Tagged: Freemasonry

Militant Masonry: Amis de la Vérité, Buonarroti Masters and French Carbonari


By Terry Melanson (February 18, 2013)

Amongst the source material utilized during the writing of Perfectibilists, was a 1956 International Review of Social History article by Arthur Lehning: “Buonarroti and His International Secret Societies.”

I became fascinated with the so-called “first professional revolutionist,” especially the evidence of his indebtedness to the stratagems of the Bavarian Illuminati (directly or otherwise).

In the midst of Lehning’s thorough outline of the central role Buonarroti played in various secret societies during the period, a short passage caught my attention involving a clandestine nexus of French Carbonarists, Joseph Rey’s ‘L’Union,’ and a particularly revolutionary Masonic Lodge of the Grand Orient: the ‘Amis de la Vérité’ [Friends of Truth]:

In 1821 the secret leadership of the anti-Bourbon opposition went over to the “Charbonnerie française”. Bazard, the later Saint-Simonist, formed in 1818 the “Loge des amis de la vérité” with its military “Compagnie franche des écoles”. Behind the “Loge” stood the secret “Union” of Rey, and it was Victor Cousin (of the “Union”) who, in fact, took the initiative. Involved in the military conspiracy of 19th August 1820, two of its members, Joubert and Dugied, having fled to Italy, brought back from Naples the statutes of the Neopolitan “carbonari”. They form 1st May 1821 the first “Haute Vente” of the “Charbonnerie française” of which soon the leading personalities of the parliamentarian opposition such as Lafayette, De Corcelle, Koechlin, Manuel – all deputies – and also Cabet and De Schonen, became members (127).



Frank Gigliotti: Minister, Freemason, OSS and CIA


Dr. Frank Bruno Gigliotti (Oct. 15, 1896 San Bernardo [Catanzaro, Calabria], Italy – Sep. 20, 1975 Lemon Grove, Cal., USA)

By Terry Melanson (Oct. 30, 2015)

jan-1947-receives-word-of-constitution-ammendmentIf you have studied the history of deep state intrigue, Gladio and stay-behind networks during the cold war, occasionally you may have come across a fleeting mention of someone named Frank Gigliotti. In Philip Willan’s Puppetmasters, for example, Gigliotti is described as a “former OSS and then CIA agent” who played a key role in the US negations to return control to the Grand Orient masons their former headquarters in Palazzo Giustiniani, Rome (57). “Frank Gigliotti of the US Masonic Lodge,” Daniele Ganser asserts in NATO’s Secret Armies, “personally recruited Gelli and instructed him to set up an anti-Communist parallel government in Italy in close cooperation with the CIA station in Rome” (73). In Willan’s book as well, Gigliotti is mentioned in a paragraph that begins with Gelli’s initiation into grand orient masonry.

Gelli, of course, refers to Licio Gelli, the Venerable Master of the Propaganda Due (P2) secret masonic lodge which recruited members with senior positions in the intelligence apparatus, the military, judiciary, parliament, media, banking and high finance. P2 operated like a state within a state, and Gelli as a self-proclaimed puppet master. The discovery, in 1981, of an official list of nearly a thousand members, including “four cabinet ministers, three under-secretaries and thirty-eight parliamentarians,” precipitated a collapse of the government (Willan 2002: 49). In subsequent government inquiries, Gelli and P2 were linked to the downfall of Banco Ambrosiano; Operation Gladio and the Strategy of Tension; the Bologna massacre; far-right/fascist groups such as Ordine Nuovo and Stefano Delle Chiaie’s Italian Social Movement; the Borghese coup; the Rosa dei Venti (Compass Rose) conspiracy; kidnapping, murder and assassination.

The parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating P2 specifically mentions Frank Gigliotti, his OSS/CIA/US Scottish Rite/Grand Orient ties, and draws attention to the conspicuous appearance of Licio Gelli once Gigliotti leaves the scene.

This seemingly obscure mason from the US was meddling in grand orient masonic affairs, on behalf of his masonic brethren as well as the US government, and was linked to the rise of Gelli and his ascendancy to the leadership of P2. Who was this man? What was the trajectory of his career?



The Influence of the Illuminati and Freemasonry on German Student Orders (and Vice Versa)


by Terry Melanson (7/1/2010)

Not widely known is the fact that some of the key ideas behind the creation of the Bavarian Illuminati came from a member of a German Studentenorden.

In 1776 Adam Weishaupt confided to one of his students, eighteen year-old Franz Anton von Massenhausen, that he was thinking of creating a secret society (at the University of Ingolstadt) to combat the influence of both the Jesuits and the Rosicrucians. Massenhausen had told Weishaupt that this was good idea, and that he already had some experience in this area. Before matriculating at Ingolstadt, Massenhausen informed his teacher, he had been a member of a student secret society in Göttingen; he went on to describe the manner in which they operated, its statutes, and the attire they wore. Taking this as a model, then, on May 1st 1776 Weishaupt, Massenhausen and three others, formed the Order of the Perfectibilists.1

It is ironic that such should be the case, for afterwards the Illuminati, in turn, had not only infiltrated various educational establishments but student societies as well. As Klaus Epstein explains it:

The famous Karlsschule in Stuttgart (Schiller’s alma mater) had several Illuminati on its staff. The educational movement headed by Basedow taught Illuminati principles, though Basedow himself apparently never joined the order. The University of Göttingen had several Illuminati among its professors, which led Weishaupt to exclaim with surprise that Ingolstadt was giving the law to its far more distinguished North German rival. Tutorial positions offered excellent leverage for working for the future triumph of the Aufklärung: the prominent Illuminat Leuchsenring served, for example, as tutor to the Prussian crown prince who became Frederick William III (though the later conduct of his pupil must have disappointed him).2 The two leading student societies (Studentenorden), the Konstantisten and the Schwarze Brüder, were both infiltrated by Illuminati. The actual influence of the order upon the education of Germany’s youth obviously cannot be quantitatively defined, and statistical calculations of the infiltration of the professorate are equally impossible to make.3 These examples suffice to explain, however, the fact that Conservatives called for a drastic purge of educational institutions.4



Masonic Emblems on Coins and Medallions during the French Revolution


by Terry Melanson, April 24th, 2012 (Update/Introduction Aug 11, 2015)

The impetus for this compilation of numismatic Masonic symbolism during the French Revolution stems from a single paragraph (and accompanying end notes) in James H. Billington’s Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith (pp. 93, 537-8):

In the early days of the revolution, Masonry provided much of the key symbolism and ritual—beginning with the Masonic welcome under a “vault of swords” of the king at the Hotel de Ville three days after the fall of the Bastille.[36] To be sure, most French Masons prior to the revolution had been “not revolutionaries, not even reformers, nor even discontent”;[37] and, even during the revolution, Masonry as such remained politically polymorphous: “Each social element and each political tendency could ‘go masonic’ as it wished.”[38] But Masonry provided a rich and relatively nontraditional foraging ground for new national symbols (coins, songs, banners, seals), new forms of address (tu, frère, vivat!), and new models for civic organizations, particularly outside Paris.[39]


36. On the use of the voûte d’acier on Jul 17, see J. Palou, La Franc-maçonnerie, 1972, 187.
37. D. Mornet, Les Origines intellectuelles de la révolution française (1715–1787), 1954, 375; discussion 357–87; bibliography, 523–5; and outside of France, Billington, Icon, 712–4. A. Mellor, Les Mythes maçonniques, (1974) also minimizes Masonic influence, though vaguely acknowledging the influence of the occultist revival on the revolutionary movement.
38. Ligou, “Source,” 46, also 49.
39. This subject has never been comprehensively studied. For the best discussions in general terms, see O. Karmin, “L’Influence du symbolisme maçonnique sur le symbolisme révolutionnaire,”Revue Historique de la Révolution Française, 1910, I, 183–8 (particularly on numismatics); J. Brengues, “La Franc-maçonnerie et la fête révolutionnaire,” Humanisme, 1974, Jul–Aug, 31– 7; Palou, 181–215; R. Cotte, “De la Musique des loges maçonniques à celles des fêtes révolutionnaires,” Les Fêtes de la révolution, 1977, 565–74; and the more qualified assessment of Ligou, “Structures et symbolisme maçonniques sous la révolution,” Annales Historiques, 1969, Jul Sep, 511–23. 
For the heavy reliance on Masonic structures in provincial civic rituals, see, for instance, F. Vermale, “La Franc maçonnerie savoisienne au début de la révolution et les dames de Bellegarde,” Annales Révolutionnaires, III, 1910, 375–94; and especially the monumental work for la Sarthe which lifts the level of research far above anything done for Paris: A. Bouton, Les Franc-maçons manceaux et la révolution française, 1741–1815, Le Mans, 1958. See also his successor volume Les Luttes ordentes des francs-maçons manceaux pour l’établissement de la république 1815–1914, Le Mans, 1966.

The Karmin article is the main source for what follows.

His methodology is simple: he mined a standard numismatic reference work and highlighted the examples of Masonic influence—minus illustrations, hence the need for my own treatment. The evidence is clear and seems deliberate, although one isn’t quite sure whether the artists involved were actually Masons themselves.



Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education


by Terry Melanson, May 20, 2010

Freemasonry is…interested in and concerned for “the education of all the children of all the people.” The “Temple” which the Craft is building is nothing other than the human family living happily together.

– H. L. Haywood, Great Teachings of Masonry (Kessinger Publishing, 1942), p. 152

A fairly recent Lew Rockwell blog post by Christopher Manion highlights the efforts of the state and anti-Catholics to control the educational apparatus:

Few Americans today realize that the public school movement began 150 years ago as part of an attack on the Catholic Church.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Protestant “Know-Nothings” railed against the millions of newly-arrived Catholic immigrants — “criminals” who had a lot of kids and were starting their own schools, complete with armies of foreign nuns and papist priests. According to Rousas Rushdoony’s history, Horace Mann, the founder of the public school movement in Massachusetts, believed that “the [public] schools are the means, instruments, vehicles, and true church by which salvation is given to society.” Given that goal, Mann “changed the function of education from ‘mere learning’ or religiously-oriented education to ‘social efficiency, civic virtue, and character” (by the twentieth century, character “ceased to be a concern” in the public schools, Rushdoony notes). Mann also demanded that control of community schools be transferred into state hands.

A decade later and a continent away, another pioneer took up the cause. John Swett was responsible for “framing the basic legislation of the state system” as California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction during the 1860s. Swett made his goals perfectly clear: “Children arrived at the age of maturity belong not to the parents but to the State, to society, and to the country,” he insisted — so children should be educated not according to the beliefs of their parents, but those of the government. The “civil religion” taught in government schools was designed to neutralize the papist heresies taught in the parochial schools. For the Know-Nothings, Catholic families were not only the competition: they were the enemy. Catholics were inferiors that had to be raised to the level of civic virtue expected of everyone else.

Although I’m not comfortable with Manion utilizing Rushdoony as his main source, the facts are essentially sound. Not mentioned though, was that Masonic affiliation was probably a factor. According to 10,000 Famous Freemasons, John Swett was a Mason; while Horace Mann is claimed as such—perhaps by his wife—in Paul Fisher’s Behind the Lodge Door.

In Europe and North America, “culture war” was the socio-political preoccupation of the mid- to late-19th Century. However, the struggle for control of the educational establishment actually began a hundred years earlier during the Enlightenment.



Masonic Congress of Wilhelmsbad

Wilhelmsbad in 1783
Wilhelmsbad in 1783

by Terry Melanson (08/11/2008)

The above was painted by Anton Wilhelm Tischbein (1730-1804) in 1783. The scene depicts the grounds of the spa – the ruined castle, the kitchen and the carousel in the background. In the foreground (right) is the hereditary prince William IX of Hesse-Kassel (1743-1821) with six year-old son William. William IX, at the time, was the ruler of the principality of Hanau, subsequently becoming William IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel – after his father Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel had died in 1785 – and then William I, Elector of Hesse.

The castle as it looks today (from the German Wilhelmsbad entry at de.wikipedia)

The castle as it looks today (from the German Wilhelmsbad entry at de.wikipedia)

The Hanau-Wilhelmsbad spa, fashionable from 1777 to 1785, was the location of the Masonic Congress in the summer of 1782 (16 July – 29 August).  William IX made it his summer retreat, and the ruined castle, prominent in the painting, was where high-degree Masons from the whole of Europe had deliberated the fate of the rite of Strict Observance.

Photographer “Big Mike” in Germany, has this to say about the castle:

The Ruined Castle built between 1779 and 1781 close to the spa baths, although separated on its artificial island behind gnarled oaks, is the earliest pseudo-medieval castle on the European continent to have been purpose-built for a landscaped park in the form of a ruin. In fact, it served Wilhelm, the invested heir to Hesse-Kassel, as a summer residence. Its apparently dilapidated tower has been deliberately designed to bewilder the visitor, for it accommodates an elegant apartment on its ground floor and a magnificent domed hall with portraits of ancestors by Anton Wilhelm Tischbein on its upper floor.

Wilhelmsbad Pyramid

Wilhelmsbad Pyramid

There’s also a pyramid on the grounds, erected in 1784, in honor of William IX’s son Friedrich who died prematurely just shy of his twelfth birthday; designed by Franz Ludwig von Canerin.

William IX wasn’t a Freemason, but his brother Prince Karl, Landgrave of Hessen-Kassel (1744-1836), was. Karl was the chief organizer of the conference, and second in command to Grand Master (Magnus Superior Ordinis; ‘Eques a Victoria’) Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel (1721-92) – Illuminatus, February 1783.

The following is a list of the official deputies of the Strict Observance who attended the gathering:



Albert Pike to Mazzini, August 15, 1871: Three World Wars?


by Terry Melanson, Oct. 5th, 2010

Le diable au XIXe siecle Or, how Michael Haupt said, that William Guy Carr said, that Cardinal Caro y Rodriguez of Santiago, Chile said, that The Cause of World Unrest said, that the confessed hoaxer Gabriel Jogand-Pagès aka Dr. Bataille aka Leo Taxil said about Albert Pike and Giuseppe Mazzini in Le diable au XIXe siècle, v. II, 1892-1894, p. 605 (but actually pp. 594-606). Got it?

I don’t derive any satisfaction from a debunking. I really don’t. Discovering the truth is a reward in itself.

Having a knack for getting to the bottom of a thing also helps with maintaining credibility. Historiography is among other things concerned with source criticism. And while I’m not an academically trained historian, I am quite aware that one should strive to consult the primary source as opposed to relying on the word of secondary or even tertiary accounts.

The matter at hand deals with an alleged “three world war” prediction from famed Mason, Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commander Albert Pike. William Guy Carr was the key purveyor of the tale which, to me, was suspicious at the least.

Off and on I’ve been working at it. And I’ve finally cracked the case.

The “Three World Wars” website and Carr

Let’s begin with the modern populariser of the Pike/Mazzini, 1871 “letter.”

In 2003, an Englishman by the name of Michael Haupt [fig 1] launched [fig 2] his website threeworldwars.com in response to Jihadist terrorism and the American invasion of Iraq. Backed by the knowledge gleaned from a conspiratorial view of history and an obvious impending cataclysm, the words of William Guy Carr, attributed to Albert Pike, seemed to precisely predict the dire circumstances unfolding in the Middle East.



‘Ndrangheta, the Freemasonry of Crime

Italian police have videotaped the initiation ceremony of an elite circle within ‘Ndrangheta – La Santa.

A translation has been provided by Euronews:

Good evening, and good evening to the “santisti”.

Indeed in this holy evening in the silence of the night under the light of the stars and the splendor of the moon, I form the holy chain, in name of Garibaldi, Mazzini and Lamarmora, with words of humbleness, I form the holy society! Say all together with me: I swear ….to repudiate…altogether up to the seventh generation… all the criminal society that I have recognized so far, in order to defend the honour of my wise brothers!

Until yesterday you belonged to the criminal society. As far as “N’drangheta” is concerned up to yesterday you were complete! Now you must take a different path. You must arm yourself. You must repudiate all you knew until yesterday. Here there are two paths….the mountains…the holy mountain..

Today, from now on, you judge by yourself! There are two possibilities: if in your life you fail to do something important, your brothers must not judge you. You must know by yourself that you failed and you must choose the way to follow. The oath of poison!! A pill, there is a pill!!…. Cyanide! ….Or you poison yourself. Or you take this one that shoots. The bullets in the gun.. You must always keep one bullet! That is for you!

If they ask you: “Excuse me, do you know whose son are you? Who is your father? You must answer: My father is the sun. My mother is the moon.”

Invoking the names Garibaldi, Mazzini and La Marmora in the opening is a Masonic reference, as are mention of the stars, the sun and the moon.

The rank of santisti, originally “only conferred on no more than thirty-three people,” was instituted as a secret society within a secret society. An innovation from the 1970s, the most important ‘Ndrangheta mafia chiefs decided to implement an occult stage, a secret sect, to “maximize the power and invisibility” of the bosses, the existence of which would only be known by other santisti (Paoli 114).



Enter The House Of The Temple

The young tour guide tells the camera man those snakes near the pillars represent “chaos.” Poppycock. The meaning of the serpent in Masonry is the same as other occult initiatory sects, namely the keeper of wisdom or the mysteries themselves.