On this day: Emperor Alexander I banned secret Masonic societies

August 13, 2017 Stepan Ivanov
On this day
Masons included many well-known Russian figures. Source: The Grand Lodge of Russia

The first Masonic lodges in Russia appeared in the early 1730s. Masons included many well-known Russian figures including Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov, and Alexander Griboedov.

Initially, the government of Alexander I allowed the Masonic societies to exist but the Freemasonry movement soon became linked with revolutionary ideas.

On Aug. 13, 1822 Alexander I issued an order "On prohibiting secret societies and Masonic lodges." However, Masonic lodges in Russia continued to operate secretly until 1918, when they were abolished by the Soviet government.

Read more: A sinister global conspiracy? Mysteries and myths of Freemasons in Russia

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