Freemasonry is a fraternal organisation that arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Freemasonry now exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around 5 million (including around 480,000 in England, ScotlandIreland alone, and just under two million in the United States). The various forms all share moral and metaphysical ideals, which include, in most cases, a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being. and
The fraternity is administratively organised into Grand Lodges (or sometimes Orients), each of which governs its own jurisdiction, which consists of subordinate (or constituent) Lodges. Grand Lodges recognise each other through a process of landmarks and regularity. There are also appendant bodies, which are organisations related to the main branch of Freemasonry, but with their own independent administration.
Freemasonry uses the metaphors of operative stonemasons' tools and implements, against the allegorical backdrop of the building of King Solomon's Temple, to convey what has been described by both Masons and critics as "a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
There is a lot of congecture about masonry that is just wrong. There are the answeres to those questions
Source: The Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon
1. Is a 33° freemason more important than a 3° freemason?
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 ten 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 additional or "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 Masonry
Although the words 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", or premier. The "Moderns" and "Ancients" united in November 25, 1813 to form the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England [now styled the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 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.
One theory is that a Free Mason was free with his Guild; he had the freedom of its privileges and was entrusted with certain rights. Another theory is that he was qualified to work in freestone, a soft stone used in ornamentation.
Free and Accepted :
This term was first used in 1722 in the Roberts Print; "The Old Constitutions belonging to the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons".
"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". The first recorded use of the term dates from 1620.
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. Albert G. Mackey. Virginia : Macoy Publishing. 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, insofar as it has no opinion on individual religions.
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. Individual freemasons, dedicated to the principles of faith, hope and charity, brotherly love, relief and truth, by definition would not recognize Satan as a supreme being.
The baseless accusation goes back to the earliest days of recorded Freemasonry when—in the words of Dr. George Oliver—freemasons were: '...charged with the practice of forbidden arts; as for instance "raising the devil in a circle;" though the use they made of his infernal majesty does not appear; but from hints scattered about in other places we may surmise that it was for the purposes of divination, the discovery of hidden treasures, and other illegal designs, which were more openly avowed in the innovations of continental Masonry.' An anti-masonic letter, reproduced on page 9 of James Anderson's Constitutions of 1738, claims: "the Freemasons in their lodges, raised the devil in a circle, and when they had done with him, laid him again with a noise or a hush, as they pleased."
(See Section II, Subsections 2 and 3, Section III, Subsection 7 as well as Section VIII, Subsection 3.)
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. (Visit the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon website at http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/member.html to see how one jurisdiction treats the issue.)
7. Is Freemasonry male chauvinistic?
That Freemasonry does not initiate women is not de facto proof of misogyny. Why then does it not allow women to join? This is a question that is potentially difficult to answer in our current age. There are several answers, none of which are guaranteed to give satisfaction.
At one time the claim was made that there were no female mediaeval stonemasons and therefore there could be no female freemasons. An appeal to tradition is not satisfactory; less so when contemporary research has demonstrated that, albeit few, there were female stonemasons.
The initiation ritual in most jurisdictions was designed to reveal a female potential candidate. There have been enough changes in the ritual over the last 300 years that an appeal to tradition in this case is also unsupportable.
An argument can be made that nothing is allowed to enter a masonic lodge that may lead to dissention among the members. This justifies the exclusion of any discussion of politics or religion, and has also been used to justify the exclusion of women.
A justification has also been proposed that a masonic lodge is, in the current new-age language, the Men’s House; that the ritual is a form of male bonding.
The only real justification is that Freemasonry actively promotes and teaches certain social freedoms, one of them being the freedom of association. If freemasons wish to associate in a male-only environment, that then is their right and privilege as free citizens. No other justification or explanation is required.
It should be stressed that although women are not permitted to petition for membership nor attend lodge meetings, the female friends and relatives of freemasons are encouraged to attend or participate in the many social activities organized by lodges. The teachings and beliefs of Freemasonry are in no way or fashion misogynist.
There are two organizations initiating women that style themselves as masonic but are not recognized by regular Freemasonry. If you view <freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/women.html> you will find more information on them.
8. Does Freemasonry have a secret political agenda?
No. But of course we'd say that, wouldn't we?
A long-standing rule within regular Freemasonry is a prohibition on the discussion of politics in a lodge and the participation of lodges or masonic bodies in political pursuits. Freemasonry has no politics, but it teaches its members to be active in civic concerns.
The accusation that Freemasonry has a hidden agenda to establish a masonic government ignores several facts. While agreeing on certain Landmarks, the many independent and sovereign Grand Lodges act as such, and do not agree on many other points of belief and practice. Also, as can be seen from our list of famous freemasons, and the next section, individual freemasons hold beliefs that span the spectrum of politics. The term "masonic government" has no meaning since individual freemasons hold many different opinions on what constitutes a good government, and Freemasonry as a body has no opinion on the topic.
A curious accusation is that freemasons are, or Freemasonry is, synarchist. Properly speaking, the word synarchy is derived from a Greek root meaning "to rule jointly" and denotes a government in which the people had a share together with the rulers, or several groups jointly ruled. The earliest usage noted in the Oxford English Dictionary is in a Bible commentary published in 1732.
The Marquis Joseph Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1842-1909) redefined synarchy as a "utopian" socio-political alternative to anarchy: "government by an elite of enlightened initiates." Author of a number of occult and socio-political books,1 Saint-Yves popularized the myth of the secret world of "Agartha" and believed in the existence of spiritually superior beings whom he believed he could contact telepathically.
Saint-Yves’s philosophy was encapsuled by Umberto Ecco in Foucault’s Pendulum, where he described Saint-Yves:
"He was determined to find a political formula that could lead to a more harmonious society. Synarchy in opposition to Anarchy. A European society ruled by three councils representing the economical power, the executive power and the spiritual power, that is, the churches and the scientists. An enlightened oligarchy through which class struggle could be eliminated."
Other popularizers of the term "synarchy" have been Guy Patton and Milko Bogaard.2
While conspiracy theorists and anti-masons will use the term "synarchy" and claim it is masonic, they fail to provide any factual proof but rely on logical fallacy and verbal sleight-of-hand to use the terms of their accusation as the proof of their accusation. Saint-Yves is not known to have been a freemason, but even if he had been, he did not speak for Freemasonry.
Further information can be found at <freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/politics.html>.
1.Mission des juifs (Paris : Calmann Lévy, 1884), Clefs de l'orient (Paris : Didier & Cie, 1877), La théogonie des patriarches, Jésus (Paris : éditá la Librairie Hermétique, 1909), and Mission actuelle des souverains (Paris : E. Dentu, 1882),
2.Web of gold : the secret history of a sacred treasure, Guy Patton and Robin Mackness. London : Sidgwick & Jackson, 2000. xxxi, 331 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.. See Chapter 7: "Unseen Hands and Occult Influences" which refers to both Freemasonry and synarchy. LCCN: 00362642. Also see "Synarchy and Secret Societies" by Milko Bogaard who also writes for the quarterly journal The Rennes Alchemist in the United Kingdom. See vol. i, no. 2 (Feburary 2003), "Antient & Primitive Rite of Memphis Misraim" by Milko Bogaard.
9. Well, is Freemasonry liberal or conservative?
Freemasonry has no politics, but it teaches its members to be active in civic concerns. Individual freemasons hold and practice political beliefs that range across the spectrum. In Canada, one-time premier of British Columbia, W.A.C. Bennett was a laisez-faire capitalist, while Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas was a socialist. American masonic presidents have been both Republican and Democrat.
Depending on how one wants to define the terms, freemasons are generally interested in supporting and working within established social structures and could therefore be labelled conservative. On the other hand they are quick to resist such oppressive practices as led to the American War of Independence, so they can also be labelled revolutionaries. In the final analysis, freemasons and Freemasonry cannot be catagorized by their politics.
10. Is an Egyptian mystical resurrection ritual the lost secret of Freemasonry?
From ancient Sumar to the present, some form of resurrection story has played a key role in all religions. It is only natural that the Hiramic legend in Craft Freemasonry should be mistaken for yet another version of this story. The "traditional history" or legend of Hiram Abif though, is not about resurrection but teaches the social value of fidelity and acts as a mneumonic for the masonic "modes of recognition". Its history is unknown but links to mediaeval mystery plays appear stronger than any association with Egypt. Any Egyptian iconography or symbolism in masonic concordant bodies can be clearly traced to the wide-spread interest in Egypt in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and not to any lost secret.
"The central figure of the ancient Egyptian Religion was Osiris, and the chief fundamentals of his cult were the belief in his divinity, death, resurrection, and absolute control of the destinies of the bodies and souls of men. The central point of each Osirian’s Religion was his hope of resurrection in a transformed body and of immortality, which could only be realized by him through the death and resurrection of Osiris." 1
The legends of Osiris are based on earlier traditions regarding a pre-Egyptian king, named Assur. The resurrection of Assur is the foundation legend of Egyptian civilization. The first written accounts of Osiris come by way of historians such as Diodorus Siculus (1st C. BCE), Herodotus (5th C. BCE), and Plutarch (1st C. CE). They describe Osiris as a semi-divine king who abolished cannibalism, taught men and women to live according to law of ma'at, improved their morality, and, filled with love for mankind, set out on a quest to travel the world and bring the benefits of civilization to other cultures. Their commentary continues with mythological descriptions of the murder of Osiris by a jealous brother named Seth; his rebirth, accomplished by the magic of his sister/wife, Isis; and his second death, caused again by Seth, who dismembered his body and scattered the pieces up and down the Nile. After the utter destruction of Osiris his son, Horus, defeats Seth in an epochal battle thereby vindicating his murdered father.2
There is nothing to link this mythology with Freemasonry. Although the topic of several recent books, there is also nothing to prove that the Hiramic legend of Freemasonry is somehow a result of the death of either the boy-king, Tutankhamen (fl. 14th century BCE)3 or king Seqenenre in 1570 BCE.4 [RETURN TO INDEX]
1.Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, E.[rnest] A.[lfred] Wallis Budge. London: P. L. Warner, New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons: 1911. 2v : fold. col. fronts., illus., plates (part fold.) ; 26 cm. p. vii.
2."Do Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Enshrine The Image Of Christ?" Richard Russell Cassaro. Ancient Mysteries: 2001.
3.The Murder of Tutankhamen: A True Story, Bob Brier New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1998. xx, 264 p : ill ; 24 cm. ISBN: 0399143831.
4.The Hiram key: pharaohs, freemasons and the discovery of the secret scrolls of Jesus, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. London, Century: 1996. xiii, 384p,p of plates : ill : facsims, maps, ports ; 24cm. ISBN: 0712685790.
11. Then you've got something to do with the Grail, right?
Traditionally, the Holy Grail is the name of a legendary sacred vessel, variously identified with the chalice of the Christian Eucharist or the dish of the Pascal lamb. The great body of the Grail romances came into existence between the years 1180 and 1240, most in French. 1
Roughly, the story is that Joseph of Arimathea was cast into prison, then Christ appears to him and gives him a vessel, through which he is miraculously sustained for forty-two years until liberated by Vespasian. The Grail is then brought to Britain, either by Joseph and Josephes, his son (Grand-Saint-Graal), or by Alain one of his kin (Robert de Boron). Galaad (or Perceval) achieves a quest to find the vessel; after the death of its keeper the Grail vanishes. The Grail legend is closely connected with that of Perceval as well as that of King Arthur. The story is derived from the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, which had a great vogue in twelfth century Britain.
Other stories will describe the Grail as a large emerald that fell from Lucifer’s crown when he was thrown out of Heaven; the Philosophers' Stone; the Ark of Covenant; a book of Jesus' geneology, written by Jesus;2 the chalice used to collect Jesus' blood; the silver dish supporting John the Baptist’s head; the sword used to cut off John the Baptist’s head; the lance belonging to Longinus, the Roman soldier who transfixed Jesus' chest; or a secret Gospel written by Jesus. According to Graham Phillips, the Grail is the cup used by Mary of Magdala to perfume Jesus' feet. Daniel C. Scavone suggests that the Grail is the Shroud of Turin. Baima Bollone writes that the Grail is the container of the Holy Shroud. Flavia Anderson, in The Ancient Secret claims that the Grail is a round ball of glass filled with water held in a tree-like stand — the Thummim and the Urim. Suggestions that the Grail was Aladdin’s lamp, the Golden Fleece or the Baphomet have also been made. For further information view: What is a Grail? by Dr. Linda Malcor, The History Net, " An Introduction to Current Theories about The Holy Grail" Chris Thornborrow.
One of the oddest, but most popular, theories claims that the word Grail refers to a royal bloodline and that Jesus' descendents, through various secret societies, continue to manipulate global affairs.3 This is the theory that links the Grail to Freemasonry. Popularized by The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, a work of historical fiction, the theory has no supporting facts. Also see Section 1.4.
There is nothing in the ritual, beliefs or practices of Freemasonry that incorporates the Grail.
1.Wolfram von Eschenbach defined the grail as Lapis Exillis; Cf.: Graham Hancock The Sign and the Seal - A Quest for the Lost Ark of Covenant London, William Heinemann Ltd.:1992; Old French: Grand-Saint-Graal, also known as Grand St. Graal, and as History of the Holy Grail.
2.In order: Perceval ou Le Conte du Graal, Chretién de Troyes. composed between 1180 and 1240; Parzival, Wolfram von Eschenbach, 1210; Joseph d'Arimathie, Robert de Boron, 1202; Diu Crone Heinrich von dem Turlin, 1220; Didot-Perceval Anonimous, XIII century.
3.The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, H. Lincoln. London, Jonathan Cape Ltd.: 1982.
12. To dispel accusations of secretiveness, shouldn't Freemasonry be required to be more transparent?
First, a distinction has to be made between "secretive" which implies wrongdoing, and "secret" which simply means private. Freemasons are private citizens who believe in all peoples' right to privacy.
As regards transparency, Freemasonry is not a public organization; it is a private society composed of private citizens who exercise that freedom of association and right to privacy enjoyed by all private citizens in western nations. Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948), the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), and in many other international and regional treaties. For example, Canadians are protected by the Personal Information Privacy Act (13 April 2000) while Australians are protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (See ISBN 978-1-877079-60-3).
That said, the names of elected leaders of masonic jurisdictions are often posted on their websites and contact information is often posted outside lodgehalls. Information is published about their philanthropic work, and friends and relatives are often invited to attend lodge functions. Where freemasons have formed charitable or property holding societies, these bodies file all documentation regarding officers and finances as is required by law.
Source: The Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon
1. What was the Bavarian Illuminati?
Adam Weishaupt founded the Illuminati of Bavaria on May 1, 1776. 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
Where Weishaupt and his associate Knigge promoted a freedom from church domination over philosophy and science, those in authority saw a call for the destruction of the church. Where Weishaupt and Knigge wanted a release from the excesses of state oppression, their enemies feared the destruction of the state. Where Weishaupt and Knigge wanted to educate women and treat them as intellectual equals, Robison and Barruel saw the destruction of the natural and proper order of society.
The Edicts for its suppression, issued on June 22, 1784 by the Elector of Bavaria, Karl Theodor, 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 Böttiger, 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.' Böttiger 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.
Further information on the Illuminati of Bavaria and other societies similar in name can be found at <freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/illuminati.html>. [RETURN TO INDEX]
1. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey. Richmond, Virginia : Macoy Publishing. 1966, p. 474.
2. Ibid. p.1099.
3.Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil. 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. An Improved System of the Illuminati, Adam Weishaupt. Gotha: 1787.
6. 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, John Robison (1739 - 1805). Chapter II, pp. 100-271. printed by George Forman for Cornelious David, Edinburgh: 1797. (531 pages).
7.The Secret Societies of all ages and Countries [in two volumes], Charles William Heckethorn. London : George Redway. 1897. p. 314.
2. Weren't George Washington, every USA President, the first USA Congress and the entire Continental Army all freemasons?
The following is a well researched compilation of proven freemasons:
(a) 15 presidents of the United States of America:
George Washington (1732-1799) 1st.
initiated 11/4/1752 Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4, Virginia James Monroe (1758-1831) 5th.
initiated 11/9/1775 Williamsburgh Lodge No. 6, Virginia Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) 7th.
member Harmony Lodge No. 1; Grand Master 1822-24, Tennessee James Knox Polk (1795-1849) 11th.
raised 9/4/1820 Columbia Lodge No. 31, Tennessee
member: Platte Lodge No. 56, Mo. James Buchanan (1791-1868) 15th.
raised 1/24/1817 Lodge No. 43, Pennsylvania Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) 17th.
initiated 1851, Greenville Lodge No. 119, Tennessee James Abram Garfield , 20th.
raised 11/22/1864, Magnolia Lodge No. 20, Ohio William McKinley (1843-1901) 25th.
raised 4/3/1865, Hiram Lodge No. 21, Virginia Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) 26th.
raised 4/24/1901, Matinecock Lodge No. 806, Oyster Bay William Howard Taft (1857-1930) 27th.
made a mason at sight 2/18/1909.
affiliated Kilwinning Lodge 356, Ohio Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) 29th.
raised 8/13/1920, Marion Lodge No. 70, Ohio Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) 32nd.
raised Nov. 28. 1911, Harry S Truman (1884-1972) 33rd.
initiated 02/09/1909, Belton Lodge No. 450
raised 03/18/1909, Belton Lodge No. 450 Lyndon Baines Johnson (EA) (1908-1973) 36th.
initiated October 30, 1937 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
(b) Signators to the USA Declaration of Independence (1776):
8 freemasons out of 56 total.
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
(c) Signators to the USA 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.
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. Williamsburg Lodge No. 6 Gunning Bedford Jr.
First Grand Master, Delaware. Lodge 14, Christina Ferry, Delaware. John Dickinson
Lodge No. 18, Dover, Delaware: 1780 Jacob Broom
Lodge No. 14, Christina Ferry, Delaware, 1780 David Brearley
First Grand Master, New Jersey: 1787. Military Lodge No. 19 Daniel Caroll
St. John’s Lodge No. 20, Maryland: 1781, Lodge No. 16, Baltimore
Later became freemasons:
Temple No. 1, Elizabeth Town, New Jersey James McHenry
Spiritual Lodge No. 23, Baltimore, Maryland: 1806 William Patterson
Trinity Lodge No. 5, New Jersey: 1788. Berkshire Lodge No. 5, Stockbridge, Ma
"Either he or his father of the same name was initiated in St. John’s Lodge No. 1 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, March 20, 1777."* Roger Sherman (1721-1793)
Signed "Declaration of Independence," "Articles of Association." "Articles of Confederation," and Federal "Constitution." Although a masonic apron ascribed to him is in the archive collection of Yale University, there is no record of his masonic association.
(d) Signators of the USA Articles of Confederation (1781):
10 freemasons out of (?) total.
affiliated Hiram Lodge No. 1. New Haven, Connecticut: 1765/04/18 [AQC vol 80, pp. 120-2.]
(e) Generals in George Washington’s Continental Army:
31 freemasons out of 63 total.
Nicholas Herkimer (1715-1777), St. Patrick’s Lodge, Johnstown, New York
Morgan Lewis, Grand Master, New York
Jacob Morton, Grand Master, New York
Israel Putnam (1718-1790)
Rufus Putnam (1738-1824), Master, American Union Lodge
Baron von Steuben (1730-1794), Trinity Lodge No. 10, New York City
John Sullivan (1740-1796), Grand Master, New Hampshire
Joseph Warren (1741-1775), Massachusetts Provincial Grand Master
David Wooster (1710-177), Master, Hiram Lodge No. 1, Connecticut
(Note Gould’s History of Freemasonry mistakenly repeated C. W. Moore’s claim that all but Benedict Arnold were freemasons. vol. iv p 24 1885)
(f) 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.
(g) Governors of the thirteen colonies during the Continental Congress:
10 freemasons out of 30 total.
(h) Chief Justices of the United States:
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, Gilbert Lafayette and Benedict Arnold were.
* Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, Henry Wilson Coil. Richmond, Virginia : Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1961, 1996. ISBN : 0-88053-054-5 pp. 621-22. . [
3. Didn't Edward VI abolish Freemasonry?
A curious distortion of the historical record; in fact Edward the boy king, or his regent, was actually sensitive to the needs of stoneworkers and their guilds, as can be seen from a perusal of his statutes.
4. Isn't Freemasonry the same as Rosicrucianism?
The name Rosicrucian has become a generic term embracing every species of doubt, pretension, arcana, elixers, the philosopher’s stone, theurgic ritual, symbols or initiations. In its loosest definition it simply refers to a lover of wisdom and a searcher for knowledge. At the other extreme it can refer to a blindered follower of formalized ritual intent on creating gold out of base metal.
The earliest reference to Rosicrucianism is the publication in Cassel in 1614, of Allgemeine und General-Reformation der ganzen beiten Welt. Benebst der Fama Fraternitatis des öblichen Ordens des Rosencreuzes an alle Gelehrte und Häupter Europä geschrieben. An English translation by Thomas Vaughan, Fame and Confession of Rosie-Cross, appeared in 1652.
This book and Chemische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreuz, are presumed to be the work of John Valentine Andreä (1586/08/17-1654/06/27), although unproven claims to an earlier manuscript or folk tradition have been made.
Other scholars such as Roger Bacon (1214-1292), Raymond Lully (d. 1315) and Cornelius Henry Agrippa (d. 1535) have been claimed as Rosicrucians although there is no proof that they were even aware of the name.
Andreä’s tale of an invisible Society of Rosicrucians describes the founding of a society of eight "lovers of wisdom" who studied medicine and occult sciences and dedicated their lives to practicing "physic" without payment. They met in a "House of the Holy Spirit" and each appointed one man to succeed him at his death. Although the existence of this society or brotherhood has never been proven, many subsequent groups have claimed lineage.
The first suggestion of a link to Freemasonry was made in a satirical letter that appeared in the English Daily Journal in 1730. Subsequent writers, such as J.G Buhle in 1804, have asserted, without logic or proof, that Freemasonry sprang from Rosicriucianism. But the symbolism of Rosicrucianism is derived from a Hermetic philosophy; that of Freemasonry from operative stonemasonry. The story of the death, burial and disinterment of Rosicrusianism’s founder, Christian Rosenkreuz, is reminiscent of the Hiramic legend, but no more so than other funerial legends. Both the Hiramic legend and a Continental version involving Noah were known to freemasons prior to Elias Ashmole’s masonic initiation, discrediting any theory that Ashmole introduced Rosicrucian themes into Freemasonry.
Although Andreä’s Roscrucians were Christian, contemporary groups embrace a wide range of traditions such as the Hermeticism of Hermes Trismegistos, the Pythagorean school of ancient Greece, the Qabala of the Hebrews and the alchemical tradition of mediaeval Europe.
The 19th century saw the rise of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis, Societas Rosicruciana in America, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Templi Orientis, Ordre Kabbalistique de la Rose Croix, Order of the Temple & the Graal and of the Catholic Order of the Rose-Croix, and the Rose-Croix de l'Orient, Les Freres Aînés de la Rose-Croix.
In the 20th century: the Rosicrucian Fellowship, Lectorium Rosicrucianum, Order of the Temple of the Rosy Cross, Corona Fellowship of Rosicrucians, Fraternitas Rosæ Crucis, Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua, Collegium Pansophicum, Builders of the Adytum, the Servants of the Light, the Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosæ Rubæ Aureæ Crucis (AAORRAC), the Antiquus Arcanæ Ordinis Rosæ Rubæ Aureæ (AMORC), and the Ancient Rosæ Crucis have all made claim to a Rosicrucian tradition, if not lineage.
Some of these groups were founded by freemasons, some are still in existence. None have any relationship with regular Freemasonry.
5. What was the Rite of Strict Observance
Once Freemasonry was introduced into eighteenth century Continental Europe, it quickly evolved into a number of different and disparate bodies, all claiming authority to confer and determine degrees. Mesmer’s Order of Universal Harmony and Cagliostro’s Egyptian Rite, a new system of Clermont (1758) were just two of many such groups. Another, Martinism, was created by Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, author of a 1775 book, Des Erreurs et de la Vérité. and a disciple of the adventurer and seer, Martines de Pasqually who wrote the incomplete, Traité de Réintégration. "Swedenborgian in view, Christian in origin, theurgic or magical in its implications," Martinism first appeared in the south of France in the 1750s under the name of Juges Ecossais.
John M. Roberts tells us: "On top of the network of orthodox masonic lodges had been built first the higher grades of Scottish rite lodges and then, on them, the Strict Observance, which... fragmented into what were virtually a number of separate systems."
Karl Gotthelf Baron Hund introduced a new Scottish Rite to Germany, Rectified Masonry; after 1764 to be known as the "Strict Observance". He termed the English system of Freemasonry the 'Late Observance.' It appealed to German national pride, attracted the non-nobility, and was allegedly directed by Unknown Superiors.
"The Strict Observance was particularly devoted to the reform of Masonry, with special reference to the elimination of the occult sciences which at the time were widely practised in the lodges, and the establishment of cohesion and homogeneity in Masonry through the enforcement of strict discipline, the regulation of functions, etc."[Vernon L. Stauffer]
John Augustus Starck joined Hund, claiming alchemical knowledge and a lineal descent, not from the Knights Templars, but from the clerics of that order, the "true" custodians of its secrets. A union was formalized in 1772 at Kohlo, where Hund’s dominance began to wane while Starck’s occult and hermetic ideology grew. [Roberts pp. 107-09]
The Convent at Wilhelmsbad (July 16, 1782 - September 1, 1782), a meeting of the various bodies working the Strict Observance system of degrees in Europe, lead to the dissolution of the Strict Observance. It may be said to have continued to 1855 when the Danish lodges adopted the Swedish Rite although in practice, it ceased to exist after the death of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick in 1792. It had no effect on regular Freemasonry.
6. Who were the "Unknown Superiors" who initiated Karl Gottlieb von Hund into Freemasonry?
Unknown to this day, masonic historians can only conclude that the "Unknown Superiors" were a fictional creation of Hund’s imagination, influenced by rosicriucian stories of their "hidden masters".
Source: The Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon
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 mediaeval 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 Abbé Augustin Barruel (1741/10/02 - 1820/10/05), 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. 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 freemasons.
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.1
The complete debunking of the Protocols has not stopped their continued circulation. In an attempt to negate the refutation, William Guy Carr claimed in 1958 that the Protocols were actually an older document recording a speech by Mayer Rothschild in 1773. This claim is occasionally repeated, although Carr provided no justification, documentation or citation for an accusation founded on his paranoid fears of international communism and banking.
1. Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org in the newsgroups alt.conspiracy on 10 Feb 1993 18:15:22 GMT. Mirrored from www.nizkor.org Also see: >http://www.holocaust-history.org/short-essays/protocols.shtml
2. Was Albert Pike the leader of Universal Freemasonry?
And he also didn't give a speech claiming "Lucifer is God."
What follows is a forgery by Léo Taxil, falsely identified as part of a speech and written order which Albert Pike was supposed to have delivered to freemasons 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."
This letter appeared in Paris three years after Albert Pike’s death. Taxil admitted he had written it 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 regular Freemasonry ever held the title of "Sovereign Pontiff." While the rhetorical phrase "Universal Freemasonry" is not unknown, it has never been used as a proper title, since there is no such organization. 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 publicly confessed forgery was a huge success. (See Section III Subsection 7.)
This lie was unwittingly reprinted in Abel Clarin de la Rive’s La Femme et L'Enfant dans la Franc-Maçonnerie Universelle(1894) and later copied by Lady Queenborough, Edith Starr Miller, in her Occult Theocrasy, published posthumously in two volumes in 1933. De la Rive retracted his support of Taxil and any of his creations in the April 1897 issue of Freemasonry Disclosed,
The hoax has been both widely reprinted and exposed. A short bibliography on the subject can be viewed at <freemasonry.bcy.ca/taxilhoax.html> or at <srmason-sj.org/web/misc/taxilhoax.html>.
3. Does A.L. mean “In the year of Lucifer”?
Originally an abbreviation for one of the Latin phrases meaning 'in the Year of Masonry' — probably 'Anno Latomorum' — it now is considered an abbreviation for Anno Lucis which 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 on October 23rd, 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 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 Authorized King James 1611 version is the most common, although few jurisdiction specify usage. If its membership is composed of men of different faiths, a lodge may choose to use one or a number of different books such as the Koran, Torah or Bhagavadgita (Song of the Lord). (See Section III Subsection 7.)
5. Didn't George Washington renounce Freemasonry?
George Washington remained a member of the Craft from his initiation into the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia No. 4 on November 4, 1752 until the day he died on December 14, 1799, when he then, at his widow’s request, received a masonic funeral. George Washington’s papers are available online at memory.loc.gov/ammem/gwhtml/gwhome.html
This hoax got its start in 1837 with the publication of a tract by Joseph Ritner, Governor of Pennsylvania. Although easily debunked, it was reprinted by E. A. Cook & Co., Chicago, in 1877, shortly after Prof. Charles Albert Blanchard (1848-1925), a founder and first lecturer of the National Christian Association published a rewriting of the same story entitled Was Washington a Freemason?
1. Vindication of General Washington from the stigma of adherence to secret societies, Joseph Ritner (1780-1869). Communicated by request of the House of representatives, to that body, on the 8th of March, 1837, with the proceedings which took place on its reception. Harrisburg, Printed by T. Fenn, 1837. 26 p. 21 cm. LCCN: 09026879
2. Was Washington a Freemason? Charles A. Blanchard. n.p.: n.d. Typed Copy. SC-29 Wheaton College.
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."
It is unfortunate that the term conspiracy has been so debased that the real conspiracies, a real danger to a free and open society, so often go unreported or unremarked.
7. Didn't John F. Kennedy criticize Freemasonry?
American President, John F. Kennedy, gave an address to a gathering of newspaper publishers on 27 April, 1961. The full text, available from the Kennedy Library in Massachusetts, shows that, in context, Kennedy was criticizing the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). This excerpt makes it clear that Kennedy’s concern was government, not fraternities:
The very word "secrecy" is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.
8. Doesn't the satanic design of Washington, DC’s streetplan prove that there’s a masonic conspiracy?
It does not take much imagination to look at a map of Washington, DC and see the outline of a five-pointed star in the streets to the north of the White House. But the assumptions required to believe that this arbitrary geometric shape reveals a secret political or occult agenda have no foundation.
One has to assume that the pentagram is a uniquely evil symbol, highly valued by freemasons who believe that its physical representation can have a real impact on the world and that freemasons are responsible for intentionally including it in Washington’s street plan.
None of these assumptions bear scrutiny. First, the pentagram is not an exclusively satanic symbol nor does it have any particular masonic significance. Second, Freemasonry, promoting rationalism, places no power in symbols themselves. It is not a part of Freemasonry to view the drawing of symbols, no matter how large, as an act of consolidating or controlling power. Third, there is no published information establishing the masonic membership of the men responsible for the street plan. Although Freemason George Washington commissioned Pierre Charles L'Enfant and approved the streetplan executed by Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Bannecker, they were not masons.
Drawing lines on a map of Washington, DC proves nothing other than the physical existence of streets and buildings.
9. Aren't the freemasons plotting to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem?
This is another story perpetuated by Lyndon LaRouche. In essence, the theory is that British Freemasonry, by design of members of the House of Windsor, and through the mechinations of Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, is secretly plotting to gain control of the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple. LaRouche’s researchers have assembled a collection of facts and near-facts and linked them together with unproven opinions and assumptions. A refutation of the accusation is found at freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/rebuild_temple.html.
10. Didn't Adolf Hitler praise Freemasonry?
Adolf Hitler (1889/04/20 - 1945/04/30) is recorded in referring to his perception of Freemasonry as an example of how he wanted the Nazi party to develop, specifically with an hierarchical organization and initiation through symbolic rites. A full record of his actions and writings though, clearly demonstrate that he despised Freemasonry. For further information and quotes, view freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/hitler.html.
11. But wasn't the Nazi party founded by the freemasons?
A distinction must be drawn between the acts and beliefs of individual freemasons and Freemasonry as a group. While Freemasonry had nothing to do with the Nazi party and in fact was a major target for its hatred, there was one freemason—of a sort— in the party’s early history.
Rudolf Glandeck von Sebottendorff (born Adam Alfred Rudolph Glauer in 1875) and Hermann Pohl (founder of the short-lived magical fraternity, the German Order Walvater of the Holy Grail) established another magical fraternity in Munich, the Thule Gesellschaft, on August 17, 1918. Originally called the "Studiengruppe für germanisches Altertum" (Study Group for German Antiquity), and deriving its ideology from such occultists as Guido von List (1848-1919/05/17), Adolf Lanz, aka Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954) and Madam Blavatsky, the group was politically active and played a leading part in assisting the successful attack on Munich’s Communist government on 30 April, 1919. Whether or not the occult affectations of the Thule were anything more than a cover for counter-revolutionary activism has not been determined.
Regardless, the Thule amalgamated on 5 January, 1919 with the Committee of Independent Workers, renaming themselves the Deutsche Arbeiter-Partei, the German Workers' Party. Adolf Hitler claimed he was the seventh member to join this group which changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers' Party in 1920.
Sebottendorff is purported to have been initiated into an irregular body of the Rite of Memphis while he was in Turkey. From his own writings it is clear that his version of Freemasonry incorporated aspects of Islamic Sufi mysticism, alchemy, astrology and Rosicrucianism. In his autobiographical novel Der Talisman des Rosenkreuzers (The Rosicrucian Talisman), he makes a clear distinction between Turkish Freemasonry and regular Freemasonry:
"It must be shown that Oriental Freemasonry still retains faithfully even today the ancient teachings of wisdom forgotten by modern Freemasonry, whose Constitution of 1717 was a departure from the true way."
Sebottendorff’s Bevor Hitler kam (1933)—banned by the Bavarian political police on 1 March, 1934— claimed precedence for the Thule Gesellschaft in the ranks of early influences on Hitler. This claim has been promoted by popular writers, most satisfied to seek corroboration in Hermann Rauschning’s Hitler Speaks (1939) without noting that this book was anecdotal, unsubstantiated, and later discredited by scholarly research.
With his book suppressed by the Nazis, Sebottendorff was arrested by the Gestapo in 1934, interned in a concentration camp and then expelled to Turkey, where he is believed to have committed suicide by drowning on 9 May, 1945.
Both Sebottendorff’s claims to masonic association and influence on Hitler are unproven and questionable. For further information and quotes, view freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/sebottendorff_r.html.
12. What is the masonic testament?
An invention by the highly imaginative authors Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, compiled from excerpts of the many rituals devised in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that—at one time or another—were worked in masonic lodges or by freemasons independently of their lodges or without Grand Lodge authority. These rituals came from a multitude of independent sources and were created for a multitude of reasons. Knight and Lomas have arbitrarily selected passages from these texts to compile what they refer to as a chronology or history. The Masonic Testament is a work of fiction included in their book The Book of Hiram (2003).
Knight and Lomas' "The Masonic Testament" is a contemporary text having no historical validity. It is not accepted as having any masonic authority, nor is it endorsed by any masonic body. It is a work of fiction. It should also be stressed that the phrase, "Masonic Testament" does not refer to another misnomer, "the masonic Bible." There is no such thing as a Masonic Bible; the Volume of Sacred Law which is used in every regular masonic lodge is that book held sacred by the members of the lodge—generally in North America, the King James Authorized Version of the Christian Bible.
1. Who are the Illuminati?
An undocumented and undefined group with the unconfirmed goal of world domination. Much fiction has been written on the topic. Although the subject of much speculation, there is no documentation of any active and effective group currently using the name.
Conspiracy theorists who use the term have defined the Illuminati’s goals, beliefs and structure; identified individuals whose actions may be interpreted as supporting these goals and beliefs; and used these goals and beliefs as defining links between otherwise unrelated events and individuals. What these theorists have not done is demonstrate or prove the existence of any such organization.
It is unfortunate that hucksters and paranoid cranks have so debased the term conspiracy that the real conspiracies, a real danger to a free and open society, so often go unreported or unremarked.
(See Section V Subsection 1. on the Bavarian Illuminati.)
2. Does the Trilateral Commission control the freemasons?
No, and before you ask, the freemasons don't control the Trilateral Commission either. There are more than 400 influential "think tanks" around the world; the Trilateral Commission is one of them.
See: NIRA’s World Directory of Think Tanks. Tokyo: National Institute for Research Advancement, 1999 150-6034 Japan. ISBN 4-7955-6014-5 C3002
3. What is the Trilateral Commission?
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 was 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. Further information and a list of Trilateral Commission publications can be found at: trilateral.org/pubs.htm
4. Who are the Bilderburgers?
In the main, a creation of Milton William Cooper [1943/05/06 - 2001/11/06] who reprinted the notorious hoax The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as fact, and wrote stories of an ongoing invasion of aliens from outer space.1 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."2
Mr. Cooper’s writings are, in the balance, fiction. He was reputed to have renounced his views on an alien invasion but not those regarding Freemasonry.
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.
Phyllis Schlafly refers to the Bilderberg conference as "Bilderberger" in her 1964 A Choice Not an Echo, in which she claims to have discovered a "secret meeting" in 1957. Both John Birch Society member Gary Allen, in None Dare Call It Conspiracy and William Bramley, in The Gods of Eden refer to the Bilderberg Conference as the Bilderbergers, stating that the conference refers to itself as such. Bramley further suggests a link with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. No proof or documentation for any of this is supplied.
Mention should also be made to David Icke’s unsubstantiated claim, in The Biggest Secret - the book that will change the world, that shape-shifting reptilians are about to achieve complete control over Earth. Icke repeats several accusations addressed elsewhere in this FAQ. He also announced on the Terry Wogan talk show on BBC1 in 1991 that he was the Son of God. [See Them, Adventures with Extremists, Jon Robinson. p. 152.]
A public statement by the Bilderberg Conference
What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
1. Behold a Pale Horse. Milton William Cooper. Light Technology Publishing, Sedona, AZ: 1991. pp 267-332.
2. The Secret Government, The Origin, Identity, and Purpose of MJ-12. Milton William Cooper, May 23, 1989.
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 other 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 warrant 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.
In 1967, Brother Licio 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 warrant 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 Roberto Calvi (1920? - 1982/06/19), chairman of Banco Ambrosiano in Milan who was later found dead under London’s Blackfriars 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, from which this article is excerpted:
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?
In the early 1890s Léo 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 on April 19, 1897, he confessed that it had all been a hoax.1
After Taxil’s public confession, Abel Clarin de la Rive (1855-1914) expressed his disgust and recanted his writings on Diana Vaughan in the April 1897 issue of Freemasonry Revealed, a magazine devoted to the destruction of the Craft. As much as he hated Freemasonry, Claren 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."2
Possibly the inspiration for Taxil’s choice of name, but otherwise of little interest other than to masonic students, the Order of Palladium was a masonic society open to both men and women, founded in Paris in 1737. Termed a very moral society by Albert G. Mackey, it does not appear to have survived its founders. [RETURN TO INDEX]
1.New Catholic Encyclopedia. (R. Limouzin-Lamothe, s.v. Taxil, Leo)
2.See: Strange Masonic Stories. Alec Mellor. Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1982. p. 151.
7. Is the Club of Rome an Illuminati front?
According to John Lear, Milton 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 Italian scholar and industrialist, Dr. Aurelio Peccei (1908-84), 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 honourary 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 club also maintains a web site at http://www.clubofrome.org.
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.
More information and background is available. Those requiring further information should contact The Club of Rome Secretariat at email@example.com
8. Did high-ranking freemason, Albert Pike found the Ku Klux Klan?
There is no documentation or record that would suggest that masonic author, Albert Pike, was ever a member of the Ku Klux Klan, much less a founder or leader.
The 19th century Ku Kux Klan was originally organized by six Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee in the spring of 1866. It obligated members only to "have fun, make mischief and play pranks on the public." It was structured into a vehicle for Southern white resistance to Radical Reconstruction at a convention in Nashville, Tennessee in April of 1867 under the leadership of George Gordon. Several weeks later Nathan Bedford Forrest was offered the position of Grand Wizard.
On August 28, 1868 Forrest granted an interview to a reporter from the Cincinnati Commercial, in which he confirmed the existence of the Klan, declared his sympathy and coöperation with them, but denied his membership. In January 1869 Forrest issued "General Order Number One", the only directive to come from Imperial Headquarters, ordering the group be disbanded. Local branches remained active, prompting the U.S. Congress to pass the Force Act of 1870 and the Ku Klux Act in 1871. By the time the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Klan unconstitutional in 1882, it had practically disappeared as an organization although independent acts of violence were to continue under the banners of the American Protective Association and the Whitecap movement, among others. 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 the Klan’s first (and only) 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. Not having received the Master Mason degree, under the rules of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee, he would not have been considered a freemason.
Although 1915 Klan organizer Colonel William Joseph Simmons was a freemason, he was also a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, and eight other lodges. He was never a Grand Lodge or lodge officer in Freemasonry. There is no available documentation that Edward Young Clarke or David Curtis Stephenson were freemasons.
As a counterpoint, note that famous slavery abolitionist, John Brown was at one time an active freemason, while the two major proponents of the Ku Klux Act, Benjamin F. Butler and John Scott were also active freemasons. As always, it should be stressed that regular Freemasonry is not concerned with politics, leaving its members to act as their conscience dictates.
For further information and citations, view http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/kkk.html.
9. Isn't the Priory of Sion a masonic front, conspiring to restore the Merovingian dynasty and responsible for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?
No, no, and no.
There is no proof that Pierre Plantard’s Prieure de Sion existed before 1956, although it claims to have originated from an earlier organization, the Ordre du Sion, allegedly founded by Godfroi de Bouillion, Hugh de Payns, and a Calabrian monk named Ursus in 1099.
Allegations of masonic links to the Prieure through the Knights Templar and the Swiss Grand Loge Alpina are unproven. The wishful thinking of some freemasons and the suspicions of anti-masons aside, there is no proven, documented link between the Templars and Freemasonry. There is also no proof of any connection between the Swiss Grand Loge Alpina and Pierre Plantard’s Dossiers Secrets, deposited in the Paris Bibliotheque Nationale in the mid 1960s. The first of these four documents, Les descendants Merovingiens ou l'enigme du Razes Wisigoth, dated August, 1965, purports to have been published by the Swiss Grande Loge Alpina. The Swiss Grande Loge Alpina has denied this.
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a clearly documented fraud, unrelated to Pierre Plantard’s Prieure de Sion.
There are few historical records of the Ordre de Notre Dame de Sion, with which the Prieure de Sion is often confused. After Jerusalem fell to Godfroi de Bouillon in 1099, an abbey devoted to Notre Dame du Mont de Sion was built on the hill of Sion to the south of Jerusalem; it is referred to in later documents and figures in several views of the city. A Father Vincent, writing in 1698, says:
"There were in Jerusalem during the Crusades... knights attached to the Abbey of Notre Dame de Sion who took the name of Chevaliers de l'Order de Notre Dame de Sion." 1
R. Rohricht, in his Regesta regni Hierosolymitani (Roll of the kings of Jerusalem), written in 1893, cites two charters: one of 1116 by Arnaldus, prior of Notre Dame de Sion, and one of 1125, in which Arnaldus’s name appears with that of Hugues Payen, the first Grand Master of the Temple. The existence of the Abbey of Sion, at least until 1281, is attested to by E.-G. Rey in a paper in the 1887 Proceedings of the French National Society of Antiquaries, which lists the abbots who administered the abbey’s property in Palestine.
These documents are the only historical record of the possible existence of a Prieure de Sion before 1956. Everything else that refers to an organization of that name finds its origin in four typewritten, and highly suspect, "publications" deposited in the Bibliotheque Nationale that all seem to lead back to a single source — possibly Pierre Plantard — and revealed by Gerard de Sede.2
It was he, along with Plantard, who deposited the Dossiers Secrets into the Bibliotheque Nationale, according to library records between 1965 and 1967. Eventually de Sede, Plantard, and the Marquis Phillipe de Cherissy had a falling out.
"After their quarrel Plantard made it known that the parchments in de Sede’s book were fakes. In 1971 I received a letter from Phillipe de Cherissy implying that he was the author of the two parchments published by Gerard de Sede."
"Plantard trusted me because I was writing a book about him and he gave me the original documents." - Pierre Jarnac, The Archives of the Treasure of Rennes-le-Château
Jarnac produced the documents for a BBC documentary. A note on Parchment 1 in Plantard’s handwriting stated "This is the original document faked by Phillipe de Cherissy which Gerard de Sede reproduced in his book L'Or de Rennes-le-Château.
In a forty-four page unpublished paper called Stone and Paper de Cherissy "describes how the documents were fabricated, how the ciphers were set and how they can be decoded." - Pierre Jarnac, The Archives of the Treasure of Rennes-le-Château3
Although the actual existence of any historical Priory of Zion is unproven, authors Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln speculate that such a society existed and hypothesis entanglements with modern crypto-political forces, such as the Knights of Malta, the P2 masonic lodge, the Kreisau Circle, the Swiss Grand Loge Alpina, and various advocates of Pan-European Union:
"There was a secret order behind the Knight’s Templar, which created the Templars as its military and administrative arm. This order, which has functioned under a variety of names, is most frequently known as the Prieure de Sion ('Priory of Zion')."4
Other books—Lincoln’s The Holy Place and its sequel Keys to the Sacred Pattern; David Wood and Ian Campbell’s GenIsis and GeneSet, which promotes the theory of alien origins for humankind; Picknett and Prince’s Templar Revelation; Andrews and Schellenberger’s The Tomb of G-d; Lionel Fanthorpe’s Secrets of Rennes-le-Chateau; Ean Begg’s The Cult of the Black Virgin; Elizabeth Van Buren’s Refuge of the Apocalypse, which promotes the Merovingians-as-extraterrestrials theory; Alex Christopher’s Pandora’s Box; Lawrence Gardner’s Bloodline of the Holy Grail; and Martha Neyman’s The Horse of G-d—all accept the existence of the Prieure de Sion. None of them document any proof. Most of the information presented in Holy Blood, Holy Grail had already appeared in other French publications such as Gerard De Sede’s book Le tresor maudit de Rennes (The Accursed Treasure of Rennes) in which de Sede claims the Merovingians descended from extraterrestrials from Sirius.
In Cosmic Trigger III Robert Anton Wilson explores the Prieure’s claim to be descended from beings from Sirius and suggests that the whole story is a hoax perpetrated as a work of performance art. Some Christian eschatologists view the Prieure scenario as a fulfillment of prophesies found in the Book of Revelation and further proof of an anti-Christian conspiracy.5 The original material, however, seems to have issued from a single specific source and appears to be a product of Pierre Plantard de Saint-Clair’s imagination.
Steven Mizrach writes:
Yet this mysterious secret society brought itself to light in 1956 and is listed with the French directory of organizations under the subtitle "Chivalry of Catholic Rules and Institutions of the Independent and Traditionalist Union," which in French abbreviates to CIRCUIT — the name of the magazine distributed internally among members. Depending on what statutes one considers, Sion either has 9,841 members in nine grades, or 1,093 members in seven, with the supreme member, the "Nautonnier" or Grand Master of the Order being, till 1963, Jean Cocteau (1918-1963) french postmodernist playwright.6 While it is believed the head has been Pierre Plantard de St.-Clair up until recent times, he claims to have left that post in 1984, so it is not clear who runs the organization at this time.
Despite its registry, however, the organization remains untraceable, its given address and number leading to dead ends.7
Most writings about the Prieure touch on the legend of Rennes-le-Chateau and the Merovingians. Current theories also involve the inventor Barnes Wallis; the Cajun people of Louisiana; Johann Salvator, the young Hapsburg prince; lost cities of South America; the so-called "Baconian" theory, which suggests that Sir Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays; a "doorway unto the invisible" —a gateway to other dimensions; the Illuminati; and self-styled HRH Prince Michael James Alexander Stewart, 7th Count of Albany (Scotland).
The Hieron du Val d'Or, a mystic-cum-political movement at Paray-le-Monial, is also claimed by Jean-Luc Chaumeil, author of Le Triangle d'Or[France, Alain Lefeuvre: 1979] to be a part of this story. It too hinges on the discredited Dossiers Secrets.
Prince Michael dismisses the Plantard claim of a Morovingian bloodline as "wishful thinking" and has stated his belief that the Prieure was only created in 1956.8 Anglican Bishop Montefiore catalogues what he calls "79 instances ... of gross errors, vital omissions, gravely misleading statements or the adoption of way-out hypotheses."9
By the 1990s, even Lincoln had soured on speculating about the Prieure de Sion and Pierre Plantard. "In my old age, I've decided to stick to that which can be verified," Lincoln groused when asked for an update on the secret society.
1. The Grail Quest or The Orion Archetype and The Destiny of Man Part V-G: The Priory of Sion <cassiopaea.org/cass/grail_5g.htm>
3. Sources And Documents Exposed. <ukmasons.com/sources.htm>.
4. The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Baigent, Michael, Leigh, Richard, and Lincoln, Henry. London: Transworld Publishers, Ltd. 1983. ISBN: 0 552 12138 X pb.
5. Evangelicals &%038; Globalists Together. Tim and Barb Aho Watch Unto Prayer: <watch.pair.com> [2001/01/03]. Merovingian/British Israel deception and infiltration of apostate Christianity: <freedomdomain.com> [2001/01/03].
6. Jean Cocteau. Fifield, William. USA: Columbia University Press, 1974.
7. Prieure of Sion: the Mystery Deepens. Steven Mizrach <www.fiu.edu/~mizrachs/priory-of-sion-more.html> [2001/01/03].
8. The Artist Currently Known as Prince Michael. Tracy R. Twyman. <www.dagobertsrevenge.com/articles/pminterview2.html> [2001/01/03].
9. The Grail Quest. loc cit
10. The Jesus Conspiracy. CarpeNoctem: October 2001. <carpenoctem.tv/cons/jesus.html>. Also found at <conspire.com/priory.html> [2001/01/03].
10. Doesn't the Alta Vendita prove that Freemasonry is anti-Catholic?
The current interest in the Alta Vendita, mostly on the part of the extreme anti-Vatican II fringe of the Catholic church,1 was piqued by the 1998 publication of Alta Vendita, The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita by John Vennari, a writer for the Catholic Family News.
This little booklet2 reprints a collection of papers — reputedly from 1820s Alta Vendita correspondence — published by authority of Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) in 1859.3
During the early 19th century the people of the Italian states were attempting to expel foreign troops, mostly French and Austrian, and to redefine their political relationship with the aristocracy and the Roman Catholic Church. One of several political and militant groups, the Carbonari promoted republicanism, liberalism and what the Catholic church condemns as "modernism". The Carbonari leadership was titled the Alta Vendita. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Just as the name "Carbonari" was adopted from the charcoal-burners, so also in their secret intercourse they made use of many expressions taken from the occupation of charcoal-burning. The place where the members assembled was called baracca (hut), its interior vendita (place of selling coal), and its surroundings foresta (forest). The members called one another buon cugino (good cousin); those not belonging to the society were pagani (heathens). The Carbonari were divided into two classes: apprentices and masters. No apprentice could rise to the grade of a master before the end of six months. The members made themselves known to one another by secret signs in shaking hands. These signs for masters and apprentices were unlike. One of the underlying principles of the society, it is true, was that the "good brotherhood" rested on religion and virtue; but by this was understood a purely natural conception of religion, and the mention of religion was absolutely forbidden. In reality the association was opposed to the Church. Nevertheless, it venerated St. Theobald as its patron saint. The members belonging to each separate district formed a vendita, called thus from the place of assembly. At the head was the alta vendita, to which deputies were chosen from the other vendite.4
Whether the Carbonari was "opposed to the Church" or only opposed to the temporal and political power of the Church — and whether such a distinction is possible — is not the issue here. The important point is that after the fall of the Bourbons, its influence rapidly declined and, after 1841, nothing more was heard of it.
Interest in the Alt Venditi was kept alive by such discredited conspiracy theorists as Nesta Webster, Edith Starr Miller5 and William Guy Carr6 and further promoted by the John Birch Society.7
There is nothing in Vennari’s booklet, or any other writings on the Alta Venditi, that proves that the group was associated in any fashion with regular Freemasonry, that it had any influence on Freemasonry, that it grew out of the Bavarian Illuminati, or that it continues to exist in any form.
1.Mario Derksen, in Traditional Insights April 12-14, volume 13, no. 70, believes that Pope John Paul II is promoting indifferentism, syncretism, and humanism. <www.dailycatholic.org/issue/2002Apr/apr12mdi.htm>. cf.: "They have Uncrowned Him," Archbishop Lefebvre. http://www.fsspx.org/eng/esubversi.htm>.
2.The Roman Church and Revolution, Cretineau-Joly. (2nd volume, original edition, 1859; reprinted Paris : Circle of the French Renaissance, 1976; cf.: The Anti-Christian Conspiracy, Mgr. Delassus. DDB, 1910, Tome III, pp. 1035-1091.
3.The permanent instruction of the Alta Vendita : a masonic blueprint for the subversion of the Catholic Church, John Vennari. Rockford, IL : Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1998. ISBN: 0895556448
4. "Carbonari." J.P. Kirsch, Transcribed by Gerald M. Knight. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company Online Edition Copyright © 1999 by Kevin Knight Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
5.Occult theocrasy, Lady Queenborough, Edith Starr née Miller Paget, Baroness (d. 1933), Abbeville (France) : Imprimerie F. Paillart, 1933. 2v : front. (ports.) illus., facsims. (1 fold.) ; 23 cm [Published posthumously for private circulation only. Published under the auspices of the International league for historical research]. pp. 427-438. Miller is also the author of Common sense in the kitchen, New York : Brentano’s, 1918. 55 p. 23 cm. LCCN: 18013347.
6. William Guy Carr, Pawns in The Game, "Introduction," (1958), William Guy Carr (1895/06/02 - 1959/10/02) Los Angeles, California : St. George Press, April, 1962 (4th Edition). pb 193p.
7. "Demolishing Conspiracy Bromides." Robert W. Lee. The John Birch Society Bulletin, January 1997.
11. What about the Rex Deus dynasty’s influence on Freemasonry?
The "Rex Deus" group of theories incorporates a belief that Jesus of Nazereth (c.6 BCE - c.30 CE) had a wife and several children. The theories promoted by such popular books as Holy Blood, Holy Grail fall into this catagory. Although there is biblical evidence of Jesus' siblings, all such theories of a wife and children remain unproven and appear to be based more on assumption and wishful thinking than on any documented proof.
The promoters of these theories, that many of Europe’s ruling families were descended from the Merovingians and Jesus — the union of the holy Davidic and Zadokite bloodlines — often incorporate the Rennes-le-Chateau mystery and often attempt to link the Knights Templar and the Priory of Sion [see above] with Freemasonry.
Rex Deus, by Marilyn Hopkins, Graham Simmans and Tim Wallace-Murphy (Element Books), is somewhat unique in discrediting the latter claim while embracing the former. The one key source for Rex Deus is an anonymous informant, "Michael", whose family traditions appear to be based on Barbara Thiering.
Rex Deus further claims that Robert the Bruce was a Rex Deus family member and had adopted Celtic practices which were aligned with Druidic and Enochian traditions of the Celts. Proof of none of this is forthcoming.
Most promoters of these speculations insist on the veracity of the debunked documents kept at the Bibliotheque Nationale [see above]. They will contend that the Counts of Champagne, Lords of Gisors, Lords of Payen, Counts of Fontaine, Counts of Anjou, de Bouilloin, St Clairs of Roslin, Brienne, Joinvill, Chaumont, St Clair de Gisor, St Clair de Neg and the Hapsburgs also took the name Rex Deus, and that Godfrey de Bouillon was the originator of the group and a direct descendent of Jesus.
This stream of speculation includes the claim that the descendants of this royal and priestly line, now call themselves Rex Deus and that the original Celtic church was founded by the Rex Deus. Other Rex Deus included the Stuarts of Scotland and today’s King Juan Carlos of Spain. One popular promoter of these theories is Israeli conspiracy theorist, Barry Chamish.
No documentation or proof of any of this exists, so the corrollary claim that this alleged dynasty has influenced or controlled Freemasonry is also unsubstantiated. Promoters of these speculations continue to insist that the existence of a collection of unrelated historical events and persons somehow is the proof of their theories.
12. What is the Council on Foreign Relations?
The Council on Foreign Affairs began in 1917 with a group of New York academics who were asked by Woodrow Wilson to offer options for American foreign policy in the post-war period. This group was titled "The Inquiry." A creation of Wilson’s aid, Edward Mandell House, the Inquiry helped draw the borders of post-World War I central Europe when twenty-three of the scholars accompanied Wilson to the Paris Peace Conference.
Originally envisioned as a British-American group of scholars and diplomats, it was a subsequent group of 108 New York financiers, manufacturers and international lawyers organized in June 1918 by Nobel Peace Prize recipient and US secretary of state, Elihu Root, that became the Council on Foreign Relations on July 29, 1921.
The first of the Council’s projects was a quarterly journal launched in September 1922, called Foreign Affairs. Its various other projects avoided "international relations in general," as an early institutional history explained, and concentrated instead on "American relations with other countries." In 1990, the Council published a survey entitled Sea Changes: American Foreign Policy in a World Transformed, in which seventeen experts showed how global relations were not merely in transition but on the brink of fundamental transformation.
In the Council’s own words: "The Council on Foreign Relations is dedicated to increasing America’s understanding of the world and contributing ideas to US foreign policy. The Council accomplishes this mainly by promoting constructive debates and discussions, clarifying world issues, and by publishing Foreign Affairs, the leading journal on global issues."
A research group with a mandate to inform American public opinion, the CFR is viewed with great suspician by conspiracy theorists. Jack Newell and Devvy Kidd, in Why A Bankrupt America, (Project Liberty, Arvada, CO.) view Edward House as a marxist bent on socialist domination and believe that the CFR’s goal is to convert the USA from a sovereign constitutional republic to a "servile member of a one-world dictatorship."
They assume that the CFR has a hidden political agenda. When they see the large number of American presidents, senators, and representatives who have been members they assume that the CFR is influencing their opinions rather than the other way around. When they also see that a number of these men have also been freemasons, they conclude that Freemasonry also embraces this perceived political agenda. Although they will claim loud and long that this is the case, they provide no proof. Assertion is not proof.
For information on the Council on Foreign Relations, view their website at <cfr.org >.
13. What was the Rhodes-Milner Round Table?
Cecil Rhodes wrote six wills over his lifetime. In the first, written at the age of 23 — sometime after his doctor had warned him that he had but six months to live — he proposed to "form a secret society with but one object, the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule, for the recovery of the United States, for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire." This was written on June 2, 1877, a month and a half after he had joined a masonic lodge in Oxford. He was not impressed with Freemasonry but it appears to have given him ideas of his own.1
By the time he wrote his final will, his thinking had evolved to the establishment of a scholarship trust fund. The trustees for the Rhodes Scholarships in 1902 were Lord Alfred Milner (1854-1925), Lord Rosebery, Lord Grey, Alfred Beit, L. L. Michell, B. F. Hawksley, and Dr. Starr Jameson.2 The scholarships were to be given without regard to race or creed.
Conspiracy theorists see this as the origin of the Round Table, which they claim became the Council On Foreign Relations, which in turn set up the Trilateral Commission. Taking one passage from a twenty-three year-old’s discarded will, they believe they have proof that these groups have a secret agenda of world-domination.
Some conspiracy theorists, such as Eric Samuelson, claim that what Cecil Rhodes and Alfred Milner had in mind was the formation of a master/slave society based upon the principles of eugenics as derived from Plato’s Republic. Rhodes, purportedly, was directed to this end by Oxford don, John Ruskin, as a counter to what these theorists perceive to be the proletariat ideology of French Freemasonry. Ruskin is also claimed, erroneously, to be a freemason.
They also believe that the original trustees were all freemasons. The name "The Round Table," appears to be a creation of Quigley’s. The purported membership of the group: Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Balfour, Lord Rothschild, H.G. Wells, and some Oxford graduates described as Milner’s Kindergarten, is not cited. "In 1909, Milner’s Kindergarten, with some other English Masons, founded the Round Table."3
Three think tanks are purported to be offshoots of the Round Table: the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), organized in 1919 in London; the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), organized in 1921 in New York City; and the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR), organized in 1925.
The claim is that: "The initial assignment of the Round Table was not necessarily to destroy the political experiments of French Freemasonry, such as socialism and communism, but to cooperate with them for the advancement of the English Masonic conspiracy." The anonymously authored book, The Union Jack also claimed that "the British Empire originated the Russian system of Communism to exploit the world as a front for British Imperialism," while Lady Queenborough’s uncited claim that Karl Marx, Tolain, Fribourg, Varlin, Camelinat, Beslay, Malon and Corbon were all freemasons is also often quoted.
Dr. Carroll Quigley (1910-1977), author of Tragedy and Hope (1966), is also often cited as supporting these theories. Writing in 1949,4 he outlined his research into these groups, approving of their aims but deprecating their wish for secrecy. Both New Left writer and activist Carl Oglesby, and right-wing John Birch Society lecturer, W. Cleon Skousen, (The Naked Capitalist, 1970) have found validation for their own conspiracy theories in Quigley’s work.
The theories of Lyndon LaRouche, while often thinly disguised antisemitism, also make reference to the Round Table as a link between freemasonry, British Imperialism and Zionism. Several pages of Pat Robertson’s The New World Order (1991) are spent on Quigley’s theories. Robertson views all this as an age-old power-struggle with Satan.
Any actual lineal connection between these groups and their real, or imagined, purposes or effectiveness is beyond the scope of this FAQ. It is only because conspiracy theorists view the sometimes real, sometimes imagined, masonic association of some members of these groups as somehow conclusive of a greater, more sinister, conspiracy, that the groups are of interest to this FAQ.
1. "On 2 June 1877, Rhodes became a life member of the Masonic Order. At the celebratory dinner that followed his initiation, he angered some of the members present by 'revealing the cherished secrets of the craft'. Clearly, Rhodes did not take the Masonic Order very seriously. 'I see the wealth and power they possess, the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear to be the most ridiculous and absurd rites with no object, with no end.'" Rhodes, The race for Africa, Antony Thomas. London: BBC Books, 1996. 368p. p. 112.
The first quote is from Rhodes, Lockhart and Woodhouse (1963) p. 64, the second from Rhodes' first will or "Confession of Faith". Two manuscript versions exist. The first, in Rhodes' own handwriting, was written on June 2, 1877, at Oxford. The second is a fair copy made by a clerk in Kimberley in the summer of 1877, with additions and alterations in Rhodes' handwriting. Rhodes' final will is available as Will and Codicils of the Rt. Hon. Cecil John Rhodes, Rhodes Estate Act 1916, Rhodes Trust Act 1929, printed for the Rhodes Trust by John Johnson at the University Press Oxford, n.d., 32p. Also see: John Flint, Cecil Rhodes, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1974; and London: Hutchinson, 1976.
2.Carroll Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment. New York: Books in Focus, 1981. 354 p. p. 34.
3.Names supplied by Eric Samuelson whose writings appear on many websites: <biblebelievers.org.au>, <watch.pair.com, <sweetliberty.org>, <davidicke.com>. Also see The House of Morgan,Ron Chernow. p. 430, and the anonymously authored book, The Union Jack.
4.The Anglo-American Establishment. was written in 1949 but not published until after Quigley’s death. Often criticized for a lack of footnotes, Quigley’s conclusions may be questioned, but his solid research is clearly apparent. Also see Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. New York: MacMillan Company, 1966. 1348 pp. and The Evolution of Civilizations, An Introduction to Historical Analysis.
14. What is the Belmont Brotherhood?
Politics make strange bedfellows. 1 The fight for the hearts and minds of Americans and the home-front battle against international communism in the mid to late twentieth century created some strange and sometimes unwitting alliances. One such was the John Birch Society.
Among those attracted by the Bircher’s message of American values and anti-communism were a number of Christian fundamentalists who viewed both communism and Freemasonry as anti-American and probably satanic. When the masonic membership of a number of the society’s founders was noticed, this led to a belief that the society was actually some form of diversionary tactic on the part of an international satanic conspiracy.
"The Belmont Brotherhood," an unpublished "exposé" of the John Birch Society, is the source of the name of this imagined group. It refers to freemasons who worked in the John Birch Society offices in Belmont, Massachusetts. The current main promoter of this attack on the John Birch Society is Nicholas J. Bove, Jr., 2 a former research assistant of the society’s founder, Robert Welch. 3
It appears that Robert Welch’s library contained a number of books on Freemasonry and on page 14 of the John Birch Society Bulletin of October, 1973 Welch assured his readers that "American Masons are just as patriotic as you or I." Welch mentions a number of occasions that he spoke out against communism at masonic lodges.
On December 20, 1972, Andrew Lane wrote from the Belmont offices, in response to concerns expressed by one Dr. Stuart Crane about freemasons in the society: "The JBS has no position on Freemasonry." "The Masons today are usually the outstanding and solid citizens of their communities." Again, on February 20, 1973, Andrew Lane wrote "...I do know many members of the Order, have over the years worked with many of them in a book, and related to several, all of whom are of unquestioned patriotism and loyalty to all that is finest in American and in Christian traditions." 4
A number of John Birch Society leaders have been freemasons: Council member Robert D. Love, founding member T. Coleman Andrews (1960-61 Who’s Who in America), Council member Ralph E. Davis, Frank E. Masland, Jr. (1964-65 Who’s Who), Cola Godden Parker (1950-51 Who’s Who), early JBS Council member Joseph Bracken Lee (1976-77 Who’s Who in America), Editorial Advisory Committee member of American Opinion Robert Bartlett Dresser (1976-77 Who’s Who in America) 5
The usual attacks are made by Bove: that 32° Scottish Rite freemasons worship Lucifer, that Albert Pike made this claim, and that 32° Scottish Rite freemasons are by definition "high-ranking". Stripped of his rhetoric and assertions, Bove fails to demonstrate that these freemasons in the John Birch leadership did anything other than convince the council that freemasons could be as patriotic and anti-communist as any other Americans. His only criticism of them is the fact that they are freemasons. His criticisms of Freemasonry are discredited lies. [RETURN TO INDEX]
1.My Summer in a Garden,Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900). Chap. 15, 1871. Boston : Fields, Osgood & Co., 1871. xii, 183 pp. 18 cm. LCCN: 22010088.
2.Nicholas J. Bove, Jr. is currently chairman of the Get Us Out! (of the JBS) Committee, in Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406. Author of The Belmont Conspiracy of Silence and The Anatomy of a Smear "Elitist clubs like the Pilgrim Society of America and much less sophisticated offshoots from Masonry like the YMCA and the seemingly innocuous Elks and Rotary Clubs are in reality philosophically interconnected sects within the overall Masonic framework of the Luciferian tradition of Albert Pike." "...in a few short years we shall all be hanging from the same lamp posts, while MASONIC TERROR reigns around us." He also cites John DeFriend as supporting his accusations, without supplying specific references.
3.Non-mason Robert H. W. Welch (1899/12/01 - 1985/01/06) achieved prominence with his The Politician (1960) in which he attacked US President Dwight David Eisenhower as a communist sympathizer. Author of The Road to Salesmanship, Ronald Press Company, 1941; May God Forgive Us, Henry Regnery Company, 1952; The Life of John Birch, Henry Regnery Company, 1954. Editor and publisher of American Opinion. Founder of the John Birch Society on 9 December 1958. The Society was named after US Army Intelligence Captain John Birch who was killed on 25 August 1945 by Chinese communists. Welch’s "More Stately Mansions" address in Chicago in 1964, (found in The New Americanism) marked a move away from pure anti-communism to conspiracy theory with an acceptence of the origins of the communist conspiracy in Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati. Also see. G. Edward Griffin The Life and Words of Robert Welch, and The Blue Book of The John Birch Society, a transcript of the two-day presentation given by Robert Welch at the founding meeting of The John Birch Society in Indianapolis, December 9, 1958.
4.Source; Nicholas J. Bove, Jr.<watch.pair.com/belmont.html> 2002/10/27.
5.Kangaroo Court versus the John Birch Society, Los Angeles: A.J. MacDonald and Associates Political research Bureau, 1963. Source; Nicholas J. Bove, Jr.<watch.pair.com/belmont.html> 2002/10/27.
15. What is the Skull and Bones?
"Skull and Bones is the oldest of Yale’s fraternities, founded in December of 1832 by a Yale senior named William Huntington Russell (1809-85). He and a group of classmates decided to form the Eulogian Club as an American chapter of a German student organization. The club paid obeisance to Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence, who took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes, in 322 B.C., and who is said to have returned in a kind of Second Coming on the occasion of the society’s inception. The Yale society fastened a picture of its symbol — a skull and crossbones — to the door of the chapel where it met. Today the number 322, recalling the date of Demosthenes' death, appears on society stationery. In 1856 Daniel Coit Gilman, who went on to become the founding president of Johns Hopkins University, officially incorporated the society as the Russell Trust Association, and Skull and Bones moved into the space it still occupies.
"For many years the society has possessed a skull that members call Geronimo. In , under pressure from Ned Anderson, a former Apache tribal chairman in Arizona, the society produced the skull in question. The skull didn't match Anderson’s records, and it was returned to the society’s tomb.
"It does own an island on the St. Lawrence River — Deer Island, in Alexandria Bay [Donated by George Douglas Miller, who requested the island be called "Deer Iland."]. The forty-acre retreat is intended to give Bonesmen an opportunity to 'get together and rekindle old friendships.' A century ago the island sported tennis courts and its softball fields were surrounded by rhubarb plants and gooseberry bushes. Catboats waited on the lake. Stewards catered elegant meals. But although each new Skull and Bones member still visits Deer Island, the place leaves something to be desired. 'Now it is just a bunch of burned-out stone buildings,' a patriarch sighs. 'It’s basically ruins.' Another Bonesman says that to call the island 'rustic' would be to glorify it. 'It’s a dump, but it’s beautiful.'" 1
Initiates are known as Knights of Eulogia, their counterparts in the Scroll and Key fraternity are called Savages and non-members are labeled Barbarians while graduate members are styled Patriarchs. The society rule does not allow alcohol or drugs in their building, called the Crypt or Tomb. Their main activity appears to be weekly dinners accompanied by spirited debates.
By 1873, the fraternity was being criticised as a "deadly evil" practicing satanic initiations 2 while on September 29, 1876, a group calling itself "The Order of File and Claw" broke into the Skull and Bones’s building and subsequently published a pamphlet ascribing the order’s roots in an unidentified German society. 3
"According to one version of the Order’s founding, it was an outgrowth of an earlier British or Scottish freemasonic grouping first established at All Soul’s College at Oxford University in the late 17th century. Another version of the history of Skull & Bones is that it grew out of the German "nationalistic" secret societies of the early 19th century. Still a third explanation is that Skull & Bones is an uniquely American institution which adopted some of the rituals of European freemasonry, but molded these rituals and beliefs into a new form. " 4
Ron Rosenbaum, writing in Esquire in 1977, may be responsible for the current interest in the Skull and Bones. He detailed the history of the order, noted similarities to the Bavarian Illuminati and referred, sceptically, to the John Birch Society and other conspiracy theorists' views on the Illuminati. 5 In 1980, the right-wing Manchester Union Leader made an issue of George Bush’s Skull and Bones membership, quoting Rosenbaum but making it seem more sinister. Later, in the I992 election campaign, Pat Buchanan, George Bush’s challenger for the Republican nomination, accused the president of running 'a Skull and Bones presidency'.
In 2002 Ron Rosenbaum revisited the topic, noting that an "all-girl break-in team" had photographed the inside of the order’s building, revealing it to be little more than a common frat-house. Rosenbaum doesn't accept the theories of global conspiracy: "They didn't have to conspire to exercise power: At the height of what Bones member Henry Luce called 'the American century,' all they had to do was breathe, i.e. get born into the right family in an elite that practically did rule the world. That and a wink and a nod to a trusted friend now and then, no need for a secret handshake: Their power was public, in-your-face, had no need to hide itself." 6
The source of many of the accusations, British-born conspiracy theorist Antony Sutton (1925 - 2002/06/17) wrote a series of pamphlets about the order between 1983-1986, which were compiled into one volume and published as a book in 1986. 7
Current criticism of the Order of Skull and Bones range from Kris Millegan’s accusation that the Skull and Bones is the American branch of the Illuminati8 to Andrei Navrozov, author of The Gingerbread Race, who asserts that the initiation ritual "is like a black mass", while Eric Samuelson claims that "not unlike some Masonic ceremonies, it involves a compromising of individual dignity...." 9
While claiming to present a factual, balanced report, Goldstein and Steinberg erroneosly claim that Rosenbaum wrote that "the society’s Germanic origins are inherently wicked and pre-Nazi" and that "the Skull & Bones building on the Yale campus houses remnants from Hitler’s private collection of silver." In fact, Rosenbaum draws no conclusions about the alleged Germanic origins, and specifically states that Hitler’s silverware is in the archives of another Yale fraternity, Scroll and Key. They further distort a superficial similarity with Illuminati ritual by erroneosly claiming that a German inscription in the Skull and Bones building is from a German masonic ritual. 10
The link to the Illuminati is unproven and improbable although there is no reason that Russell might not have come across old Bavarian Illuminati texts or met German students who continued to idealize its spirit of liberalism and republicanism. There is no demonstrated link to Freemasonry.
1."George W., Knight of Eulogia - A rare look inside Skull and Bones, the Yale secret society and sometime haunt of the presumptive Republican nominee for President," Alexandra Robbins, [staff member of The New Yorker’s Washington bureau.] The Atlantic Monthly May 2000, Volume 285, No. 5; page 24-31. Also see Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power, Alexandra Robbins. Little, Brown. hb 240 pp. 6 x 9. ISBN: 0316720917
2.The Iconoclast October 13, 1873 vol. 1, no. 1, New Haven, Conn.
3."The Last Secrets of the Skull & Bones," Ron Rosenbaum. Esquire magazine, September 1977. Ref.: "pamphlet in a box of disintegrating documents filed in the library’s manuscript room under Skull and Bone’s corporate name, Russell Trust Association."
4.George Bush, Skull & Bones and the New World Order, Paul Goldstein, Jeffrey Steinberg. A New American View — International Edition White Paper April 1991.
5."The Last Secrets of the Skull & Bones," Ron Rosenbaum. Esquire magazine, September 1977.
6."Inside George W.’s Secret Crypt" by Ron Rosenbaum. The New York Observer. March 27, 2002, p. 1.
7.America’s Secret Establishment, An Introduction to the Order of Skull and Bones, Antony C. Sutton. Billings, Montana: Liberty Press, 1986.
8.A Journalist’s Introduction to Skull and Bones, Eric Samuelson [derived from a series of pamphlets by Antony C. Sutton]. The gingerbread race : a life in the closing world once called free,Andrei Navrozov. London : Picador Original, 1993. 344 pp. 24 cm. Also see: The Washington Post" George W. Was ’skull and Bones' Member at Yale" (February 24, 2000); The Grapevine, "Those Who Dismantled Our Constitution," Reprint of an article by Brian Downing Quig. (January 2, 1995). Cf.: "Bones of a Conspiracy," Claire Messud. Observer Life Magazine July 31, 1994, which provides a reasonably balanced picture, noting that much has been claimed but little proven. Also see: Membership List of All Skull and Bones Members From 1833-1950. The Russell Trust Association, New Haven, Conn., 1949.
9.Rosenbaum. "The slogan appears above a painting of skulls surrounded by Masonic symbols, a picture said to be "a gift of the German chapter." 'Wer war der Thor, wer Weiser, Bettler oder Kaiser? Ob Arm, ob Reich, im Tode gleich,' the slogan reads, or, 'Who was the fool, who the wise man, beggar or king? Whether poor or rich, all’s the same in death.'" "Toward the end of the ceremony of initiation in the 'Regent degree' of Illuminism... 'a skeleton is pointed out to him [the initiate], at the feet of which are laid a crown and a sword. He is asked 'whether that is the skeleton of a king, nobleman or a beggar.' As he cannot decide, the president of the meeting says to him, 'The character of being a man is the only one that is of importance'."
10.Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask Kris Millegan Editor, Conspiracy Theory Research List.
16. What is the Royal Dragon Court?
The Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Order Ordo Dragonis, Sárkány Rend, 1408 appears to be a late twentieth century revival by Nicholas de Vere, of an unrecognized chivalric order, the Dragon Sovereignty (Ordo Draconis), "reconstituted" in 1408 by King Szigmond von Luxembourg of Hungary (1368-1437), later to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1433.
According to their website, the Hungarian Order of the Dragon is currently registered at the High Court of Budapest. Their website also makes the historically curious claim that Szigmond was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1411 by Pope Gregory XII.1
Nicholas de Vere, a self-styled occultist and satanist who claims to be a member of the Grail bloodline, seems to have precipitated a schism within the order, leaving Michel Roger Lafosse, controversial claimant to the Stuart throne of Scotland,2 as an Inner Court Member of a reworked order dedicated to the ancient virtues of chivalry: protection of the earth, upholding of peace, support of the downtrodden, defence of the feminine, and pursuit of knowledge.
Styling himself "HRH Prince Michael of Albany", Michel Lafosse wrote The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland to bolster his claim.3 Promoted by historical revisionist,4 and son of Gerald Gardner, Laurence Gardner in such recently published books as Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail, Bloodline of the Holy Grail, Realm of the Ring Lords and Genesis of the Grail Kings, the order, and Lafosse’s claims, have generated little interest from mainstream historians.5
From claiming Michael Lafosse as the rightful Stuart king of England, Gardner has gone on to argue that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is a nonfiction history, and that the holy bloodline comes from Annunaki, from the twelfth planet of our solar system.6
Nicholas de Vere continues to promote the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court and Dragon Sovereignty aka Sarkeny Rend as a separate entity. Although he wrote the introduction to Genesis of the Grail Kings he has since had a falling out with Gardner over authorship. His unpublished From Transylvania to Tunbridge Wells is alleged to be the source of much of Gardner’s information on the Royal Dragon Court. According to Nicholas de Vere: "'Mr' Laurence Gardner, author of Bloodline of the Holy Grail and Genesis of the Grail Kings resigned from the Imperial and Royal Dragon Court - 'by mutual agreement' - following the dismissal of his business partner, Mr. Adrian Wagner, who was asked to leave the Dragon Court before 12th November 1999."7
Composer and producer, and great-great grandson of Richard Wagner, Adrian Wagner (b. 1952) composed, recorded and released companion musical suites to Gardner’s books but is reputed to have also parted company with Gardner.
Although unrelated to Freemasonry — and unsubstantiated — anti-masons and dispensational fundamentalists have used the claims of de Vere, Lafosse and Gardner as further justification of their own claims of conspiracy, satanic rituals in the Vatican and a crypto-masonic new world order.
1.See: <www.royalhouseofstewart.org.uk/Royal_Dragon_Court.htm>. Pope Gregory XII was one of three rival popes during a period now referred to as the Western or Great Schism. Szigmond [Sigismund] became German king in 1411 and was crowned emporer by Pope Eugenius IV (1431-1437) in 1433.
2.For a debunking of Lafosse’s claims, see Sean Murphy, Centre for Irish Genealogical and Historical Studies, Carraig, Cliff Road, Windgates, Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland, 31 October 2002: <homepage.tinet.ie/~seanjmurphy/chiefs/lafosse.htm>. Also see <members.rogers.com/jacobites/>, <www.chivalricorders.org/royalty>, <www.catalyst-highlands.co.uk/culloden/theking.htm>, <www.chivalricorders.org/orders/self-styled/selfsty2.htm> (accessed 2004/12/03). Few of these websites remain online but may be accessed through the Wayback Machine.
3.The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland Britain: Chrysalis / Vega Books, February 2002 Softback edition, ISBN 1843332752.
4.Historical revisionism generally takes one of two forms: changes in understanding of past events in the light of new, more accurate research; or changes in interpretation of past events to promote particular political or ideological agendas. The first, sometimes termed historiographical revisionism, is a legitimate pursuit of historians. The second, less a form of revision than of denial, utilizes the omission of contradicting evidence, and occasionally outright fabrications — and has given the popular use of the term revisionism an unsavory connotation.
5.Author and lecturer David Icke claims that Laurence Gardner is a shape-shifter who takes part in human sacrifice rituals. He also announced on the Terry Wogan talk show on BBC1 in 1991 that he was the Son of God. [See Them, Adventures with Extremists, Jon Robinson. p. 152.]
6.Also see "Realm of the Ring Lords," Sir Laurence Gardner, Nexus Magazine, vol 6, no. 6 (October-November 1999). Mapleton, Queensland, Australia.
7.See: www.dagobertsrevenge.com/dragoncourt/forward.html (2002-2003), now found at web.archive.org.
8.Further unsubstantiated claims are made at <www.geocities.com/newworldorder_themovie/DragonsRant.html>.
Source: The Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon
1. Who was Elias Ashmole ?
Elias Ashmole (1617-1692) was a 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 freemason (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.
Assertions that Ashmole introduced Solomon’s legend into the masonic ritual ignore the Sloane Manuscript (No. 3329, British Museum) or the rituals of the 12th century French stonemason corporation, Compagnonage. These clearly show that operative masons were familiar with the legend. Ashmole’s reputation with his contemporaries was that of an antiquarian and historian, not a ritualist. And unfortunately he never got around to writing a history of the Craft. [RETURN TO INDEX]
2. Who was Francis Bacon?
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, and author.
His 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 [Nicholai] wrote in 1782 that Lord Bacon had taken hints from the writings of John Andrea2 , the founder of Rosicrucianism and his English disciple, Fludd3 and that his ideas heavily influenced Elias Ashmole.4
Christoph Nicolai claimed 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.
Albert Mackey refers to Nicolai’s theory on the Bacon inspired origin of the Grand Lodge of England as "peculiar".6 [RETURN TO INDEX]
1.Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey. Virginia : Macoy Publishing, 1966 p. 361.
2.Fama Fraternitatis, John Andrea (1586/08/17 - 1654/06/27). [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.].
3.Apologia Compendiaria Fraternitatem de Rosea Croce, Robert Fludd (1574 -1637/08/09): 1616. Although opposed to Rationalism, his writings are erroneously claimed by Thomas de Quincey as the source of the symbolism in Freemasonry.
4.Elias Ashmole initiated 16/10/1646 at masons' Hall, London
5.Versuch über die Besschuldigungen welch dem Tempelherrnorden gemacht worden und über dessen Geheimniss; nebst einem Anhange uber das Entstehen der Freimaurergesellschaft Christoph Freidrich Nicolai (1733/03/18 - 1811/01/08). [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. Reprinted in freemasons' Quarterly Review, 1853, p. 649.
6.Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey. Virginia : Macoy Publishing, 1966. p. 707.
3. Who was Abbé Barruel?
Augustin Barruel (1741/10/02 - 1820/10/05) published Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire du Jacobinisme, in four volumes octavo, in London in 1797. He charged the freemasons with revolutionary principles in politics and infidelity in religion.1 Equally unsubstantiated were his claims that Freemasonry was derived, by way of the Templars, from the Manicheans.2 Often quoted by modern anti-masonic writers, his claims and accusations were widely denounced and discredited by his contemporaries.3 [RETURN TO INDEX]
1. Cf.: "The Romances of Robison and Barruel" by the Rev. W.K. Firminger. F.M. Rickard, editor. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum. London : Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076." vol l (1940). pp. 31-69.
2. Cf.: "The European Illuminati," Vernon L. Stauffer. <freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/stauffer.html#0245">.
3. See: "The Misrepresentations of Barruel and Robison Exposed", William Preston, reproduced in Golden Remains, George Oliver. Vol. 3, pp. 274-300; and also "Anti-masonry," Alphonse Cerza, AQC, London : Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076. vol. lxxx, (1968). pp. 241-270.
4. Who was Cagliostro?
Giuseppe Balsamo (1743-95), Italian adventurer and gifted con-man. His alleged initiation into the irregular Esperance Lodge No. 289 (London) in April 1776 is undocumented. Regardless, 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?
General Albert Pike (1809-1891) was a lawyer and editor, and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (1859-1891). Although held in high regard by many North American freemasons, his writings on the history or symbolism of Freemasonry are not considered authoritative.
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."
Albert Pike is popular with anti-masons for three reasons. Firstly, Léo Taxil falsely accused him of claiming that the god of Freemasonry was Lucifer (Note Taxil’s public confession); secondly, Susan L. Davis and Walter L. Fleming, without documentation or proof, claimed him as a leader of the Ku Klux Klan; and thirdly, Pike’s extensive writings are easily quoted out of context to demonstrate pagan or occult leanings.
6. Who was John Robison?
John Robison (1739-1805)1 was Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, Secretary of the Royal Society in that city, and 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."2 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. [RETURN TO INDEX]
1. For a biography, see Vernon L. Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati. fn. 2, p. 200 <freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/stauffer_notes.html#182>.
2. Cf.: "The Romances of Robison and Barruel" by the Rev. W.K. Firminger. F.M. Rickard, editor. Ars Quatuor Coronatorum London : Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076. vol. l (1940). pp. 31-69
7. Who was Léo Taxil?
Born in Marseille, France, March 21, 1854 and schooled by the Jesuits, his real name was Marie-Joseph Gabriel Antoine Jogand-Pagès. He tried the shortcut of financial fraud, and when he was discovered he fled from France to Geneva. There, Gabriel Pagès adopted the name of Léo Taxil. Expeled from Switzerland for fraud, he returned, under amnesty, to France in 1879
In the strongly anti-church climate existing throughout France, Léo 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 the lodge Le Temple de L'Honneur Français 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.
Léo Taxil confessed on April 23, 1885 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 Three-point Brothers; The Anti-Christ and the Origin of masonry; The Cult of the Great Architect; Pius IX, Freemason? and The masonic Assassins.
Taxil honed the simple declaration, "Lucifer is God," and attributed it to Albert Pike, supposedly delivered to freemasons on Bastille Day, July 14, 1889. (See Section VI Subsection 2)
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.
An English translation of Taxil’s published confession appeared in in Volume 5 for 1996 of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction’s education journal, Heredom, edited by S. Brent Morris.
8. Who was Adam Weishaupt?
Adam Weishaupt was born February 6, 1748 at Ingolstadt and educated by the Jesuits. His appointment as Professor of Natural and Canon Law at the University of Ingolstadt 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. (see Section V, Subsection 2.)
1. Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing. 1966, p.1099.
9. Was [insert name] a freemason?
There are over 200 recognized masonic jurisdictions around the world, each of which keeps its own records and rolls. Several books have been published listing details of well over 10,000 famous freemasons but it is not always easy to document membership.
No individual speaks for Freemasonry, nor does Freemasonry dictate opinion and belief to its members, so masonic membership is no real criterion for evaluating views, opinions, conclusions, or actions. One list of freemasons can be found at: <http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/textfiles/famous.html>
American President George Bush Sr.?
No. Some draw an association with his use of the phrase "new world order" in a 11 September, 1990 televised address to a joint session of Congress, but no regular lodge is on record as having initiated either him or his son, USA President George W. Bush. He was a member of the Skull and Bones fraternity at Yale University; which has certain superficial elements in common with Freemasonry, of which the principal one might be summarized in their motto, "memento mori".
Crowley was initiated into an irregular lodge in Mexico. He had only four contacts with regular Freemasonry, was never active as a freemason, was never recognized as a freemason by any regular body of Freemasonry, and had no impact on Freemasonry.
USA motion picture and television producer, Walter Elias Disney (1901/12/05 - 1966/12/15), was a member of the appendent organization for boys, DeMolay International. He was not a freemason. For reasons of their own, a few anti-masons, detractors of American pop culture and conspiracy theorists have referred to Disney as a 33º freemason but this claim is unfounded.
American President Millard Fillmore?
An active anti-mason until 1835, Fillmore, after his presidency, later attended two masonic cornerstone layings, but there is no record that he was a freemason.
The designers of Washington DC’s streetplan?
Although much has been made of the so-called masonic symbolism in the street plan of the USA capitol, Washington DC, there is no record that either Thomas Jefferson, Pierre Charles L'Enfant or Andrew Ellicott were freemasons.
The Reverend Billy Graham is not a freemason. The following correspondence to a reader of the Cutting Edge Ministry makes this very clear:
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 97 11:23:21 -0500
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Don Kinde)
Thank you for your e-mail message. We understand your concern about rumors that Mr. Graham is in some way associated with Freemasonry. The reports are erroneous — though we continue to hear them. Mr. Graham is not, has not been and does not expect ever to be involved in Freemasonry. Your help in keeping the record as accurate as possible would be much appreciated.
Christian Guidance Department
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
One possible source of this rumour was Composite Lodge No. 595’s website in Santa Monica, California, USA. The brother maintaining the site reproduced a list of famous freemasons that mistakenly included the Reverend Billy Graham’s name. Once the error was brought to his attention, the list was amended on December 28, 1996. Other masonic websites unwittingly reproduced the list and several years passed before most, if not all of them, were corrected.
The late Jim Shaw claimed that Billy Graham was present when he was made a 33rd Degree freemason. This is only one of Shaw’s many lies exposed in such publications as Is it True What They Say About Freemasonry?
On 13 June, 1997 anti-mason and fundamentalist Christian, Steve Van Nattan went on a syndicated Christian Fundamentalist radio talk show, "The Cutting Edge," to announce his "proof" that Graham was not only a freemason but that the freemasons were trying to hide his membership. The Cutting Edge Ministry subsequentially accepted the denial issued by Billy Graham’s office.
L. Ron Hubbard?
Author of Dianetics (1950) and founder of the Church of Scientology; there is no record that Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911/03/13 - 1986/01/24) was initiated into any regular lodge of Freemasonry.
The purported link is Hubbard’s association with John Whiteside Parsons (1914/02/10 - 1952/06/17), chemist and founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. 1
"Jack" Parsons was head of the Agapé Lodge of the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) in Los Angeles, California, and later head of the Pasadena OTO branch. Hubbard is alleged to have been initiated into the OTO in 1944 by either Aleister Crowley or Parsons, and also to have first met Parsons in August of 1945. There is no documentation of Hubbard’s initiation. Others have claimed that Hubbard was a spy for either the FBI or US Naval Intelligence.2 Although Hubbard’s association with Parsons is unquestioned—as is his regard for Crowley3— Hubbard’s role or involvement with the OTO is a subject of some conjecture. Claims by authors such as Maury Terry ("The Ultimate Evil") are unsubstantiated, and in some instances, demonstrably wrong. The point here is that this is not a masonic association and does not demonstrate that Hubbard was a freemason.
1. cf.: Barefaced Messiah, Russell Miller. London : 1987; Michael Staley, AHA No. 8 (pp. 91 "ff"): "The Babalon Working of Jack Parsons" (published in "Apocalypse Culture", edited by Adam Parfrey, Los Angeles 1987-90, and "Starfire", London 1987, p. 32.) ; Scientology, F.W. Haack, Munich: 1982; Über die Verbindung von L.R. Hubbard zur Magick von A. Crowley, Roland Winkhart (an ex-member of Scientology and the 'Caliphate', subsequently in the Temple of Set). Vienna: 1985. Cited at: http://www.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/white.htm (2002/05/10).
2. Neuropolitics,Robert Anton Wilson & Timothy Leary, 1977 ; cf. "Scarlet and the Beast,"John Daniel. Vol. 1, pp. 429-430 ; A Piece of Blue Sky,Jon Atack. New Jersey : Lyle Stuart Books, 1990.
2.L. Ron Hubbard, "Conditions of Space/Time/Energy" Philadelphia Doctorate Course cassette tape #18 5212C05 (1952)
Lenin was not a recognized freemason. Although claims have been made that he was a member of the Grand Orient of Russian Peoples, there is no proof of this. The Grand Orient of Russian Peoples was an irregular and clandestine body, having no relations with regular Freemasonry. The Revue internationale des Sociétés Secrètes (Vol. VIII, 1919. p. 702) claimed, without citation, that Lenin was a member of a secret masonic lodge in Switzerland. Prince Dr. Otto zu Salm-Horstmar said in a speech in the upper house of the Prussian Diet, in August 1918, that Lenin was a Jew and belonged to a masonic lodge in Paris with Trotsky, but his sources are also uncited.1
1. Norman Cohn (1915 - ), Warrant for Genocide. London : Serif, 1996. p. 144.]
An avowed atheist, Heinrich Karl Marx (1818/05/05 - 1883/03/14) would not have qualified for membership. There is no record of his having joined a regular lodge. Marx’s alleged masonic link stems from his involvement with the League of the Just.
Friederich Engels (1820-1895) helped Marx transform this socialist secret society of émigré German workers into the Communist League when they held their first congress in London in June 1847. In 1848 he and Karl Marx were authorized to draft their statement of principles, "The Communist Manifesto."
Claims, such as that in None Dare Call it Conspiracy [p. 30], that this society was associated in any form with any Illuminati—or by extension, Freemasonry—are unfounded.
The fact that almost forty years later Karl Marx’s daughter, Eleanor Morris, co-founded the Socialist League, and that the masonic fraud Theodor Reuss joined soon after [AQC Vol 91], does not prove that the earlier Communist League had anything to do with any Illuminati. Eleanor’s marriage to Theosophist lecturer and friend of Annie Besant, Edward Aveling, is also cited by Richard Wurmbrand as "proof" that Marx was a satanist.
Charles Taze Russell?
Claims have been made that "Pastor" Russell (1852/02/16-1916/10/31), founder of the International Bible Students Association — forerunner of the Jehovah’s Witnesses — was a freemason; that the banner on the front of early issues of the Watchtower contained masonic symbols; and that Russell’s gravestone bears a masonic cross and crown symbol.
Russell was not a freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol are exclusively masonic. And the cross and crown symbol does not appear on his gravestone in the Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — it appears on a memorial erected some years later.
In an address delivered in a San Francisco masonic hall in 1913, Russell made positive use of masonic imagery by saying, "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." He further develops this idea: "true Bible believers may or may not belong to the masonic fraternity, but they are all masons of the highest order, since they are being fashioned, chiselled and polished by the Almighty to be used as living stones in the Temple Built Without Hands. They are free from sin, and therefore accepted by the God of Heaven as fit stones for the heavenly Temple." Later in this address, Russell stated quite clearly that "I have never been a mason." Those who claim Russell was a freemason quote this address out of context without noting the rhetorical imagery.
Although Russell wrote about the pyramids and the Knights Templar, the pyramids are not a part of Freemasonry and Russell’s understanding of the relationship between the modern Knights Templar and Freemasonry displays an outsider’s ignorance of both organizations.
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. This claim seems to have first been made by William Guy Carr in the 1950s.
Miss. Diana Vaughan?
A figment of Léo Taxil’s imagination, he claimed Miss Vaughan belonged to a fictional lodge called Palladium.
Source: The Grand Lodge of BC and Yukon
1. Why do freemasons use the satanic pentagram?
From the Greek, "pente", meaning five and "gramma", a letter; the pentagram is a five pointed figure formed by producing the sides of a pentagon both ways to their point of intersection, so as to form a five-pointed star. It has no specifically satanic origin or meaning and no connection to Freemasonry per se.
Freemasonry 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 masonic iconography.
The pentagram (also called pentacle, pentalpha, pentacle, pentagle, or pentangle) is thought by some occultists to trace its esoteric significance to an astronomical observance of the pattern of Venus' conjunctions with the Sun and has had many meanings in many cultures through the ages. It is only from the fact that it forms the outlines of the five-pointed star to represent the "Five Points of Fellowship", and that it was associated with Pythagoras, that it has any masonic significance. Although the pentagram can be seen as a representation of the golden ratio, whether this was part of Freemasonry’s alleged "secret teachings" or is simply a modern interpolation is a topic of some controversy. The pentagram has no relationship to the Blazing Star, which has no specified number of points.
The use of a pentagram or five-pointed star in some Grand Lodge seals and banners as well as on the collar of office worn by the Masters of lodges and Grand Masters of Grand Lodges is of interest to students of masonic history and art. But its absence from the ritual and lessons of Freemasonry point out that its value is ornamental and any symbolic value is a matter of personal interpretation or opinion.
Those who would freeze the angle of the compasses in the masonic square and compasses at 72° to equate it with the pentagram, ignore the many representations which set the angle at anywhere between 45° and 80° and, in some older examples, at 90°.
"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 Éliphas Lévi claimed, with no justification or historical precedent, that one point upward represents the good principle and one downward, the evil. 2
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," the "Star of the East," or "Star of Solomon," and is a symbol of Divine guidance.
From a symbol for health or healing, It was appropriated in the mediaeval period as a charm to ward off demons, evil spirits and witches, which seems to be the root source of its common association with modern wicca and satanism.
1.Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey. Richmond, Virginia: 1966. p. 763.
2.Dogma and Ritual of High Magic ii, Éliphas Lévi. p. 55.
2. Are freemasons satanists or luciferians?
Few masonic writers will say freemasons are luciferians; none will say they are satanists. Nineteenth century writers such as Albert G. Mackey and Albert Pike use the term "luciferian" to denote a spirit of enquiry and a search for knowledge, wisdom and truth; not as a form of worship or quest for salvation. The terms "lucifer" and "luciferian" do not appear in any recognized ritual or lecture of Freemasonry (See Section VIII, Subsection 3.)
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 freemason, and he contributed nothing of a masonic nature to the committee’s proposed design for a seal. The committeemen 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
Congress declined the first committee’s suggestions as well as those of its 1780 committee. Francis Hopkinson, consultant to the second (1782) committee, used an unfinished pyramid in his design. Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, and William Barton, artist and consultant, borrowed from earlier designs and sketched what at length became the United States Seal. None of the final designers of the seal—William Baron, Charles Thomson, Sir John Prestwick—were freemasons.
"The single eye was a well-established artistic convention for an 'omniscient Ubiquitous Deity' in the medallic art of the Renaissance. In 1614 the frontispiece of The History of the World by Sir 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 all-seeing eye of God is noted several times in the Christian Bible:
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;
Ezekiel 20:17 Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.
The misinterpretation of the seal as a masonic emblem may have been first introduced a century later in 1884. Harvard professor, Eliot Charles Norton (1827-1908), 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 all-seeing 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
The eye inside of an equilateral triangle, point up or down, has often appeared in Christian art. "It is often placed high above the alter as in the Pfarrkirche at Grmunden am Traunsee (1626) and the Fisherman’s church at Traunkirchen, while it appears over the doorway of the church of the monastery of St. Florian near Linz." 6
Neither the eye nor the pyramid have ever been uniquely masonic symbols, although a few Grand Lodge jurisdictions incorporate them into their seals. The combining of the eye of providence overlooking an unfinished pyramid is a uniquely American, not masonic, icon. There are no available records showing the all-seeing eye, with or without a pyramid, associated with freemasonry prior to 1797 and none at all related to the Bavarian Illuminati.
While the eye and pyramid icon is clearly not masonic nor derived from any real-world usage other than the American Great Seal, conspiracy theorists are quick to point out that it, or variations of a circle inside a triangle, often appears in corporate logos. In popular fiction a stylized eye and pyramid, or some version of a single eye, is a common visual shorthand for power, secrecy, conspiracy or control. The intent of the creators of films and television programmes, in utilizing these icons, can only be a matter of conjecture. It is quite probable that conspiracy theorists and the visual arts are simply feeding off each other.
As an example, the otherwise credible author Gerald Suster (d. 2001) repeatedly, and without citation, in his history of the Hell-Fire Club asserts that the eye and pyramid are both Illuminati and masonic symbols.7 A number of conspiracy theorists, such as Jordan Maxwell, have claimed that the eye and pyramid symbol is printed in Bavarian Illuminati texts "until recently" on display in the British Museum. No citations or references are given, although mention is also sometimes made to UFOs and extraterrestrials. The dust jacket illustration for the 1972 hardcover edition of None Dare Call it Conspiracy includes the eye and pyramid symbol. Passing mention is made inside to the Illuminati, but no mention is made to the seal. And in 2005 the movie, National Treasure described the unfinished pyramid and all-seeing eye as symbols of the Knights Templar.
Excerpted, in part, from The Eye in the Pyramid by: S. Brent Morris in a Masonic Service Association Short Talk Bulletin.
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. prob. source: The history of the seal of the United States, United States. Dept. of State. Washington, D.C., Dept. of state, 1909. 72 p. front., plates (partly col.) 26 cm. LCCN: 09035613
5.Thomas Smith Webb, The Freemasons Monitor or Illustrations of Masonry (Salem, Mass.: Cushing and Appleton, 1821), p. 66.
6.Symbols, Signs and their meaning and uses in design Arnold Whittick. London: Leonard Hill, 1971. ISBN 0 249 44028 8. [p. 239.] Fig. 43 (c) Symbolic eye from painted bedhead, 1843; also on wardrobe, 1748, in the Kasererbrau Hotel, Salzburg. The eye is set in a triangle with the sun’s rays is a common symbol in Renaissance churches in Austria. [p. 242.] Also see Eugène Goblet Count D'Alviella’s La Migration des Symboles Paris: 1891; eng trans. intro. by Sir G. Birdwood, London: 1894.
7.The Hell-Fire Friars, Gerald Suster. London : Robson Books, 2000. ISBN: 1 86105 345 2. pp. 162, 167, 209.
The Council of Royal and Select Masters is referred to as Cryptic Masonry and takes its name from the word Crypt having its origins in the Greek language meaning a concealed place or subterranean vault. Indeed the degrees of royal Master and Select Master deal with the vault under the Temple of Solomon.
Originally the degrees were placed between the Craft Lodge and Chapter degrees and the stories contained are like a bridge connecting the two branches. The Super Excellent Master degree, while conferred by the Council of Royal and Select Masters is not truly a Cryptic Degree as it does not pertain to the crypt or vault.
Sadly the Cryptic Rite of Freemasonry is often overlooked by many Masons on their way to the Chivalric degrees as it is not a prerequisite for admission. The Mason who misses this Masonic body misses a great deal for the degrees conferred in dramatic representations are rich with Masonic history and instruction.
Membership Requirements For Cryptic Masonry
Member of a recognized Craft Lodge (Master Mason)
Member of a recognized Chapter (Royal Arch Mason)
The Royal Master Degree
In this degree the council chamber represents the private apartment of King Solomon where legend has it he met with the two principal assistants in the building of the temple. The candidate represents one of the metalworkers at the time just prior to the completion and dedication of the First Temple. In such a capacity he approaches the king to find out when he may be rewarded with the secrets of a Master Mason.
The principal lecture of the degree is one of the most impressive in Masonry and tells of death and how the secrets came to be placed in the secret vault where they are later discovered (See Royal Arch Degree).
The Select Master Degree
The setting of this degree is within the secret vault mentioned in the preceding degree. Here are found several arches where various secrets were deposited. The candidate represents a well-known mason in the employ of King Solomon, who stumbles by accident into the secret vault where the three Grand Masters are in conference. The consequences of his accidental intrusion are explained.
The Super Excellent Master Degree
Although conferred by the Council of royal and Select Masters, this degree can not properly be called Cryptic for it has no connection to the vault or crypt under the Temple. Rather the ritual is built around the time of the destruction of the First Temple. It tells the history of the siege of Jerusalem by the troops of Nebuchadnezzar, who is motivated to action by the tributary Jewish king Zedekiah.
In another act of the drama portion of this degree the feast of Belshazaar is depicted with Daniel revealing and explaining the mysterious writing on the wall.
The final act depicts the release of the Jewish captives and reintroduces the characters already familiar to the Royal Arch Mason.
A candidate who is part of this degree will see not only the longest, but most beautifully presented of degrees pertaining to the Temple of Solomon.
The Ark Mariner Degree
The degree of Royal Ark Mariner is conferred upon Masons who have taken the Super Excellent Master Degree. It is important to note that in the UK this degree is conferred on Mark Master Masons. In both cases the degree is performed in a Royal Ark Mariner's Lodge which in practice is actually a council of Royal and Select Masters with the officers of the Council taking the part of their counterpart officers in the Ark Mariner's Lodge.
The degree relates to the legend of the Great Flood and the principal officers represent Noah and his sons. The material is derived from Biblical sources and the degree is impressive and informative to the candidate.
The three degrees of Craft or Blue Lodge Freemasonry are those of:
The degrees represent stages of personal development. No Freemason is told that there is only one meaning to the allegories; as a Freemason works through the degrees and studies their lessons, he interprets them for himself, his personal interpretation being bounded only by the Constitution within which he works. A common symbolic structure and universal archetypes provide a means for each Freemason to come to his own answers to life's important philosophical questions.
As previously stated, there is no degree of Craft Freemasonry higher than that of Master Mason. Although some Masonic bodies and orders have further degrees named with higher numbers, these degrees may be considered to be supplements to the Master Mason degree rather than promotions from it. An example is the Scottish Rite, conferring degrees numbered from 4° up to 33°. It is essential to be a Master Mason in order to qualify for these further degrees. They are administered on a parallel system to Craft or Blue Lodge Freemasonry; within each organisation there is a system of offices, which confer rank within that degree or order alone.
In some jurisdictions, especially those in continental Europe, Freemasons working through the degrees may be asked to prepare papers on related philosophical topics, and present these papers in open Lodge. There is an enormous bibliography of Masonic papers, magazines and publications ranging from fanciful abstractions which construct spiritual and moral lessons of varying value, through practical handbooks on organisation, management and ritual performance, to serious historical and philosophical papers entitled to academic respect.
Alexander Keith (October 5, 1795 – December 14, 1873) was a Canadian politician and brewmaster. He was mayor of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Conservative member of the provincial legislature, and the founder of the Alexander Keith's brewing company.
Keith was born in Halkirk, Caithness, Highland, Scotland, where he became a brewmaster. He immigrated to Canada in 1817, founded the Alexander Keith's brewing company in 1820. He served as mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia three times, and as a member of the Legislative Council for 30 years.
Throughout his career Keith was connected with several charitable and fraternal societies. He served as president of the North British Society from 1831 and as chief of the Highland Society from 1868 until his death. In 1838 he was connected with the Halifax Mechanics Library and in the early 1840s with the Nova Scotia Auxiliary Colonial Society. Keith was perhaps best known to the Halifax public as a leader of the Freemasons. He became provincial grand master for the Maritimes under the English authority in 1840 and under the Scottish lodge in 1845. Following a reorganization of the various divisions in 1869, he became grand master of Nova Scotia.
Alexander Keith died in Halifax in 1873 and was buried at Camp Hill Cemetery across from the Halifax Public Gardens. His birthday is often marked by people visiting the grave and placing beer bottles and caps on it (or, less frequently, cards or flowers).
He has often been confused with his nephew, Alexander Keith, Jr. (nicknamed "Sandy") who was a notorious Confederate agent during the American Civil War.
Alexander Roberts Dunn VC (15 September 1833 – 25 January 1868) was the first Canadian awarded the Victoria Cross.
He was born in York (later Toronto) in 1833, the son of John Henry Dunn, and studied at Upper Canada College and at Harrow School, England.
Dunn was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 when he was 21 years of age and serving in the British Army's 11th Hussars. Dunn rescued a sergeant by cutting down two or three Russian lancers who had attacked from the rear. Later in the battle he killed another Russian who had been attacking a private.
He sold his commission at the end of the Crimean War but rejoined the Army in 1858 as a major in the 100th Regiment of Foot. He exchanged into the 33rd in 1864 in which regiment he remained until his death in the Abyssinian War.
Dunn rose to the rank of colonel and commanded the 33rd Regiment of Foot at the start of the 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia, but was killed in unusual circumstances during in a hunting accident at Senafe before the military part of the campaign started.
His grave (in present day Eritrea) had been neglected for many years but was repaired in 2001 by a group of Canadian Forces engineers from CFB Gagetown.
For over 50 years his medals were on display in the main foyer of his old school, Upper Canada College, in Toronto. In 1977, due to a number of recent thefts and "losses" of Victoria Cross medals the school replaced the VC with a copy and moved the original to their bank safe deposit box.
Arthur Roy Brown:
A brief biography of a Freemason.
Arthur Roy Brown was born
While attending school he became an Officer Cadet in the Army Cadet Officer Corps, where he became fascinated by the mechanizations of flight. This would become the love that replaced hockey, and would make a mark for
After completing university Arthur went on to attend the Wright Brother’s school of flight in
While on leave in 1915, Arthur would return to his home
In April of 1916 his career was almost cut short as while on a training exercise. His aircraft malfunctioned and Arthur had to perform an emergency “landing” a crash that would cause a minor spinal injury. Luckily, his back healed quickly and he was allowed back into the cockpit; and respectively into the fight. A year later while flying a Sopwith Pup biplane with 11 Squadron he recorded his first air combat victory.
His string of victories would continue and earn him the title of “Flying Ace,” and the Distinguished Service Cross after he recorded his 5th confirmed kill on
“…a very good flight leader and fearless pilot with good ability to command”
By March of the same year, the situation was looking bleak. Allied losses were rising and Arthur was flying 2 missions a day on average and providing extra training to the new pilots. Exhaustion was beginning to take over, reports say he appeared to age pre-maturely, his eye’s were sunken and blood shot, hair grey before his years and he had lost approx 25 pounds. The situation was made even worse for Arthur when he contracted a case of gastritis from easting some bad rabbit, aggravated even further by the constant breathing of the well known laxative castor oil used to lubricate the rotary engines.
By some twist of fate, an old high school friend of Arthur’s was assigned to his squadron. Fresh from flight training Wilfred “Wop” May had no kills or combat experience, which must have been obvious to the enemy. On April 21st, Arthur’s Squadron came under attack and Wilfred found himself on the run from an enemy flying ace.
Seeing his school chum in trouble Arthur engaged Wilfred’s attacker. The plane of the enemy ace was easily identifiable; it was the notorious Manfred Von Richthofen the “Red Baron.” Von Richthofen was notorious not only as the enemies’ ace, but for disregarding his own flight manual. When a target was in his sight he failed to observe around him, but stayed fixed on his target.
Wilfred “Wop” May would go on to fly another day as Arthur riveted the Red Baron with bullets. Manfred Von Richthofen crashed behind Allied lines, shot though the heart. The Australian regiment that found him, gave him a burial with honours, respect for a worthy enemy. Arthur was then awarded his second Distinguished Service Cross.
After the war Arthur retired and took up accounting for his fathers business for a short time. Accounting had never been what he wanted to do, despite his university major. The blue sky’s called him and he answered; starting his own small airline operating around
The years of war had taken their toll on Arthur, he died of a heart attack at age 50,
Charles William "Charlie" Conacher (b. December 20, 1909 in Toronto, Ontario - December 30, 1967) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Americans, and Detroit Red Wings in the National Hockey League.
Anchoring the Kid Line with Harvey "Busher" Jackson and Joe Primeau, Charlie was a member of the Maple Leafs teams of the 1930s that won one Stanley Cup in 1932 and finished runner-up six times. An early power forward, Conacher was nicknamed "The Big Bomber," for his size, powerful shot and goal scoring. He led the NHL five times in goals, and twice led in overall scoring.
Charlie was a brother of Hall of Famers Lionel Conacher and Roy Conacher. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1961 and, later, to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1975. In 1998, he was ranked number 36 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
Charlie Conacher died in 1967 and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto.
The Charlie Conacher Humanitarian Award, also known as the Charlie Conacher Memorial Trophy, was an award named Conacher. This award was given out to the NHL player who best exhibited outstanding humanitarian and public services contributions, from 1968 - the year of Charlie Conacher's death - to 1984.
Born in St. Andrews, Lower Canada (now Quebec) to Rev. Joseph Abbott and Harriet Bradford, he became Canada's first native-born prime minister. Abbott married Mary Bethune (1823-1898), a relative of Dr. Norman Bethune, in 1849. The couple had four sons and four daughters, many of whom died without descendants. Their eldest surviving son, William Abbott, married the daughter of Colonel John Hamilton Gray, a father of Canadian Confederation and Premier of Prince Edward Island. The direct descendants of Abbott and Hamilton Gray include John Kimble Hamilton ("Kim") Abbott, a political commentator and lobbyist and a WWII Royal Canadian Airforce pilot in the infamous "Demon Squadron". Abbott was also the great-grandfather of Canadian actor Christopher Plummer.
Abbott was a successful Montreal corporate lawyer and businessman and a practicing Freemason. In 1849, he signed the Montreal Annexation Manifesto calling for Canada to join the United States, an action which later in life, he regretted as a youthful error. He eventually joined the Loyal Orange Lodge of British North America, well known as a pro-British organization. He was involved in the promotion of several railroad projects, including the Canadian Pacific Railway (of which he served as President). He worked to incorporate and arrange financing for the first Canadian Pacific Railway syndicate. As legal advisor to its main financier, Sir Hugh Allan, Abbott was the recipient of the infamous telegram from Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald during the 1872 Canadian federal election campaign which read "I must have another ten thousand; will be the last time of calling; do not fail me; answer today." This telegram was stolen from Abbott's office and published, breaking the 1873 Pacific Scandal which brought down Macdonald's government. Abbott was subsequently a key organizer of a second syndicate which eventually completed the construction of Canada's first transcontinental railroad in 1885, serving as its solicitor from 1880 to 1887 and as a director from 1885 to 1891.
He received a Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in 1854, and a Doctor of Civil LawConfederate agents who had raided St. Albans, Vermont from Canadian soil during the American Civil War. Abbott successfully argued that the Confederates were belligerents rather than criminals and therefore should not be extradited. The episode brought Canadian-American tensions close to armed conflict. Abbott was widely viewed as the most successful lawyer in Canada for many years, as measured by professional income. He began lecturing in commercial and criminal law at McGill in 1853, and in 1855 he became a professor and dean of its Faculty of Law, where Sir Wilfrid Laurier, future prime minister of Canada, was among his students. He continued in this position until 1880. Upon his retirement, McGill named him emeritus professor, and in 1881 appointed him to its Board of Governors. (DCL) in 1867. Most of his legal practice was in corporate law; however, his most celebrated court case was the defense of, first fourteen, then upon release and recapture, four of those fourteen
Abbott first ran for Canada's Legislative Assembly in 1857 in the Argenteuil district, northwest of Montreal. Defeated, he challenged the election results on the grounds of voting list irregularities and was eventually awarded the seat in 1860. He served as solicitor general for Lower Canada (Quebec) until 1863. He reluctantly supported Canada's confederation, fearing the reduction of the political power of Lower Canada's English-speaking minority. His proposal to protect the electoral borders of 12 English Quebec constituencies was eventually incorporated into the British North America Act of 1867.
Abbott was elected to the House of Commons in 1867 as member for Argenteuil. He was removed from his seat by petition in 1874 following his involvement in the Pacific Scandal. He narrowly lost the 1878 election, then won in February 1880, only to have his victory declared void because of bribery allegations. He was, however, subsequently elected in a by-election in August 1881. In 1887, Macdonald appointed him to the Senate. He served as Leader of the Government in the Senate from May 12, 1887 to October 30, 1893Minister without Portfolio in Macdonald's cabinet. He also served two one-year terms as mayor of Montreal from 1887 to 1889. (including his term as Prime Minister) and as
When Prime Minister Macdonald died in office, Abbott supported John Thompson to succeed him, but reluctantly accepted the plea of the divided Conservative party that he should lead the government. He was one of just two Canadian Prime Ministers, the other being Mackenzie Bowell, to have held the office while serving in the Senate rather than the House of Commons.
In his seventeen months in office, Abbott worked on revitalizing the government and the party. Despite the scandals exposed during his term, he dealt with the backlog of government business awaiting him after Macdonald's death. Reform of the civil service, revisions of the criminal code and a reciprocity treaty with the U.S. were just a few of the issues initiated by Abbott. During his term, there were 52 by-elections, 42 of which were won by the Conservatives, increasing their majority by 13 seats—evidence of Abbott's effectiveness as prime minister. One year into his time as prime minister, Abbott attempted to turn the office over to Thompson, but this was rejected due to anti-Catholic sentiment in the Tory caucus. Suffering from the early stages of cancer of the brain, Abbott's health failed in 1892 and he retired to private life, whereupon Thompson finally became Prime Minister. Abbott died less than a year later at the age of 72.
Sir John Abbott is buried in the Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec.
John Abbott College in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, near Abbott's 300-acre country estate (Boisbriant), is named after him.
His "most memorable" political comment is "I hate politics". The full quote was "I hate politics and what are considered their appropriate measures. I hate notoriety, public meetings, public speeches, caucuses and everything that I know of which is apparently the necessary incident of politics—except doing public work to the best of my ability."
Lieutenant Colonel John Bayne Maclean (26 September 1862 – 25 September 1950) was a Canadian publisher. He founded Maclean's Magazine, the Financial Post and the Maclean Publishing Company, later known as Maclean-Hunter.
He was born in Crieff, Ontario (near Guelph). Maclean's father, Andrew Maclean, was a Presbyterian minister in Puslinch Township who had immigrated to Canada from Scotland.
Maclean worked as a teacher and financial editor of the Toronto Mail before entering publishing with his brother Hugh Cameron Maclean by founding Canadian Grocer & Storekeeper's Newspaper in 1887. In 1905 he founded The Business Magazine which became The Busy Man's Magazine before changing its name to Maclean's Magazine in 1911. He founded the Financial Post in 1907, the Farmer's Magazine in 1910, Mayfair in 1927 and Chatelaine in 1928 building Canada's largest magazine empire.
His long time collaborator and associate, Horace Talmadge Hunter, succeeded Maclean as company president upon the founder's retirement. In 1945, the company was renamed Maclean-Hunter.
John George Diefenbaker PC CH QC FRSC FRSA (18 September 1895 – 16 August 1979) was the thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada, serving from 21 June 1957 to 22 April 1963. A criminal defence lawyer by profession, he established the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Royal Commission on Health Services, the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act, played a large part in the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, the National Productivity Council (Economic Council of Canada), and extended the franchise to all Aboriginal peoples during his six years as Prime Minister. He led the Progressive Conservative Party for 11 years; five of those years were spent as Leader of the Official Opposition.
Diefenbaker (pronounced /?di?f?n?be?k?r/) was known by several nicknames during his career, notably "J.G.D." and "The Leader" (a moniker that continued to be applied to him even after his leaving the post of prime minister), but was known most affectionately as "Dief the Chief" or simply "the Chief."
Diefenbaker was born on September 18, 1895, in Neustadt, Ontario, to William Thomas Diefenbaker and Mary Florence Bannerman. His paternal great-grandfather was an immigrant from the Baden region of Germany. The name was originally spelled Diefenbacher but was Anglicized following his grandfather's death.
The Diefenbaker family homesteaded in 1903 near Fort Carlton, then in the Northwest Territories but currently located in Saskatchewan. William Diefenbaker was a teacher, and John attended schools in several areas such as Hague and Borden before the family settled in Saskatoon as of 1910.
On July 29, 1910, while in Saskatoon to attend the opening of a new university, the young Diefenbaker, recognizing then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, shared his ideas for the country and amused him. He inquired about the young man's business and expressed the hope that he would be a great man someday. The boy ended the conversation by saying,"Well, Mr. Prime Minister, I can't waste any more time on you. I must get back to work."
Diefenbaker received a BA in 1915, an MA in Political Science and Economics in 1916 and an LL.B in 1919 from the University of Saskatchewan. Diefenbaker married Edna Brower (1899-1951) in 1929. In 1953, after Edna's death, he married his second wife, Olive Palmer (1902-1976), who had a daughter from a previous marriage. Diefenbaker had no children of his own. Diefenbaker House in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan is open as a museum to the public in the summer season. It is a home where Diefenbaker lived for ten years with both Edna Brower and Olive Palmer. His birth home in Neustadt has been preserved as a historic site.
John George Diefenbaker served briefly in the First World War in the Canadian Expeditionary Force with the 105th Saskatoon Fusiliers from March 1916 to July 1917, reaching the rank of lieutenant in the 29th Light Horse. He was sent to England for pre-deployment training, but he was never deployed to France, having suffered an injury that had him coughing up blood. Invalided back to Canada, he was discharged there as Medically Unfit for Service owing to heart irregularities.
John Diefenbaker served as Prime Minister from June 21, 1957, until April 22, 1963. A number of factors gravitated against the Liberal Party remaining in power, ranging from controversial decisions involving the Pipeline Debate, the "time for a change" antipathy of the public, matched with Diefenbaker's fiery oratory and his populist message. These propelled the Conservatives to a narrow victory in the 1957 election, with a minority government. Though the Liberals had a slight lead in the popular vote, Louis St. Laurent resigned rather than attempt to form a coalition with the other opposition parties to continue governing.
Soon afterwards, Lester Pearson took over the Liberal leadership, and in his first speech, he asked Diefenbaker to hand power back to the Liberals without an election because of the recent economic decline. In a scathing two-and-a-half-hour response, Diefenbaker revealed a formerly classified Liberal file that predicted the economic malaise. The "arrogant" label that had been on the Liberals in 1957 stayed.
Diefenbaker wanted a majority, so he called a snap election. During the 1958 campaign, he ran on a message of building a "Canada of the North," increasing subsidies and development in the northern parts of the country, and on increasing social programs, which resonated effectively in English Canada. The biggest surprise was in Quebec, where the Union Nationale political machine was put into use for the Tories, enabling them to win the majority of seats in that province for the first time since John A. Macdonald. In the end, Diefenbaker won what was then the largest majority government in Canadian history, a record that stood until the election of Brian Mulroney in 1984. 1958 saw the appointment of the first Aboriginal person to the Senate, James Gladstone.
However, as Peter C. Newman has written: "[He] came to the toughest job in the country without having worked for anyone but himself, without ever having hired or fired anyone, and without ever having administered anything more complicated than a walk-up law office." His first Commonwealth leaders meeting went over well, until he made an offer to the United Kingdom to bring 15% of Canada's trade with the United States to the UK. Since the proposal violated many international agreements, the UK instead proposed a Free Trade Agreement. Diefenbaker's Cabinet strongly recommended against it, and the 15% figure never came up again. Relations considerably cooled between the UK and Canada.
Diefenbaker soon ran into economic problems. With a recession already looming by the time he came in, increased deficits hurt the economic picture more. Diefenbaker blamed the tight money policies of the Liberals. At the same time, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, James Coyne heavily criticized the government's financial record, saying that the country was relying too much on exports to the United States and that a "tightening" was needed. The Government rejected his advice, and tried to get rid of Coyne for playing politics with his position, which in theory is independent of government interference. Diefenbaker stated that he considered Coyne as having the same status as any other Canadian civil servant. While the House of Commons passed a bill declaring Coyne's position vacant, the Liberal-controlled Canadian Senate rejected it. Nevertheless, Coyne resigned the next day. Having the Governor of the Bank of Canada criticizing the Government gave a feeling of chaos to international investors, which prompted many to withdraw capital from Canada. The ensuing crunch heavily limited economic growth.
Diefenbaker made what some believe to have been one of the most controversial policy decisions of the last century in Canada when his government cancelled the development and manufacture of the Avro CF-105 Arrow. The Arrow was a Mach 2 supersonic jet interceptor built by A.V. Roe Canada (Avro Canada), in Malton, Ontario to defend Canada in the event of a Soviet nuclear bomber attack from the north. During its production, the Canadian government purchased American-made Bomarc missiles as a means of bomber defence, leading to the cabinet decision to cancel the Avro Arrow and its Orenda Iroquois engine on 20 February 1959, forever known as "Black Friday" in Canadian industry. After cancelling the technologically advanced interceptor project, he obtained CF-101 Voodoo interceptors in 1961 from the United States.
Diefenbaker's hostility to the administration of U.S. President John F. Kennedy was pronounced. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Diefenbaker was annoyed at Kennedy's failure to consult him ahead of time, which led the Prime Minister to be skeptical of the seriousness of the situation. This caused him to react slowly on an American request to put Canadian forces on Defcon 3 status. The Minister of National Defence, Douglas Harkness, defied Diefenbaker by putting the military on high alert two days before Cabinet's decision to authorize the move.
Diefenbaker was also instrumental in bringing in the Canadian Bill of Rights in 1960. This was the first attempt to articulate the basic rights of Canadian citizens in law. Because the Bill of Rights was an ordinary federal statute and not a part of the Canadian Constitution, it did not codify such rights in an enforceable way, since it could not be used by courts to nullify federal or provincial laws that contradicted it. An official commented: "It's great, unless you live in one of the provinces". Thus, its effect on the decisions of the courts, unlike the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that would be created in 1982, was limited.
1961 saw the introduction of the Agricultural Rehabilitation and Development Act, one of the many improved social programs to help Canadians. He also appointed Ellen Fairclough the first woman Federal Cabinet Minister.
Support for the Tories declined in Quebec. Though Diefenbaker selected Georges Vanier as the first francophone Governor General, he did not appoint any Quebeckers to important cabinet posts. The Tories also did not have any long-lasting political machinery there, and the Union Nationale had been swept from power in 1960. As a result of the declining economic situation, apathy in Quebec, and negative fallout from cancelling the Avro Arrow program, the Progressive Conservatives lost their majority in the 1962 election.
Immediately afterward, Diefenbaker's minority government began a program to reduce government spending, and raise tariffs and bank interest rates. He then reorganized his Cabinet, moving Finance Minister Donald Fleming into the Minister of Justice portfolio, replacing him with George C. Nowlan.
In September 1962, Diefenbaker attended the Conference of Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London, where he attacked Britain's prospective entry into the European Economic Community, stating it would be at the expense of Canada's increased economic dependence on the United States. Also at that meeting, he criticized South Africa's policy of apartheid, and successfully opposed its readmission into the Commonwealth after it declared itself a republic.
Diefenbaker's final term of office saw the escalation of a nuclear arms question brought on by the imported Bomarc missiles and the Voodoo aircraft that had replaced the Avro Arrow. Diefenbaker rejected American nuclear warheads being put in missiles, warplanes and ground-based tactical rockets. He used Congressional testimony about the Bomarc missiles to accuse Liberal leader Lester B. Pearson of making Canada a target for a nuclear war, and accused American media outlets and the US government of interfering with the election.
While Diefenbaker and his allies opposed the nuclear warheads, many other Tories and the opposition parties supported them, saying that the Bomarc missiles would be useless without the warheads. The already strained relationship within the Conservative party deteriorated faster, and a Cabinet split further undermined the government. Minister of National Defence Douglas Harkness resigned from Cabinet on 4 February 1963 because of Diefenbaker's opposition to accepting the missiles. The next day, the government lost two non-confidence motions on the issue, as the Social Credit Party and the New Democratic Party (the renamed CCF) withdrew their support of the government.
Diefenbaker lost the 1963 federal election to Lester Pearson and the Liberals. Nevertheless, he continued as PC Party leader, serving as Leader of the Opposition. In the 1964 Great Flag Debate, he led the unsuccessful opposition to the Maple Leaf flag (which he derided as the "Pearson Pennant"), arguing for the retention of the Canadian Red Ensign.
There were early calls for Diefenbaker's retirement, especially from the Bay Street wing of the party. At the February 1964 PC Convention, a secret ballot on his leadership was held. Diefenbaker held on by a very narrow margin. Diefenbaker was introduced to the convention by Joe Clark, president of the Student Federation, whose delegates were seen as the vote that tipped the balance. Clark described when he first saw Diefenbaker in High River, Alberta, and Diefenbaker's bravery at standing for the vote. Diefenbaker emotionally accepted the result, and said, "If there were no other rewards in public life than to have done what was stated by the brilliant Joe Clark, I would have been rewarded more than I could hope for."
To the surprise of many, he ran an aggressive, nationalistic campaign in the 1965 election, which Pearson had called in the expectation that the Liberals would win a majority; the Liberals fell four seats short of this. Growing dissatisfaction with his leadership, however, led to open dissension within the party, headed by Party president Dalton Camp. There was a fear within the party that even though ditching Diefenbaker would probably improve Eastern results, they might lose the Western seats Diefenbaker brought to the party.
Anti-Diefenbaker efforts by Camp and others resulted in a leadership review, a measure for which there was no provision in the party's constitution. The Progressive Conservatives called a leadership convention in 1967. Although Diefenbaker entered at the last minute to stand as a candidate for the leadership, against the proposed Deux Nations policy, he was defeated by Nova Scotia Premier Robert Stanfield. His exit was considered the most emotional moment of the convention.
Diefenbaker retained his parliamentary seat for the next twelve years until his death, while also serving as the chancellor at the University of Saskatchewan beginning in 1969.
After he left the Tory leadership, Diefenbaker persisted in fighting old battles in parliamentary circles, and was a thorn in the side of Stanfield.
The opening night of the 1976 Tory leadership convention in Ottawa was a tribute in his honour, and he made a passionate speech which met with sustained applause. He was a favourite of the Press Gallery, and frequently made snide remarks about other Conservatives. This reached a head in 1979, when he joked that Canada had celebrated the International Year of the Child by electing Joe Clark, who as a student had defended Diefenbaker.
Thayendanegea or Joseph Brant (c. 1743 – 24 November 1807) was a Mohawk leader and British military officer during the American Revolution. Brant was perhaps the most well-known North American Indian of his generation. He met many of the most significant people of the age, including George Washington and King George III. The American folk image emphasized the atrocities his forces committed against settlers on the western frontier; in Canada, he is remembered for his effort to regain land for his people.
In March, 1743, Brant was born at Cuyahoga Ohio Country on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, near present-day Akron, Ohio. This was during the hunting season when Mohawks traveled to the area. He was named Thayendanegea, which can mean two wagers (sticks) bound together for strength, or possibly "he who places two bets." He was a Mohawk of the Wolf Clan (his mother's clan). Fort Hunter church records indicate that his parents were Christians and their names were Peter and Margaret Tehonwaghkwangearahkwa. Peter died before 1753. Other sources cite the father's name as Nickus Kanagaradankwa.
His mother Margaret, or Owandah, the niece of Tiaogeara, a Caughnawaga sachem, took Joseph and his older sister Mary (known as Molly) to Canajoharie, on the Mohawk River in east-central New York, where they had lived before her family moved to the Ohio River. His mother remarried on 9 September 1753 in Fort Hunter (Church of England) a widower named Brant Canagaraduncka, who was a Mohawk sachem. Her new husband's grandfather was Sagayendwarahton, or "Old Smoke," who visited England in 1710.
The marriage bettered Margaret's fortunes and the family lived in the best house in Canajoharie, but it conferred little status on her children. Mohawk titles and leadership positions descended through the female line. Brant's stepfather was also a friend of William Johnson, who became General Sir William Johnson, Superintendent for Northern Indian Affairs. During Johnson's frequent visits to the Mohawks, he always stayed at the Brant's house. While visiting the Mohawk ancestral homeland in western New York, Brant's half sister married Sir William Johnson. Johnson was an agent for the British and a highly successful trader. The wealth of Johnson’s home impressed young Brant so much that twelve-year-old Brant decided to stay with his half sister and Johnson.
Starting at about age 15, Brant took part in a number of French and Indian War expeditions, including James Abercrombie’s 1758 invasion of Canada via Lake George, William Johnson's 1759 Battle of Fort Niagara, and Jeffery Amherst's 1760 siege of Montreal via the St. Lawrence River. He was one of 182 Indians who received a silver medal.
In 1761, Johnson arranged for three Mohawks, including Joseph, to be educated at Eleazar Wheelock's Moor's Indian Charity School in Connecticut. This was the forerunner of Dartmouth College. Brant studied under the guidance of the Reverend Eleazar Wheelock. Wheelock wrote that Brant was "of a sprightly genius, a manly and gentle deportment, and of a modest, courteous and benevolent temper". Brant learned to speak, read, and write English. Brant met Samuel Kirkland at the school. In 1763, Johnson prepared to place Brant at King's College in New York City, but the outbreak of Pontiac's Rebellion upset these plans and Brant returned home. After Pontiac's rebellion, Johnson thought it was not safe for Brant to return to the school.
In March 1764, Brant participated in one of the Iroquois war parties that attacked Delaware Indian villages in the Susquehanna and Chemung valleys. They destroyed three good-sized towns, burning 130 houses and killing the settlers' cattle. No enemy warriors were even seen.
On July 22, 1765, Brant married Peggie (also known as Margaret) in Canajoharie. Peggie was a white captive sent back from western Indians and said to be the daughter of a Virginia gentleman. They moved into Brant's parents' house. When his stepfather died in the mid-1760s, the house became Brant's. He owned a large and fertile farm of 80 acres near the village of Canajoharie on the south shore of the Mohawk River. He raised corn, and kept cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs. He also kept a small store. Brant dressed in "the English mode" wearing "a suit of blue broad cloth". With Johnson's encouragement, the Mohawks made Brant a war chief and their primary spokesman. In March 1771, his wife died from consumption.
In the spring of 1772, Brant moved to Fort Hunter to live with the Reverend John Stuart. He became Stuart's interpreter and teacher of Mohawk, collaborating with him to translate the Anglican catechism and the Gospel of Mark into the Mohawk language. Brant became a lifelong Anglican.
In 1773, Brant moved back to Canajoharie and married Peggie's half-sister Susanna.
Brant spoke at least three and possibly all of the Six Nations languages. He was a translator for the department of Indian affairs since at least 1766. In 1775, he was appointed departmental secretary with the rank of Captain for the new British Superintendent Indian warriors from Canajoharie. They went to Canada, arriving in Montreal on July 17. His wife and children went to Onoquaga. On November 11, 1775, Guy Johnson took Brant along with him when he traveled to London. Brant hoped to persuade the Crown to address past Mohawk land grievances. The British government promised the Iroquois people land in Canada if Brant and the Iroquois nations would fight on the British side in what was shaping up as open rebellion by the American colonists. In London, Brant became a celebrity and was interviewed for publication by James Boswell. While in public he carefully dressed in the Indian style. He also became a Mason, and received his apron personally from King George III.
Brant returned to Staten Island, New York, in July 1776. He participated with Howe's forces as they prepared to retake New York. Although the details of his service that summer and fall were not officially recorded, Brant was said to have distinguished himself for bravery. He was thought to be with Clinton, Cornwallis, and Percy in the flanking movement at Jamaica Pass in the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. This helped create a lifelong friendship with Lord Percy, later Duke of Northumberland, the only lasting friendship Brant shared with a white man.
In November, Brant left New York City and traveled northwest through American-held territory. Disguised, traveling at night and sleeping during the day, he reached Onoquaga where he met up with his family. At the end of December he was at Fort Niagara. He traveled from village to village in the confederacy urging the Iroquois to abandon neutrality and to enter the war on the side of the British. The Iroquois balked at Brant's plans.
The full council of the Six Nations had previously decided on a policy of neutrality and had signed a treaty of neutrality at Albany in 1775. They considered Brant a minor war chief and the Mohawks a relatively weak people. Frustrated, Brant freelanced by heading in the spring to Onoquaga to conduct war his way. Few Onoquaga villagers joined him, but in May he was successful in recruiting Loyalists who wished to strike back against the colonists. This group became known as Brant's Volunteers. In June, he led them to Unadilla to obtain supplies. There he was confronted by 380 men of the Tryon County militia led by Nicholas Herkimer. Herkimer requested that the Iroquois remain neutral while Brant said the Indians owed their loyalty to the King.
In July, 1777 the Six Nations council decided to abandon neutrality and enter the war on the British side. Brant was not present at this council. Sayenqueraghta and Cornplanter were named to be the war chiefs of the confederacy. Brant had previously been made a war chief of the Mohawks; the other major Mohawk war chief was John Deseronto.
In July, Brant led his Volunteers north to link up with St. Leger at Fort Oswego. In August 1777, Brant played a major role at the Battle of Oriskany in support of a major offensive led by General John Burgoyne. After St. Leger's retreat, Brant traveled to Burgoyne's main army and told him the news of St. Leger's retreat from Fort Stanwix. Burgoyne's restrictions on native warfare caused Brant to depart for Fort Niagara, where he spent the winter planning the next year's campaign. His wife Susanna likely died at Fort Niagara that winter.
In April 1778, Brant returned to Onoquaga, becoming the most active partisan commander. He engaged in raids chiefly with his Volunteers on the colonists in the Mohawk Valley, stealing their cattle, burning their houses, and killing many. On May 30, he led an attack on Cobleskill (Battle of Cobleskill) and in September, along with Captain William Caldwell, he led a mixed force of Indians and Loyalists in a raid on German Flatts.
In October, 1778, Continental soldiers and local militia attacked Brant's base of Onoquaga while Brant's Volunteers were away on a raid. The American commander described Onoquaga as "the finest Indian town I ever saw; on both sides [of] the river there was about 40 good houses, square logs, shingles & stone chimneys, good floors, glass windows". The soldiers burned the houses, killed the cattle, chopped down the apple trees, spoiled the growing corn crop, and killed some native children they found in the corn fields. On November 11, 1778 Brant was a leader in the attack in the Cherry Valley massacre.
In February, 1779, Brant traveled to Montreal to meet with Frederick Haldimand, who had replaced Carleton as Commander and Governor in Canada. Haldimand gave Brant a commission of Captain of the Northern Confederated Indians. He also promised provisions, but no pay, for his Volunteers. Haldimand pledged that after the war had ended, the Mohawks would be restored, at the expense of the government, to the state they were before the conflict started.
In May, Brant returned to Fort Niagara where, with his new salary and plunder from his raids, he acquired a farm on the Niagara River, six miles (10 km) from the fort. To work the farm and to serve the household, he used slaves he had captured on his raids. Brant bought a black slave, a seven-year-old African-American girl named Sophia Burthen Pooley; she travelled with him and his family for many years before he sold her to an Englishman for $100. He built a small chapel for the Indians who started living nearby. He started living with Catherine Adonwentishon Croghan, whom he married in the winter of 1780. She was the daughter of the prominent American colonist and Indian agent, George Croghan and a Mohawk mother, Catharine Tekarihoga. Through her mother, Catharine Adonwentishon was head of the Turtle clan, the first in rank in the Mohawk Nation. Her birthright was to name the Tekarihoga, the principal sachem of the Mohawk nation.
Brant's honors and gifts caused jealousy from rival chiefs, in particular Sayenqueraghta. A British general said that Brant "would be much happier and would have more weight with the Indians, which he in some measure forfeits by their knowing that he receives pay". In late 1779, Haldimand decided when a commission for Brant as a colonel arrived from Lord Germain, to pocket it and not tell Brant.
In early July, 1779, the British learned of plans for a major American expedition into Seneca country. In an attempt to disrupt the Americans' plans, John Butler sent Brant and his Volunteers on a quest for provisions and to gather intelligence on the Delaware in the vicinity of Minisink. After stopping at Onaquaga, Brant attacked and defeated the Americans at the Battle of Minisink on July 22, 1779. Brant's raid failed to disrupt the American expedition, however.
In the Sullivan Campaign, the Americans sent a large force deep into Iroquois territory to defeat the Iroquois and to destroy their villages. The Iroquois were defeated on August 29, 1779 at the Battle of Newtown. The American colonists swept away all Indian resistance in New York, burned their villages, and forced the Iroquois to fall back to Fort Niagara. Brant was wintering at Fort Niagara in 1779-80.
Brant resumed small-scale attacks on the Mohawk Valley. In February, 1780, he and his party set out and in April attacked Harpersfield. In mid-July, 1780 Brant led an attack on the Oneida village of Kanonwalohale. Some of the Oneida surrendered, but most took refuge at Fort Stanwix. Brant's raiders destroyed the Oneida houses, horses, and crops. They then went to the lower Mohawk where they attacked Canajoharie and Fort Plank. On their return they divided into small parties to attack Schoharie, Cherry Valley, and German Flatts. They then took part in a third major raid on the Mohawk Valley with Butler's Rangers and King's Royal Regiment of New York. Brant was wounded in the heel at the Battle of Klock's Field. He burned his former hometown of Canajoharie because it had become inhabited by American settlers.
In April, 1781 Brant was sent west to Fort Detroit to help defend against an expedition into the Ohio Country to be led by the Virginian George Rogers Clark. In August 1781, Brant completely defeated a detachment of Clark's army, ending the threat to Detroit. He was wounded in the leg and spent the winter 1781-1782 at Fort Detroit. From 1781 to 1782, Brant tried to keep the disaffected western tribes loyal to the Crown before and after the British surrender at Yorktown.
In June, 1782 Brant and his Indians went to Fort Oswego, where they helped rebuild the fort. In July, 1782 he and 460 Iroquois left for a raid on Fort Herkimer and Fort Dayton, but they did not accomplish much. Sometime during this raid, a letter from Frederick Haldimand arrived recalling the party and asking for a cessation of hostilities. Brant denounced the defensive policy as a betrayal of the Iroquois and urged the Indians to continue the war, but they were unable to do so without British supplies.
In the Treaty of Paris (1783) that ended the war, Britain and the United States ignored the sovereignty of the Indians. They determined that the sovereign Six Nations lands would become part of the territory of the United States. Promises of protection of their domain had been an important factor in inducing the Iroquois to fight on the side of the British. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1784) served as a peace treaty between the Americans and the Iroquois.
Brant became infamous for the Wyoming Valley massacre of 1778, which it was widely believed he led, although he was not present at the battle. During the war, he was known as the Monster Brant. Stories of his massacres and atrocities added to an American hatred of Indians that soured relations for 50 years. In later years, historians have argued that he had been a force for restraint in the violence that accompanied the campaign in the Mohawk Valley. They have discovered times when he displayed his compassion and humanity, especially towards women, children, and non-combatants. Colonel Ichabod Alden said that he "should much rather fall into the hands of Brant than either of them [Loyalists and Tories]". As an example, Lt. Col. William Stacy of the Continental Army was the highest ranking officer captured during the Cherry Valley massacre. Several accounts indicate that during the fighting, or shortly thereafter, Col. Stacy was stripped naked, tied to a stake, and was about to be tortured and killed, but was spared by Brant. Stacy, like Brant, was a Freemason. It is reported that Stacy made an appeal as one Freemason to another, and Brant intervened.
In 1797, when Brant traveled through New York, the governor provided him with a bodyguard because Brant's life had been threatened.
In 1783, he was sent to Montreal for discussion with Haldimand in order to get him away from Fort Niagara. At Brant's urging, British General Sir Frederick Haldimand made a grant of land for a Mohawk reserve on the Grand River in Ontario in October, 1784. (Haldimand Proclamation, see also Six Nations of the Grand River). In the fall of 1784, at a meeting at Buffalo Creek, the clan matrons decided that the Six Nations should divide with half going to the Haldimand grant and the other half staying in New York. Brant built his own house at Brant's Town which was described as "a handsome two story house, built after the manner of the white people. Compared with the other houses, it may be called a palace." He had about twenty white and black servants and slaves. Joseph thought the government made a ridiculous fuss over the keeping of slaves. He had a good farm and did extensive farming, and kept cattle, sheep, and hogs.
In the summer of 1783, Brant initiated the formation of the Western Confederacy consisting of the Iroquois and twenty-nine other Indian nations to defend the Fort Stanwix Treaty line of 1768 by denying any nation the ability to cede any land without the common consent. In November, 1785 he traveled to London to ask for assistance in defending the Indian confederacy from attack by the Americans. Brant was granted a generous pension and an agreement to fully compensate the Mohawk for their loses (this in contrast to the Loyalists, who only received a fraction of their losses) but no promises of support for the Western Confederacy. He also took a trip to Paris, returning to Canada in June, 1786.
In 1790, after the Western Confederacy had been attacked in the Northwest Indian War, they asked Brant and the Six Nations to enter the war on their side. Brant refused, he instead asked Lord Dorchester for British assistance for the Western Confederacy. Dorchester also refused, but later, in 1794, did provide the Indians with arms and provisions. In 1792, Brant was invited to Philadelphia where he met the President and his cabinet. The Americans offered him a large pension, and a reservation in the United States for the Mohawks to lure them to the United States. Brant refused, but Pickering said the Brant did take some cash payments. George Washington told Knox in 1794, "to buy Captain Brant off at almost any price". Brant attempted a compromise peace settlement between the Western Confederacy and the Americans, but he failed. The war continued, and the Indians were defeated in 1794 at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The unity of the Western Confederacy was broken with the peace Treaty of Greenville in 1795.
In early 1797, he traveled to Philadelphia where he met the British Minister, Robert Liston and United States government officials. He assured the Americans that he "would never again take up the tomahawk against the United States". At this time the British were at war with France and Spain, and while Brant was meeting with the French minister, Pierre August Adet, Brant stated: "he would offer his services to the French Minister Adet, and march his Mohawks to assist in effecting a revolution & overturning the British government in the province". When he returned home, there were fears of a French attack. Russell wrote: "the present alarming aspect of affairs - when we are threatened with an invasion by the French and Spaniards from the Mississippi, and the information we have received of emissaries being dispersed among the Indian tribes to incite them to take up the hatchet against the King's subjects". He also wrote Brant "only seeks a feasible excuse for joining the French, should they invade this province." London ordered Russell to not allow the Indians to alienate their land, but with the prospects of war to appease Brant, Russell confirmed Brant's land sales. Brant then declared: "they would now all fight for the King to the last drop of their blood".
In late 1800 and early 1801 Brant wrote to Governor George Clinton to secure a large tract of land near Sandusky which could serve as a refuge should the Grand River Indians rebel, but suffer defeat. In September, 1801 Brant is reported as saying: "He says he will go away, yet the Grand River Lands will [still] be in his hands, that no man shall meddle with it amongst us. He says the British Government shall not get it, but the Americans shall and will have it, the Grand River Lands, because the war is very close to break out."
In January, 1802, the Executive Council of Upper Canada learned of this plot which was lead by Aaron Burr and George Clinton to overthrow British rule in cooperation with some inhabitants and to create a republican state to join the United States. September, 1802, the planned date of invasion, passed uneventfully and the plot evaporated.
Brant bought about 3,500 acres (14 km2) from the Mississauga Indians at the head of Burlington Bay. Simcoe would not allow such a sale between Indians, so he bought this track of land from the Mississauga and then gave the land to Brant. Around 1802, Brant moved there and built a mansion that was intended to be a half-scale version of Johnson Hall. He had a prosperous farm in the colonial style with 100 acres (0.40 km2) of crops.
Joseph Brant died in his house at the head of Lake Ontario (site of what would become the city of Burlington, Ontario) on November 24, 1807. His last words, spoken to his adopted nephew John Norton, reflect his life-long commitment to his people: "Have pity on the poor Indians. If you have any influence with the great, endeavor to use it for their good." In 1850, his remains were carried 34 miles (55 km) in relays on the shoulders of young men of Grand River to a tomb at Her Majesty's Chapel of the Mohawks in Brantford.
Brant acted as a tireless negotiator for the Six Nations to control their land without crown oversight or control. He used British fears of his dealings with the Americans and the French to extract concessions. His conflicts with British administrators in Canada regarding tribal land claims were exacerbated by his relations with the American leaders.
Brant was a war chief, and not a hereditary Mohawk sachem. His decisions could and were sometimes overruled by the sachems and clan matrons. However, his natural ability, his early education, and the connections he was able to form made him one of the great leaders of his people and of his time. The situation of the Six Nations on the Grand River was better than that of the Iroquois who remained in New York. His lifelong mission was to help the Indian to survive the transition from one culture to another, transcending the political, social and economic challenges of one the most volatile, dynamic periods of American history. He put his loyalty to the Six Nations before loyalty to the British. His life cannot be summed up in terms of success or failure, although he had known both. More than anything, Brant's life was marked by frustration and struggle.
His attempt to create pan-tribal unity proved unsuccessful, though his efforts would be taken up a generation later by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh.
Lieutenant-General John Graves Simcoe (February 25, 1752 – October 26, 1806) was the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada (modern-day southern Ontario and the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior) from 1791-1796. He founded York (now Toronto) and was instrumental in introducing institutions such as the courts, trial by jury, English common law, freehold land tenure, and for abolishing slavery in Upper Canada long before it was abolished in the British Empire as a whole (it had disappeared from Upper Canada by 1810, but was not abolished throughout the Empire until 1834).
John Graves Simcoe was the only son of John (1710-1759) and Katherine Simcoe . His father, a captain in the Royal Navy, commanded the 60-gun HMS Pembroke (James Cook was his sailing master) during the 1758 siege of Louisbourg. His father died of pneumonia a few months prior to the siege of Quebec. His paternal grandparents were William and Mary (née Hutchinson) Simcoe.
Simcoe was educated at Eton and Merton College, Oxford.
He was initiated into Freemasonry in Union Lodge, Exeter on the November 2, 1773.
His godfather was British admiral Samuel Graves. Simcoe would marry Graves' ward, Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim, in 1782.
The Simcoes' had five daughters prior to their posting in Canada. Son Francis was born in 1791. Their Canadian born daughter, Katherine, died in infancy in York, Upper Canada. She is buried in the Victoria Square Memorial Park on Portland Avenue.
In 1770, Simcoe entered the British Army as an ensign in the 35th Regiment of Foot. His unit was dispatched to America, where he saw action in the Siege of Boston. During the siege, he purchased a captaincy in the grenadier company of the 40th Regiment of Foot.
With the 40th, he saw action in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia campaigns. Simcoe commanded the 40th at the Battle of Brandywine, where he was also wounded.
In 1777, Simcoe sought to form a Loyalist regiment of free blacks from Boston, but instead was offered to command the Queen's Rangers, a well-trained light infantry unit comprising of 11 companies of 30 men, 1 grenadier and 1 hussar, and the rest light infantry. The Queen's Rangers saw extensive action during the Philadelphia campaign, including a successful surprise attack (planned and executed by Simcoe), at the Battle of Crooked Billet.
In 1778, Simcoe commanded the attack on Judge William Hancock's house, killing 20 Americans in their sleep and wounding 12 others. William Hancock was also killed even though he was not with the Americans. The massacre took place at night and with bayonets. On June 28 of that year, Simcoe and his Queen's Rangers took part in the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, in and near Freehold, New Jersey.
During the winter of 1779, Simcoe attempted to capture George Washington, but decided that his men would not shoot the future president. During that year, Armand Tuffin de La Rouërie captured Simcoe. Simcoe was released in 1781, just in time to see action at the Siege of Yorktown He was invalided back to England in December of that year as a Lieutenant-Colonel.
Simcoe wrote a book on his experiences with the Rangers, titled A Journal of the Operations of the Queen's Rangers from the end of the year 1777 to the conclusion of the late American War, which was published in 1787.
The Province of Upper Canada was created under the Constitutional Act of 1791. Simcoe was appointed lieutenant governor and made plans to move to Upper Canada with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Sophia, leaving three other daughters behind with their aunt. They left England in September and arrived on November 11. This was too late in the year to make the trip to Upper Canada and the Simcoes spent the winter in Quebec City. The next spring they moved to Kingston and then Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake).
Constitutional Act stipulated that the provincial government would consist of the Lieutenant-Governor, an appointed Executive Council and Legislative Council and an elected Legislative Assembly. The first meeting of the nine-member Legislative Council and sixteen-member Legislative Assembly took place at Newark on September 17, 1792.
Simcoe's first priority was dealing with the effects of the Northwest Indian War. War broke out between Britain and France in 1791, and although the United States pledged neutrality its sympathies were with France. Simcoe's instructions were not to cause the United States any reason to mistrust Britain, but at the same time to keep the Indians on both sides of the border friendly to Britain. Simcoe denied the existence of the boundary defined in the Treaty of Paris (1783) on the grounds that the Americans had nullified the treaty. The British wished for the Indians to form a buffer state between the two countries. The Indians in the Ohio area were in an ongoing war with the United States called the Northwest Indian War. The Indians asked for military support from the British in this war, which Britain initially refused but they did supply the Indians with weapons in 1794. In February 1794, the Governor in Chief Lord Dorchester, anticipating that the Americans would honour their treaty with France, said that war was likely to break out between the countries before the year was out. His statement encouraged the Indians in their war. Dorchester ordered Simcoe to rally the Indians and arm the vessels on the Great Lakes. He also build Fort Miamis (in present day Indiana) to supply the Indians in the upcoming war. Americans were expelled from a settlement on southern Lake Erie which had threatened British control of the lake. George Washington denounced the "irregular and high-handed proceeding of Mr. Simcoe" While Dorchester planned for a defensive war, Simcoe urged London to declare war "Upper Canada is not to be defended by remaining within the boundary line" Lord Dorchester was given an official reprimand for his strong speech against the Americans in 1794.
Simcoe realized that Newark made an unsuitable capital because it was right on the United States border and subject to attack. He proposed moving the capital to a more defensible position in the middle of Upper Canada's southwestern peninsula between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. He named the new location London and renamed the river as the Thames in anticipation of the change. Lord Dorchester, rejected this proposal but accepted Simcoe's second choice of Toronto. Simcoe moved the capital to Toronto in 1793 and renamed the location York after Frederick, Duke of York, George III's second son.
Simcoe began construction of two main routes through Ontario which were intended to aid in the defence of Upper Canada but would also help encourage settlement and trade throughout the province. Yonge Street, named after the Minister of War Sir George Yonge, was built north-south along the fur trade route between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. Soldiers of the Queen's Rangers began cutting the road in August 1793, reaching Holland Landing in 1796. Another road, Dundas Street named for the Colonial Secretary Henry Dundas, was built east-west between Hamilton and York.
The Indians were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers which resulted in the peace Treaty of Greenville. The British while still at war with France could not afford to antagonise the Americans and in the Jay Treaty they agreed to abandon the frontier forts and to relocate on their side of the border agreed to in the Treaty of Paris. The plan for an Indian buffer state failed and after the surrender of Fort Niagara in November, 1796 the two countries directly faced each other over the Niagara river.
In July 1796 poor health forced Simcoe to return to Britain. He was unable to return to Upper Canada and resigned his office in 1798. He became Colonel of the 81st Foot in 1798, but exchanged it for the 22nd Foot less than six months later. He later served briefly as the commander of British forces in St. Domingo (Haiti) and commander of the Western District in Britain. In 1806, he was appointed commander-in-chief of India but died in Exeter before assuming that post. He was buried in Wolford Chapel on the Simcoe family estate near Honiton, Devon. The Ontario Heritage Foundation acquired title to the chapel in 1982.
Sir Mackenzie Bowell, PC , KCMG (December 27, 1823 – December 10, 1917) was the fifth Prime Minister of Canada from December 21, 1894 to April 27, 1896.
Bowell was born in Rickinghall, Suffolk, England to John Bowell and Elizabeth Marshall. In 1832 his family emigrated thence to Belleville, Ontario, where he apprenticed with the printer at the town newspaper, The Intelligencer. He became a successful printer and editor with that newspaper, and later its owner. He was a Freemason but also an outstanding Orangeman, becoming Grandmaster of the Orange Order of British North America, 1870 – 1878. In 1847 he married Harriet Moore (1829 – 1884), with whom he had four sons and five daughters.
Bowell was first elected to the House of Commons in 1867, as a Conservative, for the riding of North Hastings, Ontario. He held his seat for the Conservatives when they lost the election of January 1874, in the wake of the Pacific Scandal. Later that year he was instrumental in having Louis Riel expelled from the House. In 1878, with the Conservatives again governing, he joined the cabinet as Minister of Customs. In 1892 he became Minister of Militia and Defence. A competent, hardworking administrator, Bowell remained in Cabinet as Minister of Trade and Commerce, a newly made portfolio, after he became a senator that same year. His visit to Australia in 1893 led to the first conference of British colonies and territories, held in Ottawa in 1894. He became Leader of the Government in the Senate on October 31, 1893.
In December 1894, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson died suddenly and Bowell, as the most senior Cabinet minister, was appointed in Thompson's stead by the Governor General. Bowell thus became the second of just two Canadian Prime Ministers to hold that office while serving in the Senate rather than the House of Commons. (The first was John Abbott.)
As Prime Minister, Bowell faced the troublesome Manitoba Schools Question. In 1890 Manitoba had abolished public funding of its Catholic schools, contrary to the provisions made for Catholics in the Manitoba Act of 1870. Bowell and his predecessors had struggled to solve this problem. The issue had divided the country, the government, and even Bowell's own Cabinet. He was further hampered in his handling of the issue by his own indecisiveness on it, and by his inability, as a Senator, to take part in debates in the House of Commons. Bowell backed legislation, already drafted, that would have forced Manitoba to restore its Catholic schools, but then postsponed it due to opposition within his Cabinet. With the ordinary business of government at a standstill, Bowell's Cabinet decided he was incompetent to lead and so, to force him to step down, seven ministers resigned, then foiled the appointment of successors. Though Bowell denounced them as "a nest of traitors," he had to agree to resign. After ten days, through an intervention on Bowell's behalf by the Governor General, the government crisis was resolved and matters seemingly returned normal when six of the ministers were reinstated, but leadership was thenceforth effectively held by Charles Tupper, who had joined Cabinet at the same time, filling the seventh place. Tupper, who had been Canadian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, had been recalled by the plotters to replace Bowell. Bowell formally resigned in favour of Tupper at the end of the parliamentary session.
Bowell stayed on in the Senate, serving as his party's leader there till 1906, and afterward as a plain Senator until his death. He died of pneumonia in Bellville, only days short of turning 94, and was buried in the Belleville Cemetery. His funeral was attended by a full complement of the Orange Order, but not by any currently or formerly elected member of the government.
Bowell's descendants live in Hertfordshire, England.
Richard Bedford Bennett, 1st Viscount Bennett PC KC (July 3, 1870 – June 26, 1947) was a Canadian lawyer, businessman, politician, and philanthropist. He served as the eleventh Prime Minister of Canada from August 7, 1930 to October 23, 1935, during the worst of the Great Depression years. Following his defeat as prime minister, Bennett moved to England, and was elevated to the British House of Lords.
By defeating William Lyon Mackenzie King in the 1930 federal election, he had the misfortune of taking office during the worst depression of the century for the country and the rest of the world. Bennett tried to combat the depression by increasing trade within the British Empire and imposing tariffs for imports from outside the Empire, promising that his measures would blast Canadian exports into world markets. His success was limited however, and his own wealth and impersonal style alienated many struggling Canadians.
When his Imperial Preference policy failed to generate the desired result, Bennett's government had no real contingency plan. The party's pro-business and pro-banking inclinations provided little relief to the millions of increasingly desperate and agitated unemployed. Despite the economic crisis, Laissez-faire persisted as the guiding economic principle of Conservative Party ideology. Government relief to the unemployed was considered a disincentive to individual initiative and was therefore only granted in the most minimal amounts and attached to work programs. An additional concern of the federal government was that large numbers of disaffected unemployed men concentrating in urban centres created a volatile situation. As an "alternative to bloodshed on the streets," the stop-gap solution for unemployment chosen by the Bennett government was to establish military-run and -styled relief camps in remote areas throughout the country, where single unemployed men toiled for twenty cents a day. Any relief beyond this was left to provincial and municipal governments, many of which were either insolvent or on the brink of bankruptcy, and which railed against the inaction of other levels of government. Partisan differences began to sharpen on the question of government intervention in the economy, since lower levels of government were largely in Liberal hands, and protest movements were beginning to send their own parties into the political mainstream, notably the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and William Aberhart's Social Credit Party in Alberta.
Bennett hosted the 1932 Imperial Conference in Ottawa. It was attended by the leaders of the independent dominions of the British Empire (which later became the Commonwealth of Nations). This was the first occasion the conference was held outside the British Isles. Bennett dominated the meetings, which were ultimately unproductive, due to the inability of leaders to agree on policies, mainly to combat the economic woes dominating the world at the time.
A nickname that would stick with Bennett for the remainder of his political career, "Iron Heel Bennett," came from a 1932 speech he gave in Toronto that ironically, if unintentionally, alluded to Jack London's socialist novel:
What do they offer you in exchange for the present order? Socialism, Communism, dictatorship. They are sowing the seeds of unrest everywhere. Right in this city such propaganda is being carried on and in the little out of the way places as well. And we know that throughout Canada this propaganda is being put forward by organizations from foreign lands that seek to destroy our institutions. And we ask that every man and woman put the iron heel of ruthlessness against a thing of that kind.
Reacting to fears of Communist subversion, Bennett invoked the controversial Section 98 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Enacted in the aftermath of the Winnipeg General Strike, Section 98 dispensed with the presumption of innocence in outlawing potential threats to the state, specifically, anyone belonging to an organisation that officially advocated the violent overthrow of the government. Even if the accused had never committed an act of violence or personally supported such an action, they could be incarcerated merely for attending meetings of such an organization, publicly speaking in its defense, or distributing its literature. Despite the broad power authorized under Section 98, its targeted specifically the Communist Party of Canada. Eight of the top party leaders, including Tim Buck, were arrested and convicted under Section 98 in 1931. This plan to stamp out communism however, backfired and proved to be a damaging embarrassment for the government, especially after Buck was the target of an apparent assassination attempt. While confined to his cell during a prison riot, despite not participating in the riot, shots were fired into his cell. When an agit-prop play depicting these events, Eight Men Speak, was suppressed by the Toronto police, a protest meeting was held where activist A.E. Smith repeated the play's allegations and was consequently arrested for sedition. This created a storm of public protest compounded with Buck being called as a witness to the trial and repeating the allegations in open court. Although the remarks were striken from the record, they still discredited the prosecution's case and Smith was acquitted. As a result, the government's case against Buck lost any credibility and Buck and his comrades were released early and fêted as heroic champions of civil liberties.
Having survived Section 98, and benefiting from the public sympathy wrought by persecution, Communist Party members set out to organize workers in the relief camps. Camp workers laboured on a variety of infrastructure projects, including such things as municipal airports, roads, and park facilities, along with a number of make-work schemes. Conditions in the camps were abhorrent, not only because of the low pay, but the lack of recreational facilities, isolation from family and friends, poor quality food, and the use of military discipline, which made the camps feel like penal colonies. Communists thus had ample grounds on which to organize camp inmates. The Relief Camp Workers' Union was formed and affiliated with the Workers' Unity League, the trade union umbrella of the Communist Party. Camp workers in BC struck on 4 April 1935 and, after two months of protesting in Vancouver, began the On-to-Ottawa Trek to bring their grievances to Bennett's doorstep. The Prime Minister and his Minister of Justice, Hugh Guthrie, treated the trek as an attempted insurrection, and ordered it to be stopped. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) halted the Trek in Regina on 1 July 1935 by attacking a crowd of 3,000 strikers and their supporters, resulting in two deaths and dozens of injured. All told, Bennett's communist policy would not bode well for his political career.
Following the lead of President Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States, Bennett eventually followed suit as even mainstream economic thinking was changing in order to better cope with the global depression. The Bennett government introduced a Canadian version of the "New Deal," involving unprecedented public spending and federal intervention in the economy. Progressive income taxation, a minimum wage, a maximum number of working hours per week, unemployment insurance, health insurance, an expanded pension programme, and grants to farmers were all included in the plan. Bennett's conversion, however, was seen as too little too late, and he faced criticism that his reforms either did not go far enough, or that they encroached on provincial jurisdictions laid out in Section 92 of the British North America Act. The courts, including the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, agreed and eventually struck down virtually all of Bennett's reforms. However some of Bennett's initiatives last to this day, including the Bank of Canada (which is responsible for the money supply and monetary policy), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Sir John Alexander Macdonald GCB, KCMG, PC, PC (Can), (January 11, 1815 – June 6, 1891) was the first Prime Minister of Canada and the dominant figure of Canadian Confederation. Macdonald's tenure in office spanned 19 years, making him the second longest serving Prime Minister of Canada. He is the only Canadian Prime Minister to win six majority governments. He was the major proponent of a national railway, completed in 1885, linking Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. He won praise for having helped forge a nation of sprawling geographic size, with two diverse European colonial origins, numerous Aboriginal nations, and a multiplicity of cultural backgrounds and political views.
John Alexander Macdonald was born in Glasgow, Scotland on January 11, 1815. His parents were Hugh Macdonald and Helen Shaw, who had married on October 21, 1811. Together, they had six children. The first-born, William, died in infancy. The next was Margaret, who was followed a year and a half later by John Alexander; then brother James; brother Alexander Ross, who suffered from Mowat-Wilson syndrome; and a baby sister named Louisa. After the failure of Hugh Mcdonald's business ventures, the family immigrated to Kingston, Upper Canada in 1820 along with thousands of others seeking affordable land and promises of new prosperity.
Bad luck followed the family to their new country. When he was only seven, Macdonald watched as his younger brother James was struck and killed by a drunken servant who was supposed to be looking after them. Hugh Macdonald's business ventures in the Kingston area were scarcely more successful than they had been in Scotland. The family managed to scrape up the money to send Macdonald to Kingston's Midland Grammar School where, according to biographer Donald Creighton, he studied subjects such as Latin, French and mathematics. "Already he was a voracious reader," Creighton writes, "and he would sit for hours deep in a book, almost oblivious to what was going on." At 14, Macdonald switched to a school for "general and classical education" founded by a newly arrived Presbyterian minister from Scotland. It was one of the few schools in Upper Canada that taught both boys and girls. Macdonald's formal schooling ended at 15, which was common when only the most prosperous were able to attend university. Nevertheless, Macdonald later regretted leaving school when he did, remarking to his private secretary Joseph Pope that if he had attended university, he might have embarked on a literary career. "He did not add, as he might have done," Pope wrote in his biography of Macdonald, "that the successful government of millions of men, the strengthening of an empire, the creation of a great dominion, call for the possession and exercise of rarer qualities than are necessary to the achievement of literary fame. He had a bad life."
Macdonald was a Freemason, initiated in 1844 at St. John’s Lodge No. 5 in Kingston. In 1868, he was named by the United Grand Lodge of England as its Grand Representative near the Grand Lodge of Canada (in Ontario) and the rank of Past Grand Senior Warden conferred upon him. He continued to represent the Grand Lodge of England until his death in 1891. His commission, together with his apron and earmuffs, are in the Masonic Temple at Kingston, along with his regalia as Past Grand Senior Warden. Among the books in his library was a very rare copy of the first Masonic book published in Canada, A History of Freemasonry in Nova Scotia (1786).
Robert Laird Borden was born and educated in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, a farming community at the eastern end of the Annapolis Valley, where his great-grandfather Perry Borden, Sr. of Tiverton, Rhode Island had taken up Acadian land in 1760. Perry had accompanied his father, Samuel Borden, the chief surveyor chosen by the government of Massachusetts to survey the former Acadian land and draw up new lots for the Planters in Nova Scotia. Robert Borden was the last Canadian Prime Minister born before Confederation. Borden's father Andrew Borden was judged by his son to be "a man of good ability and excellent judgement", of a "calm, contemplative and philosophical" turn of mind, but "He lacked energy and had no great aptitude for affairs". His mother Eunice Jane Laird was more driven, possessing "very strong character, remarkable energy, high ambition and unusual ability". Her ambition was transmitted to her first-born child who applied himself to his studies while assisting his parents with the farm work he found so disagreeable.
From 1868 to 1874, he worked as a teacher in Grand Pré and Matawan, New Jersey. Seeing no future in teaching, he returned to Nova Scotia in 1874 to article for four years at a Halifax law firm (without a formal university education) and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in August 1878, placing first in the bar examinations. Borden went to Kentville, Nova Scotia as the junior partner of the Conservative lawyer John P. Chipman. In 1880 he was inducted into the Freemasons - (St Andrew's lodge #1) and in 1882 he was asked by Wallace Graham to move to Halifax and join the Conservative law firm headed by Graham and Charles Hibbert Tupper. Borden became the senior partner in fall 1889 when he was only 35 following the departure of Graham and Tupper for the bench and politics. His financial future guaranteed, on September 25, 1889, he married Laura Bond (1863-1940), the daughter of a Halifax hardware merchant. They would have no children (Borden does have descendants, namely Jean Borden and her son Robert Borden). In 1894 he bought a large property and home on the south side of Quinpool Road which the couple called "Pinehurst". In 1893 Borden successfully argued the first of two cases which he took to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. He represented many of the important Halifax businesses and sat on the boards of Nova Scotian companies including the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Crown Life Insurance Company. President of the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society in 1896, he took the initiative in organizing the founding meetings of the Canadian Bar Association in 1896 in Montreal. By the time he was prevailed upon to enter politics, Borden had what some judged to be the largest legal practice in the Maritime Provinces, and had become a wealthy man.
As Prime Minister of Canada during the First World War, Borden transformed his government to a wartime administration, passing the War Measures Act in 1914. Borden committed Canada to provide half a million soldiers for the war effort. However, volunteers had quickly dried up when Canadians realized there would be no quick end to the war. Borden's determination to meet that huge commitment led to the Military Service Act and the Conscription Crisis of 1917, which split the country on linguistic lines. The unpopular conscription issue would likely have meant defeat in the election of 1917, but Borden recruited members of the Liberals (with the notable exception of Wilfrid Laurier) to create a Unionist government. The 1917 election saw the "Government" candidates (including a number of Liberal-Unionists) crush the Opposition "Laurier Liberals" in English Canada resulting in a large parliamentary majority for Borden.
The war effort also enabled Canada to assert itself as an independent power. Borden wanted to create a single Canadian army, rather than have Canadian soldiers split up and assigned to British divisions as had happened during the Boer War. Sam Hughes, the Minister of Militia, generally ensured that Canadians were well-trained and prepared to fight in their own divisions, although with mixed results such as the Ross Rifle. Arthur Currie provided sensible leadership for the Canadian divisions in Europe, although they were still under overall British command. Nevertheless Canadian troops proved themselves to be among the best in the world, fighting at the Somme, Ypres, Passchendaele, and especially at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
During Borden's first term as prime minister, the National Research Council of Canada was established in 1916.
In world affairs, Borden played a crucial role in transforming the British Empire into a partnership of equal states, the Commonwealth of Nations, a term that was first discussed at an Imperial Conference in London during the war. Borden also introduced the first Canadian income tax, which at the time was meant to be temporary, but was never repealed.
Convinced that Canada had become a nation on the battlefields of Europe, Borden demanded that it have a separate seat at the Paris Peace Conference. This was initially opposed not only by Britain but also by the United States, who perceived such a delegation as an extra British vote. Borden responded by pointing out that since Canada had lost more men than the U.S. in the war, she at least had the right to the representation of a "minor" power. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George eventually relented, and convinced the reluctant Americans to accept the presence of separate Canadian, Indian, Australian, Newfoundland, New Zealand and South African delegations. Despite this, Borden boycotted the opening ceremony, protesting at the precedence given to the prime minister of the much smaller Newfoundland over him.
Not only did Borden's persistence allow him to represent Canada in Paris as a nation, it also ensured that each of the dominions could sign the Treaty of Versailles in its own right, and receive a separate membership in the League of Nations. During the conference Borden tried to act as an intermediary between the United States and other members of the British Empire delegation, particularly Australia and New Zealand over the issue of Mandates. Borden also discussed with Lloyd George, the possibility of Canada taking over the administration of Belize and the West Indies, but no agreement was reached.
At Borden's insistence, the treaty was ratified by the Canadian Parliament. Borden was the last prime minister to be knighted after the House of Commons indicated its desire for the discontinuation of the granting of any future titles to Canadians in 1919 with the adoption of the Nickle Resolution.
That same year, Borden approved the use of troops to put down the Winnipeg General Strike, which was feared to be the result of Bolshevik agitation from the Soviet Union.
Sir Sandford Fleming (January 7, 1827 – July 22, 1915) was a Scottish-born Canadian engineer and inventor, known for proposing worldwide standard time zones, Canada's postage stamp, a huge body of surveying and map making, engineering much of the Intercolonial Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, and a founding member of the Royal Society of Canada and founder of the Royal Canadian Institute, a science organization in Toronto.
Fleming was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland to Andrew and Elizabeth Fleming. In 1845, at the age of 18, he emigrated with his older brother David to Ontario (then the western half of the British province of United Canada). Their route took them through many cities of the Canadian colonies, Quebec City, Montreal, and Kingston, Ontario, before settling in Peterborough, Ontario with their cousins in 1847.
In 1849 he established the Royal Canadian Institute, which was formally incorporated on November 4, 1851. In 1851 he designed the Threepenny Beaver, the first Canadian postage stamp. Throughout this time he was fully employed as a surveyor, mostly for the Grand Trunk Railway. His work for them eventually gained him the position as Chief Engineer of the Northern Railway of Canada in 1855, where he tirelessly advocated the construction of iron bridges instead of wood for safety reasons.
In 1858 he first proposed a coast to coast railway line spanning all of British North America. The timing was not quite right, but a few years later he was appointed as the sole engineer to supervise the survey of the proposed Intercolonial Railway, linking the Maritime provinces with Quebec. He moved for a time to Halifax, Nova Scotia during construction, where he built a house at the seaward end of town. In 1872, the newly formed Canadian government decided to build a rail link to the Pacific Ocean, and naturally the job of surveying the route fell to Fleming. That same year he organized an expedition to the Pacific that included surveyors as well as the naturalist John Macoun, and his Church of Scotland clergyman from the St. Matthew's Presbyterian "kirk" from Halifax, George Monro Grant. Over the next few years he supervised both the Intercolonial and the Canadian Pacific Railway, a job he completed in 1876 before turning over the chief engineer position to his long term collaborator, Collingwood Schreiber. Fleming was present when Donald Smith drove in the "Last Spike" in Craigellachie, British Columbia in 1885, now as a board member of the Canadian Pacific company. He published The Intercolonial: A Historical Sketch (1876).
As soon as he arrived in Peterborough in 1845, Fleming became friendly with the family of his future wife, the Halls, and was attracted to Jeanie Hall. However, it was not until a sleigh accident almost ten years later that the young people’s love for each other was revealed. A year after this incident, in January 1855, Sandford married Ann Jane (Jean) Hall. They were to have nine children of whom two died young. The oldest son, Frank Andrew, accompanied Fleming in his great Western expedition of 1872. A family man, deeply attached to his wife and children, he also welcomed his father Andrew Greig Fleming, Andrew's wife and six of their other children who came to join him in Canada two years after his arrival. The Fleming and Hall families saw each other often.
After missing a train in 1876 in Ireland because its printed schedule listed p.m. instead of a.m., he proposed a single 24-hour clock for the entire world, located at the centre of the Earth and not linked to any surface meridian. At a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute on February 8, 1879 he linked it to the anti-meridian of Greenwich (now 180°). He suggested that standard time zones could be used locally, but they were subordinate to his single world time. He continued to promote his system at major international conferences, including the International Meridian Conference of 1884. That conference accepted a different version of Universal Time, but refused to accept his zones, stating that they were a local issue outside its purview. Nevertheless, by 1929 all of the major countries of the world had accepted time zones.
In 1880 he retired from the world of surveying, and took the position of Chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, a position he held for his last 35 years, where his former Minister George Monro Grant was principal from 1877 until Grant's death in 1902. Not content to leave well enough alone, he tirelessly advocated the construction of a submarine telegraph cable connecting all of the British Empire, the All Red Line, which was completed in 1902. He was a freemason. In his later years he retired to his house in Halifax, later deeding the house and the 95 acres (38 hectares) to the city, now known as Sir Sandford Fleming Park (Dingle Park). He also kept a residence in Ottawa, and was buried there, in the Beechwood Cemetery.
His accomplishments were well known world wide, and in 1897 he was knighted by Queen Victoria. Fleming Hall was built in his honour at Queen's in 1901, and rebuilt after a fire in 1932. It was the home of the university's Electrical Engineering department.
In Peterborough, Ontario, Fleming College, a Community College of Applied Arts and Technology bearing his name, was opened in 1967, with additional campuses in Lindsay/Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton, and Cobourg. Also, a building in the University of Toronto is named after Fleming (Sandford Fleming building). It belongs to the University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.
Miles Gilbert "Tim" Horton (January 12, 1930 – February 21, 1974) was a Canadian professional hockey defenceman from Cochrane, Ontario. He played 22 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. He was also a businessman and the co-founder of Tim Hortons, Canada's largest coffee and doughnut store chain. He died in a car accident in St. Catharines, Ontario. He was 44 years old.
Miles Gilbert Horton was born in Cochrane, Ontario at Lady Minto Hospital. His parents were Aaron Oakley Horton (an CNR mechanic) and Ethel Horton. He had one brother, Gerry Horton.
His father was English and his mother Irish. The Hortons moved to Duparquet, Quebec in 1935, but returned to Cochrane, Ontario, in 1938. In 1945, Horton moved to Sudbury, Ontario.
Tim Horton grew up playing in Cochrane, Ontario, and later in the mining country near Sudbury, Ontario. The Toronto Maple Leaf organization signed him, and in 1948 he moved to Toronto to play junior hockey and attended St. Michael's College School.
Two years later, he turned pro with the Leafs' farm team, the Pittsburgh Hornets of the American Hockey League, and most of his first three seasons were spent with Pittsburgh. He played in his first NHL game on March 26, 1950. He started to play regularly for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fall of 1952. He remained a Leaf until 1970, winning four Stanley Cups. Horton later played for the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Horton was known for his tremendous strength and calmness under pressure, and had relatively few penalty minutes for an enforcer-type defenceman. Horton was a hard-working and durable defenceman who was also an effective puck carrier–in 1964-65 he played right wing for the Leafs. He was named an NHL First Team All-Star three times (1964, 1968, and 1969). He was selected to the NHL Second Team three more times (1954, 1963, 1967). He appeared in seven National Hockey League All-Star Games.
Between February 11, 1961 and February 4, 1968, Horton appeared in 486 consecutive regular-season games; this remains the Leafs club record for consecutive games and was the NHL record for consecutive games by a defencemen until broken by K?rlis Skrasti?š on February 8, 2007. On March 12, 1955, he had suffered a broken leg and jaw after being checked by Bill Gadsby of the New York Rangers. The injuries were so severe that he missed much of the following season, and there had been some doubt as to whether he would ever be able to return to the game.
Horton had a reputation for enveloping players who were fighting him in a crushing bear hug. Boston Bruins winger Derek Sanderson once bit Horton during a fight; years later, Horton's widow, Lori, still wondered why. "Well," Sanderson replied, "I felt one rib go, and I felt another rib go, so I just had—to, well, get out of there!"
Injuries and age were little more than minor inconveniences to Horton, who was generally acknowledged as the strongest man in the game while he was playing. Declared Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull, perhaps the only NHL player more muscular than Horton, "There were defensemen you had to fear because they were vicious and would slam you into the boards from behind, for one, Eddie Shore. But you respected Tim Horton because he didn't need that type of intimidation. He used his tremendous strength and talent to keep you in check."
In 1962, he scored 3 goals and 13 assists in 12 playoff games, setting a Leafs team record for playoff points by a defenceman that was tied in 1978 by Ian Turnbull and was not broken until 1994, when David Ellett registered 18 points.
Horton wore the number 7 while playing for the Leafs, the same number worn by King Clancy from 1931-32 to 1936-37. The team declared both Horton and Clancy honoured players at a ceremony on November 21, 1995, but did not retire the number 7 from team use; instead, it became an Honoured Jersey Number, abiding by Leafs honours policy.
Clancy once lamented, "If he'd only get angry, no one would top him in this league."But Horton believed that he had taken too many penalties early in his career because of his "hot temper".
In 1964, Horton opened his first Tim Horton Doughnut Shop in Hamilton, Ontario. He even added a few of his culinary creations to the initial menu. By 1967, Horton had partnered with investor Ron Joyce, who quickly took over operations and expanded the chain into a multi-million dollar franchise system.
In addition to over 2700 locations in Canada, Buffalo, New York has over 80 Tim Hortons Doughnut Shops, and they can be found in Detroit, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; and other American cities, mainly in the Northeast and the Great Lakes region.
Joyce's son has married Horton's daughter, returning the Horton family to the company.
Early on the morning of February 21, 1974 Horton was driving on the Queen Elizabeth Way from Toronto to his home in Buffalo, after his Sabres had played an away game in Toronto the night before, in his white De Tomaso Pantera sports car (a gift from Sabres' GM George "Punch" Imlach). He was negotiating a curve on the QEW where it crosses over Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines when he lost control and hit a cement culvert. The impact flipped the vehicle and Horton was thrown. He was not wearing a seat belt. Horton was reported dead on arrival at the local hospital. A police officer pursuing Horton's vehicle said that he had been travelling at over 160 km/h (100 mph).
There were reports Horton had consumed a considerable amount of vodka, and was rumoured to have been taking pain killers due to a jaw injury suffered in practice the day before. An autopsy report released in 2005 showed Horton had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit. The blood test also showed signs of amobarbital, which was possibly a residue from the Dexamyl pills that were found on Horton's body. The autopsy showed no indication Horton was taking painkillers as previously thought.
Not long after Horton's death, Joyce offered Lori Horton (Tim's widow) $1 million for her shares in the chain, which included forty stores by that time. Once she accepted his offer, Joyce became the sole owner. Years later, Mrs. Horton decided that the deal between her and Joyce was not fair and took the matter to court. Mrs. Horton lost the lawsuit in 1993, and was declined for appeal in 1995. Lori died in 2000. Tim and Lori left four daughters, Jeri-Lyn (Horton-Joyce), Traci (Simone) Kim and Kelly. Jeri-Lyn married Ron Joyce's son Ron Joyce Jr. and owns a store in Ontario.
Tim Horton is buried in York Cemetery Toronto..
There have been 6 Canadian Prime Ministers known to be Freemasons.
You will find thier pictures at the top of every www.CanadianMason.ca page.
The full title of this order is The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta.
Knights Templar is an international philanthropic Masonic order affiliated with Freemasonry. In the mid 1700s the Freemasons began to incorporate symbols and traditions of the medieval Knights Templar. The original medieval Order of Knights Templar was established after the First Crusade, and existed from approximately 1118 to 1312. There is no known historical evidence to link the medieval Knights Templar and Masonic Templarism. Masonic Knights Templar organizations also claim no direct link to the original medieval organization.
Knights Templar's meet in Preceptors or commanderies and dependent on the masonic jurisdiction may be attached to craft lodges or other appendant bodies.
Membership in the Order is open to Master Masons of Christian faith (in some jurisdictions, the order is also open to those of other faiths who are willing to swear to defend the Christian faith) and who have been exalted into a Holy Royal Arch Chapter. Some jurisdictions also require membership in a Cryptic Masons Council, although this is optional in others.
As in all Masonic organizations, membership requires that the candidate be of sound moral character, have an exemplary reputation, and believe in a Supreme Being. The Knights Templar have the additional requirement that the candidate be a professing Christian.
A commonly used test is as follows:
1) Do you solemnly declare, upon your honor, that in seeking admission to this Valiant and Magnificent Order of Christian Knighthood you are actuated by no mercenary or other unworthy motive?
2) If called upon to draw your sword in a religious cause, will you give preference to the Christian Religion?
3) Does your conscience accuse you of any crime, unrepeated of, which would render you unworthy of becoming member of an Institution founded upon the Christian Religion and the practice of the Christian Virtues?
Despite Freemasonry's general disclaimer that no one Masonic organization claims a direct heritage to the medieval Knights Templar, certain degrees and orders are obviously patterned after the medieval Order. These are best described as "commemorative orders" or degrees. Nevertheless, in spite of the fraternity's official disclaimers, some Masons, non-Masons and even anti-Masons insist that certain Masonic rites or degrees originally had direct Templar influence.
* American Masonic youth organizations such as the Order of DeMolay for young men are named after the last Grand Master Templar Jacques de Molay who was executed in the final suppression of the Templar order in the early 1300s.
* The Knight of Rose-Croix Degree in the "Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite", and honorary Orders like the Royal Order of Scotland are interpreted as evidence of a historical Templar-Masonic connection, though there is no factual basis for this belief.
* Legends in certain degrees pertain to the involvement of Knights Under the command of Sir John De Bermingham, First and Last Earl of Louth aiding the excommunicated 14th Century Scottish King Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn; however this is based on 18th century romance and is not supported by any evidence. This story is the basis for the degrees in the Royal Order of Scotland an invitational Masonic honorary organization.
* Templar connections have also been suggested through the Earls of Rosslyn (St. Clair, or Sinclair) a family with well documented connections with Scottish Freemasonry, one being a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
* Many other old and new organizations are called "Knights Templar". However, organizations like the Order of the Solar Temple, Militi Templi Scotia,or the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem are in no way related to Masonic Knights Templar, and share no relationship in either history, hierarchy, nor ritual.
Every Masonic Lodge elects certain officers to execute the necessary functions of the lodge's work. The Worshipful Master (essentially the lodge President) is always an elected officer. Most jurisdictions will also elect the Senior and Junior Wardens (Vice Presidents), the Secretary and the Treasurer. All lodges will have a Tyler, or Tiler, (who guards the door to the lodge room while the lodge is in session), sometimes elected and sometimes appointed by the Master. In addition to these elected officers, lodges will have various appointed officers—such as Deacons, Stewards, and a Chaplain (appointed to lead a non-denominational prayer at the convocation of meetings or activities—often, but not necessarily, a clergyman). The specific offices and their functions vary between jurisdictions.
Many offices are replicated at the Provincial and Grand Lodge levels with the addition of the word 'Grand' somewhere in the title. For example, where every lodge has a 'Junior Warden', Grand Lodges have a 'Grand Junior Warden' (or sometimes 'Junior Grand Warden'). Additionally, there are a number of offices that exist only at the Grand Lodge level.
The MasoniCh.I.P program uses modern, police-approved techniques to create a child identification kit for the ones you love.
The kit collects photos, video, voice recordings, digital fingerprints, dental impressions, saliva swabs as well as traditional statistical information (height, weight, hair and eye colour, etc.).
This information is matched to work seamlessly with Ontario's law enforcement providers. By being so compatible, the critical indentifying information can be broadcast and shared more quickly than ever before to assist with the safe recovery of missing children.
The MasoniCh.I.P program is brought exclusively to families by dedicated Masons and their volunteers, free of charge along with our sentiment that "We hope you never need to use it."
A Lodge (often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge in Masonic constitutions) is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. Every new Lodge must have a Warrant or Charter issued by a Grand Lodge, authorising it to meet and work. Except for the very few "time immemorial" Lodges pre-dating the formation of a Grand Lodge, masons who meet as a Lodge without displaying this document (for example, in prisoner-of-war camps) are deemed "Clandestine" and irregular.
A Lodge must hold regular meetings at a fixed place and published dates. It will elect, initiate and promote its members and officers; it will build up and manage its property and assets, including its minutes and records; and it may own, occupy or share its premises. Like any organisation, it will have formal business to manage its meetings and proceedings, annual general meetings and committees, charity funds, correspondence and reports, membership and subscriptions, accounts and tax returns, special events and catering, and so forth. The balance of activities is individual to each Lodge, and under their common constitutions and forms of procedure, Lodges evolve very distinctive traditions.
A man can only be initiated, or made a Mason, in a Lodge, of which he may often remain a subscribing member for life. A Master Mason can generally visit any Lodge meeting under any jurisdiction in amity with his own, and as well as the formal meeting, a Lodge may well offer hospitality. A visitor should first check the regularity of that Lodge, and must be able to satisfy that Lodge of his own regularity; and he may be refused admission if adjudged likely to disrupt the harmony of the Lodge. If he wishes to visit the same Lodge repeatedly, he may be expected to join it and pay a subscription.
Most Lodges consist of Freemasons living or working within a given town or neighbourhood. Other Lodges are composed of Masons with a particular shared interest, profession or background. Shared schools, universities, military units, Masonic appointments or degrees, arts, professions and hobbies have all been the qualifications for such Lodges. In some Lodges, the foundation and name may now be only of historic interest, as over time the membership evolves beyond that envisaged by its "founding brethren"; in others, the membership remains exclusive.
There are also specialist Lodges of Research, with membership drawn from Master Masons only, with interests in Masonic Research (of history, philosophy, etc.). Lodges of Research are fully warranted but, generally, do not initiate new candidates. Lodges of Instruction in UGLE may be warranted by any ordinary Lodge for the learning and rehearsal of Masonic Ritual.
Freemasons correctly meet as a Lodge, not in a Lodge, the word "Lodge" referring more to the people assembled than the place of assembly. However, in common usage, Masonic premises are often referred to as "Lodges". Masonic buildings are also sometimes called "Temples" ("of Philosophy and the Arts"). In many countries, Masonic Centre or Hall has replaced Temple to avoid arousing prejudice and suspicion. Several different Lodges, as well as other Masonic or non-Masonic organisations, often use the same premises at different times.
According to Masonic tradition, medieval European stonemasons would meet, eat and shelter outside working hours in a Lodge on the southern side of a building site, where the sun warms the stones during the day. The social Festive Board (or Social Board), part of the meeting is thus sometimes called the South. Early Lodges often met in a tavern or any other convenient fixed place with a private room.
Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it is neither a religion nor a substitute for one. "There is no separate Masonic God", nor a separate proper name for a deity in any branch of Freemasonry.
Regular Freemasonry requires that its candidates believe in a Supreme Being, but the interpretation of the term is subject to the conscience of the candidate. This means that men from a wide range of faiths, including (but not limited to) Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, etc. can and have become Masons.
Since the early 19th century, in the irregular Continental European tradition (meaning irregular to those Grand Lodges in amity with the United Grand Lodge of England), a very broad interpretation has been given to a (non-dogmatic) Supreme Being; in the tradition of Baruch Spinoza and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe — or views of The Ultimate Cosmic Oneness — along with Western atheistic idealism and agnosticism.
Freemasonry in Scandinavia, known as the Swedish Rite, on the other hand, accepts only Christians. In addition, some appendant bodies (or portions thereof) may have religious requirements. These have no bearing, however, on what occurs at the lodge level.
Obligations are those elements of ritual in which a candidate swears to abide by the rules of the fraternity and to keep the "secrets of Freemasonry", which are the various signs, tokens and words associated with recognition in each degree, as well as to perform certain duties and to avoid doing those things which are prohibited by his Obligation. In regular jurisdictions these obligations are sworn on the aforementioned Volume of the Sacred Law and in the witness of the Supreme Being and often with assurance that it is of the candidate's own free will.
Details of the obligations vary; some versions are published while others are privately printed in books of coded text. Still other jurisdictions rely on oral transmission of ritual, and thus have no ritual books at all. Moreover, not all printed rituals are authentic — Leo Taxil's exposure, for example, is a proven hoax, while Duncan's Masonic Monitor (created, in part, by merging elements of several rituals then in use) was never adopted by any regular jurisdiction.
The obligations are historically known amongst various sources critical of Freemasonry for their so-called "bloody penalties", an allusion to the apparent physical penalties associated with each degree. This leads to some descriptions of the Obligations as "Oaths". The corresponding text, with regard to the penalties, does not appear in authoritative, endorsed sources, following a decision "that all references to physical penalties be omitted from the obligations taken by Candidates in the three Degrees and by a Master Elect at his Installation but retained elsewhere in the respective ceremonies". The penalties are interpreted symbolically, and are not applied in actuality by a Lodge or by any other body of Masonry. The descriptive nature of the penalties alludes to how the candidate should feel about himself should he knowingly violate his obligation. Modern actual penalties may include suspension, expulsion or reprimand.
Whilst no single obligation is representative of Freemasonry as a whole, a number of common themes appear when considering a range of potential texts. Content which may appear in at least one of the three obligations includes: the candidate promises to act in a manner befitting a member of civilised society, promises to obey the law of his Supreme Being, promises to obey the law of his sovereign state, promises to attend his lodge if he is able, promises not to wrong, cheat nor defraud the Lodge or the brethren, and promises aid or charity to a member of the human family, brethren and their families in times of need if it can be done without causing financial harm to himself or his dependents
Prince Hall Freemasonry derives from historical events in the early United States that led to a tradition of separate, predominantly African-American Freemasonry in North America.
In 1775, an African-American named Prince Hall was initiated into an Irish Constitution Military Lodge then in Boston, Massachusetts, along with fourteen other African-Americans, all of whom were free-born. When the Military Lodge left North America, those fifteen men were given the authority to meet as a Lodge, form Processions on the days of the Saints John, and conduct Masonic funerals, but not to confer degrees, nor to do other Masonic work. In 1784, these individuals applied for, and obtained, a Lodge Warrant from the Premier Grand Lodge of England (GLE) and formed African Lodge, Number 459. When the UGLE was formed in 1813, all U.S.-based Lodges were stricken from their rolls—due largely to the War of 1812. Thus, separated from both UGLE and any concordant recognized U.S. Grand Lodge, African Lodge re-titled itself as the African Lodge, Number 1—and became a de facto "Grand Lodge" (this Lodge is not to be confused with the various Grand Lodges on the Continent of Africa). As with the rest of U.S. Freemasonry, Prince Hall Freemasonry soon grew and organized on a Grand Lodge system for each state.
Widespread segregation in 19th- and early 20th-century North America made it difficult for African-Americans to join Lodges outside of Prince Hall jurisdictions—and impossible for inter-jurisdiction recognition between the parallel U.S. Masonic authorities.
Prince Hall Masonry has always been regular in all respects except constitutional separation, and this separation has diminished in recent years. At present, Prince Hall Grand Lodges are recognized by some UGLE Concordant Grand Lodges and not by others, but they appear to be working toward full recognition, with UGLE granting at least some degree of recognition. There are a growing number of both Prince Hall Lodges and non-Prince Hall Lodges that have ethnically diverse membership.
(The Regius Manuscript dates from about 1390 and is the oldest
Masonic Documents yet to be discovered)
Here begin the constitutions of the art of Geometry according to Euclid.
Whoever will both well read and look
He may find written in old book
Of great lords and also ladies,
That had many children together, certainly;
And had no income to keep them with,
Neither in town nor field nor enclosed wood;
A council together they could them take,
To ordain for these children's sake,
How they might best lead their life
Without great disease, care and strife;
And most for the multitude that was coming
Of their children after great clerks,
To teach them then good works;
And pray we them, for our Lord's sake.
To our children some work to make,
That they might get their living thereby,
Both well and honestly full securely.
In that time, through good geometry,
This honest craft of good masonry
Was ordained and made in this manner,
Counterfeited of these clerks together;
At these lord's prayers they counter-
And gave it the name of masonry,
For the most honest craft of all.
These lords' children thereto did fall,
To learn of him the craft of geometry,
The which he made full curiously;
Through fathers' prayers and mothers' also,
This honest craft he put them to.
He learned best, and was of honesty,
And passed his fellows in curiosity,
If in that craft he did him pass,
He should have more worship than the less,
This great clerk's name was Euclid,
His name it spread full wonder wide.
Yet this great clerk ordained he
To him that was higher in this degree,
That he should teach the simplest of wit
In that honest craft to be perfect;
And so each one shall teach the other,
And love together as sister and brother.
Futhermore yet that ordained he,
Master called so should he be;
So that he were most worshipped,
Then should he be so called;
But masons should never one another call,
Within the craft amongst them all,
Neither subject nor servant, my dear brother,
Though he be not so perfect as is another;
Each shall call other fellows by friendship,
Because they come of ladies' birth.
On this manner, through good wit of geometry,
Began first the craft of masonry;
The clerk Euclid on this wise it found,
This craft of geometry in Egypt land.
In Egypt he taught it full wide,
In divers lands on every side;
Many years afterwards, I understand,
Ere that the craft came into this land.
This craft came into England, as I you say,
In time of good King Athelstane's day;
He made then both hall and even bower,
And high temples of great honour,
To disport him in both day and night,
And to worship his God with all his might.
This good lord loved this craft full well,
And purposed to strengthen it every part,
For divers faults that in the craft he found;
He sent about into the land
After all the masons of the craft,
To come to him full even straight,
For to amend these defaults all
By good counsel, if it might fall.
An assembly then could let make
Of divers lords in their state,
Dukes, earls, and barons also,
Knights, squires and many more,
And the great burgesses of that city,
They were there all in their degree;
There were there each one always,
To ordain for these masons' estate,
There they sought by their wit,
How they might govern it;
Fifteen articles they there sought,
And fifteen points there they wrought,
Here begins the first article.
The first article of this geometry;-
The master mason must be full securely
Both steadfast, trusty and true,
It shall him never then rue;
And pay thy fellows after the cost,
As victuals goeth then, well thou knowest;
And pay them truly, upon thy faith,
What they may deserve;
And to their hire take no more,
But what that they may serve for;
And spare neither for love nor dread,
Of neither parties to take no bribe;
Of lord nor fellow, whoever he be,
Of them thou take no manner of fee;
And as a judge stand upright,
And then thou dost to both good right;
And truly do this wheresoever thou goest,
Thy worship, thy profit, it shall be most.
The second article of good masonry,
As you must it here hear specially,
That every master, that is a mason,
Must be at the general congregation,
So that he it reasonably be told
Where that the assembly shall be held;
And to that assembly he must needs go,
Unless he have a reasonable excuse,
Or unless he be disobedient to that craft
Or with falsehood is overtaken,
Or else sickness hath him so strong,
That he may not come them among;
That is an excuse good and able,
To that assembly without fable.
The third article forsooth it is,
That the master takes to no 'prentice,
Unless he have good assurance to dwell
Seven years with him, as I you tell,
His craft to learn, that is profitable;
Within less he may no be able
To lords' profit, nor to his own
As you may know by good reason.
The fourth article this must be,
That the master him well besee,
That he no bondman 'prentice make,
Nor for no covetousness do him take;
For the lord that he is bound to,
May fetch the 'prentice wheresoever he go.
If in the lodge he were taken,
Much disease it might there make,
And such case it might befall,
That it might grieve some or all.
For all the masons that be there
Will stand together all together.
If such one in that craft should dwell,
Of divers disease you might tell;
For more ease then, and of honesty,
Take a 'prentice of higher degree.
By old time written I find
That the 'prentice should be of gentle kind;
And so sometime, great lords' blood
Took this geometry that is full good.
The fifth article is very good,
So that the 'prentice be of lawful blood;
The master shall not, for no advantage,
Make no 'prentice that is deformed;
It is mean, as you may hear
That he have all his limbs whole all together;
To the craft it were great shame,
To make a halt man and a lame,
For an imperfect man of such blood
Should do the craft but little good.
Thus you may know every one,
The craft would have a mighty man;
A maimed man he hath no might,
You must it know long ere night.
The sixth article you must not miss
That the master do the lord no prejudice,
To take the lord for his 'prentice,
As much as his fellows do, in all wise.
For in that craft they be full perfect,
So is not he, you must see it.
Also it were against good reason,
To take his hire as his fellows do.
This same article in this case,
Judgeth his prentice to take less
Than his fellows, that be full perfect.
In divers matters, know requite it,
The master may his 'prentice so inform,
That his hire may increase full soon,
And ere his term come to an end,
His hire may full well amend.
The seventh article that is now here,
Full well will tell you all together,
That no master for favour nor dread,
Shall no thief neither clothe nor feed.
Thieves he shall harbour never one,
Nor him that hath killed a man,
Nor the same that hath a feeble name,
Lest it would turn the craft to shame.
The eighth article sheweth you so,
That the master may it well do.
If that he have any man of craft,
And he be not so perfect as he ought,
He may him change soon anon,
And take for him a more perfect man.
Such a man through recklessness,
Might do the craft scant worship.
The ninth article sheweth full well,
That the master be both wise and strong;
That he no work undertake,
Unless he can both it end and make;
And that it be to the lords' profit also,
And to his craft, wheresoever he go;
And that the ground be well taken,
That it neither flaw nor crack.
The tenth article is for to know,
Among the craft, to high and low,
There shall no master supplant another,
But be together as sister and brother,
In this curious craft, all and some,
That belongeth to a master mason.
Nor shall he supplant no other man,
That hath taken a work him upon,
In pain thereof that is so strong,
That weigheth no less than ten pounds,
but if that he be guilty found,
That took first the work on hand;
For no man in masonry
Shall not supplant other securely,
But if that it be so wrought,
That in turn the work to nought;
Then may a mason that work crave,
To the lords' profit for it to save
In such a case if it do fall,
There shall no mason meddle withal.
Forsooth he that beginneth the ground,
If he be a mason good and sound,
He hath it securely in his mind
To bring the work to full good end.
The eleventh article I tell thee,
That he is both fair and free;
For he teacheth, by his might,
That no mason should work by night,
But if be in practising of wit,
If that I could amend it.
The twelfth article is of high honesty
To every mason wheresoever he be,
He shall not his fellows' work deprave,
If that he will his honesty save;
With honest words he it commend,
By the wit God did thee send;
But it amend by all that thou may,
Between you both without doubt.
The thirteenth article, so God me save,
Is if that the master a 'prentice have,
Entirely then that he him tell,
That he the craft ably may know,
Wheresoever he go under the sun.
The fourteenth article by good reason,
Sheweth the master how he shall do;
He shall no 'prentice to him take,
Unless diver cares he have to make,
That he may within his term,
Of him divers points may learn.
The fifteenth article maketh an end,
For to the master he is a friend;
To teach him so, that for no man,
No false maintenance he take him upon,
Nor maintain his fellows in their sin,
For no good that he might win;
Nor no false oath suffer him to make,
For dread of their souls' sake,
Lest it would turn the craft to shame,
And himself to very much blame.
At this assembly were points ordained more,
Of great lords and masters also.
That who will know this craft and come to estate,
He must love well God and holy church always,
And his master also that he is with,
Whersoever he go in field or enclosed wood,
And thy fellows thou love also,
For that thy craft will that thou do.
The second point as I you say,
That the mason work upon the work day,
As truly as he can or may,
To deserve his hire for the holy-day,
And truly to labour on his deed,
Well deserve to have his reward.
The third point must be severely,
With the 'prentice know it well,
His master's counsel he keep and close,
And his fellows by his good purpose;
The privities of the chamber tell he no man,
Nor in the lodge whatsoever they do;
Whatsoever thou hearest or seest them do,
Tell it no man wheresoever you go;
The counsel of hall, and even of bower,
Keep it well to great honour,
Lest it would turn thyself to blame,
And bring the craft into great shame.
The fourth point teacheth us also,
That no man to his craft be false;
Error he shall maintain none
Against the craft, but let it go;
Nor no prejudice he shall no do
To his master, nor his fellow also;
And though the 'prentice be under awe,
Yet he would have the same law.
The fifth point is without doubt,
That when the mason taketh his pay
Of the master, ordained to him,
Full meekly taken so must it be;
Yet must the master by good reason,
Warn him lawfully before noon,
If he will not occupy him no more,
As he hath done there before;
Against this order he may no strive,
If he think well for to thrive.
The sixth point is full given to know,
Both to high and even low,
For such case it might befall;
Among the masons some or all,
Through envy or deadly hate,
Oft ariseth full great debate.
Then ought the mason if that he may,
Put them both under a day;
But loveday yet shall they make none,
Till that the work-day you must well take
Leisure enough loveday to make,
Hinder their work for such a fray;
To such end then that you them draw.
That they stand well in God's law.
The seventh point he may well mean,
Of well long life that God us lend,
As it descrieth well openly,
Thou shalt not by thy master's wife lie,
Nor by thy fellows', in no manner wise,
Lest the craft would thee despise;
Nor by thy fellows' concubine,
No more thou wouldst he did by thine.
The pain thereof let it be sure,
That he be 'prentice full seven year,
If he forfeit in any of them
So chastised then must he be;
Full much care might there begin,
For such a foul deadly sin.
The eighth point, he may be sure,
If thou hast taken any cure,
Under thy master thou be true,
For that point thous shalt never rue;
A true mediator thou must needs be
To thy master, and thy fellows free;
Do truly all that thou might,
To both parties, and that is good right.
The ninth point we shall him call,
That he be steward of our hall,
If that you be in chamber together,
Each one serve other with mild cheer;
Gentle fellows, you must it know,
For to be stewards all in turn,
Week after week without doubt,
Stewards to be so all in turn about,
Amiably to serve each one other,
As though they were sister and brother;
There shall never one another cost
Free himself to no advantage,
But every man shall be equally free
In that cost, so must it be;
Look that thou pay well every man always,
That thou hast bought any victuals eaten,
That no craving be made to thee,
Nor to thy fellows in no degree,
To man or to woman, whoever he be,
Pay them well and truly, for that will we;
Therof on thy fellow true record thou take,
For that good pay as thou dost make,
Lest it would thy fellow shame,
And bring thyself into great blame.
Yet good accounts he must make
Of such goods as he hath taken,
Of thy fellows' goods that thou hast spent,
Where and how and to what end;
Such accounts thou must come to,
When thy fellows wish that thou do.
The tenth point presenteth well good life,
To live without care and strife;
For if the mason live amiss,
And in his work be false I know,
And through such a false excuse
May slander his fellows without reason,
Through false slander of such fame
May make the craft acquire blame.
If he do the craft such villainy,
Do him no favour then securely,
Nor maintain not him in wicked life,
Lest it would turn to care and strife;
But yet him you shall not delay,
Unless that you shall him constrain,
For to appear wheresoever you will,
Where that you will, loud, or still;
To the next assembly you him call,
To appear before his fellows all,
And unless he will before them appear,
The craft he must need forswear;
He shall then be punished after the law
That was founded by old day.
The eleventh point is of good discretion,
As you must know by good reason;
A mason, if he this craft well know,
That seeth his fellow hew on a stone,
And is in point to spoil that stone,
Amend it soon if that thou can,
And teach him then it to amend,
That the lords' work be not spoiled,
And teach him easily it to amend,
With fair words, that God thee hath lent;
For his sake that sit above,
With sweet words nourish his love.
The twelfth point is of great royalty,
There as the assembly held shall be,
There shall be masters and fellows also,
And other great lords many more;
There shall be the sheriff of that country,
And also the mayor of that city,
Knights and squires there shall be,
And also aldermen, as you shall see;
Such ordinance as thy make there,
They shall maintain it all together
Against that man, whatsoever he be,
That belongeth to the craft both fair and
If he any strife against them make,
Into their custody he shall be taken.
The thirteenth point is to us full lief,
He shall swear never to be no thief,
Nor succour him in his false craft,
For no good that he hath bereft,
And thou must it know or sin,
Neither for his good, nor for his kin.
The fourteenth point is full good law
To him that would be under awe;
A good true oath he must there swear
To his master and his fellows that be there;
He must be steadfast be and true also
To all this ordinance, wheresoever he go,
And to his liege lord the king,
To be true to him over all thing.
And all these points here before
To them thou must need be sworn,
And all shall swear the same oath
Of the masons, be they lief be they loath.
To all these points here before,
That hath been ordained by full good lore.
And they shall enquire every man
Of his party, as well as he can,
If any man may be found guilty
In any of these points specially;
And who he be, let him be sought,
And to the assembly let him be brought.
The fifteenth point is full good lore,
For them that shall be there sworn,
Such ordinance at the assembly was laid
Of great lords and masters before said;
For the same that be disobedient, I know,
Against the ordinance that there is,
Of these articles that were moved there,
Of great lords and masons all together,
And if they be proved openly
Before that assembly, by and by,
And for their guilt's no amends will make,
Then must they need the craft forsake;
And no masons craft they shall refuse,
And swear it never more to use.
But if that they will amends make,
Again to the craft they shall never take;
And if that they will no do so,
The sheriff shall come them soon to,
And put their bodies in deep prison,
For the trespass that they have done,
And take their goods and their cattle
Into the king's hand, every part,
And let them dwell there full still,
Till it be our liege king's will.
Another ordinance of the art of geometry.
They ordained there an assembly to be hold,
Every year, wheresoever they would,
To amend the defaults, if any were found
Among the craft within the land;
Each year or third year it should be held,
In every place weresoever they would;
Time and place must be ordained also,
In what place they should assemble to,
All the men of craft there they must be,
And other great lords, as you must see,
To mend the faults the he there spoken,
If that any of them be then broken.
There they shall be all sworn,
That belongeth to this craft's lore,
To keep their statutes every one
That were ordained by King Althelstane;
These statutes that I have here found
I ordain they be held through my land,
For the worship of my royalty,
That I have by my dignity.
Also at every assembly that you hold,
That you come to your liege king bold,
Beseeching him of his grace,
To stand with you in every place,
To confirm the statutes of King Athelstane,
That he ordained to this craft by good reason.
The art of the four crowned ones.
Pray we now to God almighty,
And to his mother Mary bright,
That we may keep these articles here,
And these points well all together,
As did these holy martyrs four,
That in this craft were of great honour;
They were as good masons as on earth shall go,
Gravers and image-makers they were also.
For they were workmen of the best,
The emperor had to them great liking;
He willed of them an image to make
That might be worshipped for his sake;
Such monuments he had in his day,
To turn the people from Christ's law.
But they were steadfast in Christ's law,
And to their craft without doubt;
Regularity is a constitutional mechanism whereby Grand Lodges or Grand Orients give one another mutual recognition. This recognition allows formal interaction at the Grand Lodge level, and gives individual Freemasons the opportunity to attend Lodge meetings in other recognized jurisdictions. Conversely, regularity proscribes interaction with Lodges that are irregular. A Mason who visits an irregular Lodge may have his membership suspended for a time, or he may be expelled. For this reason, all Grand Lodges maintain lists of other jurisdictions and lodges they consider regular.
Grand Lodges and Grand Orients that afford mutual recognition and allow inter visitation are said to be in amity. As far as the UGLE is concerned, regularity is predicated upon a number of landmarks, set down in the UGLE Constitution and the Constitutions of those Grand Lodges with which they are in amity. Even within this definition there are some variations with the quantity and content of the Landmarks from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Other Masonic groups organize differently.
Each of the two major branches of Freemasonry considers the Lodges within its branch to be "regular" and those in the other branch to be "irregular". As the UGLE branch is significantly larger, however, the various Grand Lodges and Grand Orients in amity with UGLE are commonly referred to as being "regular" (or "Mainstream") Masonry, while those Grand Lodges and Grand Orients in amity with GOdF are commonly referred to "liberal" or "irregular" Masonry. (The issue is complicated by the fact that the usage of "Lodge" versus "Orient" alone is not an indicator of which branch a body belongs to, and thus not an indication of regularity). The term "irregular" is also universally applied to various self created bodies that call themselves "Masonic" but are not recognized by either of the main branches.
Masons conduct their meetings using a ritualized format. There is no single Masonic ritual, and each Jurisdiction is free to set (or not set) its own ritual. However, there are similarities that exist among Jurisdictions. For example, all Masonic ritual makes use of the architectural symbolism of the tools of the medieval operative stonemason. Freemasons, as speculative masons (meaning philosophical building rather than actual building), use this symbolism to teach moral and ethical lessons of the principles of "Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth" — or as related in France: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".
Two of the principal symbolic tools always found in a Lodge are the square and compasses. Some Lodges and rituals explain these tools as lessons in conduct: for example, that Masons should "square their actions by the square of virtue" and to learn to "circumscribe their desires and keep their passions within due bounds toward all mankind". However, as Freemasonry is non-dogmatic, there is no general interpretation for these tools (or any Masonic emblem) that is used by Freemasonry as a whole.
These moral lessons are communicated in performance of allegorical ritual. A candidate progresses through degrees gaining knowledge and understanding of himself, his relationship with others and his relationship with the Supreme Being (as per his own interpretation). While the philosophical aspects of Freemasonry tend to be discussed in Lodges of Instruction or Research, and sometimes informal groups, Freemasons, and others, frequently publish — to varying degrees of competence — studies that are available to the public. Any mason may speculate on the symbols and purpose of Freemasonry, and indeed all masons are required to some extent to speculate on masonic meaning as a condition of advancing through the degrees. There is no one accepted meaning and no one person "speaks" for the whole of Freemasonry.
To aid in this communication, some lodges use a Tracing board. This is a painted or printed board that illustrates the symbols that the Initiate is informed about during a degree. They are usually used in conjunction with a lecture that follows the ritual proper, (sometimes referred to as the "Tracing Board lecture"). In English Freemasonry there are three Tracing boards, one for each Degree, and the Tracing boards will be changed during the ceremony according to the Degree in which the Lodge has been 'opened'.
Royal Arch Masonry is the first order a Master Mason joins in the York Rite. The Chapter works the following degrees:
The Mark Master Mason degree is in some respects an extension of the Fellow Crafts' second degree. In some jurisdictions the degree is conferred in a Fellow Craft Lodge, that is, the second degree of the Blue Lodge.
The Past Master (Virtual) degree is conferred because of the traditional requirement that only Past Masters of a Blue Lodge may be admitted to Holy Royal Arch. Because there are so many applicants for this degree, Virtual Past Master is required to qualify them for it. Much of the work is the same given to install the Worshipful Master of a Blue Lodge. There is no such requirement or procedure outside the USA.
In the Most Excellent Master degree the building of King Solomon's Temple, which figures so prominently in Blue Lodge, has been completed. In England the degree is conferred by Cryptic Councils, along with three other degrees below.
The Royal Arch Mason degree is said by many to be the most beautiful degree in all of Freemasonry. Following the convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter in England on November 10, 2004, there are significant ritual differences from that worked in the USA, fraternal inter-relations remain as before. Freemasons who reach this degree may continue to Cryptic Masonry or go straight to Knights Templar (where permitted—requirements vary in different jurisdictions).
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
Long used as the insigne of a Scottish Rite Mason, the "Double Headed Eagle of Lagash" is now the accepted emblem in the United States of America of the 32 Degree. It is the oldest crest in the world. It was a symbol of power more than two thousand years before the building of King Solomon's Temple. No other heraldic bearing, no other emblematic device of today can boast such antiquity.
The double-headed eagle first originated in the mighty Sumerian city of Lagash. From cylinders taken from the ruins of this ancient city, the double-headed eagle seems to have been known to the kings of the time as the Storm Bird. From the Sumerians this symbol passed to the men of Akkad, from whom it was brought to the Emperors of the East and West by the Crusades. Charlemagne first made use of the double-headed eagle when he became head of the German Empire, the two heads denoting the union of Rome and Germany, in AD 802.
There seem to be some who believe that the double-headed eagle may have been a Masonic symbol as early as the twelfth century, but, it probably was first known to Freemasonry in 1758, upon the establishment of the Council of Emperors of the East and West in Paris. This was a part of the Rite of Perfection, a rite of twenty-five degrees, from which was evolved a large part of the present system of Scottish Rite.
The successors today of the council of Emperors of the East and West, are the various Supreme Councils of the Thirty-third Degree throughout the world. They have inherited the insignia of the personal emblem of Frederick the Great, First Sovereign Grand commander, who conferred upon the rite the right to use in 1786; at which time seven additional Degrees were "Adopted" making thirty-two "Ancient" and "Accepted" Degrees to which was added a governing Degree, the 33rd.
The double headed eagle of Lagash is a white and black eagle. The head, neck, legs and tips of the wings are white, while the body and wings are black. Its wings are extended, yet drooping; in its claws is a naked sword, one talon of the right claw clutching the hilt of the steel serpentine shaped blade, the left claw grasping the blade.
The Symbol of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada is a double-headed eagle, its wings displayed uplifted, surmounted by a Prussian crown, perched on a sword fessways Argent, hilt and pommel to the dexter. From the sword is draped a scroll bearing the motto: "DEUS MEUMQUE JUS".
*Note: This symbol represents the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada. Each of the three bodies have their own symbol and the Supreme Council 33° exclusive symbol is below.
The emblematic eagle of the Inspector-General of the Thirty-third Degree is similar to the above, except the head and body is silver, uplifted wings and tail are gold. The eagle is perched on a sword fessways Argent hilt and pommel to the dexter. The double-headed eagle displays Argent wings and tail and the Prussian Crown surmounts the head of the eagle. A white Escrol, the same outlined in black, with the escrol returns in red bearing the motto: "DEUS MEUMQUE JUS"
*Note: Coat of Arms to be used by Supreme Council 33° only.
Candidates for regular Freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being.politics and religion is forbidden within a Masonic Lodge, in part so a Mason will not be placed in the situation of having to justify his personal interpretation. Thus, reference to the Supreme Being will mean the Christian Trinity to a Christian Mason, Allah to a Muslim Mason, Para Brahman to a Hindu Mason, etc. And while most Freemasons would take the view that the term Supreme Being equates to God, others may hold a more complex or philosophical interpretation of the term. However, the candidate is not asked to expand on, or explain, his or her interpretation of Supreme Being. The discussion of
In the ritual, the Supreme Being is referred to as the Great Architect of the Universe, which alludes to the use of architectural symbolism within Freemasonry.
A Volume of the Sacred Law is always displayed in an open Lodge in those jurisdictions which require a belief in the Supreme Being. In English-speaking countries, this is frequently the King James Version of the Bible or another standard translation; there is no such thing as an exclusive "Masonic Bible". In many French Lodges, the Masonic Constitutions are used instead. Furthermore, a candidate is given his choice of religious text for his Obligation, according to his beliefs. UGLE alludes to similarities to legal practice in the UK, and to a common source with other oath taking processes. In Lodges with a membership of mixed religions it is common to find more than one sacred text displayed.
Traditional Observance Freemasonry (TM) is a unique North American approach, consisting of best-practices in areas of philosophical discipline and successful managment, practiced in Traditional Observance Lodges (TM).
Each Traditional Observance (TO) lodge is governed by the rules and regulations of its respective Grand Lodge, from which it receives its charter. TO lodges follow the established ritual of their Grand Lodge, with some ceremonial additions, so far as they may be allowed by their Grand Lodge. TO lodges begin with the North American Masonic lodge model and enrich it with traditional initiatic elements practiced in Continental European and Latin American Freemasonry.
Traditional Observance Freemasonry is not a Masonic Rite, but rather a best-practices model. In many ways, TO Masonry is a response to some of the negative trends experienced by North American Freemasonry in recent years, aimed at reversing those trends and restoring the strength and dignity of the American Craft.
Traditional Observance Masonry is characterized by a solemn approach to holding stated communications and conferring degrees, the use of the Chamber of Reflection as part of the initiation ceremony, and demanding candidate advancement requirements.
TO lodges maintain their high standards through certification and by working within guidelines recommended by the Masonic Restoration Foundation, within the context of their respective Grand Lodge regulations.
Traditional Observance lodges have a traditional approach to Freemasonry with an emphasis on the initiatic process. They seek to continuously maintain a Masonic Culture, Initiatic Focus and Traditional Structure.
The term York Rite is a term most often used in the United States of America to refer to a collection of Masonic degrees that, in most other countries, are conferred separately. As such, it constitutes one of the two main branches of Masonic Appendant Bodies in United States Freemasonry, which a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. Its name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite College make reference to that legend.
The other principal branch of Freemasonry in the United States is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Some obediences of the Scottish Rite, outside the United States where the York Rite is not active, may confer some of the York Rite degrees.
The divisions within the York Rite and the requirements for membership differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the essentials are the same. In all the workings, the one requirement is that all applicants be in possession of the degree of Master Mason (the third degree of Freemasonry).
The York Rite is not found as a single system in the majority of countries outside the United States, nor are any of the separate degrees subject to the local Grand Lodge jurisdiction. Each sovereign and distinct rite or "Order" elsewhere has some differences in ritual details to the York Rite system. However, provided that the Grand Lodge in question regards the parent "Craft" jurisdiction as regular, each distinct Order has recognised fraternal inter-relations with the respective Rite within the York system.