Freemasonry and Why it Matters
Part 1: Freemasonry and American Politics – An Overview
In a 1961 speech, President John F. Kennedy warned the American people of the all too real dangers of secret societies. “The very word secrecy,” he said, “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.”
JFK's words have perhaps never been more timely. Even so, they are only half true.
The politics of a truly open society should be free from any and all clandestine influence. Yet, America has never been an open society – particularly in the corridors of political power. It is nigh impossible to study American history (honestly at least) without inquiring into the role of secret societies – particularly Freemasonry, and Masonic offshoots – in our culture and history from the eighteenth century on.
Freemasonry, to condense an obscure and controversial history, is an occult tradition that traces its own origins to the Knights Templar of the First Crusade, and the religious mysteries of the ancient world. As the story goes, these secret doctrines were preserved by secretive guilds of medieval stone masons, and eventually evolved into secret societies called Masonic lodges, which became a fixture of upper-class society in Western Europe during the Renaissance and early modern period. During the colonial period, Freemasonry and adjacent Western European occult traditions such as Rosicrucianism and Illuminatism (the philosophy of the Illuminati) also established themselves in North America. Freemasonry is a hierarchical institution, divided into 33 degrees of occult initiation, which – as notable Masonic authors boast – employ a complex network of religious symbolism in order to obscure true Masonic doctrines from the unworthy and unenlightened.
The influence of Freemasonry in American history is attested in the symbolism so conspicuously emblazoned across our national capitol. The physical layout of Washington DC and its monuments bears evidence of a Masonic influence in its city planning. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the French engineer appointed to oversee the city planning of the capitol, was in fact a Freemason himself. The cornerstone of the US capitol building was laid by Masonic lodges on September 18, 1793, and Masonic religious motifs dominate the capitol city, from the Washington Monument to the IRS headquarters.
Masonic IRS Statue by Muckraker CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
And, of course, there are the familiar, yet alien, images on the back of the one dollar bill. On the right hand, an eagle grasping an olive branch, and a bundle of arrows (a fasces, from which fascism takes its linguistic derivation), with a banner reading E Pluribus Unum (Out from Many, One) clutched in his beak. On the left, the eye in the pyramid, perhaps the most famous symbol of Freemasonry besides the square and compass, underscored by the Latin Novus Ordo Seclorum – New World Order, or New Order of the Ages...
A significant share of our Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Chief Justice John Marshall, were active Freemasons. In fact, since revolutionary times, more than a third of US presidents from 1776 to the end of the 20th century have been Masons. Woodrow Wilson, a Freemason, signed the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, entered America into WW1, and, of course, presided over the founding of the League of Nations – a forerunner to UN-style globalism. FDR, another Freemason, presided over the introduction of Masonic iconography to the one dollar bill.
Law enforcement and the court system have historically been steeped in Masonic influence – a troubling conflict of interest, considering that Masons of the seventh degree are sworn to conceal each others' secrets, and to “espouse [a Fellow Mason's] cause […] whether he be right or wrong," under penalty of mutilation and death (“to have my skull smote off, and my brains exposed to the scorching rays of the meridian sun...”) (Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, p230)
Nor has Masonry ceased to be a political force, as the fingerprints of secret societies and their elite ideologies are all over our public life. In a speech delivered on September 11, 1991 – eerily, ten years to the day to the 9/11 attacks – H.W. Bush infamously used the phrase “New World Order” to describe the post-Cold War global paradigm, characterized by projection of American values and geopolitical interests all around the world in the name of “democracy.” His son, George W. Bush was openly a member of the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale – a quasi-Masonic society which, according to scholar Anthony C. Sutton, had connections to the Bavarian Illuminati from the 19th century. It was under his administration that the United States pursued a disastrous policy of neocon-style globalism, and installed the modern American surveillance state following 9/11. Furthermore, Barack Obama has been pictured wearing Masonic jewelry, as an enhanced scan of his hand in a 2008 Newsweek special reveals. Since 2020, the phrase “New World Order” has been bandied about freely by the likes of Lori Lightfoot, the medical police state of the Australian government, the aptly named World Government Summit, and Joe Biden himself. Masonic symbols also appear to be embedded in the corporate iconography of Google.
Perhaps even more concerning, powerful Masonic offshoot groups have taken on increasingly sinister tones. Writing in 1972, foundational Satanist Anton Lavey claimed that “Masonic orders have contained the most influential men in many governments, and virtually every occult order has many Masonic roots.” (The Satanic Rituals, p44-45)
Even if we are very charitable, and grant that the Masonic ideal is a basically moral enterprise (a doubtful assertion), the occult secrecy of its rituals, beliefs, and oaths of allegiance make the institutions of Masonry conducive to corruption – “good intentions” notwithstanding. Despite the rhetoric of Masonry's proponents, who claim that the aim of Masonry is simply “to make good men better,” there is compelling proof that Masonry is more than some benign humanist fraternity, but an elite secret society with globalist ambitions.
In conspiracy theory circles, Masonry is often casually associated with the globalist elite in general, and its cadre of shills, spooks, and social engineers. But what has Masonry to do with the politics of America today? The very nature of secret societies makes assertions to this effect inherently difficult to prove. This should not be surprising. Although the writings of Freemasons from previous centuries are now widely available, we have little access to the logs, registers, and internal literatures of contemporary Masonic and quasi-Masonic societies, and are thus reliant on historical extrapolation and circumstantial evidence to draw conclusions.
Yet, this should not dissuade us from research. To the contrary, it is all the more vital to persist in inquiry into this inherently challenging topic. The lack of clear public conversation on the matter of Freemasonry makes it difficult for the public to make any accurate assessment of its political import. The very topic of secret societies tends to elicit a raised eyebrow from the average man. This is hardly surprising, considering that history courses in both public and higher education completely omit the influence of Masonic secret societies on America's history. Moreover, the political establishment and media industrial complex collude together to silence, or at least play damage control against, any speculation on secret cabals, false flags, globalist conspiracies, or elite occultism. As a result, one of the most important, and least recognized, political divides in our country is between those who understand the historicity of secret societies, and those who don't.
The purpose of this series, Freemasonry and Why It Matters, is to provide an evenhanded exploration of the primary literature of Freemasonry, and to produce from this literature a sketch of Masonry's influence in modern history, and its political agenda. It is not the author's intention to slander Masons past or present, to allege some particularly sinister dealings at the local Masonic lodge in your city, or to negate the achievements and contributions of individual Freemasons from various walks of life, but simply to let the words, writings, and deeds of the Freemasons speak for themselves. Both famous and notorious figures throughout history have been associated with Masonry, from Mozart, Bach, and several Apollo astronauts, to KKK founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, and deranged dark magician Aleister Crowley, who was expelled from the Masonic organization Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1899. It is impossible to paint such a wide assortment of men in one broad stroke.
Because religious tolerance and freedom of association are cornerstones of American civilization, participation in various cults, sects, and secret fraternities is a constitutionally protected activity... but only up to such a point where such religious activity does not interfere with the law or the impartial operation of government.
Imagine, for a moment, the furor that would ensue if the public learned that politics in Washington DC were compromised by the Church of Scientology, with its science fiction mythology, fringe psychotherapy, and pseudo-scientific speak regarding “Thetans” and psychic reprogramming... In fact, this very thing happened in the 70s. In a criminal conspiracy codenamed Operation Snow White, over 5000 operatives from the Church of Scientology conspired to infiltrate various administrations of the federal government in order to destroy unfavorable data on the organization and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This resulted in FBI raids and criminal convictions.
Yet, American politics for several centuries have been demonstrably shaped by a much older, far stranger cult, which claims divine origins in the mists of antiquity and (as subsequent entries will demonstrate) a global political mandate. This passes beneath public notice, generating hardly a smidgeon of controversy, or even inquiry. There are no law enforcement investigations, no public exposes, no convictions. Why? The answers are complex, hard to swallow, and potentially earth shattering.
Perhaps at no point in history has American civic life been more beholden to special interest groups, oligarchic power players from the corporate world and, as this series intends to demonstrate, secret societies. It is altogether unfitting for any free people to be governed by a ruling class which, publically professing the dogmas of the masses, in private adheres to the philosophies and doctrines of a politically powerful religious cult, whose membership, rituals, and degrees of initiation are deliberately shrouded in the darkest veils of secrecy. The very future of our republic may depend on how we respond – indeed, whether we respond at all – to the serious conflicts of interest created by secret societies in our political sphere.
The next article in the series Freemasonry and Why it Matters will consider the influence of Freemasonry in early American politics, particularly exploring the writings of the Founding Fathers on the topic.