On September 18, 1793, President George Washington dedicated the United States Capitol. Dressed in Masonic apron, the president placed a silver plate upon the cornerstone and covered it with the Masonic symbols of corn, oil and wine. After a prayer, the brethren performed “chanting honors.” Volleys of artillery punctuated the address that followed. Like the entire ceremony, the silver plate identified Freemasonry with the Republic; it was laid, “in the thirteenth year of American independence . . . and in the year of Masonry, 5793.”

If, as Thomas Jefferson argued, the Capitol represented “the first temple dedicated to the sovereignty of the people,” then the brothers of the 1793 ceremony served as its first high priests. Clothed in ritual vestments, Washington and his brothers consecrated the building by the literal baptism of corn, oil and wine—symbols of nourishment, refreshment and joy, or, as some versions interpreted them, Masonry, science and virtue, and universal benevolence. In exemplifying the goals of a free and prosperous society, Masons mediated between the sacred values of the community and the everyday world of stones and mortar.

The fraternity’s position on Capitol Hill, one of the many such consecration ceremonies over the next generation, provided a powerful symbol of Masonry’s new place in post-Revolutionary America. No longer an expression of the honor and solidarity of a particular social class, the fraternity increasingly identified itself with the ideals of the nation as a whole. The order, brothers argued, represented, taught and spread virtue, learning and religion. Masons thus did more than lay the Republic’s physical cornerstones; they also helped form the symbolic foundation of what the Great Seal called “the new order for the ages.” — Steven C. Bullock, from Revolutionary Brotherhood: Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840


A Review of the Book Entitled “Morals and Dogma”

A. Ralph Epperson

In this booklet, a conspiracy-obsessed Christian attempts to prove that the Masons are worshipers of Lucifer. This charge has been made in the past and will, no doubt, be repeated. The author attempts to demonstrate that words used by the Masons, including sentences and oft-times fractions of sentences from a huge Masonic textbook authored by Albert Pike (notorious for his part in the formation of the Ku Klux Klan), have different meanings for Masons of high degree than to the initiates. The God of the Masons is not the Christian God but rather the Masonic God, “The Architect of the Universe.” Pull this mask off and one finds the secret Masonic God, the Light Bearer a.k.a. Lucifer. One thing about this booklet, the price is right. “Mr. Epperson is not charging for this review, because he is uncertain about the copyright laws and how they might apply to this review of a book still being printed. So, he is asking that each reader who wants one only order one copy.” TC

Publisher: Publius
Paperback: 61 pages

The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry

James Curl

Coffee-table chronicle of the awesome architectural legacy of the Freemasons, from graveyard pyramids and sphere-shaped temples to deluxe neo-Egyptian lodge interiors. “Lurking somewhere under the conventional histories that deal with the Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-classical periods is a strange world…” That world is the Masonic world. “For a brief period in the 18th century Freemasonry was the heart of much that was enlightened, forward-looking, and promised a regeneration of society. The searches for wisdom, to rediscover antiquity, to replace superstition by reasoned philosophy, to better mankind, and to find expressions for the new age in architecture, music and in all the arts” were all conducted by men schooled in the mystic brotherhood. Hail, the all-seeing eye! GR

Publisher: Overlook
Hardback: 271 pages

Behind the Lodge Door: Church, State and Freemasonry in America

Paul A. Fisher

“This book shows how for over 150 years the political policy of the United States was marked by governmental cooperation with and encouragement of Christianity in the schools and in social and political life. However, that situation changed dramatically beginning in 1941 when the Supreme Court for the first time in its history became dominated by justices who were members of the Masonic fraternity. It was a dominance that continued for the next 25 years and resulted in the imposition of an alien secular humanism on American education and the country’s political life… In this well-documented investigative report, author Paul Fisher lifts the veil on the subterranean war that has been waged against church and state by the Masonic fraternity for over 200 years, even to the point of influencing U.S. Supreme Court decisions.”

Publisher: Tan
Paperback: 362 pages

Beneath the Stone: The Story of Masonic Secrecy

C. Bruce Hunter

“The secrets of the Masonic lodge have excited curiosity for nearly three centuries. Surprisingly, those secrets are only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath their stony mystique lies a tradition that grew during a thousand years—from the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain to the age of the cathedrals, from the execution of the Templars’ last Grand Master to the disappearance of an enigmatic impostor in New York. This book explains why the Order needed secrets in the first place—secrets so well-kept that even the Masons no longer understand them.”

Publisher: Macoy
Hardback: 384 pages

The Dark Side of Freemasonry

Ed Decker

Collection of alarmist essays by Fundamentalists concerned about the spiritual perils presented by Freemasonry. Most are written by bean-spilling ex-Masons. Though a few essays bog down in chatter about the individual’s “growth in the Lord,” the bulk of these X-tians have made it their business to know the ways of The Enemy very, very well and produce thorough, if occasionally overwrought, evidence of Freemasonry’s historical links to a variety of occult systems.
Though the uninitiated may scoff, and the Masonic dupes of the lower three degrees (known as the “outer courtyard”) may take offense, a great number of well-known occult revivalists have taken the “craft” seriously enough to advance to Freemasonry’s highest degrees; this list includes founding members of the Golden Dawn, OTO, and the new “old religion” revived in Great Britain in the 1970s as Wicca. Even Theosophy’s Madame Blavatsky was initiated as a “Co-Mason,” the women’s version of the “ancient and accepted” boys’ club. And it is through Theosophy’s notion of the “Hidden Masters,” adapted by Alice Bailey (“Queen of the New Age”) as the Great White Brotherhood of Shambhala that several of the authors in this collection trace the influence of Freemasonry into the mainstream of today’s “alternative spirituality.”
Bailey and her husband (a Mason) believed that Freemasonry could be useful as a New World Religion and referred to the ancient all-seeing Brethren as “Master Masons of the Universe.” And since Shambhala floats in the AIR above the Gobi DESERT, and since the Bible characterizes demons as wasteland creatures and “spirits of the air”—well, YOU SEE what we’re talking about! And speaking of “All-Seeing,” what about the Masonic Founding Fathers putting that Eye on our currency and erecting that National Phallus we like to call the Washington Monument? Sex Magick! Ancient Fertility Rites! Yes, agrees another ex-Wiccan and ex-32-degree Mason! He points out dozens of similarities between Masonic and Wiccan initiations. Freemasonry was, after all, invented as a cover under which WITCHCRAFT could be practiced! And he concludes that “this is the abominable universal world religious system that Jesus Christ is returning to this earth to destroy!” One can only wish it would all turn out to be this interesting! RA

Publisher: Huntington House
Paperback: 224 pages

Freemasonry and Judaism: Secret Powers Behind Revolution

Vicomte Leon de Poncins

The same old unified world conspiracy theory: It’s the Jews and Freemasonry working hand in hand to destroy the traditional values of the West, starting with the French revolution of 1789 and continuing on to more modern times. SC

Publisher: A&B
Paperback: 260 pages

Freemasonry and the Vatican: A Struggle for Recognition

Vicomte Leon de Poncins

The key to this is the subtitle. While the concept of Freemasonry and the Vatican can evoke some wondrous conspiracy scenarios, the whole point of this book is that there are none and that it would be awfully nice if the Vatican would be friends with the Freemasons. It reads like a protracted court case, full of mind-numbing details. This is not to say that it’s badly written or ill conceived. To the very specialized niche of people who really care about a reconciliation between these two entities this book is loaded with useful chunks of testimonial (some dating back a few centuries). SA

Publisher: A&B
Paperback: 225 pages

Freemasonry: Exposition and Illustrations of Freemasonry at a Glance

Capt. William Morgan

Gives exact, word-for-word descriptions of the actual ceremonies and rites of passage that members of Freemasonry experience as they pass from initiation into the higher echelons of the temple, and goes into some detail describing the symbolic meaning of instruments like gages and gavels, jewelry and clothing, handshakes, prayers, and the construction of the temple as a building. From a ceremony of initiation: “The candidate then enters, the Senior Deacon at the same time pressing his naked left breast with the point of a compass, and asks the candidate, ‘Did you feel anything?’ Answer: ‘I did… a torture’ The Senior Deacon then says ‘As this is a torture to your flesh, so may it ever be to your mind… if ever you should attempt to reveal the secrets of Masonry.” BS

Publisher: A&B
Paperback: 110 pages

The Masonic Letter G

Paul Foster Case

“Explores the link between the Masonic degrees, rituals and Kabbalistic tradition. Masonry cannot be appreciated or understood without the knowledge of the Kabbalistic tree of Life and its insight into the nature of man and the Cosmos. Develops the relationship between the Geometry upon which the building and architectural symbolism of Masonry are based and the Gematria of the Kabbalists, a system of number correspondences to words and phrases that reveal the meanings of the numbers, measurements and geometrical proportions in the Old and New Testaments.”

Publisher: Macoy
Paperback: 96 pages

Please Tell Me: Questions People Ask About Freemasonry

Tom C. McKenney

“This book is not ‘anti-Masonic,’” McKenney notes, shortly before accusing the Masons of everything short of exterminating the dinosaurs. The author lifts the Masonic apron in order to expose the glistening, seamy underbelly of everyone’s favorite secret society. He warns Christians (who evidently don’t have enough to worry about) that Masons stop at nothing to effect their dark designs. “There have been times when a temporary Masonic lodge room was set up in a semi-trailer in a busy shopping center parking lot and men initiated right there on the spot.” He notes that membership in the Masonic Order drops every year, and explains why this makes those who keep their grip on the trowel and compass all the more powerful. He reveals that the messiah of Masonry is named “Hiram.” Considerable attention is devoted by the author to the question of whether or not George Washington was a Mason—McKenney has to admit that he was, but also decides that he wasn’t a very good one, praise Jesus. The real Hell’s Angels, he warns us, are those red-fezzed Shriners on minibikes, and on that we can do nothing but agree. JW

Publisher: Huntington House
Paperback: 224 pages