Because Masonic history is, essentially, unknown and unproven, Masons have for centuries written about our ‘roots’, sometimes having little connection with reality. In fact, until the early 1900s, most Masonic writers simply ‘made it up’ as they went along, writing things that they ‘imagined’.
Regrettably, those outside of the organization believed – sometimes absurdly – that Masons writing about Freemasonry had some sort of ‘inside track’ and thus regardless of the absurdity of their claims, they’d often be accepted as true oracles.
This continues even today: buttressing their ‘saleability’ with archiac titles gained through their simple presence during a couple of hours worth of ceremonies, they write tomes which are confusing (at best) to Masons themselves.
Thereinafter follows the inevitable ‘cherry-picking’ of a phrase, sentence, or allusion by the enemies and antagonists of Freemasonry, citing the fact that the claim was made by a “32nd Degree Mason” or a “Sir Knight”.
Gengle reader: it’s simply smoke and mirrors.
Freemasonry’s roots extend back well over three centuries although certainly NOT to the time of the pyramid builders or King Solomon’s Temple. During these years, it has travelled to nearly all parts of the free world (and sometimes has hidden underground within dictatorships), changing in ways that reflect both the times and the location.
Very few Masons have even witnessed a meeting outside of their own jurisdiction (in the US, a state; in Canada, a province; and elsewhere, generally a country) let alone have involvement at a more intense level (Grand Lodge officer, for example) in multiple locations.
We don’t screen for humility (in this writer’s opinion, an unfortunate omission for would-be authors) and thus often claims and assertions are made based on the INDIVIDUAL interpretation of the author whose Masonic experience are but a microcosm of the world-wide fraternity. There is no ‘authenticity bureau’ which fact-checks any writing and, although our dissenters consistently claim otherwise, ONLY a Grand Master can speak for HIS jurisdiction and then ONLY during his term of office. He can be overridden immediately upon his vacating the Grand Master’s office, sometimes (in some jurisdictions) even DURING his term as the senior officer.
Thus, while we’d all like truth and authenticity, we must also recognize that a great number of books in EVERY field contain unproven assumptions from wild imaginations. Even texts from university publishing sources can and do contain errors, both accidental and unknown, along with authors’ assumptions.
In this section of our Library, you’ll find “Proceedings” – sometimes referred to as “Transactions” of various research lodges throughout the country and the world. Unlike most Masonic libraries, we’re trying desparately to ensure the CONTENTS of these works are in our online catalog, the better to enable you to search for topics of interest that you’d otherwise never know were there. With the increasing availability of scanning and smart phones, we hope this task will move forward quickly.