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Book Title: Freemasonry and Its Ancient Mystic Rites|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.72 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
The author of the book: Charles W. Leadbeater
Date of issue: August 11th 1998
ISBN 13: 9780517202678
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Because Freemasonry is probably the most famous cult still shrouded in secrecy, I was intrigued to find a book on the subject, and thought it would be interesting to find out more. First published in 1926, it's not at all up-to-date, but at least it brings us to the first quarter of the twentieth century. We learn that the origin of Masonry is unclear, and that it draws both its philosophies and rites from a range of sources, including Egyptian, Cretan, Jewish, Greek and Christian mythology. Followers of the Craft are supposed to use its esoteric knowledge for the benefit of mankind, and it's kept secret for three main reasons: initially, to avoid persecution from those who would try to stop the Masons; secondly, to ensure that practitioners are truly devoted to it; and thirdly, so that people cannot use what they learn to hurt others. There is some lengthy presentation of the history of the Masons, including its supposed role in (mostly) European politics since the Middle Ages.
And that's about it. The book is full of history, but author Leadbeater, initiated into Masonry in Australia in 1915, keeps his oath of secrecy by not telling us anything important. He even goes to the effort of blanking out certain key terms throughout the text, making some parts of it hard to read. While it was interesting from an historical point of view, the long list of facts, who was in charge in this year or that year, and the titles of the different ascending degrees of Masonry without any further explanation, made it a rather dull document. I have a rough grounding in world mythology so I could mostly follow the chapters on the "mysteries", but I recommend that you revise the subject before tackling this book or it might be incomprehensible to you. If you are a religious scholar or a student of conspiracy theories you might find it interesting, but I didn't feel that I learned much. It certainly doesn't live up to the title: there is nothing here about its ancient mystic rites.
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Read information about the authorCharles Webster Leadbeater (/ˈlɛdˌbɛtər/; 16 February 1854 – 1 March 1934) was an influential member of the Theosophical Society, author on occult subjects and co-initiator with J. I. Wedgwood of the Liberal Catholic Church.
Originally a priest of the Church of England, his interest in spiritualism caused him to end his affiliation with Anglicanism in favour of the Theosophical Society, where he became an associate of Annie Besant. He became a high-ranking officer of the society, but resigned in 1906 amid a scandal. Accusations of his detractors were never proven and, with Besant's assistance, he was readmitted a few years later. Leadbeater went on to write over 69 books and pamphlets that examined in detail the hidden side of life as well as maintain regular speaking engagements. His efforts on behalf of the society assured his status as one of its leading members until his death in 1934.
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