Freemasonry: Ideology, Organization, and Policy
Berlin: Central Publishing House, NSDAP, 1944
Freemasonry in Europe has long been suspected as a tool of Jewish influence. Masonic organizations were outlawed in Germany after the ascent of the Nationalists to power in 1933. In addition to groups designated by the name Freemason, other similar types of groups were also considered suspect—especially Rotarians and the Odd Fellows.
In response to this threat to Germany, in 1938 NSDAP produced a version of the present pamphlet under the direction of SS Obergruppenführer Heydrich. Subsequent editions were produced through this sixth edition, printed in 1944.
The booklet begins with the start of Freemasonry lodges in seventeenth and eighteenth century England, then follows the progress of the movement to France and Germany. Some of what the Freemasons were doing was capable of taking cover under the Eastern/Semitic influences inside the Western Church which were part of Christianity in the near East and were imported into Italy when Rome became the center of Western Christendom.
Early in the 18th century, the Catholic Church sent priests into some of the lodges the better to monitor and eventually turn them to the purposes of the Christian faith (p. 14). This failed, the Jews apparently having greater skills at internal subversion of organizations that their adversaries in the Roman Rite.
The first action taken by the Church against the Lodges began during the Inquisition in 1737 (55).
In 1738 Pope Clement XII had had enough of the Masonic lodges and issued the Papal Bull of April 28, In eminenti.
In Eminenti Apostolatus, April 28, 1738
. . . Francs Massons or by other names according to the various languages, are spreading far and wide and daily growing in strength; and men of any Religion or sect, satisfied with the appearance of natural probity, are joined together, according to their laws and the statutes laid down for them, by a strict and unbreakable bond which obliges them, both by an oath upon the Holy Bible and by a host of grievous punishment, to an inviolable silence about all that they do in secret together. But it is in the nature of crime to betray itself and to show itself by its attendant clamor. Thus these aforesaid Societies or Conventicles have caused in the minds of the faithful the greatest suspicion, and all prudent and upright men have passed the same judgment on them as being depraved and perverted. For if they were not doing evil they would not have so great a hatred of the light. Indeed, this rumor has grown to such proportions that in several countries these societies have been forbidden by the civil authorities as being against the public security, and for some time past have appeared to be prudently eliminated.
Providas Romanorum, March 18, 1751
Providas reiterates the earlier Papal Bull cited above.
The SS pamphlet Freemasonry notes
A second bull against Freemasonry (“Providas”) was issued by Benedict XIV in 1751. Lennhoff-Posner writes in this regard:
The results of this bull were even more serious in some countries than those of the first. In Spain, Freemasons were imprisoned by the Inquisition. Ferdinand VI decreed all members of the association guilty of high treason. The Franciscan Fra Joseph Torrubia, Censor and Revisor of the Inquisition in Madrid, had himself admitted to a lodge after being absolved in advance by the Papal Penitentiarius from the oath of secrecy which was to [be] taken. In an accusatory document, he stated that the Freemasons were sodomites and witches, heretics, atheists, and rebels, who deserved to be burnt in a devotional auto da fe for the greater glory of the Faith and for the strengthening of the faithful.
In Naples, Portugal, Danzig, Aachen, Avignon, Savoy, etc. as well as in Bavaria after 1784, Freemasonry was also exposed to persecution (55).
Fast forward 139 years, and the tone of the following Encyclical by Leo XIII is very different from the confident tone of Benedict XIV in Providas Romanorum above. The secular powers had by this time robbed the Pope of much his temporal authority, and the Holy Father can do little other than complain about the sad state of affairs now extant for the Roman Church in Italy:
Ab Apostolici, October 15, 1890
Item number 4 . . . To lay Clericalism (or Catholicism) waste in its foundations and in its very sources of life, namely, in the school and in the family: such is the authentic declaration of Masonic writers.
Item number 6 . . . The action of the sects is at present directed to attain the following objects, according to the votes and resolutions passed in their most important assemblies—votes and resolutions inspired throughout by a deadly hatred of the Church. The abolition in the schools of every kind of religious instruction, and the founding of institutions in which even girls are to be withdrawn from all clerical influence whatever it may be; because the State, which ought to be absolutely atheistic, has the inalienable right and duty to form the heart and the spirit of its citizens, and no school should exist apart from its inspiration and control.
Item number 10 . . . it suffices to take note of the kind of future which is being prepared for Italy by men whose object is . . . to wage an unrelenting war against Catholicism and the Papacy.
Item number 11 . . . the Masonic sect, with all its boast of a spirit of beneficence and philanthropy, can only exercise an evil influence—an influence which is evil because it attacks and endeavors to destroy the religion of Christ . . .
The Holy Father was right about a future unrelenting war against Catholicism, but mentioned the wrong country. The revenge of the leftists was to come in Spain during the Spanish civil war of 1936-1939.
Altogether, then, the killing of nearly 7,000 clergy, mostly but not entirely within a few months, stands as proportionately the most extensive and also most concentrated massacre of Catholic clergy of which we have a record.
The terror was directed against Catholicism, however, not against all Christianity. The tiny Protestant minority, scarcely 0.1 percent of the total population, was in some cases identified with the left. Most Protestant churches in the Republican zone remained open. Persecution of Protestants was a feature of the Nationalist zone, where there were increasing restrictions, and where a small number of Protestant ministers were executed. . . .
. . . An enormous wave of vandalism and destruction of churches and other religious properties and art also took place. This did away with many priceless works of art, whose total value was incalculable, art which was not merely the patrimony of the Church, but the cultural heritage of all Spain. This vast destruction and vandalism was only the most visible part of the systematic looting and pillaging carried out in most parts of the Republican zone, part of it by Republican government authorities themselves. The slaughter of the clergy, the execution of many thousands of Catholics, the wholesale destruction of churches and religious art, and the elaborate sacrilegious rituals carried out at first in many towns in the Republican zone were not merely wanton acts, but were directed toward the fundamental goal of destroying Catholicism in order to replace it with the new secular religions, mutually conflicting though they might be. (113-14)
Divini Redemptoris, March 19, 1937
Forty-seven years after Ab Apostolici, Pius XI issued Divini Redemptoris which is more remarkable for its timidity than anything said about communism. Denouncing the Bolsheviks is all well and good, but without referencing the source the Holy Father is merely addressing the symptoms, not the cause. The long, drawn-out battle between the Jewish operated Masonic Lodges and the Catholic Church had started out in the early eighteenth century as a battle in which the Church had the full backing of secular authorities. Indeed, the civil governments—at least some of them—cheerfully assisted the Church by applying laws against Masonic societies and punishing or running off transgressors:
“Goethe’s later opinion of Freemasonry is shown by a report written by Goethe in his capacity as Minister of State for Prince Karl August, when the lodge brothers in Jena filed an application for reinstatement of their lodge in 1807. In it, he stated: ‘Freemasonry creates a state within a state. . . .’ ” (18-19)
In the early decades of the twentieth century, the Roman Church was on its own, and now stood stripped of most of its former temporal powers. Pope St. Pius X, the anti-modernist Pope, died in 1914 just as the First World War began. In his place, a moderate liberal, Benedict XV was elected Pope. Thus began an unbroken string of liberal or pro-leftist Popes, each more radical than the last, which continues to this day.
Certainly, if the Jews were following these developments carefully, as surely they must have been, it was no doubt apparent to them that the time was ripe to give Western Civilization, which had withstood all adversaries for centuries, its coup de grâce. This opportunity would come with the advent of the Second World War.
Seventeen years after the War, an opportunity would arise to insure that an already compliant Vatican hierarchy would not again arise to defend Europe against its ancient enemy. This opportunity was the Second Vatican Council, held from 1962-1965. The Council essentially destroyed one of the oldest continuously extant defenders of European culture and civilization. The Church, however, was an uncertain ally of European man, helping in some ways, and hindering in others. One of the ways the Roman Rite hindered rather than helped, was its tendency to universalism.
The Eastern branch of Christendom, under the Orthodox Rites, made a better collective decision—dispensing with the central authority of the Pope and forming national churches. This, at least in part, is why we find today that Eastern Europe is in better demographic shape than the West. There are of course exceptions and other factors. Poland is part of the Western Rite, and yet still benefits from the protection against immigration invasions afforded by its postwar occupation by the Soviet Union.
Mit Brennender Sorge, March 14, 1937
The Freemasonry Pamphlet does not go this far, but Pius XI’s Mit Brennender Sorge serves to illuminate the path to the future beyond the time-frame of the SS booklet. This Encyclical mandates a return to an older, universalist, deracinated version of the Church, and is therefore a criticism of National Socialist Germany in its attempt to hold to a variant of the Faith closer to the ethno-specific Germanized interpretation of the early Middle Ages. To put it more plainly, Pius XI here enforces a more decadent adaptation of Church belief and practice prevalent during the decaying phase of the late Roman Empire.
Item number 7: . . . Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God . . . neither is he a believer in God.
Translation: Germany has harkened back to a vigorous and confident Christianity one of the chief marks of which is an unwavering opposition to the Jews. A number of Pontiffs have warned against the Jews over the course of many centuries. Any attempt to reverse this on the threshold of a war which would pit Catholic Europe against Bolshevism is a direct betrayal of the Church’s age-old constituency.
Item number 8: Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community—however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things—whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God.
You would think the Holy Father in item eight above was referencing the Jews. If so, you’d be wrong.
Item number 13: We thank you, Venerable Brethren, your priests and Faithful, who have persisted in their Christian duty and in the defense of God’s rights in the teeth of an aggressive paganism.
This is simply the pot calling the kettle black. The Roman Rite is an evolution of paganism, and is still polytheistic, especially when compared to low church Protestant denominations. The argument that the various saints, Mary, etc. are not deities properly speaking is mere hair-splitting. In any event, paganism or what, it was the early medieval Germanic peoples—most Europeans—that brought the Faith fully on board with the ethno-specific needs of European man. As noted above, the import version direct from the mid-East had an unfortunate universalist taint to it. The Germanic version of the Roman Rite was a step towards a nationalist or ethno-specific variant.
The late Sam Francis had this to say about the clash between the universalist version of the Catholic Church and the more racial variety in his review of the book Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity:
His thesis is that early Christianity flourished in the decadent, deracinated, and alienated world of late antiquity precisely because it was able to appeal to various oppressed or dissatisfied sectors of the population—slaves, urbanized proletarians, women, intellectuals, frustrated aristocrats, and the odd idealist repelled by the pathological materialism, brutality, and banality of the age. But when Christian missionaries tried to appeal to the Germanic invaders by invoking the universalism, pacifism, and egalitarianism that had attracted the alienated inhabitants of the empire, they failed. That was because the Germans practiced a folk religion that reflected ethnic homogeneity, social hierarchy, military glory and heroism, and “standards of ethical conduct . . . derived from a sociobiological drive for group survival through in-group altruism.” Germanic religion and society were “world-accepting,” while Hellenic Christianity was “world-rejecting,” reflecting the influence of Oriental religions and ethics. By “Germans,” it should be noted, Mr. Russell does not mean modern residents of Germany but rather “the Gothic, Frankish, Saxon, Burgundian, Alamannic, Suevic, and Vandal peoples, but also . . . the Viking peoples of Scandinavia and the Anglo-Saxon peoples of Britain.” With the exception of the Celts and the Slavs, “Germans” thus means almost the same thing as “European” itself.
Had the fortunes of the 1939-1945 war gone the other way, it seems at least possible that a revival of the early medieval ethno-specific Roman Catholic faith might very well have taken hold in Europe.
Item number 16: Whoever wishes to see banished from church and school the Biblical history and the wise doctrines of the Old Testament, blasphemes the name of God . . .
In the pre-Vatican II Missal, the Gospel readings are taken from the New Testament. The first readings are variously from the Old and New Testaments. One of the constant refrains from contemporary Catholic Traditionalists is that Jesus ordained that the New Covenant was neither a modification of nor a supplement to the Old Covenant. The New Covenant completely overwrote and replaced the Old. Presumably then, Christendom was no longer bound by Old Testament Mosaic law.
Item number 17: The peak of the revelation as reached in the Gospel of Christ is final and permanent. It knows no retouches by human hand, it admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternative such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of race and blood.
As cited above in the TOQ review, this is exactly the reverse of the facts. The Medieval Church was far more conscious of race and blood than the Church of late antiquity or the Church during and after the Age of Exploration. It is Pius XI that is re-introducing ancient corruptions into the practices of the Catholic Church which our early medieval ancestors had so artfully adapted to the needs of the European people. Apparently revelation is “final and permanent” until the Pope changes it. I will further note here that there is a disturbing trend intent on separating the question of race from the constant emphasis on and support of family in common Catholic practice for centuries. The most obvious example of this is the Holy Family itself. The Christmas celebration is in large part a celebration of marriage, family and parturition. Separating and demonizing the concept of race in the context of this venerable celebration of family is impossible as race is family writ large.
The full betrayal of a centuries old tradition which started in earnest in the modern era with the Pontificate of Pius XI in 1922 would come with the advent of the Second Vatican Council held from 1962 to 1965.
4. James C. Russell, Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity: A Sociohistorical Approach to Religious Transformation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994)