The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Second Edition


Mysteries revealed … truths uncovered … and myths dispelled.

What is the truth about the Masons suggested in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code? Can Freemasonry really be dated back as far as Babylon? Did they really coordinate the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution? What really goes on at a Mason lodge during an initiation? Here is the real story behind the secret society that now boasts nearly five million members (and has included such illustrious fellows as George ...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Second Edition

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Mysteries revealed … truths uncovered … and myths dispelled.

What is the truth about the Masons suggested in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code? Can Freemasonry really be dated back as far as Babylon? Did they really coordinate the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution? What really goes on at a Mason lodge during an initiation? Here is the real story behind the secret society that now boasts nearly five million members (and has included such illustrious fellows as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin), as revealed by a Master Mason.

• Offers a highly illustrated field guide to Masonic jewelry and symbols
• Includes further reading, a glossary, a list of famous Freemasons and information on Freemasonry in popular culture
• Morris is a Master Mason

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615642373
  • Publisher: DK
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 330,705
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

S. Brent Morris, Ph.D., 33°, is managing editor of the largest-circulation Masonic magazine in the world, the Scottish Rite Journal of the Supreme Council, 33°, S.J. A former mathematician with the federal government, he's been invited to lecture at over 100 universities, has taught at Duke and Johns Hopkins Universities, and is currently on the graduate faculty at George Washington University.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Basic Organization of Freemasonry 1

1 What Is Freemasonry? 3

The Fraternity's Real and Imagined Presence 4

Documentary Evidence: 1390-1850 6

The Transition from "Operative" to "Speculative" 8

Masonic Secrets 9

Masonic Ritual 10

The Organization of American Freemasonry 12

Local Lodges and State Grand Lodges 13

The York and Scottish Rita 14

Eastern Star, DeMolay, Rainbow, and Job's Daughters 14

Shriners and Other Fun Groups 15

What Goes On in a Lodge? 16

Typical Layout of an American Masonic Lodge 16

The Officers and "Going Through the Line" 19

Lodge Meetings: Degree Work, Philanthropy, Education, and Sociability 20

2 The Birth of the Masonic Fraternity 23

The Creation of the Premier Grand Lodge, 1717 24

The Codification of Masonic Tradition 25

The Evolution of Masonic Ritual 27

The Appearance of the Third Degree 28

Preston's Illustrations of Masonry, 7772 29

The United Grand Lodge of England, 1813 30

The Appearance of the Ancient Grand Lodge, 1751 30

The Importance of the Royal Arch 31

The Rivalry Spreads into the Colonies 32

Reconciliation and Union in 1813 33

3 The Beginnings of American Freemasonry 35

The First Evidence of Freemasonry in America 36

The First Written Records 36

Provincial Grand Masters 37

Loyalists vs. Patriots 38

Masonic Coordination of the American Revolution? 38

Masonic Participation in the Boston Tea Party? 40

Freemasonry in Action During the Revolution 41

The Failure of a National Grand Lodge 42

The Emergence of State Grand Lodges 43

Freemasonry and the Presidency 44

The Morgan Affair 45

Masonic Ritual and Morgan's Proposed Exposé 46

Masonic Secrecy 47

The Abduction, Trials, and Aftermath 47

True Convictions or Political Expediency? 49

Freemasonry Reemerges 50

4 African American Freemasonry 53

Prince Hall of Boston 54

Sergeant Batt and Lodge No. 441, 1775 55

African Lodge No. 459, 1784 56

A Declaration of Independence, 1827 55

The National Compact Grand Lodge 59

The Current State of Prince Hall Masonry 60

5 Masonic Regularity 63

The Importance of Recognition 63

Legitimacy of Origin 65

Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction 66

Adherence to the Ancient Landmarks 67

French Masonry 69

Belgian Masonry 70

Everyone's Regular to Someone 70

Part 3 The Eastern Star, the York Rite, and the Scottish Rite 73

6 Women and Freemasonry 75

Early Examples of Women Freemasons 76

Elizabeth St Leger Aldworth, Ireland, Around 1710 76

Mrs. Bell, England, 1770 78

Mrs. Havard and Mrs. Beaton, Hereford, England, 1770 78

Hannah Mather Crocker, Boston, 1778 78

Catherine Babington, North Carolina, 1815 79

The French Rite of Adoption 80

The Eastern Star and Sister Organizations 80

Order of the Amaranth 83

White Shrine of Jerusalem 84

Female Organizations for Other Masonic Groups 84

Marie Deraismes and Co-Masonry 85

Female Grand Lodges 86

7 The York Rite 87

Capitular Masonry: Royal Arch Masons 88

The Royal Arch Degree 88

The Other Degrees in an American Royal Arch Chapter 90

Cryptic Masonry: Royal and Select Masters 93

Chivalric Masonry: Knights Templar 95

The Degrees of the Knights Templar 96

The Creation of the York Rite 99

8 The Scottish Rite 101

High Degrees in France 102

The Most Secret Mysteries 103

The Invention of Stephen Morin 104

The First Supreme Council: Charleston, 1801 105

The Second American Supreme Council: New York, 1806 106

The Innovation of Fraternal Theater 107

Scottish Rite Operations Today 109

The Scottish Rite Degrees 112

The Thirty-Third Degree and Other Honors 112

Part 3 Building Higher, Having Fun, and Doing More 115

9 Even More Masonic Organizations 117

York Rite Invitational Organizations 118

Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine 118

Knights of the York Cross of Honor 119

Allied Masonic Degrees 119

Knight Masons 120

York Rite Sovereign College 120

Research Lodges and History Societies 121

Quatuor Coronati Lodge 121

Philalethes Society 122

American Lodge of Research 122

Grand College of Rites, U.S.A 122

Phylaxis Society 123

Scottish Rite Research Society 123

The Masonic Society 123

Other Masonic Groups 124

Royal Order of Scotland 124

Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis 124

National Sojourners 125

Society of Blue Friars 125

Other Masonic Rites Around the World 125

"Masonic Week" in Washington, D.C. 126

10 Masonic "Fun" and Youth Groups 127

Setting the Stage for Masonic "Fun" Groups 128

Shriners 129

How the Shrine Operates 133

Yet More for Shriners to Do 134

The Grotto 134

Tall Cedars of Lebanon 135

Masonic-Sponsored Youth Groups 135

DeMolay for Boys 135

Job's Daughters International 136

International Order of Rainbow for Girls 137

Other Youth Groups 137

11 Masonic Philanthropies 139

Local Support 140

Statewide Charities 142

Orphanages and Retirement Homes 142

Masonic Colleges 143

Regional and National Philanthropies 144

Scottish Rite Hospitals for Children 144

Shriners Hospitals for Children 145

Masonic Service Association 147

Scottish Rite Speech and Language Disorders Clinics 148

Knights Templar Eye Foundation 148

Dental Care for Children with Special Needs 149

Camp Chicota 149

Part 4 Masonic Myths and Misunderstandings 151

12 Albert Pike: Sovereign Pontiff of Masonic Mythology 153

A Brief Biography 154

Taxil's Invention of the "Sovereign Pontiff of Lucifer" 159

Tarring Pike with the KKK 165

The Elusive Mazzini Letter 167

13 Searching for Hidden Masonic Symbols 169

The Street Plan of Washington, D.C. 170

The Cornerstone of the District of Columbia 171

Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant 171

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson 171

The Inverted Pentagram 172

The House of the Temple 173

The Great Seal of the United States 174

The First Committee 176

The Second and Third Committees 777

Rolling Rock Beer 178

14 Masonry in Plain Sight in Washington 181

The House of the Temple, Washington, D.C. 181

Motivation for the Temple 182

Construction of the Temple 184

Interior of the Temple 189

The George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia 194

Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. 196

Andrew Jackson 196

Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette 197

Charles Hector, Comte d'Estaing 197

Jean-Baptiste de Vimeur, Comte de Rocbambeau 197

Friedrich Wilhelm, Baron von Steuben 197

Statues Elsewhere in Washington 198

15 Masonic Mythology: Knights Templar and Egypt 203

The Historical Knights Templar 204

Philip the Fair, Clement V, and the Fall of the Templars 205

Escaping Arrest and Going Underground in 1314 205

Turning the Tide at Bannockburn 207

The Oration of Chevalier Ramsay 208

Other Connections to the Templars 210

16 Religious Concerns About Freemasonry 211

The Religious Language of the Gothic Constitutions 212

The First Religious Attack 213

Papal Pronouncements Against Freemasonry 215

Canon Laws Against Freemasonry 217

Who Speaks for Freemasonry? 218

General Religious Concerns 219

The "Worshipful" Master 219

The Secret Worship of Lucifer 220

Salvation by Works 221

The Prevention of Evangelizing 222

Praying to the Great Architect of the Universe 222

Freemasonry Is a Religion 223

Part 5 A Field Guide to Masonic Symbols and Jewelry 227

17 Masonic Symbols 229

Working Tools 230

Architectural Features of King Solomon's Temple 235

Other Symbols 241

18 Masonic Regalia 251

Aprons-Masonry's Unique Badge 252

Awards for Past Service 256

Lapel Pins and Other Personal Jewelry 261

Car Badges 267

Headgear: Hats, Fezzes, and Chapeaux 269

Knights Templar and Other Uniforms 271

Similar Emblems of Other Groups 273


A Glossary 279

B Further Reading, Websites, and Contact Information 287

C Masonic Rituals 295

D Famous Freemasons 313

E Freemasonry in Books, Plays, and Movies 327

Index 331

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