Feb 03, 1997 06:11 AM
by M K Ramadoss
Here is an excerpt on Co-Masonry:
THE BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH CO-MASONRY
BY C. JINARAJADASA
Till recently I was under the impression that the first English
women to be admitted into Masonry by the Supreme Council of Universal
Co-Masonry in Paris were those who went over to Paris to be initiated in the
year 1902. The chief of this band was Dr. Annie Besant, but the document
which I publish of Madame Maria Martin shows that there were four English
ladies, besides Miss Francesca Arundale, who had already been admitted into
The reason for Dr. Besant joining Co-Masonry is interesting, and on
many occasions she herself has described it. One of the most devoted
disciples of Madame H. P. Blavatsky was Mrs. Isabel Cooper-Oakley. After H.
P. B.'s death, she became deeply attached to Dr. Besant. Mrs. Cooper-Oakley
was profoundly drawn to a personage whom historians have denounced as a
charlatan; this was the Comte de St. Germain. She had read much concerning
various mystical movements in the mid.dle Ages, and her studies showed her
that the Comte de St. Germain played a very striking role in certain of the
Masonic organizations during the time which preceded the French Revolution.
She therefore devoted herself to historical research and travelled to
several libraries of Europe, trying to consult original documents. Her
thesis, which summarizes the investigations of years, will be found in her
book, The Comte de St. Germain, the Secret of Kings (Milan, 1912).
A brief synopsis of her thesis is as follows: The Comte de St.
Germain was in reality the elder son of Francis Rakoczi, the last Prince of
Transylvania. The attempt of Francis to make his country independent of
Austrian domination can be read in the old histories. They narrate that he
had two sons who, at his flight when defeated, were taken to the court of
the Austrian Emperor, to be there educated, but also partly to be held as
hostages. It is known to history that, after his flight, Francis was in
Turkey, surrounded by his small band, and that from there he tried to regain
his country. About a year before his death at Rodosto, the elder son, who
was at Vienna, escaped and joined his father. At his father's death, he
proclaimed himself Prince of Transylvania; but as a price had been set on
his head by the Emperor and as the Church had excommunicated him, matters
came to a difficult. History then states that this elder son caught fever
and died. There was an official funeral, and the Transylvanian movement for
independence came to an end.
But Mrs. Cooper-Oakley holds that the young prince did not die; the
funeral was a camouflage. She upholds the thesis that the Comte de St.
Germain was in fact the young Prince of Transylvania; since a price had been
put on his head, he had to disappear off the stage with a funeral, and pass
under another name. When many years afterwards he comes into the life of
European courts, those who know his real history receive him as one of
themselves. One of the mysteries about the Comte de St. Germain is that if
he were the impostor and charlatan that he is made out to be, how was it
that the King of France and the great nobles treated him as one of
themselves! This can partly be accounted for by the story of his possessing
magical powers and the secret of alchemy, etc. But Mrs. Cooper-Oakley shows
by documents that in reality his treatment and the conferring upon him of
various secret missions by the French court was due to the fact that the
King of France and others knew who he really was, though of course any claim
to the kingdom of Transylvania was out of the question.
Madame Blavatsky had mentioned to her disciples that in a previous
incarnation she had lived at the time of the French Revolution and had
worked with the Comte de St. Germain. It is said in occult tradition that
the Comte de St. Germain was given by the Adept Brotherhood a very difficult
task to accomplish. This was to change, if possible, the destiny of France
so that the French Revolution with all its horrors might be avoided. The
Count tried to instill a sense of brotherhood among the nobles and upper
classes of France by reviving various degrees of Masonry.
He had many disciples through whom he worked, and one was the
well-known Count Cagliostro. Of course, we know that the Comte de St.
Germain failed to ward off the Revolution; the forces on the side of evil
were far too great. Mrs. Cooper-Oakley publishes very striking historical
material to show something of the secret plotting and counter-plotting in
which the Count was the trusted messenger. As a matter of fact, he tried
desperately hard to prevent the debacle, though he knew from his occult
knowledge that he probably would not succeed.
In connection with this period of history, one day Mrs. Cooper
-Oakley talked with Dr. Besant regarding her difficulties of disentangling
the various threads of history. The published documents were not
sufficiently explanatory, and Mrs. Cooper-Oakley could not fully make out
who were the principal agents of the Comte de St. Germain in his work. That
same night the Master himself appeared astrally by Dr. Besant's bedside, and
he gave her various names of those persons who were concerned with Him in
His efforts to revive Masonry in France. She wrote them down, and among them
was the name of Count de Zimsky, who was H. P. B.
It was on this occasion that the Master intimated to Dr. Besant that
she might be of help to Him if she joined Masonry. Dr. Besant knew that
Masonry did not admit women, and so wondered how it would be possible for
her to join that institution. A year or two afterwards, when talking with
Miss F. Arundale on the matter she found, much to her surprise, that Miss
Arundale was already a Mason in an organization which admitted women. Dr.
Besant desired at once to join this organization, and the letter which
follows is explanatory of the preliminary arrangements.
It should be mentioned that an elder sister of Miss Francesca
Arundale was married to a French gentleman, Monsieur Martin [this is not Dr.
George Martin who played such a prominent part in French Co-Masonry]. Madame
Maria Martin, Miss Arundale's sister, was a very prominent feminist, and was
the first Grand Secretary of the French Co-Masonic Order. She founded in
December 1891, the feminist paper Le Journal des Femmes. Through her, Miss
Arundale was introduced to Co-Masonry, and she became a Master Mason on
August 16, 1896, and received the 33rd degree on September 26, 1904.
[From The Theosophist , Jan 1934]====end===
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application