At the start of our overview on the faith of the founding fathers, the point was made that people too often begin their research into the subject from the American Revolution and forward, inadvertently missing the paganism that had long been established on our soil before the United States of America was conceived. The same can be said of the research into Masonry and Freemasonry. So many books, articles, and documentaries (as well as Internet sites dedicated to the subject) begin the dig around the apron of George Washington or the geographical pentagram of DC, since the purposes of those works are to address the occultism that pervades our young America. This paves way for the errant concept that if Freemasonry has any kind of religious slant—Christian, pagan, satanic, etc.—it would have been born around the late 1700s. Therefore, when Freemasonic religions in the US are considered, the religions of our US founding fathers are immediately married to the conclusions (which is faulty). For instance, one might say, “Freemasonry could not have been built upon [this or that] religion, because that’s not the religion Washington and his men belonged to. By process of elimination then, we can safely assume that at worst, the Freemasonic rituals were harmless, creative, Deistic simulations.”
Though such reasoning seems logical, it limits the conclusion to the timeline of the men (and women) who supervised America’s birth, and not to the origins (and influences therein) of the Freemasonic Order—which is ancient. It is surprising to observe how few people are aware how far back the rabbit hole of Masonry and Freemasonry travels.
First, it is important to refute a popular assumption that there were only a few Freemasonic leaders active at the time of the American Revolution, and that the importance of this is trivial to our nation’s formation. Although a few sources claim the United States of America was only marginally connected to Masonic influence, they are becoming a minority.
Nancy Pelosi, at the first session of the 110th Congress on January 5, 2007, delivered House Resolution 33, which was a commemoration of the past “thousands of Freemasons in every State in the Nation and honoring them for their many contributions to the Nation throughout its history.” Two items on the agenda read, “Freemasons, whose long lineage extends back to before the Nation’s founding” and “the Founding Fathers of this great Nation and signers of the Constitution, most of whom were Freemasons.”[i] Perhaps she was referring to the well-known early brethren of the Craft: Washington, Monroe, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, A. Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Harding, F. Roosevelt, Truman, L. B. Johnson, Ford, Franklin, Revere, Burke, and Hancock. Perhaps she was referring to John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and numerous others who were accounted friends of the brotherhood. Regardless of who she may have had in mind at the time of her address, it is the result of much public display just like this that the issue has mostly been dropped and acknowledgment of significant Masonic sway at the nation’s onset has been accepted.
Occult expert Manly P. Hall of Freemasonic infamy wrote: “Was Francis Bacon’s vision of the ‘New Atlantis’ a prophetic dream of the great civilization, which was so soon to rise upon the soil of the New World? It cannot be doubted that the secret societies…conspired to establish [such] upon the American continent.” Hall continued that historical incidents in the early development of the United States clearly bore “the influence of that secret body, which has so long guided the destinies of peoples and religions. By them nations are created as vehicles for the promulgation of ideals, and while nations are true to these ideals they survive; when they vary from them, they vanish like the Atlantis of old which had ceased to ‘know the gods.’”[ii]
To the few remaining sources that postulate Masonry was a Christian endeavor until it was sullied by occultists like Albert Pike, consider what Pelosi said about Masonry “extend[ing] back to before the Nation’s founding.”
Prior to Washington, the first Grand Master of the American Masonic Order is largely considered to be Sir Francis Bacon of the Baconian “New Atlantis” dream (which we will discuss shortly) circa 1620. And his primary influence according to most historians? Rosicrucianism: a seventh-century European cultural movement syncretizing Kabbalism, Christianity, and Hermeticism toward the goal of spiritual reformation among man.
Kabbalism—although the meaning of the word kabbalah translates “tradition” (of the Hebrews)—can in no way be compared to orthodox Judaism. The precise meaning of its practice varies from each adherent to the next, depending on their own cultural application of its teachings (kind of how Christianity’s convictions and teachings vary from one denomination to the other, all based on the Cross of Calvary, yet rendering religious practices that at times can be polar opposites of each other). Origins trace to orally passed traditions from the ancient rabbis of Moses’ time and evolves into differentiating convictions as later generations made modifications. However, as it relates to Rosicrucianism in the seventeenth century just prior to the Deistic Age of Reason, the core doctrine is that of a Western esoteric and occultic nature drawing its insights from none other than theosophical mysticism. Many have summarized Kabbalism as the early Jews’ own Mystery Religion.
Hermeticism (also called Hermetism) is both philosophical and religious, stemming primarily from the sacred Egyptian-Greek Hermetic Corpus wisdom texts, frequently dated to approximately AD 100–300 (although almost just as often, they are dated to Pharaonic Egypt by others, though these dating methods are highly scrutinized). These texts were written as a conversation between a teacher by the name of Hermes Trismegistus (literally, “thrice-greatest Hermes”) and a disciple seeking enlightenment. Discussions between these two characters falls deeply into reflections on the cosmos, divinity, unlocking spiritual rebirth through the power of the mind, alchemical achievements (cloaked in metaphor), and vehement defense of pagan rituals and veneration of sacred imagery. Although, like Kabbalism, Hermeticism has evolved greatly over time—both due to divergent applications of the doctrine as well as significant mistranslations of the original writings—it almost always insists throughout all its variations that it is the supreme Prisca theologia (Latin “old theology”; the belief in one single and infinitely true theology found in all religions of the world as bestowed upon mankind by God [or “the gods” in some cases] from the beginning). By the fourteenth century (heading into the Renaissance), Hermeticism proved to be a profoundly dominating authority on alchemy and magic, inspiring countless authors in subsequent centuries (Sir Thomas Browne, Giordano Bruno, and Pico della Mirandola, to name a few) who rose to stardom with their own canons of enlightenment and spiritual human transcendence via these methods.
But if the seventeenth-century Rosicrucianism is the forerunner of American Masonry through personalities like the credited first Grand Master Sir Francis Bacon, then what is the forerunner of Rosicrucianism? Let’s trace this back even farther to the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (represented today by AMORC, the organization claiming to be the highest authority of the ancient Order; Rosae Crucis translates “Rose Cross”). The cross symbol is contemporarily associated to the death of Christ, but the Order Rosae Crucis predates Christianity, so according to the official AMORC organization today, at the time the earliest symbols were drawn, the cross was a representation of the shape of the human body (consider da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man”). The rose, according to the same source, “represents the individual’s unfolding consciousness.”[iii] Their site goes on to say quite openly:
The Rosicrucian movement, of which the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, is the most prominent modern representative, has its roots in the mystery traditions, philosophy, and myths of ancient Egypt dating back to approximately 1500 BCE. In antiquity the word “mystery” referred to a special gnosis, a secret wisdom. Thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt select bodies or schools were formed to explore the mysteries of life and learn the secrets of this hidden wisdom. Only sincere students, displaying a desire for knowledge and meeting certain tests were considered worthy of being inducted into these mysteries. Over the course of centuries these mystery schools added an initiatory dimension to the knowledge they transmitted.[iv]
Now, if this source is true, we’re finally getting somewhere. It appears that the earliest forms of today’s Freemasonic fraternities, albeit by a different name, were established in ancient Egyptian and pagan mysticism. The site goes on to share some interestingly familiar details regarding the Order’s ceremonious operations:
It is further traditionally related that the Order’s first member-students met in secluded chambers in magnificent old temples, where, as candidates, they were initiated into the great mysteries. [Sound familiar?] Their mystical studies then assumed a more closed character and were held exclusively in temples which had been built for that purpose [a “Grand Lodge” of its day]. Rosicrucian tradition relates that the great pyramids of Giza were most sacred in the eyes of initiates. Contrary to what historians affirm, our tradition relates that the Giza pyramids were not built to be the tombs of pharaohs, but were actually places of study and mystical initiation. The mystery schools, over centuries of time, gradually evolved into great centers of learning, attracting students from throughout the known world.[v]
According to AMORC, the first school of the Order was launched by Pharaoh Thutmose III. A short number of years later, Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (later Akhnaton) became a celebrated initiate and established worship of the sun (or solar disk, “Aton”). Following this, famous Greek and Roman philosophers (such as Thales, Pythagoras, and Plotinus), “journeyed to Egypt and were initiated into the mystery schools. They then brought their advanced learning and wisdom to the Western world. Their experiences are the first records of what eventually grew and blossomed into the Rosicrucian Order.”[vi]
As with any religions involving varying sects, denominations, orders, organizations, divisions, and so on, the Rosicrucian Order has always varied in its practices from discipleship group to discipleship group. Whereas there were certainly individuals drawn into the practice of the ancient Order Rosae Crucis and the latter Rosicrucian Order who sought only the “unfolding consciousness” enlightenment promised (approaching it from an intellectual-growth angle), a great number of leaders took it well beyond that and into spiritually perverse acts of regularly communing with demons and Satan. According to standard Christian theology, this is always the natural result of clandestine fellowships that concentrate upon enlightenment through exhortation to pagan deities, spiritism, clairvoyance, ESP, and so on via communication with the spiritual realm—that which is unsanctioned and unprotected by the blood of Christ—whether the worshiper intended it or not. It remains to be an invitation for demonic influences to mimic the pursued entities, and once they respond (as history has shown they do), the worshipper believes contact with the deity has been made and “enlightenment” was achieved.
Sir Francis Bacon, whom we have already expressed herein to be the accredited first American Freemason and “New Atlantis” dreamer, was close associate to John Dee. Dee was Queen Elizabeth I’s personal advisor. As a celebrated mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occult philosopher, Hermetic philosopher, divinest, alchemist, sorcerer, and crystal-gazer, Dee’s authority of the relationship between science and magic was strong in an age when the rest of the surrounding world could not reasonably deny supernatural activity, but was excited to find explanation of the supernatural through newfound, Age-of-Reason methodologies. Dee stood as one of the most educated and scholarly men of his day. (In fact, the European “Age of Discovery/Exploration” is in part attributed to Dee’s work in space navigation; he would go on to instruct some of England’s most intense early “voyages of discovery.” One of the many links between Dee and the Rosicrucian Order is his famous illustration of the Monas Hieroglyphica—a glyph showing the relationship between the moon, sun, elements, and fire—which was said to have been a partial inspiration to the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz pamphlet.)
Though Dee is a name well remembered for his contributions to the space and science communities of his era, it’s not a secret that he religiously communed with demons—as well as with what he believed to be “angels”—as a means of uncovering the Prisca theologia. He believed that one universal language unlocked the secrets of creation, and that mankind had, at one point, been at perfect peace amidst his human brothers and sisters. Who better to ask for these secrets than angels and demons?
Ian Taylor, author of In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order, said during an interview:
[This is why] the Rosicrucians had to be a secret society. Their object was to discover God’s truths after Him. But some of their methodologies were bordering on witchcraft.… They claimed that they could communicate with angels and demons. Well, in the first place, the Scripture tells you not to do it. But their idea was that if you could do that, surely those creatures, the angels and the demons, they know a lot of things that we don’t know. After all, they’ve been around since time immemorial, and they are familiar with Heaven itself, so surely they can tell us many secrets. Well the Church…would take a dim view of that and [the Rosicrucians] could be put to death for that sort of thing.[vii]
Chris Pinto’s documentary Secret Mysteries goes on to say:
Dee was imprisoned under suspicion of sorcery: an accusation that would follow him throughout his life—and one that seems not unfounded, considering his system of magic is still practiced by many occultists to this day.… In his quest for knowledge, Dee tapped into the powers of the beyond, hoping to learn secrets from the spirit realm…but not everyone saw Dee’s dabbling as communicating with angels of God. Dee once wrote that he was looked upon as a “companion of hellhounds,” a “caller” and a “conjurer” of “wicked and damned spirits.” Yet, like Bacon, he practiced much of his craft in secret as an active member of the Rosicrucians in England. Some even credit Dee as founder of the Rosicrucian movement. As such, communing with angelic beings that provide scientific knowledge was a familiar practice.… The secret societies of the Elizabethan era were in danger, not for the knowledge they possessed, but [for] how they obtained it through occult practices of summoning spirits and conjuring demons. They were nevertheless determined to continue for the cause of science and learning.… In a diary entry of June eighth, 1584, Dee records a startling account, [saying] Jesus was not God, and that no prayers ought to be made to Him. [The diary entries] further claimed that sin does not exist, and that man’s soul simply moves from one body to another…in reincarnation.[viii]
As the Rosicrucians ebbed each day farther toward a universalized ideology of reincarnation (a concept that became paramount in American Freemasonry), Dee continued to meld science, mathematics, magic, and alchemy as he conducted magic ceremonies, gazed into his obsidian scrying mirror, and prayed for the “angels” to give him the answers to the world’s most sought-after questions. His reputation as a sorcerer has remained so prominent throughout history that he became the infamous inspiration behind J. K. Rowling’s mighty chief wizard Dumbledore of “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” in the Harry Potter book series—the character described to look exactly how Dee appeared while in service to Mary I of England (known as “Bloody Mary” for her persecution of Christians).
Sir Bacon prized Dee’s achievements and followed in his footsteps. (Bacon had communed and worshiped a demonic presence [he called her a “muse”] by the name of Pallas Athena, based upon an extremely powerful Greek goddess who “shook her spear” from anger in the presence of ignorance—which is pertinent to the Hiram Abiff legend, as we will discuss shortly.) Thus, that ancient Egyptian Order Rosae Crucis became, through the complicated relationship and resulting influences of Bacon and Dee, the newly established form of the secret Masonic/Freemasonic society.
Take the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (itself proven to be modified throughout the ages by pharaohs and ancient philosphers) and add the syncretism inaugurated by Rosicrucianism (Kabbalism, Christianity, and Hermeticism) along with the crystal-gazing, demon-worship, and angel-prayers of the Bacon/Dee era. If we’re not already drowning in a pool of esoteric mystery, then add the Deistic, Age-of-Reason enlightenment slant (birthed by some of the same personalities that participated in Hellfire Club, “Do-what-thou-wilt” orgies/drunkenness/mock rituals), and we arrive at the onset of United States Freemasonry.
It’s no wonder that so many find the beliefs and rituals of the Freemasons confusing and ambiguous. But, perhaps this is an appropriate time to remind the reader what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:20: “The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.”
Was America dedicated to such a thing? More than most know… and we’ll continue exposing these Saboteurs in the next entry.
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[ii] Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Perennial Press: Kindle edition), locations 13114–13116.
[iv] Ibid., emphasis added.
[v] Ibid., emphasis added.
[vi] Ibid., emphasis added.
[vii] Ian Taylor, during his interview for Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: Volume 1: The New Atlantis, DVD series, distributed by Total-Content LLC, executive producer David E. Bay, written and directed by Christian J. Pinto, 1:39:38–1:40:24.
[viii] Ibid., 1:43:26–1:50:00.