The Knights of the Golden Circle is a notorious secret society you probably never heard of it. In 1861, a history of the K.G.C. was published stating the Southern Rights movement began in 1834, although the first charter for a K.G.C. “castle” (their name for a lodge) was in 1854.
If you’re looking for something truly enlightening for 9/11 anniversary week, I suggest watching The Conspirator, a film produced by Robert Redford a few years ago. I much prefer this film to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. It’s free to stream on Netflix.
Redford spent years researching the Lincoln assassination, and the film focuses on Mary Surratt and Edwin Stanton, who effectively took charge of the country after the assassination. After submitting to Stanton’s will for a brief time, President Andrew Johnson attempted to twice sack Stanton, something that sparked Johnson’s impeachment hearings. At one point, Stanton barricaded himself in his office, refusing to give up his post or government titles until Johnson’s impeachment trial was concluded.
Obviously, Lincoln’s assassination was a conspiracy, and since Captain John Wilkes Booth of the Confederate Secret Service would have most likely been working with the K.G.C., and it’s offshoot, The Sons of Liberty, it might have been useful to investigate those links during the subsequent trial, something that never happened. Instead, some innocents, including Mary Surratt, were railroaded into a military courtroom and quickly hung, something that never could have transpired had they been afforded a normal trial. It was a typical “move along, nothing to see here” hoodwink like ones employed so often in cases of secret-society-sponsored terrorism. You have to wonder why Stanton was so eager to close the case and was he being paid off? And, of course, Stanton was a devoted Freemason, so his connections ran wide and deep.
The film doesn’t really go into Stanton’s motivations, although it does demonstrate his manipulations and rush to judgment against an innocent woman falsely painted as the mastermind of the assassination. Stanton would go on to play a role in reversing Lincoln’s plans for Southern appeasement and national healing, opening up the South for the ruthless exploitation favored by Thaddeus Stevens and Ben Wade, who sought vengeance against the rebels. Afterwards Stanton supported General Grant for President and but was not rewarded with a return to the Cabinet, but later offered a seat on the Supreme Court, although Grant sat on the appointment for weeks and Stanton died mysteriously before Grant signed it.
Stanton got his job as Secretary of War in 1862, one year after the war’s start because the previous secretary had just been sacked thanks to his efforts. Meanwhile, Stanton was switching political allegiance, sensing the Radical Republicans were about to take control of the nation. (By the way, Secretary of War is the key strategic position for orchestrating war for profit, so it should come as no surprise that during WWII, this position was held by a member of another secret society, Yale’s Skull & Bones.)
I find it fascinating Stanton got his start with a $500 loan from Clement Vallandigham (left), who would go on to become leader of the pro-slavery “Copperhead” Democrats, so named by Republicans to sheep-dip them as venomous snakes in the minds of the public. However, before the Civil War got started, the K.G.C. were already collecting funds for an invasion of Mexico (similar to the plans of British spook Aaron Burr, who’d been arrested and tried for treason for fomenting a similar plot to turn Mexico into a slave nation).
Vallandigham served two terms in Congress, where he voted against every proposed military bill, but after he lost his seat, he was arrested as an enemy agent, convicted and deported him to the South as an alien, the ultimate insult. I do believe Vallandigham got the last laugh.
Interesting John Brown was the terrorist who helped spark the Civil War and after Brown’s Harper’s Ferry raid, Vallandigham was one of a handful of Congressmen allowed to interrogate Brown. I suspect the abolitionist movement might have been at least partially funded by economic forces planning to make a killing on war profiteering.
Redford’s film doesn’t mention this detail, but Vallandigham was involved with the K.G.C., and I say this because the K.G.C. began in his home state of Ohio, and went through an interesting evolution, morphing into the Order of the American Knights and finally becoming The Order of the Sons of Liberty, at which point Vallandigham emerges as the Supreme Commander of the society, indicating he was an active member all along.
There are many lessons in this story, but the most important thing is that whenever a military tribunal is called for what should be a public criminal trial, you should immediately suspect a hidden agenda at work. And that’s why the creation of the Guantanamo Bay Prison and the torturing of people for decades, some of whom have been found to be completely innocent, is such a suspicious detail in the history of 9/11. Why after 13 years hasn’t a 9/11 trial been concluded?
But then, trials are are made more difficult when the chief suspect is assassinated in his bedroom in front of his family and then his corpse dumped in the ocean before any independent forensic identification can be made.