Some numbers

Members of male-only Freemasonry love to point to the fact that they are the first and the biggest. It is not always so easy, at least, when they refer to regular Freemasonry. In Belgium, for example, only 6,5% of the Freemasons are members of lodges recognised by UGLE. Belgium is an exception though. To give you an idea, just a few examples.

France has a liberal Masonic history. Mixed Freemasonry originates in France just after other Landmarks were dropped and French Freemasonry became irregular. Nowadays there are about 90.000 Freemasons in France, 50.000 of whom are member of the Grand Orient de France which has been irregular for a long time, but seems to be back on speaking terms with London. That would mean that 55% of the French Freemasons is now again regular, a year ago none! That still makes 45% irregular. Female only Freemasonry is France is huge with 14.000 members making up for 17% and mixed about 22%.

Belgium closely followed France on several occasions. Two times the regular organisation was left by UGLE, both times the Landmarks of ‘something higher’ and/or politics in the lodges was dropped. In the end only the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium remained regular (a split off when the mother organisation took another path), 1.600 members, about 6,5% of the Belgian Freemasons. So what about the rest? The Grandorient of Belgium has about 10.000 members, 42%; the Grand Lodge (not the Regular GL) 3.500 members, 15%. Then we have Le Droit Humain with 6.500 members, 27% and a bunch of small organisations with only 1, 2 or 3 lodges (mostly mixed).

The Netherlands are probably more representative for Freemasonry worldwide. The Grand Orient supposedly has some 6.000 members (92%). There are five mixed organisations, Le Droit Humain with about 350 members (5%), the Nederlandse Grootloge voor Gemengde Vrijmetselarij with 100 members (1,8%), the Nederlands Verbond Van Vrijmetselaren with only 1 lodge left, the Grandorient of Luxembourgh has one lodges. Then there are three lodges of the Verenigde Vrijmetselaars Loges Nederland and two independent lodges. Lastly, there is one women-only lodge in the Netherlands and two ‘in the making’.
Then there is the the Vitae Feminea Textura (‘weavers’) is said to have 500 members.
Also note that the Netherlands have no irregular men-only lodges, unlike the neighbours to the south.

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