Editor's Note:An intensive and extended examination and thorough research into the FACTS, too long concealed from the Church, has been the conscientious and painstaking work of Mr. Elliott in the preparation of his forthcoming book, What Church Members Should Know About MASONRY.The FACTS he brought to light from many authentic sources are astounding. This startlingly revealing book was written as a Thesis, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Theology conferred on Mr. Elliott June 6th, 1958, by Ambassador College.
You will find it to be an astonishing and eye-opening revelation. We feel it is breathtaking in interest, intriguing, and shockingbut it is all the TRUTH, carefully documented.
We feel it is high time these little known facts be published. We need to know howit came about that, even in our modern times, as the Word of God foretold: all nations were deceived!
IS MASONRY a Christian organization? Do they have the truth? Why are they so secret? Is it all right to remain in the Lodge? Is it all right to join the Masons?
This is designed to help you answer these questions, give the reasoning behind the answer, and produce the evidence to back it up!
This is NOT WRITTEN FOR GENERAL PUBLICATION, but to supply information for members of the Church of God. It is important that you know something about the Masonic Lodge its teachings and its beliefsso that you can answer questions on the subject with understanding. Many persons who are interested in the way of life ask questions that need a true and accurate answer, not the evasion they get when they ask in formation from a Mason.
The Mason cannot answer most of their questions because he has sworn, under penalty of death, not to reveal Masonic secrets. Since the details cannot be revealed, he merely assures them that Masonry is a Christian organization based on the Bible. They further assure us that Masonry is in accordance with God's laws and a candidate is not required to take any action against nation, state or family.
Definitions of Masonry
Definitions of Freemasonry have been numerous. Seldom do you find two alike. Here are quoted some of the most celebrated ones which were composed by influential Masons and, as you might expect, they heap much praise upon the Lodge.
Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols/'Hemming.
Masonry is an art, useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of pre-eminence on its genuine professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune can bestow.Preston.
The grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.George Washington.
If such statements can be made of the Lodge by such noted people, then surely it is a worthy organization! How can belonging to it be a discredit to anyone? they ask.
Take a closer look and you will see that while these definitions are impressive, they still leave the reader in the dark as to the what, why, and how of Freemasonry.
Confusion in Doctrine
Masonic doctrine is very pliable because it is so loosely knit together and embodies such a tremendous scope of Christian as well as pagan ideas. Furthermore, it is cushioned with allowances for those members who wish to dis agree with either or both because the Lodge embraces men of all religions. These allowances also absorb or explain away any accusations brought against Masonic doctrine. It makes no difference whether the accusation is pro-Christian, pro-Mohammedan, pro-Pagan, or pro-anything. To be more specific, Masonic philosophy is very inexact, vague in principle and so devious in application that it can mean almost anything to anyone. Its basic teaching method is by subtle suggestion which allows the candidate to warp his former beliefs into the Masonic framework.
Masonry can be more revealingly defined as a group of men, banded together in an exclusive lodge to advance, first and foremost, their personal interests and second, the interests of certain others of their fcllowmen. They set as their guide, morals that are as high as other man-made codes. The fact that they are man-made is not considered a degradation by the brotherhood.
They set as the highest and simplest of these morals brotherly love(the brother referred to, however, is a brother Mason). The spirit of Masonry is that of mystery, feigned pomp and ceremony, and intemperate revelry. They search ancient writings, Christian and pagan, in order to find the mysterious secrets of life.
The teachings of the Holy Bible and the ancient (pagan) mysteries are accepted alike and constitute their main sources of information. From these they select the principles which most appeal to their desires. They have worked out ten of their own commandments which are an amalgamation of some of God's laws, and some gleaned from the ancients.
Membership Is Profitable
Belonging to the Lodge is profitable for a number of reasons. Among these is the fact that a Mason is usually better informed than the average person on community and civil affairs. Masons are of every profession imaginable. They have a vast storehouse of knowledge at their command which they share with one another at refreshment and during special meetings. Furthermore, they do not content themselves with the knowledge that is already among them, but certain members make a life work of seeking out the uncommon, and proclaiming it from lodge to lodge at special meetings. Not all information is edifying, however. Much error is introduced by the informed. Among these is the erroneous teaching about the construction and architecture of King Solomon's Temple. Illustrative drawings of the structure while very impressive usually show it adorned with winged bulls and other pagan objects of worship.
Another helpful principle is that of extending aid to a brother Mason. Each member is dedicated to help a needy brother wherever or whenever he is able. Membership in the Lodge is therefore very useful to those who seek political office, political favor, employment opportunities, business connections, travel accommodations, or a privileged position in the community. So pronounced are some of these aids that all who do not enjoy them are greatly handicapped when they compete for certain offices or favor. Political office is a good example, and the Presidency of the United States is no exception. Most of our Presidents have been Masons, either active or honorary.
Our definition could not be complete without mentioning the secrecy of Masonry. Smybolism, which means nothing to the average person, is used to remind the Mason of his duties and morals while hiding the allegoric meaning and beauty from the vulgar eye of the uninformed. Lodges meet in secret behind guarded doors. Secret signs, handshakes and utterances reveal one Mason to another regardless of his lodge, rite, or country.
Membership in the Lodge is, therefore, a ticket to favoritism in any city or any state or any country, and is a Masonic promise to happiness and prosperity.
In actuality, Masons find that altruistic ideals of the Lodge break down in practice. Brother Masons are not much more trustworthy than the unenlightened. Some do not find the oaths they take binding enough to keep them from defrauding even a brother.
At least two Church of God brethren have confided to this author that they have been seriously defrauded at the hands of brother Masons. One put it this way: In swearing to give aid and assistance to a brother Mason, an upright member falls prey to dishonest members of the Lodge and is frequently defrauded. I have found the word of most Masons is just so much wind, and they would not hesitate to defraud if they could do so successfully. They follow Masonic teachings just as far as is conducive to their own gain.
Size and Importance
One does not ordinarily realize the scope or importance of Freemasonry in our country. Its different rites, all in an interdependent system, boasted 4,175,000 members in 19393,300,000 of which were in the United States. There are probably between five and six million members in the United States today.
The various rites have upon their rolls the names of emperors, kings, princes, priests, and governors, together with scholars, statesmen, and men of lesser stations in church and state. Here arc a few famous men who have been Masons in the United States: Benjamin Franklin, President Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Adams, Jackson, Polk, Fillmore, Harrison, Buchanan, Johnson, Garfield, McKinley, Taylor, Pierce, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and Truman. Other prominent members were Lafayette, Fulton, Montgomery, Sherman, Burr, Rush, Whipple, Paine, Hamilton, Gerry, Steubon, Stark, Livingstone, Dekalb, Warren, Paul Jones, Witherspoon, Revere and Hancock. Most of these are proclaimed Masons by no lesser authority than the Encyclopedia Americana.
Most local, state and federal officials are Masons. Realize that when you apply for employment, the man who may or may not employ you is likely to be a member of the Lodge. By handshake or other Masonic sign, you would be able to greatly increase your chances of securing that job because he has sworn an oath to extend aid and comfort to a fellow Mason if it is within his means to do so.
You are, likewise, in a much better position to have a favor granted from a public official who belongs to the Lodge when you are a member. Throughout the United States, many Masons admit that they know or have heard of brothers guilty of a crime against society, who were never brought to trial because of their affiliation with the Lodge, and because of aid rendered by an official who was a Mason. Others who have been brought to trial were either acquitted by a jury containing Masons or were given light sentences.
In one such instance which occurred recently, a man killed one of his close friends. He was convicted of premeditated murder without malice, and sentenced to only two years in prison. After two months' imprisonment he was out on a 30 days' leave. The man was a Mason and so were a number of the jurors and law enforcement officials.
One seldom sees anti-Masonic literature, even though much has been written. Because printers are often Masons, dedicated to conceal the secrets of the Lodge, it has little chance. Bookstore owners or librarians seldom stock books either pro- or anti-Masonic. Laymen who are Masons are unwilling to divulge secrets because they have been sworn to secrecy.
Nevertheless, even in the face of all these obstacles, anti-Masonic literature does exist. Certain organizations have been very zealous in their fight against the Lodge. Today, though their zeal is gone, some continue to publish lodge secrets. Masons, more than anyone else, buy their books because they find them a convenient aid to learning the long list of lodge secrets. This is against lodge rules, however, because Masons are not allowed to write down these secrets, but new members are supposed to be taught by word of mouth only. The arduous and grueling task of instructing the uninformed is simplified greatly by this underhanded method of using available written material.
One example is the Ezra A. Cook Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 796, Chicago 90, Illinois. A letter to the Ezra A. Cook Company requesting publications on the subject of Freemasonry will bring you a lengthy list of available books which accurately reveal Masonic secrets. These books are available to anyone.
Structure of Masonry
Figure 1 is the symbolic representation of Freemasonry in America. It is represented by a square and compass supported by two pillows, Jachin and Boaz. The illustration has been considered highly secret and was allowed only to Masons of high degree. It was given to me by a church member who had formerly been a Mason. Recently however, an article appeared in Lifemagazine (October 8, 1956, pages 104-122) in which the structure of Freemasonry was represented in similar manner. The fact that Masons decided to let the vulgar eye of the public see the different but accurate illustration, demonstrates their inconsistency.
The apprentice enters the structure, symbolically, between the two columns, Jachin and Boaz, which are said to represent the two columns of Solomon's Temple (see II Chron. 3:15) and progresses by degrees toward perfection. All this happens under the All-Seeing Eye shown at the top of the figure, whom (they say) the sun, moon and stars obey and under whose watchful care even the comets perform their stupendous revolutions, (who) pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, and who will reward us (Masons) according to our merits. (Lightfoot, page 33.) The reward supposedly comes after death releases him from this world and his soul progresses upwards toward heaven and perfection.
When the apprentice enters Masonry, he is compared to a rough ashler (or rough building stone), and as the ashler is shaped and polished before it is ready for use, so must the candidate become perfected during the first three degrees until he becomes a perfect ashler and may be used as a building block in the house of God (the house of God as symbolized by Solomon's Temple). Thus perfected the Master Mason may enter into and work within the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is symbolized by the central part of the structure surrounding the letter G. The letter G stands for God; therefore work in all degrees from the master's up is done symbolically in the presence of God, in His mostholy place. (Note: Fig. 1 shows that all of the degrees from the master's to the thirty-third are in this part of the structure.)
After one has successfully mastered the first three degrees, or the Blue Lodge, he proceeds up through the Grand Lodge by way of either the York or the Scottish Rite.
The Scottish Rite accepts members of all faiths, so long as they profess a creator God and believe in a life after death. The York Rite is just as liberal, exceot in its higher orders an oath has to be taken that affirms a belief in Christ, thus excluding conscientious Jews from degrees beyond that point.
More information can be attained from the Encyclopedia Britanicaby those who wish to pursue the technical organization of Freemasonry in the United States.
The Beginning of a Dilemma
Very few Masons understand or care about the technical aspects of the Lodge or about its symbolic teachings. They are interested instead in such questions as how important it is to be a member; therefore, how big, important and righteous Masonry is; how to join; how to climb to the top; how to keep others from getting to the top without due process; how to keep enemies out, etc.
The great majority embrace Freemasonry for the purpose of enhancing their business prestige. As long as they can pass themselves as Masons and make use of the secret language which Masonry use, they are perfectly satisfied and desire nothing more.
Information given in the first chapter was concerned with the overall structure and organization of Masonry. A Mason is not required to know this unless he sits in one of the governing councils. It is only when his ambitions spur him in that direction that a Mason is willing to expend the effort to learn it, plus a mass of other laws, doctrines, and philosophies.
The present chapter is concerned with what the candidate for the various degrees is exposed to and what he is forcedto learn. Every attempt will be made to show you Masonry as the candidate sees it. Therefore, few remarks will be made to expose fallacies or to criticize the Lodge at this phase.
As the candidate proceeds thru the degrees, no one points to any of the facets of Masonry and says, That is condemned by God Almighty. On the contrary, each aspect is drawn up in beautifully phrased allegoriesthe high (human) morality being greatly emphasized. Who would dare question this holiness?
Who Can Belong?
If a person wishes to become a member of the Masonic Lodge, he must be freeborn, under no bondage, of at least twenty-one years of age, in the possession of sound senses, free from any physical defect or dismemberment, and of irreproachable manners, or, as it is technically termed, under the tongue of good report. No atheist, eunuch, cripple, or woman can be admitted. Even those who possess all these necessary qualifications can be admitted only under certain regulations.
Masons' wives or children may not attend the regular meetings, but only such special functions as may be planned for them.
To satisfy the desires of wives and children to take part in Masonic functions, special or side orders were adopted such as the Eastern Star ritual, the De Molay for boys, and the Rainbow Girls. These orders have their own secrets and functions apart from the regular Lodge, but follow it's general pattern. They are supervised by Masons. Indeed, their meetings cannot be held without a Mason present to supervise.
Joining the Lodge
Because Masons are forbidden to solicit members, a man must request admission for himself.
The usual procedure for petitioning the Lodge is to have another Mason recommend the candidate. He does so by presenting a formal petition, signed by the candidate, to the particular lodge which he wishes to join.
The applicant must be vouched for and recommended by one or more Masons. Once submitted, his petition is read before the assembly, and a committee is appointed to inquire into his character. If nothing is found to disqualify him and the committee gives him a favorable report, his petition is again presented to the assembly one month later and voted upon by the brethren.
Once the applicant has been accepted, he becomes a candidate for the first, or Entered Apprentice, degree.
Preparation for Initiation
Before attending any meetings or taking any part in Masonic rituals, the candidate must be initiated. On his first visit to the Lodge, he is kept outside in the ante room (see Figure 2) while the first part of the meeting takes place. Neither he nor anyone else has a chance to know what is going on in the meeting because the door is closed and a guardusually with drawn swordis standing beside it.
Finally, three raps are heard at the door and the guard (whom he will later come to know as the TYLER) returns them in like manner.
A short silence follows, then three Masons emerge to interrogate him. All wear short white aprons. These men are the Secretary and the two Stewards.
The Secretary then proceeds to question him in a routine manner and to charge him with the great importance of belonging to the Lodge and the seriousness of his undertaking. At the same time the candidate is promised that he will not be required to do anything contrary to the laws of God or duty to his king, country, state, family or self.
The reader must keep in mind that the candidate knows nothingof the rules and customs of the Fraternity. He can only take the word of Masons that there is nothing in those rules contrary to the laws of God, etc.
After the Secretary leaves, the Junior Deacon, another official who had served as inside door keeper, joins the candidate and the Stewards and takes charge of preparing the candidate for initiation. He is taken into the preparation room, is divested of his coat, vest, pants, boots, stockings, drawers, neck-tie, collarin fact, everythiingexcept his shirt. He is then handed a pair of drawers (always furnished by the Lodge) which he puts on.
All the studs, sleeve-buttons and other furnishings are taken off his shirt. Everything of a metallic kind is taken away. The left leg of the drawers is rolled above the knee, so as to make the left foot, leg, and knee bare; the left sleeve of his shirt is raised above the elbow, so as to make the left arm bare; and the left breast of the shirt is tucked back, so as to make his left breast bare. A slipper is put on his right foot, with the heel slipshod; a hoodwink (blindfold) is fastened over his eyes; a blue rope, called a cable tow,is put around his neck, and he is then duly and truly prepared to be made a Mason.
The candidate has no idea why this is done, except he is told that it is necessary the explanation must come later. The candidate is kept in a state of profound darkness and all is calculated to confuse and bewilder him. Once the hood-wink is placed over his eyes, he can see nothing and must rely totally on his other senses.
Next, the candidate is conducted by the Junior Deacon to the door, where he is caused to give, or the Junior Deacon gives, three distinct knocks, which are answered by three from within. What goes on behind the closed door is still an enigma to the candidate-all this for the purpose of filling him with awe and cultivating an air of mystery. The door is then partially opened.
Senior Deacon (from behind the door) calls, Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?
The Junior Deacon answers, A poor blind candidate who has long been desirous of having and receiving a part of the rites and benefits of this worship lodge,dedicated (some say erected) to God, and held forth to the holy order of St. Johns as all true fellows and brothers have done who have gone this way before him.
Thus the initiation begins and the gullibility of the candidate is taxed to its extreme in the performance of weird rituals.
During the initiation ceremony, the candidate is also required to solemnly swear never to reveal any of the secrets of Masonry under any less penalty than having his throat cut across, his tongue torn out by the roots, and his body buried in the rough sands of the sea. To add solemnity to this gruesome oath, the candidate is made to kneel before an altar with both hands on the Holy Bible. The entire program for this initiation is included in The Handbook Of Free-Masonryby Ronayne available thru the Ezra A. Cook Publishing Company.
Once initiated, the new brother is allowed to attend meetings of the first, or Entered Apprentice, degree only. He is not allowed to attend or to learn any of the secret work of the higher degrees. To attempt to do so is a grievous sin in Masonry.
A Lodge meeting consists of three parts: The opening,the closiing,and the general Lodge business in between. The opening is an elaborate, monotonous routine primarily concerned with excluding all but bonafide members from the meeting. The close,also routine and lengthy, must surely tax the patience of Lodge members. The central portionof the meeting is concerned with Lodge business such as lodge dues, finances, charities, passing, raising, initiating candidates, and finally work in each of the first three degrees.
The first part of Lodge business is the reading of the minutes by the secretary. The second is the reading of petitions of applicants for admission into the fraternity, and the assigning of a committee to search into the character of the applicant. Third order of business is the consideration of reports made by committees assigned one month earlier to look into petitions entered then. Fourth, is the report from standing committees.
Fifth part is the business of voting on a prospective candidate on which the committee has reported favorably (after one month's consideration). Voting is done by secret ballot, worked out by placing black or white balls into a box. A white ball is a vote foradmitting him, and a black ball is a vote against admitting him. If a candidate receives only one black ball, he is rejected. The seventh order of business is unfinished business from the last meeting. The eighth is new business. The ninth is the work of the individual degrees. This is work of a SECRET nature, and proceeds through the first three degrees.
If there is work to be done in the first degree, all remain present since all members are of the first degree or higher. The Worshipful Master simply reduces the Lodge down to the first, or Entered Apprentice, degree. The members then proceed to initiate the candidate.
Once finished with work in the first degree, all first degree Masons are discharged because they are not allowed to see what goes on in a higher degree. Then follows the raise to the second, or Fellow Craft, degree. This is done in similar fashion to the act of lowering to the first degree.
Once finished with work in this degree, the officers discharge all but Master Masons (the officers, especially the Worshipful Master,* hold much higher degrees).
Finally, when the initiation of Master Masons and all other work is completed, the Lodge goes through the elaborate close ceremony.
Once our candidate has become a member of the Entered Apprentice degree, he is eligible to become a candidate for the next, or Fellow Craft. Before he can do so, however, he must master the art of giving the secret signs, passwords, and the examination.
The part referred to as the examinationis often called by other names such as lecture. The word examination will be used here to keep from confusing it with the lecture delivered by the Worshipful Master. The examination is a ritualistic catechism of the signs, tokens, and working tools of the degree.
There is an examination to be memorized for each of the first three degrees, but none for the degrees beyond that. The degrees above the third or Master degree are very recent in origin and are in actuality adoptive the first three originally comprising the total of Freemasonry.
Because the examination must be taught orally, a bright member of the Lodge is assigned to post the candidate in the examination. That means that one who has already mastered it must teach the candidate, supposedly without the aid of written material, the whole examination. This examination is so long that when written out it covers seven typewritten pages.
When the candidate has learned the examination of the first degree, he is ready to apply for the Fellow Craft degree. Here he is initiated, introduced to new working tools, taught the new handshake, due-guard, distress sign, secret words, and given a lecture on their symbolic meaning. Then he is required to memorize another examination.
The same is true when he becomes a candidate for the Master Mason degree.
It is only after a man has completed the Master Mason degree that he is a Mason in the true sense.
Before he has received the Master's secrets, he is considered an apprentice or learner. These secrets are drawn around a legend about a man named Hiram Abiff, and its setting is supposed to be Solomon's Temple.
It is interesting to see what the Mascer's secrets are, and for those who care to take the trouble they can be found in Ronayne's Handbook of Freemasonry.
Grand Lodge Masonry
Progress becomes easier for the candidate after he passes the first three degrees, or the Blue Lodge. There are no examinations to learn, and he can take whole blocks of degrees at one time. In fact, one brother in the Church related to me that he took all the degrees from the fourth through to the thirty-second in four days.
In the case of the brother above, he and a group of Master Masons received the fourth through the fourteenth degree the first day after arriving in the city in which the Grand Lodge was located. After a night of fun and revelry (and very little sleep), they went through the conferring of the Chapter of Rose Croix, which is the fifteenth through the eighteenth degrees for the Scottish rite (Southern Jurisdiction). After another night similar to the first, he received the Council of Kadosh, or the nineteenth through the thirtieth degrees. Finally, on the fourth day, he received the Consistory, or the thirty-first and the thirty-second degrees. The fact that they received little sleep at night seemed to be planned on the part of the officials, perhaps for the purpose of dulling the candidate's senses during the rituals. A clear head would seem inappropriate for receipt of these honorable mysteries. The brother related that he had a hard time even remaining awake.
After a man has reached the thirty-second degree, he can, if he chooses, become a Shriner. The Shriners are probably familiar to you. They are that group of jolly individuals who take over whole towns at convention time, wearing red hats adorned with tassles and sausage knives. They engage in much celebration and revelry.
Shriners, as you probably also know, can point with pride to their hospitals for crippled children, which open their doors to all the underprivileged, no matter what race or creed. The Shrine is the order, above all others, which attracts the public's attention to Masonry. As an advertisement, it is very effective.
The Shrine, then, is a side order of the thirty-second degree. There remains only one degree higher than the thirty-second: that is the thirty-third or Inspector General, which is honorary. It can only be conferred for some act of benevolence, endeavor, or esteem far and above the line of duty. It is usually conferred on presidents and kings and certain other dignitaries.
With this introduction we are ready to plunge into an expose of the mystery and deceit of Masonic philosophy and practice.
Christian or Pagan?
It is our responsibility to take these seemingly harmless proceedings and examine them in the light of the Holy Bible. The results will be shocking.
The average member of a popular denomination would see absolutely nothing wrong with Masonic proceedings. They appear wholesome and upright to him; and unless a member of God's true Church is alert, he may see nothing wrong eitherespecially if that member is a new convert.
We should realize that the average Lodge member has not had the advantage of seeing any Masonic teaching or symbol in the TRUE LIGHT of Scripture. He received all teachings at the hand of an apparently wise and trusted leader. The leader nearly always pointed to the Bible to prove that certain symbols are in accordance with God's teaching. Meetings are always opened with prayer and a Holy Bible is always open before the Lodge. To question Masonry would seem to him sacrilegious.
Who Can Be a Mason?
No place in the Bible can it be found where knowledge of the way to live obedient and enlightened lives in service to God is limited to those over twenty-one who are free from physical defects, and of irreproachable manners; nor are wives and children prevented, nor men who are unable to pay heavy dues. God does not even keep His truth from the ears of the weak-minded; instead, they are responsible for all that they can comprehend.
If Masons do have such truth, they would be selfish indeed to zealously withhold it from the weak, the lame and the blind. Furthermore, they must either be guilty of this or be liars, because they do claim that Masonry is a way to happiness and immortality.
Swear an Oath
One of the most predominant traits that characterizes Freemasonry is its oaths.The oath of the Apprentice given earlier is a typical example. Here the candidate swears, without reservation, not to reveal the secrets of Masonry under the penalty of death.He does so with both hands on the Holy Bible. In this holy book are the words of Christ himself, But I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne; nor by the earth; for it is His footstool; neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil (Matt. 5:33-37).
Do the Masons not read this? Surely they do! They insist that it refers only to the use of profanity. They even make a pretext of keeping profanity out of the Lodge. The Scripture shows very clearly that profanity, as well as oaths,comes of evil.
One might ask, If Masonic teachings and morals are so high and pure, as Masons claim, why must they be secret
Masons answer, Because the Bible says, 'Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world* (James 1:27). Masons do take care of widows and orphans and they dokeep themselves apart from the world by means of secrecy!'
If the Mason really knowshis craft he will not have to stop here. He will quote Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
He will be confident that every good Mason will be doing just that, and any reference you might make to the fact that his Lodge meets in secret and carries on business in secret will only reassure him that his action is according to the Scripture. If he is of the intelligentsia he may also remind you that Christ taught the disciples in parables to hide the meaningfrom the rest of the world (see Matt. 13:13). He will give this as the reason his Lodge uses secret words and symbols so that the uninformed will see or hear and not understand.
Even if the Mason is not well versed in Masonic teachings, he at least has heard them and will be convinced that if the Worshipful Master or some other officer were present he could refute anything said against Masonry.
Your task of showing him that Masonry is not scriptural is further complicated by his belief that you are not enlightened if you are not a Mason and that he should cease talking lest he reveal Masonic secrets to you and be worthy of death. He cannot tell you Masonic teachings; and if he feels that you are not truly familiar with them, further discussion is futile. The fact that you question Masonic teachings is enough to convince him that you don't know much about them.
What is the answer to all these highly convincing arguments? Can you refute them?
The true ministers of God's Church did not teach in secret, nor hide the fact that they were Christians.
Paganism has always been a practice of secret and mystic rites. Masons make no bonesabout the fact that it is this system which they follow. They point with pride to the fact that most of their philosophies and symbols are borrowed directly from the Ancients. They see no wrong in doing so. They only attempt to prove them to be In accordance with Scripture too.This is not too hard to do if the one to whom they are attempting to prove it is somewhat careless.
Christ spoke in parables because it was not given for the world to understand. Why was it not given for them to understand? Verse 15 of Matthew 13 explains, For this people's heart is waxed gross (hardened) and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes theyhave closed.
Why would a person harden his heart close his eyes and refuse to hear God's laws and learn of His ways, unless he does not like them? Men have proven time and time again that they will not follow God's way or take His plan seriously. They will only do what theylike best and try to reassure themselves that it has God's sanction.
Jesus knew that if He spoke plainly they would understand Him, they would repent as before and again agree to follow God; but as before, they would fall back into worldliness. To keep the masses from doing that and losing eternal salvation by failing to fulfill the New Covenant, they were kept in ignorance.
It is not God's plan to save the world now. He is merely calling out some the first fruits. Large scale salvation is reserved for the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment when Christ will be here in person to supervise and rule with a firm hand.
Do Masons know this? Is that why they use secret signs and symbols?
No! Freemasons use secret signs because their whole philosophy is centered around giving and receiving aid from a fellow Mason to the exclusion of all others. As stated above, they borrow this practice from the ancient pagans.
Legendary records show that ancient pagans held public and secret assemblies in honor of their gods. The secret ceremonies and doctrines were known only to those who had been initiated and who possessed signs and tokens by which they were able to recognize each other. It is this practice that Freemasons copy and very few Masons are ignorant of the fact. Pagans took advantage of the allurement of secrecy to attract the gullible and because their lewd and licentious practice could not bear the light of public witness.
The references to meeting places in the initiatory work of the first degree of Masonry is very significant. It states, Our ancient brethren met on high hills or low vales, (why?) the better to guard against the approach of cowans and eavesdroppers ascending or descending. (This is not what Christ did. He let them hear, but they could not understand because of the hardness of theirhearts.)
But this is exactly what the pagans didworshipping atop high hills or in the depths or valleys! Read what God says about it in Jer. 2:20-23 and II Kings 17:9-11.
Freemasonry uses secrecy to accomplish much the same that the ancient pagans did. While they do not practice sexual immorality in their meeting, their foolish eccentricities cannot bear the light of public observance, and the gullible are attracted to their ranks by promises of secret enlightenment. Furthermore, they accomplish the exclusivenature of the Lodge by its use, and are able to profitably exchange their brotherly love among the initiated.
Their claim that they use secrecy to keep from being a part of this world is quite absurd. Masons take an active part in government, politics, economics, law enforcement and any other department of this world's society. Their attempt to explain away their purpose for secrecy in this manner only demonstrates their ignorance of what God meant when He said that we must come out of this world and be separate.
This ignorance is due to the hardness of theirhearts, and the true mysteries of God which they claim to possess are actually hidden from them.
Many of our brethren were shocked to find, that Masonic teachings and practices are not as wholesome and perfect as they had been led to believe.
Masons had introduced their new members to new doctrine only after carefully preparing them to receive it by making it look good and upright. Each part was unveiled and explained with reverence and solemnity. The Bible, among Christian nations, was quoted often to show divine sanction. The Lodge seemed beyond question. It was truly a shocking awakening to some to find Lodge teachings and practices of pagannot Christianorigin.
Some are not yetconvinced that all Masonry is pagan even though it has been proven that its oaths are anti-scriptural and that its secrecy is likewise contradictory to the Bible and pagan in origin. They reason, If you look hard enough, you can find a little something wrong with any organization. Certainly the other practices and symbols with their allegoric meanings are sanctioned by God's word!
It is therefore necessary for us to examine other Masonic doctrine and practice to see if they are scriprurally inspired as Masons claim.
What is the Source of Their Symbols?
To prove that Masonic symbols and philosophies are borrowed from the ancient pagans is not difficult. The Masons prove it for us! Here is part of the official lecture for the first degree:
The Sun and Moon, says the learned Brother Delaunay of important Masonic symbols, represent the two grand principles of all generations, the active and passive, the male and the female. The Sun represents the actual light. He pours upon the Moon his fecundating rays; both shed their light upon their offspring, the Blazing Star, or Horus, the three form the great Equilateral Triangle, in the center of which is the omnific letter of the Kabalah by which creation is said to have been effected. (Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry , by Albert Pike, pp. 13-14.)
He did not find this in the Bible! The sun and the moon are important Masonic symbols, just as they were in the old Babylonian mysteries! This doctrine concerning them comes from ancient SUN WORSHIP. The offspring, a blazing star, is of Egyptian origin that same offspring which has been worshipped by pagans for generations under many different names, one of them being Horus, another Anubis.
Another quotation from the same lecture adds further confirmation of these facts. The ornaments of a Lodge are said to be the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tcssel, and the Blazing Star. The Mosaic Pavement, chequered in squares, or lozenges, is said to represent the ground floor of Solomon's Temple. The lecturer shows clearly that Masons know that it does not.In their own words, To find in the Blazing Star of five points an allusion to the Divine Providence, is also fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi, is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally it represented Sirius, or the Dog-Star, the forerunner of the inundation of the Nile; the God Anubis, companion of Isis in her search for the body of Osiris, himself symbolized also by the Sun, the author of the season, and the God of Time; Son of Isis, who was the universal nature, himself the primitive matter, inexhaustible source of Life, spark of uncreated fire, universal seed of all beings/'
There is no question that these symbols have their origin in paganism. As shown above, Masons prove it for us; in fact, they are proud of such an origin because of its ANTIQUITY.
The Masonic Temple Versus Solomon's Temple
The lodge room is supposed to be a true representation of King Solomon's temple. Since the temple built by Solomon faced east and west, the Masonic Lodge is supposed to face east and west. The Worshipful Master's station is in the east, the Senior Warden in the west, the Junior Warden in the south, as shown in the figure.
Masons further claim that their temple is symbolic of the universe, having a cloudy canopy as its covering.
At first glance all this seems right and in accordance with the Bible. But let's take a closer look.
God's temple (often referred to as King Solomon's temple) faces east. Why? Because Christ's coming, at the time He enters the new temple, will be from the east towardthe west (see Matt. 24:27). The over-all account of this is found in Ezekiel 43. Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with his glory . . . And the glory of the Lord came into the house by way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the Spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me. And He said unto me, 'Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my Holy Name the house of Israel shall no more defile.'
Now study the arrangements of the Tabernacle which is a shadow, or type of God's throne in heaven, the general arrangement of which was reproduced in the temple built by Solomon. Contrast it with the Masonic Lodge.
While there is some similarity in form, they are exactly oppositein arrangement. The entrance to the temple,is in the east.In the Masonic Lodge
it is in the west. The Holy of Holies, where God's presence was manifest is in the west in God's temple. The Worshipful Master whose seat is under the G to represent god is in the east of the Masonic Lodge.
When we understand that the temple of God represents God's throne, we should be able to see the symbolism of Christ as our High Priest sitting on the right hand of God. Upon becoming spiritual Israelites, we may boldly approach that throne through Christ, since the veil which separated the Israelites from God is rent in two. The Gentile was not even allowed in that part of the temple and, until this day, cannot approach God without first becoming an Israelite. This is represented by the court of Israel being between that of the Gentile and the Holy of Holies.
The Masonic Lodge, therefore, represents a pagan temple which symbolizes this universe. The setting being the earth covered by a canopy of clouds and the starry heavens, where these pagans worship the sun, which they call the father of all living; the moon which they call the mother; and all the starry hosts of heaven. They hope to ascend into this heaven by means of a ladder which Masons call Jacob's Ladder, but which the pagans called by other names.
If one visualizes this Masonic temple in its true symbolic meaning, they see that it is actually outside the temple of God as demonstrated by the placement of the two pillows Jachin and Boaz. The only places in the Bible where these two pillows are mentioned by name are I Kings 7:21 and II Chronicles 3:17. Here the pillows are described as sitting in the porch of the temple with Jachin on the right and Boaz on the left, as they would be viewed from God's throne. The latter is borne out and made clear by the Jewish and the Revised Standard translation of the Bible which render it as Jachin in the south and Boaz in the north.
Masons have these reversed by placing the pillow they call Jachin on the right as you enter their temple and Boaz on the left.
The only way a person could pass through the pillows of the temple of God so that Jachin was on his right and Boaz on his left would be when leaving the temple (going away from God). On the other hand, this happens only when entering the Masonic temple.
It follows, symbolically, that a person enters a Masonic temple by leaving the true temple of God. Once there, he worships the sun in the east with his back to God.
Whenone pictures Masons inhis situation, he cannot help but remember Ezekiel 8:15 where God points out to Ezekiel the WORST OF THE ABOMINATIONSAnd he brought me into the inner court of ihe Lord's house, and behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. This is exactly what the Masons are doing. Is it possible that the future fulfillment of this prophecy will take place when some Jewish Masons will be in the temple of God and will actually turn their backs on Him to worship other gods?
Masonry Symbolized by a Ladder
TheMasonicladder,introduced to thecandidateinthelectureof the first degree as having three rounds faith, hope and charityis of recent origin. But, Masons use other Jacob's Ladders with greater numbers of rounds and with different names.
In the lectures of the higher degrees, they are introduced to one having seven rounds, also supposed to reach to heaven. The first round (or gate) was made of lead and represented Saturn because of the heavy nature whereof his dull slow progress was symboli2ed. The second, of tin, was that of Venus, symbolizing her soft splendor and easy flexibility/' The third, of brass, was that of Jupiter, emblematic of his solidarity and dry nature. The fourth, of iron, was that of Mercury, expressing his indefatigable activity and sagacity. The fifth, of copper, was that of Mars, expressing his inequalities and variable nature. The sixth, of silver, was that of the moon. The seventh, of gold, that of the sun. (Morals and Dogma, p. 414.)
The candidate for the Knights Kadosh of the York Rite is made to climb up a ladder of seven rounds which are named: (1) Tsedakah (righteousness), (2) Shorlaban (white ox), (3) Mathok (sweetness), (4) Emunah (?), (5) Hamal (great labor), (6) Sabbal (patience), (7) Gemulah, Binah, Tebunah (retribution, intelligence, prudence). This ladder is borrowed from an ancient pagan one containing nine steps, but was made to conform to the system of sevens by including the last three in the seventh round.
The ancient pagans believed that they could, by perfecting themselves through practicing virtues,** proceed step by step up the ladder of life.Each rung represents a higher state of existence than the one below. By diligent effort one could finally become like the god who abode in the sun and share his glory. That is why the last rung is often symbolized by the sun. This is a clever counterfeit of God's plan of salvation.
The Figure above is an interesting example of how Masons adapt these ladders to their need. They have selected a kdder of nine rounds and renamed three principal rounds faith, hope and charity.
FREEMASONRY ITSELF IS SYMBOLIZED BY A LADDER OR CIRCULAR STAIRWAY OF 32 STEPS OR DEGREES. It is also supposed to be the means by which Masons symbolically climb to heaven. Through it they are supposed to perfect themselves, degree by degree, until they are worthy of eternal life in heaven.
Worshipful Master is a title that belongs only to God. To call the presiding officer of a Lodge by that title is putting God's name to a wrong use.
This is not the only way in which the master of the Lodge usurps that which is God's. He is literally supposed to stand in the place of God when he stations himself under the letter G in the lodge room. His station supposedly represents the Holy of Holies or the throne of God. His actions while in this office are also significant. Few candidates catch on when he asks them during initiation, In whom do you put your trust? The answer is, In God. Then the master says, Give ME your right hand. Your trust being in God, your faith is well founded. Arise! Follow your conductor, and fear no danger.
By such words and actions, does not the master imply that the candidate is also to trust him? Then he must consider himself either an agent of God or actually standing in the place of God! Certainly he does! But, let us look into another official Masonic work to see which is the god in whose office the master stands.
The General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonrymakes these statements in its reference to the sun: The sun rises in the east, and the east is the place of the Worshipful Master.As the sun is the source of all life and warmth, so should the Worshipful Master enliven and warm the brethren in their work.
This is even made clearer in the ceremony of the first degree when the Senior Warden informs the candidate as the sun rises in the East to open and govern the day, so rises the Worshipful Master in the East (here the Worshipful Master rises to his fetri in demonstration) to open and govern his Lodge
Can anything be plainer? He stands in the office of the Sun god!
Is Masonry a Religion?
Much of the conflicting thought in any controversy is erased when the parties involved define the terms they use. All people do not attach the same meaning to a given word. The word religionconveys more than one meaning. Webster's unabridged dictionary lists six related but different definitions for religion. One of them is, Devotion or fidelity; conscientiousness. We are aware that truereligion teaches a way to live useful, happy and purposeful lives through obedience to God's laws,
Enough evidence has already been presented in this article to prove beyond a doubt that, according to either definition, Freemasonry is a religion, but a false one. It teaches a way of life which is supposed to guide one's path toward heaven. It claims to be a ladder of thirty-two steps which provides the way to some Utopia. Most of the prominent Masonic writers call Masonry a religion, yet we find many Masons in America who deny this.
As one man stated it in a recent article of the official Scottish Rite magazine, He who truly understands Freemasonry knows that it is a moral philosophy, and not a religion. (V. N. Burrows, 32nd degree, K.CC.H, The Moral Duty of a Mason, The New Age,63:6, June, 1955.)
Can the two be distinguished? What is the real answer?
The belief that Masonry is not a religion is supported by a statement in Morals and Dogma (Pike, p. 6):
Though Masonry never usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. Here Masons use the word religion to mean denomination, or one of the systems of faith and worship whose main purpose is teaching about God. They claim that Masonry does not require its members to have any one creed, but rather that each be bound by a moral law (of brotherly love) in accordance with his own religious philosophy.
Masons take pride in the fact that men of all denominations dwell together in their Lodge. They teach that their rheistic doctrine is a broad overall dextrine that includes all denominations and creeds within its framework.
They therefore look upon themselves, not as an organization dedicated to teach any form of worship, but as a fraternity of brethren dedicated to help one another in a Masonic version of brotherly love. According to Albert Pike, Once enrolled among the children of Light, every Mason on earth becomes his brother, and owes him the duties, the kindnesses, and the sympathies of a brother. There is not a Mason in the world who is not bound to go to his brother's relief when he is in danger, if there be a greater probability of aving his life than of losing his own. What so many thousands owe to him, he owes to each of them. He has solemnly bound himself to be ever ready to discharge this sacred debt. If he fails to do it, he is dishonest and forsworn.
When we understand the Masonic view, we should be able to see why Masonry does not want to be classed among the religions, or denominations, but pictures itself as encompassing them within the brotherhood. If the brotherhood should grow to encompass the whole earth, then would be the fulfillment of the Masonic idealthe philosophy known as The Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God/'
From this viewpoint leaders of the Lodge in guiding the brotherhood, picture themselves as something like scientists who are seeking to understand and explain the way, purpose and result of life in this chaotic civilization. This civilization Masonry pictures as being not chaotic, but harmoiiious and beautiful by virtue of its variations and conflicts which, to them, have the result of complementing one another. For example, sin in their view complements righteousness and hate complements love in the same way that opposite colors accent and complement one another.
Even though this encompassing view of Masonry does include many religions within itself, it is nevertheless a way of life, and therefore a religion.
With this usage of the word, Masonry will admit being a religion, and many of its proponents define it as such, but it does not want to be classed as just another religious denomination or creed!
Separation of Church and State
Masonry is emphatic in its teaching that the church and state should be separate. This stand is surprising until you understand what is meant. In every way it is obviously a religion; and since a church is merely a congregation of people banded together by a common cause, they are technically a church. Even the building in which the Lodge is located is called a temple! Most such buildings have Masonic Temple written above their entrance. Furthermore, we find Masons taking a very active part in politics and government. In some countries they even run the government. It does not seem reasonable that they should believe in separation of church and state.
Basically what Masons mean by the phrase, separation of church and state, is that they do not want the Catholic Church ruling over the state in which they reside. Catholicism and Freemasonry are mortal enemies. Catholics have excommunicated all who are Masons, and declared them anathema. If it were in the power of the Catholic Church to do so, it would have Masonry abolished. Catholicism has succeeded in driving Masonry from some countries. Masons who reside in countries where Catholicism is weak do all they can to cause it to remain weak. Theirs is basically a fight for power.
If the Catholics' claim that they have the divine right to rule over nations and kingdoms were accomplished, where would that leave Freemasonry?
Is there any wonder that these two should be mortal enemies since each tries to control, or at least influence the government of the country in which it resides!
The Real Secrets of Masonry
Much has been said about the REAL SECRETS of Masonry. Masons are perhaps in as much dis agreement as to what these secrets are as anyone else. One noted Masonic writer states: 'The only secret of Masonry is that enjoined upon its apprentices which exists solely in the obligation to observe silence regarding the various signs of recognition and certain customs. (LennhofT, p. 18.) There is much truth in the statement because most Masons are only interested in the social and economic advantages gained from the Lodge.. They do not become enlightened in the deeper secrets because they are not interested in them. LennhofFs book is obviously evasive however. It is written primarily for public consumption. It is not a secret work of Freemasonry.
Other writers claim that there are no REAL secrets in Masonry because any or all of their secret signs, hand-shakes, due-guards, morals, symbols, philosophies, dogmas, and customs have been published, and can be purchased from the bookstores. This is also true. The only catch is, most people do not know what to look for, or what it means when they find it!
Those Masons who do search for deeper secrets in the Craft usually point to the dogma and morals underlying the Masonic symbols as their secret. These philosophical principles veiled in beautiful allegories which hide them from the general public are an empty secret indeed. They are nothing more than the secrets of the ancient mysteries, Even when explained they remain a confusing mass of unrelated pagan morals at most. Other, more intellectual members, try to fathom their depths in quest of a deeper, underlying principle on which the secret of life rests. As those who understand the purpose of life will agree, they are doomed to failure. Paganism, no matter how lofty its claims or how beautiful its symbols might appear, is not the true way of life. It is the way of darkness and death.
To demonstrate the futility of that effort and the worthlessness of its empty findings we quote a noted Masonic writer. His name is Oliver. His book, Theocratic Philosophy . . . Masons may be fifty years (Worshipful) Masters of the chair and yet not learn the secret of the Brotherhood. This secret is, in its own nature, invulnerable; for the Mason, to whom it has become known, can only have guessed it and certainly not have received it from anyone; he has discovered it because he has been in the Lodge marked, learned and inwardly digested. When he arrives at the discovery, he unquestionably keeps it to himself, not communicating it even to his most intimate Brother, because, should this person not have capability to discover if of himself, he would likewise be wanting in the capability to use it, if he received it verbally. For this reason IT WILL FOREVER REMAIN A SECRET/ (Lennhoff, pp. 19-20.) The keeping of such an august secret from even your closest brother seems foolish indeed. Lennhoff finds excuse for this action because, as he says, the mob fastens on to the heels of the proclaimers and only too often tread underfoot what has been the philosopher's highest ideal.
The fact that the brother should never pass his secret to another insures two things: the sublime secret won't bear the light of inspection, and that secret will be DIFFERENT for each Mason. One man, Wilmshurst, felt that he saw the deeper meaning of Masonry and broke silence to go from Lodge to Lodge teaching it to brother Masons. His lectures have been published under the title, The Meaning of Masonry. In them he shows that his great secret is the answer to three great questions which he says press inexorably upon the attention of every thoughtful man and are the subject around which all religions and all philosophies move: What am I?' Whence came I? Whither go I?
He further states, It is a truism to say that in our quiet and more serious moments we all feel the need of some reliable answer to these questions . . . The Masonic candidate is presumed to enter the Order in search of light upon these problems; light that he is presumed not to have succeeded in finding elsewhere.
In his course of lectures Wilmshursr gave his answers to these three questions. His answers are essentially these: ( I) Man is an immortal soul that is evolving spiritually toward perfection; (2) He existed in a higher state before he was born into this world but he lost something which left him in this lower state; (3) He will again attain that higher state of existence after death, provided he continues to perfect himself.
These secrets of life are not taken from the word of God recorded in the Holy Bible, but from the same pagan sources from which the other Masonic secrets arc borrowed. Neither are they new, because the ancients believed and taught them thousands of years ago.
In Wilmshurst's words, thisthe evolution of man into supermanwas always the purpose of the ancient Mysteries, and the real purpose of modern Masonry is, not the social and charitable purposes to which so much attention is paid, but the expediting of the spiritual evolution of those who aspire to perfect their own nature and transform it into a more god-like quality. And this is a definite science, and a royal art, which it is possible for each of us to put into practice; whilst to join the Craft for any other purpose than to study and pursue this science is to misunderstand its meaning. (Wilmshurst, p. 47.)
If Man, once in a higher state, fell to a lower state of existence and is now attempting to regain that high state with the aid of the Masonic science, what made him fall, and what will reestablish him?
Wilmshurst sees that there is something missing in man that he was supposed to have had before the fall. He says that in our pensive moments we are aware that there is something missing in us. What is that which is lost? His answer: The genuine secrets of a Master Mason
The Pagan Answers
In his human reasoning he came to the same answer as did the ancient pagans: ( 1 ) Man is an immortal soul that is evolving spiritually toward perfection; (2) He existed in a higher state before he was born into this world, but he lost something which left him in this lower state; (3) He will again attain that higher state of existence after death, provided he continues to perfect himself.
This is, of course, not the true answer to life's questions as revealed by the Bible. Adam was created by God and given the same choice which you and I face today: Obedience, and life or disobedience, and death. Adam, just as you and I, had no immortal soul; and, as you and I, he grew old and died. God would have raised him to immortality; however, he chose the way of disobedience and God left him to its reward death. Thereby Adam set the example of disobedience which mankind has followed ever since (see Rom. 5:14-15). Brethren you and I should turn from that example and follow Christ's example of obedience to God that our reward might be life through the resurrection.
What about the thing which Wilmshurst came to see was missing in man? Truly there is a. very important thing missing in every one of us until we are converted. You and I know it is the Spirit of God which we must have if we are to overcome and grow in the ways of God.
Wilmshurst, of course, did not come to this answer. Following the philosophies and symbols of the ancient pagans he looked for a mysterious, magical something which only the secretly informed could know. This mysterious something, he came to believe, was the genuine secrets of the Master Mason.
These secrets are all connected with an ancient legend which Masons call 'The Legend of Hiram Abiff.
I will not embarrass ex-Masons of our Church brethren by exposing the absurdity of the secret rites connected with this legend. Let it suffice to say that they are merely a ritualistic acting-out of the legend in which certain passwords, distress signs, grips etc. are introduced and demonstrated. The Masons then learn these secret tokens and use them to identify themselves and convey certain information to one another in everyday life.
The candidate, without any attempt at rehearsal, is required to act out the role of the ancient Grand Master of Masonry, Hiram AbirT. This is not difficult because the role consists mainly of supposedly being killed and playing dead while he is moved here and there by Lodge members.
Hiram AbifT, the hero of the legend, was supposedly murdered by the Fellow Crafts, fifteen of whom entered into a conspiracy to extort the secrets of a Master Mason from him, or take his life. But reflecting with horror on the atrocity of the intended crime, twelve of them recanted; the other three, however, persisted in their murderous design.
The fantastic legend, as the Worshipful Master recites it to the candidates, is as follows:
Chief Masonic Legend
Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was slain at high twelve while the craft were called from labor to refreshment. It being his custom at that hour to enter into the unfinished 'sanctum sanctorum' or 'Holy of Holies' of the temple, there to offer up his devotion to the Deity and draw his designs on the trestle-board. The three Fellow Crafts who persisted in their murderous design knowing this to be his usual practice placed themselves at the South, West and East gates of the inner court of the temple and there awaited his return. Our Grand Master, Hiram AbirT, having finished his usual exercises was about to retire by the South gate, where he was accosted by the first ruffian, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason or Master's word and on his refusal he gave him a blow with the twenty-four-inch gauge across his throat after which he fled and attempted to pass out of the West gate where he was in like manner accosted by the second, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason or the Master's word, and in a like refusal he gave him a blow with a square across his breast. Whereupon he fled and attempted to escape by the East gate where he was likewise accosted by the third, who thrice demanded of him the secrets of a Master Mason or the Master's word, and on a similar refusal he gave him a violent blow with a setting maul on his forehead which felled him dead on the spot.
They then buried the body in the rubbish of the temple until low twelve or twelve at night, when they met by appointments and conveyed it a westerly course from the temple to the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah, where they had been and dug a grave due East and West, six feet perpendicular, and there buried it. In the head of the grave they planted an acacia to conceal it and that the place might be known, should occasion ever require, and made their escape.
Our Grand Master, Hiram Abiif, was found to be missing on the day following, from there being no designs on the trestle-board. King Solomon being informed thereof, at first supposed him ro he indisposed, and ordered strict search and due inquiry to be made for him in and about the several apartments of the temple. Strict search and due inquiry were accordingly made, but he could not be found. King Solomon then fearing that some fatal accident had befallen him ordered the several rolls of the workmen to be called.
At roll-call three Fellow Crafts were found to be missing, namely, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum, who from the similarity of their names were supposed to be brethren and men of Tyre.
At this time the twelve Fellow Crafts who had recanted from their murderous designs appeared before King Solomon, clad in white gloves and aprons, in token of their innocence, acknowledged their premeditated guilt and most humbly implored his pardon. King Solomon then ordered the twelve Fellow Crafts to divide themselves in parties and travel three East, three West, three North and three South (with others whom he should appoint), in search of the ruffians and return not without tidings. They traveled and at the point while pursuing a westerly course coming down near the port of Joppa, they fell in with a wayfaring man of whom they enquired if he had seen any strangers pass that way. He informed them that he had, three, who from their appearance were workmen from the temple and men of Tyre seeking a passage into Ethiopa, but not having King Solomon's pass could not obtain a passage and turned back into the country. They returned and reported this intelligence to King Solomon, who ordered them to disguise themselves and travel as before with positive injunctions to find the ruffians and with positive assurance that if they did not the twelve Fellow Crafts should be deemed the murderers and severally suffer for the crime committed. They traveled and as the party which pursued a westerly course a second time were returning after several days fruitless search, one brother being more weary than the rest sat down at the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah to rest and refresh himself.
On attempting to arise he accidentally caught hold of an acacia which easily giving way excited his curiosity, whereupon he hailed his companions, and on their return and examination, they found the appearance of a newly made grave. While meditating on this singular circumstance they heard the following horrid exclamations from the clefts of an adjacent rock. The first was the voice of Jubela, who exclaimed, 'Oh, that my throat had been cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots and buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, ere I had been accessory to the death of so great a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff!' The second was the voice of Jubelo, who exclaimed, 'Oh, that my left breast had been torn open, my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the beasts of the fields and the fowls of the air, ere I had consented to the death of so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff!' The third was the voice of jubelum, who exclaimed in tones of greater horror than the others, 'Oh, that my body had been severed in twain, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that no trace or remembrance might be had of so vile and perjured a wretch as I, ere I had caused the death of so great and so good a man as our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff! Ah, ]u-bela and ]ubelot it is I who am more guilty than you both; it was I who gave the fatal blow, it was I who killed him! whereupon they rushed in, seized and bound them and took them before King Solomon, who, after a due confession of their guilt ordered them to be taken without the gates of the city and there executed according to their several imprecations, in the clefts of the rock. They were taken out and executed accordingly
The Legend Continues
King Solomon then ordered that the twelve Fellow Crafts go in search of the body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, and if found to observe whether the Master's word, or a key to it or anything appertaining to the Master's degree were on or about it. The body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abifl, was found in a westerly course from the temple in a grave dug due East and West six feet perpendicular, in the brow of a hill where our weary brother sat down to rest and refresh himself. Nothing was found but the jewel of his office by which the body was designated. King Solomon then ordered the twelve Fellow Crafts to go and assist in raising the body, and as the Master's word was then lost, it was agreed between himself and Hiram, King of Tyre, that the first sign given on arriving at the grave and the first word spoken after the body should be raised, should be adopted as the sign and word for the regulation of all Master's Lodges until future generations should find out the right word.
On repairing to the grave King Solomon ordered one of the Fellow Crafts to take the body by the Entered Apprentice's grip (one of the secret Masonic handshakes) and see if it could be raised, but owing to the high state of putrefaction the body having been dead already fifteen days, the skin slipped and it could not be so raised. King Solomon then requested Hiram, King of Tyre, to take the body by the Fellow Craft grip and see if it could be raised, but owing to the reasons already assigned the flesh cleaved from the bone and it could not be so raised. King Solomon at length took the body by the strong grip of a Master Mason, or the 'Lion's Paw' and raised it on the five points of Fellowship, which have already been explained to you (the candidate). They then conveyed it back to the temple from which it was buried in due form.
All of this the Worshipful Master recites with great solemnity and the gullible candidate listens in awe. Then the Worshipful Master continues:
The body of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, was buried three times: first, in the rubbish of the temple, second, on the brow of a hill west of Mount Moriah, and third, and last time without the gates of the city, as near the unfinished 'sanctum sanctorum' or 'Holy of Holies' as the Jewish law would permit; and Masonic tradition informs us that they erected to his memory a marble monument, consisting of a beautiful virgin weeping over a broken column, before her a book open, in her right hand a sprig of acacia, in her left an Urn and Time behind her, standing unfolding her ringlets and counting her hair.
Traditional marble monument in honor of Hiram Abiff.
The beautiful virgin weeping over the broken column, denotes the unfinished temple and the untimely death of our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff.
The Book open before her, that his virtues there lay on perpetual record.
The sprig of acacia in her right hand denotes the timely discovery of the body.
The Urn in her left, that his ashes were there safely deposited to perpetuate the remembrance of the amiable, distinguished and exemplary character.
And Time behind her, standing unfolding her ringlets and counting her hair, that time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things.
The Master points to each of the above emblems on the chart as he proceeds with his explanation. All the foregoing, it will be observed is a rehearsal of the Temple Legend, and is of course esoteric or secret work and must be learned orally from the Grand Lecturer or other lawfully constituted teacher.
Counterfeit of Christ's Sacrifice
Wilmshurst pictured Hiram Abiff as the symbol of Christ, and his death as the portrayal of Christ's death and resurrection. The Mason, when he dies, says Wilmshurst, will be raised to heaven by Christ with the strong grip of the Master Mason.
Wilmshum's philosophies are widely accepted in the modem Christian
Lodges of America. Anyone familiar with the teachings of the popular denominations can readily see where such a philosophy is congruous with traditional Christian doctrine on the subject. Consequently, after hearing this explanation, few consciences are disturbed as Masons act out this legend again and again, each time a new member undergoes the initiation of the third degree.
But, is that really what is pictured by the Legend? Christ was not secretly murdered by three ruffians. His body did not decompose (Acts 2:27), and He was not raised back to life by the strong grip of a Master Mason.
There is a more revealing answer! Let us compare the main points of the legend of Hiram Abiff, with the chief legend of the Ancient Mysteries.
Hiram Abiff is Nimrod!
This legend stems from the exploits of Nimrod, a son of Cush, described in Genesis 10:8-10 as a mighty hunter and ruler.
In organizing the people under his rule, Nimrod usurped one of the prerogatives of God, because God is the creator and sustainer of all the universe, and thereby its rightful ruler.
Alexander Hislop in The Two BabyIons gives some of the reasons for Nimrod's fame. On page 52, he writes that all tradition, from the earliest time, bears Testimony to the apostasy of Nimrod, and to his success in leading men away from the patriarchal faith. He delivered their minds from the awe of God and the fear of the judgments of heavrn. Hislop showed also (p. 50) that Nimrod was the object of high popularity, and through setting himself up as king, invaded the patriarchal system and curtailed the liberties of mankind. Yet, Nimrod was considered a hero and liberator to all his followers. No doubt it was because he freed them from following the way of God by giving them a counterfeit way one which allowed them to follow their own lustful imaginations.
Scripture does not reveal how Nimrod died, but all ancient traditions show that he came to a violent and early end!
Now, says Hislop on page 57, when this mighty hero, in the midst of his career of glory, was suddenly cut off by a violent death, great seems to have been the shock that the catastrophe occasioned. When the news spread abroad the devotees of pleasure felt as if the best benefactor of mankind were gone . . . Then began the weeping for Tammuz (identified as Nimrod) in the guilt of which the daughters of Israel allowed themselves to be implicated (Ezek. 8:14) . . .
Doctrine of Trinity Conceived
Nimrod's wife, Semiramis, apparently wasted no time in influencing the people to begin worshipping him as a god. It was claimed that the parts of the mutilated body were found and put together again and that Nimrod was resurrected; that he ascended up into the heavens and dwelt with the gods
The sun was adopted as his symbol picturing his being overcome at night, and rising again the next day.
As rime and imagination continued he became accredited as being the light bringer, sustainer of life, and judge of the living and the dead.
Semiramis, in her exalted position as wife of this mighty king who became god, played an important role in the new religion. She became the mother of a child which she claimed was the son of this god. And as time passed, all three were deified. In later years the son became confused with his father and the worship of one was attributed to the other, giving occasion for this goddess' having been worshiped as both wife and mother. This was the origin of what came to be called the Blessed Trinity: the father, the mother (holy ghost) and the son.
This is a diabolical counterfeit of God's plan of salvation for mankind as revealed in the Holy Bible, which plan God undoubtedly made known to the patriarchs with whom He walked (Gen. 6:9). With the knowledge of this plan, mankind, under Satan's inspiration, took matters into its own hands instead of waiting on the salvation of the Lord. Thus, the Ancient Mysteries*' began to evolve.
While similarities exist between this counterfeit system and God's plan for the salvation of mankind, it should not be overlooked that important differences do occur. One of these is that the son, not the father, was resurrected back to life.
After the dividing of languages at the tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), and the scattering of the nations, the names of these deified persons were changed and the legends about them grew in detail in each nation. New and different feats, characteristic of the nation in which they developed, were attributed to them and more symbols were adopted to picture these feats.
Furthermore, the adoption of new gods did not end with these three. Other gods and goddesses continued to be created in human imaginations. Today, any study of pagan beliefs and customs is made extremely difficult by this great confusion. An accurate description ofthe worship and doctrine about any one of these gods would have to be limited not only to the nation, but to the locality and sect within that nation and the year of its occurrence, because everything was constantly changing. Yet, through it all, the central theme which deifies the person of Nimrod, Semiramis and her illegitimate son was retained in practically all ages and nations. It is the chief tenet of all the Ancient Mysteries.
Masonic Symbols Adopted from Pagan Egypt
Freemasonry borrowed most of its symbols from the ancient Egyptian system. To be consistent with this fact, and also to reduce confusion, we shall compare the legend of Htram Abifj with the central legend of the Ancient Mysteries as they were observed in Egypt.
Here the gods were called Osiris, Isis, and Horas.
From Webster's Dictionary caption Osiris, we read that Osiris is said to have been a wise and beneficent king of Egypt (i.e., Nimrod was king before the languages were confounded and the nations were formed. Each nation claims him to be its founder or king and its god, but each under a different name). Osiris, with the aid of Isis, taught his subjects agriculture and all the arts and crafts, conquering the rest of the world to civilize it. His brother Seth (whom Greeks called Typhon) treacherously murdered him, and cast the coff in containing his body into the River Nile. Drifting away to Byblos, it was discovered by Isis and taken back to Egypt. Seth again found the corpse, and cutting it in pieces, he cast them into the Nile but Isis found them (more thorough accounts of the legend show that all but one part was found, the genital organ, for which she substituted the Phallus). Then came Horus to avenge his father Osiris, and the gods justifying Osiris, restored his body to life and immortality.
This death and resurrection was symbolized daily by the setting and rising of the sun, and also yearly by the seasons during which the sun receeds until the winter solstice, then begins to be slowly resurrected back to life. Seth (or Typhon) was the symbol of winter which destroys the fecundating and fertilizing powers of the sun, depriving him of life. When Seth was killed by Horus, the sun began to climb higher in the sky, as if being resurrected by the gods. It was a time for rejoicing. This custom of rejoicing at the time of the winter solstice has continued to our present day when people who call themselves Christians celebrate this pagan custom thinking they celebrate Christ's birth, Christmas.
When we examine the legend of Hiram Abiff we find that he possessed the valuable Master's Word, a badge of highest authority, just as Osiris (or Nimrod) possessed a kingdom and was an enlightened one.
There was also conspiracy against Hiram just as there was against Osiris. Hiram, like Osiris, was attacked and killed, and this at the hand of a brother. The body was buried twice, not in the waters of the Nile, since this is identified only with Egypt, but in a more appropriate place under the rubble of the temple and later under an acacia tree. It was also discovered twice by the Fellow Crafts, this time not just as Isis discovered Osiris's body, but in a more convenient method for Freemasonry.
As the legend says that Seth was killed for his crime by Horus, so were the ruffian murderers of Abiff killed by the Fellow Craft. A new twist is given the Masonic legend, however, for each ruffian is killed in a different manner befitting the degree of his crimes. The methods of death represent the penalties a Mason promises and swears to pay if he reveals the secrets of the first three degrees (i.e., in the initiation of the First degree the candidate swears to pay the same penalty as the first ruffian paid if he reveals Entered Apprentice secrets).
In the initiation of the Second degree the candidate swears to keep the secrets under penalty of the same death that the second ruffian suffered, etc.
When Isis found Osiris's body one part was lostthe genital organ. When the Fellow Craft finds Hiram's body one part also is lostthe Master's Word. Isis substituted the Phallus; Masons substitute Mah-hah-bone. From Masonic writings Masonry Defined, pp. 643, 608, Mah-hah means literally, What is this theand bone, coming from the Hebrew word boneh, means builder. Mah-hah-bone then means, What is this the builder?
In all appearances the Master's Word in Masonry symbolizes the same creative force that the phallus does; both are pagan symbols for the creator of life.
Meaning of Term Hiram Abiff
Even the name Hiram Abiff is significant. Hirarn it literally most noble and is therefore a title. Abiff, according to Masons, means his father; so the complete translation of the tide is, most noble, his father. Who could this refer to other than Osiris, father of Horus?
Is this pagan explanation of the mystery of life contained in the symbolic legend of Hiram Abiff the ultimate of all the genuine secrets of Masonry?
For some it is. Others prefer the Romanized version of the same fairy tale. But for those Masons, bright enough to have their faith in this world's Christendom shaken by observing its parallelism with the ancient pagan mysteries, the Lodge has one more super-secret.
All through thirty-two degrees the Mason was promised a reward to be received at the top of the toilsome winding stairs. Not money, nor corn, nor wine, nor oil. All these are but symbols. His wages were to be Masonic truth. This truth is one of the most concealed doctrines of the science of Masonic symbolism. This most coveted and costly Masonic reward, desired by the manyt attained by the few, the object of many years diligent preparation, is at last fully realized. It is the humiliating admission that Masons must always search for truth but never find it!
In their official words, Machey, Masonry Defined, p. 561, This divine truth, the object of all his labors, is symbolized by the Word, and this is intended to teach the humiliating but necessary lesson that the knowledge of the nature of God and of man's relation to Him, which knowledge constitutes divine truth, can never be acquired in this life.
Thus, in one fell swoop, Masonry abolishes all pretext of encouraging its members to believe in the Holy Scriptures upon which it claims to base its allegories and upon which its oaths are administered. By this final secret they confirm what was always implied in the Lodgethat the way of life revealed in the Bible and God's plan of salvation outlined in it are liesthat man cannot know God nor understand his relationship to Him. what ignorance! Masons place much stress on the statement that Freemasonry is bothhonorable and ancient But when we search into the recorded historyoftheLodge,thepicture is somewhat confused, and one is not overly impressed with either its honor or its age.
The precise origin of the society has yet to be ascertained/' says the Encyclopaedia Britannicaf and is not likely to be, as the early records are lost.
Nevertheless, much has been written to justify the claim of its antiquity and honorable character. Some writings are based upon actual records which date back to the sixteenth century, but most have served only to amuse or repel inquirers.
The earliest work on the subject was published in London in 1723 by the Rev. James Anderson, and it states: Grand Master Moses often marshalled the Israelites into a regular and general Lodge while in the wilderness . . . King Solomon was Grand Master of the Lodge at Jerusalem . . . Nebuchadnezzar became the Grand Master Mason, and many more pages of similar absurdities are to be found. These statements are quoted and declared absurd, ridiculous, and extravagant by no less authority than the Encyclopaedia Britannica (see Freemasonry, p. 732). Undaunted Masons continue to make such claims, and many members of the Lodge believe them implicitly.
Other appeals to antiquity written during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and offered in abbreviated form by the Encyclopedia Americana (under Masonic Fraternity, p. 348) are (a) that the history of the race was the story of Masonry, beginning with the migration from the Garden of Eden; (b) that Freemasonry sprang from the Patriarchal period; (c) that the society was the successor of the ancient mysteries of the Orient; (d) that the temple of Solomon was its cradle; (e) that the Crusaders and the Knights Templar carried it forward from their times;(f) that the Roman colleges of artificers and buildersoftheMiddleAges handed down the craft to posterity.
When we examine the form and ceremony of Freemasonry, we find a marked resemblance between it and the old guild systems which flourished in Europe at the time Freemasonry came into existence.
These guilds played an important part in the social, religious, and political life. They, in turn, were patterned after the earlier Roman guilds or fraternities. The Roman guilds seem to have been chiefly religious and political societies, while the associations of workmen known as the Roman colleges of artificers were hereditary castes enjoying certain privileges and bound to certain dutiesEncyclopedia Americana, caption, Guild. Even these Roman guilds and colleges are not the oldest forms of such societies, but seem to be a connecting link between ancient pagan societies and the more modern ones.
Freemasonry is merely a modern fraternity carrying on the outward form of these older societies. One did not necessarily develop into the other, but each has had a part in maintaining the early pagan doctrines and social practices. Some of the practices commonly found among them arc: oaths of admission, strict requirements for admission and continued membership, special privileges for the initiates which are zealously protected from outsiders, closed meetings for members which are often of social and religious nature, tokens and secret signs by which they recognize one another, and mutual assistance among members in time of need.
Since these practices are so common to Freemasonry, and since Freemasonry, as we know it, apparently came into being at the time the guilds were going out of style, the Lodge has obviously borrowed their structure. It is a convenient framework in which to conceal the practice of the ancient mysteries.
It was not until 1717 A.D. that the Mother Grand Lodge of England was formed. This central lodge was established in order that there might be central authority and standardization of practice. The smaller local lodges might have existed for several centuries prior to the establishment of this Mother Grand Lodge.
Shortly after the local lodges became organized into grand lodges, Freemasonry came into the contempt of the Roman Church.
Offended Roman Church
Their independent attitude toward church authority, which had supported the earlier guilds, undoubtedly brought about the schism. The Old Charges of Masonry written about 1738 states: In ancient times the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian (Roman Catholic) usages of each country where they traveled and worked: but Masonry being found in all nations, even of diverse religions, is now generally charged to adhere to that religion in which all men agree
This attitude, along with the threat it imposed, infuriated the Roman Church. Forbidding loyal Catholics to join Masonic ranks was not enough, for to do so cut off its source of information and the Catholic Church no longer knew what went on behind Masonic doors. Lodges could then be a real threat to Catholic supremacy and could become foreign outposts in Catholic countries.
In 1738, the same year that the Masonic charge was written, Pope Clement XII issued a Bull of excommunication entitled, The Condemnation of the Society of Conventicles de Liberi Muratori, or of the Freemasons.
The reasons for the condemnation are printed in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the caption, Masonry, and repeated in abbreviated form in a booklet entitled, May Catholics Be Masons?, as follows:
(1) Freemasonry has peculiar unsectarianf naturalistic character, by which theoretically and practically it undermines the Christian faith (or Catholic faith) . . . creating religious indifferentism and contempt for orthodoxy and ecclesiastical authority.
(2)The inscrutable secrecy, and the oaths of secrecy and fidelity of Masonry and Masonic work, cannot be justified in their scope, their object, or their form, and cannot, therefore, induce any obligation.
(3) Such societies involve a grave
danger for the security and tranquility of the state and for the
From the time of Clement XII, seven supreme pontiffs of the Catholic Church have repeated the condemnation of Freemasonry for substantially the same reasons. This accounts for the enmity between the two organizations.
There may very likely have been another more important reason for the Catholic action which the Pope would not dare mention. The Masonic devotion toward searching out the ancient mysteries makes him immediately aware of the great similarity between these Catholic mysteries and that of the Ancients. Rome could not afford to encourage such an open exposure of the source of her doctrine. Her symbols of crosses, circles, trinities, holidays and statutes begin to reveal secrets not allowed outside her most private chambers.
Modern Masonic History
Soon after the formation of the Mother Grand Lodge in England in 1717, grand lodges were set up in Ireland, 1725, and in Scotland, 1736. These lodges became the centers of Masonry and began to establish other grand lodges all over the world.
The Grand Lodge of England instituted its first lodge in Paris in the year 1732, but one was formed still earlier on the Continent at Gibraltar 1728-1729. Others were also opened in North America in 1730, Germany 1733, Portugal 1735, Holland 1735, Switzerland 1740, Denmark 1745, Italy 1765, Russia 1771, and Sweden 1773- In most of these countries, grand lodges were subsequently created and continue to this date, except in those countries, such as Italy, where no Masonic Lodges are permitted.
Lodges were constituted in India from 1730 (Calcutta), 1752 (Madras), and 1758 (Bombay); in Jamaica 1742, Antigua 1738, and St. Christopher 1739, by the grand lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland.
Shortly afterward these grand lodges had representatives at work throughout the whole civilized world.
In North America, Masons flourished in individual lodges from a very early date. They had little regard for warrants and charters, and no attempt at organization was made until the Grand Lodge was established in Pennsylvania in 1730, This grand lodge, the first in America, was over the territories of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
It was under the direction of Daniel Coxe, who was appointed Provincial Grand Master** on June 5, 1730 by the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England. It became known as the York, or American, Rite. The rival grand lodges in England, together with those of Ireland and Scotland, chartered lodges everywhere in the new country. After flourishing for almost a century, Freemasonry in the United States suffered a severe setback in 1826.
William Morgan Murder
In this year (1826) an ex-Mason named William Morgan attempted to reveal the mysteries of Freemasonry and give to the outside world a description of the ceremonies observed in the Masonic Lodges of the first six or seven degrees.
Morgan had presented the material to a printer by the name of David C Miller to be published in book form when the thing became known. The contents of this expose are still available from the Ezra A. Cook Company in a book entitled freemasonry Exposed, by Captain William Morgan.
The mere rumor that such a book was to be published created much astonishment and indignation among the Masonic fraternity of western New York. Particularly incensed were those who had associated with Morgan in the meetings of the Lodges.
Great efforts were immediately made by a large number of Freemasons to stop publication of the book. First, they had Morgan arrested for debt, then they swore a complaint against him for larceny. While he was being prosecuted, they searched his apartments for the manuscript, but in vain. Finally, they kidnapped him from a jail at Canandaigua and took him forcibly by means of a closed carriage to Fort Niagara, which was then unoccupied, and there murdered him in cold blood.
Even this drastic action of the Masonic brethren did not succeed in suppressing Morgan's expose. Part of it had already been put to press by Miller, and the remainder of the manuscript remained undiscovered by the Masons, who searched his premises. This and other outrages, among which were the burning of the printing office, alarmed the citizens of western New York. Several arrests of the supposed kidnappers took place, and persons arrested were brought to trial. These records could be verified by checking the court files.
Among those arrested, five men, including the sheriff of Niagara County, were tound guilty of participation in the abduction, and were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. The murderers, however, remained unpunished.
Meantime, the whole book had been published, and its contents had made public the somewhat ferocious oaths of Freemasons. Excitement was immediate and immense. It spread all over the country and lasted many years. Freemasonry became unpopular and many persons, including a great number of ministers, withdrew from the Lodge. Many lodges and chapters were disbanded, while their officers and members publicly renounced all future connection with the Masonic order.
The murderers of Morgan, although known, were never prosecuted. This fact, kept before the people by a powerful political party which arose at that time, fanned the growing anti-Masonic feeling.
Patience and perseverance on the part of the few remaining Masons paid off, however. A few years later the thing died down and Freemasonry began again to flourish. It was explained that the murderers of Morgan were simply ruffians and by no means representative of the main body of the fraternity.
As the years passed and the Society once again gained repute, its membership grew to nearly six million members and boasted some of the most famous and important men of our nation. Most presidents of the United States have been Masons. In its ranks today we find ministers, doctors, lawyers, jurists, politicians; in short, the most influential men of our time. Freemasonry is no inconsequential secret Society!
Masonically Preferred History
While this is all that history gives us on the origin of Masonry, the accepted origin among Masons varies from lodge to lodge. The origin accepted by any particular group seems to be the one preferred by most of the members in that group. Most of the lodges in the United States claim to be Christian in character and therefore claim a Biblical origin. Even here they cannot agree as to specific time or founder. Some say Adam was its founder, others say Moses or Solomon.
Some of the more earnest, and serious-minded claim the Ancient Essenes originated Masonry largely because of the similarity of their doctrine. The Essenes were noted for their early practice of mixing Old Testament teaching with the traditions of the ancient mysteries. They apparently followed the Cabalistic doctrines, the written form of which is referred to by Masons as the Kabala, and is admittedly a chief source of Masonic doctrine. The Kabala is admired by Masons as being a doctrine so logical, so simple, and at the same time so absolute (Morals and Dogma, p. 745). They picture the Bible (Old Testament) as containing allegories expressed in an incomplete and veiled manner and as being the religious science of the Hebrews. The Pentateuch and the prophetic poems (Psalms) were merely elementary books of doctrine, morals, or liturgy; according to them, and the true secret and traditional philosophy was only written afterward (in the Kabala).
Today in modern Christian lodges it is becoming more popular to accept the two JohnsJohn the Baptist and the Apostle John-as the ones who started the first lodge. This absurdity comes from a confusion of modern interpretations of the symbols pictured in the Figure , with their ancient meaning.
Supposedly The Two Johns
With tongue in cheek Lodge Masters teach their Christian brethren that the Lodge is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, who are pictured on the border of a circle.
The large circle supposedly circumscribes the candidate who is represented by the dot in the center. These so-called patron saints of Masonry represent two perfect parallels in Christianity as well as Masonry. Upon the vertex of the circle rests the book of the Holy Scriptures which points out the whole duty of man. They moralize that a Mason should guard his actions so that he does not stray outside the guidance of these great authorities. If he keeps himself thus circumscribed, they reason, it is impossible that he should materially err.
If this were the true meaning of these symbols and if Masons lives were truly patterned by them, the Lodge would have the upright character of which it boasts. In reality it is only the popular meaning used to satisfy the large numbers who go through the Lodge without seeking the deeper meanings of Masonic philosophy. These are only vulgar members who, according to Masons, have swarmed into the Temple for selfish gain (see the work by Pike, p. 37) and are not capable of learning the deeper meanings.
Adept Claim Paganism Polluted by the Bible
Most of these modern Bible additions came into the Blue Lodge through the York Rite. The adept of the Scottish Rite deplore their introduction as pollutions of the ancient (pagan) rites.
Albert Pike, the great Scottish Rite authority, said in his book, Morals and Dogma, p. 17, that it was a waste of time even to comment upon this incongruous (Bible) meaning. He showed (p. 105) that the parallel lines do not represent the two Johns at all and that the Bible was added only recently. He said the parallel lines represent the same thing that the two columns, Jachin and Boaz, do. All have a more recondite and fruitful meaning in ancient symbol. For the true answer he suggests that the adept should look in the Kabalah (the supposedly entire, perfect, unique theology in secret traditions which are expressed by the half-pagan Kabala, or Cabala)
Later in his book (p. 429) Pike revealed that two parallel lines which support the circle of the Lodge are from an ancient symbol consisting of a ring supported by two serpents. This was supposedly emblematical of the world, protected by the power and wisdom of the Creator.
You and I of course know that a serpent represents Satan the Devil. This symbol then shows that the ancient pagans were actually worshiping Satan as the creator and sustainer of this world!
Pike further shows (p. 506) that the two columns called Jachin and Boaz and the parallel lines actually represent older pagan symbols: the solstices, Cancer and Capricorn, the two gates of heaven, the two pillows of Hercules. He further showed that the point in the circle represented the sun god (Osiris). These parallel lines represent limitsgood and bad, positive and negative, active and passive, light and darknessbeyond which the sun god will not go.
This proves conclusively where Masonic symbols come from and that their leaders know where they come from. Their meaning is derived from the same diabolical tenets by which Satan has posed himself as an angel of light to rule over men. Men of all ages have flocked into these temples to worship him; many in ignorance, but some knowing full well what they were doing.
Why would they do such a thing? Because men of this understanding and ability can become Masters and even Grand Masters of the Lodge. They can gain great power and influence in this world which they could not accomplish in any other way. It is the price they pay for greatness.
Why the Wolf Wears Sheep's Clothing
Albert Pike expressed Masonic understanding of the practice which cloaked the Ancient Pagan Mysteries in Christian sounding names. In his instructions (Morals and Dogma, p. 247) to the Knights of the East and West, the seventeenth degree of Masonry, he said that at the time of John the Baptist the old philosophical and religious systems were growing much alike because, in the great world ruling empires which existed since Alexander, the walls of separation between Greece, Egypt, Persia, and India were thrown down and the people intermingled everywhere.
He claimed the West eagerly connected their faith with those of the East (this should not have been too difficult because they both came from the same old Babylonish source) and the Orient hastened to learn the traditions of Rome. The Jews and Egyptians-before, the most exclusive of all peoples yielded to that eclecticism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans.
Thus men who embraced Christianity began to mingle the old mysteries with the newa mixture of Christianity and Philosophy, or Apostolic leaching and traditions of Mythology.
Truth for the SimpleMystery for the Wise
Pike went on to explain the Masonic view (p. 248) that the Apostles, speaking to mankind in general, stressed only the articles of the vulgar faith; but transmitted the mysteries to superior minds from generation to generation in esoteric traditions. To this new science of mysteries was given the name Gnosis (or Gnostic).
Pike confirms the fact that their bask doctrine and ideas were derived from Plato, Philo, the Kabalah, and the sacred books of India and Egypt.
What this amounts to is a bold-faced admission that most Christian and Masonic doctrine is a mixture of Bible teaching and pagan mysteries, and that the wise among them favor the mysteries as being deeper and wiser and spurn the plain Bible Scripture as being fit only for the vulgar masses. A rite, parable, letter, number, figure, word, etc. became a symbol, and he who had the key of science would interpret each according to the light he possessed.
The uneducated and narrow-minded within their ranks heedlessly take them at face value while those who have ears to hear receive the divine mysteries because they have received the sacred initiation and have the intelligence to understand the deeper meaning.
This thinly veiled admission by Masonry's most famous apostle, Albert Pike, explains why Masons call their temple Solomon's Temple when it was in actuality patterned after the greatest of pagan templesthe earth covered by the cloudy canopy of the heavens. The divinity which they worship within its walls is the sun, of which they blandly write.
There is no splendor beyond that which sets its morning throne in the golden East; no dome sublime as that of Heaven; no beauty so fair as that of the verdant, blossoming earth; no place, however invested with the sanctities of old time, like that home which is hushed and folded within the embrace of the humblest wall and roof.
By the same practice they call Hiram Abiff the widow's son and quote I Kings 7:13-14. His name and situation have certain similarities which can be twisted until they almost appear to fit, even though many absurdities exist.
Hiram was a very skilled artificer, and the building of the temple would be a convenient project for the characters of the legend to be engaged in, since the early Lodge was supposed to have been engaged in the building and decorating of splendorous stone structures.
A careful study of the Holy Scriptures, however, reveals that this Hiram Abiff has nothing in common with the Hiram mentioned in I Kings. Neither is the temple around which the legendary story unfolds, the temple of Solomon. The temple of God, built by Solomon, was finished, but the one in the legend remained unfinished. The names were just added in friendly pagan-Christian tradition.
There is a temple in antiquity, however, which is famous because it was never completed. The account is given in Genesis 11. It is the tower of Babel! It was built so that its top (also the head or ruler) might reach unto heaven (rule supreme), and to make for its builders a name, lest they be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth (see verse 4).
Over the incomplete state of this tower, one so-called virgin may well afford to weep, because it wrecked, for a time, her plans and those of her husband who hoped to be that head. These two are the Nimrod and Semiramis mentioned earlier.
Virgin, Column and Time Significant
The symbol of the Virgin, Column and Time presented at the end of the legend is also quite significant. In Masonic allegory, 'The beautiful virgin (Semiramis) weeping over the broken column, denoted the unfinished temple (tower) and the untimely death of our Grand Master Hiram Abitf (Nimrod).
Albert Pike continues: The book open before her, [means} that his virtues there lay on perpetual record.
The sprig of acacia (the pagan symbol of life which, in one account, led her to discover her husband's grave) in her right hand denotes the timely discovery of the body. (The body which the ancient pagans tried to preserve, and which action gave rise to another pagan philosophythat so long as a body remained in a state of preservation, the person's spirit continued to exist,)
The urn in her left, that his ashes were there safely deposited (attempts to preserve the body otherwise must have failed) to perpetuate the remembrance of the amiable, distinguished, and exemplary character. (It was explained earlier that this fallen god was supposedly raised to immortal life and became the sun god.)
And Time behind her standing, unfolding her ringlets (she grew older) and counting her hair (Other, more secret accounts show him anointing her with Ambrosia, the food of the gods, which supposedly gave her eternal life.), that Time (the god of time, Osiris), patience and perseverance will accomplish all things!' Thus it was that pagans made a noble attempt to cover up their disgrace, and Satan patched up his counterfeit that he might continue to palm himself off as the god of the universe.
Pagans have continued to use the idea that time, patience and perseverance will accomplish all things. By it (theory of evolution) they try to deny the creation of the universe by a Supreme Creator, and in so doing they practice their teaching by patiently forcing the theory upon a gullible, hapless generation.
Freemasonry is living proof that no teaching of man, regardless of how innocent or righteous appearing, can be taken for grantedthat no teaching can be assumed good, just because it looks goodthat no teaching can beassumed righteous, no matter how solemnly it declares itself soor judged honorable because its own cherished records suggest honor.
In many ways Masonry is the exact opposite of what it claims to be!
To its initiates the Masonic Lodge teaches:
Masonry is useful to all men: to the learned, because it affords them the opportunity of exercising their talents upon subjects eminently worthy of their attention; to the illiterate, because it offers them important instruction; to the young, because it presents them with salutary precepts and good examples, and accustoms them to reflect on the proper mode of living; to the man of the world, whom it furnishes with noble and useful recreation; to the traveller, whom it enables to find friends and brothers in countries where else he would be isolated and solitary; to the worthy man in misfortune, to whom it gives assistance; to the afflicted, on whom it lavishes consolation; to the charitable man, whom it enables to do more good, by uniting with those who are charitable like himself; and to all who have souls capable of appreciating its importance, and of enjoying the charms of a friendship founded on the same principles of religion, morality, and philanthropy (Morals and Dogma, p. 113).
Now let us compare this with their actual practice.
The Real Test
God has set before each one of us a choicea proving groundto see whether we will love and obey Him and be allowed to live in the Kingdom which will be set upor whether we will refuse and go our own way, into the lake of fire (Deut. 30:19-20).
Other plans of salvation which teach a different reward and a different way of getting eternal life are without God's authority. Those foolish who waste their lives in pursuing such wind are unfortunate indeed.
Freemasonry is just such a counterfeit. Its members waste untold hours acting out foolish rituals which accomplish nothing, and memorizing endless dialogue which helps no one. They ponder the moral philosophies of the ancients to discover wisdom, but they acquire only a hodgepodge of deceptive and foolish pagan reasonings.
God declares there is only one way to live happy, useful lives. And that is the way he has appointed for us. Any othersuch as Masonryno matter how good it may look, is at best a. counterfeit and serves only to dupe people into thinking that they have what they have not.
They set up their code of morals according to human understanding, not knowing that only God's laws shall stand. They revel in the idiocy of parading before relics of ancient sun worship in great solemnity, foolishly holding the sacred Word of God in no greater respect than they do any other ancient writing.
Their work in the community is not the proclamation or upholding of God's Kingdom; it is, instead, the upholding of the system around them. They do not promote God's rule, but ignore it and set themselves up as the wise leaders, pretending to build character and feigning benevolence by giving charity to the orphans and widows, while they privately endeavor to build their own prosperity.
The following example will serve to illustrate the enormity of their mistake of following what looks good to man instead of simply obeying their Creator.
Masonic Ten Commandments
You are all familiar with the Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 of your Bibles. You would normally assume these to be recognized by Masons especially when they claim that their moral philosophy is based on the Bible. Again this is not the case. Masons have embraced another set of ten commandments which look better to their eyes than the ones God has given.
For brevity only the first two need to be discussed, though all ten are reproduced from Morals and Dogma. Read them carefully before you continue with this article. They appear to be very wholesome and good, don't they?
Masonry's Ten Commandments
God is the Eternal, Omnipotent Immutable wisdom and Supreme intelligence and Exhaustless love. Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him! Thou shalt honor Him by practising the virtues!
Thy religion shall be, to do good because it is a pleasure to thee, and not merely because it is a duty. That thou mayest become the friend of the wise man, thou shalt obey his precepts! Thy soul is immortal! Thou shalt do nothing to degrade it!
Thou shalt unceasingly war against vice! Thou shalt not do unto others that which thou wouldst not wish them to do unto thee! Thou shalt be submissive to thy fortunes, and keep burning the light of wisdom!
Thou shalt honor thy parents! Thou shalt pay respect and homage to the aged! Thou shalt instruct the young! Thou shalt protect and defend infancy and innocence!
Thou shalt cherish thy wife and thy children! Thou shalt love thy country, and obey its laws!
Thy friend shall be to thee a second self! Misfortune shall not estrange thee from him! Thou shalt do for his memory whatever thou wouldst do for him, if he were living!
Thou shalt avoid and flee from insincere friendships! Thou shalt in everything refrain from excess. Thou shalt fear to be the cause of a stain on thy memory!
Thou shalt allow no passions to become thy master! Thou shalt make the passions of others profitable lessons to thyself! Thou shalt be indulgent to error!
Thou shalt hear much: Thou shalt speak little: Thou shalt act well! Thou shalt forget injuries! Thou shalt render good for evil! Thou shalt not misuse either thy strength or thy superiority!
Thou shalt study to know men; that thereby thou mayest learn to know thyself! Thou shalt ever seek after virtue! Thou shalt be just! Thou shalt avoid idleness!
When we remember that the adept in Masonry gain more knowledge from symbols than from the plain statements of their sacred writings we should be aware that certain key symbols are included which will unlock these depths of meaning.
Notice the little circle with the cross inside it at the beginning of the first commandment. Regardless of any beautiful phraseology Masons place on these symbols, their deeper meaning must invariably lead to ancient sun worship. The circle or disc symbolizes the sun and the cross symbolizes immortality. The three dots in the form of an equilateral triangle represent the first cause and trinity of the pagan godhead.
So if the Mason is truly adept he would see that he has borrowed from the ancient sun worshipers symbols and creeds which would read this way for the first commandment. God [the god whose symbol is a circle and a cross and triangular dotsthe sun god) is the Eternal, Omnipotent, Immutable WISDOM and Supreme INTELLIGENCE and Exhaustless love. (Wisdom, Intelligence and Love are capitalized to remind Masons of their deeper meanings and that each in turn has been worshiped by their pagan ancestors.)
Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him!
Thou shalt honor Him by practicing the virtues [of the ancient pagans} (see p. 21 Morals and Dogma).
What greater blasphemy could there be than this? How this must stink in the nostrils of the Living God! When they attribute the name and office of God to any other they break the first, second and third of God's Commandments.
The second of these Masonic commandments, as well as the remaining eight, are likewise contrary to the Commandments of God. By it the Mason is told to do good without defining what good is. Yet you can surely see that it is not referring to obedience to God because the next instructs him to seek out the wise MAN and obey his precepts. But Proverbs 14:12 states, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Masons in their ignorance have pursued the way of death.
Prestige and Prosperity Their Real Goal
Few members of the Lodge could truthfully deny that their reason for belonging to the Lodge is the personal benefits which raise their community standing and financial prosperity.
Members of the Lodge may already be prosperous and active members of their community before joining the Lodge. In fact it is usually after they obtain a certain measure of prestige within the common fry that they are allowed to join a fraternity. It is there, among the more prominent citizens, that they hope to further their prosperity. Such an honor usually aids one's social position, and also gives a social outlet, but this does not exalt God; it exalts only the man. When a man embraces the Lodge, other prominent men of the community become his brothers. Together they practice this doctrine of brotherly love assisting and encouraging one another while reaping the general good fortune of having a close set of influential and like-minded friends. It is here that Masonry pays off. A member who has an acceptable plea for help or a favor need only mention his need to the proper brother and the requested aid comes forth as if by answered prayer. Masons have more faith in receiving this petition from other members than they do in receiving answers to prayers from God.
Short of the Glory of God
Even if the brothers understood and attempted to live up to Lodge teachings of moral conduct, and strove ever so hard to be considerate of their brethren, they still only attain a human righteousness which is far from the righteousness of God.
In actual practice their human morals and ideals break down because human righteousness can extend only as far as the human character can back it up. Many are able to help and encourage one another as long as doing so remains profitable to themselves, but who among them can afford to help others at his own personal expense, especially over an extended period of time; and who among them has the character to withstand all the temptations of vanity, greed, and lust which life presents?
During their conventions, Shriners take over whole towns, influencing police and officials so that they are free to do whatever they please. Who among them is seeking law and order? Who even tries to put aside foolishness, drunkenness, and fornication?
These men would do well to ponder their actions, not in the light of the pagan doctrine of the Brotherhood of Man,1' but in the true light of God's Word. The fourth and fifth chapters of Ephesians should convince any of the open-minded in their ranks that their wayMasonryis wrong. In Chapter 5, verses 1 through 5, Paul instructs the brethren:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting (ribaldry), which are not convenient (befitting): but rather, giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Without the practice of some of these forbidden characteristics there would be no masonry!
With this expose and explanation of Freemasonry, it is hoped that the function of the fraternity is not only clear, but that the ignorance of its members may be made understandable. The lodge rituals, as seen by the average initiate, appear harmless. He is not told what he will encounter in the Lodge before he is admittedonly that nothing will be required of him which is against the laws of God and his duty to his state or family. The fact that this is a lie is seldom discovered by him because nothing is revealed until he has been psychologically prepared to receive it. This is done by the use of solemn prayer before each undertaking, and scripture quotations are read which seem to give divine sanction. All is done in such a way that it seems right and good to the gullible candidate who is blinded by his desire to receive new and mysterious light and to be counted among the wise, honorable, and prosperous.
It is further hoped that this writing will provide church members with clear and accurate answers to questions on Masonry, and that they might be able to help others who are truly seeking to obey God. Such men, when their minds have been opened, can surely be shown where membership in the Masonic Lodge, as much as membership in any of the denominations, is incompatible with obedience and service to God.
Avoiding Unnecessary Persecution
As was stated earlier, not written for general publication, but for those members of the true Church who seek God's way of life. It would be a pointless waste of time and truth to try to convince others. They are satisfied with their status and would only turn again to rend you.
If the material contained herein were published in such a way as to threaten the popularity of the Lodge, retaliation such as was brought against the Apostle Paul at Ephesus (see Acts 19:24-41) would surely result. The craftsmen who built the pagan shrines to Diana, which were mentioned earlier, were angry with Paul because he persuaded many to turn away from heathenism. The reason for the craftsmen's anger is given in verse 27. These are the words of the silversmith, Demetrius, who reasoned, . . . not only our Craft is in danger to be set at naught; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth. (This temple to Diana was one of the so-called seven wonders of the world.)
The fact that Masons proudly claimthese ancient craftsmen such as Demetrius for their progenitors is recorded in the General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry, an authentic, Masonic work. It says that the traveling Masons (ancient craftsmen), from whom they supposedly derive their origin, built this same temple to Diana for the Kings of Asia (p. 11).
If these early artificers persecuted the Church in Paul's time because they feared that their craft and religion would suffer, their modern counterpart will not hesitate to do so today. Therefore, each one of you must use wisdom in order that unnecessary persecution may be prevented.
If it becomes your duty to advise a Mason to quit the Fraternity, do NOT tell him to stir up trouble for himself by going to the Secretary of his Lodge (or any other member) and announcing his opposition. This action would probably cause him to receive needless persecution. Usually it is better to withdraw by simply ceasing to pay dues and ceasing to attend meetings. The Lodge will drop him from its rolls quicker for nonpayment of dues than for any other reason. This, in itself, is a clue to the real motives behind the Craft!
This method might cause Masons to encourage his resumed participation, but it will not bring the persecution that Masons have sworn to bring against those who oppose them or their teachings.
The ex-Mason should realize, however, that withdrawing membership from the Lodge does not of itself release him from the many oaths he has taken. If he really believed, at the time, that he took the oaths to Almighty God, and unless these oaths prevent him from serving God and obeying His Laws, he should consider himself bound by them (Numbers 30:2).
Satan's Hapless Victims
One cannot pass from the subject of Freemasonry without reflecting on the futility of the struggle of its victims, and feeling sorry for the gullible ones who have been led into its inner chambers like sheep to the slaughter.
All they have for their efforts is certain material advancement which does not endure past the grave. As they laboriously ascended the winding stairs, they were promised rich rewards for their labor. But instead of eternal truth, they were given fables. Instead of developing the righteous character of God, they grew in the unholy character of selfishness and greed through seeking extra privileges for themselves to the exclusion of others. Instead of growing in true knowledge, they tickled their vanity with mysterious phrases and symbols which meant nothing, but were empty and void, only to be told at the end of their wearisome journey that the Mason must ever be in search of truth, but will never find it.
This august secrer, the object of all their labors, is indeed, a humiliating reward.
It is the reward of a cruel god (Satan) who deceives his worshipers into believing that divine truth can never be acquired in this life. Diabolically, his victims are taught by Masonic instruments that their ignorance must remain until they are raised from their graves and the knowledge of life is revealed.
They never suspect that the reason they will not know truth in this life is that they have chosen the wrong way and the wrong god!