Questions about official and clandestine Freemasonry

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posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 11:32 AM
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In the course of another thread, Freemason Knights Templar meeting here in Italy 2 days ago, changed my life..., I started trying to piece together some information about groups and lodges that came up in discussion. In this thread I am appealing to people who are better informed than I about the structure of Freemasonry and also about clandestine Lodges to help me out


I know there are a number of active ATS members who hold various degrees in Scottish and York Rite Freemasonry. Offhand I don't know of any members of so-called clandestine lodges, but if you're out there it would be particularly helpful to get your input.

As I understand it, regular Freemasonry is a loose affiliation of Lodges with mutual recognition, the oldest being the United Grand Lodge of England. In Europe, it seems that regular Freemasonry is organized by country, with one Grand Lodge generally recognized per country; in the U.S. it is organized by state, with one Grand Lodge and often also one Prince Hall Grand Lodge recognized. I think (but could be totally wrong about this) that these Grand Lodges participate in either the York or the Scottish Rite, and each is responsible for recognizing the official local Lodges.

If all that is correct, then my main questions have to do with what official or regular Freemasonry terms "clandestine" Lodges. An example from the other thread is the Grand Orient of Italy, which was recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England but is no longer, apparently having been replaced by the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy. Part of my question is historical: was there some split or schism in Freemasonry that led to certain lodges that had been considered regular being declared clandestine or was the process more haphazard? The other part is structural: is there a system of affiliation among the "clandestine" lodges similar to that among the "regular" lodges, or are they all totally independent?

I'm also interested in what the differences in teachings and practice are among the various divisions, but I'll wait to ask specific questions until I make sure that I'm not even more confused than I think I am




posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 12:04 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Please feel free to use the little white rectangle to the left of the SEARCH icon. It is located in the upper right hand corner of the page. Here you will find a plethora of information, including the info you are looking for.

Nothing new here.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by Violater1
 


Thanks for your response. I have indeed used that little white box and been led to a plethora of information. I read a whole bunch of it and am now trying to assimilate and make sense of it. I thought maybe some of my fellow ATS members would be willing to give me a hand or a pointer if I asked. If you're looking for new information, move along. If you can point me to a specific thread that addresses the relationship between regular and clandestine Freemasonry, or among clandestine lodges (particularly the Grand Orient of Italy), that would be awesome.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 12:25 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


To answer some of your questions, I will start of by telling you that the state Masonic Lodges are just people practicing the masonic ways.

My grandfather was a 32 Degree Mason in a Lodge in California. It does not mean he participated in the Illuminati's current corruption.

The lodges all over the world could be just like the lodge my grandfather was in, and the meetings unimportant.

Some of the meetings however are of utmost importance and may be held anywhere.

A meeting in Italy may have been a big one with all the members, but whose to know for sure.

Hope i helped.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 12:53 PM
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reply to post by Quickfix
 


Quickfix, thanks for the reply.

I want to make one thing clear here: I don't have an agenda for this thread. I'm not trying to link any regular or clandestine masonic organization to the Illuminati or the NWO plot. That's part of why I made this a separate thread rather than asking my questions in Vinnyboy's thread, where the discussion is already veering off into Luciferianism and the NWO. My impression is that most regular lodge activity is just like what you describe your grandfather being involved in.

In the other thread, it's looking like the meeting that Vinnyboy attended may have been hosted by the Grand Orient of Italy and sponsored by two organizations that I think are not masonic (the Scottish Knight Templars and the International Order of Gnostic Templars), though he has not confirmed this. That's what inspired the question about the organization of non-regular Lodges, and I'm having more trouble sorting information about that than about the regular lodges.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 12:55 PM
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Just to fill in some blanks. To 'Regular' masonic lodges, lodges which are considered clandestine would be:

* Co-Masonry lodges (men and women)
* Lodges practicing degrees beyond 33rd - (Rite of Memphis and Misraim degrees 34-90)
* Or lodges practicing any other degrees not approved as 'Regular'

At one time Prince Hall lodges were not accepted by Regular lodges, but this is no longer true. I can't think of any off the top of my head that still deny Prince Hall Masons as brothers. However, that doesn't mean that the old-timers know that.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


A few states still don't recognize Prince Hall as regular masonry. Arkansas is one. I am not sure of the others. NC adopted to recognize them only two years ago. (we sure are progressive) before that, they were considered clandestine. As Chorozon said, the things that make a lodge not recognized are going against masonic principals that have been the same since the beginning. It's a fraternity, so no girls alowed.


There is a member here who is a Memphis Mizeram mason. While we as regular (I hate to use that term, but I don't know how else to say it) masons took an oath not to discuss masonic matters with clandestine masons, they have still taken oaths similar to ours. They learn things in about the same ways as we do, and they adhear to some of the same principals as we do. So I personally give them the same respect I would any mason. I just have to follow my obligation when it comes to discussing all things masonic.

It is not only possible, but likely that the person in that other thread was at a clandestine meeting. I won't pretend to know the rules of other organizations, but as for AF&AM masonry, you have to be a master mason to attend a meeting on the 3rd degree, and if you are a 1st or 2nd degree, you have to be accompanied by a master mason or have been cleared to attend a meeting, and then you can't be present when the lodge is opened in the 3rd. (we sometimes open on the 3rd and then close and open on a 1st or second to facilitate degree work. If you have any other questions, please ask. I refer all the hard ones to Masonic Light and Augustusmasonicus.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 02:17 PM
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Think of "clandestine" lodges as being lodges that are not officially recognized by the Grand Lodge of that particular state, for whatever reason. For example, you and I could start a Lodge together, and it would be considered a "clandestine" Lodge because it hasn't received approval from the Grand Lodge of that particular state.

Each Masonic Lodge has an official "Charter" granted by the Grand Lodge to practice freemasonry. Clandestine lodges, on the other hand, don't have Charters from the Grand Lodge. They are not officially recognized by the Grand Lodge of that particular state.

Now, it could be that the proposed new Lodge has not sought recognition from the Grand Lodge, because it considers itself independent. Or it may have sought recognition from the Grand Lodge, but was rejected for various reasons - for example, the ritual doesn't adhere to formally sanctioned Masonic rituals in that state.

Regardless, clandestine lodges - rightly or wrongly - would generally be considered out of the norm by most Masons, and viewed with a heightened degree of skepticism by most traditional Masons. I am speaking in very general terms.



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 02:43 PM
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Originally posted by americandingbat


I'm also interested in what the differences in teachings and practice are among the various divisions, but I'll wait to ask specific questions until I make sure that I'm not even more confused than I think I am


Traditionally, there are what is known as the "25 Landmarks of Freemasonry". While not all Grand Lodges have officially adopted the 25 Landmarks, they pretty much spell out the mode and working of regular Masonry.

Clandestine organizations are complicated. Many of them were founded and organized by non-Masons. Such people have came across various books that purport to be exposes of Masonic ritual, and simply use these to initiate their members. Obviously, such organizations have no historical connection to legitimate Freemasonry.

Other clandestine groups have been started by former Masons (the Grand Orient of the United States and so-called Grand Lodge of All England are perfect examples). They claim Masonic regularity, but are in fact new organizations without any legitimate Masonic authority.

Other groups such as the Grand Orient of France and Grand Orient of Italy used to be legitimate Masonic bodies, but drifted away from observing the ancient landmarks. This caused traditional Freemasonry to withdraw recognition from them, and eventually grant it to others in their stead (such as the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy that you mentioned).



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by Choronzon

reply to post by network dude

reply to post by CookieMonster09

reply to post by Masonic Light
 


Thank you all for your comments. They have definitely helped clarify for me how the clandestine lodges came to be and how they differ from regular freemasonry.


Originally posted by network dude
While we as regular (I hate to use that term, but I don't know how else to say it) masons took an oath not to discuss masonic matters with clandestine masons, they have still taken oaths similar to ours. They learn things in about the same ways as we do, and they adhear to some of the same principals as we do. So I personally give them the same respect I would any mason. I just have to follow my obligation when it comes to discussing all things masonic.


I'm having trouble knowing how to phrase it too. Clearly it's important to make the distinction, especially in other contexts where the discussion is about what "masons" do, believe, or espouse. But using the terms "regular" and "clandestine" rubs me a bit wrong.


Originally posted by Masonic Light
Clandestine organizations are complicated.


That's certainly my impression



posted on Apr, 26 2010 @ 03:50 PM
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If you do not hear whispers, your not moving up the various degrees.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 09:23 AM
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Well, I'm a Mason in Texas, and my lodge is chartered by the Grand Lodge of Texas, which has about 1000 active lodges working under its authority state-wide. The Grand Lodge of Texas is based in Waco, TX.

Houston is the largest city in Texas, and if you do a google search for Grand Lodge Houston, you'll probably get 10-20 clandestine Grand Lodges in the Houston city limits*. These "Grand Lodges" might only have one or two lodges under them, and no "regular" Mason is going to recognize them. The funny thing is, a lot of these groups make their own bodies styled on the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and even the shiners, yet none of them are allowed to join the actual bodies that have those names.


* UMW Scottish Rite Grand Lodge AF & AM of Texas Inc, Mt Lebanon Grand Lodge, Mt. Sinai Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. & A. M., St Matthew's Grand Lodge, Most Worshipful Sons of Thunder Grand Lodge, Abraham Grand Lodge of Texas, Regular Grand Lodge of Texas, etc...



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:29 AM
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Could any chartered lodge be labeled clandestine for actions above posters have mentioned? Is there some sort of tribunal process to remove the paper work which makes it chartered and recognised.

Also have any lodges become clandestine from internal politics? I.e, bad blood between people for whatever reason which has resulted in a lodge being labeled clandestine. Or does irregular practice have to occur for such a process to happen?

Peace



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 12:24 PM
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Could any chartered lodge be labeled clandestine for actions above posters have mentioned? Is there some sort of tribunal process to remove the paper work which makes it chartered and recognised.

A chartered Lodge would not be labeled "clandestine", unless the Charter is revoked. A Charter could be revoked for any number of reasons.

The Grand Lodge of a particular state grants and revokes the Charters. Each state might differ slightly in the process of "how" this is accomplished, based on the Grand Lodge's rules, by-laws, etc.

The Charter is what identifies the local Lodge as falling under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of a particular state. No Charter means that the Lodge is clandestine, and operating outside of the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of that state.



Also have any lodges become clandestine from internal politics? I.e, bad blood between people for whatever reason which has resulted in a lodge being labeled clandestine. Or does irregular practice have to occur for such a process to happen?


Again, each state is different. Based on my personal experience, I would venture to state that revoking a Lodge's charter is generally infrequent, as most Lodges do their best to try to adhere to the rituals and guidelines set down by the state's Grand Lodge.

I think nowadays that most of the Charters that do get revoked are due to a Lodge that fails to attract enough members to support itself - and is thus closed down or merged with another local Lodge.

Closing a Lodge due to internal politics or bad blood? Kind of defeats the idea of fraternal brotherhood. I suppose it is possible, but I have never personally witnessed this occurring. As I mentioned, there are any number of reasons as to why a Charter would be revoked - the most common nowadays would be a Lodge losing members to the point where it cannot sustain itself. Loss of membership being due more to age and deceased brethren, than attrition.

[edit on 27-4-2010 by CookieMonster09]



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 01:20 PM
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This might help:

According to Brother Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume 1, a Clandestine Lodge is defined as follows:

"Clandestine Lodge: A body of Freemasons or of those improperly claiming to be Freemasons, uniting in a Lodge without the consent of a Grand Lodge, or, although originally legally constituted, continuing to work after its Charter has been revoked is styled a "Clandestine Lodge"."



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:07 PM
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reply to post by CookieMonster09
 


Thank you for the reply. I do have a few more questions maybe but will post them later.




Closing a Lodge due to internal politics or bad blood? Kind of defeats the idea of fraternal brotherhood.


lol, it would seem to defeat a keypoint, yes. I think it is possibly more common than we should think though.

Peace



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:21 PM
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Many Masons are retired or even elderly. The passing of these Brothers leaves a huge void in membership at many Masonic Lodges. It has very little to do with infighting, and more to do with demographics.

The Lodges grew rapidly at the end of WWII, but now there is not sufficient membership rolls to sustain many Lodges. Grand Lodges in various states have taken proactive measures to stem the tide. The Grand Lodges are doing all they can to increase membership.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:39 PM
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Again, thanks to everyone for the replies!]


Originally posted by JoshNorton
... 10-20 clandestine Grand Lodges in the Houston city limits*. These "Grand Lodges" might only have one or two lodges under them, and no "regular" Mason is going to recognize them. The funny thing is, a lot of these groups make their own bodies styled on the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and even the shiners, yet none of them are allowed to join the actual bodies that have those names. ...


I think now I have a pretty good handle on the relationship between clandestine lodges and Regular Freemasonry, thanks to everyone on the thread. I'm still a bit in the dark about how the various clandestine lodges relate among themselves though. I get the feeling that's pretty complicated and depends rather a lot on location (for instance, from what I've found researching, in some European countries there seems to be almost an entire alternative structure of groups that consider themselves Masonic and are organized along the same principles of lodges and Grand Lodges (or Orients) but are not recognized by regular freemasonry even though in some cases they do recognized the regular Grand Lodges).



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


Clandestine bodies usually have their own Grand Lodges which govern them. This is not always the case though. For example, the notorious P2 Lodge existed all by itself without any recognition from any other group.



posted on Apr, 29 2010 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by americandingbat
 


European Continental Freemasonry is nowadays very different from Anglo Saxon freemasonry, but they still share most of the old traditions of Ancient Craft Masonry. And some of the European Continental Freemasonry are for logical reasons even older than their counterparts of Anglo Saxon American masonry.

Whereas, the (mostly closet Christian) Anglo Saxon masonry are saying that they are the 'true masons' and the only true path and the right way to find true spiritual enlightenment! lol!


(They are almost acting like fundamentalist Christians/Muslims of the masonic world!)

European Continental Freemasonry and the so called 'Clandestine Lodges' are more modern and political & scientific in nature, and it's here you'll find the network of European politicians, the European industrial elite, the financial elite, the Intellectuals and other movers and shakers of society.

The Anglo-American masons here on ATS are really funny when they are trying so hard to convince you that European Continental Freemasonry and that many of the Continental European GOdF (or European Grand Orients) would be inferior and less masonic in nature than the Anglo American "Regular" tradition of jurisdictions.

Pfft! that is only their "holier than thou" Inferiority complex and the deceptive propaganda from the Anglo Saxon American masonry!

Well! the Anglo-American masonry here on this site are not completely honest, and they are not telling you the whole truth to why they have declared so many the European continental masonry lodges to be 'clandestine'

This is a term the conservative Anglo Saxon masonry invented, and it's not used anywhere else except in America and somtimes in the U.K.

Some differences between the two branches are:

1. The schism of the belifs in Deity and their relationship to the 'Grand Architect of the Universe' - to which I believe, we can now include: Science & Nature.

2. The Political discussion & political beliefs and political activities in/of the lodges.

3. The "clandestine lodges" have removed some parts of the 'Volume of the Sacred Law' (the Bible) from its ritual.

And stopped being hypocrites about the false religions.

(Because almost everyone now knows that some late religions were invented for political & control purposes - and not for the true spirtual enlightenment)

The schism and the split started 1870 when the European Grand Orients lodges grow tired of the Americans prude and strong conservative ties to Christianity and other ignorance running rampant among the American lodges - whether the Anglo Americans here like to deny it or not.

The Europeans and the rest of the world wanted their Anglo American brothers to stop being closet Christians - to deny ignorance - for the best of mankind!


And therfore prude conservative Anglo saxons with their strong Christian ties totally freaked out and invented the term and declared most of the GOdF lodges to be "Clandestine!


The Anglo Saxons will unfortunately never admit this! because Christianity had such a big influence of the whole American society - from where the Anglo Saxon lodges recruited from!

And there was probably some religio-political reasons behind this as well, but they will of course never admit this to be correct officially, because they were not allowed to involve with the political discussion which had been strictly banned in the Anglo-American tradition

And that would make themselves exactly the same which they earlier had accused the Continental Europeans of doing.
(hypocrites
!)

Whereas nowadays, The European Continental Masonry seems to be the more enlightened of the two, where science and 'Nature' is taking a more prominent important place beside the very important belifs of spirituality.

Therefore, the European masonry has evolved with their enlightenment and is now more of a combination of Science, Political, and Nature belifs than soley strictly spiritual - and most of the unhealthy ties to Christianity and the Christian church are nowadays also much less prominent in Europe.

The American masonry has since the split from the Europeans, being viewed (in the eye of the Europeans) soley as:

A semi closet-Christian gentlemen social club not that different from any Rotary club or similar which both are like kindergarten for grown-ups- the only difference is the Ancient Craft Masonry.

And the Anglo Americans like you to believe that they are the 'true masons' and that they are the only ones to hold the grand ancient secrets of mankind!

(Well! it must be good for business and to keep the interest alive! - I give them that!)

And they have been doing all this like any other usual 'chest beating' Anglo American behaviour (as we Europeans are now so used to see) to make themselves look a tad more interesting and more important than they really are - thereof the schism of the two branches.


When in the reality, the Europeans knows exactly the same 'Ancient Craft Masonry' and 'secrets' (if not more) as their American brothers.

I like to call this typical behaviour: Anglo American masonic hybris & delusions of grandeur!


Anyway! It's just very sad to see the Anglo American masonry's forum gang activities here on this forum, unbelievable


[edit on 29-4-2010 by Chevalerous]





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