The Masons are the focus of intense curiosity and at times controversy in France. Our main weekly news magazines have cover stories on Masonry at least twice a year, typically their best-selling editions. France is probably the only country in the world in which lodge membership is growing at a steady pace and the average age of members is stable.
This article will focus on the memoir Un Maçon Franc (a pun on “Freemason” and “Frank Mason”) by Christophe Bourseiller, in which the author recounts how he unwittingly joins a Lodge captivated by Traditionalism and divided between devotees of Julius Evola and René Guénon. His motive in writing this memoir is the fact that most books on Masonry in France are either superficial unveilings of secret handshakes or exposés of financial or spiritual corruption. His goal was to write about his own personal and spiritual development over a decade in which his involvement in Masonry was a focal point of his life.
Unlike in the US, France has several groupings of masonic lodges, called Obédiences. On the Left there is the Grand Orient de France (GODF), the largest of these groupings, which accepts atheists and recently women. They are closely linked to the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, CRIF), France’s Anti-Defamation League, and also play an anti-Christian role in France similar to the American Civil Liberties Union in the US. Trotskyites have tried, en masse, to infiltrate and turn lodges of the GODF, and — perhaps surprisingly — the GODF publicly rooted them out in the 1990s. The film Forces Occultes and the “Judeo-Masonic Conspiracy” are based on the GODF. Its international affiliates are strongest in Catholic countries and, in the early 20th century, have been linked to atrocities against Catholic clergy.
The Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) and the Grande Loge Française (GLF) only accept men who believe in the Grand Architect of the Universe. While they contain members of various points of view, the political center of gravity is to the Right. The Sarkozy administration was heavy with Brothers of the GLNF. The GLNF was until recently the only Obédience recognized by Anglophone masonry and despite its recent schism is probably still the second largest in France.
The Memoirist Finds a Lodge
Christophe Bourseiller issues from an artistic family whose lives revolved around avant-garde theater. He was the first Mason of his family, though his family had a great deal of respect for them as the “Guardians of the Republic.” This is a common view in France, held by the Radicals de Droite and Radicals de Gauche, now subsumed in the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire and Socialist coalitions. They are (or were) radical in that they want an impermeable barrier between the state and the clergy. They are Right or Left depending on the extent to which they want redistribution of income.
Bourseiller is an academic expert on the extreme Left, to which he is opposed, and usually occupies the center or center-Left of the French political terrain, well to the Right of his family. He occasionally acts in small roles on television or film, following the family tradition, and participates in roundtable discussion shows on television and radio.
Bourseiller published Un Maçon Franc in 2010. It was meant not as an exposé but as a balanced memoir of his voyage “towards the light” and his relationship with his Brothers from 1984 to 2000. He joined the GLNF, but states “one doesn’t join a Lodge in the same way one joins a political party . . . the GLNF chose me, I didn’t choose it.”
After he arrived he found himself struggling to “look beyond the surface . . . [where] good taste had been banished [from the Lodge] . . . hammers were made of plastic . . . [and other decorations had] zero aesthetic value” (p. 51). He had to overcome the superstitions he received from his family of actors regarding the “evil eye” and the presence of three lit candles on a stage.
In his very first Lodge meeting following Initiation, his ambivalence began. At the time, his day job was hosting an afternoon TV show that featured songs by new artists. Before the meeting began, he went to the bathroom when a Brother at the next urinal struck up a conversation. The Brother’s nephew was a musician, and he asked Christophe to invite the young relative to his show to sing his song, “Request for Whores” (Demande aux Putains). This immediate, undignified request sent him into a spiritual crisis. His mother convinced him that Masons were better people who protected the Republic. Now he wondered, “is it really the universal Hydra” described by its detractors?
Getting to Know the Brothers of the Lodge
He was immediately given to the Second Surveillant (Second Warden) for Instruction. “Gilles” was a kind man who flourished in the world of Masonry yet was floundering as a businessman. He had a “starving artist fashion sense that bordered on the folkloric.” Christophe learned side-by-side with “Raymond” who was a fellow Apprenti. Raymond was also an “operative mason,” that is to say, he worked in the construction trade. He was a sympathetic character with a big moustache who was fond of dirty jokes and only read one book in his life . . . a book about construction. Twice a month they would meet at Gilles’ apartment, near Père Lachaise, for Instruction.
The instructor gave me the works of Luc Benoit, Antoine Faivre, Mircea Eliade, and Isha Schwaller de Lubicz. Under the astonished gaze of Raymond we discussed for hours and hours René Guénon. Gilles held him up as the greatest theoretician of Initiation and Spiritual Realization. With him I forgot my doubts and “Les Putains.” Fraternity acquired a new significance. I could finally live my poetic dream [of masonry]. . . . Can one make sense of this terrestrial passage? Does Masonry hold the secret key? Could these symbols soften the passage through this tumult? Does secret knowledge allow one to extract oneself from the chaos? We have no certitude. We search for our place in the universe. One day, Gilles made a passing remark that was both touching and enlightening: “I believe the important thing is to ask these questions, more so than to have an answer.” (p. 63)
Slowly, he got to know the other Brothers of the Lodge. He also saw that there was a very un-fraternal rivalry between “Gilles” and the Premier Surveillant, “Bruno.” Once a generalist doctor, Bruno abandoned scientific skepticism to become an Auriculotherapist, practicing a kind of acupuncture focused on the ear. Bruno had a very successful practice at Trocadero, and he loved ostentatious displays of luxury. Bruno’s spiritual path was driven by his own passion and sense of drama. He was even rumored to practice magic. Christophe noted that Gilles was jealous of Bruno’s professional success and popularity with many Brothers. This jealousy was exacerbated by Gilles’ sense of being a more serious man than Bruno.
Sitting above these two rivals, the Venerable Maître (Worshipful Master) of the Lodge was “Armand,” an accordion player and friend of Christophe’s mother who sponsored Christophe’s entry. Armand had a lax approach to his leadership role in the Lodge and often referenced his Jewish roots to strengthen his pretension of a higher understanding of Kabbalah. Others in his lodge included two opera singers, one a highly accomplished retired professional and the other making ends meet by acting as Cantor in his Synagogue. There was an executive of a missile manufacturer, a pianist, and several more doctors, both generalists and specialists. Another Brother was the voice actor who did the French dubbing of Columbo, the television detective, and every time he spoke, Christophe felt as if he was suddenly living in a police thriller. Christophe hit it off immediately with “Stephane” who was a professor of theater, a practitioner of martial arts, and had experimented at least once with every drug he could find.
Digression: A Third View of Masonic Conspiracy Theory
In France there are two dominant themes when it comes to critics of Freemasonry. The theme found in news magazines like Le Point, Nouvel Observateur, and Marianne emphasizes the clusters of Masons found in the highest posts of our largest public-private corporations, i.e., EDF, GDF, Areva, SNCF, etc. There is definite circumstantial evidence of the power of this network, though the only common thread between the beneficiaries is that they are republicans who do not wish for a monarch and are probably not devout Catholics (since there is a Latae Sententiae excommunication in place for Catholic Masons).
The other kind of criticism is the classic Catholic criticism of Masonry as a force of anti-clericalism. There is an open hostility to Christianity at the highest levels of the GODF. Their effect is similar to that of the ACLU in the US. Like the ACLU, their membership lists are not published, but there is certainly a great deal more intimacy between members who meet in Lodge once or twice a month. There remain though some remnants of the Taxil Hoax in the Catholic criticism of Masonry. The fact is that if the visions of the GODF and the Catholic Church were put to a vote, the GODF would probably have a plurality of support.
I propose a third, net-centric conspiracy as being the truly dominant one. Both those who speak of THE Masonic Conspiracy and those who say none exist are wrong. There are in fact thousands of conspiracies, more or less thought through or executed. Estimates of the different kinds of professions present in the GLNF and GODF have placed “Profession Liberal” between 40–70%. That is to say lawyers, doctors, independent accountants, and all kinds of freelancers are dominant in French Freemasonry. These men all depend on references to make their living, and the lodge is the easiest way to build a network.
Though Christophe Bourseiller ignores this “Freelance Conspiracy” in his memoir, the majority of his Brothers fall in this category. Because membership grows mostly through sponsorship of current members, doctors tend to sponsor doctors, entertainers tend to sponsor entertainers, etc. leading the lodges to “specialize” in certain trades, depending on who their most active members are. This tendency toward specialization through sponsorship is also demonstrated in the memoir. Of course the dull hustle that these atomized Freelancers suffer will never sell a magazine or book, so it will always take a back seat to the more fantastic conspiracies.
“Voyaging” to Other Lodges
When Christophe rose to the second degree he had the right to visit other Lodges. At the encouragement of Gilles he visited as many as he could. At every Lodge Meeting a “planche” is presented by a Brother who prepares it in advance, covering subjects including “Comparative Religion, Initiation, Myths, Traditions, [or] Mysticism.” Specific symbolic and philosophical topics included “the cathedral, the Light, androgyny, Mithraism, the mountain, pilgrimage, and the acacia” (p. 74).
At dinner, each Brother takes turns speaking about his reflections on the reading presented. By voyaging to other Lodges he could step into dozens of different subcultures with different views and areas of interest. For example a Lodge of musicians would listen to symphonies in Lodge and engage in esoteric discussions of their meanings over dinner.
While Christophe belonged to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite he could now visit the Anglophiles of the Emulation Rite, who remember all their lines and infuse a strong sense of the sacred in their ritual, and the Rectified Scottish Rite, which is a heavily Christian Rite focused on the Grail Quest and includes Christian Gnostics among its members. At that time the GLNF in Paris prided itself on avoiding mundane political issues and barring petty conspirators and corrupt businessmen from entry.
He visited lodges of aristocrats who spoke endlessly about the spiritual benefits of being high-born, there were “The Indo-Europeans” focused on the Aryan spiritual tradition, and to Christophe’s surprise there were “Brown” lodges, as in Brown Shirts, whose members were of various tendencies of the anti-parliamentarian Right. Christophe remained an enthusiastic seeker and an enthusiastic Mason, but he was struck by the irony of joining the “Guardians of the Republic” then being told that he was part of a spiritual elite of Indo-Europeans who detested democracy.
Guénonians vs. Evolians
Another aspect of passing to the Second Degree is that Christophe’s Instruction would now be handled by the Premier Surveillant, Bruno. Bruno’s first act was to pass along Ur and Krur by Julius Evola!
How could a Mason calmly endorse a writer from those dark years, who positioned himself to the right of Fascism, who saw in the SS a response to the Bourgeois-ification of National Socialism? The doctor was not for a moment moved by my concerns. By condemning Evola in advance I revealed, in his point of view, a narrow and conformist soul. . . . Could Masonry be insidiously driving me in the direction of Fascism? This idea seemed too fantastic to be real, but this focus on Evola was a bad sign.
Gilles was much more secure for me. He gave his absolute devotion to René Guénon. Under his direction I discovered the forgotten works of a theorist with a dry and classic style. I read Perspectives on Initiation, The Crisis of the Modern World, The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times, Initiation and Spiritual Realization, The Multiple States of the Being, Spiritual Authority and Temporal Power among others. There is nothing in common between Guénon and Evola. The Italian theorist called for the eradication of Masonry and its replacement by a new order, with all Jewish influence removed, while Guénon affirmed the primacy of the Masonic Path [sic] . . . both presented, for different reasons their deep criticisms of Democracy. In the case of Evola, the rejection of democratic forms to be replaced by totalitarian regimes, that Tradition must “revive.” René Guénon saw in the triumph of Democracy a symptom of the inversion of values. He defended the “Natural Castes.” In the ’30s he went even further. Taking the side of the extreme Right he denounced the Republic and Parliamentarism.
To my great surprise, Gilles felt the same way, and he wasn’t alone. The entire Lodge had a troubling hatred for democracy. According to them, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite constituted an organized response to the subversion of Democracy.
Masonry rehabilitated a certain form of Aristocracy. . . . The Supreme Council of France, who bestowed the higher grades, were never elected. Freemasonry was in rupture with the ideology of the Enlightenment . . .
One day, I visited a very strange lodge that constituted the fulcrum of the Evolian dissidents. In this Lodge, when they opened the Bible to the Gospel of John, instead of saying “in the beginning was the word” they said “in the beginning was the Logos.” The Greek was used to highlight their Indo-European Roots. How did I know this? This Lodge of intellectuals was an annex of the Nouvelle Droite. They regularly cited texts from the journal Nouvelle Ecole and spoke often and highly of Neo-Paganism (pp. 82–86).
Apart from his rejection of Evola, Christophe comes across as a fairly open-minded intellectual. Everyone has a limit, and for Christophe that was Evola. It is worth noting that despite his strong opposition to the ideas of Bruno, he claims that he always had a certain appreciation for his style of intellectual inquiry, that was, like his clothing, flashy and dramatic. But all strengths have a tragic, dark side, and for Christophe, seduction by Evola was a symptom.
Is my Lodge constituted with a majority of adepts of an extreme right far more radical than the Front National? Should I hide this trait? From where does this Black Wind blow? I contest, reply, and protest . . . the Brothers never fail to remind me of my low degree. I am only a Compagnon and the Evolians belong to the higher grades; therefore, I haven’t perceived the nuance.
If all the Brothers of the Lodge don’t share the vision of Bruno and his clan, this Evolian tone of our discussions doesn’t seem to bother them. At first I couldn’t believe it. (pp. 86–87)
At least three of the Brothers of the Lodge are Jewish, including the Venerable Maître. Christophe does not recount any stories of anti-Semitism within the Lodge towards the Jewish Brothers, and it is Christophe alone, and not the Jewish Brothers, who feels that Evolianism should be banished. This is fascinating. Furthermore, since no other tendency is mentioned within the Lodge, the Jewish Brothers are all at least Guénonians, if not full blown Evolians. This must have indeed seemed like a carnivalesque house of mirrors to this young centrist, raised by avant-garde actors.
I plunged into the works of Julius Evola: The Bow and the Mace, Ride the Tiger, Men Among the Ruins, The Path of Cinnabar, Meditations on the Peaks, Fascism: Viewed from the Right. Yet nothing changed my first impression. . . . What irony! The GLNF pretends to chase politics from their temples, in order to focus on the sacred. But what are they talking about when they put in question Parliamentarism and discuss their hatred of “the slobs” ? . . .
I raised my concerns in private with an arrogant, ruddy cheeked young man who seemed to be in a constant struggle to keep his sanguine temper down. He acquiesced to my complaints. Certainly it’s out of the question to broach the subject of politics in the Lodge. We leave that to the lower Adepts of the GODF and their “Substitute Path.” We have evolved to a superior sphere. We don’t discuss politics, rather we discuss metapolitics. The nuance is sizable. We reflect on principles.
Well, does the spiritual path really imply meandering through the extreme Right? I never expected to find in Freemasonry such thought experiments. This was not just a scandal but a monumental scandal. How am I to react in the face of these “Black Knights” of esotericism?” (pp. 87–89)
Christophe doesn’t seem to realize that, like Bruno, he too has a strong sense of the dramatic and casts his own minor squabbles as epic struggles of Good vs. Evil. He tires of arguing with his brothers. His first act of rebellion is to invite a gay Algerian into the Lodge. The day after the young man is accepted, the pianist quit the Lodge, claiming to have no more free time.
Christophe visits more lodges to see how deep this goes. By his estimation there were only three other lodges out of the 400 in Paris at that time where the thoughts of Evola and Guénon were dominant. Within his own lodge, the rivalry between Bruno and Gilles grows. At times the other men separate them when their discussions turn into shouting matches. This is in fact due to the coming election of a new Venerable Maître. Normally, Bruno would be the uncontested choice since he was Premier Surveillant, and Gilles would take Bruno’s post. However, Gilles hopes to leapfrog over Bruno. The lines are drawn between Evolians and Guénonians. Christophe has all the zeal of a Knight Templar in this battle. Gilles wins a narrow majority.
Gilles invites Christophe to accompany him to a national convention in Strasbourg. Christophe welcomed the chance to distance himself from the Lodge and hoped for an experience of Fraternity without the emotional and political baggage of his own Lodge. He noted with irony the difference between the public face of Masonry and his own experience.
The Opening Ritual of the Grande Loge was rich with Christic influences. Nothing could seem more normal than this. Belief in the Bible and in the God it reveals constituted the Landmarks of the GLNF that make it the only “Regular” Obedience in France. In the secret of the Lodge, things are more ambivalent. Gilles is an unfailing atheist. Bruno believes in a kind of magical paganism. Each day I find myself in an ambience that is far from Judeo-Christianity.
I am very sensitive to the Sacred Texts. I am interested by Meister Eckhart and by the Kabbalah. I consider myself an agnostic with mystical tendencies. (pp. 94–95)
Later on, Christophe is given the Third degree by Gilles, Bruno, Armand, and the rest of the Brothers. He then goes on to receive the fourth degree and joins a Lodge of Perfection, in addition to his Blue Lodge. This is based at the headquarters of the Scottish Rite rather than at the headquarters of the GLNF. This Lodge is much bigger with over 50 brothers present. This is an ostentatious location with the feel of a London City Club. He is surrounded by successful and rich people.
I was chosen among the other Master Masons of my Lodge to advance. The truth is they don’t hold grudges. I had never stopped criticizing Evola, and even Guénon was starting to lose his appeal for me. I argued in favor of openness, renovation, and a tolerant approach. They still would respond with a smile: “you’ll understand later.” Has later finally arrived? I am now a “Maître Secret.” (pp. 108–109)
In the Lodge of Perfection he joins five Brothers from his Lodge, including Bruno and Gilles. He also recognizes several “Indo-Europeans” and “Brown Brothers.” Christophe continues to draw unflattering caricatures of ideological enemies while also recounting the death of his mother. Obviously, “fighting fascism” gave a great deal of meaning to his life during a difficult time. After all, that is the only explanation he gives for not moving to a Lodge with a better fit much earlier. He subjected himself to a great deal of headache and strife to merely prevent Bruno from leading 20 or so guys in a bimonthly discussion group! He seems to have failed to convince anyone to change his mind about the virtues of Democracy. And, as there was no further mention of the gay Algerian, it’s clear Christophe wasn’t doling out a favor by inviting the young man to his Lodge. Regardless of the meaning offered by this combat, this is obviously a negative spiral. After seven years in The Craft, Christophe wrote his letter of resignation.
I reject by definition all ideology and certainty . . . the man who searches hasn’t found. The quasi-catechistic reference to the Traditionalist Ideology of Guénon and Evola seems too pat to me. It fences the world within a totalitarian enclosure. I was bothered as well by a certain Indo-European polemic. I don’t deny that the cultural identity of the West rests upon a substrate of Indo-European languages. However the militant affirmation of paganism seems at the very least surrealist and misplaced, though it is true we are all pagans, monotheists, Latins, Greeks, and Biblists [sic] . . . I met among you many exceptional men, many I hold in high esteem. I have also lived through a strange feeling of confusion and distraction. It is as if I had lost my way. A spiritual path that is exclusively Pagan does not work for me.
This poorly constructed letter was read in Lodge during Christophe’s last visit. When it was finished the heavy silence was broken by an Evolian of the 30th degree who said: “He has understood nothing.”
What was it that Christophe did not understand? The memoirist is the least qualified to answer this question. Why was Gilles, who also rejected Evola, spared the snide remarks about not understanding? The Brothers certainly seem tolerant of those who disagree about Evola, but only certain kinds of disagreement deserve respect. If one were to speculate, the answer to this question, like the answer to the peaceful presence of Jewish Brothers, may be found in his failure to comprehend the Evolian concept of the “Race of the Spirit” vs. “Race of the Flesh.” While Christophe was playing the post-war blame game, the rest of the Brothers, Jew and Gentile alike, were speaking an entirely different language. Likewise, one might imagine that Gilles’ opposition to Evola would sound very similar to that offered by Charles Upton when interviewed on this site. Such a spiritually developed riposte to Evola was absent from the memoir.
Christophe then joined the Grande Loge de France. He spent several years there that merited little mention in his memoir before quitting Masonry altogether in 2000. In his interviews with the press he vehemently denies that this is a denunciation of Masonry. There are touching moments in the book, primarily as he struggles with the slow loss of his mother, as well as many amusing caricatures. While he clearly saw the shortcomings of Gilles, there was a strong mentor/student relationship that provided the spiritual guidance Christophe needed at that time, though he tries to downplay it in the text. There is an undoubtedly negative tone to the book, despite the distance of years between the events and the time he wrote his memoirs. Much of the memoir is recounting, with unintentional irony, how he always considered himself superior to the Elitists. Nonetheless, he passionately says he has no regrets and benefited greatly on a spiritual level from this period of engagement with Masonry.
Where Are These Evolians Today?
Christophe left the GLNF in 1991. Since then the Obedience has more than doubled in size under the controversial leadership of Francois Stifani. In the 1990s he courted African Heads of State to join, in the hopes of making the GLNF an axis in the France-Afrique corruption circuit. He has promoted rapid growth within France and gave the Obedience an indelible connection with the UMP-led municipal corruption of the Southeast regions of France. Stifani’s personal corruption has more recently led to the GLNFs excommunication by other “Regular” Masons throughout the world, including the US, and to a schism last summer in which perhaps a third of the Lodges (particularly those in Paris) have left to form a new obedience.
The author has made some effort at finding these Evolians. It seems there was never a purge, but because French Masonry is probably more secretive than anywhere else in the world, finding them is a difficult task. Perhaps, after their quasi-exposure and in the context of a civil war, the far Right elements of French Masonry are keeping an even lower profile than usual.
Lessons Learned and Next Steps
The question, “what is Masonry?” seems even more difficult to answer after having read this memoir. This book is a unique exposition of what happens in a Lodge, beyond the exposés on the rituals. The final effect the Traditionalists in the GLNF have on society is uncertain. In France, at least, Masonry continues to be an underground rallying point for extremists, as it was for Jacobites, Whigs, Jacobins, proto-Wiccans and Druid Reconstructionists, Fénelonian Quietists, Martinists, and radical secularists. That is probably an incomplete list. Because Masonry is non-sectarian, Jews were certainly present for much of Masonry’s known history and have found common cause with the Whigs, Jacobins, and Radical Secularists in particular. However, as captivating as the image in Forces Occultes of a hook-nosed shadow behind the Venerable Maître, this is an over-simplification undeserving of our respect.
In North America, Freemasonry is a shrinking organization eager for new members. It is a place where one finds mostly white men who are neither Christian Fundamentalists nor atheists (that is to say college graduates indoctrinated with PC). It is a group which underachieving conspiracy theorists would never join. It is probably full of Implicitly White men, who are striving to succeed in America’s freelance professions. These men probably have an underdeveloped concept of Makers and Takers that can be enriched by certain esoteric ideas presented in the calm, fraternal environment of the Lodge Room.
Freemasonry in the US and Canada is ripe for entryism. Regardless of its potential spiritual value, its emphasis on leadership development and fraternity (or in 21st century terms, network building) can only yield positive side effects for New Rightist infiltrators. A potential infiltrator should educate himself on the subculture of the Lodges, giving preference to those which are more “Symbolic,” which is code for “minimally Judeo-Christian.”
Note that Lodges may also be focused on a particular profession or ethnic group. While its “brotherhood of man and fatherhood of God” rhetoric may be irreconcilable to HBD-focused White Nationalism (of which I am certainly a partisan), the non-political works of Collin Cleary, Mark Dyal, and others of the non-biologist New Right would probably receive a fair hearing if presented as a “planche” in many Lodges. Such ideas would have certainly been welcome in Christophe Bourseiller’s Lodge, though, as his testimony proves, not everyone exposed to New Right ideas will become a convert.
Though Evola and Guénon may be unheard of in North American Lodges, keep in mind that Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall are revered there. These men were many things, but they were not small “d” democrats nor were they friends of Modernism or Post-Modernism. While some lodges have given in to the “Reign of Quantity,” focusing on rapid, mass initiations, charity fundraisers, and family events, others regard themselves as Aristocrats of the Soul and would enthusiastically welcome young men who come to “Receive the Light” from them.
If an entryist can coordinate with other infiltrators, a sort of “chain migration” of Initiates can be arranged. Furthermore, in many US states, only seven Master Masons are needed to start a new Lodge. This new Lodge can then be used as a base of operations for local political activism, discussion, and fraternal support. This is useful in a time when Freedom of Association is denied to White Nationalists by the combine of government, corporations, and NGOs. Freemasonry is the oldest and perhaps only institution through which White men have exercised “mind-weaponization,” as Taqiyyah and Asabiyyah are translated and made commandments within the Lodge. And the best part is, if a North American New Right Lodge is ever uncovered, the public face of the Lodge can just roll his eyes and say, “Oh boy, another Masonic Conspiracy Theory.” The journalists will be laughing along with him.
As Kievsky says, “Go out there and hide your views.”
 Christophe Bourseiller Un Maçon Franc (Monaco: Éditions Alphée, 2010), p. 36. Un Maçon Franc is only available in the original French. http://www.amazon.fr/Un-ma%C3%A7on-franc-R%C3%A9cit-secret/dp/2753805423/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351931549&sr=8-1-fkmr1
 In the US, the first three degrees are universal and resemble the Emulation Rite. American Masons may pursue further degrees either in the York Rite or the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The York Rite exists in England but not France. The Rectified Scottish Rite (the remnant of Martinist heretics who sought refuge in the secrecy of the Lodge) contains many of the themes of Chivalry and Christianity familiar to the York Rite.
 In anticipation of anyone making the Satan-Worshiping claim, I invite readers to visit www.sacred-texts.com to read any of several versions of “Morals and Dogma” in order to give context to the famous quote. Also the “Three World Wars” letter has been thoroughly debunked. A history of the text’s development as memes from the Taxil Hoax passed through the hands of several other writers is documented here: http://www.conspiracyarchive.com/Articles/Pike-Mazzini_Three-World-Wars.htm
Since I am writing about Pike, I can’t help but recall also, one of the most bizarre conversations of my life. A middle-aged, soft-spoken bachelor who had recently begun attending the FSSPX Traditional Mass claimed that Darwinism was a Jewish plot. After I laughed in his face (not usually my style, but this was a special situation) he explained that Gnosticism was created by Kabbalists who infiltrated Christianity. Darwin was a Gnostic (how he knew this, I don’t know) et voila, Darwinism was created to destroy the Church. I pointed out that Gnosticism was around in the century after Jesus and the Zohar was written in the 13th Century by the circle around the publisher who claimed to have “found” the text. Undaunted, this man later sent me Albert Pike’s citation as proof of the antiquity of the Zohar. Like the Zohar, Albert Pike’s writings may be a source of spiritual nourishment for some, but historical accuracy, academic rigor, and unbroken links to antiquity are not to be found in either. As for this Judeo-Gnostic-Darwinist theorist, I have always wanted to know how and with whom he spent his time before he showed up at the Latin Mass, but it’s not worth another mind-numbing conversation.
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