To the unassuming public, the Freemasons are a society of likeminded men who come together to donate and raise money for good and charitable causes. But is this really true? Is the government a component of an underground Masonic society whose whole organization is a plot to form a new-world order?
Let’s look at the evidence.
A New World Order
The one world government, also referred to as the New World Order, is a theory that a select few elite people have a globalist agenda and aspire to rule the world as an authoritarian world government. This will replace sovereign nations and states and every country will become one under the same government. Culled in modern times out of Woodrow Wilson’s speech to Congress on January 8, 1918, in his Fourteen Points statement of principles for peace, he called for a League of Nations on the heels of World War I. In his list, point XIV calls for the formation of:
A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.
He closes that speech, saying:
An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak.
Unless this principle be made its foundation no part of the structure of international justice can stand.
George Bush, in 1991, took up the phrase in a speech to Congress, not ironically in reference to making the world safe. In the address, he said:
I come to this House of the people to speak to you and all Americans, certain that we stand at a defining hour. Halfway around the world, we are engaged in a great struggle in the skies and on the seas and sands. We know why we’re there: We are Americans, part of something larger than ourselves. For two centuries, we’ve done the hard work of freedom. And tonight, we lead the world in facing down a threat to decency and humanity.
What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind — peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children’s future. (minute 6:40 in the video below)
He says further on,
We will succeed in the Gulf. And when we do, the world community will have sent an enduring warning to any dictator or despot, present or future, who contemplates outlaw aggression.
The world can, therefore, seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order, where brutality will go unrewarded and aggression will meet collective resistance.
Seemingly, this had less to say about world domination and more to insinuate peace, security and prosperity.
So where do the Freemasons come in?
Freemasonry and the New World Order
As one the world’s oldest secular fraternal organizations, the Freemasons have been at the heart or involved in a number of the world’s most pivotal moments. Let’s take the United States for example. The most powerful country in the world and yet on of the newest. George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Freemasons, and the influences of this society are seen throughout American state craft and culture.
Take a closer look at the Great Seal of the United States or the one dollar bill, The Great Seal bears the Latin phrase ‘novus ordo seclorum’ on the reverse, as proposed by non-mason Charles Thomson, translating to ‘new order of the ages.’
Yes, Ben Franklin was on one of the early committees to craft the early seal, but in the end, it was not his seal that was selected. Franklin’s seal, chose the more modest motto of “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God” Some believe that the final motto selected alludes to the phrase New World Order and is a preamble for “Freemasonry is the Church of Satan masquerading as a fraternal mystical philanthropic order.” and are “fronts for Illuminati (Masonic & Cabalist Jewish) central bankers who started the US as a vehicle to advance their New World Order” pinning the phrase to “Illuminati bankers [who] have been plotting the ‘new order of the ages’ (featured on the US dollar along with the uncapped Masonic pyramid) for thousands of years.”
Was the American government created with the purpose of one day becoming the one world government?
One of the main reasons that the Freemasons have been the subject of the New World Order theory is that they rejected the traditional and orthodox authority because it didn’t fall into line with their idea that all people were equal. Not just this, but Masonic societies around the globe been known to treat all people, regardless of religion, as equals. This belief is often seen as highly un-Christian and, therefore, made masons a focus for people who believe in the one world government.
Secret World Government
But why are the Masons so secretive? What do they have to hide?
In this day and age where men and women are equal, why aren’t women invited to the Lodges all over the globe where these meetings take place? Many people believe that they are hiding something. Because of this secrecy, no one knows what really goes on except those who are involved in them. The Freemasons claim to be a charitable group yet they make no claims on the charities they donate to, and they ask for no official recognition. Why be so secretive?
Perhaps it comes out of another organization that has been linked to the Freemasons, the Illuminati.
The Illuminati was founded in 1776, which coincidentally is the same year that America became independent. The main focus and beliefs of the Illuminati was a mixture of several different religions, mysticisms and even heavily borrowed the Freemasons ideologies. The main goal — that they spoke about — was to make people happy and people could become happy by becoming good. They want people to reject judgment and prejudices and believe that everyone should out for everyone. Sound familiar?
The Illuminati and the Freemasons are closely linked, and their beliefs are very similar, and its founder tried to infiltrate his organization into the contemporary Masonic lodge, but Weishaupt’s dream never say its full manifestation. Despite this fact, this is another reason why many believe that, together, they are one organization working together to bring about the New World Order. Because they want everyone to be treated as equals regardless of status, religion, gender, race or background, people believe that they are looking to create a world in which everyone is the same. What better way to do this other than create a one world government? If one government ruled the entire world then none of those things would matter and people would be truly equal.
American Founding Fathers
One of the other big reasons that people believe that Freemasons are looking create a one world government is because of what happened in the founding of the United States.
In the 1776, the United States of America didn’t exist. It was simply known as Mundus Novus (New World) from a pamphlet written in 1503 by Amerigo Vespucci. The term was in opposition to the notion of an “old world” from which the age of exploration sprang. As the “new world” grew it took shape to include the 13 British colonies — each isolated from the other with degrees of different beliefs, different ideologies and even different religious practice (again, to a degree). They were made up of different races and ethnicities and all held widely differing political and societal beliefs. It was the organization by the Founding Fathers that sought to unify these disperate colonies under one government into a country that, after much bloodshed and heartache, would become known today as the United States. And what do we know about the founding fathers? That they were Freemasons.
It was the work of these founders that many see as the Freemasons unifying America under one government to be spread to the rest of the world. They started out with the United States, which many people dub the “practice country” and now have their sights set on the rest of the world.
The Big Picture
Obviously, none of these plans for world domination are proven fact.
Yes, the founding fathers were Freemasons and yes they did work together to unite the 13 colonies to become the United States. And yes, the Illuminiaiti sought to infiltrate European Masonic lodges to spread their ideology across the globe, but there is no real evidence that they did so because they wanted to rule the world under a “one world-government” despite what Wilson and Bush said in front of Congress to the American people (neither of whom were Freemasons).
The Freemasons are not a secret society, they are simply very traditional — a fact that many people don’t understand. And in that tradition, world domination is the last thing on its mind, unless that domination is in the form of doing good works and promoting civil society.
Ultimately, masons do a lot of good in the world and they do it without expectation of anything in return. There could stand to be a few more people who aren’t in it for the glory and just in it for the good of mankind. And really, if it were to come to light that they were looking to establish a world free of judgement a prejudices, would that really be the worst thing in the world?
Jesuits, Illuminism, and the Royal Arch of Enoch with Robert W. Sullivan IV
Robert Sullivan is a newcomer in the world of Masonic scribes with his first work, The Royal Arch of Enoch, hitting the bookshelf late in 2012. What makes Sullivan’s work interesting is the degree of focus he puts on the Apocryphal figure of Enoch in the Masonic degrees, a figure that most, at best, consider briefly in their progress and, at worst, completely ignore all together. Sullivan’s work takes on the historic, esoteric, and political implications of including the biblical figure of Enoch in both the York and Scottish Rite and why that inclusion may not have been with the purest of Masonic intents but rather a happy accident of allegoric construction like so often happens in the secret traditions, including those of Freemasonry. I found the conversation to be extraordinary and I think you will too as we gain a bit more insight on the keeper of the lost word that is found anew, at least in part.
Greg Stewart (GS) – Before we delve too deeply into the subject matter, I’d love to start by finding out about you. Who is Robert Sullivan, how long have you been a Mason, and to what orders are you a member of?
Robert W. Sullivan (RS) On my website I describe myself as a philosopher, historian, antiquarian, jurist, theologian, writer, and lawyer. I am the only child of antique dealers and I was born on October 30, 1971 in Baltimore, Maryland. I graduated high school from Friends School of Baltimore (the oldest private school in Baltimore, founded in 1784) in June 1990 and attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania becoming a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha (Theta Pi, member #1199) fraternity. I earned my B.A. in History in 1995 having spent my entire junior year of college (1992-1993) abroad at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, England studying European history and philosophy. While in Oxford I was a member of the Oxford Union, the Oxford University Conservative Association, and the Oxford Law Society. Upon returning to the United States in June 1993 I took a year off from Gettysburg College to serve as office director of the Washington International Studies Council located on Capitol Hill.
Prior to attending law school in the United States I spent the Michaelmas Term 1995 at Trinity College, Oxford University studying jurisprudence and international law. From 1997 to 2000 I attended Widener University School of Law, Delaware Campus, from where I received my Juris Doctorate.
I have been a Blue Lodge Mason since 1997 having joined Amicable-St. John’s Lodge #25 in Baltimore, Maryland. I became a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1999, Valley of Baltimore, Orient of Maryland.
GS – Thinking back, what induced you to originally want to become a mason?
RS – Since being a child I have always been interested in the mysterious and the unexplained. Growing up I always tuned into In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy. My interest in Masonry had to do with its mystical origins and esoteric symbols, however I was primarily motivated to become a Mason to continue a family tradition; my Grandfather Robert W. Sullivan Jr. was a Freemason, his father-in-law, my Great Grandfather, Frederick J. Wheelehan was as a Past Master (former Worshipful Master) of Freedom Lodge #112.
GS – Did you realize your vision in your first few experiences of joining? (Did it live up to your expectations?) Or did you discover something else?
RS – Yes, the Masonic ritual experience was everything I imagined it would be, however, it was not until a couple years later that I truly understood the esoteric symbolism and the themes of Gnostic ascension that are contained in the third degree ritual. I had a much better understanding of the ritual after I finally read the works of the Masonic greats such as Albert Mackey, Manly P. Hall, and Albert Pike. After that I discovered the real meaning and purpose of Masonic ritual and its underlying occult philosophy.
GS – Gnostic Ascension, elaborate on that. What does the idea mean or look like to you?
RS – Gnostic ascensio [Ascension] is being brought from a state of symbolic death to a resurrected life or darkness to light which is the main theme of the third degree ritual. Once re-awakened, the candidate’s divine spark is ignited, their slumbering Prometheus is conscious, and the newly resurrected initiate is ready to effect positive change in his life and in society in general.
GS – What ultimately led to your crafting your book, The Royal Arch of Enoch?
RS – The research for the The Royal Arch of Enoch began back when I was an associate student at Oxford University in 1992-1993, however the true writing of this book began in 2005 on the old social networking site Myspace. I started posting blogs and uploading photos that reflected my research and much to my delight, was very positively received. I was then approached by a fellow Mason who had seen the page and encouraged me to memorialize the information. Since this was what I was planning on doing anyway, I began putting pen to paper writing and editing the book. The Royal Arch of Enoch: The Impact of Masonic Ritual, Philosophy, and Symbolism was completed and published in August 2012, approximately seven years later.
GS – For those who don’t know about Enoch, describe briefly who he was and why he bears symbolic significance to Freemasonry and more broadly to esoteric or occult circles.
RS – Enoch is one of two people in the Bible to never experience a physical death; the Prophet Elijah is the other. Enoch is taken into Heaven at Genesis 5:18-24 and the Book of Enoch (or I Enoch) documents Enoch’s interactions with both Arch-Angels and Fallen Angels the latter being known as the Watchers. He is important with Masonry because the High (or Haute) degree ritual that bears his name, the Royal Arch of Enoch, sees the recovery of the Tetragrammaton thus philosophically ending the “mission statement” of the Blue Lodge. Enoch’s corporeal travels in the afterlife are very esoteric in nature including the gleaning of knowledge from the Watchers which ultimately become the seven liberal arts and sciences (Medieval Quadrivium and Trivium). My book documents components of I Enoch being incorporated into the Royal Arch of Enoch high degree ceremonial which should not be occurring since the Book of Enoch was lost to Western Civilization from approximately 2-3 C.E. to 1821 when it was first translated into English. This historical anomaly and its influence upon material culture is the thrust of my book.
GS – Without giving too much away, why do you think this anomaly is important?
RS – My book is the first to document it; in other words, prior to the publishing of The Royal Arch of Enoch, this anomaly was unknown to historians in the East and West. The incorporation of the Book of Enoch into the degree ceremonial is a genuine mystery and it is this ritual in particular that has defined, among other things, the American national character. Carrying this Enochian iconography forward, The Royal Arch of Enoch also documents the symbolic restoration of the sun as the premier icon in all of Freemasonry and as the supreme emblem of imperial administration and religiosity lifted from the Ancient Mysteries, incorporated in the Abrahamic Faiths, and carried on in both blue lodge and high degree Masonry.
GS – It’s interesting to me that Enoch comes in tangentially in two different degrees in two different systems (York Rite and Scottish Rite). Why do you think that is (how did that happen)?
RS – Both the York Rite and Scottish Rite owe its origin to the premiere high degree system which was known as the Rite of Perfection. The twenty-five degree Rite of Perfection was developed by the Society of Jesus [aka the Jesuits] as part of the on-going Counter Reformation in an effort to undermine the English Monarchy and destroy the Protestant Church via subterfuge. The Rite of Perfection was mid-wifed piecemeal into the United States and a Temple of Perfection was established in Albany, New York by Henry Francken. The Lodge of Perfection is the forerunner to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite while T.S. Webb’s Illustrations of Freemasonry of 1797 bear all the hallmarks of Francken’s Lodge. Webb, of course, was the driving force behind the York or American Rite of Freemasonry.
GS – Do you think the two parallel one another in any way? What does one suggest that the other omits and vice versa? Do the two compliment one another?
RS – Yes, the two Rites parallel each other in that the Name of God or the Tetragrammaton is recovered. This is the “Lost Word” that goes missing in the Blue Lodge with the death of Hiram Abif. The two degrees have differences as well. For example, in the York Rite the Name of God is located on the Ark of the Covenant while in the Scottish Rite it is found on the Foundation Stone upon which the Ark once sat, so both Rites associate themselves with the Ark of the Covenant and by default the Decalogue and Hebrew Kabbalah.
GS – Can they be taken together, or do they exist as two separate tellings, unique unto themselves?
RS – Once a man becomes a third degree Master Mason, he is then eligible to join the York and Scottish Rites. He can join one, both, or neither – the decision is his. Since these two rites are not mutually exclusive, a person could receive the Royal Arch degree twice: once in the York Rite and once in the Scottish Rite. So in that sense an initiate can “take” the degrees in each separate haute degree system.
GS – I heard you say, in another interview talking about the book, that the degree is a re-telling of the Book of Enoch. I’m curious how so? Is it an interpretation of its existence (like acknowledging the BoE by the degrees existence) or could it be construed as a literal retelling?
RS – Although the ritual does not mention quotes or mention I Enoch per se, the ritual that bears Enoch’s name contains elements and components that come out of the pseudepigrapha. For example the Royal Arch ceremony parallels Enoch’s apotheosized ascension from the Book of Enoch thereby transforming the Masonic candidate into a sublime initiate (or parfait [French for “perfect”]) who, by beholding the name of deity as the emanation of all wisdom, becomes a symbolic god-like Enochian (or hermetic) divine figure in his own right. This degree under the T.S. Webb system was thus the premier and most sublime degree in Masonry. The movement of the essential elements of the Book of Enoch into the framework of the pre-history and paragon iconic myth of Freemasonry’s relationship to the broader world can be traced to the transformation of Enoch into a heavenly king. This king was not only a virtuous and wise Pythagorean ruler – an image that had fateful consequences for Freemasonry’s association with Illuminism: the means to the transformation of the world into a perfected Masonic Temple: a one world government – outwardly democratic yet inwardly ruled by an occult theocracy; and with the actual imagery of Pythagoras as the supreme Masonic initiate. The Masonic-Enochian Ritual utilizes the currency of platonic thought, notably that found in Plato’s own Timaeus, as the medium or method for the achievement of Pythagorean kingship with its array of symbolic effects transforming the candidate into a symbolic Enoch, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus. The Royal Arch of Enoch ritual, on a symbolic level, transforms the Masonic initiate into a divine, apotheosized monarch by beholding the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (or Wisdom) as an emanation of the Tetragrammaton; this concept comes directly out of the Book of Enoch. There are others, but I would refer one to read my book
GS – I have an idea what you mean, but if you can, define what you mean by an “…occult theocracy.”
RS – A society that is outwardly democratic yet inwardly ruled by hidden leaders or masters who rule behind the scenes without the consent of the populace. This can be seen in the early days of the Republic where DeWitt Clinton used high degree Freemasonry as a vehicle to formulate public policy across states’ lines without electoral consent.
GS – Interesting, by saying it represented a perfected temple, vis-à-vis a one world government, do you think that was the notion behind the degree or just an allegorical bonus to utilizing an Enocian theme?
RS – The degree was part of the original twenty-five degrees of the Rite of Perfection, and as the title suggests, by beholding the Tetragrammaton in the Royal Arch ritual the Masonic parfait becomes “perfected” and now can perfect or formulate society as a whole. This was the penultimate goal of what can best be defined as the Thomas Smith Webb-DeWitt Clinton-Salem Town ritual synthesis.
GS – Is one degree (York or Scottish) closer to that retelling?
RS – Not necessarily, but the placement of the Tetragrammaton on the Ark of the Covenant in the York Rite correctly associates the “Lost Word of a Master Mason” with Hebrew Kabbalah in keeping with Enochian and arcane mystical themes and concepts.
GS – Do you think it would have the same meaning if it were given immediately following the third degree?
RS – In some English “Antient” Lodges, the Royal Arch was given after the third degree. Today it is given as part of the higher degree systems and I think the ritual works much better that way.
GS – I’m curious, from the work you’ve done, do you find parallel passages in the Book of Enoch to support the ideas of both the Scottish and York Rite workings, or do you see them as fanciful extrapolations of an Apocryphal biblical figure?
RS – Neither, I see the hands of Counter Reformation Jesuits hard at work in the development of this ritual to undermine the Church of England and inject a heavy dose of Roman Catholicism into Freemasonry. Since the Council of Trent of 1545, the Jesuits have been charged with thwarting Protestantism. Since the formation of the Church of England by Henry VIII, England has been in the Jesuit’s crosshairs. The Spanish Armada of 1588, the Gunpowder Treason of Guy Fawkes, and the “Catholic” Rite of Perfection were all designed to put England under the yoke of Rome. This was the Jesuit’s modus operandi.
GS – So then do you suggest the degree is (was?) really a subversive conversion tool?
RS – The purpose original French-Jesuit Rite of Perfection was to Christianize Freemasonry and serve as a vehicle to restore the Catholic side of the Stuarts back to the Throne of England in violation of the Settlement Act of 1701. In that aspect one could say it was subversive. However, the high degrees flourished on the continent of Europe and by the time they reach the United States, the Jesuit influence and control over the degrees seems to have waned.
GS – What you’re suggesting sounds almost as if it’s the creation of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis or the embodiment of John Winthrop’s City upon a hill. Do you think these forbearers were thinking of that one world illuminism you mentioned with the Enocian arch degree?
RS – Yes, these works clearly anticipate a new “Order of the Ages.” One can add John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Tommaso Campanella’s The City of the Sun, and Thomas More’s Utopia to that list.
GS – So with Enoch, are there other lessons we can pull from the texts about him that inform Masonry?
RS – Yes, in The Royal Arch of Enoch: The Impact of Masonic Ritual, Philosophy, and Symbolism I present evidence that the haute degree that bears the Biblical patriarch’s name is the defining template for the United States of America. This can be seen in the architecture and design of Washington, D.C., it can be found in the Masonic architecture of Baltimore, Maryland, and can be seen in the “rising sun” template of Union College of Schenectady New York which was first college established after the Revolution to offer degrees in civil engineering or operative masonry.
GS – What you’re suggesting sounds almost as if it’s the creation of Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis or the embodiment of John Winthrop’s City upon a hill. Do you think these forbearers were thinking of that one world illuminism you mentioned with the Enocian arch degree?
GS – Do you see any parallel components between say the rituals of Masonry and the practice of Enochian or Solomonic magick?
RS – Yes and Yes. Naturally, Solomonic Magick, as discussed in the Testament of Solomon and Ars Goetia, documents 72 demons that Solomon commanded to construct the first Temple of God. Since the third degree Masonic ritual centers on the construction of Solomon’s temple the nexus is obvious. Further, the 72 demons symbolize a secret name of God, Shemhamphorasch, which is composed by 72 Hebrew letter groups. Again, here we have a “name of god” which is lost in the third degree ritual when Hiram dies and the word is lost yet recovered in the Royal Arch ceremonial which is reflecting Solomonic Magick.
With regard to Enochian Magick, if one is looking for a likely candidate to have possessed a secret copy of the Book of Enoch prior to its official discovery in the West, look no further than the inventor of Enochian Magick, Dr. John Dee. If a copy of I Enoch fell into Masonic circles Dee is a likely source for the copy and the evidence is compelling.
First, Dee’s sorcery, Enochian, is a way to summon angels and demons and is obviously named after the Biblical patriarch and reflects Enoch’s interaction with these ethereal beings.
Second, Dee had one of the largest libraries in Europe and was a purveyor of esoteric texts so a copy (or a detailed summary) could have been in his possession.
And third, and most interesting, is Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh, like Dee was involved with Sir Francis Walsingham’s spy-ring that protected Queen Elizabeth I and Raleigh actually mentions in his History of the World that the Book of Enoch contains an Astronomy/Astrology book which begs the question: How did Raleigh know this when the I Enoch was “officially” lost to history at the time. Where is Raleigh getting this information? The answer points in one direction and one direction only: Dr. John Dee.
GS – Do you think this idea of the name of God in the degree is a manifestation of Dee’s work with Enocian magic, or an older idea that we can find some parallels in say the Kabbalah or some other tradition?
RS – I would say it is kabalistic more than anything. In the Book of Enoch, Enoch beholds the Sephirotic Tree of Wisdom as an emanation of the name of God and the source of all wisdom.
GS – You mentioned earlier, and in other interviews for the book, the connection between the Jesuits and Higher degree Freemasonry. I’m curious, do you think that most of what we know or see as esoteric Masonry today comes out of this notion that mythologizing the Catholic experience was an inducement for those 17th century occultists to come back to the Catholic Church?
RS – I think that the high degrees are more mystical and occult laden than the Blue Lodge degrees and one can make an argument that the Jesuits were injecting the high degrees with mystical Roman Catholicism. The evidence for this is overwhelming. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises are mystical in nature and the works of the Jesuit Athanasius Kircher are very hermetic and arcane leading some within the Society of Jesus to believe they were the real Rosicrucians. The high degree system was itself a Jesuit invention employing subterfuge and even espionage to secretly lure Protestants back to the Roman Church while serving as a vehicle to restore the Stuart Pretenders back to the throne of England violating the Act of Settlement of 1701.
GS – Do you think this is a point many Jesuits would agree with today? And, do you think they feel the same way?
RS – The Society of Jesus of 2014 would likely not be aware as this happened 300 years ago while the Jesuits were put out of business from about 1773-1815. Like Freemasonry, the Jesuits of today’s influence and power has been undercut, although the pendulum does appear to be swinging back towards the other direction for both groups. One has to bear in mind that the Jesuits of 1545 to 1773 were Europe’s version of the CIA while Ignatius of Loyola designed the order based on the mysticism of the Knights Templar and the arcane priesthoods of Egypt. The inner workings of the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, and Freemasonry are all based upon the occult machinations of the Society of Jesus.
GS – So, moving beyond The Royal Arch, one of my fascinations is the notion of esoteric Masonry. I’m curious your take on the subject. Do you think Masonry has a deeper esoteric, or even an occultic, side?
RS – Yes absolutely. Many of the symbols and rituals contain occult and hidden meaning. For example, the third degree Master Mason ritual is a retelling of the Egyptian Osirian Cycle where the candidate, portraying Hiram Abif, is killed and resurrected which reflects the murder of Osiris and his resurrection. In Christianity, the dying and resurrected “sun-man” character is, of course, Jesus Christ. Hiram Abif is surrounded with solar symbolisms; for example he is buried west of the temple representing the setting, dying sun. Twelve Fellowcrafts go looking for Hiram symbolizing the twelve houses of the zodiac looking for their lost solar ruler, and finally Hiram is raised from the grave with the “Strong Grip of the Lion’s Paw” which is an esoteric reference to the sign of Leo which is the sole house of the sun.
GS – How much of this, do you think, is just absorbed Christian Mysticism which is borrowed from these traditions or more broadly absorbed from their source?
RS – I believe it owes its origins to sources other than Christianity. Freemasonic symbols and rituals derive from the Ancient Mysteries (of Egypt, Eleusis), Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, and Pythagoreanism among others while incorporating Judaic-Christian Biblical themes.
GS – Do you think there is a practice of esoteric Masonry still happening today?
RS – I do not know if I would call it a “practice”, but I believe there is a renewed interest in the esoteric side of the Craft. This seems to be the motivating factor that is influencing the younger generation to join Freemasonry. I definitely see a pendulum swinging back to the mystical side of the Craft where in the past the primary motivations to join a Blue Lodge was community involvement and/or family tradition.
GS – What’s next? What’s on the horizon for Robert Sullivan?
RS – I will be publishing my second book titled Cinema Symbolism: A Guide to Esoteric Imagery in Popular Movies in May/June 2014. This book is a continuation of the final chapter of The Royal Arch of Enoch where I discuss hidden occult, Masonic, Enochian, and solar symbolism in films such as The Ninth Gate, National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code, and Being There amongst others. I am currently writing its sequel, Cinema Symbolism II and I am writing my first work of fiction as well. I have also begun outlining another book on occult Freemasonry.
GS – That sounds interesting, the Ninth Gate is one of my favorite films. Do you think there is an intentional evocation of these themes by the film writers, directors and producers, or are they playing to some underlying zeitgeist?
RS – In some cases it is clearly intentional while in others it could be accidental. If it is accidental, concealed symbols in film appear by way of Carl Jung’s Collected Unconscious psychological mechanism which is a descendant of Plato’s Theory of Forms.
GS – And, I like to conclude with asking who, or what, has been your greatest Masonic influence? Who do you look up to and why?
RS – Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall have been the greatest Masonic influences upon me. I really enjoy their work and have learnt a lot of kabalistic and esoteric information from reading Morals and Dogma and The Secret Teachings of All Ages. In fact I modeled The Royal Arch of Enoch after both of these books. Although I may not “look up” to them, they are both by far the greatest Masonic influence upon me. As to Masons that I look up to, that would be George Washington for his sacrifice and commitment to something he believed in when others may have not shared his vision.
Robert, thanks so much for taking some time to talk about your work and the intricate connections of Enoch and the Haute Degrees of Freemasonry. You can read more about Robert W.SullivanIV on his website and you can find his book The Royal Arch of Enoch on Amazon.
I’m constantly amazed at the new discovery by some of the things in plain sight for centuries. I can’t say for certain about Canada, but American Masonic lodges have been pretty open in recent years, some open across an entire state.
Maybe this video troupe is part of the gotcha media, the one that Sarah Palin was so loth to decry a few years back.
The footage come from Press For Truth, an expose group whose motto is Smashing The Pyramid One Brick At A Time. Presumably, the pyramid bricks are the emblems of the Illuminati/Freemasons? At least that’s what they say in one of their videos.
The group comes out of Canada which might explain it (just kidding). I just like how they say Masonic – “May-zonic”, it just sounds so much cooler.
The first video is a walking tour discovering a Masonic lodge, and the other two are of a propaganda ambush for their video blog. Apparently, they were giving away free DVD’s to share their insights.
I have to say, the brother they talked to did his best, given the odds and environment of the exchange.
The UK Telegraph has posted an article listing the 30 Greatest Conspiracy Theories, I gather, in order of their popularity or ranking. Part 1 is here and Part 2 here. We will publish the list but for the detailed explanations that go with them you will need to visit the original Telegraph websites.
While most of these are civil, non Masonic, matters #5 is about the Illuminati which reminds us all that Freemasons are still considered by many in society as some sort of cult, perhaps a dangerous one at that. Every time I hear that Masons are going to take over the world, that they are part of a “New World Order”, I am reminded about how many people “out there” are conspiracy “nuts.”
Then there are those that say Freemasonry is a satanic cult, that it offers sacrifices of goats at its altars after which sexual orgies take place.
If you think that this is all some dreamed up fantasy that is mainly circulated by minds that are three french fries short of a Happy Meal, you might change your mind when you read through the entire list. Actually much of this “stuff” is quite mainstream (not to be confused with Mainstream Masonry).
For some educated and logical counter argument The Beehive would point you to our own Greg Stewart’s podcast of “Peering Behind The Veil.”
One that should be on the list that didn’t make it is the Morgan Affair, perhaps because of a British tilt to this story. For a good read on this story try Stephen Dafoe’s “Morgan: The Scandal That Shook Freemasonry.” I call this one a reverse conspiracy because based on Dafoe’s research it seems that what is often thought of as being the conspiracy seems to be quite true and what is actually the cover up is the conspiracy.
The Beehive welcomes in the comments section other American conspiracies that didn’t make this list. Perhaps there are some Canadian and Australian conspiracies worth noting. As usual our erudite readers will clue us in.
The following comes from a very bright young woman who is very involved with the Masonic Youth Orders that I had the pleasure to meet on Twitter. You can read her full bio below the article. I wanted to say that she offers a fresh and interesting perspective on the fraternity from a unique perspective of both being within and without the regular goings on of the Blue Lodge. After reading her paper, I thought it offered a great deal of value to the community on several levels and she graciously allowed FmI to republish her work.
I think you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I did. – MT
A Deadly Deception? by Anne M. Stegen
The History Channel gets a lot of things wrong.
That is, they get facts wrong concerning certain details of say, Freemasonry or Masonic symbols. Considering that Freemasonry is the History Channel’s biggest obsession, just behind World War II, this is a rather serious offense. They take an obviously negative attitude towards Masons, connecting them to conspiracies left and right. One special about the alleged 2012 shift even mentioned that Freemasonry is inherently a conspirator in the matter. The program alluded to the “secrets” that Masons have, but gave no evidence to definitely connect the two. That form of ignorance is frustrating. The paranoia that has arisen in the general public is unfounded. There is no plot to create a “new world order.” Masons are not that coordinated. Instead, they focus on making their members better people, and helping their communities. Freemasonry is a benevolent society and is unjustly connected to conspiracy theories and plots for a new world order.
I am not a Mason. I am a woman, but I have extensive observations of the “Craft” of Freemasonry from my father and grandfather’s extensive involvement in the fraternity. My father started in the Blue Lodge, the basic Freemasonry. He was a member of Camelback Daylight Lodge No.75 in Mesa, Arizona. Yearly installations of officers are held and are often open to the public. Camelback Daylight Lodge’s membership consisted of elderly gentlemen, so the Regular Installation of Officers were usually an event with ill-fitting and wrinkled tuxedos, walkers, bolo ties, oxygen tanks, and hearing aides buzzing away, but also warm handshakes, and big hugs for me. It was always astounding to think that these men were accused of plotting world domination.
The fear comes from the unknown. Freemasonry still has some traditions that have been lost to the ages in common society. While ignoring the symbolism, people get hung up on the details—“Why are they wearing aprons?”—and jump to the conclusion that these gentlemen are obviously conspirators. Freemasonry began as an operative masonry guild—thus the aprons—that transformed into a gentlemen’s club that fostered the ideas of tolerance and truth during the Enlightenment. “Speculative” Freemasonry (as opposed to operative masonry) and the Illuminati were formed during the same era, so they are often connected. The Illuminati was formed on the same basis, tolerance and truth, and was not able to continue due to persecution by the Bavarian government. The Illuminati is no longer in existence, despite what Dan Brown says, and it is definitely not connected to Freemasonry. The fear in America that comes from the term “Freemasonry” is based on Americans’ general paranoia of anything they don’t yet understand. My challenge to you, then, is to join the fraternity and judge for yourself.
It is unlikely that such a plot for world domination or a new world order could be conceived in Freemasonry, even in the higher levels of the organization. The Blue Lodge is not governed by an international, or even national leader. In the United States, every state is autonomous. The Grand Lodge of the state regulates and directs the local lodges in their jurisdiction. The many different Grand Lodges are kept in check by a process of recognizing each other. If the Grand Lodge of one area decrees something that is against Masonic teachings, the Grand Lodges of other areas will declare it a “clandestine” Lodge, and members are forbidden from attending lodge meetings there. This system makes it nearly impossible to create a viable conspiracy of the magnitude of a new world order. There are other branches of Freemasonry, such as the York Rite and the Scottish Rite, but to join these appendent groups, one must first be a member of the Blue Lodge. There is no conspiracy within these branches because the Grand Master, the leader of the Grand Lodge, ultimately controls those branches as well. The fabled 33rd Degree Masons are often charged with making malicious plots in the dark smoky room. First of all, smoking is not allowed in lodge rooms. Secondly, these men are just Scottish Rite Masons, still subordinate to the Grand Master. Thirdly, many of these men are also Shriners, the same elderly gentlemen who wear the funny red hats, dress as clowns and do tricks in miniature cars in parades. The finger pointing must stop.
Many people and groups today attack Freemasonry without looking into the truth. Thousands of web sites claim things like “Freemasonry is a Non-Christian Occult Religion,” “Christians Beware – of Freemasonry,” (Keohane) and “Freemasonry proven to worship Satan, as its symbols venerate the sex act.” Bad grammar, poorly constructed HTML layouts, and “telling” photographs of “Masonic” symbols and regalia accompany these sites. The experts referenced have Masonic titles, like 33rd Degree, slapped at the end of their name. Anti- Masonic literature has the same fallacies. The Indiana Freemason web site analyzes one such book, The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed by One of Its Top Leaders by James Shaw, and finds four outright lies on the front cover alone. The various arguments against Freemasonry are baseless and uninformed.
Yes, Masons keep secrets. When you were little, did you ever have a club? Did that club have passwords that you kept secret from “outsiders”? Did it make you feel special to be a part of that club, especially because it had secret passwords? Apply that same concept to a club for older men, and you get the idea. While a Mason may not tell you what the passwords are, they are not really secrets anymore. If someone is really curious, the Masonic “Ritual,” a book containing Masonic ceremonies is already published in various forms. Charles William Heckethorn (1965), secret society expert, says, “The outside world, who cannot believe that Masonic meetings, which are so jealously guarded against the intrusion of non-Masons, have no other purpose than the rehearsal of a now totally useless and pointless ritual, followed by conviviality [a break for refreshments], naturally assume that there must be something more behind; and what seems to fear the light is usually supposed to be evil.” The ceremony to initiate new members has always been an object of attack because of the seemingly strange things parts of the ceremony. Essentially it involves the reenactment of a story. Various objects and words are used to represent a lesson that the initiate should always bear in mind. The phrase “on the level” comes from one such lesson.
What is the creed of Freemasonry? What do they believe? Much confusion has arisen over the issue, and anti-Masonic groups do all they can to keep it that way. Freemason Roger Firestone articulately answers, “Freemasonry strongly encourages its members to belong to an established religion, although that is not a requirement for membership (only that a candidate profess a belief in a Supreme Being). Masonry is a fraternal organization that encourages morality and charity and studies philosophy. It has no clergy, no sacraments, and does not promise salvation to its members.” Every Masonic activity starts with a prayer (and the presentation of the national flag, when appropriate). John the Baptist and John the Evangelist are the patron saints of Freemasonry, keeping high ideals and high pursuits at the forefront. Freemasonry is not a religion itself, but it strengthens the beliefs and morals of its members.
Members of the fraternity enjoy the privileges of having brothers all over the world. Masons and their families can always call upon other members in times of need. Travelers, the infirmed, those in distress can take comfort when they meet up with another Mason, whether they have known him previously or not. The Masonic family, including the women’s and youth groups, is a tight-knit community. Often a Masonic ring on a man’s right hand signifies that he will meet you on the level.
Freemasonry is dedicated to the betterment of its members, but also its community. Shrine hospitals, the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment, the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation and Scottish Rite hospitals are all beneficiaries of Masonic sponsorship. The South Carolina Freemasonry web site says, “The Freemasons of North America contribute over two million dollar a day to charitable causes.” Local Lodges also have programs to help the nearby schools, hospitals and youth organizations. If Freemasonry had malicious intentions, would not these resources be better employed elsewhere?
Suggesting that Freemasonry is anything but benevolent is ludicrous. Implying that it is involved in conspiracies is ignorant. Americans worried about a new world order should turn their attention to other groups with that goal. And the History Channel needs to get these facts correct. Factual errors and dramatization are unacceptable. In the war for public opinion, Freemasonry should be the benign and prestigious organization that teaches belief in a Supreme Being, high ideals for living, and brotherly love.
Upon beginning research for the paper, I contacted Michael T. Bishop, the Grand Mater of the State of Arizona (at the time), for further information and insight. My school deadline did not allow me to wait for a response, but I have since heard back from him. The Grand Master is a busy person, and I would like to sincerely thank him for his time.
My questions to him were:
How does Freemasonry help American communities?
How has Freemasonry helped America?
How does Freemasonry make good men better?
Here is his reply, in it’s entirety:
“The first two questions are much the same. Freemasonry has philanthropies and charitable projects, but its contribution is far deeper and more significant. Jacob Needleman in The American Soulspeaks of a strong communal mysticism in early colonial America, especially in Quaker Pennsylvania. He emphasizes the importance of mystical communities in America and the founding fathers’ affiliations with Freemasonry. Many ideals that Americans consider definitive of our nation were introduced by these mystical communities. Today, Freemasonry is perhaps the strongest thread that binds us to our past, to that communal mysticism that seemed so strong 250 years ago. It is a search for truth, which can be translated “a closeness to our Creator.” Freemasonry embraced the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704) who declared that human beings have natural rights and that reason and rational self-interest motivate people to freely establish governments by their own consent and for their own benefit, a philosophy embraced by the founding fathers. Jefferson would say that these rights are God given.
Freemasonry claims to make good men better, but a friend has suggested that the phrase should be that it makes better men good. To be a truly good man is what we should strive to attain. The teachings of Freemasonry in its ritual are valuable in themselves for their instruction for living a good and moral life, but its lofty goal to seek knowledge, truth, and closeness to God are perhaps more important. It was Freemason George Washington who said that the great aim of Freemasonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.”
The masons are really going to take over the world! Oh there is no doubt for you see there are Masonic symbols everywhere, many in the strange artwork that adorns the airport walls. And underneath the airport there is a maze of underground corridors containing secret bunkers. Here in this remote airport shielded from nuclear attack and impervious to illegal entry is buried the archives and the offices of those few in the Masonic order that have risen to top security clearance and who make the plans to destroy nations and have ready made plans to pick up the pieces in a New World Order.
Formerly at – KWGN, Channel 2, Denver has the story behind the story:
Suspicion surrounds the airport’s remote location and massive size.
Many believe DIA’s underground tunnels are secret bunkers built for 2012 Apocalypse and they question the strange murals that seem to depict the end of the world, and the Masonic plaque in the terminal that appears to be dedicated to a new world order, with its inscription that says “New World Airport Commission.”
The strange signs and symbols are the topic of TV shows, including “Conspiracy Theory,” starring Jesse Ventura.
But now DIA is debunking the conspiracy theories, by allowing FOX31 News cameras into areas no TV crew has been before.
Deep inside DIA’s dark tunnels where conspiracy theories are born. DIA’s Jeff Green says the airport staff has heard the rumors about secret bunkers, underground concentration camps, even a hiding place for aliens.
But Green says the actual reason the tunnels were built, were to house miles and miles of underground tracks for an automated baggage system that was supposed to be “state-of-the-art” but never worked. That’s why the tunnels are now used by thousands of baggage handlers who speed through the underground maze delivering luggage from one place to another.
Green admits it is an underground city of sorts. But he says there are no secret bunkers. When asked if he had shown us everything underground, Green said, “I’m showing you…everything…that I can find…that I know is here.”
And as for the “strange” and sometimes “scary” art, DIA art director Matt Chasansky says one mural depicts the destruction of the environment, another: the horrors of war, but right next to them are murals depicting a peaceful future. He says the murals are not meant to be viewed separately, but as a continuing story.
Chasansky says the Masonic plaque marks the spot where a time capsule is buried. When asked why the Masons were allowed to bury artifacts in an international airport, Chasansky replied, “I wasn’t there for the discussion about why that happened, but that happens in a lot of buildings because the tradition of the Masons is –as people who make buildings.”
He also said, the “New World Airport Commission,” was an advisory committee made up of local businesses that was formed while DIA was being built.
But for many conspiracy theorists, DIA’s explanation will land on deaf ears. They will always believe DIA is part of a government cover up. And nothing DIA officials say –will change that.
The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power
What would you say if I told you that a secret cabal of ultra fundamental extremists were secretly at the heart of the American government? And what if I said to you that the very same secret cabal has held power and sway for near on the last century, with its present zenith starting in the last 50 years, and now at its most powerful, its voice is a capable vehicle to the extermination of several hundred thousand people on the basis if helping those you consider family. Such a cabal would be a frightening and dangerous monster, especially as each and every would be political player pays some homage to them and their power. And, to make it even more unfathomable, at its reigns is one man, an American Pope if you will, who wields this groups girth and influence with a few words of encouragement and an occasional memorandum in the right places and at the right time.
Before I read the book, I was skeptical myself, but having just finished Jeff Shartlet’s non-fiction, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, I was immediately struck by the connections he draws, all based on a who’s who road map of American political power elite today. What made it more interesting was that this power structure didn’t meet in dark smoky alleys, or in secret liars with special knocks and hand gestures. To the contrary, the members of this cabal meet at the local church down the street (when they attend church) or in your weekday prayer meeting. The Family, is the story of the real American right, whose actions and activities overshadow even the most elaborate fantastical connections of the Illuminati.
The argument that Sharlet presents is that the present day organization behind the
Fellowship Foundation (the subject of the book) has a traceable lineage to 1735, which started in a less than ubiquitous fashion under a pastor named Jonathan Edwards, socially and ideologically an early architect of “the Great Awakening,” which was an early colonial religious passion movement. For its time it created a type of zealotry that some of his congregants, reportedly, began to hear voices that instructed them to “slit their own throats.” For their zeal, Shartlet says that “Edwards staked out a political position as well as a spiritual one, a subtly elitist conception of knowledge as a property to be possessed in different portions according to a divine hierarchy. The wise man of Christ knows that only to some does God give a calling, the power to draw closer to Him and understand His grand plan.” What it seems to of created, however, was a ferocious case of “the emperors new cloths”, as most in the growing following wanted to be an awoken to hear the message. Following these events, Edwards was purged from his congregation in 1750 for the destruction he had wrought on the “Puritan order”, something they would never reclaim. It was Edwards, who’s ideas of an unrestrained Christ could be intimately contacted (and heard) and an unrelenting wild energy which made his religiosity the prime shaper of things to come, especially as his religion looked to rebuild a Jerusalem from the wilderness, the Great Awakening had begin.
Charles Grandison Finney
From there, the book jumps forward in time to a spiritual descendant of Edwards, found in Charles Grandison Finney, whose populist revivals across the North East America and Britain led him to construct the first mega church seating 2,500 in 1832 (called the Broadway Tabernacle), and the hand behind the Second Great Awakening. Finney ‘s oratory and presence were such, Sharlet writes, that “‘under my preaching,…judges and lawyers and educated men were converted by the scores.” Finney’s message found its way into the minds of the most receptive who were “the new little big men of the nation, the petit bourgeoisie, physicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, self-made men, and their wives” wealthier than the old Puritan aristocracy. Interesting to note that this is the period following the Morgan Affair (in 1825) where those self same followers of Finney were leaving in droves the temples of Freemasonry. Finney’s connection to Edwards style of Awakening began in 1821 upon his own decision to either believe or not believe (in a very Shakespearean fashion) and it was in his revelation in hearing the voice of the divine which immediately solidified his as an evangelist. Finney’s conversion mirrored the conversions experience by Edwards, the intimate relationship with the divine, the aspect of communicating (hearing, feeling, exchanging) in a physical and tactile way with the spirit of the divine. Essentially, he experienced the “before God, you are nothing” state of being. The eventual message behind Finney was simple “‘knowing your duty, you have one thing to do, PERFORM IT.'” Finney’s faith became “faith enacted” the “exerted influence to secure to secure a legislation that is in accordance with the law of God” Finney’s was both an individual encounter with Jesus and the mass contagion of the anxious pew.
The history of The Family next turns to Abraham Vereide, a immigrant Norwegian, who next takes the reins of this awakened idea of evangelism crafting it into his own Fellowship Foundation, through a dubious power struggle, to the contrary, through the simple vision from a divine source to work to help those who are in the best position to help those in need.
Vereide emigrated to America in 1905 and eventually settled in Seattle in 1906/7 where he was given the vision, Sharlet says, that to the big man went strength, to the little man went need. “‘Only the big man was capable of mending the world,'” said Vereide who realized that “to help such [wretched] creatures, the derelicts, the failures” he would help “those who could help them – the high and mighty – that they might distribute the Lord’s blessings to the little men, whose envy would be soothed, violence averted, and disorder controlled.”
It’s important to say that Vereide was very much pro business, and not a proponent of labor. It was in his early wrangling of local prominent business men that his calling of a top down change was what was necessary, to make things right. What he sought, (such that his supporters firmly believed), was the remedying of the economic ills afflicting the nation (this was the period of the Great Depression) which were caused “by disobedience to divine laws” with the ideal solution being a “revival of genuine religion…a return to prayer and the bible”, and if not “we are headed for chaos.” The leaders of industry were more than ready to steer the entire nation back onto a godly (non union/pro capitalism) path. It was in this period, and the spread of the movement, that a decided fear of Marxism and Socialism crept into this new conservative Christianity, omitting the ideals in the bible of community (communal-ism) and social justice. This was a top down theology, a wealthy mans ideal of Christ, rather than the view of a redeemer, capitalizing on the idea of conviction with out the efficacy of why.
From the the February 18, 1960 Presidential Prayer Breakfast. From left to right – Abraham Vereide, organizer of the prayer breakfast movement; President Dwight D. Eisenhower; William Jones, a California businessman and host of the breakfast. Image from Wheaton College
Vierde’s power grew and his connections expanded all the way to Washington D.C. as Vereide ‘s key business men expanded from the Seattle elite to the Washington State elite, carrying his name and work to those in Federal houses in the east. Vereide ‘s spiritual influence, Sharlet suggests, was such as to break union bosses to the will of the pious business men and focused to eradicate the New Deal of FDR. Sharlet goes into great detail about the close following Vereide gave to the busting of union strikes and his affectionate leanings towards Hitler’s socialism (this was pre-World War II and the Nazi atrocities and many American business men found resonance with the Nazi socialism movement for its effectiveness in organization and production. Such was the case that entrepreneur Henry Ford, it’s said, had exchanged portraits with Adolf which he hung on his office wall). Vereide ‘s outlook was very straight forward, that “‘Top Men’ had a responsibility to do for God what lesser men couldn’t. Their failure to take on this burden has led the nation to its terrible position. ‘Obedience’, concluded Abram is ‘the way to power.'” And that, duty as “obedience,” was/is at the heart of this present tense fundamentalism, but not necessarily an envisioned obedience from Jesus, but from a less distinct organization of key men who are, in a sense, doing the work of Jesus, with the expectation of obedience to their instruction. It’s this formula that led to Vereide organizing the still functioning National Prayer Breakfast which, Sharlet reports, created a networking group of like minded individuals to congregate and network in the very heart of American political power.
In Vereide ‘s time, his organization grew and multiplied into several smaller units branching into “cells” which would grow and disseminate their ideals to those interested in a wide and diverse way some examples cited include prayer circles, outreach organizations, residential homes, and similar prayer meetings abroad. In this same period, Vereide ‘s sentiment and leadership dovetailed with the growing rise of anti-communism (but with a healthy dose of admiration for Nazi socialism) that eventually guided the creation of the red-scare film “The Blob” in 1958, all with the goal of striking the fear of communal work to that of individualism, an ideal that still pervades today.
Following Vereide, Sharlet’s work follows the transition of leadership to Doug Coe, who in taking a greater leadership role, began to grow it into an international fellowship, one that worked intimately with the U.S. State Department (if at times covertly) and did its best to make international connections with the “key men” from around the world, stimulating prayer meetings to discuss the idea of this corporate model of Jesus vs. the communal savior of antiquity. This was the new model Christian Soldier, not evangelizing to the downtrodden, but to the down-trotters, the policy makers and enforcers of the world.
Their vision became less the body of Christ and more the corporate ideal of his word with the goal of shaping the international world into the Christian model that they want so desperately to shape the U.S.A. Sharlet details the connections (with evidential reference) to the Somalia genocide under Siad Barre, who was an intimate “Family” member who happened to exterminate hundreds of thousands of people. The Vereide/Coe “Family” organization didn’t provide the means for the Aiad Barre regime, but it facilitated the connections with the U.S. government to facilitate his activities, which in itself is an example of the power behind this “New World Order” (remember, a term Sharlet says was coined by Vereide) organization (the author goes into detail in how the “Family” was tied to the murder of more than 500,000 Indonesians under Suharto in 1965).
Under Coe, Sharlet writes, The Family is of such influence that both conservatives and liberals take their lead citing instances where both Al Gore and Hilary Clinton refer to him in their decision making processes. Gore, Sharlet says, invokes Coe to end a challenge by Senator James Inhofe in 2007. Its easy to see in the glimpses Sharlet provides of the power that the The Family wields but even easier to see the power in the spaces between the examples. In 1966, Sharlet explains, Coe instructed the core of the organization to “submerge” erasing all outward appearance of an organization, taking it back to Vereide’s original vision of a “backroom brotherhood,” and today very little outward expression of it exists.
Ultimately, the way in which Sharlet defines the prevailing ideal principals, as evolved from Edwards, Finney, Vereide, and under Coe’s pastoral, a Czarist leadership was as a Jesus plus nothing ideal which is a formula to exclude a dogmatic understanding of the Christ, and stripping him out of the literal text to instead use the literal interpretation of him as an entrepreneurial force to build following under what the ideal of his being would be, if the textual version could be re-written and re-fashioned. The religious context of The Family became the Jesus plus nothing equation, It was the idealized spirit of the Jesus figure as envisioned by the leadership and communicated down to the duty bound. What the Jesus + 0 equaled was Power: J+0=P with the power being the loyalty of a duty bound following to the same singular vision.
I highly recommend reading The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. It is a rich and complex narrative that at times meanders, but only to make the details of the point that much more sound. Sharlet leaves no stones unturned (at least of those he could find) and presents the evidence in a manner for the reader to make any judgments for themselves. The depth to which that he has traced the Family will surprise even the most skeptical readers and give pause to reconsider the ramifications of just such a networked body, a contingent whose ideal of a Jesus plus nothing else, no history, no orthodoxy, no church, nor bible, is a powerful thing. No matter where you land on this, agreeing or disagreeing with the ideals behind it, I think you will definitely take something away from this book.
You can find The Family – The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power on Amazon.