Zoroaster and the Seventy-Two Master Masons of Baal: Roots of American Democracy
by Bill White
The American Republic was founded, and in its earliest years maintained, by a group of individual who were high – in many cases 33rd degree – members of Scottish Rite Freemasonry – or other Freemasonic organizations. The Freemasonry of the 18th Century had its roots in a number of Medieval movements and tendencies, many grafted onto Germanic and Northern European nationalism and resistance to the Catholic Church, and developed, particularly in France and Southern Germany, into the seed of Bolshevism which eventually took root in and conquered Russia, Eastern Europe, and much of the non-European world. The roots of these medieval movements can be traced to a late Dark Ages belief about Zoroaster and the 72 master masons of Baal.
This idea is touched on in, but not unique to, the introduction of theProse Edda, where the story is briefly told of how the descendants of Ham – the Hamites, primarily Egyptians and Western/Northern Semites – conquered the descendants of Sem – Semites, primarily Hebrews, Babylonians, and Semites of the Arabian peninsula – and built the tower of Babel, which intended as a means to breach heaven. Zoroaster – whose name was erroneously interpreted as “living star” – managed seventy-two master masons in this enterprise. God struck them down, and each of the seventy-two went on to found a language and a people. The Hebrews maintained the original language and faith and founded Babylon; Zoroaster shortly afterwards became the king of Babylon and Assyria and demanded to be worshipped under the name of Baal. His associate on the isle of Crete was Saturnus; it has been argued in a previous essay Saturnus is linked to the idea of Satan.
The idea that Zoroaster and his master masons attempted to breach heaven via the tower of Babel and that they were at the heart of “sorcery, magic and astrology” was current in Europe no later than the 6th Century AD, when Gregory of Tours relates that Zoroaster is Chus, son of Ham, and that he “knew the art of making stars and fire fall from heaven”, among other powers, and built the tower of Babel. His son, Nimrod, founded Babylon.
As Viktor Rydberg has shown in his Teutonic Mythology, Gregory’s ideas are derived from the writings of Pliny, Ammianus Marcellinus, and various church fathers, including Orosius. Because of his Persian associations, and the general belief that Persian religion was primarily magical, Pliny identifies Zoroaster as the founder of magic in the 1st Century AD. Ammianus Marcellinus connects him to Babylon by the Fourth Century AD. Orosius shows this connection to the learning integrated by the Catholic Church.
The “72 grandsons of Noah” were known by the early Anglo-Saxon period, perhaps the 7th or 8th century, in works such as the “Dialogue between Saturn and Solomon”. The idea remained current and acceptable into the 17th Century – Henricus Cornelius Agrippa mentions it in his 16th century De Occulta Philosophia and refers to the masons as the 72 languages; the 72 elders in the synagogue; the 72 commentators on the Old Testament; Christ’s 72 disciples; God’s 72 names; the 72 angels who govern the 72 divisions of the Zodiac, each division of which corresponds to one of the 72 languages”. The idea of 72 races of men was current as late as 1647, in which an edition of Sulpicius Severus’ Opera Omnia notes the number 72 may not be “entirely exact”.
The story of the Tower of Babel has a relative in the Classic tradition, in the story of Otus and Ephialtes, two giants who attempt to stack three mountains upon each other to storm Olympus, during the revolt of the giant race against the gods – a time generally linked to the revolt of the serpent-god Typhon.
During the 12th and 13th centuries a schism erupted between the Germanic nations of the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church. The issue was which institution preserved the prerogative of empire – of temporal power over Europe. The Holy Roman Empire claim this for its Emperor; the Catholic Church for its Pope. Later, after the Hundred Years’ War, France would generally support the Pope. The outcome of this struggle, which crystallized as the Guelph-Ghibelline crisis, was the submission of the German Emperor to the Pope.
However, German nationalism, and the national sentiment of Northern Europe in general, remained latent. Christianization of Northern Europe continued throughout the 15th Century, with the conversion of Lithuania being the end of the last officially non-Christian monarchy of Europe. Shortly afterwards, the Reformation erupted, fueled primarily by the national inspirations of England, the component German states of the Holy Roman Empire, and the Nordic countries. Anglicanism was explicitly national, but the adoption of Lutheranism, Calvinism and other religious doctrines by governments in Germany and Scandinavia was fueled by a desire for freedom from perceived foreign and Catholic domination.
Protestantism was widely financed by Jews, particularly the Rabbis of Amsterdam. After the newly united government of Spain purged its Jews in the 15th Century, the Jewish population fled to the trading capitols of Amsterdam and Venice. Amsterdam and the Low Countries were essentially a Spanish province, but the Rabbis financed the Protestant movements there, and, from there. Britain, which produced both Dutch and Belgian independences and Oliver Cromwell – as well as a return to Britain, from which they’d been expelled, and the Bank of England. Lutheranism, originally embraced by and with Jews, lost favor after Luther published his work “The Jews and Their Lies”.
Yet religious turmoil and the wars which followed led to the spread of occultist movements throughout Europe. In Italy, there was a rediscovery of Classical literature, and in Germany, occultist movements grew as religious chaos resulted from Protestant demands for “liberty”. England was also a fertile ground, as Protestants, in the 17th Century, deposed the monarchy in a quest for religious freedom. Only France, among the Northwestern powers of Europe, remained solidly Catholic – its historic enmity with Britain and Germany almost demanded it.
With the expansion of the printing press, occultist movements, and educated people in general, became acquainted with the ideas of democracy and republic that had been propounded by the ancients. In England, whose parliament had been a product of a feudal system with a relatively weak king, and which was essentially oligarchical, rather than democratic, democratic ideas of the Republic, which integrates the monarchy, oligarchy and democracy, could lead to the bicameral legislature and Constitutional monarchy. On the continent, parliaments did not exist to be modified.
Into this environment of religious chaos comes the idea of Baal. As discussed in a previous essay, Baal, classically, is associated with ideas of “progress” and “liberation” – in technical advance and in the expression of material desires. Baal was worshipped by burning the ash tree; he was the god who first gave man fire from the ash tree; he was worshipped as the ash spear; his age was associated with violence and warfare by Hesiod (the third age of the men of the ash spear). As Dionysus, or Liber, he was worshipped with sexual orgies, drunkenness, and the eating of raw flesh and the drinking of blood. Throughout Europe, Baal was associated with the wolf and predatory beasts. His daughter, Sat-Baal, or Cybele, was similarly associated with ecstatic rites. Her priests often castrated themselves to undo the essentially homosexual act of creation of Caenus – known to the Hebrews as Cain.
So into the essentially anti-Catholic struggle for national liberation waged by the German nobility and Northern European monarchy came this anti-religious theory, under worship of the God Liber, which told of how Zoroaster-Liber-Dionysius-Baal and his seventy-two master masons performed the “great work” of trying to build the tower of Babel to surmount to God. Being anti-Catholic, just like Protestantism, it was able to capitalize on that religious feeling and integrate into it demands for a variety of forms of predatory “liberties” and a variety of occult philosophies, including, eventually, Kabbalism and other Jewish notions. To operate in society, it masqueraded as a guild, and posed as merely an “enlightened” form of Christianity or, later, “Deism”.
The 17th and 18th centuries then became characterized by the battle between this “Enlightenment” philosophy – the light of Lucifer the Morning Star – and the traditional (by that time) Catholic monarchies of Europe, particularly that of France. This turned into a revolutionary movement of the bourgeoisie – and produced both the American and French Revolutions. In the 19th Century, it would be absorbed by, and dissolve into, Communism, which would reach its own epitome in the 20th Century, to appear in the 21st as Social Democracy.
Thus, a ben-ben pillar, symbolizing Caenus – the phoenix, Baal and the Biblical Cain – adorns the Washington Monument and a giant statue of Libera – Lady Liberty – adorns New York Harbor. As previously discussed, the worship of Baal dates back to the 2nd or probably 3rd millennium BC, if not earlier, and has been preserved through the occult doctrines and organizations which now control the United States.
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