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THE REVEREND RON CARLSON
IT IS TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT FREEMASONRY?
Figure 7. The point within a circle showing the Bible and the Holy Saints John. From Albert G. Mackey, A Manual of the Lodge (New York: Clarke and Maynard, 1870), [p. xxiii].
Rev. Carlson now performs what we believe is his most dishonest misrepresentation of Pike.
Page seven hundred forty-four, he goes on to say, quote (listen to what Albert Pike, the leading authority says):
The Bible, with all the allegories it contains, expresses, in an incomplete and veiled manner only, the religious science of the Hebrews. The doctrine of Moses and the Prophets, identical at bottom with that of the ancient Egyptian Mysteries, also had its outward meaning and its veils. The Hebrew books were written only to recall to memory the traditions; and they were written in Symbols unintelligible to the Profane. The Pentateuch and the prophetic poems were merely elementary books of doctrine, morals, and literature; and the true secret and traditional philosophy was only written afterward, under veils still less transparent. Thus it was that a second Bible was born, the New Testament, unknown to, or rather uncomprehended by the Christians; a collection of monstrous absurdities.
Unquote. Now you tell me how any Mason can be a Christian, when they say the New Testament is a collection of, quote, "monstrous absurdities," unquote.(76)
According to Rev. Carlson, Albert Pike deemed
the New Testament a collection of "monstrous absurdities." Carlson's quotation
of Pike, if accurate, would indeed reflect a prejudice against Christianity.
Upon checking Morals and Dogma, however, we discover that Pike has again
been misquoted. Besides putting words into Pike's mouth, Carlson misunderstood
the context of Pike's remarks, which concerned not the New Testament, but the
Jewish Talmudic writings. (As before, Rev. Carlson's unacknowledged omissions
struck out, his additions are bold.)
The Bible, with all the allegories
it contains, expresses, in an incomplete and veiled manner only, the religious
science of the Hebrews. The doctrine of Moses and the Prophets, identical at
bottom with that of the ancient Egyptians, also had its outward meaning and
its veils. The Hebrew books were written only to recall to memory the
traditions, and they were written in Symbols unintelligible to the Profane.
The Pentateuch and the prophetic poems were merely elementary books of
or liturgy and literature; and the
true secret and traditional philosophy was only written afterward, under veils
still less transparent. Thus a second Bible was born, the New
Testament, unknown to, or rather uncomprehended by, the Christians; a
collection they say, of monstrous absurdities;
a monument, the adept says, wherein is everything that the genius of
philosophy and that of religion have ever formed or imagined of the sublime; a
treasure surrounded by thorns; a diamond concealed in a rough dark
This clearly says that the Christians considered the Talmudic works absurd. It is difficult to see how Pastor Carlson confused the issue, and his unwarranted interpolation of the words the New Testament into Pike's text only amplified his error. As he did in the case of St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, Carlson makes Pike say something he never did.
Either Carlson intentionally distorted Pike, or he could not understand his writings and therefore misrepresented them. Either of these options makes Carlson an unsafe guide.
Rev. Carlson displays his research skills and sense of fairness by foisting the Léo Taxil hoax upon his audience.
Well, friends, it gets worse. Albert Pike, who was the Supreme Pontiff of all Freemasonry, speaking on July 14, 1889, to the twenty-three Supreme Councils of the World, said this, I quote. If you're a Mason, listen to the leading authority as to what Freemasonry teaches. Albert Pike, July 14, 1889, to the twenty-three Supreme Councils of the World said, quote:
That what we must say to the crowd is: We worship a God, but it is a God that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the Brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The Masonic religion should be, to all of its initiates of the high degrees, maintained in the purity of the Luciferian doctrine. Yes, Lucifer is God. The true and pure philosophic religion of Freemasonry is the belief in Lucifer.
Unquote. You can read in context, it goes on and it gets worse.(77)
This allegation by Rev. Carlson shows the inadequacy of his research and his naïve credulity. After spending "two years almost full time researching Freemasonry and the Masonic lodge," he still fell for Taxil's fake quotation. He didn't bother confirming the quotation nor checking his sources nor crediting the translator. But why should he? He'd already decided that Masonry is Satanic, and the Taxil quotation just confirmed what he already believed.
The section in this book, "Albert Pike and Lucifer," thoroughly details the Taxil hoax, and gives some of the abundant references available to those interested in the truth. Taxil's forgeries were exposed decades ago and have been widely published. It is difficult to believe that anyone could spend "two years almost full time researching Freemasonry and the Masonic lodge" and not discover the truth of the matter. It is especially deceptive for Rev. Carlson to invite his audience to "read [the quotation] in context," without citing his source. And this after assuring his listeners that he would refer only to the "authoritative works of Masons themselves."
At the end of his talk, Rev. Carlson took several questions from the audience. Most of the questions are not intelligible on our audio tape, but they can be inferred from the answers. In answering the eighth question, Rev. Carlson asserted with authority, "You won't--you cannot--find Morals and Dogma in a library."(78) The answer to question thirteen further highlights Rev. Carlson's research skills and his regard for accuracy.
[Answer to the thirteenth question]: Morals and Dogma? Yeah, it's copyrighted. Yeah, "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871 in the Office of the Library of Congress." There is also, ah, a place down in Chicago where you can, uhm, buy a copy, it's the publishing house for the Masonic lodge. And I wish I had the address with me. I'd give it to you, but, uh, if they have some in stock, uh, you can get one from them. Uh, though the last person I told that to, when they called down there--they just told me a few months ago that they had called down there--and, ah, the publishing house told them that they are now only giving them to the Masonic lodges, for the thirty-second degree Masons. You can no longer buy it from their secret publishing house. And so, evidently, uh, they've heard about us, and are trying to stop the dissemination of this information.(79)
Carlson contradicts himself here within a matter of seconds. First he claims the Masonic publisher of Morals and Dogma is in Chicago, and if he had the address with him, he would give it to his audience, so copies could be ordered. He then turns right around and conveniently says the last person he told that to was refused a copy for not being a thirty-second degree Mason; the publisher now becomes a "secret publishing house." To top it off, Carlson's megalomania becomes apparent as he takes credit for the publisher's alleged refusal to sell the book.
We suggest this account is fictitious. Morals and Dogma has never been printed or published in Chicago.(80) There is no "secret publishing house" for Masonry. Morals and Dogma originally was published for only thirty-second degree Masons, but it is widely available today from used book dealers and libraries. The Supreme Council 33º, S.J., sells used copies when they can be obtained.
If Rev. Carlson had bothered to check the public libraries near Eden Prairie, Minnesota, the location of his headquarters, he would have discovered the easy availability of Morals and Dogma. In February 1993 there was a loan copy in the West St. Paul libraries and loan and reference copies in the Minneapolis libraries. These copies would have been available to Rev. Carlson through the Metropolitan Library Service Agency. Elsewhere in Minnesota, the public libraries of both Duluth and Winona have loan copies.
A little more research would have revealed dozens of copies of Morals and Dogma in college and university libraries around the country.(81) And for those in Rev. Carlson's congregation who may have difficulty reading, Morals and Dogma is available from Recording for the Blind, Princeton, New Jersey.
70. Ron Carlson, Freemasonry and the Masonic Lodge, preached by the author, audio cassette (Eden Prairie, Minn.: Christian Ministries International, n.d.), side 1, 4:21. N.B. The times listed are measured from the beginning of the audio and may vary slightly depending on the equipment used.
81. Here are just a few of the places where Rev. Carlson could have borrowed the book in September 1993, according to the Online Computer Library Catalog (O.C.L.C.): Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama; University of Alabama; University of Arkansas; University of Arizona; University of Colorado at Denver; Grinnell College, Iowa; Northwestern College, Iowa; Murray State University, Kentucky; University of New Orleans; University of Minnesota, Duluth; Rust College, Mississippi; University of Nebraska, Kearney; University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Oral Roberts University; University of Central Oklahoma; Geneva College, Pennsylvania; University of South Carolina; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; University of the South, Tennessee; Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas; University of Texas at Austin; University of Texas at Permian Basin; University of Texas at El Paso; University of Utah; Liberty University, Virginia; and West Virginia Wesleyan College.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014