One of the most savage and continuous attacks against Freemasonry is the one that we're crypto-Satanists. I faced this accusation before I even became a Mason. On my way home to be initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason I was reading a book that had the Square and Compasses on the front cover when the lady sitting next to me saw it and proceeded to verbally accost me. Since joining I've surfed the web and on many different forums and social media sites I've come in contact with people making all sorts of accusations that we're a tool of the New World Order, that we are the New World Order, that we're a false religion or cult, that we're a bunch of old men playing dress up, and the list goes on and on. However, when debating Freemasonry the accusation and the accusers seem to ignore all of the facts and perpetuate lies to prop up this charge; ironically most of the accusers are supposedly good Christians who don't mind violating one of the 10 Commandments when it suits their anti-Masonic agenda.
Most often when asked why someone believes Freemasonry is Satanic or "luciferian", they never quote from our ritual or the proceedings of any Grand Lodge, they often cite Albert Pike or Manly P. Hall, but I've also seen them cite Albert Mackey, Eliphas Levi, A.E Waite, and Blavatsky. It should be noted here that most anti-Masons hold a misguided belief at what constitutes authority in Freemasonry. Since the 18th century, many Masons have published works concerning Freemasonry, writing on various theories and subjects within Freemasonry. Anti-Masons would have others believe that everything a Mason writes is inherently accepted by all of Freemasonry. The problem here is that not everything written by a Mason has been factual, but as Freemasonry is a society dedicated to knowledge and free thought, Grand Lodges have not interfered with what an individual Mason writes. A Grand Lodge is the only entity within Freemasonry that has authority to speak on the symbols, rituals, history, and so on. Without receiving an endorsement from a Grand Lodge, a Masonic author is merely giving his opinion, he does not speak for all Freemasonry. Freemasonry is much more than just the writings of a single Masonic author.
When the accusation of Satanism includes Pike there are two quotes commonly used. The first one is attributed to Pike, but stems from the hoax concocted by Leo Taxil:
"That which we must say to the world is that we worship a god, but it is the god that one adores without superstition. To you, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, we say this, that you may repeat it to the brethren of the 32nd, 31st and 30th degrees: The masonic Religion should be, by all of us initiates of the higher degrees, maintained in the Purity of the Luciferian doctrine. If Lucifer were not God, would Adonay and his priests calumniate him? "Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay is also god. For the eternal law is that there is no light without shade, no beauty without ugliness, no white without black, for the absolute can only exist as two gods; darkness being necessary for light to serve as its foil as the pedestal is necessary to the statue, and the brake to the locomotive. "Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy, and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil."
The second one comes from Morals & Dogma wherein Pike states:
LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual or selfish Souls? Doubt it not!
With the first quote a simple search will yield results showing how Leo Taxil admitted to fabricating information against Freemasonry, but even when faced with this anti-Masons will still cite it as evidence against the fraternity. I would also like to point out that this hoax and other accusations against Pike came out after his death in 1891.
With the second quote, it is clear to anyone who can read that Pike nowhere states that Freemasons worship Lucifer. This quote, in my opinion, is Pike merely pointing out the irony of the Devil, the prince of darkness, being equated to a being of light. Many, myself included, do argue against the belief that Lucifer and Satan being one and the same. Those who do equate Lucifer and Satan cite Isaiah 14:12 which says:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Now, from just looking at this one verse, it does seem like they are referring to those angels who rebelled against God and who were thrown from Heaven. However, when reading more than just one verse and reading the entire chapter you can see that Isaiah is referring to a disgraced Babylonian king (specifically mentioned in Isaiah 14:4). Lucifer was a mortal being, not a fallen angel. Even when faced with this information, some will say that Lucifer was the name of the Devil while in Heaven, but upon further research one can see that the Devil's name in Heaven was Samael. As monarchs were seen as divine, when one was overthrown he figuratively "fell from Heaven." In the original text, the verse speaks of "Helal bin Shahar" which translates as "day star, son of the morning." This most likely was not his real name, but a title as kings have often been referred to as "illustrious" or "shining" (think of King Louis, the Sun King). St. Jerome took this title as his literal name and the day star of Jerome's time was Lucifer, which was the body that precedes the rising sun and which we know today to be the planet Venus. It is also important to note that Lucifer is only ever mentioned once in the entire Bible and that is in reference to "oppressor," not a fallen angel. People should take into consideration the context of the words and the meaning they had then instead of taking it literally and applying modern concepts. You should also realize that ancient prophets and biblical authors did speak in metaphor as well as literal; even Jesus spoke in parables (Matthew 13:34). Most people it seems cannot discern between figurative language and literal language. It's important to note that there was a Bishop that lived at the time of St. Jerome whose name was Lucifer. Jesus is also referred to as a light-bearer or morning/day star (Revelations 22:16). The Bible also says to let the light of the day/morning star into your heart (2 Peter 1:19).
Pike remains the favorite "whipping boy" of the anti-Masonic movement who often exaggerate his importance and misquote Morals & Dogma. Anti-Masons go so far as to say that Pike was the leader of all Freemasonry and that Moral & Dogma carries the weight of Masonic canon or law. It seems to me that most anti-Masons gloss over most of the book to include the Preface of the book where Pike states "Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound." This doesn't seem like a way to start a book that is supposedly the standard of knowledge by which all Masons must believe. Brothers Arturo de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris state, in Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry, "Just because Albert Pike was a brilliant ritualist, an able administrator, and a well-respected Mason doesn't mean all of his opinions are right." This again falls in line with most anti-Masons lack of understanding or denial of what constitutes authority in Freemasonry. I have found that most quoting Pike have never actually read Morals & Dogma, but just copy and paste from some anti-Mason website. If one reads Morals & Dogma you'll see that Pike only refers to Lucifer four times in the entire tome, but nowhere does he glorify Lucifer or that Masons worship Lucifer. Frankly I find it sad that so many think that a few sentences can represent an entire fraternity that has existed for centuries.
Next to Albert Pike, Manly P. Hall is often cited to show Freemasonry as a Satanic organization. The quote most often used against Hall and Freemasonry is:
The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands and before he may step onward and upward, he must prove his ability to properly apply energy.
I'd first like to note that Hall wrote "The Lost Keys of Freemasonry" 30-years before joining Freemasonry. Even once he joined he was never a Masonic leader nor had any influence on Freemasonry. Hall did note in later editions of his book that "At the time I wrote this slender volume, I had just passed my twenty-first birthday, and my only contact with Freemasonry was through a few books commonly available to the public." His importance is often exaggerated as he was honored with the 33°, but anti-Mason again fail to understand or deny the fact that the 33° does not equate to rank, authority, or a leadership position within Freemasonry. Again from Brothers De Hoyos and Morris:
The fact that he held the Thirty-third Degree and was respected by many Thirty-Third Degree Masons and even by the Supreme Councils 33º is no more significant than the fact that various Baptist, Anglican, or Methodist authors also hold or held that honor. Anti-Masons regularly parade the writings of Masonic authorities before their audiences and dissect their words, looking for a sentence here or a phrase there to be used in their cause. They seek someone like a church authority who speaks dogmatically on teachings and doctrine; whose every word must be accepted by the faithful. Freemasonry has no such authorities. The Masonic authorities used by anti-Masons have been historical authorities who speak with the expertise that comes from long study, but who do not—indeed, cannot—speak for all Masons. It is like the difference between the authoritative teachings of the Episcopal Church and an authoritative history of the Kennedy assassination.
Eliphas Levi, who was an occultist, is often touted as a "top Mason" or "leading expert on Freemasonry." Many quotes are supposedly taken from "The Mysteries of Magic", but the issue is that Levi never penned any such work by that name. It should also be pointed out that, like Pike, Levi's importance in Freemasonry is greatly exaggerated as he was initiated on March 14th, 1861, and by August 1861 he had left Freemasonry. Most of Levi's works were published prior to joining Freemasonry and the few theories of Freemasonry he had were not widely accepted and most of his focus was on the occult. I find it interesting that the modern and best known drawing of Baphomet is attributed to Levi. Many anti-Masons use this fact to say that Baphomet (another of representation of Satan to them) is associated with Freemasonry.
While less used than the others, Arthur Edward Waite and The Book of Black Magic is often cited as an example of the evil within Freemasonry. The anti-Masons also claim that Waite was a 33°, but there are no records of him joining the Scottish Rite. Anti-Masons also false attribute this book to Waite when the author of this book was written by George Redway. The book was also published in 1898 which was 4-years prior to Waite joining Freemasonry.
Freemasonry will continue to be a target of the ignorant, the fanatical, and the tyrannical. As Freemasonry allows men of various religious, political, and social beliefs to come together, we will always be seen as a threat to intolerance, bigotry, militancy, and extremists who seek to divide men by their beliefs rather than unite them. When men like Hall speak of "luciferian" or Lucifer they are speaking of the pursuit of knowledge as light is an allegory for knowledge not any person or villain from the Christian Bible. When debating with anti-Masons on this subject, most will further stick their head in the sand rather than face the truth. Because of their misrepresentation and misquoting of Masonic authors most of the anti-Mason arguments come off as disingenuous and sanctimonious. The fact remains that neither Lucifer nor Satan play a role anywhere in Freemasonry, and when confronted anti-Masons cannot substantiate their claims using our rituals or anything official from any body of Freemasonry.
1. De Hoyos, A., & Morris, S. (1997). Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? Masonic Information Center.
2. King, E. (n.d.). Lucifer. Retrieved from Masonic Info: http://www.masonicinfo.com/lucifer.htm
3. Lucifer and Satan. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/LuciferandSatan.html
4. The Confession of Leo Taxil. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/taxil_confessed.html
5. The Lie of Luciferianism. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/luciferianism.html