Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Masonic Image of Napoléon

Napoléon Bonaparte died on May 5, 1821. The 5 feet, 7 inches of his height was normal for his time, but the British newspaper cartoonists had him shown as much smaller for political reasons.

His famous "hidden hand" images were a broadcast signal of his links to the Freemasonry Brotherhood.

The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries, by Jacques-Louis David, 1812. Below, when he was younger.

The following drawing demonstrates the "Sign of the Master of the Second Veil," (7th Degree Mason) from Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, 1866.

View other "hidden hand" examples, here and here.

John W. Booth, whose membership among Masons is today mostly expunged.

George Washington, whose Freemasonry membership is celebrated.

"The evidence in favor of a Masonic initiation previous to Napoleon’s assumption of the imperial title is overwhelming:
The initiation took place in the body of an Army Philadelphe Lodge of the — Ecossais — Primitive Rite of Narbone, the third initiation of the 'Ecole Communique' being an advancement in that Rite. These initiations took place between 1795 and 1798." ~ J.E. S. Tucket, "Napoleon I and Freemasonry," Ars Quatuor Coronatorum vol. xxvii (1914)


David Stewart said...

Very interesting Loren ; it makes one wonder what Adam Smith may have been telling us when he talked about the Invisible Hand in his book “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776- his metaphor the regulating control of economic systems.

Doubting Thomas said...

Masons seem to turn up in the most unlikely places.

I'm reading Robert Dreyfuss's Devil's Game, about the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

He lists a man named Jamal Eddine al-Afghani who Dreyfuss refers to as "the great-great-great grandfather of Osama bin Laden."
Dreyfuss is, of course, speaking in terms of ideology rather than genetics. For example, one of Afghani's disciples went on to found the Muslim Brotherhood.

Afghani is commonly portrayed as an Islamic true believer, but Dreyfuss points out that his Islamic beliefs were fluid at best.

Afghani's writings lead one to conclude his "belief" wasn't as "true" as he'd like his fellow Islamists to believe.

Afghani said, "We do not cut the head of religion except with the sword of religion. Therefore, if you were to see us now, you would see ascetics and worshippers, kneeling and genuflecting, never disobeying God's commands and doing all that they are ordered to do."

Evidently this founding grandfather of Islamic terror was a closet atheist.

He puts it very clearly: "Religions, whatever they are called, resemble one another. No understanding and no reconciliation is possible between these religions and philosophy. Religion imposes its faith and its creed on man, while philosophy liberates him from them wholly or in part. But reason does not please the mass and its teachings are understood only by a few choice spirits."

According to Dreyfuss, Afghani was also a Freemason.