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Old 13-02-2017, 05:03 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by polyhedron View Post
One would have thought, with so many people in high positions being Free Masons who apparently debate in secret the merits of democracy, that they might have had something to shout about say, during the Spanish civil war when the US backed Franco and other dictators. Washington is after all very involved in Free Masonry, but apparently no one noticed.
I also forgot to add that you're assuming "so many people" are in "high positions" of government. However, Freemasonry does cultivate and support the principles of democracy, freedom, and liberty. Freemasonry has been heavily suppressed by dictators such as Franco. In 1935, Spain barred Masons from joining the military. Civil War began in 1936 and in October, 6-Masons were hanged for simply being Masons. Francisco Franco, the soon-to-be leader of Spain, had his troops destroy Masonic temples, confiscate property, and torture and execute Masons; some were forced to dig their own graves before being shot. Grave-sites were desecrated if they had symbols thought to be Masonic on them. It was a criminal offense for a man to have ever been connected with Freemasonry. Between 1939 and 1975, around 16,000 Spanish citizens were executed for the crime of Freemasonry, but upon the death of Franco in 1975 the ban was lifted and Masonic activity resumed.

Like Spain, Portugal had banned Freemasonry at different times. In 1931, Masonic meeting were prohibited by order of the police. The police went around the known Loges and sealed the doors and the Grand Master, John Martin de Matos, was secret imprisoned in a hospital for "health reasons". Freemasonry has existed under the parliamentary democracy, but everything changed in May of 1926 when a military coup led by General Gomes da Costa installed an authoritarian government that would eventually be led by António de Oliveira Salazar.

Freemasonry was also a victim of Nazi Germany. The Nazis saw the Freemasons as servants of the Jews and, from an official publication, "...hostility against the Freemason as a servant of the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy." Once Hitler took power in 1933, his followers informed Masonic leaders they had no place in the new Germany, but many were also misled that Masonic activity would not be prohibited. Soon the government attempted to implement changes they saw as necessary. Many Masons started meeting underground and in complete secrecy. Soon Masons were being prevented from entering businesses and working as public servants such as education and military sectors. Many Masons were being imprisoned for various types of trumped up charges. On August 8th, 1935, Hitler announced the final dissolution of all Masonic Lodges in Germany and blamed the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 which led to World War I on the Freemasons. Masonic property was confiscated and propaganda campaigns against Freemasonry started nation-wide. Many things were taken to Berlin to be a part of an anti-Masonic exhibit, but those properties not used were often burned or destroyed. Masonic members and dignitaries alike were sent to concentration camps. So many libraries and archives were destroyed and records lost. As the Nazi regime spread across Europe the suppression of Freemasonry followed along, although the anti-Masonic actions didn't make much world news.

And these are a just few examples. You can go back farther and see suppression by King Philip V of Spain, King Ferdinand VI of Spain, Ferdinand IV, King of the Two Sicilies, Maria I of Portugal, Emperor Francis II of Austria, King Ferdinand VII of Spain, and Mussolini.
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Last edited by ksigmason; 13-02-2017 at 05:05 AM.
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