Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"The Swedish Masonic Presence in the Caribbean and the Importance of New Academic Research" or "How Real Masonic Historical Research bypassed the Twentieth Century."

Without solid contemporary scholarship, our knowledge of Masonic history is limited to myths, legends, and the fairytales representing what one Grand Lodge or another wants us to think. Without critical analysis and access to original sources, there is and can be no credible Masonic history. Gould, Pike, and McClennen may have served in the relatively benighted 19th Century, but they are woefully outdated and their flaws are all too obvious to anyone familiar with modern scholarly disciplines.

Fortunately, a new day is dawning. Indeed it has dawned, and there are studious and serious scholars looking under all the rough ashlars of what passed for Masonic history until recently.

One source of solid and absolutely fascinating information is REHMLAC - Revista de Estudios Históricos de la Masonería. REHMLAC casts a wide net, publishing articles in several languages, although with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, English, French, and Spanish predominate.  One fascinating article included in their inaugural issue (2009) was notable for several reasons. The first was that the topic is one most would not expect to find in relation to the Caribbean, that of Swedish Freemasonry. The other was the high standard it marked at the outset, the article being written by none other than Andreas Önnerfors.  The article is entited "Swedish Freemasonry in the Caribbean: How St. Barthélemy turned into an Island of the IXth Province." The article focuses on the establishment of freemasonry on St. Barthélemy, its connections to the Swedish Grand Lodge, its membership structure and activities mainly between 1797 and 1807. The author notes that there are plenty of documents which describe ritual work, organisation and ideology. These connections have hitherto never been analysed and the paper presented for the first time source material from the Archive of the Swedish Order of Freemasons on the lodge La Sudermanie in the capital of the island, Gustavia.

This periodical covers many other topics, some of which are perhaps less surprising, but all of which shed real light upon what really was happening in the Masonic world of the past two to three hundred years. It definitely sheds light on what Grandpa didn't say about Freemasonry. 

Articles include subjects such as "The Caribbean space: a key to power in the French Freemasonry," "Masonic Symbolism in the Cemetery of Colon" (in Cuba), as well as topics covering Mexico, Central and South America, and the influence of these forces on the Freemasonry of the United States, which wasn't in as much of a vacuum as it appears to be today.

REHMLAC is just one of a number of sources for new, solid academic research which is clearing the dust off of our conceptions of what Freemasonic history really comprises, of what the truths of the past were and how they sometimes look very different from what we were led to believe. Dare to explore!

An introduction to REHMLAC may be had through their website, http://rehmlac.com/  and they are sponsored by La Universidad de Costa Rica. 

Go have a look, Grandpa probably never had a clue...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grand Priory of the Rectified Rite of Brazil Order of the Knights of the Holy City - CBCS

In an effort to continue to demonstrate that there exists an interesting and varied world of Masonic practices which is alive and well, and free of the limits imposed upon the majority in the land of the free, it is a pleasure to report on the foundation of a new Scottish Lodge of Saint Andrew (Rectified Scottish Rite) in the city of Vera Cruz.

The Rectified Rite or CBCS (Knights Beneficent of the Holy City) is a Templar Order which has existed since 1782 having developed out of Von Hund's Rite of Strict Observance.  It began in France, but following Napoleon, it moved to Switzerland where it developed under the banner of the Grand Priory of Helvetia (Switzerland).  The Rectified Scottish Rite (R.E.R.) is composed of a total of 6 Degrees including the first 3 Degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry which has caused some consternation in its development.  The R.E.R. traces its ancestry to the ancient Order of Knights Templar and Grand Priories of the Rectified Rite are recognized as Templary by every Knights Templar Order in the world including the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.  The R.E.R. operates in England under the auspices of the Great Priory of England and Wales.

Call for the founding of Scottish Lodge of Saint Andrew Martinez Pasqually

XI Province Territory of Vera-Cruz - Brazilian Prefecture - Jurisdition the Grand Priory of the Rectified Rite of Brazil Order of the Knights of the Holy City - CBCS Rectified Templar Order in the Convent of Galias in November 1778 

M. Rev. Grand Prior and National Grand Master Professed Knight Wagner Veneziani Costa, MH, GCCS has the honor to announce the founding of the Scottish Lodge of Saint Andrew  of Pasqually Martinez, 28 July 2012, Saturday at the latest, 10 am, Session at which there will be an exalted meeting of the Scottish Master Degree of Saint Andrew - MESA at the Palacio Masonico Lavradio, 97 Rua do Barreiro, Centro - Rio de Janeiro / RJ

Convocação para a Fundação da Loja Escocesa de Santo André Martinez de Pasqually
XI Província Terra de Vera-Cruz - PREFEITURA BRASIL - Jurisdicionada ao Grande Priorado Retificado do Brasil Da Ordem dos Cavaleiros da Cidade Sant - C.B.C.S. Ordem Templária Retificada no Convento das Gálias em Novembro de 1778
O M. Rev. Grão Prior e Grão-Mestre Nacional Bai Cavaleiro Wagner Veneziani Costa, MH, GCCS tem a honra de convidar para a fundação da Loja Escocesa de Santo André Martinez de Pasqually, dia 28 de Julho de 2012, sábado, impreterivelmente, às 10h, quando haverá Sessão de Exaltação ao Grau de Mestre Escocês de Santo André - M.E.S.A. No Palácio Maçônico do Lavradio, Rua do Lavradio 97, Centro - Rio de Janeiro / RJ

Graças a Andre Bessa e Folha Maçônica (ano 7 edição 357)

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Modern Rite and the Grande Oriente do Brasil

Although the first Masonic Lodge in Brazilian territorial waters emerged in Bahia in 1797 on a French frigate, the first Regular Lodge of Brazil was named "Reunion" (Meeting) , founded in 1801 in Rio de Janeiro, driven by an ideology grounded in both political and social purposes. This lodge was affiliated to the Orient du Ile de France, with its representative, Chevalier Laurent. There is evidence of lodges founded by brothers previously inspired by the spirit of freedom, enlightenment and the French Revolution.
The Grande Oriente do Brasil was founded on June 17, 1822 under the auspices of the Modern Rite, by the Adonhiramite fraternity, who were the only existing Masons at the time in Brazil. This  is recorded in the minutes of the meeting of 12 July (fifth session of the Grand Orient of Brazil) which contains the proposal for increasing the degree of Chosen Secret for several Brothers, or Grade 4, I Order of Wisdom, the Modern Rite.
In addition, the Act cites the adoption of the "seven degrees of Masonry," or, the Modern Rite, adopted in Brazil for both the Grand Orient Lusitano as in the Grand Orient of France, as the Official Rite.
In the minutes of July 23 (seventh session of the Grand Orient), again cited the award of the Degree of Secret Elected  (Secrète Élus ) to several brothers, also citing the same report, the granting of "Rosicrucian Degree" the Grand Master of Masonry Brazilian (maximum degree of Freemasonry at the time).
The minutes of the meeting of August 5, 1822,  again refer to the "Seven Degrees of Masonry." In that act resolves to  grant H. •. Hippolito de Mendonça the office of delegate to London, in charge of the acquiring for the Grand Orient Brasílico (its name until 1831) recognition from the Grand Lodge of London, sending all the documents and instructions concerning the "System of Seven Masonic Degrees", ie Official documents of the Grand Orient Brasílico.
In the minutes of meeting of September 28, 1822, it says that the Grand Master received the Degree of Knight of the East (6th grade) and was to be receive the Rosicrucian (7th Grade) at the next meeting, showing without a doubt, that the sequence of degrees practiced in the Grand Orient of Brazil was, that of the Modern Rite.
The Masonic signature of Don Pedro I. Masonic •. P: •. M. •. R. •. +, Ie Irmão Pedro, Mason Rose Cross, indicates that the Emperor  Pedro held the seventh grade-Modern Rite, Rosicrucian Knight having been elevated to the Grand Master of the Grand Orient.
The first ritual used by the Grand Orient of Brazil in the year of its foundation (1822) at which time it was called the Grand Orient Brasiliano (and Grande Oriente Brasílico (fifth record) eventually assuming its current name of the Grand Orient of Brazil was the Modern Rite.
Due to political instability after the newly acquired independence and rivalries between Jose Bonifacio and Joaquim Gonçalves,  the Emperor Pedro I ordered the suspension of all fraternal organizations on October 25, 1822 . After the abdication of Don Pedro on April 7, 1831, the work of the Grand Orient of Brazil re-emerged from the shadows with renewed strength and vigor  and has not been shuttered since. The Grand Orient of Brazil, refurbished, Modern Rite and adopted the constitution of the Grand Orient of France, 1826 adapted by Gonçalves Ledo, and taking this as Rite Rite Officer and the work of its Senior Corps.
On June 23, 1892, imitating the reform of the Grand Orient of France in 1877 and the Grand Orient of Belgium in 1872, removed from the rituals the requirement of invocating the Great Architect of the Universe.

The Modern Rite, with its call for social justice proclaimed the equality of races, culminating in the liberation of slaves in Brazil. It was the Modern Rite that fought and won the supremacy of civil over religious power and freedom of religion.The Modern Rite of Freemasonry represents a  Brazilian heritage and are an essential part of Brazilian national history.
The Modern Rite does not support limiting the scope of reason, and thus disapproves of dogmatism and ideological impositions. Being rational, it calls for the search for truth even though truth may be temporary and constantly changing.
The philosophy of the Rite opposes any form of discrimination. The absence of women in the Grande Orient du Brasil is due to the implementation of treaties and not the nature of the rite.

Brief History of the Modern Rite Supreme Council

The Most Powerful and Sublime Grand Chapter of Modern Rite in Brazil was founded by Manoel Joaquim Menezes, E. 1842, •. V. •. with the title of Grand Chapter of Blue Rites.
He was accepted and recognized as Grand Chief of the Modern Rite Office in Brazil by the Grand Orient of Brazil.
As of November 25, 1874, the Supreme Council began to operate under the name Grand Chapter of Modern or French Rite.
The designation of Very Powerful and Sublime Grand Chapter of Modern Rite for Brazil was adopted on March 9, 1953.
On June 7, 1976 it was renamed the Modern Rite Supreme Council for Brazil.
Finally, in 1992, the 150th anniversary of its foundation, and by virtue of being the only exisiing Head of Modern Rite Office for all grades continuously practicing universal Freemasonry, it was renamed the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite.
Remember that the Grand Chapitre Français received in 1989 the Patent for the Orders of Wisdom from the hands of the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite of Brazil.

The structure of work consisted of 7 Modern Rite Degrees (3 symbolic degrees and the Four Orders of Wisdom) until 1999. In that year was activated using an unquestionable legitimacy, Order V° with two new grades 8 and 9:

5 th Order - Grade 8 - Knight of the White Eagle and Black Knight Kadosh Philosophical, Inspector of the Rite.
Order 5 th - 9 th Grade - Knight Grand Inspector Wisdom-Rite.

It is believed that there was a time in Portugal when a Grade 8 (Kadosh Perfect Initiate) and even a Grade 9 (Grand Inspector) was worked.
Anyway, the implementation of Order V derived from those contemplated in the Regulations of the Grand Chapitre Général France, 1784 Order with respect to V, is varied according to the various bodies of Advanced Modern Rite degrees today, but is absolutely legitimate and use in spite of its formal diversity.

The first 3 Symbolic Degrees meet in Lodges affiliated with the Lodges (in this case the Grand Orient of Brazil)

For so-called Philosophical Degrees
Grades 4 to 7 (I to IV Order: Chosen, Elected Scottish Knight of the East, Rose-Cross Knight) meet in the Regional Chapter called Sublime.
Grade 8 (V Order) meets in the Great State Council Kadosh.
And Grade 9 (V Order) meets in the Modern Rite Supreme Council, which has national jurisdiction over all philosophical degrees.

At the level of equivalence, for Brazil, the Grade 8 corresponds to 30 of the AASR and grade 9 is 33.

Gracias a Joaquim Villalta

The Modern or French Rite: Masonry for the Third Millenium

El Rito Francés o Moderno: La Masonería del Tercer Milenio

This book contains a very constructive message which is easily understood - the Modern Rite. It is a work that reflects the views of several members of the Modern Rite in Brazil, Grand Inspectors General of the Supreme Council. There were many controversies over the Modern Rite, but it prevailed and became practiced in France, Holland, Belgium and the French colonies, as well as Portugal, Spain and several other countries, including Brazil. The Modern Rite given its philosophical spirit of progressive reform is rational and appropriate to our century, under the banner of the new masonry, ie masonry of the third millennium.

This is a work that fills a gap in the literature concerning the study of the Modern Rite.

Preface to the Spanish edition:
The Modern Rite Mission
Jose da Silva Cohelho
Creation of the Modern Rite in France
Paulo Cesar Gaglianone
The introduction of the Modern Rite in Brazil
Paulo Cesar Gaglianone
The Modern Rite in the context of Freemasonry Universal
Antunes de Alencar Alcio
History of Modern Rite
Henrique Camargo C‚ndido
The Modern Rite and the "Landmarks"
Octavian Galvio Filho Dupin
The Bible in the context of Modern Rite
Henrique Camargo Candido
Masonry and Dogmatism
Luciano Ferreira Leite
The Modern Rite Adogmatismo
Alexandre F.I. Evangelist
Considerations Modern or French Rite
Onias Antonio Neto
Modern Rite - An Interpretation
Samuel Antonio Baptista
Masonic Lodges and Chapters of Modern Rite in Brazil from 1993 to the present
Paulo Cesar Gaglianone
Lodge Fraternidade Latin America perpetual defender of the Modern Rite - Historical Summary
Lourival Souza
Manifest: time of decision
Brief History of the Modern Rite Supreme Council
Antunes de Alencar Alcio
Magna session commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Foundation of SCRM
Antunes de Alencar Alcio
Re-ratification of the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the GOB Masonic and Very Powerful and Sublime GCRM  of Brazil
Constitution of the Supreme Council of the Modern Rite, year 1992
Bylaws of the SCRM
Modern Rite Lodge Belgian exchange of information requested on the Rite
Victor Guerra


*ISSUE 4: Cutting Edges: New Media & Creative Entrepreneurship*

Throughout the Caribbean region and its multiple Diasporas, artistic form and practice are at risk.  Since the beginning of a global economic crisis in 2008, the arts have been particularly impacted through severe losses of funding and institutional support.  These ongoing global challenges to the
practice and production of the arts affect the Caribbean in specific ways.  Mobilizing the crisis as a critical point of departure, this volume of Caribbean Intransit seeks to examine both the inherent risks and possibilities of the intersection of new technologies, entrepreneurship and artistic practice. How might we deploy the cutting edges of artistry, technological innovation and business practices to find creative solutions to these challenges?  How have entrepreneurship, electronic and digital networks, mobilities and artistic projects threatened or empowered the arts in times of crisis? Are indigenous or traditional practices at risk in the age of global communication and exchange?  How can experiments in new media, performance, film, literature, music, art, and architecture articulate financially sustainable aesthetic interventions in the contemporary moment?

This volume of *Caribbean InTransit* invites exploration of these cutting edges and their myriad interpretations as both pitfall and promise.  Essays and creative works may explore but are not limited to the following possible topics:

•Caribbean spaces and/or place-based art in digital representations 
•Nationality, transnationality and global citizenship 
•Narratives of cultural, entrepreneurial and/or community struggles
•Locality and locatedness
•Culture as a political, social and/or economic strategy
•Case studies of cultural work, methods and iconographies
•Intra- or cross-Caribbean spaces, engagements and discussions
•Examinations of City/Country
•Anti- and/or De-colonial aesthetics and transmodern strategies of

We welcome 4000-5000 word essays in English, Spanish or French. Artwork, music, dance, poetry, mas or junkanoo designs or any other artistic expression with blurbs in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, dialect or creole are welcome as well as films in any language with subtitles in English. Fiction or non-fiction writings in English or dialects will be accepted. Writings in dialect should be accompanied by a translation of terms. Research papers on visual or vocal modes of expression as well as interviews of contemporary artists in English are also welcome.

ALL Submissions should be accompanied by the following in one document in this order:

** Professional affiliation*
** Contact information*
** Title of Attached manuscript*
** keywords, at least 3  (essays only)*
**an abstract of not more than 150 words (essays & interviews only)*
**a biography of not more than 60 words*
** A professional photograph of yourself (optional)*
*Essays, Interviews and Reviews**:*

Text including endnotes must be in Microsoft Word format (double-spaced, in a readable font) and images in jpg. format. Titles in the body of the text should be italicized with section titles in bold.  All essays must have accurate bibliographies. MLA format should be used. Video/sound clips can be sent via e-mail or on CD/DVD.*

*Word limits for various submissions are as follows:-*
*Academic papers: 7500 words*
*Reviews: 3000 words*
*Profiles/Essays on Artists and Art Work: 1000-1500 words*
*Upcoming Events/Releases/Shows or highlights from arts organizations:
100-250 words*

*Email submissions to: submissions@caribbeanintransit.com  and cc to

*DEADLINE: AUGUST 15th 2012*

*Cutting edges : New media & Creative entrepreneurship*
Call for papers Issue 4

L'idée de Caribbean Intransit est de fournir un 'lieu de rencontre' créatif pour les artistes antillais afin de leur permettre de partager leurs idées et travaux au sein d'une communauté de producteurs culturels, d'étudiants, de chercheurs, d'activistes et d'entrepreneurs. Caribbean intransit fonctionnera comme portail d'accès pour ces individus et groupes qui pourront utiliser ces ressources comme outils sociopolitiques de changement progressif dans la Caraïbe et dans ses multiples diasporas.

Chaque numéro de Caribbean Intransit présentera les points de vue d'une diversité d'artistes, d'universitaires et d'entrepreneurs concernant un thème particulier. Les participants sont invités à soumettre des travaux de recherche et à entrer en contact avec d'autres contributeurs en réponse à leur travail. De cette façon, nous espérons bâtir une communauté intéressée par la création de réseaux de
travail et de réflexion ainsi que par celle de nouveaux espaces de croissance. Nous cherchons à identifier la communauté, la production artistique et l'entreprenariat comme modes de transition et connexion pour les îles de la Caraïbe et ses diasporas.

Pour plus d'information concernant les appels à contribution des autres numéros, l'équipe éditoriale, veuillez vous référer à notre site www.caribbeanintransit.com. Rejoignez notre page facebook


*ISSUE 4: Cutting Edges: New Media & Creative Entrepreneurship*

Dans toute la Caraïbe et pour toute la diaspora caribéenne, les pratiques et les formes artistiques sont fragiles. Depuis le début de la crise économique mondiale en 2008, les arts ont souffert de pertes financières importantes et d'une réduction considérable des soutiens institutionnels.  Les défis persistants et internationaux que doivent relever la pratique et laproduction artistiques affectent la Caraïbe de manière spécifique. Prenant la crise comme difficile point de départ à la réflexion, ce numéro de Caribbean Intransit se propose d'évaluer les risques inhérents à la rencontre des nouvelles technologies, des pratiques artistiques et de l'esprit d'entreprise aussi bien que les possibilités offertes par une telle rencontre. Comment devons-nous utiliser les pratiques artistiques dynamiques, les innovations technologiques et les pratiques commerciales existantes pour trouver des solutions créatives aux défis propres à l'espace caribéen ? Comment l'esprit d'entreprise, les réseaux sociaux, la mobilité et les projets artistiques ont-ils fragilisé ou au contraire renforcé les arts dans ces temps de crise ? Les pratiques indigènes et traditionnelles sont-elles en danger à l'ère de la globalisation de la communication et des échanges ? Comment les expérimentations dans les nouveaux médias et la performance, en cinéma et en vidéo, en littérature, musique, arts plastiques et en architecture constituent-elles de manière esthétique des interventions économiquement durables et valides pour les
temps actuels ?

Ce numéro de Carribean In Transit invite à explorer ces dynamiques et leurs interprétations multiples pour les embûches qu'elles réservent et pour les promesses qu'elles contiennent.

Les contributions théoriques ou artistiques pourront considérer les sujets suivants* :

-       Les espaces caribéens et/ou l'art marqué du sceau du lieu dans les représentations numériques : nationalité, trans-nationalité, global citizenship
-       Les récits des combats culturels, personnels ou d'une communauté
-       Le lieu comme ancrage ou référence
-       La culture comme stratégie politique, sociale et/ou économique
-       Etude de cas de productions culturelles, de méthodologies et
-       Les échanges et les engagements à l'intérieur d'un espace caribéen
ou entre plusieurs espaces caribéens
-       Les dynamiques ville/campagne
-       Les esthétiques anticoloniales ou de décolonisation
-       Les stratégies transmodernes de re -naissance

*liste non-exhaustive.

Les articles seront soumis en anglais, espagnol ou en français et n'excéderont pas 5000 mots. Les propositions artistiques, musicales, poétiques, chorégraphiées, masques et costumes de carnaval ou de junkanoo et toute autre forme d'expression artistique accompagnées de textes de présentation en anglais, français, espagnol, allemand, patois ou créole seront considérées au même titre que les films et les vidéos. Les articles académiques sur les arts visuels ou la musique ainsi que les entretiens avec des artistes contemporains sont également les bienvenus.

Les textes et les productions en patois proposeront une traduction.**

*Tous les articles soumis seront accompagnés d'un document contenant les informations suivantes, dans l'ordre indiqué : *

** Statut du contributeur*
** Adresse, mail*
** Titre du manuscrit joint*
** Mots-clé (au moins trois) pour les articles*
**un résumé de 1500 mots*
**une biographie n'excédant pas 60 mots*
**une photographie académique (facultatif) *

*Contributions, Entretiens et Recensions: *

*Les articles incluant des notes de bas de pages seront au format Microsoft Word (espace double, sur fond blanc), les images au format jpg. Les titres dans le corps du texte seront en italique et ceux des sous-parties en gras. Tous les articles seront soutenus d'une bibliographie à jour au format MLA.
Les vidéos et les clips pourront être envoyés par messagerie électronique ou sur support CD ou DVD.  Les conditions pour les différentes candidatures sont les suivantes:*

*Articles : 7500 mots*
*Recensions: 3000 mots*
*Articles consacrés à un  artiste et une œuvre: 1000-1500 mots*
*Annonces d'un événement ou d'une publication : 100-250 mots*
*Les propositions seront envoyées à
*  et en CC **caribintransit@gmail.com* <caribintransit@gmail.com>

Date limite de soumission : 15 Août 2012   

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The International Academy of the V º Order of the Modern Rite: On the claims of a Dutch Chapter of the Modern French Rite named De Roos

INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY of the    V º ORDER of the MODERN RITE: The Dutch Chapter of the Modern French Rite: De Roos

We are happy to offer this innovative work by Brother Jean van Win on the degree of continuity within the Orders of Wisdom of the French Rite, that is the first to be translated into Castilian (and now English) in an thoughtful manner, and it is appropriate to examine some theories that argue, for example from the article by Paul Leblanc and others, defending the continuity of the Orders of Wisdom through the Chapter of the Roos patent.
This is a question that the Brother and member of the International Academy Of Modern Rite V° Union of Universal Masonic Modern Rite, addresses directly in his work including correspondence with the leaders of the French Rite in France.

We will let you dear readers, draw your own conclusions: ...

Victor Guerra. Director of the Academy.

Several authors have claimed in numerous places that the awakening of the Orders of Wisdom of the French Rite, occurred in Europe through the Channel in the Netherlands.
This beautiful, romantic and seductive story was summarized by the Most Illustrious Brother Pierre Petitjean on July 37th 2006 issue of La Chaine d 'Union [1], page 79 et seq, and the content will analyze and comment during the this study.
I. History and Legend
The standard account.
"By the mid-nineteenth century, Chapters working in the French Rite, disappeared ... The reawakening will take place one hundred years later, thanks to the tenacity of fifteen brothers belonging to the Grand Orient of France ... Who joined the Chapter De Roos in The Hague (Netherlands), the last French Chapter in Europe, and requested a Letter Patent to establish in Paris on November 30, 1963, a new chapter to be called Jean-Théophile Desaguliers... "
Here are the most significant excerpts of the column recorded taken in opening this chapter:
"In the year 1963, the 30th of the eighth month of the True Light 5963, on the feast of St. Andrew of Scotland (30 November of the Christian era) fifteen Eagle Knights,Freemasons Perfect and Perfect Sovereign Princes of the Rose Croix, met in the Valley of Paris, Oriente de Heredom , which corresponds to the Zenith, in a very strong, very remote, well covered in which Faith, Hope and Charity reigned (13 villa des Acacias, 9 Bd Jean Mermoz in Neuilly-sur-Seine, at 10 am in the morning).
"These fifteen Knights, members of the Sovereign Chapter De Roos, Valley of The Hague, are, in alphabetical order of their names the Brothers Paul A., Edouard F., Serge D., Pierre F., Jean F.; Jacques G., Pierre M., Vincent P., Pierre R, Albert R., Hartmut S., Christian V., all initiated within that Chapter, Rene and Jacques M. Guilly, regular members within this Chapter; Henri van Praag, Perfect Master Founder [2] and support of this Chapter. Also present are the H. CJR, visiting fellow at the Sovereign Chapter De Roos, Valle de la Hague. The Throne of Wisdom is occupied by the Most Illustrious Brother van Praag, the oldest [3]. "
"The Most Wise and Perfect Master Henri van Praag states that it has received a formal request emanating from the fifteen knights present that day, and members of the Sovereign Chapter of Roos in the Valley of The Hague, expressing their desire to practice in the Valley of Paris and within a Sovereign French Chapter, under the distinctive title of Jean-Théophile Desaguliers, four degrees which were dear to them: the Elus, Scottish Knight of the East, and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix ....
The Most Wise and Perfect Master, under the ancient privileges of the Sovereign Princes of the Rose Croix, Knight of the Eagle, Perfect Freemasons, then declares formed in the Valley of Paris, the day of Saint Andrew of Scotland, the Sovereign Chapter Jean Théophile Desaguliers'.
"The importance of this creation can only be understood by placing it in the context of the long history of the French Rite. As he said later, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of this Chapter, the BAF [4] Roger Dachez: "What may seem like the beginning of an adventure is really the termination of a long journey" That adventure- it was, and we expect it will be forever, lasted for about ten years, and originated, it is obvious, within the so-called historical cradle of the French Rite, ie in the Grand Orient of France "[...].
"For the Brothers of the Restored French Rite Modern, with its beginnings in the sixties, many of whom had reached the 18 degree ∞ of the AASR, and would only be satisfied with similar titles through any available source through the awakening of the High Grades of the French Rite regardless of their place of origin. For the GODF, that seemed difficult to accept Masonically speaking."
The imaginary myth
It appears then that Providence, of which Chamfort said there was nothing more than the baptismal name of chance ... The contacts were incidental to it [5] with the Most Wise and Perfect Master of a Chapter, which we can only call a "Masonic fossil" the Chapter De Roos, which the French had established under the first Empire annexed in Holland, when The Hague was the capitol of the department of Bouches-de-la-Meuse, unaware of the authority of the Grand Masonic Orient of France.
"That French Chapter French survived, time had not destroyed it and it still existed in the mid-twentieth century, never having ceased to exist, unaware that he had become the latest conservatory of the High Grades of the French Rite."
"As was said at that time, the educated elite of the Netherlands, was very fond of talking and cultivate the French language. The Very Wise himself served as professorto the chapter. The link was established easily[6] and the rest continued without difficulty, and the brothers were received in the fourth order in The Hague a few months later. The Sovereign Jean Théophile Desaguliers French Chapter was founded in Neuilly, immediately assuming the natural function as a 'Metropolitan Chapter for France "and from that time took the tough task of bearing for many years, the flame and flag of the Orders of the Chapter of the French Rite. "
"Chapter De Roos, for a long time haD not worked more than on the Fourth Order, giving the first three orders by communication, which the Brothers of the Sovereign Jean-ThÈophile Desaguliers Chapter evidently did not want to do."
This story, totally mythical as we will endeavor to demonstrate, is inconsistent with the version recounted by the two main protagonists at the time: Rene Jacques Martin [7] and RenÈ Guilly. In particular, the contacts made by chance, and the link made easily, ans we have outlined above, indicate the establishment of a recent relationship.
I've had the good fortune of having known and visited with the two authors, and have exchanged with each of them extensive correspondence which allows us to see beyond the myth, and establish the historical reality of the these important events and to clarify the actual facts concerning the Renaissance of the Modern French Rite in Europe.
Note first of all, a significant gap in the story of Brother Roger Dachez. Nothing has been said about the existence of a Chapter De Roos founded in Medan, in the Dutch East Indies, in which Henri van Praag was a member, and of the Rose Croix degree.
We will reeturn to this matter in some detail below.
Additionally, nothing is said of the case of the uncertain identity of "the Frenchman" who founded De Roos under the French empire in the Netherlands. Most of the lodges in that country proudly wore distinctive titles in French, or Latin, and it is surprising that, under the Empire and although the chapters were part of a symbolic lodge, the French would have preferred to give it such a distinctively Dutch title!
We have here some examples, and you will see that in many lodges and chapters in that time spoke French like today, because the author of these lines was in 1995 an official Dutch Chapter of the Rite in Leyden, Netherlands, working in French.
Examples of distinctive titles, in French, of Dutch lodges of the eighteenth and nineteenth include Les Amis Réunis, L'Aurore, La Charité, La Bien-Aimee, Concordia Vincit Animos; La Constance; Credentes Vivent ab Illo, L'Espérance ; Mutua Fides, Frédéric Royale, Guillaume aux Dix-Sept Flèches Dix-Sept, La Paix, La Parfaite Union; La Philanthrope; Le Profond Silence; Ultrajectina; L'Union Frédéric, L'Union Provinciale, L'Union Royale.
The Vertu; vicit Vim Virtus [8].
Finally, databases of various Masonic Dutch institutions that were consulted do not indicate the existence of any Lodge or Chapter carrying the name of De Roos, with the exception of a Chapter not working in Medan recognized in the Dutch East Indies, and without a lower initiation constitution, as I will show in the course of this work.
Sometimes a military lodge was created by a French regiment of occupation, which has left its mark in France or Holland, which never had any documentary evidence whatsoever to support or sustain the various claims made about it.
Let us now examine how a masonry of Higher Degrees developed in the Netherlands. We will give the floor to the main protagonists of the Modern French Rite Renaissance in Europe.
Birth and Development of the High Grades Modern French in the Netherlands.
Extract from an A4 sheet, three parts, two sides folded, published in Dutch by the Supreme Council of the Order of Freemasons under the Chapter of the High Grades of the Netherlands. (Literal translation by Jean van Win).
"After the appearance of Freemasonry in the Netherlands, around 1730, other forms of Masonic works quickly arrived, mostly from France.
Shortly after the establishment of Blue Masonic lodges in our country, there arrived the practice of what later would be known as the High Grades.
In the traces left of the five founding Lodges that participated in the creation of the Order of Freemasons, it is mentioned that the September 12, 1756, the lodge worked in the course of one afternoon, "in the Scottish" ( this qualifier has nothing to do with Scotland or the Scottish Rite, its origin must be sought in Stuart (Jacobite) groups which had emigrated to France), as that booklet indicated.
"A Scottish lodge bearing the same name as his mother lodge and consisted of the same members as before. There was no uniformity in the work or the organization of the Scottish lodges. Since 1774, various efforts were made to locate the Scottish lodges under the authority of a senior management (hoofdbestuur). [9] At that time there were 24 Scottish lodges in our country. Some days after the meeting of the Grand Lodge of symbolic lodges, these 'workshops' were convened on May 20, 1776 another meeting in The Hague.
The purpose of this meeting was the establishment of a Scottish Grand Lodge, which should help to "sustain and revive blue Freemasonry, which every day became more and more weakened and debilitated." The meeting concluded with the creation of a regulation (Wetboek: Volume of law) which spoke of both Elus and Scots.
The second meeting of the Scottish Grand Lodge was held on May 19, 1777, the first records make reference to the "chapters Scots." The third meeting of the Grand Lodge of Scotland is May 18, 1778, and the fourth and final is June 5, 1786.
"The constituent assembly was to erect the Grand Chapter of the High Grades (Hoge der Hoodfkapittel Graden) met on October 15, 1803. That jurisdiction, regardless of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, received the sovereignty over the following degrees:
Master Elect-Elect or
-Knight of St. Andrew (formed by the degrees of Scottish Apprentice, Scottish-Fellow and Scottish Master)
-Knight of the Sword or of the East
-Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix.
At first there were more than three degrees, and the degree of Rose Croix was conferred by communication. This degree, however, was taking its content a growing importance, so much so, that the work of Chapter were limited to that level while the other three were conferred by communication (1854).
The ritual of the degree of Rose Croix designed in 1803 expressed in the opinion of many brothers, some dogmatic Christian halo in which some brothers could not be very comfortable. Over the years, this ritual was questioned by many other chapters who came sometimes to suppress it.
During revision of the ritual in 1937, the revisionists departed from the idea which considered that the religious character of the Rose Croix degree would be acceptable to the religious sentiment of the time and that it was universal in nature and did not referred to any cult in particular.
The historic High Grades. Dutch roots of our ritual.
[...] "It is by analogy with the series of 7 degrees of the French or Modern Rite, the Grand Chapter of the High Grades at the time of its formation in 1803, that its structure was formed around seven degrees."
"Because of the reformer plan of 1786, resulting from the work of the ad hoc committee of the Grand Orient of France, the French or Modern Rite Rite in direct relation to the three symbolic degrees was composed as follows:
First Order: Master Elect
Second Order: Scottish Master
Third Order: Knight of the East
Fourth Order: Knight Rose Croix
These three orders were called, since 1854, "Historical High Grades." Intermediaries were the three degrees of the Order of Freemasons under the Grand Chapter of High Levels of the Netherlands.

The fourth order is that which comes from the degree of Sovereign Prince of Rose Croix (Prins van het Soeverein Rozekruis) ".
This same text is found in full in the booklet Dutch entitled 'Rituaal go Graad will Soeverein Prins van het R +, 1937 ", reprinted in 1992 by the Order of Freemasons under the Grand Chapter of Higher Degrees in the Netherlands, which contains a foreword by the Most Worshipful Brother J A Veening, Grand Master of the Order.


It is clear from these official documents that the High Grades of the Netherlands never worked the Modern French Rite, although they were made by analogy to that system. But it also shows that there was never a patent much less that it was adopted by the Grand Orient of France. According to the highest Masonic authorities of Batavia, as Professor Dr. Jan Snoek noted, the Netherlands has always practiced these Dutch High Grades according to their specific needs and with total independence.
The stories published in France on the issue of Dutch Freemasonry are contradictory, dark and unreliable. They are also partial and incomplete. The existence of a "fossil Chapter " of the French Rite, has never been proven and unless identifiable, obviously the rest of their claims do not have any basis.
It is time now to give a voice to those who lived through these events and have left an authoritative and definitive record.
II. List of events as the main witnesses and actors.
Autograph letter from Most Worshipful Brother to Brother Jean Jacques Martin will Win, dated February 5, 1989 (excerpts):
"The secularization of the rituals of the Grand Orient of France was back in the 60's, some Brothers to interrogate about the past of his beloved ritual and thus on its future. The rite was called "Modern French Rite Restored." The formulation should be scrupulously respected. Modern: to indicate affiliation with the Grand Lodge of Modern London (1717), French: French to highlight the contributions further as the fellowship and the four higher orders: First Order: Chosen Secret, the Second Order: Grand Elect Scottish, the Third Order: Knight of the Sword, the Fourth Order: Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix. Restored: to take account symbols "disappeared".
The first lodge was the distinctive title "Du Devoir et de la Raison" (From Duty and Reason), East of Paris, GODF. Encountered some difficulties with those found in the bosom of his obedience, the Brothers of GODF migrated to a lodge of the GLNF-Opera "Les Forgeron du Temple." Transformed the distinctive title became "Jean Theophile Desaguliers." A second lodge to the east of Lille, founded by me, entitled "James Anderson" and installed on May 10, 1964 by Pierre Guilly Ribaucourt and Rene, who was then the VM Desaguliers.
Rene did receive Guilly Sovereign Princes Rose Croix of Paris some Brothers through the heading 'De Roos' (The Rose), working in the Rite Dutch. Indeed, it is the same rite.
Chapter Rose Croix 'De Roos' was chaired by a professor at the University of Djakarta who had been imprisoned by the Japanese which kept the worst memory: Hendrik (Henri) van Praag. This brother had a [10] elderly in 1963 (1)
On November 30, 1963, the heading 'De Roos' Very Wise made his van Praag, two brothers Dutch and French members, regularly opened the work installing the Most Wise RenÈ Guilly and officers and consecrated the new chapter under the title distinctive 'Jean ThÈophile Desaguliers' in the temple town of Acacias to the east of Neuilly-sur-Seine. French Brothers joined the Rosicrucians and, like myself (I had been received by the Chapter Rose Croix "La Lumiere du Nord" Lillem Valley under the obedience of the Grand College of Rites).
That day was initiated Rosicrucian Brothers Ribaucourt Pierre, the notary Pierre Mariel, Bob Royaut, Vincent Planque, Hartmut Stein (...). Brother forgot Fano, future Grand Master of the GLNF-Opera. The Sovereign Grand Commander of the College of Rites, Francis Viaud, because of its functions could not attend to the taken, but appeared a little later when the meal.
In 1968, the workshops 'French' left the Opera GLNF monitoring the case, Louis Pauwels [11], but that's another story. They founded a federation that was named after French National Lodge (LNF), installed their shops primarily in Paris and Lille.
The LNF is split in 1975 into two trunks: Paris and Lille. Then an old Venerable J.T. Desaguliers, journalist Roger d'Almeras, separated from RenÈ Guilly and make the French chapter entitled, if my memory does not betray me, "La Chaine Dunion." In 1976 I created my own French Rite chapter entitled "La Rose et le Lys' practicing the four Orders. Also contacted the rite to the Brothers of the South, especially to Brother Jean Abeille is now the Regent of the Rectified Scottish Rite Grand College of Rites. "
Shortly after receiving that letter I was encouraged to enter the relationship with RenÈ Guilly, he exchanged correspondence with me one of the highest interest, among which is this letter in particular that is most relevant for this case:
Autograph letter of October 26, 1991, Jean Rene van Guilly Win. (Document that we can not doubt the accuracy and fidelity, as it were 8 months old).
"Through a personal friend [12], the brother Hendrik van Praag, a professor of French, Very Wise in 1940 of chapter" De Roos "in Medan (unknown location) [13], Rose-Croix since 1932 in the Sovereign Chapter Srogol (Java), grade 33 of the Supreme Council of the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies (Batavia), initiations to the degree of Rose-Cross took place in The Hague under the heading 'De Roos' [14] revived Table of the Supreme Council and the Grand Lodge of the Netherlands, formed by the Onderdenwijngaard brother after the incident with the Grand Orient of the Netherlands, the issue of LUFM (4) (date to be specified, by 1960 ?).
Hendrik van Praag, profoundly Francophile in the best sense of the term, disagreed at that time the Dutch government's guidance.
I held several interviews with him about it. The year 1956 should be the date of retirement and return to the Netherlands. Having lived the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies, not without great suffering.
These initiations, six in number, took place in The Hague on 31 March to 27 October 1963. I can testify to its highest level.
Furthermore, in a chapter taken exceptional "De Roos" in the Valley of Paris, six brothers were initiated on 30 November 1963. The twelve Rosicrucians to which were joined by two more original Rosicrucian Grand College of Rites, Brother Hendrik van Praag himself, were (in a total of fifteen) members founders November 30, 1963 the Sovereign Chapter French Jean-ThÈophile Desaguliers No.1.
It is true that the French Rite in four orders, rightfully belongs to the Dutch tradition [15] and we had been reported in The Hague and Paris when they made those initiations. But as you can see the continuation of this letter is no longer exclusively a matter for us. What seems equally important is the undeniable presence of three Rosicrucian Grand College of Rites and the Supreme Council of the Netherlands. So is the initiation, which could not be more regular, twelve other brothers to the degree of Rose Croix.
Indeed, if we start in 1963 with the idea of  
the French Rite of GODF 1786, our thinking has evolved considerably since more than thirty years of ritual and archival research.
(Here follows a detailed justification Traditional French Rite, whose elements are now well known and have been published on several occasions).
And RenÈ Guilly instructive concludes this long letter, while writing about his intentions and the spirit of his work of "restoration":
"The restoration of the Traditional French Rite, above the third grade, must rest on these simple principles:
(1) The authority and the privileges of the Sovereign Princes Rose Croix, and the double descent of the French Rite and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish for that grade (the French Rite, 1786, especially in the first and last order, not may represent for him a sufficient affiliation).
(2) A truly scientific scholarly work, which consists of detecting and implement for each grade, the older versions and the most authentic.
At that time we reject the patent Ondernwijngaard offered us, considering that the privileges of the Sovereign Princes Rose Croix could not be subordinated to a document that nature. It was about a certain purity, from the standpoint of historical information, but could be wrong. However the French Rite must be assumed and define itself, to be clear, without any other Masonic body that help or sponsorship contribution. It's better that way. "
Jean van Win
[1] Journal of Masonic studies, philosophical and symbolic-run quarterly and published under the auspices of the Masonic Institute of France, chaired by Roger Dachez, and as such journal is the Grand Orient of France.
[2] Underlined by us
[3] Born in 1893, the H. van Praag was therefore 70 years.
[4] Beloved Brother in French: "Frere Bien Aimé"
[5] Emphasis added
[6] Emphasis added.
[7] A personal friend and "partner" of RenÈ Guilly at the time. After a dispute is withdrawn to the north of France where it will become Grand Master of the GLISRU (Grand Lodge Initiatory Rites and Symbolic States). Case in Lille, Boulevard de la Liberté, a Rose Croix Chapter mixed Modern French Rite, where the author of these lines was part around 1990.
[8] Geschiedenis van het Hoofdkapittel Hoge der Graden in Nederland, door PJ van Loo, 1953, p. 117 (Histoire du Grand Chapitre des Hauts Grades aux Pays Bas).
[9] means: Central.
[10] was about 70 years.
[12] is not a chance encounter "since the links were established" as Roger says Dachez: Guilly van Praag and undoubtedly were known because of their common interest in LUFM (Universal League of Freemasons).
[13] Medan is the capital of the province of North Sumatra in the Dutch East Indies. The city is today the center of rubber cultivation and the Delhi region, famous for his snuff.
[14] After Guilly can be seen that there were two chapters De Roos, an irregular and posthumous in Medan, and a revived, irregular in The Hague.
[15] Universal League of Freemasons.

Gracias a Victor Guerra.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Masonic Literary Festival in Brazil

As part of what the Hedge Mason will make an ongoing effort to cover, this post notes an upcoming event in Brazil concerning new research and scholarship on Freemasonry: The First Masonic Literary Festival. The festival is one day only, Saturday, July 7th from 7am - 7pm at the Masonic Palace of the Grand Orient of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro.

The highlighted presentation features William Almeida de Carvalho who will speak on "The Rise and Fall of Freemasonry in Brazil" which will be restricted to members of the craft. 

William Almeida de Carvalho is a former Director of the Library of the Grand Orient of Brazil, former Secretary of Education and Culture of the GODF-GOB, the author of several books on Freemasonry in Brazil, member of the Research Lodge Quatuor Coronati of London, and of the Scottish Rite Research Society. Currently he is President of the Masonic Academy of Arts of the FD, Treasurer of the Masonic Academy of Brazil and Masonic Academy of Arts of Paraiba, and has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Panthéon-Sorbonne.

His most recent published book demonstrates that masons in Brazil are engaged in research going far beyond that with which the fraternity in North America is familiar. It is entitled "Freemasonry, the Slave Trade and the Bank of Brazil" (São Paulo: Editora Madras, 2010).

For further information, if just curious or if you want to take a quick flight to Rio next weekend, contact         NOVOSECULO3022@yahoogrupos.com.br

Muito obrigado a Paulo Antonio de Freitas Lobo. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freemasonry in the Academic Perspective

The informed modern mason, and at least a few among the more progressive leaders in Mainstream Masonry in the US, and elsewhere, are aware of the steady advances that have been made in the academic study of the fraternity over the past decade. This renewed attention must be viewed as positive, in that it will greatly increase the quality and depth of scholarship on the history of Freemasonry and its impact on civil society since its inception. Nobody can deny that Freemasonry has had a profound impact upon the modern world, and it did not have that effect by remaining apart from the world.

Academic attention will among other things help to marginalize the conspiracy devotees. Of course, another change it brings with it, is the need to address a number of unfortunate perspectives which have been allowed to become commonplace among some sectors of the Masonic world. This will require some maturation and change if not in private opinion, then at least in public discourse. A new civility must of necessity be embraced in the conversation between the varying masonic institutions which up to now has left much to be desired. This should be sought and supported at the highest levels, demonstrating to the rank and file that fraternity, even in the absence of visitation, can and should be adopted in our conversations. That is the most basic of beginnings.

While I could say more about this, nothing I could write would state these issues and the academic perspective that all of Freemasonry will have to learn to live with if not to wholeheartedly embrace, more succinctly than these words from Jan A M Snoek's preface to his most recent work, which follows. It gives much for Freemasons of every obedience to consider.

"Much has changed since in 1986 John Hamill showed that the hitherto generally accepted theory about the origin and early history of Freemasonry, first formulated by such scholars as Gould in the 1880s, could not be maintained when the facts available were analysed anew from a modern scholarly perspective. Since then, scholars have rediscovered the archives and found many documents which had previously been overlooked, or the significance of which had not been understood. This has led to important new insights, often radically contradictory to those which had been previously assumed. Generally, we now tend to assume that the so called speculative form of freemasonry-the 'speculating' (philosophising) about possible symbolical interpretations of the working tools of a freestone mason, of his 'craft' in general, of what he is working at, etc.-was part and parcel of the training of craftsmen, long before the so called 'Premier Grand Lodge' was formed in 1717, and even before the Schaw Statutes were written in 1598 and 1599. Thus, what changed in the early 18th century was not that 'gentlemen masons' introduced this aspect, but rather that fewer and fewer craftsmen were members of the lodges, so that the 'operative' aspect was gradually lost. Also, there never existed a fixed form of what 'true' or 'authentic' freemasonry once was. Rather, it constantly developed and develops, changing its form all the time, in different ways in different times and places, sometimes very radically. Finally, from a scholarly perspective, there never existed 'bad', 'deviant' forms of freemasonry (as in the past such systems as Cagliostro's 'Egyptian Rite', Von Hund's 'Strict Observance' and Weishaupt's 'Illuminati' have been qualified), but just forms which were successful and those which were not (which is not necessarily a criterion of quality, measured according to ritual theories)."

"Also, the number of scholars-historians and sociologists, mainly-who are not freemasons but are nevertheless of the opinion that freemasonry had such an impact on the development of the Western culture, that this development cannot be understood without paying due attention to the role of freemasonry, has increased significantly. As a result, the study of freemasonry has become part and parcel of the academic enterprise, even creating a few chairs and institutes dedicated to the subject. Today, scholars who are also freemasons, and those who are not, cooperate harmoniously and critically in mutually complementing ways. With the exception of France, this development has so far given rise to very few new books about freemasonry, written from the new perspective. This is the case for nearly all aspects of freemasonry which have been or should be investigated, including the relationship between women and freemasonry, which has been traditionally regarded as a purely male phenomenon. Significant research in this area has been done over the past two decades, again, especially in France. But very little of the new insights have been made available in English."

                                                                   — Link to Jan A M Snoek's latest book with Brill

We must be prepared for the inevitability that this research and these perspectives will be and indeed are beginning to be discussed among anglophone academics in the United States and elsewhere. The impact will begin very soon to be felt in the anglophone Masonic world.

Let us hope that we can learn to embrace a new search for common ground.