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Lodge Les Philadelphes

Common seal for Memphis-Misraïm

Today in Masonic History we discuss Lodge Les Philadelphes.

Lodge Les Philadelphes is a French lodge tied with revolutions around Europe and beyond.

Lodge Les Philadelphes was formed in France in the 1750's. In the beginning of the lodge it was populated mostly with emigrants to France. It was part of the Rite of Memphis structure and not part of the recognized masonic organizations. Although they did share members with traditional lodges.

Later it spun off two organizations. They were not necessarily masonic. It included La Commune Révolutionnaire and International Association. It's principal tasks were to spread the doctrine of solidarity and prepare to implement "the ideal of our hearts, the Universal Democratic and Social Republic." Although Louis Blanqui was not a member of the order many of his followers were. Blanqui developed the theory of Blanquism which was very compatible with the ideas of the lodge. Blanquism holds socialist revolutions should be carried out by a relatively small group of highly organized and secretive conspirators. Having seized power, the revolutionaries then used the power of the state to introduce socialism.

With this philosophy the lodge gained strength around Europe with the exception of Italy. The group was very critical of Giuseppe Mazzini, a politician and activist for the unification of Italy, so many Italians stayed away from the group. Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian General and member of the group and became a big influence on the organization as it moved forward.

The Philadelphians, as they are called, at times promoted terrorist type activities especially in France. Two assassination attempts on Napoleon are tied to the organization. One was performed by a member of the lodge and the other was celebrated by a feast put on by the lodge when the assassin was released from prison.

Eventually the organization started to spread around the world and new lodges were created in the United States, England and other places around Europe and Egypt.

In 1881, under the leadership of Girabaldi the Rite of Memphis merged with the Rite of Misraïm. After the merger they became known as the Rite of Memphis-Misraïm and the organization spread around the world.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.