The Essenes were a messianic sect existing during the time of the Second Temple. Newly joining members would take an oath that included the commitment to practice piety towards Deity and righteousness towards humanity, to maintain a pure lifestyle, to abstain from criminal and immoral activities, to transmit their rules uncorrupted and to preserve the books of the Essenes and the names of the Angels. Their theology included belief in the immortality of the soul.
The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, a crusading order formed by Hugues de Payens in 1119 to protect pilgrimages from Europe to Jerusalem. These knights originally began with nine members and were based at the Temple Mount, at the ruins of Solomon’s Temple. Mythology suggests that these knights, after digging near the Temple Mount, found a great treasure. Was that treasure riches, such as gold, or a great secret, no one knows. However, shortly thereafter, the group gains in esteem and wealth, and spreads throughout Europe. Long after the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin, the Templar Knights continue to grow in stature and wealth, creating one of the first worldwide banking systems. Jealous of their wealth, King Philip IV of France with the help of Pope Clement V, hatches a plan to arrest the knights for heresy and blasphemy. The order is issued for their arrest on Friday, October 13, 1307. The myth suggests that many knights escaped to Scotland, and hid under the guise of a church building trade union known as the Freemasons (more about them later), bringing with them the secret knowledge they learned while in Jerusalem.
The President, Council, and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge commonly known as the Royal Society
The Royal Society was formed in November 1660 by royal charter granted by King Charles II in London. The Royal Society included physicians and natural philosophers influenced by Francis Bacon and his work the New Atlantis. The New Atlantis, written by Bacon, is about a society devoted to human discovery and knowledge. As quoted from the book “Ye shall understand that amongst the excellent acts of that king, one above all hath the pre-eminence. It was the erection and institution of an Order or Society, which we call Salomon’s House; the noblest foundation that ever was upon the earth; and the lanthorn of this kingdom. It is dedicated to the study of the works and creatures of God.” And before I forget, who was a key founding member of the Royal Society? None other than our fellow brother, Elias Ashmole.
Freemason, a Trade Guild
Operative Freemasons, skilled in geometry and other construction skills, travel freely building the great cathedrals of Europe. They were divided among classes, the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. As they travelled through Europe, to protect their trade secrets they had secret handshakes, passwords, and other modes of recognition. At some point in history, enlightened gentleman, such as John T. Desaguliers and John Anderson began to join the guild (1719) as speculative Freemasons. From this point begins the transformation of a trade guild into a society of enlightened men of reason, devoted to God and Science.