Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Billiken, the God of things as they ought to be

[Click on the Billiken graphic to see him "blink."]

A few days ago I linked to investigative reporter Sandy Frost's article about the Royal Order of Jesters. In her article, she mentioned the icon/mascot of the Jesters, a strange little naked Buddha-like happy fellow named Billiken.

She said that there was an online animated version that "appears to have his, uh, thingy popping up and down as he blinks."

I tracked down the animation, and, yup, I think it looks like a big red head of a penis popping up and down.

Or maybe it's his navel glowing, as someone wrote in the comments section to my earlier article.

Nah, it's his pecker. Why would an icon of FUN have a glowing navel? I've contemplated my navel several times, but I'd never say that it was fun. There's nothing physically or symbolically fun or "mirthful" in a navel.

What say you? Penis or navel?

The original Billiken doesn't seem to have had either a navel or a pecker, though both appear to have been included in later designs. A 1908 patent was issued to Florence Pretz, a Missouri art teacher and illustrator who patented her "design for an image," but not the name "Billiken." The Billiken Company of Chicago manufactured the character as a coin bank, a statuette, and a doll. It was one of the first of many dolls that for a few years in the early 20th century became very trendy and fashionable. The Billiken was "all the rage" for about six months in 1910-1911.

The Billiken was known as the "God of things as they ought to be," which author, historian and anthropologist Dorothy Jean Ray believes is a variation on a line from poet and Freemason Bro. Rudyard Kipling's L'Envoi: "Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They Are!" She wrote about the Billiken in a 1960 article in Alaska Sportsman. The Billiken had become a popular item in Alaska after someone had given a store-bought version to a local ivory carver named Angokwaghuk, whose nickname was "Happy Jack." To this day, Eskimo ivory carvers produce many Billikens, all following the Happy Jack pattern, which itself remained nearly identical to the original Pretz/Billiken Co. design.

In 1911 or 1912, Coach John Bender unofficially adopted Billiken as the mascot of the St. Louis University football team. Several versions of the story exist.

It was also in 1911 (February 20th — oddly, today's date) that the original meeting of the Royal Order of Jesters occurred, during a San Francisco-to-Honolulu Shriner cruise aboard the S.S. Wilhelmina. The meeting was led by Shriner Noble A. M. Ellison of San Francisco along with 13 original members. The group was "officially" formed in 1917.

Those more conspiratorial-minded than I can contemplate whether the God of Mirth inspired this meeting, or if perhaps the Shriners themselves were behind the popularity of the Billiken doll at the time.

Variations of Billiken spread to Japan and other parts of the world, and over time the word itself seems to have been appropriated to mean any carved doll-like character under a foot tall, or so a quick look at eBay indicates.

It's probably safe to assume that the navel-or-pecker animated Billiken shown above was created fairly recently, since animated GIF's weren't available before 1989 (and I doubt too many Jesters were computer geeks in 1989, nor were there too many webpages to put animations for many more years), which to me gives further reason to suspect it's indeed his pecker and not his navel that lights up. (Imagine yourself as an animator, probably a teen or in his early 20's... would you think it fun to make a non-existent navel blink, or to create a pop-up penis? I mean, there's a pop-up penis in The Little Mermaid, isn't there?)

Not that people didn't contemplate their peckers in times past. The undated photo montage shown at left of a Jesters' Billiken paperweight, especially the second and third photos, certainly look like little Billy is playing with his Billiken to me.

Or is he just holding his gut while having a mirth-filled belly laugh?

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  1. Well that's not something you see everyday is it???

  2. My dog has one of those
    we call it the red rocket

  3. It's a red jewel affixed to his belly button.

    You guys have a lot of time on your hands. A curious obsession with red penises as well.

  4. How did "Freemasonry" ever stray so far from the simple and profound symbols of the Square and Compasses to little ape-men playing with their family "Jewels"?

    The whole thing makes me sick.

  5. Your fixation on the Mighty Red-Tipped Billiken Glans is troubling.

  6. what would we do without Brent Morris and the Scottish Rite's re-direction of Freemasonry and their
    assault upon the real truth of Freemasonry. Yet of course many have yet to connect the dots to realize their grand plan is to be Freemasonry, its GL's, and its authority. They already have the History Channel beliving they are Freemasonry and its authority.
    GL's demand they have authority yet the SR has infiltrated many GL bodies with their minions. Masonry needs to wake up.
    Oh Brent is re-directing the topics here.

  7. "and their
    assault upon the real truth of Freemasonry."

    Oh, and you forgot to mention that you are in possession of the real truth, right?

    Step outside of yourself and see how what you write looks to others. It's less than profound, to be frank.

    So, since there seems to be a trend in making accusations, let's here just how there's been a takeover and also elucidate for us the real meaning that has been lost in that "theft".

    Your attitudes and outlooks are ineffectual, alas.

  8. The truth is the AASR is just an appendant Body not Freemasonry itself.
    The AASR have passed out their covented little white and red hats to those who covent meangingless titles. From GM's, to DL's, to MM's the AASR is in control. They are even in control of the COGMNA.

    ABC Good Morning America stated "the sword of the SR was the most powerful symbol in Freemasonry" Now I wonder who told them that lie??? hmmm Brent Morris the SR agent provocateur?

    AASR is nothing but a shell that stole its degrees from Clermont, Lodge of Perfection, Knights of the East and West and self-imposed their title as a "Supreme Council".
    It has no real linage, no real past, nothing but stolen degrees and made -up degrees.

  9. You guys realize that Freemasonry is just a club, right?

    I used to get all wrapped up in thinking it was more than that myself, but you know what? It's not. It's a club with a lot of symbolism, history and tradition, but it's still just a club.

    So before we continue to brand Brent with the mark of the beast, maybe we should all step back for a few minutes and get some perspective.

  10. A club, Jeff? A CLUB?

    Next you'll be saying Star Trek is "just a TV show."

    And Dungeons and Dragons is "just a game."

  11. It's covet, not covent.

    We here in the 21st Century enjoy many luxuries--and this includes online spell checkers! Trying to make a revolutionary point while misspelling everything really downplays your message and makes it less convincing (which, incidentally, is not new and is just the same blather that we've heard ad nauseum for years, with little effect or proof in the pudding. An insightful and sane person would realize that after the 800th rant, he's probably overstated the point).

    Your accusations belie a profound ignorance of objectivity and understanding of our institution. Could it be that ABC made that stuff up to be titillating? Do you believe everything you see on TV? Where are your references for every other hurried scrawl you've made?
    Your fears feed your mania, friend.

    When you wake up in the morning, are the thoughts you have truly your own? Your comments indicate that this is not the case.

    Of course, according to your high leader, Howard, I'm just a 12th grade flunky. You guys, of course, are the really intelligent ones and are cool and sexy to boot. Maybe your misspellings are some sort of code?

    Cool. You Sublime Knights of Him that is HE are rad. Can you autograph my 20-sided die?

    Salaam Aleikum,

    igni ferroque

  12. Notice how important it is for these guys to have a common enemy?

    Like many organizations that have lost their sense of meaning they turn the focus of their members towards a supposed common enemy.

    Yesterday it was the fundamentalist Christians that they conveniently labeled "Antis" (Anti-Masons) before that it was the Catholics. Today it is me.

    They see me as the new threat. That's why they all come out here to the BT. If I were insignificant to their agenda they would just ignore me.

    It's the old shell game. They create a new common enemy from time to time so that their members don't stop to ask any relevant questions of them.

    Jeff Naylor is right in what he said. Freemasonry is only a club. I said that several months ago and Theron Dunn, along with others, claimed I was belittling Freemasonry.

    Freemasonry *is* just a club unless you have a "business" interest in it like Chris Hodapp (He sells Masonic books). These other guys stand to benefit in other ways which will soon be revealed in the media in great detail.

    These men have good reasons to hide their identities. In many cases they don't want their wives to find out what they've been up to.

    Very soon the seeds they have sewn will produce fruit. I'm just not sure they will like the fruit as much as they may have imagined.

  13. You are such a cute little special snowflake that is so correct every single time!

    Translation of your post:


    It's not that we need a common enemy. No,it's much more simple than than your ego: it's that we collectively want you to shut up. You've made your point.

    "If I were insignificant to their agenda they would just ignore me."

    It's hard to ignore such a shrill blowhard that verbally wanks on Masonic boards. Ah, but that begs the question--isn't that really all you have done?

    It is truly a shame when the public must watch a man so consumed by his anger that he sinks into a sludgy morass of megalomania and paranoia.


    As I have made my point(take a lesson here), I will now post no more and I hope what remains enables you to at least wash your hands.

    --Bro. Igni Ferroque

  14. "This Rite is now in the ascendant throughout the Masonic world. It consists of thirty-three degrees, counting the three old York Rite Degrees: Entered Apprentice; Fellow Craft, and Master Mason; which three degrees are the basis of all Masonic Rites.

    The 33rd degree rite is one of the latest among many attempts to construct a chain of degrees to bind together, tax, and govern lodges of the world. The Covent Garden Grand Lodge, formed at the Appletree Tavern, London, in 1717, was such an attempt. Four decayed lodges of working Masons, accustomed to initiate their apprentices, journeymen, and masters in a night's drinking carousal, met at that tavern in February, and on the 24th of June, following, formed the first Grand Lodge, and assumed (usurped) power to charter, tax and govern Masons of the world, by declaring "irregular", all lodges not chartered by themselves. And, as they could withdraw such charters as were given by themselves, and so destroy or cast out of Masonry all lodges so charted, their despotism was complete, over all those who were chartered by them. This usurpation and impostion was successful.

    Such an attempt to seize universal dominion, is this Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of 33 degrees, of which E. Junius Edwards, Commander in Chief of the Grand Consistory of Minnesota, says: Nov. 12, 1885: "all the Supreme Councils of the World have finally adopted this schedule."

    We have seen from its history, given by its own authors, that this "Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite," is not "ancient," but modern; not "acepted," but invented; not "Scottish," but French; and so one continuous falsehood. But its most revolting features are yet to be drawn.

    Destroying records is confessing crime. Its writers complain that the early English lodge records were destroyed; doubtless lest their secret proceedings should be brought into courts. But the Charleston Supreme Council destroyed its proceedings, for more than half a century. From 1801 to 1860 no records exist."

    Scotch Rite
    Masonry Illustrated
    The Complete Ritual of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite
    Pages 27,28,34

  15. Sol,

    If you think calling me names will stop me then you have a lot to learn. I'm not angry, or even upset, just prepared to do what it takes to bring justice and morality to the forefront.

    You can call me the devil or whatever makes you happy but that will have no impact on me. I will stop when justice has been done. When the truth is known to everyone.

  16. So you have quoted from one book--an anti-masonic tome well known as an exposé of the Cerneau Rite, which is not to be compared with the A. & A.S.R. Call me funny, but I'm hesitant to believe a hypothesis based only on one book.

    This book, researched and written very poorly by one Richard Blanchard (it does help if you actually list the author in your "reference") is one that Bob Ankerberg has wound himself tight over. Are you now aligning yourself with rabid anti-Masons? Have you merely become anti-Masonic in your pseudo-revolutionary fervor?

    This book is anything but proof of a history or from a ritualistic standpoint.

    Posting segments of this book proves nothing and only raises further questions as to the motivations of posting from such a biased and widely discredited book.

    Do you have other sources that may convince us of the inherent illegitimacy of the Scottish Rite as implied in your many posts?

  17. chris hodapp said...
    A club, Jeff? A CLUB?

    Next you'll be saying Star Trek is "just a TV show."

    And Dungeons and Dragons is "just a game."

    Yeah, imagine my surprise when I figured that out. For years I supposed Freemasonry to be something greater than, say, the Knights of Pythias, when the truth is that it's exactly the Knights of Pythias only without beer. It may have been something better in another time, and it may BE something better in another place, but in this time and in this place it's just a club. If Theron Dunn believes that assessment is belittling to Freemasonry, I'm happy for that because it means that he hasn't yet suffered the loss of faith I have. Freemasonry needs men of Theron's passion, if not his occasional tendency to arrogance.

    howard roark said...
    ...Freemasonry *is* just a club unless you have a "business" interest in it like Chris Hodapp (He sells Masonic books).

    Howard, you're being very unfair to Chris.

    I'm going to quote Allen Roberts and paraphrase him. He told a PGM friend of mine some years ago that "Masons are cheap and they love to bitch." He also made the statement many times that if you were going into the Masonic publishing business you'd best keep your day job because you weren't getting rich.

    Chris is a very good friend of mine, but I'm not privy to his book sales numbers. I will say with a great deal of confidence that they are somewhat beneath Dan Brown's.

    Howard, you and I share a number of common beliefs and we have a number of common complaints. One of our shared complaints has always been about the rampant anti-intellectualism of mainstream Freemasonry and that Masons simply do not read. Knowing this to be the case, how wealthy is Hodapp becoming writing books on the subject?

    I know Chris Hodapp very well, and he's not writing books on Freemasonry for the fame and wealth it's bringing him, it's because of his love of the Craft and his desire to bring whatever knowledge he can to an organization that needs it so very badly. I would think that you, of all people, would support that initiative rather than criticize it.

  18. Many thanks for the correction, brother--I do appreciate it. Quick, but bad typing on my part.

  19. To Brent Morris (Director of Propaganda)I'm sure you will say you're regular comment; "biased and widely discredited book."
    You are nothing but a shell for
    Fred Kleinknecht (the man still behind the curtain)

    Official Declaration of the

    Grand Lodge of the 3 Globes at Berlin

    Concerning the AASR 33

    These Statutes, Regulations, etc., (of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of 33 degree) as translated by Albert Pike, in our opinion, bear internal evidence of their spuriousness, and we have on all proper occasions denied their authenticity. The last steamer from Europe brought us the result of the investigations of the Grand Lodge of the "3 Globes" as contained in its Protocol of Dec. 19th, 1861, which fully sustains us.

    The Protocol as translated, is as follows:

    "The Grand Master stated that W. Bro. Merzdorf of Oldenburg, the highly estimated honorary member of the Grand Lodge, had sent to the "Directory of the Order" (Bundes-Directorium) a lengthy critical examination of the Constitution and Statutes of the system of the 33 degrees.

    "The collection of these Constitutions, etc., has the title "Statutes and Regulations, Institutes, Laws and Grand Constitutions of the Ancient and Ace. Scottish Rite, compiled with notes from authentic documents for the use of the Order. By Albert Pike etc. New York 1859."

    "The Grand Master then gave the principal contents of the historico-critical examination of Bro Merzdorf, and mentioned particularly that the above named Constitutions and Laws, which formed at present a basis of a system of high degrees in America, France and England were attributed to King Frederick the Great, who is said not to have issued them himself, but to have approved and signed them at the Grand Orient of Berlin, on the 25th day of the 7th moth of the year 1762, and in May 1786. These documents are in the Latin, French, and English languages. The last of them, May 1, 1786, begins with the following introduction: "Nos Fredericus Dei Gratia-fecerunt" &c. The Constitutions have the following introduction: "Probante praesente. sanctiente-deli-beraverunt" &c and closes with "Deliberatum, actum sancitum in Magno et Supremo Concilio", &c.

    "According to the contents of these documents, Frederick the Great is said to have revised, reorganized, and increased from 25 to 33 degrees the system of High degrees in a Supreme Council held at Berlin, and which have often been the subject of critical examination, in consequence of the doubts of their authenticity which have always been uttered."

    "Bro Le Blanc de Marconnay directed a letter about this subject, dated May 25th 1833 from New-York to the Directory of the Grand National Mother Lodge of the 3 Globes. He wrote as follows. "The highest tribunal of 33d and last degree of the Ancient and Ace. Scottish Rite (a Masonic authority which has extended its jurisdiction over Europe principally France) claims to have its authority from Frederick II., King of Prussia, the said monarch having, on the 1st of May, 1786, revised the Masonic Constitutions and Statutes of the High degrees, for which he had himself given the reglementes? " etc. Are these historical traditions Founded on truth? Is there any trace to be found of such a fact? Is there any probability for their being a reality?

    "The answer which the Directory returned, on the 17th August 1833, says: "The Grand National Mother Lodge of the Three Globes -was founded on the 13th September, 1740, under the authority of Frederick the Great, who was its first Grand Master. He never had anything to do with the organization and legislation of the Grand Lodge. All that has been related of his having, in 1786, originated a high Masonic Senate, etc., has no historical basis."

    "Kloss attends to this subject in a long examination in his "History, of Freemasonry in France" (page 409) and stamps the Constitutions and Statutes of the Ancient and Ace. Rite as "the grand lie of the Order."

    "As harsh as this judgment may appear at a first glance, the Directory of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes, after repeated researches in the archives and historical collections, cannot help sustaining it, by declaring the Constitutions and Statutes entirely false (apocryphal), because

    (I) King Frederick the Great attended to Masonic affairs for only seven years (from his initiation in 1738 to 1744) and was never engaged in them afterwards. He kept himself aloof from every direct participation in them, devoting himself, with almost superhuman exertions, exclusively to the troubles and cares of government and in the command of his army.

    (2) In the year 1762 the third Silesian campaign engaged the whole of the time and activity of the King, and on the 1st of May, 1786 - (the last of his life) indeed a few months only before his death (17th August 1786) he resided, a martyr to the gout, decrepit and weary of life, in his castle of Sans-Souci, near Potsdam, not in Berlin. According to the most reliable information, the King arrived in Berlin, September 9th, 1785, visited his sister, the Princess Amelia, inspected his public works, and spent the night at the mineral springs to attend on the next day (September 10th, 1785) the manoeuvres of his artillery. From the place of review the King returned to Potsdam. He never again came afterwards to Berlin; for, after having passed the winter in great suffering, his approaching end became no longer doubtful to his physicians in 1786, and the suffering monarch moved, on the 17th April 1786, to the castle of Sans-Souci, where he through four months suffered: and died a hero.

    (3) It is, therefore, a falsehood that King Frederick the Great had convoked on the 1st May, 1786, in his residence at Berlin, a Grand Council for regulating the High degrees. It does not correspond at all to the manner of thinking and acting of the sublime Sovereign, to have occupied himself near the end of his earthly career with things which he had characterized as idle, valueless and play-work.

    (4) The documents kept from time to time in the archives of the Grand National Mother Lodge do not show the slightest trace of the above mentioned documents or of the existence of a Grand Council in Berlin.

    (5) Of the persons who are said to have signed those documents, only Stark and Woellner are here known, the others are entirely unknown, nowhere mentioned in any of the numerous Masonic books or writings collected here.

    But Stark could not have signed the documents Of 1762 and 1786, for he was from 1760 to 1765 well known in England and France, and in Paris was the expounder of the Oriental manuscripts of the library, Ill 1766, he returned to Germany, and became Conrector at Wismar. Ill 1767 he was appointed Professor of Oriental languages at Konigsberg in Prussia, whence he went, in 1781, as first preacher of the Court to Darmstadt. Stark declares in his book "The Accusations against Dr. Stark and his Defense: Frankfort and Leipzig, 9, 1787, P. 83 and 245, that he had renounced, since 1777, all his Masonic connections, had not participated in any way afterwards with Masonic matters, and had been very indifferent that he did not want to answer letters of his former friends who wrote on such subjects.

    Woellner had been elected in 1775 Altschottischer Obermeister and held this office until the year 1791, when he was elected National Grand Master. Nowhere in the archives can be found evidence that he took an interest in the high degrees. A letter sent to him by des Philalethes Chiefs legitimes du regime Maconnique de la R. loge des amis reunis a L'Orient de Paris, kept in the archives of the National Mother Grand Lodge, touches the meeting of a convention in Paris on the 15th June, 1786. It is signed by Bro Lavalette des Langes. The purpose of the Convention was to be, to confer upon Masonic Doctrine, and by the concentration of lights and the comparison of opinions, to clear up the most important points relating to the principles, dogmas, advantages and the true aim of Freemasonry, viewed only as a science.

    A later letter from Bro Lavalettes de Langes, received February 9th, 1787, shows that the meeting of the convention had been put off to the 21St February 1787. On this letter is a remark that it had not been answered.

    The Grand Lodge resolves to insert this report of the Directory into the Protocol, and so promulgated it to all the Lodges."

  20. Dubious Rite

    the history of the Southern Jurisdiction

    of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite 33


    The Masonic writer and historian Albert Lantoine along with Thory, Clavel and Ragón are probably the most well informed and documented historians in freemasonry, here in this brief but exact article the reader is presented with the real facts surrounding the fictional regular establishment of the AASR, and its dubious origins.

    The Great Frederick or the God of the Fable

    Frederick of Prussia! What has Frederick the Second of Prussia to do with this affair? Again we demand it. The High Grades made use of the mysterious Superiors; Charles-Edward had excused himself, but Frederick could do so no more: he was dead! It is quite difficult to imagine today the motives which decided the ascription of such a patronage. Were the Americans deceived by Etienne Morin who, aware of Frederick's initiation before his departure, played it up before the New World to interest it in this Masonic line? Or did these Americans, in their democratic respect for the great ones of the earth consider that such a king could not tarry with the others in the "Middle Chamber," and that a "Sublime Apartment" was better suited to the loftiness of his position and character? Or again, to avoid the innovations of imaginative inventors, and this scattering abroad of Ecossaism which had marked the 18th century, was it deemed necessary to call to the rescue one of those men who were not to be disobeyed to put each grade into its place again? We do not know. But behold, after Charles-Edward, Frederick introduced into the history of the High Grades. Shall we expel him--the one as we have the other ? Alas ! we cannot do otherwise; we have no proof whatever of his collaboration on the new statutes of Ecossaism, and on the contrary we have almost too much that contradicts it.

    It is not through a comparison of the sentimental order, we say it at once, that we have connected Frederick the Second with the Pretender Charles Edward; this connection the Ecossais have made to enter the domain of reality. The Bro. Pyron addressed to Napoleon First an historic note (!) in which he asked him as "Sovereign of sovereigns" to support an Institution which had passed from the family of the Stuarts into the hands of the Great Frederick. This idea was accepted with enthusiasm by the Supreme Council which embodied it with ultra fantastic details in its Encyclical letter of March 5, 1813:

    Charles-Edward, last scion of the Stuarts, was the chief of Ancient and Modern Masonry. He nominated Grand Master Frederick II to succeed him. Frederick accorded to Masonry a careful attention, it was the object of his constant solicitude. At this period the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite comprised but twenty-five grades, of which Prince of the Royal Secret was the highest. Certain new projects, certain discords which unexpectedly arose in Germany in 1782, inspired him with fear lest Masonry become the prey of anarchy and the victim of those who, under the name of Masons, might be tempted to let it fall into decay or annihilate it. When in 1786 Frederick saw his life had almost run its course, he decided to transmit the sovereign powers with which he was clothed to a Council of Grand Inspectors General who after his death would take over the direction of High Masonry, conformably to the Constitution and Statutes. On May 1, 1786, he increased to thirty-three the number of the grades of the hierarchy of the Scottish Rite, which till then had counted but twenty-five, and assigned to the thirty third the designation of Puissant and Sovereign Grand Commander General. The powers conferred under this degree, for the government and direction of the Rite, were concentrated in a Sovereign Chapter called the Supreme Council, etc. On May 1, 1786, Frederick established the Constitution and Regulations for the Grand Inspectors General, of which article VIII provided that after the death of Frederick the Supreme Councils would be the Sovereigns of Masonry.

    A tiny glimmer of truth is at the bottom of this legend. In distinction to the Scottish Pretender, Frederick had actually been initiated. It will be outside our task to repeat here, from Baron de Bielfeld, (1) the details of this initiation, which took place when Frederick was only prince and heir-apparent.


    This title of Freemason would not seem displeasing to a critical youth who took no part in religion and who entered the Order at a time when every secret society touched by the breath of liberty which had then begun to blow over Europe, had less and less honor and sanctity. On becoming King, he did not at once lose interest in the Institution, and he continued for a long time to receive with fraternal courtesy the homage addressed to him by the National Grand Lodge at the Three Globes and other Prussian Masonic organizations. At the beginning of his reign, he still amused himself in his Masonic capacity, and he had not forgotten those hazardous escapades he had perpetrated incognito in his realm--as for example when on the right bank of the Rhine, he levelled a pistol at an abbe traveling in a post-chaise and cried with a savage air "Become a Freemason or die." Dieudonne Thiebault (2) who relates this prank, adds that the King allowed the poor frightened abbe to go, telling him his fear made him unworthy of being a "brother"--which shows at least some esteem for the Masons.

    Even if Frederick patronized Freemasonry, even if he founded The Three Globes, he was never Grand Master--or at least he was never a Grand Master in partibus ("never having particularly occupied himself with organization and legislation") as that function is recognized and understood. His Masonic activity (and this word activity should not be given the meaning of assiduity) lasted not much more than seven years from the date of his initiation, that is from 1738-1744. But the participation of Frederick II in the work and development of the Order has been very fully investigated by German authors--there is an extensive bibliography on the question-but all of them, even though they disagree on certain points, are unanimous in exonerating his memory from the creation of the high grades. Circumstantial details regarding this are to be found in Lenning's Masonic Encyclopedia. Doctor Adolph Kohut in Die Hohenzollern und die Freimaurerei (Berlin, 1909) tells us that "he was disgusted with the grotesque practices and hazy doctrines of the Strict Observance and that he spared no sarcasm in speaking of it. He thought Freemasonry should have no other end save the perfection of human society and he disapproved any act which might demean the high standard of such precepts." He even went so far on Nov. 13, 1780, as to blame the lodge Royal York for having organized a charitable concert, which seemed to him beneath the character of the Institution. Treutel in his Vie de Frederic II roi de Prusse (Strassburg, 1787) gives us some Masonic details of our hero. appears that during the early days of his reign, summoned a lodge, where, in the capacity of Master in the chair, he received Prince William, Margrave Schwedt and Duke of Holstein.

    Although Frederick was a Freemason, he did not wish the usages of Masonry to be extended outside the lodge. Some Masons having sent him a petition during the war of succession in Bavaria took it into their heads to append to their signatures their titles and grades in the Order. The King at once sent the petition to the Lieutenant of Police and forbade them to further use these titles.

    An upholsterer who was working one day in the King's apartments tried to make himself recognized as a Freemason; but Frederick turned his back on him and withdrew.

    Lord Dover, author of History of the Private, Political and Military Life of Frederick II King of Prussia, which seems admirably documented, writes:

    Although having become a member of the Fraternity, Frederick was not very kind to the Freemasons during his reign; he seems even to have discouraged them. Shortly after the death of his father, he presided over one of their assemblies and in the capacity of Grand Master initiated his brother, Prince William, Margrave of Schwedt and Duke of Holstein, there is no evidence that he took any further interest in the actions of this society.

    We read in the third volume of La Monarchie Prussiene by Mirabeau:

    It is unfortunate that Frederick II did not have sufficient zeal even to become Grand Master of all the German lodges, or at least of the Prussian lodges; his power might have acquired a considerable growth . . . and even some military enterprises might have taken another turn if he had never fallen out with the leaders of this society.

    One might object that all these arguments are of a psychological nature, so to say, and that the secret of the relations of Frederick with his brethren may have been religiously, or better, Masonically guarded. But even if we accept this improbable hypothesis, we come now against a material impossibility. Here once more Mirabeau furnishes us with evidence. It is to be found in the Histoire secrete de la cour de Berlin, ou Correspondance d'un Voyageur Francais depuis le 5 Ju 1786, jusqu'au 19 Janvier 1787:

    His (Frederick's) malady, which would have killed ten men had lasted eleven months without interruption and almost without respite, since the first attack of suffocating apoplexy from which he recovered through an emetic, and uttering with an imperious gesture as his first sound these two words: "Be quiet . . ." [Letter XXVIII dated from Dresden, Sept. 24, 1786.]

    This information carries weight as coming from a witness who was there and who saw for himself. We have proof of it in the preamble with which he saw fit to preface his Lettre remise a Guillaume Frederic II roi regnant de Prusse . . . where these lines may be found:

    Frederick II summoned me before him voluntarily when I hesitated to importune his last moments with my natural desire of seeing so great a man, and of obviating the regret of having been his contemporary without knowing him. He deigned to welcome me, to distinguish me, even though a stranger such as I had not been admitted to his conversation

    Frederick II died Aug. 17, 1786--he would have revised the Constitutions May 1, 1786, that is to say three months and a half before his death. Now how can anyone believe that this man, who according to Mirabeau suffered for eleven months "without interruption," could apply himself to a task so foreign from all his habitual activities and duties under the constant anxieties that the charges of royalty imposed upon him? From January, 1786, he was condemned, and he himself, according to his family, had not the slightest illusion about the fatal outcome of his malady.


    The fabricators of novels of adventure are not accustomed to consult sources and their imagination never considers anachronisms . . . The pamphleteers of the High Grades had not the benefit of being corrected by an informed editor. For not only is the date more than open to suspicion but even the city where the generous deed was done, Berlin. Here again the larger history refuses to confirm the little history. Frederick II lived at Potsdam, and he died there, at his chateau Sans-Souci, without having set foot in Berlin after his last visit of Sept. 9-10, 1785, when his movements . . . have been carefully reported by his biographers. Now a sentimental argument which deserves consideration because it upholds the other, is this--why did not Frederick II give his compatriots some share in the harvest of the High Grades? Why was not his lodge The Three Globes given some part in their distribution? And even were it a case of an exclusion prompted by some resentment or other, would not his subjects have hastened eagerly to adopt a reform extolled by their king?

    What a bizarre idea, moreover, for this fanatic Prussian, so zealous for the glory of his own nation to do this -and for what a reason! To transmit his famous powers to certain Americans instead of simply delegating them to his eldest son and heir Frederick William!


    As for these Constitutions, where are they? Vanished in air! As attestation for their authenticity we have almost nothing; only the discourses of Dalcho to which we have referred, where among other equally fantastic allegations we find this:

    In 1762 the Grand Masonic Constitutions were expressly ratified by the government of all lodges of Perfect and Sublime Masonry.

    There is also the formal affirmation of Pyron in his Abrege historique de l'organisation en France, jusqu'a l'epoque du ler Mars 1814, des trente-trois degrees du rit Ecossais ancien et accepte . . . where he says:

    At the same time in 1786, Frederick II, King of Prussia, Sovereign of Sovereigns of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and Grand Master, successor of the Kings of England and Scotland, wished to weld together forever the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for which he had a special affection. He wished to invest it, in every State and Empire where it might practiced, with the necessary power to free it from any obstacles which it might meet with on the part of this crude ignorance which misrepresented everything, etc....

    Consequently, Frederick II presiding in person [these words are italicized by Pyron himseif. Tr.] over the Supreme Council by the aid of which he ruled and governed the Order, on May 1, 1786, raised to thirty-three degrees the hierarchy of twenty-five degrees sanctioned by the Grand Constitutions of 1762.

    Later General Albert Pike repeated this affirmation on his own account; but this citizen of free America has every interest in making us believe it an affirmation which at the same time legalized the Council at Charleston, which had only been created, it seems, on May 21, 1802, while the patent of de Grasse-Tilly was dated Feb. 21 of the same year. We prefer the text, but the High Grades are pursued by an improbable misfortune. It is with the Constitutions of Frederick as with the Bull of Charles-Edward installing the Chapter at Arras, as with the Charter of the Templars, as with the patent of Dr. Gerbier, as with so many other documents by which so many fables have been supported: the original is lost. What a loss! Albert Pike in his Memoirs to be of service to the history of Freemasonry in France, which the New Age published, tries to calm our anxiety:

    We possess, writes he, the copy of the Constitutions of Frederick the Great, and I certify that it conforms with the original which, through misfortune, has disappeared and on which the august signature had been effaced by the water of the sea.

    The sea respects nothing. Misfortunes never come singly; behold, after the august signature, even the document itself disappears. So the ambassador who carried so precious a document lost it! And we do not even know the name of this wretch, who not only exposed the manuscript to the spray but who also let it be borne away by the wind! No not by the wind at large --for the statement would seem too suspect. No! Some fine fellows have seen the marvelous paper, and they cite the names of other signatories, hardly decipherable, but decipherable just the same. Bro. Jottrand wrote in 1888: (3)

    According to the description of the authentic copy submitted in 1834 to the Supreme Council of France with the names of those who had constituted at Berlin the first Supreme Council of 33d only four are legible; in the fifth the initial D is still legible; the others, so runs the descriptive process, verbal, are illegible owing to rubbing or to the water of the sea to which, written on parchment, they have accidentally been exposed several times. The initial D is certainly that of the Italian Denina, professor at the University of Tusin, author of a history of Italian and Greek Revolutions, whom Frederick had called to join his Academy. The legible names are those of Stark, Woellner Willelm and d'Esterno.

    But the archives left behind by Woellner, who was at this period Supreme Scots Master, have been searched and nothing found relating to this so important consultation with Frederick. Stark lived at Wismar, and in his Justification, published in 1787 at Leipzig and Frankfort-on-Main, he confessed the small part taken by him since 1777 in the work of the Freemasons and even (an avowed sin is easily pardoned) his indifference to the work. So far as Denina is concerned he was not only the author of a history of the Revolution of Greece and Italy as Bro. Jottrand says, but he wrote an Essai sur la vie et regne de Frederic II, roi de Prusse (Berlin, 1788), where he describes in a few words his initiation into Freemasonry "a society recognized today which begins to make some noise in the world" (pages 36-37), and (page 453) he devotes these few words to the Freemasons:

    The Freemasons into which society Frederick had been received ten years before he ascended the throne, did not meet with any marked favour, as perhaps they had hoped. But while they were persecuted in Italy, Bavaria and other countries, they enjoyed complete freedom in Prussia. If the King did not do any more for them, it was because he feared to favor them too much lest they meet the end of the religious and holy fraternities of the Middle Ages. However, assured of his protection by a letter of July 16, 1774, the Freemasons counted in Berlin five lodges under different names, and they had a large enough number in the provinces.

    If Denina had collaborated with Frederick at the elaboration of the Grand Constitutions would there not be an allusion or at least would he not have spoken of the Masonic Order with a more apparent interest?

    The vexatious thing, however, is that all the authors who uphold this belief have forgotten to agree among themselves. It was in 1887 that Albert Pike announced the crime of lese majeste committed by the water of the sea, and in 1818 one named Marguerite asserted that the Constitutions were in the hands of a Scottish Knight and that they were signed in the very hand of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.


    Search has been made everywhere, even where it seemed most likely proofs might be found, namely in Prussia. Wasted effort ! The National Mother Grand Lodge of the Three Terrestrial Globes at Berlin, questioned in a letter from Bro. De Marconnay dated at New York, May 26, 1833, made a reply which Findel saw and of which he records this passage: (4)

    The National Mother-Grand Lodge of the Three Terrestrial Globes was founded Sept. 13, 1740, under the authority of Frederick the Great, who was also its first Grand Master. This monarch did not, however, occupy himself particularly with organization and legislation. None of the assertions concerning his own acts or those of the supreme Masonic Senate that he may have founded in 1785 . . . have the least historical basis.

    It is even today necessary to prove what The Three Globes affirmed, because "this great falsehood of the Order," using the words of George Kloss, (5) has even been repeated in our own time by the Very Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Scottish Council, Bro. J. M. Raymond, who says in his Resume historique de l'organisation des travanx du Supreme Conseil du Rite Ecossais ancien et accepte pour la France et ses dependances: ( Paris, 1908)

    On May 1, 1786, Frederick II, King of Prussia, in his Masonic capacity as Sovereign of Sovereigns, definitely established the Constitutions, Statutes, and Regulations of the Scottish Masonic Order.

    How can such a legend help but gain credit among Freemasons when it finds itself still propagated by their very "luminaries" ?


    (1) de Bielfeld - Lettres Familieres et autris . . . 1763. (2) Thiebault - Souvenirs de vingt ans de sefour a Berlin. (3) Jottrand - Sur le Constitutions de 1786 du Rite E. A. et A. 1888. (4) Findel Histoire p. 486-487. (5) Kloss - Geschichte der Freimaurerei in Frankreich, etc. 1852-3.


  21. Tell us Brent Morris what happened to Henry Clausen? Or how your Boss took away the power from Clausen and that you still report to him (Kleinknecht)instead of the shell Commander?
    How about the AASR's power at COGMNA? How about what one of your SGIG minions did concerning FULL recognition of PHA by ALL GL's? How he and campaigned for his state and kept full recognition from happening?

  22. It's a sad commentary on your desperation to actually think that Brent Morris is posting here.

    It's either that, or just pure conceit on your part.

    Tell us, then, what system do you propose since you hate all others? Do you have something superior? Is it called the Sublime Order of Bitch and Moan?

    Paranoia will destroy ya.


  23. "Howard, you and I share a number of common beliefs and we have a number of common complaints." - Naylor

    One day, when all this has passed, we will all meet again on the Level. There are some rotten apples in Freemasonry that have driven an iron wedge between good brothers. Judgment Day is coming for them.

  24. Morris did you leave the building?
    Why don't you tell us about the AASRSJ grand plan for a complete Masonic take-over?

    Valley's closed.
    Consistory's in their place and "Regional Grand Lodges" governing all asspects of Freemasonry.

    Let's see where they will be located:
    Washington DC
    These are already in place.
    So where else?


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