The reader seeking to understand the origins of the world's premier and most controversial secret society, and of the claims made for its various rites and rituals, will find this account of considerable use, as will those more informed who wish to review and reflect. Some will find that the authors have revealed too much while others will wish they had given away more. This is a valuable glimpse of what an eighteenth-century lyricist cautioned:
Who can unfold the Royal Art?
Or sing its secrets in a song?
They're safely kept in Mason's heart,
And to the ancient Lodge belong.
Alain Bauer is a Professor of Criminology in Paris, New York and Beijing. An adviser on many occasions to the French Government, he was Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France.
Roger Dachez is professor at the Paris Diderot University. A physician, he is President of the Institute Alfred Fournier in Paris and Secretary General of the Masonic Institute of France.