- Conspiracy Theory
- Origins of the organization and its links to other groups (Templars, Rosicrucians,
) Kabalistic Schools
- The meaning of Rites and rituals
- Freemasonry’s link to past historical movements (The American Revolution, The French Revolution, Robert the Bruce)
Most of which are very valid lines of inquiry since many lines of modern day Grail are at tangent topical lines. I would give anyone a few pointers if you’re just beginning to look into the subject.
There are a ton of very poorly written and thought out texts about Freemasonry. I tend to stick to the texts that present either historical or conjectural account of the organization. Generally the more inflammatory the text is, the poorer the research and the argument is. The The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight is a prime example of my assertion. Emotion tends to take the place of logic in books of this type. This is not to say that there are no valid arguments for “Masonic conspiracies”. One has only to look at the Henry Morgan affair in the early 1800’s and the 1980’s Italian P2 lodge scandals for that. Keep one thing in mind when exploring historical events and Masonry. Events center around groups of men that are Masons, not Masonry acting as an organization. Most Masonic Lodges these days have problems putting together summer picnics, let alone controlling countries and banking systems.
If you’re interested in the ritual of Freemasonry, another word of caution. Ritual varies from State to State, and Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction. Don’t expect to pick up a text containing a particular Degree’s work and try to dissect it word for word. Use these texts to grasp the stories and lessons they present. I fear that one would be wasting their time if they did such a thing. The rituals have changed so much over the years, if such a link existed, it is lost.
Below are some primer texts
Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry; Brent Morris
If you know nothing of Freemasonry and want a good place to start, this is it. Brent Morris is the editor of The Scottish Rite Journal and a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. He takes pains to paint what modern day Masonry is truly about and what he perceives as its origins.
Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry; John Robinson
This has to be the finest book on the subject of the first three degrees of Masonry, and Freemasonry’s connection to the Knights Templar I have ever read. Robinson came to his hypothesis quite by accident. Robinson began by investigating a little known late middle ages English Revolt, which lead him to the Templars/Freemasonry connection. Robinson also goes into exhaustive detail and explanation of the Blue Lodge Degrees. This is the text that started me down the road I am on now, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Freemasonry & the Birth of Modern Science; Robert Lomas
Robert Lomas of Hiram Key and The Second Messiah fame explores the English Royal Society and it’s links to Freemasonry. Although, some of the links are tenuous, their overall hypothesis of Freemasonry being the driving force behind the Royal Society is valid enough. This text also gives a good look into Freemasonry in the years before the official formation of the Grand Lodge of England.
A New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry
Written by A.E. Waite, this text is exactly what it says. It takes numerous topics from Masonic history and ritual and attempts to explain their meanings. Waite was a prolific writer of all things occult in the early 1900’s. Waite’s research is exhaustive and once again hits on many tangent Grail lines. We will be seeing more of his texts as the reading lists go on.
The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail give conjecture of what happened to the Knights Templar after the 1307 arresets. Their thesis is that the Templars fled to