The true history of the freemasons is intertwined with mankinds never ending quest for that holy grail

we call equality. To understand this amorphous organization, we would trace it back to its roots, our traditions as recorded in scripture. The link between Judaism and Freemasonry is no surprise to educated readers, but it is actually the relationship between the Pharoah and his slaves, where we can find the foundations of masonic lore. In the tale of the Pharoah and Moses, we see the first true "peasant uprising" and from it the need to address the issue of equality. Traditionally, education was a privelege only granted to the warrior class, the nobility. Thus a new branch of 'the knighthood' was created, for the education and the advancement of workers. The romans instituted a College Fabrorum, the 'College of Workers' which flourished during the later days of the empire and whose members spread this love of fraternity throughout Europe, and into the Middle Ages where it became the "guild system" of organized skilled labor - precursor of the modern labor unions. The success of this 'new knighthood' attracted members of older, traditional society. Eventually a 'speculative masonry' of gentlemen replaced the 'operative freemasons', who were by tradition laborers and architects. These new 'knights of labor' bestowed on the freemasons the same honors and privileges of a 'new aristocracy' and of course with it, that nemesis of the establishment: greed. It may seem strange then, to focus on this legendary peculiarity of the masonic craft - but greed is a monster that lives within the soul of freemasonry for a good reason, it belongs there. Greed is a symptom of the political reality of freemasonry. Because it is the destiny of mankind's fraternal organizations to supplant the role of the traditional aristocracy, it is no surprise that this 'new aristocracy' would become a victim of its own success. Today's knight rides in a police cruiser - and his capitalist kingdom is a throne of the 'masonic aristocracy'. This greed, and conspicous consumptions of this 'new nobility' has been the wildfire of so many wars, and revolutions. Violent revolution is the "death penalty" for "big kids" and this "age of enlightenment" was sadly, written in blood. Freemasonry was created by the older estates to alleviate symptoms of the struggle between the haves and the have-nots, but today it has become a 'frankenstein monster' of frightening proportions. The earliest work of the freemasons can be seen in the varied architecture and obelisks built thousands of years ago along the banks of the Nile. It is here, in Egypt - that we see the intersection of the historical forces that shape our modern world today. The slaves of Egypt were educated in the religion of Judaism, which demanded of them devotion to the unseen god of Israel. The slaves were indoctrinated into original sin, and learned that righteousness would be the only path to their freedom, while sin would earn them greater punishments. The labors of the slaves of Egypt were then harnessed into the building of a great religious edifice, the pyramid. The pyramids demonstrated to the slaves the lofty goal of salvation, in the form of a physical monument - a testament, if you will, to the trials and labors of man. The immense size of the pyramids became also a physical testament to the

almighty, allowing the slaves to more easily imagine a better world to come. The harnessing of the Egyptian slaves into a code of morality, Judaism - and directing the spiritual energies of this host towards the creation of immense temples of stone is very much the foundation of the world we live in today. Our connection to this ancient institution begins, of course, in the form of the Templars, who paid masons handsomely to create vast cathedrals across the face of Europe during the dawn of modern history. Nearly three hundred years separates the arrival of European civilization in the new world from the industrialization and urbanization of the Americas. Naturally, scholars discount the contributions made by these early settlers - perhaps forgetting that the US Constitution dates from this era. It is easy assume that because many of these early settlers were slaves - that they left no lasting impression upon our culture. If we allow ourselves to be blinded by our own cultural biases, how easy it would be to forget that no cultural force in modern history rivals that of Louis Armstrong. It is important to note this era in masonic history, therefore, to better understand the institution of freemasonry itself: a) that slaves were the primary shareholders of the masonic institution and b)the cultural foundation of this new civilization is a product of the labors of these early settlers. History books rarely hint at the power that the slaves exercised over the operation and maintenance of the colonial plantations. White landowners were a minority, and lived or died (often enough) according the the good will they were able to generate amongst this indentured class. Therefore, in our masonic studies it is equally important to identify that the foundation of our modern institution involves a form of freemasonry that dates from ancient Egypt - and - that slaves, the "original masons" are the true builders of American civilization. In the decade of the 1970's, following the loss of the war in Vietnam, the American culture experienced a great degree of vertigo. Conspiracies within the government, rocketing oil prices and unemployment pointed to a failed political establishment, but what was the failure? Was it faulty equipment, or corruption that made victory impossible? Or was it another kind of failure altogether? The enemy we were fighting then was a popular "Robin Hood" named Ho Chi Minh. Soldiers who fought for Ho Chi Minh believed that they were immortal - they terrified American soldiers with their acts of bravery. The American people, although trained from birth to honor the cause of the underdog - somehow failed to notice that our enemy resembled, in every way, an asian 'George Washington' fighting for the cause of justice, sharing sacrifices with the soldiers on the field of battle. The failure of the American public to recognize this man, Ho Chi Minh as a sort of modern day Robin Hood is the real tragedy of the Vietnamese war, a tragedy that continues to this day. Currently, our military is enmired in a similiar political swampland - the war against terror. Once again, the public failed to recognize in Osama bin Laden a modern day underdog. Osama is seen throughout the region as a hero who can stand up to the imperialist bullies. Like it or not, we are the imperialist bullies, and Osama bin Laden is the underdog. A modern day 'David' to our 'Goliath'. What does this have to do with freemasonry?

Freemasonry is a "free association" and it relies on the strengths of its members (not a centralized authority) to meet the challenges of today. Freemasonry will fail, when the members are uneducated, or unaware of their traditional obligations. Scripture teaches us about this obligation - to defend and honor the underdog. If the American freemasonry were unable to understand the righteous Ho Chi Minh, and still unable to grasp the reality of Osama bin Laden - it points to a clear defect in the religious education of this body.