Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement - Rev. E. Cahill

The Jewish Element in Freemasonry

On March 23, 1928, the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office issued an important decree containing the decision of the Holy See on "the nature and purpose of the Association called the Friends of Israel, and on the pamphlet entitled Pax super Israel, edited by the directors of the Association." Although "many priests, bishops and even cardinals gave their adhesion to this association," the Sacred Congregation condemns and completely suppresses it, by reason of "its mode of acting and speaking which is out of harmony with the traditional sense of the Church, the mind of the Fathers, and even the Sacred liturgy itself."

The Church's Condemnation of "Friends of Israel."

The secularist Press, which is mostly controlled by the great Jewish financiers, immediately showed its appreciation of the importance of the decree by striving to misrepresent it as a gesture of disapproval on the part of the Holy See of certain Catholic anti-Masonic writers, whereas the contrary is the case. The decree is an authoritative reassertion of the traditional attitude of the Church towards the Jewish people. The Church desires sincerely the conversion of the Jews to the true Faith. But she cannot compromise with them any more than she can with the Modernists or even the so-called Anglo-Catholics.

Hence, in the present degree, the Holy See takes prudent measures against the Jewish infiltrations into the Church, which were being attempted through the medium of the condemned association and pamphlet. On the other hand, she also reprobates as contrary to the Christian spirit and teaching anti-Semitism, properly so-called, just as she reprobates anti-Germanism or any other similar anti-ism that would imply "racial or national hatred." But to follow the direction of Leo XIII and "tear away the mask, from Freemasonry and let it be seen as it really is, is not anti-Semitism even when the Freemasons in question are Jews; and needless to say, the Holy See does not follow the example of the Masonic sectaries in so misapplying the term.

How Far Modern Judaism is Identified with Freemasonry>

Although the Jewish role in Freemasonry is for many reasons difficult to deal with, some acquaintance with that aspect of the subject is essential for an intelligent grasp of the whole. It is a common belief among Catholics and others that Freemasonry is somehow or other closely associated with modem Judaism. Our present purpose is to discuss how far such a belief is well-founded, and what is the nature of the relations between the two. We may say at once that the available evidence points at least to the following general conclusions:—

  1. That much of the external trappings of Freemasonry, such as its ritual, its terminology, its legends, etc., are of Jewish origin;
  2. that the philosophy or religion of esoteric Freemasonry (that is of the inner circles and controlling power) is practically identical with the doctrines of the Jewish Cabala, which is the religion or philosophy of a certain section of the Jews;
  3. that a certain group of Jews, probably very few in number, but of immense influence and power, are leading Freemasons; and
  4. that a somewhat larger group of very influential Jews pursue the same ends as Freemasons, and use similar means, and are at least in close alliance with them.

Hence, although the Jewish element in Freemasonry is of predominant importance, and although it may be true that the Masonic Jewish leaders do often exploit for their evil purposes Jewish solidarity and internationalism, and the age-long antipathy between Judaism and Christianity, one cannot on that account justly accuse or condemn the Jewish people as a whole. Indeed, the facts of the case point to the conclusion that the rank and file of the Jews suffer no less, possibly even more, than the Christians from the unscrupulous and altogether wicked activities of the ruling Masonic junta.

Modern Judaism—The Talmud

A few words on modern Judaism by way of preliminary explanation will be acceptable to those of our readers who are not familiar with the subject. The two main sources of the religious system of modern Judaism are the Talmud and the Cabala (Kabbalah). The former, which is founded upon the religious and moral teachings of the Pharisees of Our Lords time, is made up principally of the rabbinicai interpretations of the law of Moses, and the traditions that have gathered around it. With the vast majority of modern Orthodox Jews the Talmud has almost entirely supplanted the Old Testament. B. Lazare, the Jewish apologist, refers to the Talmud as "the creator of the Jewish nation, and the mould of the Jewish soul." The Talmud has, in fact, been the principal factor in forming the national character of the modern Jewish nation and of holding the Jews together as one people.

The Talmudic compilation is deeply impregnated with opposition to Christianity. In medieval times not only was the Talmud strictly forbidden to all Catholics, but the possession of the Talmudic books was regarded, before the Protestant revolt, as a criminal offence in most of the States of Europe. The most offending and anti-Christian passages of the Talmud are, however, apparently omitted in the ordinary English translations and handbooks; and, probably, are unknown to most Jews brought up and educated in these countries, just as the esoteric teachings and real objects of Freemasonry are unknown to the vast majority of those that adhere to the Masonic sect or lend it their support.

The Cabala.

The second main source of the religion of modern Judaism, or at least of a certain section of modem Jews, is the Cabala. The term Cabala (Kabbalah) was originally use to indicate that portion of the Mosaic Law which was handed down by tradition, and consigned to writing by the Jewish prophets and others. Since the thirteenth century, however, this ancient use of the term has fallen into desuetude, so that in modem times the Cabala means the collection of the esoteric or occult doctrines of Judaism. These latter are mainly founded on the Neo-Platonic philosophy and the doctrines of the early Gnostics, and are closely connected with the occult worship of the Eastern sectaries of both ancient and modem times, which have continued since the early ages of the Christian era and even before that period, to infiltrate through the medium of the rabbinical writings into the Jewish religious system. The philosophic and religious teachings of the Cabala illustrate and explain the strong tendency to occultism and false mysticism, which a section of the Jew's have always manifested, and which they and the Freemasons have helped so much to propagate in the modem world.

Occultism or Hermeticism

The whole system of occultism, which is so elusive and difficult to define, is sometimes called Hermeticism, from Hermes, the Greek name of the god of wisdom—partially corresponding to the Latin god Mercury—to whom was ascribed the authorship of the sacred books of Eastern occultism. Hermeticism is commonly taken to include Theosophism, Christian Scientism, Neo-Platonism, Philonic Judaism and Jewish and pagan Cabalism. It is in a large part a revival of the heresies of the Gnostics, Manichaeans, Albigenses, Waldenses, etc., and aims at providing the modem European race with some acceptable substitute for Christianity.

Judaism and the Origin of Freemasonry.

The evidence of a connection between Freemasonry and certain aspects of Judaism, refer principally to the Cabala and the Cabalistic section of the Jew's. That there exists a close affinity between the Cabala and the doctrine and practices of esoteric Freemasonry is clear from what we have written in the last chapter of the nature of the latter. One school of writers indeed maintain that Freemasonry is an instrument invented and utilized by the Jewish leaders for the destruction of Christianity. This view of the case, however, which is at present widely accepted by anhTewish writers, and many Catholic apologists,- hardly accords, at least as regards the origin of Freemasonry, with many well-established facts. For a long time the Jews were excluded from most of the German, English, and French lodges; and up to the end of the eighteenth century the total number of Jewish Freemasons was quite inconsiderable. Again, the assertion that the real founders of German Illuminism and French Martinism, which are the sources of the worst and most destructive elements in Freemasonry, were Jews, has not been and, probably, cannot be proved. Elias Ashmole (1617-1646), the celebrated English antiquarian, and the founder of the Oxford Museum, to whom is probably due the first introduction of Hermelicism into the English Masonic lodges in the seventeenth century, long before the formal inauguration of speculative Freemasonry, was not a Jew.

Again, it cannot be proved that Weishaupt, or Martinez Pasqualis, or Joseph Balsamo, commonly known as Cagliostro, were Jews, although to these were largely due the Illuminist and Martinist influences in the Freemasonry of the eighteenth century. Even at the present day it is well-known (although the fact does not prove much) that many Masonic lodges refuse to admit Jews, as they fear their dominating influence, and find by experience that Jews, once admitted, soon acquire the mastery of the lodge.

On the other hand, it is certain that the Jewish Cabalistic tradition was one of the principal mediums through which Eastern occultism (which has so many times come to the surface in European history) has been transmitted to modern Europe; and that many, if not all, of the recognized founders of the eighteenthcentury Illuminism (including Weishaupt, Pasqualis, and Cagliostro) were initiated into its secrets by Jewish Cabalists or drew their inspiration and their methods from the Jewish esoteric writings. The Jewish apologist, Bernard Lazare, states that "there were Cabalistic Jews around the cradle of Freemasonry, as certain rites still in existence conclusively show."

Identity of Masonic and Cabalistic Theology.

From Pike's Morals and Dogma of Freemasonry, which we have already referred to as one of the most authoritative works on Masonic teaching, it is dear that the doctrines of esoteric Freemasonry, on such subjects as the nature of God, and His supposed identity with the universe, the nature of the human soul, the true interpretation of the Bible, etc., are quite identical with the expositions of these subjects contained in the Jewish Cabala. The authoritative works of Ragon, "the sacred author" of Masonry, who was himself a Jew, illustrate the same theme. So do many other Jewish writings.

"Are we to wonder" [writes the pious Jewish rabbin, Benamozegh] "that Judaism has been accused of forming a branch of Freemasonry? It is quite certain that Masonic theology is at root nothing else than Theosophy and that it corresponds to the theology of the Cabala. Besides a deep study of the rabbinical monuments of the early ages of the Christian era supply numerous proofs that the aggada was the popular form of an esoteric science, which presents, in its methods of initiation, the most striking resemblance to the Masonic system. Those willing to go to the trouble of carefully examining the question of the relations between Judaism and philosophic Freemasonry, Theosophy, and occultism in general, will, vve are conrinced, lose their superb disdain for the Cabala. They will no longer smile in pity at the suggestion that the Cabalistic theology may have a role to play in the religious transformation of the future."

Points of Contact between Freemasonry and Judaism.

Besides the existence of the Cabalistic element in Masonic morals and dogma there are numerous other indications which point to the important influence of Judaism on the early formation and development of freemasonry, We mention a few. The Masonic coat-of-arms still used by the Grand Lodge of England is of Jewish design. Some of the more important legends of Freemasonry, especially the Legend of Hiram, on which much of Masonic rite is founded, are Jewish. " The technical language, symbolism, and rites of Masonry are full of Jewish ideas and terms. . . . In the Scottish rite, the dates of all the official documents are given according to the Hebrew month and the Jewish era; and use is made of the older forms of the Jewish alphabet." Hence, approved Jewish writers generally recognize that practically the whole Masonic ritual is of Jewish origin.

Growth ot Jewish Influence in Freemasonry.

Although during the eighteenth century the number of Jews in the Masonic lodges were few, the prejudice against them was lessened or eliminated as a result of the movement towards Jewish emancipation, which was itself largely due to Liberal and Masonic influences; and since the middle of the nineteenth century the Cabalistic Jewish element has become predominant at least in Continental Freemasonry. Thus, while Jews are still excluded from the so-called "Christian" lodges of Germany, the influence of the latter is now overshadowed by those lodges which admit Jews, and in which the Jewish element more or less prevails. Even in 1900 there were at least 800 such lodges in the German Empire exclusive of the B'nai Berith lodges, which are entirely Jewish. So marked, indeed, is the dominance of the Jewish element in German Freemasonry that the Masonic Journal Latomia (February, 1928) quotes a saying of Ludendorf: "The free masons are the henchmen of the Jews."" Again, it was Jews that introduced Freemasonry into the United States of America; and Jews have always been a powerful influence in the American Masonic organizations.

Special Jewish Rites in Freemasonry.

The Masonic rite of Mizraim, which includes no less and is, perhaps, the most esoteric and highly elaborated of all the Masonic rites, has been founded by Jews. So also has been the order of B'nai Berith ("Sons of the Alliance") and several other organizations of a similar type. The Masonic rite of Mizraim belongs mainly to Europe, and some of its lodges are exclusively Jewish. The order of B'nai Berith, which is altogether Jewish, is (or rather was up to some twenty years ago) mainly American, and if not formally and professedly Masonic, bears a striking resemblance to Freemasonry, in its organization and avowed objects, and is in intimate alliance with Masonry.

Identity of Jewish and Masonic Anti-Christian Policy.

The indications of a close connection or working alliance between Freemasonry and important sections of the Jews are innumerable.

"Masonry [writes the Jewish Chronicle, October 29, 1889] tolerates everything except a narrow clericalism [viz., Catholicism] and it possesses a special attraction for the Jews. . . . Clericalism has always persecuted Masonry everywhere it can . . . and the spirit of persecution has attracted the Jews towards Masonry by an invisible but potent bond of sympathy. There exists between them a natural alliance against a common enemy. . . . Together they fight, oftentimes with success, against religious fanaticism and racial antipathies. In London there are no less than five Jewish lodges. There are some also at Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

Jews and Freemasons in Finance and Revolutionary Movements.

It is nearly half a century ago since a well-known British review called attention to the dominant influence of the Jews, not only in politics, the press, and international finance, but also in the revolutionary outbreaks of the century.

"The influence of the Jews at the present time is more noticeable than ever. That they are at the head of European capitalism, we are all aware. . . . In politics many of the Jews are in the front rank. . . . That their excessive wealth, used as it has been, acts as a solvent influence in modem society cannot be questioned. . . . But while on the one hand the Jews are thus beyond dispute the leaders of the plutocracy of Europe . . . another section of the same race form the leaders of that revolutionary propaganda which is making way against that very capitalist class, representing their own fellow Jews. Jews, more than any other men . . . are acting as the leaders in the revolutionary movement which I have endeavoured to trace."

We have already shown, and it is generally admitted, that the revolutionary outbreaks of the nineteenth century, which are here attributed to Jewish influence, were largely the work of Freemasonry . That international finance is also largely dominated by Freemasonry is also generally admitted.

And in European Politics of the Nineteenth Century.

Forty years previously, Disraeli, himself of the Jewish race, and an enthusiastic admirer of the Jews, called attention in an oft-quoted passage to the dominant but hidden influence of the Jews in the political and economic life of Europe:—

"That mysterious Russian diplomacy which so alarms Western Europe was organized and principally carried on by Jews: that mighty revolution which is at this moment preparing in Germany, which will be in fact a second and greater Reformation, and of which so little is yet known in England, is entirely developing under the auspices of the Jews, who almost monopolize the professorial chairs in Germany. . . . I hear of peace and war in the newspapers, but I am never alarmed, except when I am informed that the sovereigns want treasure; then I know that monarchs are serious. A few years ago we [viz., a Jewish family of financiers, in whose name he speaks] were applied to by Russia. . . . I resolved to go myself to St. Petersburg. I had an interview with the Russian Minister of Finance, Count Cancrin. I beheld the son of a Lithuanian Jew. . . . I resolved on repairing to Spain from Russia. I had an audience with the Spanish Minister, Senor Mendezabel: I beheld one like myself, the son of a Nuovo-Christiano, a Jew of Aragon. . . . I went straight to Paris to consult the President of the French Council: I beheld the son of a French Jew. 'And is Soult a Hebrew?' 'Yes! and several of the French Marshals—Massena, for example.' The President of the French Council made an application to the Prussian Minister . . . Count Amim entered the Cabinet, and I beheld a Prussian Jew. So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes."

That the hidden influences (which Disraeli here connects with Jews) dominating the Liberal governments of Europe during the last century were also closely allied with Freemasonry we have already shown, and it is now commonly admitted.

Jews in the Inner Circles of Freemasonry.

Gougenot de Mousseaux, in a remarkable study upon this question, published nearly sixty years ago, collects a large number of facts pointing to the close connection of the inner and controlling elements of Freemasonry with certain sections of Judaism. He thus summarizes his conclusions:—

"The real chiefs of this immense association of Free| masonry (the few within the innermost circles of initiation), who must not be confounded with the nominal leaders or figure-heads, are mostly Jews, and live in close and intimate alliance with the militant members of Judaism, those, namely, who are the leaders of the Cabalistic section. This elite of the Masonic association, these real chiefs, who are known to so few even of the initiated, and whom even these few know only under assumed names [noms de guerre] carry on their activities in secret dependence (which they find very lucrative for themselves) upon the Cabalistic Jews."

The same writer brings forward evidence of the existence in Germany, Italy, and London, of supreme lodges of this type, controlled by a Jewish majority, and quite unknown to the general body of Freemasons. He mentions two supreme lodges in London which none but Jews are allowed to enter, and in which the different threads of the contemporary revolutionary conspiracies, which were elaborated in the outer lodges, were brought together and co-ordinated; and another lodge, at Rome, also exclusively Jewish, which, he says, was the supreme tribunal of the revolution against the Papal power.

On the same subject M. Doinel, at one time member of the Council of the Grand Orient, who in recent years has become a Catholic, writes:—,

"How often have I heard the Freemasons lament the dominance of the Jews. . . . Ever since the Revolution the Jews have taken possession of the Masonic lodges more and more completely: and their dominance is now unquestioned. The Cabala rules as mistress in the inner lodges: and the Jewish spirit dominates the lower grades. . . In the mind of Satan the synagogue has an all important part to play. . . . The great enemy counts on the Jews to govern Masonry as he counts on Masonry to destroy the Church of Jesus Christ."

Masonic Ideals and Judaism.

Leroy-Beaulieu, a French Jewish apologist, describes thus the social ideals of modem Judaism:

"Progress is the true Messiah, whose near advent she [Judaism] proclaims with all her hosannahs . . . The French] Revolution was its introduction, our doctnne of human rights, its manifesto, and its signal was given to the world, when, at the approach of our Tricolour, the barriers of caste and the walls of the Ghetto fell to the ground. . . . The emancipated Jew takes pnde in working for its realization . . . assailing superannuated hierarchies battling with prejudices . . . struggling to pave the way for future revolution."

The national aims and ideals here attributed to (although they belong, probably, only to a comparatively small section of) the Jewish nation, are practically identical with those of Freemasonry. Hence, an international Jewish synod held in Leipsic, 1869, passed the following resolution:—

"This Synod recognizes the development and realization of modern ideas are the surest guarantee in favour of the Jewish race for the present and future."

It seems clear that the "modem ideas" here referred to are those of un-Christian Liberalism, of which Freemasonry has been the protagonist for the past two centuries.

The professed objects of the Universal Israelite Alliance, founded in i860 (whose headquarters are in Paris, and which is probably the most influential and most representative body of the Jewish nation), are similar to the professed aims of Freemasonry. These objects are thus summarized by its founder, the Jew, Adolphe Cremieux, who for many years held the position of Grand Master of the Supreme Council of the Ancient Scottish Hite of Freemasonry:—

"The Universal Israelite Alliance . . . addresses itself to every type of worship. It wishes to interpenetrate all religions, as it has found access to all countries, . . . Let all men of enlightenment, without distinction of sect, find a means of union in the Universal Israelite Association, whose aims are so noble, so broad, and so highly civilizing.

" . . . To reach out a friendly hand to all who, although bom in a different worship from ours, offer us the hand of fellowship, acknowledging that all religions which are based on morality and acknowledge God ought to be friendly towards one another: thus to destroy the barriers separating what is destined one day to be united—that is the grand and supreme object of our Alliance. . . . I summon to our Association our brethren of every form of worship. Let them come to us . . . Our grand mission is to put the Jewish population in touch with the authorities in every country . . . to make our voices heard in the cabinets of ministers and in the ears of princes, whatever be the religion that is despised, persecuted, or attacked."

The striking similarity between this programme and the religious ideals of Freemasonry (humanitarianism, cosmopolitanism, and non-sectarianism, or religious indifference) needs no elaboration. Again, practically all writers on the subject, including the Jews themselves, recognize the leading part which the Jews have played in the activities of the French Grand Orient. Thus we read in the Jewish Encyclopedia: "Jews have been most conspicuous in connection with Freemasonry in France since the Revolution."

Hence Pere Deschamps writes, apropos of the present question:—

"Judaism itself is a kind of Freemasonry, owing to the national solidarity of the Jews, their cosmopolitanism, which sets the Jews free from all local and patriotic ties, and finally, the opposition of the Jews to Christianity."

It is in fact the Cabalistic elements in Freemasonry that act as the main driving force in the envenomed and aggressive opposition of the latter to the true Church and its never-flagging efforts for the undermining and destruction of the Christian organization of society.

"This intimate connection between the two powers (Freemasonry and Cabalistic Judaism) is becoming so evident that there is no longer any attempt made to deny it. The Jewish lodges of B'nai Berith, which originated in the English-speaking countries, have swarmed all over Europe, and even into Asia; and they assume the leadership of control in the whole Masonic organization.

"Under the cover of Theosophy a new religion, which is specifically Jewish, though enveloped in a nebulous mist that obscures its character, is bidding fair to take the place of the traditional Christian belief which it flatters, and insensibly destroys."

Growing Power of the Jews Coeval with Growth of Freemasonry.

Finally, the history of the Jews of Europe during the past three or four centuries is suggestive in this connection. The emancipation of the Jews and the unprecedented growth of the influence and power of the great Jewish financiers have synchronized with the rise and growth of the Masonic movement of the past two centuries. Up to the sixteenth century the Jew's were excluded from practically all the Christian States of Europe. With the rise of Humanism, however, in the fifteenth century, and the accentuation of the other causes that finally led to the break up of Christendom, the Jews managed to improve their position. They gradually gained readmittance, sometimes covert, sometimes openly avowed, into most of the countries from which they had been excluded.

But although they were allowed to live under the protection of the laws, they were not accorded full civic rights in any of the Christian States. They engaged in trade and carried on usury, by means of which they frequently acquired immense wealth. But they were not permitted to hold public offices, and were treated as aliens. They lived usually in ghettos, apart from the Christian community.

After the Protestant revolt, and especially under the influence of the Calvinistic sections of Protestantism, such as the Huguenots in France, the Puritans in Britain, and the Dutch and Swiss Calvinists, the position of the Jews gradually improved more and more. Finally, with the rise of the Liberalism of the eighteenth century, which was fostered and promoted by Masonic influence, the Jews were accorded full rights of citizenship, first in France and then, owing to the expansion of the French Napoleonic Empire, in nearly every country of Europe and America. It is since that time that Freemasonry has risen to its present dominating influence in European life.

Modern Examples of Judaeo-Masonic Activities.

In France the Jews were enfranchised in 1791 at the instance of the Jacobins, the most aggressive and militant of the then existing anti-Christian Masonic organizations. Ever since then, with the exception, perhaps, of the early Napoleonic period, the Masonic Jews and the Masonic societies have dominated the public life of France, whose anti-clericalism, secularism educational and divorce laws have mostly been inspired from that source.

Numberless other examples could be quoted of the sinister and permeating influence of the Jewish leaders on modern political and social developments; all of which are also attributable to or closely associated with Freemasonry. Thus, Romania, where the Jews did not possess the full rights of citizenship, and were precluded from acquiring property in land was forced by Bismarck (author of the Kulturkampf, and closely identified with Freemasonry of the most extreme type) at the Congress of Berlin (1878) to grant them full civic rights. In the year 1928 a memorandum was published on the Jewish question in Romania signed by several university professors and leaders of the Romanian nationalist party. It contains very striking statistics, showing how the land, the industries, even the professorial chairs in the universities, are now owned or occupied by Jews. The tale told is in fact the story of the expropriation of a people by the peaceful penetration of an alien element.

At the Peace of Paris (1918-1919), dominated as is generally recognized, by Masonic influence, Poland was forced, in the same way, to grant such privileges to the Jews living within her borders as almost to constitute the Jewish colony a kind of State within the State. At the same Congress the Jewish leaders were accorded practical control of Palestine as a quasi-independent or incipient Jewish State under the protection of Britain. To-day Jewish financial and political power is especially felt in the countries which have fallen most completely under the influence of Freemasonry and un-Christian Liberalism, such as the United States of America, England, France, Germany, Russia, Romania, etc.

Hence it is, that many Catholic writers on present-day Freemasonry and its anti-Christian activities frequently apply the epithet Judaeo-Masonic to these latter in order to indicate the dominant influence of the Cabalistic section of the Jews in the world-wide movement against the Catholic Church. The implications in the term, of course, refer only to Masonic Jews; and do not imply any indictment against the Jewish nation as a whole.