John Ankerberg and John
"The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge"
IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FREEMASONRY?
ART de HOYOS
What compels Masons to be secret is not fear
of the Light;
for Light is what they desire, seek for, and adore.
they fear Profaners, that is to say, false interpreters,
skeptics, with their stupid laugh and the enemies
of all belief and all
--Albert Pike, 24º ritual, "Prince of the Tabernacle"(22)
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully
as when they do it from
--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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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"
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ankerberg and Weldon at a
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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, ).
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
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.,
33. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (1961 & 1996),
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 http://duke.org/
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,
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
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),
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
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
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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