".....For there is not any secret
that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden
that shall not be known...."
PREFACE to the English Edition
Once...more than 250 years ago there was a copy of this book in English. Perhaps it still exists. But if it does, it is well hidden, carefully guarded by a descendant of the man who stole it from ...and killed its rightful owner.
Its rightful owner, however, left a widow. And a son. His widow married a close friend of her deceased husband one of only a handful of men in the entire world who had a copy of the original manuscript, which the English translation had been made. And so, despite the fact that his father's copy had disappeared, the "widow's son" inherited the manuscript and passed it on to his descendants.
And then by a series of coincidences, the chains that bound the secret was broken. The chain of succession was broken when one of the descendants bequeathed the manuscript not to his son's son, but to his daughter's son. The chain of ideology was broken when one of the descendants was converted by his Christian wife. The chain of silence was broken when one of the descendants translated the manuscript into French -- and sought other linguists who would translate it and publish it in other languages. And so it went from French to Arabic to Spanish to English.
The secret association, conceived in the mind of another "widow's son more than 19 centuries ago, is no longer secret. Was it coincidence? Or was it the hand of God?
DEDICATION of Awad Khoury (translator of the work from French to Arabic) to all the Masons of the World.
Before presenting this History, I extend my greetings to you from the depths of my heart. To whom, more deserving than you, could this History be dedicated? Who, other than you, has a greater right to read it and to have it? Who, other than the owner of the house, is the one who should investigate what happens in the house, good or ill, beneficial or harmful and which is under his roof?
And, if someone knows nothing of his parents, would it not be his duty to investigate who they are, to know their origin and ancestry?
Wouldn't one be ignorant who takes a beverage without finding out its ingredients? One who wears a suit, should he not determine if it is clean or if it is contaminated with contagious bacteria? All these allusions pertain to the case of a member of an association who knows nothing of its origin, its past, its founder, the history of the foundation and the principles of the association. Who is that member who is ignorant of what he should not be ignorant?
We are THE MASONS, who for 19 centuries have not known the origin or the past of our association!
The Founders hid that secret with rare cunning, in the cloaks of the occult, as you will see. They hid it from their own "brothers" from the beginning to the present, in spite of the endless investigation of historians.
Guided by God, 1 have found this History. And since this is a discovery so longed-for by the seekers of historic truth, it would not be gallant to leave it in obscurity before you in particular and the rest in general, forbidding you its benefits. I consider its concealment a betrayal, an act of cowardice, a crime.
This is my reason for translating this work to the Arabic language and for publishing it. To serve history, science and the readers themselves, especially you, dear "brothers," not doubting that this action of mine will find among you, the wise and the rest of the people, looking beyond all your religious and political differences, the value it deserves. I call on you to read this History with discernment and meticulousness, with conscientiousness and an open mind, offering you my fervent greetings.
Its Discoverer and Translator to Arabic: Awad Khoury
1. Khoury: Review in the Supplement, "Résumé of the Booklet:
Two Centuries of Freemasonry," the words of the two great Masonic elders, Jacot and La Tente, "Every person, when he enters an association, is interested in knowing its origin and past."
Résumé of the life of Doctor Prudente de Moraes
Dr. Prudente Jose de Moraes-Barros was born October in Itu (Sao Paulo). In the year 1863 he acquired the title of Doctor of Law. In 1864 he was elected a member of the council of Piracicaba. In 1867 he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Sao Paulo. In 1885, on January 9th, he was elected Deputy of the 8th District of Sao Paulo. On December 3rd,1889,he was named by the Provisional Government of the Republic, Governor of Sao Paulo until October 18th, 1890, the day on which he was appointed Senator. On November 21st of the same year, he assumed the Presidency of the Constituent Assembly with 146 votes opposed to 80.
In the first days of March of 1894 he triumphed by a smashing majority in the presidential elections, assuming the Presidency on November 15th, 1894.
He was an example without precedent in self-sacrifice and justice, attaining the friendship, good will and trust of all the people and all the politicians of the nation. He died December 13,1902.
Résumé of the Autobiography of Awad Khoury
I was born in Chiah (Beirut), Lebanon in January of 1871. I received a Christian education through my parents, the orthodox priest Yousef Antun Garios EI Khoury and Naila Mansur Fagale.
I studied in the local elementary school, acquiring the title of teacher of Arabic and French, after having finished my secondary studies in special courses. My students were numerous, some of them being outstanding personalities, as, for example, Prof. Wadih Naim, who came to be president of the College of Lawyers of Lebanon.
Spurred on by my aspirations to a brilliant future, that I could not attain by means of the profession of teacher, I journeyed to France to study Pasteur's system of raising silkworms; my studies ended, I became an industrial merchant in that profession. Seeking a better future and perhaps by the natural instinct of my adventuresome race, I abandoned everything and journeyed to Brazil, where I had the opportunity of meeting Dr. Prudente de Moraes, President of the Republic of Brazil, who commended to me the task of recoding the private affairs of the Presidency, from February 15, 1896 until September 12, 1897. During this period the President introduced me to the owner of this History, as will be seen in the following pages. For reasons of health I journeyed to France. My health regained, and at the repeated insistence of my parents, I returned to Lebanon. I journeyed to France again and, on returning, met in Istanbul, Muzaffar Pasha, who appointed me his secretary. We journeyed together to Beirut, where, because of a royal intrigue and the discovery of my affiliation with the Association, "Young Turkey," from which I had two decorations of merit, I renounced my charge.
At that time an attempt was made to integrate Lebanon in the Turkish Congress, "Mabhuthan." Such an attempt provoked my reaction, and I published a book with respect to this, entitled, "Lebanon in Danger." My name was inscribed on the black list, and I was persecuted by Jamal Pasha, a governor more merciless than the Imperial Ottoman, which obliged me to take refuge with my family in the vicinity of a convent of religious until the end of the World War.
My encounter with the owner of this History
Do not be surprised, dear reader, if I declare frankly to you that I was one of the extraordinarily numerous seekers and investigators eager for the History of the foundation of the Masonic Association and of the principal reason for its foundation.
All my efforts toward that intention were in vain. Many times I had serious discussions with my "brothers," after having become an affiliate in the association.
I struggled terribly to penetrate its secrets through the high degrees that I could scale through my activity. I arrived at nothing. My destiny was similar to the destiny of thousands before me, whose search ended in failure.
I almost forgot the objective that I had dreamed of so because the journey was so long. On that long journey I arrived at one point that I could not pass: the point of resignation before that hermetic secret. The secret of the foundation of Masonry. My political occupations, especially, obliged me to neglect that objective, now, for me unattainable.
And one day, providentially, I met Mr. Lawrence, son of George, son of Samuel, son of Jonas, son of Samuel Lawrence, thanks be to God and to Dr. Prudente de Moraes, President of Brazil, who introduced him to me.
Mr. Lawrence is the owner of this History (the Hebrew manuscript) that I present to the reader translated into Arabic, and he is, at the same time, the last heir of one of the nine founders of the association (The Mysterious Force), as will be seen later.
Within a short period of time, we forged strong chains of growing friendship. We agreed to translate the manuscript to Arabic and Turkish, directly from the French version, one of the languages in which it was written. I would make two copies, one for Mr. Lawrence, and the other would remain in my possession, so it could be published in Arabic and Turkish countries. In these countries I would have exclusive rights of translation, reproduction, editing and publishing in the two languages.
Before finishing the reading of the History, and before signing the agreement, in one of the meetings held with Dr. Moraes and my new friend, Lawrence, I asked the President: "Every history has its proofs or evidences on behalf of impartial historians; in our history, on what evidences or proofs can we rely besides those of its owners?"
Behold the answer given. by Dr. de Moraes, confirmed by the owner of the manuscript: "What proof will a history such as this have, one that was hidden among nine men and their respective successors, known only to them, the first and only one of its kind, if no one saw it or read even the least part of its contents, except the nine? From whence and from whom can come the proofs to which you allude? The proofs, then, are: their testimony, the events that happened until our days, and the detailed investigations of wise historians who worked in vain to explain its secret. Moreover, as every history, the first and oldest of its kind, requires the investigation of subsequent historians who confirm its texts after having seen and read it, but this History . . .who read it? Who saw it, except the nine founders and their respective successors? We, you and I, untiring readers and investigators of the origin of Masonry, have this manuscript before us. I, who have read and analyzed it; based on my studies and investigations, assert its veracity and recommend its translation and publication.
Dr. de Moraes' answer inspired confidence in me and awakened my enthusiasm to carry out the work commended. I began to work eagerly, spurred on by the thought that my new friend would cease being so, and would not persist in his agreement. Despite Mr. Lawrence's requirement that the translation (from French to Arabic) be realized in his own house, the development of the work was carried out to perfection, in two copies, as he asked.
The work being concluded in the year 1897, one copy remained in Mr. Lawrence's possession and the other in my possession. I considered it an indescribable treasure and an invaluable relic. In the year 1898 I returned to my country, Lebanon, taking the aforementioned copy with me.
Comparison of this History with prior knowledge of Masonry
Once in Lebanon, I began a series of studies, investigations and comparisons, making use of everything published with respect to this. These tasks of consulting the different authorities concerning the matter took long years. The war from 1914 to 1918 occasioned an obligatory recess. The conflict ended, I renewed the investigation requesting, through correspondence, from Grand Orients, institutions of high rank and important newspapers, details concerning the existence of a history that treats of the date of the foundation and the origin of Masonry. I sent letters to London, Paris, New York, Cairo, Berlin, Madrid and Rome, obtaining the following scant replies:
From the prestigious newspaper, "EI Mukattam:" "The oldest historical evidence of the history of Masonry dates, according to some, from 1217. According to others, from 1390. Ancient Masonic authors claim that Masonry dates from the era of Moses. We have no confirmation of this. Our cordial greetings."
From the Egyptian National Grand Orient: "We do not possess any confirmation of the date of the foundation of Masonry. The only thing we know is that, in the year 1917 a booklet was published, entitled: (Two Centuries of Freemasonry)."
Knowing through later references that this booklet is one of the most important documents on which the Masons depend, I began to seek it, finding it in the Library of International Masonic Affairs in New Castle.
From the Grand Orient in London: "We lack certain data concerning the date of the foundation of Masonry. We do know that it already existed in the year 1717."
From the rest of the cities mentioned I received no reply whatever, from which I deduced: their silence indicated their ignorance concerning the mystery.
Then, on the basis of all the previous studies, in the light of the events that happened in the last two and a half centuries to date, a lapse characterized by a permanent conflict between Masonry on the one hand and Mohammedanism on the other, and in view of the texts of this History we present, all substantiated by the documented booklet, "Two Centuries of Masonry," there is no doubt concerning the authenticity of this manuscript.
Aided by Providence which guided me miraculously toward this discovery, I have decided definitely to publish this History. On doing so, I am not moved either by personal interest or by the hope of profit; if so, I might not have waited more than a quarter of a century.
My intentions are: To keep the promises and the agreement made. To dissipate the darkness that, for nineteen centuries has enveloped a humanity that is wavering in doubt. To reveal this mystery tothe eyes of men to alert them before this cruel danger.
I must point out, as well, that I was inspired by the exclusively Christian intentions of de Moraes, in accord with one of his declarations that states thus: "With this action of ours we extend to the Christian religion a great benefit, eliminating the forces of evil that attack it, from this fantasy encrusted by the absurd. And you, especially, with your task in the Turkish Empire, will extend another great service to the Muslim religion."
I pray to God that this work may be a beacon for all in general, and in particular that it may illuminate the minds of the reduced number of heirs who successively guard the monopolized manuscript.
(Signed:) Awad Khoury
Between the signers below:
Mr. Lawrence George Samuel Lawrence, Russian, traveling jewelry merchant, at present of Rio de Janeiro. And Mr. Awad Khoury of Chich (Lebanon) near Beirut-Syria, at present a merchant in Rio de Janeiro and charged with the private affairs of His Excellency, Dr. Prudente de Moraes, President of the Republic of Brazil.
The following has been agreed upon:
Mr. Lawrence, last heir and sole proprietor of the History, THE MYSTERIOUS FORCE (ancient Hebrew manuscript) says: My father and grandparents, who have bequeathed this History, apparently have not considered that the Arabic and Turkish languages are two rich and important languages; and that Arabia and Turkey are two immense countries and in all their regions Freemasonry is now widespread.
Therefore, I have considered it necessary to propagate our History, mentioned above, in said countries, translated to Arabic and later to Turkish, so that it will be published there and known as much as possible by all those who speak and understand said languages.
Having just had "the honor of meeting Mr. Awad Khoury; and considering the good intentions of my father and his ancestors, and according to their Wills successively made for the propagation of our History:
I agree with Mr. Awad that he should translate to Arabic and later to Turkish our History, print it and propagate it in Arabia and in Turkey, reserving to himself alone all the rights of translation, reproduction, edition and publication in those two languages.
I prohibit him, as my father has prohibited me, to augment, omit or change a single word of the History; he is engaged to translate it word for word, in such a way that it remains textually as it is. All of this comprises my great obligation to formally carry out the intentions of our ancestors, the principal proprietors of the History they have left to us successively from the origin to my father and me.
My acquaintance with Mr. Awad Khoury was brought about by His Excellency Dr. de Moraes who merits my gratitude for that introduction.
Mr. Awad says: I accept, with full consent the clauses in this agreement and I bind myself to carry them out textually when circumstances permit it, when no obstacle impedes me.
This agreement was drawn up in private between the two of us, in the presence only of Dr. de Moraes and with his most excellent advice.
The two of us have requested him to permit the mention of his honorable name in the History; he has replied thus: "If you succeed in printing it during my life, there is no need to mention my name; but if I die before the appearance of this History, no obstacle will impede your declaring the details of this historic audience and the mention of my name; in any case, whether living or dead, mentioned or not mentioned, I wish you all progress and pleasure, equaling mine, with respect to this History."
Mr. Lawrence is bound, finally, so that from now on he will not be able to engage anyone, nor authorize anyone other than Mr. Awad Khoury to translate this History to Arabic and Turkish.
Finally, we invoke the kindness of God so He may grant to our agreement His most exalted and divine protection.
Made in duplicate in Rio de Janeiro
August 12, 1897
Lawrence G. S. Lawrence
Charged with the private affairs of His Excellency the President of Republic of the United States of Brazil