Savitri Era of those who adore, Om Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Thirteen American Presidents, including George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, have been Masons

With almost three hundred years of intriguing history behind them, the Freemasons are the world’s oldest secret society. The Masons map their origins back to the Eighteenth Century enlightenment, when British men joined the stonemasons’ guild, a precursor to modern trade unions.

However, the roots of the association actually plunge deeper that this, with traces of the society evident as early as the Fourteenth Century. Some historians of Freemasonry even claim that the order has routes in antiquity, tracing the sciences of masonry and geometry from Egypt, Palestine and Babylon to England and France. Today, the organisation has in excess of 5 million members spread over 15,000 lodges.

Many accusations, both fanciful and realistic, have been levelled at this clandestine group. The Masons have been suspected of plotting to take over the world, and accused of fomenting bloody revolution in England, France and America. Even more alarmingly, their most virulent critics have portrayed them as demonic devil worshippers who stole the ancient treasure of King Solomon to fund their malevolent machinations.

This programme examines the complex and oft-debated origins of Freemasonry, and attempts to unravel the myths behind this ultimately harmless civic fraternity. Author Dan Burstein takes us on an insightful journey through the stonemasons’ guilds of the early 1700’s, revealing the prominence of democracy, liberalism and the rule of reason in Masonic culture.

He explains how and why Masonic lodges played a significant role in the American and French revolutions. Historians Akram Elias, Stephen Bullock and Brent Morris also explain the central Masonic myths, emphasising the onus that the organisation places upon social responsibility and self-development.

More controversially, Christopher Knight examines the alternative history of the Freemasons, proposing that they descend from the Knights Templar – the warrior priests of the Crusades. This explanation has also been entertained by the ubiquitous bestselling author Dan Brown, who will deal with the more conspiratorial historiography of Freemasonry’s beginnings in his upcoming novel.

Dramatic re-enactments of ceremonies and rituals, expert interviews and on-location documentary footage, will enable us separate Masonic myths from Freemason facts. <>
The Freemasons are the world’s oldest and largest secret society. The organisation has five million members worldwide, and over 15,000 lodges. Thirteen American Presidents, including George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, have been Masons; notable European Masons have included Voltaire, Goethe and Schiller.

This programme explores the recurrent allegation that the United States of America is a product of Freemasonry. We join excitable conspiracy theorists, eminent historians, and even the bestselling novelist Dan Brown, in the quest to discover the truth about the Freemasons of America. Stephen Bullock, Brent Morris and Dan Burstein explore the suggestion that Freemasons led the American Revolution, framed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and designed Washington D.C.

We explain that the history of Freemasonry is inextricably linked with the history of the United States. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere and John Hancock all took their freemasonry extremely seriously, opposing both the Church and England. They led the struggle for a new America, and were deeply committed to Enlightenment ideals of equality, religious freedom and the rule of reason.

Historians have argued that George Washington’s seemingly innocuous designs for the American capital belie a profound Masonic influence. Washington D.C’s geometrical and symmetrical forms allegedly communicate Washington’s firm desire to create a nation based on reason; not bound by religion. The Freemasons are also said to have left their distinctive mark on U.S Currency, and the Washington Monument.

Throughout their extensive history, Freemasons have faced insulting allegations and preposterous conspiracy theories at every turn. In the 1790’s, rumours that the Masons were working closely with the Illuminati, a radical European terrorist group, took hold and refused to abate. The advent of Albert Pike’s mystical, secretive strain of Freemasonry gave rise to suggestions that Lucifer-loving Masons were dabbling in the occult.

This documentary will peel away these layers of hearsay, sensationalism, and damaging dilettantism to paint a comprehensive and candid picture of an important and honourable thread in the fabric of America. <> THE HISTORY CHANNEL TV GUIDE : LISTINGS : WORLD HISTORY

No comments:

Post a Comment