Anti-Masonry has a history dating to the early eighteenth century in London, England. Anti-Masonic thought can be grouped into two broad catagories: accusations of anti-Christian or Satanic objectives and accusations of political and social manipulation. Both of these catagories rely on fraud, unsubstantiated paranoia, historical hoaxes, logical fallacy, and often the writings of the anti-mason, John Robison; the fraud, Leo Taxil; and the often misquoted Masonic author, Albert Pike. Contemporary anti-masons such as William Cooper, Jim Shaw (d. 1997), Jack T. Chick, and Pat Robertson also rely heavily on their own imaginations.
- 1. Who are the Illuminati?
An undocumented, unconfirmed and undefined group with the alleged goal of world domination. Much fiction has been written on the topic. Although the subject of speculation, there is no documentation of any active and effective group currently using the name. See Bavarian Illuminati.
Albert G. Mackey. "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry". Macoy Publishing: 1966. Virginia [p.237]
- 2. Does the Trilateral Commission control the Freemasons?
- No, and before you ask, the Freemasons don't control the Trilateral Commission either. There are some 423 influential think tanks around the world; the Trilateral Commission is one.
Launched in 1973, the European Union, North America (the United States and Canada), and Japan---the three main democratic industrialized areas of the world---form the three sides of the Trilateral Commission. The Commission's members are about 330 distinguished citizens, with a variety of leadership responsibilities in business, politics (except for government positions), academia, and the media.
The full Commission gathers once each year: the 1995 meeting was in Copenhagen, the 1996 meeting in Vancouver, and the 1997 meeting was in Tokyo. In addition to special topical sessions and reviews of current developments in the regions, a portion of each annual meeting is devoted to consideration of draft reports to the Commission. These reports are generally the joint product of authors from each region, who draw on a range of consultants in the course of their work. Publication follows discussion in the Commission's annual meeting. The authors are solely responsible for their final text. The 1994/1995 report, titled Engaging Russia, focused on our future Trilateral relations with Russia. The 1995/1996 reports were devoted to Maintaining Energy Security in a Global Context and to Globalization and Trilateral Labour Markets: Evidence & Implications. The task forces reported at the spring 1997 meeting in Tokyo, focusing on developments and future prospects of the Asia Pacific community as well as on a reassessment of trilateral cooperation, i.e., on the management of the international system in the next decade. A separate publication contains the principal presentations at the annual meeting. The Commission has three permanent regional offices in New York, Tokyo, and Paris.
- 3. Who are the Bilderburgers?
A creation of M.W. Cooper who also reprinted the well known hoax the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and stories of an ongoing invasion of aliens from outer space, as fact. Three quotes from his book, "The Secret Government" follow: "Throughout our history, the Aliens have manipulated and controlled the human race through various secret societies, religions, Satanic cults, witchcraft and occult movements." "The headquarters of the international conspiracy is in Geneva, Switzerland. The ruling body is made up of representatives of the Governments involved as well as the Executive members of the group known as the 'Bilderburgers'." "The Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and their foreign counterparts report to the 'Bilderburgers' society."
Mr. Cooper's writings are, in the main, fiction.
THE SECRET GOVERNMENT
The Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12
By Milton William Cooper
May 23, 1989
This fictional creation is not to be confused with the Bilderberg Conference. Started by Prince Bernhard in Oosterbeek, Netherlands in 1954, it is an annual three-day conference attended by a changing delegation of some 100 bankers, economists, politicians and government officers chosen by an international steering committee with offices in the Hague. Its main founder was the Polish political philanthropist Joseph Retiger.
In their own words: What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is:
- The broad cross-section of leading citizens, in and out of government, that are assembled for nearly three days of purely informal discussion about topics of current concern especially in the fields of foreign affairs and the international economy.
- The strong feeling among participants that in view of the differing attitudes and experiences of their nations, there is a continuous, clear need to develop an understanding in which these concerns can be accommodated.
- The privacy of the meetings, which have no purpose other than to allow participants to speak their minds openly and freely.
At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued. In short, Bilderberg is a flexible and informal international leadership-forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced.
To ensure full discussion, individuals representing a wide range of political and economic points of view are invited. Two-thirds of the participants come from Europe and the remainder from the United States and Canada. Within this framework, on average about one-third are from the government sector and the remaining two-thirds from a variety of fields including finance, industry, labour, education and the media.
Participants are solely invited for their knowledge, experience and standing and with reference to the topics on the agenda. All participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not in an official capacity.
Participants have agreed not to give interviews to the press during the meeting. In contacts with the media after the conference it is an established rule no attribution should be made to individual participants of what was discussed during the meeting. There will be no press conference.
- 5. What was the P2 Lodge?
Originally a lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient of Italy, their warrant was revoked and a number of their members expelled for unmasonic conduct.
The P2 Incident was a by-product of three related factors; the vagaries of Italian Masonic History, the joint effects of past repressions and social patronage on the Italian Craft, and certain defects in their Constitution.
Italian Masonic history has been influenced by the political and ethnic history of that country and the P2 Incident needs to be placed in that context. Irregular Lodges (not recognized by mainstream Freemasonry), both in France and Italy, had become quite political during revolutionary periods in their national histories, and operated as true secret societies. Italy has only been a united country since 1870 and regional, ethnic and traditional differences are still felt in contemporary Italian society. Italian society, then and now, has been said to largely run on patronage and favouritism. Few Grand Lodges had recognized Italian Masonry as regular until 1972.
Several Grand Lodges have been formed in Italy, the first in 1750, but all were proscribed or suppressed and, with the exception of the short period during the Napoleonic Occupation, Freemasonry was not revived until about 1860 when two Grand Masonic bodies emerged. The first, the "Supreme Council Grand Orient of Italy" opened in Turin; later moving to Rome.
Although politics and religion were officially banned from discussion in Lodges, in practice the Italian temperament views discussion of state affairs as a duty. In 1908 a schism resulted when the Grand Orient expelled a number of members for their political stance and the National Grand Lodge was formed. It continues to this day as an irregular body.
Masonry was again prohibited in Italy from 1926 to 1945. At this time several competing groups sprung up, out of which the Grand Orient of Italy and the National Grand Lodge resumed their leading positions. This Grand Orient was considered regular by many American Grand Lodges and extended recognition. It was recognized as regular by the English, Irish and Scottish Grand Lodges in 1972 and shortly thereafter by a number of other Grand Lodges who tend to take their direction from the United Grand Lodge of England. The following year, the majority of Lodges under the National Grand Lodge seceded and joined the Grand Orient, leaving the National Grand Lodge as a weak and splintered dissident group.
Although the National Grand Lodge is not relevant to this article, this history of suppression, irregularity, political infighting, and class consciousness, is. In 1877, the Grand Orient granted a warrent to a Lodge in Rome called "Propaganda Massonica". This Lodge was frequented by politicians and government officials from across Italy who were unable to attend their own Lodges. Although its potential for Masonic mischief was recognized, there is no evidence that any was forthcoming. The Lodge was not on the Grand Orient's registers but operated as the Grand Master's own private Lodge, allowing for the initiation of members whose names would not therefore appear on the Grand Orient's rolls. If any apology is needed, it should be noted that "an organization which had a long experience of great opposition to it, of political and religious damnation, and of being often forced to close up, is likely to view every influential friend it can get as important."
When the Grand Orient was revived after the Second World War it was decided to number the Lodges by drawing lots; Lodge Propaganda drew number two, thus it became P2. It rarely held meetings and was almost inactive.
n 1967, Brother Lucio Gelli, who had been initiated into a Lodge in Rome in 1965, was placed in virtual control of P2 by the Grand Master of the day. He was considered to be a shrewd and successful businessman with a great gift for recruiting. In 1970 he was made secretary of P2 and subsequently a substantial number of well-placed men were initiated. In most recognized Grand Lodge jurisdictions, these practices would not be countenanced. An argument could be made that by Italian standards, nothing was amiss.
Gelli's growing influence became a concern of the then Grand Master who, in late 1974, proposed that P2 be erased. At the Grand Orient Communication in December 1974, of the 406 Lodges represented, 400 voted for its erasure. In March 1975 Gelli accused the Grand Master of gross financial irregularities, withdrawing the accusations only after the Grand Master issued a warrent for a new P2 Lodge -- despite the fact that the Grand Orient had erased it only four months earlier. P2 was considered regular; its membership was no longer secret and Gelli was its Master. In 1976, Gelli requested that P2 be suspended but not erased. This nuance of jurisprudence meant that he could continue to preserve some semblance of regularity for his private club without being answerable to the Grand Orient.
By 1978, suspect financial arrangements involving the Grand Master prompted many other Grand Lodges to threaten to withdraw recognition, and the Grand Master resigned before his term expired. Gelli promptly financed the election campaign of the Immediate Past Grand Master, but the Grand Orient elected another candidate as their new leader.
In 1980, Gelli told a press interview that Freemasonry was a puppet show in which he pulled the strings. Italian Masonry was outraged by this, struck a Masonic tribunal which in 1981 expelled him and decided that P2 had been erased as a Lodge in 1974 and therefore any contrary action by a Grand Master had been illegal.
The same year the police investigated Gelli for a range of fraudulent activities and, in searching his house, found a P2 register of 950 names - mostly prominent people. Several government ministers resigned and the Italian Government fell. Gelli managed to get out of the country. A Special Parliamentary Commission found Gelli to have an obscure and opportunistic past and to count among his friends many such as the fraudulent banker Calvi who was later found dead under London's Black Friars Bridge, and the banker Sindona who was later jailed in the USA for fraud and suspected murder. The nature and aims of Gelli's alleged political intrigues have never been explained. From his South American hideaway, he has sent out obscure messages and has offered to give himself up to Italian police if certain conditions were met. The authorities have issued no public statement.
The President of the Parliamentary Commission of Investigation, while openly hostile to Freemasonry at the outset, eventually declared that Freemasonry itself had been Gelli's first and principal victim. While three successive Grand Masters (two now deceased and one expelled from Freemasonry) had manipulated secret funds, secret members, secret decisions and secret Lodges, the body of Italian Freemasonry was neither guilty nor culpable in the P2 Affair.
At the Grand Orient Meeting of March 1982, no incumbent Grand Officer was re-elected.
Researchers are referred to a paper written by Kent Henderson, on which this article is based :
The Transactions of the Lodge of Research No. 218. "Italian Freemasonry and the 'P2' Incident", Kent Henderson. Victoria, Australia: 1987 pp. 25-33. [ISBN 0 7316 2645 1].
- 6. What was Palladium?
Taxil purported to reveal the existence of "Palladium," the most secret Masonic order, which practiced devil-worship. He recounted the story of its high priestess Diana Vaughan; and ended by publishing the "Memoires d'une ex-Palladiste" after her conversion to Catholicism. When doubts began to spread, Taxil realized the time had come to end the deceit. In a widely reported conference in Paris (April 19, 1897), he confessed that it had all been a hoax.
After Taxil's public confession, Abbe de la Rive expressed his disgust and recanted his writings on Diana Vaughan in the April 1897 issue of "Freemasonry Disclosed", a magazine devoted to the destruction of the Craft. As much as he hated Freemasonry, de la Rive had the integrity to admit Taxil's hoax in the following editorial: "With frightening cynicism the miserable person we shall not name here (Taxil) declared before an assembly especially convened for him that for twelve years he had prepared and carried out to the end the most extraordinary and most sacrilegious of hoaxes. We have always been careful to publish special articles concerning Palladism and Diana Vaughan. We are now giving in this issue a complete list of these articles, which can now be considered as not having existed."
New Catholic Encyclopedia (R. Limouzin-Lamothe, s.v. Taxil, Leo)
Quoted in Alec Mellor's , "Strange Masonic Stories." (Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1982), p. 151.
- 7. Is the Club of Rome an Illuminati front?
According to John Lear, William Cooper and others, The Club of Rome is a front for the Illuminati, or the 'Cult of the Serpent' backed by an 'alien' or non-human vanguard, the so-called 'Greys'. An often quoted article, titled 'Pine Gap Base: World Context', written in French by Lucien Cometta and later translated into English by Dr. Jean Francois Gille, covers the same theme, with an equal lack of verifiable documentation.
The Club of Rome was founded in 1968 by Dr. Aurelio Peccei (1908-84), an Italian scholar and industrialist, and Alexander King, with a group of scientists, economists, businessmen, international civil servants, heads of state and former heads of state from the five continents but with similar concerns for the global future.
It currently has 27 honorary members, including a number of active and former heads of states as well as noted scholars. Soka Gakkai International President Daisaku Ikeda was nominated on February 28, 1997 as an honourary member by Club of Rome president, Dr. Diez-Hochleitner. Soka Gakkai is a lay Buddhist association in Japan founded on the premise that human beings inherently possess the ability to create value in their lives and, therefore, are able to live life to the fullest while contributing to the welfare of society. "Soka" means value creation; "Gakkai," society.
The SGI's relationship with the Club of Rome began with SGI President Ikeda's friendship with Aurelio Peccei. Their dialogue on world problems was published as "Before it is Too Late" in 1984. Many books written by club members are available to the public, including the 1972 bestseller "The Limits of Growth", which first linked economic growth to negative consequences for the environment.
The following are abstracts from a paper entitled "The Club of Rome - The New Threshold" by Alexander King which was read into the Congressional records of the United States on Tuesday, March 20, 1973: "The Club of Rome is:-a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity and acting merely as a catalyst to stimulate public debate, to sponsor investigations and analysis of the problematique and to bring these to the attention of decision makers". "The Club of Rome is not: - a club devoted exclusively to problems of industrial societies, attempting to find solutions to the difficulties of affluence, but a group concerned with the world system as a whole and with the disparities it includes. - a group of futurologists, but of individuals who realise the necessity of attacking now longer term and fundamental problems which are difficult to approach with our present methods of government and which could give rise to irreversible situations. - a political organisation, neither of the right or of the left, but a free assembly of individuals, seeking to find a more objective and comprehensive basis for policy-making. - a body devoted to public propaganda for change - although, should we succeed in a better delineation of the elements of the problematique, we are convinced that our results should be made known universally through appropriate national and international organisations and the media."
Since the death of Aurelio Peccei and the retirement of Alexander King, the Club of Rome has developed an updated Charter under its president, Ricardo Diez Hochleitner and its secretary general, Dr. Bertrand Schneider.
- 8. Did high-ranking mason, Albert Pike found the Ku Klux Klan?
There is no documentation that would suggest that Masonic author, Albert Pike, was ever a member of the Ku Klux Klan., much less a founder or organizer.
The 19th century Ku Kux Klan was originally organized as a Confederate veterans social club in Pulaski, Tennessee in 1866. It was structured into a vehicle for Southern white resistance to Radical Reconstruction at a convention in Nashville, Tennessee in 1867 under the leadership of Grand Wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest. In 1869 Forrest ordered the group disbanded, largely as a result of excessive violence. Local branches remained active, prompting the U.S. Congress to pass the Force Act of 1870 and the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871. By the time the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Klan unconstitutional in 1882, it had practically disappeared. The growth, decline and transformation of the 20th century Klan has no connection with the original Klan, other than the name.
Confederate Lieutenant General and Klan First Grand Wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest (1821-1877), was an entered apprentice of Angorona Lodge No. 168 in Memphis, Tennessee. There is no record of his having progressed further or having been active in Freemasonry.
Twentieth century Klan organizers Colonel William J. Simmons and Edward Y. Clarke were not Freemasons.
As a counterpoint, note that famous slavery abolitionist, John Brown (1800-1859), was a member and officer of Hudson Lodge No. 68 in Hudson, Ohio (raised May 11, 1824). As always, it should be stressed that Freemasonry is not concerned with politics, leaving its members to act as their conscience dictates.
- 1. Why do Freemasons use the Satanic pentagram/pentacle?
From the Greek, "pente", meaning five and "gramma", a letter; the pentagram is a five pointed star, with no specifically Satanic origin or meaning. It has no connection to Freemasonry per se.
Masonry has traditionally been associated with Pythagoras, and among Pythagoreans, the pentagram was a symbol of health and knowledge; the pentagram is consequently associated with initiation, as it is in Masonry.
The pentagram (also called pentacle or pentalpha) traces its origins to an astrological observance of the pattern of Venus' conjunctions with the Sun and has had many meanings in many cultures through the ages. Its use in Freemasonry is vestigial and peripheral, with the exception of its mnemonic association with the "Five Points of Fellowship". It has no relationship to the Blazing Star, which has no specified number of points, nor the Star of David, which has six points.
"The Medieval Freemason considered it a symbol of deep wisdom, and it is found among the architectural ornaments of most of the ecclesiastical edifices of the Middle Ages." (1) Eliphas Levi claimed, with no justification or historical precedent , that one point upward represents the good principle and one downward, the evil. (2) Incidentally, the pentalpha seems to have been widely used in Christianity, and may even be found in certain Gnostic sects. It is commonly known as the "Star of Bethlehem," or the "Star of the East" and is a symbol of Divine guidance. When inverted, the slightly extended downward-pointing angle reveals the place where the Christ child lay, thus accentuating the association of heavenly or divine guidance.
It was appropriated in the mediaeval period as a charm to ward off demons, evil spirits and witches, which seems to be the source of its common association with modern witchcraft.
(1) Albert Mackey. "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Richmond, Virginia: 1966. p. 763.
(2) Eliphas Levi. "Dogma and Ritual of High Magic ii". p.55.
- 2. Are Freemasons Satanists or Luciferians?
Few masonic writers will say Freemasons are luciferians, none will say they are Satanists. They use "luciferian" to denote a spirit of enquiry and a search for knowledge, wisdom and truth; not as a form of worship. The terms "lucifer" and "luciferian" do not appear in any accepted ritual or lecture of Freemasonry
- 3. Is the eye and pyramid a Masonic symbol?
Of the four men involved in designing the USA seal in 1776, only Benjamin Franklin was a Mason, and he contributed nothing of a Masonic nature to the committee's proposed design for a seal. The committee's members were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, with Pierre Du Simitiere as artist and consultant.(1) Du Simitiere, the committee's consultant and a non-Mason, contributed several major design features that made their way into the ultimate design of the seal: "the shield, E Pluribus Unum, MDCCLXXVI, and the eye of providence in a triangle."(2) "The single eye was a well-established artistic convention for an 'omniscient Ubiquitous Deity' in the medallic art of the Renaissance. In 1614 the frontspiece of "The History of the World" by Walter Raleigh showed an eye in a cloud labeled "Providentia" overlooking a globe. Du Simitiere, who suggested using the symbol, collected art books and was familiar with the artistic and ornamental devices used in Renaissance art."(3) The misinterpretation of the seal as a Masonic emblem may have been first introduced a century later in 1884. Harvard professor, Eliot Norton, wrote that the reverse was "practically incapable of effective treatment; it can hardly, (however artistically treated by the designer), look otherwise than as a dull emblem of a Masonic fraternity."(4) The first "official" use and definition of the allseeing eye as a Masonic symbol seems to have come in 1797 with The Freemasons Monitor of Thomas Smith Webb-14 years after Congress adopted the design for the Seal: "...and although our thoughts, words and actions, may be hidden from the eyes of man yet that All-Seeing Eye, whom the Sun Moon and Stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according to our merits."(5) A pyramid has never been a uniquely Masonic symbol, although a few Grand Lodge jurisdictions incorporate it into their seals. The eye inside of an equilateral triangle, point up or down, has often appeared in Masonic art. The combining of the eye of providence overlooking an unfinished pyramid is a uniquely American, not Masonic, icon.
1 Robert Hieronimus, America's Secret Destiny (Rochester, Vt.: Destiny Books. 1989), p. 48.
2 Patterson and Dougall in Hieronimus. p. 48.
3 Hieronimus, p. 81.
4 Hieronimus. p. 57.
5 Thomas Smith Webb, The Freemasons Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry (Salem, Mass.: Cushing and Appleton, 1821), p. 66.
- 1. Who was Elias Ashmole?
(1617-1692) Chemist and antiquarian of the late 1600s with connections at Oxford. Some sources have reckoned him to be the first person whose name is recorded as having been made a Speculative Mason (1646). He was deeply interested in the medicinal uses of plants and was made a member of the Royal Society in 1661, although not active.
- 2. Who was Francis Bacon?
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, statesman, and author.
Francis Bacon's 'Novum Organum' and later work,'The New Atlantis' "exerted a considerable and beneficial influence on the manners of his age"(1). Simply put, he proposed that truth is not derived from authority and that knowledge is the fruit of experience. In his utopian allegory 'The New Atlantis', Bacon wrote of a 'House of Solomon': a college of scientific observation and research.
His association with, or influence on, Freemasonry is questionable. If he was initiated or active in any operative or speculative Masonic lodge, no record is known. Christoph Nicolai wrote that Lord Bacon had taken hints from the writings of John Andrea (2), the founder of Rosicrucianism and his English disciple, Fludd (3) and that his ideas heavily influenced Elias Ashmole.(4)
Christoph Nicolai claims that Ashmole and others used Masons' Hall, London to conceal their secret political efforts to restore the exiled house of Stuart and to build an allegorical 'Solomon's House'.(5) 'The New Atlantis' did exert a strong influence on the formation of the Society of Astrologers with Elias Ashmole in 1646 and they did meet at Masons' Hall. Many members of this society also became Freemasons. If they had any influence on the ritual or doctrines of Freemasonry, it is not apparent, from what few records remain.
To suggest that Ashmole introduced Solomon's legend into the masonic ritual is to ignore the 'Sloane Manuscript' (No. 3329, British Museum) or the rituals of the Copagnons de la Tour. They clearly show that operative masons were familiar with the legend. Ashmole's reputation with his contemporaries was that of an antiquary and historian, not a ritualist. And unfortunately he never got around to writing a history of the Craft.
Albert Mackey refers to Nicolai's theory on the Bacon inspired origin of the Grand Lodge of England as "peculiar."(6)
1.Albert Mackey. 'Encyclopedia of Freemasonry'. Macoy Publishing: Virginia 1966 p. 361.
2. John Andrea (b. 17/8/1586 - d. 27/6/1654). 'Fama Fraternitatis'. [Arnold in his 'Ketzergeschichte' claims Andrea as the founder yet others claim he was merely an annalist of the Order or that the whole was a mythical invention created as a vehicle for Andre's ideas of reform.].
4. Elias Ashmole (b. 5/23/1617 - d. 5/18/1692) initiated 16/10/1646 at Masons' Hall, London
5. Christoph Nicolai (b.3/18/1733 -d.1/8/1811). 'Versuch uber die Beschuldigungen welch dem Tempelherrnorden gemacht worden und uber dessen Geheimniss; nebst einem Anhange uber das Entstehen der Freimaurergesellschaft' [An Essay on the accusations made against the Order of Knights Templar and their mystery; with an Appendix on the origin of the Fraternity of Freemasons], Berlin: 1782.
6. Albert Mackey. 'Encyclopedia of Freemasonry'. Macoy Publishing: Virginia 1966. p. 707.
- 3. Who was Abbé Barruel?
Augustin Barruel (1741-1820) published "Mé pour servir Ã 'Histoire du Jacobinisme", in four volumes octavo, in London in 1797. He charged the Freemasons with revolutionary principles in politics and infidelity in religion. Equally unsubstantiated were his claims that Freemasonry was derived, by way of the Templars, from the Manicheans.
- 4. Who was Cagliostro?
Giuseppe Balsamo (1743-95), Italian adventurer and gifted conman. Initiated into Esperance Lodge No. 289 (London) in April 1776, he quickly turned his association with Freemasonry to his profit; convincing clients in England and the Continent to invest in his own invention, "Egyptian Freemasonry. He was arrested in Rome for peddling Freemasonry in 1789, and died in prison.
- 5. Who was Albert Pike?
(1809-1891) Lawyer and editor, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (1859). Although held in high regard by many North American Freemasons, he is not considered an authority on either the history or symbolism of Freemasonry.
Author of "Morals and Dogma", he extracted much from earlier authors, such that the book's preface reads: "Perhaps it would have been better and more acceptable, if he had extracted more and written less." The preface also states that, "Every one is entirely free to reject or dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound."
- 6. Who was John Robison?
(1739 - 1805) Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, and Secretary of the Royal Society in that city; author of "Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Freemasons, Illuminati, and Reading Societies, collected from Good Authorities" Due to the anti-Jacobin sentiments of the day it was received with some excitement but the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" says that this book, "betrays a degree of credulity extremely remarkable in a person used to calm reasoning and philosophical demonstration." Robison had been initiated into Freemasonry at Liege.
- 7. Who was Leo Taxil?
Born in the south of France in 1854 and schooled by the Jesuits, his real name was Gabriel Jogang Pages. He tried the shortcut of financial fraud, and when he was discovered he fled from France to Switzerland. There, Gabriel Pages adopted the name of Leo Taxil.
In the strongly anti-Church climate existing throughout France, Leo Taxil believed that he would find a ready market for anticlerical publications. He wrote anti-Catholic satires, poking fun at church leaders. In hopes of gathering anti-Church material, Taxil joined a lodge of Freemasons in Paris in 1881. His true character quickly surfaced, and he was expelled from the lodge before going beyond the first degree. Over the succeeding years, his anti-Catholic writing brought him very little income but earned him a great deal of criticism and condemnation from the clergy. He needed another target for his literary talents.
Leo Taxil confessed to the sins he had committed in writing and publishing anti-Catholic pamphlets. He then began writing a series condemning the Freemasons. Titles include: The Anti-Christ and the Origin of Masonry; The Cult of the Great Architect; and The Masonic Assassins. Leo Taxil honed the simple declaration, "Lucifer is God," and attributed it to Albert Pike., supposedly delivered to Freemasons in Paris on Bastille Day, July 14, 1889.
He also coined the non-existent title, "Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry", for Pike. Of the hundreds of Masonic bodies in the world at that time, Pike was the leader of just one, the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. A blatant fraud, Taxil's forgery was a huge success.
On April 19,1897, Taxil used his celebrity status to attract a large audience to a meeting in Paris. Journalists came, along with members of the Catholic hierarchy. There Taxil announced that every word written about Masonic devil worship was the product of his own fertile imagination.
A Paris newspaper published the thirty-three page text of his speech the following week. The incorrigible opportunist moved away from Paris to a stately home in the country, where he enjoyed a comfortable life until his death at the age of fifty- three, in 1907.
- 8. Who was Adam Weishaupt?
Adam Weishaupt was born February 6, 1748 at Ingoldstadt and educated by the Jesuits. His appointment as Professor of Natural and Canon Law at the University of Ingoldstadt in 1775, a position previously held by an ecclesiastic, gave great offense to the clergy of the day.
"Weishaupt, whose views were cosmopolitan, and who knew and condemned the bigotry and superstitions of the Priests, established an opposing party in the University.... This was the beginning of the Order of Illuminati or the Enlightened...."(1) Weishaupt was not then a Freemason; he was initiated into Lodge Theodore of Good Council (Theodor zum guten Rath), at Munich in 1777.
(1) Albert G. Mackey, "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry", Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing. 1966, p.1099.
- 9. Was ________________ a Mason?
There are over 200 recognized Masonic Grand Lodge jurisdictions around the world, each of which keeps its own records and rolls. Several <>books have been published listing details of over 10,000 famous Freemasons but it is not always easy to document membership.
No individual speaks for Freemasonry so Masonic membership is no real criterion for evaluating views, opinions, conclusions, or actions.
- US President George Bush?
No. Some draw an association with his use of the phrase "new world order", but no regular lodge is on record as having initiated him. He was a member of the Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale University; which has certain elements in common with Freemasonry, of which the principal one might be summarized in their motto, "memento mori".
- Miss Diana Vaughan?
A figment of Leo Taxil's imagination, he claimed Miss. Vaughan belonged to a fictional lodge called Palladium.
- Was Joseph Stalin a Martinist Freemason?
The Rectified Rite of Martinism, except in North America, did not restrict its membership to Freemasons but did require a belief in a Supreme Being. Stalin, an avowed atheist, would not have qualified for membership in either Freemasonry or the Rectified Rite. There is no record of his membership.
- Karl Marx?
An avowed athiest, Marx would not have qualified for membership. There is no record of his having joined a recognized lodge. Marx's supposed Masonic link stems from his involvement with the League of the Just.
Friederich Engels (1820-1895) helped transform this socialist secret society of éé German workers into the Communist League when they held their first congress in London in June 1847 [The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol. 4 p. 495. Chicago: 1989.]. In 1848 he and Karl Marx were authorized to draft their statement of principles, "The Communist Manifesto."
Any claim that this society was associated in any form with any Illuminati--or by extension, Freemasonry--is unfounded.
- US President Millard Fillmore?
An active Anti-Mason in his youth, Fillmore, after his presidency, later attended two Masonic cornerstone laying, but there is no record that he was a Freemason.
- US President George Bush?
- 1. Is a 33rd degree Mason more important than a 3rd degree Mason?
There are three degrees in Freemasonry, Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. Some jurisdictions recognize a fourth degree as completing the third degree, while the Swedish Rite confers 10 degrees.
Individual lodges elect their "Master" for a one or two year term, individual Grand Lodges elect their "Grand Master" for a similar term of office, but these are not degrees. What are called appendant or concordant bodies confer "side" degrees that have no bearing on, or authority over, regular Freemasonry. [With the exception of a few jurisdictions such as the Grand East of the Netherlands and the National Grand Lodge of Sweden.] The most important concept to note is that Freemasons meet as equals, "on the level".
- 2. What does A.F. & A.M. mean?
Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
Although they represent historical ties, they are no indication of recognition or ritual. The definitions noted are not absolute in that several grand jurisdictions arbitrarily chose which terms to include in their name when they were constituted.
Those Grand Lodges that don't use the appellation "Ancient", claim immediate descent from the "Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons under the constitution of England".
This Grand Lodge was constituted from four lodges on June 24, 1717 and designated "Modern". The "Moderns" and "Ancients" united in November 25, 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England.
Lodges and Grand Lodges whose charters' roots derive from the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England, The Grand Lodge of Ireland, or the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland, use the expression, A.'.F.'.& A.'.M.'.
Ancient or Antient Freemasons:
Mostly Irish Freemasons formed this Grand Lodge in London in 1751. Properly titled "Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England according to the Old Institutions". Also called Atholl Freemasons, after the Third and Fourth Dukes of Atholl.
Free and Accepted:
This term was first used in 1722 in Roberts Print; "The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons".
A Free Mason was free with his Guild; he had the freedom of its privileges and was entrusted with certain rights.
"Acception" was an Inner Fraternity of Speculative Freemasons found within the Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London. Operative members were "admitted" by apprenticeship, patrimony, or redemption; speculative members were "accepted". First recorded use of the term dates from 1620.
Mackey. Albert G.. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Macoy Publishing: Virginia. 1966.
- 3. Is Freemasonry anti-(insert religion)?
Although a few individual masonic authors have commented unfavourably on individual religions, many more have written about the value of religion and religions. Freemasonry as a body is indifferent to religion.
- 4. Is Freemasonry a racist organization?
Freemasonry has no bar to membership based on race, religion or creed. If there have been Freemasons who have voted to reject an applicant for one of these reasons, it was an act inconsistent with Masonic principles.
- 5. Do Freemasons worship Satan?
Freemasonry, not being a religion by any definition, does not "worship" any specific Supreme Being
- 6. Is it true that members can never quit?
No recognized Grand Lodge jurisdiction can coerce or compel membership. If a member wishes to cease being a Freemason, he is free to do so.
- 1. What was the Bavarian Illuminati?
Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati of Bavaria on May 1, 1776 on the principles of his early training as a Jesuit. Originally called the Order of the Perfectibilists, "its professed object was, by the mutual assistance of its members, to attain the highest possible degree of morality and virtue, and to lay the foundation for the reformation of the world by the association of good men to oppose the progress of moral evil."(1) The Edicts (on June 22, 1784, for its suppression) of the Elector of Bavaria were repeated in March and August, 1785 and the Order began to decline, so that by the end of the eighteenth century it had ceased to exist.... it exercised while in prosperity no favorable influence on the Masonic Institution, nor any unfavorable effect on it by its dissolution."(2) Coil describes the Order as a "short lived, meteoric and controversial society"(3) while Kenning refers to it as a "mischievous association".(4) In his own defence, Weishaupt did say: "Whoever does not close his ear to the lamentations of the miserable, nor his heart to gentle pity; whoever is the friend and brother of the unfortunate; whoever has a heart capable of love and friendship; whoever is steadfast in adversity, unwearied in the carrying out of whatever has been once engaged in, undaunted in the overcoming of difficulties; whoever does not mock and despise the weak; whose soul is susceptible of conceiving great designs, desirous of rising superior to all base motives, and of distinguishing itself by deeds of benevolence; whoever shuns idleness; whoever considers no knowledge as unessential which he may have the opportunity of acquiring, regarding the knowledge of mankind as his chief study; whoever, when truth and virtue are in question, despising the approbation of the multitude, is sufficiently courageous to follow the dictates of his own heart, - such a one is a proper candidate." (5) As regards any information derived from celebrated anti-mason, John Robison (6): "In the (London) "Monthly Magazine" for January 1798 there appeared a letter from Bottiger, Provost of the College of Weimar, in reply to Robison's work, charging that writer with making false statements, and declaring that since 1790 'every concern [sic] of the Illuminati has ceased.' Bottiger also offered to supply any person in Great Britain, alarmed at the erroneous statements contained in the book above mentioned, with correct information." (7) Documented evidence would suggest that the Bavarian Illuminati was nothing more than a curious historical footnote.
Hesychasm is a form of Eastern Christian monastic life requiring uninterrupted prayer. Dating from the 13th century, it was confirmed by the Orthodox Church in 1341, 1347 and 1351, and popularized by the publication of the "Philokalia" in 1782.
(Spanish for 'enlightened') Members of a mystical movement similar to the French Guerinets, in 16th century Spain; for the most part they were reformed Jesuits and Franciscans. They believed that the human soul could enter into direct communication with the Holy Spirit and, due to their extravagant claims of visions and revelations, had three edicts issued against them by the Inquisition. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits in 1534 and composer of the 'Constitutions" of the Society of Jesus, has written nothing that would suggest he was in sympathy with the Alumbrados.(8) The name translates as 'illuminati' in Italian but the name is the only similarity with the later Bavarian Illuminati.
17th century France.
Illuminati of Avignon
Formed by Pernetti in Avignon, France in 1770; moved to Montpellier as the "Acadamy of True Masons" in 1778. Inactive.
Illuminates of Stockholm
The Illuminated Chapter of Swedish Rite Freemasonry is currently composed of approximately 60 Past or current Grand Lodge officers who have received the honorary 11th degree.
Illuminated Theosophists or Chastanier's Rite
A 1767 modification of Pernetti's "Hermetic Rite" that later merged with the London Theosophical Society in 1784. Inactive.
A secret order established in Prussia by M. Lang, on the wreck of the Tugendverein (German for the Union of the Virtuous), which latter Body was instituted in 1790 as a self-styled successor of the Bavarian Illuminati. It was suppressed in 1812 by the Prussian Government, on account of its supposed political tendencies.
(1) Albert G. Mackey, "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry", Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing. 1966, p.474.
(2) Albert G. Mackey, "Encyclopedia of Freemasonry", Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing. 1966. p.1099.
(3) Henry Wilson Coil, "Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia", New York: Macoy Publishing. 1961 p. 545.
(4) "Kenning's Masonic Cyclopaedia and Handbook of Masonic Archeology, History and Biography", ed. Rev. A.F.A. Woodford. London: 1878. p. 326.
(5) Adam Weishaupt, "An Improved System of the Illuminati", Gotha: 1787.
(6) John Robison (1739 - 1805), "Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe carried on in the Secret Meetings of the Freemasons, Illuminati. and Reading Societies, collected from Good Authorities", printed by George Forman for Cornelious David, Edinburgh: 1797. (531 pages).
(7) Heckethorn, p.314.
(8) "The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius", trans. by L.J. Puhl (1951); "The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus; Translated with an Introduction and a Commentary", by G.E. Ganss:1970.
- 2. Weren't George Washington, every USA president, the first USA Congress and the entire Continental Army all Freemasons?
- Masonic Presidents of The United States:
- George Washington
initiated 11/4/1752 Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Virginia
- James Monroe
initiated 11/9/1775 Williamsburgh Lodge No. 6, Virginia
- Andrew Jackson
initiated Harmony Lodge No. 1 Tennessee
- James Knox Polk
raised 9/4/1820 Columbia Lodge No. 31, Tennessee
- James Buchanan
raised 1/24/1817 Lodge No. 43, Pennsylvania
- Andrew Johnson
initiated 1851, Greenville Lodge No. 119, Tennessee
- James A. Garfield
raised 11/22/1864, Columbus Lodge No. 20, Ohio
- William McKinley
raised 4/3/1865, Hiram Lodge No. 21, Virginia
- Theodore Roosevelt
raised 4/24/1901, Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay
- William Howard Taft
made a mason at sight 2/18/1909.
affiliated Kilwinning Lodge 356, Ohio
- Warren G. Harding
raised 8/13/1920, Marion Lodge No. 70, Ohio
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
raised Nov. 28. 1911,
- Harry S. Truman
initiated 02/09/1909, Belton Lodge No. 450
raised 03/18/1909, Belton Lodge No. 450
- Lyndon Baines Johnson (EA)
- Gerald Ford
raised May 18, 1951, Columbia Lodge No.3
Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C. courtesy to Malta Lodge No 465 Grand Lodge Michigan, Grand Rapids
- George Washington
- Signators to the U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776): <>br /> 8 Freemasons out of 56 total.
- Benjamin Franklin
Deputy Grand Master, Pennsylvania
- John Hancock
St. Andrew's Lodge, Boston
- Joseph Hewes
visited Unanimity Lodge No. 7, Edenton, North Carolina: Dec. 27 1776
- William Hooper
Hanover Lodge, Masonborough, North Carolina
- Robert Treat Payne
attended Grand Lodge, Roxbury, Mass.: June 26, 1759
- Richard Stockton
charter Master, St. John's Lodge, Princeton, New Jersey: 1765
- George Walton
Solomon's Lodge No. 1, Savannah, Georgia
- William Whipple
St. John's Lodge, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Benjamin Franklin
- Signators to the U.S. Constitution (1789):
Out of the 55 delegates, 9 signers were confirmed Freemasons; 5 non-signing delegates were Freemasons; 6 later became Freemasons; 13 delegates have been claimed as Freemasons on apparently insufficient evidence; 22 were known not to be Freemasons.
9 Freemasons out of 40 total.
- George Washington
raised: Fredericksburg Lodge, Virginia: 1753
- Benjamin Franklin
Lodge at Tun Tavern, Philadelphia: 1731
- Rufus King
St John's Lodge, Newburyport, Massachusetts
- John Blair
First Grand Master, Virginia
- Gunning Bedford Jr. First Grand Master, Delaware
- John Dickinson
Lodge No. 18, Dover, Delaware: 1780
- Jacob Broom
Lodge No. 14, Wilmington, Delaware, 1780
- David Brearley
First Grand Master, New Jersey:1787
- Daniel Caroll
St. John's Lodge No. 20, Maryland:1781
- Jonathan Dayton
Temple No. 1, Elizabeth Town, New Jersey
- James McHenry
Spiritual LodgeNo. 23, Baltimore, Maryland: 1806
- William Patterson
Trinity Lodge No. 5, New Jersey: 1788
- Nicholas Gilman
St John's Lodge No. 1, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- George Washington
- Signators of the U.S. Articles of Confederation (1781):
10 Freemasons out of (?) total.
- Generals in George Washington's Continental Army:
34 Freemasons out of (?) total.
- Presidents of the Continental Congresses (1774-89):
4 Freemasons out of (?) total.
- Peyton Randolph of Virginia (1st)
- John Hancock of Massachusetts (3rd )
- Henry Laurens of South Carolina
- Arthur St. Clair of Pennsylvania.
- Governors of the thirteen colonies during the Continental Congress:
10 Freemasons out of 30 total.
- Chief Justices of the United States:
- Oliver Ellsworth
- John Marshall (also Grand Master of Virginia)
- William Howard Taft
- Frederick M. Vinson
- Earl Warren (also Grand Master of California.)
Note: Neither Thomas Jefferson nor Patrick Henry were Freemasons, although Paul Revere, John Paul Jones, LaFayette and Benedict Arnold were. For further study see "Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers", by The Masonic Service Association, or refer to Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia
- Masonic Presidents of The United States:
HOAXES AND FRAUDS
- 1. What were the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?
The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", the most notorious and most successful work of modern antisemitism, draws on popular antisemitic notions which have their roots in medieval Europe from the time of the Crusades. The libels that the Jews used blood of Christian children for the Feast of Passover, poisoned the wells and spread the plague were pretexts for the wholesale destruction of Jewish communities throughout Europe. Tales were circulated among the masses of secret rabbinical conferences whose aim was to subjugate and exterminate the Christians, and motifs like these are found in early antisemitic literature.
The conceptual inspiration for the Protocols can be traced back to the time of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century. At that time, a French Jesuit named AbbÅ½ Barruel, representing reactionary elements opposed to the revolution, published in 1797 a treatise blaming the Revolution on a secret conspiracy operating through the Order of Freemasons. Barruel's idea was nonsense, since the French nobility at the time was heavily Masonic, but he was influenced by a Scottish mathematician named Robison who was opposed to the Masons. In his treatise, Barruel did not himself blame the Jews, who were emancipated as a result of the Revolution. However, in 1806, Barruel circulated a forged letter, probably sent to him by members of the state police opposed to Napoleon Bonaparte's liberal policy toward the Jews, calling attention to the alleged part of the Jews in the conspiracy he had earlier attributed to the Masons. This myth of an international Jewish conspiracy reappeared later on in 19th century Europe in places such as Germany and Poland.
The direct predecessor of the Protocols can be found in the pamphlet "Dialogues in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu", published by the non-Jewish French satirist Maurice Joly in 1864. In his "Dialogues", which make no mention of the Jews, Joly attacked the political ambitions of the emperor Napoleon III using the imagery of a diabolical plot in Hell. The "Dialogues" were caught by the French authorities soon after their publication and Joly was tried and sentenced to prison for his pamphlet.
Joly's "Dialogues", while intended as a political satire, soon fell into the hands of a German antisemite named Hermann Goedsche writing under the name of Sir John Retcliffe. Goedsche was a postal clerk and a spy for the Prussian secret police. He had been forced to leave the postal work due to his part in forging evidence in the prosecution against the Democratic leader Benedict Waldeck in 1849. Goedsche adapted Joly's "Dialogues" into a mythical tale of a Jewish conspiracy as part of a series of novels entitled "Biarritz", which appeared in 1868. In a chapter called "The Jewish Cemetery in Prague and the Council of Representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel", he spins the fantasy of a secret centennial rabbinical conference which meets at midnight and whose purpose is to review the past hundred years and to make plans for the next century.
Goedsche's plagiary of Joly's "Dialogues" found its way to Russia. It was translated into Russian in 1872, and a consolidation of the "council of representatives" under the name "Rabbi's Speech" appeared in Russian in 1891. These works furnished the Russian secret police (Okhrana) with a means with which to strengthen the position of the weak Czar Nicholas II and discredit the reforms of the liberals who sympathized with the Jews. During the Dreyfus case of 1893-1895, agents of the Okhrana in Paris redacted the earlier works of Joly and Goedsche into a new edition which they called the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". The manuscript of the Protocols was brought to Russia in 1895 and was printed privately in 1897.
The Protocols did not become public until 1905, when Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War was followed by the Revolution in the same year, leading to the promulgation of a constitution and institution of the Duma. In the wake of these events, the reactionary "Union of the Russian Nation" or Black Hundreds organization sought to incite popular feeling against the Jews, who they blamed for the Revolution and the Constitution. To this end they used the Protocols, which was first published in a public edition by the mystic priest Sergius Nilus in 1905. The Protocols were part of a propaganda campaign which accompanied the pogroms of 1905 inspired by the Okhrana. A variant text of the Protocols was published by George Butmi in 1906 and again in 1907. The edition of 1906 was found among the Czar's collection, even though he had already recognized the work as a forgery. In his later editions, Nilus claimed that the Protocols had been read secretly at the First Zionist Congress at Basle in 1897, while Butmi in his edition wrote that they had no connection with the new Zionist movement, but rather were part of the Masonic conspiracy.
In the civil war following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the reactionary White Armies made extensive use of the Protocols to incite widespread slaughters of Jews. At the same time, Russian emigrants brought the Protocols to western Europe, where the Nilus edition served as the basis for many translations, starting in 1920. Just after its appearance in London in 1920, Lucien Wolf exposed the Protocols as a plagiary of the earlier work of Joly and Goedsche, in a pamphlet of the Jewish Board of Deputies. The following year, in 1921, the story of the forgery was published in a series of articles in the London Times by Philip Grave, the paper's correspondent in Constantinople. A whole book documenting the forgery was also published in the same year in America by Herman Bernstein. Nevertheless, the Protocols continued to circulate widely. They were even sponsored by Henry Ford in the United States until 1927, and formed an important part of the Nazis' justification of genocide of the Jews in World War II.
- 2. Did Albert Pike give a speech claiming "Lucifer is God"?
What follows is a forgery by Leo Taxil, falsely identified as part of a speech and written order which Albert Pike was supposed to have delivered to Freemasons in Paris on Bastille Day, July 14, 1889: "That which we must say to the world is that we worship a god, but it is the god that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The Masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the Purity of the Luciferian doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him? "Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive. "Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy, and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
Pike had been dead for three years, so Taxil back-dated the order. It was signed by Taxil as the work of "Albert Pike, Sovereign Pontiff of Universal Freemasonry, Instructions to the twenty-three Supreme Councils of the World, July 14,1889."
No one in Freemasonry ever held the title of "Sovereign Pontiff." Also, the phrase "Universal Freemasonry" has never been used, since there is no such thing. Of the hundreds of Masonic bodies in the world at that time, Pike was the leader of just one, the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. In spite of its blatant fraudulence, Taxil's forgery was a huge success.
- 3. Does A.L. mean "In the year of Lucifer"?
No, Anno Lucis translates as "in the year of light" and is arrived at by adding 4000 to the common era. No other explanation for this has been made other than the archbishop of Armaugh, James Ussher's (1581-1656) published support of a long-accepted chronology of Scripture which fixed the earth's creation at 4004 BCE
- 4. Isn't the Masonic Bible supposed to be Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma"?
There is no "Masonic Bible". The proper Masonic term is "Volume of the Sacred Law". Freemasonry having evolved in Christian, and at one time Catholic, nations, members were predominantly Christian and therefore a version of the Christian "Holy Bible" is utilized in most Masonic Lodges. The King James version is the most common. If its membership is composed of men of different faiths, a lodge may choose to use a number of different books such as the Koran, Torah or Bahgvagita.
- 5. Did George Washington renounce Freemasonry?
remained a member of the Craft from his initiation into the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia No. 4 on Nov 4, 1752 until the day he died on December 14, 1799, when he received a Masonic funeral.
- 6. Doesn't the "Big Book of Conspiracies" explain all this?
The compiler, Doeg Moench, DC Comics and Time Warner Entertainment Company have avoided actionable libel by including a carefully worded "Publisher's note", defining conspiracy theories as opinions, which may or may not be true, inferring relationships between facts, which may in fact have no relationship, and drawing conclusions without any other proof.
Most of the fanciful claims made in this "comic book" are addressed in this FAQ. Errors in facts and specific claims regarding Freemasons are detailed and refuted in the "Big Book page".
ARE THE MASONS RESPONSIBLE FOR "?"
- 1. Did the Freemasons cause the French Revolution of 1789?
French Freemasons of the 18th century were, in the main, aristocrats or propertied. They were not in sympathy with social change. A growing belief that a ruler governed by right of the people and not by right of God provided a backdrop for much of the French Revolution. As many Freemasons embraced one belief as another. Whatever the actions of individual Freemasons, Freemasonry as a whole is indifferent to politics.
"Not only did Freemasonry have no part in instigating the movement but it was one of the principal sufferers... and the majority of Paris Masters lost their lives." Before the Revolution the Grand Orient of France had 67 lodges in Paris and 463 in the Provinces, Colonies and Foreign Countries; the Grand Lodge had 88 in Paris and 43 outside. During the Revolution only two or three of the Paris lodges kept open.(1) Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was initiated into Army Philadelphe Lodge in 1798. His brothers, Joseph, Lucian, Louis and Jerome, were also Freemasons. Five of the six members of Napoleon's Grand Councel of the Empire were Freemasons, as were six of the nine Imperial Officers and 22 of the 30 Marshals of France.
French General of the Revolutionary Army, Jean Victor Moreau (1763-1813) was one time Master of Loge Parfaite Union in Rennes, France. He headed the Republican and Royalist conspiracy against Napoleon. (1) (1) Henry Wilson Coil, "Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia". Macoy Publishing. Richmond, Virginia: 1995. p.2 74. (2) William R. Denslow, "10,000 Famous Freemasons". Missouri Lodge of Research. Independence, Missouri: 1957.
- 2. Did the Freemasons kill Captain William Morgan?
In brief, William Morgan was an itinerant worker who settled in Batavia in 1824. He managed to convince the Masons of Batavia that he was a Mason and participated in Lodge activities, made speeches and visited other Lodges. He signed a petition for the formation of a Royal Arch Chapter in Batavia, but some other Masons questioned his Masonic legitimacy. Another Royal Arch petition was then submitted, which he was not permitted to sign. Morgan was furious about this, and vowed revenge. He agreed to work with David Miller, the publisher or the "Batavia Advocate," the local newspaper, and several partners, in the publication of a book exposing Freemasonry. The project was made public and there was Pandemonium among the Masons of Batavia and the surrounding towns in western New York, leading ultimately to his disappearance on September 19th, 1826. It is generally agreed that William Morgan was taken to Canada by Masons and there given $500 and a horse, with the agreement that he never return. However, despite a lack of evidence, rumors persisted that he had been murdered.
Those involved issued the following statement; "The plan from inception to completion, contemplated nothing more than a deportation of Morgan, by friendly agreement between the parties, either to Canada or some other country. Ample means were provided for the expenses and the after-support of Morgan and his family. This plan had been perfected from the fact that the minds of Masonic brethren had been agitated by rumors that William Morgan was preparing an exposition and was preparing to give it to the public. It was then mutually agreed that Morgan would destroy the document, refuse all interviews with his partner and hold himself in readiness to go to Canada, settle down there and upon arrival he should receive 500.00 dollars with his written pledge to stay there and never return to the States. We also agreed that Morgan's family should be cared for and sent to Canada as soon as a suitable home had been provided for them. What a tremendous blunder we all made! It was scarcely a week until we saw what trouble was before us. Morgan had sold us out as he had sold his friends in Batavia. Within forty eight hours after his arrival in Canada he had gone. He was traced to a point down the river not far from Port Hope where he had sold his horse and disappeared. He had doubtless got on a vessel there and left the country."
Morgan's deportation cannot be justified by any legal, moral or Masonic principle. It should be noted that Morgan's "expose" was nothing more than a cobbled plagiarism of earlier English exposures, of little interest or value.
Public interest in the affair began about three weeks after Morgan's disappearance in the form of inflammatory hand-bills printed throughout New York and Canada accusing the Freemasons of Batavia of abducting and murdering William Morgan. Conventions and public meetings were held demanding an investigation and offering rewards for the discovery and conviction of those involved.
DeWitt Clinton, a distinguished and eminent Mason, was Governor of the State of New York at the time. He issued proclamations condemning the actions of those accused of abducting Morgan and secured indictments against the four men involved in the conspiracy.
The Grand Lodges throughout the United States passed resolutions, disclaiming all connection or sympathy with the outrage.
- 1. Is Freemasonry a religion?
Freemasonry seeks no converts. Freemasonry has no dogma, cosmology or theology. Freemasonry offers no sacraments nor does it claim to lead to salvation. Freemasonry is not a religion.
- 2. Are Freemasons really Gnostics?
Gnosticism is a religion. Freemasonry is not a religion. There have been those Masonic writers who have filtered their personal understanding of Freemasonry through their personal Gnostic beliefs. The same can be said of Masonic writers of any religious belief.
- 3. What is Gnosticism?
Gnosis "is not taught but when God wills it is brought to remembrance." (from "Corpus Hermeticum") "Gnostic" is often erroneously used as a pejorative for any belief or faith that excludes Jesus and has become almost synonymous with "pagan". It is also often equated with secret writings and concealed knowledge. Gnosticism, under its own name and at least eight others, was declared heretical within the first three centuries of the Roman Catholic Church. Gnosticism, though, is not only an old Catholic heresy, it is also a living religion.
Gnosticism may be considered a Perso-Babylonian syncretion with three definable schools, Essenic, Samaritan (Simon Magus), and Alexandrian (Philo), with the Judaic "Qabala" as an arguable fourth.
Gnostic thought contains four main threads, first; that God is unknowable, or ineffable, mankind being rude matter cannot comprehend God. Second; that knowledge, not through intellect, but through special revelation, is an aspect or emanation from God and therefore superior to faith. Third; that mankind's goal is redemption of the soul from the material world. And fourth; that knowledge could only be revealed as the petitioner was trained to understand it.
With rare exception Gnostic writing had no place for a personal Redeemer or Savior God. With the knowledge of personal revelation and the proper passwords, a Gnostic believed that his soul would find its way back to its creator. The cosmology encompassed a wide range of complex and hotly-debated explanations for the spiritual mechanics of a dualistic universe composed of a world of sense-appearance and a realm of real being: matter and God, with matter being essentially evil.
Gnostic practices ranged from the rigorous ascetism of Saturninus to the unbridled libertinism of the Ophites. The Gnostic tradition flourished in such communities as the Essenes and the Ebionites and Carinthus. The ritual was defined by two extreme schools, one rejecting all sacraments and the other, mainly Marcosians, developing an extreme symbolism and mystic pomp in worship, with many sacraments and varied rites.
The only surviving Gnostic community is the Mandeans, found near the lower reaches of the Tigris and Euphrates.
- "Pistis Sophia"
- Coptic-Gnostic texts of the "Codex Brucianus"
- two "books of Jeu"
- Acts of Thomas
- Hermes Trismegistus "Poimandres" (300 CE)
- Hippolytus "Philosophoumena"
- Clement of Alexandria "Stroneteis", "Excerpta ex Theodoto"
- Tertullian "adv. Marcionem" "adv. Hermogenem", "adv. Valentinianus"
- Epiphanius "Panorion"
"A History of Christian Thought." Arthur C. McGiffert, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York London: 1933.
"A History of Western Philosophy." Bertrand Russell. Simon and Schuster, New York: 1945. (pp. 324-326, 291-293).
"Dictionary of the Apostolic Church." ed. James Hastings. Vol I. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York: 1916. (pp. 453-456).
"Gnostic Gospels, The." E Pagels. New York and London: 1979.
"Harper Dictionary of Modern Thought, The." Alan Bullock, et al, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York: 1988 (p. 362).
"Jew and Greek: Tutors unto Christ." G.H.C. MacGregor. Ivor Nicholson ans Watson Limited, London: 1936 (pp. 309 -329).
- 4. Isn't Lucifer another name for Satan?
The name Lucifer was applied to Satan by St. Jerome and then to the demon of sinful pride by Milton in "Paradise Lost". This was a fanciful development of an original reference confused in translation. "Lucifer" is the term originally used by the Romans to refer to the planet Venus when that planet was west of the sun and hence rose before the sun in the morning, thereby being the morning star.
The word appears to have entered the religious lexicon when the original Hebrew word "heyleyl" (meaning morning star, or literally, "shining one") was translated to "Phosphorus" (the Greek word for Venus as the morning star) in the Septuagint, and then translated into "Lucifer" in the Vulgate (from the Greek Septuagint). One passage in which this occurs is Isaiah 14, which taken as a whole, is a parable, or prophecy of denunciation against the Kings of Babylon, specifically Tiglath-pilneser (circa 716 BCE) In verse 12, the prophet characterizes the arrogance of Tiglath-pilneser as if the king had thought himself fit to appear in the sky as the morning star, but has fallen to earth, being brought low by the vengeance of the Lord against those who would exalt themselves and persecute the Lord's people (i.e., the Israelites).
The word "Satan" is from a Hebrew word, "Saithan", meaning adversary or enemy; in original Jewish usage (see the book of Job), Satan is the adversary, not of God, but of mankind; i.e., the angel charged by God with the task of proving that mankind is an unworthy creation. Thus Satan is not in opposition to God but in fact doing His will. Later, the concept of an evil power ruling an underground domain of punishment for the wicked became fixed in Christian doctrine. In such a doctrine, elements of the Graeco-Roman god Pluto/Vulcan/Hephaestus, the Underworld, and various aspects of Nordic/Teutonic mythology may be traced.
From a supposed reference to this passage in our Lord's words. 'I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven' (Lk 10:18), in connection with Rev 9:1-11 (the language of 9:1 being in part probably derived from this passage), Lucifer came in the Middle Ages to be a common appellation of Satan. The star of Rev 9:1-11 is a fallen angel who has given to him the key of the abyss, from which he sets loose upon the earth horribly formed locusts with scorpions' tails, who have, however, power to hurt only such men as have not the seal of God on their foreheads. But this angel is not actually identified with Satan by the writer of the Apocalypse. The imagery in Is was no doubt suggested by a meteor, and possibly it was so in Rev also. (2)
1) Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology & Legend.
2) F.H. Woods, "A Dictionary of the Bible Vol III". ed. James Hastings. New York. Charles Scribner's Sons: 1908. p. 159.