The Masonic basic rules of Freemasonry: Unterschied zwischen den Versionen
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Übersetzt von / Translated by Bro. Markus Schlegel, SenGrDiroCer Bro. Tom Preuss Mit Kommentaren von / Annotations by Bro. Markus Schlegel Übersetzung von / translated by Bro. Tom Preuss Veröffentlicht am / published March 1st, 2020 by the ACGL and Bestätigt durch / approved by MW Brother Jan Savarino, Grand Master
[Bearbeiten] Preliminary Remarks
The Masonic Basic Rules, or if you will the Masonic Law, is derived primarily from the Book of Constitutions and are supplemented by the statute of the respective Grand Lodge. In this sense are the rules of the Book of Constitutions higher ranking and thus the rules of the Grand Lodge must not violate those of the Book of Constitutions.
The Book of Constitutions, the Masonic Law Collection published by the United Grand Lodge of England, in its current version, can be found here:
For German Freemasonry basically three consecutive sets of regulations are decisive (Subsidiarity Principle).
The basis is the "Old Charges" in their version of 1815.
These are supplemented by the "Basic Principles" of 1929, in which the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland agree upon and under which conditions Grand Lodges are recognized and endowed.
Obviously, it was necessary to define some things, such as the concept of the Book of the Sacred Law, which was done in 1949 in the text of the "Aims and Relationships of the Craft".
All of these texts cannot be viewed separately because they refer to each other through their concepts.
No later than by the regulations of 1949, does it becomes obvious that these texts are not to be interpreted, but to be used literally.
In Germany, reference is made to the version of the "Old Charges" of 1723 and a version of the "Basic Principles" of 1989.
However, as we have found no evidence for the validity of these texts, and in particular through the founding date of the VGLvD of 1956, and since no further clues where available, did we confine ourselves to the translation of the texts of the Book of Constitutions.
We deliberately start with the "Basic Principles" (1929), because this central and manageable set of rules, as the term implies, lists the basic rules, which are then supplemented by the "Old Charges" and the third text.
In the comments we try to make the described references visible. It should not be forgotten that the texts have evolved over the centuries. Of course you would write them differently today and put them together in a set of rules. Quelle / Source: https://www.ugle.org.uk/about/book-of-constitutions Stand / As of: 2019
BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR GRAND LODGE RECOGNITION
Accepted by the (United) Grand Lodge (of England), September 4, 1929
The M.W. The Grand Master having expressed a desire that the Board would draw up a statement of the Basic Principles on which this Grand Lodge could be invited to recognize any Grand Lodge applying for recognition by the English Jurisdiction, the Board of General Purposes has gladly complied. The result, as follows, has been approved by the Grand Master and it will form the basis of a questionnaire to be forwarded in future to each Jurisdiction requesting English recognition. The Board desires that not only such bodies but the Brethren generally throughout the Grand Master’s Jurisdiction shall be fully informed as to those Basic Principles of Freemasonry for which the Grand Lodge of England has stood throughout its history.
(1) Regularity of origin; i.e. each Grand Lodge shall have been established lawfully by a duly recognized Grand Lodge or by three or more regularly constituted Lodges.
To make sure that these rules are also binding for the establishment of new Grand Lodges, is it only possible for a duly recognized Grand Lodge or three or more regular Lodges ,I.e. Lodges from recognized Grand Lodges, to establish or to sponsor a Grand Lodge. Because of the bindings to the „Basic Principles“ with the recognized Grand Lodges and regular Lodges, a breach in protocol, for example through the recognition of an obviously irregular Grand Lodge can lead to the withdrawal of the Charter and also that of the newly established Grand Lodge.
(2) That the belief in the G.A.O.T.U. and His revealed will shall be an essential qualification for membership.
Reference—Old Charges No. 1 (see below )
The revelation of the will described here, is found according to No. 3 in the Volume of the sacred law and should regulate the conscience decisions of a Freemason and be binding. According to No. 6 is the Volume of the sacred law the greatest of the three lights. Obviously there was a need in 1949 to define the Volume of the sacred law and to set it´s meaning in stone. That’s why one can find in the Aims and relationships of the craft the following:
[…] 4. The Bible, which is termed by Freemasons as the Volume of the sacred law, has to be openly displayed in all Lodges. Each candidate is obliged to take his oath on this book or on the book that contains his creed in order to sanctify the oath or promise made on it.
[…] The use of another holy book does not make it the book of the holy law. Rather, it enables candidates to take a holy oath, even though the Bible does not contain their creed. Not more!
Conclusion: Only the Bible can be displayed as a great light, as the book of the holy law.
(3) That all Initiates shall take their Obligation on or in full view of the open Volume of the Sacred Law, by which is meant the revelation from above which is binding on the conscience of the particular individual who is being initiated.
Reference - Old obligations No. I (see below).
Here it gets very precise. Our conscience decisions guide our actions. Now that the Volume of the sacred law, i.e. the Bible, is binding for our conscience decisions, it gives our actions the limits and direction that it needs to make us better people.
(4) That the membership of the Grand Lodge and individual Lodges shall be composed exclusively of those who were made Masons as Men; and that each Grand Lodge shall have no Masonic Intercourse of any kind with bodies which make women Freemasons.
At this point one can be assured that Masonic Intercourse means, the opening and closing of masonic meetings, as well as the awarding of degrees and other ritual meetings.
(5) That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the Lodges under its control; i.e. that it shall be a responsible, independent, self-governing organization, with sole and undisputed authority over the Craft and the Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) within its Jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to, or divide such authority with, a Supreme Council or other Power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.
(6) That the three Great Lights of Freemasonry (namely, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square, and the Compasses) shall always be exhibited when the Grand Lodge or its subordinate Lodges are at work, the chief of these being the Volume of the Sacred Law.
References No. 2, 3 - Old Charges No. I (see below) and No. 4 of Freemasonry Aims and relationships (Appendix)
4. The Bible, which the Masons call the Volume of the sacred Law, must always be openly displayed in the lodges. […]
(7) That the discussion of religion and politics within the Lodge shall be strictly prohibited.
Here it is important to differentiate between religion and belief, as happens in No. 2 of the "Basic Principles". Faith is a basic requirement for membership in the Brotherhood and cannot be excluded as a basis for discussion. Religion is identified here as something personal and thus underlines the fact that Freemasonry does not want to be a religion, that is, not a community of faith, but a community of believers.„A Brotherhood of Men under the Fatherhood of God.“
(8) That the principles of the Ancient Landmarks, customs, and usages of the Craft shall be strictly observed.
Point 8 of the "Basic Principles" at the latest refers to the "Old Charges" and thus includes them in the prerequisite for obtaining the Grand Lodge Charter. This endangers the existence of the Lodge and Grand Lodge Charter if the obligations are not complied with.
Together, the three texts mentioned here result in the Basic Law of Freemasonry. The statutes of the Grand Lodges are based on them.
This superiority / subordination also makes it clear that no Grand Lodges or lodge statutes and certainly no rituals may violate these rules! THE CHARGES OF A FREE-MASON EXTRACTED FROM THE ANCIENT RECORDS OF LODGES BEYOND SEA, AND OF THOSE IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND IRELAND
FOR THE USE OF LODGES TO BE READ AT THE MAKING OF NEW BRETHREN OR WHEN THE MASTER SHALL ORDER IT
Published by Order of the Grand Lodge
THE GENERAL CHARGES OF A FREEMASON,
- I. Of God and Religion,
- II. Of the Civil Magistrate, supreme and subordinate,
- III. Of Lodges,
- IV. Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows, and Apprentices,
- V. Of the Management of the Craft in Working,
- VI. Of Behavior,
- 1. In the Lodge while constituted,
- 2. After the Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone,
- 3. When Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge,
- 4. In presence of Strangers not Masons,
- 5. At Home and in the Neighborhood,
- 6. Towards a Strange Brother,
[Bearbeiten] I. Concerning GOD and RELIGION
A Mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understand the art he will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine.
[Note from the Duden: Atheism (Greek átheos = godless, from: a- = not, un- and theós = God)] Atheism is thus the rejection or denial of everything divine.
But the description continues. Not only is the atheist excluded from the admission, but also the so-called "irreligious free spirit".
(Free Spirit as Defiance against Religions:
In 1747, the poet Christian Fürchtegott Gellert ridiculed a free spirit as someone who turned against religion throughout his life and became pious again when he died. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's comedy Der Freigeist (1749) shows a somewhat ridiculous principle rider who, in his stubbornness, does not confess to his love, but ends up reconciling himself with his apparent competitor, a young clergyman, through his initiative.)
From this it becomes clear that a candidate must not only not, be a denier of God, but must also recognize a divine order in which he places his trust. A Freemason of all men, should best understand that God seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh at the outward appearance, but God looketh to the heart. A mason is, therefore, particularly bound never to act against the dictates of his conscience. Let a man’s religion or mode of worship be what it may, he is not to be excluded from the order, provided that he believes in the Great Architect of the Universe, and practices the sacred duties of morality. Now it gets even more specific. Not only that the candidate must not be a denier of God and should submit to a divine order, he must also believe in the G.A.O.T.U. with reference to No. 2 of the "Basic Principles", this is a G.A.O.T.U. whose will was revealed.
Likewise, the appropriate candidate carries out the sacred duties that we find as conscience decisions according to No. 3 of the "Basic Principles" in the Volume of the sacred law. According to No. 6 of the “Basic Principles”, the Volume of the sacred law is the great light of Freemasonry, that is, the Bible (see No. 4 of the appendix).
But that doesn't mean that every Freemason has to be a Christian.
Rather, it means that every brother has to believe in a God whose order results from love and the right action and he recognizes that Freemasonry uses the Christian tradition as a basis for its symbolism, which he must not reject.
This is the basis for living together harmoniously as a community through mutual recognition of the loving father, which makes us brothers.
And so the first sacred duty is love for his personal God and the second is love for his fellow creatures. Masons unite with the virtuous of every persuasion in the firm and pleasing bond of fraternal love; they are taught to view the errors of mankind with compassion, and to strive, by the purity of their own conduct, to demonstrate the superior excellence of the faith they may profess. Thus masonry is the centre of union between good men and true, and the happy means of conciliating friendship amongst those who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance. Not only Freemasonry, but especially the individual Mason should work through positive behavior. As already described, we receive support for our decisions and actions from the Volume of the sacred law. Since personal beliefs must not violate these rules, demonstrating one's brother's personal beliefs can improve the world.
[Bearbeiten] II. Of the CIVIL MAGISTRATE, SUPREME and SUBORDINATE
A Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation, nor to behave himself undutifully to inferior magistrates.
He is cheerfully to conform to every lawful authority; to uphold, on every occasion, the interest of the community, and zealously promote the prosperity of his own country. Masonry has ever flourished in times of peace and been always injured by war, bloodshed, and confusion; so that kings and princes, in every age, have been much disposed to encourage the craftsmen on account of their peaceableness and loyalty, whereby they practically answer the cavils of their adversaries and promote the honor of the fraternity. Craftsmen are bound by peculiar ties to promote peace, cultivate harmony, and live in concord and brotherly love.
[Bearbeiten] III. Of LODGES
A Lodge is a place where free-masons assemble to work and to instruct and improve themselves in the mysteries of the ancient science. In an extended sense it applies to persons as well as to a place; hence every regular assembly or duly organized meeting of masons is called a lodge.
Every brother ought to belong to some lodge, and be subject to its by-laws and the general regulations of the craft. A lodge may be either general or particular, as will be best understood by attending it, and only there is a knowledge of the established usages and customs of the craft to be acquired.
From ancient times no master or fellow could be absent from his lodge, especially when warned to appear at it, without incurring a severe censure, unless it appeared to the master and wardens that pure necessity hindered him.
The persons made masons or admitted members of a lodge must be good and true men, free-born, and of mature and discreet age and sound judgement, no bondmen, no women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good report.
Here we find the principles for admission to the Brotherhood of Freemasonry in a few sentences. IV. Of MASTERS, WARDENS, FELLOWS, and APPRENTICES
All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only; In order that the Master Builder may be well served, the brethren not put to shame, nor the royal art despised; therefore no master or warden is chosen by seniority, but for his merit. It is impossible to describe these things in writing, and therefore every brother must attend in his place, and learn them in a way peculiar to this fraternity. Candidates may, nevertheless, know that no master should take an apprentice unless he has sufficient employment for him; and, unless he be a perfect youth, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art, of serving his master’s lord, and of being made a brother, and then a fellow-craft in due time, after he has served such a term of years as the custom of the country directs; and that he should be descended of honest parent; So that, when otherwise qualified, he may arrive to the honor of being the warden, and then the master of the lodge, the grand warden, and at length the grand master of all the lodges, according to his merit.
No brother can be a warden until he has passed the part of a fellow-craft, nor a master until he has acted as a warden, nor grand warden until he has been master of a lodge, nor grand master unless he has been a fellow-craft before his election, who is also to be nobly born, or a gentleman of the best fashion, or some eminent scholar, or some curious architect, or other artist descended of honest parents, and who is of singularly great merit in the opinion of the lodges. And for the better, and easier, and more honorable discharge of his office, the grand master has the power to choose his own deputy grand master, who must then be, or have formerly been, the master of a particular lodge, and who has the privilege of acting whatever the grand master, his principal, should act, unless the said principal be present, or interpose his authority by letter.
These rulers and governors supreme and subordinate, of the ancient lodge, are to be obeyed in their respective stations by all the brethren, according to the old charges and regulations, with all humility, reverence, love, and alacrity.
In ancient times no brother, however skilled in the craft, was called a master-mason until he had been elected into the chair of a lodge.
[Bearbeiten] V. Of the MANAGEMENT of the CRAFT in WORKING
All masons shall work honestly on working days, that they may live creditably on holy days; and the time appointed by the law of the land, or confirmed by custom, shall be observed.
The most expert of the fellow-craftsmen shall be chosen or appointed the master, or overseer of the lord’s work; who is to be called master by those that work under him.
The craftsmen are to avoid all ill language, and to call each other by no disobliging name, but brother or fellow; and to behave themselves courteously within and without the lodge. The master, knowing himself to be able of cunning, shall undertake the lord’s work as reasonably as possible, and truly dispend his goods as if they were his own; nor may to give more wages to any brother or apprentice than he really deserve.
Both the master and the masons receiving their wages justly, shall be faithful to the lord, and honestly finish their work, whether task or journey; nor put the work to task that hath been accustomed to journey. None shall discover envy at the prosperity of a brother, nor supplant him, nor put him out of his work, if he be capable to finish the same; for no man can finish another’s work so much to the lord’s profit, unless he be thoroughly acquainted with the designs and draughts of him that began it. When a fellow-craftsman is chosen warden of the work under the master, he shall be true both to master and fellows, shall carefully oversee the work in the master’s absence, to the lord’s profit; and his brethren shall obey him. All masons employed shall meekly receive their wages without murmuring or mutiny, and not desert the master till the work be finished. A younger brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the materials for want of judgement and for increasing and continuing of brotherly love. All the tools used in working shall be approved by the grand lodge. No laborer shall be employed in the proper work of masonry; nor shall free-masons work with those that are not free, without an urgent necessity; nor shall they teach laborers and unaccepted masons as they should teach a brother or fellow.
[Bearbeiten] VI. Of BEHAVIOUR
1. in the Lodge while constituted You are not to hold private committees, or separate conversation, without leave from the master; nor to talk of anything impertinently or unseemly, nor interrupt the master or wardens, or any brother speaking to the master; nor behave yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and solemn; nor use any unbecoming language upon any pretence whatsoever, but to pay due reverence to your master, wardens, and fellows.
If any complaint be brought, the brother found guilty shall stand to the award and determination of the lodge, who are the proper and competent judges of all such controversies (unless you carry them by appeal to the grand lodge), and to whom they ought to be referred, unless a lord’s work be hindered the meanwhile, in which case a particular reference may be made, but you must never go to law about what concerneth masonry, without an absolute necessity apparent to the lodge.
2. Behaviour, after the Lodge is over, and the Brethren not gone
You may enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth, treating one another according to ability, but avoiding all excess, or forcing any brother to eat or drink beyond his inclination, or hindering him from going when his occasions call him, or doing or saying anything offensive, or that may forbid an easy and free conversation; for that would blast our harmony, and defeat our laudable purposes.
Therefore no private piques or quarrels must be brought within the door of the lodge, far less any quarrels about religion, or nations, or state policy, we being only, as masons, of the universal religion above-mentioned; we are also of all nations, tongues, kindreds, and languages, and are resolved against all politics, as what never yet conduced to the welfare of the lodge, nor ever will.
3. Behaviour, when Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a lodge formed
You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, as you will be instructed, calling each other brother, freely giving mutual instruction, as shall be thought expedient, without being overseen or overheard, and without encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that respect which is due to any brother, were he not a mason; for though all masons are, as brethren, upon the same level, yet masonry takes no honor from a man that he had before; nay, rather it adds to his honor, especially if he has deserved well of the brotherhood, who must give honor to whom it is due, and avoid ill manners.
4. Behaviour in Presence of strangers not Masons
You shall be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger shall not be able to discover or find out what is not proper to be intimated; and sometimes you shall divert a discourse, and manage it prudently for the honor of the worshipful fraternity.
5. Behaviour at home in in your neighbourhood
You are to act as becomes a moral and wise man; particularly not to let your family, friends, and neighbours, know the concerns of the lodge, &c., but wisely to consult your own honour, and that of your ancient brotherhood, for reasons not to be mentioned here. You must also consult your health by not continuing together too late or too long from home after lodge hours are past; and by avoiding of gluttony or drunkenness, that your families be not neglected or injured, nor you disabled from working.
6. Behaviour Towards a stranger Brother
You are cautiously to examine him in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and derision, and beware of giving him any hints of knowledge.
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be relieved. You must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employed. But you are not charged to do beyond your ability; only to prefer a poor brother that is a good man and true before any other poor people in the same circumstances.
Finally. All these charges you are to observe and also those that shall be communicated to you in another way;
cultivating brotherly love, the foundation and copestone, the cement and glory, of this ancient fraternity, avoiding all wrangling and quarrelling, all slander and backbiting, nor permitting others to slander any honest brother but defending his character and doing him all good offices, as far as is consistent with your honour and safety, and no farther.
And if any of them do you injury, you must apply to your own or his lodge; and from thence you may appeal to the grand lodge at the quarterly communication, as has been the ancient laudable conduct of our forefathers in every nation;
never taking a legal course but when the case cannot be otherwise decided, and patiently listening to the honest and friendly advice of master and fellows, when they would prevent your going to law with strangers, or would excite you to put a speedy period to all law-suits, that so you may find the affair of masonry with the more alacrity and success; but with respect to brothers or fellows at law, the master and brethren should kindly offer their mediation, which ought to be thankfully submitted to by the contending brethren; and if that submission is impracticable, they must, however, carry on their process, or law-suit, without wrath and rancour (not in the common way), saying or doing nothing which may hinder brotherly love and good offices to be renewed and continued, that all may see the benign influence of masonry, as all true masons have done from the beginning of the world, and will do to the end of time.
Amen, so mote it be
The beginning and end of the “Basic Principles” allude to belief, making the excessive meaning of it clear. Like the Bible, the author begins by referring to God and his almighty meaning and ends with "Amen".
AIMS AND RELATIONSHIPS OF THE CRAFT
Accepted by the Grand Lodge, September 7, 1949.
In August, 1938, the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland
Each agreed upon and issued a statement identical in terms except that the name of the issuing Grand Lodge appeared throughout. This statement, which was entitled ‘Aims and Relationships of the Craft’, was in the following terms:
1. From time to time the United Grand Lodge of England has deemed it desirable to set forth in precise form the aims of Freemasonry as consistently practised under its Jurisdiction since it came into being as an organised body in 1717, and also to define the principles governing its relations with those other Grand Lodges with which it is in fraternal accord.
2. In view of representations which have been received, and of statements recently issued which have distorted or obscured the true objects of Freemasonry, it is once again considered necessary to emphasize certain fundamental principles of the Order.
3. The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is essential and admits of no compromise.
At this point, special attention should be paid to the word "the". If you had wanted to say a higher being, there would be an "a" here. No, this is clearly reference to the higher being mentioned above in the form of the G.B.a.W. It is important to note at this point that it is not a new interpretation, but rather a confirmation of the previous text. 4. The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every Candidate is required to take his Obligation on that book or on the Volume which is held by his particular creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.
At this point, it becomes clear that this text is only intended to confirm and not to expand or even change the purpose of the above-mentioned texts. Obviously in the middle of the last century it was necessary to emphasize again that the great light of Freemasonry is the Bible and only the Bible. 5. Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset, strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; he must pay due obedience to the law of any state in which he resides or which may afford him protection, and he must never remiss in his allegiance due to the Sovereign of his native land.
6. While English Freemasonry thus inculcates in each of its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the individual the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs. But neither in any Lodge, not at any time in his capacity as a Freemason, is he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological or political questions.
The English Side of Freemasonry includes the German Side of Freemasonry at this point, since we were founded, after the publication of all three texts. 7. The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy either at home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with any action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the relations between one government and another, or between political parties, or questions as to rival theories of government.
8. The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist Bodies, styling themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge of England refuses absolutely to have any relations with such Bodies, or to regard them as Freemasons.
This also applies here to all grand lodges recognized and sponsored by the English Freemasonry. 9. The Grand Lodge of England is a Sovereign and independent Body practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and only within the limits defined in its Constitution as ‘pure Ancient Masonry’. It does not recognise or admit the existence of any superior Masonic authority, however styled.
10. On more than one occasion the Grand Lodge has refused, and will continue to refuse, to participate in Conferences with so called International Associations claiming to represent Freemasonry, which admit to membership Bodies failing to conform strictly to the principles upon which the Grand Lodge of England is founded. The Grand Lodge does not admit any such claim, nor can its views be represented by any such Association.
11. There is no secret with regard to any of the basic principles of Freemasonry, some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge will always consider the recognition of those Grand Lodges which profess and practise, and can show that they have consistently professed and practised, those established and unaltered principles, but in no circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety by those who desire to be recognised as Freemasons by the United Grand Lodge of England.
The Grand Lodge of England has been asked if it still stands by this declaration, particularly in regard to paragraph 7. The Grand Lodge of England replied that it stood by every word of the declaration, and has since asked for the opinion of the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland. A conference has been held between the three Grand Lodges-, and all unhesitatingly reaffirm the statement that was pronounced in 1938: nothing in present-day affairs has been found that could cause them to recede from that attitude. If Freemasonry once deviated from its course by expressing an opinion on political or theological questions, it would be called upon not only publicly to approve or denounce any movement which might arise in the future, but would sow the seeds of discord among its own members.
The three Grand Lodges are convinced that it is only by this rigid adherence to this policy that Freemasonry has survived the constantly changing doctrines of the outside world, and are compelled to place on record their complete disapproval of any action which may tend to permit the slightest departure from the basic principles of Freemasonry.
They are strongly of the opinion that if any of the three Grand Lodges does so, it cannot maintain a claim to be following the Ancient Landmarks of the Order, and must ultimately face disintegration.