The Moscow Archieves

On June 14, 1940 the German army swept into Paris. One of the first actions that they took was to seize all the Masonic buildings in Paris, and ship all the records and archives to Berlin. Why did they do this? Were they afraid of Freemasons? Or were they trying to discover Masonic secrets that they could use as a source of power? Then, when the war was lost, and the Russians occupied Berlin, one of the first things the Communists did was to seize those same archives and take them to Moscow. Again, why? What was in them that was so important to both the Nazis and the Communists?

The 27,000 dossiers that have become to be known as the “Moscow archives” shed a light on the life of European lodges for more than two centuries. During this period, the continent experienced tumult and change, as society adjusted to the ideals of the Enlightenment. Pierre Mollier, the director of the library, archives, and museum for the Grand Orient of France will speak to these topics and more during this full-day immersion into the Moscow archives.


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John L. Cooper
John L. Cooper III, Ph.D. is past grand master of Masons in California as well as past grand secretary of the Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of California. He has been a member of the fraternity for 52 years; is an active member of 10 California lodges; and has held a number of esteemed leadership positions within the Grand Lodge of California. He is also a member of the York and Scottish Rite bodies and has received a number of honors from both organizations. He is the author of numerous Masonic publications and is widely regarded as an expert on Masonic history and symbolism.

R. Stephen Doan
R. Stephen Doan, J.D. is a frequent lecturer and respected scholar of Masonry and political processes. Past grand master of the Masons of California, he has served on several Grand Lodge boards and committees, in addition to serving as vice chair of the Institute for Masonic Studies. Doan holds a 33rd degree in the Scottish Rite and is a member of all York Rite Bodies, the Al Malaikah Shrine Temple, the Royal Order of Scotland, the Knight Masons, and the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis.

John R. Heisner
John R. Heisner, J.D. is grand master of Masons in California. He has held a number of esteemed leadership positions within the fraternity, including grand orator, and has been a Mason for 47 years. He is a partner at Heisner Alvarez, APC, a business litigation and trusts and estates law firm in La Jolla and served 14 years as an adjunct professor on trial advocacy for the University of San Diego School of Law. In 2015, SD Metro Magazine named him one of 20 men who impact San Diego. He was named a 2016 Super Lawyer in the area of business litigation and was recognized by San Diego Business Journal as “Best of the Bar” of 2016. He is also a member of the Scottish Rite, Red Cross of Constantine, and the Rosicrucian College; a fellow of the Philalethes Society; and a founding member of Lux Masonic Lodge No. 846, a traditional observance lodge.

Pierre Mollier
Pierre Mollier, M.A. is a French historian and author. He is director of the library, archives, and museum of the Grand Orient of France, located in Paris. Specializing in the history of Freemasonry, his research covers various aspects of the fraternity’s social, political, philosophical, spiritual, and symbolic history. He is editor in chief of “Ritual, Secrecy, and Civil Society,” an online journal devoted to his Masonic research, and regularly contributes to several other Masonic publications. He was named as an officer in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

Jean-Jacques Zambrowski
Jean-Jacques Zambrowski, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician, university professor, and health consultant. He is the director of a doctoral program in health policies, health law, and health economics at Paris Descartes University. Zambrowski is a past master, past grand officer, and former elected member of the Federal Council of the Grand Lodge of France, and has served in many positions and offices throughout his 33 year Masonic career. He is a regular contributor to “Ordo ab Chao,” published by the Supreme Council of France. He is also a member of the Philalethes Society and the Scottish Rite Research Society.

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