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Back in 1996 when I wrote The Hiram Key with Chris Knight, we did not know very much about the older rituals of Freemasonry. Since then I have been contacted by many Freemasons who have shared copies of discarded rituals with me.
These rituals tell a story. Within these rituals the story is confused, repetitive and fragmented, but it is possible to untangle and retell it. So that is what I decided to do and this new book is the result.
The Hiram Key left many questions unanswered, mainly because we did not know what the answers were. After three books together, I decided to revisit the subject material of The Hiram Key and bring everything together I had learned about Freemasonry in the last eight years, in an attempt to answer the most important puzzle I had set myself. The question what is Freemasonry?
When I set off with Chris on this personal quest to search out the origins of the Order we both belonged to, I did not expect to become involved in prehistoric astronomy or be looking at the development of Christianity. Now with the research which has gone into this book, that self imposed mission is nearing a resolution. We have found explosive new evidence which is taken from the latest archeological discoveries, from the Bible and from the vast store of wisdom held in the ancient and mainly discarded rituals of Freemasonry. And I have painstakingly rebuild the long forgotten story that was once told to every initiate into the Craft of Freemasonry. Also the original text of rituals used in this work will be made freely available at a website to be hosted at my own University of Bradford. (More details of how to access this material will be given later) The core of these rituals were found amongst the special collections of my University library and I plan to make them available to each and every interested researcher.
Be warned, however, Masonic ritual is repetitive, convoluted and boring in quantity! This is its nature so to make life easier for non-Masons this new book will include a complete retelling of the great myth of Freemasonry, beginning with the Creation of Adam and continuing through to the story of the Knights of Malta. I am calling this retelling The Masonic Testament because it tells a parallel story to the Bible but it describes events which are not mentioned in the existing Old and New Testaments. The Masonic Testament tells of a secret science of astronomy which has been preserved by Freemasonry from the time of the building of Solomon's Temple. When I first read this myth in its new complete form I was highly skeptical about its historical validity but as our research continued the ideas motivating Freemasonry made sense of a lot of newly discovered historical information. I explain these findings in the book.
The Book of Hiram will soon be completed, as I write this I am just checking through the index entries from Aaron to Zodiac (the). In a few weeks time we will be able to share the remarkable findings of our latest research with you, our readers. It has been a long journey of exploration through a dusty landscapes of decaying mindsets and discarded rituals. We have struggled with conflicting conclusions and discouraging possibilities but the quest has been worth it, because now we have got nearer to the goal we set ourselves at the start of the The Hiram Key. We said then that our goal was to try and understand those strange secret ceremonies carried out by mainly middle-class, middle-aged men from Huddersfield to Houston. Now I think I do understand them and I hope to explain them to you.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this fourth book in The Hiram Key Trilogy as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing it. I feel privileged to have been able to reconstruct this sweeping story of our shared past. This is what I wrote in the acknowledgments section of this new book, the page proofs of which stand on my desk..
This book could not have been written without the help and assistance of the many Masons, and family members of long-dead Masons, who made available copies of forgotten ritual books. There are too many of you to thank individually but we are extremely grateful for all the material you have provided to enable us to create The Masonic Testament.