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Anti-Masonry (alternatively called anti-Freemasonry) is "avowed opposition to Freemasonry",[1] which in some countries and religious groups has led to suppression. However, there is no homogeneous anti-Masonic movement. Anti-Masonry consists of radically differing criticisms from sometimes incompatible groups who are hostile to Freemasonry in some form.

Early anti-Masonic documents[edit]

The earliest[2] anti-Masonic document was a leaflet printed in 1698 by a Presbyterian minister named Winter. It reads:

TO ALL GODLY PEOPLE, In the Citie of London.

Having thought it needful to warn you of the Mischiefs and Evils practiced in the Sight of God by those called Freed Masons, I say take Care lest their Ceremonies and secret Swearings take hold of you; and be wary that none cause you to err from Godliness. For this devilish Sect of Men are Meeters in secret which swear against all without ther Following. They are the Anti Christ which was to come leading Men from Fear of God. For how should Men meet in secret Places and with secret Signs taking Care that none observed them to do the Work of GOD; are not these the Ways of Evil-doers?

Knowing how that God observeth privilly them that sit in Darkness they shall be smitten and the Secrets of their Hearts layed bare. Mingle not among this corrupt People lest you be found so at the World's Conflagration.[3]

Political anti-Masonry[edit]

American political anti-Masonry (1830s–1850s)[edit]

In 1826, William Morgan disappeared from the small town of Batavia, New York, and was presumed murdered after threatening to expose Freemasonry's "secrets" by publishing its rituals. His disappearance caused some Anti-masons to claim that he had been kidnapped and murdered by Masons. Morgan's disappearance sparked a series of protests against Freemasonry, which eventually spread to the political realm. Under the leadership of anti-Masonic Thurlow Weed, an Anti-Jacksonist movement became (since Jackson was a Mason) the Anti-Masonic Party. This political Party ran presidential candidates in 1828 and 1832, but by 1835 the party had disbanded everywhere except Pennsylvania.[citation needed]

British political anti-Masonry (1990s–current)[edit]

In the United Kingdom, anti-Masonic sentiment grew following the publication of Martin Short's 1989 book, Inside the Brotherhood (Further Secrets of the Freemasons).[4] The allegations made by Short led several members of the British Government to propose laws requiring Freemasons who join the police or judiciary[5] to declare their membership publicly to the government amid accusations of Freemasons performing acts of mutual advancement and favour-swapping. This movement was initially led by Jack Straw, Home Secretary from 1997 until 2001.[5] In 1999, the Welsh Assembly became the only body in the United Kingdom to place a legal requirement on membership declaration for Freemasons.[6] Currently, existing members of the police and judiciary in England are asked to voluntarily admit to being Freemasons.[7] However, all first time successful judiciary candidates had to "declare their freemasonry status" before appointment until 2009, when – following a successful challenge in the European Court by Italian Freemasons – Jack Straw accepted that the policy was "disproportionate" and revoked it.[7] Conversely, new members of the police are not required to declare their status.[7]

In 2004, Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, in Great Britain, said that he blocked Gerard Elias' appointment to counsel general because of links to hunting and freemasonry,[8] although it was claimed by non-Labour politicians that the real reason was in order to have a Labour supporter, Malcolm Bishop, in the role.[9]

Persecution by communists[edit]

Soviet Russia outlawed all secret societies, including Masonry, in 1922.[10] At one of the Second International meetings Grigory Zinoviev demanded to purge it of masons.[11] Freemasonry did not exist in the Soviet Union, China, or most other communist states. Postwar revivals of Freemasonry in Czechoslovakia and Hungary were suppressed in 1950.[12] However, Freemasonry in Cuba continued to exist following the Cuban Revolution, and according to Cuban folklore, Fidel Castro is said to have "developed a soft spot for the Masons when they gave him refuge in a Masonic Lodge" in the 1950s. However, when in power, Castro was also said to have "kept them on a tight leash" as they were considered a subversive element in Cuban society.[13]

Persecution under Nazi regime[edit]

French antimasonic Exposition during Nazi occupation (1942).

Fascists treated Freemasonry as a potential source of opposition. Masonic writers state that the language used by the totalitarian regimes is similar to that used by other modern critics of Freemasonry.[14]

The red triangle, the symbol used to mark Freemasons

Consistently considered an ideological foe of Nazism in their world perception (Weltauffassung), Concentration Camp inmates who were Freemasons were graded as "Political" prisoners, and wore an inverted (point down) red triangle.[15]

In 1943, the Propaganda Abteilung, a delegation of Nazi Germany's propaganda ministry within occupied France, commissioned the propaganda film Forces occultes. The film virulently denounces Freemasonry, parliamentarianism and Jews as part of Vichy's drive against them and seeks to prove a Jewish-Masonic plot.

The number of Freemasons from Nazi occupied countries who were killed is not accurately known, but it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons perished under the Nazi regime.[16] The Government of the United Kingdom established Holocaust Memorial Day[17] to recognise all groups who were targets of the Nazi regime, and counter Holocaust denial. Freemasons are listed as being among those who were targeted.

Iraqi Baathist anti-Masonry[edit]

In 1980, the Iraqi legal and penal code was changed by Saddam Hussein and the ruling Ba'ath Party, thereby making it a felony to "promote or acclaim Zionist principles, including freemasonry, or who associate [themselves] with Zionist organizations."[18]

Freemasonry and patriotism[edit]

Freemasonry has been alleged to hold back its members from fully committing to their nation.[19] Critics claim that compared to Operative Masonry's clear denunciations of treachery,[20] Speculative Masonry (Freemasonry after 1723) was far more ambiguous.[21] The old Catholic Encyclopedia alleges that Masonic disapproval of treachery is not on moral grounds but on the grounds of inconvenience to other Masons.[22] It also argues[23] that the adage "Loyalty to freedom overrides all other considerations"[24] justifies treason, and quotes Albert Mackey, who said "... if treason or rebellion were masonic crimes, almost every mason in the United Colonies (America), in 1776, would have been subject to expulsion and every Lodge to a forfeiture of its warrant by the Grand Lodges of England and Scotland, under whose jurisdiction they were at the time".[19]

Freemasonry, however, charges its members that: "In the state you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government and just to your country; You are not to countenence disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live."[25]

With this charge in mind, American Freemasons are consistent advocates of the US Constitution, including the separation of church and state,[26] which was seen by the Roman Catholic Church as a veiled attack on the Church's place in public life.[27]

Freemasonry was persecuted in all the communist countries,[28][10] but the organization has survived in Cuba, allegedly providing safe haven for dissidents.[29]

The Americas[edit]

After the 1826 disappearance of William Morgan, who was allegedly kidnapped by Freemasons[30] after publishing an exposé and then apparently killed,[31] the Morgan affair resulted in increased suspicion of Freemasonry and the formation of the Anti-Masonic Party. William A. Palmer of Vermont and Joseph Ritner of Pennsylvania were both elected governor of their respective states on anti-Masonic platforms.

John Quincy Adams, President of the United States during the Morgan affair, later declared, objecting to the oath of secrecy, in particular to keeping undefined secrets, and to the penalties for breaking the oath, "Masonry ought forever to be abolished. It is wrong - essentially wrong - a seed of evil which can never produce any good."[32]

Though few states passed laws directed at Freemasonry by name, laws regulating and restricting it were passed and many cases dealing with Freemasonry were seen in the courts.[33] Antimasonic legislation was passed in Vermont in 1833, including a provision by which the giving and willing taking of an unnecessary oath was made a crime. (Pub. Stat., sec. 5917),[34] and the state of New York enacted a Benevolent Orders Law to regulate such organizations.[33]


In 1938, a Japanese representative to the Welt-Dienst / World-Service congress hosted by Ulrich Fleischhauer stated, on behalf of Japan, that "Judeo-Masonry is forcing the Chinese to turn China into a spearhead for an attack on Japan, and thereby forcing Japan to defend herself against this threat. Japan is at war not with China but with Freemasonry (Tiandihui), represented by General Chiang Kai-shek, the successor of his master, the Freemason Sun Yat-sen."[28]


Freemasonry was outlawed in the Soviet Union during the Communist era and suppressed throughout Central Europe (Hungary and Czechoslovakia).[10]

Fascist Italy[edit]

Benito Mussolini decreed in 1924 that every member of his Fascist Party who was a Mason must abandon either one or the other organization, and in 1925, he dissolved Freemasonry in Italy, claiming that it was a political organization. One of the most prominent Fascists, General Capello, who had also been Deputy Grand Master of the Grande Oriente, Italy's leading Grand Lodge, gave up his membership in the Fascist Party rather than in Masonry. He was later arrested on false charges and sentenced to 30 years in jail.[35]


In 1919, Béla Kun[36] proclaimed the dictatorship of the proletariat in Hungary and Masonic properties were taken into public ownership. After the fall of the dictatorship of the proletariat the leaders of counter-revolution as Miklós Horthy blamed the Hungarian freemasons for their First World War defeat and for the revolution. Masonry was outlawed by a decree in 1920. This marked the start of raids by army officers on Masonic lodges[37] along with theft, and sometimes destruction, of Masonic libraries, records, archives, paraphernalia, and works of art. Several Masonic buildings were seized and used for anti-Masonic exhibitions. The masonic documents were archived, preserved and may still used for research.

In post war Hungary, lodges were re-established, but after five years[37] the government described them as "meeting places of the enemies of the people's democratic republic, of capitalistic elements, and of the adherents of Western imperialism". They were banned again in 1950.[28]

Nazi Germany and occupied Europe[edit]

The Nazis claimed that high-degree Masons were willing members of the Jewish conspiracy and that Freemasonry was one of the causes of Germany's defeat in World War I.[38] In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote that Freemasonry has succumbed to the Jews and has become an excellent instrument to fight for their aims and to use their strings to pull the upper strata of society into their designs. He continued, "The general pacifistic paralysis of the national instinct of self-preservation begun by Freemasonry" is then transmitted to the masses of society by the press.[39] In 1933 Hermann Göring, the Reichstag President and one of the key figures in the process of Gleichschaltung ("synchronization"), stated "in National Socialist Germany, there is no place for Freemasonry".[40]

Lodge "Libanon zu den 3 Zedern" in Erlangen, Germany. First meeting after World War II with guests from USA, France and Czechoslovakia; May 1948.

The Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was passed by Germany's parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. Using the Act, on January 8, 1934, the German Ministry of the Interior ordered the disbandment of Freemasonry, and confiscation of the property of all Lodges; stating that those who had been members of Lodges when Hitler came to power, in January 1933, were prohibited from holding office in the Nazi party or its paramilitary arms, and were ineligible for appointment in public service.[41] Consistently considered an ideological foe of Nazism in their world perception (Weltauffassung), special sections of the Security Service (SD) and later the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) were established to deal with Freemasonry.[42] Masonic concentration camp inmates were graded as political prisoners, and wore an inverted (point down) red triangle.[43]

On August 8, 1935, as Führer and Chancellor, Adolf Hitler announced in the Nazi Party newspaper, Völkischer Beobachter, the final dissolution of all Masonic Lodges in Germany. The article accused a conspiracy of the Fraternity and World Jewry of seeking to create a World Republic.[44] In 1937 Joseph Goebbels inaugurated an "Anti-Masonic Exposition" to display objects seized by the state.[40] The Ministry of Defence forbade officers from becoming Freemasons, with officers who remained as Masons being sidelined.[28]

During the war, Freemasonry was banned by edict in all countries that were either allied with the Nazis or under Nazi control, including Norway and France. Anti-Masonic exhibitions were held in many occupied countries. Field-Marshal Friedrich Paulus was denounced as a "High-grade Freemason" when he surrendered to the Soviet Union in 1943.[45]

In 1943, the anti-Masonic propaganda film Forces occultes was produced in Nazi-occupied France, accusing the Freemasons of conspiring with Jews and Anglo-American nations to encourage France into a war with Germany.

The preserved records of the RSHA—i.e., Reichssicherheitshauptamt or the Office of the High Command of Security Service, which pursued the racial objectives of the SS through the Race and Resettlement Office—document the persecution of Freemasons.[42] The number of Freemasons from Nazi occupied countries who were killed is not accurately known, but it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were murdered under the Nazi regime.[16]

Papal States[edit]

In 1736 the Florentine Inquisition investigated a Masonic Lodge in Florence, Italy,[46] and the Lodge was condemned in June 1737 by the Chief Inquisitor in Rome. The lodge had originally been founded by English Masons, but accepted Italian members.

In 1738, Pope Clement XII issued In eminenti apostolatus, the first Papal prohibition on Freemasonry.

A more contemporary call for suppression is found in the encyclical Humanum genus of 1884, which calls Masonry a dangerous sect and demands that all bishops be vigilant on its abuses.

Francoist Spain[edit]

It is claimed that the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera ordered the abolition of Freemasonry in Spain.[47] In September 1928, one of the two Grand Lodges in Spain was closed and approximately two-hundred (200) masons, most notably the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, were imprisoned for allegedly plotting against the government.[48]

Following the military coup of 1936, many Freemasons trapped in areas under Nationalist control were arrested and summarily killed in the White Terror (Spain), along with members of left wing parties and trade unionists. It was reported that Masons were tortured, garroted, shot, and murdered by organized death squads in every town in Spain. At this time one of the most rabid opponents of Freemasonry, Father Juan Tusquets Terrats, began to work for the Nationalists with the task of exposing masons. One of his close associates was Franco's personal chaplain, and over the next two years, these two men assembled a huge index of 80,000 suspected masons, even though there were little more than 5,000 masons in Spain. The results were horrific. Among other countless crimes, the lodge building in Cordoba was burnt, the Masonic Temple of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands was confiscated and transformed into the headquarters of the Falange, and another was shelled by artillery. In Salamanca thirty (30) members of one lodge were shot, including a priest. Similar atrocities occurred across the country: fifteen (15) masons were shot in Logrono, seventeen (17) in Ceuta, thirty-three (33) in Algeciras, and thirty (30) in Valladolid, among them the Civil Governor. Few towns escaped the carnage as Freemasons in Lugo, Zamora, Cadiz and Granada were brutally rounded up and shot, and in Seville, the entire membership of several lodges were butchered. The slightest suspicion of being a mason was often enough to earn a place in a firing squad, and the blood-letting was so fierce that, reportedly, some masons were even hurled into working engines of steam trains. By 16 December 1937, according to the annual masonic assembly held in Madrid, all masons that had not escaped from the areas under nationalist control had been murdered.[48]

After the victory of dictator General Francisco Franco, Freemasonry was officially outlawed in Spain on 2 March 1940. Being a mason was automatically punishable by a minimum jail term of 12 years.[49] Masons of the 18º and above were deemed guilty of ‘Aggravated Circumstances’, and usually faced the death penalty.[50]

According to Francoists, the Republican Regime which Franco overthrew had a strong Masonic presence.[citation needed] In reality Spanish Masons were present in all sectors of politics and the armed forces.[51] At least four (4) of the Generals who supported Franco's rebellion were Masons, although many lodges contained fervent but generally conservative Republicans. Freemasonry was formally outlawed in the Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism.[52] After Franco's decree outlawing masonry, Franco's supporters were given two months to resign from any lodge they might be a member. Many masons chose to go into exile instead, including prominent monarchists who had whole-heartedly supported the Nationalist rebellion in 1936. The common components in Spanish Masonry seems to have been upper or middle class conservative liberalism and strong anti-clericism.[53]

The Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism was not abrogated until 1963.[52] References to a "Judeo-Masonic plot" are a standard component of Francoist speeches and propaganda and reveal the intense and paranoid obsession of the dictator with masonry. Franco produced at least 49 pseudonymous anti-masonic magazine articles and an anti-masonic book during his lifetime. According to Franco:

"The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Spain can be explained in two words: masonry and communism... we have to extirpate these two evils from our land."[50]

United Kingdom[edit]

It was the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 that saw the first statute "for the more effectual suppression of societies established for seditious and treasonable purposes"; once enacted it affected all societies whose members were required to take an oath not authorised by law, shall be deemed "unlawful combinations." It was as a result of the intervention of the Grand Master of the Antients, The 4th Duke of Atholl, and the Acting Grand Master of the Moderns, the earl of Moira that a special exempting clause was inserted into this legislation in favour of societies "held under the Denomination of Lodges of Freemasons" provided that they had been "usually held before the Act" and their names, places and times of meeting and the names of the members were annually registered with the local Clerk to the Justices of the Peace. This continued on until 1967 when this Act was repealed by a section of the Criminal Justice Act which meant that the annual returns of all the Lodges to the authorities ceased.[54]

Since 1997, several members of the British Government have attempted to pass laws requiring Freemasons who join the police or judiciary[5] to declare their membership publicly to the government amid accusations of Freemasons performing acts of mutual advancement and favour-swapping. This movement was initially led by Jack Straw, Home Secretary from 1997 until 2001.[5] In 1999, the Welsh Assembly became the only body in the United Kingdom to place a legal requirement on membership declaration for Freemasons.[6] Currently, existing members of the police and judiciary in England are asked to voluntarily admit to being Freemasons.[7] However, all first time successful judiciary candidates "must declare their freemasonry status" before appointment.[7] Conversely, new members of the police are not required to declare their status.[7]

In 2004, Rhodri Morgan, the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly, said that he blocked Gerard Elias' appointment to counsel general because of links to hunting and Freemasonry,[8] although it was claimed by non-Labour politicians that the real reason was in order to have a Labour supporter, Malcolm Bishop, in the role.[9]

Islamic world[edit]

After the condemnation of Freemasonry by Clement XII in 1738, Sultan Mahmud I followed suit outlawing the organization and since that time Freemasonry was equated with atheism in the Ottoman Empire and the broader Islamic world.[55] The opposition in the Islamic world has been reinforced by the anticlerical and atheistic slant of the Grand Orient of France.[55]

On July 15, 1978, the Islamic Jurisdictional College—one of the most influential entities that interpret Sharia, or Islamic law—issued an opinion that deemed Freemasonry to be "dangerous" and "clandestine".[55]

After World War II, while under the British Mandate, Iraq used to have several lodges. This all changed with the 14 July Revolution in 1958, however, with the abolition of the Hashemite Monarchy and Iraq's declaration as a republic. The licences permitting lodges to meet were rescinded, and later, laws were introduced banning any further meetings. This position was later reinforced under Saddam Hussein the death penalty was "prescribed" for those who "promote or acclaim Zionist principles, including Freemasonry, or who associate [themselves] with Zionist organizations".[56]

Freemasonry is illegal in all Arab countries except Lebanon and Morocco.

Religious anti-Masonry[edit]

Muslim anti-Masonry[edit]

Many Islamic anti-Masonic arguments are closely tied to both Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism, though other criticisms are made such as linking Freemasonry to Dajjal.[57] Some Muslim anti-Masons argue that Freemasonry promotes the interests of the Jews around the world and that one of its aims is to rebuild the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem after destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque.[58] In article 28 of its Covenant, Hamas states that Freemasonry, Rotary, and other similar groups "work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions...."[59] Many countries with a significant Muslim population do not allow Masonic establishments within their jurisdictions. However, a few countries such as Turkey and Morocco have allowed establishment of Grand Lodges[60] while in countries such as Malaysia[61] and Lebanon,[62] there are District Grand Lodges operating under a warrant from an established Grand Lodge.

Christian anti-Masonry[edit]

One of the first highly vocal Christian critics of freemasonry was Charles Finney. In his book The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry, Finney not only ridicules the masons but also explains why he viewed leaving the association as an essential act three years after entering seminary.

A number of Protestant and Eastern Orthodox denominations discourage their congregants from joining Masonic lodges, although this differs in intensity according to the denomination. Some simply express mild concern as to whether Freemasonry is compatible with Christianity while, at the other extreme, some accuse the fraternity of outright devil worship, by quoting the writings of Leo Taxil and Abel Clarin de la Rive.[63]

The Roman Catholic Church has, since 1738, prohibited membership in Masonic organizations, citing both political and religious reasons. Until 1983 the penalty for Catholics who joined the fraternity was excommunication.[64] Since that time the punishment has been an interdict, barring the offender from Holy Communion. Although the canonical penalty changed in 1983, the prohibition on membership has not.[65]

Conspiracy theories[edit]

There have long been conspiracy theories concerning Freemasonry in which the organization is either bent on world domination or already covertly in control of world politics.[66]

The covenant of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas claims that Freemasonry is a secret society founded as part of a Zionist plot to control the world.[67]

The earliest document accusing Freemasonry of being involved in a conspiracy was Enthüllungen des Systems der Weltbürger-Politik (“Disclosure of the System of Cosmopolitan Politics”), published in 1786.[68] The book claimed that there was a conspiracy of Freemasons, Illuminati and Jesuits who were plotting world revolution.[69] During the 19th Century, this theory was repeated by many Christian counter-revolutionaries,[70][71] who saw Freemasons as being behind every attack on the existing social system.[70][71]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (1979 ed.), p. 369.
  2. ^ Morris, S. Brent; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha books, 2006, p,203
  3. ^ As quoted by Morris, S. Brent; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, Alpha Books, 2006, p. 204
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d "New judges must declare masonic membership", BBC, March 5, 1998, retrieved February 26, 2006 Cite error: The named reference "Newjudgesmustdeclaremasonicmembership" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  6. ^ a b "Freemason policy review due", BBC, December 8, 2001, retrieved February 26, 2006 Cite error: The named reference "Freemasonpolicyreviewdue" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ a b c d e f "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 21 July 2005 (pt 69)" Archived 15 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine, UK House of Commons, July 21, 2005, retrieved October 2, 2007 Cite error: The named reference "HouseofCommonsresponce" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  8. ^ a b "Morgan criticised over job blocking", BBC, March 22, 2004, retrieved February 26, 2006
  9. ^ a b "Mr Morgan wanted another QC, Malcolm Bishop, who has stood as a Labour candidate and is a close associate of former Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine." Morgan 'blocked' QC appointment
  10. ^ a b c Whalen, W.J., "Freemasonry" The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) article hosted at Retrieved 2011-10-19. Cite error: The named reference "communist" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  11. ^ "Кац Александр Семенович. Протоколы Сионских Мудрецов и Всемирный Жидомасонский Заговор". Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  12. ^ Whalen, W.J. "Freemasonry" The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), hosted at David Trosch's website. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  13. ^ Stein, Jeff (7 April 2014). "Bay of Piglets: How the Freemasons Got Caught in a Plot to Topple the Castros". Newsweek. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  14. ^ Paul M. Bessel (1994). "Bigotry and the Murder of Freemasonry". These people who attack Masonry with exaggerated language, and without accepting reasonable explanations of what Freemasonry really is, would probably say that their use of language about Masonry that is strikingly similar to that which was used by the Nazis and other vicious attackers of Freemasonry in the past does not mean that they are following in the footsteps of the Nazis.
  15. ^ The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, volume 2, page 531, citing Katz, Jews and Freemasons in Europe.
  16. ^ a b Christopher Hodapp (2005). Freemasons for Dummies. Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing Inc. p. 85., sec. "Hitler and the Nazi" Cite error: The named reference "holocaust" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  17. ^ What is Holocaust Memorial Day? Archived 2007-11-12 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Saddam to be formally charged", The Washington Times, July 1, 2004. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  19. ^ a b "Another characteristic of Masonic law is that "treason" and "rebellion" against civil authority are declared only political crimes, which affect the good standing of a Brother no more than heresy, and furnish no ground for a Masonic trial." Masonry (Freemasonry) from the Catholic Encyclopedia, partially quoting Mackey, Jurisprudence, 509.
  20. ^ "2nd – You shall be true liegemen to the King of England without any treason or falsehood, and if you know of any that you amend it privily, if you may, or else warn the King and his Council of it by declaring it to his officers."
  21. ^ II. Of the CIVIL MAGISTRATES supreme and subordinate "A Mason is a peaceable Subject to the Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concern'd in Plots and Conspiracies against the Peace and Welfare of the Nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior Magistrates; for as Masonry hath been always injured by War, Bloodshed, and Confusion, so ancient Kings and Princes have been much dispos'd to encourage the Craftsmen, because of their Peaceableness and Loyalty, whereby they practically answer'd the Cavils of their Adversaries, and promoted the Honour of the Fraternity, who ever flourish'd in Times of Peace. So that if a Brother should be a Rebel against the State he is not to be countenanc'd in his Rebellion, however he may be pitied as an unhappy Man; and, if convicted of no other Crime though the loyal Brotherhood must and ought to disown his Rebellion, and give no Umbrage or Ground of political Jealousy to the Government for the time being; they cannot expel him from the Lodge, and his Relation to it remains indefeasible."
  22. ^ "The brotherhood ought to disown the rebellion, but only in order to preserve the fraternity from annoyance by the civil authorities." from the article Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  23. ^ "Such language would equally suit every anarchistic movement." Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  24. ^ "If we were to assert that under no circumstances had a Mason been found willing to take arms against a bad government, we should only be declaring that, in trying moments, when duty, in the masonic sense, to state means antagonism to the Government, they had failed in the highest and most sacred duty of a citizen. Rebellion in some cases is a sacred duty, and none, but a bigot or a fool, will say, that our countrymen were in the wrong, when they took arms against King James II. Loyalty to freedom in a case of this kind overrides all other considerations, and when to rebel means to be free or to perish, it would be idle to urge that a man must remember obligations which were never intended to rob him of his status of a human being and a citizen." "Freemason's Chronicle" 1875, I, 81, quoted as footnote [89] in Masonry (Freemasonry) in the Catholic Encyclopedia
  25. ^ Webb, Thomas Smith; Freemason's Monitor Or Illustrations of Freemasonry – Charge at initiation into the first degree, p. 43 (originally published 1818... republished by Kessinger Publishing, 1995 ISBN 1-56459-553-6, ISBN 978-1-56459-553-9)
  26. ^ "Freemasonry Does Not Support any particular political position. It has long stood for separation of Church and State, and has been a champion of Free Public Education." From a speech given by Bill Jones Archived 2006-02-15 at the Wayback Machine Grand Master of Arkansas, 1996
  27. ^ Pope Leo XIII Etsi Nos (On Conditions in Italy)
  28. ^ a b c d Bessel, Paul M. (November 1994). "Bigotry and the Murder of Freemasonry". Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  29. ^ Cuba's muzzled mavericks find haven among Masons Archived 2006-12-31 at the Wayback Machine, by Gary Marx, published April 14, 2005
  30. ^ Ridley, Jasper;The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society, pp. 180-181 (Arcade Publishing 1999).
  31. ^ Finney, Charles Grandison; The Character, Claims, and Practical Workings of Freemasonry.
  32. ^ Adams, John Quincy Letters on the Masonic Institution, p. 68-71, 1847 Press of T.R. Marvin
  33. ^ a b Mackey, Albert Gallatin and H. L. Haywood [Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Part 3], p. 1286, Kessinger Publishing 1909
  34. ^ Vermont Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911, Accessed June 26, 2008
  35. ^ 'The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction', Alphonse Cerza, published by the Masonic Service Association, September 1967
  36. ^ King, Edward L. ""Famous" Anti-Masons". Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  37. ^ a b L. Nagy Zsuzsa: Szabadkőművesség a XX. században, Budapest, 1977, Kossuth Könyvkiadó; L. Nagy Zsuzsa: Szabadkőművesség, Budapest, 1988, Akadémiai kiadó
  38. ^ Art DeHoyos and S. Brent Morris (2004). Freemasonry in Context: History, Ritual, Controversy. pp. 100–101.
  39. ^ Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, pages 315 and 320.
  40. ^ a b The American Mercury Newspaper, 1941 Archived 2012-08-13 at the Wayback Machine accessed 21 May 2006
  41. ^ The Enabling Act Accessed February 23, 2006.
  42. ^ a b "Documented evidence from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum pertaining to the persecution of the Freemasons Archived 2012-12-10 at the Wayback Machine" accessed 21 May 2006
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  46. ^ From the biography of Tommaso Crudeli on the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon
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External links[edit]

Critical of Freemasonry[edit]

Supportive of Freemasonry[edit]

Academic examinations of Anti-Masonry