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Freemasons: The secret club of world’s most powerful men

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The News International - Pakistan

Freemasons: The secret club of world’s most powerful men

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Sabir Shah

LAHORE: At least 15 American presidents, innumerable world premiers, presidents, kings and not fewer than six United States Supreme Court chief justices have been widely-acknowledged Masons or verified members of Freemasonry—the centuries-old secret and mysterious society of the world’s most powerful men.

According to noted search engine Yahoo, the mission of Masonry is “to teach a man the duty he owes to God, his neighbour and himself.”

Quoting the websites promoting Freemasonry, Yahoo states: “Charity work and community involvement are important parts of Masonic life. Freemasonry is not affiliated with any religious group, but members are required to profess belief in a supreme being. Freemasonry has been decried as a secret society and even a political conspiracy or religious cult. But Masons believe that what little secrecy they have is simply so members of the fraternity can identify each other by things like handshakes and passwords.”

“Yahoo” further states: “Masons state that the rituals of Masonic meetings are used to reinforce the central values of the organisation, such as morality and belief in a supreme being.” While Masons claim their key objective is to avoid disharmony between different religions, many Biblical scholars have often strongly condemned Freemasonry, dubbing it totally contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Masonic groups in different countries are called lodges and Freemasons, who call themselves ‘brothers,’ are organized into independent Grand Lodges (also called Orients). Of these six million existing Freemasons in the world today, some 150,000 Masonic members are registered with the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the Grand Lodge of Ireland.

Similarly, over a quarter of a million fall under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England and around two million live in United States. The first-ever Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was founded in 1717.

An extensive research has been undertaken by “The News International.” A study of the books “The origins of Freemasonry” by Margaret Jacob, “The History of Freemasonry” by Albert Gallatin Mackey, “The Freemasons” by Michael Johnston, “Large list of notable and famous Australian Freemasons” by D. Hudson, the National Archives’ of Australia and “Freemasonry: A celebration of the craft” by John Hamill and Robert Gilbert, reveals that apart from the 15 US presidents who were registered Masons, around three dozen American Supreme Court judges, including at least six chief justices (legendary John Marshall, Oliver Ellsworth, William Howard Taft, Frederick Vinson, John Rutledge and Earl Warren) were also affiliated with Freemasonry.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II is also registered as a Mason at London’s Navy Lodge No 2,612.

In its May 14, 2001 story “Berlusconi: The power of personality,” BBC had revealed that former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, was also a Mason once.

This is what the BBC had stated: “There was a scandal in 1981 when Berlusconi was revealed as a member of the P-2 Freemason’s lodge, a secret network of politicians, businessmen and media figures. The group was disbanded and Mr Berlusconi emerged unscathed.”

However, there have been a few exceptions like Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested for the 2011 Norway attacks. After he was found guilty, the attacker was expelled from Freemasonry last year.

The world famous Australian Cricketer of yore, Sir Donald Bradman (highest batting average of 99.94 per innings in the 135-year history of the game) was also a Mason.

Having originated in the late 16th or the early 17th century probably, as a study of Harry Paul Jeffers’ book “Freemasons in America” and “10,000 famous Freemasons” by William Denslow and author Jasper Ridley’s research book “The Freemasons: A history of the world’s most powerful secret society” reveals, Freemasonry has existed in various forms all over the world for centuries, with a membership estimated at around six million. Throughout history, some members of the fraternity have not kept their affiliations secret, while there are others who have not made their Freemasonry membership public.

A BBC report (March 14, 2012) views: “The Freemasons, an international organisation often shrouded in mystery, is undergoing a rebrand. But what is this society and what exactly do Freemasons do? Conspiracy theories have dogged the Freemasons throughout their existence, fuelled by their secretive image, but for some they are just a gentleman’s club devoted to charitable giving. Members can be recommended, or they can put themselves forward.

Masons have often been complained to be subjected to discrimination.

The above-quoted BBC report had quoted Nigel Brown, grand secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England, as saying “The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2007 that in a modern democratic society it was discriminatory to single out Freemasons from the many voluntary organisations an individual can belong to and require them to register their membership with their employers. All conspiracy theories annoy us as they are just that - conspiracy with no truth or grounding. Part of the reason for our current activity is to dispel all the myths and conspiracy theories attached to Freemasonry.”

In his book “Infiltrating the Freemasons,” investigative journalist David Cano that people hailing from this secret and mysterious fraternity believe in the spirit of brotherhood, promote and help out each other. He had further stated in his afore-cited book that there was a myth Masons help each other get jobs.

He writes: “They’re very odd and strange to the man in the street and this is why there’s a cloud over it. Masons are wonderful people who are very helpful to each other and kind.”

David Cano adds: “The big controversy is whether freemasons infiltrate the workplace and use it to get people jobs. There have been certain scandals involving this and rules have now been written in to masonry about joining certain professions. All I know is that there has been a strong Masonic influence among the presidents of the US. On the dollar bill there’s a few Masonic symbols on there. But I can’t really believe that, even though the press would love it. As far as Masons helping each other, as a fraternity you would do, but whether that’s carried further, I don’t know. Some of the Masonic halls in America are massive places.”

A Masonic website “” states: “Charity is the most visible Masonic activity. Each year Masons give many millions of dollars to charity. If you are a Mason and you need help, every Mason in the world must help you, if he possibly can. By the same token, you must be willing to help any Mason who needs it. We’re dedicated to the growth and development of our members as human beings. The Fraternity gives hundreds of college scholarships to students each year. Nationally, throughout the United States, the Masons give an average of $1.5 million every day to charitable causes.”

Here follows the list of Masonic American Presidents (with Lodge registration numbers in brackets). The list has been prepared after a study of of Blizard Abbott’s book “Masonic Portraits: Sketches of Distinguished Freemasons,” Jim Harrison’s book “Biographical Journal of Freemasons: British Columbia and the World,” H.L. Haywood’s book “Famous Masons,” W. W. Morgan’s book “Masonic Portraits: Sketches of Distinguished Freemasons” and Eugen Lennhoff’s book “The Freemasons”:

George Washington (registered at Alexandria Lodge No. 22, Virginia, in 1753), James Monroe (registered at Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, Virginia, in 1775), Andrew Jackson (registered at Harmony Lodge No. 1, Tennessee state and Jackson Lodge in Florida), James Polk (registered on June 5, 1820 at Columbia Lodge No. 31, Tennessee), James Buchanan (registered at Lodge No. 43, Pennsylvania), Andrew Johnson (registered at Greenville Lodge No. 119, Tennessee State), James Garfield (made a Mason in November 1864 at Columbus Lodge No. 30, Ohio), William McKinley (registered at Hiram Lodge No. 21, Winchester, Virginia),Theodore Roosevelt (registered at Matinecock Lodge No. 806, New York), William Howard Taft (made a Mason at Scottish Rite Cathedral, Ohio, Lodge No. 356 in 1909), Warren Harding (made a Mason at Marion Lodge No. 70 in Ohio), Franklin D. Roosevelt (registered at Holland Lodge No. 8, New York), Harry Truman (registered at Belton Lodge No. 450, Missouri state), Lyndon B. Johnson (Johnson City Lodge No. 561, Texas) and Gerald Ford (made a Mason in 1951 at Columbia Lodge No. 3 of Washington DC).

Numerous world rulers have also been acknowledged Masons.

These include the likes of Messrs John Abbott (Canadian Prime Minister, who was registered at Saint Paul’s Lodge as Number 374 in Montreal on 1847), Emilio Aguinaldo (President of Philippines), Emperor Augustin I of Mexico, Alexander I of Yugoslavia (first king of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia), Salvador Allende (President of Chile), Charles Bathurst (Governor-General of New Zealand), Francis Bell (Prime Minister of New Zealand), R. B. Bennett (Prime Minister of Canada), Omar Bongo (President of Gabon), Robert Borden (Prime Minister of Canada), Mackenzie Bowell (Prime Minister of Canada), George Canning (British Prime Minister), King Charles XIII of Sweden, Winston Churchill (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who joined Studholme Alliance Lodge No. 1591 on May 24, 1901), Emile Combes (French Premier), Joseph Cook (Prime Minister of Australia), Francesco Crispi (Prime Minister of Italy), John Diefenbaker (Prime Minister of Canada), George IV and VI (Kings of Great Britain), John Gorton (Prime Minister of Australia), Habibullah Khan (Emir of Afghanistan from 1901 to 1919), Keith Holyoake (Prime minister of New Zealand), Leopold I (King of Belgium), John Macdonald (first Prime Minister of Canada), George Reid (Prime Minister of Australia), Miguel Aleman (Mexican President), Mustapha Kemal Ataturk (President of Turkey from 1923 to 1938), Viscount Bennett (Prime Minister of Canada), Napoleon Bonaparte and his four brothers, Sir Robert Borden and Sir Mackenzie Bowell (Prime Ministers of Canada), Paul Doumer (President of France), Gaston Doumergue (President of France), Frederic VII (King of Denmark), Georges II (King of Greece), Gustave V (King of Sweden), Alexandre Mitterand (President of France), Peter the Great (Emperor of Russia),William II (King of the Netherlands), Earle Christmas Page (Prime Minister of Australia), John McEwen (Prime Minister of Australia), William McMahon (Prime Minister of Australia) and Yitzhak Rabin (Prime Minister of Israel) etc.

A good number of world famous business magnates have also been Masons.

These include Messrs Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corporation), John Dunlop (Tire Manufacturer), Henry Ford (founder Ford Motors), King Gillette (Gillette Razor Company), Frank Hoover (Vacuum cleaner fame), Samuel Colt (manufacturer of Colt revolvers), William Lever (man behind Lever Brothers), Colonel Harland Sanders (founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Harry Warner (US film producer and co-founder of Warner Brothers) etc.

Other famous Masons include Cecil Rhodes (famous Rhodes Scholarship launcher), Antoine Joseph Sax (Invented the Saxophone in 1846), Sir Aga Khan III (1877-1957), noted physician and botanist Erasmus Darwin (1732-1802), James Hoban (architect of the White House), Sir Alexander Fleming (Scottish bacteriologist who discovered Penicillin), Ludwig Beethoven and Mozart (globally acclaimed composers).

Edgar Hoover (first Director of the FBI) was also a Mason.

Meanwhile, renowned Masonic authors include: Messrs Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of Sherlock Holmes), Edward Gibbon (author of “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”), Rudyard Kipling (English writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907), Jonathan Swift (writer of “Gulliver’s Travels”), Russian author Leo Tolstoy (writer of “War and Peace”), Oscar Wilde (Irish Playwright and novelist) and Mark Twain etc.

Interestingly, a few books suggest that the likes of Joseph Stalin, US Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Bush Senior, former US Vice President Dick Cheney, Karl Marx and Lord Mountbatten were also Masons, though Lodge numbers have been missing in most accounts to verify their status in this context.

Further Reading:

Freemasonry in Pakistan