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Benjamin Franklin: Freemason and Jew

(Left, Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790) A very famous Jewish Mason, born in Boston to descendants of the Puritan tradition is Benjamin Franklin. His father and mother were Josiah and Abiah Franklin. Benjamin Franklin contributed to the Mikveh Israel Jewish congregation in Philadelphia. But Franklin did not practice Judaism. He did practice the occult, and things that would be weird to Christians. He became the head of the very occultic Grand Orient Freemasons when he was in France. Franklin's life was surrounded by Freemasons. Franklin's role in the establishment and promotion of Freemasonry is overwhelming. His role in the destruction of Christianity is quite unknown. Franklin's career as a Freemason is shrouded in mystery. This Author has in his library the somewhat rare book Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason by Julius Sachse (J.F. Sachse is the last of a line of Sachses in the World Order.) This leading Masonic scholar writes, "To write the history of Franklin as a Freemason is virtually to chronicle the early Masonic history of America....A great difficulty, however, here confronts us, notwithstanding the prominence of FRANKLIN in Pennsylvania Freemasonry; strange as it appears, he does not mention a word of his Masonic connections or career in his Autobiography, or in any of his correspondence, with but two exceptions, so far as known. This omission is the more remarkable when we look at his Masonic career while in France during the later years of his life. There, his activity and intimacy with the Brethren was intimate and close, both personal and official, FRANKLIN taking an active part in their proceedings, even advancing to the so-called higher degrees."1 In spite of all his many duties, Benjamin Franklin was "never absent from a [Masonic] meeting."2 The Masonic Lodge played such a big role in Franklin's life, and yet Franklin never even hints about Freemasonry in his autobiography. The editor of his autobiography points out that Franklin tried to

portray an unreal persona in his autobiography, but one that Franklin felt people would want to emulate.3 If Masonry is so virtuous, one wonders why it plays no role in his autobiography which was written on purpose to create an image worthy of emulation. Benjamin Franklin was the founder of the American Philosophical Society.4 He was also a Rosicrucian.5 In Feb. 1730, it appears he was initiated into St. John's Lodge of Philadelphia.6 And in 1727, he started the secret revolutionary political society called the Leather Apron Club which changed its name in 1731 to Junto, and took on the appearance of being a literary society.7 The same year that this "literary" society changed its name, the St. John's Masonic Lodge that Franklin belonged to got in touch with the Grand Lodge of London whose Grand Master the Duke of Norfolk appointed Daniel Coxe. Daniel Coxe advised the Masons when he arrived of a plan for the federation of the colonies.8 In 1754, while deputy Grand Master, Franklin unveiled at Albany, NY to his brother Masons his plan to unite all the colonies under one government.9 Albany was the site of one the earliest Scottish Rite's Lodge of Perfection. Between Jan 21, 1769 and Jan. 21, 1772 a series of inflammatory letters called The Letters of Junius, which were written in England, were circulated throughout the American colonies. The letters advanced those causes that the colonists would declare to be the causes of their revolution, human rights, freedom of the press, and taxation without representation. The letters were read by Franklin and many of the Masons who initiated the American Revolution. The man who wrote these letters according to his niece, was the Reverend James Wilmot (1726-1808) a Mason and rector of Barton-on-the-Heath, in Warwickshire in 1785. He also was the first person to publicly name Bacon as the author of Shakespeare's works.10 He also apparently was in contact with the Lodge of Nine Sisters in France that Franklin would join in 1777.11 "Historians have never ceased to wonder at the enormous psychological influence which Franklin exercised in colonial politics. But up to the present day, few indeed are those who have realized that the source of his power lay in the secret societies to which he belonged and which he was the appointed spokesman."12 Independence Hall which became the famous center of the Revolution was built by the Masons. It is believed by some that the Mason Benjamin Franklin laid its corner stone, others say it was another Freemason instead. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN & RELIGION Some of Franklin's Masonic brothers in France were impressed by the rituals, etc. that he thought up for a new religion. Turning our attention to a different aspect of Franklin's, in a statement of beliefs Franklin states, "I conceive then, that the INFINITE has created many beings or Gods... It may be that these created Gods are immortal; or it may be that after many Ages, they are changed, and others Supply their Places."13 Not only were Franklin's beliefs not Christian, but in the later years of his life all the Christian standards were violated, so that it is really a travesty of honest reporting, that Franklin is held up by so many as a role model for Protestants. The distortions in the popular history books about Franklin are but a microcosm of the distortions that history books in general suffer from.

His mother was very concerned that he had joined the Freemasons, and strongly objected. In diplomatic double-talk he advised her not to worry about what she didn't know about. "As to the Freemasons, unless she will believe me when I assure her that they are in general a very harmless sort of People; and have no principles or Practices that are inconsistent with Religion or good Manners, I know no Way of giving my Mother a better Opinion of them than she seems to have at present (since it is not allow'd that Women should be admitted into that secret Society)... I must entreat her to suspend Judgment till she is better inform'd,..."15 To paraphrase-- So Mom I can't tell you anything more, but don't judge until you're well informed about us. NOTES 1) Friedman, op. cit. (Jewish Pioneers & Patriots), p.125 2) Sachse, Julius F.(33) Benjamin Franklin as a Freemason. Philadelphia,PA: Compiled by order of the Grand Master of Pennslyvannia, 1906, p. 1. 3) ibid., p. 103 quoting Dr. Mease who had access to Masonic documents in 1811, that are not available anymore. 4) Lemisch, L. Jesse, ed. Benjamin Franklin the Autobiography and Other Writings. NY: The New American Library, 1961, pp. vii-xii. 5) Lemisch, op. cit., pp. 121, 205-9 6) Various Rosicrucian sources. 7) Sachse, op. cit. p.13 8) cf. Sachse, op. cit. pp. 7, 8, 15 9) Fay, Bernard. Revolution and Freemasonry, pp. 230-231. 10) Sachse, op. cit., p. 88. 11) Hall, Manly P.(33) America's Assignment with Destiny. Los Angeles, CA: Philosophical Research Soc., 1951, pp.85-87. 12) cf. ibid., and Sachse, op. cit. p. 5. 13) Hall, Manly P. The Secret Destiny of America. Los Angeles, CA: Philosophical Research Soc, 1972, p. 133. 14) Lemisch. Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography and Other Writings, pp. 329-330 from Smyth, Albert Henry, ed. The Writings of Benjamin Franklin Collected and Edited with a life and Introduction, NY: 1905, pp. 411-12. 15) Lemisch, op. cit., pp. 319-320.