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The Céile Dé Priest Masons & the "Black Art"

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posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:50 AM
Black Artisans, Black Dogs, and the B(l)ack-to-front Language

An absolutely fascinating piece of subject matter has presented itself to me of recent days, the Céile Dé Priest Masons, or as they are better known, the Culdees. I will be looking further into them, a lot further, especially as I've received what is meant to be the sacred book of this priesthood; The Kolbrin. I'll be posting more intensive, in depth articles on this group in the future but I'll go with a more free-flowing synch-spec format here. Expect errors that will be corrected in later, more exacting posts.

Consider the following etymological investigation from the Boaz-Over blog (the entire piece there is well worth a read. An eye opener for me on the possibilities for this subject), an article called "The Word Cowan (Part 2)":

Several authors have tried to link the word [sic: cowan] to various linguistic roots, such as Greek kuon (dog) or cohanim, Hebrew for priest. One of them was historian George Oliver (1782 - 1867), a Freemason who believed the original word was cohen, meaning "devoted" or "servant" (or God), the name of the Jewish priest:

"From the affair of Jephtha, an Ephraimite was termed a Cowan or worthless fellow, In Egypt, a cohen was the title of a priest or prince and a term of honour. Bryant, speaking of the harpies, says they were priests of the sun; and as Cohen was the name of a dog, they were termed by Appollionius, 'the dogs of Jove'. Now St. John cautions the Christian brethren that 'without are dogs' [kuves] cowans or listeners; and St.paul exhorts the Christians to 'beware of dogs because they are evil workers'. Now kuon, a dog or evil worker is the Masonic cowan. The above priests or metaphorical dogs were also called circyonians or cer-cowans because they were lawless in their behaviour towards strangers."

The relation between the terms is clear, as shall be demonstrated in synchromystic fashion here, of the Druids, cohen, cowan, the Gaelic kirwan (stonemason) , the Céile Dé (those who preserve the fire and practise the 'black art'), have all been synonymous with the titles of prince, king, priest, (black) smith, and mason. From the above quoted article:

Whether the linguistic root of colquhoun is Old Norse (coill) or Irish (cuil, cul), we notice a common meaning: if coill refers to black wood or coal, the Scottish Gaelic roots cal, cul, or ceil implied something that protected, turned, or burned, often in association with fire, as in cuil-hil, turning wheel or cul-mhaire, wheelwright, cal, cail, ceill, to burn, also applied metaphorically in the Irish to the passions, ceili, ceill, cill, a round or fire tower, i.e. a place of devotion where the sacred fire always burned, cuilteach, a steeple, a fire house, ceil de, a preserver of the fires, i.e. a culdee, caileach, heat or passion of the mind; cal, lime, i.e. burnt stone( as in Calchou and Calchvynyd, the ancient names of Kelso), and calcam, to burn into lime; and culag, fuel, turf, peat. Thus we are inclined to think that Colquhoun originally designated a sacred narrow corner, which was guarded by black metaphorical "dogs", perhaps priests who practiced the "black art", making coal or working as blacksmiths.

Continued in the following post....

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:51 AM
The problem is that the term cowan has at once been used to denote proud priests/craftsmen and also renegade unmentionables, as has been noted in the first quote from the Boaz-Over article. In 16th century Ireland those with the Gaelic surname MacNocairds, Cairds, and Ceards (from Mac na Cearda, "son of the smith", specifically a smith who worked in brass) became Sinclair because their surname was often mistaken for tinker (also tinkler), a term that had become derogatory to label all vagrants since the influx of Romany Gypsies (claiming Egyptian heritage: E-Gyp(t)-sies) .

The smiths, or tinkers practising the "black art" with the transmuting fire begs the question: did the E-Gypsies practise the same craft? Could this be suggested by the similarities in the Romany's name that prompted the Clan Sinclair to change theirs? Questions, questions...

What prompted me into this subject area was information received from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge at York via the Yahoo! email group Conspiracy Theory Research List: The Grand Secretary Writes to Kealey? where he details the following:

I must tell you that you are spot on when you conclude that the true and original form of Free Masonry was (and is) the first organised religion.

You may find our website of interest to you. For good reasons, we only start the time line on the "Grand Lodges in England" webpage from the issuing of the Royal Charter at St Peter's at York (King Athelstane - AD 926).

What we do not publish, is that this Charter gave royal assent to the Céile Dé Masonic Priest Architects to continue their activities, legally, in the face of considerable persecution, from Rome.

The Céile Dé Priest Masons came from Celtic/Druidic, pre-Davidic roots.

I emailed the Grand Secretary myself to confirm the above (freemasonry is a religion? Zounds! Who woulda thunk it?
) and he told me this:

We know our roots which are pre-Davidic and comes down to us from the original form of Christianity via Celtic/Druidic traditions.

We continue to ordain the Masonic Priesthood, as before. Without these Holy Orders there can be no true Free Masonry.

The Grand Lodge at York is at loggerheads it seems with the the United Grand Lodge of England which the Grand Lodge at York regards as an illigitimate organization, not representing the genuine foundation of freemasonry. I've enjoyed reading the various rather heated exchanges between the Grand Secretary, mentioned above, and UGLE members on a few masonic message boards. Good entertainment.

So after looking into the term Céile Dé, finding links to the above information thoughts started abounding about the links between an ancient Druidic masonic priesthood who practised the Black Art, of the smithy and of the square, and the links between the term smith, priest, and king. I was largely not too disappointed as it turns out.

Here is the U.K. we have an abundance of pubs generically known as the Masons Arms and the Smiths Arms. The signs that hang outside these public houses are almost interchangeable in style and appearance. Take a gander:

The Mason's Arms

The Smith's Arms

The Smith's Arms

The old Arm and Hammer eh?

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:52 AM
There is a Mason's Arms football (soccer for all the yanks here) team too:

In the Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven, a fictionalised account of the story of Balian of Ibelin, the lead character is a blacksmith visited by a father he never knew, a knight, and summoned to defense of the holy land. It's been a while since I've seen the film but I don't think there is any hint of the Knights Templar, but this is highly suggestive to me. A knight seeks the son who practices the "Black Arts" to defend the most disputed tract of land in history.
Here is the trailer:

If I remember things correctly the knights in question in the film were the Knights Hospitaler. The oath used by the knights in the film certainly belongs to the order.

From a post by Preston on the Systemic Anomalies forum:


elder son of Adam and Eve, from Heb. Qayin, lit. "created one," also "smith," from Sem. stem q-y-n "to form, to fashion." To raise Cain is first recorded 1840. Surnames McCain, McCann, etc., are a contraction of Ir. Mac Cathan "son of Cathan," from Celt. cathan, lit. "warrior," from cath "battle."


male proper name, in O.T. eldest son of Cain, father of Methuselah, from Heb. Hanokh, lit. "dedicated, consecrated," from hanakh "he dedicated," whence also Hanukkah.

- from Etymonline.

The name Cain means to "smite" or "hit"...indicative of a blacksmith hammering metals

Also in a association to building projects. Enoch, the son of Cain was said to have built the first city (city = civilization)...which would represent the basis of the system. (Cain can also be connected to Nimrod, the builder of the Tower of Babel, btw)

So, to smite, then, to strike, of the nature of the blacksmith hammering the base material into shape, related to the first builder. Gotcha.

There are institutions that seek to hammer the world into shape:

In that stained glass depiction it seems they need two people for such a momentous task, the world itself.

The present icon of the previously mentioned world's oldest think-tank is the tortoise from Aesop's fable, "The Tortoise and the Hare":

Raising it's right watsit (what is it? Hoof? Paw? Let's go far appendage) and stating:

"When I strike, I strike hard!"

To be sure.

Continued in the following post...

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:52 AM
As I wrote earlier in the post, the term Smith is synonymous with the title King in many places. From the superb book on mythology Hamlet's MIll by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend:

The Yakuts claim: "Smith and Shaman come from the same nest," and they add: "the Smith is the older brother of the Shaman," [n29 P. W. Schmidt, Die asiatischen Hirtenvolker (1954), pp. 346f. Concerning the terrestrial blacksmith: the many iron pieces which belong to the costume of a shaman can be forged only by a blacksmith of the 9th generation, i.e., eight of his direct ancestors must have been in the profession.

A smith who dared forge a shamanistic outfit without having those ancestors would be torn by bird-spirits.] which might be valid also for Vainamoinen, coupled with Ilmarinen, who is said to have "hammered together the roof of the sky."

It is the primeval Smith who made the Sampo, as we know, and forged sky and luminaries in Esthonia. It is no idle fancy that the representative of the celestial smith, the King, is himself frequently titled "Smith." Jenghiz Khan had the title "Smith" [n30 A. Alfbldi, "Smith As a Title of Dignity" (in Hungarian), in Magyar Nyelv 28 (1932), pp. 205-20.] and the standard of the Persian Empire was the stylized leather apron of the Smith Kavag (appendix # 11). The Chinese mythical emperors Huang-ti and Yu are such unmistakable smiths that Marcel Granet drew historic-sociological conclusions all the way, forgetting the while that Huang-ti, the Yellow Emperor, is acknowledged to be Saturn.

And just as the Persian Shahs held their royal jubilee festival after having reigned thirty years, which is the Saturnian revolution, so the Egyptian Pharaoh also celebrated his jubilee after thirty years, true to the "inventor" of this festival, Ptah, who is the Egyptian Saturn, and also Deus Faber. It was necessary to enter this subject in depth abruptly and lay stress on these few selected data, because otherwise the charming and harmless-looking Finnish runes would not be seen for what they are, the badly damaged fragments of a once whole and "multicolored cover."

It has been considered by some that the Céile Dé were Mithraists. From Irish Druids and Irish Religions by James Bonwick:

Jamieson styles them Culdees or Keldees, Kyldees, Kylledei. O'Brien has them the Irish Ceile De, servant of God. Another call them Clann Dia, Children of God. Barber considered them Mithraists.

I'm trying to find out who exactly this Barber is. No mention of him in the bibliography.

Continued in the following post...

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:53 AM
From the Boaz-Over blog:

"By some remarkable coincidence, on May 1st 1628, - as per the registration date of a minute kept in kept in the archives of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) - "the Deacones Masteris frieman of the Maisonnes and Hammermen" signed a charter by which they were recognizing that same William St. Clair of Roslin as their heriditary patron and protector. The signers were the members of the lodges of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dunfermline, St. Andrews, Stirling and Dundee, as well as masons and carpenters from the Corporation O' Squaremen of Ayr. The fact that the hammermen (metalworkers) united with the masons , as with the case in Selkirk, was not extraordinary because they were then considered masons who mastered the Art of Geometry; besides their motto clearly expressed their importance in relation to other crafts - in Glasgow, By Hammer in the Hand, All Arts Do Stand, in Edinburgh and Dundee, Sigillum commune artis tudiatorum or malliatorum ("The Hammer (is) the common sign of all arts").

It seems that those ubiquitous pub signs do tell a story.

It should be remembered that Sinclair, as in the Roslin/Rosslyn Chapel/Templars/ Sinclairs/St. Clairs, means "son of the smith".

In conclusion here is another famous hammer design:

From this article: Occult Roots of the Russian Revolution:-

Throughout the twentieth century the hammer and sickle were universally recognised as symbols of communism and the Soviet Union. For millions of people the hammer and sickle symbolised a new political and economic order offering progress, justice and liberty. While countless others looked on the same hammer and sickle as ominous emblems of oppression, hatred and tyranny.

Occultists and students of ancient wisdom saw something more. Behind the outward appearance of these communist emblems, which officially represented the emancipation of labor, there was an element unknown to the masses.

Russian occultists saw the Bolshevics as unconsciously working for the cosmic mission of Russia and interpreted the Soviet hammer and sickle as hidden symbols of the blacksmith’s art, hinting at future transmutation and transformation. Both metallurgy and alchemy (regarded as an occult science) sort to destroy impure elements with fire and thereby release a refined product, whether forged metal (the smith) or spiritual gold (the alchemist). Fire is associated with transfiguration, regeneration, and purification, while iron is associated with Mars (the god of war) and the astral world.

To the occultist, the communist hammer and sickle symbolised conflict and transmutation. The forging – in the fires of struggle – of base elements into a purer, higher form. The atheistic Bolshevic, like the occultist, proclaimed that ordinary man must be transformed into new man, free of the bonds of selfish desires and of the oppressive past, in order to freely build the new civilisation of the future.

The transmuting of the base material via the fires of purification, with the liberal use of the hammer.

The Kolbrin, which I can't wait to read now, has the first chapter heading of: "The Book of Creation: Extracted from the Great Book of The Sons of Fire". Indeed.

Continued in the following post...

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:53 AM
Another crucial thing to consider with the suggested Templar connections is that the Culdees/Céile Dé were quite possibly Johannine, following the teachings of John the Apostle, who was quite possibly John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos, credited with the writing of the Book of Revelation. From Sacred Connections on the Johannine Celtic Church:

Thomas Innes, in his Civil and Ecclesiastical History of Scotland (1853, Spalding Club), quotes the Scots historian, George Buchanan, as saying "the ancient Britons received Christianity from S. John’s disciples by learned and pious monks of that age." Innes further quotes David Buchanan, another Scots writer, who remarks that "those who came into our northern parts," i.e. Scotland, "and first made known unto our fathers the mysteries of heaven, were the disciples of S. John the Apostle." David Buchanan goes on to say that the Scots had received "their tenets and rites," that is, the doctrine and discipline of Christianity, "from their first apostles, disciples to S. John.". Furthermore, in A historical account of the ancient Culdees of Iona (1811), the author, John Jamieson, comments: "Tertullian, who flourished in this age [the 2nd century A.D], asserts, that the gospel had not only been propagated in Britain, but had reached those parts of the Island into which the Roman arms had never penetrated [the Highlands of Scotland - BD]. This perfectly agrees with the defence, made by the Culdees, of their peculiar modes of worship. For they still affirmed that they had received these from the disciples of John the Apostle."

Commenting on the Culdees, the Rev. Alexander Low, in his History of Scotland from the Earliest Period to the Middle of the Ninth Century (1826) remarks: "The religious orders of men among the ancient Scots were known by the name of Culdees, from cuil, or cel, a retreat, and De, God. As the defenders of their peculiar modes of worship observe, that they receive them from the disciples of St John, it is probable that it was a name given to those refugees, who had fled to places of safety in the north, which were inaccessible to the Romans during the Dioclesian persecutions, in the second or third century. The Culdee establishment approaches nearer to the simplicity of the church in ancient times, before the papal distinctions were introduced, than any church polity perhaps in the world….The Culdee establishment had now acquired a firm footing in the nation. Some of its members not only excelled in astronomy, poetry, and rhetoric, but also in philosophy, mathematics, and several other arts and sciences [which exactly correlates with the learned Druids as described by Caesar Augustus - BD]….It is among the Scottish Culdees, that we are to look for that pure pattern of Christian life, such as was exemplified in the African, Greek and Egyptian Anchorites."

John the Apostle was said (if he even existed) to be a disciple of the other St. John, the Baptist. Some even claim that he was John the Baptist, and that all four "Johns" were one and the same. Either way, a gnostic flavour is lent to proceedings.

I haven't really gone into the Black Dogs too much, or the B(l)ack-to-front language have I? Another time...

Finally to close, from Albert Mackey's "The Symbolism of Freemasonry":

Thus, in the life and achievements of Bacchus or Dionysus, we find the travestied counterpart of the career of Moses, and in the name of Vulcan, the blacksmith god, we evidently see an etymological corruption of the appellation of Tubal Cain, the first artificer in metals. For Vul-can is but a modified form of Baal-Cain, the god Cain.

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Right back to Baal, Bel, the fire god, the blazing illumination of the sun, the eternal fire, yet again as in this blog post of mine: The Fires of Baal.

Mentions: Thanks to Ciggy of Webanarchy for putting me onto The Kolbrin in the first place, and Terry Melanson of Conspiracy Archive for some useful links that I will be using in my next (more in depth) instalment on the Céile Dé.

Later Edit: Also, credit should go to the person who really started me on the Céile Dé journey, Glen Kealey, who published the email from the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of All England on the well represented Yahoo! email group the Conspiracy Theory Research List. The Grand Secretary Writes to Kealey??? I've been reticent to fully credit the guy, though I included a link to the email in the main body of my post previously, because I have major problems with his central, far too beguiling thesis (for those who "want to believe") that inner earth dwelling troglodytes control the earth and all it's inhabitants. And that he is apparently a cloned saviour who has been around since 88,000 BC. But credit where credit is due. The email prompted me into this area.
Another site of his is here: Canadian Institute for Political Integrity.

[edit on 23/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

posted on May, 23 2009 @ 10:51 PM
When I was in the sixth grade I got a citizenship award from the local Masonic lodge. I had never heard of the Freemasons at that point.

I remember the day clearly. I went to the lodge and they had a luncheon and I got a certificate.

Later that day my best friend, Cliff, and I played with our GI Joe action figures.

GI Joe was a cartoon character that fought an evil nemesis called Cobra Commander.

Cobra Commander was the head of a huge Illuminati-like organization and he wore a mask.

One of the episodes of the GI Joe series was titled "Footloose".

"Footloose" is also the name of a movie starring.... (wait for it)


Essentially Kevin Bacon caused me to become a freemason and now when I eat pork products all I can think about is Satan.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 12:14 AM
reply to post by emsed1

O.K. Solid reply there. Thanks for your contribution. Totally topic related and not facetious or troll-like in manner. It is indeed much appreciated.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:16 AM
reply to post by Extant Taxon

My apologies :-)

Sometimes my need to attention-whore overwhelms the little voice in my head that says, "Be nice. We are all on the same (ATS) team."

There is a lot of new information here, or at least information that I haven't read before (except the Arm & Hammer thingie).

BTW, (ADD kicking in here) does anyone remember when our Surgeon General was Dr. Armand Hammer? It's possible I dreamed it.

Since I was sort of a jackass when I started seeing the Freemasonry connection I will go back and take a read.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:28 AM
reply to post by Extant Taxon

I would HIGHLY recommend Manly P. Hall's "Secret Teachings of All Ages" if you haven't read it. I was recenly lent a copy by a friend and I can't believe I haven't read it before.

There is also an incredible collection of texts at, including Duncan's Ritual and other Freemasonic writings.

In my lodge we recently had an education session where we had a sort of 'trivia' time where we learned about some of the archaic terms we use.

One of the duties of the Tyler (at least in my state) is to "guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers", although given the current geriatric state of Freemasonry in the US a cowan would first have to wake the tyler up, then try to gain admission.

According to the groundbreaking work of the modern authority on etymology,

Cow"an\ (kou"an), n. [Cf. OF. couillon a coward, a cullion.] One who works as a mason without having served a regular apprenticeship. [Scot.]

Note: Among Freemasons, it is a cant term for pretender, interloper.

It's my belief that that 'cowan' was a term for someone who would seek admission to operative stonemason guild meetings to learn secrets (pancake recipes, et al) to which they weren't entitled.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 06:52 AM
reply to post by emsed1

Yes, I've read some of Hall's magnum opus and I will read all of it at some time in the near future. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of mythology, especially as it relates to the mysteries, but I wonder if he was held in such high regard because he mythologised the actual history so well. That his information wasn't so accurate all the time, and he tweaked things. I've listened to a lot of his public lectures, the information he could call to mind is impressive. I'm going to take in both people like Hall, A.E. Waite, and other esoteric authors, but also the genuine historians on the subject.

And Sacred Texts is a good resource, yes. For this I'll be looking into Pietre-Stones - Review of Freemasonry also, they have some superb info.

But to add something to my speculative linking of the Templars to the Céile Dé is the following from the website of the Grand Lodge at York, who claim direct lineage from the Céile Dé/Culdees:

"From the year 1155 to 1199, the fraternity was under the command of the grand master of the knights templars."

So for a period of nearly fifty years they were under the auspices of the Knights Templar according to that site. I'll be checking the information at another time.

The synchromystic dot joining I have done in my previous posts will be tested now by more in depth research, and cross-referencing through various source materials.

We'll see how well my "Kevin Bacon" free-flow association method previously holds up to closer scrutiny.

[edit on 24/5/09 by Extant Taxon]

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 05:20 PM
Hey, free flow works. It's easier to follow than some of the more encyclopedic works of this type.

Can't wait to read more.. :-)

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 06:05 PM
Well, if nobody else says it... An Absolutely Kick-Butt thread Extant Taxon!
I'm a little pressed for time at the moment but will definately follow this one.

posted on May, 25 2009 @ 09:55 AM
reply to post by emsed1

reply to post by twitchy

Thanks Twitchy and emsed1 for the encouragement. The next instalment will take a bit of time as I am researching even further into the subject matter and and then I will see how my synchromystic free association method in the previous posts stands up to a much closer look.

The point is with the main body of my thread is that it draws connections with no firm or definite conclusions in the end. Beginning with the Céile Dé, the Black Art/Blacksmiths, the Sinclairs/Sons of the Smith, the smith/priest/king link, "Hammer In The Hand, All Arts Do Stand", the art of transmutation and alchemy, finally ending with the hammer & sickle of communism is speculative and draws no sure conclusions. The intent of any occult forces behind Communism and the transmutation of society with a figurative hammer and smithy's flames is only a metaphorical parallel to the Céile Dé "Black Art" as of right now. It does not necessarily denote a firm connection. It may do in the end, and equally may not.

I'm going into this with a mind to see exactly what all the connections are really, in the light of day. Though the various pieces of data that I've presented in themselves are fairly solid. I didn't research all this in a day. My mind right now is that there is a connection between everything I've presented, even if only in intent and practise, of an occult philosophy transmitted by an arcane priesthood who perform both physical (the working of metals) and spiritual (alchemical) transformations via the use of the "Black Art". I think there is the definite and commonly remarked exoteric and esoteric aspects to this subject. I have no evidence for any real world links right now between the hammer arts of this ancient priesthood and the hammer and sickle of communist Russia.

But we shall see.

posted on May, 25 2009 @ 10:43 AM
You have done a super job of puting this material togeather. It will take a while to go through, but so far it's very infomative.

posted on May, 25 2009 @ 02:23 PM
reply to post by network dude


posted on May, 27 2009 @ 12:58 PM
Wasnt "The Grand Lodge of All England" founded in 2005 and is not recognised by the UGLE or any other regular legitmate Grand Lodge ?

posted on May, 27 2009 @ 04:07 PM

Originally posted by RWPBR
Wasnt "The Grand Lodge of All England" founded in 2005 and is not recognised by the UGLE or any other regular legitmate Grand Lodge ?

Yes and perhaps no from what I can gather at present. The Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of All England was originally an UGLE member himself and he seems to have begun this consititution, as you noted, in 2005. The present constitution claims to be the modern incarnation of the ancient Céile Dé/Culdees who are authenticated back to at least the 12th century, maybe even the 9th (depends on which historian you read).

As to whether ot not UGLE or any other constitution recognizes the Grand Lodge of All England at all is a question I will be looking into as part of my research. An interesting debate between the Grand Secretary mentioned above and some UGLE members can be found here:

The Trestle Board Forum: Statement of Clarification

Whatever exactly is going on there the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of All England has a "bee in his bonnet" about UGLE.

posted on May, 29 2009 @ 10:40 AM

Originally posted by Extant Taxon

Whatever exactly is going on there the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of All England has a "bee in his bonnet" about UGLE.

I'm assuming that's because he wants his own organization to be viewed legitimately, which is basically an impossibility without attacking the facts (and thus the UGLE).

The founders of the so-called "Grand Lodge of All England" used to be UGLE members, then they joined the so-called "Regular Grand Lodge of England", which they first claimed was more legitimate than the UGLE, then left it and formed the GLOAE.

Personally, I think it would be best if they just joined the Oddfellows if they are so unhappy with Freemasonry.

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