Freemasonry has had its origins clouded in the mists of time and accordingly many researchers have attempted to push its beginnings back to ancient Egypt, while others have gone further and claimed that Egypt had been colonised by refugees from Atlantis bringing with them the fundamentals of freemasonry!
A recent book, Mysteries and Secrets of the Masons by Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe, has a chapter entitled Masonic ideas about Atlantis nd Lemuria in which the authors claim that ‘here again Atlantis is rich in Masonic allegory and symbolism’. I hope it is reasonable to point out that symbolism, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. This extract can be read online(a).
Freemasonry is not alone in having an Atlantean ancestry attributed to it. A number of other societies and cults such as the Rosicrucians(b) , Theosophists(c) and Knights Templar(d) have all had a link with Atlantis claimed for them in a desperate attempt to underpin their legitimacy.
However, we must not forget how German Nazis also claimed a similar ancestry as part of their desperate attempts to justify their racist policies.
In 2010, American freemasonry was reported to be at it lowest since 1924(e).
*(b) http://www.sacred-texts.com/sro/sdr/sdr02.htm (p.18)*
(c) http://www.blavatsky.net/science/atlantis/articles/atlantis_found_1996.htm (offline 19/08/14)