Sublime Diversions
"There is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous."

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821), French general, emperor. Remark, Dec. 1812, to Polish ambassador Abbé de Pradt, on Napoleon’s return to Paris by sledge after the failure of his Russian campaign.

Internet postings from the "St. John The Sublime Reformer" made to alt.freemasonry (and cross-posted to numerous other unrelated  newsgroups as well) were notable for the repetitive (but often subtly changed) claims which, despite continued rebuttal with fact, reappear regularly. They are found primarily in two formats: those which attempt to revise the history of what was posted on alt.freemasonry and those involving actual events. Similar obfuscation can now be found on his Freemasonry Watch website.

In one usenet message posted at the end of July, 1999, the self-created "Saint" summarized a great many of his most ludicrous claims and charges (things which he had previously characterized as "beliefs and opinions").

We'll let you read for yourself - and then below we'll address the many falsehoods which are presented.

 
In a post titled "FreeMasonry/KKK - the Last Spike", the self-created "Saint" wrote on July 26, 1999:

Dear Readers, Over the past number of months a group of usenet users has been attempting to "prove" to the freemasons at alt.freemasonry that the most revered figure in American Freemasonry was a key figure in the founding of the Ku Klux Klan. Alas, regardless of the books or references we quoted from indicating that the founder of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, Mother Council of the World the Illustrious Albert Pike 33rd degree, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 33rd Degree Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Mother Council of the World had been a key figure in the Klan, we were greated <sic> of the man who wrote twenty treatises on Freemasonry (Masonicinfo Note: there were FAR more than that, actually.) and is known as the "Plato of Freemasonry" who in addition to having a prominent statue in D.C. also has the main library of the Temple of the Supreme Council (at 1733 16th Ave N.W, 13 blocks north of the White House) dedicated to him, also has a prominent memorial room in the Temple dedicated to him, is really something to behold. However you will be glad to know that I have finally succeeded in finding confirmation of the Plato of Freemasonry's KKK ties in a neutral, respected, and scholarly work. The work in question has nothing what so ever to do with Freemasonry or religion. In fact there is no mention of Mr. Pike being a Mason only pointing out he was a confederate general along with the first Imperial Wizard of the Klan, Mr. Forest. Albert Pike is quite a controversial figure and there have been obvious attempts by organized freemasonry to sanitize his odious past - however the truth has finally shone through for a change. The importance of the Scottish Rite in American Freemasonry can not be understated. Today every state's Grand Lodge is headed by a 32 or 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason. Blue lodge masons (degree 1 - 3) will deny vigorously the charge of being "controlled" in anyway by the Supreme Council, but facts are facts. If Albert Pikes credibility can be publically <sic> destroyed, then so goeth <sic> the Scottish Rite with him. If the wealthy and influential Scottish Rite is brought to it's knees, so would the entire structure of the secret society known as Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. The quotation: "Prominent Southern gentlemen were later cited as state leaders of the Invisible Empire. Alabama claimed General John T. Morgan as Grand Dragon. Arkansas was headed by General Albert Pike, explorer and poet. North Carolina was led by former governor Zebulon Vance, and Georgia by General John B. Gordon, later a U.S. Senator. Source: The Fiery Cross: Wade, Wyn Craig. Oxford University Press 1998 Page 58 Originally Published: Simon & Schuster 1987 Library of Congress Catalogue Number: 1.Ku Klux Klan (1915-)-History. 2. White Supremacy movements--United States --History. 3. Racism--United States-- History. 322.4'2'0973-dc21 97-44001 It should be noted that Albert Pike also wrote quite profusely on the "Aryans" in a book with that subject in it's title. A further quote about from Mr. Pike was also recently supplied by Mr. B. Maddox, Freemason on alt.freemasonry (and attacked for doing so), vigorously by Mr. "Ed King" the unofficial moderator of alt.freemasonry and publisher of the stalker hate site AntiMasonry points of view. "I took my obligations from white men, not from negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave masonry, I shall leave it" Albert Pike 33rd* source: Delmar D. Darrah, History and Evolution of Freemasonry 1954, page 329. The Charles T Power Co. There has <sic> been protests in recent years by African Amercian <sic> Groups to have Mr. Pikes statue removed from Washington D.C.. We shall hope that they will also work towards getting his dedication of the main library at the Temple of the Supreme Council 33rd degree, H.Q. for International Freemasonry removed, along with his "memorial room", and the issue of a public censure and discontinuance of propagating his writings to international freemasonry. Hopefully this new concrete mainstream reference I have provided today will be of some additional benefit to those seeking to bring International Freemasonry to it's knees.

Fraternally Yours, St. John the Sublime Reformer

A Certain Point Within A Circle

Masonic Historian Masoninfo.com - AntiMasonry points of view

(Masonicinfo Note: Observe the deceit in the above non-existent web address of 'masoninfo' instead of 'masonicinfo'. It's yet another ludicrous tactic of the self-created "Saint". We have snipped several lines of web addresses irrelevant to this particular message but which are a part of his usual postings and can be readily found.) 

St. John the Sublime Reformer's logic is a peculiar form of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. It is based on his three grand principles - brotherly love, relief, and truth. So mote it be.
 

 

"Plato of Freemasonry" - Regularly when referring to the leader of the Scottish Rite of the Southern (U.S.) Jurisdiction Albert Pike, the "Saint" will indicate that he is "...known as the "Plato of Freemasonry", a most impressive term - but one which is certainly misused in such acclamations. In fact, this term was used by one author ONCE - and it was in the dedication of a book he'd written. It is not a term used by Masonry in general nor has it ever been used by any of Pike's many biographers. (Incidentally, the author of the book in question was Manley Hall!)

Founder of the Klan - Albert Pike is a favorite target of anti-Masons and the self-created "Saint" seems to have a particular fixation with this man who has now been dead for a hundred years! One of his assertions has been made in the past by anti-Masons - as usual, without any proof whatsoever.

Before going too far with this particular attempt to defame Masons and Masonry, it's important to remember that the Ku Klux Klan as an organization was really two totally different groups: the original KKK  existed for just a few years immediately after the US Civil War. It was disbanded and completely out of existence between 1869 and 1871. The modern, racist organization made a reappearance after the turn of the century - and after Albert Pike's death! (It's also quite relevant to note that the original/first KKK was equally aggressive towards whites and blacks: there were many reports of actions taken against persons regardless of their color because they had committed seeming crimes. It was vigilante justice in an area of the country decimated by war.)  The incarnation of the KKK today is certainly not what it was during the 4-8 years of its original existence.

The first time the self-created "Saint" mentioned the 'Pike-connection' was in mid-February, 1999 when he wrote "I also understand he was one of the founders if not the founder of the Klu <sic> Klux Klan which only ceased being an offical <sic> masonic concordant body in the nineteen forties."

Pike's involvement - or lack thereof - has been subject to speculation before but not by credible researchers into his life. A specious claim is made that the founder of the Klan - Nathan Bedford Forest - was a Confederate General and Freemason. Because of this, it is 'natural' for some to assume that Pike would have been involved in the Klan. There are two mitigating factors, however:

bulletPike's involvement as a General in the Confederate Army was quite different from most others. He was placed in charge of an Indian regiment and was far removed from the major battles of the War. Due to an incident which credible accounts now say was contrived, Pike was removed from his command and roundly condemned by his compatriots. It was only after the War that his name was cleared. At the time of the Klan's founding, however, he was still considered an outcast.
bulletNathan Bedford Forest took the Entered Apprentice (first of three) degree in Freemasonry. He was in a lodge room ONCE and never returned. Considering Pike's close attachment to Masonry, it is hard to believe he would countenance a person who took only one degree and never progressed to become a 'full' Mason as having a claim on his Masonic 'ties', particularly in light of his writings which suggest (along with Mackey and others) that a man is not fully a Mason until he has received the degree of Master Mason.

Thus the claim that Pike was a founder - in any way - of the KKK is specious at best. Such a claim was made twice when the Klan was being 'reincarnated' in the late 1910 - early 1920 period. However, this was decades after Pike's death with him unable to refute. NONE of his biographers - both Masons and non - have made any such assertion.

In summary, the claim is one which the this particular individual uses to incite anger, knowing full well that mention of the Klan evokes images of the current Klan and their agenda of racial hatred. As further indication of this agenda, refer to his frequently cited lie that the Grand Lodge of New York recognized the Klan as an appendant body until the mid-1940s as reported here.

Scottish Rite Supremacy - One of the most bizarre charges which this person, convinced he can single-handedly destroy Freemasonry, makes is that the Scottish Rite Southern United States Jurisdiction (SJ) "rules" Freemasonry. This, it would appear, is so that his false claims smearing Albert Pike will be more readily accepted.

Here are the claims - and the facts: 

CLAIM: The SJ is the "Mother Jurisdiction" and as such, controls all Masons and Masonry.

FACT: Masons have always been conscious of 'age'. In nearly all jurisdictions, Craft Lodges are numbered to indicate their seniority, #1 being the oldest (except in Scotland where there is actually a Lodge styled as #0 and in Massachusetts where there are no numbers but the seniority of lodges is known and established amongst each other and by Grand Lodge). This system of numbering/seniority, for example, means that when a number of Craft (Blue) Lodges are visiting a ceremony of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Master of Massachusetts will be received prior to any other GM from the United States, Massachusetts being the oldest among US Grand Lodges. Other GMs will be received in order of seniority.

When Scottish Rite bodies from around the world agreed in the mid-1800s to recognize each other in a fraternal bond, it was agreed that seniority would be accorded to the US's Southern Masonic Jurisdiction - and thus, the SJ took the mantle of "Mother" Supreme Council. However each Council is entirely independent of each other, electing their own officers, holding their finances entirely independent of each other, having their own governing bodies, and not consulting any other Supreme Council when taking action. Thus the supposed primacy created by the title of "Mother" has no practical application other than who's hand gets shaken first when introducing people at Masonic events!

CLAIM: Because all Grand Masters are members of the Scottish Rite (and because the SJ is the "Mother" Supreme Council of the world), the SJ controls Freemasonry.

FACT: To anyone familiar with Freemasonry, this claim is so ludicrous as to be laughable. To those who don't know about the organization, however, it might seem legitimate.

The simple fact is that while MOST Grand Masters are SR members (Scottish Rite is a Masonically-related body and it's natural that a Grand Master would have joined in most cases), not all are - and there are some parts of the world where there is no Scottish Rite.

Further, though, there are two separate Scottish Rite bodies in the United States, a separate one in Canada, a separate one in Australia, etc. The Southern US Scottish Rite has no control whatsoever over these other groups, regardless of their claim to be the 'Mother Jurisdiction of the World'. In years past, in fact, relations between the two US SR bodies bordered on acrimonious. To think that the Sovereign Grand Commander in Washington could in any way control the actions of the person with an identical title and office in Lexington, Massachusetts simply has no basis in fact.

The self-created "Saint" has also been unable to explain how the edicts of the Sovereign Grand Commander (the presiding officer of the Scottish Rite) communicates his wants and wishes to the many Grand Masters - who seem to think they exercise total control over their jurisdictions during their term of office. In some cases, these Grand Masters would be quite quick to note who's 'really' in charge should such an issue arise. Nor can Freemasonry Watch explain away the fact that there has been in recent times an incident where the Grand Master of Washington, DC threatened to suspend the Masonic membership of the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite. If the SGC of the Mother Jurisdiction had the 'ultimate authority' as Freemasonry Watch tries to have you believe, we wonder why he would accede to the demands from a (supposedly) subordinate like a Grand Master. Again, the charges are baseless.

Neither can he explain - if the SR controls Masonry in this manner - simple things like the fact that NO ONE has ever mentioned this dominance of power previously. Why even a couple of Grand Masters who became disenchanted with Masonry after their term in office or various Grand Lodge office staff, who are not all Masons but would surely know of such 'dominance', have never mentioned such a thing.

It comes down to - as with many of the spurious claims made by this provocateur - his "beliefs and opinions": nothing more and nothing less! 

And his "beliefs and opinions" are in direct opposition to FACT!

Fiery Cross - The first charge that Albert Pike was involved with the KKK was made in February. Despite repeated requests that he prove his charge, it was not until the end of July that the self-created "Saint" produced his supposed 'proof' for his charge. Clearly, it took him a considerable amount of digging to support the smear he had attempted to make over the prior five months. In response, I wrote the following about his supposed 'unimpeachable source':

Wyn Craig Wade's book, "The Fiery Cross" has received a couple of favorable reviews but there are also several flaws as have been noted by others. Wade is a clinical psychologist and holds NO degree in history whatsoever! (Remember the "Saint" debasing Roger Firestone's History Professor because he wasn't a professor of *ITALIAN* history? <chuckle>) Yet our little "Saint" apparently feels that a clinical psychologist is qualified as a historian. (Incidentally too, the only other book written by Wade was on the Titanic; it received virtually no attention. There have been no books since....

Now again, on yet another of these wild goose chases that I'm won't to do from time to time, I meandered by ye ol' library today. There collecting dust was the hardbound version of this book which makes ONE MENTION (that's right, folks, ONE MENTION) of Pike. 

Here it is (on page 58, just like the paperback version that our little "Saint" stood in some book store reading....

"After the Klan had spread outward from Tennessee, there wasn't the slightest chance of central control over it - a problem that would characterize the Klan throughout its long career. Prominent Southern gentlemen were LATER CITED {emphasis added by EKing} as state leaders of the Invisible Empire. Alabama claimed General John T. Morgan as Grand Dragon. Arkansas was headed by General Albert Pike, explorer and poet. North Carolina was led by former governor Zebulon Vance, and Georgia by General John B. Gordon, later a U. S. Senator."

Please note that it doesn't say WHO they were LATER CITED by - and Pike is not mentioned in the Congressional hearings later held on the subject. (Another Masonic conspiracy, some will claim.... Yeah, sure!)

Now the latter quoted sentence above is what the self-created "Saint" wrote was in the book. Typical of anti-Masons, however, they choose to ignore the parts which don't fit into their silly theories.

Here's the VERY NEXT SENTENCE (which is even in the SAME PARAGRAPH): "But the leadership of these men, originally appointed by Memphis officials, was usually IN NAME ONLY {emphasis added by EKing} and nowhere lasted longer than 1869; such experienced veterans quickly realized the impossibility of governing in secret such widespread bands of young hellions and WANTED NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT." {Emphasis added by EKing}

Now just so you know too, Wade doesn't put his footnotes for his claims in an interlinear manner. All references are simply listed in the back of the book with a page number and a list of books. It's therefore impossible to tell what information on a page is supported by citation and what isn't. I've never seen a reference work (or any other book, actually) with references done in this manner. It sure isn't APA, ALA, or any other accepted academic format, for sure.

Back on page 459 -- Oh, and it should be noted that in this >500 page work, that reference above is the ONLY mention of Pike! -- the references to KLAN LEADERS are cited as Stanley Horn, "The Invisible Empire" and Susan Davis "Authentic History: Ku Klux Klan, 1865-1877."

The Davis book wasn't held; I've requested it be obtained thru interlibrary loan. However, sitting right here beside me is that Stanley Horn book. (Don't you wish that the "Sublime" would do some better research? Sheesh: these hunts are getting tiring! <g>) Would it surprise you to know that there's not ONE SINGLE CITATION in that book? 

Of course not. A lie, oft repeated, can become "truth".

And so, gentle reader, once again the reason for refuting lies becomes more and more clear. It we allow the lie to stand, it will be repeated time and time again, to more and more detriment.

Since this exchange, there have been many other messages on this particular topic. The "Saint" found (weeks after we had) that Wade had researched much of his material at the University of Michigan. Referring to both the online material available (which includes a book from the notoriously anti-Masonic publishing house of Powner & Co.) as well as personal visits by a willing assistant of ours, it has been conclusively proven that the references which supposedly tied Pike to the original Klan had no citations whatsoever. An anti-Masonic book without source documentation is used to "prove" a fact about a famous Mason: how compelling!

It should also be noted that the even Wade's book serves to discredit the claims made by the "Saint". Craig says specifically that the appointments were "...in name only" and  not that it was, in fact, true or that the individuals so named claimed it themselves. Further, it also notes the quick disassociation of the leaders themselves due to acts of the organization.

It's really a sad commentary that one would be so desperate that they would cling to such straws - but such is the "proof" of the evil of Freemasonry as offered by the self-created "Saint". 

"I didn't change a word...." - One of the deceits used by this person who wears the mantle of Sainthood is that he frequently will take a post from someone made months earlier and repost it as if the person was writing it afresh - and in addition, will cross-post it to eight other newsgroups as well. When charged with forgery, the self-created "Saint" will respond that it is NOT a forgery.... that he didn't change one single word, one single letter, etc. etc. The ludicrousness of such a reply should be apparent to all. Lies, deceit, shading of fact, and more are all among the 'tools' which this person uses to build his case against Freemasonry: built on sand, however, they rapidly fall when the truth becomes clear. 

 

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