The new book, which will be published this Fall, entitled Rediscovered Rituals of English Freemasonry, has had a number of working titles, including The Freemasonry Behind Freemasonry, which was inspired by a quotation by Many P Hall, in which he attempts to describe the hidden Freemasonry that lies behind Freemasonry:
‘FREEMASONRY is a fraternity within a fraternity—an outer organization concealing an inner brotherhood of the elect.’1
This particular reference came from a work that Hall wrote before he actually became a Freemason, though Masonic writer Arthur Edward Waite also referred to the ‘Masonry behind Masonry’, in Waite’s work Devil-Worship in France. This book examined an episode from the infamous Masonic exposé written by French hoaxer Léo Taxil, an exposé that did much to harm Freemasonry in the mind of the public when it was published in the early 1890s. Taxil claimed inside information through the confessions of a certain Diana Vaughan, who entered into a fantasy world of Luciferian Freemasonry that was a total hoax. Even Waite seems to have been taken in, and in his Devil-Worship in France he says:
‘…it is obvious that Miss Vaughan is a witness of the first importance as to whether there is a Masonry behind Masonry…’2
Though overall, Waite’s work can be viewed with a slightly humorous tone overall.
My particular use of the phrase ‘Freemasonry behind Freemasonry’ was to be used to examine the many Masonic Orders behind Freemasonry, and their various rituals, using Richard Carlile’s Manual of Freemasonry as a unique window for the use of these ‘high degrees’ in the early nineteenth century; a world of Freemasonry that lies behind Craft Masonry.
The working title finally changed to Rediscovered Rituals of English Freemasonry, and the book not only examines Carlile’s rituals for the first time, but discusses Carlile’s life and his long lasting contribution to Freemasonry, a work that also celebrates 200 years since the Peterloo Massacre, an event that Carlile was present at.
- Manly P Hall, Lectures on Ancient Philosophy – An Introduction to the Study and Application of Rational Procedure: (Los Angeles: The Hall Publishing Company, 1929), p.397.
- Arthur Edward Waite, Devil-Worship in France, (London: George Redway, 1896), p.166.