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Freemasonry and the French Revolution

The Bible prophecy of Revelation 11 centers around events that took place in France during the French Revolution. The power that ruled in France during the Revolution, is symbolized by the "beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" (Rev. 11:7). It is a power that goes on to play a prominent role during the end-times clear up until the second coming of Jesus (see the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit in Revelation 17). Because the French Revolution, like many other revolutions throughout Europe and the New world, is inseparable from Freemasonry and its web of secret societies, history points us directly to Freemasonry as the fulfilment of this symbol.
  1. The ideas of Freemasonry were at the heart of the French revolution: liberty, equality and brotherhood.

  2. The key leaders in the revolution were Freemasons.

  3. The commander of the National Guard, La Fayette, and approximately 40% of his officers, were Freemasons.

  4. The Duke of Orleans, who's cousin was the King of France before the monarchy fell in 1793, was an active Freemason and Grand Master of the Grand Orient. He was later considered, by Metternich (virtual ruler of Austria), as also being at the head of the 1830 revolt in France (Richard Metternich, "Memoirs of Prince Metternich - 1880 - Vol 05," http://elib.at/index.php/Metternich_-_Memoirs_of_Prince_Metternich_-_1880_-_Vol_05).

  5. Key political players were Freemasons, including 247 of the 749 members elected during the third parliament and election committees members.

  6. When the constitutional National Assembly was formed, at least 320 of the 1336 delegates to the Estates-General were Freemasons (Translated and developed by Hans Kracke from a paper written by Gerhard Teubel, "Freemasonry and the French Revolution", http://www.euclidlodge158.com/Freemasonry_and_the_French_Revolution_-_Part_1.pdf).

  7. The resulting leadership under Napoleon was predominently made up of Freemasons. When Napoleon formed his government in the early 1800s, the number of lodges grew from 300 to 1,220 in only ten years (Lionel A. Bouchon and Didier Grau, "Napoleon & Empire", accessed 4 Sep 2015, http://www.napoleon-empire.com/freemason.php). Nearly all who were appointed to high positions were members of the Craft and higher Degrees. This included five or six out of the six who formed the Grand Council, six out of the nine lesser Imperial officers of state and twenty-two of the first thirty marshals. All of Napoleon's brothers were Masons with some ruling as kings of Spain, Holland and Westphalia. His step-son, brother-in-law and nephew were also Freemasons ("Napoleon I", Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, http://encyclopediaoffreemasonry.com/n/napoleon-i/). According to Jack Buta, a Freemason writing for the Pietre Stones website, "it became the fashion for everyone who wished to please the emperor to become a Mason" (Jack Buta, "The Life and times of Alexandre Francois Auguste Comte De Grasse", http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/scottish_rite_founder.html).
Freemasons were involved throughout the political spectrum, from radicals to royalists. What started out as a noble fight for freedom, however, descended into chaotic, bloody anarchy. The United Masters Lodge No. 167, a Lodge of Masonic Research in Auckland, New Zealand, published a report on Masonic involvement in the French Revolution in 1996. It states that "In this first and successful trial of strength the freemasons were leading everywhere... Slowly but surely the freemasons lose control of the situation" ("Trial of Strength", Published by United Masters Lodge No. 167, http://www.euclidlodge158.com/Freemasonry_and_the_French_Revolution_-_Part_2.pdf).

The French Revolution, though initiated by Freemasons, turned out in ways they hadn't planned. The moralless and cruel events that followed were shocking. In fact, many Freemasons perished during those years as they fought for higher ideals. Others abondoned higher principles when the going got tough. Others had a different interpretation of Masonic ideas to begin with, involving them in horrific actions when under pressure. "At first, the public admired the Freemasons and their motto of 'Libertie! Egalitie! Fraternitie!' (Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood!) But the Revolution quickly degenerated into years of murder and terror, and many people began to identify the Masons with those years of madness" (Christopher Hodapp 320, Past Master, "Freemasons for Dummies", published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2005, page 41-42).

The Freemasonic web of secret societies:

Freemason lodges were established in France by the 1730s and went on to become extremely popular. This gave rise to various organizations that copied its structure and policies. These secret clubs and societies recruited from the ranks of Freemasonry membership. Some Freemason historians assert that these various pseudo-Masonic organizations perverted genuine Freemasonry for political ends and gave rise to the conspiracy theories so abundant today ("A Full History of Freemasonry", An address by Jeremy Pemberton at the Centenary Conference of the Grand Lodge of South Australia, Reproduced on the Grand Lodge of South Australia and Northern Territory's website, http://www.santfreemasons.org.au/content/full-history-freemasonry).

The chaotic Revolution in France is a reflection of the confused state of Freemasonry in France at the time. Before and after that time, dozens of Masonic groups and orders formed, developing almost 1,400 different degree rituals (Christopher Hodapp 320, Past Master, "Freemasons for Dummies", published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2005, page 41-42). There were various ideas on how best to go about achieving revolution and reform, which was apparent in the chaos of the revolutionary years.
"Not only was France the home of many Masonic lodges, but its social system was riddled with mystical societies which gathered their initiates from among the adepts of Masonic grades, and owned allegiance to no supreme council... A great number of sects and rites were instituted in all parts of Europe, whose unity consisted in a common Masonic initiation, but whose aims, doctrines, and practices were often irreconcilable" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 74).
The Jacobins and the controversial Illuminati are both organizations that gained momentum during this same time. There has been much effort by conspiracy theorists to link the Jacobins and Illuminati to Freemasonry. Even if the clubs were not officially linked, their formation was patterned after Freemasonry, with the various system of degrees, secrecy, instruction and organization, which certainly reveals the strong influence and prominent position of Freemasonry. In any case, according to Freemasons themselves, there do appear to be certain links. We will briefly look at some evidence in this regard, beginning with the Jacobins.
Jacobins
The Jacobin Club, named after the location where they met in the Rue St. Jacques (Latin: Jacobus), grew quickly, gaining an estimated membership of 420,000 throughout France. A good number of French Freemasons became Jacobins (Margaret C. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment, page 208).
"Contacts and co-operation between French freemasonry and the Club of Jacobins are mostly accepted by historians. The club when transformed according with the revolutionary strategy defined by Robespierre or Mirabeau, acted according to freemasonry rites, rules of secrecy and organization what helps to understand its expansion to all French territory" ("A Shortened History of Freemasonry in Portugal", English version by W.Bro. Don Falconer, Source 24, http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/arnaldoGeng.html).
"The Lodge Les Neuf Soeurs was a prominent lodge attached to the Grand Orient de France that was particularly influential in organising French support for the American Revolution and later in the intellectual ferment that preceded the French Revolution. Benjamin Franklin was a member of this Lodge when he was serving as liaison in Paris. Some notable French revolutionaries were Freemasons, including Voltaire, Marquis de Lafayette, Marquis de Condorcet, Mirabeau [some report that he was not a mason, but was a Jacobin], Georges Danton, the Duke of Orleans, and Hebert. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, a leader of the Liberal Aristocracy, was the Grand Master of the Grand Orient at the time of the French Revolution. In some parts of France, the Jacobin Clubs were continuances of Masonic lodges from the Ancien Regime, and according to historian Alan Forrest "some early clubs, indeed, took over both the premises and much of the membership of masonic lodges, before rebadging themselves in the new idiom of the revolution" ("Grand Orient de France", Wikipedia, accessed 18 Aug 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Orient_de_France).
It was the Jacobins, who are credited with bringing about the worst aspects of the revolution. After gaining momentum and being able to sway the opinions of leaders early on, they took the next step of directly taking power in 1792 (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 31). There were many other opposing groups, such as the Cordeliers, the Society of 1789, the Feuillants, and the powerful Girondins. The Girondins, made up largely of Freemasons, disagreed with the methods used by the Jacobins, but were eventually killed as so many others.

The reign of the Jacobins is termed the "Reign of Terror" in France, during which persecutions and abuses of power flourished. Freemasonry denounces the excesses of the French Revolution under the Jacobins, and understandably would try to distance itself from such actions. Though there are differences of opinion on the extent of the connection, the evidence indicates that there was, at least for a time, a degree of cooperation. Historian Una Birch researched the planning of the revolution and coordination among secret societies and states: "The old theoretical discussions within the lodges as to how the Revolution should be conducted, produced in action the widest divergences, and Jacobins, Girondins, Hebertists, Dantonists, Robespierrists, in consequence destroyed each other" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 90).
Illuminati
The Illuminati was founded on May 1, 1776 by Adam Weishaupt. It was modeled after Freemasonry (Margaret C. Jacob, Living the Enlightenment, page 201). It had a slow start until a prominent diplomat joined them in 1780 by the name of Baron Adolf Franz Friederich Knigge. According to historian Vernon L. Stauffer, writing on the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon's website, Knigge effected an alliance between the Illuminati and Freemasonry and the Order grew rapidly. Furthermore, recruits were gained from the lodges of Freemasonry. Weishapt also "caused all his own disciples to become masons" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 80). By 1784 there were between two and three thousand members, spread across multiple countries. Una Birch describes the integration of these two societies:
"At the great Convention of Masonry held at Wilhelmsbad in 1782, the Order of the Strict Observance was suspended, and Von Knigge disclosed the scheme of Weishaupt to the assembled representatives of the Masonic and mystical fraternities. Then and there, disciples of Saint-Martin and of Willermooz, as well as statesmen, scientists, magicians, and magistrates from all countries, were converted to Illuminism. Illuminati doctrines percolated everywhere through the lodges of Europe... So well did the Illuminati missionaries work that by 1788 every lodge under the Grand Orient - and they numbered in that year 629 - is said to have been indoctrinated with the system of Weishaupt" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 88-89).
But, despite Wishaupt's "great scheme for the amalgamation of secret socities" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 117.), the success of the Illuminati was not to last long. Over the next several years, the growingly suspicious and alarmed government issued edicts against the Order. One of the leader's houses was searched and the secrets of the order were exposed. Thus, it became known, by the admission of its own leaders, that the Order was apparently devoted to the overthrow of religion and state. The organization was impressive.
"Being an ex-Jesuit and acquainted with the organization of that order, he [Wishaupt] determined to adapt its system to his own scheme, to make as it were a counter-society of Jesus. All the maxims and rules of Jesuit administration were to be pushed further and applied more rigorously than had been contemplated by their inventors. Passive obedience, universal espionage, and all the dialectic of casuistry were his chosen tools; and so successful was the undertaking that in four years a system of communication and information with every part of Europe had been established. The unseen hands of the society were in all affairs, its ears in the cabinets of princes and cardinals" (Una Birch and James Wasserman, Secret Societies, page 82).
When the documents found by the police were published, it created a huge sensation. The rapid events caused many of the Order's enemies to doubt that it had really come to an end. Popular belief in the survival of the defunct Order of the Illuminati was kept alive and further fed by conspiracy theorists (Vernon L. Stauffer ph.D., "The European Illuminati", Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon, http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/anti-masonry/stauffer.html).
"Since 1989 it is possible to search for and look at freeason documents in the Special Archive in Moscow... Also among those is volume X of the so-called Swedish Box, which played an important role in the history of the freemasons. This is mainly a collection of files, letters and documents of the Order of the Illuminati, founded by Adam Weishaupt during the second half of the 18th century, which systematically infiltrated the lodges of those days. For this reason and because quite a number of distinguished freemasons were - at least for some time - members of this order, the Illuminati have become an essential part of the history of the freemasons" (Ulrich Wolfgang, The Material Losses of the German Freemasons, Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry, accessed 18 Aug 2016, http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/nazigerm.html).
The connections and cooperation between the Illuminati and Freemasonry are extensive.

The continuing role of Freemasonry in France:

Freemasonry continues to play an important political role in France to this day. In an article by Joshua Levine, he shares the comments of Pierre Mollier, director of archives at the Grand Orient de France. The article reads that "from 1880 to 1905, the Grand Orient battled the Catholic Church for the soul of France, and still considers the Third Republic its stepchild. 'The Republican party took its support from the Freemasons-a third of the deputies were Masons,' says Mollier. 'All of the Third Republic's progressive legislation comes from here,' he says, pointing around him at the Grand Orient's headquarters on the Rue Cadet. 'The current presidential candidates all knocked on our door this year. For an English or an American Freemason, that's just horrible!'" ( Joshua Levine, "France: Where Freemasons Are Still Feared", accessed 9-5-2015, http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-04-19/france-where-freemasons-are-still-feared#p2). In 1901, French Freemasonry developed the Radical Party, which implemented a new political order in France, bringing about a modern political party system (Avner Halpern, "Freemasonry and party building in late 19th-Century France," Modern & Contemporary France, Vol. 10, Iss. 2, 2002, page 197, accessed 1-12-14, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09639480220126134?tab=permissions#tabModule). This launched what is known as the second golden age of Freemasonry in France.

The French Revolution is the tip of the iceberg:

The French Revolution was dramatic and reshaped Europe forever. However, it was just the tip of the iceberg. Freemasons were key to spreading enlightened ideas and shaping politics throughout Europe. They have implemented revolutions throughout Europe and the New World, obtained great political achievements, and controlled key government positions in some of the mightiest nations on earth. In addition to Masons themselves becoming presidents, prime ministers, judges, and other leaders, the extent of their influence over non-masonic rulers and leaders cannot be measured. It is also noteworthy that prominent Masons have significantly influenced art, music, science, entertainment and culture.

Thus, it is not surprising that the "beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" in Revelation 11 (representing the Freemasonry-led Roman realm as manifested in France during the French Revolution) reappears in Revelation 17 (representing the Freemasonry-led Roman realm as manifested in the USA while the papacy ascends from death back into power) as it becomes the dominant political influence within the Roman realm during the seventh period of Revelation (Head #7 - 1840 to the Second Coming).

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