Thursday, August 29, 2013

Masonic Marseille: A Conference.

Masonic Marseille

The symposium Claude-François Achard, un grand Marseillais méconnu will be held October 18, 2013 by the IMF - Provence, Marseille will host the sixth Conference of Traditional Renaissance Renaissance Traditionnelle on Saturday, October 19, 2013. The theme is Masonic Marseille: Mediterranean crossroads of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century . As before, the event will be hosted by the Alcazar Library (Course Belsunce 13001 Marseille).

•10am. Doors open
•10:15. Inauguration of the conference by Roger Dachez and Pierre Mollier (Traditional Renaissance) and Daniel Hermann , Deputy Mayor of Marseille delegate for cultural events, museums, and libraries
•10:30. Freemasonry: between sociability and spirituality in the Enlightenment by Roger Dachez
•11:15. Idea initiation and Freemasonry in the eighteenth century by Pierre Mollier le Cavailler
•12h. Lunch Break
•14h. The Mother Scottish Lodge and The Triple Union in Marseille: two essentials in the history of French Freemasonry. Presentation of an original document: the Treaty of Understanding of November 5, 1801 by Louis Trebuchet and Dominique Sappia
•14:45. Marseille and the Mediterranean as a Masonic crossroads by Pierre-Yves Beaurepaire
•15.30. Marseille, capital of the occult? Egyptian rites, Rosicrucianism and Martinism in the Mediterranean by Serge Caillet
•16h. Break
•16.30. Tribulations of a Marseille Lodge: L'Aimable Sagesse Jean-Claude Marchand
•17.15. Conclusions and closing the conference with representatives of the Grand Lodges of the MFI Provence

Price: 17 euros. Booking Online .

 The Sixth Symposium on the Traditional Renaissance on Facebook

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Two Steps forward for Afro-Brazilian Religions

Umbanda Altar with elements from
Catholicism, African traditions, and Masonry.
Just recently, the Hedge Mason reported on the murders of several Afro-Brazilian Religious leaders by a deranged neighbor inspired by radical evangelical teachings which often target Afro-Brazilian religions in particular calling them devil worship or satanism, neither of which they are. Several other well publicized attacks on religious centers, Templos, Teirreros, and Tendas have occurred throughout Brazil in recent years, and public statues representing the Orixás, or entities of various Afro-Brazilian faiths have been defaced. These statues are public art, because apart from the role of these spirits in the African religions of Brazil, they also figure prominently in Brazilian folklore and tradition.

Additionally, not so long ago there was a dispute in the school system of one of Brazil's major cities, when a teacher was prohibited by her principle, who is an evangelist, from reading folktales to her grade school students in class because the characters in one of the stories included Exú, another Orixá or African spirit. To contextualize this for a North American audience, this would be like banning a teacher from reading Brer Rabbit, because the stories in Brer Rabbit closely resemble stories associated with one or another of the African deities. Not only that, but so little respect was given to African religions in recent years that the building which is widely acclaimed as the location where modern Umbanda, which prides itself as the only "totally Brazilian religion" was demolished before efforts to assure its protection were successful.

Candomblé ritual in Bahia
Fortunately, not all news is bad. I am reporting today on two events that provide some hope that the Brazilian government, which presides over a nation with the second largest Black population in the world, second only to Nigeria in West Africa, has the will to protect the cultural integrity of such a large portion of its population, many of whom claim loyalty to both African religious traditions and Christianity simultaneously.

The first is to note that Umbanda now has official status as a part of Brazilian cultural heritage. Approved last Wednesday (Aug. 21) by the Metropolitan Council of the City of São Paulo, Bill 254/2010 declares Umbanda as intangible cultural heritage of the city of São Paulo.
The bill, authored by Councilman Quito Ant - PR, also was supported by the efforts of the Police also parliamentary Neto - PSD, who quickly understood the importance of the cause and helped to be discussed and approved. São Paulo is one of Latin America's Mega Cities with an amazing recognized 111 different ethnic groups and a population of at least 11 million people, making it the largest city in the Portuguese speaking world.

Birthplace of Umbanda in Rio de Janeiro
For many decades after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, the police and military authorities routinely would raid the religious centers of African derived and influenced religions, including Umbanda which grew out of older traditions. Laws on the books, both nationally, and in local areas prohibited Afro-Brazilian religions of any sort, condemning and banning them as sorcery and quite ironically, black magic. It was not uncommon to see photographs of confiscated religious objects, relics, and the drums which were necessary for ritual performance, accompanying newspaper articles on "successful suppression of evil cults." Until the second half of the 20th Century, despite the religious freedom assured by the first Brazilian Republican Constitution in 1891, the Criminal Law of 1890, which forbade the prace of Spiritism, witchcraft, and its sortileges, was never overturned. In fact it was used to justify periodic efforts to eradicate African derived religious traditions throughout Brazil.

Police confiscations of religious objects in
the first half of the 20th Century
While persecution was reversed during the second half of the 20th century, when between 1950 - 1970, what might be called a "Golden Era" for Umbanda occurred. The religion had thousands of adepts and famous writers on the religion, such as  WW da Mata e Silva, Tancredo Pinto da Silva, amond others offered the views and opinions in daily and weekly articles in the mainstream media, and the now defunct TV TUPI regularly hosted shows with figures such as Chico Xavier, which had extremely large audiences, it was not to always remain that way. In recent decades, from the 1990s on, American imported Evangelical and neo-Pentecostal  Christianity has become hostile and literally violent in its opposition to African derived Afro-Brazilian religions, culminating most recently in the cold blooded murder of a priestess and members of her family, including a young child.

So, it is good to note  that in addition to the recognition granted by the City of São Paulo, a new religious anti-discrimination law has not only been approved, but has been put into service.

A pastor in Rio de Janeiro was arrested on charges of discrimination against both Umbanda and Candomblé, the two most widely practiced of Afro-Brazilian religions. The temporary detention was ordered by the 20th Criminal Court of Rio for inciting a murder of religious intolerance, based on Article 20 of the Law Caó - which makes it a crime  without the availability of bail of religious discrimination. He was arrested along with another member of his church, a 25 year old man named Henrique Afonso Alves Lobato.

Umbanda Temple in the 1970s
The arrest was made by order of delegate Hellen Rosemberg, who sent the police to surround the Church of Jesus Christ during the course of a service. When the service ended, the two evangelicals were arrested. According to press reports, Pastor Tupirani, 43, and Lobato are accused of inciting prejudice against african-Brazilian religions and publicly attacking the police and the armed forces. The arrest was made based on a video Afonso posted on the Internet, where according to the press he makes statements like "the spiritual centers are places of invocation of the devil" and "all the Pae de Santos (priests) are gay", "the Bible says ( ...) the worship of pictures and sculptures are an abomination, then I repudiate those images too ". "Every spiritual center is a place of invocation of the devil," Lobato said in the video. In addition, he comments on the police: "Those police officers think they are an authority, but I answer to the church and not to  legal authority." O Globo News Network noted that Tupirani had also posted on the Internet a video in which he states that does not recognize human laws, but only the Bible.

The Pae de Santo or Umbanda priest victimized by these evangelicals noted that "this kind of attitude is a threat to democratic principles of government. He is also a member of the Commission for Combating Religious Intolerance. If convicted, the pastor and his follower may be sentenced to between 2 and 5 years in jail and pay a fine. They may also be subject to civil action by the victims of their crimes.

Contemporary Umbanda Altar or "Conga" 
The report of the Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality  states that there is an effective "religious war" being promoted by neo-Pentecostals in Brazil, documentation pointing toward to "Universal Church of the Kingdom of God" as a propagator of religious intolerance in the country, urging the persecution, disrespect and "demonization", especially of Umbanda and Candomblé.

The report, submitted to the UN, accused the UCJG Brazilian Evangelic churches of a racist inspired preaching against the practices and Umbanda and Candomblé.  The UN is investigating the allegations. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Charter of Barcelona


Various Philosophical Modern Rite Bodies * day met on June 12, 2011, in the Valley of Barcelona, and decided on the creation of a body of cooperation, concentration and coordination between them to be known as Unión Masónica Universal del Rito Moderno or UMURM (Universal Masonic Union of the Modern Rite)

Which will work with full respect for the freedom and independence of the philosophical bodies of which it is composed. Based on the principles of absolute freedom of conscience and thought,
based in Barcelona, and chaired by the Supreme SGIG Conselho do Rito Moderno do Brasil, Jose Maria Bonachi Batalla, this Universal Masonic Union of the Modern Rite (UMURM) acting on behalf of its participants for the following objectives:

1. To promote and disseminate the customs and practice of the Modern Rite.
2. To foster interrelations and harmony among its members to encourage the practice of a truly Universal Freemasonry.
3. Being a plural forum for dialogue and exchange in pursuit of creating a true Center of Union without regard to territorial, obediential, or ritualistic specificities
4. Facilitate rapprochement between Modern Rite Philosophical Bodies through mutual recognition without any kind of discrimination.
5. Develop a working dynamic and joint reflection issues between their bodies. The Universal Union Modern Rite Masonic will be at all times open to Philosophical any body who practices Modern Rite in the Five Orders of Wisdom, seeking admission, once contrasted his initiatic affiliation.
Victor Guerra. Section 107. 33300 Villaviciosa-Asturias (ES) Email:

Signatories to the creation of UMURM
The Universal Masonic Union of the Modern Rite (UMURM) incorporates the creation of 5th International Academy. Modern Rite Order two main missions

• Being a laboratory of thought to reflect on the meaning, philosophy, values, and ethics corresponding to the Modern Rite.
• Being an Academy of the Rite with the ability to research and disseminate which can assume the role of a true conservatory Modern Rite, and finally advise any Supreme Council, Great General chapter or other Philosophical body that demands it.

This Academy will work without territorial or Obediential limits, without regulations respecting the absolute independence of each of its members. This Academy will remain open to any Sovereign Power, Independent Chapter, but also, in on a personal and individual level to any holder of
5°. Order of the Modern Rite, stating his desire to be part of it and possession documentary proof of their titles.

Victor Guerra. Section 107. 33300 Villaviciosa-Asturias (ES) Email:

as follows:
The President of the Union Universal Modern Rite Masonic, Jose Maria
Bonachi Batalla, Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Supreme Conselho do Rito Moderno - Brazil, proceeded to make the following appointments:

Joaquim Villalta, V° Order, Grade 9, Secretary General

Alvaro Marcos, V° Order, Grade 9, Chief Legal and International Standards Academy of Modern Rite Order V°

Victor Guerra, V° Order, Grade 9, General Coordinator of the Academy of V° Modern Rite

Victor Guerra. Section 107. 33300 Villaviciosa-Asturias (ES) Email:

The Current Powers of the UMURM

•Supremo Conselho do Rito Moderno - Brasil (Supreme Council of the Modern Rite - Brazil)
•Gran Capítulo General del Gran Oriente de Colombia (Grand Chap. Gen. of the G.O. of Colombia)
•Sublime Consejo del Rito Moderno para el Ecuador (Sublime Council of the Modern Rite of Ecuador)
•Grand Chapter General of the Modern Rite for North America & the Caribbean

Note (*): Other Bodies Philosophical that approve the content and present it may submit requests for membership pending its ratification by their Respective Lodge Directors.

Victor Guerra. V° Order of Supreme Wisdom and member of Conselho do Rito Moderno do Brasil and the Gran  Capitulo General de España - Supreme Council Modern Rite for Spain.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Supreme Council of the Modern Rite is in Brazil

The Supreme Council of the Modern Rite (SCRM), the Philosophical Masonic Power and Masonic Institution is a regular, legitimate, sovereign and supreme leadership body of the Freemasonic Rite in the Modern World. It is based in Brazil, with exclusive authority over philosophical degrees of the liturgy and philosophy of the Modern Rite and guardian of its secrets with Masonic jurisdiction in Brazil and internationally. It is the leading lodge of the Universal Modern Rite.

On June 28, 2013 the Sovereign Inspector General, Broஃ Pasquale Mignella Filho, industrialist and attorney in São Paulo was sworn in as supreme director of the SCRM. The inaugural ceremony was held in the noble temple of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, in São Cristovão, Rio de Janeiro.

The S.C.R.M. was founded by Brotherஃ Manoel Joaquim de Menezes in 1842, in Rio de Janeiro, the delegation provided by the Grand Orient of France. It was accepted and recognized by the Grand Orient of Brazil as the Supreme Grand Lodge of the Modern Rite in Brazil. It maintains a treaty of mutual recognition and acceptance of the Grand Orient of Brazil, As well as other philosophical rite bodies currently practiced in Brazil including the Adonhiramite Rite, Scottish Rite and Brazilian Rite . It has no similar treaty with the side degrees of the York Rite, because they have very different structures. The current Constitution of the SCRM was enacted in May 1999. Currently it is the only Supreme Power of the Modern Rite  in the World being able to demonstrate continuous existence since 1842. Consequently, it is the Chief power of the Universal Modern Rite. It is headquartered in Brazil and has international jurisdiction: having provided charters for all Modern Rite Obediences in the world. The philosophical Obedience of the Grand Orient of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy have discontinuities during the Second World War. The charters necessary to revive those Obediences were provided by the SCRM Brazil. SCRM recently enacted charters of Brazil to Ecuador to the U.S. and the Caribbean. A study concerning the recognition of a Modern Rite Obedience in Paraguay is underway.

The Modern Rite was introduced in France in 1725 and was recognized in Paris in 1761, proclaimed by the Grand Orient of France in 1773. There exists some controversy about this date. The symbolic degrees and high Rite degrees were recognized by the French Grand Orient of France in 1786, along with the later known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, then 25 degrees. Only in the nineteenth century the French Rite was called Rito Moderno in homage to its origins of London. The four higher orders (grades 4-7) started in 1783, rationally reducing the large number of degrees from the Scottish. The 5th and 6th s orders (grades 8 and 9) were created in France in 1861.

SCRM has authority over the philosophical degrees of MR, ie, the higher 4-9 degrees. Grades 4-7 (1st to 4th order) are operacionados Chapters by RM, with several chapters in each state. Grades 8 and 9 (the 5th and 6th orders) are administrative degrees. The Great Council Kadosh Philosophical is operational, one in each state where there are higher degrees of the Modern Rite. The GCKF state has jurisdiction with regard to the liturgy and philosophy of Modern Rite. SCRM is composed of 33 members, grade 9, with voice and vote, and an undetermined number of emeritus members, grade 9, under 75 years of age, with a voice. SCRM is the only power in Brazil Philosophical whose Sovereign is elected every three years by the members, and the only Power whose members, also elected, may exercise its activities until the age of 75, who upon reaching this age are replace by younger members.

What are the benefits and privileges of being initiated into higher grades in the Modern Rite? How can one be admitted to the 4th grade? The Freemason that rises to higher levels has improved in his polishing of the rough ashlar, that is, he has been instructed in philosophy and wisdom, has sought to increase his virtuosity and obtained greater veneration and respect. Philosophy, at the higher levels, is taught through allegory and symbols, like the Freemasonic symbols. He also must have acquired the necessary basis for occupying administrative positions of the rite. To be admitted to the 4th degree a Freemason must belong to a Craft Lodge jurisdicion of the GOB in any rite, not only of the Modern Rite. He must have at least one year of the effective exercise as Master Mason must submit a master work by submitting it to his Craft Lodge and Chapter where he wishes to work, respond to a questionnaire and be submitted for approval by the members of the Chapter. Obviously, he should be in frequent attendance and be up to date with the metals of their Craft Lodge. Once approved, he will start in grade 4. The elevation to the higher grades depends, always, upon the completion of the degree work and questions, in addition to approval by the Brothers of the higher grades.

In the Grand Orient of Brazil (GOB), by reason of treaties of mutual recognition, there is an alignment with consequent acceptance of legitimacy of degrees. Thus the 4° degree of the Modern Rite (Secret Elú) is recognized as grade 4 in REAA, and Adonhiramite and Brazilian Rites. The 5° degree of the Modern Rite (Scottish Elú) is recognized as the 9 degree AASR, the R.Ad. and RB. The 6° degree of Modern Rite(Knight of the East) is recognized as the 15th degree Scottish Rite, the R. Ad. (In GOB) and Brazilian Rite.  The 7° degree of Modern Rite (Rosicrucian Knight) is recognized as the 18th degree Scottish Rite, the R.Ad. (In GOB) and the Brazilian Rite.  The 8° degree of Modern Rite (Knight of the white and black eagle - Kadosh) is recognized as the 30th degree Scottish Rite, the R.Ad. (In GOB) and Brazilian Rite. The 9° degree of Modern Rite (Knight of wisdom) is recognized as the 33rd degree Scottish Rite, the R.Ad. (In the GOB) and Brazilian Rite.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Afro-Brazilian Priestess Dies in Evangelically Inspired Attack

A crime with serious social repercussions occurred in Paraná, a city in the south of Brazil, this past Saturday. In a murder being called the "Slaughter of Londrina," four people were murdered. Among them, the spiritual leader of the black community, Vilma Santos de Oliveira, her mother, Allial de Oliveira dos Santos, 86, and her granddaughter, Olivia de Oliveira Santos, who was only 10 years of age.

Vilma was better known as Yalaorixá Yá Makumby, Mãe de Santo (mother of saint or priestess of an Afro-Brazilian religion of Central African origin) who was one of the main leaders of Candomblé de Angola in the region. She was a neighbor of Diego Quirino Ramos, 30, the confessed murderer. What has caused social tensions is that he claims to feel no remorse because his victims were possessed by "spiritual wickedness", a reference to his evangelical beliefs.

He told  William Douglas Soares, the details of what happened, but defends himself by claiming to have received "divine orders" to commit the murders.

A friend of Diego says he was acting strangely on Saturday and claimed to be "hearing the voice of God."Arriving home, he stabbed and killed his mother first, Ariadne Benck dos Anjos, 48. Then went to the house of his neighbors.

"He said he did not see the victims as people he knew, but that these people embodied spiritual wickedness, and were dominated by evil spirits and he meant to free them. The voices have said that  "to do justice he should go naked," said Douglas Soares. He added that Diego keeps talking about "theories of the end times and using the term 'liberating truth.'"

The probable cause of his "psychotic episode" was a fight with his girlfriend, Patricia Amorim Dias, 19, after a disagreement in which she and her mother, Ariadne, told him that his behavior was "not of God." When he tried to attack Patricia, his mother intervened and was stabbed. Then he left the house and went naked to the house next door, where he killed three other people. Patricia managed to escape with her life. He has a history of drug addiction since age 13 and has gone through four hospitalizations.

From the first moment, based on the testimony of Diego, there was talk of motivations based upon "religious intolerance." In the house, which was also the Candomblé Temple of Yalaorixá Makumby, all the religious images were found on the floor, but according to the source were used as self defense. "No one is stabbed without trying to defend themselves," he said. There is no testimony nor witnesses to confirm whether the victim or the attacker knocked over the statues. If the attacker did so, it would be incontestably an act of intentional desecration of a religious site.