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John Ankerberg and John Weldon,
"The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge"

chapter 3


What compels Masons to be secret is not fear of the Light;
for Light is what they desire, seek for, and adore.
But they fear Profaners, that is to say, false interpreters,
calumniators, skeptics, with their stupid laugh and the enemies
of all belief and all morality.
--Albert Pike, 24º ritual, "Prince of the Tabernacle"(22)

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from religious conviction.
--Blaise Pascal, Pensées (1660)

Perhaps the most impressive-looking modern American anti-Masonic book is The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christian Perspective, by Rev. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon.(23)

With over three hundred pages in twenty chapters and 750 endnotes, the book appears to be a scholarly analysis of Freemasonry. On closer examination, however, one discovers that the authors lull their readers into a false sense of security by alleging a reliance on "authoritative" sources of information. In fact, Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon are satisfied to quote both non-Masons (such as "Djwhal Khul")(24) and anti-Masons (such as Jonathan Blanchard) while falsely claiming they are Masons, when they are not. This use of false witnesses and their manipulation of text is so subtle that it is difficult, even for objective readers, to avoid being deceived. Indeed, it is as if they took Charles Darwin's observation as a personal admonition, when he wrote, "Great is the power of misrepresentation."


Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon want their readers to believe that their work is objective. To assist them in this illusion they explain that they (or their research associates) wrote the following question to the Grand Master of each of the fifty American Grand Lodges, "As an official Masonic leader, which books and authors do you recommend as being authoritative on the subject of Freemasonry?"(25)

Twenty-five Grand Masters responded, each recommending several Masonic authors. Topping the list were nine names. Henry Coil led the list with the recommendation of 11 of the Grand Lodges, while Albert Pike was recommended by only 4 of them. In other words, forty-six Grand Masters (92%) had no comments on Pike. In spite of this, Coil and Pike are cited almost equally, about thirty times each.

Manly P. Hall, on the other hand, received so few recommendations that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon omitted his standing from their list of Masonic "authorities." Yet Hall is also cited some twenty-five times. Hall's books are presented as the writings of a "33d Degree Mason."(26) As noted earlier, Hall wrote the books used by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon more than twenty-five years before he became a Mason. Wouldn't honesty, therefore, require them to inform their readers that these books were written before Mr. Hall had any personal knowledge of Masonry? Of course this would have lessened the impact of Hall's "far out" interpretations of Freemasonry.

Significantly, Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon make good use of unfriendly and questionable sources: about 250 of their endnotes (33%) include anti-Masonic publications.

Jonathan Blanchard and the Scottish Rite

Anti-Masons seem satisfied that if something appears in print and is negative about Freemasonry, it must be true. The rituals exposed in Jonathan Blanchard's Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated (1887-1888) are usually taken as gospel truth. This is what Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon have done.

Rev. Blanchard's outdated book was actually an exposure of Cerneauism, an illegitimate pseudo-Masonic organization founded by Joseph Cerneau and chiefly active in the 1800s. Oaths of fealty and other references to the Cerneau "Supreme Council" appear repeatedly throughout Blanchard's exposure.(27)

These references would have raised red flags to competent researches, but Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon conveniently ignored or misunderstood them. Further, the article on "Scottish Rite Masonry" in Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia(28) (a book quoted about 30 times by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon)(29) includes a discussion of the various names used by the Cerneau Supreme Councils.

In pre-1993 editions of their book Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon claimed Rev. Blanchard was a "former Sovereign Grand Commander and a 33rd Degree Mason."(30)

The Sovereign Grand Commander is the presiding officer of a Scottish Rite Supreme Council and the Thirty-third Degree is the highest degree of the Rite. The truth of the matter is that Jonathan Blanchard was never a Mason, not even a Cerneau Mason, much less a Sovereign Grand Commander. He was an anti-Mason from his youth, as Clyde S. Kilby's biography makes quite clear.(31)

Following a 1992 exposure of Rev. Ankerberg's and Dr. Weldon's misuse of Blanchard,(32) they modified their book by removing the false claims alleging his Masonic "status." However, no notice of corrigenda or errata was provided for the new editions, thus concealing this episode from their readers.

It is sadly ironic that in their pre-1993 editions Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon took a life-long anti-Mason and falsely claimed he was one of the two highest-ranking Scottish Rite Masons in the country. It's easy, though, to see how shallow research could lead to this mistake. The title page of Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated (see Figure 6) states that the ritual was by an unidentified "Sovereign Grand Commander, 33º"; Rev. Jonathan Blanchard wrote the historical sketch and analysis. Since Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated is virulently anti-Masonic, however, Ankerberg and Weldon didn't see the need to do any further research to satisfy their ends.

What is worse, in current editions they continue to quote from Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated as if it were an authentic ritual text, even though they now know better. Blanchard's text is so critical to Ankerberg's and Weldon's anti-Masonic agenda that it is referenced by them at least fifty times. For example, in a chapter entitled "Swearing Oaths" they reproduce eight oaths extracted from Blanchard in order to demonstrate that the Scottish Rite rituals include physical penalties. The truth of the matter is that

    Albert Pike, in revising the rituals of the Southern Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite about 1855-1860, completely eradicated all such penalties from the degrees and substituted mental, moral, and symbolic condemnation, and that example was followed in the Northern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite about the middle of the 20th century.

The above quote is from an article on "Penalties" in Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia.(33)

Did they somehow misunderstand this article as well, or rather choose to ignore it because it reveals a major difference between Blanchard's exposé and the authentic Pike rituals? It is difficult to believe that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon misunderstood all the articles which contradict their claims. Rather, the evidence suggests that they are "proof-texting" or selectively picking quotes here-and-there which appear to support their case. Thus, they quote Coil and other Masons only when they seem to support their case.


As noted earlier, Freemasonry has no individual or universal "authorities" when it comes to the interpretation of its rituals and symbols. However, it makes sense that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon want to talk about "authorities." They want something comparable to the ex cathedra and imprimatur of Catholicism, i.e. official declarations or publications which are binding on the beliefs of its members. A rough, but useful, analogy would be to contrast Catholics (who have extra-Biblical authorities, such as Bishops, or the Pope) and Baptists (who have none). Just as Baptist "authority" is limited to the individual's understanding of the Bible, Masonic "authority" is limited to the individual Grand Lodge laws which govern the administrative affairs of the fraternity. This means that the newly-made Mason has as much right to interpret the symbols to his own needs as the officers of his Lodge do to theirs. This freedom naturally results in diverse opinions. Because Masonic rituals vary around the world, the symbols are likewise variously interpreted. For example, in much of the United States the trowel is symbolically used for "spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection,"(34) while in the Grand National Lodge of Germany it is used to "figuratively wall up and cement cracks and tears in your heart against the assaults of the vices."(35)

Although Freemasonry is replete with symbolism, much of it is not interpreted in the rituals at all. Taking advantage of this, Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon stoop to quoting the fanciful speculations of non-Masons while representing them as "Masonic." Examples of this are their citations from "Djwhal Khul" (a "spirit guide" of occultist Alice Bailey),(36) theosophist Isabel Cooper-Oakley,(37) and mystic Corrine Heline.(38)

The writings of these three women have never been adopted as "authoritative" by any Grand Lodge; neither were they among the writers recommended by the Twenty-five Grand Masters.

The other side of this coin demonstrates the inequity of this practice. Would Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon consider it fair for us to quote the writings or teachings of "Christian white supremacists" as representative of mainstream Christianity?

If we apply the techniques that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon use against Masonry we begin to see how unfair their practices really are.

Former Ku Klux Klan member, and Louisiana political hopeful, David Duke not only considers himself a Christian, but considers Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon among his Christian brothers. This is demonstrated in his article "Christianity and Race" when he wrote:

    No race is so intrinsically Christian as the European, and I view all denominations that follow Christ whether they be Baptists or Catholics, Russian Orthodox or Methodist, Pentecostal or Mormons, as brothers in Christ. We may differ somewhat in our interpretation of the Scriptures, but all of us share our faith in Him.(39)

It is worth noting that many self-professed Christians consider Mr. Duke a "leading Christian" and an "authority" on the Bible and Christianity. As such, we continue to excerpt from his article, "Christianity and Race."

    Innocent children were killed simply because they were of an enemy tribe. As far as inter-racial marriage is concerned, there are unmistakable passages where God commanded, "You shall not make marriages with them," [Deuteronomy] 7:2.

    When the Lord Thou [sic] God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them, not show mercy unto them; Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; your daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, not his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son... For thou art a hold [?holy] people unto the Lord Thy God: the Lord thy God has chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:2-6)

    It goes on to say that if Israelites marry non-Israelites, "so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you.

    As I read these words, I remembered my Bible study lessons of the proofs of Jesus' divinity, one being the "purity" of his line. I found that Genocide and forbidding of mixed marriages were not the only means utilized in the Bible to protect the bloodline of the Israelites. Separation or segregation is also clearly advocated.

Mr. Duke and other "Christian racial purists" use Biblical passages to oppose "race mixing." Some of these "Christians" use the Bible to justify the murder of infants of mixed races.

Although we cannot say how closely these views reflect the sentiments of Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon, they are nonetheless espoused by a self-confessed, Bible-believing Christian, who considers them among his peers. On closer examination we discover that the central religious beliefs of Mr. Duke's Christianity appear to be the same as those espoused by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon.

If Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon protest that Mr. Duke's opinions do not represent their views of Christianity, or that merely professing Christ does not make anyone an authority on Christianity, then we similarly observe that neither the reception of the 33d Degree, the appointment to a Masonic office, nor the popularity of a Masonic author makes anyone an "authority."

None of this seems to matter to Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon, however, for just as they misrepresented Jonathan Blanchard's credentials, they are satisfied to use other questionable "authorities" as long as they serve their purpose (selling their book). For example, as detailed elsewhere in this work, ex-Mason Jim Shaw was never a Past Master of a Blue Lodge, a Past Master of all Scottish Rite bodies or a Thirty-third Degree, as alleged by himself, Rev. Ankerberg, and Dr. Weldon.(40)

However, as his book serves their needs it is likewise too valuable to discard, even though it is another false witness.

It is worth noting that several "authorities" cited in their book seem to have difficulty keeping facts straight. According to Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon, Dr. Shildes Johnson lists numerous "occult" groups which supposedly influenced Freemasonry, including the Rosicrucians, the Golden Dawn, and the Illuminati. As with many of their allegations, no evidence is provided, only an accusation. Dr. Johnson's charges are particularly specious.

Modern, Speculative (non-Operative) Freemasonry was founded in 1717, well before any of the modern-day "Rosicrucian" or occult movements. To begin with, there is much doubt whether an ancient Rosicrucian brotherhood ever existed, or if it was just a hoax. What is certain, however, is that modern-day "Rosicrucian" movements have no historical or lineal connection to the original phenomena.(41)

Some Masonic groups have borrowed the "Rosicrucian" name and symbolism for their allegories,(42) but they do not assert a historical connection to the original movement any more than the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, asserts that its 24º, "Prince of the Tabernacle" has historical ties to the American Indian allegory which forms the basis of its drama.(43)

The Golden Dawn was an English occult fraternity begun in 1887, but by 1900 it fragmented due to internal strife. There are numerous groups claiming to be the Golden Dawn today, but none of them has influenced Freemasonry.(44)

The Illuminati, founded in 1776, was the brain-child of the notorious anti-cleric Adam Weishaupt. Although he infiltrated a Masonic Lodge to attract members, the Elector of Bavaria outlawed the Illuminati in 1785, and its members were arrested as Weishaupt fled. His order collapsed and its secret papers were published. There are no traces of the Illuminati in Freemasonry today, nor did it influence any other than a few Masonic Lodges in Bavaria over 200 years ago.(45)

Another "authority" cited by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon is ex-Mason Jack Harris, whose book Freemasonry: The Invisible Cult in our Midst was available with two booklets for a $20.00 "gift" to The John Ankerberg Show. The back of Mr. Harris's book touts him as "one of the most knowledgeable living authorities on the history, symbolic ritualism and purposes of Freemasonry." Mr. Harris not only uses the bogus Léo Taxil quote, but also relies on inaccurate exposures. For example, Mr. Harris quotes an extract (without giving the source) of the Knight Templar obligation from a reprint of Revised Knight Templarism Illustrated (Chicago: Ezra A. Cook, 1911).(46) Whatever Mr. Harris's experience in Masonry may have been, he never encountered the Taxil quote or the bogus Knight Templar obligation in a Masonic Lodge. These are fabrications he maliciously repeats.

Even when citing authentic information Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon feel a need to abuse it. Thus, when quoting a paragraph from a ceremony used to install the officers of a Scottish Rite "Chapter of Rose Croix" (15º-18º), they omit a significant part of the text (omitted text is in bold):

    Teach the Knights to learn something more than the mere formulas and phrases of the ceremonial; persuade them to read the history and study the philosophy of Masonry; induce them to seek to learn the meanings of the symbols; show them how, among the heterogeneous and incoherent mass of Masonic writings, to separate the diamonds from the worthless sands; and endeavor to improve them, by counsel and discourse, by way of conduct and conversation.(47)

The omitted portion clearly demonstrates that Masons are cautioned concerning the existence of many worthless "Masonic" writings (just are there are nonsensical books on scientific and religious subjects). Yet Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon rely on several of the books in the "incoherent mass" to present their distorted view of Freemasonry.

One of their questionable sources is W.L. Wilmshurst, whom they label a "Leading English Mason."(48) It would be interesting to know what criterion was used to arrive at this honor, because Wilmshurst's writings were challenged during his lifetime, and continue to be criticized by members of the leading Masonic research lodge (Quatuor Coronati, No., 2076, London):

    Even in the contexts of their times [J.S.M.] Ward, [A.E.] Waite, [W.L.] Wilmshurst et al. got it wrong and were reading into Freemasonry a great deal that is not present. Masonic writers of any period cannot, of course, forecast what a future generation's attitudes will be but they still have a duty to be accurate and to say when they are giving factual information and when they are speculating or giving personal interpretations. That is my complaint against such writers: their writings give the impression that they are speaking for Freemasonry and that theirs is the true interpretation--and it is not just a complaint with the benefit of hindsight but also one that their contemporaries lodged against them for so doing.(49)

Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon have a fondness (perhaps even a borderline fixation) for titles which sound authoritative to the non-Mason, and they often use irrelevant appellations when referencing the writers they quote. For example, they are quick to mention when a Masonic author holds an honorary 33d Degree. If the cited author does not hold this honor he is likely referenced by flattering appellations. For example, in addition to Wilmshurst, we find A.E. Waite and Joseph Fort Newton called "leading Masons", although no reason is indicated why they should be considered such. If "leading Mason" means a Past Master, or other officer of a lodge, then the ranks swell by tens, if not by hundreds of thousands. Other examples include R. Swineburn Clymer, who is called "a high Mason" (whatever that means), and H.V.B. Voorhis, who is denominated "a true Masonic giant."(50) After studying their "authorities" it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that one becomes a "leading Mason" or "Masonic scholar" other than by simply making any statement useful to their purposes.

The "Masonic Religion" and Jabulon

There are few things which incite as much passion, or fanaticism, as religious zeal. The history of the Inquisition, the witch-hunts of colonial New England, and the Iranian revolution are sad testaments to abused power and religious bigotry. Thousands suffered under the direction of religious authorities who deceived and intimidated their followers under the guise of "fighting Satan" and "saving souls."

These same watch-words are used today to marshal soldiers under the anti-Masonic banner, and Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon are willing to employ the techniques of propaganda to assist them.

    A prior general interest must exist for propaganda to be effective. Propaganda is effective not when based on individual prejudice, but when based on a collective center of interest, shared by the crowds.(51)

To assist them in this, Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon subtitled their book A Christian Perspective. As such, it is designed to have a broad appeal to all who profess Christianity, whether or not Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon agree with them (more sales equals more money). They have the hubris to speak for all who profess Christianity (while in other publications they deride the beliefs of Catholics, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses for example). By drawing the lines as broadly as possible, i.e., "us" (Christians) vs. "them" (Freemasons), the uninformed Christian reader may be unwittingly biased from the outset, and the Christian Freemason is caught off guard.

A useful allegation to bias the Christian reader against Freemasonry is to claim that the fraternity is anti-Christian, or even more boldly, to claim that it is an anti-Christian religion. In fact, no Grand Lodge, no Supreme Council, and no subordinate body claims to be, or functions as, a religion. It is significant that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon cannot produce any official documents to the contrary. Undeterred, they are content to ignore the facts and resort to innuendo and subterfuge.

What better way could there be to "prove" that Masonry is a religion than to reveal that Freemasons have secret modes of worship, mysterious names for God, or even their own secret god? This is just what some anti-Masons, including Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon, claim to do. The name of this "god," they say, is Jabulon, which allegedly means "Jehovah-Baal-Osiris." Sensational as it sounds, this claim is not original. Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon base their charge on Stephen Knight's anti-Masonic book The Brotherhood.(52) The first anti-Mason to profit from this allegation seems to have been Walton Hannah(53) who was likely influenced by Dr. Hubert S. Box.(54)

As a "secret name for God" Jabulon is said to be revealed in the York Rite's Royal Arch Degree (the Seventh Degree), or the Scottish Rite's Royal Arch of Solomon Degree (the Thirteenth Degree, sometimes called Knights of the Ninth Arch).(55)

It is true that a similar word is found in some versions of these degrees (recalling that Masonic rituals vary the world over) but it is not a secret God, or a secret name for God. It may be considered a poor linguistic attempt to present the name of God in three languages, such as "Dios-Dieu-Gott."

In making their claim it is evident that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon know little or nothing about the historical development of Masonic rituals. Early French versions of the Royal Arch degree relate a Masonic legend, or allegory, in which Jabulon was the name of an explorer, living in the time of Solomon, who discovered the ruins of an ancient temple.(56) Within the ruins he found a gold plate upon which the name of God (Jehovah) was engraved. The context of these rituals makes it quite clear that the two names are never equated, and the name of God is always spoken in reverence, just as it is in the fictional works Ben Hur and The Robe. As there are variants of this ritual different forms of the explorer's name are also found (Jabulum, Guibulum, etc.). The earliest sources seem to suggest, however, that it likely derived from Giblim,(57) or a misunderstanding of Hebrew letters on a Trinitarian devise.(58)

The "meaning" of Jabulon

Early Masons did not have the historical resources available to today's researchers. This handicap caused them to rely on their own ingenuity, and they were limited in what they could write concerning the origins this tri-lingual "word." However, for over a hundred years the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States has clearly distinguished between the tri-lingual "word" and the name of God. In an article on the word "Bel," Masonic encyclopedist Albert Mackey tells us

    It has, with Jah and On, been introduced into the Royal Arch as a representative of the Tetragrammaton [the Hebrew letters YHWH or JHVH, i.e., "Jehovah"], which it and the accompanying words have sometimes ignorantly been made to displace. At the session of the General Grand Chapter of the United States, in 1871, this error was corrected; and while the Tetragrammaton was declared to be the true omnific word, the other three were permitted to be retained as merely explanatory.(59)

An example of this pre-1871 misunderstanding is seen in Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor (an outdated exposure cited by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon some 30 times) which declared the tri-lingual word to be the Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word.(60)

But Mackey's statement is clear: Jehovah is the "true omnific word" whereas Jah, Bel, and On are only explanatory. The misunderstanding appears to have arisen following (or perhaps due to) the anti-Masonic period of 1826-1840. If a statement in David Bernard's anti-Masonic exposure, Light on Masonry, is accurate the tri-lingual word (given as "Jahbuhlun") was not used at all in some early American Royal Arch Chapters, and those that included it attached no religious explanation to it.(61)

Like other exposés, however, Bernard's ritual texts cannot be fully trusted. William L. Stone withdrew from Freemasonry during the anti-Masonic period and published a book on the subject. In spite of this he was honest enough to admit that "infamous interpolations" were added to Bernard's ritual texts. Concerning Bernard's Royal Arch exposé Stone wrote

    The obligation has never been so given, within the range of my masonic experience, and is not sanctioned or allowed by the Grand Chapter, having jurisdiction in the premises. Nor have I, as yet, found a Royal Arch Mason who recollects ever to have heard the obligation so given. (62)

But what did Mackey mean when he wrote that Jah, Bel and On were "explanatory" of the name Jehovah? Unaware of its true origins, some early ritualists tried to explain the tri-lingual word using etymology. First, Jabulon was divided into syllables (Jao-Bul-On, Jah-Buh-Lun, Jah-Bel-On, etc.) on the supposition that they were Hebrew, Chaldean, Assyrian, Egyptian or other foreign words for God. Like Hebrew names in the Old Testament, some believed that Jabulon had a meaning which could be recovered. Old Testament names often had meanings which were intended to glorify God. For example, Azaziah means "Jehovah is strong," Eliphaz means "God is victorious," and Elijah means "Jehovah is my God." The following example explores possible roots of Jah-Bel-On.

Jah.--This could be a name of God used in Psalm 68:4, "Extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him."

Bel.-- Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon accuse Freemasonry of paganism because some Masons tried to equate this syllable with the word baal. Although Baal was the name of a Phoenician deity, it is also a Hebrew word meaning "lord" or "master,"(63) and when it forms part of a name it can be used to identify Jehovah. A son of David, for example, is called both Eliada, "God Knows" (2 Samuel 5:16), and Beeliada, "Baal knows" (1 Chronicles 14:7).

Another man, who was a friend of David, was named Bealiah (1 Chronicles 12:5), meaning "Jehovah is Baal" or "Jehovah is Lord."(64) After winning a victory over the Philistines, David named the location Baal-Perazim (2 Samuel 5:20; 1 Chronicles 14:11), which means, "Lord of breaches."

On.--This Hebrew word means "force" or "power."(65)

A more meaningful application is found in the Septuagint, an ancient Greek version of the Old Testament, wherein God announced Himself to Moses with the words ego eimi ho On, "I am the Being" (Exodus 3:14).(66)

The words ho On mean "The Being," "The Eternal" or "The I AM." In the Greek New Testament the words ho On appear in Revelation 1:4, signifying "the One who is."(67)

Based on the above, possible meanings for Jabulon include "Jehovah, powerful Lord" or "Jehovah, the Lord, the I AM." Some English Royal Arch rituals suggested the syllables meant "Lord in Heaven, the Father of All," while some American rituals noted that the vowels in Jah-Bel-On, added to the four letters which spell God's name in Hebrew (YHWH or JHVH: yud, heh, vaw, heh), yielded the English pronunciation "Jehovah," much as the vowels in the Hebrew word adonai were combined with the four consonants to produce "Jahovah."

Unable to find any sensible meaning in such speculations other Grand Chapters eliminated the "words" altogether.

It is significant that Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon completely ignore the ritual text of Edmond Ronayne's Chapter Masonry (an exposure they cite) in this matter and rather resort to allegation. The reason is simple. Ronayne fails to support their contention that Jabulon is a secret God. According to Ronayne, the presiding officer explains the Tetragrammaton and the tri-lingual word by saying:

    This word is composed of four Hebrew characters, which you see inclosed within the triangle, corresponding in our language to J.H.V.H., and cannot be pronounced without the aid of other letters, which are supplied by the key words on the three sides of the triangle, that being an emblem of Deity. The Syriac, Chaldeic [sic] and Egyptian words taken as one is therefore called the Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word.(68)

It thus becomes clear that however complex and misguided the early attempts were to find a meaning for this word, Jabulon is not a special or secret Masonic God. This claim is merely another invention of anti-Masonry.

Ankerberg and Weldon at a Glance

At the end of their book Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon provide a brief summation of their work which they call "Masonry at a Glance." Putting the shoe on the other foot and using Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon's techniques, the reader can draw the following conclusions.


Names: John Ankerberg and John Weldon.

Goals: Injure Freemasonry while attempting to maintain an appearance of piety; sell as many copies of their books as possible.

Theology: Uncertain, but they have been embraced as "brothers in Christ" by David Duke, the Christian White Supremacist.

Practices: Modeled on the techniques effectively used during the Inquisition and Witch-hunts: accuse the enemy of Satanism by using dubious witnesses. Innuendo and subterfuge acceptable.

Historic Antecedents: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Kohmeni and other ardent anti-Masons.

Spheres of Influence: Church, radio, television, books and pamphlets.

Ethics: Subjective, relative, amoral. Use of false witnesses, misinformation and exaggerated "authorities" justifiable ("the end justifies the means").

Worldview: Uncertain. Possibly conspiratorial and paranoid.

Source of Authority: Themselves, but they try to make their followers believe they are acting as Christ's servants ("wolves in sheep's clothing").

Key Themes: Intolerance. Authors present themselves as a sure guide to truth.

Attitude to other religions: Condescending. The authors publish several books condemning the religious beliefs of others.

Key literature: Chiefly anti-Masonic and historically inaccurate works. "Proof-texting" of authentic information is common.

False Claims

Jonathan Blanchard was a 33d Degree Mason and a Sovereign Grand Commander (removed after 1993 edition).

Jim Shaw was a 33d Degree Mason and Past Master of all Scottish Rite bodies.

Manly P. Hall was a 33d Degree Mason at the time he wrote the books cited by Ankerberg and Weldon.

"Djwhal Khul" was a Mason.

The "Masonic" writings of Isabel Cooper-Oakley and Corrine Heline are "authoritative" (if not, why are they cited?).

The Scottish Rite uses "penalties."

"Jabulon" is a the name of a "Masonic god."

Masonry is a religion.

Masonry is occultic.

Masonry offers a "system of salvation."

Masonry is the "one true religion."

Masonry is intolerant of religion.

Masonry dishonors the Bible and other religious literature.

Masonry interferes with politics.

If Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon somehow "accidentally" made their false allegations or uttered their half-truths and lies unwittingly, they are unsafe guides. If they did this intentionally we are reminded of the judgment in Proverbs 14:5, "A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies."


22. Albert Pike, Liturgy of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. Part IV (Charleston, S.C., 1878; reprinted, n.p. 1944), p. 104.

23. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, rev. ed. The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christian Perspective (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989, 1990, [1993]).

24. "Djwhal Khul" is listed as a "spirit guide" of occultist Alice Bailey on p.235, and as a Mason on p.331

25. Ankerberg and Weldon, p. 16.

26. Ankerberg and Weldon, pp. 134, 149, 180, 199, 259.

27. Jonathan Blanchard, ed., Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated 2 vols. (Chicago: Ezra A. Cook, 1887-1888; reprint 1979), vol. 1, pp. 124, 145, 303, 358, 419, 436, vol. 2, pp. 137, 242, 340, 388, 445, 462, 464, 470, 472, 475.

28. Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (New York: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Col., 1961), p.612-613; (1996 ed.), 609-610.

29. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia is cited in by Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon as early as their first chapter.

30. Ankerberg and Weldon, p.131.

31. Clyde S. Kilby, A Minority of One (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1959), p.168.

32. See the introduction to Art deHoyos, The Cloud of Prejudice: A Study in Anti-Masonry (Kila, MT: Kessinger Publishing Co., 1992).

33. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (1961 & 1996), p.467.

34. Monitor of the Lodge (Waco, TX: Grand Lodge of Texas, 1982), p. 69.

35. Die Aufnahme eines Freimaurer-Lehrling (Berlin: Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland 1969), pp. 18-19.

36. Ankerberg and Weldon, p.235. "Djwhal Khul" is listed as a Mason on p.331.

37. Ankerberg and Weldon, p.236.

38. Ankerberg and Weldon, p.134.

39. At the time of this writing, Mr. Duke's article is available on the Internet's World Wide Web at

40. Ankerberg and Weldon, p.131.

41. A.E. Waite, Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross (London: Wm. Rider & Son, Ltd., 1924); Christopher McIntosh, The Rosicrucians (Wellingborough: Crucible, 1980, 1987).

42. Harold V.B. Voorhis, A History of Organized Masonic Rosicrucianism (Privately Printed, S.R.I.C.F., 1983); Ellic Howe, "Rosicrucians" in Man, Myth & Magic. An Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Supernatural 24 vols. (New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1970), vol. 18, pp.2426-2433.

43. Twenty-fourth Degree. Prince of the Tabernacle. Tentative edition. (Lexington, Mass.: Supreme Council, 33º, 1986).

44. Ellic Howe, The Magicians of the Golden Dawn (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972); R.A. Gilbert, The Golden Dawn. Twighlight of the Magicians (Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1983).

45. Jan Rachold, Die Illuminaten. Quellen und Texte zur Aufklärungsideologie des Illuminatenordens (1776-1785) (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1984)

46. Jack Harris, Freemasonry: The Invisible Cult in our Midst (Towson, MD: Jack Harris, 1983), pp.24-25, 29.

47. Ankerberg and Weldon, p. 224; Ceremonies of Installation and Dedication rev. ed. (Washington, D.C., 1954), p.44.

48. Ankerberg and Weldon, p. 55.

49. John Hamill, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 101 (1988), pp. 155-156.

50.Curiously, they refer to the latter two writers as if they were still living. See Ankerberg and Weldon, pp. 132, 226.

51. Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (New York: Vintage Books, 1973), p. 49.

52. Stephen Knight, The Brotherhood: The Explosive Exposé of the Secret World of the Freemasons (London: Granada/Panther, 1983); published in the United States as The Brotherhood: The Secret World of the Freemasons (New York: Stein and Day, 1984).

53. Walton Hannah, Darkness Visible (London: Augustine Press, 1952), pp.34-37.

54. Hubert S. Box, The Nature of Freemasonry (London: Augustine Press, 1952).

55. Elsewhere in their text Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon use another form of the word, "Masonry leads men to worship a false god (G.A.O.T.U., Jah-Bul-On)." Ankerberg and Weldon, p.176.

56. Paul Naudon, La Franc-Maçonnerie chrétienne. La tradition opérative. L'Arche Royale de Jérusalem. Le Rite Écossais Rectifié (Paris: Dervy, 1970); Paul Naudon, Histoire, Rituels et Tuileur des Haut Grades Maçonniques (Paris: Dervy, 1993), pp. 315-318.

57. The Hebrew word giblim (1 Kings 5:18) is translated "stonesquarers" in the Authorized Version, but refers to the inhabitants of Gebal, a city in Phoenicia. They were expert craftsmen used in building Solomon's temple.

58. Art deHoyos, "The Mystery of the Royal Arch Word," in Heredom: The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society vol. 2 (1993), pp. 7-34.

59. Albert G. Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1905), p.112, s.v. "Bel."

60. Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor rev. ed. (New York: L. Fitzgerald, 1866), p.249. It should be observed that Duncan's Ritual (as it is often called) did not represent the a correct version of any Masonic ritual in use, but was rather the author's own version.

61. David Bernard, Light on Masonry 3d ed. (Utica, NY: William Williams, 1829), p.126.

62. William L. Stone, Letters on Masonry and Anti-Masonry Addressed to the Hon. John. Quincy Adams (New York: O. Halsted, 1832), pp.74-75. Additional examples of Bernard's unreliability are cited in Heredom. The Transactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society vol. 4 (1995), p.23.

63. William Gesenius, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Oxford University Press, n.d.), p. 127; Ernest Klein, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English (New York: Macmillan, 1987), p. 79.

64. In his Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Language, James Strong says that Bealiah (word #1183) is composed of the Hebrew words ba'al (word # 1167) and yahh (word #3050).

65. James Strong, op. cit. (word #202).

66. Lancelot C.L. Brenton, The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English (reprint ed., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, n.d.), p. 73. If the words are taken from context it is more proper to refer to to On, "the Being."

67. Jay P. Green, Sr., The Interlinear Bible. Hebrew-Greek-English (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1976, 1986), p.951.

68. Edmond Ronayne, Chapter Masonry (Chicago: Ezra A. Cook, 1901, 1976), p. 281.

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