Moscow, March 21, Interfax - The Grand Lodge of Russia said it is ready to respond to the accusations made by State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov.
"We are waiting for a summons to the Prosecutor General's Office! We are ready to answer all questions," the organization said on its social-media page on Tuesday.
Earlier Milonov urged Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to investigate activities of Russian masons. The deputy accused them of "intentions to interfere with the democratic processes" in the country.
Meanwhile, the Grand Lodge of Russia suggested that the parliamentarian "first read the source material on Russian masonry and the Grand Lodge of Russia" and expressed bewilderment that the deputy was "using rumors, not the source material."
Questions of politics and religion were never discussed at Grand Lodge meetings, and "Russian masons - Yelagin, Kutuzov, Suvorov, Griboyedov, Pushkin and thousands more brothers - made an invaluable contribution in the formation and development of the Russian state and in the enlightenment of our people," the organization said.
The religious-philosophical movement freemasonry spread across Europe in the first few decades of the 18th century. In the early 1730s, Masonic missionaries from England, J. Philips and J. Keith, helped set up the first lodges in St. Petersburg, which brought together various social groups: the aristocracy, nobility, merchants, and even members of the Russian imperial family.
The main ideas of these lodges, or secret societies, concentrated around the philosophies of enlightenment and practical philanthropy, their end goal was a return of the lost "Golden Age of Goddess Astraea," the era of universal justice and lawfulness. As well as the organizational structure, the English masons brought to Russia the Masonic rituals and symbols such as aprons, gloves, smocks, spade and maul, compasses, level, 24 inch gauge, drawing-board, etc.