Philosophical Testament of Maria Deraismes
Maria Deraismes’ Masonic Last
Will and Testament was returned to the International Order of Freemasonry for
Men & Women, Le Droit Humain, in the year 2000 via Moscow & Berlin after
having disappeared during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Here’s what our female
"This was plundered along with
the rest of our files during the Nazi occupation of Paris, he returned to the
bosom of the French Federation of Human Right in 2000, after a journey from
Moscow via Berlin. The Brothers and Sisters of the History Commission found
him with great emotion among the 43 boxes of files restored by Russia.
Philosophical Testament of Maria
The Profane Maria
Deraismes, aged 46 years, born 15 August 1835* in Paris département of Seine,
resident in Paris at 52 Avenue de Clichy, no profession, has replied to the
What is your aim
in entering into Freemasonry?
My aim is to put
an end to the prejudice which excludes women, because I have the firm hope
that, thanks to their admission, there may be brought about in the body of the
lodges a general increase in conscience.
What are the
duties of a woman towards humanity and towards the mother-country?
Made by nature to
be a moralising influence in the family and in society, her first duty is to
spread the principles of morality, this measure of the direction of life
without which there is no great character nor great reason; this is the main
service which she can render to humanity and to the mother-country.
What are the
duties of a woman towards herself ?
To develop her
superior faculties, to study the question before judging it and to have a
concern for her dignity.
My work, my
writing, my speeches bear witness to what has been my aim in my life: to
combat error and injustice. Certainly, I do not have the pretension to
bequeath a great example. But I do affirm that I will leave the deepest
conviction in the unconfined progress of humanity and the most sincere love
for my peers.
Deraismes’ actual date of birth has been estimated as 17 August 1828 – Ed]
This will not find any reference
to esotericism, which testifies to the willingness to work well for equality
of the sexes and not having any desire for innovation in the esoteric domain.
The same spirit is found in the
proposals of the V:. M:. of the lodge "Freethinkers" Brother HOUBRUN, who,
having given birth to Sister Maria Deraismes, stated:
'Too long, in our view, our
mothers, our wives, our daughters, our sisters, have been out of our meetings
that were said were made mysterious alleged facts should be impenetrable for
But we think that in our time,
this exclusion was a measure obsolete, while an injury that made them, in what
concerns us, we have resolved to end. We have taken the view that the normal
state of society can not truly improve without the help of women, the primary
educator of children and prejudices destroy it by fighting them moral and
Masonic light, was preparing peacefully true emancipation social .....
... Remove the veil that hides
the Freemasonry in the eyes of women and invite them to our meetings in
footing of perfect equality after having started our mysteries, we thought it
was a useful attempt, convinced that their intellectual emancipation, through
our institution, is so he can substantive consideration of the errors and
prejudices of all species, engendered by ignorance and encouraged by all
clerical sects for their own benefit.
We believe, whatever they say
many stakeholders, our opponents, the intelligence of women is equal to that
of men and that, like us, have the right to be part of the work of the
Freemasons, the propagators of progress by the study of the positive sciences,
source of all light and truth. We had the honor to make the ideas we profess
starting today in our association, most eminent women of our time, Miss Maria
Deraismes, the wise speaker, so honorably known to all who devotes his life
and talents in a way so generous to the exposition of the doctrines
progressive and humanist anticlerical.
The Freemasons "Freethinkers"
are happy to now give the name Sister respectfully and express his
appreciation for agreeing to negotiate firmly Masonic barriers now leaves
behind her open to women who come to us to work for the good prepared by
common intellectual emancipation.' "