AN OBJECTIVE VIEW ON FREEMASONRY (III) THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ONE FREEMASONRY
By a blog reader.
The simple fact is that there is no such thing as a unified entity called Freemasonry. ‘Freemasonry’ consists of a vast myriad of lodges and grand lodges, many of whom believe different things, use different rituals, and many of which are even severely at odds and outright hostile towards each other. There exist regular lodges and irregular ones, there is British masonry and Continental masonry, the latter perhaps best exemplified by the Grand Orient of France. There are bogus masonic and pseudo-masonic and pseudo-chivalric bodies that only exist to defraud their gullible members. Anyone can set up a ‘masonic lodge’, literally, just as anyone can declare himself a pastor and create his own ‘church’.
There is no governing body ruling over the different lodges and grand lodges and the only system of regularity is governed by a system of recognition whereby Grand Lodges recognize each other based on the adherence and demonstrable practice of what in British masonry (which I will hereon take as the ‘default masonry’ when I use the term masonry or freemasonry without qualifying it further) given that speculative (which means the craft of the stone mason used for philosophic rather than operative purpose) masonry originated in Britain and that the United Grand Lodge of England is the oldest Grand Lodge are known as the basic principles of recognition as defined in the book of constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). Recognition of regularity can take years and even decades to obtain but is very easy to lose in the event that there is a suspicion that these principles are not being adhered to. That the Sovereign Grand Lodge of Malta which Simon Cusens currently heads has managed to obtain so many recognitions from all over the world since 2004 is principally due to the fact that it was directly constituted by the three premier regular Grand Lodges, namely UGLE itself as well as the Grand Lodges of Scotland and Ireland.
Thus to confound British masonry with Continental masonry let alone irregular and outright bogus ‘masonic’ bodies and other secret societies is the equivalent of equating the Catholic church to the Mormons or the Moonies just because they all claim to be Christians. No person should ever make such a glaring mistake.
Likewise to consider the likes of Albert Pike or Albert Mackey as well as others as being authoritative and official speakers for some non-existent form of universal freemasonry is another serious mistake, both have had and still have several masonic critics who accuse them of among other things, making serious mistakes and even of simply making things up. Just as there is no governing masonic body neither is there a masonic dogma or authority. The only authoritative things in regular masonry are the Ancient Charges and the books of constitutions of each respective Grand Lodge.
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