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Unknown Superiors

When the Baron Von Hund established his system or Rite of Strict Observance, he declared that the Order was directed by certain Freemasons of superior rank, whose names as well as their designs were to be kept secret from all the Brethren of the lower Degrees; although there was an insinuation that they were to be found or to be heard of in Scotland. To these secret dignitaries he gave the title of Superiores Incogniti , or Unknown Superiors. Many Masonic writers, suspecting that Jesuitism was at the bottom of all the Freemasonry of that day, asserted that S. I., the initials of Superiores Incogniti, meant really Societas Jesu, that is, the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. It is scarcely necessary now to say that the whole story of the Unknown Superiors was probably a myth.

However, the reader will find much interest in an old book or two of 1788, as Les Jesuites chasss de la Maonnerie et leur Poignard bris par les Masons, or The Jesuits driven from Masonry and their dagger broken by the Masons. Another one, presumably a continuation of the above essay, is the Memet des Quatre Voeux de la Compagnie de S. Ignace et des Quatres Grades de la Maonnerie de S.Jean, that is the Identity of the four Vows of the Company of Saint Ignace (Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556, soldier-priest, a Spaniard who founded the Order of the Jesuits or Society of Jesus) and the Masonry of Saint John. Both are of the same date and the title page might indicate by Orient de Londres, East of London, that they were published in that city but they were printed at Paris and probably by Nicholas de Bonneville. Brother Bernard Beyer, Bibliographie der Freimaurerischen Literature, 1926, lists over a dozen works dealing with the Jesuits, from this standpoint, amongst the many discussing matters pertaining to the Roman Catholic Church. As to this question generally Brother Dudley Wrigt has discussed it help fully in Roman Catholicism and Freemasonry, London, 1922, and there is a lecture in pamphlet form by Brother R.J.Lemert, Catholicism and Freemasonry, Helena, Montana, examining the causes of the hostility displayed by the Roman Catholic hierarchy against the Masonic Institution, and a treatise, The Principles of Freemasonry, 374 pages, 1918, by Brother Melville R. Grant, S.G.I.G. is an informing and convincing contribution to the subject from the Truth Publishing Company, Meridian, Mississippi.

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