The Founding Freemasons

The Founding Freemasons

 

George Washington Laying the Cornerstone of the United States Capital, mural by Allyn Cox, courtesy of Phoenixmasonry.org

Happy Independence Day! At Covert Concepts, we love conspiracy theories, so what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than to look at the conspiracy theories surrounding the Founding Fathers and the Freemasons.

Who are the Freemasons?

The Freemasons, or Masons for short, are a charitable organization and are the world’s largest and oldest fraternity, with roots that go back to the 14th century.

Who knows what the G stands for? God? Gimmel? Gangsta? Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Freemasonry began as a medieval guild for stonemasons, but slowly grew and expanded, allowing gentlemen who were not stonemasons to join. The first Masonic lodge was built in London in 1717.

All these men gathering together in clandestine meetings, with their secret handshakes and rituals aroused suspicion and the ire of the ruling elite. Clearly, the thinking was, these men were up to no good. Why else would they meet in secret? They must be planning some kind of revolution, or worshipping Satan (or both!). And so, in 1738, Pope Clement XII issued a decree against freemasonry—a decree that still applies today.

Oh no! he Masons have a leg up in secret handshake technology! Courtesy of stackexchange.com

Freemasonry in America

The first official Masonic lodge in America was opened in in Boston in 1733, although it seems Freemasons were meeting in Philadelphia as early as 1715.

Many of our Founding Fathers were Masons, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Monroe, Ethan Allen, John Jay, Sam Adams, John Paul Jones, and Paul Revere. Nine of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were definite Masons, including John Hancock, with another seven signers who are suspected to either be members or who had ties to the fraternity. Thirteen of the 39 signers of the Constitution were Masons, as were 33 of the 74 generals of the Colonial Army.

And it’s not just the Founding Fathers who were Masons; fifteen of our Presidents were as well. Aside from Washington and Monroe, the list includes Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, and Gerald Ford.

Conspiracy!

OK, so plenty of important Americans were Freemasons. So what, right? Well, just as European elites were suspicious of Masons, Americans were (and continue to be) as well. After all, it couldn’t just be a coincidence that so many VIPs were Masons, right? They must have all been up to something nefarious. And so, ever since the founding of this country, rumors have swirled that the Masons were behind key American symbols, buildings, and documents.

Here is a short list of conspiracy theories surrounding the Founding Freemasons:

The Presidential Oath. For his inauguration, George Washington requested the use of a Bible, apparently because of his Masonic beliefs. Every President has copied this, with some—George W Bush and Bill Clinton—using the exact same Bible Washington used.

Shriners symbol

Egyptian symbols. The Masons often tie their roots to the secret society schools of ancient Egypt, which is why there are so many Egyptian symbols in Freemasonry. That’s also why, theorists say, we have a pyramid with an all-seeing eye on our dollar bill. And the Washington Monument, which is modeled after Egyptian obelisks.

Masons laid important cornerstones in Washington, D. C., including the stone that marks the southern boundary of the city, as well as the cornerstone of the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Institution. George Washington himself is said to have laid the stone for the Capitol building, though the location of the stone has been lost. (Or hidden?)

Courtesy of rationalwiki.org

Washington D. C. itself is in the shape of a pentagram! Five-pointed stars are important symbols in Freemason iconography (and in American symbology, too! I’m looking at you, American Flag!). Well, if one looks at the way the roads are laid out in D. C., one can make the case that they form an upside-down star—or, if you like, a Satanic Pentagram—with the White House at it’s bottom. To be clear, there is no reason to think that the Freemasons worship Satan, but they’ve certainly been accused of it.

 

It wasn’t long after the founding of our country when conspiracies about the Freemasons took hold in the popular imagination. In fact, our country’s first political third party was the Anti-Masonic Party. This party, which began in the late 1820s, elected eight congressmen, but lost the 1928 Presidential election to Freemason Andrew Jackson. The party merged with the Whigs by the mid-1830s.

Freemasons are still with us, of course. Today there are over one million members in the US. There are many branches of Freemasons, perhaps the most famous of which are the Shriners. Shriners International have 22 non-profit hospitals for children, where patients don’t have to pay one penny for care. (But, let’s be honest, the Shriners are most famous for driving funny cars.)

Goofy, fun-loving philanthropists in silly hats, or evil pawns of Satan. You decide!

What do you think? Was America founded as part of a large, ongoing Masonic conspiracy? Are the Masons and Illuminati working together to create a new world order?

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