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Its mysterious symbols and rituals had been used in secret for centuries before Freemasonry revealed itself in London in 1717. Once known, Freemasonry spread throughout the world and attracted kings, emperors, and statesmen to take its sacred oaths. But where had this powerful organization come from? Why was Freemasonry attacked with such intense hatred by the Roman Catholic church? Based on years of meticulous research, this detective story answers those questions and more, solving the last remaining mysteries of the Masons.
Unlike most of its five million members, including many world leaders, who believe that the Freemasons, the world's largest fraternal organization, evolved from the guilds of medieval stonemasons, historian Robinson persuasively links Freemasonry's origins and goals to the once powerful and wealthy Knights Templar order. Banned and persecuted by a 14th-century papal bull, he claims, the Knights were forced to form an underground society. The author combines scholarly research and entertaining storytelling in tracing Freemasonry as a worldwide political, religious, economic and social body dedicated to self-improvement and charity while governed by secret rituals and symbols (explained here in detail).