The Masonic Conspiracy By Rex R.

Hutchens One may find in the arguments of the antimasons against our beloved Fraternity the accusation that we are part of—or even the leaders of—a vast conspiracy against governments and established religion. Now, the word conspiracy derives from Latin and means literally ‘to breathe together’ and is now used to designate two or more people engaged in a common purpose, usually with nefarious ends in mind. Such a group has often been called a cabal, which sounds like it derives from that peculiar form of medieval Jewish mysticism called the Kabbalah, but is also an acronym for Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (Earl of Shaftesbury), and Lauderdale, who signed the Treaty of Alliance with France for a war against Holland in 1672. Definition 5 of the Oxford English Dictionary gives, “A small body of persons engaged in secret or private machinations or intrigue; a junto, clique, côterie, party, faction.” The leaders of this vast conspiracy are variously identified as the Grand Masters Conference of North America, the Supreme Council or Councils of the several jurisdictions of the Scottish Rite, or even a super-secret organization of certain Masons unknown even to those venerable Bodies. As a member of just that super-secret body, I can tell you that it’s all true. Yes, contrary to the minds of many Masons, their family, their friends and acquaintances, and the great majority of those disposed to think well of the oldest fraternity in the world, there is—in fact—a true Masonic conspiracy. That such a conspiracy was early denied is no evidence that it doesn’t exist. An early exposé called A Mason’s Examination (1723) affirmed there was no such thing as a Masonic conspiracy with the words, “…Free Masons are no prying inquisitive Busie-bodies, but honest industrious Persons, who desire only to excel in their own Profession; that the, Worshipful Society are no Innovators in Religious Affairs, no Perjured Plotters or Conspirators against the established Government: …” (quoted in Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry, SRRS annotated edition, p. 310).


The above claim notwithstanding, the history of Freemasonry is replete with the advocacy of innovation in religious affairs and the plots against established government are almost too many to list. The seeds of the Masonic conspiracy were laid in the eighteenth century within the womb of the European Enlightenment as its greatest philosophers emphasized the use of reason and the scientific method in the study of human nature. From this perspective, they also explored issues in education, law, philosophy, and politics and attacked tyranny, social injustice, superstition, and ignorance. This conspiracy sought to undermine the most cherished institutions of the political and religious realms. To suggest that such plans could be hatched at that time in the open light of day and within the public domain is hardly credible. Therefore, Masons met in private homes or taverns where they could be assured of being surrounded by friends and like-minded comrades whose aims were the same as theirs. The expression of purposes was shrouded in symbolic language, vague historical allusions and a cloak of allegory guaranteed to secure their intentions and bring about the appearance of a harmless collection of simple men with simple aims for social improvement. Such, however, was not the case. Freemasonry was, and is, not about mere social improvement—it is about revolution. In hearing this word, we are wont to think of armed insurrection against the powers-that-be. While this is not always the case, it is certainly common enough to justify the sobriquet. And indeed, the parade of patriots who fought for liberty is rife with Freemasons. To suggest otherwise would be to turn our backs on the most blatant facts of history: the American Revolution was inspired by Masonic ideals and led by Masons; the same can be said for certain factions within the French Revolution. In Latin America, Spain also was to quake under the promotion of Masonic ideals expressed in revolutionary terms. Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin, both Masons, sowed the seeds of revolution and changed the political landscape of Latin America forever. Even small revolutions had their Masonic contributors: the philosophical underpinnings of the Cuban revolution against Spain were expressed in the writings of the Freemason Jose Martí; so secure were its revolutionary credentials that Freemasonry today in Cuba under Communism has a higher per capita membership than the United States. The number of Freemasons involved in the Mexican Revolution is almost beyond counting. Perhaps the clearest demonstration of Masonic involvement would be to point out


that 39% of the Spanish Constituent Congress of 1931 were Freemasons. Nonetheless, the chief model for the Mexican Revolution was the French Revolution of nearly a century and half before. In Nicaragua in the 1920s Freemasonry, as a revolutionary society, even found itself allied with Communism through the efforts of Augusto Cesar Sandino. He had spent time in Tampico, Mexico and there discovered the dominant influence of Freemasonry in the Mexican Revolution. In Tampico there was a Lodge of Freemasonry with a particularly radical bent; it was under the jurisdiction of an organization that called itself the Bolshevik Grand Lodge! Regardless of his inability to wrest Nicaragua for U.S. domination in the 1920s and 30s, his ideals live on today in the modern organization named after him: the Sandinistas. Even the independence of Texas from Mexico was a revolution headed by Freemasons. A list can be provided on request, as if, given the present audience, such were even necessary. Nineteenth century Italy gave us Giuseppe Mazzini whose Masonic and revolutionary credentials were impeccable. The Italian government was so afraid of him that they issued a decree of perpetual banishment! This Past Grand Master of the Grand Orient of Italy fomented rebellion against the established government in Mantua (1852), Milan (1853), Genoa (1857), and colluded with another Mason, Giuseppe Garibaldi, in his expeditions against the government in 1860, 1862, and 1867. Banishment was not good enough for Garibaldi and he persevered under a death sentence imposed in 1834. After a sojourn in South America, where he stirred up the revolutionary fervor of Brazil and Uruguay, he lived for a time in America. Eventually he returned to Italy and overthrew the antiMasonic king Francis II and then went on to serve the Scottish Rite as Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council in Italy. Arab revolutionaries under the mantle of Freemasonry can be cited: Abd-el-Kader (1807-1883) was an Algerian patriot and Mason whose guiding purpose in life was to free Algeria from French colonialism. The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica provided the following description of his character: “Throughout this period Abd-el-Kader showed himself a born leader of men, a great soldier, a capable administrator, a persuasive orator, a chivalrous opponent.” Sadly, Algeria’s fate was that of most colonial occupations, backed by the superior training and equipment of European armies.


In Egypt in the 1870’s, the Freemason Sayyid Jamāl al Dīn al-Afghani did the same against British influence in the Ottoman Empire. Documents discovered in the early 1970’s revealed that al-Afghani attempted to use Masonry as a ready-made agency for political mobilization and agitation against the Khedive Ismā’īl and the increasing European intervention in the affairs of Egypt. The Khedive’s own son, Tawfīq Pasha, along with other notables and military officers, joined the Fraternity and were involved in al-Aghani’s revolutionary activity. This intimate relationship between revolution, or at least antiEuropean sentiment, and Freemasonry is revealed by an Egyptian contemporary, Adīb Ishāq, who said of al-Afghani, “[He had] a strong desire to save Egyptians from humiliation,” and when European interventions multiplied and the financial crisis worsened he realized that something had to be done, so he joined the Masons. Certain Arab groups and individuals were not alone in opposing Turkish rule during the period of the Ottoman Empire. Greece, in 1814, chafing under the same despotism, resisted and we find there the formation of Philikí Eaireía or Society of Friends. This group of Greek patriots worked for the liberation of their country and based their form, structure, practices, and initiatory ritual on—you guessed it—Freemasonry. By 1820 this Society had expanded into almost all parts of Greece and even members of Greek communities abroad joined. In the Philippines, one particular Freemason, Emilio Aguinaldo, was such a thorn in the side of colonial Spain that he was paid to leave the country. When he returned at the behest of America, after the Battle of Manila in 1898, he was asked to form a government, which he did and headed; as well, he formed the first independent Philippine army. The clearest indication of a Masonic resistance to Spanish rule of the Philippines was his organization of Triagle Magdalo, with other Freemasons and this revolutionary organization became Magdalo Lodge, which held its meetings at his home and on the balcony of this residence the First Republic was proclaimed as well as the unveiling of the original Philippine flag. He could not be blamed that America chose to impose its own form of colonialism on the Philippines until after World War II. The world at large is little changed from a century or two ago. The great majority of the people of the world chaff under the chains of various forms of religious and political despotism. The supposed pope of world Freemasonry, Albert Pike saw, in the square, as an


instrument of attack on Hiram Abif at the second station, a symbol of the rigidity of the union of church and state. The revolutionary character of Freemasonry is so well recognized that it is either banned outright by such governments or only slightly tolerated and riddled with government spies. This could be true in the United States too. Who knows how many FBI agents, Secret Service agents, policemen and sheriffs have become Masons just to keep an eye on us? Yet, there is another dimension of Revolutionary Freemasonry that should occupy the rest of our time. While militant revolution is dashing and far more interesting, the revolutionary character of Freemasonry has an essentially peaceful underpinning. The demands of liberty, equality and fraternity echoed in the French Revolution only became militant by the armed resistance of the established order to the changes inherent in the advocacy of these virtues over the tyranny of church and state. Yes, Freemasonry is a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy against established orders of religious and political despotism; it is a conspiracy against the tendency of men to be less than they can be. The antimason A. Ralph Epperson has claimed that Freemasonry is the head of the drive for a ‘New World Order’; this claim is also made by the television evangelist Pat Robertson. Well, I suppose, it’s true. If the present world order continues to promulgate war and sectarian strife as potential solutions to the world’s ills, then some sort of new world order would seem to be an advantage. As a child of the Enlightenment Era, Masonry has always promoted the clearly revolutionary ideals of intellectual and political freedom. Such ideals have failed to take root in eighty per cent of the world, suppressed by some form of political and/or religious tyranny. Politics and religion make strange bedfellows as the old cliché puts it. A clear example of this can be found in the very Bible that rests on most Masonic altars: the venerable King James Version. An earlier English Bible—The Geneva Bible—of 1599 uses the word tyrant over four hundred times. King James, apparently fearing an invidious comparison, forbad its use in his Bible even once! Another example of his meddling in this otherwise scholarly effort is the translation of the Hebrew word for sorcerer as witch so that his Bible would read “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and giving him a supposed Godgranted right to burn witches or anyone accused of being so. This political interference was so pervasive that the initial reaction to the translation was largely negative. Even by 1620 the


Pilgrim’s elected to bring with them to the New World the Geneva Bible and not the politically tainted King James Version. The religious character of Freemasonry is bound by neither restrictive dogma nor the dictatorial mandates of men who aggregate unto themselves that power of judgment reserved for God alone. The political character of Freemasonry is the absolute liberty of the mind; each is free to express the dictates of his conscience as long as he does not impinge upon the rights of others. This description of Freemasonry as a revolutionary institution begs a reexamination of certain basic principles of the Craft. Masonry has survived for over three centuries because it has grasped within its lessons the most fundamental truths of the human condition and the behavioral changes necessary to bring about real improvement of the individual—and, by extension, the society. Paraphrasing Aristotle, we might say that the great lessons of this Fraternity are not true because we teach them; we teach them because they are true. Nonetheless, the principle tenet of truth is the least discussed teaching of the Craft. Masons, on the whole, do not even know what it means. We have trivialized this virtue by teaching that we should tell the truth, as if that virtue was not taught at our mother’s knee, else we are Masons in vain. Truth is not about telling the truth, it is about seeking the truth. Blabbering about new paradigms is another exercise in futility. Masonry does not need a new paradigm; it is the paradigm. Paradigmatic changes are changes in mission and purpose. They are fundamental restructurings intending to create an entirely different understanding of the nature of things. Taken in its entirety, Freemasonry is incapable of improvement; its ideals (expressed in symbols) are its soul and those who would seek to change it only betray their ignorance. Every man who would seek to improve the Fraternity should remember that he joined—not for him to make it better, but for it to make him better.



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