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Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
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Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  656 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Its mysterious symbols and rituals had been used in secret for centuries before Freemasonry revealed itself in London in 1717. Once known, Freemasonry spread throughout the world and attracted kings, emperors, and statesmen to take its sacred oaths. It also attracted great revolutionaries such as George Washington and Sam Houston in America, Juarez in Mexico, Garibaldi in ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 16th 2009 by M. Evans and Company (first published November 15th 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,378)
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Hans
Convincing take on the connection between Freemasonry and Knights Templar. I have to admit, this book sold me on it. I definitely think the connection makes more sense than all of the other theories propounded thus far about Freemasonry. The book felt objective and fair and without the usual dose of paranoia that tends to follow Freemasonry.

This book led me to conclude that Freemasonry is bit a like a shadow or anti-thesis of the Catholic church. In the sense that if in fact there is a connecti
...more
Tyler Anderson
I tracked down this book at the recommendation of the Tyler at my Lodge. We were talking just before my 3rd Degree, and I was asking him about books about Masonry, what I might read that had a lower level of mystical BS than the usual fare. This was the title that came foremost to his mind, and so within a few days I had pinned it down at a local bookstore.

Our Tyler (yeah, it causes confusion) said it wasn't a perfect book, and I agree. But I also agree that it follows far fewer flights of far-
...more
Kelly Feldcamp
There are plenty of theories out there about the origins and purposes of Freemasonry. This volume does a terrific job of putting the facts together and creating a convincing argument tying Freemasonry to the Knights Templar. I'm not fully convinced the connection is there, but it's still a pretty cool theory.

Much of the imagery, secret signs and ritualization supports this theory as do many of the historical events which occurred between the demise of the Order of the Knights Templar on Friday,
...more
Bill
A Work of Brilliant Scholarship, Engagingly Written

In "Born in Blood," John J. Robinson, an avocational historian and medievalist, makes a patiently reasoned and thoroughly documented re-appraisal of the Peasant's Revolt of 1381 in England (known popularly as Wat Tyler's Rebellion) and emerges with a truly convincing demonstration of the sub rosa connections between the Templar order, the Wat Tyler uprising and the foundations of Freemasonry.

It had for long been thought that this popular revolt
...more
Tyler
The title of this book was a bit misleading to me. "Born in Blood" infers a sinister and murderous founding of Freemasonry. In fact, the book is rather positive about the Masons while holding onto its partiality (the author is not a Mason).

What the title refers to is the Peasant Revolt of the 14th century and the unjust butchering of the Knights Templar, and how these events coincided with the founding of Freemasonry. Linking up these historical happenings is the interesting parts of the book.
...more
Bob
Interesting argument that attempts to tie the origins of Free Masonry to the Knights Templar. The author presents a strong argument and challenges other histories of the origins and purpose of the Free Masons. Robinson does a pretty good job of arguing that the Knights Templar were broken by a conspiracy backed by the Catholic Church. But, since England was partially broken away from Catholocism, and Scotland even more so, the British Isles provided safe haven for the Templars, although undergro ...more
Alex
Born in Blood must be one of the most well researched book on Freemasonry that I have ever read. The author, John J. Robinson was NOT a Freemason when he began his research and writing quest, and was given completely open access to the Freemason library to complete his research on the single condition that he write a "fair and accurate" depiction of the Freemasons.

I believe he accomplished just that. Although John Robinson does tend to ramble at times and often makes the same points repeatedly,
...more
Ryan
This book, with certainty, falls into the category of “speculative” or “alternative” history. However, even alternative histories are built on interpretations of accepted histories. Robinson offers a very interesting history of the Peasants War, suggesting possible Templar ties to the uprising. He moves to suggest that there existed a connection between the post-Templar society of the Peasant War and the pre-Grand Lodge traditions of Freemasonry. Again, speculative in its historical assumptions, ...more
Gwen Burrow
Robinson's thesis (which he defends mystery-novel style through a gripping historical tour) is that Freemasonry was born in the ashes of the Knights Templar order when the Knights were forced to go underground. I haven't read an ounce of Freemason stuff elsewhere, but based on Robinson's proof, I'd buy it. And since I read this primarily to get an idea of what secret organizations are like, I could easily ignore his out-to-lunch vision of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity coming together in one h ...more
Merilee
Aug 15, 2008 Merilee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Merilee by: My muses.
This is my absolute favorite non-fiction book. I have been facinated by Masonic lore probably since I saw the movie "The Man Who Would Be King," (reminding me I should read that book), and with "Born in Blood" feel I have found the Holy Grail of Masonic mystery unveiled. Though it is non-fiction, historical research material, the author is adept at weaving an amazing and simultaneously convincing story of matching connections through research, intuition and serendipity. Along the way he peppers ...more
Chuck Springer
I enjoyed reading the authors speculations on the connection between the Knights Templar and Freemasonry. While he did present many interesting and compelling arguments, his lack of solid evidence is a major stumbling block. The author did admit that some of his conclusions are unsubstantiated, which I felt increased credibility to his objectivity. I discovered that later he did join the fraternity. Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to issue an updated/corrected edition to this bo ...more
Nicholas Vettese
I can't imagine a better book to understand the beginnings of Freemasonry. Whether true or not (no one knows the origins), this book goes into much detail, explaining the words and symbols from their French origins.

I highly recommend this book to any Freemason who is interested in understanding our history and practices.
Paul C Graham
Fantastic read! Loved it! However...
Worthless to any scholar-- no footnotes, no endnotes. I'm not sure how I am supposed to use a bibliography to substantiate his thesis by an examination of the source material. I can follow-up on NOTHING in the book. Why put us through this?
For all I know he made the whole thing up.
Chelsea-Anne
A very fun book masquerading as an academic endeavor. Especially enjoyable if you like breathlessly related gossip, but only about prominent historical figures, or are curious about what people did in 1350 a.d. before they had cable and had to make their own fun (crusades and grisly torture were popular). Oh yeah, also Masons. The Masons finally show up about half way thought and then it starts to get kinda boring. of note: the author was not employed in any academic capacity during his life, wh ...more
Royce
A somewhat decent history of Freemasonry, if you need a primer. Mostly a concise history of Medieval European History, if you need a primer in that. The links the author shows between Freemasonry and the Templars are pretty questionable. I think the icon on the book cover explains it best. The author notes that if you put lines across the square and compass, you end up with the Star of David, which is a Jewish symbol, and the Temple of Solomon is a really important temple to ancient Jews, and WH ...more
Shane
Highly recommended. After learning a Navy buddy of mine was becoming a Freemason, I gave him my copy. I'm glad I did.
Charles Ward
This book is much like reading a creationist's attack on evolution. While Robinson does a decent job of poking holes in the "transition" theory of Freemasonry, what he fills them with is fantasy and speculation. He does provide an excellent primer on the English Peasant Revolution and the Scottish fight for independence, and he deserves credit for defending Freemasonry against some of the silly "Satanic" and other charges it faces. But his rope tying Masonry to the Knights templar is very frayed ...more
John Morrison
An excellent book about some possible connections of historical past to the current Brotherhood.
PWRL
Mar 13, 2015 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zzz2015-mar-new
SM
Joe
The book contains very convincing speculation on the origins of Freemasonry after much research. He is a great writer. He was not a Freemason when he wrote the book, but became one later. I recommend it to anyone that wants to learn a little about the origins of Freemasonry without all the crap that even many Freemasons choose to present.
Kyle
This should be the foundation to any masons understanding of the society. Truly a great read, and combined with his book on the Templars, some excellent insight can be made. I think there were some things that he left unsaid as too origins, or he did not make some links with some of his findings in other books.
Swatfrog
This is the first book about masonry I read after becoming a Mason. I liked how the author started out the book from outside the craft but finished it after getting into the craft. It was also special to me being a Catholic. I originally wanted to become a mason so I could then get into th Order of the Temple.
Barry
The 2nd book that made me want to join the Craft (Sign and the Seal was the other).....John brought an academic view to an otherwise discarded notion for the origins of the craft.....was it accurate? Who knows.....does it matter? A great book.
Rob
Most believe the Templar origins of Freemasonry to be a myth. In Born in Blood the author sets out to prove those myths to be true. While I still have my doubts, I found the book to be quite interesting and worth reading.
Flarkie
If you're interested in the history of Freemasonry, this is a good book. The first part is historical and the last talks about Masonic rituals. As a Mason I can truthfully say that not all of the ritual information is correct.
Keith Slade
Very informative account of the history of the Freemasons since the Middle Ages. He ties it in with the Knights Templar and I later learned that is a pretty bogus link, despite the Da Vinci Code and other books like that.
Michelle
This book is very interesting if you want to learn about Masonry or the Knights Templar. At times it reads somewhat like a history text book, but was worth the read.
Mario García
The best serious research about Freemasonry. Gets rid of any romanticism that some historians tend to have. Shows facts based in a deep historical research.
Laura
The three-star review is an average--it should get four stars for being well-researched and impartial and two stars for being just plain boring to read!
Joshua
Very interesting alternative theory about the origins of Freemasonry. If you're into history (Masonic or otherwise), you've gotta pick this one up!
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John J. Robinson was an American author and historian, best known as the author of Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry, which was originally intended as a book about the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, but instead traced the fall of the Knights Templar, which he connected to the rise of Freemasonry. As a result of his research for this book, he became more interested in Freemasonry and subseq ...more
More about John J. Robinson...
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