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ANTI-MASONRY (Part two)

 

During the 20th century, Freemasonry came under attack in several countries, not least in Germany prior to and during WWII.  In 1908, the craft was revived in Russia after being closed down by Tsar Alexander 1 in 1822, however, it did not last long and it went out of existence again in 1922 under the Bolsheviks.

 

Under the Nazi regime, Freemasonry was banned and its members hunted down. They were beaten, imprisoned and sometimes killed. Masonic temples were sacked and destroyed - the temple in Jersey being a prime example. Propaganda against Freemasons and its alleged connection with Judaism was rife.

 

In 1925, Mussolini passed an anti-Masonic law in Italy and Masonry was suppressed in Portugal in 1931 and in Spain by Franco in 1941. Romania followed in 1948 and Hungary in 1950. Soekarno banned it in Indonesia in the 1960's and it was banned in Pakistan in 1972. The Ayatollah Khomeini took action against Freemasonry in Iran in 1979. And so it goes on. What is clear is that the type of regime which prohibits Freemasonry is usually a dictatorship of some type. Freemasonry has since recovered in some of the countries mentioned above, but by no means all of them.

 

In the 1990's, Freemasonry in the USA suffered from scurrilous attacks by a faction within the Southern Baptist Church. They tried time and time again to have church members barred from membership of the craft. They failed - but their endeavors crossed the Atlantic when much of their anti-Masonic literature was published in the U.K. and taken up by different churches. Interestingly, while writing my paper on Anti-Masonry, I was able to buy several Anti-Masonic Books from the Christian bookshop located under the Masonic Hall in Wiggan which was owned and rented out by the Masons!

The Presbyterian Church of Ireland voted at the General Assembly in 1992 to 'disapprove of involvement in Freemasonry' on the part of its members. The same church in Scotland had done the same thing earlier in 1979.
The Methodist Church in England made a similar attempt in 1986 and in the same year the Church of England also 'had a go' - although somewhat inconclusively.

The former Local Government Management Board issued advice to local authorities, requiring applicants to declare if they were a Freemason or not. This was clear discrimination and it took several years to remove.

 

Chris Mullin MP famously tried to introduce a register of Freemasons in the police and judiciary in 1998. The attempt failed. He eventually admitted that he had only read one book on Freemasonry, the infamous Inside the Brotherhood, a book which frankly was so untrue as to be almost a joke.

 

Grand Lodge changed its policy towards anti-Masonry some years ago  from remaining silent on attacks, so that now whenever somebody 'has a go' we respond vigorously. This has paid off and the image of Freemasonry is improving for the better day by day.

 

Finally, i will leave you with this thought: the surest guarantee of our freedom from criticism is the integrity of individual Freemasons themselves.

 

 

 

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