1. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    I’ve seen a number of claims that historical figures were Freemasons based on the presence of “Masonic symbols” in portraits of them.

    For instance. The Flat Earther Eric Dubay claims that

    “From Pythagoras to Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, to modern astronauts like Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins, to director of NASA and Grand Commander of the 33rd degree C. Fred Kleinknecht, the founding fathers of the spinning ball mythos have all been Freemasons! “

    The text version of this claim is at http://www.atlanteanconspiracy.com/2015/08/200-proofs-earth-is-not-spinning-ball.html,

    He makes the same claim in his YouTube video at
    . At around 108 minutes, but the text version is easier to access. In both case it's his point 191.

    I having made a lot of replies in comments, on YouTube and later collected my own point-by point replies at http://roundearthsense.blogspot.co.uk/. You can guess how much the flat earthers have engaged in debate, though.

    He supports this with this graphic.



    And this one



    I'll leave aside the different hand positions, as too weak to be worth debunking.
    (Edit) I see the hand sign claim has already been debunked.


    The only evidence he offers that all these thinkers were Freemasons is the presence of a pair of compasses, or sometimes a square, in portraits of them.

    Now, it's certainly true that Freemasons use the square and compasses as a symbol. That's because actual masons, that is builders in stone, have used these for many centuries as tools in their work.

    So did anyone whose work involved measuring and drawing accurately. In fact, that is the meaning of the compasses or setsquare in these pictures: they denote precision and care in measurement. It's a little like the way that many present-day portraits of thinkers include a computer in the picture.

    These are standard tools used by builders, architects, map-makers, artists, architects, navigators and many others. Often, they have been used as symbols of those trades, too.

    By pure chance, I noticed an example of this while I was thinking about Dubay's claim. I am a volunteer steward in a local museum, and I noticed this map on the wall there.


    Here again is the symbol of the compasses marking out the scale on the map, and implying accurate and careful measurement. There's clearly no necessary connection with the Freemasons when you see that.

    Later, I noticed these compasses in a display of coopers’ tool for making barrels. Does this imply that barrel makers were freemasons? No, they just needed to measure precisely so that their barrels didn't leak.


    And, while I was tidying up the map photo above to post it, I noticed the icon for the tool I used to crop out the surrounding wall:


    Yes, it's the square from the square and compasses, as seen beside Pythagoras, Copernicus and Galileo in Dubay's "evidence". Does this mean that this standard symbol in my image editor program is a secret tool of the Freemasons? No, it means that it depicts the tool traditionally used to get right-angles straight. As it does in Dubay's pictures.

    Edit: Trailblazer suggests below that this is actually a photographic matte. That's probably true, though I suspect that the shape of the matte was derived from the old square tool. As he says, the point remains valid; it's a functional tool shape not a symbol of freemasonry.

    By the way, is Dubay really claiming that Freemasonry existed more than 2500 years ago, at the time of Pythagoras?
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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  2. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    Is it? I thought it was meant to look like a photographic matte:


    Not that this is meant to negate your point, by the way!
  3. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    THANKS, AND You may be right, but the matte you show looks very like a square tool. I'd take a large bet that a CT would be happy to claim it as a masonic symbol in the 'right' context
  4. Henk001

    Henk001 Active Member

    Apparently he does, and he puts himself thus sidelined for any serious discussion.
    He might as well claim that Pythagoras was using CGI images.
  5. Inti

    Inti Active Member

    True, and the earliest videos of earth from orbit which he claims are cgi go back to the mid 1960s, before such cgi tech existed,. In fact I seem to recall that they had to hand animate the computer spaceship displays in the film 2001 A Space Odyssey, released in 1968 because they didn't have the tech to do them for real.
  6. Donn

    Donn New Member

    In my haste to respond early this morning I neglected to cite sources ‍♂️ So I’ll repost and do so in accordance to the sites posting guidelines.

    I think that today it’s unlikely people encounter squares and compasses, as tools and instruments, very often unless they are students or practice a trade in which they are employed. They don’t realize that these instruments were used regularly across a wide range of disciplines and professions. They have a hard time with the concept of context or possibly think it irrelevant. The association they have made between these objects and what they represent as symbols is incredibly strong and completely overpowers rationality.

    They don’t see the square and compasses as common tools which also have a deeper significance to a select few. Instead they become cryptic symbols of a shadowy cabal which are sometimes used by certain trades and disciplines.

    As Freemason myself I can confidently state that our symbols are not unique. They consist of tools of the stonemasons trade, elements of architecture, Biblical images etc.

    Our symbolism is a product of centuries of change and innovation. They were not passed down from antiquity as a complete system nor are all symbols universal to the fraternity. Jurisdictions can and do vary in what symbols they employ.


    By having such a broad variety of symbols, including ones lost, forgotten, seldom used, plus countless others affiliated with clandestine and spurious Masonic rites you’d be hard pressed to NOT find images of the objects used as symbols in art! Let alone objects that kinda, sorta resemble Masonic symbols. This is where context is important.

    What makes these mundane things Masonic symbols is found in how they are configured and presented. Squares and compasses remain just squares and compasses unless they are observed in a certain conspicuous arrangement. For instance the position of the points either above or below the square indicates one of the three Masonic degrees

    Masonic grips or “secret handshakes” are a mode of recognition. They are not done upon meeting someone new let alone in a highly public setting in front of cameras. Nor are they done on their own. They are accompanied with a specific set of challenge and answer questions, passwords and other modes of identification. This process is done in private, ideally in lodge. Once a brother is confirmed to be such there is no longer a need for them to be examined. Grips are not simply a “Masonic greeting”.

    When it’s understood how grips are used and what purpose they serve pictures like this simply make no sense


    Same holds true for images of the notorious Masonic hidden hand. The image most frequently used as evidence that placing ones hand within the breast of ones shirt as rock solid evidence of ones affiliation comes from the exposure called Duncan’s Ritual. (I’m providing a link to a PDF of the exposure not for the purpose of supporting any particular claim but as an item of interest due to its popularity among Masonic conspiracy circles http://freemasonrywatch.org/duncans.masonic.ritual.and.monitor.1866.pdf)

    If you read the Royal Arch Degree it becomes clear that the “hidden hand” is not the due guard or sign of a particular degree but of an officer who during the Royal Arch Degree plays the role of Master of the Second Veil. There are 3 Masters of the Veil. The “hidden hand” is associated with the second one.

    Using the Royal Arch Degree found in Duncan’s you read that the Masters of the Veils act as guardians ensuring only properly qualified candidates progress on to the “real secrets” of the degree.

    Think about that. It’s not a mode of recognition. It’s not the actual due guard or sign of a particular degree. It’s only used to pass from the first Veil onto the third. It’s a steppingstone and not even the final one at that! So why on earth would this be such a popular Masonic symbol?!

    Examining symbols without understanding the context is like trying to read a book with no coherent syntax. It doesn’t make sense. It’s just a jumble of things. You can’t toss random words out in French and claim to be proficient. You must be able to communicate in way others understand.

    Masonic symbols communicate certain principles and concepts. These are further expressed in how they are presented and configured.

    Examining sources cited and explaining the role and function of these symbols can be enlightening to those who don’t grasp their nuances and intricacies.

    If anyone in particular is interested in examining a fantastic piece of scholarly research into Masonic symbols, I wholeheartedly recommend this book

  7. Steven Ian

    Steven Ian Closed Account


    Being Scottish myself i do not see what is so bad about the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry that members should be ashamed to be associated?

    And what was so bad about Pythagoras, Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins, or Fred Kleinknecht?

    They did not worship the Devil or sacrifice children as far as i am aware.
    Very accomplished people imo

    If the supposed mythological speculative society that exists as a philisophical society in Edinburgh to this day

    is anyway connected to the freemasons then the most devilish thing about them is their utilitarian philosophies of enlightenment and reason



    Some people believe Science to be Satanic as some consider Science a threat to certain beliefs

    Also Freemasonry is modeled at it's roots in Western esotericism and Esoteric Satanism modeled aspects of itself on Western esotericism


    But Pythagoras as far as i am aware was not a Satanist.
    Nothing Satanic about rational enlightenment, except for the fact the Kabbalistic aspects may be considered Paganism by some, and Scientific aspects outright blasphemy.

    Therefore, what does it matter if those names mentioned were all Freemasons? it does not make all the accusations pointed at freemasons true in the slightest.

    Also, from your post: a Grand Commander of the 33rd degree C "is" the title of a Grand Commander from The Supreme Council for the ancient Scottish Rite

    So at least one of the names on your list are high ranking freemason
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  8. Steven Ian

    Steven Ian Closed Account

    Regards to the photo of the Pope in a picture above, i would find it incredible to believe the Pope would be a freemason as Canon law condemned the Freemasons.

    And the ban was never lifted. Just the words updated.


    Unless of course he has decided to join the very group his Church regard to be Satanists.
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Moderator Staff Member

    My grandfather was a freemason. He died when I was quite young and I never spoke to him about it, but as far as my parents were concerned it was just a silly boys' drinking club, not anything sinister at all.
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