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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rosicrucians and Freemasons

Rosicrucians and Freemasons

The House of Stuart

Seal of Martin Luther

Seal of Martin Luther

The Habsburg realm became internally divided when the German princes of the Empire had largely supported the Protestant movement against the Catholic Church, which was ostensibly defended by the Habsburg rulers. The rising tide of the Protestant movement came to a head in Bohemia, where the Kabbalistic underground surfaced in the manner of the Order of the Rosicrucians, otherwise known as the Order of the Rosy Cross. The ultimate aim of the Order was that of abolishing the Church, and replacing it with a government of “wise” rulers. As explained by occult historian Laurence Gardner:

It was by no chance that Martin Luther’s protest gained support in some very influential circles, for Rome had many enemies in high places. Not the least of these enemies were the Knights Templars, and the underground Hermetic societies whose esoteric crafts had been condemned by the Catholic Inquisition. The truth was not so much that Luther gained the support of others, but that he was the willing instrument of an already active movement which endeavored to dismantle the rigid international domination of the Pope.[1]

Queen Elizabeth I of England

Queen Elizabeth I of England

In England, the most significant consequence of the Reformation was the establishment of the independent church, created by King Henry the VIII, the son of Elizabeth of York and Edward VII. It was followed by the establishment of the Church of England under his daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth I’s court was steeped in esoteric thought. An important source of these tendencies, as well as much of Rosicrucian philosophy, was a famous occultist John Dee. Dee believed that he found the secret of conjuring angels by numerical configurations in the tradition of the Kabbalah, and claimed to have gained contact with good angels, from whom he learned advancement in knowledge.

While acting as Astrologer Royal to Queen Mary, who had succeeded Henry VIII to the throne, Dee was accused of high treason and practicing sorcery against Mary’s life. He was thrown in prison, but managed to clear himself of the charges, though he continued to be strongly suspected of being a magician and a conjurer. When Elizabeth became Queen after Mary’s death, Dee was fortunate enough to have the benefit of her favour, and subsequently tutored the new queen in the understanding of his own mystical writings.

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots

Elizabeth did not marry, and therefore had no direct heir. Mary Stuart, also known as Mary Queen of Scots, the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister, was the nearest relative, but she was Catholic. Elizabeth of York and Henry VII of England were the parents of Henry VIII, but also of Margaret Tudor, who married James IV of Scotland, thus introducing the Armenian heritage of Lusignan, and the Fisher Kings of Britanny, to the Stuart line.

Marie de Guise

Marie de Guise

Rene of Anjou

Crest of Rene of Anjou

Their son James V of Scotland, member of the Order of the Garter, married Marie de Guise to father Mary Queen of Scots. In 1546, Marie Guise, had signed an unusual Bond and Obligation to Sir William Sinclair Baron of Rosslyn: "In likewise that we sall be Leal and trew Maistres to him, his Counsill and Secret shewn to us we sall keep secret--and in all mattres gif to him the best and trewest Counsell we can as we sall be requirite thereto…and sall be reddy att all tymes to maintain and defend him…"[2]

The House of Guise was founded in the sixteenth century, as a cadet branch of the House of Lorraine by Claude, first Duke of Guise. Claude’s great-grandfather was Rene d’Anjou, whose combined heritage provided him with the titles of Count of Provence, Count of Guise, Duke of Anjou, Duke of Lorraine, King of Hungary, King of Naples and Sicily, King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca and Sardinia and King of Jerusalem. One of Rene’s daughters, Marguerite d’Anjou, in 1445 married Henry VI of England, and played a prominent role in the Wars of the Roses. Rene d’Anjou at one time employed Christopher Columbus, and was associated with Joan of Arc, who was the daughter of Edward I King of England and Eleanor of Castile. Edward was the son of Henry III of England Eleanor of Provence, whose father, Raymond Berengar V Count of Toulouse, was the great-grandson of Alfonso VII King of Castile and Richenza of Poland.[3]

King James I

King James I

Rene was versed in the occult, and his court included a Jewish Kabbalist known as Jean de Saint-Remy, who, according to some accounts, was the grandfather of Nostradamus. His interests included Arthurian and Grail romances. Through his intimate relationship with the ruling Sforza family of Milan, he established contact with the Medicis of Florence, and it seems to have been largely through his influence that Cosimo de Medici embarked on the projects of translating the Neoplatonic, Gnostic and Hermetic texts that set off the so-called “Humanistic” tradition of the Renaissance.

Claude’s daughter, Mary de Guise, married James V, who claimed Stuart lineage through Marjory, the daughter of Robert the Bruce. Their daughter was Mary Queen of Scots. Philip of Spain and the Catholics in France plotted for Mary Queen of Scots’ accession to the throne of England, and when Elizabeth discovered that plots to place the Scottish queen on the English throne threatened her life, she had Mary Stuart imprisoned and eventually executed.

Mary had married Henry Stuart, who was the great-grandson of Eleanor Sinclair, daughter of William Sinclair, and John Stewart. Following Elizabeth’s childless death in 1603, however, the throne was left vacant. James VI of Scots, the son of Mary Queen of Scots, was deemed to be Elizabeth’s closest living relative. Thus, he became James I of England, the first Stuart monarch to preside over England.


John Dee

John Dee

King James did not share Elizabeth’s sympathies for John Dee, and when he appealed to the king for help in clearing his reputation from charges of conjuring devils, the King ignored him. Dee finally died disgraced and in abject poverty in 1608. However, prior to his death, and after his career in England had come to an end, John Dee had found his way to Prague, then under Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, where he influenced the Rosicrucian movement. Rudolph II, like his father, Maximilian II, was a member of the Order of the Garter. He had married his cousin, Maria von Habsburg, whose father was Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, brother to Ferdinand, and whose mother was Maria of Castile and Aragon.

Emperor Rudolf II moved his capital from Vienna to Prague in Bohemia, which became an occult oriented court, a center alchemy, astrology, and magic. Rudolph II devoted vast sums of money to the building of his library, which comprised of the standard corpus of Hermetic works, as well as the notorious Picatrix, an Arabic work expounding on Sabian themes. The Emperor Rudolf II’s fascination with Hermeticism was matched by his interest in Kabbalah, when his reign became a “golden age” of Jewry in Prague.

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor

Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor

Despite their initial persecution during the Crusades, the Jewish community of Bohemia often enjoyed exceptional privileges. Although originating in southern France, it was in Spain that the Kabbalah would develop, and where the most important medieval Kabbalistic text, the Sepher ha Zohar, or Book of Light, was produced in 1286 AD. Ultimately, the spread of Kabbalistic influence, and the occult rites it involved, or mysteries, generally known as “witchcraft”, caused the Church to become increasingly suspicious, and to eventually attempt its brutal suppression.

A year before the Templars were arrested, in 1307, France expelled its Jewish population. The Jews had already been expelled from England in 1290, by King Edward, when all the crowned heads of Europe followed his example. Saxony followed suit in 1348. On the extinction of the house of Arpad of Hungary, and under the Angevin kings who then occupied the throne, the Hungarian Jews suffered many persecutions, and were expelled in 1360, and in 1370 Belgium, in 1380 Slovakia, in 1420 Austria, and in 1444 the Netherlands.

However, the anti-Jewish offensive of the papacy in the early thirteenth century little affected the conditions of Bohemia’s Jewish community. The Bohemian monarchs ignored the resolutions of the Lateran Council of 1215, which set out to limit the economic and social influence of the Jewish Communities in Europe. The Jews were careful to guard the independence of the Bohemian aristocracy, and became the true servants of the royal Chamber. They were given a number of concessions and freedoms by the charter issued by Ottokar II, and the tolerant government of the last Premyslid kings proved favorable to the development of the Jewish community.

With the end of the Premyslid dynasty, however, the first few decades of the fourteenth century became a period of general insecurity. The long reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, though, again brought the Jews of Prague new privileges. Charles IV ensured their protection, and allowed them to settle within the walls of Prague’s New Town, which he founded in 1348. And, in 1357, Charles IV, allowed the Jews of Prague to have their own city flag, a red banner that featured in gold the Kabbalistic symbol of the “Star of David”, or “Seal of Solomon”, being the first Jewish flag of its kind.

Between the thirteenth and sixteenth century, it became popular in German literature to identify Gog and Magog with the Lost Tribes of Israel, who collectively were referred to as Red Jews. Similarly, as noted by Andrew Colin Gow, in The Red Jews: Anti-Semitism in an Apocalyptic Age: 1200-1600, Jews were often portrayed by medieval illustrations in Christian texts with red hair and in red clothes. He further offers:

This connection was so widely-accepted as to be included prominently in illustrations of Hebrew manuscripts, though in such cases, these depictions presumably lacked or did not evoke the negative associations generally marked by red hair. The Jews by whom these manuscripts were made and for whom they were intended seem to have attached no negative significance to the color red. Yet as we have seen, Christian iconography “saw red” in connection with Judas. The Metzgers’ manuscript illuminations suggest that to Jews as to Christians, Jews were typically red-headed and wore red clothes; it was taken for granted.[7]

Red flag of the Jews of Prague

Red flag of the Jews of Prague

In 1557 Ferdinand I, at the instigation of his younger son, the Archduke Ferdinand, who was governor of the region, issued a decree exiling all Jews from Prague and Bohemia. Many Jewish families departed, but a number of families who managed to earn exceptions remained. This situation lasted until the Archduke’s brother, Maximilian II ascended the throne. The new king revoked all decrees of expulsion by degrees, and instead confirmed many of the forgotten privileges originally granted to the Jews.

Under Rudolf II, many Jewish refugees expelled from Moravia, Germany, Austria and Spain came to Prague. In Prague Jews studied Kabbalah undisturbed. The city, says Frances Yates, “was a great center for Jewish Cabalism, and a very remarkable personality, Rabbi Loew, was prominent in Prague in the late sixteenth century.”[8] Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, also known as Maharal, published more than fifty religious and philosophical books. Rabbi Loew became legendary as the mystical worker who created the Golem, an artificial man made of clay brought to life through magical combinations of the sacred letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which acted as a guardian over the Jews.

The New Kabbalah

Edict expelling the Jews from Spain, 1492

Edict expelling the Jews from Spain, 1492

That branch of Kabbalah that was being studied in Bohemia under Rudolf was developed by Isaac Luria, and is known as Lurianic Kabbalah, or the New Kabbalah. Luria’s interpretations essentially fired new Messianic hopes, which were accepted positively by Jews who recently endured the expulsion from Spain.

As in other parts of Europe, violent persecution had been growing in Spain and Portugal, where in 1391, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been forced to convert to the Catholicism. Publicly, the Jewish converts, known as Marranos, were Christians, but secretly they continued to practice Judaism, including following the Kabbalah. After 1540, many Marranos fled to England, Holland, France, the Ottoman Empire, Brazil and other places in South and Central America. These Marranos maintained strong family ties and became influential where they lived.

Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatius of Loyola

In Spain, in the fifteenth century, the Marranos, also known as “crypto-Jews”, founded Christian heresy of the Alumbrados. The Illuminati Order was not invented by Adam Weishaupt, but was rather renewed and reformed.[4]The Alumbrados, or Illuminati, claimed to have direct intercourse with God. All external worship, they declared, is superfluous, and sin impossible in this state of complete union with Him. Therefore, like all Gnostics before them, they believed carnal desires could be indulged in, and other sinful actions committed freely without corrupting the soul.

Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491, from wealthy Marranos parents a year before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.[5] As a young man he became a member of the Allumbrados, though, as a cover for his activities, he became very active as a Roman Catholic. Loyola moved to Rome where he founded the Order of Jesus, known as Jesuits. which was approved Pope Paul III in 1540. In setting up the Jesuit order, Loyola devised an elaborate spy system, so that no one in the order was safe. If there was any opposition, death was meted out swiftly. The Jesuit order not only became a destructive arm of the Roman Catholic Church, but developed into a secret intelligence service.

Ultimately, the Jesuits would follow the same conspiratorial methods as the Ismailis, to undermine the religion they were purportedly representing, and for indoctrinating dupes into their subversive mission, as the following, taken from the secret oath of the Jesuits, demonstrates:

You have been taught to insidiously plant the seeds of jealousy and hatred between communities, provinces, states that were at peace, and incite them to deeds of blood, involving them in war with each other, and to create revolutions and civil wars in countries that were independent and prosperous, cultivating the arts and the sciences and enjoying the blessings of peace. To take sides with the combatants and to act secretly with your brother Jesuit, who might be engaged on the other side, but openly opposed to that with which you might be connected, only that the Church might be the gainer in the end, in the conditions fixed in the treaties for peace and that the end justifies the means.

Kabbalistic Tree of Life

Rabbi Isaac Luria, a faithful follower of Ignatius Loyola, formulated the “New Kabbalah”.[6] Luria’s youth was spent in Egypt, where he became versed in rabbinic studies, engaged in commerce, and eventually concentrated on study of the Zohar, the central work of the Medieval Kabbalah. In 1570, he went to Safed in Galilee, where he studied under Moses ben Jacob Cordovero, the greatest Kabbalist of the time, and developed his own Kabbalistic system. Although he wrote few works, Luria’s doctrines were recorded by his pupil Hayyim Vital, who presented them in a large posthumous collection. Because of this work, Lurianic Kabbalah became the new thought that influenced all Jewish mysticism after him, competing with the Kabbalah of Cordovero.

Luria initiated a new interpretation of the role of the Kabbalah in preparation for the arrival of the messiah. All being is said to have been in exile, that is, separated from God, since the very beginning of creation, and the task of restoring everything to its proper order is the specific role of the Jewish people. The final redemption, however, cannot be achieved merely through the advent of the Messiah, but must be brought about historically, through a long chain of actions that prepare the way. Essentially, the Kabbalists must not await the coming of the Messiah, but must actively bring about his appearance, first by manipulating the course of fate through the use of magic, and finally, by preparing the necessary political and moral circumstances to receive his coming.

The Rosicrucians

Frederick V, Elector of the Palatniate of the Rhine

Frederick V
Elector of the Palatniate of the Rhine

Crisis came upon the Protestant movement when Rudolph II died in 1612, threatening the immunity enjoyed by esoteric circles among the Protestants of Bohemia and other German provinces. As a consequence, the German leaders of the Protestant cause in the Palatinate of the Rhine, a small province of the Holy Roman Empire, sought means to pursue their plight against the Hapsburgs. It was at this point that the German prince Frederick, Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine, began to be seen as the ideal incumbent to take the role of leader of the Protestant resistance against the ruling Hapsburgs.

Frederick belonged to the House of Wittelsbach, hereditary rulers of the Palatinate of the Rhine. In Carolingian times, the count palatine was merely the representative of the king in the high court of justice. In 937 AD, Otto the Great appointed a count palatine for Bavaria, and several other duchies, with the Elector of Lorraine later foremost in rank. In 1155, after the death of its Elector, Frederick Barbarossa transferred the office to his half-brother Conrad, who united the lands to his own possessions on the central Rhine, and made his residence at Heidelberg. Thus the palatinate of Lorraine became the palatinate “of the Rhine”. Conrad’s daughter, Agnes of Hohenstaufen, married Henry I of Saxony and Bavaria, the son of Henry “the Lion” and Matilda of England, and their son Henry II became Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine in 1195.

Jacob Boehme

Jacob Boehme

Henry II married Agnes of Lausitz, daughter of Conrad III Margrave of Lausitz and Elizabeth of Poland, the daughter of Elizabeth Arpad and Mieszko III King of Poland. Their daughter was Agnes of Brunswick, who was the mother of Rudolf I Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine, and Ludwig IV Holy Roman Emperor, who married Matilda, the daughter of Rudolf I of Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor. Ludwig’s daughter, Matilda of Wittelsbach, was the father of Frederick I Elector of Brandenburg. Frederick IV Elector of the Palatinate is descended from both Frederick I of Brandenburg and his sister, Margaret of Hohenzollern, who married Herman Margrave of Hessen.

Frederick IV was the father of Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine. The Protestant conspiracy around Frederick V went under the cover of the Rosicrucians. Ultimately, the Rosicrucians declared themselves to the world through the notorious Rosicrucian Manifestos. The first of the Rosicrucian manifestos was the Fama Frateritatis, appearing in 1614, part of a larger Protestant treatise titled, The Universal and General Reformation of the Whole Wide World, an allegorical history of the Rosicrucians, which was followed by a second tract a year later. The Manifestos purported to issue from a secret, “invisible” fraternity of “initiates” in Germany and France, and vehemently attacked the Catholic Church and the old Holy Roman Empire.

The Rosicrucians derive their name from Christian Rosencreutz, who, according to the Manifestos, founded the order a century earlier, a poor descendent of nobility, who was cloistered at an early age with a Jesuit order, before traveling to the Middle East to learn magic, alchemy and Kabbalah. Rosenkreuz is German for “rose cross”, referring both to the symbol of the Rosicrucians, which is a cross superimposed over the five-petaled rose of the Kabbalah.

Rose of the Rosicrucians

In the Rosicrucian Enlightenment, Frances Yates suggests that a component of the new Lurianic Kabbalah should be considered as figuring in the Manifestoes. Jacob Boehme, born in nearby Silesia in 1575, the man who came to articulate Lurianic Kabbalah for the Christian audiences of Europe, became active in around the same time, and likely influenced that trend among the Rosicrucians. Christian Rosenkreuz, the hero of the Rosicrucians tales, Yates claims, “describes in the Fama travels in the east whence he has returned with a new kind of Magia and Cabala which he incorporates into his own outlook.”[9] The Fama relates the life story of Christian Rosenkreuz, who supposedly founded the Rosy Cross brotherhood, as early as the 1300’s. Like Luria, Rosenkreuz was said to have traveled to Egypt, and upon his return to Europe, to have established a secret “House of the Holy Spirit”, modeled on the Ismaili “House of Wisdom” in Cairo.[10]

A further Rosicrucian tract appeared in 1616, titled the Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz. The work refers to a Rosicrucian plot to bolster the Protestant movement against the Church, through an important dynastic alliance, forged primarily through the efforts of John Dee, between the German prince Frederick IV, Elector of the Palatine of the Rhine, and Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I Stuart, King of England. The Protestant conspirators had hoped that King James, who appeared to support the Protestant cause, would come to the assistance of his son-in-law Frederick, in the case of an uprising against the Catholic Church and its Habsburg supporters.

In the Chemical Wedding, Rosenkreuz is associated with an order of chivalry. As Frances Yates has pointed out, as necessary component of his future married to Elizabeth Stuart, Frederick was invested with the Order of the Garter a week before the wedding. Therefore, the “rose cross” of the Rosicrucians is derived from the dual symbolism of the Order of the Garter, being the Kabbalistic rose of the House of York, but also being the “red cross” of St. George, and ultimately of the Templars.[11]

Having been offered the throne of Bohemia by rebellious Protestants, Frederick moved to Prague with his family, an affront to the Church that precipitated the Thirty Years War. Frederick’s forces were routed outside of Prague. Contrary to the hopes of the Rosicrucians, James did not offer the aid of England in support of his son-in-law, and the movement ended in utter ignominy. Within two years, Frederick and Elizabeth had been driven into exile in Holland, and Heidelberg was overrun by Catholic troops.

The Freemasons

Johann Valentin Andrea

Johann Valentin Andrea

During the Thirty Years War, Johan Valentin Andrea, the author of the Rosicrucian Manifestos, created a network of secret societies known as the Christian Unions. According to Andrea’s directives, each society was headed by an anonymous prince, assisted by twelve others divided into groups of three, each of whom was to be a specialist in a given sphere of study. The purpose of these Unions was to preserve the occult Rosicrucian sciences from Church persecution. More importantly, the Christian Unions functioned as a refuge for the defeated Rosicrucians in England. There, these men, both English and European, formed the Invisible College, later the Royal Society.

Virtually all of the Royal Society’s founding members were Freemasons. According to Masonic legend, though, Freemasonry dates back to the guilds of Mediaeval masons, believed to have been Templars, who encrypted occult messages in the Gothic cathedrals, like Notre Dame in Paris. One of the earliest inductions into a Masonic lodge on record, however, was for Robert Boyle, in 1641. Boyle also had intimate relations with the Royal Society. Another initiate was Elias Ashmole, antiquarian and expert of chivalric orders, who, along with astrologer William Lilly,

Elias Ashmole

Elias Ashmole

founded a Rosicrucian lodge in London in 1646. This lodge was based on the utopian ideal of the creation of a New Atlantis, as expounded by Francis Bacon, which symbolized the golden age before Adam’s Fall, when humanity was spiritually perfect.

The Freemasons were often suspected of being behind the English Civil War, though their position during the affair is unclear. In 1642, when King Charles I of England, the son of King James, and brother to Elizabeth Stuart, wife of Frederick of the Palatinate of the Rhine, tried to arrest five MPs for obstructive behavior, the English Civil War erupted, and Oliver Cromwell assumed command of the Parliamentary forces. Charles I was given the opportunity to escape, but was later recaptured, and finally, in 1649, was tried and beheaded. When Cromwell died in 1658, Charles II, the late king’s son, was invited back to rule as King of England. The “Restoration” of Charles II Stuart to the throne thus occurred in 1660, eleven years after the execution of his father.

As John Robison notes, in Proofs of a Conspiracy, written in 1798, early Masonic ritual was shaped to promote the ideals of the sympathizers to the Stuart cause. He states:

Nay the Ritual of the Master’s degree seems to have been formed, or perhaps twisted from its original institution, so as to give an opportunity of founding the political principles of the candidate, and of the whole Brethren present. For it bears so easy an adaptation to the death of the King, to the overturning of the venerable constitution of the English government of three orders by a mean democracy, and its re-establishment by the efforts of the loyalists, that this would start into every person’s mind during the ceremonial, and could hardly fail to show, by the countenances and behaviour of the Brethren, how they were affected.[12]

King George I of Britain

King George I of Britain

Freemasonry came to be more closely allied to the Stuart cause with the abdication of James II. When James II King of England, King Charles II’s brother and successor, issued a Declaration for Liberty of Conscience, to give protection to the followers of Catholicism, he was forced to leave the throne. The throne was then offered jointly to William of Orange and his wife Mary. William and Mary were cousins. Mary was the daughter of James II, while William was the son of James II’s sister Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange-Nassau and William II von Nassau-Dillenburg, Prince of Orange, the grandson of William of Orange.[13]

Though William and Mary were of Stuart lineage, the Scots were disappointed at the loss of a Stuart monarch, and in 1689, the year of James II’s deposition, Bonnie Dundee led a force of Highlanders against government troops at Killiecrankie. The rebellion was called a Jacobite Rising, because of their support of James II, which is derived from the Latin Jacomus, or Jacob in Hebrew. The emblem of the Jacobites was the five-petaled White Rose of York, like that of the Rosicrucians.

Masonic initiation, 18th century

In March 1702, William died and the throne passed to Mary’s sister who became Queen Anne. The failure of either Anne or of her sister to produce an heir precipitated a succession crisis, for, in the absence of a Protestant heir, the Roman Catholic James II could attempt to return to the Throne. The Parliament of England then passed the Act of Settlement in 1701, whereupon the Electress Sophia of Hanover, the daughter of Frederick of the Palatinate and Elizabeth Stuart, was designated heir to the British Throne, if William III and his sister-in-law, Anne, both died without issue. Sophia was the closest Protestant relative of the British Royal Family, though numerous Catholics with superior hereditary claims had to be bypassed. When Sophia died a few weeks before Anne, Sophia’s son George became the first Hanoverian king of England.

Abram Gannibal Petrovich

Abram Gannibal Petrovich

Freemasonry was supposed to be independent of political issues and problems. In practice, however, the Grand Lodge, which was established only three years after the coronation of William of Orange, supported the new German monarchy at a time when many Englishmen were strongly opposed to it. The Grand Lodge, created in 1717, consisted at first of only one degree of initiation. Within five years of the Lodge’s founding, two additional degrees were added, when the system consisted of three steps: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. These degrees are commonly known as the “Blue Degrees”, the color blue being symbolically important in them, and have remained the first three degrees of nearly all Masonic systems since.

The new Grand Lodge was reportedly very strict in its rule forbidding political controversy within the lodges. However, during the ensuing generations, members of the Hanoverian royal family became Grand Masters. Augustus Frederick (1773-1843), the ninth son of George III, was Grand Master for the thirty years before his death. George’s father was the the son of George II, Frederick Loius Prince of England, who married Augusta of Saxen-Gotha-Altenburg, a descendant of Ferdinand of Habsburg, and through him from the bin Yahya family of Portugal.

King George III

King George III

Queen Charlotte

Queen Charlotte

George III married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the granddaughter of Abram Petrovich Gannibal, a Black Falasha Jew of Ethiopia, brought to Russia by Peter the Great, where he became a major-general. Gannibal was first taken to Istanbul to the court of the Ottoman Sultan, and then taken by the Russian Embassador, on orders from his superiors, one of whom was Pyotr Tolstoy, the great-grandfather of Leo Tolstoy. Gannibal was baptized in 1705, with Peter the Great as his godfather, and later became the lover of Elizabeth Albertine, Queen Charlotte’s mother.

During time in France, he became friends with leading Illuminati philosophers like Diderot, Montesquieu and Voltaire, who called him the “dark star of the Enlightenment”. Gannibal and his second wife had five children, including a son Osip. Osip in turn had a daughter Nadezhda, who was the mother of Aleksandr Pushkin.[14]

Prior to that, George’s older brother, who became King George IV, had held the Grand Master position. A later royal Grand Master was King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria. Edward served as Grand Master for 27 years while he was the Prince of Wales. The most recent royal Grand Master to become a king was the Duke of York, afterwards becoming King George VI, reigning from 1936 to 1952.

Frederick II "the Great" of Prussia

Frederick II
"the Great" of Prussia

The English Grand Lodge was decidedly pro-Hanoverian, and its proscription against political controversy really amounted to a support of the Hanoverian status quo. Nevertheless, the Grand Lodge managed both sides of the controversy, and a new branch of Freemasonry was created to assist the Stuart cause, and patterned after the old Knights Templar. The man who reportedly founded Knights Templar Freemasonry was one of supporters of James III, successor to James II, Michael Ramsey, of the Royal Society.

English Masonry lost all trace of affection for the Stuart cause. It was mainly in France, where the Stuart family took refuge, that Freemasonry became definitely affiliated with the cause of the Stuarts, who, it came to be believed, represented the “Grail” family, descended from the Templars of Scotland. An important figure of the Jacobite cause was Charles Radclyffe. In 1725, Radclyffe is said to have founded a lodge in Paris, the first such one outside of England, and was eventually acknowledged grand master of all French lodges. While English Freemasonry offered three degrees of initiation, that became universal throughout the order about 1730, Radclyffe appears to have been responsible for promulgating, if not in fact devising, Scottish Rite Freemasonry, which introduced higher degrees, and promised initiation into greater and more profound mysteries, supposedly preserved and handed down in Scotland.

The Jacobite cause alleged that a Masonic lodge had been founded in Scotland, during the early eighteenth century, which drew its charter from a surviving Templar chapter in Bristol, but which had already been in operation for several hundred years. It was maintained that, during the Crusades, a small group of “Syrian Christians”, who claimed descent back to the Essenes, understood as the Sabians of Harran, referred to as “Johannite Christians”, were rescued from the Muslims by the Templars. When they left Jerusalem, these Gnostic Christians eventually settled in Scotland, and founded a new chapter of the Templar Order, which later merged with a lodge of Freemasonry.[15]

Emblem of the Scottish Rite

Emblem of the Scottish Rite

James III adopted the Templar title “Chevalier St. George.” His son, Charles Edward, “Bonnie Prince Charlie,” also known as the Young Pretender, was initiated into the Order of Knights Templar on September 24, 1745, the same year in which he led the next major Jacobite Rising, by invading Scotland. Charles was the son of James Francis Edward Stuart, known as the Old Pretender, himself the son of James II. The Bonnie Prince was symbolically crowned King Charles III by the clergy of Scotland’s Episcopal Church. Though, a year later, he was disastrously defeated at the Battle of Culloden Moor, and the Scots’ attempt to take London and install a Stuart king were foiled.

In Paris, in 1758, Jacobites participated in a Grand Council of Emperors of the East and West which organized a Rite of Perfection, consisting of twenty-five degrees, the highest being the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, that incorporated in its symbolism their political aspirations of a return of the House of Stuart to the thrones of England and Scotland. In 1762, Frederick the Great of Prussia, became the head of the Rite, drew up the constitutions of the “Antient and Accepted Scottish Rite”, and rearranged the degrees to bring their total to 33.[16]

Frederick, who had been principally responsible for Prussia’s rise to power, was the great-grandson of Frederick V, Elector of the Palatinate of the Rhine, and Elizabeth Stuart. His father was King Frederick William I, and his mother Princess Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, sister of George II of England. The Council of Emperors of the East and West inherited the insignia of Frederick the Great’s personal emblem, which featured the double-headed eagle of the Habsburgs.

Genealogical Chart

Lineage of the House of Guelph: From King David, Joeeph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, Odin and Guillame de Gellone [PDF]


[1] Gardner. Bloodline of the Holy Grail, p. 306
[2] Fechner, Laurel. Sinclairs and Mary Queen of Scots.
[3] The Peerage, “Sanchia de Castilla
[4] John S. Torell. “How World Government Rules the Nations”. European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc. July 1999 Newsletter.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Leon Kilkenny, Who is behind all the trouble in the Mideast?.
[7] p. 67.
[8] p. 228.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Life Science Fellowship. Secret Tradition of Islam.
[11] Rosicrucian Enlightenment, p. 65-67.
[12] Proofs of a Conspiracy, p. 12
[13] The Peerage, "William II von Nassau-Dillenburg, Prince of Orange".
[14]Abram Petrovich Gannibal". Wikipedia.
[15] Howard, Michael. The Occult Conspiracy, p. 59.
[16 Webster, Nesta. Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, p. 159.

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