posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 03:05 PM
Excerpt from the (translated) minutes of the initation of Maria Deraismes, 14th January 1882
Maria Deraismes was initiated into Lodge Les Libres Penseurs in the Orient of Le Pecq. This Lodge had received and passed the following proposal for
"The undersigned, active members of the Lodge Les Libres Penseurs du Pecq, all in possession of the degree of M.'.M.'., propose the initiation of
Mademoiselle Maria Deraismes, resident of Paris, of 52, rue de Clichy.
Le Pecq, 25th November 1881"
Upon her inition, the W.'.M.'., W.'. Bro.'. Houbron, spoke.
"Too long, in our opinion, have our mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters been kept away from our meetings, where, people say, mysterious things
happen which must remain unapproachable to women. We, however, think that nowadays this exclusion is out of date and is at the same time an insult to
them and we have resolved, as far as we are concerned, to bring it to an end. We are impressed with the idea that the natural state of society cannot
be effectively improved without the co-operation of women, the first educator of the child, to combat prejudices by abolishing them, to combat them
with ethics and through the enlightenment of Freemasonry, is a peaceful way to prepare for social freedom.
The moral aim pursued by the first philosophers of antiquity and which is still pursued by Freemasonry is to realise that the greatest advancement for
the benefit of the whole of humanity is to impress upon it first of all the wisdom of the maxim:
'Right thought, right speech, right action.'
Zoroaster, the Persian philosopher, considered of greatest virtue he whose sentiments were upright, who was generous towards all others, whose eyes
were not drawn towards wealth and who practised good towards all men.
The precepts of the ancient wisdom, transmitted from age to age, are also those which, like our predecessors, we are upholding and from which arose
that inspiring command:
'Love one another.'
They form the true spirit of Freemasonry.
To lift the veil with which Freemasonry has been concealed from the eyes of woman and to invite her to our meetings on a perfectly equal footing,
after having initiated her into our mysteries, appeared to us a worthwhile cause, convinced as we are that her intellectual liberation is of such a
nature that, through our Institution, she will be guarded against the delusions and prejudices of all kinds that are not only born of ignorance but
also encouraged by all sectarian denominations for their own benefit.
We believe that whatever many self-seeking people, together with our opponents, may claim, the intellect of woman matches that of the man and like
ourselves, she has the right to take part in the work of Freemasons who are the propagators of progress through the study of practical skills, the
sources of all light and truth.
The Freemasons, the Liberal Thinkers, are fortunate, Mademoiselle Deraismes, to be able to confer upon you with esteem the title of 'Sister' today,
and we express our thanks to her that she has had the courage to overcome the Masonic barriers and now leaves the way open for the other women who
wish to work with us for the common good, herald by intellectual liberation."
NOTE: The complete article has previously appeared in 'Lux Orientis' in 1921, and in 'Hommage a nos Ainés' in 1954.