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ANTI-MASONRY IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE
IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FREEMASONRY?
Figure 6. Title page of Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated, with historical sketch and analysis by Jonathan Blanchard. This virulently anti-Masonic book is an exposure of Cerneauism, an illegitimate pseudo-Masonic organization.
Enchanter! Makes several wild charges about a global conspiracy which involved Freemasonry in some vague, unspecified way. Among many other things he talks about:
the sheer numbers of Masons involved in global reorganization....
the ranks of the many Christians and God-loving people who got out of Masonry because they did not like the secrets revealed at the higher levels.
A small percentage of the US population are involved in freemasonry, yet in the US government (especially the secretive intelligence agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.) there is a very high number of freemasons.
this evil force which is permeating every corner of our society.
If true, these allegations can be supported objective research. There is no need to sit by idly when the public record can be checked to substantiate these claims. Any reader easily should be able to confirm Enchanter!'s statements, if only he will share his information. All we need to know is the name of the Mason, a reference to his membership, and his position.
If Freemasonry is "permeating every corner of our society," then it should be simple to give a dozen verifiable examples.
If so many Masons are "involved in global reorganization," then it should be simple to name a score of them.
If so many "many Christians and God-loving people" have left "Masonry because they did not like the secrets revealed at the higher levels," then we should be able to read the witness of their experiences.
The author quotes extracts from the preface of
Morals and Dogma, and then says, "Clearly this book is or was some sort
of a secret." Again, the facts show otherwise. Below is the quote from
Enchanter! with the words left out indicated by being
The following work has been
prepared by authority of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree,
for the southern jurisdiction of the United States, by the
As the cost of the work consists entirely in the printing and
binding, it will be furnished at a price as moderate as possible. No
individual will receive pecuniary profit from it, except the agents for its
sale. It has been copyrighted, to prevent its republication
elsewhere. Whatever profits may accrue from it will be devoted to
purposes of charity.
It not being intended for the world at large,
[Pike] has felt at liberty to make, from all accessible sources, a
Compendium of the Morals and Dogma of the Rite, to re-mould sentences, change
and add to words and phrases, combine them with his own, and use them as if
they were his own. He claims, therefore, little of the merit of authorship,
and has not cared to distinguish his own from that which he has taken from
other sources, being quite willing that every portion of the book, in turn,
may be regarded as borrowed from some old and better writer.
In reading the full words of the preface, several points are clear.
Morals and Dogma was never intended to serve all of Freemasonry--just the Supreme Council, 33°, S.J. (It was, in fact, rejected and ignored by the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.)
The book was copyrighted because of Pike's concern that it be sold at the lowest possible cost and that all profits go to charity.
Because he was not writing for a general public, Pike didn't worry about citing all of his sources as he normally did.
Far from proving that Morals and Dogma is a "secret book," the full preface shows: 1) it was produced at cost for Scottish Rite Masons; 2) no individual was to profit from its sale or resale; 3) Pike used an informal reference style because the book was intended for his Brethren only. No restrictions have ever been placed on storing, reading, or loaning the book. Consider these statistics from the 1992 Transactions of the Supreme Council. In 1907 (the first year membership figures are summarized in the Transactions) there were 33,000 Scottish Rite Masons in the Southern Jurisdiction; in 1950 there were 374,000. In those 43 years, ignoring deaths and resignations, 341,000 Masons joined and received a copy of Morals and Dogma, with no restriction on who could read it. This seems like a singularly odd way to manage a "secret book."
Enchanter! makes several quotes from Morals and Dogma, after first falsely claiming it is among "the writings held sacred within the Lodges." Morals and Dogma was published and distributed by the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in the U.S. (A little over 20% of American Masons have chosen to join the Scottish Rite in the S.J., and slightly less are in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction--60% of American Masons are not in the Scottish Rite.) Morals and Dogma has no role in Blue Lodges, it is not used in the N.M.J., it has not been distributed in the S.J. since ca. 1971, and it has never, ever been held "sacred" by any Masonic group.
The first quote from Morals and Dogma is preceded by Enchanter!'s inflammatory introductory comment, "If you read this through, I'm sure you will agree with me: it's a perversion of the Christian teachings, riddled with magic(k) and occultism."
Ialdabaoth, to become independent of his mother [Spirit], and to pass for the Supreme Being, made the world, and man, in his own image.... They [Christos and Wisdom] restored Jesus to life and gave Him an ethereal body, in which He remained eighteen months on earth, and receiving from Wisdom the perfect knowledge, communicated it to a small number of His apostles. [Morals and Dogma pp. 563564]
The passage is indeed found in Morals and Dogma, but it is a description of the beliefs of the Ophites, a Gnostic sect condemned by Irenaeus (ca.115-ca.202), Bishop of Lyons, in his book Against Heresies. The paragraph from which this quote is taken begins, "The Ophites commenced their system with a Supreme Being, long unknown to the Human race." The Ophites believed that Ialdabaoth was the son of Sophia the Mother, and that he sealed off the heavens above him to prevent those below from discovering anything above him.(21) The chapter from which Enchanter! quotes is an overview of early religious beliefs, none of which are "recommended" to Freemasons. On page 564 alone Pike provides six brief summaries of bygone beliefs.
Tatian adopted the theory of Emanation, of Eons.
The Elxaites adopted the Seven Spirits of the Gnostics.
The opinion of the Doketes as to the human nature of Jesus.
Noetus termed the Son the first Utterance of the Father.
Paul of Samosta taught that Jesus Christ was the Son.
Arius called the Saviour the first of creatures.
All of this is descriptive, with nothing more prescriptive for Scottish Rite Masons than a college course on comparative religion or mythology would be (with noteworthy inconsistency Enchanter! fails to see that his own pseudonym could also lead to charges of "magic(k) and occultism"). Enchanter! earlier quoted two sentences from Pike's introduction to Morals and Dogma. Had he posted a little more of the introduction, Pike's intent would have been clear. First and foremost, neither Pike nor the Scottish Rite have ever, or could ever, require its members to believe anything in the book. This is clear to all Masons and to anyone who reads the introduction.
Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound. It is only required of him that he shall weigh what is taught, and give it fair hearing and unprejudiced judgment. [Morals and Dogma, preface, p. iv.]
Further, Pike's motives in describing early religious ideas are clear from his introduction. Anyone bothering to read the introduction knows this.
Of course, the ancient theosophic and philosophic speculations are not embodied as part of the doctrines of the Rite; but because it is of interest and profit to know what the Ancient Intellect thought upon these subjects, and because nothing so conclusively proves the radical difference between our human and the animal nature, as the capacity of the human mind to entertain such speculations in regard to itself the Deity. [Morals and Dogma, preface, p. iv.]
This sort of selective quotation out of context is scattered throughout Enchanter!'s postings.
To prevent the light of escaping at once, the Demons forbade Adam to eat the fruit.
Satan created and governs the visible world [Morals and Dogma pp. 566567] "One of the most twisted variations of Genesis I have ever heard."
The first quote is from a paragraph that begins, "Manes, founder of the Sect of the Manicheans." The second quote follows, "With the Priscillianists there were two principles." It's not surprising that they seem "twisted variations," as they were declared heresies centuries ago. Pike is describing "ancient theosophic and philosophic speculations," just as he explained in his introduction. Just after the last quote above, Pike says, "Such were some of the ancient notions concerning the Deity; and taken in connection with what has been detailed in the preceding Degrees, this Lecture affords you a true picture of the ancient speculations." [Morals and Dogma, p. 568]
Enchanter! appears to have a vendetta against Freemasonry and is willing to go to great lengths to defame the organization and its members. He removed Pike's explanatory material to Morals and Dogma, ignored his introduction, took his words out of context, and tried to pass them off as something from "writings held sacred within the Lodges." Enchanter! is not fair to Pike, he is not honest about Masonry, he ignores the organization and structure of the fraternity, and he insults the intelligence of his readers.
It is not clear to us whether he has done his own research or whether he has relied on some other anti-Masonic text. Thus we cannot decide if he is naively incompetent researcher or a maliciously deliberate liar. We leave that decision to the objective reader.
20a. In previous editions of this work we were unclear regarding Mr. Mitchell's identity. We have since learned that he now publicly identifies himself. We acknowledge his correction and thank him for calling this oversight to our attention.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014