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Masonic conspiracy theories

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Hundreds of conspiracy theories about Freemasonry have been described since the late 18th century.[1] Usually, these theories fall into three distinct categories: political (usually involving allegations of control of government, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom), religious (usually involving allegations of anti-Christian or Satanic beliefs or practices), and cultural (usually involving popular entertainment). Many conspiracy theories have connected the Freemasons (and the Knights Templar) with worship of the devil;[2][3] these ideas are based on different interpretations of the doctrines of those organizations.[4]

Of the claims that Freemasonry exerts control over politics, perhaps the best-known example is the New World Order theory, but there are others. These mainly involve aspects and agencies of the United States government, but actual events outside the US (such as the Propaganda Due scandal in Italy) are often used to lend credence to claims.

Another set of theories has to do with Freemasonry and religion, particularly that Freemasonry deals with "the occult".[5] These theories have their beginnings in the Taxil hoax.[6][7] In addition to these, there are various theories that focus on the embedding of symbols in otherwise ordinary items, such as street patterns, national seals, corporate logos, etc.

There are Masonic conspiracy theories dealing with every aspect of society. The majority of these theories are based on one or more of the following assumptions:

  • That Freemasonry is its own religion, requires belief in a unique Masonic god, and that belief in this Masonic god is contrary to the teachings of various mainstream religions (although usually noted in terms of being specifically contrary to Christian belief)[8]
  • That the 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite is more than an honorary degree, coupled with the belief that most Freemasons are unaware of hidden or secretive ruling bodies within their organization that govern them, conduct occult ritual, or control various positions of governmental power[9]
  • That there is a centralized worldwide body that controls all Masonic Grand Lodges, and thus, all of Freemasonry worldwide acts in a unified manner

List of conspiracy theories associated with Freemasonry[edit]

Notable conspiracy theories involving Freemasonry include:


  • That the British judiciary is heavily infiltrated with Masons, who give fellow Masons "the benefit of the doubt" in court, subverting the legal system[10][11]

Some conspiracy theories involving the Freemasons and the Illuminati also include the Knights Templar and Jews as part of the supposed plan for universal control of society. This type of conspiracy theory was described as early as 1792 by multiple authors, beginning in France and Scotland.[1]

  • That Freemasonry is a Jewish front for world domination or is at least controlled by Jews for this goal. An example of this is the anti-Semitic literary forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Adolf Hitler believed that Freemasonry was a tool of Jewish influence,[12] and outlawed Freemasonry and persecuted Freemasons partially for this reason.[13] The covenant of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas claims that Freemasonry is a "secret society" founded as part of a Zionist plot to control the world.[14] Hilaire Belloc thought Jews had "inaugurated" freemasonry "as a bridge between themselves and their hosts"[15]
  • That Freemasonry is tied to or behind Communism. The Spanish dictator Francisco Franco had often associated his opposition with both Freemasonry and Communism, and saw the latter as a conspiracy of the former; as he put it, "The whole secret of the campaigns unleashed against Spain can be explained in two words: masonry and communism".[16] In 1950, Irish writer Denis Fahey republished a work by George F. Dillon under the title Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked as the Secret Power Behind Communism. Modern conspiracy theorists such as Henry Makow have also claimed that Freemasonry intends the triumph of Communism[17]
  • That Freemasons are behind income taxes in the US. One convicted tax protester has charged that law enforcement officials who surrounded his property in a standoff over his refusal to surrender after his conviction were part of a "Zionist, Illuminati, Free Mason [sic] movement".[18] The New Hampshire Union Leader also reported that "the Browns believe the IRS and the federal income tax are part of a deliberate plot perpetrated by Freemasons to control the American people and eventually the world"[19]


There are a number of claims, predominantly made by conservative Protestants,[20] that Freemasons at higher degrees deceive those at lower degrees, and gradually reveal a separate, occult religion:


Masonic conspiracy theories in mass culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hodapp, Christopher; Alice Von Kannon (2008). Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies. For Dummies. pp. 174, 178. ISBN 978-0-470-18408-0.
  2. ^ Robinson, John. A Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right. M. Evans, 1993. ISBN 0-87131-732-X
  3. ^ a b Hodapp, Christopher L. and VonKannon, Alice, Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies, Wiley, 2008, ISBN 978-0-470-18408-0
  4. ^ Addison, Charles G.; David Hatcher Childress (1997). The History of the Knights Templars: The Temple Church and the Temple. Adventures Unlimited Press. pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-932813-40-2.
  5. ^ Here used to denote a particular range of the occult involving Satanic or anti-Christian beliefs.
  6. ^ S. Brent Morris, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry (2006), pp. 171-172; ISBN 1-59257-490-4
  7. ^ Christopher Hodapp, Freemasons for Dummies (2005), pp. 160-161; 298-299; ISBN 0-7645-9796-5
  8. ^ See, for example, the claims made by William A. Whalen, in his essay The Masonic Religion, available on the ewtn.com website; or the claims made at evangelical truth.com Archived 2016-04-15 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Freemasonry, Conspiracy Within". www.meta-religion.com.
  10. ^ "Trial could force judges to declare they are Masons". The Independent. September 22, 2011.
  11. ^ "BBC News | UK | Freemasons - moral guardians or centre of corruption?". news.bbc.co.uk.
  12. ^ Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf: Volume One - A Reckoning. Chapter XI: Nation and Race Archived 2008-12-08 at the Wayback Machine. 1924 (trans. 1943).
  13. ^ Hitler, Adolf. Mein Kampf Volume Two - The National Socialist Movement. Archived 2008-12-08 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ 'The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)-Palestine', articles seventeen, twenty-two and twenty-eight, 18 Aug 1988.
  15. ^ Belloc, Hilaire (1922). "The Jews". Book. Constable & Company, Limited. p. 223. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  16. ^ ""Freemasonry and the Spanish Civil War: Part II", by Matthew Scanlan retrieved 19 August 2009". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  17. ^ ""The Aim of Freemasonry is the Triumph of Communism" by Henry Makow". Archived from the original on 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2014-10-13.
  18. ^ Kristen Senz, "Ed Brown says Feds have no jurisdiction in New Hampshire," New Hampshire Union Leader, June 8, 2007 [1] Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Kristen Senz, "Browns say they will either walk free, or die," New Hampshire Union Leader, June 19, 2007 at [2] Archived 2007-10-12 at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Methods of Anti-Masons Archived 2013-12-02 at the Wayback Machine, Arturo de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris, M. Evans & Company pub, 2004
  21. ^ Baal: Kjos Ministries website: Freemasons - Roots & Links to the Occult; Baphomet: www.religiouscounterfeits.org; Dajjal: Atheistic freemasonry - Harun Yahya website
  22. ^ G.A.O.T.U. Archived 2004-08-19 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ McHugo, John (2013). A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE ARABS. The New Press, 38 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013: The New Press. pp. 162–163. ISBN 978-1-59558-950-7.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  24. ^ Weill, Kelly (April 2021). "Flat Earther Busted in Freemason Arson Spree". The Daily Beast.
  25. ^ Wang, Amy B.; Selk, Avi (November 24, 2017). "A flat-Earther's plan to launch himself in a homemade rocket just hit a speed bump". Science. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  26. ^ "Separating Fact from Fiction: The Reptilian Elite". TIME.com. July 15, 2009. Accessed July 26, 2016.
  27. ^ An end to the mystery of God's Banker?, BBC Magazine, 31 March 2004
  28. ^ "TURKISH BAN ON FREEMASONS. All Lodges To Be Abolished". Malaya Tribune, 14 October 1935, p. 5. The Government has decided to abolish all Masonic lodges in Turkey on the ground that Masonic principles are incompatible with nationalistic policy.
  29. ^ "Atatürk'ü böyle zehirlediler". Yeni Şafak (in Turkish). yenisafak.com. 2015-04-06. Retrieved 2023-01-08.

External links[edit]

  • Conspiracy of Hate – A Christian Perspective on the un-Christian Tactics of the anti-Masons, A.W.Harper, 1995.