Friendship Lodge No. 33 was proud to host a visit from MWGM Gary Arseneau, newly installed Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Southern New England on Monday. This was the Grand Master’s “Homecoming” visit, and naturally he was accorded the highest honors and a warm welcome. MW Gary was accompanied by several other new officers of the GL-SNE, several of whom who were invited to help judge a chili cookoff dinner before lodge opened.
The Grand Master’s schedule is pretty full, so we were fortunate to get him to stop by so soon after his installation. To mark the happy occasion, the officers of the lodge presented the new Grand Master with a bottle of single malt for him to enjoy during the very few quiet moments that he will have during the rest of the year.
The evening was not all pomp and introductions, though. WM Ryan Carlson presented the lodge with a recitation of the infrequently heard third section lectures; otherwise known as the ”Beehive” lectures. WM Ryan recited the entire section from memory for the benefit of five of our newest Master Masons.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation to MW Gary of a bottle of a very old single malt Scotch, presumably for medicinal purposes, as Grand Masters are notoriously prone to headaches.
The very full lodge was closed, and the Craft gathered downstairs for refreshment and several hours of friendly discussion. It’s unfortunate that RW Gary probably won’t get many opportunities this year to attend lodge at Friendship, but I’m sure how knows that our best regards attend him no matter where he might be.
I became interesting in Freemasonry over ten years ago as a result of my fascination with conspiracy theories – and the theorists. I had spent several years web surfing from website to website, trying to untangle the threads in order to find some elements of truth, and failing that, settling for elements of verisimilitude. Over the course of several years I found that thread after thread ended up entangled with or somehow involving the Freemasons. Eventually I began to frequent web boards where I could read the messages that Freemasons sent to each other. Learning that there was nothing mysterious about them, I began to respect the Masons that I met online, and we soon inspired to join the local lodge, where I discovered that Freemasons (or just Masons, as we call ourselves) are mostly just normal guys interested in hanging out with like-minded people.
Mostly, that is.
Over the last ten years I’ve moved from novice initiate to the Master of the lodge – for which I had to undergo another secret ceremony during which I was imbued with the secrets of the Oriental Chair. Along the way I was appointed to several committees on our Grand Lodge – the governing body at the state level in the US – and was even appointed to a term as a minor Grand Lodge officer. During this time, I made a point to dismiss the twisted ideas of the conspiracists, who we often denigrated as the “Antis.” I’m now embarrassed to admit that I actually taunted them for their beliefs at times. However, I’m also willing to admit that the scales (or should I say, the hoodwink) has fallen from my eyes. In a perverse twist on the state toward which Masons avowedly strive, I can now say that I have been enlightened. I have discovered proof that there actually is a Masonic/Illuminati conspiracy, whose purpose is to pass messages from faction to faction via the mass media. However, unlike the hundreds, nay, thousands of conspiracy theorists who continue to post ridiculous theories on their websites and forums, I actually am a Freemason, and therefore, I actually have information to which they do not — nor ever will — understand.
For years I have read claims that there are branches of the Freemasons that are in league with the Zionists and the reformed (or more likely, never disbanded) Illuminati. I, myself, used to find such claims too outlandish, too ridiculous to believe, but I now see that this is how the Freemasons managed to keep their efforts concealed: they were hiding in plain sight the entire time. The methods that they use to pass messages is encoded in the icons of pop culture, and the messages themselves are passed along symbolically. This keeps the uninitiated from suspecting, let alone interpreting the signals being passed from group to group.
Are all Masons in on this? Of course not, and this is what makes most of the Antis seem so ridiculous. Not even the CIA can keep secrets; certainly the bunch of semi-retired engineers, office clerks, and web designers who make up most Freemason lodges could not do any better. No, only a small handful of illuminated ones are in on the secrets being passed on, and it is now my understanding that they are in government, finance, and more importantly, the mass media. Why the media? Because it is through pop music that these illuminated Freemasons are using symbols and allegory to pass secret messages along to the far-flung reaches of their empire.
I’m sure it goes without saying that it was in the early days of rock and roll that these Illuminated Freemasons realized the power of the media. Early experiments with the British “invasion” bands, such as the Beatles, were rife with hidden messages, and even the occasional researcher can easily turn up dozens of such references. Unfortunately, many of the messages became muddied during the late 1970s with the advent of disco. That was when the Freemasons decided to broadcast those messages through a very small number of channels, and in the late 1980s, it became obvious that they had hand-picked an unknown pop singer named Madonna Louise Ciccone.
Urged to keep her first name as an ironic jibe to their enemies in the Church, Madonna’s career skyrocketed as other media moguls were given their marching orders. Indeed, the most blatant message broadcast was her 1989 video “Express Yourself.” Revisiting that video, it’s now difficult to believe that we completely missed the message, deflected, as it were, by the outrageous costumes and stage antics of the ironically nick-named Material Girl. But hindsight is always 20/20, and it’s important to note that the real message was that Madonna, herself, was to be the messenger, and that those people “in the know” should take note. Indeed, her stage antics were interspersed with a riff on German filmaker Fritz Lang’s silent film “Metropolis,” which is a very obvious sign that the Illuminated Freemasons were in the planning stages of their New World Order.
Pop icons, however, exist at the whim of the public, and eventually Madonna would have to be retired. This was effected in 2003 when she symbolically passed the torch to upcoming singer Britney Spears. Now, I know that some conspiracy researchers take issue with this, but it’s quite obvious when one examines the facts. As you can see by the picture of them on stage at the MTV Music Video Awards, Madonna was dressed in black, symbolizing her death (i.e., retirement), while Britney is dressed in (“Like a Virgin”) virginal white. Even her name gives away the plan: Britney refers, of course, to Britain, the home of modern Freemasonry. Spears are, of course, are shafts tipped with metal or stone barbs. It’s interesting to note that in Masonic lodges, there are several minor officers that carry items called “staffs” or “wands”, but those staffs are always topped by emblems of pointed metal, making those tools essentially identical to spears. Furthermore, the officers carrying those staffs have an express purpose within the secret lodge rituals: to carry messages from one higher-ranking officer to another. Clearly, Britney Spears was hand-picked in order to make it clear that she was the new messenger from the higher ranking Illuminated Freemasons in Britain..
However, the case of Britney Spears points up how the conspiracy theorists often get things wrong. Generally, they seem to think that the Freemasons have unlimited, almost God-like control over all circumstances; however, it’s obvious that those who picked Ms. Spears made a mistake. A former Disney child actor (And don’t forget that Walt Disney, himself, was a high-ranking Illuminated Freemason) one would have thought that Britney Spears should have been able to handle the sudden leap into the public eye, but it seems that her private life suddenly went into a downward spiral. There’s no need to recount the reports of drug and alcohol abuse; they were simply the human failings of a very human person who was unable to handle the huge responsibility thrust upon her. Because the inability to handle celebrity is almost legend in the film and music industries, it’s impossible to know how many other messengers there may have been — or have been lost — over the decades.
Before the messages themselves could be reliably transmitted, it would be imperative to find another messenger — one that would be believable for those on the receiving end. Fortunately, the Illuminated Freemasonic cabal anticipated the need for this and had already begun grooming the next messenger: Stefani Germanotta.
While it almost goes without saying that Lady Gaga became the next messenger, it’s worth noting that she was aware of the fact that she was being groomed for the position. I haven’t figured out if the constant barrage of Illuminati symbolism in her music and videos is a “hidden in plain sight” ruse, or if she is deliberately throwing the messages in our collective faces as a display of power. Either way, there is no question that Gaga has been carefully groomed to deliver the symbolic messages for the foreseeable future. For example, her early videos were rife with Gaga making odd hand signals, easily recognizable to any initiated Freemason. However, what could not possibly be a coincidence is her making liberal use of “All Seeing Eye” symbology, ranging from wearing of dark glasses, to covering one eye, to (most importantly) the “V” sign framing one eye in various scenes. Signs regarding “The eye of Horus” or “The All Seeing Eye” are recognizable to even non-Masons; such posing goes beyond the obvious and well into the blatant. Gaga is not doing this by accident, and it is my opinion that she is intentionally signalling that not only is she the new messenger, but that she’s aware of being the messenger, and intends to carry out that office in any manner possible. Whether this is to put some level of confidence back into those on the receiving end (who had presumably been left hanging since the dark days of Britney Spears), or to signal that plans have been moved into a higher gear, or possibly, a more public arena remains to be seen.
However, this is yet another case of how the initiated conspiracy theorists get things wrong. For instance, one popular conspiracy theorist writes often on his interpretations of pop music, and frequently expresses the opinion that the artists are conveying the message that they are caught in a prison and forced to do the bidding of their Illuminated Freemason overlords. Nothing could be further from the reality, which is that most of the pop cultural icons are, indeed, pleased to have been enriched financially, and have taken full advantage of the perks offered to them. This probably offers up a clue as to why Gaga herself throws so much symbolism into her videos: she’s flaunting her wealth and power.
The question arises that if Gaga is so blatant, how could there be any certainty that she is the messenger of a secret cabal? However, the chain that links Gaga to previous messengers is simply undeniable.
- While the backstory varies somewhat, the publicly given acknowledgement of Stefani Germanotta’s stage name is that a music producer friend of hers remarked that she reminded him of the old Queen song “Radio Gaga,” and a typo or a bad autocorrect changed that title to Lady Gaga. She liked the name, and took it as a stage moniker.
- Gaga (as she is now called) has posed with Masonic backdrops.
- Gaga’s latest music single is entitled “Born This Way,” the title being a nod to her having been groomed for several years for this office. The backbeat to this song is somewhat reminiscent of a major single from a previous messenger, Madonna. If you listen closely, you can hear echoes of the 1989 tune “Express Yourself.”
- The video to “Express Yourself” had a number of references to German Filmmaker Fritz Lang’s 1927 film “Metropolis.”
- Gaga’s actual last name is Germanotta
- Madonna, herself, retired from the office and moved to Britain (!) where she became known for studying the Kaballah, which itself is closely linked with the other esoteric studies associated with the Freemasons and the Illuminati, and shows signs of a Zionist tie-in.
- Part of the lyrics in “Born This Way” are “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” a reference to the band which gave Gaga her stage name.
- The band Queen (a reference to Britain, the home of Illuminated Freemasonry) wrote the song “Radio Gaga” in 1985, at least a year before Stefani/Gaga was born. “Radio Gaga” contains not just references, but actual clips of the original movie “Metropolis.”
- The front man for Queen had the stage name of Freddie Mercury.
And in Roman mythology, who was Mercury? None other than the messenger of the gods.
Could anyone possibly need more proof than this?
A funny, yet eerie thing happens when you wander into the world of secret conspiracies; like wandering the Cretan Labyrinth, it’s easy to lose sight of both your original starting point and your ultimate goal.
Our theory that early operative Freemasons became familiar with “revenants” (creatures that in folklore later became zombies and vampires), and codified the means of how to destroy them in certain ceremonies has been met with the expected amount of derision and skepticism. I think that many people simply fail to understand that Freemasons, being employed by the Catholic Church to work on their buildings, had a need to keep their activities on the downlow so as not to be accused of trafficking with the demonic by the less educated and more superstitious population.
We expected this when I volunteered to be the one to publish the ideas.
None of us believe that the revenants are supernatural creatures; those ideas didn’t come about until the Gothic period, when — ironically enough – people began to be frightened by the idea of technology. No, we think that the historic records of the time will show that people were falling to an as-yet unnamed disease that caused the appearance of death, after which the victims became mindless eating machines (insert jokes about teen-aged boys here). Poor knowledge of medicine and other social factors contributed to the occasional outbreaks in the rural and wooded districts. Unfortunately, when people started moving to the cities in the early 1700s, so did the outbreaks.
Initially, we theorized that high-level Masons were (although in league with the national and state governments) still keeping this quiet, so as not to alarm the general public, who have shown themselves to be more educated, but not really much less superstitious than they were in the Middle Ages. Naturally, this has met with a lot of skepticism from both Masons and non-Masons alike.
We expected this, too.
But what we did not expect was to be presented with an alternate theory: That the high-level Freemasons have been trying to educate the public by allowing them access to these rituals and ceremonies. Indeed, for the last several years, virtually every newspaper article, news show, or cable TV special has begun with “The once secretive Freemasons have begun to open their doors,” or “The secret mysteries of the Freemasons are being unveiled,” or “Freemasons, that once-secret society, have now begun to…”
The alternate theory, which we have found to be very compelling, is that various Grand Lodges have been pressured by these higher-level Masons to show off a little, and to encourage non-Masons to look at our secret ceremonies, ostensibly to show that they are simply arcane rituals, but actually, so that the viewing public will understand what to do should there be a wide-spread outbreak of this unknown disease. Indeed, just the fact that we have come so far into the public eye in only a few short years suggests that the higher-level Masons may even expect that a wide-spread infection is about to happen. Our rituals have been discussed in print by hundreds of authors, and in the last few years have been featured on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and several other cable TV specials. A generation ago — even ten years ago — this would have been unthinkable. Now we’re practically giddy when we think about it.
Ultimately, I expect that we’ll discover that our original conception was closer to the mark. But the idea remains: is it possible that an unknown disease — perhaps a new “superflu” is about to bring us culturally back to the Middle Ages?
One of the great things about the internet is how people with seemingly nothing in common can exchange ideas without ever actually meeting in person. Such is the case when I recently began exchanging emails with an amateur historian, an epidemiologist, and a professor of sociology. At first, it seemed that our only common bond was that we all share an interest in Freemasonry; however over time it developed that we all had some questions about our gentle Craft that have never been satisfactorily answered. As we began discussing the dilemma, we also found that we were able to integrate our various fields of knowledge in order to work through the problem. In doing so, we believe that we have managed to solve one of the most puzzling issues in the early history of the fraternity.
We now have some serious evidence pointing to the origins of what is commonly known as The Hiramic Legend in the Master Mason degree.
Some brief background: Early Freemasonry had only two degrees, the Entered Apprentice, and Fellowcraft (i.e., Fellow of the Craft). This situation was extant before the 1717 formation of the Grand Lodge of England, and continued for some years afterward. Yet, sometime in the mid-1700s, records show that various lodges seemed to have begun performing some variation of this legend. The origins of the drama are unknown, but is often attributed to being some kind of morality play. The drawback of this theory is that the legend draws on the Biblical story of Hiram Abiff; in the Old Testament, Hiram is a relatively minor character. More confusing is the rather obvious paradox in which the Masonic legend deviates so drastically from the actual Old Testament story: in the OT, Hiram Abiff comes to help King Solomon build his famed Temple, and when finished, goes home to his family with some considerable payment. In the Masonic drama, however, Hiram is shown to be struck down before the completion of the Temple by three Fellowcrafts, who then attempt to hide his body in a makeshift grave out in the dessert. This is the most extreme departure from Biblical scripture recorded in any of the dozens of Masonic ceremonies, and it stands to reason that there is a purpose for this. By taking what we know about Masonic history from that era, and placing it within the context of the social and cultural aspects of the time, we believe that we have discovered that purpose.
To understand the social context, we need to consider that the early 1700s was the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; prior to this period, most people lived an agrarian-based lifestyle. However, as more factories were built in and around the cities, larger populations were drawn into the urban areas, and by the mid-1700s, larger numbers of people left the farming communities to see work in the factories. Not surprisingly, the population explosion led to issues of public hygiene: the spread of disease, the disposal of wastes, and the proper internment of the growing number of the deceased.
Although we can trace Freemasonry back to the late 1400s and early 1500s, it wasn’t until the early to mid 1700s that we see the rise of organized networks of Masons, via the formation of Grand Lodges. There are no records as to why several London lodges decided to formalize their arrangement, but it wasn’t long before other lodges joined the network — and it was a network, as the lodges we more able to freely exchange information, including the variations of their rituals and ceremonies. It is significant to note that during this period, There were still only the two degrees in Masonry; “Master” Masons were those who were literally Masters of their lodges. Likewise, the degree ceremonies were relatively simple and the basic ceremonies were essentially the same in each lodge, although many lodges had their own particular set of “lectures” for the candidates.
At some point in the early to mid 1700s, we see records of lodges adding a type of morality play to the degree ceremonies. The main character varies in some of the earliest versions, but by the third quarter of the 1700s, that character was solidified as Hiram Abiff, and the stories became more consistent. Interestingly, they all contain similar elements: A character is beset by three assailants, and is then murdered; each assailant using a different weapon and attacking a different part of the character’s body. In many variations, the Hiramic legend specifies that Hiram is struck across the throat, in the chest, and in the head. The assailants (often referred to as the “Ruffians” in North America) strike with tools commonly associated with Masons: A square, a rule (sometimes called the 24 inch gauge), and a mallet or setting maul.
While Masons often assume that the assailants use those particular tools as a way to tie in to the tradition working tools in the various degrees, as we unearthed more information about the underlying social context, it became obvious that this line of reasoning has it backwards; that is, the legend itself is an instructional play that uses these tools as a way to reinforce knowledge to which only a few were at one time privy. And while we can not yet account for the reasoning behind using the character Hiram Abiff (except that he is a relatively minor character in the OT, and the change of storyline would be easily forgotten), we believe that the traditional lessons taught by this drama — about his integrity and bravery in the face of death — intentionally overshadow the real lessons that needed to be passed down to the new generations of Masons living in the crowded cities and urban areas. In this light, it is the Ruffians themselves who are the teachers and exemplars.
Note: ‘R’-rated language and adult situations follow:
The novel begins with Robert Langdon being invited to speak at a conference in Washington by a man who will inevitably die in the first few pages. Sure enough, after arriving in the Capitol building, he discovers a gruesome murder scene laden with dense Masonic imagery and blood. Langdon then spends the next couple of pages kicking down doors and looking behind curtains, trying to find who’s fucking with him. He is pissed. “Who do you think I am, fucking Angela Lansbury?” he screams.
Still, Brown’s eye for detail and knowledge of the minutiae of famous historical sites is superb, and it immediately becomes clear he’s still a master at weaving a gripping yarn. A scene where Langdon and his companion visit the Lincoln Memorial and climb up the hollow pant leg, to discover the true Emancipation Proclamation (it’s a huge gold penis) packs more tension and interest than a dozen Nick Cage turdstravaganzas.
I won’t spoil who the true villain of the novel is (let’s just say he’s the CEO of Apple) but the antagonist who features most prominently throughout the course of the novel is a tattooed Masonic thug named Mal’akh. Throughout the novel he uses his secret Masonic powers (polishing, grout work and levitation) to stymie Langdon’s efforts at every turn.
Langdon’s romantic interest this time around is Dr. Katherine Solomon, a specialist in noetic science, which is a field I’m not even going to bother relating here. OK, I lied. It’s horseshit. Regardless of her career, like all of Langdon’s companions, her sole purpose is to ask a lot of leading questions to Langdon as they rush past important pieces of art. She’s also the descendant of King Solomon and has a map to the moon tattooed on her back–facts which may become relevant in later chapters.
The long delay in this book sparked rumors that Brown had developed a case of writer’s block. Others have less charitably suggested that, buoyed by success, Brown had developed a distaste for the formula that made him a success and was raging internally at having to write another such piece. You can see this conflict when in one early scene, a character remarks to Langdon about how much he enjoyed reading about his antics in Paris a few months ago in The Da Vinci Code. When Langdon turns his back the character makes a “jerking off” motion with his hand. Even stranger is another scene set at a cocktail party, were actor Tom Hanks meets Langdon and tells him that he likes the “cut of his jib.” Another character nearby, introduced as Ban Drown, comments: “Can you believe the sheep who keep eating up this shit?” He then shares a high five with Tom Hanks, before they drive off together in a Hummer-limo full of models.
Anybody interested in reading Chris Bucholz’s unexpurgated review can see it at the Cracked Magazine blog: A DaVinci Code Sequel Review.