In its 1 June 2000 edition, the liberal French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur featured a lengthy, shocking report on French Freemasonry, citing case after case of direct Masonic involvement in the most notorious criminal acts of the past twelve years. From mafia-like penetration of big business and the magistracy to assassination to public health catastrophes, it seems that virtually no aspect of contemporary Gallic life - whether political, judicial, military, commercial, civil administrative or law enforcement - is untouched by the corrupting hand of les francs-macons. While the report seeks to exonerate the majority of the 80,000 active French Masons from the criminal proclivities of a minority, nonetheless, it is forced to admit that "most of the recent scandals of the Republic have implicated, to various degrees, French masons." And the magazine states this fact even while admitting the complicity of its own kind: "… the press rarely speaks - except in veiled terms - of the role of French masons in business and politics, even though their presence is often a key to decoding affairs." Indeed, the French media itself is implicated in specific scandals, involving disinformation spread by a "masonic network at the heart of the magistracy and the press." Furthermore, the closed-shop environment created wherever the Brotherhood gains a foothold is a constant source of acrimony and division in both public and private sectors. A former Cabinet Minister recalled that he had once made discrete application for the presidency of a major French Foundation: "They explained to me on all sides that my career profile was right for the post, but that I had no chance: it was reserved for a Brother."(1)
English Lodge Under
The sort of demands which the Grand Lodge contemptuously resisted, to the point of effectively challenging the powers of the Select Committee, included requests that it supply the names of its members among the judiciary, the police, government lawyers and prison and probation staff, and that it identify which of 161 people involved in a series of notorious police inquiries - including the Birmingham pub bombings - were Masons. Mr Mullin said that 96 of the 161 names on the police list were former members of the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, which was disbanded in 1989 for corruption. The committee had been told by police officers - including Masons - that Freemasons had operated within the squad as "firms within firms." Allegedly reneging on a previous assurance that he would be prepared to release the names on a strictly confidential basis, a furious Grand Secretary Higham accused the MPs of conducting a "fishing expedition", complained that there had not been any specific allegations (prompting Mr Mullin to retort: "They were holding plastic bags over people's heads in order to get confessions") and merely claimed that only ten possible Masons had been identified among the 96 Serious Crime Squad names. Since that time there has been strong resistance among police officers to the Government's survey of Masonic membership, with the Home Secretary now considering whether to force them to register membership after only 36 per cent of officers in England and Wales responded to the study. Of these respondents, only one per cent said they were Masons, 89 per cent said they were not members and nine per cent refused to answer.
More successful was a similar survey of the courts, also resulting from the Select Committee's report, which drew a response from 96 per cent of judges and 87 per cent of magistrates. Five per cent of judges and magistrates said they were Masons while 89 per cent of judges and 80 per cent of magistrates said they had no links with the organisation. In the meantime, after months of struggle between the Government and the Freemasons and among Ministers themselves, the Home Secretary recently triumphed in his bid to shore up public confidence in the justice system by introducing a register of the Masonic links of judges, the first to cover any group of civil servants or other state employees, as well as making the declaration of Masonic status compulsory for newly-appointed judges. Needless to say, those Masons, lawyers and judges who have subsequently cried "discrimination" or defended Masonry in the judiciary on the grounds that privacy must be protected against unjustifiable interference, all conveniently ignore the conflict of interest which Freemasonry imposes on its members. In other words, although so far only five per cent of over 5,000 judges admit they are Masons (64 have declined to answer), that translates into no less than 247 judges who are known to have taken an oath demanding a higher degree of observance than their own judicial oath i.e. to support their brother Freemasons to the detriment of others. And one can only speculate about the extent of Masonic influence on the arrogantly liberal outlook of so many British judges which has drawn heavy criticism from all quarters in recent years as the courts of this country, according to Dr John Casey, Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, have set about imposing their "utilitarian, secular dogma" (especially in family and life issues) while "casually setting aside the Judaeo-Christian tradition of two millennia" [Daily Mail, 5/9/00] (2). As a Welsh barrister wrote to The Times [23/11/98]: "After 30 years at the Bar, it is my view that the influence of Freemasonry in the law is insidious and overwhelming. By contrast my own 'religious beliefs, political views or sexual preferences' are manifest for all to see. The liberty of the ordinary individual is too important to be left to a judiciary with secrets to hide."
I introduce this perennial controversy only to emphasise that it doesn't really matter. Regardless of whether he was actually initiated or not, Bugnini, charming and personable but fiercely ambitious and power-hungry, had embraced the Masonic worldview: "Secularisation was, for him," stated Abbot Boniface Luykx, O. Praem., who worked with and liked Bugnini, "a necessary process, something the Church needed to accept and embrace….because he said it was reality, and it was necessary to accept reality. He held to the modern philosophical view that man is made without God, and does not need God… He may never have used those words exactly, but that was his meaning, as his repeated answers to Bishop Malula [of Zaire] revealed" [Inside the Vatican, May 1996]. In that sense, the New Mass - adapted to modern Western man and Western culture - was Bugnini's last will and testament; the Catholic conduit par excellence for the secularism he professed.
This is all to say that while the criminal activities of secret Masonic groups like the infamous Italian Lodge "P2" (discovered in 1981 plotting against the State (3)) and individual Masons of the type referred to in the Nouvel Observateur report may have periodically grabbed the headlines, it is in the private realm of ideas that Freemasonry has comprehensively stolen men's hearts. Le Nouvel Observateur only hinted at this more sinister triumph when it acknowledged in passing that, "sometimes decades before their promulgation," debates on all manner of supposedly 'enlightened' laws including legalised abortion and contraception had been debated, and effectively settled, in the Lodges of France. (Are contemporary cries for the legalisation of so-called "soft drugs," cloning etc. being fuelled by the same hidden forums?). Thus have Masonic ideas taken on a life of their own in deforming erstwhile Christian societies - both East and West. Steeped in godless naturalism, they have so saturated the air we breathe that the modern world, as both victim and willing adherent to secularism, is incapable of assessing the Masonic roots of its own demise.
To underscore the sort of workaday complicity being pointed to here, one need only consider the complacent and even cavalier attitude of postconciliar prelates to the Lodge. Questions of propriety and pastoral example in this regard, for instance, apparently escaped Cardinal Hume who, as reported in a Times feature of 16 January 1999, was a celebrated member the Worshipful Company of Skinners, a charitable group and one of London's "great City Livery Companies that today are dominated by Freemasonry" [The Keys of Peter, Sept/Oct 1986]. Nor did Archbishop Kelly of Liverpool regard it as the least incongruous, misleading or scandalous that the social welfare arm of his archdiocese, the Nugent Care Society, accepted substantial donations from two Masonic Lodges in early 1999, eliciting public praise for the Brotherhood from the Society's Director who, bizarrely, regarded the donation as cementing "the ecumenical nature of the work we carry out across Merseyside". Refusing a plea from one of his flock to publicise the Vatican's 1983 re-statement on Freemasonry to avoid any confusion caused by this affair, Archbishop Kelly himself responded blithely: "…in no way does the receiving of funds imply the endorsement of views held by any donor." Which rather misses the point made by Leo XIII in Humanum Genus that "…as the whole principle and object of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful."
Like Archbishop Kelly and other British prelates, Cardinal Hume also routinely refused requests from concerned laity to re-state and clarify the Church's teaching on Freemasonry. Instead, the Cardinal persisted in holding fast to the false interpretation triggered in 1974 by Cardinal Seper's aforementioned gaffe, which had duped Cardinal Heenan like so many others: "I have followed the line agreed by my predecessor and the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 1974," was his standard response to complainants, altogether ignoring the crystal-clear 1983 Vatican corrective to the "erroneous and tendentious" interpretations of the mid-70s. While many Catholics still speculate about the possible nexus between Hume's renowned Modernism and this striking ambivalence towards the Lodge (4), still many more compare the attitude of British bishops in general to the genuine pastoral solicitude of Nebraska's Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, who in 1996 issued a list of "forbidden" groups, including Freemasons, to be avoided by his flock. Anyone "attaining or retaining membership" in any of these groups after 15 April 1996, wrote the Archbishop, are "by that fact (ipso facto-latae sententiae] under interdict and are absolutely forbidden to receive Holy Communion. Contumacious persistence in such membership for one month following the interdict on the part of any such Catholics will by that very fact (ipso facto-latae sententiae] cause them to be excommunicated". Nor was the Bishop deterred by the scale of the operation, his declaration affecting no less than 83,000 Catholics, most of whom were members of 12 Masonic Lodges (perhaps including many of those who joined up in recent decades amid the aforementioned confusion over the Church's stance).
Any local readers still unable to accept the notion of contemporary prelates as progeny of the Alta Vendita; anyone still uneasy about this charge of ecclesiastical secularisation by bishops who, though professing fidelity to Church and Pope, foster the Masonic agenda; anyone, that is, still unwilling to admit the evidence of their own eyes, should ask themselves a few blunt questions - such as:
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(1) Though not germane to the report, the magazine could well have added a further section on the poisonous Masonic legacy bequeathed to Africa. As Mgr Hyacinthe Thiandoum, Archbishop of Dakar, recounted in an interview with Jeune Afrique of 9 March 1999, la franc-maconnerie now pervades every level of political and economic life in the former French colonies.
(2) This grim judicial mentality was again on public show only last September as the High Court overruled parental objections to the killing of Siamese twin Mary in order to save her sister Jodie. "What is the benefit of a compromised life - compromised by nature and by unhappy circumstances," pondered the spiritually bereft (Christian Brothers-educated) Lord Justice Ward. "What is this creature in the eyes of the law", asked Lord Justice Brooke to the anguish of the Catholic parents who spoke in contrast of "our two beautiful daughters." "Continued life would hold nothing for Mary except possible pain and discomfort," decreed (Downside-educated) Lord Justice Walker laying out the parameters of this humanistic judgement. The American parallel springs immediately to mind, where Freemasons dominated the U.S. Supreme Court from 1941-1971 in ratios 5-4 and 8-1. As Paul A. Fisher, author of the meticulously documented Behind the Lodge Door, wrote in 1998: "It was the masonically-dominated [Supreme] Court which outlawed Christianity in public life, outlawed prayer and Bible, established the 'theory of evolution' as the only account of Creation which could be taught in America [in the public schools]." Many other ills such as abortion on demand and the "separation of Church and State," which have all led to the entrenchment of secular humanism as the de-facto religion of America, are also directly attributable to that same Masonic Court.
(3) Directed by Grand Master Licio Gelli, Propaganda Two (or P2) consisted of 953 people, including the heads of Italy's intelligence agencies, generals, cabinet ministers, judges, bankers and industrialists. Gelli had persuaded a number of individuals, such as ill-fated financier Roberto Calvi of Vatican Bank scandal fame, that the Church now permitted Lodge membership.
(4) As a measure of episcopal wariness of such well-founded lay suspicions, one need only consider the small but telling alteration to the printed text of the address given by Bishop John Crowley of Middlesbrough at Cardinal Hume's requiem. During a eulogy in which the word "truth" was mentioned just once in passing and which portrayed His Eminence as under siege from "extremists - right and left" as he pursued his quest for "the middle ground," Bishop Crowley quoted verbatim a small impromptu commentary by the dying Cardinal in which he spoke of "the Gospel values of Jesus, the New World Order of Justice, Peace and Love." In the printed text reproduced in a special July 1999 edition of Briefing, the official journal of the Bishops' Conference, the renowned Masonic phrase "New World Order" has been struck out and the Cardinal's words sanitised to read: "the gospel values of Jesus - justice, love and peace". Nothing else from the eulogy was omitted and Bishop Crowley is said to have edited the text himself. Readers should note that Bishop Crowley, Cardinal Hume's former private secretary, was the un-named Bishop who sent his emissary to instruct RE teacher Pat McKeever to teach "the middle way" at a Sixth Form College in his diocese ("Truth has its Own Power", CO, October 2000).