My niece, Drew Benton, has been given the nickname ‘Bugs’ because she draws bugs and butterflies. A month ago I sent her a dragonfly reckless. Above she is playing with the faux doors and columns he father rendered for the Getty Villa. Drew’s artistic parents are dead. I, and my rosy brethren welcome her to the cathedral of the Souls.
No, I am not a member of the Rose Cross, for, they are a member of me. I am the elect who asked for admittance, but, once. The Rose of the World Cross has come to me, and is no longer invisible.
Consider the Nazarite taboo against ingesting grapes.
Jon of the Rose Croix
“I had the facts, first by letter, and then, upon his ‘return from the war,’ from the lips of Colonel Thomas Hart Benton, Jr., at the time Grand Master of Masons in Iowa (my superior officer). Thomas H. Benton, Jr. (“nephew of his uncle” of that name), ex-State Senator, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Grand Master 1860-’63, entered the Union Army as Colonel of the 29th Iowa Infantry and was later promoted to the rank of brevet brigadier-general, and in command of a division encamped for a time at Little Rock, Arkansas. “It was at this period, when the passions of the Union soldiers werearoused against General Pike, who was at the head of the Indians in the Confederate (Rebel, as they said) Army, that the soldiers of his division determined to burn the house and everything, including the valuable library of General Pike, wherever found. The Grand Master, Colonel Benton, hearing of this, rushed to its rescue, and to guard against, any further attempt at its destruction, made the General’s house his headquarters and placed a guard over his library. “But for this noble deed of Iowa’s Grand Master, my bosom friend for half a century, this Supreme Council would today be without, instead of possessing, one of the most rare and valuable libraries in the land. “General Benton was too modest to publish this, save to his intimate friends. Of him we may say, in General Pike’s own words, “He has lived – the fruits of his labors live after him;” and you, my Brothers, are enjoying them, as it was this service that made it possible for General Pike in later years to place his library in our House of the Temple and dispose of it, as he did, for his honor and our good.”
It is claimed that the dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera ordered the abolition of Freemasonry in Spain. In September 1928, one of the two Grand Lodges in Spain was closed and approximately two-hundred masons, most notably the Grand Master of the Grand Orient, were imprisoned for allegedly plotting against the government. It is certainly true that Masonic lodges provided a convenient forum for those critical of the dictator, regardless of their political persuasion.
Following the military coup of 1936, many Freemasons trapped in areas under Nationalist control were arrested and summarily killed, along with members of left wing parties and trade unionists. It was reported that Masons were shot, tortured and murdered by organized death squads in every town in Spain. At this time one of the most rabid opponents of Freemasonry, Father Jean Tusquets, began to work for the Nationalists with the task of exposing masons. One of his close associates was Franco’s personal chaplain, and over the next two years, these two men assembled a huge index of 80,000 suspected masons, even though there were little more than 5,000 masons in Spain. The results were horrific. Among other countless crimes, the lodge building in Cordoba was burnt, the masonic temple in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, was confiscated and transformed into the headquarters of the Falange, and another was shelled by artillery. In Salamanca thirty members of one lodge were shot, including a priest. Similar atrocities occurred across the country: fifteen masons were shot in Logrono, seventeen in Ceuta, thirty-three in Algeciras, and thirty in Valladolid, among them the Civil Governor. Few towns escaped the carnage as Freemasons in Lugo, Zamora, Cadiz and Granada were brutally rounded up and shot, and in Seville, the entire membership of several lodges were butchered. The slightest suspicion of being a mason was often enough to earn a place in a firing squad, and the blood-letting was so fierce that, reportedly, some masons were even hurled into working engines of steam trains. By 16 December 1937, according to the annual masonic assembly held in Madrid, all masons that had not escaped from the areas under nationalist control had been murdered.
After the victory of dictator General Francisco Franco, Freemasonry was officially outlawed in Spain on 2 March 1940. Being a mason was automatically punishable by a minimum jail term of 12 years. Masons of the 18º and above were deemed guilty of ‘Aggravated Circumstances’, and usually faced the death penalty.
According to Francoists, the Republican Regime which Franco overthrew had a strong Masonic presence. In reality Spanish Masons were present in all sectors of politics and the armed forces. At least four of the Generals who supported Franco’s rebellion were Masons, although many lodges contained fervent but generally conservative Republicans. Freemasonry was formally outlawed in the Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism. After Franco’s decree outlawing masonry, Franco’s supporters were given two months to resign from any lodge they might be a member of. Many masons chose to go into exile instead, including prominent monarchists who had whole-heartedly supported the Nationalist rebellion in 1936. The common components in Spanish Masonry seems to have been upper or middle class conservative liberalism and strong anti-clericism.
The Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism was not abrogated until 1963. References to a “Judeo-Masonic plot” are a standard component of Francoist speeches and propaganda and reveal the intense and paranoid obsession of the dictator with masonry. Franco produced at least 49 pseudonymous anti-masonic magazine articles and an anti-masonic book during his lifetime. According to Franco:
“The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Spain can be explained in two words: masonry and communism… we have to extirpate these two evils from our land.”
Franco, dictator of Spain from 1936 until his death in 1975, saw Freemasonry as a threat to his power. He blamed Masons for Spain’s loss of their colonies in Africa. He deplored them for their part in the rise of secularism.
In 1940, after the devastating Spanish Civil War, Franco made membership in the Masonic order a crime punishable by six years in jail.
Franco had a female spy in his employ to report on activities of the Masonic secret society. Known only as “Anita de S,” she was married to a leading Freemason. Anita lived in Portugal, base for the exiled Spanish Freemasons.
Authors Xavi Casinos and Josep Brunet discovered letters from Anita to Franco about the Masons’ activities.
It is thought Franco loathed the Masons because they refused him membership.
The book also claims Franco invented a journalist, Jakim Boor, who interviewed the dictator in the newspaper Arriba, often attacking the Masons. Boor was Franco himself.
Freemasonry and the Knight of the Rose Cross of Gold
What is the Rose Cross of Gold?
The Rose Cross of Gold represents a form of modern Knighthood that is derived from the time honored principles and ideals of Freemasonry. It is a Masonic body specifically dedicated to the gentleman and the scholar who enjoys the company and camaraderie of other like-minded men and Masons. The Rose Cross of Gold is on the collegiate level; the depth of Masonic knowledge is uncompromisingly the most complete, accurate, and awe-inspiring collection of materials preserved throughout the ages.
The Rose Cross of Gold provides a thought provoking and fun experience to its members, and offers a form of fraternity and enlightenment not to be found elsewhere.
What is “Traditional Freemasonry”?
Traditional implies that something is being carried on from the past. In this case the RCG continues to practice the degrees of Freemasonry as they were intended. The RCG takes pride in initiating one Candidate at a time in the time honored traditions of the Craft, and instructing him in the value and meaning of each degree. The RCG does not offer any “one day classes” that rush a Candidate through all of the degrees, because he will take away little if anything of value from such a process. The RCG is sincerely dedicated to giving each Mason the individual attention that he deserves as a brother of our great fraternity.
The Rose Cross of Gold is a traditional observance Masonic body. RCG Lodges have dress codes for both the degrees and festive boards. The Lodge opens only for degree work, instruction, and business. Business is generally conducted once per quarter, thereby avoiding the boring repetition of events that is so common throughout most of modern Masonry today. Festive Boards are held regularly and include presentations and discussions about the history, philosophy and symbolism of Freemasonry.
21st-century Masons are faced with the daunting task of interpreting 300 year old language and culture into a coherent and meaningful philosophy in the Post Modern age. Most fail to recognize the differences in language and culture that separate them from the degrees they have received. They assume that terms such as “Morality,” “Science,” “Disinterestedness,” and “Art” had the same meanings in the past as they do today.
The Rose Cross of Gold seeks to “bridge” these issues by bringing the language and culture of early Freemasonry to its post modern members through education and discussion. The Rose Cross of Gold has assembled a series of educational materials that are specifically designed to bring the history, language, and culture of 18th century Europe into focus, thereby, allowing the newest members of the Craft access to the world of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment.