Is The Doctor a Freemason?
Is the Doctor a Freemason?
At the very least, the mythology of freemasonry is a part of Doctor Who. The Freemasons are an international secret society "having as its principles brotherliness, charity and mutual aid," (Websters) or, as stated by Colin Wilson in his history of the occult, seeking nothing less than "the regeneration of mankind." Wilson goes on to state that the freemason organisation has become the home of "occultists, alchemists, astrologers, and so on," -- in other words, an order of a very similar nature to the Time Lords of Gallifrey.
The Egyptian branch of Freemasonry was founded by the charlatan magician Cagliostro, and has as part of its mythology the following interesting claim (again from Colin Wilson) 'the pupils of the prophets never die... they have twelve lives, and after each, rise up from their ashes like the phoenix. Cagliostro began to drop hints that he was thousands of years old.'
Each branch or temple of the freemasons is governed by a Master -- and Cagliostro set himself up as the Master of them all. Perhaps a certain renegade Time Lord was attempting to create a rival group on Earth, one with similar powers that would, in time, grow to an extent that would allow it to challenge the Gallifreyan order?
Or, far more likely, perhaps when it came time to flesh out the mythos of Doctor Who writers Terrance Dicks and Robert Holmes did some research into a real-life 'secret society.'