First, for Bro. Alex:
I was not insinuating that I hold agreeance with Madonna, hehehe...only that it is no longer a crime to publicly hold "heretical" beliefs, and using
her as an example because it struck me as funny when I watched her interview.
Originally posted by Jamuhn
I remember reading a thread on ATS the other day about how someone thought the Illuminati was based on the principles of Libertarianism. And I
thought, how absurd, if that were true why would they want to establish an NWO and why would they be bad in general if they shared the same ideas of
What we know of the Illuminati comes from two sources: the Illuminati members themselves, and their opponents.
According to those men who were actually members of the Illuminati (Weishaupt, Goethe, Mozart, et al.), the purpose of the organization was primarily
to struggle for political and religious freedom in the state of Bavaria.
According to their opponents, their purpose was to establish anarchy and atheism.
But to understand this arcane organization, one must first consider the power of propaganda and religion. The Illuminati's primary opponents were the
Jesuits, who opposed freedom of religion and political liberty because this would have wrested the power they at the time held as religious dictators.
Therefore, at least to the status quo, "freedom" and "anarchy" meant the same thing.
If we ignore the obvious propaganda of the Church and concentrate on the writings of the Illuminati's members themselves, we see an organization
similar to our own revolutionary forefathers (Weishaupt himself wrote that his idea of forming the Illuminati was inspired by the American secret
society called the Sons of Liberty, whose membership included Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin; it is no accident that the Illuminati was formed in
1776, inspired by the American Revolution).
You all seem very educated and I hope that if I ever decide to join masonry I would be surrounded with such thought as yours.
But then again, I won't know if it's right for me until I read up on the enlightment.
For the study of the Enlightenment, I would recommend the following books:
"Candide" by Voltaire
"The Foundations of the Principles of the Metaphysics of Ethics" by Immanuel Kant
"Philosophical Thoughts" by Denis Diderot
"A Treatise of Human Nature" by David Hume
"Essay Concerning Human Understanding" by John Locke
"Rousseau and Revolution" by Will and Ariel Durant
"Natural Philosophy and the Principles of Mathematics" by Isaac Newton
These books capture the entire strain of Enlightenment thought, while the volume by the Durants serve as a perfect introduction (it also discusses
much about the development of Freemasonry from a historical perspective).
I still though don't understand the level of organization nor the rituals and ultimately that will be the base of my skepticism.
The actual organization of Freemasonry, and its rituals, are perhaps the least understood aspects of the subject, even among Masons. Thankfully, so
much has been written about them by Masonic scholars that all one needs to do is find the appropriate books.
The organization, laws, and government of Freemasonry is explained fully in Dr. Albert Mackey's masterpiece, "Jurisprudence of Freemasonry". This
book elaborates on everything from the election of officers and officers' duties to Masonic legislative theory. I served as Worshipful Master of my
Lodge in 2002, and as Secretary ever since, and have found this book indispensable as an officer in a Masonic Lodge.
Concerning ritual, many excellent books have been written. I would suggest "The Lodge and the Craft" by Dr. Rollin Blackmer, which elaborates on the
Ritual of the Blue Lodge, as well as "A Bridge To Light" by Dr. Rex Hutchens, which summarizes and interprets the rituals of the Scottish Rite, from
the 4° to the 32°.
For Masonic history, I would strongly recommend "The Builders" and "The Mens House" by Dr. Joseph Fort Newton, along with "A Comprehensive View
of Freemasonry" by Henry Wilson Coil.
Most of these books may be ordered from www.macoy.com...
[edit on 17-8-2004 by Masonic Light]