Editor’s note: for more on Freemasonry, see this essay from our contributing editor, Peter A. Kwasniewski.
The first rule in war is to know one’s enemy, and yet the enemy of the Catholic, and of the Church Militant, is so shadowy we tend to not even know its name. Many Catholics, animated by charity and zeal will pick up the Rosary and the Cross to fight against abortion, the neo-pagan blood offering to the devil… and against Modernism, as well we should, the synthesis of all heresies… but we allow our most blood-stained enemy to operate in complete anonymity.
St. Pius X told us, at beatification of St. Joan of Arc, a cold truth we must take to heart, and tell to each other: “… in our days more than ever the main strength of evil men is the cowardice and weakness of those who are good, and all the backbone of the kingdom of Satan lies in the weakness of Christians.” Let’s not allow this to apply to us. Again, the French writer Jacques Ploncard d’Assac told the truth when he said, “I admire—to use a figure of speech—these brave activists engaged in the defense of Catholic schools who manage to write pages and pages on the subject without speaking once about Freemasonry.”
This line is about Catholic schools, which is only one desolate spot in the landscape of a world completely stripped of its Christianity; of its soul. In entertainment, in public schools, in journalism, in the political sphere, and in the sanctuary of Christ’s Church itself, in the heart of the Vatican, where is God? Where is religion? Where is decency, normalcy, sanity? It’s gone, taken away by the masonic organization. And where they don’t tear the Church out of society, they poison its atmosphere and corrupt it with vice.
To oppose Freemasonry is to enter the existential combat with the devil himself, and his agents on the earth. Christian knighthood is found in the exercise of thought, word and deed against it. First, let’s blow away the fog, to see the battlefield.
The Freemasons, as we know from monumental buildings covered in opulent wealth and pompous decoration, and from membership lists which, while mostly hidden, do include public figures of wealth and influence, hold and command raw power in society. Yet, it is not in use of power that they are principally successful… it is, let’s emphasize, in the field of ideas that they push a sordid agenda and score victories. The writer Arnaud de Lassus discusses Freemasonry in this same vein: “It is there at the forefront in the battle for ideas, continually forming people capable of engaging in this fight. Is it not urgent to attack it on this ground, to set a doctrine of truth against its hazy ideology…?”
One excellent guide to knowing the origins and background of Freemasonry is the book titled Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked by Msgr. George Dillon, D.D. It tells us in detail exactly what is this monster we fight: its nature, its inception, its goals, its strategies. Leo XIII, the tireless enemy of the devil in all his political guises, from Communism to the infernal Masonry, exhorts his bishops, “tear off the mask from Masonry and make plain to all what it really is.” In this spirit, the book was written. The Pope considered it so valuable he personally financed the printing of its first edition in Italian.
Msgr. George Dillon delivered a series of lectures that would become the text of the book. Although its first printing is from 1885, it is as timely and powerful in illuminating shadowy worlds of secret societies today as ever. It concisely illustrates the centuries of scheming, of villainous thoughts, evil intentions, criminality that brought Freemasonry from infancy in Europe to the towering position of supremacy where it was poised in the late 1800s.
It seems of little doubt it is the masonic group Pope Leo XIII speaks of in the St. Michael prayer in its long form:
Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men; his depraved mind, corrupt heart, his spirit of lying, impiety, blasphemy, his pestilential breath of impurity and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the Spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
The Freemasons are, in their intentions and agenda, like a virus in the bloodstream of society. The goal is one of complete de-Christianization of the world; total erasure of the Catholic Church, of all memory and mention of Jesus Christ, and nothing less. Essentially they seek to reinstall the devil as the uncontested ruler of the world as in pagan antiquity, and to this end they study meticulously and adopt all types of esoteric and pre-Christian doctrines, alongside scores of heresies, which have been suggested by the devil from the time of Simon Magus. They are genius in the art of subversive destruction with the aim to be lords of conquered Christendom. In order to tear down the Church from inside their program is a simple one: to lead individual Catholics into sin and so away from Christ. This is similarly shown in The Permanent Instruction of the Alta Vendita, which spells out in clarity, “Make vicious hearts, and you will have no more Catholics.” The prime target is identified in the next line, the priest. “Keep the priest away from labour, from the altar, from virtue.”
So, what is this formidable and bleak institution?
Msgr. Dillon traces the inception of Freemasonry to the ascent of atheism in Europe in the 1700s, two centuries after the Protestant “Reformation” had accomplished the violent overthrow of the Church as a governing and moral authority in the civic and personal life of vast portions of Christian Europe. The Protestant movement opened up all aspects of religion to the private judgment of the individual; while pretending purity of doctrine it only led to challenging and disbelieving in every aspect of Christian teaching. In this cultural landscape men like Socinus operated, who with his nephew collected Polish and German Protestants into unified opposition to the Catholic Church. So-called philosophers like Bayle and Spinoza created ideologies of doubt and pantheism, respectively. “Whether they held that everything was God, or that God was not such a God as Christians hold Him to be, they did away with belief in the true God, and raised up an impossible being of their own imagination instead.” Dillon continues by clarifying that this school of thought is simply a practical atheism, and details the current of Protestantism into “what was called Free-thinking,” with the aid of certain aristocratic literati in England and Germany. Yet they were outdone by Catholic France under the influence of one man: Voltaire. Voltaire is such an important figure in the establishment of Freemasonry it is correct to say it may have disappeared without him.
Voltaire was named Francois Marie Arouet although he changed his name for unknown reasons. He was educated by the Jesuits he later reviled. Why dedicate himself completely to the destruction of the Catholic Church? In the Europe of the time the royal courts were scandalously indecent and society was overtaken by immorality, and he became a complete libertine, so he made it his mission to silence the voice of modesty and temperance coming from the Church. His constant refrain was “let us crush the wretch,” speaking of the Crucified Lord, and his correspondence is signed always in this way: “écrasez l’infâme.” The depths of his malice and evil intentions led him to be called by Catholic historian Crétineau-Joly, “the most perfect embodiment of Satan the world ever saw,” and the incredible success of his campaign is with us today. It could even be said, without exaggeration, we are living in the world he dreamed up and created.
The other pivotal figure of the time is the infamous Adam Weishaupt. Msgr. Dillon chronicles the talents, abilities and strategies that led to Weishaupt creating, controlling and spreading the Illuminati conspiracy, and describes how it influenced and integrated into Freemasonry under his secretive but masterful command.
Msgr. Dillion traces the progression of Freemasonry in the course of the book and shows how political figures pushed Europe towards masonic goals. Napoleon and Lord Palmerston are included in detail and shown to be agents of Freemasonry, along with other influential men. They drummed up civil unrest, oppressed religious orders and denied the rights of the Church. Some belonged to the so-called War Party of Freemasonry and some to the Intellectual, two coordinated organs insinuating sinister influence on the countries of Europe. Overall, the history of the European continent is explained by this unseen, motive force, set like dark matter in the center of things, invisibly.
The book fills in otherwise unwritten chapters of modern history. It exposes the goals of the secret societies and how the goals were accomplished.
To the reader, the current state of society is clarified and a menace, a shadowy enemy, is illuminated in the center of the large part of world affairs. It is this which propels the world toward crisis. The Church Militant is given a true benefit by this enlightening text.
The only real strength of the Freemasonic organization is in their secrecy. Once their schemes lose invisibility, they lose the ability to act. Their power dissolves. As a high level Freemason told the former Mason Copin-Albanacelli, “‘You can measure Freemasonry’s power… because we are organized… The country ignores our organization and our aims. As a result we can act without it suspecting us, consequently without it opposing our action. There lies the secret of our power.” Clearly the instruction of Pope Leo XIII is correct: “So vehement an attack demands an equal defense—namely, that all good men should form the widest possible association of action and of prayer.” Let’s do this, and let’s educate ourselves about this enemy.
Alongside Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked, other books are very enlightening. Unholy Craft by Arnaud de Lassus is an informative primer on the ideologies of Freemasonry and its methods in the modern world, especially in France and in Europe. Behind the Lodge Door by Paul Fisher is a detailed look at the masonic impact on the United States and clearly tells us how the situation in the country came to be as dire as it currently is. These two books pick up where Grand Orient Freemasonry Unmasked leaves off. Additionally, the encyclical Humanum Genus by Pope Leo XIII is invaluable, and the other encyclicals he wrote on the topic, Inimica Vis and Custodi di Quella Fede, along with the encyclicals of his predecessors are of interest.
I call on Catholic men to look into the black cloud of smoke—the so-called “Masonic Light”—and see Freemasonry as what it is: the enemy of life, of family and of Christ. Let’s inform ourselves and each other of its nature and its aims. Let’s learn it in detail and take action to expose and to contradict it at every turn.
Nate Vaughan owns and operates Akita Inc, a small-scale publisher of Catholic books. He is a fine artist and graphic designer currently living in Asia with his family. He is interested in injecting artistic beauty, decency and common sense back into the culture. He sees obeying Our Lady of Fatima as the only hope.