Mystery School Occult Roots of Freemasonry – Laid Bare

To the general public, Freemasons emphatically insist that Masonry is only a fraternity, not the least bit religious nor a religion. They stress unceasingly that it is wholly secular and inclusive of every religion known to man – that all men who initiate into any degree of Masonry are free and uninhibited to practice any religion they choose and still be Masons in good standing. They also stress that Masonic oaths and rites are in no way a conflict with any man's religious beliefs, and thereby he may enter covenants within the fraternity knowing that they are in harmony with whatever religion he chooses to believe – despite that, in their wording, such oaths supersede all preceding and future oaths he took or may take upon himself.

Freemasons also insist that their order has no verifiable roots other than the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717.
“[Freemasonry's] history is generally separated into two time periods: before and after the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. Before this time, the facts and origins of Freemasonry are not absolutely known and are therefore frequently explained by theories or legends. After the formation of the Grand Lodge of England, the history of Freemasonry is extremely well documented and can be traced through the creation of hundreds of Grand Lodges that spread rapidly worldwide. ”

The truth is, however, that these tepid assertions are known to be false by those who hold the higher degrees of Freemasonry, yet are merely accepted unquestioningly as fact by those who hold lower degrees.

At this point I originally intended to compile three to five chapters which would have been dedicated to quoting a great deal of historical research which connected Freemasonry back to the Rosicrucians, then back to the Knights Templars, then back even further to the Roshaniya and the ancient Assassins of the Middle East. I intended to quote especially from historian John J. Robinson's works. Back in the 80's, Mr. Robinson set out to research the background of the Peasant's Revolt of 1381 through requesting (and being granted) access to Masonic library records. At the time he had no concept that Freemasonry was intricately connected to, and a leading force behind, the Peasant's Revolt and other subsequent revolts throughout Europe. With all that he discovered, he changed directions in his research and published such works as Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry; Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades; and A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right. Works such as these extensively tie Freemasonry to these ancient secret combinations and history-manipulating events, and how their impact on European history has shaped centuries of western culture's development – even molded our concept of “the real world” today.

Fortunately, however, I recently stumbled upon a (comparatively) lesser-known, little-circulated transcript of a lecture given by Manly P. Hall, first published in 1929, titled Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins. This document, in and of itself, thoroughly vindicates Mr. Robinson's (and similar historians') research, which has been hotly contested for decades by modern Masons.

What Mr. Hall lays out in this lecture is in direct opposition to what higher-level Freemasons strive to deny (or, at minimum, muddle) when confronted about these matters by non-Masons, and they especially deflect or outright lie when questioned about them by lower- level Masons. However, as Mr. Hall intended the contents of this lecture to be received only by higher-level Masons, in order to encourage them to research further into these things, it altogether substantiates Freemasonry's ancient occult origins. (Emphasis added):

FREEMASONRY is a fraternity within a fraternity, an outer organization concealing an inner brotherhood of the elect. Before it is possible to intelligently discuss the origin of the Craft, it is necessary, therefore, to establish the existence of these two separate yet interdependent orders, the one visible and the other invisible. The visible society is a splendid camaraderie of "free and accepted" men enjoined to devote themselves to ethical, educational, fraternal, patriotic, and humanitarian concerns. The invisible society is a secret and most august fraternity whose members are dedicated to the service of a mysterious arcanum arcanorum [Latin: secret of secrets]. Those Brethren who have essayed to write the history of their Craft have not included in their disquisitions the story of that truly secret inner society which is to the body Freemasonic what the heart is to the body human. In each generation only a few are accepted into the inner sanctuary of the Work, but these are veritable Princes of the Truth and their sainted names shall be remembered in future ages together with the seers and prophets of the elder world. Though the great initiate-philosophers of Freemasonry can be counted upon one's fingers, yet their power is not to be measured by the achievements of ordinary men. They are dwellers upon the Threshold of the Innermost, Masters of that secret doctrine which forms the invisible foundation of every great theological and rational institution.

This is truly a remarkable and astounding admission. It not only justifies and vindicates decades of critics and whistleblowers of Freemasonry, but also lays bare a reality that is both hidden from and brazenly lied about to lower Masons. Mr. Hall goes further to define these two Masonic entities.

The outer history of the Masonic order is one of noble endeavor, altruism, and splendid enterprise; the inner history, one of silent conquest, persecution, and heroic martyrdom. [Ed. note: persecution and “heroic” martyrdom in the eyes of which beholder?] The body of Masonry rose from the guilds of workmen who wandered the face of medieval Europe, but the spirit of Masonry walked with God before the universe was spread out or the scroll of the heavens unrolled. The enthusiasm of the young Mason is the effervescence of a pardonable pride. Let him extol the merits of his Craft, reciting its steady growth, its fraternal spirit, and its worthy undertakings. Let him boast of splendid buildings and an ever-increasing sphere of influence. These are the tangible evidence of power and should rightly set a-flutter the heart of the Apprentice who does not fully comprehend as yet that great strength which abides in silence or that unutterable dignity to be sensed only by those who have been ''raised'' into the contemplation of the Inner Mystery.

An obstacle well-nigh insurmountable is to convince the Mason himself that the secrets of his Craft are worthy of his profound consideration. As St. Paul, so we are told, kicked against the "pricks" of conversion, so the rank and file of present-day Masons strenuously oppose any effort put forth to interpret Masonic symbols in the light of philosophy. They are seemingly obsessed by the fear that from their ritualism may be extracted a meaning more profound than is actually contained therein.

Another fascinating admission – most “rank and file” Masons do not wish to progress past a certain point of knowledge – not out of lack of ambition, but out of fear of discovering secrets that may require more of him than he wishes to give. They merely spend their days oblivious and contented, temporally enriched within the social-centered lower Masonic ranks. Curiously enough: on the direct inverse of this axis lies the commonplace, complacent, one- foot-in-Babylon-the-other-in-Zion LDS member – content to merely suck droplets of the milk of the Gospel once a week at Church – finding himself feeling uncomfortable and evasive whenever presented Gospel meat, never prepared to receive it (“I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able,” said Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:2) – blissfully unconcerned over the existence of hidden treasures of heavenly knowledge and wisdom at his disposal should he make the effort to uncover it. (D&C 89:18, Colossians 2:2-3)

For years it has been a mooted question whether Freemasonry is actually a religious organization. "Masonry," writes [Albert] Pike, however, in the Legenda for the Nineteenth Degree, "has and always had a religious creed. It teaches what it deems to be the truth in respect to the nature and attributes of God." The more studiously-minded Mason regards the Craft as an aggregation of thinkers concerned with the deeper mysteries of life. The all-too-prominent younger members of the Fraternity, however, if not openly skeptical, are at least indifferent to these weightier issues. The champions of philosophic Masonry, alas, are a weak, small voice which grows weaker and smaller as time goes by. In fact, there are actual blocs among the Brethren who would divorce Masonry from both philosophy and religion at any and all cost [Ed. note: just as they vehemently insist today that it's merely a fraternity and deny that its religious whatsoever]. If, however, we search the writings of eminent Masons, we find a unanimity of viewpoint: namely, that Masonry is a religious and philosophic body. Every effort initiated to elevate Masonic thought to its true position has thus invariably emphasized the metaphysical and ethical aspects of the Craft [i.e. priestcraft – “Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world” 2Nephi 26:29]. But a superficial perusal of available documents will demonstrate that the modern Masonic order is not united respecting the true purpose for its own existence. Nor will this factor of doubt be dispelled until the origin of the Craft is established beyond all quibbling.… That Masonry is a body of ancient lore is self-evident, but the tangible "link" necessary to convince the recalcitrant Brethren that their order is the direct successor of the pagan Mysteries has unfortunately not been adduced [i.e. conclusively proven] to date….

It is possible to trace Masonry back a few centuries with comparative ease, but then the thread suddenly vanishes from sight in a maze of secret societies and political enterprises. Dimly silhouetted in the mists that becloud these tangled issues are such figures as Cagliostro , Comte de St. Germain [a.k.a. The Count of St. Germain], and St. Martin [a.k.a. Louis Claude de Saint-Martin], but even the connection between these individuals and the Craft has never been clearly defined. The writings of early Masonic history is involved in such obvious hazard as to provoke the widespread conclusion that further search is futile. The average Masonic student is content, therefore, to trace his Craft back to the workmen's guilds who chipped and chiseled the cathedrals and public buildings of medieval Europe. While such men as Albert Pike have realized this attitude to be ridiculous, it is one thing to declare it insufficient and quite another to prove the fallacy to an adamantine mind…. Preston, Gould, Mackey, Oliver, and Pike – in fact, nearly every great historian of Freemasonry – have all admitted the possibility of the modern society being connected, indirectly at least, with the ancient Mysteries, and their descriptions of the modern society are prefaced by excerpts from ancient writings descriptive of primitive ceremonials. These eminent Masonic scholars have all recognized in the legend of Hiram Abiff an adaptation of the Osiris myth; nor do they deny that the major part of the symbolism of the craft is derived from the pagan institutions of antiquity when the gods were venerated in secret places with strange figures and appropriate rituals. Though cognizant of the exalted origin of their order, these historians – either through fear or uncertainty – have failed, however, to drive home the one point necessary to establish the true purpose of Freemasonry: They did not realize that the Mysteries whose rituals Freemasonry perpetuates were the custodians of a secret philosophy of life of such transcendent nature that it can only be entrusted to an individual tested and proved beyond all peradventure of human frailty. The secret schools of Greece and Egypt were neither fraternal nor political fundamentally, nor were their ideals similar to those of the modern Craft. They were essentially philosophic and religious institutions, and all admitted into them were consecrated to the service of the sovereign good. Modern Freemasons, however, regard their Craft primarily as neither philosophic nor religious, but rather as ethical. Strange as it may seem, the majority openly ridicule the
very supernatural powers and agencies for which their symbols stand.

The secret doctrine that flows through Freemasonic symbols (and to whose perpetuation the invisible Masonic body is consecrated) has its source in three ancient and exalted orders. The first is the Dionysiac artificers, the second the Roman collegia, and the third the Arabian Rosicrucians. The Dionysians were the master builders of the ancient world. Originally founded to design and erect the theaters of Dionysos wherein were enacted the tragic dramas of the rituals, this order was repeatedly elevated by popular acclaim to greater dignity until at last it was entrusted with the planning and construction of all public edifices concerned with the commonwealth or the worship of the gods and heroes. Hiram, King of Tyre, was the patron of the Dionysians, who flourished in Tyre and Sidon, and Hiram Abiff (if we may believe the sacred account) was himself a Grand Master of this most noble order of pagan builders. King Solomon in his wisdom accepted the services of this famous craftsman, and thus at the instigation of Hiram, King of Tyre, Hiram Abiff, though himself a member of a different faith, journeyed from his own country to design and supervise the erection of the Everlasting House to the true God on Mount Moriah. The tools of the builders' craft were first employed by the Dionysians as symbols under which to conceal the mysteries of the soul and the secrets of human regeneration. The Dionysians also first likened man to a rough ashlar [i.e. a squared building stone, cut more or less true on all faces adjacent to those of other stones so as to permit very thin mortar joints] which, trued into a finished block through the instrument of reason, could be fitted into the structure of that living and eternal Temple built without the sound of hammer, the voice of workmen or any tool of contention.

The Roman collegia was a branch of the Dionysiacs and to it belonged those initiated artisans who fashioned the impressive monuments whose ruins still lend their immortal glory to the Eternal City. In his Ten Books on Architecture, Vitruvius , the initiate of the collegia, has revealed that which was permissible concerning the secrets of his holy order. Of the inner mysteries, however, he could not write, for these were reserved for such as had donned the leather apron of the craft. In his consideration of the books now available concerning the Mysteries, the thoughtful reader should note the following words appearing in a twelfth-century volume entitled Artephil Liber Secretus [Latin – Art that liberates secrets]: "Is not this an art full of secrets? And believest thou, O fool! that we plainly teach this Secret of Secrets, taking our words according to their literal interpretation?" (See Sephar H' Debarim.) Into the stones they trued, the adepts of the collegia deeply carved their Gnostic symbols. From earliest times, the initiated stonecutters marked their perfected works with the secret emblems of their crafts and degrees that unborn generations might realize that the master builders of the first ages also labored for the same ends sought by men today.

The Mysteries of Egypt and Persia that had found a haven in the Arabian desert reached Europe by way of the Knights Templars and the Rosicrucians. The Temple of the Rose Cross at Damascus had preserved the secret philosophy of Sharon's Rose; the Druses of Lebanon still retain the mysticism of ancient Syria; and the dervishes , as they lean on their carved and crotched sticks, still meditate upon the secret instruction perpetuated from the days of the four Caliphs [i.e. a spiritual leader of Islam, claiming succession from Muhammad]. From the far places of Irak [Iraq] and the hidden retreats of the Sufi mystics, the Ancient Wisdom thus found its way into Europe. Was Jacques de Molay burned by the Holy Inquisition merely because he wore the red cross of the Templar? What were those secrets to which he was true even in death? Did his companion Knights perish with him merely because they had amassed a fortune and exercised an unusual degree of temporal power? To the thoughtless, these may constitute ample grounds, but to those who can pierce the film of the specious and the superficial, they are assuredly insufficient. It was not the physical power of the Templars but the knowledge which they had brought with them from the East that the church feared. The Templars had discovered part of the Great Arcanum; they had become wise in those mysteries which had been celebrated in Mecca thousands of years before the advent of Mohammed; they had read a few pages from the dread book of the Anthropos, and for this knowledge they were doomed to die. What was the black magic of which the Templars were accused? What was Baphomet , the Goat of Mendes, whose mysteries they were declared to have celebrated? All these are questions worthy of the thoughtful consideration of every studious Mason.

Truth is eternal. The so-called revelations of Truth that come in different religions are actually but a re-emphasis of an ever-existing doctrine. Thus Moses did not originate a new religion for Israel; he simply adapted the Mysteries of Egypt to the needs of Israel. The ark triumphantly borne by the twelve tribes through the wilderness was copied after the Isaac ark which may still be traced in faint bas-relief upon the ruins of the Temple of Philae. Even the two brooding cherubim over the mercy seat are visible in the Egyptian carving, furnishing indubitable evidence that the secret doctrine of Egypt was the prototype of Israel's mystery religion.

Again, we see the Mystery Schools' point of view that anything and everything having to do with Judeo-Christianity is merely an offshoot interpretation of the far more ancient pagan religion of Egypt and Babylon – with fundamental Christianity that insists upon taking Jesus Christ at His literal word of “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light” (John 14:6) being the greatest perversion of such.

In his reformation of Indian philosophy, Buddha likewise did not reject the esotericism of the Brahmins, but rather adapted this esotericism to the needs of the masses in India. The mystic secrets locked within the holy Vedas were thus disclosed in order that all men, irrespective of castely distinction, might partake of wisdom and share in a common heritage of good. Jesus was a Rabbin of the Jews, a teacher of the Holy Law, who discoursed in the synagogue, interpreting the Torah according to the teachings of His sect. He brought no new message nor were His reformations radical. He merely tore away the veil from the temple in order that not only Pharisee and Sadducee but also publican and sinner might together behold the glory of an ageless faith.

Note how the Mystery Schools cleverly marginalize, discredit and un-deify Jesus Christ, then usurp His name and co-opt His gospel – to appear as though it's merely a semi-pathetic offshoot of their ancient esoteric religion.

In his cavern on Mount Hira, Mohammed prayed not for new truths but for old truths to be restated in their original purity and simplicity in order that men might understand again that primitive religion: God's clear revelation to the first patriarchs. The Mysteries of Islam had been celebrated in the great black cube of the Caaba centuries before the holy pilgrimage. The Prophet was but the reformer of a decadent pagandom, the smasher of idols, the purifier of defiled Mysteries…. Neither prophet nor savior preached a doctrine which was his own, but in language suitable to his time and race retold that Ancient Wisdom preserved within the Mysteries since the dawning of human consciousness. So with the Masonic Mysteries of today. Each Mason has at hand those lofty principles of universal order upon whose certainties the faiths of mankind have ever been established. Each Mason has at hand those lofty principles of universal order upon pregnant with life and hope to those millions who wander in the darkness of unenlightenment.
Mystery School Initiates Manipulated Centuries of Key Euro-American Events

Continuing from Manly P. Hall's Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins:

Father C.R.C., the Master of the Rose Cross , was initiated into the Great Work at Damcar. Later at Fez, further information was given him relating to the sorcery of the Arabians. From these wizards of the desert C.R.C. also secured the sacred book M, which is declared to have contained the accumulated knowledge of the world. This volume was translated into Latin by C.R.C. for the edification of his order, but only the initiates know the present hidden repository of the Rosicrucian manuscripts, charters, and manifestos. From the Arabians C.R.C. also learned of the elemental peoples and how, with their aid, it was possible to gain admission to the ethereal world where dwelt the genii and Nature spirits. C.R.C. thus discovered that the magical creatures of the Arabian Nights Entertainment actually existed, though invisible to the ordinary mortal. From astrologers living in the desert far from the concourse of the market-place he was further instructed concerning the mysteries of the stars, the virtues resident in the astral light, the rituals of magic and invocation, the preparation of therapeutic talismans, and the binding of the genii. C.R.C. became an adept in the gathering of medicinal herbs, the transmutation of metals, and the manufacture of precious gems by artificial means. Even the secret of the Elixir of Life and the Universal Panacea were communicated to him. Enriched thus beyond the dreams of Croesus, the Holy Master returned to Europe and there established a House of Wisdom which he called Domus Sancti Spiritus. This house he enveloped in clouds, it is said, so that men could not discover it. What are these "clouds," however, but the rituals and symbols under which is concealed the Great Arcanum – that unspeakable mystery which every true Mason must seek if he would become in reality a "Prince of the Royal Secret"?

Paracelsus , the Swiss Hermes, was initiated into the secrets of alchemy in Constantinople and there beheld the consummation of the magnum opus. He is consequently entitled to be mentioned among those initiated by the Arabians into the Rosicrucian work. Cagliostro was also initiated by the Arabians and, because of the knowledge he had thus secured, incurred the displeasure of the Holy See. From the unprobed depths of Arabian Rosicrucianism also issued the illustrious Comte de St.-Germain, over whose Masonic activities to this day hangs the veil of impenetrable mystery. The exalted body of initiates whom he represented, as well as the mission he came to accomplish, have both been concealed from the members of the Craft at large and are apparent only to those few discerning Masons who sense the supernal philosophic destiny of their Fraternity.

The modern Masonic order can be traced back to a period in European history famous for its intrigue both political and sociological. Between the years 1600 and 1800, mysterious agents moved across the face of the Continent. The forerunner of modern thought was beginning to make its appearance and all Europe was passing through the throes of internal dissension and reconstruction. Democracy was in its infancy, yet its potential power was already being felt. Thrones were beginning to totter. The aristocracy of Europe was like the old man on Sinbad's back: it was becoming more unbearable with every passing day. Although upon the surface national governments were seemingly able to cope with the situation, there was a definite undercurrent of impending change; and out of the masses, long patient under the yoke of oppression, were rising up the champions of religious, philosophic, and political liberty. These led the factions of the dissatisfied: people with legitimate grievances against the intolerance of the church and the oppression of the crown. Out of this struggle for expression materialized certain definite ideals, the same which have now come to be considered peculiarly Masonic.

The divine prerogatives of humanity were being crushed out by the three great powers of ignorance, superstition, and fear – ignorance, the power of the mob; fear, the power of the despot; and superstition, the power of the church.

Recall in the fable of Osiris that it was the three fishes that ate the generative force of Osiris – his penis, or the Lost Word of Freemasonry – which fishes represent the mob (the general populace), the despot (monarchal rule), and the church (ecclesiastical dominion). The Great Work of the Mystery Schools is to coerce, overcome and obtain full control of these three in order to fully resurrect Osiris, i.e. bring about a perfect Luciferian world society.

Between the thinker and personal liberty loomed the three "ruffians" or personifications of impediment – the torch, the crown, and the tiara [i.e. the symbols of mob, despot, and church]. Brute force, kingly power, and ecclesiastical persuasion became the agents of a great oppression, the motive of a deep unrest, the deterrent to all progress….

Another prominent figure of this period was Sir Walter Raleigh, who paid with his life for high treason against the crown.… Raleigh was a member of a secret society or body of men who were already moving irresistibly forward under the banner of democracy, and for that affiliation he died a felon's death. The actual reason for Raleigh's death sentence was his refusal to reveal the identity either of that great political organization of which he was a member or his confreres [i.e. fellow fraternity brothers] who were fighting the dogma of faith and the divine right of kings….

One of the truly great minds of that secret fraternity – in fact, the moving spirit of the whole enterprise – was Sir Francis Bacon, whose prophecy of the coming age forms the theme of his New Atlantis and whose vision of the reformation of knowledge finds expression in the Novum Organum Scientiarum, the new organ of science or thought. In the engraving at the beginning of the latter volume may be seen the little ship of progressivism sailing out between the Pillars of Galen and Avicenna, venturing forth beyond the imaginary pillars of church and state upon the unknown sea of human liberty. It is significant that Bacon was appointed by the British Crown to protect its interests in the new American Colonies beyond the sea. We find him writing of this new land, dreaming of the day when a new world and a new government of the philosophic elect should be established there, and scheming to consummate that end when the time should be ripe. Upon the title page of the 1640 edition of Bacon's Advancement of Learning is a Latin motto to the effect that he was the third great mind since Plato. Bacon was a member of the same group to which Sir Walter Raleigh belonged, but Bacon's position as Lord High Chancellor protected him from Raleigh's fate. Every effort was made, however, to humiliate and discredit him. At last, in the sixty-sixth year of his life, having completed the work which held him in England, Bacon feigned death and passed over into Germany, there to guide the destinies of his philosophic and political fraternity for nearly twenty-five years before his actual demise.

Other notable characters of the period are Montaigne, Ben Jonson, Marlowe, and the great Franz Joseph of Transylvania—the latter one of the most important as well as active figures in all this drama, a man who ceased fighting Austria to retire into a monastery in Transylvania from which to direct the activities of his secret society. One political upheaval followed another, the grand climax of this political unrest culminating in the French Revolution, which was directly precipitated by the attacks upon the person of Alessandro Cagliostro. The "divine" Cagliostro, by far the most picturesque character of the time, has the distinction of being more maligned than any other person of history. Tried by the Inquisition for founding a Masonic lodge in the city of Rome, Cagliostro was sentenced to die, a sentence later commuted by the Pope to life imprisonment in the old castle of San Leo. Shortly after his incarceration, Cagliostro disappeared and the story was circulated that he had been strangled in an attempt to escape from prison. In reality, however, he was liberated and returned to his Masters in the East….

Cagliostro founded the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry, which received into its mysteries many of the French nobility and was regarded favorably by the most learned minds of Europe. Having established the Egyptian Rite, Cagliostro declared himself to be an agent of the order of the Knights Templars and to have received initiation from them on the Isle of Malta. (See Morals and Dogma, in which Albert Pike quotes Eliphas Levi on Cagliostro's affiliation with the Templars.) Called upon the carpet by the Supreme Council of France, it was demanded of Cagliostro that he prove by what authority he had founded a Masonic lodge in Paris independent of the Grand Orient. Of such surpassing mentality was Cagliostro that the Supreme Council found it difficult to secure an advocate qualified to discuss with Cagliostro philosophic Masonry and the ancient Mysteries he claimed to represent. The Court de Gebelin – the greatest Egyptologist of his day and an authority on ancient philosophies – was chosen as the outstanding scholar. A time was set and the Brethren convened. Attired in an Oriental coat and a pair of violet-colored breeches, Cagliostro was haled before this council of his peers. The Court de Gebelin asked three questions and then sat down, admitting himself disqualified to interrogate a man so much his superior in every branch of learning. Cagliostro then took the floor, revealing to the assembled Masons not only his personal qualifications, but prophesying the future of France. He foretold the fall of the French throne, the Reign of Terror, and the fall of the Bastille. At a later time he revealed the dates of the death of Marie Antoinette and the King, and also the advent of Napoleon. Having finished his address, Cagliostro made a spectacular exit, leaving the French Masonic lodge in consternation and utterly incapable of coping with the profundity of his reasoning. Though no longer regarded as a ritual in Freemasonry, the Egyptian Rite is available and all who read it will recognize its author to have been no more a charlatan than was Plato.

Then appears that charming "first American gentleman," Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who together with the Marquis de Lafayette, played an important role in this drama of empires. While in France, Dr. Franklin was privileged to receive definite esoteric instruction. It is noteworthy that Franklin was the first in America to reprint Anderson's Constitutions of the Free-Masons, which is a most prized work on the subject, though its accuracy is disputed. Through all this stormy period, these impressive figures come and go, part of a definite organization of political and religious thought – a functioning body of philosophers represented in Spain by no less an individual than Cervantes, in France by Cagliostro and St. Germain, in Germany by Gichtel and Andreae, in England by Bacon, More, and Raleigh, and in America by Washington and Franklin. Coincident with the Baconian agitation in England, the Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis appeared in Germany, both of these works being contributions to the establishment of a philosophic government upon the earth. One of the outstanding links between the Rosicrucian Mysteries of the Middle Ages and modern Masonry is Elias Ashmole, the historian of the Order of the Garter and the first Englishman to compile the alchemical writings of the English chemists.

The foregoing may seem to be a useless recital of inanities, but its purpose is to impress upon the reader's mind the philosophical and political situation in Europe at the time of the inception of the Masonic order. A philosophic clan, as it were, which had moved across the face of Europe under such names as the "Illuminati" and the "Rosicrucians," had undermined in a subtle manner the entire structure of regal and sacerdotal supremacy. The founders of Freemasonry were all men who were more or less identified with the progressive tendencies of their day. Mystics, philosophers, and alchemists were all bound together with a secret tie and dedicated to the emancipation of humanity from ignorance and oppression. [Ed. note: don't all revolutionary movements utilize such hyperbolic rhetoric, no matter if their end agenda is nefarious?] In my researches among ancient books and manuscripts, I have pieced together a little story of probabilities which has a direct bearing upon the subject. Long before the establishment of Freemasonry as a fraternity, a group of mystics founded in Europe what was called the "Society of Unknown Philosophers." Prominent among the profound thinkers who formed the membership of this society were the alchemists, who were engaged in transmuting the political and religious "base metal" of Europe into ethical and spiritual "gold" [Ed. note: the core of alchemy is spiritual: “turning man into gold” – the chemistry aspects of it are the exoteric shell they use to conceal their esoteric teachings]; the Qabbalists who, as investigators of the superior orders of Nature, sought to discover a stable foundation for human government; and lastly the astrologers who, from a study of the procession of the heavenly bodies, hoped to find therein the rational archetype for all mundane procedure. Here and there is to be found a character who contacted this society. By some it is believed that both Martin Luther and also that great mystic, Philip Melanchthon, were connected with it. The first edition of the King James Bible, which was edited by Francis Bacon and prepared under Masonic supervision, bears more Mason's marks than the Cathedral of Strasburg. The same is true respecting the Masonic symbolism found in the first English edition of Josephus' History of the Jews.

What an astonishing, forthright admission! Directly from the pen of none other than Manly P. Hall – considered to be among the 10 greatest Masonic historian philosophers that have ever lived. Note that he was not speculating about Sir Francis Bacon's involvement, along with other “Masonic supervision,” in editing the King James Bible, in inserting Masonic symbolism – he was stating it as plain, obvious fact – even to announce that the editing of the Holy Scripture “bears more Mason's marks than the Cathedral of Strasburg”! And he admits the same level of alteration to Josephus' History of the Jews.

Consider how this admission vindicates and proves precisely what Nephi witnessed in vision approximately 2000 years prior to it occurring: the brazen audacity of the “Great and Abominable Church” in perverting the records of the early Christians before they are to be “officially” distributed among the Gentiles. From 1Nephi chapter 14, verses 20-29 (emphasis added):

And it came to pass that I, Nephi… beheld a book, and it was carried forth among [the Gentiles]. And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book? And I said unto him: I know not.

And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets… wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God. Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.

And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men. Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity [i.e. the Pilgrims], thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

Truly, is it not obvious that Satan indeed has great power over those who rely solely upon the Bible as their only source of holy scripture? What used to be plain and easy to understand has become manipulated and corrupted to the point where it becomes nearly impossible to glean precise, exact doctrines about anything merely in consulting the Bible. Consider the countless “franchises” of Christianity that have sprung up around the world, all claiming that they preach the correct interpretation of Christ's gospel. Confusion, irritation, vagueness and uncertainty is tremendous power for he who wishes to manipulate the masses.

Continuing to quote from Mr. Hall's Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins:

For some time, the Society of Unknown Philosophers moved extraneous to the church. Among the fathers of the church, however, were a great number of scholarly and intelligent men who were keenly interested in philosophy and ethics, prominent among them being the Jesuit Father, Athanasius Kircher, who is recognized as one of the great scholars of his day. Both a Rosicrucian and also a member of the Society of Unknown Philosophers, as revealed by the cryptograms in his writings, Kircher was in harmony with this program of philosophic reconstruction. Since learning was largely limited to churchmen, this body of philosophers soon developed an overwhelming preponderance of ecclesiastics in its membership. The original anti-ecclesiastical ideals of the society were thus speedily reduced to an innocuous state and the organization gradually converted into an actual auxiliary of the church. A small portion of the membership, however, ever maintained an aloofness from the literati of the faith, for it represented an unorthodox class—the alchemists, Rosicrucians, Qabbalists, and magicians. This latter group accordingly retired from the outer body of the society that had thus come to be known as the "Order of the Golden and Rose Cross" and whose adepts were elevated to the dignity of Knights of the Golden Stone. Upon the withdrawal of these initiated adepts, a powerful clerical body remained which possessed considerable of the ancient lore but in many instances lacked the "keys" by which this symbolism could be interpreted. As this body continued to increase in temporal power, its philosophical power grew correspondingly less.

The smaller group of adepts that had withdrawn from the order remained inactive apparently, having retired to what they termed the "House of the Holy Spirit," where they were enveloped by certain "mists" impenetrable to the eyes of the profane. Among these reclusive adepts must be included such well-known Rosicrucians as Robert Fludd, Eugenius Philalethes, John Heydon, Michael Maier, and Henri Khunrath. These adepts in their retirement constituted a loosely organized society which, though lacking the solidarity of a definite fraternity, occasionally initiated a candidate and met annually at a specified place. It was the Comte de Chazal, an initiate of this order, who "raised" Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom while the latter was on the Isle of Mauritius. In due time, the original members of the order passed on, after first entrusting their secrets to carefully chosen successors. In the meantime, a group of men in England, under the leadership of such mystics as Ashmole and Fludd, had resolved upon repopularizing the ancient learning and reclassifying philosophy in accordance with Bacon's plan for a world encyclopedia. These men had undertaken to reconstruct ancient Platonic and Gnostic mysticism, but were unable to attain their objective for lack of information. Elias Ashmole may have been a member of the European order of Rosicrucians and as such evidently knew that in various parts of Europe there were isolated individuals who were in possession of the secret doctrine handed down in unbroken line from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians through Boetius, the early Christian Church, and the Arabians.

The efforts of the English group to contact such individuals were evidently successful. Several initiated Rosicrucians were brought from the mainland to England, where they remained for a considerable time designing the symbolism of Freemasonry and incorporating into the rituals of the order the same divine principles and philosophy that had formed the inner doctrine of all great secret societies from the time of the Eleusinia in Greece. In fact, the Eleusinian Mysteries themselves continued in Christendom until the sixth century after Christ, after which they passed into the custody of the Arabians, as attested by the presence of Masonic symbols and figures upon early Mohammedan monuments. The adepts brought over from the Continent to sit in council with the English philosophers were initiates of the Arabian rites and thus through them the Mysteries were ultimately returned to Christendom. Upon completion of the by-laws of the new fraternity, the initiates retired again into Central Europe, leaving a group of disciples to develop the outer organization, which was to function as a sort of screen to conceal the activities of the esoteric order.

Such, in brief, is the story to be pieced together from the fragmentary bits of evidence available. The whole structure of Freemasonry is founded upon the activities of this secret society of Central European adepts; whom the studious Mason will find to be the definite "link" between the modern Craft and the Ancient Wisdom. The outer body of Masonic philosophy was merely the veil of this qabbalistic order whose members were the custodians of the true Arcanum. Does this inner and secret brotherhood of initiates still exist independent of the Freemasonic order? Evidence points to the fact that it does, for these august adepts are the actual preservers of those secret operative processes of the Greeks whereby the illumination and completion of the individual is effected. They are the veritable guardians of the "Lost Word" – the Keepers of the inner Mystery – and the Mason who searches for and discovers them is rewarded beyond all mortal estimation….

Of all obstacles to surmount in matters of rationality, the most difficult is that of prejudice. Even the casual observer must realize that the true wealth of Freemasonry lies in its mysticism. The average Masonic scholar, however, is fundamentally opposed to a mystical interpretation of his symbols, for he shares the attitude of the modern mind in its general antipathy towards transcendentalism. A most significant fact, however, is that those Masons who have won signal honors for their contributions to the Craft have been transcendentalists almost without exception. It is quite incredible, moreover, that any initiated Brother, when presented with a copy of [Albert Pike's] Morals and Dogma upon the conferment of his fourteenth degree, can read that volume and yet maintain that his order is not identical with the Mystery Schools of the first ages. Much of the writings of Albert Pike are extracted from the books of the French magician, Eliphas Levi, one of the greatest transcendentalists of modern times. Levi was an occultist, a metaphysician, a Platonic philosopher, who by the rituals of magic invoked even the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana, and yet Pike has inserted in his Morals and Dogma whole pages, and even chapters, practically verbatim. To Pike the following remarkable tribute was paid by Stirling Kerr, Jr., 33° Deputy for the Inspector-General for the District of Columbia, upon crowning with laurel the bust of Pike in the House of the Temple: "Pike was an oracle greater than that of Delphi. He was Truth's minister and priest. His victories were those of peace. Long may his memory live in the hearts of the Brethren." Affectionately termed "Albertus Magnus" by his admirers, Pike wrote of Hermeticism and alchemy and hinted at the Mysteries of the Temple. Through his zeal and unflagging energy, American Freemasonry was raised from comparative obscurity to become the most powerful organization in the land. [Ed. note: as you can see, I wasn't exaggerating earlier that Pike is so lauded within Freemasonry as to be vaulted to near-demigod status.] Though Pike, a transcendental thinker, was the recipient of every honor that the Freemasonic bodies of the world could confer, the modern Mason is loath to admit that transcendentalism has any place in Freemasonry. This is an attitude filled with embarrassment and inconsistency, for whichever way the Mason turns he is confronted by these inescapable issues of philosophy and the Mysteries. Yet withal he dismisses the entire subject as being more or less a survival of primitive superstitions.

Not One Freemason Out of a Thousand Could Have Survived Ancient Initiation

Continuing from Manly P. Hall's Rosicrucian and Masonic Origins:

The Mason who would discover the Lost Word must remember, however, that in the first ages — every neophyte was a man of profound learning and unimpeachable character, who for the sake of wisdom and virtue had faced death unafraid and had triumphed over those limitations of the flesh which bind most mortals to the sphere of mediocrity. In those days the rituals were not put on by degree teams who handled candidates as though they were perishable commodities, but by priests deeply versed in the lore of their cults. Not one Freemason out of a thousand could have survived the initiations of the pagan rites, for the tests were given in those strenuous days when men were men and death the reward of failure. [Ed note: These assertions are observable from the details of the Egyptian occult schools and initiation rites previously presented in earlier chapters of this book.] The neophyte of the Druid Mysteries was set adrift in a small boat to battle with the stormy sea, and unless his knowledge of natural law enabled him to quell the storm as did Jesus upon the Sea of Galilee, he returned no more. In the Egyptian rites of Serapis, it was required of the neophyte that he cross an unbridged chasm in the temple floor. In other words, if unable by magic to sustain himself in the air without visible support, he fell headlong into a volcanic crevice, there to die of heat and suffocation. In one part of the Mithraic rites, the candidate seeking admission to the inner sanctuary was required to pass through a closed door by dematerialization. The philosopher who has authenticated the reality of ordeals such as these no longer entertains the popular error that the performance of "miracles" is confined solely to Biblical characters. "Do you still ask," writes Pike, "if it has its secrets and mysteries? It is certain that something in the Ancient Initiations was regarded as of immense value, by such Intellects as Herodotus, Plutarch and Cicero. The Magicians of Egypt were able to imitate several of the miracles wrought by Moses; and the Science of the Hierophants of the mysteries produced effects that to the Initiated seemed Mysterious and supernatural."

It becomes self-evident that he who passed successfully through these arduous tests involving both natural and also supernatural hazards was a man apart in his community. Such an initiate was deemed to be more than human, for he had achieved where countless ordinary mortals, having failed, had returned no more. Let us hear the words of Apuleius when admitted into the Temple of Isis, as recorded in The Metamorphosis, or Golden Ass: "Then also the priest, all the profane being removed, taking hold of me by the hand, brought me to the penetralia of the temple, clothed in a new linen garment. Perhaps, inquisitive reader, you will very anxiously ask me what was then said and done? I would tell you, if it could be lawfully told; you should know it, if it was lawful for you to hear it. But both ears and the tongue are guilty of rash curiosity. Nevertheless, I will not keep you in suspense with religious desire, nor torment you with long-continued anxiety. Hear, therefore, but believe what is true. I approached to the confines of death, and having trod on the threshold of Proserpine, I returned from it, being carried through all the elements. At midnight I saw the sun shining with a splendid light; and I manifestly drew near to the Gods beneath, and the Gods above, and proximately adored them. Behold, I have narrated to you things, of which, though heard, it is nevertheless necessary that you should be ignorant. I will, therefore, only relate that which may be enunciated to the understanding of the profane without a crime."

Kings and princes paid homage to the initiate — the "newborn" man, the favorite of the gods. The initiate had actually entered into the presence of the divine beings. He had "died" and been "raised" again into the radiant sphere of everlasting light. Seekers after wisdom journeyed across great continents to hear his words and his sayings were treasured with the revelations of oracles. It was even esteemed an honor to receive from such a one an inclination of the head, a kindly smile or a gesture of approbation. Disciples gladly paid with their lives for the Master's word of praise and died of a broken heart at his rebuke. On one occasion, Pythagoras became momentarily irritated because of the seeming stupidity of one of his students. The Master's displeasure so preyed upon the mind of the humiliated youth that, drawing a knife from the folds of his garment, he committed suicide. So greatly moved was Pythagoras by the incident that never from that time on was he known to lose patience with any of his followers regardless of the provocation.

With a smile of paternal indulgence the venerable Master, who senses the true dignity of the mystic tie, should gravely incline the minds of the Brethren towards the sublimer issues of the Craft. The officer who would serve his lodge most effectively must realize that he is of an order apart from other men, that he is the keeper of an awful secret, that the chair upon which he sits is the seat of immortals, and that if he would be a worthy successor to those Master Masons of other ages, his thoughts must be measured by the profundity of Pythagoras and the lucidity of Plato. Enthroned in the radiant East, the Worshipful Master is the "Light" of his lodge [Ed. note: the Worshipful Master of each Masonic lodge sits on the eastern side of the lodge's temple] — the representative of the gods, one of that long line of hierophants who, through the blending of their rational powers with the reason of the Ineffable, have been accepted into the Great School. This high priest after an ancient order must realize that those before him are not merely a gathering of properly tested men, but the custodians of an eternal lore, the guardians of a sacred truth, the perpetuators of an ageless wisdom, the consecrated servants of a living God, the wardens of a Supreme Mystery.

A new day is dawning for Freemasonry. From the insufficiency of theology and the hopelessness of materialism, men are turning to seek the God of philosophy. In this new era wherein the old order of things is breaking down and the individual is rising triumphant above the monotony of the masses, there is much work to be accomplished. The "Temple Builder" is needed as never before. A great reconstruction period is at hand; the debris of a fallen culture must be cleared away; the old footings must be found again that a new Temple significant of a new revelation of Law may be raised thereon. This is the peculiar work of the Builder; this is the high duty for which he was called out of the world; this is the noble enterprise for which he was "raised" and given the tools of his Craft. By thus doing his part in the reorganization of society, the workman may earn his "wages" as all good Masons should. A new light is breaking in the East, a more glorious day is at hand. The rule of the philosophic elect – the dream of the ages – will yet be realized and is not far distant. To her loyal sons, Freemasonry sends this clarion call: "Arise ye, the day of labor is at hand; the Great Work awaits completion, and the days of man's life are few." Like the singing guildsman of bygone days, the Craft of the Builders marches victoriously down the broad avenues of Time. Their song is of labor and glorious endeavor; their anthem is of toil and industry; they rejoice in their noble destiny, for they are the Builders of cities, the Hewers of worlds, the Master Craftsmen of the universe!

Exactly what are they endeavoring to build? What is their Great Work? It is nothing short of a perfect, ruthlessly “benevolent” socialistic world government – ruled by the “worthy elite,” upheld and maintained by sycophant Mystery School initiates, and dominated throughout by the pure Luciferian doctrine – the very doctrine that two-thirds of the host of heaven rejected, that we rejected, before being born upon this earth.

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