the renaissance, there was no further need for such things to be relegated to the shadows. Those organizations that remained in the shadows became the dwelling place of those who had been dethroned (and those who would aid and serve them once they succeed in reversing the renaissance). And there they've been organizing to re-instate feudalism (now with a technocratic front) for generations by using the secretive, compartmentalized organizational structure of Freemasonry (and similar secret clubs) to covertly communicate, control and consolidate wealth (and technology!!), corrupt governments and sow propaganda. The old tactic of simply hiring a bunch of mercenaries to seize power for you doesn't work anymore. The People hold the power, and the only way to take it from them is for them to give it up. This is best accomplished by trickery, from the shadows, lest The People realize their danger and rise up before they've been sufficiently disempowered.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  8. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a date range on this photo? It's hard to know what time period it is because of the dress and decor. Is that customary for these kinds of gatherings? I don't know anything about Freemasons but I was under the impression that they don't allow photographs of their gatherings especially for specific rituals.
     
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  9. James7

    James7 Member

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    I've no idea what the ritual is as I am not a Freemason, plus the website the image is taken from does not detail what the photo is actually of.

    Perhaps the ritual represents a lesson in good table manners?
     
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  10. James7

    James7 Member

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    If you zoom in on the official commemorative board at the rear left of the photo, a date of 2009 is revealed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  11. MJ Davies

    MJ Davies Well-Known Member

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    Tried that. Still can't see it but okay. Thanks for responding.
     
  12. wgabrie

    wgabrie Well-Known Member Donor

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    In my day to day life I haven't heard about the Freemasons doing anything big or small in the public sphere. So, I have my doubts that a secret society was, in any big way, responsible for the renaissance.

    As for why the Freemasons are conservative now but liberal in the past, it's my suspicion that they let in too many of the common people in, and they replaced the originals first in the lower ranks and later in the higher ranks. No one can live forever. At least not yet.

    I don't know about that because I'm not a Freemason. Also, someone is going to be in trouble for taking that photo. ;)
     
  13. gamewell45

    gamewell45 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I can tell you that it is not a ritual since documenting it on audio/video is prohibited. Most likely it is some sort of "play" being put on for the membership.
     
  14. James7

    James7 Member

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    Well it certainly wasn't me who took that photo.

    Here's the webpage the image was taken from:

    http://yeovilfreemasons.org/
     
  15. gamewell45

    gamewell45 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    After reading the web site it looks like a clandestine lodge.
     
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  16. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    The Freemasons are a Fraternal Club which tries to do good things in their neighborhoods and nations. Sometimes they are traditional and conservative and sometimes they are progressive and liberal, it depends on the lodge. The one constant is that they are individualistic but not asocial. They're not really political mainly for that reason.

    They make a great fetish of the secrecy surrounding their rituals, yet you can go to most any library and find a book completely describing every detail of them.

    They're a bunch of drinking buddies who run charities so as to feel they aren't totally wasting their time fer crissake. They don't run the world nor do they want to
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021
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  17. James7

    James7 Member

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    Really? I've never seen any books like that at the library.

    Could you name any titles?
     
  18. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  19. James7

    James7 Member

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    Take a look at the following quotes which strongly suggest the latter day Masons are Pre-Enlightenment and a Medieval relic:

    From the Wiki page on Freemasons:

    From the Wiki page on the Morality play:

    How more Medieval can you get than that?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2021
  20. James7

    James7 Member

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    Thanks. Interesting stuff.

    I've read through the relevant sections and the incredibly wordy rhetoric certainly sounds 16th and 17th century in flavour, i.e. medieval and hence pre-Enlightenment.

    This backs up my theory that aristocrats hijacked a liberal and progressive movement.

    Does Richard Carlile's "Manual of Freemasonry" have absolutely anything to do with The Age of Enlightenment at all? It's full of mystical, medieval mumbo jumbo.
     
  21. James7

    James7 Member

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    Masonic symbolism is used by the Orange Order of Northern Ireland.

    See this historic Orange Order poster from the relevant Wiki page which includes obvious Masonic symbolism including the all-seeing eye at the very top of the poster, the square and compass, and twin pillars and arch above scenes from the Old Testament:


    [​IMG]


    Here's a rather revealing quote from the Wiki page on the subject:

    The Orange Order are obviously royalist. The Wiki page has the following to say on this subject:

     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  22. Gulfman

    Gulfman Newly Registered

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    My dues are $55 a year,I don't consider myself as a freemason
     
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  23. gamewell45

    gamewell45 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Either you are or you are not. There is no in-between.
     
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  24. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Well, this is an interesting question and here are my thoughts on this.
    The Masons were progressive for their time, but any time you have an organization like that, it tends to be a little resistant to change, so in the end as time progresses it ends up being more conservative than the surrounding society which has progressed even more.

    I think as time went on, the Masons may even have been seen as somewhat of a bastion of conservativism and attracted like-minded types.
    We have to remember that a lot of political beliefs are reactionary to the present surrounding circumstances. It might not be that those people would really choose to fully do all those things they claim to believe, but through their beliefs they are expressing a desire for change in a certain direction.
    So the type of people in the Masons may have remained the same, but their beliefs changed in response to certain things they were opposed to in outside society at the time. Those people in the Masons back then may have reacted similarly to circumstances in society today.

    Being "conservative" can be a bit of a relative thing, viewing it on historical time scales.
     
  25. Imnotreallyhere

    Imnotreallyhere Well-Known Member

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    The Enlightenment was about 200 years after the Renaissance.
     

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