History of ISMR

The International Society of Masonic Research is the spiritual successor to an organization founded a century ago in 1923 by Bro. C.W. Leadbeater. The object of the original society, headquartered in the Poster House (23 Lang Street, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia) was the investigation of the occult origins and significance of Freemasonry. Through its publication, The Blazing Star, that society sought to publicize its research so that the broader Masonic community could benefit from its efforts.

The initial leadership of the Society consisted of the following Freemasons:

Bro. J.J. van der Leeuw, International General Secretary
Bro. Herband Williams (Captain), Chief Editor
Bro. K. van Gelder, Administrator
Bro. Keith Dear, Recording Secretary
Bro. John Mackay, Treasurer

In addition to his work for the society, Bro. J. J. van der Leeuw was also a prominent author, publishing among other works, "The Dramatic History of Christian Faith," "From the beginning to the death of St. Augustine" (1927), and "The Task of Education in a World Crisis" (1933).

We know very little about the early history of the original society due to its lack of longevity. Only two issues of the first volume of The Blazing Star were published, and then, the efforts and activities of the society ceased for unknown reasons. All in all, the society existed for a single year. However, though only two issues of the Magazine were published, the original founders laid the foundation for our modern "re-incarnation" of the society, with its published research, international character, and stated aim to include Freemasons and Occultists of all Obediences and organizations, not just Co-Masons and Theosophists.

In 2022, rare copies of this mysterious publication were discovered in the attic of Universal Co-Masonry’s International Headquarters’ Administration Building in Larkspur, Colorado. This rediscovery of The Blazing Star, and therefore the International Society of Masonic Research, inspired Universal Co-Masonry to resurrect the society with a bold mission to restore the ancient wisdom to Freemasonry and to unite Freemasons of every obedience in a shared re-discovery of that heritage.

The Society’s Motto stands, then as now: "Lux In Teneris Lucet."