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Masonic News & Views - Anti-Masonic love affair with Albert Pike
July 14, 2014

Albert Pike's "Morals and Dogma" is a favorite stomping ground for Masonic conspiracy theorists, anti-Masons and mercenaries. Given Pike's writing style and that the tome weighs in at over 850 pages it's not difficult for them to manipulate his words into saying that Masons are all kinds of terrible human beings. One of their most popular "quotes" is the following:

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"Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.....The Blue Degrees are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them. Their true explication is reserved for the Adepts, the Princes of Masonry."

This is, in fact, directly copied from Morals and Dogma. It seems to confirm that we lowly Blue Lodge Masons don't have a clue what's really going on because we're kept in the dark and misled by those of the "Higher" degrees. But in reality it's two entirely different quotes on unrelated topics, and taken completely out of context. When placed in the proper context they tell a much less sinister story.

In the first part of the quote Pike is talking about the power of truth, and the dangers of truth to those not prepared to accept it. Not just among Masons, but for all mankind. Truth has power, and there are those who would use and pervert truth to their own designs and purposes. Therefore, truth needs be protected. Truth also has the power to change one's world in an instant, and can be harmful to those ill prepared for a consciousness shift. And so, it's important that truth be carefully revealed and not foisted upon those incapable, unwilling or unprepared to receive it.

The second part of the quote comes from Pike's discussion on the Templars. This section is a little confusing because Pike is quoting someone else, he doesn't say who, and apparently inserting his own comments along the way. It's difficult to say who's saying what especially since, as Pike states in the preface of the book, quite half the work was extracted from other writers and thinkers. As the work was never intended for the world at large, and no one was getting paid, he felt at liberty to commingle his words with those of the others. Fair enough. But, I think the point he's making in the second part is this:

The degrees of the Blue Lodge are our introduction to Masonry. It is where we gain our first impression, and are first invested with Masonic knowledge. And, while there is much knowledge to be garnered in the teachings of the Blue Lodge it should never be supposed that that's all there is. For some it may be enough. But, for those desirous of more knowledge and higher truths they have but to labor in the quarries of learning and prepare themselves for those truths. Pike, or someone, goes on to say following the quote that "The whole body of the Royal and Sacerdotal Art was hidden so carefully, centuries since, in the High Degrees, as that it is even yet impossible to solve many of the enigmas which they contain."

And then, comes one of my favorite lines of all time, "Masonry is the veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands heaped round it by the ages."

Gotta love that Brother Pike.

Here's a link to an online edition of Morals and Dogma. This article would've gotten way too long if I'd inserted the relevant text here.

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

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