Another NeoCon Attempt to frame Iran fails

 

Another Neocon Attempt to Frame Iran Falls Apart

 

By Gareth Porter, The Nation
Posted on January 26, 2008, Printed on January 27, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/74331/

Research for this article was supported by the Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute.

Although nukes and Iraq have been the main focus of the Bush Administration’s pressure campaign against Iran, US officials also seek to tar Iran as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. And Team Bush’s latest tactic is to play up a thirteen-year-old accusation that Iran was responsible for the notorious Buenos Aires bombing that destroyed the city’s Jewish Community Center, known as AMIA, killing eighty-six and injuring 300, in 1994. Unnamed senior Administration officials told the Wall Street Journal January 15 that the bombing in Argentina “serves as a model for how Tehran has used its overseas embassies and relationship with foreign militant groups, in particular Hezbollah, to strike at its enemies.”

This propaganda campaign depends heavily on a decision last November by the General Assembly of Interpol, which voted to put five former Iranian officials and a Hezbollah leader on the international police organization’s “red list” for allegedly having planned the July 1994 bombing. But the Wall Street Journal reports that it was pressure from the Bush Administration, along with Israeli and Argentine diplomats, that secured the Interpol vote. In fact, the Bush Administration’s manipulation of the Argentine bombing case is perfectly in line with its long practice of using distorting and manufactured evidence to build a case against its geopolitical enemies.

After spending several months interviewing officials at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires familiar with the Argentine investigation, the head of the FBI team that assisted it and the most knowledgeable independent Argentine investigator of the case, I found that no real evidence has ever been found to implicate Iran in the bombing. Based on these interviews and the documentary record of the investigation, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the case against Iran over the AMIA bombing has been driven from the beginning by US enmity toward Iran, not by a desire to find the real perpetrators.

A ‘Wall of Assumptions’

US policy toward the bombing was skewed from the beginning by a Clinton Administration strategy of isolating Iran, adopted in 1993 as part of an understanding with Israel on peace negotiations with the Palestinians. On the very day of the crime, before anything could have been known about who was responsible, Secretary of State Warren Christopher blamed “those who want to stop the peace process in the Middle East”–an obvious reference to Iran.

William Brencick, then chief of the political section at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and the primary Embassy contact for the investigation, recalled in an interview with me last June that a “wall of assumptions” guided the US approach to the case. The primary assumptions, Brencick said, were that the explosion was a suicide bombing and that use of a suicide bomb was prima facie evidence of involvement by Hezbollah–and therefore Iran.

But the suicide-bomber thesis quickly encountered serious problems. In the wake of the explosion, the Menem government asked the United States to send a team to assist in the investigation, and two days after the bombing, experts from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms arrived in Buenos Aires along with three FBI agents. According to an interview the head of the team, ATF explosives expert Charles Hunter, gave to a team of independent investigators headed by US journalist Joe Goldman and Argentine investigative journalist Jorge Lanata, as soon as the team arrived the federal police put forward a thesis that a white Renault Trafic van had carried the bomb that destroyed the AMIA.

Hunter quickly identified major discrepancies between the car-bomb thesis and the blast pattern recorded in photos. He wrote a report two weeks later noting that in the wake of the bombing, merchandise in a store immediately to the right of the AMIA was tightly packed against its front windows and merchandise in another shop had been blown out onto the street–suggesting that the blast came from inside rather than outside. Hunter also said he did not understand how the building across the street could still be standing if the bomb had exploded in front of the AMIA, as suggested by the car-bomb thesis.

The lack of eyewitness evidence supporting the thesis was just as striking. Of some 200 witnesses on the scene, only one claimed to have seen a white Renault Trafic. Several testified they were looking at the spot where the Trafic should have been when the explosion occurred and saw nothing. Nicolasa Romero, the wife of a Buenos Aires policeman, was that lone witness. She said she saw a white Renault Trafic approach the corner where she was standing with her sister and her 4-year-old son. But Romero’s sister testified that the vehicle that passed them was not a white Trafic but rather a black-and-yellow taxi. Other witnesses reported seeing a black-and-yellow taxi seconds before the explosion.

Argentine prosecutors argued that pieces of a white Trafic embedded in the flesh of many of the victims of the explosion proved their case for a suicide bomb. But that evidence was discredited by Gabriel Levinas, a researcher for AMIA’s own legal team. Levinas is a member of a leading Jewish family in Buenos Aires who had published a human rights magazine during the dictatorship (his uncle’s car was used to kidnap war criminal Adolf Eichmann and spirit him off to Israel for trial in 1982.)

He discovered that the manufacturer of the white Trafic had been sent fragments of the vehicle recovered by the police for analysis and had found that none of the pieces had ever been put under high temperature. That meant that these car fragments could not have come from the particular white Trafic that police had identified as the suicide bomb car–since that vehicle was known to have once caught fire before having been recycled and repaired.

Yet despite the lack of eyewitness testimony and the weakness of the forensic evidence, the State Department publicly embraced the suicide-bomb story in 1994 and 1995.

The Problem of Motive

Independent investigators have also long puzzled over why Iran would have carried out an action against Argentine Jews while its Hezbollah allies were embroiled in armed struggle with the Israeli military in Lebanon. In their 2006 indictment of several Iranian nationals in the bombing, Argentine prosecutors argued that Iran planned the AMIA attack because Carlos Menem’s administration had abruptly canceled two contracts for the transfer of nuclear technology to Iran.

But the indictment actually provides excerpts from key documents that undermine that conclusion. According to a February 10, 1992, cable from Argentina’s ambassador in Iran, the director of the American Department of Iran’s foreign ministry had “emphasized the need to reach a solution to the problem [of nuclear technology transfer] that would avoid damage to other contracts.” Iran thus clearly signaled its hope of finding a negotiated solution that could reactivate the suspended contracts and maintain other deals with Argentina as well.

On March 17, 1992, a bomb blast destroyed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires–an incident for which the Argentine prosecutors also held Iran responsible. The indictment, however, quotes a top official of INVAP, an Argentine nuclear firm that dominated the National Commission on Atomic Energy, as saying that during 1992 there were “contacts” between INVAP and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran “in the expectation that the decision of the national government would be revised, allowing the tasks in the contracts to be resumed.” The same official confirmed that negotiations surrounding the two canceled projects continued from 1993 to 1995–before and after the AMIA explosion. Those revelations suggest that the Iranian attitude toward Argentina at the time of the bombing was exactly the opposite of the one claimed in the indictment.

The Hezbollah motive for involvement in the AMIA bombing, according to the indictment, was revenge against the Israeli bombing of a Hezbollah training camp in the Bekaa Valley in early 1994 and the Israeli kidnapping of Shiite leader Mustapha Dirani in May. That theory fails to explain, however, why Hezbollah would choose to retaliate against Jews in Argentina. It was already at war with the Israeli forces in Lebanon, where the group was employing suicide bomb attacks in an effort to pressure Israel to end its occupation. Hezbollah had a second easy retaliatory option available, which was to launch Katyusha rockets across the border into Israeli territory.

That is exactly what Hezbollah did to retaliate for the Israeli killing of some 100 Lebanese civilians in the town of Qana in 1996. That episode inspired greater anger toward Israel among Hezbollah militants than any other event in the 1990s, according to Boston University Hezbollah specialist Augustus Richard Norton. If Hezbollah responded to this Israeli provocation with Katyusha rockets on Israeli territory, it hardly makes sense that it would have responded to a lesser Israeli offense by designing an ambitious international attack on Argentine Jews with no connection to the Israeli occupation.

The Frame-up

The keystone of the Argentine case was Carlos Alberto Telleldin, a used-car salesman with a record of shady dealings with both criminals and the police–and a Shiite last name. On July 10, 1994, Telleldin sold the white Trafic the police claimed was the suicide car to a man he described as having a Central American accent. Nine days after the bombing Telleldin was arrested on suspicion of being an accomplice to the crime.

The police claimed they were led to Telleldin by the serial number on the van’s engine block, which was found in the rubble. But it would have been a remarkable lapse for the organizers of what was otherwise a very professional bombing to have left intact such a visible identification mark, one that any car thief knows how to erase. That should have been a clue that the attack was likely not orchestrated by Hezbollah, whose bomb experts were well-known by US intelligence analysts to have been clever enough, in blowing up the American Embassy in Beirut in 1983, to avoid leaving behind any forensic evidence that would lead back to them. It should also have raised questions about whether that evidence was planted by the police themselves.

It is now clear that the Menem government’s real purpose in arresting Telleldin was to get him to finger those they wanted to blame for the bombing. In January 1995, Telleldin was visited by retired army Capt. Hector Pedro Vergez, a part-time agent for SIDE, the Argentine intelligence agency, who offered him $1 million and his freedom if he would identify one of five Lebanese nationals detained in Paraguay in September 2004–men the CIA said might be Hezbollah militants–as the person to whom he had sold the van. After Telleldin refused to go along with the scheme, an Argentine judge found that there was no evidence on which to detain the alleged militants.

The Buenos Aires court, which threw out the case against Telleldin in 2004, determined that a federal judge, Luisa Riva Aramayo, met with Telleldin in 1995 to discuss another possibility–paying him to testify that he had sold the van to several high-ranking figures in the Buenos Aires provincial police who were allies of Menem’s political rival, Eduardo Duhalde. In July 1996, Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who was overseeing the investigation, offered Telleldin $400,000 to implicate those police officers as accomplices in the bombing. (A videotape made secretly by SIDE agents and aired on television in April 1997 showed Galeano negotiating the bribe.) A month after making the offer to Telleldin, Galeano charged three senior Buenos Aires police officials with having involvement in the bombing, based on Telleldin’s testimony.

“The Whole Iran Thing Seemed Kind of Flimsy”

In an interview last May James Cheek, Clinton’s Ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing, told me, “To my knowledge, there was never any real evidence [of Iranian responsibility]. They never came up with anything.” The hottest lead in the case, he recalled, was an Iranian defector named Manoucher Moatamer, who “supposedly had all this information.” But Moatamer turned out to be only a dissatisfied low-ranking official without the knowledge of government decision-making that he had claimed. “We finally decided that he wasn’t credible,” Cheek recalled. Ron Goddard, then deputy chief of the US Mission in Buenos Aires, confirmed Cheek’s account. He recalled that investigators found nothing linking Iran to the bombing. “The whole Iran thing seemed kind of flimsy,” Goddard said.

James Bernazzani, then the head of the FBI’s Hezbollah office, was directed in October 1997 to assemble a team of specialists to go to Buenos Aires and put the AMIA case to rest. Bernazzani, now head of the agency’s New Orleans office, recalled in a November 2006 interview how he arrived to find that the Argentine investigation of the AMIA bombing had found no real evidence of Iranian or Hezbollah involvement. The only clues suggesting an Iranian link to the bombing at that time, according to Bernazzani, were a surveillance tape of Iranian cultural attache Mohsen Rabbani shopping for a white Trafic van and an analysis of telephone calls made in the weeks before the bombing.

Shortly after the bombing, the biggest Buenos Aires daily newspaper, Clarin, published a story, leaked to it by Judge Galeano, that Argentine intelligence had taped Rabbani shopping for a white Trafic “months” before the bombing. A summary of the warrants for the arrest of Rabbani and six other Iranians in 2006 continued to refer to “indisputable documents” proving that Rabbani had visited car dealers to look for a van like the one allegedly used in the bombing. In fact, the intelligence report on the surveillance of Rabbani submitted to Galeano ten days after the bombing shows that the day Rabbani looked at a car dealer’s white Trafic was May 1, 1993–fifteen months before the bombing and long before Argentine prosecutors have claimed Iran decided to target AMIA.

In the absence of any concrete evidence, SIDE turned to “link analysis” of telephone records to make a circumstantial case for Iranian guilt. The SIDE analysts argued that a series of telephone calls made between July 1 and July 18, 1994, to a mobile phone in the Brazilian border city of Foz de Iguazu must have been made by the “operational group” for the bombing–and that a call allegedly made on a cellphone belonging to Rabbani could be connected to this same group. The FBI’s Bernazzani told me he was appalled by SIDE’s use of link analysis to establish responsibility. “It can be very dangerous,” he told me. “Using that analysis, you could link my telephone to bin Laden’s.” Bernazzani said the conclusions reached by the Argentine investigators were merely “speculation” and said that neither he nor officials in Washington had taken it seriously as evidence pointing to Iran.

Then, in 2000, one more defector surfaced with a new tale of Iranian responsibility. Abdolghassem Mesbahi, who claimed he was once the third-ranking man in Iran’s intelligence services, told Galeano the decision to bomb the AMIA had been made at a meeting of senior Iranian officials, including President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, on August 14, 1993. But Mesbahi was soon discredited. Bernazzani told me American intelligence officials believed that by 2000, Mesbahi had long since lost his access to Iranian intelligence, that he was “poor, even broke” and ready to “provide testimony to any country on any case involving Iran.”

A Questionable Informant

Bernazzani admitted to me that until 2003, the case against Iran was merely “circumstantial.” But he claimed a breakthrough came that year, with the identification of the alleged suicide bomber as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese Hezbollah militant, who, according to a Lebanese radio broadcast, was killed in a military operation against Israeli forces in southern Lebanon in September 1984, two months after the AMIA bombing. “We are satisfied that we have identified the bomber based on the totality of the data streams,” Bernazzani told me, citing “a combination of physical and witness evidence.” But the Berro identification, too, was marked by evidence of fabrication and manipulation.

The official story is that Berro’s name was passed on to SIDE and the CIA by a Lebanese informant in June 2001. The informant claimed he had befriended a former Hezbollah chauffeur and assistant to top Hezbollah leaders named Abu Mohamad Yassin, who told him that a Hezbollah militant named “Brru” was the suicide bomber. That story is suspicious on several counts, the most obvious being that intelligence agencies almost never reveal the name, or even the former position, of an actual informant.

The September 2003 court testimony of Patricio Pfinnen, the SIDE official in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation until he was fired in January 2002, casts serious doubt on the informant’s credibility. Pfinnen testified that when he and his colleagues went back to the informant with more questions, “something went wrong with the information, or they were lying to us.” Pfinnen said his team ultimately discarded the Berro theory because the sources in Lebanon had “failed and were not certain.” He concluded, “I have my doubts about [Berro] being the person who was immolated.”

After Pfinnen was fired in a power struggle within the intelligence agency, SIDE named Berro as the suicide bomber in a secret report. In March 2003, just after that report was completed, Ha’aretz reported that the Mossad had not only identified the bomber as Berro but possessed a transcript of Berro’s farewell telephone call to Lebanon before the bombing, during which he told his parents that he was going to “join” his brother, who had been killed in a suicide bombing in Lebanon. When the 2006 indictment was released, however, it became clear that no evidence of such a call existed.

In September 2004, a Buenos Aires court acquitted Telleldin and the police officials who had been jailed years earlier, and in August 2005 Judge Galeano was impeached and removed from office. But Galeano’s successors, prosecutors Alberto Nisman and Marcelo Martinez Burgos, pressed on, hoping to convince the world that they could identify Berro as the bomber. They visited Detroit, Michigan, where they interviewed two brothers of Berro and obtained photos of Berro from them. They then turned to the only witness who claimed she had seen the white Trafic at the scene of the crime–Nicolasa Romero.

In November 2005, Nisman and Burgos announced that Romero had identified Berro from the Detroit photos as the same person she had seen just before the bombing. Romero, on the other hand, said she “could not be completely certain” that Berro was the man at the scene. In court testimony, in fact, she had said she had not recognized Berro from the first set of set of four photographs she had been shown or even from a second set. She finally saw some “similarity in the face” in one of the Berro photographs, but only after she was shown a police sketch based on her description after the bombing.

Bernazzani told me that the FBI team in Buenos Aires had discovered DNA evidence that was assumed to have come from the suicide bomber in an evidence locker, and Nisman took a DNA sample from one of Berro’s brothers during his visit in September 2005. “I would assume, though I don’t know, that once we got the brother’s DNA, they compared them,” he said. But Nisman claimed to a reporter in 2006 that samples had been contaminated. Significantly, the Argentine indictment of the Iranians makes no mention of the DNA evidence.

Despite a case against Iran that lacked credible forensic or eyewitness evidence and relied heavily on dubious intelligence and a discredited defector’s testimony, Nisman and Burgos drafted their indictment against six former Iranian officials in 2006. However, the government of Néstor Kirchner displayed doubts about going forward with a legal case. According to the Forward newspaper, when American Jewish groups pressed Kirchner’s wife, Christina, about the indictments at a UN General Assembly in New York in September 2006, she indicated that there was no firm date for any further judicial action against Iran. Yet the indictment was released the following month.

Both the main lawyer representing the AMIA, Miguel Bronfman, and Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, who later issued the arrest warrants for the Iranians, told the BBC last May that pressure from Washington was instrumental in the sudden decision to issue the indictments the following month. Corral indicated that he had no doubt that the Argentine authorities had been urged to “join in international attempts to isolate the regime in Tehran.”

A senior White House official just called the AMIA case a “very clear definition of what Iranian state sponsorship of terrorism means.” In fact, the US insistence on pinning that crime on Iran in order to isolate the Tehran regime, even though it had no evidence to support that accusation, is a perfect definition of cynical creation of an accusation in the service of power interests.

Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist. His most recent book is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005).

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/74331/
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Freemasons ruling the world?

 

 

Home

Articles

Freemasons

Its Roots & Links to the Occult

by a concerned Christian researcher who prefers to remain anonymous

 

See also How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church

Trouble in Narnia: The Occult Side of C.S. Lewis

Unequal Contenders in the Spiritual War

 

 

Emphasis added in bold letters

 


Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for it. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental religious truth.” (Albert G. Mackey, “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,” page 162)
 

Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 104)

“Drop the theological barnacles [timeless Biblical truths] from the religion of Jesus, as taught by Him, and by the Essenes and Gnostics of the first centuries, and it becomes Masonry, Masonry in its purity, derived as it is from the old Hebrew Kaballa as a part of the great universal religion of the remotest antiquity.” (J. D. Buck, “Mystic Masonry,” page 119)


On the surface, Freemasonry looks wholesome. There is fellowship, loyalty, and the support of good causes such as burn units in hospitals. The masonic motto is “Making good men better”.

Few men understand what they are getting into when they become Masons. Most Masons join because they trust friends, family members, or church members who invite them. Others join for business connections or political votes. Some men join because of masonic charities. Most men who join have no idea that, during their initiation, they will be required to make solemn blood oaths.

American Freemasonry includes local Lodges, Scottish Rite Temples, York Rite, and the Shriners. Prince Hall is a masonic order for black men.

The Eastern Star is an auxiliary organization for wives and adult daughters of Masons. There are also masonic organizations for children — DeMolay (for boys), Job’s Daughters, and Rainbow Girls. These are known as “adoptive” masonry, which means that wives, sisters, daughters and sons of Masons are spiritually adopted into the masonic order. As a result, they are under the spiritual authority of Freemasonry. (William Schnoebelen, Masonry: Beyond the Light, page 104)

MASONS ARE DECEIVED

For the vast majority of Masons, Freemasonry is a lifelong succession of deceptions. Most Lodge leaders do not realize that they are deceiving their members. For the most part, they are simply reciting the same things they have heard and said, over and over, assuming that they are right and good. However, the Princes and Adepts of Freemasonry deliberately deceive the Masons under them.
(See Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me…Questions People Ask About Freemasonry — and the Answers,” pages 123-133.)

Masons take blood oaths, but are told that they are only symbolic. They participate in rituals that they don’t understand, assuming that they must be alright because their masonic friends have done it.

This paper contains quotations which would shock most Masons because they have never read what the highest Masons say about Freemasonry. Masonry is a system that confuses, deceives and controls men, getting them to do things that they would not do if they understood them.

The highest-level Masons (Princes and Adepts) deliberately deceive the Masons under them. For example, Albert Pike was one of the highest authorities in American Masonry. He was Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry from 1859 to 1891. He was also Grand Commander of the Thirty-Third Degree, as well as a Prince Adept. His book “Morals and Dogma” is given to men when they reach the 32nd degree. The following quotations from Pike’s “Morals and Dogma” show that Masons of the highest level deliberately deceive the Masons below them.

“Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 819)

“There must always be a commonplace interpretation for the mass of initiates, of the symbols that are eloquent to the Adepts.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 819) [The “Adept” are Thirty-Third Degree and above.]

Even a Thirty-Second Degree Mason will have limited understanding unless he studies the Secret Doctrine and the writings of the Princes and Adepts of Masonry. It is difficult for a man to turn away from Freemasonry because of the many blood oaths which he has made in order to obtain his degrees. Furthermore, he has invested a lot of time, effort and money into Masonry, and many of his friendships and business connections are with fellow Masons.

Freemasonry is a religion. Masons meet in temples, such as the Scottish Rite Temple. They have an altar and there is a “holy book” on it. They have prayers, deacons, and religious titles for their leaders, such as High Priest and Worshipful Master. They say that they bring men from spiritual darkness to spiritual light. In some Masonic degrees, they even serve communion. Although Freemasonry is a religion, most Masons deny it. They use double talk and say “We are an order of religious men, but not a religion.” Most of them are quite sincere about this. (Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” pages 81-82)

Most Masons sincerely (but wrongly) believe that Freemasonry is not a religion. How can they be so wrong when they are so sincere? Tom McKenney says, “…they were told upon entering the Lodge that, whatever their religion, Masonry would not conflict with or contradict it. They believed this because sincere men told them so. Those sincere men who told them so believed it because an earlier generation of sincere men had told them the very same thing. And so, this deception, which originated as a lie in Masonry’s dark beginnings, is perpetuated generation after generation.” (Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” page 82)

MASONRY CLAIMS TO BE SUPERIOR TO CHRISTIANITY

Not only is Freemasonry a religion, its highest authorities claim that it is superior to Christianity. Freemasonry is considered to be the highest and purest form of religion:

“Freemasonry is not Christianity, nor a substitute for it. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental religious truth. (Albert G. Mackey, “Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,” page 162)

Christianity is even considered to be Freemasonry which has become encrusted with inflexible Biblical doctrines or “theological barnacles”.

“Drop the theological barnacles from the religion of Jesus, as taught by Him, and by the Essenes and Gnostics of the first centuries, and it becomes Masonry, Masonry in its purity, derived as it is from the old Hebrew Kaballa as a part of the great universal religion of the remotest antiquity.” (J. D. Buck, “Mystic Masonry,” page 119)

To better understand Mr. Buck’s statement, it is necessary to understand what the Kaballa is. (Kaballa can also be spelled Kaballah, Kabala or Cabala.) Webster’s dictionary defines it as:

“1. A kind or system of occult theosophy or mystial interpretation of the Scriptures among Jewish rabbis and certain medieval Christians. 2. Secret or esoteric doctrine or science, in general; occultism; mystic art; mystery.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” Fifth Edition, 1947)

The following definitions give clarity to the above definition of the Kaballa:

“Occult. Of, pertaining to, concerned with, or designating alchemy, magic, astrology and other arts and practices involving use of divination, incantation, magical formulae, etc.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,” Fifth Edition, 1947)

“Occultism. Occult theory or practice; belief in hidden or mysterious powers and the possibility of human control of them.” (“Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1947)

Albert Pike also stresses the fundamental importance of the Kaballa to Freemasonry:

“All truly dogmatic religions have issued from the Kaballah and return to it; everything scientific and grand in the religious dreams of all the Illuminati, Jacob Boeheme, Swedenborg, Saint Martin, and others, is borrowed from the Kabalah; all Masonic associations owe to it their Secrets and their Symbols.” (Albert Pike, “Morals and Dogma,” page 744)

MASONRY IS ANTI-CHRISTIAN

Considering Freemasonry’s roots in the Kaballa, it is not surprising that it opposes Christianity. The writings of Masonry’s highest authorities clearly show that it actually is antagonistic to Christianity, to the point that Masons are not supposed to mention the name of Jesus in the Lodge.

“A Christian Mason is not permitted to introduce his own peculiar opinions with regards to Christ’s mediatorial office into the lodge.” (Albert G. Mackey, “Lexicon of Freemasonry,” page 404)

“Whether you swear or take God’s name in vain don’t matter so much. Of course the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as you know, don’t amount to anything, but Mah-hah-bone–O, horror! You must never, on any account, speak that awful name aloud. That would be a most heinous crime–unmasonic–unpardonable.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 184)

James Shaw, a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason, was appointed Chaplain in the Scottish Rite. Since at that time he didn’t know how to pray, he got a book of John Wesley’s prayers and read one, ending “in Christ’s name”. For that he was sharply rebuked by his Commander and reported to the Secretary of the Scottish Rite, who told him that he was never to end a prayer “in Jesus’ name” or “in Christ’s name.” (Tom McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” page 72)

MASONRY CLAIMS TO PROVIDE SALVATION WITHOUT JESUS

The following quotation shows that Freemasonry promises “assurance of a future life” apart from Jesus. Most people familiar with salvation would take this to be a promise of salvation. However, eternity in hell is a form of “future life.” Everybody has a future life. The question is, will they spend it in Heaven or in hell?

“The symbolism of the Master’s Degree, as we have it now, is necessarily restricted to the First Temple and to the present life; although it reaches a climax in the assurance of a future life all without the aid of the Bible, God, Jesus Christ or the church.” (John A. Hertel Company, “The Masonic Bible,’ pages 10-11)

MASONS WORSHIP PAGAN GODS

When Masons first join a lodge, they worship G.A.O.T.U, which they are told is the god of their own religion. When they have progressed, they are told that G.A.O.T.U. stands for the Grand Architect of the Universe. Then they search for the true name of God, which they are told was lost. In the process, they are taught that the God of the Bible is the same as the old pagan gods:

“The masonic doctrine of the unity of God teaches that: (1) The names of the different nature gods (Brahma, Baal, Om, On, Dagon, Osiris, Allah, Molech, and Shango), along with Jehovah, all denote the generative (reproductive) principle in nature. (2) All religions are essentially the same in their ideas of the divine. (3) It is for this express purpose that the simple Mason is instructed to look upon every man’s religion as his own.” (C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw, “The Masonic Report,” page 8)

In the Royal Arch Degree (13th degree), the Mason is given a three-syllable name for God. Each syllable stands for a different god. The first stands for Jehovah, the God of the Bible. The second stands for Baal. The third stands for a Chaldean (Babylonian) god. This name signifies that the God of the Bible and Baal are one and the same, being different facets of the same god. (See page 97 of Martin L. Wagner’s “Interpretation of Freemasonry” and pages 8-9 of “The Masonic Report” by C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw).

According to the Bible, pagan gods are really demons. The conflict between Elijah and the prophets of Baal demonstrates that Baal worship and worship of the God of the Bible are incompatible
. (See 1 Kings, chapter 18) Christians are warned that they cannot worship both the God of the Bible and pagan gods.

“What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:19-21)

The Royal Arch Degree shows that Masons are really Baal worshipers. Most Masons do it without realizing it by participating in rituals that they really don’t understand. However, a few top-level Masons (those in highest authority) know exactly what they are doing.

In Old Testament times, the Canaanites worshipped Baal by having men have sexual intercourse with temple prostitutes (both male and female, including children), and by burning babies alive. Other pagan gods were worshipped in similar ways. In some countries, this kind of pagan worship continues to this day. For example, according to eye-witness accounts, children in India are still being drowned in the Ganges River as sacrifices to pagan gods. In this century, Amy Carmichael and her coworkers rescued children from temple prostitution in India.

Most Masons don’t understand that they are really worshipping demons when they worship pagan gods. They also have little or no knowledge of the atrocities that men have committed in pagan worship.

MASONIC INITIATION

Before being initiated, candidates for membership do not know that any oath will be involved, much less the bloody nature of the oath. They take the oath a few words at a time, repeating the words as the Worshipful Master says them. Before they start saying the oath, they are assured that nothing they are going to say will in any way conflict with their religion.

At the time that he is led in the oath, the candidate is disoriented, blindfolded, half naked, confused, afraid, and humiliated. He has been stripped of all his clothes and his wedding ring, and has put on something similar to pajamas, with one leg rolled up and the shirt half off his torso. He has been blindfolded with a hood, and had a rope put around his neck. He has been led around during the initiation ritual like a blind dog on a leash. He has no idea who is watching him or how many men there are. He has been told that he is in darkness and must depend on Masonry to give him light.

After having been pressured into taking an oath that he never expected to take — and which he only partly understood because he was disoriented and only heard a few words at a time — the initiate is given a written copy of the oath. He is required to memorize it word for word. This is similar to being pressured into signing a blank check, and later finding out what it is going to cost you.

All of this is a powerful means of subjugation and mind control. It can bind men to the Lodge and its authority both mentally and spiritually. (See Tom C. McKenney, “Please Tell Me,” pages 66-69 and 124).

MASONIC OATHS

The first degree, or Entered Apprentice, swears, with his hand on the sacred book of his religion (the Bible, Koran, etc.). His oath states various obligations, and concludes:

“I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without the least equivocation, mental reservation, or self evasion of mind in me whatever; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low watermark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours; so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.” (Captain Morgan, “Freemasonry Exposed,” pages 21-22.)

Penalties for violating oaths of the next two degrees include having his heart ripped out, and being cut in two and disembowelled. A Christian Mason makes these vows with his hand on the Bible, asking God to keep him steadfast in performing it.

Once a man becomes a Master Mason, he is eligible to join the Scottish Rite or the York Rite. Scottish Rite Masonry has twenty-nine more degrees and York Rite has ten more degrees. Each of these degrees includes initiation, with a blood oath. A Thirty-Second Degree Mason is a man who reached the Third Degree (Master Mason) in his local Lodge, and then went through twenty-nine more degrees in the Scottish Rite.

Thirty-Second Degree Masons are eligible to join the Shriners (an American order of Freemasonry). Initiation into the Shriners includes a taking blood oath and swearing allegiance to Allah. (Allah is not another name for the God of the Bible. It is the name of another god, a pagan god.) (C. F. McQuaig and James D. Shaw, “The Masonic Report,” page 72)

Membership in the Thirty-Third Degree is by invitation only. Initiation includes drinking wine out of a human skull and taking a solemn oath that their primary allegiance is to the Thirty-Third Degree Masons. (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” page 104)

MASONIC SECRETS

Masons spend their lives carefully guarding secrets — initiation rituals, secret words, “obligations” (oaths), “signs” (special body language), and secret distress signals (the Grand Hailing Sign, and the question: “Is there no help for the widow’s son?”) They take blood oaths, promising to allow themselves to be killed if they betray any of these secrets. However, most of these secrets have been matters of public record for over a century.

In 1826, Captain William Morgan (a Mason of the Royal Arch Degree) renounced Freemasonry. He then wrote “Freemasonry Exposed”, a book revealing masonic oaths and secrets. He and his publisher were kidnapped by Masons. Captain Morgan was murdered, but his publisher escaped and told people about the murder. As a result of Captain Morgan’s Murder, thousands of Masons became disillusioned and renounced Freemasonry. Some of them testified in court, thus revealing more masonic secrets. These written court records have been available to the public since 1826. (See the section of this paper on “Masonic Morals” for further information regarding Captain Morgan’s murder.)

In 1869, Evangelist Charles Finney (a former Mason) published a book further exposing Freemasonry. In this book (which was published 130 years ago), Rev. Finney discusses eight books which had already been published by former Masons. One of them was a comprehensive book written by a committee of sixteen former Masons, which gives the signs, tokens, grips, sacred words, passwords, oaths, and hieroglyphics of forty-eight degrees of Freemasonry. It also has diagrams of lodges and drawings representing signs and ceremonies. Another book covers sixty-two degrees of Freemasonry. In addition to the Blue Lodge degrees (which go through Master Mason) and the Scottish Rite and York Rite degrees, a number of European degrees are also described in these books. (Charles G. Finney, “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry,” pages 174-176) Since then, other former Masons have written books exposing Freemasonry.

In 1988, Jim Shaw (a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason) wrote about his personal experience in “The Deadly Deception,” a book which he co-authored with Tom McKenney. This autobiography shows the human, experiential side of Freemasonry through the Thirty-Third Degree, in addition to giving secrets, oaths, and rituals. It shows love for the men, while exposing the system.

In 1991, William Schnoebelen wrote “Masonry: Beyond the Light,” which describes his personal experience in an “esoteric” degree which is even higher than the Thirty-Third Degree. (This degree is so secret that most Masons have never heard of it.)

MASONIC MORALS

Master Masons promise not to cheat, defraud, or do violence to a Master Mason. They promise not to commit adultery with the wife of a Master Mason or seduce his sister, daughter, or other female relative. These promises only apply to fellow Master Masons. They do not protect non-Masons, Entered Apprentices, or Fellow Crafts and their families.

Masons are required to tell lies and even perjure themselves to protect other Masons. They are also required to obey even orders which they know to be immoral:

“You must conceal all the crimes of your brother Masons, except murder and treason, and these only at your own option, and should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him. Prevaricate [falsify], don’t tell the whole truth in his case, keep his secrets, forget the most important points. It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but you’re keeping your obligations, and remember if you live up to your obligation strictly, you’ll be free from sin.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 183)

“Right or wrong his very existence as a Mason hangs upon obedience to the powers immediately set above him. The one unpardonable crime in a Mason is contumacy [insubordination] or disobedience.” (Robert Morris, “Webb’s Monitor of Freemasonry,” page 169)

According to masonic oaths, Masons are to be killed if they reveal masonic secrets. In 1826, Captain William Morgan, a high-degree Mason, made masonic secrets public in his book “Freemasonry Exposed.” According to the “Masonic Handbook,” he was murdered for it.

“When a brother reveals any of our great secrets; whenever, for instance, he tells anything about Boaz, or Tubalcain, or Jachin, or that awful Mah-hah-bone, or even whenever a minister prays in the name of Christ in any of our assemblies, you must always hold yourself in readiness, if called upon, to cut his throat from ear to ear, pull out his tongue by the roots, and bury his body at the bottom of some lake or pond. Of course, all this must be done in secret, as it was in the case of that notorious man Morgan, for both law and civilization are opposed to such barbarous crimes, but then, you know you must live up to your obligation, and so long as you have sworn to do it, by being very strict and obedient in the matter, you’ll be free from sin.” (Edmond Ronayne, “Masonic Handbook,” page 74)

The murder of Captain Morgan — and the kidnapping and attempted murder of his publisher, David Miller — are described in detail (with extensive quotations from original sources) in the Introduction to the 1998 reprint of “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry” by Charles G. Finney (pages xxi through xxxviii). (This book was first published in 1869. In 1998 it was reprinted with a Foreword by Ed Decker and an Introduction and Epilog by John Daniel). Pages 6-10 give the death-bed confession of one of Captain Morgan’s murderers.

Masons still murder people. In the Foreword to “The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry,” Ed Decker tells how he survived attempted murder by Masons (pages i to iii).

MASONRY’S RELATIONSHIP TO THE MAFIA AND THE KU KLUX KLAN

Giuseppe Mazzini, a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, founded a group of revolutionaries called Young Italy. Their goal was to free Italy from the control of monarchy and the Pope. They succeeded, and Mazzini is honored as a patriot in Italy. However, in the process, the Mafia was born. The Young Italy revolutionaries needed money, and they:

“…supported themselves by robbing banks, looting or burning businesses if protection money was not paid, and kidnapping for ransom. Throughout Italy the word spread that “Mazzini autorizza furti, incendi e attentati,” meaning, ‘Mazzini authorizes theft, arson, and kidnapping.’ This phrase was shortened to the acronym, M.A.F.I.A. Organized crime was born.” (John Daniel, “Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. I., pages 330-331)

Albert Pike was Grand Commander the Thirty-Third Degree, as well as Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was also a Confederate general. Pike was influenced by Mazzini. Both were military men who were good at fomenting rebellion. (William Schnoebelen, “Masonry,” pages 191-192.)

When the Confederacy surrendered to the Union forces, Albert Pike was determined to start another Civil War so that South could win. He founded the Ku Klux Klan, which instigated riots throughout the South in an attempt to disrupt reconstruction and incite a second Civil War. Pike gave Klansman Jesse James the assignment of robbing Northern banks in order to get money to fund this war. It is estimated that Jesse James and other Klansmen buried seven billion dollars in gold all over the western states.
(“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 3, pages 76-77)

“Pike the old Confederate general, was a wily strategist who knew that if he could leave behind a secret terrorist society in the south to fight against freedom for black people as a rear guard action, the south’s defeat might not be in vain.” (“Masonry,” page 192)

Two books from the turn of the twentieth century document Pike’s direct involvement in founding the Klan: “Ku Klux Klan: Its’ Origin, Growth and Disbandment” (1905) by J. C. Lester and D. L. Wilson; and “Authentic History: Ku Klux Klan 1865-1877″ (1924) by Susan Lawrence Davis.” (“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 3, page 76)

In considering this, we should remember that Mazzini and Pike probably saw what they did as doing “whatever it takes” to accomplish goals that were important to them. This is a practical application of the philosophy that “the end justifies the means”. Mazzini successfully used guerilla warfare and civil disruption to instigate a civil war in Italy, in order to win freedom from control by the monarchy and the papacy. Pike attempted to do a similar kind of thing in the South, in order to win freedom from control by the North, but he failed.

MASONRY’S INFLUENCE ON AMERICA

The majority of Supreme Court justices were Masons from 1941 to 1971. During this time, prayer and Bible reading were prohibited in schools, and pornography was redefined to allow things that had previously been considered indecent.

Sixteen presidents were Masons. Many judges and politicians are Masons. In 1950, one out of every twelve American men was a Mason, but membership has been decreasing since then.

MASONRY’S INFLUENCE ON THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

According to a tract produced by Concerned Southern Baptists in 1994, twenty-six percent of Southern Baptist men are Masons, and the percentage is even higher among leadership. Masons are also common in other denominations. For example, Dr. C. F. McQuaig, an Assemblies of God pastor, had so many Masons in his congregation that he did extensive research and wrote “The Masonic Report.”

FREEMASONRY AND CULTS

Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church, which is also called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Smith and his followers were Masons. Mormon priests go through the rituals of the first three degrees of Masonry. Mormon sources claim that Masons murdered Joseph Smith. As a result, Mormons aren’t allowed to join masonic lodges, even though their origin is masonic.
(“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 1, pages 41-42)

Masons founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Church of Scientology. Mary Baker Eddie, the founder of Christian Science, was strongly influenced by Freemasonry. Madame Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, was a Mason. (Some European lodges have admitted women.) Theosophy is foundational to much of the New Age movement. (“Scarlet and the Beast,” Vol. 1, pages 42 and 649-650).

In 1951, a Mason named Gerald B. Gardner introduced Wicca to mainstream society. Gardner was the first fully public witch of modern times. He made witchcraft more socially acceptable by changing its name to Wicca and calling it an ancient religion. There is evidence that Gardner’s witchcraft texts were his personal creation rather than being documents handed down from ancient tradition. This would make Wicca a modern Masonic invention rather than the resurrection of an ancient pagan religion. (For a discussion of this, see “Goddess Unmasked” by Philip G. Davis, pages 327-343.)

PRIMARY LOYALTY

When Jim Shaw became a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, all of the candidates swore that their allegiance to Freemasonry took priority over all other commitments. Among those present at this initiation were some highly influential men.

“We then swore true allegiance to the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree, above all other allegiances, and swore never to recognize any other brother as being a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry unless he also recognizes the supreme authority of ‘this Supreme Council.’ . . . There were some extremely prominent men there that day, including a Scandinavian King, two former presidents of the United States, an internationally prominent evangelist, two other internationally prominent clergymen, and a very high official of the federal government, the one who actually presented me with the certificate of the 33rd Degree.” (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” pages 104-105)

The initiation consisted of two parts. The first involved things that were acted out. One of the candidates went through that, representing the entire group. The second part of the ritual was taking the oath. All of the men formally made the oath, which was sealed by drinking wine out of a human skull.

“One of the Conductors then handed the ‘candidate’ [the man who represented all of the candidates] a human skull, upside down, with wine in it.

“With all of us candidates repeating after him, he sealed the oath, ‘May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me, as the Hemlock juice drunk by Socrates, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same’ (the oath).

“He then drank the wine. A skeleton (one of the brothers dressed like one — he looked very convincing) then stepped out of the shadows and threw his arms around the ‘candidate.’ Then he (and we) continued the sealing of the obligation by saying, ‘And may these cold arms forever encircle me should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same.'” (Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, “The Deadly Deception,” pages 104-105)

CAN CHRISTIANS BE MASONS?

Because some Christians are Masons, many people sincerely believe that Freemasonry is compatible with Christianity. Unfortunately, just being sincere does not protect Christian Masons from having their Christian faith and fervor become weakened by Freemasonry. Christians who become Masons are under two opposing spiritual influences — Jesus Christ and paganism. The Bible calls this being double minded. The Apostle Paul said:

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

FREEMASONS CURSE THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES

Freemasonry is actually a pagan religion, the worship of pagan gods. It is idolatry. In the Commandment dealing with idolatry, God says:

“…you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (Exodus 20:5)

BOOKS CITED

Books by masonic authors are available at lodge libraries and masonic distributors. Most of them are only sold to Masons. However, they can sometimes be found at used book stores and yard sales. Albert Pike’s “Morals and Dogma” is difficult to obtain. All quotations from books by masonic authors can be found in “The Masonic Report,” which is described in the Bibliography.

The books in the Bibliography are all written by Christians. With the exception of Tom McKenney, the authors are former Masons who renounced Freemasonry. The first two books are available at Amazon.com and regular bookstores. Information for ordering the other three books is given in the Bibliography.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“The Deadly Deception” by Jim Shaw and Tom McKenny
(1988, Huntington House, Inc., Lafayette, Louisiana). This book describes Jim Shaw’s experience as a Thirty-Third Degree Mason, his discovery of Jesus Christ, and his deliverance from Freemasonry.

“Please Tell Me…Questions People Ask About Freemasonry — and the Answers,” by Tom C. McKenney (1994, Huntington House Publishers, Lafayette, Louisiana). After Deadly Deception was published, Tom McKenny was invited to answer questions on several hundred talk shows. This book answers the most frequently asked questions about Freemasonry. It is compassionately written and avoids gory details. If you are only going to get one book about Freemasonry, this is a good one to get. It is easy to read, covers the questions that people ask in real life, and doesn’t go into a lot of gory details.

“The Masonic Report: New Revised Pastor’s Edition” by C. F. McQuaig, with James D. Shaw (1976, Answer Books and Tapes, P.O. Box 1316, Norcross, GA 30091-1316) (Shaw was a former Thirty-Third Degree Mason; McQuaig was a former Thirty-Second Degree Mason.) This book includes many quotations from high-ranking masonic authorities, books that would be difficult for non-Masons to obtain.

“The Character, Claims and Practical Workings of Freemasonry” by Rev. Charles G. Finney. This book was first published in 1869. In 1998 it was reprinted with a Foreword by Ed Decker, an Introduction and Epilog by John Daniel, and an Appendix by four pastors. (Jon Kregel Inc. dba JKI Publishing, P.O. Box 131480, Tyler, Texas 75713; Phone: 800-333-5344.)

“Scarlet and the Beast”
by John Daniel (2nd edition, 1995) is a comprehensive, three-volume work totalling over 1,400 pages. It is extensively documented. (The first volume contains 84 pages of Notes, a 13-page Bibliography, an Index, and 11 Appendixes.) This trilogy shows the influence of Freemasonry on world history. It also contains the author’s perspective on some end-time prophecies. (Whatever you may think of the author’s eschatology, his historical research and documentation are impressive.) Volume 1 shows Freemasonry’s influence on American and world history. Volume 2 studies the occult history of Freemasonry. Volume 3 further elaborates on some topics which were covered in Volume 1, including Freemasonry’s influence on international finance, drugs, the American Civil War, and assassinations. Individual volumes and the three-volume set can be ordered from JKI Publishing, P.O. Box 131480, Tyler, Texas 75713 (Phone: 800-333-5344).


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Emerging ‘Christianity’ — Part 2: From Gnostic Roots to Occult Revival 


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