Freemasonry: Tribute to Hiram Abiff

Paul Derengowski, ThM

 

What is Freemasonry?  What are Freemasons?  What does Freemasonry teach and what do Freemasons believe?  Is it okay to be a Christian and a Freemason at the same time?  What is all the secrecy about or is there really any at all?  What if all the alleged controversy about Freemasonry is simply one big misunderstanding?  These are just a few questions that many have when the subject of Freemasonry is brought up.

Countless people simply just do not know what to think when someone tells them that he is a Freemason.  Most do not know what to think when they see that strange diamond-shaped bumper sticker with the “G” in the middle.  Few give it a second thought when shaking the hand of a Freemason; when he grasps the hand of the person he is shaking with an odd grip.   Others have no idea that the Shriners Hospital is even associated with Freemasonry.  Conversely, others are quite adamant that Freemasonry is a secret society with origins in pagan mystery and satanic worship.

This article will try to help separate myth from fact, legend from reality, and answer some of the most vital questions involving one of the oldest fraternities in modern human history.  Of course, even calling it a fraternity is slight misnomer, since few fraternal orders have had the same impact on society as has Freemasonry, which is shrouded in benevolence, mystery, and silence, sealed by blood oaths.  After delving into the origins of Freemasonry, a look at its belief system and doctrines will ensue, and that followed by some of its occult ritualism and its non-compatibility with the Christian faith and practice.  Hopefully by the time one reaches the end, a few less questions will remain on the mind of just what Freemasonry is all about.

History

Trying to decipher a definitive starting point for Freemasonry is impossible.  Legends and myths abound, coupled with factual data, meaning that to assert a specific time and place where Freemasonry first came about would be more of a presumption than a fact.  Why?  No one seems certain about Freemasonry’s inception.  Record keeping has been an integral part of “The Lodge,” with meeting notes extending as far back as 926 A.D. in York, England.  Nevertheless, a decided starting point is missing.  Perhaps one explanation is that because of the flexible nature of the organization, which has allowed the individual lodges to incorporate outright falsehood and myth into its history, that after an extended period of time that falsehood and myth has come to be accepted as fact, thereby distorting real history.

For instance, it is not uncommon for some Masons to advocate the belief that their order has its foundation in the Bible.  That the first stone mason was either Jubal of the Book of Genesis, that the masons were present at the Tower of Babel, or even that they were instrumental in the building of Solomon’s Temple.  This is the position of thirty-second degree mason Emmett McLouglin, who wrote,

The ritual of the Blue Lodge, the foundation of all Masonic bodies, is structured around the story of the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the murder by ruffians of Hiram Abif of Tyre, the chief architect and master of all the stonemasons in the constructions of the Temple.  Some legends carry Freemasonry back to Moses and speak of wandering in the Sinai desert.  Other legends carry organized Masonry back to the building of the Tower of Babel. 1

Yet, he would also admit, “Freemasonry is many centuries old.  Precisely how many is obscured by the blending of provable history and legend.” 2 While the Bible is alluded to in Masonry as a sort of centerpiece of the order, a close inspection of just what the Bible has to say about Jubal, Moses, Solomon, or any other character for that matter, without question disproves any association between those characters and what Freemasonry represents.  Besides, if the Freemason is really adamant about associating himself with the builders of the Tower of Babel, 3 which was a pagan endeavor of rebellion against God, then that in itself is enough to discount the assertion that Freemasonry had Scriptural support of the godly variety.

Of course, other Freemasons are much more conservative, if not realistic, in their estimation of Masonic origins.  Aside from the 926 A.D. date mentioned above, Masonic authority Henry Wilson Coil informs us that,

…we can trace Freemasonry from the present day back through the proceedings of various Masonic bodies to the premier Grand Lodge of England, thence, through scant lodge minutes and extraneous references in England and much more continuous minutes of lodges in Scotland to the year A.D. 1598, and thence, through the Gothic Constitutions in England, to the later 14th or early 15th century. 4

It would not be until the 18th century, though, that a unified Masonic order would come into existence in England.  Four individual lodges united and formed the “Mother Lodge” in 1717, and would become the centralizing jurisdiction over all lodges.  In fact, despite the diversity of Masonic lodges around the world, “Most of these Grand Lodges have remained in union with the Mother Lodge of England.  An exception was the Grand Orient of France, which was cut off from the rest of Freemasonry when it eliminated belief in the “Grand Architect of the Universe.” 5

Beliefs & Doctrines

Freemasons frequently propagate the notion that the fraternity is not a religion, but that their tenets are compatible with all religions.  It is not uncommon, therefore, to hear testimony from most Masons that they are both members of the lodge and members of a local church, with several of them pastoring Christian congregations.  Nevertheless, what are Masonic beliefs in respect to the Bible, God, Jesus, and Salvation?  Surely if there is compatibility between just those fundamental doctrines, then the Mason is justified in paying allegiance to both the Lodge and the Church.

The Bible

It is customary to find the Bible as a centerpiece in most Masonic Lodges.  It is one of the Great Lights in the Lodge.  The only exception might be in a geographical location where the primary religious belief of the Lodge is not Christian; in which case another “Volume of Sacred Law” or V.S.L. might be substituted (i.e. the Qur’an).  “Thus, in a Lodge consisting entirely of Jews,” wrote Albert Mackey, “the Old Testament alone maybe be placed upon the altar, and Turkish Freemasons make use of the Koran.” 6  To a Mason the Bible is not seen as the absolute and final written word of God with final authority in faith and practice.  Rather, it is seen as one of several symbolic guides, each of which is capable of revealing the divine will of Deity.  For as Mackey asserts, “Whether it be the Gospels to the Christian, the Pentateuch to the Israelite, the Koran to the Mussulman, or the Vedas to the Brahman, it everywhere Masonically conveys the same idea—that of the symbolism of the Divine Will revealed to man.” 7

Such a view of the Bible has led to some rather creative, if not erroneous, interpretations of it.  For instance, while alluding to two verses in Scripture which speak of God’s angels as “His ministers of a flame of fire” and “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:7, 14)— the former of which is drawing a contrast between the person of Jesus and his superior rank to the angels, and the latter as servants of the saved—W. L. Wilmshurst believes that “the members of Masonry emblematize on earth the angels and archangels and all the company of Heaven.” 8  In another stretch of the imagination, Henry Clausen takes the account of the bronze serpent in Numbers 21:4-9—which clearly depicts God’s judgment upon rebellious Israel, as well as redemption, that would later become a picture of Jesus’ resurrection unto eternal life for those who believe (Jn. 3:14-15)—and twists it to mean that “We are again reminded that the Mysteries taught the doctrine of our Divine nature, the nobility of the immortal soul and the grandeur of its destiny.” 9

The only way the Bible can truly be considered a “Light” in anyone’s life is to see it through the lens of the author when he sat down to write it under the inspiration of God.  One must pay attention to the context, the grammar, and the history it which it was written.  One cannot simply take an allegorical approach to interpreting its message and then with a fair amount of hermeneutical gymnastics make it say whatever one wants it to say.  Clearly, though, the way the Freemason approaches the Bible—whether by equating it with false religious texts like the Qur’an and the Vedas, or by simply ignoring the context while forcing an interpretation upon it—is to avoid its message and turn it into an idol.

God

Although many Masons wish to distance themselves from admitting that Freemasonry is a religion, 10 the belief in “God” is a requirement in the Lodge.  Atheists, in other words, are not allowed.  Mackey makes this perfectly clear when he wrote,

A belief in the existence of God is an essential point of Speculative Freemasonry—so essential, indeed, that is a landmark of the Order that no Atheist can be made a Freemason.  Nor is this left to an inference; for a specific declaration to that effect is demanded as an indispensable preparation for initiation…The religion of Freemasonry is cosmopolitan, universal; but the required belief in God is not incompatible with this universality; for it is the belief of all peoples…There never has been a time since the revival of Freemasonry, when this belief in God as a superintending power did not form a part of the system. 11

Moreover, the Mason honestly believes that he is recognizing and worshiping God the Father in Heaven in and through the rituals and ceremonies which he participates in the Lodge. 12

Others, such as Henry Coil, are not quite as adamant about the identity of the Masonic “God.”  He seems to leave the way open to identify God from a variety of different angles, even citing Mackey as one of those who, although mandating a belief in God, had several different designations that were not quite true to at least the Jew or Christian understanding of God.  According to Coil,

Masonic authorities give different interpretations of the Deity.  Mackey said that the candidate must believe in “God or the Great Architect of the Universe.”  Some jurisdictions in this country require belief in a “Supreme Being or T.G.A.O.T.U”; “God the Father”; “a Supreme Being”; “God, the Creator, Author, and Architect of the Universe, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent”; and merely “Monotheism.” 13

Albert Pike more than muddies the theological waters when it comes to defining just who the Mason subscribes to by writing,

Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion. 14

From a Christian perspective, belief in God is important, but the nebulous emphasis that Freemasonry puts upon defining just who God is, along with an equation of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with Ahura Mazda (Zoroastrianism) or the ever-evolving Brahma of Hinduism is unacceptable.  It is tantamount with mixing belief with unbelief or the “only true God” that Jesus spoke about (Jn. 17:3) with the pagan idols that the Apostle Paul warned against (2 Cor. 6:16).  Clearly, the God of the Bible is not the god of Freemasonry, and no amount of belief in the latter is going to transform it into the former.

Jesus

As much as Freemasonry requires belief in God—even though the names it uses for God, along with a distinct ambiguity about God, are quite evident—the same is not true about the person of Jesus.  In fact, one is not likely to hear the name of Jesus mentioned in any Masonic ritual, prayer, or service.  One can barely find mention of him in Masonic print either.  Why?  Because as already noted in the discussion about God, full attention is to be directed toward the nebulous deity, rather than “in the name of Jesus.”  Furthermore, since Jesus’ name might cause offense toward those who would not subscribe to Jesus as a point of worship, he is to be left out of any petitions or discussion in the Lodge.

Instead a character by the name of Hiram Abiff has taken the place of Jesus, as Jesus, except with a different name.  Hiram Abiff is the third of the three pillars or personifications of “the indissociable triadic constituents of the Divine Unity.” 15  More specifically, Hiram Abiff

is the Christ-principle immanent in every soul…Consistently with Christ-like humility, Hiram Abiff (literally, “the teacher from the Father”) is not described as a “king” as are Solomon and Hiram of Tyre, but as one “of no reputation,” a “widow’s son”; a beautiful touch of Gnostic symbolism referable to the derelict or widowed nature of the Divine Motherhood or Sophia owing to the errancy and defection from wisdom of her frail children. 16

If one believes that description is esoteric or fantastic, then one would be correct.  That’s because Hiram Abiff is legend.  Some have tried to associate him with Hiram of Tyre, the Old Testament character employed by Solomon to help build his Temple (cf. 1 Kg. 7:13), but as Waite concludes, the Masons “have sought…to reconcile certain trifling discrepancies in the two accounts [1 Kgs 7 and 2 Chr. 2] by the help of gratuitous assumptions, but the work is worthless.” 17  Others, see Hiram Abiff as the “the Great Master and Exemplar and Saviour of the world,” 18 while yet others view him as

perhaps an imaginary type…of humanity in its highest phase; an exemplar of what man may and should become, in the course of ages, in his progress toward the realization of his destiny; an individual gifted with glorious intellect, a noble soul, a fine organization, and a perfectly balanced moral being; an earnest of what humanity may be, and what we believe it will hereafter be in God’s good time; the possibility of the race made real” [emphasis his]. 19

The absence of the mention of Jesus, only to be replaced by a legendary character, such as Hiram Abiff, should alert any perceptive person that something is not right.  Especially when the Masonic Lodge props up the Bible on its altars and claims that its belief system is compatible with Christianity.  Clearly, that is not the case.  The Bible is quite lucid that there is only one name that has been given among mankind whereby anyone could be saved, and that name is Jesus (Acts 4:12).  Moreover, the Bible is unambiguous that when a person becomes a child of God that that child’s essential being does not change from a creature to the Creator, as Pike alludes to above.  Finally, Jesus made it perfectly clear that to deny the Son was to deny the Father (Lk. 12:9), and by the curious denial of Jesus’ name, only to be replaced by something like Hiram Abiff, is an obvious indication that God Almighty has denied the fraternal order of Freemasonry as being something from Him.

Salvation

As seen above in the discussion about Jesus (aka Hiram Abiff), Masons do believe in a Savior.  That said, however, what is salvation, how is it attained, and what is one saved from in Freemasonry?  As has been the contrary contrasts with the Bible, God, and Jesus in Masonry with biblical Christianity, so it is with salvation as well.

Salvation in Masonry essentially involves an escape from the material world.  The body and soul are distinct, with the soul representing the actual person who is more or less imprisoned and must be liberated to return to Deity as an emanation of it. 20  The escape itself takes work or depends on the artisan “shaping himself into a living and precious stone for the cosmic temple of a regenerate Humanity unto which, when completed and dedicated, Deity will again enter and abide.” 21  Such effort is based on the Ancient Mysteries and must take place during one’s lifetime, lest upon dying one “remain suspended in the more tenuous planes of this planet until such time as it is once again indrawn into the vortex of generation by the ever-turning wheel of life.” 22  In other words, Masonic doctrine stipulates that one must take it upon oneself to “reconstruct [one’s] own fallen nature,” 23 and when that occurs one is reabsorbed back into the “God” from which he came.

For those failing to reconstruct their fallen natures, there is no worry.  Freemasonry does not teach a doctrine of hell like that which is mentioned in the Bible.  Instead, Freemasons tend to subscribe to the idea of simply being absorbed eventually into the “glorious Lodge above” (a sort of Unitarian Universalist concept).

From the preceding it ought to be clear that what Freemasonry is teaching about salvation is not what Jesus or His apostles taught about it.  Salvation is a matter of God’s grace; not a matter of man’s effort to reconstruct himself.  Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).  Moreover, those who are not born again by the time they leave this life in death are not automatically reabsorbed into the Great Impersonal Nothingness.  They wake up in hell (Lk. 16:22-23) and then are translated into the Lake of Fire after the final judgment of God (Rev. 20:11-15).  Therefore, as with the other doctrines previously mentioned, Freemasonry shows itself to be incompatible with biblical Christianity.

Occult Ritualism

The world “occult” simply means “to hide” or “to conceal.”  There are some in Freemasonry who deny that there is anything occultic about their practices or rituals.  But, by the very nature of the rites performed behind closed doors, away from the view of the general public, Freemasonry becomes an occult organization.  Add to that the acceptance and propagation of ancient beliefs and practices dedicated to pagan rituals and deities, and Freemasonry aligns itself with those occultists as well.

As pertaining to rituals, the first three degrees of Masonry, whereby an initiate become either an “Entered Apprentice,” a “Fellow Craft,” or “Master Mason” are steeped in secrecy and occult practice.  Duncan’s Ritual of Freemasonry notes that before the program begins for an Entered Apprentice,

They [the seven freemasons at the ritual] assemble in a room well guarded from all cowans 24 and eaves-droppers, in the second or third story (as may be the case) of some building suitably prepared and furnished for Lodge purposes, which is, by Masons, termed ‘the Ground Floor of King Solomon’s Temple.’ 25

After a series of discussions between the Initiate and other members of the Craft, in all three degrees the one desiring to move up to the next level must vow one of the following vows, complete with hand signs appropriate for the oath taken, before those present, yet in complete secrecy.

Entered Apprentice

Hand signal: Draw the right hand rapidly across the neck, and drop the arm to the side.

Oath: All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, without any mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut cross, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea [emphasis his], at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in the twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my Entered Apprentice obligation.  So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same. 26

Fellow Craft

Hand signal: The left arm, as far as the elbow, should be held in a vertical position, forming a square.  The right hand detached from the stomach, fingers extending outward.

Oath: (After making several promises to perform the articles in the oath): All this I most solemnly promise and swear with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or self-evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than of having my breast torn open, my heart plucked out, and placed on the highest pinnacle of the temple, there to be devoured by the vultures of the air, should I ever knowingly violate the Fellow Craft obligation.  So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same. 27

Master Mason

Hand signal: In making this sign, draw the right hand (thumb in) across the stomach as low down as the vest, then drop the hand suddenly.

Oath: After swearing to abide by several articles associated with being a Master Mason the candidate concludes with, “All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steady resolution to perform the same, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself, under no less penalty that that of having my body severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I would be, should I ever, knowingly, violate this my Master Mason’s obligation.  So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same. 28

Occult Confession

Aside from the occultism inherent in the first three degrees of Freemasonry, Arthur Edward Waite openly admitted that, “The development of Freemasonry in France of the eighteenth century may be said truly to have exhausted all branches of that collocation of inchoate practices which is described technically as occult science.” 29  He would further explain those occult practices by name, which included “Alchemy 30, Astrology, Kabalism, Ceremonial Magic and even Animal Magnetism—all claiming on one or another pretext a connection with Masonry.” 31  Grand Commander Albert Pike specially tied Masonry to the occult when he wrote,

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.  Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it.  So God Himself incapacitates many men, by color-blindness, to distinguish colors, and leads the masses away from the highest Truth, giving them the power to attain only so much of it as it is profitable to them to know. 32

Of course, not all Masons would agree that Freemasonry is occultic in nature.  “Freemasonry is no more occult than the Golden Rule; no more mysterious than Morality,” 33 wrote Henry Wilson Coil.  Nevertheless, given the Lodge rituals, the allegiances paid to the Ancient Mysteries, and outright admissions by well-known Masons in authoritative positions, one would be more than safe to conclude that Freemasonry is an occultic organization.

The Bible, though, is quite clear that the Christian is to steer clear from swearing oaths, much less swearing them in an occult setting.  James 5:12 tells us, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.”  Moreover Jesus, in his famous Sermon on the Mount preached for those suited for the Kingdom of God, “But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the City of the Great King” (Mt. 5:34-35).

Occultism in general is equally off-limits to the believer, since to become engaged in occult practices is to drawn one away from allegiance and worship of Almighty God.  Leviticus 19:31 commands God’s people “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them.  I am the Lord your God.”  The prophet Isaiah, speaking of rebellious Israel, noted her idolatrous decline after walking away from God by observing that she sat among the graves, and spent the night “in secret places” (Isa. 65:4).  Paul the Apostle implored those Christians at Ephesus—a city steeped in pagan practices, especially centered on the goddess Artemis and her great temple—”And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret” (Eph. 5:11-12).  Therefore, no conscientious Christian has any business involving himself in the occult ritualism associated with Freemasonry.

 

CONCLUSION

This paper has attempted to explain not only what Freemasonry is, but what some of its practices are which make it distinct as a fraternal organization.  Also, some of its beliefs and rituals were expounded on in contrast to Christian beliefs to try and understand where the two do not line up.  Although Freemasonry is seen by most on the outside as simply another fraternal order whose sole goal is one of benevolence, clearly Freemasonry is much, much more than a fraternity, and its goals are not merely for altruistic purposes.  It is a religion that expresses religious ideas, although in many cases in a very haphazard way.

From the preliminary findings in these few pages it should be clear that Freemasonry and Christianity are not compatible by any stretch of the rational imagination.  From the Freemasonry view of the Bible, to its view of God, Jesus, and Salvation, to name only a few of the major doctrines that could have been discussed, Freemasonry and Christianity are as far apart in agreement as heaven is in distance from hell.  Freemasonry, despite all its benevolent deeds, offers those deeds as an attractive counterfeit for the Christian message of redemption.  Adherents are taught they can work their way up the celestial ladder and yet remain a part of the Christian church, which teaches its members that to be associated with such thinking is to also associate light with darkness (2 Cor. 6:14).  It’s not that the members of the Lodge are intrinsically evil, per sé, but that their message is eternally fatal, and hence has nothing in common with the Jesus (not Hiram Abiff) who died for them.  Therefore, the only warning that is apropos in terms of Freemasonry and the Masonic Lodge is to beware of her.  For though she may disguise herself outwardly with beautiful works of the finest of human quality, inwardly she is an odiferous sepulchre that is full of dead men’s bones.

Notes:

  1. Emmet McLoughlin, “An Introduction to Freemasonry,” in A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Arthur Edward Waite, 2 vols. in 1 (New York: Wing Books, 1970), 1:xxxiii.
  2. Ibid.
  3. According to Unger, the Tower of Babel was “The building that the Babel builders intended to construct and that became the symbol of their God-defying disobedience and pride (Gen. 11:1-9).”  Merrill F. Unger, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Chicago: Moody, 1988), 133.
  4. Henry Wilson Coil, A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1973), 27-28.
  5. McLoughlin, xxxiv.
  6. Albert Mackey, Mackey’s Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 3 vols. (Chicago: The Masonic History Society, 1950), 1:133.
  7. Ibid.
  8. W. L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry (New York: Gramercy, 1980), 203.
  9. Henry C. Clausen, Clausen’s Commentaries on Morals and Dogma (San Diego: Neyenesch Printers, 1974), 138.
  10. In the book Facts for Freemasons, Harold V. B. Voorhis fields the question, “Is Freemasonry a religion?” and then answers, “No, but it is religious.  It does not require a particular church affiliation and only asks a candidate that he believe in a Supreme Being and some form of future existence” (56).
  11. Mackey, Encyclopedia, 1:409.
  12. “To the Mason, God is our Father in Heaven, to be Whose especial children is the sufficient reward of the peacemakers, to see Whose face the highest hope of the pure in heart; Who is ever at hand to strengthen His true worshippers; to Whom our most fervent love is due, our most humble and patient submission; Whose most acceptable worship is a pure and pitying heart and a beneficient life; in Whose constant presence we live and act, to Whose merciful disposal we are resigned by that death which, we hope and believe, is but the entrance to a better life; and Whose wise decrees forbid a man to lap his soul in an elysium of mere indolent content.”  Pike, Morals and Dogma, 227.
  13. Coil, Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, 192.
  14. Pike, Morals and Dogma, 226.
  15. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, 197.
  16. Ibid., 199.
  17. Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 1:367.
  18. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, 208.
  19. Pike, Morals and Dogma, 225.
  20. Ibid., 539.
  21. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, 200.
  22. Ibid., 201.
  23. Ibid., 208.
  24. A cowan in Freemasonry is someone who is an intruder, a pretender, or one that is simply unfamiliar with Freemasonry.  It is a term exclusively distinct to Freemasonry, of which it has no definitive derivation.
  25. Malcom C. Duncan, Duncan’s Ritual of Freemasonry (New York: David McKay Co., n.p.), 7.
  26. Ibid., 35.
  27. Ibid., 65-66.
  28. Ibid., 96.
  29. Waite, A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 2:201.
  30. Alchemy was associated with extremely occultic organization known as the Rosicrucians.  According to Max Heindel, “The Order of Rosicrucians is not merely a secret society; it is one of the Mystery Schools, and the Brothers are Hierophants of the lesser Mysteries, Custodians of the Sacred Teachings and a spiritual Power more potent in the life of the Western World than any of the visible Governments, thought they may not interfere with humanity so as to deprive them of their free will.”  Max Heindel, The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception (Pasadena: Wood & Jones, 1973), 520.
  31. Waite, op. cit., 2:202.
  32. Pike, Morals and Dogma, 104-5.
  33. Coil, A Comprehensive View of Freemasonry, 184.