Colleagues who have negotiated the return of archives from the former Soviet Union or who are interested in censorship by Pitt at the end of the Eighteenth Century may be interested in attending the following international conference:
KGB archives reveal secret masonic history
New revelations about the secret history of Freemasonry will be revealed at an international academic conference due to take place in London on 30-31 of October. However, unlike the fictional account proffered by Dan Brown in his latest best-selling novel, The Lost Symbol, the history being revealed will be firmly rooted in fact.
The conference, which is being organised by the North-London based educational charity, the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre (CMRC), will include at least two speakers who will cast light on their recent forays into the former KGB archives in Moscow, archives that still contain millions of masonic documents originally stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War.
One speaker, Dr. Patricia Kennedy Grimsted of Harvard University, an expert of international renown in this highly specialised field, will deliver a keynote lecture entitled, ‘War on the Freemasons: the fate of Nazi and Soviet seized books and archives’, which will provide an overview of how these vast archives were stolen by the Gestapo and other branches of the Third Reich’s security and intelligence apparatus during the 1930s and 40s, to how they were subsequently shepherded back to the Soviet Union by the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB. While another speaker, Dr. José Ferrer Benimeli, a recently retired Professor of modern history at the University of Zaragoza, will cast light on General Franco’s hatred and brutal suppression of Freemasonry in Spain.
Other revelations due to be unveiled for the first time will include recently deciphered diplomatic correspondence from the close of the eighteenth century which provides a fresh insight to the mindset of British Prime Minister Pitt the Younger and his attempts to thwart the activities of Freemasonry and various kindred societies one year after the United Irishmen’s rebellion of 1798. Pitt granted freemasonry a concession by permitting members to meet after the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799, provided Lodge membership details were registered with the Clerk of the Peace. The resulting Annual Returns, where these survive, are located among Quarter Sessions records in local record offices until this Act was reprieved by Wilson in 1967.
One keynote lecturer will expound upon the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious forgery which tragically helped to pave the way for the Holocaust. And several speakers will also explore the phenomenon of anti-masonry during the era of the European Fascist regimes, as well as in Turkey and the contemporary Arab world.
Further information, including a downloadable programme of this unique conference and full details of how to register, can be found on the CMRC’s website at: http://www.canonbury.ac.uk/
Student reductions are available on request.
Susan A Snell BA DAA RMSA
Archivist and Records Manager
Library and Museum of Freemasonry
Great Queen Street
Telephone: 020 7395 9258
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