KKK and More

"The Anti-Masons, traitors and perjurers some, and some mere political knaves, purified Masonry by persecution, and so proved to be its benefactors."
Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma

Is there any proof? Nope...

One of the more common tactics of deceit used by anti-Masons is the charge that Albert Pike - known for his leadership in the late 1800's of Scottish Rite Masonry in the Southern (US) Jurisdiction - founded or was a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

What they fail to mention, however, is that the Klan began in 1866-7 and was "founded" by 6 young men, veterans of the Confederate cause, but whose motives were unclear: whether it was some kind of racist joke or a true racist group. In 1869, Grand Wizard Nathan B. Forrest* disbanded the organization because it had become uncontrollable. It wasn't until 1915 (well after Pike's death in 1891) that the Klan in its second form reappeared. That group was bankrupted by the U. S. Government in the 1940s and the racist group which exists today has only the connection of a name similarity to the original group.

Although he, like so many other Confederate military officers, was initially charged with Treason, those charges were dropped and today, his statue is the only one of a Confederate General in Washington! There are more comments about the KKK of Pike's time there.

The NEW Klan - several times, in fact!

After the Civil War, the United States remained philosophically divided. Those who fought on the Confederate side felt wronged and betrayed. Despite the actions of the Union toward reconciliation, they were disenfranchised and angry. Many organizations such as the KKK were founded in the South at this time and many prominent citizens chose membership. To single out Pike for this is not only silly but ignorant of the circumstances of history.

It is also interesting to note that there is no mention of Pike whatsoever in the various contemporaneous Congressional hearings - a fact that seems highly peculiar if there was any suspicion at all that Pike might have been the Klan's Chief Judicial Officer as some have claimed.

Particularly in light of Pike's extensive work with and support of the American Indian (another group which engendered strong feelings of hate at that time), it is false to claim that Pike would be involved in the subjugation of ANY person.

Suffice it to say: when the Ku Klux Klan appeared in its present form, Albert Pike had been dead for some 24 years!

An excellent academic description of the Klan and the appeal it held amongst the general population in Texas in particular can be found at the University of Texas Online Handbook site here.  We'd encourage you to take the time to read it.

* Another charge made by anti-Masons attempting to defame Pike through ties to the (original - not current) KKK is that General Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Mason. This is yet another misleading claim. General Forrest took his FIRST of THREE degrees in Freemasonry. He did not progress further, having attended only that one, single meeting in his entire life. Under the rules of the jurisdiction in which he joined, he would not have been considered a Mason until he had taken the two additional degrees. The claim that Forrest was a Mason simply has no merit whatsoever.

The Fiery Cross

While a book written in the 1980s, Wyn Craig Wade's The Fiery Cross which purports to be a history of the Klan, has received generally favorable reviews, a critical examination reveals that there are several flaws in the work. 

Wade was a clinical psychologist who holds no degree in history. His only prior work was a book on the Titanic which received virtually no attention whatsoever. He apparently left his psychology to teach classes in writing. Reed's Business Information says "Wade's historical insights are often inane...."

In his book, there is ONE mention of Pike. It's on page 58: 

"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 masonicinfo.com} 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 Wade does not say WHO they were LATER CITED by....

"But the leadership of these men, originally appointed by Memphis officials, was usually IN NAME ONLY {emphasis added by masonicinfo.com} 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 masonicinfo.com}

Regrettably, 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 simply as a list of books. It's impossible to tell what information on any given page in his book is supported by citation and what isn't. We've never seen a reference work (or any other book, actually) with references done in this manner. It certainly isn't APA, ALA, or any other accepted academic format and we certainly hope that he doesn't teach his students to write this way.

WAY back on page 459 of this over 500 page work, the 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. Neither of these books offers any proof of any of their claims about Pike. No citations are provided in either book.

Again, unsupportable claims furnished to defame a long-deceased individual and Freemasonry. 

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33rds RULE!
The Morgan Affair
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