There is a good reason why secret societies are secret, and it often has little to do with cults, devil worship or the abuse of power; one notable exception is the Skull And Bones Society in New Haven, Connecticut, which has given us such illustrious alumni as George Bush Senior and Junior, and Dick Cheney, but more on that later.
The ‘secret’ in secret esoteric societies lies in the fact that they were adepts of Ancient Mysteries schools; ‘mystery’ stems from the Greek musterion, and the root muo, meaning ‘silent, to close one’s mouth’. These schools, often housed in temples from Persia to Ireland, were curators of the laws that drive the Universe— not moral laws but codes of creation that govern matter. One of the principal aims of secret teachings has sought to reform the material world by implementing the laws of the heavens so as to positively direct and influence the otherwise chaotic human life. It has been the belief of practically every esoteric society that over-attachment to the physical world leads to all imbalance; when one becomes embroiled in such a mental state they lose their connection to the divine. This descent from the Universal order becomes the root of the pain we experience.
If a divine order can be applied to the land then it is possible for entire civilizations to live in balance for generations. When properly harnessed it can even empower people to be very effective co-creators, where manifestation of desires becomes as second-nature as driving a car. Naturally such information can be very powerful. It stands to reason that that kind of power vested in the wrong hands is a very dangerous toy. History provides us time and again with enough despots, mad scientists and intolerant religious zealots to prove this point. When powerful organizations such as the Roman Catholic Church learn of such secrets, they want them bad. It is well documented how the Church carried out a holocaust against ‘heretical’ groups as a tantrum for failing to gain access to they secrets, or to control it whenever and wherever it was taught. (A heretic means ‘one who is able to choose’).
All the Templars who were rounded up on false charges by the Holy Inquisition were barbarically tortured and killed, but revealed nothing. Other champions of Hermetic sciences suffered greatly for teaching them: Campanella himself was found guilty by the Holy Inquisition of harbouring a demonic familiar under the nail of his little finger and was imprisoned and tortured for being contemptuous of the Church’s teachings.
Many well-known Societies paid a heavy price for holding their secret teachings from the establishment, particularly the Cathars, Albigencians, and the Essennes. As mentioned earlier, the information dealt with knowledge which harnessed the very core of nature, and as such it was a means to power. But this power was not for the individual, it was for the manifestation of the perfection of God on Earth— the implementation of the ideal world upon the material, “as above so below” as the Egyptians would say. Their goal was the perfect society, not through the words or religious machinations of Man but a kingdom of Heaven, a kingdom of conscience. This intent is exemplified in the motto of the Knights Templars, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but for Thine glory alone”
Since most of these Orders were massacred to a man, common sense decreed that any Society involved with the promotion of supposed ‘heretical’ systems of knowledge should remain invisible. But in the minds of the paranoid and the suspicious, any group of people who remain outside the boundaries of society suggests they are indulging in all manner of acts that are used for nefarious purposes. And so from time to time secret societies have come under scrutiny from people who know nothing of their work. But from time to time, the practice of Hermetic secrets have emerged from within the courts of more enlightened European rulers. One particular moment occurred during the suspicious, insecure days that were the sixteenth century.
Hermeticism is by-and-large a derivation of the laws of nature scripted by the Egyptian creator god Djehuti, whom the Greeks later named Thoth-Hermes. One of main practitioners of this sacred art was John Dee, an accomplished mathematician, alchemist, astrologer, cabalist and astronomer, who was once imprisoned by his boss, Mary Tudor, after being accused by said monarch of practicing evil magic on her. Perhaps the accusation has some merit given the kind of ‘magic’ that Dee had been taught. Later finding favour with the new monarch Elizabeth I, Dee was instrumental in saving England from invasion by the Spanish armada. Implementing the knowledge of the secret societies, he had a complex geometrical structure built off the coast of southern Britain whose energetic power veered the entire armada into the coast of Ireland, where it smashed itself to bits.
Legends describe how these laws of the Universe were brought to different parts of the world by gods, giants or people of enormous stature after escaping from sinking lands following a catastrophic global flood. This story is shared by practically every coastal indigenous culture on Earth. It is also the stuff of myth and tradition that the art of geometry, mathematics and the mechanics of life were discovered well before the flood; indeed such writings in the Indian Vedas are said to be hundreds of thousands of years old.
Western religion’s equivalent of this acquisition of gnosis is the story of Moses. Having been adopted into the royal bloodline of Egyptian nobility, Moses would himself have been indoctrinated into the secrets of the Mysteries. When God chose him to receive Its laws on Mount Sinai, It would have not chosen someone of low moral fabric, nor lacking in responsibility or incapable to deciphering such information. And I am not referring to the Commandments: first, commandments were standards of conduct, there were originally several dozen, and they were known as pharaoh’s affirmations in the Egyptian Book of Coming Forth By Light , a tome that was already a very old read by Moses’ time. We are instead dealing with Universal codes of creation. Because these were veiled, only adepts could decipher them, and only after many years of learning. Before the laws could be understood one had to first piece their outward meaning before a deeper truth was revealed. Matthew describes this aptly during a conversation with Jesus: “Why do you speak to them in parables?” To which Jesus replies, “Because to you the secrets have been taught but not to others.”
It should also be pointed out that Jesus’ father, Joseph the Carpenter, was himself a Mason, hence the reference to his wearing of the apron of the craftsman. Thus we are able to deduce that he was not so much a carpenter but a ‘master of the Craft’, as members of the Freemasons are called.
When the center of the Ancient Mysteries schools moved north from one ‘city of Light’ at Luxor to another at Iunnu/Heliopolis, so its influence came within geographic reach of Greek philosophers such as Plato, Cicero and Pythagoras, all of whom acknowledged their teachings to be of Egyptian origin. What they taught, and much of what we have learned from their work, represents only the public face of secret societies. Like the geometry and allegory buried in the works of Leonardo da Vinci (a Freemason) the quality of their work served as a type of advertisement, it whet the appetite of potential candidates into the sacred arts. Those wishing to immerse themselves deeper into the mysteries would be vetted for flaws in character, then slowly indoctrinated as initiates into secret societies.
Skeptics of secret societies tend to scoff at the notion that all teachings protected by some mysterious secret not accessible to all possess any supernatural benefits; as proof they point a finger at the continuous sad state the world always finds itself in despite the claim that ancient secrets have been used to save it. A quick glance at any newspaper today would suggest they have a sound argument; then again one can counter-argue that humanity would be in a much worse state of prehistoric barbarity were it not for the efforts of a select few adepts who’ve been continuously implementing some stabilizing influence upon the face of the Earth. But it can equally be argued that if secret societies are no more than snake-oil peddlers then why should institutions such as the Catholic church have bothered to squander men and money to annihilate millions of people whom they branded as heretics? Why the trumped-up charges against secret Orders such as the Knights Templars? The truth probably lies in the nature of the individual to be able to choose the direction in life, because for all the esoteric teachings there will always be people for whom such higher knowledge has no practical value.
Then again, there are those bullies that will infiltrate secret societies and use their knowledge for truly nefarious purposes. The attainment of ‘occult’ rituals and the securing of ancient places of power has a top priority for despots such as William the Conqueror, Julius Caesar, and the hierarchy of the Third Reich. And perhaps it is still the case today for politicians of supposedly democratically-elected governments. Much has been written about the alleged involvement of Freemasons in the events that brought terrorism to New York on September 11, 2001. Much of it is pure lunacy; but some bears scrutiny because there exist Freemasonic orders with access to some ancient arts who control it for the advancement of an elite few.
Consider the following: on June 23, 1149, the Second Crusade is defeated by the Muslims in Jerusalem. Transposed onto the modern Gregorian calendar this date is equivalent to July 4. 600 years later there is an aspiration to “rebuild” the Temple of Solomon, this time in Washington DC. This dream of establishing a new city of Light in the New World is led by visionaries such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington— all Freemasons, and many with ties to Freemasons who’d re-taken Paris for the people of France.
The inauguration of the country of America is finally realized on the same July 4, in 1776. The country is to serve as a model of freedom, justice and fraternity for all, and to encourage the highest ideals of humanity. Consecration of the US Capitol takes place on Sept 18, presided by Freemasons; the original date is delayed until the most advantageous astronomical alignment favours the Divine Virgin, or Isis, when the Sun is in Virgo. The cornerstone of the Washington monument— in dedication to the 33rd Degree Mason— is laid by Freemasons on July 4. The main axis of the new capital of the free world is Pennsylvania Avenue, named for William Penn, a Freemason. Presiding over this city is Sirius, whose heliacal rising on August 12 takes place precisely along the axis of Pennsylvania Av, just as it did in Thebes, and just as it does in Paris.
In 2000 a flawed general election awards George Bush Jn., a former member of the Skull and Bones Masonic chapter, the throne of America. Essentially, it is a coup d’etat by religious zealots of the world’s most powerful country.
In 1941 a groundbreaking ceremony takes place on a parcel of land 24-degrees to the southwest of the Capitol in Washington DC, at the precise moment when Sirius, the star of Isis, is positioned overhead. Exactly 60 years to the day, a group of Arab extremists choose to mark a grievance against the oppression of Palestine by Israel by attacking its principal supporter. The Pentagon is hit. Both events occur on September 11. No plane is found at the site, but all indications suggest the building was hit by a missile. This building was originally created for the protection of the people. If ever there was an event designed to symbolize the destruction of the power of the people, this is it.
Can the power of a secret society be used against the people it is supposed to enlighten? Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?
The origin of the Louvre comes from the word l’oeuvre, meaning ‘masterpiece’. Perhaps we ought to create a positive one.
© Freddy Silva 2010. No reproduction or dissemination without permission. Top image: Monument des Droits de l’Homme, Paris.
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