Three points in a triangular form (. .) are placed after letters in a Masonic document to indicate that such letters are the initials of a Masonic title or of a technical word in Freemasonry, as G.-. M.. for Grand Master, or G. . L. . for Grand Lodge. It is not a symbol, but simply a mark of abbreviation. The attempt, therefore, to trace it to the Hebrew three yods, a Cabalistic sign of the Tetragrammaton, or any other ancient symbol, is futile. It is an abbreviation, and nothing more; although it is probable that the idea was suggested by the sacred character of the number three as a Masonic number, and these tree dots might refer to the position of the three officers in a French Lodge. Ragon says (Orthodoxie Maonnique, page 71) that the mark was first used by the Grand Orient of France in a circular issued August 12, 1774, in which we read "G.. O.. de France." A common expression of anti-Masonic writers in France when referring to the Brethren of the Craft is Frres Trois Points, Three Point Brothers, a term cultivated in their mischief survives in honor because reminding the brotherhood of cherished association and symbols. The abbreviation is now constantly used in French documents, and, although not accepted by the English Freemasons, has been very generally adopted in other countries. In the United States, the use of this abbreviation is gradually extending.
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