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.
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
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.
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
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