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Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry Hardcover – November 15, 1989

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Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry + A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right + Solomon's Builders: Freemasons, Founding Fathers and the Secrets of Washington D.C.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: M. Evans & Company; Later Printing edition (November 15, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871316021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871316028
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unlike most of its five million members, including many world leaders, who believe that the Freemasons, the world's largest fraternal organization, evolved from the guilds of medieval stonemasons, historian Robinson persuasively links Freemasonry's origins and goals to the once powerful and wealthy Knights Templar order. Banned and persecuted by a 14th-century papal bull, he claims, the Knights were forced to form an underground society. The author combines scholarly research and entertaining storytelling in tracing Freemasonry as a worldwide political, religious, economic and social body dedicated to self-improvement and charity while governed by secret rituals and symbols (explained here in detail).
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Historians are always wary of newcomers who try to reinterpret old events in a new way. Here, Robinson (not a professional historian) takes a fresh look at the Peasant's Revolt of 1381 in England and emerges with something really new. It had been thought that this revolt against feudal landlords and royalty was a spontaneous one led by ad hoc people. Robinson shows, in what seems to be a convincing way, that far from being spontaneous, the revolt was a well-planned and highly organized attempt on the part of remnants of the Knights Templar (disbanded by the Pope 65 years earlier) to get retribution against the Knights Hospitaller. Robinson's hypothesis explains many previously unanswerable facts; for those interested in medieval British history and Freemasonry.
- Gordon Stein, Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

A great book and his history is very well researched.
John J. Wright
Mr Robinson does an excellent job of finding seemingly insignificant historical items from a variety of sources into a cohesive and very plausible theory.
T. Lamont
John J. Robinson's presentation, from the history of the Templars to the speculated history of the origins of Freemasonry are wonderful.
ismarc (

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Mike B. on January 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In Born In Blood, Robinson examines the origins of Freemasonry as he tackles long held ideas and proposes new ones.
Robinson began his work intending to write about the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 but then he began to wonder if some kind of organization, such as a secret society was behind this plot all along. This idea led him to research the downfall of the Knights Templar in part of the book and later the rise of Freemasonry in the other half.
Freemasonry's legendary origins are based on the guilds of stone masons of Europe, however "Born in Blood" tackles these long held ideas and makes counter arguments that Freemasonry may have instead grown out of the Knights Templar.
Robinson draws many highly researched parallels in history, ritual, and practice between the ancient Knights Templar and past and modern Freemasonry which go way beyond the area of mere coincidence. Such as how Masonic dress, oaths, and practices have direct links back to the Knights Templar. While at the same time pointing out obvious facts in history, such as both groups are the only two in the world that claim King Solomon's Temple as their birthplace.
In closing, Robinson deals with a few falsehoods created by Anti-Masonic people and groups such as Jim Shaw and his book "The Brotherhood". Robinson quickly debunks their claims and points out them as being erroneous and clearly false.
Born in Blood is well researched, interesting, and even entertaining. After publishing his work, Robinson went on to become a Freemason himself and was later honored for his historical contributions to Freemasonry.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Shobo on July 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading "Born in Blood" tremendously. A lot of fascinating historical details recounted in a lively and entertaining style, mixed with just the right amount of wit and quality humor. Maybe at times the author is not very focused, but his gift for story-telling makes up for sometimes carrying the reader across several related topics before returning to the main track. While some of the conclusions and suggestions launched are not only interesting as ideas in themselves but also well-grounded and quite plausible, a few of the associations proposed between Masonic symbolism and its origins/explanations are highly speculative and therefore quite improbable, but always within the boundaries of common sense and dispassionate, genuine interest in the subject. Even though the author is not a Mason, I think he is sometimes (very) slightly biased in favor of Masonry, and maybe a little too harsh on some of the past errors (historically true, as they are) of the Catholic Church.
Excellent reading, by the time you finish it you will have learned not only a lot more about Freemasonry, but also quite a few fascinating facts of European medieval history.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tom B. VINE VOICE on January 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Though somewhat tedious at times, this is one of the books to go to if you really want to know about the history of the Knights Templar and of Freemasonry.

The first part of the book deals with the history of The Templars, the warrior monks, who were one time protectors of the Church, and then became its biggest target.

The second part of the book deals with the ties of modern Freemasonry to those Knights, and discusses symbolism in the rituals and rites of modern Freemasonry.

Mr. Robinson goes in depth into the story of religious persecution, the Crusades, and their effect on bringing out the medieval secret society that would later publicly emerge as The Freemasons in 1717.

Some people may accuse this book of being somewhat anti-Catholic, but the tone really sets up the reasons why Freemasonry came to be, and why one of the fundamental tennants of it is religious tolerance and freedom of persecution.
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125 of 155 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Robinson does his homework and writes well. I read this book several years ago, and it sparked my long-term interest in reading about Freemasonry's verifiable origins. Recently, this led me to read 'The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590-1710', by David Stevenson, which I now recommend more highly than 'Born in Blood'.
'Scotland's Century' is the only work on the origins of Freemasonry I have ever seen that ignores the movement's vast myth-making literature and focuses instead on the surviving records of the earliest known Masonic lodges. Stevenson--who teaches history at the University of St. Andrews--paints a solid, sober, believable portrait of Freemasonry's rather prosaic origins in the operative masonic lodges of early 17th-century Scotland.
Stevenson's book is a welcome and refreshing antidote to all the junk that has been written about Freemasonry in the past three centuries. It explodes Masonic authors' extravagant claims for an origin in ancient civilizations and possession of power supernatural secrets. It also undermines anti-Masonic authors' equally bizarre accusations of pacts with supernatural forces of evil. It replaces these fanciful images with the story of a remarkable human institution whose recent, humble, workaday origins are far more interesting than its myths.
'Born in Blood' is lots of fun to read, and I still recommend it highly. But the tale told in 'Scotland's Century' is probably a lot closer to what really happened.
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