Saturday, March 12, 2011

Power, Corruption and Lies

Gabriel Moulin, 1907.
I had an opportunity to watch The Order of Death (Alex Jones' documentary on the Bohemian Grove) the other night.  It's a deft piece of propaganda and like all propaganda, it's filled with an unfortunate bevy of distortions and half-truths, if not outright lies.

Bohemian Grove is a campground in northern California owned by the Bohemian Club, a men's social club founded in San Francisco in 1872.  Initially membership included journalists and artists, but it soon accepted businessman into its ranks.  Today the club holds an annual gathering at the Grove which includes a largely GOP crowd, but includes a smattering of liberals, too.  This is not some conspiracy theorist's wild imaginings.  Guests have included the likes of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Kissinger, George Shultz, Helmut Kohl, Colin Powell.  The list goes on.  Not only such well-known figures but a long list of power players in industries from petrochemical and media to defense.  Celebrities are involved.  Harry Shearer and Steve Miller, of all people, are members.  So are Mickey Hart and Bob Weir, formerly of the Grateful Dead.

But what do they do?  Given the highly secretive nature of the proceedings, a lot of what goes down is fairly well-known. (Tellingly, the Patron Saint of the Club is John of Nepomuk, who was martyred by the King of Bohemia for refusing to divulge secrets the Queen revealed to him at confessional; one of his attributes is an angel holding its finger over its lips in the universal gesture of silence and at least one of the BG camps is adorned with this very image).  It would appear that revelry and heavy drinking are involved, male bonding, pissing in the woods, etc.  A series of "Lakeside Talks" are held, where members or special guests weigh in on policy issues of the day.  Theatrical productions are performed.  Perhaps most famous is the "Cremation of Care" ceremony.  The Cremation of Care is a kind of skit where members dressed in red and black hooded robes carry a coffin to the foot of a large stone effigy of an owl and set it alight.  Inside the coffin is a human figure called "Dull Care".  According to an article that appeared in Spy Magazine, club literature "boasts that the Cremation of Care ceremony derives from Druid rites, medieval Christian liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, Shakespearean drama and nineteenth-century American lodge rites."  (This photo archive of images from 1909 has lots of images from the theatrical productions).

Alex Jones actually walked right into the camp and from a hidden vantage point filmed the goings on.  As the coffin is set alight, howls and screams come out from the owl and fireworks shoot forth from behind its head . Strange hi-jinks for anyone, let alone the power elite.

The prospect of a bunch of influential men gathering in secret among the redwoods to discuss foreign and domestic policy matters raises a series of valid questions, the foremost of which regards the appropriateness of such an arrangement in a free and open, democratic society.  To what extent policy is hatched here, if at all, is a big unknown.  Policy is hammered out in congress, to be sure, and these kinds of conclaves are carried out all over Washington in various think tanks and consortia.  Which doesn't put this in perspective at all.  More to the point is to what extent these parallel policy structures subvert the democratic process of free and open discussion.  On one hand the Constitution guarantees the freedom of like-minded men to gather and discuss the problems of the day.  These are what political parties are all about, after all.  But the Grove smacks of something beyond that.  It doesn't help that this boys' club burns coffins before an enormous owl.

Carthage Redux

One big problem with Jones' documentary is that he links the Cremation of Care ritual to the continuation of Molech worship.  Without any ado whatsoever he pronounces this as fact.  Molech was a Semitic deity and research supports the idea that indeed, human and animal sacrifice was performed in the god's honor.  But this is not a proven fact; the extent of these sacrifices remains unsettled and even the very existence of human sacrifice remains debatable.  Yet there is no indication that Molech was associated with an owl.  None at all.  There are some representations of the Molech idol which bear a passing resemblance to our owl, but these are the stylings of much later fabulists and in any event, do not represent owls but bulls.  So, unless Jones has access to some codices the experts are not aware off, this link to Molech seems to originate from somewhere in his nether region; in other words, he's merely pulled it out of his ass and stated it as fact.

So, what of it?  Child sacrifice is a handy metaphor for warmongers, but stating it as fact, without hint of irony or satire, is merely wrong.  Jones' choice here involves either deliberate lies, blind prejudice or ignorance.

If the owl is not Molech, what does it represent?  I think it's a safe bet to say it represents wisdom.  In his book on the Illuminati, (Perfectibilists), Terry Melanson  points out that in the Bohemian Club library there is an owl statue which is an exact replica of one originally discovered in the temple of Pallas Athena on the Acropolis.  Like her Roman counterpart Minerva, she is often pictured with an owl signifying wisdom.  Melanson, in a footnote, notes that Jones seems to have been the first person to make the claim that the owl is Molech.  If so, it's pretty much standard folklore now.  The internet conspiracy sites repeat is ad nauseum.  Which makes his distortions all the more frustrating.  It's almost comical how people twist the historical evidence to fit their beliefs; I saw one site where a guy pointed out to another that there is no historical connection between the owl and Molech.  The first guy responded that it wasn't an owl, but a devil with horns.  Bohos merely called it an owl!  Given the prevalence of owl images on everything associated with the Club, from napkins to programs to its official seal, this makes it unlikely.

Melanson also proposes that the Club's motto "Weaving spiders come not here", along with the owl, refer to the myth of Arachne and Minerva.  In this story, Arachne, a skilled weaver, boasts that she can best anyone at the loom, even the goddess Minerva.  Minerva, peeved, takes her up on the offer and a contest ensues.  Arachne indeed demonstrates remarkable skill, along with remarkable arrogance.  Minerva, angered by Arachne's impiety, touches the latter's head and makes her feel shame, whereupon Arachne runs off and hangs herself.  Feeling pity, she brings Arachne back to life and transforms her into a spider to recall for all time this moral lesson.

Melanson suggests that for the BC, this might be directed towards outsiders, or weaving spiders; that is to say it's a warning to mere mortals who would presume to elevate themselves to the status of the god-like Bohemians.  Maybe so.  But isn't it also possible that the motto is directed towards the members themselves, as a reminder of humility?  Meaning that for all their worldly power and riches, they should not themselves assume they are gods among men.  I advocate neither interpretation, but propose a plausible alternative to demonstrate that we are all speculating based on limited information from a discrete organization.  A far cry from fact.

For a more thorough and fact-based interpretation of the owl symbolism, see Melanson's Owl of WisdomI was especially delighted to learn of the Schlarrafia, a social club founded in Prague (Bohemia) in 1859 by artists and actors, much like the Bohemian Club.  Their symbol:  an owl representing wisdom.  A branch existed in San Francisco as early as 1884 (BC founded in 1879) and the club had a similar philosophy of leaving "Dull Care" behind them when they met:

"As soon as he [the Schlaraffian] enters a 'castle' [or 'Temple'] and comes under the rule of Uhu, the great horned owl of Minerva, he is expected to forget all foolish things of everyday life."

This is why I love Terry's work.  I've been visiting BC-related websites for the past few days and this group wasn't even mentioned.  I go there in search of a link for Perfectibilists and land on this.  Great stuff, but it's getting me away from the intention of this post.
 
Bohemian Grove Seal, photo by Wikipedia User "Stef48"
Another thing which would support the idea that this represents wisdom (dare I say "enlightenment" or "illumination"), is that the owl was erected in the 1920's to replace an earlier sculpture.  Here's the National Park Service:

September 3, 1892: Bohemian Club Summer Encampment. A large 70 foot statue of Daibutsu Buddha, modeled after the Daibutsu of Kamkura and constructed of lath and plaster, is erected in an area later to be known as the Bohemian Grove. This statue gradually deteriorates over time, and by the late 1920's there is very little of it left.

I don't think the Bohos are secret Buddhists, they just get their wisdom symbols from wherever they see fit.

1909 Grove Annal, cremationofcare.com
Finally, I have also seen some Bohemian Grove images which feature both the owl and a skull, in this example crowned.  Some will automatically read this in a sinister light, but, like many such images, might it not be read as a symbol of the transience of life, another reminder to the mighty that their time too, will pass?

Still, it's hard not to see occult meanderings when pictures like another one floating about the internets pop up.  This image from 1915 is worth reproducing here because it's such an eye popper.  The caption explains: "To purge himself of worldly concerns, a member of the elite Bohemian Club participated in a 1915 Cremation of Care ceremony—complete with candles and a robed and hooded comrade to guide him."

Gabriel Moulin, 1915. Cremation of Care Ceremony; photo shamelessly hustled from National Geographic.
So, the Cremation of Care always signified the same thing, even as the ceremony became burning an effigy of Dull Care. I'm speculating here, but perhaps in this image the man is himself Dull Care.  The shedding of worldly concerns is necessary because life is transitory--as symbolized in the 1909 Annal--and one must take the time to eat, drink and be merry.  But I can easily see why people interpret this as some kind of occult death and rebirth ritual, maybe even something borrowed from those aforementioned "American lodge rites."  (We have compiled an extensive and certainly incomplete list of instances where the phrase "Dull Care" is used, from antiquity to the 20th century; I feel that the phrase's widespread use de-mystifies it....and the rite).

I'd like to take this opportunity to present another Moulin photograph from 1909, representing what I assume to be one of the Grove plays.  While the photo above is widely circulated on Christian websites, the following is not, because it does not fit the narrative of Molechian subversion.  Actually, given their logic, one could merely state as fact that this is a mockery of the Cross and it would be accepted and widely circulated as such.  I can't say it isn't a mockery of the Cross, but my intuition and common sense tell me that it's exactly what it appears to be:  a play portraying a group of knights, perhaps crusaders or grail-seekers, glorifying in a Christian revelation.  Several other pictures from this play also reveal Christian symbolism.  Which is exactly why they're not reproduced, even though other pictures from the same archive are.  So, standard fare really:  deception and selective evidence from the self-righteous.

Moulin, 1909.  Online Archive of California.

Enter the Masons

Jones lost me in his documentary at the very end, where his proof linking this to a greater conspiracy consists of growling things like "Skull and Bones, KKK, New World Order, Freemasons" over and over.  Hey, they're mentioned in the same breath, they must be linked!  Jones' attack on Freemasonry is old hat and particularly weak.  He goes off on a rant about how the Freemasons and the KKK are all arms of the same monster.  Along the way he spouts at least two untruths.

The first involves the invocation, a propos of nothing, of Albert Pike, who Jones refers to as chief Freemason of the whole wide world!  Well, anyone who knows anything about Masonry knows this is bullshit.  There are several strains of Freemasonry in the world, the biggest of which are sometimes referred to as Blue (Anglo-Saxon) and Red (Continental/French) Masonry.  Red Masonic Lodges are under the authority of Grand Orients; blues under Grand Lodges.  Neither recognizes the authority of the other.  Among Blue Lodges, each country has its own Grand Lodge and each U.S. state has it's own Grand Lodge, none with authority over another.  To put it simply, no single person can have authority over two Grand Lodges, let alone all of them.  Pike wasn't head of world Masonry, not even U.S. Masonry--because it doesn't exist as a single body.  He was the Supreme Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite.  Not all of the Scottish Rite, mind you; there is a Northern Jurisdiction and these are two separate and independent bodies.  Pike was a clever dick and a colorful figure, resting head of the Southern Jurisdiction for a long time, but his authority finished there.

So anyone who tells you otherwise is either misinformed or lying.  I suppose deluded and blinded by prejudice are acceptable other options.

Another distortion is that Pike "founded" the KKK.  Jones uses this exact phrase.  See the choices above.  There is absolutely no iron-clad proof Pike was even in the KKK.  There were some writers who claimed this to be true, but there are problems with these claims.  The arguments can be seen here, and I will leave you to decide.  He may have been a member at some point, but this "may have been a member" is a far cry from saying he founded the organization.  Alex Jones has done his research so he cannot be unaware that his claim is debatable; to present it as anything otherwise is a deliberate deception.

What's so odious about this is that he's using deceit and lies while bombastically denouncing those who use deception and lies to maintain power and control.  And Bohemian Grove is full off that monkey business.  Yet when it's so cavalierly linked to non-existent bugbears like Molech cults, Jones does a disservice and one might rightly begin to wonder, like any good paranoid, if he himself is a disinformation specialist, or at least a mere huckster in search of coin.  Nothing sells like Satanic cults among the elite, ignoring the very real abuses of power and public trust they perpetrate on a day to day basis.

Some of those Bohemian Grove images are pretty weird, and along with other elite groupings like Skull and Bones, the death imagery is startling to the contemporary eye.  But mightn't this death imagery reflect the much more tenuous relationship to the land of the living mankind endured during the time when these groups were created?  Jumping to conclusions based on nothing at all gets us nowhere in unraveling the mystery of what it all really represents....

None of this should be taken as a defense of the Bohemian Club or Albert Pike, mind you.  I'm just sick of looking for useful info on the internet and coming up with the same garbled cut and pasted bullshit, based on one man's self-serving untruths, repeated ad nauseum until one can no longer approach the topic without the taint of imbeciles, religious fanatics, the lazy and the mad.

40 comments:

  1. Nice article. Glad you got some new info over at my site. I hadn't known about Schlaraffia either until the historian Richard Spence told me about them. I initially contacted him to ask if I could reprint one of his articles on Aleister Crowley being a spy. He said the magazine that his initial article was printed in had the copyright and that he wouldn’t recommend a reprint. Anyway, we got talking and I told him about my then-forthcoming book and mentioned that the owl was the real symbol of the Illuminati, to which he replied that he had just discovered that Crowley had connections to a secret society called Schlaraffia and that they too had an owl as their totem, not to mention that they’re from Germany as well.
    After writing the Owl of Wisdom article someone pointed out to me that the poem used by the Illuminati in their Minerval ritual also mentions “dull” in connection with “care”:

    Not Fortune's Gem, Ambition's Plume,
    Nor Cytherea's fading Bloom,
    Be Objects of my Pray'r:
    Let Av'rice, Vanity, and Pride,
    Those envy'd glitt'ring Toys divide,
    The dull Rewards of Care.

    I’m not sure how to interpret this, except to say that there seems to be a tradition here that most have been unaware of. I’m not even sure how to research it properly.

    On the Moloch business - that gets me going as well. I believe now that it was David Icke who first came up with the nonsense that the boho owl is in fact Moloch (in his Truth Shall Set you Free). Due to various biases conspiracists are traditionally poor at interpreting symbolism. But the Moloch rap is just plain wrong to anyone with even a modicum of research ability. As near as I can tell, the supposed rationale for such a correlation is that Moloch is known to have been appeased by throwing victims into the fire. It’s the closest thing he could point to as similar to the burning in effigy ceremony at Bohemian Grove. That coupled with the fact that it is presided over by men in Druidic robes ... and you’re off to the races. The only problem with that is the fact that you have to twist the traditional symbolism associated with Moloch and try and fit it with it with an owl. It gets further hyped from there. I had even caught Paul Joseph Watson at Prison Planet writing about the bohos and actually stating that the bohos themselves refer to the owl as Moloch, which is a complete fabrication. Every person retelling a myth has to add their own bit of spice. The Great Seal of the US and the Illuminati is another example of this at work.

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  2. Well, the Schlaraffia is certainly worth following up on. So many parallels. It's not entirely without basis to wonder if the Bohos were inspired by them....I suppose one would have to look more closely at the main men behind the club.

    I know my post poo-poos making too much of the Skull and Bones, but I must admit that the idea that it was an offshoot of a German secret society crossed my mind....

    As for the poem, it's curious how well it meshes with the dull care motif of the Bohos. It actually supports my suggestion that the death imagery found in club publications refers to the transience of life: neither fortune, ambition or beauty..."Cytherea's (Aphrodite) fading bloom"....are desired; then he names sins related to fortune and ambition and beauty and says they can have the dubious rewards of attaching to much importance to those worldly things. This isn't necessarily an "eat, drink and be merry" admonition, but it's in keeping with some of my interpretations of Boho imagery.

    It would be interesting to see the rest of that poem if you could point me in the right direction. Also, is "dull....care" an accurate translation of the German?

    Finally, dull care seems to have a rather long artistic life. Googling "dull care" I found that the expression is the central refrain of a traditional English air dating back to at least as early as King James II (text to follow). It is also the name of an Oliver Hardy film of 1919 as well as an abstract film, from Canada incidentally, produced by the NFB called "Begone Dull Care" in 1949. Canadian group Junior Boys released an album by this name in 2009. So, the phrase seems to have been in the air and predates both the Schlaraffia and even the Illuminati by at least 100 years.

    None of which means these groups, including the Bohos didn't pick up on the theme in a shared tradition.

    Anyway, here's that poem:

    Begone Dull Care (Traditional)
    [We cannot trace this popular ditty beyond the reign of James II, but we believe it to be older. The origin is to be found in an early French chanson. The present version has been taken down from the singing of an old Yorkshire yeoman. The third verse we have never seen in print, but it is always sung in the west of Yorkshire.]

    Begone, dull care!
    I prithee begone from me;
    Begone, dull care!
    Thou and I can never agree.
    Long while thou hast been tarrying here,
    And fain thou wouldst me kill;
    But i' faith, dull care,
    Thou never shalt have thy will.

    Too much care
    Will make a young man grey;
    Too much care
    Will turn an old man to clay.
    My wife shall dance, and I shall sing,
    So merrily pass the day;
    For I hold it is the wisest thing,
    To drive dull care away.

    Hence, dull care,
    I'll none of thy company;
    Hence, dull care,
    Thou art no pair for me.
    We'll hunt the wild boar through the wold,
    So merrily pass the day;
    And then at night, o'er a cheerful bowl,
    We'll drive dull care away.

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  3. Dull Care is also the theme of a folksong from Prince Edwards Island covered by Joe Hickerson. Hickerson is American, but the song is Canadian in origin. Something of a preoccupation with your countrymen, Terry!

    Drive Dull Care Away

    Why should we of our lot complain
    Or grieve at our distress?
    Some think if riches they could gain
    T'would be true happiness
    Alas in vain is all their strife
    Life's cares will not allay,

    So while we're here with our friends so dear
    We'll drive dull care away.
    Away, away, away away.
    We will drive dull care away.
    So while we're here with our friends so dear
    We'll drive dull care away.

    Why should the rich despise the poor?
    Why should the poor repine?
    While in a few short years we shall
    In equal friendship bind.
    They're both to blame, they're all the same
    We are all made of one clay,

    The only circumstance in life
    That ever I could find,
    To conquer care and temper strife
    Was a contented mind.
    With this in store we have much more
    Than all things else convey,

    So always make the best of life
    Nor render it a curse,
    But take it as you would a wife
    For better or for worse.
    Life at its best is but a jest,
    Like a dreary winter's day,

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    Replies
    1. Based on:

      98 Dull Care
      Tune: E. J. King, 1844
      Words:
      Meter: Common Meter (8,6,8,6)

      Why should we at our lot complain,
      Or grieve at our distress?
      Some think if they could riches gain,
      They’d gain true happiness.

      Chorus:

      Ah! we’re much to blame,
      We’re all the same —
      Alike we’re made of clay;
      Then, since we have a Savior dear,
      Let’s drive all care away.

      Why should the rich despise the poor?
      Why should the poor repine?
      A little time will make us all
      In equal friendship join.

      (Chorus)

      The only circumstance of life
      That ever I could find
      To soften cares and temper strife
      Was a contented mind;

      Chorus:

      When we’ve this in store,
      We have much more,
      Than wealth could e’er convey;
      Then, since we have a Savior dear,
      Let’s drive all care away.

      When age, old creeping age comes on,
      And we are young no more,
      Let’s all repent the sins we’ve done,
      Nor grieve that youth is o’er;

      Chorus:

      We’ll more faithful be
      Than formerly,
      And constantly to pray;
      Then, since we have a Savior dear,
      Let’s drive all care away.

      Copyright © 1995-2011 Sacred Harp Musical Heritage Association

      Delete
  4. Oh man, I see now the full poem is included in your article.

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  5. Sorry for all the riffing here, but after seeing the Schlaraffia garb, including caps which resemble both those Phrygian and jesterly, I was reminded of the Shriners, founded by an actor in 1870 for the purpose of mirth and fellowship.

    The date, purpose and profession of one of the founders has some echoes....

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  6. Hmmm. Pretty interesting. I don't see why some secret societies feel it necessary to associate it with wisdom though. For the Illuminati, the Bohemian Club and Schlaraffia to make reference to dull care in conjunction with owls and wisdom, there has to be something else behind it. Maybe it's my failure to even understand what the ostensible meaning of "care" is; why it's "dull" to begin with; or even why the bohos think they should kill it! Again - what in the world does this have to do with wisdom and the owl?

    I guess that's what I meant when I said I really don't know how to go about researching it.

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  7. How could either of you defend such obviously demonic BS ? Grow up,Wake up and smell the coffee.

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  8. Anonymous, I hesitate to speak for Terry but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I imagine he would be surprised if not insulted to hear that anything he's written here or elsewhere on the topic could be construed as a defense of the Bohemian Grove.

    As for me, my point in this post was that with all the legitimate concerns the Grove activities raise, using patently false information to condemn them does no service to people wishing to understand or denounce those activities. If I seem to defend, it's maybe because I'm playing devil's advocate to propose alternative explanations of their symbols and rituals. Because Molech worship ain't it.

    Your use of the adjective "demonic" leads me to believe you've already made up your mind and you are thus offended by anything which might challenge your point of view.

    Grow up, wake up? I'm an adult, very much awake and know when the coffee's ready. I suggest you open your mind and learn something, then get back to us with a meaningful dialogue.

    I don't know the meaning of their ritual and symbols, but I'd like to find out. Looking at the historical record seems a better way of going about than ending any discussion with such a dismissive comment.

    Sorry, but I disagree with your approach.

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  9. Terry, I wrote a rather lengthy reply to your comment, but Blogger bugged on me and I lost it. Basically, I referred to the following stanzas which link wisdom to driving dull care away:

    Too much care
    Will make a young man grey;
    Too much care
    Will turn an old man to clay.
    My wife shall dance, and I shall sing,
    So merrily pass the day;
    For I hold it is the wisest thing,
    To drive dull care away.

    From the second poem:

    The only circumstance in life
    That ever I could find,
    To conquer care and temper strife
    Was a contented mind.
    ....
    Life at its best is but a jest,
    Like a dreary winter's day,

    I'm a bit tired to rewrite my comment, but I see two themes. One is the transience of life. The second is that everyday, mundane (and transitory) concerns distract our minds from higher pursuits which lead to true wisdom. Or that wisdom itself results from living life to the fullest, enjoying it, carpe diem.

    The bohos would symbolize this rather dramatically by killing dull care in a rite surrounded by general merriment, the Schlaraffia seems dedicated to similar pursuits, with a jester's cap and all.

    Wisdom then, is linked to getting into a space away from everyday, "profane" concerns. Almost as if there are two responses here, a more or less hedonistic approach, another more philosophical.

    Anyway, this is a bit of a jumble, I'm tired, but I didn't want to leave this. Just a few scattered ideas, none of which I'm especially attached to!

    Also, it would be appropriate to note that the rich and powerful aren't especially troubled by the "dull cares" we the people have to deal with, so all the easier to whoop it up in secret conclaves and laugh at how easy it is to drive dull care away with some gasoline and a box of matches, while Walter Cronkite gives voice to an enormous owl.

    I said this all better the first go around, sadly.

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  10. The Masonic Lodge in the USA & the KKK have long been interwoven. I know this from my own family history. (I have absolutely no sympathy or agreement with the KKK, BTW, just saying...)

    That's my two cents worth.

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    Replies
    1. You're making a fool of yourself. Where are your facts to back your statements. Your statements are open ended.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous, sadly, many Masons have also been members of the Klan. And I also know that southern lodges have a history of racism, from anecdotes told to me by a family member. This is clear from the relatively recent flap in Georgia, when a lodge raised a black man. Scandalous. It's also telling that when you look at Prince Hall (African-Amercian lodges) recognition, it splits pretty much state for state along the Mason-Dixon line.

    I'd point out that a) Pike did not found the KKK b)not all lodges are under one authority and c)northern lodges are both multiracial and recognize Prince Hall lodges as legitimate.

    My understanding is that the KKK and Masons were "interwoven" insamuch as the KKK, like the Illuminati, sought to infiltrate lodges to use them for their own purposes and many men held dual memberships.

    Most of what I've read on this refers to the heydey of the Klan in the 1920's. My feeling is that despite persisten racism among many Fremasons in the south, this is not true today.

    But I'm not an expert on this topic, by any means.

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  12. Jumping back a few comments, I'm also a little confused as to the definition of "dull care".

    At first I thought that "care" meant "I care about you!", so "dull care" meant "My feelings about you are real drag".

    After reading some of the poems, however, I thought that "dull care" meant "concern", which is sort of what you were getting at, Daurade, in comment 9, except, if I read you correctly, that you suggested that only the bourgeoisie have the resources to shrug off daily concerns.

    If I read you correctly, I see what you're saying, but I'm not sure that I totally agree; surely merriment can shake loose the shackles of anyone whose basic needs are being met?

    Regardless, I'm not sure that I understand the term correctly...

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  13. Many reactionaries don't like it when someone confuses them with the facts. When dealing with evil people, obviously they feel it is ok to tar them with anything and everything they can get their hands on. Some people however value the truth above all, even to the detriment of the cushy world view they have accrued over the years. Knowledge is transitory and constantly evolving. To completely ignore and dismiss contrary evidence that challenges your beliefs is ignorance incarnate. Another thing: the burden is upon the claimant to prove his or her assertions. If Icke and Jones go around telling people that the owl at Bohemian Grove is actually Moloch, it is up to them to provide the evidence. If I woke up one day and claimed my father was actually Santa Claus, I’d better be armed with pictures and video of him flying through the sky in a sled, along with DNA samples of his “elves.”

    The most important thing that can be safely said about the Bohemian Club is that their membership now represents the absolute pinnacle of power in America. And when people such as this – those with the power to effortlessly affect millions – get together in secrecy, it is not only detrimental to democracy itself but annihilates it completely. Same goes for the Bilderbergers and various “Chatham House” groups such as the CFR and the Trilateral Commission. Further: those people who are members in most if not all of these top-tier elite conclaves, these are the real string pullers behind the curtain. We live in a transnational cryptocracy. It is a plain and simple fact.

    As for the KKK and Albert Pike - it is safe to say that he was not its founder. However, the claim that he was installed as the Grand Dragon of Arkansas has been repeated by academia even: e.g. Stetson Kennedy, After Appomattox: How the South Won the War (University Press of Florida, 1995), p. 69 and Wyn Craig Wade, The Fiery Cross: The Ku Klux Klan in America (Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 58. Moreover, it’s beyond dispute that fellow confederate general and Freemason Nathan Bedford Forrest became the Grand Wizard of the entire organization, and, it goes without saying, that the KKK rituals were cribbed from the Masons. Plenty of Masons were involved in the formation of the Knights of the Golden Circle as well. And some say that the KKK were merely the terroristic arm of the latter organization. As for the Masonic claim that there are no “primary sources” on the KKK – not shit! It was a secret society, after all. Unless the government busted them up and confiscated all their internal documents, we will never know for sure.

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  14. Gid, I didn't mean to say only the rich could shake of "dull care", only that it's easier for them. I think it was swinedriver who once said that the spectacle of a group of super rich and powerful men getting together in order to burn it away spoke volumes, that the symbolism was pretty blatant and obvious. And although the deeper meaning and origins are worth investigating, I tend to agree. It's really an insult. These guys pay thousands to join and a few thousand a year to stay members, get together and frolic about on some extremely valuable real estate to drink and carry out god knows what machinations, throwing care to the wind.

    Meanwhile people are losing their homes left right and center, unemployed and aging into unemployability, and many of this guys are probably getting even richer.

    I think Terry hits the nail on the head. There is a transnational cryptocracy and these guys represent a big part of it.

    I'm going to see what I can dig up on the origins of this phrase....the traditional song is apparently based on a French model, maybe I can turn something up!

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    Replies
    1. OK, years later. I have never found the French chanson, but I just stumbled across this quote, by Horace (65-8 BCE):

      "Wine brings to light the hidden secrets of the soul, gives being to our hopes, bids the coward flight, drives dull care away, and teaches new means for the accomplishment of our wishes."

      I would be willing to bet this is the ultimate origin of the phrase. This quote from Wikipedia is relevant:

      "Horace maintained a central role in the education of English-speaking elites right up until the 1960s."

      Anyway, I think with Horace we're looking at the original source.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. http://www.loc.gov/item/sm1879.15726


      Title
      Dull care begone
      Contributor Names
      Pattison, J. N.
      Created Published
      Pattison, J. N., New York, 1879, monographic.
      Subject Headings
      - Songs with piano
      Genre
      Sheet Music
      Notes
      - From: Music Copyright Deposits, 1870-1885 (Microfilm M 3500)
      - Also available through the Library of Congress Web Site as facsimile page images. (additional physical form)
      Form
      Print
      Electronic Resource
      Remote
      Extent
      1 Score
      Other Formats
      http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.music.sm1879.15726/mets.xml
      Lc Classification
      Microfilm M 3500 M2.3.U6A44

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    4. http://archive.org/stream/begonedullcarea00colmgoog#page/n12/mode/2up

      Begone Dull Care: A Comedy, in Five Acts (1808)


      Author: Frederick Reynolds , George Colman
      Publisher: Longman, Hunt, Rees, and Orme
      Year: 1808
      Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
      Language: English
      Digitizing sponsor: Google
      Book from the collections of: unknown library
      Collection: americana
      Notes: Microfilm. Keswick, Va., Micrographics II, 1979. 1 reel. 35 mm. (Eighteenth century sources for the study of English literature and culture, roll 265).
      Description

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    5. http://www.hymnary.org/text/away_dull_care_and_sorrow

      Away dull care and sorrow, 1869

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    6. http://www.sgsosu.net/osu/songs/old_osu.html

      It's A Way We Have It At Old O. S. U.

      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      To drive dull care away.
      To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      It's a way we have it at old O. S. U.
      To drive dull care away.

      We think it is no sin, sir
      To rope the Freshmen in, sir
      And to ease them of thir tin, sir
      To drive dull care away.
      To drive dull care away, to drive dull care away,
      We think it is no sin, sir
      To rope the Freshmen in, sir
      And to ease them of thir tin, sir
      To drive dull care away.

      And we won't be home until morning,
      We won't be home until morning,
      We won't be home until morning,
      Till daylight doth appear.
      Till daylight doth appear, till daylight doth appear
      And we won't be home until morning,
      We won't be home until morning,
      We won't be home until morning,
      Till daylight doth appear.

      So say we all of us,
      So say we all of us,
      So say we all;
      So say we all of us,
      So say we all of us,
      So say we all of us,
      So say we all.

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    7. Wallace Stevens to Elsie Moll, 1908

      Here's a list of Pleasant Things to drive dull care away, my lass, oh, to drive dull care away — and a jig, and a jig, and a jig, jig, jig:

      The Wanderer: Or, Female Difficulties, Volume 4
      by Fanny Burney, 1814

      ....or the dull care of a bantling ; when a splendid, flashy, rich, young travelled gentleman, chasing, also, to remain behind, may be tired, and....

      The Caledonian Parnassus; a museum of original Scottish songs
      by Willison Glass, 1814

      Epistle to Andrew Scott

      In singing, no mortal could with him compare; Contented and prudent, he hated dull Care, He smil'd at the Miser...

      The Aurora Borealis:
      Or Flashes of Wit; Calculated to Drown Dull Care and Eradicate the Blue Devils, 1831

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    8. Given the ubiquitous use of this phrase in the 19th century, in everything from drinking songs to religious hymns, as well as in letters, etc. I conclude there is nothing esoteric or untoward implied in the use of this phrase by the Bohos and that it represents exactly what it does in these other contexts: let the worries of the world fall away as we make merry.

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    9. Uncle! Funny that you popped this up now, because only 2 weeks ago I went to WI and busted my 17 year old cousin out of summer camp for a night, and guess what was scorched in the wooden welcome-to-camp sign? "Leave your dull cares behind." So this phrase has been on my mind recently -- cool little instance of synchronicity.

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    10. I looked up the etymology for "dull" and was surprised to see that it seemed to have meant "stupid" and "boring" before it meant "not sharp" or "not bright". I had always assumed the opposite.

      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=dull&searchmode=none

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    11. Gid, I'm really suprised at that etymology. I wonder if maybe there was some kind of concurrent develoment of meanings. I'd assumed as you about the order of meanings....

      That is wild. Only reason I started this was cuz I saw the post had been receiving lots of visits recently, plus I'd referred to the comments when I did my Texas post, I was bother by not having found the source of this phrase.

      I'm certain given it's widespread use, always as "dull care" as a unit, that it's a citation of Horace. I think a post is in order, starting with Horace and compiling a timeline of usage. The Grovers were founded smack in the middle of when this phrase seems to appear most in song and prose, so it's a lot less mysterious than many suppose.

      Plus, I'm going to try and find a classical database where I can find the phrase in Latin, search and see if it appears in other classical texts....

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    12. Lemme know what you find! I'm super curious. I can help with a new post on the topic, but I will have no internet from Saturday till Wednesday.

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    13. OK, I've started a post....in the drafts take a look!

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  15. Terry, very good comment, and funny too (Santa!) I find it frustrating that people begin to roll their eyes when we bring up the groups you mention because of all the unfounded BS flung about. It's kind of an open secret, people are well aware of what's going on but the facts are so clouded with inanity people become reticent to discuss it. A historical look into what happens behind the scenes become conspiracy theory and thus, easily dismissed.

    One can only wonder how much of this is deliberate disinformation.

    As for the KKK, I'm really not informed enough to make much meaningful comment. I do know that the claim Pike was Arkansas Grand Dragon seems to have been fabricated out of whole cloth and repeated until accepted as fact.

    I also recall that a few years back questions about the inadequacies of Stetson Kennedy's research caused a bit of a kerfuffle, along with the accuracy of his work. There was also a question as to what extent he misrepresented his own role and representing the actions of others as his own. I think he was somewhat vindicated in the end.... (http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/012906/met_20943923.shtml)

    On the other hand, I've also read that Forrest's involvement is accurate. I didn't know he was a Freemason, though. I don't doubt at all that many others were involved both in its 20th c incarnation or even in its founding. Which is sad in any event, but sadder still given Masonry's stated values. To say they were linked, as in in one being the arm of the other, however, is a big leap....like in my post about the Latin American revolutions. One has to be careful about the actions of Masons or even groups of Mason and the institution itself. Basically, more research is needed.

    Which is not to offer too broad a defense of Freemasonry in the south (or north, perhaps). I mentioned in my comment to Anonymous a story related to me by an uncle which clearly demonstrated full-on racism within his Lodge (which led his estrangement from it, btw). And you don't have to search to far to find info on the Georgia situation, where the initiation of black man revealed the ugliest of racist reactions from some white brothers. In 2009!

    On the other hand, I read literally hundreds of comments on various blogs about this story and most of the Masons, many in Georgia, were thoroughly disgusted by the uproar.

    I'm going to have to add this to my long list of things to look into more thoroughly....

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  16. The official debunking pages at that BC Mason site are full of outdated research. I have debunked the debunkers before - “Lang” or “Lanz”: Myths about the “Myths” - and could have gone on and focused on more stuff (and plan on doing just that soon enough). In many areas they act like specialist experts on things but aren't even aware of current research in these particular fields.

    Myself, I'm no expert on the KKK either so I don't how much errors are in these academically published books. However, in these situations all the Masons need do is contact the respective university and they probably would be willing to correct certain things quicker than another publisher. If I can't cite a scholar on certain matters, then I might as well just quit writing history. I've long been done with sourcing "conspiracy theorists" as authorities.

    At any any rate, the reason it's bad that Masons were Illuminati, KKK, or even Charbonnerie and socialist revolutionaries, is the fact that, with enough of them, Lodges can then become co-opted and used to plan and coordinate subversive action. I'm working on an article that goes into great detail on this, surrounding the "Amis de la Vérité" (c. 1818/1821) and their extended network of conspirators. The reason why dictators have invariably attacked Masonry as soon as they ascend to power is because they are very well aware of this history.

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  17. This is the point at which I'd be talking through my hat even ore than usual. I have a question instead. Could you recommend a good history of the KKK, especially one which inludes relevant info on Masonic connections?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well, I'm no expert as I already said. But after a little digging, you should probably get:

    M. Chalmers, Hooded Americanism: The History of the Ku Klux Klan, 3rd ed. (Duke University Press, 1987)

    Nancy K. MacLean, Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (Oxford University Press, 1995)

    No mention of Albert Pike in either of them though, but Forrest is covered extensively. Both mention the ties to masonry during the second reincarnation, though curiously neglect to even mention the word masonic or freemasonry while discussing the original Klan. Maclean however recommends a book on Masonry that covers the craft during the 19th century, so she probably was aware of who was or wasn't members of both organizations (but neglected to explicitly underscore the fact). Everybody on this side of the pond, it seems, is afraid of being labelled an antimason. Lots of coverage of Masonry in the French press though, and they are not afraid of being critical.

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  19. I think academics are leery of wading to deep into it for various reasons, maybe for a lack of primary sources, as you mention, but maybe also because so much has been written on Masonry it's just daunting. But a sober look at 19th century connections would certainly be interesting.

    I found a ritual of the Knights of the Golden Circle, as well as an early "exposition" of the group in PDF format via Wikipedia. Pretty interesting. Also a PDF of a Klan ritual. I'd like to go through them for similarities. The Knights stuff upon first glance is pretty odd.

    I'll check out one of those books.

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  20. Are the men pissing in the woods or going out to smoke a joint so they can come back stoned in order to listen to this ritualistic shit. The grateful dead would have understood this play, from all the hits of acid, anything would make sense.

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    Replies
    1. It all sounds like hijinx from the 1950's to me. One would have to imagine this is more of a scotch and soda crowd but yeah, it is in Northern California, gotta be some weed being toked. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for one of these get-togethers....

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  21. All of the debating is the most foolish Ive ever heard. Only to be found in the minds and mouths of evil men..I wouldnt care how someone linked this ....it is demonic. What kind of GODLY men would need to go out into the woods with this many men chanting and viewing this evil foolishness. Go to GOD accept JESUS as your Saviour HE will give you rest . Stop focusing on money and power, focus on bettering yourself and loving your family more. Im thankful to the guy who tried to expose this ___. Eventhough some of your other theories seem somewhat racist. Oh yea Im a black woman.

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  22. Owls are no wiser than any other animal, ask one. rotfl
    GOD created all he is wise, and tge man who thinks he knows...knows nothing.
    Why are all the so-called special organizations or religions secret if they mean well or are just "good clean fun"?
    Not an answer to the reports of homosexual acts with underage boys though.

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    Replies
    1. None of those reports seem credible to me. The truth is horrifying enough without having to jazz it up with homophobic fantasies.

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