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Canonbury Masonic Research Centre: ‘Anti-Masonry’ Conference

Canonbury Masonic Research Centre; Journal for Research into Freemasonry
and Fraternalism, London, UK

29.10.2010-31.10.2010, 6 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ

The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre (CMRC) is pleased to announce the
program for its twelfth annual conference on the theme of ‘Anti-Masonry’
scheduled for 29/30-31 October, 2010.

Soon after its emergence in early Hanoverian London, organised
Freemasonry earned the enmity of both religious institutions and
governments alike, and by the summer of 1738 the association had been
proscribed by the Magistrate in The Hague, the French government of
Cardinal Fleury, and by Pope Clement XII, in what was to be the first of
many Papal Bulls issued against the order. In the wake of the French
revolution of 1789, polemicists such as the Catholic priest, Abbé
Barruel, accused the Freemasons of helping to bring about these
momentous events, and within a few years a Jewish component had been
introduced to this heady tale. It was an elaboration that was to have
disastrous consequences.

During the nineteenth century Freemasonry also found itself accused of
fomenting the European revolutions of 1848 and a highly successful
anti-masonic party was established in the United States. By the close of
century, the story that Freemasonry was somehow intertwined with Jewish
interests (what American historian Gabriel Jackson termed ‘The Black
Legend’) had metamorphosed into one of the most outlandish conspiracy
tales of all time – The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This
notorious forgery of the Tsarist Secret Police – an imagined blueprint
for Judeo-Masonic world domination – was eagerly embraced by the
European Fascist regimes, and it helped prepare the ground for the
Holocaust as well as the imprisonment and execution of thousands of
Freemasons, along with the targeted theft of vast masonic archives, many
of which are still being restituted to their original owners today.
In post-war Europe the publication and appeal of the Protocols dwindled,
although in the case of Spain General Franco continued to maintain a
belief in the existence an imaginary Bolshevik-Masonic complot until his
death in 1975. And today, this infamous document is still viewed as
genuine in many parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East
where it is typically used to justify an over-arching anti-Western
rhetoric. But while the anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist aspects of this
phenomenon are frequently discussed by academics, the anti-masonic
element is all too often ignored.

Consequently, this international conference aims to address this
neglected topic in all its aspects.

For further information please email: or telephone 00 44 (0)20 7226 6256

Friday 29 October
The conference will commence with a
rare showing of ‘Les Forces Occultes’ – a feature length anti-masonic
film made in wartime occupied France (1943) complete with English
subtitles – at University College London.

Saturday 30 October

09:00 Registration and coffee
09:50 Official opening

10:00  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Professor Michael Hagemeister, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

10:45 Morning coffee

11:15 Chair: Professor Andrew Prescott, Hatii, University of Glasgow

Anti-masonry and masonic trans-nationalism: a complex interplay
Dr. Joachim Berger, Institute of European History, Mainz

Blaming the Great War on the masons’ entente: Friedrich Wichtl,
Dr. Reinhard Markner, Berlin

The anti-masonic writings of General Erich Ludendorff
Jimmy Köppen, Free University of Brussels

Anti-masonry as political protest: Fascist attitudes to Freemasonry in
interwar Romania
Roland Clark, University of Pittsburgh

12:35 Panel discussion
13:00 Lunch

14:15 Keynote: Franco’s persecution of Freemasonry
Professor José Antonio Ferrer Benimeli, University of Zaragoza

15:00 Afternoon Tea

15.30 Chair: Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, University of Sheffield

‘Anti-masonry’ in nineteenth-century Ottoman Lebanon: an offensive
against Anglo-Saxon and protestant missionaries?
Said Chaa EPHE/Sorbonne Paris

Anti-masonry among the Ottomans and in contemporary Turkey
Professor Thierry Zarcone, CNRS/Sorbonne Paris

Trends of anti-masonry in Eastern Orthodox cultures
Dr. Yuri Stoyanov, Research Fellow, SOAS, University of London

‘The Devil’s sons’: one century of anti-masonry in the Arab world
Stephan Schmid, American University of Beirut

16:50 Panel discussion

17:30 Close

19:00 Dinner

Sunday 31 October

10:00 Keynote: Professor John Robison (1739-1805)
Professor Andrew Prescott, Hatii, University of Glasgow

10:45 Morning coffee

11:15 Chair: Professor Jeffrey Tyssens, Free University of Brussels

The reception of anti-masonry in the eighteenth-century English press
Dr. Róbert Péter, Senior Assistant Professor, University of Szeged

Barruel’s conspiracy theory – a theoretical approach
Claus Oberhauser, University of Innsbruck

A Swedish diplomat’s recently deciphered perspective on the Unlawful
Societies Act of 1799
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, University of Sheffield

‘The voice of Morgan’s blood cries from the ground’: reading American
anti-masonry through anti-masonic almanacs, 1827-1837
Jeff Croteau, MA MLS, National Heritage Museum, Lexington MA

12:35 Panel discussion

13:00 Lunch

14:15  Keynote: War on Freemasons: The restitution of stolen masonic
archives from Russia
Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

15:00 Afternoon tea

15:30 Chair: Dr. Tim Baycroft, University of Sheffield

Anti-masonic thought in France: the example of Bernard Faÿ
Jen Farrar, University of Sheffield

Visual evidence used by Franco’s Police in the persecution of Spanish
Dr. Sylvia Hottinger, Carlos III University, Madrid

Stolen truth or truth stolen?
Dr. Hans Kummerer, Quatuor Coronati Research Lodge, Austria

The ongoing restitution of the Norwegian masonic library and archives
Helge Bjørn Horrisland, Norwegian Order of Freemasons

16:30 Panel discussion

17:00 Close

Dr. Andreas Onnerfors, Universiteit Leiden
Academic Society for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism
133, Sharrow Vale Road
Sheffield S11 8ZA
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 266 52 84
Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism:

THE EXPRESSION OF FREEMASONARY: Its ritual, oratory, poetry, music, literature, art and architecture

Leiden University

2nd Call for Papers and Conference Announcement
Organized by:
The Chair for Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and Socio-cultural European Phenomenon
The Leiden Institute of Religious Studies (Faculty of Humanities), Leiden University

27-28 November 2008, The Netherlands
Proposals for papers before 1 August 2008 (extended deadline, details below):

The Expression of Freemasonry
For centuries freemasons have led a separate creative existence behind closed doors. The rituals, orations and poetry used in the lodge use words to express the society’s hopes, aspirations, philosophy and approach to religion and society. The music of the lodge includes songs and larger scale cantatas. Many lodges had an orchestra or at least and organist and a choir. Orchestral and piano pieces without words but incorporating Masonic symbolism have also been composed for lodge use. As well as musicians actors have always found a home in the lodge and some Masonic plays even found their way onto the public stage as did some operas. These songs, poems, musical works and dramas range from the amusing to the serious, from the occasional to the esoteric, from bawdy to deeply religious.

Freemasonry and esoteric themes have been widely used by authors in the 19th century in Germany and elsewhere for literary works as well as in our own time in e.g. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Masonic and esoteric influences are also to be seen in the visual arts; for example paintings and theatre scenery. Freemasonry has exerted an important influence on architecture in general and in the design of lodge buildings in particular. A perhaps unexpected influence is to be seen in garden design where some gardens take the visitor on a journey past masonic or esoteric symbols.

All of these various aspects of Masonic culture need to be recorded and interpreted. And when this vast creative effort by members of a closed brotherhood is set in the wider context of the time, place and the society in which masons wrote and created it sheds light on the evolving place of freemasonry in society as a whole. This causes us to ask questions such as ‘did freemasonry influence social development directly or indirectly or was it itself led by the great upheavals of the Enlightenment, revolutions and wars that have beset the last centuries?’

SpeakersSpeakers are students and academic experts in the field of study, including:
Mrs. Diane Clements, Library and Museum of Freemasonry, London, UK;
Prof. Emeritus James Stevens Curl, School of Architecture, Leicester’s De Montford University, UK;
Prof.dr. Malcolm Davies, Chair for the Study of Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural European Phenomenon, Leiden University, The Netherlands;
Dr. Max de Haan, Editor in Chief of Thoth, The Netherlands;
Mrs. Drs. Andréa Kroon, Leiden University / OVN Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands;
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, Centre for Research into Freemasonry, University of Sheffield, UK;
Dr. Andrew Pink, University College London, UK;
Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Tyssens, Free University Brussels, Belgium.

The program will include a performance and discussion of masonic music.

The conference is organized by the Chair for the Study of Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural European Phenomenon at the The Leiden Institute of Religious Studies (Faculty of Humanities), Leiden University.

Speakers will be scholars and students from several academic disciplines.
The conference has the support of The Order of Freemasons under the Grand East of The Netherlands, The Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederik’ (CMC), The Foundation for the Advancement of Academic Research into the History of Freemasonry in The Netherlands (OVN), The Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR), The Sub Department History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents (Univ. of Amsterdam), the Centre for Research into Freemasonry (CRF) at the University of Sheffield, FREE / Interdisciplinaire Onderzoeksgroep Vrijmetselarij (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and departments in other universities.

Call for papers and registration
A summary of potential papers is invited, not exceeding 400 words. Papers on the cultural heritage of movements similar or related to freemasonry including esoteric groups are also welcome. A short CV of 250 words or less must be added. The closing date for submissions is Friday 1 August, 2008. The Conference committee will inform speakers if their concept for a paper has been accepted by 15 August 2008.

The International School at The Hague

The conference will take place in The International School at The Hague. The event will be accessible to all who are interested in attending, but due to a limited number of seats registration will be required. Registration fees will be announced shortly. For more information or preliminary registration, please contact the conference organizers at:

Related Event
The conference will be preceded by the inaugural lecture of Prof.dr. Malcolm Davies, Chair for Freemasonry as an Intellectual Current and a Socio-cultural European Phenomenon at the University of Leiden on 25 November 2008.

Scholars who are considering attending both events may also be interested in visiting (at their own opportunity) the important major historical collections for the study of freemasonry and western esotericism in The Netherlands: the Cultural Masonic Centre ‘Prince Frederik’ (The library of the Dutch Grand Lodge) in The Hague and/or the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam.
Seating at the inaugural lecture is limited. If you would be interested in attending the lecture please contact:

Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam

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