Freemasonry: Quest for Immortality

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After the Premier Grand Lodge was established in 1717, which later became the Grand Lodge of England, the first three Grand Masters were urged on by a moral imperative to rewrite and expand the existing two degrees of Operative Masons, and then add another, the Third Degree. However, their reasons have, until now, remained obscure, for example:

How does the Hiramic Tragedy relate to the Kabbalistic Tree of Life and why?
What important aspects suggest that Sir Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis might have been a template for Freemasonry?
Were medieval mystery plays, that had been performed by guilds, the origin of Freemasonry’s Third Degree?
Why did George Washington’s apron have a skull and crossed-bones depicted inside the Square and Compasses?
What does the Scarlet Pimpernel have to do with the Masonic emblem of the forget-me-not?
What perfidy were Freemasons addressing, when they rewrote the degrees of Operative Masons to add a Third Degree, that was a cause célèbre at the time and even debated in Parliament?
Why did Masons despise atheists, though Catholics were welcome in Lodge, whereas in England generally at the time it was the Catholics that were reviled, not atheists.

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Author Christopher Earnshaw
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