Page 11 - MFM March 2016
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Montana Freemason  March 2016                   Volume 92 Number 2

 Enlightenment lodges of the main European       By and large, the global fraternity has risen
capitals did not have major objections to       to welcome them. Russians and Mencheviks
accepting free men of color; they considered    created Masonic lodges under the auspices
such members proof of progress of the spirit    of the Grand Lodge in Paris after October
of tolerance and enlightenment. Active          1917. Chilean Freemasons in exile in France
members of the famous Société des amis des      founded lodges under the protection of the
Noirs, “Society of the Friends of the Blacks,”  Grand Lodge of France, and the Grand
were Masons. The lodge Les Émules d’Hiram       Lodge of Chile in exile was founded to join
was made up of free men of color. But           all exiled Chilean Masons in Europe. After
colonial lodges, such as those in the French    Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, a Grand
Caribbean and the French territories of the     Lodge of Iran in exile was organized with
Indian Ocean, were often violently opposed      members in Paris, New York, Boston, and
to it. When the French Caribbean lodge Les      Washington, D.C. It is currently established
Cœurs Unis petitioned for a constitution in     in Los Angeles.
1781, the powerful merchant lodge Saint-
Jean d’Ecosse of Marseille wrote to the          Each band of displaced Masons has served
Grand Orient that the alliances of some of      as a living reminder of the imperative
the members with free people of color was       of tolerance; each time they have been
unbearable and a casus bellian act worthy of    welcomed by brothers, as brothers, they
war.                                            prove its impact. The seeds of this attitude
                                                were planted in 18th-century European
After the 18th century                          lodges. Although the seasons have been
 As some lodges stumbled, others made           harsh, they continue to grow today.

strides. In the late 1800s, progressive lodges  Editor’s note: Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire is
supported the Esperanto movement, which         a professor of history at the University of
sought to create a universal language as an     Nice and a fellow at the Institut Universitaire
instrument of mutual understanding and          de France.
sharing. With Masonic support, an annual
international convention – the Congreso         Special Thanks to the California Freemason
Universal de Esperanto – was created in 1905.   magazine. This article was reprinted from the
Some lodges, especially in Spain and Latin      California Freemason magazine, October/November
America, still function today in Esperanto,     2014 issue.
including Vienna’s Universela Framasona
Ligo and the Spanish lodge Afortunada.

 As time went on, the fraternity grew more
tolerant, and in many ways, so did the world
outside it. But after World War I, Masons
faced new sources of persecution, from
fascist powers in the Western world in World
War II to those in the former Soviet Union
until 1991; from Pinochet’s coup in Chile of
1917 to the Iranian revolution of 1979. Each
political upheaval has prompted the exile of
Freemasons to new lands.

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