Author(s): Giles Morgan
Freemasonry is one of the worlds oldest secular brotherhoods. Past members have included kings, presidents, military leaders, writers, and philosophers. Today, there are over 10 million Freemasons around the world. Its origins have been associated with medieval stonemasons, the Knights Templar, and even a secret order known as the Priory of Sion, guardians of the true nature of the Holy Grail. Theories abound about older originswith ancient mystery cults or the construction of the great Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. Whatever the truth, Freemasonry history is full of drama and mystery. That it played a role in the American War of Independence and French Revolution is without doubt, and its influence has been detected in other diverse historical events. To an outsider, Freemasonry rituals can appear obscure, pointless and baffling, or even sinister. Yet an intensely stratified and hierarchical structure underpins most Masonic orders, and the utmost secrecy is still demanded of its members even though much of its tradition is known to outsiders. In this clearly laid-out study, Giles Morgan examines the reality and the myth behind the organization. Distinguishing one from the other, he provides a concise and highly compelling account of one of the worlds most secret societies.