Thursday, October 7, 2010


The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre (CMRC) is pleased to announce the program for its twelfth annual conference on the theme of 'Anti-Masonry' scheduled for 29/30-31 October, 2010.
Soon after its emergence in early Hanoverian London, organised Freemasonry earned the enmity of both religious institutions and governments alike, and by the summer of 1738 the association had been proscribed by the Magistrate in The Hague, the French government of Cardinal Fleury, and by Pope Clement XII, in what was to be the first of many Papal Bulls issued against the order. In the wake of the French revolution of 1789, polemicists such as the Catholic priest, Abbé Barruel, accused the Freemasons of helping to bring about these momentous events, and within a few years a Jewish component had been introduced to this heady tale. It was an elaboration that was to have disastrous consequences.
During the nineteenth century Freemasonry also found itself accused of fomenting the European revolutions of 1848 and a highly successful anti-masonic party was established in the United States. By the close of century, the story that Freemasonry was somehow intertwined with Jewish interests (what American historian Gabriel Jackson termed 'The Black Legend') had metamorphosed into one of the most outlandish conspiracy tales of all time - The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This notorious forgery of the Tsarist Secret Police - an imagined blueprint for Judeo-Masonic world domination - was eagerly embraced by the European Fascist regimes, and it helped prepare the ground for the Holocaust as well as the imprisonment and execution of thousands of Freemasons, along with the targeted theft of vast masonic archives, many of which are still being restituted to their original owners today. In post-war Europe the publication and appeal of the Protocols dwindled, although in the case of Spain General Franco continued to maintain a belief in the existence an imaginary Bolshevik-Masonic complot until his death in 1975. And today, this infamous document is still viewed as genuine in many parts of the world, particularly in the Middle East where it is typically used to justify an over-arching anti-Western rhetoric. But while the anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist aspects of this phenomenon are frequently discussed by academics, the anti-masonic element is all too often ignored.
Consequently, this international conference aims to address this neglected topic in all its aspects.
For further information please email: or telephone 00 44 (0)20 7226 6256
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Friday 29 October
The conference will commence with a rare showing of 'Les Forces Occultes' - a feature length anti-masonic film made in wartime occupied France (1943) complete with English subtitles - at University College London.

Saturday 30 October 09:00 Registration and coffee
09:50 Official opening
10:00 The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Professor Michael Hagemeister, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
10:45 Morning coffee
11:15 Chair: Professor Andrew Prescott, Hatii, University of Glasgow
Anti-masonry and masonic trans-nationalism: a complex interplay Dr. Joachim Berger, Institute of European History, Mainz
Blaming the Great War on the masons' entente: Friedrich Wichtl, 1872-1921
Dr. Reinhard Markner, Berlin
The anti-masonic writings of General Erich Ludendorff
Jimmy Köppen, Free University of Brussels
Anti-masonry as political protest: Fascist attitudes to Freemasonry in interwar Romania
Roland Clark, University of Pittsburgh
12:35 Panel discussion
13:00 Lunch
14:15 Keynote: Franco's persecution of Freemasonry
Professor José Antonio Ferrer Benimeli, University of Zaragoza
15:00 Afternoon Tea
15.30 Chair: Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, University of Sheffield
'Anti-masonry' in nineteenth-century Ottoman Lebanon: an offensive against Anglo-Saxon and protestant missionaries?
Said Chaa EPHE/Sorbonne Paris
Anti-masonry among the Ottomans and in contemporary Turkey
Professor Thierry Zarcone, CNRS/Sorbonne Paris
Trends of anti-masonry in Eastern Orthodox cultures
Dr. Yuri Stoyanov, Research Fellow, SOAS, University of London
'The Devil's sons': one century of anti-masonry in the Arab world
Stephan Schmid, American University of Beirut
16:50 Panel discussion
17:30 Close
19:00 Dinner
Sunday 31 October
10:00 Keynote: Professor John Robison (1739-1805)
Professor Andrew Prescott, Hatii, University of Glasgow
10:45 Morning coffee
11:15 Chair: Professor Jeffrey Tyssens, Free University of Brussels
The reception of anti-masonry in the eighteenth-century English press
Dr. Róbert Péter, Senior Assistant Professor, University of Szeged
Barruel's conspiracy theory - a theoretical approach
Claus Oberhauser, University of Innsbruck
A Swedish diplomat's recently deciphered perspective on the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors, University of Sheffield
'The voice of Morgan's blood cries from the ground': reading American anti-masonry through anti-masonic almanacs, 1827-1837
Jeff Croteau, MA MLS, National Heritage Museum, Lexington MA
12:35 Panel discussion
13:00 Lunch
14:15 Keynote: War on Freemasons: The restitution of stolen masonic archives from Russia
Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
15:00 Afternoon tea
15:30 Chair: Dr. Tim Baycroft, University of Sheffield
Anti-masonic thought in France: the example of Bernard Faÿ Jen Farrar, University of Sheffield
Visual evidence used by Franco's Police in the persecution of Spanish Freemasons
Dr. Sylvia Hottinger, Carlos III University, Madrid
Stolen truth or truth stolen?
Dr. Hans Kummerer, Quatuor Coronati Research Lodge, Austria
The ongoing restitution of the Norwegian masonic library and archives
Helge Bjørn Horrisland, Norwegian Order of Freemasons
16:30 Panel discussion
17:00 Close