A brief history of the activity of Masonry in America, both politically and militarily, must be understood before we can fully comprehend the appalling truth behind the censored story that spawned the Anti-Masonic Movement.
There are two separate Masonic forces in the world — one headquartered in London, the other in Paris. The Paris Lodge is of Templar origin. Its founders were the Knights Templar, who fled to Scotland during their 14th century persecution. While in Scotland they developed an esoteric form of worship that was carried into workingman lodges.
Most workingmen in those days built cathedrals and castles out of stone. As stonemasons, they quartered close to work in mason lodges. Apprentices quartered in “entered apprentice” lodges; craftsmen in “fellow craftsmen” lodges; and taskmasters in “master mason” lodges. The Templars attached their form of mystic worship to these three degrees of labor. Hence stone-mason lodges were turned into centers of esoteric worship.
This form of esoteric worship was carried from Scotland to London at the turn of the 17th century when Scottish King James VI, who had reigned in Scotland from 1567 to 1603, was appointed by England’s childless Queen Elizabeth I to reign as King James I over their United Kingdoms. This is the same King James who authorized the 1611 King James Version of the Bible.
During the 1640s, when civil war erupted against the Stuart dynasty, the freedom fighters were of the working class. Naturally they planned their secret strategy against the throne from behind the walls of their mason lodges. After they won their freedom, they became known as free masons.
In 1660 the Stuarts were back on the throne. The Glorious Revolution in 1688 permanently dethroned them. In 1717 the Stuart remnant were exiled to France, along with their Scottish masonry. By 1755 the Scottish Rite had developed to 32 degrees, broadened it name to the Scottish Rite of French Freemasonry, and in 1760 began to plan for revolution to win freedom for the workingmen of France. In 1782, and with assistance from the Illuminati, the Scottish Rite of French Freemasonry began agitating for revolution, finally triggering the French Revolution of 1789 to1793.
The Scottish Rite was brought to America during the French and Indian war (1754-1760), settling at Charleston, S.C. on the 33rd degree parallel. In 1786 the Southern Jurisdiction of Scottish Rite Freemasonry adopted the French Masonic constitution as a basis for its constitution. It is therefore Templar and republican in origin. In 1801 the 33rd and final degree was created at Charleston. Today the Masonic world is ruled from that city, with its secretariat headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Masonic Lodges with French Constitutions end their prayers in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe. (Sometimes the title “Grand Architect” is substituted for the title “Great Architect”).
The other force of Freemasonry is of Rosicrucian origin headquartered in London. In 1717, after the exile of the Stuarts to France, seven British Rosicrucians united English Freemasonry under a Grand Lodge. Placed at its head was the king of England. From then until now, English Masonry has remained royalist and Rosicrucian. The British kept the three original degrees of Freemasonry until 1860, when they added the additional degrees of the Scottish Rite, but for competitive reason dropped the name “Scottish.”
Before the French and Indian War, American lodges were of British origin under British constitutions. Within the lodges were two factions vying for control — Moderns and Ancients. Moderns wanted to update the ancient rituals. Under their control prayers ended in the Name of Jesus Christ. When the Ancients merged with the Moderns in 1813, lodges became purely deistic and prayers in Christ’s name gradually died out as the ancient rituals returned. Under the Ancients, prayers began to be offered in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe, as is done in French Freemasonry.
A few Ancient lodges existed in America before 1813. For example, the Boston lodge went Ancient in 1751, as did St. John’s Lodge in Philadelphia ten years later. The British founded the Philadelphia lodge in 1730, which was the earliest known lodge in the North American colonies. One of its first initiates was Ben Franklin, who received his degrees in February of 1731.
As stated earlier, French lodges did not appear in America until the French and Indian War, where young George Washington first learned soldiering. These lodges were “military” or “traveling lodges,” exclusively for soldiers and diplomats. Military lodges became famous during our War of Independence. George Washington officiated in them, as we shall see.
George Washington is an important figure, both in Masonic history and in understanding the story of William Morgan. Morgan, a Royal Arch Mason, renounced Freemasonry, and in 1826 planned to expose the dangers of its secrets in a book. Washington likewise warned the whole country on the eve of his death to beware of secret societies. Both men were specific in their warning; the European Illuminati had infiltrated American Freemasonry.
Washington’s Boycott of English Masonic Lodges
Washington was an adhering Mason from age 21 to his death. His Masonic credentials began at Fredericksburg, Va., Lodge No. 4, where he was initiated 1st degree on Nov. 4, 1752; passed to 2nd degree on March 3, 1753; and raised to 3rd degree on Aug. 4, 1753. Lodge No. 4 was a British constituted lodge, which offered only three degrees. At that time, George Washington was as high as he could go in colonial Freemasonry. A year after initiation, he visited the lodge once again, and never returned. In fact, he never set foot in any British lodge after the Revolution began.
Washington was not alone in breaking connections with the mother lodge of England. Freemason Albert G. Mackey informs us, “Soon after the beginning of the Revolution, a disposition was manifested among American Free-masons to dissever their connection, as subordinates, with the Masonic authorities of the mother country, and in several of the newly erected States the Provincial Grand Lodges assumed an independent character.”
Another record of Washington’s affiliation with a lodge was in Virginia. (Virginia had “dissevered” its lodges from English control.) Lodge No. 39 of Alexandria, previously working under the Grand Lodge of Penn., transferred its allegiance to Virginia in 1788 and became Lodge No. 22. On April 28, Washington was made Charter Master in absentia and reelected Dec. 29.
Worshipful Master George Washington
presiding over Lodge No. 22.
Life Magazine, Oct. 8, 1956, p. 122
There is no record that Washington renounced his Masonic oaths, resigned from any lodge, be it British or French, or protested his leadership role in a lodge in absentia. Our first President was an active Mason his entire life, writing cordial letters to, and receiving letters from lodges until his death. Throughout his political career he visited a number of French lodges and officiated in some, but always boycotted English lodges.
President Washington also enjoyed attending public Masonic functions. On Sept. 18, 1793, he is pictured in a painting wearing his Masonic apron laying the cornerstone of the Capitol Building. And in 1795, he assisted in laying out the streets of the Capitol in the shape of Masonic symbols.
Washington constantly gave a Masonic idiom. When speaking of “Providence,” which was our founding father’s term for God, he frequently used the phrase “Grand Architect of the Universe.” He believed the success of the Revolution was due to the “Grand Architect of the Universe,” and ended his frequent prayers in that deity’s name. In short, writes Masonic scholar William H. Stemper, “Freemasonry was Washington’s political theology. It enabled him to project a political sacrality. Washington’s usage of Freemasonry as a political theology was to reconcile and harmonize democracy with the providential moral working of the foundation of the Republic. Yet, there is little or no ‘sacred’ mystery [in Washington’s lifestyle].”
Washington was so revered by American Masons that several started a movement to make him national Grand Master of all U.S. Masons. To create a national Grand Lodge, all state Grand Lodges were required to relinquish their authority. Massachusetts Masons did not consent, and the idea died.
Most of General Washington’s hands-on Masonic activity occurred during our War of Independence. Until then Masonry’s growth was slow in America. During war Masonic membership increases, because Masonic oaths demand of Masons (whether friend or foe) that they protect each other from harm.
I will not give the grand hailing sign of distress except I am in real distress… should I ever see that sign given, or the word accompanying it, and the person who gave it appearing to be in distress, I will fly to his relief at the risk of my life, should there be a greater probability of saving his life than of losing my own.
This oath was practiced at least twenty years before the Revolution. Consequently, it was a great incentive for a soldier to join Freemasonry. According to Masonic records, “Members of the Craft were among the highest in command of all armies….”