The enclosed is a short address for the voters in the UK who are either freemasons themselves or who have freemasons in the family, or who belong to a group that was founded by freemasons. The speaker was born in Canada but to English parents, his father coming from Warwickshire and his mother from Yorkshire, George and Eileen Daffern – they met in London during the blitz during world war two. (A website has been setting up giving our family history in depth – https://daffernfamily.wordpress.com/). Thomas has lived in Brighton and Sussex for many years and studied at Brighton College and Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School. Then he studied at Bristol University (Philosophy) and then London University (History) before completing a PhD at the University of London in modern intellectual history and the search for peace from 1945-2001. he was tasked with creating an International institute for Peace Studies at the University of London where he worked from 1989-1999. He has taught both at the Universities of London and Oxford. He has also lived on Bredon Hill in Worcestershire for 7 years and later trained as a religious studies teacher and taught in schools in Wales, at Builth Well and Llandrindod Wells, then Dorset (Poole Grammar School) and Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Hall School) as well as schools in Wiltshire and Sussex, where he has served as head of religious education. As part of his degree and other researches he has studied the history of freemasonry in depth for many years and written about this fascinating topic.
His remarks in this short address are aimed at all those voters in England faced with a momentous choice in the coming election. The speaker set up the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy in 1991 at the University of London which is now based at the European Peace Museum in Limousin, France. He also chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, which has met both in Wales, England, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland over recent years. This talk addresses the problems and challenges that will result if the UK government based in Whitehall, and run by the Conservative Party, steam ahead with its plans for a complete exit of the UK from the European Union. The voters of Northern Ireland and Scotland rejected Brexit as an option in the 2016 referendum and decided to remain as part of the European Union. There were many reasons for this, not least the voters of Northern Ireland did not want to see a return of a hard border between the Southern and Northern part of the island. The majority of Northern Irish voters were against Brexit, and since the negative impact of that original decision are becoming clearer by the minute, it is probable that given another referendum, the voters of Northern Ireland would now almost certainly vote to rejoin together with the Republic of Ireland as one country, to remain inside the European Union, rather than leave. Certainly, they have the agreed legal right for the question to be put to them in a referendum of their own. It is incredible that the decision by the Conservative government under Theresa May to implement a hard Brexit (notwithstanding that the majority of Scottish and Northern Irish voters were in favour of remaining in the European Union) is yet more proof of the way that the Westminster bubble ignore the wishes of voters in the Celtic fringe. The result is that in all probability the voters of Scotland will also now decide, in a second referendum, to come out of the UK rather than to leave the EU, but sadly the majority of English and Welsh voters haven’t yet realised the significance of this fact. Likewise the voters of Northern Ireland will probably vote to come outside the UK for the reasons given above. The implications of the breakup of the UK as a result of Brexit are so serious that we now need to pause and reconsider the whole situation. The Liberal Democratic Party standing in this election represents a voice of reason that wants to renegotiate the Brexit policy and to hold a second referendum eventually and to rethink the whole idea of Brexit, rather than risk breaking up the UK itself over this policy. At this coming election the voters in England have a chance to reject the party that is pushing for hard Brexit, namely the Conservatives, (ironically with the tacit support of the Labour Party) and to vote for parties that genuinely oppose Brexit and all that it stands for. This might be the last general election we have the chance to prevent the UK from breaking up forever. Please listen in if you want to save your country from breaking up ! While some freemasonic voters might not care if the UK breaks up, this is certainly not the view of this speaker, as the effect of a UK break up would be infinitely worse economically, socially and culturally than any ill effects from being members of the European Union – which has in fact brought great cultural and economic advantages to the people of the UK taken as a whole. Where there is the slightest chance of a Liberal Democrat getting elected, the speaker urges colleagues to vote for them as the most serious realistic opposition to the Conservative policies that are on the table at this election, while the Labour Party have been giving tactical support to the Conservative Party for their brexit policies which are going to result in the destruction of the UK entirely in the medium term. The author draws on his many years of experience as a philosopher, historian and teacher of religious studies in making this address. Thank you for listening. Modern European society is very much working with cultural assumptions that have been bequeathed to modernity from the profound freemasonic heritage of European culture and civilisation, in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain, Greece, Holland, Scandinavia etc. At a time when these liberal values are under attack globally from extremist pseudo-religious or political ideologies, now is not the time to be breaking up the United Kingdom or the European Union, in the authors considered option. Freemasonry stands for building the temple of wisdom, a work not of a day, but of centuries, and what has taken centuries to build up, should not so lightly be knocked down again. Thank you for listening.
Thomas has done lots of specialised academic work on the history of freemasonry over the years and the enclosed gives an overview of his research on this topic.
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE N FREEMASONIC PHILOSOPHICAL AND RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Freemasonic tradition and history as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988; wrote detailed extended essay on “Towards a History of the Inter-relations of Esotericism and Marxism: the Freemasonic Dimension”; made detailed study of history of Freemasonry in the period of the enlightenment in European history and the contributions of enlightened Freemasons to advancement of political liberalism, toleration and human rights (Locke, Voltaire, Jefferson etc.) First inspired by the work of James Billington Librarian of Congress to consider the role of freemasonry in French and European society. Discovered work of Nicholas Hans (Prof of Comparative Education at Institute of Education and his paper on “UNESCO of the 18th century: the Lodge of the 9 Sisters”; made detailed study of the history of freemasonry in Early modern European, including Russian and East European intellectual history and the contribution of freemasonry to educational history; explored history of contributions of Freemasonry to American and French revolutions and to the history of Scotland and the Jacobite revolts; detailed studies made of the persecution of Freemasons by Nazi and Fascist regimes (Franco, Mussolini, Hitler in 20th century history); and also the closure of Masonic lodges by the Leninist Bolshevik regimes and by other intolerant theocratic states (Khomeini’s post revolutionary Iran, Taliban run Afghanistan, Iraq after the downfall of the monarchy etc.); detailed study of the contribution of Freemasonry to the history of esoteric religious ideas and religious reform (all traditions); study of the inevitable corruptions which have entered into some Masonic groups and circles and the whole question of “conspiracy theories” (which sometimes tend to have an anti-Masonic thrust) and their study as a pseudo-religious phenomenon; undertaken considerable research into theories of the origins of freemasonry, including: Templar theory, Rosicrucian theory, Gnostic and Cathar theories, theory of origin as continuation of ancient mystery schools of classical antiquity, or theory of Phoenician, Solomonic or Egyptian origin; consider their contribution to religious and intellectual history important; paper submitted to International Congress of the History of Freemasonry, Edinburgh, 2013. Have worked extensively on links between Druidry and other pagan traditions and freemasonry, including influence of classical paganism (Dionysian artificers) on the origins of freemasonry. Set up the Pagan Academic and Educational Network to examine in depth the history of paganism including the pagan origins of freemasonry in European history. Have also worked on the history of freemasonic contributions to teh history of education, building on the work of Nicholas Hans and the pansophic traditions of the 17th century enlightenment onwards. Included in PhD thesis on the search for peace 1945-2001 the question of freemasonic contributions to peace efforts globally and the way that anti-freemasonry has played a role in terrorist ideologies such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots. Have also studied extensively the history of the linkages between anti Semitism and anti-freemasonry, and diagnosed their common origins in Sophiaphobia (teh fear of wisdom). Authored Sophiaphobia to help counter this problem. Discussed anti freemasonry in two lectures launching the study of Comparative Diabology in 2015 in Oxford and London. As chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East have chaired discussions aimed at easing ideological conflicts between freemasonic and anti freemasonic activists in a variety of different cultural contexts. Have written specialised research on the history of freemasonry in the Near and Middle East including the Balkans, Turkey, the Ottoman Empire, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, Palestine etc. Have also written about the suppression of freemasonry by the Bolshevik government from 1917 onwards and the anti-Masonic propaganda of both Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany and their period of rapprochement during the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939-1941. Currently writing a historical study of 9/11 and its consequences and will be considering the possibility of pseudo-Masonic involvement in the operation as a false flag excuse to invade Iraq, an extremely anti-Masonic regime, along with other historical explanatory hypotheses. Also currently (2017) researching a historical study of French freemasonic, occult and esoteric groups active since the 18th century onwards and their role in French politics and society behind the scenes including during the French revolution and contemporary French and European political and cultural life.
|Towards A History Of The Interrelations Of Marxism And Esotericism||Unique study of 18th and 19th century radical freemasonry and its influence. The book takes a detailed look at the rise of freemasonry in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and examines the strange ambivalence of Marx and Engels’ attitude to freemasonry and related secret societies such as the carbonari. The work argues that the secret organisation of communist cells in fact owed a great deal to the earlier conspiratorial milieu of freemasonry and also finds considerable overlaps in their ideological orientations. The work attempts to chart a course which is neither anti-masonry nor pro-masonry, nor anti-Marxism nor pro-Marxism, and instead it is an early essay in transpersonal history, which seeks to uncover the deeper patterns behind history from both a spiritual and scientific perspective alike.|
|Druidry And Transpersonal History||The aim of this Mt Haemus research is to examine Druid history in the light of developments in 20th century transpersonal psychology, including Jung, Maslow, Wilber and Grof and to assess their potential for contributing to the development of transpersonal history, which in turn can be used to re-examine Druid history. The paper builds on from the author’s doctoral thesis, which argued for the need for a new genre of historiography (like feminist history, or economic history) namely transpersonal history, arguing that we need an objective, scientific way of doing historical research, that can take cognizance of the subjective and spiritual dimensions of people’s lives, and the immense implications such inner experiences can have for outer events and circumstances|
|Towards The Intellectual, Educational And Cultural History Of The Search For Peace During The Post World War Two Era 1945-2001: The potential contribution of transpersonal theory to peace historiography and multifaith and multicultural conflict resolution and education||A contribution to historical scholarship, philosophy of history and the specifics of conflict resolution dynamics, seen through the lenses of philosophy, theology, religious studies, psychology, proposing a new field “transpersonal history” – PhD thesis, University of London, awarded 2008. The thesis also explores the esoteric dimensions of modern history and the extent to which Masonic and anti-masonic cultures have been clashing behind the scenes in recent conflicts and to what extent these varying cultures can be reconciled and peace can be restored among them.|
|Towards a comparative Diabology (part one)||Talk given at the University of Oxford in Feb 2015, calling for the establishment of a new discipline, “Comparative Diabology” which would study objectively, historically, scientifically and psychologically, the ideas and teaching of the various thinkers and faith traditions on the nature of the Devil, or Devils (Lucifer, Satan, Mara, Ahriman, Angra Mainyu etc.) and how they have arisen in the first place and what we can do about them, arguing that these ideas negatively impact on the possibility of solving and healing the current conflicts blighting the planet which are inter-faith and inter-religious in nature with each side accusing the other of being “diabolic”. The talk includes discussion of the extent to which Masonic and anti-Masonic rhetoric has contributed to the demonisation of the freemason in popular modern culture, and to what extent this was a throw back from mediaeval attitudes towards the Templars as diabolic, or Cathars and other victims of crusading mentality.|
|Towards a comparative Diabology (part two)||Talk given at the University of London – part two of the above (available as an audio recording, not yet transcribed)|
|INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY||The Interfaith Peace Treaty is a comprehensive attempt to create a lasting solution to the ongoing religious and ideological conflicts raging on planet earth. Different tribes, factions, elements and parties are jostling each other for supremacy, and the vast array of modern weaponry means that it is all too easy to inflict major casualties on rival armies and armed gangs. Whole countries are racked with civil wars and chaotic ongoing conflicts, either in the whole country or in substantial parts of them. Often these conflicts have an element of religious identity as one faction fights another for hegemony. The proposal for this INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY therefore is that the world’s various religious and philosophical traditions can and should sign up to a lasting peace treaty, whereby they pledge to sublimate their ideological wars for hegemony into academic and scientific debate, dialogue, research and intellectual discourse. The Treaty proposes among other things that Freemasons and other religious and spiritual and ethical groups sign this Interfaith Peace treaty and thus commit to not attacking, denigrating, belittling or demonizing one another.|
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Freemasonry for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Invited to present paper on “Towards a History of the Inter-relations of Esotericism and Marxism: the Freemasonic Dimension” at the London School of Economics (graduate studies seminar on Religious Studies) under Prof. Eileen Barker, Dean of Social Sciences, LSE (University of London)
Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of freemasonry in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2017.
Teaching adult education classes on aspects of the history of freemasonry in France 2017-
VISITS: Visit to Headquarters of Grand Orient Mother Lodge of French Freemasons, Paris (1993) Several visits to United Grand Lodge of England, Queen Street, London, including the museum and a visit accompanying students from the religious studies graduate course at London School of Economics with Eileen Barker, Dean of Undergraduate Studies (1992-9). Visited Headquarters of Freemasons of Scotland, Edinburgh including the historical Museum and other sites associated with Scottish freemasonry such as Roslyn Chapel, and Dunfermline Abbey. Visited Dunoon Lodge in Argyll and Marquess of Bute’s Mount Stuart, replete with Masonic significances.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: Accrued library of Freemasonic texts and scholarly works, covering all schools; user of several libraries with Masonic collections including: Theosophical Society, British Library, London Library, United Grand Lodge of England Library; inherited personal library of Masonic works from relative (senior Mason of Scottish origin and Grand Master of University Lodge in Newcastle).
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Made deliberate decision not to join a specific lodge of freemasons so as to retain academic freedom of investigation concerning their history, rituals, and contribution to intellectual life and religious and political work in world affairs.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS; know several friends and colleagues who are freemasons and have intervened on occasion when they have been subject to abuse, attack or persecution from non-freemasons; much inspired by many past freemasons with their contributions to world culture, literature, philosophy, science, education etc. (Goethe, Pestallozi, Jefferson, Bentham, Mozart, Beethoven, Priestley et al). Also dealt with inter-faith mediation cases involving allegations against misuse of power by freemasons. Known many English, Welsh and Scottish freemasons over the years as friends.