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Perignan

When the Elu Degrees were first invented, the legend referred to an unknown person, a tiller of the soil, to whom King Solomon was indebted for the information which led to the discovery of the craftsmen who had committed the crime recorded in the Third Degree. This mysterious person, at first designated as L'Inconnu, French, meaning The Unknown, afterwards received the name of Perignan, and a Degree between the Elu of Nine and the Elu of Fifteen was instituted, which was called the Elu of Perignan, and which became the Sixth Degree of the Adonhiramite Rite. The derivation or radical meaning of the word is unknown, but it may contain, as do many other words in the advanced Degrees, a reference to the adherents, or to the enemies, of the exiled House of Stuart, for whose sake several of these Degrees were established (see Elect of Perignan, also Perfection, and Clermont).

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PERFECT UNION, OF VIENNA

One of the very few Lodges in the world that can be compared with the famous Neuf Soeur's Lodge in Paris for the scope of its work, the brilliancy of its membership, and its national influence, was the Perfect Union Lodge of Vienna, which under the Mastership of Ignaz von Born in 1781 and afterwards, became a Masonic Society of Science and Art. Born had been made a Mason in Prague. Under his leadership there entered the portals of Perfect Union such men as: Ratschky, librettist for Mozart; Michaeler, Rector of Innsbruck University; Sauter, a professor of philosophy; Barth, the anatomist; Ecknel, founder of numismatics; Krakowsky, Minister of State; Reinhold, the philosopher, Schiller's friend, and Wieland's son- inlaw; Watteroth, the historian; Forster, who circumnavigated the earth; Zainer, one of the great sculptors of the century; the Abbe Denis, bibliographers; Leber, physician to the Empress; Joseph Haydn, the composer; and some 200 others of scarcely less eminence. The Lodge supported two periodicals.

It amassed a huge library and museum. For the botanical garden it established, its members made an expedition to (of all places !) South Carolina (did they visit Lodges while there?). It was a Lodge lecture by Born which gave Mozart the material and the inspiration for his opera "The Magic Flute." Mozart was a visitor at the time of Haydn's initiation; and one of the latter's friends and colleagues was the composer of the Austrian national anthem, Hoschka, also a Mason. Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto for "The Magic Flute" and Giesecke, his assistant, were Masons. The character, Sarastro, in the opera, was Born; and it is said that it was at the time of Born's death that Mozart, deeply moved, decided to write the "Flute." It was the very success of this Lodge that moved the Roman Church to launch its crusade against Austrian Masonry, for reasons understandably enough to any man who knows how deadly free and genuine enlightenment is to the Vatican's program.

Two interesting sources on the Lodge, on Born, and on Mozart are: Transactions: The American Lodge of Research; Vol. III, No. 2; New York; Masonic Hall; 1941-1942; page 493 ff. The Freemasons, by Eugen Lennhoff; Oxford University Press; New York; 1934; page 121 ff.

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