The proliferating ‘Masonic’ rituals were still ‘(passing) informally from mouth to ear’ and making them susceptible to rumour, suspicion and mis-information. Even if George III had been able to retain the US colonies in the 1770’s, the ‘London Rite’ would still not have dominated anywhere across the Atlantic. Found politically inadequate in Europe, ‘it’ was then rejected by patriotic, ie nationalist colonials, along with their dependent status. After London, the other potential source for ‘American Freemasonry’ was Spain, given its long-standing influence on the American continent. An ex-Grand Master of the London rite, the Duke of Wharton has been credited with ‘its’ arrival in Spain from England in 1729, but he was a libertine and probable Jacobite sympathiser, so from the moment of ‘its’ introduction into Iberia, ‘it’ was both politicised and considered doubtful. Spanish ‘Masonry’ spread but divided along political lines, divisions which were intensified by the upheavals of 1789-1815. Strong connections between the Roman Church, the Inquisition and successive Spanish administrations meant ‘it’ was mostly conducted in secret. Citizen opposition to the regimes rose and fell in parallel waves in the Spanish heartland and in the colonies. Gould, prominent 19th century English ‘Masonic’ scholar, wrote of the heavily factionalised situation in Spain: ‘[In 1806 there were] four (Spanish) Grand Bodies: 1st, the Grand Lodge of 1767, converted in 1780 into a Grand Orient under Montoyo…2nd, the Supreme Council of 1806 under the younger Tilly… 3rd, the Grand Orient of 1808, and 4th the Supreme Council of 1811, both under Aganza.’ [i] When Spain came under Napoleonic control a less-hierarchical, national constitution was drawn up. Bonaparte was well aware of ‘Masonry’s’ political usefulness and though never initiated himself, massaged it assiduously throughout his short-lived empire. ‘Free Masons’ are reported to have taken an active part in the drafting of the legislation to reduce the power of the RC Church but in 1814, the restored monarch, King Ferdinand VII, invited French troops to come to his aid in rooting out what was called ‘clandestine Freemasonry’. He abolished the reformist Constitution allowing the Inquisition to return, but in 1819 militant reformers forced him to submit and to restore the 1812 constitution.

Only in the 20th century were the diaries of a Jewish merchant, Stephen Morin, translated into English. Morin claimed that in 1761 he had ‘obtained from the Grand Lodge and Sovereign Council of Masons at Paris (an) appointment for life as Grand Inspector in the Western Hemisphere for all degrees above the fourteenth.’ [ii] Given ‘its’ nature and ‘its’ practitioners’ belief that ownership and control were dependent on proof of ‘derived authority’, this one assertion contains seed for endless disputation. Rich has speculated that Morin, he was a Jew after all, sold lodge dispensations to finance his travel, in effect adding ‘Freemasonry’ to his inventory, and that he involved himself in slave revolts in the Caribbean. Could Morin have used ‘Freemasonry’ to precipitate unrest among the sugar workers? It is not impossible as we will see below and is suggested by the claims of Barruel and Robison. The strength of secret societies brought from Africa probably meant that any Masonic overtures Morin made to plantation workers were quickly repulsed. Perhaps he had more success with expatriated Europeans.

Rich again: ‘Morin… set up business in Santo Domingo in the Caribbean… There is growing evidence that Morin (had taken) whatever high degrees he had received in France and refashioned them into the Order of the Royal Secret, creating additional degrees as needed…Morin apparently acted to create a new Masonic body with himself as the only “Grand Inspector”. Morris, also a recent US scholar has noted: ‘…These French high degrees…were spread by traveling Inspectors who conferred them for a fee. It wasn’t necessary to wait for enough Masons in a town to receive the high degrees somewhere else and for them to apply for a charter; the itinerant Inspector could take care of everything as soon as he arrived. Eight bodies of the Royal Secret were formed in America before 1800, from New Orleans to Albany. The weakness of the Order proved to be the unchecked system of Inspectors General. Each Inspector General could confer the degrees on Master Masons, establish local bodies, and create new Inspectors—all for an appropriate fee. There were no guidelines on cost, no limitation on numbers, and no restriction on how many more Inspectors an Inspector could create. By 1800 there were over 80 Inspectors General, and the system was moving toward chaos.’ [iii]

Repudiated by his erstwhile employers Morin’s invention, the ‘Rite of the Royal Secret’ had become the ‘Rite of Perfection’ before it became the core of ‘the Scottish Rite’. Even so the majority of Morin’s Inspector-Generals were of the Jewish faith and of the eleven recorded ‘founders’ of this 1801 Council at least five were Jews, [iv]  a remarkable figure given that in 1800 there were only around 100 ‘Jewish heads of families’ and around 500 ‘Jews’ in total in Charleston.[v] This prominence and its consequences often disappear from later accounts, along with Morin and any legitimacy his system might have once had. His ‘Deputy Inspector-Generals’ had travelled north: ‘(We know that Morin) met a Dutch merchant, Henry Andrew Francken, and made him a Deputy Inspector General sometime between 1763 and 1767. Francken in turn travelled to Albany, New York, and created there a Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°) in 1767…’ [vi] The assertion in the 1801 title, ‘Mother Supreme Council’ indicates the state of mind of the claimants. Yet its evolution meant there was need for improvement. In 1909 US brother, Vail wrote that: ‘In the early days of the Scottish Rite the system was full of grotesque and incongruous things, of contradictions and fantastic extravagances.’ [vii] This denigration of the past assisted a campaign to boost Albert Pike as the century’s heroic figure.  Among other things, he had supposedly saved ‘the Scottish Rite’ from its notorious past. Morris, also a US initiated scholar, recently said he believed that very little was known of the Scottish Rite’s history and that what was accepted was political not spiritual: ‘By 1766 we know that an elaborate sequence of High Degree or “Scottish” Masonry (was) being worked in France (where) competition …seems to have been the driving force…. (as) part of jockeying for power within the Grand Lodge of France.’ [viii] He is, however, accepting of the bombast – at least he makes no comment while acknowledging the part played by individual motivation:

Then on May 31, 1801, the first Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, the Mother Council of the World, declared its existence with a motto of “Ordo ab Chao” (Order from Chaos). It announced a new 33-degree system of high degrees that incorporated all 25 of the Order of the Royal Secret, and added eight more, including that of 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General. This new organization declared control of high-degree Masonry in America.… A second Supreme Council in the world was established in Santo Domingo in 1802…This Supreme Council died with the slave revolt on the island, but one of its members, Antoine Bideaud, fled to New York. While there he came across five Frenchmen who were interested in the high degrees. For a fee of $46 in 1806, Bideaud conferred the degrees upon his customers and formed them into a “Consistory” of the 32° — all without the knowledge of the Charleston Supreme Council.

The same year… Joseph Cerneau, a French jeweller, moved from Cuba to New York City. He had a patent from an Inspector of the Order of the Royal Secret that gave him limited powers in Cuba, but that didn’t stop him from setting up his own consistory in New York City…Emmanuel de la Motta, the Grand Treasurer from the Charleston Supreme Council, arrived in New York City in 1813, examined the two competing factions, and decided against Cerneau. De la Motta regularized Bideaud’s group and transformed them into the second Supreme Council for America, now known as the “Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.” [ix]

Morin is an easy target. His ‘Jewishness’ and his alleged perfidy provided brethren convinced of the Order’s virtues with ‘a problem’ which they could then claim had been solved by their fellow Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who, by definition, were non-perfidious and not motivated by money. Involvement of better known Jews, say the Rothschilds, with any relevant 18th activities has not yet been secured. Paul Johnson wrote in 2004:

[The] Rothschilds are elusive. There is no book about them that is both revealing and accurate. Libraries of nonsense have been written about them… A woman who planned to write a book entitled Lies about the Rothschilds abandoned it, saying: ‘It was relatively easy to spot the lies, but it proved impossible to find out the truth.[x]

Officially, the family only left the dank and fetid Judengrasse in Frankfurt in the 1790’s but the fact that they were able to leave supports a belief they were already at least comfortable. How could this be possible? Numerous biographers repeat descriptions that the family was already known among money lenders and that they traded in antiques with the Prince of Hesse and that they had become indispensable advisors to that noble’s court. This is the royal house centrally involved in the rise and fall of the Illuminati while the context from which the Rothschilds emerged is close to that detailed by Jutte. Secrecy, of course, had many faces. Smuggling of the gold which was increasingly essential for cross-border and inter-governmental transactions, appears to have been one means used by the Rothschild family to escape the pogrom. Their master stroke was to realise a chance was at hand to parlay long-standing skills into a more focused and more highly profitable sphere: ‘The period 1793-1815 was characterised by recurrent warfare, the fiscal side-effects of which were profound. Firstly, unprecedented expenditures precipitated inflation in all the combatant’s economies…(which) were thrown into turmoil…Secondly, the disruptions of war…created opportunities for making large profits on highly risky transactions, such as smuggling textiles and bullion and managing the investments of exiled rulers. Thirdly, the transfer of large subsidies from Britain to her continental allies necessitated innovations in the cross-border payments system…It was in this highly volatile context that the Rothschilds made the decisive leap…to running a multi-national financial partnership.’ [xi] Ferguson, in his monumental two volume account of the Rothschilds, has described how the London-based, eldest son, Nathan, financed the British war effort against Napoleon, organising the secret shipment of bullion to the Duke of Wellington’s armies on the mainland and arranging the payment of subsidies to their continental allies. The family’s network of agents, shippers and couriers transported the gold and the information vital to the Allies’ multi-pronged operations. It is likely that people of the Jewish faith were assisted by the family which continued to undertake clandestine activities. Research is needed to bring their financial efforts and the reform currents, particularly of the 18th and 19th centuries, together. With Boney’s defeat, the Papacy had looked to rebuild influence through a renewal of its weakened organisation. Its secretariat was however still seriously divided between evolutionists and traditionalists. Papal candidates were being backed on the basis of how welcoming or paranoid they were about social liberalism and on how they viewed ‘the Jesuits’ and Papal espionage. Italian threats to Catholicism included the Carbonari, the protectores, independientes, calderari, peregrinos blancos and the mafia, most of them off-shoots of Masonic lodges’, according to Frattini quoting local sources. They were attacked, physically, by ‘small, underground groups of clergy’, such as the Octogonus Circle, the Black Habits, the Black Order, Society of the Thirteen and the Followers of Jehu.

Colonists also looked at the ‘Masonic’ variations for political guidance. All of the ‘Founding Fathers’ in the US held views about ‘Freemasonry’s’ usefulness to ‘their’ Republic but details are scarce. George Washington was an early initiate, at the age of 20 in 1753, but then attended lodge very rarely. Thomas Jefferson, President 1801-1809 and principal author of the Declaration of Independence, was an admirer of Weishaupt. He had been Washington’s Secretary of State and Vice-President to the second President, John Adams. With James Madison he organised the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalists and maintain state’s rights. He wrote to a friend:

The means [Weishaupt] proposes to effect this improvement of human nature are ‘to enlighten men, to correct their morals & inspire them with benevolence. Secure of our success, says he, we abstain from violent commotions.

Jefferson went close to putting ‘The Illuminati’ and ‘Freemasons’ beyond the reach of law and order:

… As Weishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot & priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, & the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object & to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue. He proposed to initiate new members into his body by gradations proportioned to his fears of the thunderbolts of tyranny.

He argued that Weishaupt’s critics were firstly bothered by secrecy in politics, and secondly by the idea that ‘Freemasonry’ was being used in republican campaigns:

(Secrecy) has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment, the subversion of the masonic order, & is the colour for the ravings against him of Robison, Barruel & Morse, whose real fears are that the craft would be endangered by the spreading of information, reason, & natural morality among men.

Jefferson’s third name here was Jedediah Morse, a preacher, who in 1798 made ‘a sensational announcement’ that the Illuminati had extended its secret operations to the US ‘with a view to the overthrow of their civil and religious institutions.’ [xii] The subsequent furore developed sufficient momentum to affect the careers of contending Presidential hopefuls, Aaron Burr and DeWitt Clinton, and eventually the legacy of George Washington. An 1802 pamphleteer and Burr supporter contended that the ‘Clintonian faction’ was using a New York off-shoot of the Illuminati to further an extreme program. Note the biblical language, a guide to the temper of the times:

(The) Theistical Society issued from the tomb of its fallen parent [the Democratic Society of NY] like a foul spectre, blotted with crimes, gaping with vengeance, and eager to drag the weak and unsuspecting mind into the abyss of eternal torment. [xiii]

The writer, Wood, wrote that initiates ‘were told that the only intention of the Society was to oppose political and religious prejudice, to cultivate moral duties, and to bring mankind into a perfect state of liberty, equality and fraternity.’ (Wood, 1802, p.29) He claimed to have proof that initiates had no idea that ‘there were different grades in the Society – they were ignorant of the diabolical plans duly forming by the directors’ [‘the ring leaders’] and that ‘they knew nothing of the proceedings of secret committees – they imagined there were none superior in rank or knowledge to themselves’.  The author’s bottom line was a belief in the divine right of kings, slightly up-dated:

The constitution of the United States, we ought to thank providence, has been erected on the fundamental principles of Christianity; principles which will remain, when the names of their most violent opposers will be buried in oblivion, when neither Clinton or his party will be heard of, and when the standard of infidelity will only be regarded as the signal of vice, treason and rebellion. (Wood, 1802, p.56.)

George Clinton, Governor of New York and Grand Master in that jurisdiction, and DeWitt Clinton’s uncle, tried to standardise ritual but failed, whereupon he observed: ‘If a venerable and ancient tradition existed, no-one could determine what it was…American ritualists invented their own Masonic rituals or variants…American Freemasonry took many forms, the legitimacy of each determined by the persuasiveness of its innovator.’ [xiv]

A network of ‘Masonic’ activists against colonial exploitation of coloured peoples centred on the Caribbean has only recently been highlighted. [xv] Arroyo’s important 2013 findings are weakened by her assumptions, firstly, that there was only one ‘Freemasonry’, secondly, that ‘it’ could be defined as a manifestation of ‘the liberal secular ideals that came directly from Enlightenment philosophers and the French Revolution’ (p.15) and thirdly, that ‘its’ practice matched ‘its’ theory. Nevertheless, she has highlighted new research possibilities: ‘Such conspiracies as Aguila Negra (1823) and Rayos y Soles de Bolivar (1823) were planned by Simon Bolivar and his allies in Cuba, with the aid of the leadership of Masonic Great Worshipful Masters and their initiates in Mexico, Haiti and the United States. The most famous of these Masonic conspirators was the Romantic poet, Jose Maria Heredia…’ (Arroyo, 2013, p.15) Bolivar’s sworn Masonic oath in a Cadiz lodge in 1805 included an intention to end Spanish resistance to the freedom and independence of native and criollo people in south and central America.

It is possible that Rothschild money had already assisted movement of British, Spanish and French troops to Central and South America and thus that their money had helped to repress some versions of ‘Freemasonry’ while aiding other versions somewhere else. Unlike the court Jews of earlier centuries who had financed European nobility, Mayer Rothschild had directed his offspring to develop a new kind of financial instrument which was more flexible and impervious to local attacks. Their assets were held in what amounted to a floating, international bank circulating through the world as stocks, bonds and debts: ‘Henceforth their real wealth was beyond the reach of the mob, almost beyond the reach of greedy monarchs.’ Control of all assets was held in family hands, and with obscure codes based on Yiddish, what they knew and how they obtained information remained closely-guarded secrets. Collectively, the directors worried over the likelihood of getting the interest on bonds paid on time. Individually, who knows?

Notably, in 1818, Nathan arranged a then-£5 million loan to the Prussian government, and: ‘In the space of three years (1823-5), the brothers…provided the crucial financial assistance which enabled Austria to suppress revolution in Naples, and France to restore royal absolutism in Spain. [xvi] In 1825–6 Nathan supplied enough coin to the Bank of England to enable it to avert a market liquidity crisis: ‘By the summer of 1825…the Rothschilds had succeeded triumphantly in establishing themselves as the leading specialists in European public finance – and not only European’:

The Rothschilds kept a safe distance from the numerous bond issues by the former Spanish colonies which were generating such speculative enthusiasm in London at the time of the French intervention. The years 1822-4 were the time of the great South American ‘bubble’ as investors rushed to lend to new republics like Chile, Columbia, Buenos Aires and Guatemala…From all this the Rothschilds remained aloof, with one exception: Brazil.

Brazil gained its independence from Portugal in 1823-5 because the Rothschilds were prepared to assist both sides with financial support to come to a deal. By 1850 their influence, their closeness to the levers of power and the extensive media coverage they generated, aided the evolution of speculation about hidden controlling hands into plans to take over the world. Niles’ Weekly Register (Volume 49) in 1836 wrote:

The Rothschilds are the wonders of modern banking…Not a cabinet moves without their advice. They stretch their hand, with equal ease, from Petersburg to Vienna, from Vienna to Paris, from Paris to London, from London to Washington. Baron Rothschild, the head of the house, is the true king of Judah, the prince of the captivity, the Messiah so long looked for by this extraordinary people. He holds the keys of peace or war, blessing or cursing…They are the brokers and counsellors of the kings of Europe and of the republican chiefs of America. What more can they desire?

Initiated US brethren have for years attributed the origins of ‘Mexican Freemasonry’ to a Catholic priest, Don Miguel de Hidalgo, but in terms designed to establish that what was good in ‘Freemasonry’ came from the US rather than from England or any other European source. Being mostly Protestant and Republican, they have asserted that ‘its’ major achievement was that it freed the Mexican people from the clutches of the corrupt and repressive Roman Catholic Church. [xvii] In their view, espionage, questionable practices and an untenable religion were all on ‘the other side’, except perhaps for this single rebel padre who had sympathised with his peasant convertees. Unidentified ‘spies working for the Spanish Inquisition’ allegedly raided the rooms of ‘the first ever Masonic Lodge in Mexico’ in 1810 but Fr Don Hidalgo, who had travelled from his parish to the city to be initiated, had escaped. Back in the mountains, he raised a peasant army, was defeated by the Spanish troops and captured. He was tried with others ‘as devil worshippers and members of an accursed sect’ and executed. (McLeish, 1918, p.186) Initiated academics Paul Rich and Guillermo de Los Reyes were not thinking of ‘devil-worship’ when they acknowledged in the 1990’s that there were major problems with the popular accounts: The eighteenth-century origins of Masonry in Mexico are shrouded in mystery, almost an inevitability given the nature of the organization … Early nineteenth-century Mexico was in revolutionary ferment, the atmosphere being one which encouraged the growth of different expressions of Freemasonry and a multifarious jumble of Masonic ideologies and philosophies.[xviii] They went further:

Masonic historiography is not exempt from motives that lead to the misuse of history in general. Indeed, it suffers from all the problems in extenso… In discussing Poinsett in Mexico the resemblance between general history’s difficulties with historians with axes to grind and the difficulties of Freemasonry at the hands of biased historians will become apparent.

Like Lepore, Frahm [xix]  has attempted to go where few have gone before, but the fantastic tangle through which she has had to hack her way had been sewn with an intent to confuse and delay.[xx] She can only vaguely discern her major targets through the mass of conspiracy and hagiography in front of her: ‘There is some disagreement about the role of Joel Poinsett, the first US ambassador to Mexico, regarding the establishment of the York Rite in Mexico…’ She has quite rightly focused on this appointee of President Monroe in 1826 but she was keen to explain ‘Freemasonry’ and the internal divisions supposedly met by Poinsett when he arrived: ‘The York and the Scottish Rites were especially significant in Mexican history…The Scottish Rite was developed in France, and there is good evidence to show that Jesuits were involved, perhaps for political purposes.’ She went on:

Dr Tohotom Nagy, a Jesuit from Hungary…received papal permission to go undercover, investigating Freemasonry in Argentina. He concluded there was little difference between the two organisations!

The way this is written implies the Jesuit undercover work was done in the 18th century and that Nagy had something to do with the Scottish Rite. His biographer has written recently: ‘Töhötöm Nagy was a Hungarian Jesuit (1908-1979), who lived an extraordinary life that included several stages first in the Jesuit order, later as an emigrant free mason in South America, and finally in Hungary again as a secret agent of the communist political police.’ [xxi] Undercover Jesuits disappear from her text at this point and though she denied EF’s claim to be a-political she accepted the US variation of the same mythology by aligning US lodge activity with Enlightenment attitudes: ‘Freemasonry was an integral part of independence movements in the new world…clandestinely and effectively pursuing their ideals.’ Obviously, any ‘Freemasons’ active in independence movements were not following the Andersonian definition. ‘Byzantine complexity’ has been a phrase applied to the period’s ‘Masonic politics’ but they don’t appear to have changed for the rest of the century. Neither do they seem anymore difficult to follow than those in many other places. Frahm has engaged with many Spanish authors and has provided a detailed account, but she has not organised her material very well, and she appears to believe that quoting a range of opinions is the extent of her task. At the heart of her difficulties is the lack of an accepted history of the conflicting Rites.

In a 2013 article de los Reyes absolved Poinsett, and by extension US administrations and ‘Freemasonry’, of any subterfuge, in fact of any premeditation with regard to his Mexican policies. Although he was the accredited leader of the first US official delegation to the Republic of Mexico, Poinsett’s actions were, it seems, a personal whim: ‘Poinsett audaciously determined that he must change the attitudes of the Mexican government, challenging those in the leadership who were Spanish-born or sympathetic to Spain and who still looked towards Europe.’ [xxii]

The ‘multifarious jumble’ that he insists on accumulating as ‘Freemasonry’ was a thicket of contending sects precisely because of their inherently political nature and because the struggle/s in which they were embedded were not confined to one country as his account is. The United States of America, newly independent, was flexing its adolescent muscles. Its dominant politicians were the expected mix of readers and idealists, intriguers, liars and inveterate procrastinators, and many were ‘Free-Masons’. In Poinsett’s case, suspicions that he had hidden agendas were justified. He was a long time ‘intelligence operative.’ His early clandestine career had been in the guise of a gentleman explorer which had taken him through much of Europe and Asia. He became an accredited ‘confidential agent’ of successive US administrations, operating in South, Central and North America.[xxiii] As a Congressman from South Carolina, he ‘was a careful student and a polished gentleman. In 1810 he had gone to South America with a commission from President Madison to report on conditions in Argentine and Chile then just beginning their struggle for independence. In 1822 he went on a similar mission to Mexico.’  The US National Archives are not complete before 1850, but they record as a common-place that during the war of 1812 Secretary of State James Monroe sent special agents into Louisiana and Texas (which was then part of Spanish Mexico) on various unofficial missions: ‘Some of these agents became involved in filibustering expeditions [ie unsanctioned invasions of foreign-held territories by US citizens] to spread revolution and drive the Spanish out of northern Mexico.’ [My emphasis] [xxiv] Documents by Poinsett held in the Archives are listed under the heading ‘Despatches from Special Agents of the Department of State, 1794-1906.’ [My emphasis]

De los Reyes in 2013 was using ‘Freemasonry’ to urge scholars to focus on political culture – ‘the components of the informal government process ‘- as ‘a tool for understanding the state’. (p.197) He was keen to advance ‘Freemasonry’ as a potentially useful example of ‘volunteerism’.  I have sympathy for the idea but this article does not do justice to his efforts or to the approach, which he precises as ‘a generous and expansive one that displaces the more ideologically-bound discussions that sometimes characterised scholarship during the Iron Curtain era… (In particular) there is something to the idea that democracy and voluntary associations are linked.’ (p.197) The question he set himself in 2013 was whether the internal practices of ‘Freemasonry’ had enhanced or retarded democratic possibilities: ‘(My) focus is on voluntary organisations in the United States and in particular on the Masons…This is to test whether these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are contributing to democracy today.’ (p.198) He was especially concerned with myth: ‘The perception that the Masons are powerful has given them power. The Mason’s cultivation of the myth of their contributions to democracy has created the popular opinion that American founders and patriots were Masons and that the symbols of an early republic were Masonic.’ (p.198) He asserted that their use of secrecy and ritual is what has set ‘Freemasonry’ and other fraternal societies apart but that any influence they have had on public policy derived from perceptions of those features not from their use: ‘(Masonry) is an ultimate spinner of tales and creator of myths, and, as such, it has a long history of influencing the political process through what can be called ‘mythological power.’ (p.204) He has used Fukuyama’s partisan, working definition of ‘democracy’ for his preferred alternative to authoritarianism – that it is characterised as ‘moderation, trust, tolerance and willingness to compromise, and indeed to lose in political conflicts.’ (p..200) Similarly crucial but unfounded assumptions are scattered through his text, such as: ‘I have…included … anti-Masonic nonsense and unfounded criticism (of) the Masons, as well as fabrications of patriotic stories.’ (p.209)

Despite its relevance to his argument, he confined his reasoning about Poinsett’s time in Mexico to a footnote: ‘Slowly (his audacity) made him an interloper, but not because of covert machinations. His efforts to implement American policy were anything but secret and led to his being expelled the country.’ De los Reyes referenced a very partisan 1935 biography of Poinsett for support and made the further, inadequate argument that: Since the [Mexican] Emperor Itubide was a Mason, there is no evidence to show that Poinsett had any reason to be predisposed to dislike [him]… or [to] have a secret commission to oppose him.’ (My emphasis) Poinsettt may have been there to implement US policy but according to this scholar the lack of publicly available documentation is a result of there not being any. The same footnote explained that Poinsett found that ‘many of (the) … opponents to his goals for Mexico were Scottish Rite Masons who, in his view, were monarchist and socially elitist.’ Poinsett for him was just ‘a Freemason’ with no motivation other than audacity, but his opponents could be categorised and their motives negatively analysed. The Mexican situation was an obvious test-bed for his theorisation and if de los Reyes had concentrated on that he may have significantly increased the strength of his broader argument and his conclusions.

After 1822, suspect Spaniards came under pressure to leave newly-independent Mexico or suffer expulsion. The first President, General Iturbide, thought he deserved to be treated as a monarch, a mis-judgement which only fuelled anti-Spanish protests. He was exiled, later returned and was shot for his vanity. The so-called ‘Escoceses’ or ‘Scottish Rite’, as followed by a percentage of the new administration, enabled some older Spanish aristos to remain in power and to ignore the aspirations of persons lower in the social scale. That we are dealing here with a phenomenon in need of further clarification is suggested by a Sims’ note: ‘(The) Escoceses made their religious ceremonies to the Virgin del Pilar de Zaragoza and to Santiago de Galicia, and the Yorkinos to the Virgin of Guadelupe.’ (Sims, p.150) Poinsett’s British counterpart, Ward, admitted to his Home Office employers he could not distinguish ‘the York Rite’ from ‘the Scottish’,[xxv] but still offered the opinion that the Yorkinos were ‘a set of needy and desperate adventurers’, while their opposition were men who ‘comprise a very large portion of the wealth and talent of the country.’ [xxvi] Where the known material reflects Ward’s naïve, class-bound elitism, that relating to Poinsett reflects his career of duplicity and his strong, political ambition.

On his arrival in Mexico City in 1826, Poinsett had immediately aligned himself with a group supposedly seeking more of a Jacobin kind of republic, ie a more decentralised, federal system. This group determined to pursue its political aims by way of Masonic lodges following ‘the Yorkist Rite.’ When this was announced, independence supporters flocked to join them, including some brothers previously with the ‘Scottish Rite’. Sims, again more realistically to my ear, has noted that outside Mexico City and Vera Cruz, ‘the Yorkino Party organised “under the protection of (State) governors and legislatures, just as the party had organised in Mexico City under the protection of President Victoria.’ (Sims, p.158) Poinsett provided different versions of his involvement with the Yorkinos, even in despatches to Washington. He insisted that he had left the Yorkino lodges when they became politically active.  He wrote elsewhere that the York Rite had five lodges in Mexico before he arrived and that all he did with them was to arrange with ‘the Grand Lodge of New York’ to send them charters for a ‘grand lodge of Mexico.’ He also told Clay, then US Secretary of State, that he might have stayed aloof but ‘he had found it necessary to form a (political) party…or leave the English complete masters of the field.’ In other words, he hadn’t introduced the York Rite but had organised its members in order ‘to oppose British influence’. One can only imagine what that involved – on the street, in meetings, and in the local media. He told ‘the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania’ in April 1826 that he had established ‘a Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons’ and since he’d had no response from New York he was asking Pennsylvanian brethren for the power to issue dispensations, which power was granted.[xxvii]

Amid violent disturbances, elections in late 1826 saw ‘federalistas’ largely replace ‘centralistas’ in the Mexican cabinet. Poinsett was ‘credited’ with the Escoceses loss and his house was targeted. This frontier image has rarely made it into scholars’ accounts. Putnam’s biography of Poinsett has: ‘In December, the Escoceses resorted to arms in order to purge the Government of Yorkino influence. Their chief demand was for the expulsion of the American Minister. Vice-President Bravo assumed the leadership of the revolt and Guerrero, the chief of the Yorkinos was sent to quell it. It appeared quite formidable at first but was very quickly suppressed and Bravo, the prospective Escoceses candidate for the presidency fled the country.’ (Putnam, p.98) The Vera Cruz State legislature formally charged Poinsett with having ‘conceived a project the most disorganising and terrible for the republic; which was nothing more nor less than the establishment of the lodge of York Free Masons.’ [xxviii] He was known to have entertained the Yorkino officials and to have written their electoral material but much was hidden in ciphered correspondence. US academics have excused his activism by saying it was all in a noble cause: ‘It was Poinsett’s over-enthusiastic belief in the absolute of maintaining the federal form of government, when he found that centralising tendencies threatened its overthrow, which led him to engage in the activities that gave rise to the charges against him of meddling in the internal affairs of Mexico.’ [xxix]  Poinsett was ‘permitted to leave’ in 1829. His return north didn’t require that he change his methods. In Washington, he was installed as Deputy Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of the United States,[xxx] continuing his involvement with the so-called ‘Scottish Rite’ and with national politics. He led ‘the Union Party in South Carolina’ against the threat of secession, and acted as ‘confidential agent’, in other words as the local eyes and ears, for President Jackson, a committed ‘Freemason.’

The year Poinsett left for Mexico City was the year in which the ‘South American Investment Bubble’ came to an inglorious end, causing among other things, a run on the Bank of England which ended only because of an infusion of Rothschild funds. It was also the year when the disappearance and possible murder of a knockabout ‘Freemason’ threatening to publish ‘Masonic’ secrets began to spread from upper New York State and become a nation-wide scandal. In 1826, there were twenty-six state-based Grand Lodges, 3,000 subordinate lodges and over 100,000 members in the US. [xxxi] Recent ‘Masonic’ journals writing about the period either ignore the man, Morgan, altogether or refer to his disappearance only to argue that opponents of the Democratic Party opportunistically helped an ephemeral Anti-Masonic Party to contest presidential and other elections. The view from the oppositional, anti-Masonic side is genuinely enlightening, not because their charges of widespread and systemic ‘Masonic conspiracy’ must be true but because of the numbers and kinds of people prepared to believe that ‘Freemasons’ had attempted to burn down a printery with numerous persons asleep inside, had murdered oath-breaking brothers in Ireland and in the US, and had successfully intimidated almost all newspaper editors to stifle discussion of the case. Many believed that because of Masonic penetration, established ‘Grand Juries’ had proved reluctant to gather evidence or had refused outright when ordered to do their job; that potential evidence had been destroyed, hidden or neutralised; that probable participants in the complex arrangements whereby Morgan had been removed from public view had been spirited away; and that newspaper coverage of developments as they slowly moved towards criminal charges were so partisan or non-existent that dozens of new, anti-Masonic papers had to be created. Poinsett’s manipulation of lodges in Mexico can be seen as standard operating procedure rather than as a personal ‘whim’.

The following paginated quotes are from the published ‘Proceedings’ of an 1830 Anti-Masonic Convention in Philadelphia attended by 96 delegates where fourteen detailed reports were presented. By that date available transcripts of evidence from hearings, included ‘Freemasons’ pleading ‘guilty’, albeit to a range of relatively minor changes: [xxxii]

p.21 ‘…it has been judicially proven that measures which contemplated the use of violence to effect this object were matters of discussion among masons in the lodge room…’

p.21 ‘…It will strike anyone, on hearing a recital of the facts connected with the abduction of William Morgan, that the combination to effect that measure, must have been very extensive, embracing a large number of individuals…

p.23 ‘…There seems to have been a determination on the part of the fraternity, not only to suppress all information in relation to the outrages, but even to repress inquiries and questionings, which might tend to elucidate it…’

p.23 ‘…The public press…was…with a single exception, awed into the most slavish silence, by the influence of freemasonry.’

p.24 ‘…At (a court in Niagara county) the sheriff again summoned the grand jurors. There were twenty-one members present, thirteen of them were freemasons, and six friendly to them.’

p.24 ‘…It is very certain that a series of questions, to be propounded to the witnesses, had been so framed, that the witnesses could answer without eliciting any dangerous information.’

p.25  ‘…When the different committees had by great diligence, succeeded in tracing Morgan to Lewiston, they appointed delegates from amongst their own number, to proceed to that place, and push their inquiries as to his final fate…The members of the fraternity in that place…were obviously alarmed and excited, and collected from …places in the vicinity to the number of forty or fifty, some of them armed, exhibiting, and expressing the utmost rage and vindictiveness towards the convention, on account of the purpose of the meeting…They came rudely into the room…and after insultingly taking the light…extinguished and left (the delegates) in darkness…’

p.25 ‘…It was soon afterwards ascertained that Smith and Whitney had both fled…and that money had been furnished to one of them from the funds of the grand chapter, to enable them to flee from their homes as fugitives from justice.

p.27 ‘…(It) would appear that this Richard Howard came to (New York in 1827) and attended a masonic meeting at St John’s Hall…where he confessed in open lodge that he assisted in putting Morgan to death, and that he was furnished with funds by the knight’s companion, to escape to Europe…no information has been received of this Howard since he absconded, and that the officers of justice have not been able to penetrate the veil of secrecy which concealed his flight.’

p.27 ‘…Witnesses have been secreted and sent off without the jurisdiction of the court, and remained concealed for many months…These occurrences were so frequent, and of such a character (that they) evinced the belief that extended combination …of the secret and mystic agency of freemasonry, which alone from its peculiar organisation possesses the means of such extensive and secret concert.’

p.30 ‘…Orsamus Turner, who was confined in the jail of Niagara County for contumaciously refusing to answer proper and legal questions, was lauded in The Craftsman, and other kindred prints, as a miracle of constancy and firmness; and when the period of his imprisonment had expired, he was conducted from the jail to a public tavern in a coach and four, with enthusiastic demonstrations of respect by the fraternity.

p.42… ‘(Out of 983 newspapers ‘published in all the states’, 124 have begun since 1826 exclusively to oppose masonry.)’

p.42 ‘…(The) public press is palsied by a power unseen, and controlled by an influence of unlimited operation…(The) public mind has been poisoned so that none, however elevated, can express a just indignation against the perpetrators of a horrid crime, or against the institution which justifies and protects the criminal, without the risk of being denounced as a fanatic, or a fool, or a designing man.’

p.47 ‘…Here (in the masonic oaths) then, a perfect system of machinery, for capital condemnations and executions. If the sign handed from a lodge is a regular sign to put a masonic offender to death, it must be obeyed under penalty of death.

In every case the lodge is sole judge. There is no appeal: he who is commanded to shed another’s blood, must do so, to save his own life.’

p.48 ‘…The oath of secrecy pervades every masonic obligation…In the master’s degree, an exception is made of murder and treason which are left at the discretion of the affirmant…It follows, therefore that if cities are burned, women violated, houses broken and merchants ruined through forgery, by a master mason, no other master mason knowing the facts as a secret may reveal them, under the penalty of death and of moral perjury. He may not reveal the secret as a witness on oath.’

pp.48-49 ‘…In the oath of the royal arch degree, it is written…at length, “TREASON AND MURDER NOT EXCEPTED”. So, it is understood by the masonic authorities; for in the violence on Morgan, royal arch masons alone, as the Committee understand and believe, were selected, and no one can doubt, but the selection was made with a reference to this obligation.

There remains yet a further enormity…(In) the obligation of the holy and thrice illustrious order of the cross [the Cross of Christ!] …is contained the following clause: “I do swear to keep sacred my brothers’ secrets, both when delivered to me as such, and when the nature of the information is such a to require secrecy, for his welfare.”

The scope and object of this obligation is that knights of this order should keep secret each other’s transactions, when intentionally or accidentally discovered. It may apply to the traitor, the murderer, the incendiary, the thief, the counterfeiter, etc, unexpectedly caught in the act.’

p.51 ‘…There is, yet, another masonic obligation, which…is, in a political point of view, of still more fearful import, than all that have preceded.

The knights of the east and west, and of many other degrees, take an oath “to pay due obedience and submission to all degrees beyond this, but particularly to the princes of the royal secret, and the supreme council of grand inspector general of the 33rd, and regulate myself by their determinations.” …

…Let the people of these United States, then, well understand the fact that 100,000 [the believed no of US ‘Freemasons’] of the most active, efficient, and intelligent men, embracing almost all in office, from the president downward; banded together with sanctions of blood, and oaths of perdition; with discipline, with concert, with signs of recognition, and cyphers of secret correspondence; armed with the public press, and bearing in their train, the artillery of slander, and of the ruin of men, are united to engross all power and influence, and to direct the resources of a great nation, to the separate profit of their order….’

The 1830 Convention delegates concluded: ‘(There) is not a fact in the whole course of this outrage, not a fact in the whole history of the transaction, so alarming as this forced silence of the press, muzzled, shackled and influenced by the fraternity’. (p.91)’The facts have never yet been published by the majority of papers in the state of New York. In more distant places not a word is said of the matter, or only something to mislead and betray…’ (p.89)

One other report to the 1830 Convention, compiled by ex-Masons, described the content of the then 43 degrees of ‘the Rite’ with brief histories, cyphers and passwords of each. It stated that the establishment of the Royal Arch Degree occurred in France in 1747, and ‘that Moses Michael Hayes, a Jew, introduced it with the still deeper mysteries into this country by a patent, dated 6th of December 1778.’ Severe consequences for ‘American Freemasonry’ followed. Hundreds of lodges closed, and membership numbers plummeted:

The Order’s detractors had only been waiting for a golden opportunity like this. While New York State had 400 lodges in 1826, the groundswell would leave behind only seventy five in 1835, and the three supreme councils of the Ancient and Accepted (Scottish) Rite that had been coexisting ceased all activity.[xxxiii]

Further exposes of rituals were published by clergy resentful of ‘Freemasonry’ for poaching adherents, and seemingly terrified that a bridge to the ineffable had been made known, nay, disturbed with who knows what consequences. Applying public process to punish blatant breaches of man-made law was one thing, dealing with determined agents of unknown, ‘other-worldly’ forces was quite another. If a door to that fearsome world had been opened it must be closed and triple barred. Solid pillars of this world must be reinforced, and even the nation’s creation myths must be shown to be sound. That of ‘the Founding Fathers’ was still being built, that of ‘the Father of the Republic’ must be shown to be beyond question. George Washington had been publicly claimed and celebrated by ‘Freemasonry’ at his death in 1789. The taint must be expunged. ‘Generations yet unborn’ must be warned ‘should hereafter an effort be made to revive the base, the murderous and detestable institution’, known as ‘Freemasonry’.[xxxiv]  A letter Washington’s Chief Justice, John Marshal, wrote in 1833 but only published after his death showed that in his youth he had also been ‘made a Mason’:

In addition to the motives, which usually actuate young men, I was induced to become a candidate for admission into the society, by the assurance that the brotherly love which pervaded it and the duties imposed on its members, might be of great service to me in the vicissitudes of fortune to which a soldier was exposed. I followed the crowd for a time without attaching any importance to its object or giving myself the trouble to inquire why others did. It soon lost its attraction…I have not been in one of them [lodges] for more than forty years, except once, on an invitation to accompany General La Fayette, nor have I been a member of one of them for more than thirty. It was impossible not to perceive the useless pageantry of the whole exhibition …I thought it a mere plaything, which would live its hour and pass away, until the murder or abstraction of Morgan was brought before the public (pp.2-3) (My emphasis)

The Marshal letter was accompanied when published by a ‘Vindication of General Washington’ which consisted of extracts from the records of the US House of Representatives, for January and March 1837. These extracts documented references to Washington’s Final Address made in his 1836 Annual Address by Virginia’s State Governor to his legislature, and the Report of a House Committee set up to clarify the accuracy of those references. The Governor had said that Washington ‘had sent forth his last and most solemn warning against “that spirit of lawless combination unknown to our open and equal institutions and opposed to the genius of republicanism.”’ The Governor had gone on to name ‘the Society of Freemasonry’ as ‘the fruitful mother’ of at least some of the ‘regularly “organised, oath bound, secret working, wide spread and powerful societies” which had, in his day, become ‘the chief evil of the times.’ The committee’s Report contained the detailed response by the Governor which centred on fraudulent claims that Washington and other well-known men had been committed and enthusiastic Masons. He wrote: ‘No occurrence in my life ever afforded me greater pleasure than that of being called upon officially, to vindicate the memory of Washington from the stigma of adherence to secret combinations.’ (p.8)

One seceded brother and Anti-Masonic organiser, HD Ward, published the words of well-known Masonic writers to mock the Order’s pretensions to have an ancient history: for example, the claims that ‘From the commencement of the world, we may trace the formulation of Masonry’; that the [initiate’s] white apron is more ancient than the Golden Fleece or the Roman Eagle; or that Solomon built his Temple in order to re-discover the lost word, which was God’s true name.[xxxv] A highly decorated ‘white Mason’, Charles Mitchell described as ‘bogus’ claims made by Prince Hall and others to have been made Master Masons in 1775 by the officers of a white regimental lodge chartered by London’s GL. These men, ‘their minds inflamed to an extraordinary degree of madness, hatred and dislike’, established the African Grand Lodge of Modern Masons of Massachusetts, ‘now the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts’, thereby introducing ‘the blackest page in masonic history.’ These ‘ignoramuses and peddlers of Masonic falsehood’ deserved all the vitriol being heaped upon them by failing to observe Masonic law allegedly followed and strictly adhered to by every well-regulated and lawful Masonic Grand Lodge since 1717 ‘down to the present day and not otherwise.’ (Mitchell, p.3) There is much more of the same ill-tempered re-writing of Masonic history.

‘Freemasonry’ was under siege, and, some hoped, close to extinction, but while breath remained, there was chance of revival. But in what form, and who would determine the result? In the words of Stephen Bullock, recent US scholar, ‘The York Rite’, now known by some as the ‘American’, and ‘the Scottish Rite’, survived because they improved internal structures and became more sacred. The ‘Andersonian contradiction’ was continuing to survive despite everything that was being thrown at it.

The Church of Latter Day Saints, aka Mormonism, was founded by men supposedly attracted to ‘the Order’ by its mythical historiography, and by claims that ‘Freemasonry’ was the only moral system which had ‘withstood the wreck of time (all others having) sunk into oblivion’.  It supposedly provided ‘eternal and invariable principles of natural religion.’  (Homer, 1994, pp.15-16) The Book of Mormon, first published in 1830, purported to be a history of inhabitants of the American continent from the time of the Tower of Babel to 400AD during which period two civilisations perished in large part because they did not prevent the growth of ‘secret societies’ or their use of secret signs and words. One of the Book’s last ‘prophets’ warned future generations against ‘secret combinations’ and their ‘works of destruction.’ (Homer, p.19) By 1840, Masonic membership in the USA was down to little more than 2,000, but there were not many more baptized Mormons. In Illinois, Masonic ‘Grand Master Jonas, perhaps to obtain Mormon votes in the next (municipal) election and further his own political ambitions’ issued on his own authority dispensations to establish a number of Masonic lodges whose membership was to be exclusively Mormon. (Homer, pp.27-28) The consequent hostilities produced numerous charges and counter-charges, including that Mormonism had stolen its ritual from ‘Freemasonry’. Illinois Mormons had a Masonic Temple built as part of an attempt to dominate that state’s ‘Masonry’ but their lodges had been dis-established and declared clandestine by the time of its celebrated opening. Hostilities became nasty. Two founders of the Mormonised lodges, the two Smith brothers, were assassinated by a mob ‘which included a number of Freemasons.’ (Homer, pp. 30-31) In Homers words, when tempers cooled, the autonomous Mormon hierarchy taught that: ‘Joseph Smith (one of those assassinated) had expanded, revised and restored the rituals of Freemasonry which …originated in Solomon’s Temple but had been corrupted during the Great Apostasy.’ (Homer, pp.38-40)

In-house ‘historians’ of the Latter Day Saints [‘the Mormons’ or the LDS] continued the sport of falsifying history. A genuine reform movement of apostates and others had to fight hard to even get a realistic account published. A pioneer in this effort, DM Quinn, was excommunicated for pointing out some of the events not covered by ‘faithful scholars’:

…In 1857 the US President sent federal troops to invade the Mormon capital of Salt Lake City. Congress passed its first anti-Mormon law in 1862. In 1879 Mormonism was the cause for the US Supreme Court’s first limitation on the free expression of religion. In 1887, Congress declared Mormonism an organised rebellion, disincorporated the LDS church and confiscated its assets. By 1890 Congress was prepared to deny civil rights to all members of the LDS church... [xxxvi]

Quinn and others have documented the ‘stunning turnabout’ over the hundred years since those events. The LDS has not given up its dream of rescuing the USA and even the whole world from chaos and internal dissension, but by changing its tactics the LDS church had by 1990 ‘become the darling of the Republican White House and of such middle class barometers as The Readers Digest.’

[i] RF Gould, ‘Freemasonry in Spain’, in A History of Freemasonry, Vol 3, 1886, p.266.

[ii] D Merchant and P Rich, ‘French Perspectives on Mexican Secret Societies’, Paper to Albuquerque-American Culture Association, March 2001 – copy on line, 2017.

[iii] S Morris, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry, Penguin, 2013 (2nd edn), np.

[iv] Wikipedia ‘The Scottish Rite’ – seen 2018.

[v] B Elzas, Jews in South Carolina – from the Earliest Times to the Present Day‘, Philadelphia, 1905, p.132 – Copy from Forgotten Books.

[vi] D Merchant and P Rich Paper, ‘French Perspectives…’, 2001.

[vii] C Vail, The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry, 1909, p.180 – published by Forgotten Books 2016.

[viii] S Morris, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry, Penguin, 2006, Ch 9.

[ix] Web-site ‘The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry’, Supreme Council 33*, Southern Jurisdiction, USA (sighted 2018) – quoting S Morris, ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry’, Chapter 9, Penguin, 2009.

[x] P Johnson, A History of the Jews, Hachette, 2004, p.317.

[xi] N Ferguson, The Rothschilds, Vol 1, Penguin 1999, p.4.

[xii] V Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati, PhD, Columbia U, 1918, p.11 – published by Forgotten Books 2016.

[xiii] J Wood, A Full Exposition of the Clintonian Faction and the Society of the Columbian Illuminati, 1802, p.27 – published by Forgotten Books, 2016. See also: V Stauffer, New England and the Bavarian Illuminati, PhD, Columbia, 1918 – FB’s 2016.

[xiv] M Homer, ‘“Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry”: The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism’, Dialogue, Vol 27, No 3, p.11. On-line, 2017.

[xv] J Arroyo, Writing Secrecy in Caribbean Freemasonry, Palgrave, 2013.

[xvi] N Ferguson, The Rothschilds, Vol 1, Penguin, 1999, pp.132-133.

[xvii] J McLeish, Highlights of the Mexican Revolution, orig 1918, reprinted 2017 by Forgotten Books.

[xviii] P Rich & G de Los Reyes, ’Freemasonry in Latin America – Problems in the Historiography of Mexican Freemasonry, Vol 1’, (nd given, prob 1996- available on line). The biographer of Poinsett’s opposite number, British diplomat Ward, commented: ‘The part played by freemasonry [sic] in Mexican internal politics at that time was very significant. The details, which are of Byzantine complexity, are covered in Professor Michael Costelloe’s excellent book…(which) is published only in Spanish.’ (Johnson, 1992, fn 6, p.284) Ward claimed to his HO employers that he was unable to distinguish the York from the Scottish Rite even when he was writing home that Poinsett, was furthering his country’s interests by playing one Masonic faction against another.[xviii]

[xix] S Frahm, The Cross and the Compass: Freemasonry and Religion, Palibrio, 2014, pp.3-4.

[xx] Other brief versions are: P Ingram, Early Mexican Freemasonry A Confused Chapter in Our History, The Skirrett-on-line, 2017; C Martinez, Benito Juarez His Masonic Formation, Heritage and Struggles, 2010, My Freemasonry-on-line, 2017.

[xxi] Eva Petras, ‘The Relationship between Tohotom Nagy and Cardinal Mindzenty’, in Betekinto (The On-line Journal of the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security) 2/2016 viewed 3/2018.

[xxii] G de los Reyes, ‘Freemasonry and Civil Society’, REHMLAC, Special Issue UCLA, 2013, p.196, fn 3.

[xxiii] S Knott, Secret and Sanctioned – Covert Operations and the American Presidency, OUP, 1996, pp.107-117.

[xxiv] Diplomatic Records – A Select Catalogue of National Archives microfilm publications, Washington, 1986, pp.17, 60.

[xxv] Papers of Sir Charles Vaughan, American Historical Review, Jan, 1902, – published by Forgotten Books, 2016.

[xxvi] Ward to Vaughan, 27 Oct, 1826, ‘Papers…’, 1902, p.326.

[xxvii] Rich, de los Reyes, Lara ‘Smuggling Masonic Books to Mexico’, in do los Hoyes and Morris, Freemasonry in Context, Lexington, 2004, p.251.

[xxviii] Editorial footnote to letter Ward to Vaughan, 27 Oct, 1826, ‘Papers of Sir Charles Vaughan’, 1902, p.326.

[xxix] W Manning, ‘Poinsett’s Mission to Mexico’, on-line reprinted from American Journal of International Law, pp.787-95.

[xxx] H Putnam, Joel Robert Poinsett A Political Biography, p.221.

[xxxi] M Homer, “Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry”: The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism, Dialogue, Vol 27, No 3, 1994. On-line, 2017.

[xxxii] Proceedings of the US Anti-Masonic Convention, Philadelphia, 1830– published by Forgotten Books, 2016.

[xxxiii] A de Keghel, American Freemasonry: Its Revolutionary History and Challenging Future, Simon & Schuster, 2017.

[xxxiv] J Ritner, Vindication of George Washington from the Stigma of Adherence to Secret Societies, nd, 1840 ?, Forgotten Books, 2016.

[xxxv] Anon, (HD Ward), Free Masonry, New York, 1830 – Forgotten Books edn, 2016.

[xxxvi] DM Quinn, ‘Introduction’, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1994, p.i.