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While we can put whatever spin we want to put on Freemasonry, at its roots are dangerous symbols that reflect rather directly on a demonic origin.

That is not to lack charity. There are many good people who are caught up in Freemasonry. For those members -- including prominent politicians (starting with George Washington) -- it can be more a social club or fraternal organization than a system of beliefs. For others, it may be a way of making business contacts. For them, it is like the Rotary or Lion's clubs. In their view, the rituals are just cultural artifacts -- a nod to an esoteric past (sort of like the inductions of fraternities).

In addition to Washington (who laid the cornerstone of the Capitol wearing a Mason's apron), thirty-three of the Continental Army's seventy-eight generals were Masons, as were thirteen of the thirty-nine who signed the U.S. Constitution. Duke Ellington, Gerald Ford, J. Edgar Hoover, Henry Ford, Irving Berlin, Harry Truman, Bob Hope, John Wayne, Clark Gable, Norman Vincent Peale, and Thurgood Marshall are but a few prominent Masons during the past hundred years. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin posed for a picture showing a Masonic sleeve patch on his uniform. Older ones include Paul Revere and Ben Franklin.

But at the heart of Masonry are startling images. That was made clear by a recent special report on them in U.S. News and World Report ("Secrets of the Lost Symbols").

There can be debate over certain symbols associated with Masonry -- such as the obelisk, triangle, and the all-seeing eye above a pyramid (which is also used as a representation of God in Christian circles, including Catholic churches) -- but one's brows raise when glimpsing cloaked settings such as the Temple Room at Freemasonry's Scottish Rite headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Albeit beautifully appointed, with ornate wood and marble pillars, photographs of it (including in U.S. News) convey a feeling that is both occultic, the eyes falling interwoven, dragon-like snakes at front and side windows, fashioned in what looks like iron or bronze, and on a sterile ritual altar at the center of the great hall. We all know what the snake represents, and let us note that Hebrew for snake is "hiss" and "to whisper a magic spell." (Was the genesis of witchcraft in the Garden?)

The august room, noted the magazine, looks "exactly like the headquarters of a secret society. Its imposing facade, guarded by two sphinxes, does indeed conceal magnificent treasures."

The Scottish Rite draws from many ancient cultures, with details of Greek, Egyptian, and Persian origin -- in other words, paganism. Meanwhile, one recalls the "prince of Persia," a principality that held up an angel (Daniel 10:13) until Michael intervened.

An associated Masonic organization, the Order of the Eastern Star, is symbolized by just that -- a star, but a rather strange one.

"While it is easy to see why a five-pointed star was chosen, it is harder to understand why it was an inverted pentagram, considering the satanic connotations often attributed to this symbol," says U.S. News. "The explanation given is that the inverted pentagram represents the Star of Bethlehem. Indeed, it would appear to be the reason for the order's name. However, some commentators have noted that the Eastern star could not be the Star of Bethlehem, which is traditionally represented as six-pointed. They contend that, based on ancient Egyptian texts and iconography, a five-pointed star related specifically to the star Sirius. Others have noted that the inverted pentagram is closely associated with [the goat-headed] Baphomet."

Notes Wikipedia: "In the 19th century, the name of Baphomet became associated with the occult. In 1854, Eliphas Levi published 'Dogmas and Rituals of High Magic,' in which he included an image he had drawn himself which he described as Baphomet and 'The Sabbatic Goat,' showing a winged humanoid goat with a pair of breasts and a torch on its head between its horns.

"Levi's depiction is similar to that of the devil in early Tarot cards, but it may also have been partly inspired by grotesque carvings on the Templar churches of Lanleff in Brittany and St. Merri in Paris, which depict squatting bearded men with bat wings, female breasts, horns, and the shaggy hindquarters of a beast," continues the encyclopedia.

There are other symbols that can be discussed, but the point (and prayer need) is made:

Masonry has a profound intermingling with ancient occultism and some of its images overlap too strangely with those of Satanism.

[resources: Brotherhood of Darkness, Masonry Unmasked, The Bilderberg Group, Prayer of the Warrior and Spiritual Warfare Prayers]

[see also: What are the Georgia 'guidestones'?]

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