America's Book of Secrets (2012) s01e03 Episode Script

Freemasons

NARRATOR: It is America's most private organization, with mysterious meetings held behind closed doors and a membership that includes the most powerful men in America and the world.
But behind this elite brotherhood are secrets.
Secrets so outrageous JIM MARRS: Their agenda boils down to, "We want to rule the world.
Let's create a whole new world order.
" NARRATOR: So controversial MITCH HOROWITZ: When people are interested in a cult connection, it's always funny how they overlook those that are right in front of our face.
NARRATOR: So dangerous that the members will defend them with their lives.
ALEX JONES: If you're worshipping Lucifer, you'd better damn well keep that a secret.
NARRATOR: There are those who believe in the existence of a book.
A book that contains the most highly guarded secrets of the United States of America.
A book whose very existence is known to only a select few.
But if such a book exists, what would it contain? Secret conspiracies? Secret plans? Secret lies? Does there really exist America's Book of Secrets? Cannes, France.
November 3, 2011.
President Barack Obama and other world leaders arrive at the sixth meeting of the world's 20 major economies, known as the G20.
At recent summits London, Toronto and France, thousands engage in violent protests.
But why? What are they so afraid of? Officially, the members of the G20 meet to discuss, plan, and monitor international economic cooperation.
But is there another more secret reason? Among the protesters are those who believe the group's real intention is to form a single, global, economically based government, otherwise known as the New World Order.
An order directly connected to something even more secret, Freemasonry.
JONES: The Masonic system is just one vein of that overall And their tentacles stretch into every town, every city of this planet.
NARRATOR: For centuries, the Freemasons have been believed to be the architects behind the world's greatest international conspiracies.
Members include industry titans, visionaries, world leaders, and HOROWITZ: Freemasonry in the 20th century is sort of a who's who of industry, politics, government.
Go into any industry, uh, any branch of government, and you find prominent Freemasons.
So, Freemasonry is almost like a gallery of American development in the 20th century.
NARRATOR: Today, there are an estimated six million Freemasons worldwide, and there are those who suggest the Freemasons are perhaps the most powerfully rooted in the United States of America.
HOROWITZ: 14 of 44 U.
S.
presidents have been Freemasons, including seven in the 20th century alone.
They include William McKinley, Warren Harding, Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and, most recently, Gerald Ford.
NARRATOR: But who are the Freemasons, and where did they come from? HOROWITZ: The origins of Freemasonry are, in many respects, shrouded in mystery.
It's probably the only organization in modern life for which that's really true.
CHRISTOPHER HODAPP: Freemasonry is the world's largest, oldest, and best-known gentlemen's fraternity.
Mythologically, it started during the building of King Solomon's Temple, and maybe even before that.
AKRAM ELIAS: This is very important because this is where you see the roots, the real roots of modern Freemasonry.
The Egyptians were great builders, stone builders.
And, uh, obviously, their two greatest achievements in stone building were pyramids and obelisks.
It is no coincidence that pyramids and obelisks are used as symbols in the rituals of Freemasonry.
Freemason meaning free builder.
Here, we're not talking anymore only about building structures, physical structures; we're talking about building your own inner temple.
So, the building concept is very important, and that is why there is strong association with ancient Egypt.
HOROWITZ: The clearest and plainest origin point for Masonry can be found within the Reformation in the 1600s.
A cluster of academics, merchants, intellectuals, politicians, clergy wanted to get together and discuss civics and religion and social issues and science in an atmosphere that was entirely outside the control or the monitoring of the church or the aristocracy.
And to do this could be dangerous.
People who stepped outside the accepted order of things, even late into the Enlightenment Era, could be persecuted, imprisoned, and in some extreme cases, could still be executed.
NARRATOR: But, while the origins of this secret society may forever remain a mystery, the influences of modern Freemasonry began to emerge in the American colonies in the mid-18th century.
HOROWITZ: Masonry traveled to America on British troopships.
You start to find the first publicly proclaimed Freemasonic Lodges in the second decade of the 1700s.
So, by that point, uh, it's an influential organization.
ELIAS: It is important to keep in mind the 18th century wareally the Age of Enlightenment.
Obviously, Freemasonry played a very important role in promoting and propagating ideals and principles of that age, and the founding fathers of the United States were disciples of that age.
Freemasons are encouraged to study seven liberal arts and sciences.
Three of them-- grammar, rhetoric and logic-- are designed to help the Freemason develop a way of thinking that is based on reason, logic and developed communication tools.
NARRATOR: The foundation that Freemasonry is built upon is expressed in two symbolic tools: the square and compass.
ELIAS: The original universal symbol of Freemasonry is the square and compass.
The compass is the main tool of the individual.
You draw a circle, using the compass, around you, and if you go beyond the perimeter, you lose control.
Now, because it's a compass, the circle can be larger.
And how do you enlarge? By seeking knowledge and light.
The square is considered a symbol of wisdom, and G stands for the Grand Architect of the universe.
The idea is to produce free-thinking people.
This is the best way to fight any form of tyranny over the mind of man.
NARRATOR: By the mid-1700s, Freemasons in the American colonies were regularly meeting in secret.
Assembling in woodland cabins, country barns, upper rooms above taverns, anywhere they felt their secrets were kept safe from the untrustworthy public.
HODAPP: If a man can't be trusted to keep something as minor as a handshake or a password as a secret, then his word really can't be taken as a ALICE VON KANNON: As Ben Franklin said, "If we don't hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately.
So, secrecy was important to bind these-these founding brothers, not just fathers.
They were founding brothers, and secrecy bound them together.
NARRATOR: But just what was it that was being discussed inside the Freemasons' meeting places? Were their lodges really functioning as incubators for diabolical plans? Boston, December 16, 1773.
Relations between the colonies and their British rulers have reached a breaking point.
The Sons of Liberty, a group dedicated to protecting the rights of colonists against English oppression, convened at the Green Dragon Tavern and ignited the most infamous act of rebellion in history.
HODAPP: Ground zero for the revolution was in Boston at the Green Dragon Tavern, and in the 1760s, it was actually bought by St.
Andrew's Lodge, so the tavern was actually owned by the lodge.
ELIAS: Paul Revere happened to be the master of his lodge in Boston, which met in the Green Dragon Tavern.
Hmm.
By simple coincidence, that's where the Sons of Liberty also met.
Interesting.
HODAPP: The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern with lots of men who were members of St.
Andrew's Lodge.
St.
Andrew's Lodge was supposed to meet, and as a matter of fact, in their minutes, it actually says meeting called due to lack of quorum because they were out dumping tea into the ocean.
NARRATOR: Could the taxation protest, known as the Boston Party, have been a step towards a larger agenda? And were the colonial Freemasons really planting the seeds for what would event? HOROWITZ: Masonry was a fundamental part of the American Revolution, and that is because, some of America's most influential founders, including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, were Freemasons.
HODAPP: Freemasonry was very important to George Washington.
It was a network that he developed within his command, and he encouraged his generals to become Freemasons.
He thought it made them more trustworthy.
HOROWITZ: 33 out of Washington's 74 generals were Freemasons.
That's 46%.
That's not accidental.
There were nine out of 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence who were Freemasons, so they were well-represented.
One third of the signers of the Constitution were Freemasons.
NARRATOR: One of the greatest contributors to the United States Constitution was also, as many believe, America's first Master Mason-- Benjamin Franklin.
HODAPP: The first Masonic book published in the United States was published by Ben Franklin.
It was a copy of James Anderson's Constitutions.
He becomes master of the lodge very quickly after that.
He becomes Provincial Grand Master not much longer after that.
And so, he rises through the ranks very, very quickly and becomes very, very popular within Freemasonry.
VON KANNON: For my money, the most powerful Masonic influence on America as a whole is Anderson's Constitutions.
In 1717, the London Freemasons formed an official lodge, formed a grand lodge.
They hired a man named James Anderson to write a set of constitutions by which the Freemasons wld live.
It is startling when you read Anderson's Constitutions for the Freemasons, written in You see concept after concept after concept that appears in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
NARRATOR: There are those who believe that as long as the United States has existed, Freemasonic influence on the nation has been both pervasive and profound.
But are the Freemasons simply a gentleman's club, as some suggest, or are they a secret government, leading America toward a New World Order? Perhaps the truth can be found by examining the group's many strange rituals, secret ceremonies that have been hidden from public scrutiny, and that its members seem willing to die for.
HOROWITZ: Some of what goes on behind the doors of a Freemasonic Lodge involves rites and ceremonies that are kept secret.
MARRS: If you tell any of their secrets, they get to cut your throat and hang you by the NARRATOR: Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1752.
A young man of 20 is blindfolded.
His name is George Washington, and he is about to take the Freemasons' blood oath of secrecy.
HODAPP: His initiation was done very much the way initiations are done now.
He was blindfolded.
Then he was led into the meeting room, knocked on the door three times.
(knocking) And when the door was opened, he was received on the point of a sharp instrument against his naked left breast.
And then, once that was done, he took the obligation at the altar.
And then, his blindfold was removed, and he finally was allowed to see all the men in his lodge, and they were all pointing their swords right at him, which was to reinforces the obligation that he had taken, that he'd better not reveal any of the secrets of Freemasonry.
NARRATOR: Even today, candidates for membership in the Freemasons are subjected to secret rituals.
HODAPP: When you enter a lodge room, you enter what's called the Tyler's room.
And there's an officer outside called the Tyler who's armed with a sword, and yes, you have to give him a password and the secret handshake.
We really do have a secret handshake.
ROBERT HIERONIMUS: The role of secrecy in Freemasonry is especially difficult when you get to such things as handshakes, because Freemasons had to identify themselves, sometimes in the dark.
I'm not gonna show you the handshake, but what I'll tell you-- it's not really a handshake.
What it is-- it's a grip.
MARK KOLTKO-RIVERA: Like ancient initiations in many human cultures around the globe, Masonic initiation involves a series of ritual challenges, a sacred obligation, and the imparting of certain information to enlighten the candidate.
If a man can't be trusted with something that is not that important, like a password or a handshake, he can't be trusted with the big things in life.
HODAPP: Every Masonic Lodge is said to be facing the east.
There's the letter "G" that's also in the east over the Worshipful Master.
The initiate is brought to the center of the room where the altar is.
There will be a bible on the altar.
When the initiate is brought to the altar, he finally assumes the obligation of his individual degrees.
There are three degrees-- the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft and the Master Mason.
When we talk about the secrets of Freemasonry, we talk about the things that are passed along in this oral tradition.
It's the act of one man sitting down and teaching the ritual to the next man in that unbroken chain of men that goes back to the early 1600s.
Of course, any more than that, and I just can't tell you the rest.
You've got to join to find out.
NARRATOR: Masonic rituals have changed very little over the last two centuries.
And upon initiation, each new member swears a lifelong vow to protect the brotherhood's secrets.
A vow, that if broken, could mean death.
JONES: In some of the Masonic documents that we have, we do learn about Masonic trials, and if you're found to have given up the secrets, then you can be killed.
People were rumored to have their throat slit, um, forced under water until they died.
HOROWITZ: What goes on behind the doors of a Freemasonic Lodge involves ceremonies in which people will be reminded of the ever-hovering presence of death.
NARRATOR: Masonic trials? Ritualistic executions? What actually goes on behind closed doors of a Freemasonic lodge may forever remain a mystery, but the details of one ritual, reenacted during initiation ceremonies, have been revealed.
The murder of Hiram Abiff.
KOLTKO-RIVERA: Hiram is presented in a very dramatic way to the candidate for the degrees of Freemasonry.
Hiram was a special craftsman who was asked to do very special work by King Solomon in ancient times.
HODAPP: In the third degree, the Master Mason degree, tells an allegorical story of the building of King's Solomon's Temple and how Hiram Abiff is possessing of certain secrets of the Master Masons, and how he's set upon by three ruffians who don't want to wait until the proper moment to find out what those secrets are.
And they attack him.
And he goes to his grave refusing to say what the secrets of a Master Mason are.
HOROWITZ: He was conspired against, he was murdered, and he is a kind of symbolic martyr within Freemasonry.
HODAPP: The term "given the third degree" actually comes from the Master Mason degree, where everybody tries to, you know, let you have it and, uh, and really works you over.
And if you've been gen the third degree and you can take it, it means you kept your mouth shut.
NARRATOR: Mysterious handshakes secret passwords passion plays of murder.
Are these merely harmless practices of the Freemasons? Or ancient rituals designed to confuse the uninitiated? JONES: You've got all those different degrees, and most Masons believe that it only goes up to the 33rd degree, but we have I've seen clear evidence of that people can go higher than the 33rd degree.
They've been doing it for thousands and thousands of years, and even their own members don't have the whole image.
The average Mason believes there's only 33 degrees, but once you become a 33rd degree Mason, you learn that there's actually 360 degrees.
MARRS: Within Freemasonry, you've got a huge outer circle of membership.
They're in there for the fellowship.
And then you've got a small inner circle that really is privy to some of the inner secrets.
But if you ask a Mason about these two circles, he's gonna tell you "no," because he's either a member of the outer circle, or he's a member of the inner circle, and he's taken a blood oath never to reveal that fact.
NARRATOR: Inner circles guarding inner secrets? But what information could be so important that Freemasons would risk their lives in order to keep it hidden from outsiders? Perhaps clues can be found by examining the many strange symbols that can be found on numerous documents and buildings.
Even on the currency that we carry with us every day.
Coming up JONES: You will find no better example of the power of this ancient secret society as you see on the back of the dollar bill.
On the top, the all-seeing eye, and around it, it says in Latin: "We are announcing the birth of a new order.
" NARRATOR: It is one of the most important documents ever written.
It is the very foundation of our government.
But while the Constitution of the United States is written in plain English, there are those who believe that America's founders used Masonic symbology and codes to communicate a secret agenda.
ELIAS: The language of Freemasonry is a language of symbols.
Symbols hide universal truths, and the idea is that each individual gets to discover those on his or her own.
HOROWITZ: Washington was very fond of and drawn to the symbols of Freemasonry.
He was proud to be a Freemason.
You do have depictions of George Washington, for example, wearing his Masonic apron, and these things are filled with all kinds of occult symbols-- the all-seeing eye, the square and compass.
HODAPP: If there is a logo of Freemasonry, it's the square and compass with the letter "G.
" The square is the Square of Virtue, and teaching someone to be "on the square," and it's a right angle.
The compass is used to draw circles, and Freemasons say that you circumscribe your character with that.
If you draw a circle with a compass, you're drawing a boundary line, and that's sort of a boundary that you won't cross over that boundary in your daily behavior.
HIERONIMUS: What is the "G"? "G," most people would say, "That's God.
" And it is held between the square and the compass, so therefore it's central to everything.
But it also can be related to geometry, sacred geometry.
HODAPP: And, in fact, God is the grand geometrician of the universe.
The Freemasons believed that God was an architect, the great architect of the universe.
NARRATOR: To this day, one of America's most recognizable symbols, the Great Seal of the United States, remains shrouded in mystery.
In 1934, Freemason and soon-to- be Vice President Henry Wallace submitted a proposal to fellow Freemason and President of the United States, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, to include this symbol on U.
S.
currency.
HODAPP: Henry Wallace and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were influential in putting the Great Seal of the United States on the dollar bill.
Prior to FDR's presidency, the back side of the Great Seal didn't appear on the dollar bill.
HOROWITZ: You can see this fascination for ancient Egyptian symbols, pyramids.
All of these things get repeated in the ideas and symbols and KOLTKO-RIVERA: The pyramid was meant to stand for strength and endurance to reflect the hope that the United States would be strong and would endure.
The Great Seal was a way to express the original values of the American republic-- that we were an experiment in democracy.
That's why the pyramid's not finished-- because a democracy's never finished.
JONES: They understand the power of symbolism.
You will find no better example of the power of this ancient secret society as you see on the back of the dollar bill.
There's the pyramid, one of the most holy symbols, the all-seeing eye, and around it, it says in Latin, if you translate it: "We are announcing the birth of a new order.
" BIRNES: Because the phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum appears on the Great Seal of the United States, Freemasonry becomes such an element of distrust by those who think that we are about to be replaced by a New World Order.
NARRATOR: Did the Freemasons use symbology to communicate the existence of a New World Order? If so, what other secrets can be found hiding in plain sight? Washington, D.
C.
Just one mile north of the White House stands a massive stone building, at the corner of 16th and S Street.
It is the House of the Temple, the headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
HODAPP: Its members are believed to be part of a lineage that dates back to 16th century Scotland.
The Scottish Rite is what's called an appendant body of Freemasonry.
Once you go through the first three degrees in a Masonic Lodge, you're then eligible to join other organizations within the family of Freemasonry.
The Scottish Rite has degrees four through 33.
KOLTKO-RIVERA: This particular location has the address 1733, which represents the 33 degrees of initiation in Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
HODAPP: The big secret is the address actually came out to 1733, even though that isn't actually where it is in the plan of the city because they wanted "33" as part of the address.
33 appears all over the building.
KOLTKO-RIVERA: There are 33 columns around the House the Temple.
Each one of them is 33 feet tall, symbolizing the 33 degrees of initiation in Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
HODAPP: So 33, for centuries, has been a sacred number.
It goes back to biblical times.
Christ was 33 years old when he died.
He performed 33 miracles.
God is mentioned 33 times in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis.
NARRATOR: The House of the Temple, like all Masonic edifices, contains many secret symbols, even in its design.
KOLTKO-RIVERA: Even the steps that I'm walking on are symbolic in number.
Down at the street level, we start off with three steps, symbolic of the three degrees in standard Freemasonry.
Then we have five steps, which symbolize the five orders of architecture and the five senses.
Then we have seven steps, symbolizing liberal arts and sciences from medieval times.
Here we have an unfinished pyramid, atop the House of the Temple.
And, of course, that's a resonance to the unfinished pyramid on the Great Seal of the United States, as well.
Should we imagine an all-seeing eye up there? Perhaps we should.
HODAPP: It's actually a copy of the mausoleum in Halicarnassus of King Mausolus, which was a burial tomb in one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
NARRATOR: Buried deep within the House of the Temple lie the actual remains of a man who many consider one of the most important and controversial figures in all of Freemasonry, Albert Pike.
JONES: He was a Confederate officer, a general, and he wrote a lot of the writings that have since been made public, where he talks about the God they worship is Lucifer.
(thunderclap) We've learned a lot about the inner secrets of Freemasonry through Albert Pike.
HODAPP: He wrote the word "Lucifer" twice in his book, Morals and Dogma.
And he's talking about the origin of the word Lucifer as meaning "bringer of light" and saying, "Isn't it interesting that the term 'bringer of light' came to mean the Prince of Darkness?" Somehow, over the years, that's been translated into saying Albert Pike somehow brought Lucifer into Freemason rituals.
NARRATOR: Upon his death in 1891, Albert Pike's body was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, in Washington, D.
C.
A statue was then erected in his honor in 1901, the only such monument in the nation's capital, honoring a Confederate officer.
In 1944, Pike's body was exhumed and moved to the House of the Temple.
But why? Did it have something to do with the strange rites and rituals he wrote about in his book, Morals and Dogma? Or did his references to Lucifer suggest that the Freemasons do, in fact, have a another more ominous agenda? Perhaps the answer can be found by examining the many buildings and monuments of our nation's capital and the very design of the city itself.
Coming up ELIAS: No other capital city was designed with the idea that it should reflect through symbols the philosophy of governance.
How come all of these architects who worked in the White House, the Capitol, were Freemasons? NARRATOR: Alexandria, Virginia, 1791.
George Washington lays the cornerstone for a ten-mile-by-ten-mile diamond matrix that would become the country's new capital city: The District of Columbia.
Under his thoughtful design, George Washington would create not just a capital city but a permanent tribute to Freemasonry-- one that, at the time, only the eye of God could see.
HODAPP: When Pierre Charles L'Enfant and George Washington sat down to design the city of Washington, they were starting from nothing.
They were starting from scratch.
And they wanted the city to be an absolute rational, living plan of geometry.
They were living the precepts of the Enlightenment, and all of this grew out of Freemasonry, of this fascination with science and logic and philosophy and symbolism.
And all of those things came together at the design of Washington, D.
C.
JONES: Architecture is at the core of the Masonic religion.
And that's where they got their political power and money in the past 3,000 years.
And, so, if you have a religion based on architecture and the great architect of the universe, you're going to try to build a fabulous Masonic city.
And that is exactly what Washington, D.
C.
, is.
ELIAS: No other capital city was designed with the idea that it should reflect through symbolism a philosophy of governance.
That's what makes Washington, D.
C.
, unique.
How come all of these architects who worked on the White House, the Capitol, were Freemasons? NARRATOR: In 1793, George Washington, clad in full Masonic regalia, presided over the laying of the cornerstone for the U.
S.
Capitol Building.
HODAPP: George Washington marched with the Masons from the construction site of the White House, up to Capitol Hill, and they set the cornerstone with a silver trowel and placed a silver marker on top of it.
It was from that cornerstone that the Capitol grew.
NARRATOR: The Capitol became the great monument to democracy that the founding fathers intended it to be.
Yet, according to historians and researchers, the building's cornerstone is now missing.
But how? And why? HODAPP: There are those who say that this mysterious missing cornerstone is hiding secret documents, some strange, alternate constitution, other Masonic documents, that it's been carefully hidden away from public view.
NARRATOR: Washington and fellow Freemason, L'Enfant, were also responsible for designing the federal triangle, an area with specific geometrical symbols built into the street plans of Washington, D.
C.
KOLTKO-RIVERA: I am standing in the middle of America's sacred ground.
I have the Washington Monument right behind me, the Statue of Libertas on top of the Capitol dome to my right.
And I have a clear look at the White House from this spot.
The founding fathers wanted this to be a statement in stone of American values.
They wanted to make sure a particular set of doctrines were going to be visible for thousands of years.
HIERONIMUS: Pierre Charles L'Enfant realized that this triangle of three buildings was really key to establishing the new order of America.
So, therefore, it's central to everything.
HIERONIMUS: There are symbols hidden in the layout of Washington D.
C.
First you had a grid, horizontals, verticals.
Then you had the streets.
Streets on angles.
When you start laying angles over top of grids, you're gonna come up with all kinds of symbols.
JONES: The Masonic symbols are everywhere, like signposts that says, "We are announcing the birth of our new order.
" NARRATOR: Further investigation reveals another occult symbol traced directly into the streets of Washington D.
C.
A pentagram.
And its southernmost tip points directly to the White House.
HOROWITZ: One of the recurrent occult symbols that you'll find within Freemasonry is the pentagram.
The five-pointed star.
People look at the pentagram today, and they think there's something sinister about it.
That wasn't the intent at all.
JONES: They're saying, "This is our house, and this is our world, and from this command base, from this Washington D.
C.
, from this square, we're gonna launch global domination.
" NARRATOR: But why did the founding fathers weave Freemasonic symbols into the design and layout of the nation's capital? Were they sending a coded message? And if so, to whom? Coming up JONES: You see a split in Masonry, the same year the Illuminati is launched, 1776.
We have letters that George Washington wrote, warning about the Illuminati, trying to emerge and take over all of Masonry.
NARRATOR: Colorado, 1995.
After years of delays, construction of the Denver International Airport is complete.
It is the largest international airport in America.
Third largest in the world.
Above ground, it encompasses 53 square miles, or two times the size of Manhattan.
But below the surface, some believe there is a secret city stretching down into the depths HOROWITZ: Denver International Airport-- some people have these conspiracy theories that it hosts an underground military base that's supposed to be a launching point for the New World Order.
HODAPP: The Denver Airport has a cornerstone that was laid by the Freemasons, and it looks like this control panel rising up out of the floor, and it's got Braille on it.
So, it looks almost like they're push buttons, and it's sort of like the control panel for the New World Order.
It even says the "New World Airport Commission.
" And there's a big square and compass, and so people have said, "Well, this is clearly the Freemasons built this place.
" NARRATOR: Could there really be a secret city hidden below the Denver International Airport? And if so, will this be where the Freemasons intend to launch their so-called New World Order? Perhaps the writing is literally on the wall.
HODAPP: You have a mural that shows this soldier in a gas mask with a scimitar, stabbing a dove, and this endless chain of dying women and babies going out from under it.
It's just horrific.
BIRNES: There are scenes of ruination, war, corpses of babies, people fleeing underground of plague, death, Nazism, dictatorship, the coming of a New World Order.
NARRATOR: Do the Freemasons believe in a predestined apocalyptic event? And is this what the founding fathers have been preparing for since the Declaration of Independence? There are those who believe the answer is yes, and some suggest the Freemasonic view of the future came from another secret society rooted in Europe at the time of the American MARRS: A university professor named Adam Weishaupt formed a group called the Illuminati.
And he set it up to be a very secret society and operate very secretly.
HOROWITZ: Part of the organization's plan, when they were founded in 1776, was to join and infiltrate Freemasonic Lodges.
MARRS: The way it worked was he would talk to one person.
That one person would contact one person.
And that way, people down the line had no idea who's at the top or how to get to him or what the real purpose was.
But somewhere at the top of the heap is somebody who has an agenda.
HOROWITZ: And the early founders of the Illuminati were deep and great admirers of the American Revolution.
Theyelieved in religious liberty.
They believed in free thought.
But the fact is, within eight or nine years of the Illuminati's founding in 1776, the JONES: So you see a split in Masonry.
You see 1776 as the same year that the Illuminati is launched and then spreads and grows.
But simultaneously, events in 1776 lead to the Declaration of Independence.
And we have letters that George Washington wrote, warning people about the Illuminati trying to emerge and take over all of Masonry.
NARRATOR: Historians suggest the Illuminati actually infiltrated Freemasonic Lodges in the United States by the late 1700s, just as the founding fathers were drafting the U.
S.
Constitution.
But did the Illuminati, under the guise of Freemasonry, really influence the creation of the government and laws of the United States? MARRS: In a 1792 letter to a friend, George Washington said he had absolutely no doubts that the doctrines of the Illuminati had spread to the United States.
He said, "No one is more assured of this than I am.
" The most basic tenet of the Illuminati is that the end justifies the means.
And this is what makes them so dangerous because they'll say anything, pose as anything, and yet, they cling to their own doctrine.
JONES: You see now the Masonic orders that dominate our globe.
This is an Illuminati planet now.
They are the inner group, or the enlightened ones, or the top of the pyramid.
They have the secret knowledge.
They are directing the world.
They are keeping secrets for incredible wealth.
They're keeping secret their political power.
BIRNES: This is the biggest secret of all in America's Book of Secrets, beyond anything, and the secret of the Freemasons is that there's a coming of the New Age.
It's a big secret in plain sight.
HODAPP: As for a book of secrets that contain the secrets of the fraternity that have been passed down through the ages, there really aren't any because Freemasons promised not to write, print, paint, stamp, stain, cut, carve, hue, marker, or engrave any of the secrets of the fraternity.
VON KANNON: Freemasonry will always remain the granddaddy of all secret societies.
The greatest of all of them, the most international of all of them, and Freemasonry will remain a society that has a very powerful political impact.
NARRATOR: But despite all of the conspiracy theories and all of the secrets, these facts are clear: prominent Freemasons helped spark the American Revolution, they helped create the United States of America, their fingerprints can be found all across the country on sacred documents, on monuments, and even embedded in the streets of our nation's capital.
They are a brotherhood of secrets, and they will protect those secrets with their lives.
But why? What is the Freemasons' ultimate plan? Perhaps only time will tell.
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