President Lincoln’s death was the first successful presidential assassination in United States history and as such deserves attention because many of the details mirror those found in later assassinations. The biggest missing piece from the officially sanctioned history are the names of the secret societies that manipulated events behind the scenes and the political operatives they often employed. If you saw Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, you saw that passage of the 13th Amendment was left to some professional political fixers who traded patronage jobs for votes.
John Wilkes Booth was an intelligence operative and possible member of a devious Southern rights secret society called the Knights of the Golden Circle, which had thousands of members sprinkled throughout the north. The network was uncovered by a Union War Department investigation shortly after the Civil War broke out and could have been set-up in anticipation of the war.
Prior to the assassination, Booth had made frequent trips to New York City and Canada (Montreal), and the reasons for these trips remain unknown, but since Booth was a spy working for the Confederacy, it’s safe to assume these were not vacations or family visits to his brother’s brownstone.
I believe Booth could have been meeting with Charles Dunham, a master spook based in New York who wrote under various names for a variety of New York papers. All his stories were immense fabrications.
The most likely candidate as Grand Poobah of the Lincoln hit would be Jay Gould, who made more money on Wall Street during the war than anyone else.
A few years ago, a researcher suggested Booth may have been meeting with Congressman and former Mayor of New York, Fernando Wood, who wanted New York City to secede from the Union in support of the South. Wood was a shipping merchant who rose to Grand Sachem of the Society of St. Tammany, the group that gained control over the city by uniting its just arriving immigrant population. Wood also apparently controlled a vicious Five Points gang known as the Dead Rabbits, whose totem was an impaled rabbit on a spike that was carried into street battles against the Bowery Boys on the Lower East Side.
But when Republicans got control of the New York State legislature, they attempted to disarm the Democrat Wood by eliminating his corrupt Municipal Police force, replacing it with a “Metropolitan” police force under their command. On June 16, 1857, Captain George W. Walling of the newly formed Metropolitan Police arrived at City Hall with an arrest warrant for Wood for the crime of selling the position of Street Commissioner to Charles Devlin for $50,000. However, 300 members of the Municipal Police (which refused to disband) were guarding the mayor, and tossed Walling and his warrant into the street, inciting an ensuing melee that lasted for days known today as the “New York City police riot.”
Since Wood represented Wall Street interests invested in the cotton industry, which involved both the South and Great Britain, he became an open supporter of the Southern cause, and was probably an equally active supporter of the Southern secret service. Spies were everywhere during the Civil War, and this landscape was dotted with double agents.
But one of the most ruthless and most effective secret services was being run by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, through his dirty tricks specialist Lafayette Curry Baker, a man famous for fabricating evidence and strong-arming bribes. It appears Stanton had a double agent planted inside Booth’s conspiracy, a man who worked as a clerk at the War Department named Louis Weichmann. Another possibility, of course, is that Stanton was fomenting the murder plot, and not just observing it from a distance.
Both Wood and Stanton have major parts in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, and many of their lines are real, like when Stanton erupts at Lincoln, “I am not going to listen to another one of your stories!” Wood is portrayed as a charming Southerner with a biting wit, and does not convey the ruthless gangster he actually was.
Strangely, Baker was demoted and shipped off to New York City just prior to the assassination. I believe this was to prevent him from stumbling across the plot, as he soon came to suspect Stanton’s complicity, but dared not shared these feelings with anyone.
The night of the assassination General Grant was scheduled to sit beside Lincoln during the play at Ford’s Theater, but apparently the Secretary of War ordered Grant elsewhere, which meant Grant’s entourage and body guards were not at the theater. Meanwhile, Stanton assigned a notorious drunk as the only guard for Lincoln, a man who left his post to have a drink at the tavern across the street as soon as the play started. Booth was having a drink in that same tavern and probably witnessed the guard arrive at the bar, signaling his coast was clear. Ask yourself why Booth carried only a one-shot derringer. Obviously, he was not expecting interference.
Once Lincoln was shot, Stanton should have become a suspect, but he was able to completely control the investigation by quickly rounding up all the suspects except Booth within 48 hours. Baker published a book titled The Secret Service in the Late War (John Potter & Co., 1874) and revealed the existence of Booth’s diary. This revelation prompted a Congressional investigation, and when Stanton was forced to produce the diary in Congress during President Johnson’s impeachment trial, Baker announced 18 leaves were missing.
Read Baker’s book here:
Lafayette Curry Baker deserves a larger place in the history books because he played a key role in the Great Lincoln Conspiracy. Baker was considered one of the most corrupt and ruthless officials in Washington D.C., and owed all his power and prestige to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
Baker bounced around the country from New York to California before becoming a mercenary and bounty-hunting-hired-gun. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he volunteered to spy on the Richmond defenses for General Winfield Scott by posing as a photographer, and soon came to the attention of Stanton, an Ohio lawyer who’d suddenly been placed into the Cabinet position of Secretary of War at the war’s outbreak, an extremely fortuitous appointment since Stanton had no military experience and had just switched political parties because he sensed the winds of change were blowing and the Republicans were about to take control of the executive branch.
Quoting Nathaniel Weyl’s The Battle Against Disloyalty: “During the war years, General La Fayette Curry Baker was chief of the military Secret Service…Promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, Baker was clothed with almost limitless powers as special provost marshal of the War Department. In Washington, he used the methods that had proved so successful in his vigilante days, disregarding the process of law, habeas corpus, or any of the other constitutional frills…” Of Stanton, Weyl concluded: “The ultimate plans of Stanton cannot be fathomed, but the trend was totalitarian.”
Baker routinely made false arrests, planted fake evidence and solicited bribes. He was placed in charge of insuring the War Department got its full share of the war profiteering, and when he caught merchants cheating, demanded a slice of the action to allow them to stay in business. A Treasury Department official accused Baker of orchestrating “a reign of terror.”
Suddenly, however, Baker was accused of tapping Stanton’s military telegraph lines, was demoted and moved to New York City, and posted under an Assistant Secretary of War there. This all seems weird because Baker was accused of “spying” on Stanton, yet there was no hearing nor trial, just this sudden demotion.
But then just as suddenly, immediately after Lincoln was assassinated, Stanton ordered Baker to return to Washington to take charge of the investigation. Stanton himself was a suspect since he was in charge of the President’s protection and had personally placed a drunk on guard duty that night. Almost instantly suspects were rounded up and thrown into solitary with canvas hoods placed permanently over their heads to prevent any communication. At least one of them lost his mind after a week of wearing the hood. This runs against normal investigative technique, which is to isolate suspects and place double agents near them to draw information while posing as confidants.
After 11 days of the biggest manhunt in history, Baker suddenly dispatched a unit of the 16th Calvary to Virginia. The War Department was flooded with hundreds of reports of sightings in every state on the Eastern Coast, yet Baker somehow selected one particular lead to follow.
Booth’s diary never appeared at the trial, but much later when Baker wrote his book to cash in on his fame after being dismissed by Stanton, he mentioned the diary and was called before a Congressional committee, at which point Stanton was ordered to bring the diary to Congress. Baker examined the diary and claimed 18 leaves had been removed (at least 36 pages, if not 72). The diary had been shredded. Stanton claims to have removed nothing. But then much of the essential evidence of this case disappeared over time.
All this goes to show how deep the coverup runs because you won’t find many of these facts on the History Channel. In the 1930s, a chemistry professor tried to expose Stanton, but was dismissed although the serious questions he raised have never been adequately answered. A book was recently published about the case, American Brutus by Michael Kauffman, and it’s considered the “definitive last word” but strangely glosses over the conspiracy and refuses to peer deeply into the climate of corruption running through the War Department.
There was one fact on the History channel’s recent expose I found particularly intriguing. Kauffman admits Booth made several mysterious trips to New York City prior to the assassination, and no one has discovered any evidence of what those trips were about. (Sort of like Oswald’s bus ride into Mexico.)
Mary Surratt was painted as the only living mastermind of the plot during the trial, even though she was only guilty of having a son who served as a Confederate courier. The only evidence against her was given by a clerk who worked for Stanton, and after the trial, this clerk was exposed as a Union double agent posing as a Confederate spy.
Other important facts never mentioned by the History Channel is that Booth was a Captain in the Confederate Secret Service, and that Edwin Stanton’s mentor, the man who funded his rise in politics, was the leader of the Knights of the Golden Circle.
I tinkered around conducting my own deep political research for years, but it wasn’t until I began the study of secret societies that I made any real headway. My big breakthrough was exploring connections between the Sicilian men-of-honor society and the Central Intelligence Agency, two secret societies that plotted to assassinate Fidel Castro. But after JFK called off that murder, the same team his CIA assembled to kill Castro ended up whacking Kennedy. If Congress ever holds a real investigation, this is the reality that will emerge, although I suppose the instigators will be long dead by then.
The masonic-influenced Knights of the Golden Circle was one of the more devious secret societies operating around the time of Lincoln’s assassination. Funny how almost nothing has been written about these Knights, although their existence was well-established before the Civil War. Apparently, the organization grew out of Southern Rights clubs in the South who lusted for more pro-slave territory. These societies financed ships that illegally abducted Africans after the slave trade was officially abolished in 1808. In 1844, the War with Mexico was championed in hopes that country would soon be carved-up into slave states, insuring the balance of power in Congress remained pro-slave.
In 1855, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, named George Bickley organized the Southern Rights movement into the highly secretive Knights of the Golden Circle (K.G.C.), a volunteer militia initially formed for an invasion of Mexico. Eventually, tens of thousands joined, and many came from Northern states. A secret history of the society was written in 1861 and appeared a few years ago online here:
But three years after the Civil War commenced, the K.G.C. was exposed. Some were leading pro-slave “peace movements” while others were acting as spies and dirty tricks operatives for the Confederacy. The Army spent months investigating the K.G.C. and the Judge Advocate General eventually produced an exhaustive report titled: “The Order of American Knights”, alias “The Sons of Liberty:” A Western Conspiracy in Aid of the Southern Rebellion, published by the Union Congressional Committee, Washington D.C., 1864. Among other things, the report identified most of the state leaders in the North and claimed Clement L. Vallindigham was the society’s Supreme Commander. Vallindigham had been a member of Congress from Ohio but lost his seat through gerrymandering. On April 30, 1863, he was convicted by a military tribunal for making seditious statements in support of the Southern cause and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Instead, President Lincoln deported him to the Confederacy as an enemy alien. He became the real man without a country, and perhaps the model on which the fictional story was soon written.
You can read the Congressional report here:
Isn’t it odd that none of the recent Lincoln biographies or recent films mention K.G.C.?
In the 1930s an amateur historian and chemistry professor in Chicago put forth the theory that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton was involved in the Lincoln assassination and played the crucial role in covering up the true origin of the plot.
After Lincoln’s death, Stanton seized all power in Washington D.C. and took charge of the investigation and ran a military court that swiftly hanged some minor players, most of whom were completely innocent. What nobody seems to mention, however, is that Stanton and Vallindigham were the closest of personal friends. Vallindigham, in fact, funded Stanton’s rise in politics. Booth’s induction into the K.G.C. has long been suspected, and Booth could have been receiving instructions from Vallindigham, who had one of the biggest axes to grind against Lincoln. But the ones who seem to have benefited most from the assassination were the leading Radical Republicans, who held the center of gravity on real power, and wanted Lincoln removed because he planned to go easy on the South.
The transcripts of the trial of the Lincoln assassination alleged conspirators are available online, or you can watch Robert Redford’s excellent film The Conspirator, which focuses on Mary Surratt, who was targeted as the chief patsy and swiftly hanged. Her son John was studying to be a Catholic priest but instead joined Confederate Secret Service and became one of the primary couriers for the Confederacy during the war. He was also involved in the plot to kidnap Lincoln, a plot that involved hundreds of Southern sympathizers and one that was certainly fomented by Colonel John Mosby (The Grey Ghost), although Surratt later claimed to have been acting on his own authority. But when the kidnap plan suddenly shifted to murder, Surratt fled and he remained in hiding for years.
Check out Surratt wearing his Papal Zouave uniform. He was such a devoted Catholic that he volunteered to defend the Papal States during the final years of their existence. Eighteen months after his mother was hanged, however, he was spotted in Egypt and escorted back to America to stand trial still wearing his Papal Zouave uniform. Fortunately, a law had just been passed forbidding further military courts from trying civilians. Because of this glitch, the government was unable to secure a conviction, and although Surratt freely admitted associations with Booth, he claimed no part of the murder, and the jury believed him.
Since Stanton was head of the investigation and running the country under martial law at the time, one wonders why the K.G.C. and their offshoot “The Sons of Liberty” were never mentioned at the trial. Or why Booth was executed instead of being brought in for interrogation. Or why 18 leaves of Booth’s diary disappeared. I suspect those pages made mention of some of the real conspirators, possibly even Jay Gould. The reason the society and any real evidence was never discussed is obviously because Stanton was railroading patsies.
If I had to make a guess, I’d say the Civil War could have been fomented by European and American business interests that also funded the abolitionist movement from their headquarters in Boston and New York. The founder of Yale’s Order of Skull & Bones was a close associate of terrorist John Brown, who sparked the insane violence. The Boner founder was also heir to the American opium cartel, which meant his family was deeply involved in the shipping industry that had also profiteered immensely off slavery.
First the shipping merchants sold three million slaves to the South as plantation workers, and then a few decades later, told the South it was time to free the slaves. You can understand how that turn of events might upset some who’d invested millions in purchasing slaves. After the war, certain business interests wanted to pillage the South for exploitation, something Lincoln opposed. Killing Lincoln was not in the best interests of the South, but was in the best interest of certain profiteering schemes. After Lincoln’s death, Stanton engaged in a vicious power struggle with President Andrew Johnson, and lost.
There’s another thread to this saga involving Freemasonry. Albert Pike, the most powerful Mason in America, was from Boston, but moved to Arkansas during the war, where he became a general for the Confederacy and organized Native Americans to conduct terror raids on Northern civilians. Just as British and American officers met frequently during the Revolutionary War in Masonic lodges (and sometimes on the eve of battle), it’s safe to assume Masons on both sides of the Civil War held discussions in their temples throughout the war. Freemasonry has always been a refuge for spies, particularly the British sort. Immediately after Lincoln’s death, Pike went from hiding in Canada, to being awarded full masonic honors inside the White House by the deeply masonic President Andrew Johnson, who pardoned Pike for his war crimes and may have even helped erect the statue to him that still stands in Washington. Strange this statue seems untouchable considering Pike’s war crimes.
Consider Stanton was a devoted Freemason and the K.G.C. shows every sign of being a potential masonic spin-off. Also consider the one man brought in to testify against Mary Surratt was a clerk who worked for Stanton at the Department of War. Consider Stanton placed John Frederick Parker as the sole bodyguard for Lincoln that night even though Lincoln had been having nightmares about being assassinated for three nights running and expressed these fears to Stanton and requested additional protection, which was strangely refused. Since Parker had a reputation for visiting brothels, sleeping on duty and drinking heavily, he was an odd choice, unless incompetency was the object. Parker abandoned his post as expected and crossed the street for drink in a tavern. Inside, Booth was imbibing brandy, and would soon stroll across the street carrying a single shot derringer and knife. Consider that Stanton closed every bridge out of Washington immediately after the assassination, save one, which turned out to be the bridge used by Booth to escape. Consider Booth had the military pass code to cross the bridge. Consider the public telegraph lines in Washington went dead for two hours immediately after the assassination, leaving Stanton in control of the only working telegraph line in and out of the city.
Although all the films show Booth jumping to the stage and yelling “sic semper Tyrannis,” in his final diary entries Booth claimed to have shouted those words while firing the fatal bullet, before jumping to the stage.
When conducting operations, secret societies often manifest opposing systems by founding terror groups on both sides to capture the twin centers of gravity. Capturing the extremes allows them to place gatekeepers at strategic vantage points. Just as the abolitionist movement had deep pockets (plus the insane John Brown), a complimentary and similarly well-funded, pro-slavery movement was manifested with William Quantrill as their insane terrorist.
Vallandigham lost all influence after the war as ruling Democrats considered him a disruptive influence. On June 16, 1871, he was fatally shot while in conference with some attorneys, whose names have not gone down in history it seems. The story goes he was demonstrating how a former client once accidentally fatally shot himself.
In order to help others navigate these waters, it’s important not to get caught up in the hocus pocus elements of religion, which certainly includes the occult societies. Ceremonies are deployed to bond the group to secrecy, which is why when you are admitted into one of these societies, you typically give permission to be executed should you ever break your vow of silence. One wonders if Vallandigham broke that code.
“Whoever dares our cause reveal, shall test the strength of knightly steel; and when the torture proves too dull, we’ll scrape the brains from out his skull, and place a lamp within the shell, to light his soul from here to hell.” Knights of the Golden Circle oath.”
The Knights of the Golden Circle was a notorious secret society you may have never heard of. 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. I suggest watching The Conspirator, a film produced by Robert Redford a few years ago. I much prefer it to Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.
Redford spent years researching the Lincoln assassination, and the film focuses on Mary Surratt, the patsy, and Edwin Stanton, who took charge of the country after the assassination. After submitting almost entirely to Stanton’s will for a brief time, President Andrew Johnson attempted to fire him, and that’s what sparked the impeachment vote. Stanton barricaded himself in his office until the impeachment trial was over, at which point he was forced out of office.
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 elements of the K.G.C., and it’s offshoot, The Sons of Liberty, it might have also been useful to investigate those links during the trial. Strangely, that never happened. Instead, some innocents, including Mary Surratt, were railroaded into a military courtroom and quickly hanged, something that never could have transpired had they been afforded a regular trial and effective counsel. You have to wonder why Stanton was so eager to close the case with a fabricated trial stuffed with perjuries, and after some of his hoodwinks were unmasked, refused to vacate his office where the official records were stored. Stanton, it should also be noted, was a devoted Freemason, and his connections ran wide and deep.
The film doesn’t really go into Stanton’s motivations, although it does demonstrate some of his manipulations in the rush to judgment against an innocent woman he painted as mastermind of the assassination. Stanton would reverse Lincoln’s plans for national healing and instead open up the South to the sort of ruthless exploitation favored by Thaddeus Stevens and Ben Wade. Stanton supported General Grant for President, but was not rewarded with a return to the Cabinet, but later offered a seat on the Supreme Court, although Grant sat on that appointment for weeks and Stanton died mysteriously before it was signed.
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 implementing a ruthless strategy that had initially been suggested by Stanton. Lincoln was unaware of that fact, and probably felt having a Democrat as Secretary of War provided some strategic advantage. Mostly, Stanton had the backing of the leaders of both houses of Congress, as well as a reputation as the best lawyer in the country.
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. However, before the Civil War got started, the K.G.C. was collecting funds for an invasion of Mexico (similar to the plans of British spook Aaron Burr, who’d been arrested and tried for fomenting a similar plot).
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 to the South as an alien.
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 the terrorist. I suspect the abolitionist movement might have been funded by economic forces making plans for war-for-profit. Brown’s biggest source of financing was William Russell, founder of Yale’s secretive Skull & Bones society, and whose family ran the North American opium cartel.
Redford’s film doesn’t mention any of these important details, including the connection between Vallandigham and the K.G.C., which had begun in his home state of Ohio. The society went through an interesting evolution, morphing into the Order of the American Knights and then becoming The Order of the Sons of Liberty, at which point Vallandigham emerged as the Supreme Commander.
There are many lessons in this story, but the most important is that whenever a military tribunal is called when a public criminal trial is needed, you should immediately suspect a hidden agenda and cover-up. And that’s why the creation of the Guantanamo Bay Prison and the torturing of people for decades, many of whom were found to have been innocent, is just another suspicious detail in the sordid history of 9/11.
I just watched a film about the Lincoln assassination on Netflix. It’s a Robert Redford production that was released a couple of years ago, but it didn’t even hit my radar back then. But the film certainly strikes some timely chords today.
The Conspirator shows how Secretary of War Edwin Stanton completely controlled the investigation into Lincoln’s assassination, which concentrated only on finding minor characters on the fringe of the conspiracy, but did nothing to locate the actual figures in command of the situation. I’ve written earlier about the possible involvement of Albert Pike, a Confederate General, in Lincoln’s assassination. At some point, the possibility of a much larger conspiracy will have to be addressed. Pike, after all, was the most powerful Mason of his time. Lincoln was not a member of the Masons. But Edwin Stanton certainly was.
Today many people seem to think John Wilkes Booth acted alone because that’s the only way political assassinations in this country are spun—probably to protect the guilty—but, in fact, the plot also included an attack on Secretary of State William Seward. Some people think Seward was marked for death in order to engineer the line of succession, but at the time of the assassination, the Secretary of State was not even in that line, which, by the way, has been re-tooled several times over the years.
In the movie, the conspirators are tried by military tribunal and experience none of the rights of a civilian trial. The film adeptly shows how Stanton cared little for civil rights. His only concern was to get some people hanged and hanged quickly. After this sham trial, a law would be passed insuring the rights of every American citizen to due process and a fair trial—even in times of war. Unfortunately, those rights seem to have been rescinded by the Patriot Act.
Hopefully, someday our rights to a fair trial will be returned. I’m sure future generations will look upon the Patriot Act and everything that followed, including the current sham trial taking place in Guantanamo Bay, with horror. After railroading Mary Surratt onto the gallows, the government was unable to convict her son John in a civilian trial 16 months later after he was captured following an extensive manhunt. John had participated in a failed attempt to kidnap Lincoln with Booth and then fled the country after discovering the plan had switched to an assassination plot. If a civilian court could not find John Surratt guilty, it’s doubtful his mother would have ever been convicted in a legitimate trial.
There are many stories told that Booth escaped, though, and the others were just patsies, since some members of Booth’s famous family have always asserted Booth did not die in a fire in a barn outside Port Royal as the government asserts, but, instead, another’s charred body was substituted and Booth walked free. Booth’s dentist ID’d the teeth in those charred remains as being Booth’s and the corpse did have a broken ankle, which Booth may have suffered after jumping to the stage following the assassination, although his diary claimed that happened later, during the escape when his horse slipped and fell. The mysteries linger. But I believe it was Booth who died in the barn, and he was killed to prevent him from spilling the beans on who actually paid for the assassination. We just know it involved a New York element.
Albert Pike and Abraham Lincoln were both lawyers, and both played key roles in the Civil War, although on opposite sides and deploying much different tactics. Along with fellow Freemason John Brown (who was supported in his efforts to spark the Civil War by the founder of Skull & Bones), Pike was a terrorist leader, only instead of rallying blacks he rallied Native Americans to attack and plunder Union settlements. Lincoln may have won the war, but Pike won the peace.
Pike was a great spook you see, and surely had deep connections into a secret society called “Knights of the Golden Circle,” of which John Wilkes Booth (a spook himself) may have been a member, as well as Jesse James. Pike was the most influential Freemason in the history of American Freemasonry, and designed 30 initiation rituals for the advanced degrees he created inside Freemasonry, investing great ceremonial magic into the culture, which he soon dominated as its American Grand Master. Here is how the indispensable Ten Thousand Famous Freemasons describes him (most entries are two or three sentences, while his is among the most extensive):
Albert Pike (1809-1891) Lawyer, poet, soldier, adventurer, author and 8th Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, AASR. b. Dec. 29, 1809 in Boston, Mass. He entered Harvard in 1826, but financial problems prevented the completion of his education. Nevertheless, he became one of the leading intellectuals of that era by self-education.
After a time as principal of a school in Newburyport, Mass., he set out for the partially explored regions of the West, traveling by stage to Cincinnati; by steamer to Nashville; on foot to Paducah; by keel-boat down the Ohio; by steamer up the Mississippi; and in 1831 he left with a caravan of ten wagons as one of a party of 40 men under Capt. Charles Bent, q.v., en route from St. Louis to Santa Fe. He arrived at Taos on Nov. 10, 1831, having walked 500 miles from the Cimarron River, where his horse ran away. He remained at Santa Fe until Sept., 1832, and then started with a party down the Pecos River and into the Staked Plain, to the headwaters of the Brazos.
Pike, with four others, then made their way to Fort Smith, Ark. Here he again took up the teaching profession, and in 1833 became associate editor of the Arkansas Advocate, purchasing the paper a year later. He then took up the study of law, and being admitted to the bar, sold the paper. In 1839 he contributed to Blackwood’s Magazine, a poem, Hymns to the Gods, which established him as a poet of reputation.
As a lawyer, he was recognized throughout the Southwest. In the Mexican War, he was commissioned a captain of cavalry in Archibald Yell’s, q.v., regiment. After Yell’s death, Pike had several differences of opinion with the new commander, which resulted in a bloodless duel between them, but ended his cavalry career. For the next few years he divided his time between the law and his writing, and his residence between New Orleans and Little Rock.
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he cast his lot with the Confederacy, and was named Indian agent and brigadier general of the area, which included the Indian Territory. Once again he differed with his superiors, and when accused of insubordination, he resigned, serving the rest of the war period as a judge of the Arkansas superior court.
He practiced law in Memphis, Tenn. for two years before moving to Washington, D.C. at the beginning of his term as sovereign grand commander of the Southern Jurisdiction AASR. He was raised in Western Star Lodge No. 2, Little Rock, Ark in Aug., 1850, when he was 40. Two years later (Nov. 4, 1852), he became charter member and first master of Magnolia Lodge No. 60, Little Rock. On Oct. 4, 1880 he affiliated with Pentalpha Lodge No. 23, Washington, D.C. While in Arkansas he served on many grand lodge committees, including Masonic Law and Usage; Foreign Correspondence; Library; By-Laws, and was a trustee, and subsequently president, of St. John’s College, established by that grand lodge.
Exalted in Union Chapter No. 2, R.A.M. of Little Rock, Nov. 29, 1850, he became the first grand scribe of the Grand Chapter of Arkansas, and grand high priest in 1853-54. He was first commander of Hugh de Paynes Commandery No. 1, K.T. of Little Rock. Received the R. & S.M. degrees in Columbia Chapter, R.A.M., of Washington, D.C. On March 20, 1853 he received the AASR (SJ) degrees, 4°-32° at Charleston, S. Car, from Albert G. Mackey, q.v., and received the 33° in New Orleans in 1857. The following year he was elected an active member, and sovereign grand commander (Jan. 3, 1859). In this position he did much for that rite.
As one has said, “He found the Scottish Rite in a cabin and left it in a temple.” He rewrote the AASR ritual, as well as many Masonic books, including Morals and Dogma. d. April 2, 1891, and is buried in the House of the Temple, Washington, D.C.
Although Freemasonry began as a haven for the enlightenment, spreading the doctrine of liberty, equality and fraternity (while often secretly plotting an end to royalty and religion), it would appear that royalty and religion got their meat-hooks into Freemasonry fairly early in the game. The secret societies in Europe engaged in hidden vendettas and secret warfare for centuries, and almost none of this activity has ever surfaced in the mainstream. Many lodges began to wonder what hidden machinations might lurk in the minds of their Masonic masters, or which side they truly represented.
The two major combatants in historical secret society warfare are supposed to be the Jesuits and the Freemasons, one side influenced by the Vatican, while the other influenced by the English House of Lords. But to tell the truth the Vatican had a slippery relationship with the Jesuits, just as the English Grand Masters always held a slippery grip on their affiliated lodges, many of which were packed with independent-minded businessmen, adventurers and intellectuals of their respective locales. And then, of course, France created its own form of masonry, as the English were never to be trusted.
In design and execution, the Freemasons and the Sicilian men-of-honor are not very far apart, although the masons have been celebrated for their good works, while adeptly hiding their evil intentions, while just the opposite is true for the Sicilians. In reality, however, many of those Sicilians got their inroads with local politicians and judges by becoming Freemasons, and masonic temples were the place where people of all faiths and walks of life can meet knowing all their conversations will remain secret. Masons, after all, are pledged to secrecy and to assist each other whenever possible, a bond of brotherhood as strong as any on earth. The Illuminati began as Jesuit conspiracy to infect masonry from within, and I say that because the University that created the Illuminati was founded by Jesuits, who realized early on that controlling education was the key to molding the future. It’s possible the Illuminati and House of Lords conspired to foment the bloody French Revolution.
Likewise, the separation of a recently-formed United States into two warring factions was quite possibly instigated by the same forces. London and the Vatican have employed spooks around the globe for just this purpose for centuries. The terrorist who helped spark the war, John Brown, was supported by William H. Russell, heir to the Russell opium fortune and founder of Yale’s Order of Skull & Bones, and you can trace a line from Skull & Bones to Illuminati central in Bavaria.
John Brown (1800-1859) American abolitionist fanatic, regarded by some northern sympathizers as a martyr. Brown’s cause was glorified by the famous marching song, John Brown’s Body. He was a Freemason who later turned anti-Mason. b. May 9, 1800, he was executed on Dec. 2, 1859 in Charlestown, Va. From 1856 on, he was obsessed with the idea of abolishing slavery by force. When a pro-slavery massacre occurred at Lawrence, Kans., Brown killed five slavery adherents at Pottawatomie, Kans. in retaliation. He next made a heroic stand at Osawatomie, Kans. against a raid by pro-slavery forces from Missouri. He conceived a plan of establishing a new state as a refuge for negroes. With help from Massachusetts abolitionists, he seized the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. in 1859, intending the action as a signal for a general insurrection of slaves. Overpowered and convicted of treason, he was hanged Dec. 2, 1859. Brown was raised in Hudson Lodge No. 68, Hudson, Ohio, on May 11, 1824, serving as junior deacon in 1825-26. His uncle was the first master of the lodge. Shortly after 1826 he moved to Pennsylvania and with the anti-Masonic movement, he renounced Freemasonry and continued to do so on every possible occasion. His son, John Brown, Jr. became a Freemason and was buried with Masonic honors. His daughter, Sarah, once told a biographer that Brown had stated that “the forms of the initiatory ceremonies of the Masons struck him as silly,” and in a negro newspaper Brown wrote, “another of the few errors of my life is that I have joined the Freemasons, Oddfellows, Sons of Temperance, and a score of other secret societies instead of seeking the company of intelligent, wise and good men.”
Lincoln got to the Presidency by becoming the favorite lawyer of the railroads, many of whom were deeply indebted to the Rothschilds, although they would soon transform into The Robber Barons, so you have to wonder what did that transformation do for the European banks that bankrolled their operations. The Civil War assisted the rise of J.P. Morgan, who dominated post-war banking, along with Jay Gould and seven or eight others, most of whom eventually co-invested in the American International Corporation, which soon created or invested in hundreds of companies to corral whatever resources were available worldwide. One of these companies was United Fruit Company.
Pike’s racism rivaled Hitler’s and he was a founding Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He may have lynched a few unfortunate black men in his time, so deep was his hated of the darker races, although, strangely, he became a best friend to Native America, winning lawsuits for stolen lands, and bringing some tribes into the Civil War on the side of the South as their commanding General, although his meager military victories were eclipsed by his poetry (which was quite popular at the time and well-reviewed by many scholars). His nearly impenetrable book, Morals and Dogma, is filled with the most blatant thefts, lifting freely from a wide variety of sources without bothering to re-phrase a single word, all to create the illusion of his encyclopedic knowledge of the occult and Eastern spirituality.
Most of the stolen material came from one source, Eliphas Levi, who’d been initiated into ceremonial magic by the British Rosicrucians, a German secret society that began during the Reformation by claiming access to phony ancient secrets. A Frenchman, Levi was on his way to becoming a Catholic Priest when he got sidetracked by paganism and took the name of a Jew. His biggest legacy was the creation of our modern Tarot cards.
Far as I know, only one author has accused Pike of being a secret British agent, and that would be Anton Chaitkin of the Lyndon LaRouche organization. Anton paints Pike as a Satanist, glutton and human monster incarnate, ignoring the fact Pike was actually considered one of the most gracious and well-mannered gentlemen of his time by many of those who came into contact with him.
The LaRouche organization has picked up where the John Birch Society left off, creating a wide swath of disifno all based on real conspiracy theory, but leading off into one rabbit hole or another. Just enough real info to make the disinfo go down the unsuspecting gullet. So I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions based on what a LaRouchite would have to say. Also, keep in mind LaRouche himself, is a Grand Master in French Freemasonry, a fact he never tries to conceal. Not to mention the John Birch Society was founded by Freemasons and members of the Council on Foreign Relations. In controlled dialectics, the fox is always put in charge of the hen house. Notice the Birch Society was organized similar to the masonic lodges, with 40-50 members in each cell, their identities kept completely secret. They are famous for having high-ranking masons and Mormons in their ranks.
If the Civil War was fomented to prevent Philadelphia from eclipsing London as the center of global finance, that feat has to be one of the greatest undercover mission impossibles of all time. And notice the American banking center shifted during the War to Wall Street.
If you want to read more about Pike, Robert Guffey has published an entertaining book, Cryptoscatology:Conspiracy Theory as Art Form (Trine Day.) Although an admittted 32nd Degree Mason, Duffey presents a balanced portrait and has a lot of interesting material in his book. The best thing about his work is he maintains a sense of humor through-out.
One tidbit I almost forgot to mention: Pike was charged with treason after the Civil War and because he’d used the Indian tribes to foment terror against the North, he might have even been hanged had Lincoln lived. Fortunately for Pike, as one of his first acts as President, Andrew Johnson awarded the Supreme Master Mason and Magus a complete pardon for all his war crimes. Pike went from hiding out in Canada in fear for his life, to being accorded full masonic ceremonies inside the White House, recognizing his prowess in the occult. The incoming President Andrew Johnson, was, after all, a devout Freemason, and, as such, he considered Albert Pike as his guiding authority in all things mystical.