Nelson Mandela shares a Masonic handshake with South African Communist Party leader Oliver Tambo.
by Mike Akpan
The Society is not so visible in most countries where it exists but its members are men of immense influence and wealth
Freemasons rule the world. This assertion appears controversial but the facts are revealed in a recent book on Freemasons written by H. Paul Jeffers. In the book titled: Freemasons: Inside the World’s Oldest Secret Society, Jeffers states that most of the Freemasons who are the movers and shakers in various fields of endeavour, live in the United States of America, USA, the world’s only surviving super power.
In his extensive research on the more than 400 year-old secret craft, Jeffers has found out that out of the 5.9 million estimated population of Freemasons worldwide, 4.1 millions live in the USA and Canada. Of the remaining 1.1 million Freemasons outside the two North American countries, 550,000 live in England and Wales; 400,000 live in Scotland, while 375, 000 are in Australia. India, Japan, Formosa, Africa and Israel account for 288,000 while Ireland has 47,000 Freemasons. Europe has 80,000 Freemasons while Latin America and the Philippines accommodate 50,000 and 10,000 Freemasons respectively.
In the book, Jeffers refers to the United States as a Masonic project. His findings revealed that many of the founding fathers of the country were high degree masons. For instance, of the 56 persons who signed the Declaration of Independence document in 1778, 15 of them or 27 percent were Masons. Among them were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton and William Whipple. Others were Elbridge Gerry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr. John Renn, George Read and Roger Sherman.
Jeffers has also found out that 28 of the 40 signers of the USA constitution were high degree Masons. They included Franklin, George Washington, Gunning Bedord, Jr. John Blair, David Brearly, Jacob Broom, Daniel Carrol, John Dickinson and Rufus King. The rest were Alexander Hamilton, Abraham, Baldwin, William Blount, Nicholas Gilman, James Madison, Roger Sherman, George Read and Robert Morris. Jonathan Dayton, James McHenry and William Patterson who were also signers of the constitution, became Freemasons later.
From his extensive research, Jeffers has come to the conclusion that Freemasonry was at the heart of the American Revolution. More than 50 percent of the generals who fought and won the war of American independence from Britain were Freemasons. That explains why Freemasonry has continued to have an overwhelming influence in the government and politics of the country ever since. He gave instances.
The national anthem of the USA has a Masonic input because Francis Scott Key, the man who wrote it, was a high degree mason. Noted Jeffers: “Freemasonry has become the cornerstone of the United States government. Masonic link evidences abound despite disputations by some historians. Masonic signs and symbols are everywhere in government. For example, the Great Seal of the United States and the street plan as well as designs of federal government buildings in Washington DC were laid out on the basis of Masonic beliefs. The symbol of an inverted triangle or pyramid can be seen in the street plan and the sites are connected to famous Freemasons such as Marquis de Lafayette, after whom a park opposite the north side of the White House is named. The Washington Monument and the Pentagon building were designed by Masons to conform to a Pentagram which is an occult symbol.”
That was not all. Continued Jeffers: “The US one dollar note contains Masonic symbols. The Great Seal pictured on the back of the dollar bill has an eagle with 32 feathers (the degrees in Scottish Rite Freemasonry.) The eagle is also the symbol of St. John the Evangelist, the great patron of Freemasonry. The arrows in its left talon refer to Israel’s King David (father of Solomon). The olive branch in the eagle’s right talon is associated with Solomon. The 13 stars above the eagle’s head represent Jacob, his 12 sons, and the tribes of Israel. Thirteen stars, in a double triangle form are symbolic of the delivery of the children of Israel from their oppressors and their attainment of a glorious freedom. The Latin “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of Many, One) indicates the Masonic fraternity.”
According to Jeffers, those who find Freemasonry on the mighty dollar also note that the largest symbol on the buck is the portrait of George Washington, a Mason. Cited as evidence of Freemasonry on the greenback is an unfinished pyramid. At the top, inside a radiant triangle is the all-seeing eye” representing “the Grand Architect of the Universe,” who is omniscient and watching the United States. “The Latin Motto: ‘Novus Ordo Seclorum’ (New Order of the Ages) inscribed beneath the pyramid in the Great Seal of America is suspected to be synonymous with a “new world order,” the author explained.
Jeffers also explained: “The statue of Liberty is a Masonic goddess from top to bottom. The statue is said to have been conceived by Freemasons and built by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi; a French Freemason, who had already made a statue of de Lafayette for the city of New York, for the occasion of the centenary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and installed by Freemasons in a Freemasonry ceremony.”
In view of the overwhelming influence of Freemasonry in the American society, it is no surprise that Freemasons have dominated politics in the US. Out of the 43 presidents that have ruled America from 1789 to date, 25 of them were Freemasons. Among them was George Washington, who was installed the first president of the country in 1789. He was initiated in November 1752 into Frederickburg Lodge N0.4, Fredereickburg, Virginia. He is the first and only Freemason to serve simultaneously as a lodge master and president.
Other presidents who were known Freemasons were James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howart Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Gerald R. Ford, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan. (See Table A for details). Freemasonry has also produced people who served as vice-presidents, secretaries of state, chief justices and justices of the Supreme Courts at the centre and in the states. (See Table B & C for details).
The security agencies were not left out. Very many Freemasons have occupied the top hierarchies at various times. Jeffers found out in the course of his research, that all the security agencies have Freemasonry lodges in-house. The legislatures at the federal and state levels have also felt the strong influence of Freemasonry over the years. So also are the executive arms of government in the states.
This is how Jeffers put it. “The involvement of Freemasons in the government of the Republic of Texas is found in the fact that all of its presidents were Masons, as were all its vice-presidents. The lowest percentage of Masons who had held executive positions in any of the four administrations was 85 percent. In the last administration that carried Texas into the Union, all those in executive positions in the government of the republic were Masons.”
Outside government, Freemasonry also pervades the professions, arts and culture of the people. Garry A. Henningsen, past grand master and secretary, New York State Grand Lodge of Masons chose to say it this way: “Human imagination has always thrived in Freemasonry. We have enticed to our fraternity, artists, poets, warriors, inventors, manufacturers, explorers, pioneers, lawyers, government leaders, business tycoons, clergymen, astronauts, scientists and gentle-everyday family men made better because of their association with and love of our beloved Craft. It has been so from the very beginning,” (See Tables below).
Henningsen is right. Freemasonry has attracted to its fold, eminent personalities such as Bill Gates, a philanthropist and chairman of Microsoft who is reputed to be the third richest man in the world, Henry Ford, a pioneer automobile manufacturer, and astronauts who have become famous as a result of their space missions. Among such great names are Edgar D. Mitchell, the sixth person to walk on the Moon surface, John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, Leroy Gordon Cooper, the astronaut who made record breaking flights in Mercury 7, Mission in 1963 and in Gemini 5, in 1965. Virgil Grisson, a Mason astronaut, undertook the first manned maneuver in space in 1965 while James Benson Irwing along with three others, piloted the Lunar module “Falcon” on Apollo 15 Mission in 1971 and spent nearly 67 hours on the Moon surface.
In Africa, the Craft has, as its members, such eminent sons as John Kuffuor, president of Ghana, Jerry J. Rawlings, his predecessor, Omar Hadj Bongo, president of Gabon, and Paul Biya, president of Cameroon. Others are Blaise Campaore, president of Burkina Faso, Idris Deby, president of Chad, Mamadou Tanja, president of Niger, Denis Sassou Nguesso, president of Congo Brazaville, his predecessor, Pascal Lissouba and Robert Guei, a general and late head of state of Ivory Coast.
In South Africa where the country’s parliament is said to be located on a Freemasonry land, Nelson Mandela, the former president is on record as a member. The record shows that he was initiated into black obedience of American Freemasonry called Prince Hall. Kofi Annan, immediate past secretary general of the United Nations, is a prominent Freemason. In Nigeria, Freemasons were in the drivers’ seats in the public and private sectors of the economy from the colonial era up to the late seventies when the Yakubu Gowon military government promulgated a decree which classified Freemasonry as one of the banned secret societies. Its members in the public services were ordered to renounce their membership or resign. Newswatch investigation has revealed that Gowon was bowing to pressures mounted on his government by Islamic leaders, the Baptist and Catholic Churches that were not comfortable with the activities of Freemasons in their fold.
Adewale Thompson, a high degree Mason and a high court judge in Oyo State, captured the under current that prompted the decree in his recent book titled: “Masonic Experience.” “Somehow some new converts into christianity aided and abetted by some organisations of questionable motives began an orchestrated persecution of Freemasons which they included in their definition of “ Secret societies.”
The movement against the group began in Nigeria in the 1970s: “Sometimes in or about 1974, there was hue and cry in the press by some elements against ‘secret societies.’ It later dawned on us that the campaign was fomented by the church and the mosque using the government as agents. Government departments sent circulars to public officers to denounce membership of ‘Secret societies or be sacked. The church called on communities to swear to affidavits that they were not members of secret societies otherwise they could not hold offices in the church. Those who refused to sign were removed from office. The move to ex-communicate members of secret societies was shelved because of the negative turmoil that it could generate.”
Not all the Christian churches accepted the definition of Freemasonry as a secret society. This is how Thompson reported it: “During this period, the Right Reverend F.O. Segun, Anglican bishop of Lagos, stood up in Lagos diocese to address his flock. He told them that he was not a Freemason, but that in Freetown he had lived in the home of Freemasons whom he knew to be the best exponents of christian virtues. He then warned that those priests who must have come from the hinterlands and have not had the exposure of travelling out to meet ‘men of the world’ should exercise restraint in denouncing Freemasons, whom he knew in Freetown and in the Lagos diocese to be great supporters of the church in every respect or face the penalty of being unfrocked.”
Notwithstanding the negative campaign, Freemasonry still had in its fold many eminent Nigerians including great legal minds such as Udo Udoma, Emmanuel Araka, C. O. Madarikan, C. D. Onyeama, Adebayo Desalu, D.O. Coker, M. O. Oyemade, J. D. Daniel, all justices, and O.C.J. Okocha, a senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN. There are also many traditional rulers who still retain their memberships of the Craft. Among them are Solomon Akenzua Π, Oba of Benin, Alfred Nnameka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha, Okunade Sijuade, Ooni of Ife and Ogbuefi Alex Nwokedi a traditional ruler, (See Table F.).
Lamented Thompson: “Time was when the Nigerian society was ruled by Masonic principles of friendship, charity and integrity. Those were better days.” Chukka Ifejika, a retired banker and current provincial grand secretary of Freemasonry in Nigeria, Scottish Constitution, agrees. Ifejika recalled with nostalgia that Nigeria was a better place when its civil servants, judges, lawyers, captains of commence and industry, politicians, clergymen and professionals imbibed the Masonic spirit of love, truth and integrity. “There was a time the Nigerian society was ruled by Freemasons,” he added.
Although Freemasonic influence seems to be waning in the Nigerian society, the situation is different in other parts of the world. In Senegal, for instance, Freemasons are found in the seat of power despite the fact that majority of the population adhere to the Muslim faith. In Britain, Freemasonry has a strong influence on the monarchy. The current Duke of Edinburgh is a high degree Mason. Duke Michael of Kent is the traditional Grand Master of the Great United Lodge of England and a representative of the royal family. Both the House of Lords and the House of Commons have sizeable percentages of their members as Freemasons. The executive arm of government and the security agencies including the Scotland Yard Police have good numbers of Freemasons in its fold. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, is a high degree Freemason. So also were his predecessors. In Canada, Latin America and many European countries, the influence of Freemasonry is said to be very strong in those countries.
“Freemasonry has produced an astonishing number of significant individuals throughout the history of Europe in all fields of human endeavour namely kings, presidents and politicians, tycoons of industries, doctors, journalists, writers, composers, educators, generals, scientists, philosophers, astronauts and other cultural, social and civic leaders,” said Jeffers
Opponents of Freemasonry are equally many and powerful. Several documents have been published to discredit it. Some of the documents describe the Brotherhood as “the single largest vehicle for the perpetuation of the Luciferic consciousness on Earth. In their joint publications titled: The Brotherhood and the Manipulation of Society, Ivan Frazer and Mark Beeston write: “The basic recruitment of members to further the elite’s plan is through the secret society network of Freemasonry… the latest incarnation of the Christian/military order known as Knights Templars who gained staggering riches and a wealth of esoteric knowledge during the Crusades, in which the ‘righteous’ christians were dispatched to the Holy Land with a free reign to slaughter the Jews and Moslems in a series of campaigns between the 11th and 13th centuries.”
Certain practices in Freemasonry have been used as justification by christians for their anti-Masonic posture. Jeffers stated that christian leaders attacked Freemasonry for promoting devil worship, leading religious men away from the right way to find God, or being inconsistent with the religious beliefs of certain denominations.
Gary Maxey, founder and provost, West African Theological Seminary, Lagos, agrees. “Freemasonry shares a lot of tenets that are contrary to most of our christian beliefs. In essence, Freemasonry is not orthodox christianity and is not recognised as belonging to mainstream Christianity,” he told Newswatch, adding: “apart from being more secretive in its practices, the Order focuses on cosmic energy, circle of the Moon and soul which are contrary to christian beliefs.
Echoing the same viewpoint, Gabriel Osu, a monsignor and director of social communications, Catholic archdiocese of Lagos, said: “Freemasonry has come to be identified as a place of reunion for individuals of radical anti-Catholic and atheistic spirit with doctrines and principles diametrically opposed to Catholicism and to any structure degrees society supportive of the church, natural laws and morality.”
Another allegation which critics level against Freemasonry is that progress beyond the first three degrees by members is at the pleasure of the elites who also impose stiff penalty on any member who divulges the secrets of the Order.
Asserted the authors of the Brotherhood and Manipulation of Society: “While the vast majority of the members are on the first three rungs of the 33 – level hierarchy and have no idea of the hidden agenda, they take a pledge of allegiance “ to the society above all else.” Most initiates are willing to do this because of the temptation of power, wealth and knowledge which (are) hard to refuse, that it is hinted that there are penalties to pay for betraying the society and revealing its secrets and that it is impossible to achieve high levels of initiation within Freemasonry unless one is handpicked by those of higher degrees.”
They concluded: “At the apex of the pyramid of the Brotherhood,” these “select few” who know “the full agenda have become known as the illuminati (Latin for illuminated ones). All powerful, they “occupy all top level members of the police and military forces around the world. They are found in every area of society at all levels, but at the top, in the highest social and monetary bracket, the Brotherhood prevails….The Brotherhood owns the law, they own the military, they own the oil companies, pharmaceutical companies and just about everything which provides for the status quo.” Associated with this belief is the suspicion that Freemasons have a secret plan to control the world through the political and economic domination of the USA.