Friday, May 11, 2012

Reap the wild wind

The brilliant exposition you are about to read was inspired by an anonymous comment on my 2009 post (Hier staan ons voor die Heilige God van) about the Voortrekker Monument located in Pretoria, South Africa.

The comment:

This whole thing makes me sad because, Afrikaners see this monument as something special to their culture,and where they came from. If you go look closely,and do enough research,you will see that the Voortrekker monument looks exactly like the halls,the Illuminati perform their rituals in. On the sides of the Monument,Piet Ritief is carved out showing all kinds of freemasonry signs(where he gives an oath),and also on his water bottle(the all seing eye). The sun coming through the sky dome,is a form of sun-whorsiping...ec

OK, I didn't clean this comment up, but I did take Mr. (or Ms.) Anonymous' advice and look more closely at the issues he (or she) raised and jotted down some thoughts.  I don't think it's enough research, because I didn't find any Illuminati stuff.  I'll keep looking, promise.  (Note:  I'm not mocking Anonymous' weird spelling and grammar..  My feeling is he/she is South African and well, Anonymous' English is approximately 485.27 million times better than my Afrikaans....)

The Voortrekker Monument is a memorial to the Voortrekkers (pioneers) who in the 1830s and 40s migrated in a generally northeast/easterly direction in order to get out from under the thumb of the British.  The British had assumed control of the colony which is now encompassed by the modern state of South Africa after the tumult of the Napoleonic Wars....and their policies didn't suit the Dutch-speaking Boers who'd been there for 150 or so years already.  So they trekked the Great Trek.  Their four year mission....

Forgive me for glossing over South African history--too complex.  Instead I looked into the Voortrekker Monument and other monuments which might have some connections to or inspiration from Freemasonry. 

I quickly came across an article entitled  A shared spatial symbolism: the Voortrekker Monument, the Völkerslachtdenkmal and Freemasonry by Alta Steenkamp, professor in the School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics at the University of Cape Town.  The title of the paper pretty much sums up the content.  What is most germaine here is that the Voortrekker Monument is based on Leipzig's Völkerslachtdenkmal,  a monument which Steenkemp notes is undisputably imbued with Masonic symbolism, pointing out that there is even a Lodge tucked deep within the monument's bowels.

On the other hand, in Steenkamp's opinion, it is not this Freemasonic content which was important to architect Gerard Moerrijk; he merely modelled his proportions on the Völkerslachtdenkmal.    She concludes:

The strong geometric and spatial correspondence between the Völkerslachtdenkmal and the Voortrekker Monument is extraordinary – both unexpected and astonishing. To say then that the Masonic qualities of the Voortrekker Monument are due to the unoriginality of its design is not to be derogatory towards it but rather as a contribution to an aspect of its history that has remained largely unexplored. The influence of Freemasonry on the design of the Völkerslachdenkmal is undisputed and these esoteric spatial qualities found their way, unintentionally, into the design of the Voortrekker Monument. It is not that the Voortrekker Monument is a Masonic Temple but simply that it borrowed so liberally from a monument with a sub text deliberately Masonic, that it becomes both the first face and the second–the face of the profane world and that of the initiated.

In the Voortrekker monument, there is a relief in which Voortrekker leader Piet Retief is pictured (image) being accosted by three tribesman and appears to be on the verge of being "a-biffed" on the head, which could be interpreted by a mind so inclined as a reference to the founding myth of Freemasonry.  Briefly, in this legend, Hiram Abiff, chief architect of Solomon's Temple, is killed by a blow to the head after refusing to divulge trade secrets to three lesser craftsmen, or ruffians.  These three ruffians hid behind a grassy knoll, see, and, seeing Abiff rolling by in his limousine....oh wait, that's another legend.

In the image I've linked to above, one can also clearly make out a triangle in glory on Retief's canteen.  This is ususally cited as a Masonic symbol and it fact, it often is.  Freemasons and Deists refer to it as a symbol of divinity, often encompassing an eye--the Eye of Providence.  Hard to tell from the photo is an eye is involved, I think so, but the idea of Providence, or God's intervention, permeates the Voortrekker mythos:

The Voortrekkers' Great Trek is an epic adventure on a par with the opening up of the western United States and is contemporaneous with it.....[The Voortrekkers displayed] resourcefulness, perseverance, violence and ruthlessness when necessary together with an overarching belief in their actions and the unconditional support of the Almighty.  Source:  http://www.voortrekker-history.co.za/

One of these "ruthless" actions  is celebrated anually.  Wikipedia:

According to an Afrikaner tradition, the Day of the Vow traces its origin as an annual religious holiday to The Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838. The besieged Voortrekkers took a public vow (or covenant) together before the battle, led by either Andries Pretorius or Sarel Cilliers, depending on whose version is correct. In return for God's help in obtaining victory, they promised to build a church. Participants also vowed that they and their descendants would keep the day as a holy Sabbath. During the battle a group of about 470 Voortrekkers and their servants defeated a force of about ten thousand Zulu. Only three Voortrekkers were wounded, and some 3,000 Zulu warriors died in the battle.
 ....
Two of the earlier names given to the day stem from this prayer. Officially known as the Day of the Vow, the commemoration was renamed from the Day of the Covenant in 1982.

So, the Eye of Providence, imho, would be less a Masonic reference than a reference to God's eye watching over the Voortrekkers.

The Lodge De Goede Verwachting (No. 23 GLSA) claims that Piet Retief was in fact a Freemason, whereas other sources are not so certain.  My "researches" don't indicate that any of the other Voortrekker leaders (such as Pretorius or Cillius) were Freemasons.  Lodge No. 23 (!) certainly doesn't make this claim.

In my original post on the Voortrekker Monument I spoke at length about its Egyptian elements.  For some, these elements, especially pyramids and obelisks, are instantly signs of Freemasonry and/or the Illuminati.  It's true, of course, that Freemasonry was linked to Egyptian revivalism, but to say the obelisk is a uniquely Freemasonic symbol would ignore the long-standing obsession with obelisks in Western architecture, dating back to the Italian (pre-Masonic) Renaissance, if not before.  Not to say this interest in Egyptian architectural stylings doesn't reflect esoteric bling or other high weirdness, but Masonry ain't always the culprit, jack.

That said, anyone looking to justify their belief that the Voortrekker Monument is a Masonic Temple, and it is in fact based on one, will have plenty of other examples to bolster such an assertion, to whit:

* A small pyramid formed of small stones marking the summit of Retief, (aka Voortrekker) Pass (http://fireflyafrica.blogspot.fr/2011/02/retief-voortrekker-pass.html)

* A similar pyramid, the Oudefontein Voortrekker Monument (1938) in the township of Bethulie, also formed of small stones.  Bethulie has a relatively long Masonic presence--the Alan B. Gordon Lodge there was founded in 1911 and is one of the oldest surviving in the Free State. (http://metani101.blogspot.fr/2011/01/places-of-interest-in-bethulie.html)

* The Piet Retief monument in Ulundi is an obelisk. (http://www.panoramio.com/photo/67148103)

* The Bloukrans Monument, also an obelisk, was dedicated in 1897, the cornerstone laid by General Piet Joubert, a Freemason, in what was quite likely (I am assuming here) a Masonic ceremony. (http://www.erfenisstigting.org.za/bloukrans.php)

A "Past Master" in Freemasonry draws the attention of a contemporary to touching incidents between brethren in the last Boer war and at Mojuba Hill. He also points out that not only are President Kruger and Piet Joubert enthusiastic Freemasons, but practically every educated Boer belongs to the order. As most of the British officers also belong to the craft, it will be a real case of "brothers" slaying "brothers." During the last Transvaal war an appeal was sent by the Grand Orient of the Netherlands to the M.W.G.M. the Prince of Wales, entreating him, as a "brother," to use his influence for peace. The Prince replied that, as this was a political question, he could not intervene. 

Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXVI, Issue 8701, 21 December 1899, Page 3.

This alone is intriguing.  Perhaps the Prince did lobby for peace, maybe not.  The fact that he was appealed to is an indication in a certain faith in his power, and jibes with other tales of Masonic frienship across the battle-lines.

* In Piet Retief/Mkhondo Mpumalanga, we see Piet Retief monuments as truncated pyramids and pyramid-shaped rock cairns.

* In Belfast, of the same Province, the Covenant Monument is an obelisk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covenant_Monument).

It's also worth noting that Freemasonry has a long history in South Africa.  Dutch settlers were present in the mid-17th century.  Freemasonry was established in the Netherlands in 1756 and, less than 20 years later, 1772, the Lodge de Goede Hoop No. 12 was formed under the aegis of the Grand Orient of the Netherlands. (http://www.grandlodge.co.za/?page=History).

I'd like to continue with a lengthy quote from Steenkemp:

A Google search under the combined keywords ‘Voortrekker Monument’ and ‘Freemasonry’ yields around 800 results....This vague public interest and associated speculations, more often than not, originate from the book South Africa – Reaping the Whirlwind of National Idolatry by Denise Woods and published by Struik Christian Books in 2006.

In the opinion of Woods (2006), there is little doubt that the Voortrekker Monument is a Masonic Temple, supported by the fact that the architect, Gerhard Moerdyk, himself referred to the monument as a temple....

The festivities and rituals conducted during the Centenary celebrations of the Great Trek in 1938 and the inauguration of the monument in 1949 confirm, for her, the Masonic characteristics.  This includes activities such as the vows made along the ox wagon routes, the torch marathon, the sacred flames lit from the sun and burning today still, and the laying of the foundation stone.  In the design Masonic elements and symbols include the altar, the perpetual flame, the floor pattern which represents the blazing star, the obsession with the exhalation of womanhood, and on the bas relief panels, referred to by Woods as the ‘title deed’, the Governor’s hand symbol, the mother and child, the anchor, the building implements and act of building, the circle (mandala) of wagons and finally, obviously, Piet Retief’s water bottle clearly marked with Masonic symbols.


Accordingly, she posits, the monument is infused with occult symbolism associated with ancient practices of Sun worship, and, says Woods (2006: 152): “… all evidence points to the fact that the monument is an altar endowed with spiritual authority to ‘govern’ the affairs of the nation and direct its destiny for a thousand years and more”. In conclusion, she states that the merits of dismantling not only the Voortrekker Monument but also the associated minor monuments erected during the 1938 Centenary Celebrations are open to debate as each offer an entry point for demonic activity. (Woods, 2006: 207) God, she says, leaves the choice up to us… but it is clear what would happen if left up to her. 

I haven't read Woods' book, so I can't evaluate her evidence.  From what I've been able to find on Voortrekker leadership, Freemasonry was not widespread among them at all.  That doesn't mean that Freemasons didn't have a hand in the monuments erected to mark the centennial of the Voortrekker vow; indeed, at least one of those monuments was dedicated by a Freemason in a Masonic ceremony.  Which is either something to celebrate or decry, depending upon whether you view Freemasonry as a benevolent force with a positive legacy, or a demonic band of Illuminists seekeing to overthrow religion and enslave the world.  Woods would seem to favor the latter choice.

Personally the idea of a group promoting liberty and equality doesn't mesh well with the history of Apartheid, but consider this:

It is a little known fact that during Apartheid in South Africa there was only one organization permitted to fraternize or socialize with Colored people. This organization is Freemasonry. (http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/freemasons_apartheid.html)

The process of integrating South African Lodges began in 1970 and was finally achieved in 1977.  From that point onward blacks and Muslims were admitted, many holding high positions in the Lodge.  On the contrary, Apartheid wasn't undone until sixteen years later, in 1993.  For a bit of context, the LDS (Mormons) didn't permit blacks to enter their priesthood until 1978.

So if it's racism and dastardly deeds you're after, you'll find it in Freemasonry, for sure.  But where won't you?  How long do you think it will be before there's an African (or even non-European) Pope?

As for the Voortrekkers, their celebrations certainly have a nationalist character and I'm sure among some of their descendants you can find a yearning for the "good old days" of white supremacy.  But, some rather ambiguous images aside, I've found very little evidence that their leaders were involved in Freemasonry, much less the Illuminati.

[12/12/13:  Some might argue my rhetorical question has been answered, as Pope Francis is from South America.  I'd say he is still European, as his parents were Italian.  This question will remain pertinent until there's an African, Asian or Arab pope, in my opinion.]

Like I've said, however, this doesn't mean the monuments celebrating their actions weren't created by Freemasons.  Anyone with any information the monuments cited above is welcome to contact us with details.  Until then, I admit this story ain't over nor partickerly well-written, but I'm a-turnin' the page anyhoo....

To be continued....?

4 comments:

  1. Sorry that I can't pretend that much of this research is above my grasp of history.

    The idea that Freemasonry was an agent of integration is intriguing.

    To answer your question about the pope: I would not be surprised to see a South American pope soon, within the next few popes.

    In fact, I'd be surprised if that didn't happen.

    (My prediction may speak more to my naivety and misunderstanding of current circumstances than it does to any actual forthcoming events; this is an off-the-cuff remark, not something based on any real understanding of Catholicism.)

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    Replies
    1. I think it's very possible that there will be a South American pope...it would make a lot of sense strategically, as evangelicals continue to make inroads in what was once solid Catholic turf....this has been going on for some time. I lived for two months in a little Mexican village which had 2 (maybe 3) little evangelical churches that had services at least twioce a week. The parish church had a priest pop 'round once a month or even less to say Mass. A Latin American pope would be a good idea!

      I wouldn't want to overstate the integration theme. In the US it's still pretty much a segregated institution, especially down South, but all over . SA history is a pretty complex web, can't say as if I got it all right to be honest!

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    2. Well Gid, we have been vindicated in our predictions!

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