VI. The Masonic War Against Religion
The existence of Masonry was first officially announced in England in 1717. Before this date, it had already spread first in England, then in France and the rest of Europe, and became a primary meeting-place for the opponents of religion. Many European Masons met in their lodges, announcing themselves as "free thinkers," by which they meant that they did not recognize Divine religions. An article entitled "The First Periods of Masonry" in Mimar Sinan, says, "The place where Masons gathered to seek truth outside the churches became a refuge."119
This group though, that sought truth outside religion, also harbored great animosity toward religion. For this reason, the organization quickly became a center of power that made the Church, particularly the Catholic Church, uncomfortable. This conflict between Masonry and the Church continued to grow, leaving its mark on Europe the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Masonry began to spread to other countries outside Europe, in second half of the nineteenth century, and, everywhere it went, it became the center for anti-religious philosophies and activities.
An article entitled "Politics and Freemasonry," that appeared in Mimar Sinan, maintains the following about the struggle against religion:
There is no doubt that here the Masonic writer is using language favoring his own organization when he states that Masonry is fighting a war against church domination. But, when we examine the matter more closely, we see that in many countries, that same "domination" was convenient for regimes founded or supported by Masons. Therefore, we may easily recognize that Masonry's claim to be fighting against "domination" is pretense. Despite the fact that the Church—because Christianity had become distorted—preserved scholastic ideas and oppressive practices, Masonry's hostility toward the Church was not founded on this but from its hatred of traditional monotheist religions.
It suffices to look at the structure of Masonry and its rites and ceremonies to come to an understanding of this matter.
Example of a Masonic Lodge: The Hell-Fire Club
In order to understand how eighteenth century Masonry was organized, and what it attempted to achieve, one of the things we must proceed to do is examine the various secret Masonic societies that came to be at that period. One such society was the "Hell-Fire Club," that was active in England in the middle of the eighteenth century. The Masonic structure of this club and its anti-religious, pagan character, is described by the Masonic writer Daniel Willens in his article, "The Hell-Fire Club: Sex, Politics and Religion in Eighteenth-Century in England." Here are some interesting passages from that article published in Gnosis, a journal of Western inner traditions:
This "unholy sodality," as it has been called, styled themselves, with suitably Gothic flair, "The Friars of St. Francis of Medmenham," though they have been immortalized by their popular epithet "The Hell-Fire Club." In that gossipy age there was much speculation about the infernal activities of the society, and in 1765, Charles Johnstone published a roman a clef entitled Chrysal, or the Adventures of a Guinea, which was popularly believed to reveal the secrets of the "Medmenham Monks." ...
On moonlit nights during the reign of England's King George III, immensely powerful members of His Majesty's Government, important intellectuals, and influential artists could sometimes be seen travelling up the Thames River by gondola to a ruined abbey near West Wycombe. There, to the sonorous tolling of the deconsecrated cloister's bell, they dressed in monkish robes and indulged in every manner of depravity, culminating in a Black Mass celebrated on... a debauched noblewoman and presided over by that notorious rake Sir Francis Dashwood. Their diabolical devotions concluded, the inner circle would adjourn to plot the course of the British Empire.
The reason for including this lengthy quotation is to get an idea of the atmosphere in which eighteenth century Masonry developed and of the influence it had on people. Masonry appeared as a secret, and curiously attractive organization, whose opposition to the general beliefs of society provided a kind of psychological satisfaction to its members. The basic characteristic of Masonic rites, as stressed in the above quotation, was the sanctification of pagan symbols and concepts instead of those of traditional monotheistic religions. So, those who became Masons, and turned their back on Christianity, became paganized, though not necessarily by adopting paganism as a belief, but at least through the adoption of its symbols.
However, Masonry was not content just to practice strange ceremonies; it also followed a strategy designed to alienate Europe from the Divine religions, and lure it into paganism. In the following section we will consider some high-points of European history, country by country, and follow the traces of this Masonic war against religion. The first country we must examine is France.
The Struggle Against Religion in France
In earlier works we have examined the important role played by Masonry in the French Revolution. A very large number of the philosophers of the Enlightenment, especially those with the strongest anti-religious views, were Masons. The Jacobins, who set the stage for the revolution, and became its leaders, were lodge members.122
The role played by Masons in the revolution was admitted by an "agent-provocateur" by the name of Count Cagliostro. Cagliostro was arrested by the Inquisition in 1789, and made some important admissions while under interrogation. He began by stating that Masons throughout Europe had been planning a chain of revolutions. He said that the main goal of the Masons was to destroy the Papacy or to take it over. In his confession, Cagliostro also admitted that Jewish bankers financially supported all these revolutionary activities, and that Jewish money also played an important role in the French Revolution.123
The French Revolution was basically a revolution against religion. In the determined effort of the revolutionaries to get rid of the clergy, as well as the aristocracy, many clergymen were killed, religious institutions destroyed, and places of worship ruined. The Jacobins wanted even to destroy Christianity completely, and replace it with a pagan belief they called "religion of reason." But, within a short time, they lost control of the revolution and France was thrown into total disorder.
Masonry's mission in that country did not stop with the revolution. The disorder that came as a result of the revolution was finally settled when Napoleon came to power. But, this stability did not last long; Napoleon's ambition to rule the whole of Europe only brought an end to his power. Afterwards, the conflict in France continued between the monarchists and the revolutionists. In 1830, 1848 and 1871, three more revolutions occurred. In 1848, the "Second Republic" was founded; in 1871 the "Third Republic" was established.
Masons were very active throughout this period of agitation. Their primary aim was to weaken the Church and its religious institutions, destroy the values of religion and the influence of its laws on society, and to abolish religious education. Masons regarded "anti-clericalism" as the center of their social and political activities.
The Catholic Encyclopedia provides important information about the anti-religious mission of the Grand Orient, as French Masonry was known:
The Catholic Encyclopedia continues its account of French Masonry's struggle against religion:
By the "Galilean" the Masons mean the Prophet Jesus (pbuh), because according to the Gospel, the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was born in the Palestinian region of Galilee. Therefore, the Masons' hatred for the Church is an expression of their hatred for the Prophet Jesus (pbuh) and all monotheistic religions. They thought that they had destroyed the effect of the Divine religions with the materialist, Darwinist and humanist philosophies they established in the nineteenth century, and returned Europe to its pre-Christian paganism.
When these words were uttered in 1902, a series of laws passed in France broadened the scope of religious opposition. 3,000 religious schools were closed and it was forbidden to give any religious education in schools. Many of the clergy were arrested, some were exiled and religious persons began to be regarded as second-class citizens. For this reason, in 1904, the Vatican broke all diplomatic relations with France but this did not change the country's attitude. It took the loss of the lives of hundreds of thousands of French men against the German army in the First World War before the country's arrogance was tamed and it again recognized the importance of spiritual values.
As The Catholic Encyclopedia maintains, the war against religion, from the French Revolution to the twentieth century, was carried out by "the anti-clerical measures passed in the French Parliament" which "were decreed beforehand in the Masonic lodges and executed under the direction of the Grand Orient."126 This fact is clear from Masonic writings. For example, a quotation from a Turkish publication of "A Speech Made by Brother Gambetta on July 8 1875 in the Clémente Amitié Lodge" reads:
It will be noticed that Masonic literature consistently presents its own ideas as "far-sighted" while accusing religious people of being "backward." However, this is merely a play on words. The notion of "the specter of reaction," mentioned in the above quotation, is something that sincere religious people also oppose, but which Masons exploit to take aim at true religion in their attempt to alienate people from it. Moreover, it must again be emphasized that the materialist-humanist philosophy espoused by Masons is really a superstitious, backward system of ideas, a hold-over of the pagan civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.
Therefore, the Masons' use of terms like "far-sightedness" and "backwardness" has no basis in reality. Indeed, it is unfounded because the struggle between Masons and religious people is nothing more than the perpetuation of the struggle between two ideas that have existed since the earliest ages of history. It is religion that proclaims the first of these ideas: that humanity was created by the will of Allah and that human beings are responsible to worship Him. This is the truth. The opposing idea, that human beings were not created but live vain and purposeless lives, is the one proposed by those who deny the existence of Allah. When correctly understood, it can be seen that their use of the superficial terms of "backwardness" and "far-sightedness" has no basis.
By making use of the idea of "progress," Masons seek to destroy religion. The "Catholic Encyclopedia" states:
The following are deemed the principal means [of freemasonry]:
(1) To destroy radically by open persecution of the Church or by a hypocritical fraudulent system of separation between State and Church, all social influence of the Church and of religion, insidiously called "clericalism," and, as far as possible, to destroy the Church and all true, i.e., superhuman religion, which is more than a vague cult of fatherland and of humanity;
It can be seen that Masonry has put a program into effect, under the name of "the liberation of society," whose purpose is to eradicate religion, a program that is still being implemented. This must not be confused with a model that seeks to provide the opportunity for every citizen of whatever religious faith to practice his faith freely. Rather, the model envisioned by Masonry is one of mass brainwashing, designed to remove religion completely from society and the minds of individuals and, if necessary, to persecute its adherents.
In every country where it is established, Masonry seeks to put this program into effect, though in a way that conforms to the culture and conditions prevalent in that country.
One such country is Germany.
The Campaign Against Religion in Germany: "Kulturkampf"
150 years ago, there was no such country as Germany. The present territory called Germany consisted of a number of principalities. The largest of these was Prussia, which occupied the eastern part of today's Germany and a large part of Poland. In the 1860s, Prussia began to annex other small German states and founded the German Empire in 1871. The ruler of this new state was the Prussian Prime Minister and Chancellor of the new German Empire, Otto von Bismarck.
Bismarck was a successful statesman, especially in foreign politics, but did not enjoy the same success in domestic affairs. One of the reasons for this was a group of intellectuals known as the "National Liberals," similar to the French anti-clerics, that adopted an anti-religious policy. In order to achieve the unity of Germany, the National Liberals believed it was necessary to rid the people of any sense of affiliation outside their borders, and regarded the relationship between one third of the population and the Catholic Pope as the largest obstacle to this. Encouraged by the National Liberals, Bismarck embarked on an anti-Catholic campaign known as the Kulturkampf, or "culture war." It was also described as a struggle to control the minds of Germans.129
During the Kulturkampf, Catholics, especially in the southern Germany, suffered oppression.
In 1872, in compliance with a law that had been passed, all Jesuit priests in the country were rounded up in a single night and their institutions confiscated. In compliance with the "May laws," (maigesetze) passed in 1873, all priests working for the government were fired, the Church was forbidden involvement in all matters related to marriages and education, and topics of sermons was restricted. A number of archbishops were arrested and 1300 churches were eventually found without a priest.
But, because these tactics produced a strong reaction among the Catholics of the country against the government, the Kulturkampf was relaxed. Bismarck ignored the suggestions of the National Liberals, who had led him into this campaign, and restrained the Kulturkampf little by little until he finally cancelled it completely. This whole campaign resulted in nothing other than the oppression of faithful German Catholics, and the ruin of the country's sense of social well-being. Many historians today believe that it was a fiasco that shattered Germany's sense of social security. Moreover, after Germany, the wave of this Kulturkampf encompassed Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland, causing a great social tension in these countries.
The interesting thing to note that it was the Mason intellectuals who lured Bismarck into this policy. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:
That is, in spite of the fact that the Kulturkampf was stopped officially by Bismarck, it was nevertheless continued by Masons, as an on-going anti-religious propaganda campaign directed at society at large. The bitterest fruits of this struggle were reaped in the 1920's: the Nazis, who aimed to convert the German nation back to their pre-Christian paganism, gradually gained strength and came to power in 1933. One of the most important actions of the Nazis was their initiation of a second Kulturkampf against religious authority. The American commentator Elbridge Colby explains that "the Nazis opened a new Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church, jailing priests and deposing bishops; unlike 1874, however, Hitler also moved against the established Protestant."131
In short, the activities initiated by Masons to alienate society from religion gave rise to one of history's most brutal dictatorships, the Nazi "Reich," and drew the world into the World War Two in which 55 million persons lost their lives.
The Struggle Against Religion in Italy
Another country in which Masonic activities were evident was Italy.
Until 1870, the Italian territory was occupied by several small states, remnants from feudal times. The most important of these was the Papal State. It was centered in Rome, ruled by the Pope, and controlled a large part of central Italy. The Masons in Italy were founded as an extension of the French Masons, and began to exercise an influence in Italy from the beginning of the nineteenth century. They wanted to destroy the Papal State and eradicate the authority of the Church in Italy as a whole. According to the author of the book entitled The Roman Catholic Church and the Craft, master Freemason Alec Mellor: "InItaly, the origin of irregular lodges was mainly political; they confused Masonry with the fight against the temporal power of the Pope."132
Masonry began its struggle against religion in Italy by means of another secret society that it founded and controlled. This society was known as the "Carbonari".
This society, first heard of in Naples at the beginning of the nineteenth century, took its name from charcoal burners. As the Masons used the emblem of the wall-builder and expressed their ideas with symbols, so the Carbonari adopted the emblem of the charcoal burner. But, the society had ulterior objectives. The members of the society sought to initiate a political program, first in Italy, and then in France, to destroy the influence of the Church, establish a new government and secularize all social institutions.
The connection between Masonry and the Carbonari is evident. Masons automatically became members of Carbonari societies; in fact, from the moment they entered the society they gained the degree of Master. (On the other hand, it was necessary for other Carbonari members to undergo a long process of advancement before achieving this degree) Two cardinals by the names of Consalvi and Pacca issued an edict on August 15, 1814 accusing the Masons and the Carbonari of being organized for socio-political interference and the fomentation of hostility toward religion.
This accusation proved to be true for members of the Carbonari had organized political ruses and armed uprisings. The armed uprising that took place in Macerata on June 25, 1817 was organized by the Carbonari, but it was suppressed by security forces of the Papal State. In 1820, in Spain and Naples, and in 1821 in Piedmont, revolutionary uprisings were organized by the Carbonari against the Church and public order.
It is an accepted fact that the Carbonari were founded by the Masons who engaged in parallel revolutionary activities with them. After the July Revolution in France in 1830, the organization lost its influence and gradually disappeared. In Italy, it united with the "Young Italy" movement founded by Guiseppe Mazzini.
Mazzini, a known atheist, had struggled for years against the Papal State and the Church and finally became a high-ranking Mason who would become founder of the Italian Union. With the support of two other prominent Masons, Guiseppe Garibaldi and Count di Cavour, he founded the Italian Union in 1870, and drew the boundaries of the Papal State within its present borders. Afterwards, Italy entered a process by which it became increasingly distanced from religion, and that was to prepare the foundation for Mussolini's fascist dictatorship in the 1920's.
In short, we can say that Mazzini, Garibaldi and Cavour were three prominent leaders who performed important functions in the struggle against religion in Europe. Mazzini was not only a political leader in the struggle against religion, he also played a role as an ideologue. His slogan "every nation a state" was the spark that ignited minority rebellions, which were to be the cause of the fall of multi-ethnic empires, such as the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman Empires. This slogan of Mazzini alienated people from their sense of religious fraternity; it was a call that pushed them into ethnic conflict with one another and inspired them to "fanatical rage".(Surat al-Fath: 26).
The fact that this call came from Masons, indeed, high-ranking Masons, is certainly significant. According to information from the lodge publication 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Mazzini rose within the Masonic lodge, and years later, in 1867, was chosen Master Mason of the Italian Grand Orient. In 1949, at a ceremony in Rome to mark the unveiling of a statue of Mazzini, 3,000 Masons gratefully remembered their Grand Master. Garibaldi, Mazzini's right-hand man, achieved the 33rd degree of the Italian Supreme Council in 1863, and in 1864 was chosen Italian Master Mason. In memory of this Master Mason, a lodge is named after Garibaldi, which is attached to New York "valley" with the number of 542.
Masonic Revolutionary Agenda in Russia
Apart from Italy, it is also possible to find traces of Masonic revolutionary activities in many other countries of Europe. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "In…the later revolutionary movements in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Central and South America, Masonic bodies, it is claimed, took a more or less active part… In Russia also Freemasonry finally turned out to be a 'political conspiracy' of Masonically organized clubs that covered the land."133
The Masonic plot in Russia is especially interesting.
Masonry came to this country in the second half of the eighteenth century and was widespread among intellectuals. Although it appeared externally as merely a cultural club, anti-religious and anti-government ideas from other parts of Europe were discussed in these lodges. The first to take notice were the priests of the Orthodox Church. The priests sent the information they had obtained to Tsar Alexander I, whose relationship with the Church was good, telling of a Masonic plot to topple the Tsar's regime. In response, the Tsar issued a law in 1822 to shut down all the Masonic lodges in the country and outlaw the organization. Nevertheless, this failed to eliminate the Masons; they merely went underground.
Three years after Tsar Alexander I outlawed the lodges, he became ill and passed away. He was succeeded by Tsar Nicholas I. But, Tsar Nicholas' succession came as a result of a series of disputes and intrigues and gave rise to a disorderly situation in the country. Certain individuals who had wanted to bring stability to the situation by toppling the regime had planned a coup against the new Tsar. They had many supporters in the army. Confident in this support, a number of revolutionary soldiers, together with a number of civilians, marched into the Tsar's palace, in the capital of St.Petersburg, on the 14th of December 1825. There was an armed encounter between the revolutionaries and the forces of the Tsar in which the revolutionaries were defeated. This group was called the "Decembrists" because of the month in which they attempted their revolution. The leaders of this group were arrested and five were hanged.
The Decembrists were none other than Masons…The officers, intellectuals and writers who made up the group were members of the lodges outlawed by Tsar Alexander I three years earlier. One of these revolutionary Masons was the prominent writer Count Pushkin.134
The venture of the Decembrists ended in failure, but the Masons did not give up their intent to topple the Tsar. Masons always played an important role in those groups organized in the nineteenth and first quarter of the twentieth centuries against the Tsarist regime. In the 1917 February Revolution, the leader, Alexander Kerensky, and nearly all his close supporters were all Masons.135 And the majority of the new government was composed of Masons.136 The only contribution to history that the short-lived Kerensky Government made was to deliver the country into the hands of Lenin and the Bolsheviks he led.
Twentieth-Century Masonry: Silent And Remote
It should be noticed that in what we have examined so far, that is, that the activities of Masons in countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Russia, clearly shows that the goal of Masonry was socio-political revolution. Masonry wanted to establish a new order in which religious institutions and religious faith are eradicated, and to this end has attempted to topple the monarchies in those countries. In many European countries, Masonic lodges became rallying centers for opponents of religion, where coups, uprisings, assassinations, political plots and anti-religious politics were conspired. Behind all such activities, whether on a small or grand scale, which have occurred since the French Revolution in 1789 to the twentieth century, is found the influence of Masonry.
According to the English historian Michael Howard, Masonic lodges concentrated their efforts in the second half of the nineteenth century to overthrow the two remaining important Empires: the Austro-Hungarian and the Russian Empires, and were able to achieve their goal as a result of the World War One.
In other words, at the beginning of the twentieth century, Masonry had, in great measure, achieved its goal of socio-political revolution.
Therefore, the twentieth century was not one of Masonic revolutions. Thinking they have no more obstacles to confront, Masons prefer to merely disseminate their philosophy instead of hatching political plots. They spread their materialist and humanist philosophy to the masses under the guise of science, or by means of art, the media, literature, music and all manner of popular culture. Masons do not intend by this propaganda to eradicate the Divine religions in a sudden revolution; they want to achieve this over the long-term, and to initiate all people into their philosophy only little by little.
An American Mason sums up this method as follows:
Freemasonry does its work silently, but it is the work of a deep river, that silently pushes on towards the ocean.137
High Priest J.W. Taylor, from the state of Georgia in the USA, makes this interesting comment on the same matter:
According to Voice magazine, published by the Grand Lodge in Chicago, "So, silently but surely and continually, it [Masonry] builds into the great fabric of human society"139 This "building into the great fabric" will come about when the basics of Masonic philosophy—materialism, humanism and Darwinism—are imposed on society.
The most interesting aspect of this silent and remote strategy is that those Masons who are carrying it out almost never reveal that it is being done in the name of Masonry. They do their work under different identities, titles and in different positions of power, but they impose a commonly espoused philosophy they adopted through Masonry, on society. One of Turkish Masonry's Master Masons, Halil Mulkus, explained this matter in an interview a few years ago:
However, these ideas, which Masonry persistently studies and tries to indoctrinate to society are nothing more, as we have seen in earlier sections, than deceit. Masonry's philosophy stems from sources such as the myths of Ancient Egypt and Greece, and in their eagerness to transmit these myths to society, wrapped in the package of science and reason, Masons deceive both themselves and others. In an age of globalization, this is the role of "Global Freemasonry."
The result of this deceit is very detrimental. The program of alienating the masses from religion, carried out by Masonry in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, gave rise to neo-pagan ideologies such as racism and fascism, and secular and violent ideologies such as communism. The spread of social Darwinism deemed people to be animals struggling for their existence, the brutal results of which came about in the second half of the nineteenth century and in the twentieth century. World War One was the work of European leaders who, as a result of Darwin's suggestions, regarded war and bloodshed as a biological necessity. During that war, 10 million people went to their deaths, for nothing. World War Two that followed it, and in which 55 million people perished, was again the work of totalitarianism, like fascism and communism, that was the result of the seeds of militant secularism sown by the Masons. Throughout the whole world, during the twentieth century, all the destructive wars, conflicts, cruelty, injustice, exploitation, hunger, and moral degradation, basically, were products of irreligious philosophies and ideologies. (For details, see Harun Yahya's The Disasters Darwinism Brought to Humanity)
In short, the philosophy of Masonry has yielded bitter fruit. It could not be otherwise as that is a Divine law. Historically, those pagan peoples who rejected the religion of Allah, in preference of their traditional mythology and the religion of their ancestors, followed the road to destruction. Freemasonry, a contemporary manifestation of this paganism, is drawing the whole world, and themselves, into ruin.
It is for this reason that human beings must protect themselves from this potential calamity, by overcoming the intimations of what Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, a renowned Islamic scholar, referred to as "the disease called materialism and naturalism," and in this way preserve the faith of the masses.
127 Nur Safa Tekyeliban, "Taassuba Karsi Mucadele" (Struggle Against Bigotry): From the Speech of Brother Gambetta made on July 8, 1875 in Clémente Amitié Lodge," Dogus Kolu Yilligi: Ankara Dogus Mahfili Çalismalari (Dogus Branch Yearbook: Ankara Dogus Society Studies) , 1962, Kardes Press, Ankara, 1963, p. 19