Today, most Americans think of the year 1776 as the glorious year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the birth of America.
Yet, that very same year, historically speaking, and coincidentally, gave BIRTH to something else OTHER than just America. Something that would have an incredibly profound impact upon all of America and her history, and subsequently upon the whole entire world!
Only two months prior to the great historic July 4th signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, another type of birth took place elsewhere in the world. The day was May 1st, 1776, the place was Bavaria, Germany, and the birth was that of a secret society of scholars known from that day forward as the "Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria." Also known as the "Bavarian Illuminati!"
Later, the "Bavarian" name association dropped from the title and they became more commonly known as the "Illuminati!" That of which they still are even to this very day! Without a detailed description of who they were then, who they are now, the role they have played in world history, especially in America, and other critical details about them, would only leave a true study of American history to be that of a half baked, half blind study. And this is exactly what has been happening within our public school system for many years. Exactly just how THEY wanted it to be!
Now is the time to take the blinders off and study history as it really was and as it really is! The name "Illuminati" was derived from the word “illuminated,” which means “enlightened” or “enlightened ones.” Keepers, holders, retainers of “Knowledge!” When a group or organization attempts to enshroud themselves in secrecy, and their very name or title makes reference to “knowledge,” is it not then only obvious that this “knowledge” side is then therefore undoubtedly a “secret hidden knowledge” side?
Because it’s knowledge enshrouded in “secrecy!” But secret knowledge of what? “Secret knowledge” that the group or organization is “up to something!” Thus, knowledge that must be kept “secret” and hidden from the rest of the population; the “masses,” so to speak! Because if the rest of the population were to find out the so called “secret” or “secrecy” being deliberately kept hidden from them, chances are that they’ll discover that it (the secret), or secrets, is a thing/things that are being used against them! Like that of a weapon!
Everything must be kept “SECRET!” Tis’ why they call it “Top Secret!” Because it (the Secret/Secrecy) is itself a “weapon” or a “war” being waged upon and against another (or others!). Those unsuspecting others being the rest of the population. The People! "Unsuspecting" because everything has been covertly and subversively kept secretfrom them. The Secret/Secrecy is the Weapon, and the War is that of an ECONOMIC war. A war being waged by the few, to conquer the economic, business, industry, and finance of the whole entire world. To then secure the victory by permanently locking it into place. That is, locking up the financial victory and control permanently through manipulation of the laws and law-making party, followed with mandatory micro-chipping of the entire population. Then wrapping everything up by implementing some sort of public policy measure whereby the conquered can now be placed under direct supervision and control by the military, and or Executive branch, and isolated to labor camps and subjected to mandatory labor at such camps, through an established public policy measure put into place to counter any occasional specific type national disaster or global emergency. An artificially engineered disaster or emergency, that is! (This way, none would ever be able to break free again in the event that they, the masses, began learning about or taking steps to change what was really going on). Think it’s impossible? You won’t think it impossible after you’ve completed this study! So we begin with the Birth of the Illuminati. Yet to bring this into greater perspective, we begin with the Birth of the Founder of the Illuminati.
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Founder of the Illuminati
Adam Weishaupt was born February 6, 1748 in Ingolstadt, Bavaria (Germany) to Jewish parents who had converted to the Catholic faith. He was later raised, however, by other family members who were Jesuits, after his father died.
He grew up in Bavaria where later in his life he attended the University of Ingolstadt. Years later, he eventually progressed to and became a Professor of Cannon Law there at the University of Ingolstadt.
From early on he had been associated with The The Freethinkers of his time (An offshoot of The Enlightenment), and eventually came to hate religion, the Church, government, and those in control of the Church and Government. He became attracted to the study of such writings as that of Voltaire, and such works as that of the Qabbala, and numerous other esoteric books related to ancient Egyptian esoteric studies, the Eleusian mysteries, astrology, the occult, and magic.
In all of his esoteric and satanic occult studies he soon came to adopt the number 5 as a uniquely cherished number, recognized by him as having a deep arcane universal value, from discoveries he supposedly made from his occultic studies and for which he later created his “Law of Fives.” He also favored the numbers 11, 13, and 33.
These numbers play a vital role with the Illuminati's affairs and activites even to this day. Not to mention their occultic obsession with "fire," of which represents their signature. He also adopted other symbols and symbolism as being representative of the Illuminati, including the ancient Egyptian pyramid of Giza, the all seeing eye of Ra, and even more symbols associated with the number 5 such as pentagrams.
To that extent, he went on to dedicate 5 years of his life towards study and work upon this project that would later result in the birth of his Illuminati organization which, after a few name changes, became none other than the Illuminati.
The goal of his Illuminati Order was the eventual infiltration and overthrow of the Pope, church control and religious influence, and overthrow of all governments the world over, as well as confiscation of all privately owned property the world over.
Ultimately, he envisioned a one world government where the State would be in complete control of everything and everybody. All people would exist for the purpose to serve the State and its functions. As a means to an end, he created a strategy where the Illuminati would, in slow but progressive stages, primarily infiltrate all educational organizations; including schools and universities, the Church (Both Catholic and independent alike), the media, the military, political organizations, and finally government itself.
The Illuminati is said to have eventually recruited more than 2000 members from various “Schools of thought” from across Europe, including: France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, and Italy. Most of these fresh recruits consisted of other underground Luceferian organizations, that of which Weishaupt was extremely successful in uniting together under his one organization.
These other organizations included such other occult lodges as that of the Knights Templars, Knights of Malta, Black Nobility, the Grand Orient Masonic Lodges of Freemasonry, and others. Many of these lodges have branched off and today encompass a much wider circle.
Today they are all interconnected through Freemasonry and are all considered Masonic lodges within themselves. Something we will touch more upon further within this study.
For the most part, Adam Weishaupt had a huge helping hand in bringing the whole operation together. Through various connections, Weishaupt came to be connected with Mayer Amschel Rothschild (who was the original founder of the mighty Rothschild Family Banking Dynasty, which still exists with unyielding power to this very day).
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812) admired the fact that Weishaupt was Jewish, and Rothschild very much was bent on creating a world Jewish empire, one that he anticipated his family offspring would grow to inherit direct and complete control over. He therefore saw the opportunity of the Illuminati as being potentially and possibly an entirely Jewish controlled organization and the perfect tool to carry out his own quest to conquer the entire world economically and go on to eventually subdue all of the world’s private economic enterprises.
Main symbol of the Illuminati upon the one dollar bill...
Latin words "Annuit Ccepetis Novus Ordo Seclorum" means...
"Announcing the Birth (or "Arrival") of a
New Order Secluded/Secret" (or "New Secret Order")
Announcing the Birth of a New Secret Order
The influence and roll of the Rothschilds upon the world stage and all of world history, is so critical, that to fully grasp the impact of their activities, we have set aside one complete study which will focus entirely upon just this one family alone.
Therefore, despite that we will touch further upon the Rothschilds deeper into and throughout this entire study, brief mention should be made here and now regarding Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his early association with the Illuminati. For it was the Rothschilds who kept the Illuminati in business all those years, so to speak, and who today thus controls the advances of the Illuminati "agenda" as they continue pressing forward with its/their global plans.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812) was from Frankfurt, Germany. Born around the same time as that of Adam Weishaupt, Mayer's original name was Mayer Amschel Bauer, the son of a Jewish Rabbi (Moses Amschel Bauer).
Besides being a Rabbi, his father was a coin collector and goldsmith and was exceptionally good at using money to make money by loaning it at a profit. To these ends he established a very successful money lending business. Later, his father eventually adopted a "red sign" that he hung over the shop entrance to represent their family business.
Besides his father's efforts to raise young Mayer to one day become a Rabbi himself, his father went to great lengths to teach young Mayer everything about money and turning over high profits through lending. So as far back as young Mayer could possibly remember, he was well groomed in, well aquainted with, and understood more about money at an early adolescent age than most typical adults did in even these earliest of his years.
Much later in his life, as he rose to financial power, he changed his name from Mayer Amschel Bauer to Mayer Amschel Rothschild (Originally pronounced "rote shild") after the "red shield" that still hung over the family's business entrance there on Judenstrasse ("Jew Street"), in Frankfurt, Germany.
With his immense knowledge, experience, and uncanny abilities, on top of having been in all the right places at all the right times, and all other seemingly endless opportunities that he happened to come upon, his rise to a European financial power was a quick one. He took every single advantage of every single opportunity that was made available to him and/or for which he possibly madeavailable to himself. Including eventually discovering Adam Weishaupt and becoming his personal financier and pledging to back Weishaupt's Illuminati organization in each and every thing they did!
Mayer Amschel Rothschild first discovered and met Adam Weishaupt in 1770. To this day it is uncertain if it was Weishaupt who had been searching for Mayer based upon Mayer's Jewish/financial reputation or vise versa. However it went, it was in 1770 when they met. Further uncertainty arises as to who among them actually thought up the very idea of the Illuminati. It is believed that different aspects of the Illuminati originated from each of them.
Either way, one thing is for sure; and that is that by the following year of 1771 they had both settled upon a basic plan, and it would take Weishaupt the next five years to complete the construction of that plan.
Weishaupt remained vigilantly under the pen, and along the way as the plan began to materialize and it became obvious that it would soon become a reality, in 1773 Mayer introduced 12 of his closest Jewish "money power" banker connections to the idea. These included such figures as Moses Mendelssohn, Daniel Itzig, Hartwig Wessley, Friedlander, and others. And by 1776 Weishaupt himself had invited 3 others of Jewish background to be within their immediate "Inner Circle."
Thus, the soon to be "Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria" secret Order would consist of an "Inner Circle" of 5 men.
These 5 men of the "inner circle," and the 12 others, would become the very first members to form this elite secret Order.
The Founding of the Bavarian Illuminati on May 1st, 1776
From the very day that the Bavarian Illuminati came into existence they made clear amongst themselves 5 rules (5 Goals) that they would follow religiously. Those 5 Illuminati doctrines were (are) as follows:
To carry these goals ("agenda") further along and expedite the process all the more sooner, they sought out and recruited one particular individual for the sole purpose of bringing the other Orders (lodges) under the direct and complete control of the newly hatched Illuminati. For this very arduous task they chose one Franz Friedrich Knigge.
A major idea behind Weishaupt’s newly formed Bavarian Illuminati was to infiltrate, merge together, and eventually bring ALL of the Masonic lodges under the complete control of the Illuminati. Practically from day one, many of the Illuminati members already held membership in various other occultic schools as well as various other Masonic lodges. Therefore, through many of their “dual memberships” Weishaupt considered the plan already well under way – even right from their very first day of May 1st, 1776.
After their start, Weishaupt himself joined the Masonic Lodge of “Theodore of Good Counsel” in Munich later in 1777 as his own first initial step towards infiltrating the Masonic lodges. He soon after sought the attention of one Franz Fredrich Knigge (1752-1796), who was at the time considered one of the most influencial members with the greatest of esteem among the many numerous Masonic lodges.
Knigge had attended the University of Gottingen where he schooled in Law. Later on he became more prominently known as a writer of philosophy and was credited with having written a dozen novels. Knigge was highly attracted to the esoteric arts and studied the occult, magic, and alchemy. Because of his interests and due to his developing exposure, he eventually caught the attention of Adam Weishaupt’s gang.
Knigge was the perfect candidate for what Weishaupt was looking for. He was highly intellectual, was highly respected by many upper ranking Masonic lodge members, he himself held a high position among them, was deeply involved in their many activities, and was further admired by many of the different lodge members as that of a leader. He was easily persuaded to join Weishaupt’s group, being that he was rather amazed at Weishaupt’s Illuminati idealisms – all of which were perfectly in line with his own ideas and way of thinking at the time.
He wanted very much the appointment to the task for which they were inviting him to join. Knigge was therefore recruited and joined Weishaupt’s Illuminati Order in 1780.
After joining, he set right out about the task, and it didn’t take him very long to accomplish that for which he was selected. By 1782 he had successfully managed to assemble what would become known as (at least within the Masonic circles) the “Congress of Wilhemsbad.”
It was at this historic meeting among the many various Masonic lodges and lodge leaders that Knigge was successful in bringing about a complete merger. It was at this place and time that all Masonic lodges – including those of North America – merged together with and came under the control of the Illuminati. After this event, Masonic and Illuminati membership began to swell. Only 6 years from the time of the Illuminati’s birth and their plan was well on its way to success and was proving to be more and more successful each and every passing day. After the merger of the Grand Masonic Lodges of Freemasonry with the Illuminati at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad, things began to prevail for the Illuminati at an astonishing rate.
The entire Masonic lodges of Europe as well as the lodges of North America were now under the control of the vastly expanding Illuminati. This expansion of power continued to increase at a rather spectacular rate for quite some time. Yet, despite this mammoth growth that the conspirators were achieving, at the same time, this same surge of immense progress soon also reversed on them and, completely changing course, turned back onto them like a massive tornado changing directions. Their success now became their dilemma.
The growth that the Order had been experiencing became hindered when Weishaupt and Knigge began to take opposing views of one another. Knigge was of the opinion that because he had contributed so much success to the operation in its entirety (Mostly because of his idea of, promotion of, and success at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad) that he was entitled to be co-ruler of the Order along with Weishaupt, which would of course include his being ordained as a high initiate member of the “Inner Circle.”
Weishaupt disapproved of the proposal from the very start, and time and time again stubbornly refused to give it any further consideration; as a result, the relationship between Weishaupt and Knigge began to dissolve. Because of this ongoing dispute and indifference between them, Knigge quit the Order in 1784. Prior to this, one other member of the Order had already grown adamant with contempt for Weishaupt, and consequently so, had turned against him and the entire Illuminati organization.
One year earlier, in October of 1783, roughly a year before Knigge quit the Order, this other member, named Joseph Utzschneider, a lawyer, who at the time had just dropped out of the Order, had gone before the Duchess of Bavaria and informed her of Adam Weishaupt’s Illuminati works in the making and revealed unto her everything in its plan. Utzschneider had become overly disgruntled with Weishaupt for his slow lingering delay in promoting him, compounded with Weishaupt’s extremely tedious demands upon him to do unreasonably more and more.
The Duchess, after learning the information from Utzschneider, then brought it to the attention of the Duke.
Duke Karl Theodore Dalberg (1744-1817) ordered a complete investigation into the matter. Later, in March of 1785, after gathering more details about the Illuminati scheme from the investigation, the Duke then took things a step further and with a public proclamation officially denounced the Illuminati and Masonic lodges. In doing so, he declared the Illuminati to be a:
“Masonic secret society plot contrived in design for nothing more than revolution and overthrow of all governments and monarchies including that of Bavaria.”
After further stating that such activity to overthrow the government of Bavaria had already been discovered as being well into full operation, the Duke of Bavaria then ordered all Illuminati, Masonic, and secret society lodges to be immediately shut down.
Then began a myriad of court inquiries in Ingolstadt. This only followed with even more dilemma for Weishaupt and his Illuminati Order. To make matters even worse for Weishaupt, in April, only one month after the Duke’s public Edict of March, 1785, Utzschneider convinced three other members to come forward with and expose all that they knew about their membership in and with the Illuminati.
All three men were fellow professors at the Academy of Marienburg; being Professors Cossandey, Grunberg and Renner. All three had become disenchanted with Weishaupt’s Illuminati goals and now felt that it posed a very serious threat to the safety and public wellbeing of all people everywhere. All three professors later testified at the Court of Inquiry in September of 1785.
In between this time - of the Duke’s March proclamation and the September court inquiries in Ingolstadt - in a rather bizarre incident in July of that year, the Bavarian authorities discovered a manuscript that had been written by Baron Xavier von Zwack per the recommendation and direction of Weishaupt. Accordingly, a courier named Jacobe Lanze was transferring the documents from one lodge in Frankfurt destined for two other member lodges located in Paris and Silesia when the rider was struck and killed by lightening while enroute through Regensburg.
The documents were discovered when the authorities found them inside the saddle bags of the horse. These documents outlined in great detail plans for the overthrow of all the monarchies and governments of Europe.
They also included very specific plans for a (the) “French Revolution.”
The plans, as written by Zwack, described at length, details for the “French Revolution,” the tactics, and how everything was planned to begin by 1789. Two months later came the September testimonials of the three professors Cossandey, Grunberg and Renner at the Court of Inquiry. The Bavarian authorities now felt that they had enough proof and that the time was ripe for them to make a move.
In the following month of October, 1785, they launched their first move forward and raided Zwacks home in Landshut. There they found far more convincing evidence of the Illuminati’s operations at large, including even more documents, records of lodge meetings and membership, and hundreds of letters of communication between Zwack and Weishaupt, and others.
The Bavarian authorities then used these papers, letters and information to further raid other Illuminati member's homes, as well as the lodges themselves. In doing so, they continued to make further discovery after discovery, finding such things as more records related to the Order’s planned conspiracy to overthrow the monarchies and governments of Europe, even more rosters of membership, degrees and rank, and many articles, books, objects and devices related to satanism and occultism.
The Bavarian authorities also found many forged and counterfeit government documents throughout their raids. The authorities continued to move from lodge to lodge and from lodge member home to lodge member home in stepping up their raids. In 1786 the Bavarian government then assembled a compilation of all the writings and contraband that was accumulated from the raids.
The compilation, when amassed, was then assembled into and published as a book by the Bavarian government. The book was known more formerly as the Original Writings of the Sect and Order of the Illuminati.The purpose of the book having been published was so to serve as a tool of communication for the Bavarian government; for them to distribute to all other governments and Heads of State throughout Europe to alert them of the impending danger to their Heads of State and the overall threat to the peoples’ sovereignty in general.
“Especially France!,” they noted! Despite having published and sent copies to the various European governments – with a strong emphasis upon communication to and for France – their attempts to warn the others failed. Nobody took it serious and, to the contrary, most believed it to be too far fetched and impossible. Some did not doubt the existence of such a secret sect bent on such motives; but they still believed that these were people of poor position and chasing a fanatical idea of which they believed was way beyond human and realistic possibilities, and insane.
When the Bavarian government realized that they were failing to get the message across to the rest of Europe, they decided that they needed far more compelling evidence to convince all of Europe once and for all that it was in much deeper trouble than what actually appeared so.
The solution seemed obvious, they decided that they would seek out, find, apprehend, and bring before the Court of Inqury, as many of the Illuminati members as they possibly could. Those arrested would then be released only if and after they gave testimony as to their involvement with the Order, and on the grounds that they denounce any further pact with the Order.
Then, in August of 1787, came the most severe shattering blow to the Illuminati yet. The Duke made a far more serious proclamation in relation to the organization. His proclamation called for death by execution for anyone found to be recruiting members into the organization. In behalf of the entire government of Bavaria, Duke Dalberg was now adopting a zero tolerance stance against the Illuminati. He also continued to step up the witchhunt effect and pushed for even more home and lodge searches and seizures.
The pursuit was on! It was a hot pursuit and the Illuminati members and lodges were literally on the run. Despite many members fleeing and remaining as fugitives at large, the Bavarian government had succeeded in devastating the Illuminati to the point of leaving it in complete shambles and utterly ruin.
In fleeing from it all, Weishaupt went to Switzerland. Zwack fled to and took up refuge in Zweibrucken for a while until later moving on to England. The Weishaupt gang had originally established their headquarters in Munich, but later in the early stages of their growth relocated it to Frankfurt (likely due to Frankfurt being a Rothschild financial base).
Now, in fleeing, they secretly relocated their main headquarters from Frankfurt to England. This would seem like a convenient thing for them to do being that they were now beginning to fall apart in Germany, and London was now becoming the new home base of operations for the Rothshilds. If any group or organization were able to salvage any surviving remnant of the Illuminati organization after the crushing blow and sweep from the Bavarian government, surely it would be the Rothschilds who would stand the greatest chance of reviving it.
After all, Mayer Amschel Rothschild was one of the originals to finance the organization in the first place. With the rich and powerfully wealthy House of Rothschild banking Firm behind it, the Illuminati Order stood a greater than ever chance of surviving the harsh demise that the Bavarian government had now inflicted upon it.
Weishaupt had taken great pains to write at length an entire outline on how if anyone outside the ultra-secret Illuminati should ever learn of them, and go on to conceive of or discover their true motives, and this lead to an attempt to foil their advances, or destroy the Order altogether, that they would not only continue to exist and operate secretly underground even more covert than before, but that they would do everything possible to appear as if they had broken up or completely dissolved from existence.
He further wrote how that should the Order get shut down or disrupted in any way what so ever, that he would try at least 5 times harder to revive and expand it. In one of his quotes he arrogantly spoke of how he would even do so within only a year:
“… I have considered everything and so prepared it, that if the Order should this day go to ruin, I shall in a year re-establish it more brilliant than ever."
Despite what some historians have claimed regarding the fate of the Illuminati, it is quite obvious that the illuminati never ended; but rather, only switched hands. Weishaupt continued to manage the underground operations of the Illuminati from Switzerland. With the headquarters having moved to London, it was only obvious who were now in control of it and who were now executing the dictates of Weishaupt - even from his abode in Switzerland. None other than ...The Rothschilds!
Being that the mighty Rothschilds were now able to protect the secret Order with their money power, as well as manage the operation of the Order from England, and being that everything was now well in "safe hands" and "safe keeping" with the Rothschilds from within the secure borders of England, Weishaupt himself could now re-focus his attention back upon their original plans for a coup de'etate in France.
This time, however, with no interference from the Bavarian government. When the French government underestimated and failed to act upon the advice of the Bavarian government at a time when circumstances were ripe in their favor, they missed perhaps the only real possible chance they ever actually had to have prevented further infiltration and chaos from the Illuminati. As a result of their wanton disregard for what they could have and should have considered an "early warning" sign from the Bavarian government, France became infiltrated with Illuminati conspirators under the leadership and direction of the Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794), a member of the Illuminati and long time friend of Adam Weishaupt for many years.
Robespierre met and had known Weishaupt from early on from a time when Weishaupt had visited for a lengthy time in France long before Weishaupt ever attended the University of Ingolstadt or ever began the secret cult that would become the Illuminati.
The entire French Revolution was constructed from within a building known as Jacobin's Hall just outside Paris. It was there at Jacobin's hall that over 1300 Freemasons met - all under the control and direction of Robespierre, and the Illuminati members who were mixed with them - and formed the infamous Jacobin Club (named after the Hall).
The Jacobins would then go on to prove themselves the bloodiest nightmare ever to come upon France. What would then become more infamously known as the "Reign of Terror" ended up claiming hundreds of thousands of lives, resulted in King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette being beheaded - despite all that King Louis XVI had done for France -and left France utterly devastated and in despair, until the Jacobins were eventually brought down and crushed by the rise to power and pursuit of them by the then newly established Napoleon Bonaparte, with Robespierre himself beheaded in the very end of it all.
Napoleon would then become a mortal enemy of the Rothschilds, and the whole Illuminati conspiracy. After all the bloodshed left behind from the failed Jacobins, Weishaupt then faded from the picture until he died in 1830. The Rothschilds were now in control of the Illuminati and it was a control that had become their's to keep from then on. Under the Rothschilds, the Illuminati was now guaranteed to continue. For good reason. Now that the Illuminati was controlled by them, world financial supremacy for the Rothschilds was now within their easy reach.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild's dream had become reality. His sons would go on to one day dominate the world markets, and hopefully for Mayer and sons, go on to one day dominate over all people of the World! In order to accomplish this, and secure for themselves domination over all people the World over, first they would have to usurp in the wealth of the world, one nation at a time, and then they would have to secure and lock into place this usurpation and control. This required for them to expand upon the power of their Illuminati organization through Freemasonry and the Freemasonic lodges of the world, and it required for them to expand as deeply into all foreign markets and foreign affairs as they possibly could. And expand they did!
By now, you should have a clear perspective of what the Illuminati is, what Masonic and secret societies are, how they operate, and the impact that they have had (and continue to have) on a given nation, its government, history, and people.
Next, the proceeding focus of study will be upon that of the notorious Rothschilds and the impact that they have had (continue to have) on nations, their governement, history, and people. Especially America! Go now to Study 03: The Rothschilds - by clicking the below link, or continue browsing down this page. For your convenience, at the bottom of this page is also another identical link to transfer/connect you with Study 03.
The remainder of this page includes additional information related to the Illuminati and Freemasonry in general. With a focus upon Masonic symbols and symbolism.
To this day it is not known exactly when Freemasonry and its Masonic lodges came into existence. The oldest document in existence that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, which dates back to the year 1390 A.D. Although, there is also evidence from the writings of a noted Masonic historian named Harry Carr where, in one of his writings, he was alluding to Freemasons when he spoke of the year 1356 as being the year that it "all began" (referring to the formation of the London Masons Company).
Other historic documents make reference to the early Knights Templars influence as a secret Order dating back to around 1118 A.D., with the Knights Templars today having a major connection with and being heavily involved in Freemasonry. Finally, there is still more evidence yet, although questionable.
There is mention in the Bible of a stone mason named Hiram who is known for having been the chief builder of King Solomon's Temple. To this day, the death of Hiram Abiff is acted out during the ceremonies of new initiates who join a Masonic lodge.
According to Masonic legend, Hiram was tortured and killed by three very curious/envious fellow-crafts (fellow builders), known also as the "three ruffians," according to the ritual, because he would not reveal certain 'secrets' of the 'Master Mason' to them.
From this legend is where the early Masons originally (supposedly) adopted their reputation for keeping secrets. During the initiation, the Novus is told that he must never tell anyone or admit that he is a Mason. Freemasonry includes a total of 33 degrees (levels/rank) that a Mason can advance to. The chart below outlines in more detail the level and position of the degrees when compared.
There are not a very large number of Masons when compared with a given country's population. Perhaps only a few people out of every 100 are Masons. More surprisingly yet, about 90% of those that are Masons are led to believe that there are only 3 degrees total... and no more! Therefore, 90% of those who become Masons are not only deceived from the very start, but never advance beyond the 3rd degree. Most of those that do advance beyond the 3rd degree do not seek it of themselves; but are specifically selected, for various reasons, by what is known as the "Supreme Council" - a special governing body of Masons in each of the various Masonic organizations and jurisdictions, usually consisting entirely of "Worshipful Masters" (Certain select Masons whose duty it is to conduct the ceremonies of intitiation for new recruits entering the Lodge).
Finally, even those 10% that do advance beyond the 3rd degree and/or do reach the highest level of 33rd degree, usually go no further. Yet, beyond the 33rd degree and at the very top of it all, is none other than the Illuminati itself. The darkened cap stone pictured at the top of the pyramid below represents the Illuminati (Global Elite).
Most Masons (90%) are not even aware of the levels of degrees existing beyond the 3rd degree. These men usually consist of good Christian men whom believe that the Masonic lodge is that of a good reputable Christian organization. They have not even the slightest clue what exists beyond the 3rd degree, and especially beyond the 33rd degree.
This is why many men of the past, and even today, have ended up dropping out from being a Mason. They somehow learn of these other existing degrees - only to find themselves now more suspicious than ever of the whole entire operation altogether. Many have dropped out and then publicly spoke out against it. Yet, there have been many men whom died as Masons never knowing the truth.
Many U.S. Presidents, Government Officials, and Leaders have been Masons...
Note: Neither Thomas Jefferson nor Patrick Henry were Freemasons, although Paul Revere, John Paul Jones, Gilbert Lafayette and Benedict Arnold were.
"The very word ''secrecy'' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it."
Chief among their many symbols and representative of Freemasonry is the Mason Square & Compass symbol. The "G" within the center does NOT stand for "God," as 90% of all Masons are led to believe; but rather, is symbolic of a combination of meanings. Such as "Geometry" (or Sacred Geometry). Also known to stand for "Generating Principle."
Masonic symbols often resemble and represent the twin pillars of Solomon's Temple. Reference to these twin pillars can also be found in the Bible.
The below mural on the outside wall of a Masonic Temple clearly exhibits these twin pillars to the left and right within the depiction.
He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.