The Occult Influence in Freemasonry

By: Dave Hunt; ©2003
Masonic authorities such as Albert Mackey, Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall have been very open about the occult influences within Freemasonry. But many practicing Masons (Norman Vincent Peale among them) reject the idea. Why the difference? Are they “intentionally misled by false interpretations,” as Albert Pike claimed in Morals and Dogma?

The Occult Influence in Freemasonry

Occultism has gained a new respectability both in the world and the church through its acceptance and promotion by numerous business and civic leaders and pastors. Among the latter, none was more influential than Norman Vincent Peale. A prolific and popular “Christian” author, Peale’s writings have introduced millions in the world and church to the occult. There are at least two sources of Peale’s occultism: the writings of occultist Flo­rence Scovel Shinn, and Freemasonry.

A 33rd degree Mason, Peale was pictured on the cover of the Masonic magazine, New Age.[1] He was inducted into the Scottish Rite [Masonic] Hall of Honor on September 30,1991, and his portrait now hangs in the Washington DC Masonic Temple.[2] He was often held up by Masons as an example of Masonic character. Yet instead of honestly acknowl­edging the truth about Masonry, Peale perpetuated its deceits.

According to its own documents, Masonry involves occultism. Its influence permeates both the world and the church. Although many professing Christians are Masons, Masonry is an anti-Christian religious cult rooted in paganism. Masonry contains much of the mysti­cism of Hinduism and Buddhism, and is Luciferian. Yet Peale declared, “I have never seen the slightest word or expression [in Masonic rituals] that is anything a Christian could not endorse.”[3]

Such an obviously false statement sheds further light upon Peale’s perversion of Chris­tianity. No one who has reached the 33rd degree could be so ignorant. Declarations by Masonic authorities expose Peale’s dishonesty on that subject. Albert G. Mackey, coauthor of Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, is one of Masonry’s highest authorities. In Manual of the Lodge, Mackey traces Masonic teaching back to “the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness….”[4]

Albert Pike, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the USA, was “an honorary member of almost every Supreme Council in the world.”[5] He authored Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree, which was published by its authority. This compendium of official Masonic lore traces Masonry to Hinduism, Bud­dhism, Zoroastrianism, and other Eastern religions. In that volume Pike declared:

Masonry, like… all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled….[6]

Part of the symbols are displayed [in the Blue Degrees] to the Initiate [Mason], but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he shall understand them, but… that he shall imagine he understands them.[7]

Secrecy and occultism go hand in hand. At the heart of Masonry is a secret Luciferian doctrine which a Mason comes to understand only when he reaches the higher levels. Manly Palmer Hall, another of the greatest authorities on Masonry, writes, “When the Ma­son… has learned the mystery of his Craft, the seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands….”[8] Nevertheless, Masonry is highly respected in today’s world and Masons constitute a high percentage of those in leadership both in the world and in the church.

Those who deny that Jesus is the only Christ and that He came once-and-for-all in the flesh have embraced the spirit of Antichrist (1 John 4:1-3). Such is the teaching of Eastern mysticism and the mind science cults: that Jesus had attained to the state of “Christ con­sciousness” available to all mankind. Masonry declares the same:

Jesus of Nazareth had attained a level of consciousness, of perfection, that has been called by various names: cosmic consciousness, soul regeneration, philosophic initiation, spiritual illumination, Brahmic Splendor, Christ-consciousness.[9]

An Anti-Christian Religion of Salvation by Works

Masonry has its own anti-Christian gospel, which assures members that through good works and obedience to its tenets they will reach the Celestial Lodge in the Sky presided over by the G.A.O.T.U (Great Architect of the Universe), or “God as you conceive him to be.” Masonic authority Carl H. Claudy writes: “Masonry… requires merely that you believe in some deity, give him what name you will… any god will do, so he is your god.”[10]

In the initiation into the very first degree, the Lambskin represents “that purity of life and conduct which is necessary to obtain admittance into the Celestial Lodge above [i.e., heaven],…” In the 19th degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry the initiate is told that attach­ment to Masonry’s “statutes and rules of the order” will make him “deserving of entering the celestial Jerusalem [heaven].” In the 28th he is told that “the true Mason [is one] who raises himself by degrees till he reaches heaven” and that one of his duties is “to divest [him] self of original sin….” These and other rituals of Masonry fly in the face of the many declara­tions in the Bible that salvation is “not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-10) nor by “works of righ­teousness” (Titus 3:5).

In the ritual for “Knight of East and West,” the Master, after anointing the candidate with perfumed ointment, declares that his body has “this day been made holy!” In a further mockery of the blood of Christ shed for sin, the Senior Warden, after taking a drop of blood from the candidate’s arm, declares that he has washed his robe in his own blood. He is then given the “sacred word, Abaddon,” which, according to Revelation 9:11, is the name of the leader of the hordes of hell.

Similar blasphemy is found in nearly all Masonic rituals. How then could Peale declare that there is nothing a Christian “could not endorse”? Albert Pike declares, “Masonry… is the universal, eternal, immutable religion…. [It] sees in Moses… in Confucius and Zoroaster, in Jesus of Nazareth and in the Arabian Iconoclast [Mohammed] Great Teachers of Morality… and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher and even Divine Character as his Creed and Truth require.”[11] But no Mason may declare that the God of the Bible is the only true God or that Jesus Christ is the one true Savior of sinners, for such statements would undermine Masonry’s ecumenical embrace of all religions. Thus in Masonry’s “Maundy Thursday Ritual of the Chapter of Rose Croix” it is stated: “We meet this day to commemorate the death of Jesus, not as inspired or divine, for this is not for us to decide.”[12]

Joseph Fort Newton, another authority on Masonry, writes, “Masonry is… a worship, in which men of all religions unite.[13] … It invites to its altar men of all faiths, knowing that, if they use different names for the nameless one of a hundred names, they are yet praying to the one God….”[14] In full confirmation of this astonishing and impossible ecumenism, Albert Pike also wrote: “Masonry [is the religion] around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman [Hindu], the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer….”[15] And again Manly P. Hall declares:

The true disciple of ancient Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities…. As a Mason his religion must be universal; Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the names mean little, for he recognizes only the Light and not the bearer [person]….[16]

The quotes we have given above demonstrate beyond dispute the anti-Christian nature of Masonry. Yet more than a million Southern Baptist laymen and clergy are in Masonry’s “brotherhood,” and defend it as “Christian.” In a stunning demonstration of Masonry’s power (and the number of Masons present), the 1993 annual convention of Southern Baptists voted that Masonic membership was “a matter of personal conscience.” The vote followed the report delivered to the convention by the Interfaith Witness Department that many “tenets and teachings of Freemasonry are not compatible with Christianity and Southern Baptist Doctrine” and that much “undeniably pagan and/or occult” was involved in Masonry.[17] How astonishing that anti-Christianity is an option in the largest Christian de­nomination in America!


  1. For many years the magazine of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the United States was called New Age. That title accurately described Masonic beliefs and rites. In order to hide that fact (because the truth about the New Age is becoming known), the name has been changed to Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Southern Jurisdiction USA, or The Scottish Rite Journal.
  2. Scottish Rite Journal, May 1992.
  3. The Miami Herald, July 28, 1995, p. 1F.
  4. Albert G. Mackey, Manual of the Lodge (Macoy and Sickles, 1802), p. 96.
  5. Albert G. Mackey, 33rd degree, and Charles T. McClenachan, 33rd degree, Encyclopedia of Free­masonry (The Masonic History Company, 1921), revised ed., vol. II, p. 564.
  6. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (Su­preme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree, 1964), pp. 104-05.
  7. Ibid., p. 819.
  8. Manly Palmer Hall, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry (Macoy Publishing, 1976), p. 48.
  9. Lynn F. Perkins, The Meaning of Masonry (CSA Press, 1971), p. 32.
  10. Little Masonic Library, vol, 4 (Macoy Publishing, 1977), p. 32.
  11. Pike, Morals, pp. 219, 525.
  12. Found in any official manual of Masonic rites.
  13. Joseph Fort Newton, The Religion of Masonry: An Interpretation (Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1969), p. 11.
  14. Joseph Fort Newton, The Holy Bible, The Great Light of Masonry (A. J. Holman, 1940), pp. 3-4.
  15. Pike, Morals, p. 226.
  16. Hall, Lost Keys, pp. 64-65.
  17. “A Report on Freemasonry” (6 pages) published by the Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, March 17, 1993, in summary of the 75-page analysis “A Study of Freemasonry,” which the Southern Baptist Convention in annual session June 9-11, 1992, directed the Interfaith Witness Department of the Home Mission Board to undertake. This quote is from pp. 4-5.

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