Meet The Author – Darren Lorente-Bull

Darren Lorente-Bull is the author of ‘The Other Brotherhood: When Freemasonry Crossed the English Channel’ and five other books. Here he talks to Philippa Lee about his beliefs, his Freemasonry, and books.

Philippa Lee: Firstly would you mind telling us a bit about yourself and how you discovered Freemasonry?

Darren Lorente-Bull : I grew up in Spain and arrived in the UK in the late 1990s.

After completing a BA in English, I considered continuing with the academic path and studying an MA in comparative literature but never got around mustering the determination to do so. Furthermore, after a rather wild and reckless youth I felt that philosophy and intellectual pursuits alone couldn’t be the full picture.

I understood the need to navigate towards metaphysical possibilities and become very interested in Zen Buddhism.

I came across Freemasonry almost by accident and joined because my godfather, a man I really respected, had been a Freemason in life. It was the values of tolerance and the links with the Western Mystery tradition that most attracted me to Freemasonry.

I joined UGLE initially but after almost ten years I resigned and eventually joined the British Federation of Le Droit Humain.

PL: Would you explain what drew you to the Order and how it differs from other Co-Masonic Orders?

DL: I had a fantastic time as a member of UGLE and the brethren in my lodge were great men who helped me in times of hardship.

But I found the esoteric dimension lacking in regular Freemasonry. I also developed other spiritual interests and after almost a decade decided to resign from regular Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is a wonderful thing and should never feel like a chore. After a hiatus of a couple of years and through a very good friend and brother who I knew  from my time in UGLE, I discovered the British Federation of Le Droit Humain.

Suddenly everything came together: I found the exclusion of women in regular Freemasonry impossible to justify. Sure, there are female-only Orders too but I always felt that Freemasonry was…is…a reflection of the world.

And the world is made up of men and women. Le Droit Humain offers a truly esoteric, spiritual Freemasonry focused on the quest of Masonic light.

I was also in awe of that phenomenal force of nature that was Annie Besant: Freemason, social activist, theosophist, and Fabian socialist.

And to top it all, the British Federation  has very strong links with Theosophy and the Liberal Catholic Church.

I stand to be corrected but most other Co-Masonic Orders are splinters of the British Federation. I am sure these are also great Orders offering a universal form of Freemasonry.

PL: Your book The Other Brotherhood is a great introduction for both non-Freemasons and those already within the Craft.

It offers a really concise explanation of Co-Masonry and its journey from its origins in France, to its establishment in Britain by Dr Annie Besant, which also included well-known esotericists and prominent women’s rights activists. 

The book also features interviews with some prominent members of the Order. Has any member in particular – either past or present – been a positive role model or inspiration for you?

DL: Annie Besant without a shadow of a doubt. She put her neck on the line to defend contraception in Victorian England.

She suffered the intolerance of a tyrannical, religious bigot of a  husband, and managed to never lose her spiritual pursuits.

She stood up for the matchgirls, was a theosophist and a Fabian socialist as well as an early and vociferous critic of the British Empire.

And she co-founded the British Federation of Le Droit Humain, Freemasonry for men and women…what a lady! 

PL: She was definitely a force to be reckoned with and I enjoyed researching her for my series on Freemasonry and Women’s Rights.

So, Le Droit Humain are an esoteric Order, is that correct? Or perhaps I should say it embraces the esoteric leanings of all faiths. Would you mind expanding on this, and if you are happy to share, what are your personal beliefs?

DL: Le Droit humain is an international Masonic Order. In other countries, it tends to follow the secularist, humanist tendencies of continental European Freemasonry.

In the UK and other English speaking countries, Le Droit Humain tends to be more theist and follow in that respect so called regular Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry.

But the difference is that atheists can also be members. There are pagans, occultists of all schools, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and unaffiliated members.

I am no fan of categories but remain a cradle Catholic. But I am that almost impossible but more and more common Christian humanist; liturgically conservative but theologically progressive. 

PL: That’s really fascinating; I think we could talk about that more but for now, you have written more books, in Spanish, do you plan to translate them into English?

Could you tell us what they are about? 

DL: I really hope to translate at least two of them: Gnosticism the Search for the Divine Spark, which deals with Gnosticism from the early first century Gnostics to gnostic influences today in the theory of simulation, transhumanism, and philosophy.

I also hope to translate another book on the Masonic roots of the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) My other books include a collection of poetry (Sileno Vencido) published in a bilingual edition, a novel, and some translations. 

PL: Well, we would love to be able to feature those in The Square in the future. And finally, what is next for you, do you have any projects on the go, or lined up?

DL: I am hoping to translate at least one of my Spanish books but would like to write a book on the origins and development of the Liberal Catholic Church and the influence of Leadbeater and Wedgewood.

My most ambitious project is a book on esoteric Christianity…only a thought for now.

 

PL: That all sounds fantastic, and it is so good to find out more about your work, thank you so much for your time.

Books by Darren Lorente-Bull available on Amazon 

Book Review – The Other Brotherhood

An excellent book, being perfect for Freemasons and non-Freemasons alike who want to explore the origins of Freemasonry and to examine how it influenced French thought in the eighteenth century to become a unique but equally diverse society. By Darren Lorente-Bull

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Article by: Philippa Lee. Editor

Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.

Philippa was initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) in 2014.

Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt.  Selection of Books Online at Amazon

The Other Brotherhood:
When Freemasonry Crossed the English Channel

By: Darren Lorente-Bull

 

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