The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasonry, and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus, is a . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. Lomas // The Hiram Key // Arrow, // Was Jesus a Freemason? of // Turning the Templar Key pdf file. The Book Of Hiram // ISBN // Jun Knight wrote The Brotherhood. All in all there have been over sixty accounts of Masonic ritual but they all have one thing in common. They were written with the .
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The Hiram Key. Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus. Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. BARNES. &soundofheaven.info 8 0 OKS. books of the Lemegeton in the same breath, Ars Almade!, Ars Notoria, and. Ars Paulina The Lesser Key of Solomon Grammar Practice for Upper Intermediate . Ships from and sold by soundofheaven.info The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus Paperback – August 1, Robert Lomas is the co-author of The Hiram Key, The Second Messiah, and Uriel's Machine.
These documents were more important to him than the women of his family, because when a fire broke out he insisted that these chests were rescued before his womenfolk. Theca ubi res pretiosa A place where a precious thing is deponitur concealed. In the mouth of the spring of the Temple: In Heath's own words:. The Copper Scroll and its copy or copies were intended to tell the Jewish survivors of the war then raging where this sacred material lay buried, so that if any should be found, it would never be dese- crated by profane use. Here the candidate is told the story of the murder of Hiram Abif, who, it is revealed, was the architect of King Solomon's Temple some three thousand years ago.
There are too many of you to thank individually but we are extremely grateful for all the material you have provided to enable us to create The Masonic Testament. Jenny Finder and her library staff at the Bradford University School of Management for their continuing good-natured support, and ability to pro- cure long-lost books.
Geraint Lomas and Josh Gourlay for their tireless efforts in scanning and proof-reading vast tracts of ritual for the Web of Hiram. Professor Jim Charlesworth of Princeton University for his support in pro- posing an excavation at Rosslyn.
Our agent Bill Hamilton of A. Heath Ltd, whose enthusiasm and focus helped keep us on track during the conception and protracted birth of this book. Our editor Mark Booth, whose guidance on how to present a very com- plex story has been invaluable. All the folk at Random House who did all the tedious production tasks which are so necessary to turn a manuscript into a finished book.
In par- ticular we would like to single out for special thanks Hannah Black who organised the team, Steve Cox who slugged away copy-editing and Carolyn McAndrew who proof-read it all. It is now thirteen years since we joined forces to research the origins and meaning of the weird rituals used by Freemasons.
For the first five years we had no intention of sharing our findings with anyone - inside or out- side of Freemasonry. But because what we found appeared to be of great importance we decided to write a book about our voyage of discovery, and much to our surprise The Hiram Key became an immediate bestseller that went on to be translated into well over thirty languages.
The rituals of Freemasonry form the most ancient oral tradition of the Western world. Our quest was far from over with the publication of our first book, and we went on to write two further books that led us through history right back to the astronomy-based culture of prehistoric Britain.
We found that the Freemasonic rituals formed an almost forgotten pathway through the past, linking together people and events that had previously been assumed to be unconnected. Many of our findings have challenged old ideas, but we have been pleased to receive the support of many leading scholars in various aspects of our work. We have been fortunate to receive a great deal of help over the years, and our quest has made startling progress.
However, there are two areas where we have found unexpected opposition. The first stems from the Roman Catholic Church. The second concerns our attempts to facilitate an archaeological investigation of a medieval building in Scotland that has become central to our investigation.
We became aware of hostility from the Catholic establishment from an early stage. Shortly after The Hiram Key hit the shops a small piece appeared in the Catholic Herald which was both balanced and open-minded. We were initially impressed by the paper's ability to be objective about a book that took an innovative approach to interpreting the history of Jesus Christ.
But in the next edition a second review appeared that spanned two pages, complete with photographs copied from our book and a banner headline proclaiming 'Chris and Bob's Bogus Adventure'. This time the article was far from balanced, full of venom for our book, for us as individuals and anyone else who was a 'drunken' Freemason. The aim was not to debate or even mention our findings, but to ridicule us and our views from start to finish. Our next book received the same treatment in a double-page spread filled with aggression that avoided any comment on the key issues we had raised.
Again it was clear that the reviewer had read the book with little care, because the rare references made, even to insignificant parts of the content, were completely wrong. When our third book came out we were waiting with interest to read the next attack from this corner of the Roman Catholic establishment. We were not disappointed. The producers of the Catholic Herald published a substantial review of Uriel's Machine with a bold headline that shouted 'Bogus Archaeology'.
This article told its readers at length that our work was complete nonsense, without ever mentioning our claims or even attempting to refute any evidence. We find it strange that a British Roman Catholic newspaper chose to run extensive reviews on three successive books, solely in order to label them utterly bogus.
Surely if a book is complete rubbish you ignore it, rather than waste time telling your readers how awful it is. Uriel's Machine had received favourable reviews from many newspapers, but then one appeared that was as aggressive and disingenuous as the Catholic Herald piece.
Shortly after the book came out we were interviewed by someone else who used exactly the same theme for an article later car- ried in the Daily Telegraph. Perhaps the strikingly similar approach was simply chance, but we later found that one-time religious correspondent Damian Thompson was no stranger to the Catholic Herald.
After spending the first quarter of an hour demonstrating his compre- hensive inability to operate a minidisc recorder, Thompson spent the rest of the two-hour interview repeatedly shouting: When his article appeared it made no reference to our core thesis but juxtaposed weird claims from other people's books with ref- erences to us, thus creating the false impression that we had said these things, or supported them in some way.
The lengthy headline read:. Welcome to the best selling world of bogus archaeology. Strange claims indeed; none of which we would accept. Thompson went on to try and discredit our work by stating that The Hiram Key had been 'rubbished by historians and critics alike'. He evidenced this claimed uni- versal rebuttal of our earlier work by quoting a headline from just one publication. That headline was 'Chris and Bob's Bogus Adventure'. Of course the quotation, with the now familiar 'bogus' theme, came from none other than The Catholic Herald.
Could we be on to something so important that some people believed we must be discredited?
One evening before the event the organiser, Professor Giancarlo Seri, received a phone call from Rome. On the line was a senior figure from the Roman Catholic Church asking if it was true that one of the authors of The Hiram Key was to address Italian Freemasons. Professor Seri told him it was, asked the caller if he had read the book and, if so, what he thought of it. The clergyman's reply was frank: It is an excel- lent book but there are certain things which should not be said.
We have great respect for the Roman Catholic Church, but we also believe that nobody has the right to prohibit the investigation of alterna- tive explanations of the past. In its dark period the Church tolerated no deviation from its account of the way the world is, murdering whole pop- ulations if it suspected them of harbouring ideas different to those it preached. From Galileo onwards it has been fighting a losing battle, but today it reluctantly accepts concepts such as Darwinian evolution.
So what is it about our humble research into the origins of Masonic ritual that seems to have touched such a very delicate nerve? We decided to find out, and this book describes our search. The second issue that we have to contend with is the resistance to a proper archaeological examination of the fifteenth-century Rosslyn Chapel that lies in the Lothian Hills just a little south of Edinburgh.
In The Hiram Key, our quest ended at this late medieval building in Scotland that we rea- soned might well contain documents originally buried under the Jerusalem Temple at the time when the earliest of the Gospels of the New Testament were being written down.
We put forward an argument that Rosslyn Chapel, as it is now called, is the repository of the most important Dead Sea Scrolls, which are likely to contain direct references to a messianic individual who is now remembered under his Greek designation of 'Jesus Christ'. We appreciate that this is, at first view, a strange claim but it is very well supported by evidence. The key points are:. Dr Miller also demonstrated that this oversized west wall was a copy of a ruin, and that it could not possibly be a part of any intended building.
These documents were more important to him than the women of his family, because when a fire broke out he insisted that these chests were rescued before his womenfolk. The layout of the pillars inside corresponds to the rituals of Freemasonry and is associated with ritual that states this is 'the key to finding the precious thing'.
When The Hiram Key was published one of the trustees of Rosslyn pub- licly stated that they would support an archaeological dig at the site if a team of world-class scholars, including leading Scottish academics, was assembled.
After we took Professor Charlesworth to Rosslyn, he did exactly that and put a detailed proposal for an investigation to the trustees in early To the best of our knowledge no response has been received. We have come to the conclusion that a proper archaeological investiga- tion of Rosslyn is not going to happen in the near future, and hence we are not going to be able to recover the concealed documents and the secret teachings we believe they contain.
The challenge we face is to get around this problem. Our starting point is the vast amount of old Masonic ritual that has been given to us over the years by supportive Freemasons. We set about the huge task of sorting and organising as much early Masonic material as we could, and then Robert proceeded to create a major website to allow this material to be viewed in a number of different sequences.
The website has proved to be an invaluable research tool for investigating the complex, convoluted and mainly discarded myths of Freemasonry. Once all of this old Freemasonic ritual was assembled into a form where it could be scanned and searched simply, the underlying story emerged with a new clarity.
A strange historical tale had been recorded in an almost random fashion across many Masonic degrees, often with considerable rep- etition. The historical content enabled the material to be sorted into chrono- logical sequence to create a book, similar to a Testament of the Bible, with much that mirrors the two existing Testaments but also containing addi- tional information only recorded in other contemporary Jewish documents such as the works of the first-century historian, Josephus.
But there was also a third layer of information that does not appear anywhere else at all. This, therefore, has to be either simple invention or some lost strand of knowledge that can shed a great deal of light on both the Old and the New Testament.
We have become convinced that it is the latter of these two options. As we started to plan The Book of Hiram we decided to restructure this material into a document that we called The Masonic Testament.
This forms Part Two of this book and it is made up of passages from Freemasonic ritual assembled in chronological order. The original ritual words are used as far as possible with only linking words added to allow the underlying story to be revealed. We see it as something akin to a missing book of the Bible.
We have used The Masonic Testament as a source document in Part One of this book and footnoted it with the abbreviation MT followed by the chapter and verse concerned, e.
Readers can check the validity of The Masonic Testament by looking up the precise words of each paragraph at a publicly accessible website Robert has created at the University of Bradford. It can be found at http: This academic resource that we have called The Web of Hiram has now been taken on to be maintained by the University of Bradford as a research tool available to everyone.
The website provides the supporting evidence for our claims, and for the first time allows any reader with access to the Net to see the detail behind the story we tell. Now that readers can judge our claims for them- selves, it is no longer necessary to rely on the opinions of third parties.
Our findings to date have led us to believe that there is a knowledge of ancient science at the heart of the almost lost rituals of Freemasonry.
In this, the final phase of our quest, we set out to find this missing science that appears to worry the Roman Catholic Church so much. Freemasonry is dying. For most people life is far more complicated than it was just a genera- tion ago. We work harder and we have more disposable income.
Long- term commitments are usually avoided at all costs. In an age when employment comes packaged as a series of renewable contracts and even marriage is out of vogue, it is not surprising that men no longer queue up to sign on for a lifetime of acting out odd-ball rituals in a local hall with no windows. Candidates for the Craft are expected to enter into a lifelong relationship with a lodge before learning what Freemasonry is.
They are given no advance warning of what they will be expected to do, or what benefit it will be to them. It is little wonder that the Grand Lodges who govern Freemasonry around the world are having difficulty in selling a proposition that does not meet any of the normal criteria of a marketable product.
An obvious question is 'Does the demise of this secretive Order really matter? But, as we will demonstrate in this book, Freemasonry is a major untapped source of information about our past that is in grave danger of being lost for ever. To lose the information buried within its rituals before it is properly under- stood would be throwing away one of the true treasures of the Western world. Wc both joined Freemasonry for the same reason: We wanted to know what was going on inside this secretive gentlemen's club and the only way to find out was to join.
We independently reasoned that becoming part of something so unknown was not too great a risk, as we could leave if we found it distasteful or simply boring. The rituals were every bit as strange as we imagined, but slowly it became evident that nobody, no matter how senior, could give us any clue what Masonry was really about.
The charitable work the Order espoused was impressive, and the morality taught within the rituals was of the highest order, but that did not begin to explain why Freemasons practise such bizarre rituals, which claim to be extremely ancient and to contain unusual lessons, referred to as mysteries.
When we joined Freemasonry the first mystery imparted to us was that the technology of building in stone is a sacred act that serves as a metaphor to aid spiritual understanding. Indeed, during the most important section of our First Degree we were explicitly told that our initiation into Freemasonry was identical to the laying of the foundation stone of a spir- itual building. The ritual says:. It is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices, to lay the first or foundation stone in the North-East corner of the building.
You, being newly initiated into Masonry are placed in the North-East part of the lodge, figuratively to represent that stone; and from the foundation laid this evening may you raise a super- structure, perfect in all parts and honourable to the builder.
Back in , when we joined forces to investigate the origins of Masonic ritual, our initial belief was that the whole thing was probably developed from bits and bats of esoteric tradition by a stream of romantic thinkers between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was not many months before we started to suspect that this casual assumption was way off course. Despite the widely held view that Freemasonry is an international broth- erhood wielding unseen power and influence for the benefit of its mem- bers, the reality is that it is not a single organisation any more than the Christian Church or the communist movement.
It is a loose idea, based on hundreds of esoteric rituals that claim varying amounts of antiquity. The term organisation seems inappropriate to a worldwide body that is so disparate and under-structured. Even the UGLE has no record of the membership of the thousands of lodges it directly controls in England and Wales, let alone the various Grand Lodges around the world that are affil- iated to it.
This absence of any information on members of the Craft as it is known within the brotherhood resembles the classical cell structure adopted by many secret organisations. Terrorist groups for instance operate on a tiered, need-to-know basis where each member is given the identity only of the few individuals with whom he has to have direct contact.
This protects the organisation from suffering serial damage should any outsider infiltrate its ranks. Modern Freemasonry is often described as a 'secret society', but it has sometimes preferred to describe itself as 'a society with secrets'.
These are portrayed by UGLE as being only a handful of unimportant ceremonial niceties such as passwords and grips distinctive handshakes which are supposedly intended to prevent non-Freemasons gaining admittance to a lodge. There are traditional penalties in each of the principal degrees of Freemasonry whereby the candidate swears to keep the secrets about to be imparted to him away from anyone who is not a member of that partic- ular degree.
These penalties were dropped from the UGLE-approved rit- uals a few years ago, but they remain in many other Grand Lodges, including that of Scotland. The obligations entered into are not insignificant, as they include having one's tongue or heart torn out, the throat cut and the body dismembered in a variety of imaginative ways. According to the officially approved history of Masonry nothing is known for sure about the brotherhood prior to the installation of Anthony Sayer as Grand Master on Midsummer's day , when a group of London- based Freemasons established a Grand Lodge.
However there was nothing particularly 'Grand' about a handful of men from four pubs agreeing to get together as a formal unit, especially as Freemasonry was alive and well in many other towns and cities, especially in Scotland.
The self-inflicted amnesia about early Freemasonry that struck this little band of Londoners was entirely understandable. The supporters of the deposed Stuarts the Jacobites hatched a number of plots to overthrow the new Protestant dynasty. After an indecisive battle with the government forces, the Jacobites surrendered at Preston in Lancashire. Freemasonry was known to be closely associated with the Stuarts, and with Scotland in general, so to admit to being a member of the Order was tantamount to admitting support for a terrorist organisation dedicated to the overthrow of the king.
In the same year as the Grand Lodge of London was formed the so-called Triple Alliance was negotiated between Great Britain, France and the Netherlands to guarantee the succession of the reigning inonarchs in their respective countries. With the Jacobite struggle apparently lost, this was not a good time to be branded an enemy of the state.
What better time to make sure you kept no central records of mem- bership? The famous architect and founder member of the Royal Society, Sir Christopher Wren, was Grand Master of Freemasonry prior to , but he, and many others like him, simply walked away from the Order rather than risk social exclusion or even arrest.
Today it is officially denied. Once English Freemasonry disowned its Jacobite heritage the need for secrecy was gone, and the lack of a central membership list today surely reflects an absence of need rather than deliberate policy.
When the UGLE wishes to communicate with its rank and file it speaks to the various Provincial Grand Lodges, who write to the individual lodge secretaries, who in turn pass the correspondence on to the humble Masons convened in their lodges. Being Freemasons ourselves, we are bound by our obligations to keep the secrets of Freemasonry. Some fellow Freemasons criticised us for revealing details of rituals when we published The Hiram Key.
Indeed we described parts of several rituals, particularly key elements of the all- important third degree of the Order. However, we were extremely careful to obey the precise ruling of our own Grand Lodge here in England and Wales, and did not reveal any of the grips and passwords that constitute the present-day 'secrets' of the Order. Whilst most Freemasons are happy to admit their membership, some prefer to keep the whole subject private and, in the face of prejudice in the workplace, others find it necessary to sometimes deny that they are mem- bers.
In our view the impression of secrecy that surrounds individual Freemasons is brought about by their embarrassment in talking about the nature of the rituals that, in the cold light of day, sound odd in the extreme.
If asked what such strange rituals are all about, they have to confess that they do not know. It seems certain that Freemasonry once espoused some high purpose, but today it is a rapidly shrinking social club for elderly gentlemen. In the United Kingdom it provides an opportunity to indulge in some amateur theatricals, followed by a meal and plenty of beer, although in the United States of America alcohol is not permitted at Masonic meetings.
The com- plex and obscure ritual has to be memorised through years of word-perfect repetition, but only small parts of the ceremony can be understood as simple allegorical messages concerning uprightness of moral character. The rest is a strange mixture of meaningless words and painstakingly detailed re-enact- ments of events that occurred in the distant past. The three principal degrees consist of the Entered Apprentice the initi- ation , Fellowcraft known as the passing degree , and Master Mason known as the raising degree.
Within these degrees the 'true secrets' of the order are said to have been lost, and substituted secrets introduced in their place until such time as the real secrets are rediscovered. In the first degree of Freemasonry the candidate is brought into the Craft in what is referred to as a state of 'naked indigence' at the lowest level of existence like a newborn baby. The details of the ritual may vary but its message remains constant.
Here we talk about the tradition we both know. The Candidate is dressed in a rough white smock and properly prepared, complete with noose and blindfold, before being taken into the temple to. Here he will kneel in front of the leader of the lodge for that year the Worshipful Master , with the twin pillars of King Solomon's Temple to either side of him. At a key point in the ceremony, after receiving his new rank, he is placed in the northeast of the temple to be given instruction. This position marks the path of light from the rising Sun on the day of the summer solstice, which is known to Freemasons as the Feast of St John, one of the two most important days in the Masonic calendar.
The St John referred to here is John the Baptist, who was said to have been conceived on the autumn equinox and born on midsummer's day. Some months later the candidate is put through his second degree. At the appropriate moment he is placed at the southeast of the temple to receive the next level of instruction, which is said to mark the progress he has made in the science.
Standing at this position the candidate is on the line of the first light from the winter solstice sunrise. This day in late December is the other great day in Freemasonry, and it too is called the Feast of St John, but this time it belongs to St John the Divine, the author of the Book of Revelation.
Once the candidate has symbolically received instruction at dawn on both the summer and winter solstices he is ready to be made a Master Mason by being put through the third degree. This is a different experi- ence right from the outset. The candidate is once again dressed in the rough white smock, with both of his trouser legs rolled up and both sides of his chest exposed.
He is not blindfolded, but as the temple door swings open to admit him he can see that the room is in total darkness except for a small shielded candle burning on the Worshipful Master's pedestal in the east. At first the change from light outside to darkness inside leaves the candidate blinded, and he has to rely on the two deacons to steer his path across the temple floor.
In this degree the most important section takes place in the east, between the two pillars of Boaz and Jachin that once marked the extrem- ities of the Sun's passage north and south at the solstices in front of the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem. Here the candidate is told the story of the murder of Hiram Abif, who, it is revealed, was the architect of King Solomon's Temple some three thousand years ago.
Strangely, the Worshipful Master makes reference to this otherwise unknown individual as though the average person should be aware of him when he says to the candidate:.
When we first heard this assumption we found it strange, and in The Hiram Key we said that the character of Hiram Abif does not seem to exist outside of the rituals of Freemasonry. This observation caused a number of people to write to us to tell us we were mistaken, so let us here look more closely at what evidence there is in the Old Testament about the archi- tect of Solomon's Temple.
First we are told that the Phoenician king of Tyre named Hiram supplied the design, workers and many materials for Solomon's building works. This king's name is variously spelt as Hiram, Hirom and Huram, and was probably originally 'Ahi-ram'. Josephus says that letters between Solomon and this king were preserved in the Tyrian archives.
There was also another Hiram involved in the creation of the Temple. This Hiram was a worker in metals who set up a foundry in the Jordan valley between Succoth and Zferedatha, where he cast the two great pillars of Boaz and Jachin as well as other great ornaments of the Temple, including the huge vessel known as the 'molten sea'.
This character is referred to in 2 Chr. Could this artisan in metals be considered the architect of the Temple? An architect is the designer of the overall building, not the manufacturer of its ornamentation, but in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible this builder is referred to as Huram-abi, which is indeed close to the name Hiram Abif.
A further piece of information emerged in March when visiting the library of Scottish Grand Lodge with the famous biblical scholar, Professor Philip Davies. On this occasion we were looking at an uncata- logued volume written almost two hundred years ago by Dr Anderson. As Philip studied the words his lips puckered in concentration before he stated that this appeared to suggest that this Hiram was father- to King Solomon.
But as everyone knows, David was Solomon's father, so Philip's only thought to make sense of what he saw was to suggest that perhaps it might mean that Hiram was the king's father-in-law. On the balance of probabilities we now accept that the character referred to in Masonic ritual as Hiram Abif could be the worker in metals supplied to work on Solomon's Temple by Hiram, King of Tyre.
However, this poten- tial identification does nothing to explain his relationship to King Solomon or to illuminate why this legend is so important within Freemasonic lore. In the Third Degree the candidate is told how a group of fifteen stone- masons wanted to extract the genuine secrets of a master mason from their master, Hiram Abif, so they planned to ambush him when he paused from his labours to give praise to a god referred to as the 'Most High'.
The words of the ritual state:. On the eve of carrying their conspiracy into execution, twelve of the fifteen recanted, but three of a more determined and atrocious character than the rest persisted in their impious designs, for which purpose they placed themselves respectively at the south, west and east gates of the Temple, whither our Master Hiram Abif had retired to pay his adoration to the Most High, as was his wonton custom, it being the hour of high twelve.
Whilst the proposed Temple was to house the 'new' god of the Jews, who was temporarily living in a tent, He was not seen as particularly important even to Solomon, who later stopped worshipping Him altogether.
However, Hiram's choice of deity will undoubtedly not trouble the can- didate too much, because at this point of the ritual he suddenly realises that he is about to become a murder victim. As the Worshipful Master tells how Hiram was struck a blow to the forehead at the south gate a blow is tapped to the side of the candidate's head, and the process repeated at the west gate. Then at the east gate the coup de grace is delivered and the can- didate is struck a 'fatal' blow to the centre of the head.
This can be done gently or vigorously. Scottish Freemasons are particularly famous for entering into the full spirit of the occasion, and many a poor candidate has been hurled to the floor in fear of his life. The candidate is held straight so that he hinges backwards onto a funeral shroud previously placed on the floor that is immediately draped around him so only his eyes are uncovered.
At this point the Masons of the lodge walk around the edge of the 'grave', and finally three attempts are made to retrieve the brother from the arms of death. The first two fail because they use methods from the previous degrees, but the third technique, pecu- liar to the third degree, succeeds. With the assistance of the deacons the 'cadaver' is 'resurrected' from his tomb with a special grip applied by the Worshipful Master. Still in near- total darkness, the body swings upwards to be held in a complicated cer- emonial position, an embrace where the Master and Candidate touch each other at five distinct points.
The ritual name for this embrace is the 'Five Points of Fellowship'. Whilst in this position an incantation is spoken into the ear of the candidate, who is then shown the black grave just behind and to the west of him, which has a real human skull and crossed thigh bones placed upon it to represent the candidate's own mortal remains.
Next, the Worshipful Master directs the candidate's gaze towards the east, where he can see a five-pointed star shining in the darkness between the twin pil- lars of Boaz and Jachin.
This star, he is told, is 'the bright star of the morning' - which is the planet Venus rising some minutes ahead of the Sun at dawn From this moment onwards, the man raised from the darkness of his figurative tomb will be a Master Mason for the rest of his life.
It is impor- tant to note that whilst the candidate represented the character of Hiram Abif up to the point of the ritual slaying, there is no suggestion that Hiram was ever resurrected.
The most important information given to the newly 'raised' Mason is that the genuine secrets of a Master Mason were lost 'with the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abif'. When we wrote The Hiram Key we had only the vaguest notion of the content of many of the so-called 'Higher Degrees' of Freemasonry, bur after the publication of this book we were contacted by hundreds of people with new information. Some would arrive by post, and sometimes when we were speaking at lodge meetings we would be given old documents of ritual that had been kept in dusty drawers for generations.
Whilst researching The Second Messiah we came across a particularly significant source of mate- rial that pushed our researches forward in a lecture entitled 'Freemasonry and Catholicism' written by a Balkan scholar from Bosnia-Herzegovina by the name of Dimitrije Mitrinovic.
Mitrinovic came to live in London around the time of the First World War and he went on to become a leading figure in the 'Bloomsbury Group', a collective of intellectuals who took their name from the district near the British Museum in central London where most of the members lived. The statement which had attracted our attention was this:. Christ betrayed the secret word of Masonry. Let Masons receive Christ back into Masonry. Masonry has been the expression of Christianity for the last years.
Mitrinovic was not a Freemason and it had taken us seven years of wide- ranging research, using our specialist Masonic knowledge, to come to this view, so we wondered how he had reached the same conclusion. Freemasonry and Catholicism in the New Order. We eventually tracked the collection down and found that they had been stacked in boxes after Mitrinovic died and stored in the back of his niece's garage for over forty years.
When eventually the time came to clear out his old books, wanting to give Mitrinovic's library a good home she decided to donate them to a university. Fortunately the university that offered to house them was Bradford, where Robert teaches.
Back in , when we first became interested in Mitrinovic's books, they were not on public display because the new extension to the JB Priestley Library had not then been completed. Like many other more obscure books they were temporarily stored in the basement of the library in an area known as 'the stack'. This consisted of a large windowless storeroom with a series of racked bookshelves set on rails in the floor.
To access the inner shelves the outer bookcases, which were ten feet high and thirty feet long, had to be cranked aside, using a large handle. When Robert requested access to the collection it took him nearly half an hour just to trundle aside the eight outer bookcases which had to be moved to reach the volumes assembled by Mitrinovic.
In I he Second Messiah we discussed the implications of some of the Masonic commentaries that Mitrinovic had saved, but it was later, once his collection was properly shelved and catalogued, making it accessible without having to squirm into a narrow steel tunnel to reach them, that other Masonic treasures came to light.
Among the more general tomes were early copies of Masonic rituals which are no longer in use. One ritual book dated from the early nineteenth century and contained full details, illustrated with beautiful woodcuts, of all the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
This book alone was a won- derful find, as it contained accounts of rituals which had not been sub- jected to the hugely damaging modifications conducted at the behest of the Duke of Sussex, the First Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England in Browsing through the rituals in this fascinating book we noticed a sec- tion on the Royal Arch of Enoch.
Now we knew that the book of the prophet Enoch was lost in the early Christian period and not rediscovered until Yet the preface of this book claimed that the rituals it con- tained dated back to at least , and we could see that they went into.
These themes were not widely accepted until the dis- covery of multiple copies of the Book of Enoch during the twentieth cen- tury, a point we will discuss more fully later. How did these old myths come to hold such pride of place amongst these discarded rituals unless they were a survival of an ancient verbal tradition?
Whilst researching Uriel's Machine we had become aware that a Masonic ritual relating to Enoch existed, but it had not been worked for over two hundred years, since the time of the Duke of Sussex. Now as we read the original workings we found a description of a strange triangular pedestal, with sides of exactly the same length and angles of 60 degrees, making it equilateral. This shape was described as the 'Delta of Enoch' and was explained as the symbol by which the Mighty Architect of the Universe chose to reveal Himself to Enoch.
The pedestal was said to have been an important part of the furniture of the original Temple which Enoch built on the site which is now known as Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The ritual explained how Solomon's workers found this threefold altar in a buried vault beneath the abandoned ruins of an earlier temple which Solomon at first attributed to 'pagans' who occupied the site before his father David seized it.
At the time this meant little to us, but we were later to discover that the symbol of the equilateral triangle was of immense significance within the early Canaanite religion of the Jebusites, who built Jerusalem. What did strike us, as we read this two-hundred-year-old printed ritual book, was that it seemed to be extremely familiar with early Jewish traditions and legends that were only recovered and confirmed in detail during archae- ological excavations carried out within the last fifty years.
This printed ver- sion of an older verbal ritual seemed to be preserving the story of a tradition of Canaanite temple building which was not recorded either in the Bible or in other early sources we were familiar with. When we read it we did not know of any earlier temples in Jerusalem that pre-dated Solomon's, but we were soon to find that there is very good archaeological evidence for just such a Canaanite tradition.
We wondered what other lost traditions these old rituals might contain, and just how we could systemise our investigation of the various themes of early ritual. Over recent years we have built up a considerable collection of old rit- uals and lectures, but in paper form. Now books, although often very beau- tiful objects, are not simple to search or sequence for their information. Robert set about the task of scanning the oldest versions of each degree to incorporate them into the website we called The Web of Hiram.
As his work of digitising the ritual proceeded, it was clear both that there was a complex story being told throughout the sequence of degrees, and that it was not being told in chronological order. This reali- sation led us to try to reconstruct the complete story which had once been told by Masonic ritual.
It took a long time to complete the task but, as we will show, we have reconstructed an alternative account of history as told in the discarded and censored rituals of Freemasonry.
It is told in the Masonic Testament to be found in Part Two of the book. The website that Robert created has now been adopted by Bradford University and is freely available for anyone interested in the, arguably, more authentic rituals of Freemasonry. Another of our early discoveries was that the ritual of the Ancient and Accepted rite mentioned a question which had been bothering us. What happened after the death of Hiram Abif, when the true secrets of Masonry were lost?
Our reconstruction of the alternative account of history contained in Freemasonic ritual that we were now calling The Masonic Testament makes this comment about the two men who retained the true secrets of the ritual: Each Mason will apply our symbols and ceremonies according to his faith. In no other way could Masonry possess its universality - that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin, and which enabled two kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Grand Masters while the walls of the first Temple arose; and the men of Gebal, who bowed down to the Phoenician gods, to work by the side of the Hebrews, to whom those gods were an abomination.
From this comment we began to suspect that there must have been a tra- dition of some tension between the religions of Solomon and the king of Tyre which might be reflected in the ritual.
According to Masonic tradi- tion both of them accepted the Third Degree ritual as a suitable substitu- tion for the lost secrets, 'until time should again reveal the real ones'.
We were convinced that tne implication of this ritual statement is that both. We were beginning to suspect that a key point of this degree is the fact that the death and resurrection of the man takes place on a line with his feet in the east and head in the west. When the candidate is 'raised1 from his tomb his head rises in a curve towards the east to meet Venus, which is also rising above the horizon. The east-west line marks the equinox, the point of equilibrium between the two solstices when there are twelve hours of day and twelve of darkness.
The three degrees of Craft Freemasonry could therefore be seen as entirely astronomical. First the total novice is given information on the line of the Sun at dawn on the summer solstice, then he is advanced to the second degree on the line of the winter solstice, and finally he is made a Master Mason on the line that precisely bisects the previous two: As we were to dis- cover, this is entirely consistent with the purpose of King Solomon's Temple and of Phoenician structures that long pre-dated it.
The Master of the lodge sits in the east between the two free-standing pillars called Boaz and Jachin in the Bible. He marks the rising Sun, and the planet Venus rises behind him just before dawn when a candidate is 'raised from his tomb'. The Senior Warden sits in the west to mark the set- ting Sun and the Junior Warden is in the south representing the Sun at noon. In English lodges there is normally a blazing Sun in the centre of the ceiling with a five-pointed star around it and the letter 'G' inside it, signi- fying God.
This association between the Sun and God is evident throughout Masonic ritual, when He is sometimes referred to as the 'Most High' - lit- erally the most high in the heavens. There are two officers known as deacons who move around the Masonic Temple with the candidate but are officially stationed in the northeast and the southwest along the line of the summer solstice sunrise.
They each carry with them a long rod, usually known as a 'wand', which we believe was once used to mark the angle of the sunrise and sunset by the shadow it cast. It is recorded that the deacons of the earliest Scottish lodges were sent for to align churches. In our book, Uriel's Machine, we said that we believed that churches were once aligned eastwards where the break of day at the location was deemed to be 'east'. The first shadow cast from the deacon's wand would be taken as the line of the north wall.
We fur- ther speculated that it should be possible to work out the name of an old church by considering the local topography and then calculating the two. The church would have been named after one of the saints whose day it was. For example, a church aligned to either solstice is very likely to be called St John's Church. We have found a chain of belief that has survived being passed through several different cultures to end up in modern Masonic Temples, where it is now faithfully recited without any understanding.
It is over six years since we published The Hiram Key, and over the course of researching two further books together we have accumulated a consid- erable amount of extra material which throws a great deal of light on ques- tions we were originally forced to leave unanswered. To try and deduce what might really be hidden under Rosslyn we have collected as many early Masonic rituals as we can, and Robert created an interlinked website to allow us to view the material in a variety of different sequences.
We intend to use this invaluable research tool to investigate the complex, convoluted and mainly discarded myths of Freemasonry in a degree of detail never before attempted. When we distil Freemasonry down to its key components we are left with the following ideas:. These are not common ideas today, but there was a culture in prehistory that appears to have been built on exactly these notions.
They are known as the Grooved Ware People. Neolithic people first arrived in the British islands, around the northern coast of Scotland, about 9, years ago, before the North Sea plain was flooded and while it was still possible to walk overland from Norway. These people arrived soon after the glaciers of the last ice age retreated, uncovering ice-free land.
When the sea level rose the lands became sepa- rate, but the Neolithic Scandinavians and the early Scottish population share a common ancestry.
In the western fringes of Europe these people are better remembered as being megalithic builders - the word means 'massive stones'. These early stonemasons inhab- ited what is now Wales, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, parts of southern Scandinavia and northern Spain as well as Malta. Today, people go about their daily business in these countries without a thought for the unknown people who once owned the land.
England alone still has over 4 0 , 0 0 0 known megalithic sites that have survived for more than five thousand years. We can appreciate how impressive this is if we ask ourselves what will remain of our own civilisation in 5, years' time when flimsy, modern buildings are so often demolished within a single generation.
The climate in the British Isles at the time was far warmer than today,. The megalithic people, however, were both boat-builders and sailors, making great use of the sea as their highway. They colonised the many islands off the coast of Scotland, and there is plenty of evidence that they were trading widely.
For example, quarried stone found only on the island of Rum was used in buildings on the mainland and on other islands' of the Inner Hebrides. This maritime trading link appears to have extended to Scandinavia from the time of the earliest settlements. So we have no formal information about their culture, such as we find with later groups such as the Sumerians and the ancient Egyptians.
Archaeologists call them simply the 'Grooved Ware People' after the grooved designs that they etched into their clay pots. However, they did leave behind them a system of symbols that amounts to proto-writing, some of which can be understood because of its astronomical references. Most people are aware of the splendid stone circles that they erected, but they also constructed the earliest surviving stone buildings in the world, structures typically a thousand years older than the cities of Sumer.
The perceived quality of the stonework varied considerably from apparently unworked upright slabs to beautifully engineered vaulted chambers such as Maes Howe in Orkney, whose standard of construction has been described as 'one of the supreme achievements of Neolithic Europe'. As archaeologist Dr Euan Mackie comments:. If the European megaliths, and even the Maltese temples, are older than the oldest towns then it is difficult to see how urban societies could have played any significant part in the great social processes which were under way in Atlantic Europe between and BC.
The Megalithic Builders, Phaidon Press, The structures these people built included standing stones in various for- mations, tunnel mounds, earth mounds and ditches. They extend all the way along the coasts of Europe from southern Spain up as far as Scandinavia, also appearing on the northern Mediterranean coast as well as in southern Italy and in Malta. There is even evidence that these types of stone structure were built in parts of North Africa, including Egypt and in Israel. The whole of the British Isles is covered with them.
Tunnel graves are an early type of structure whose contents often lend themselves to carbon dating, and we know that the megalithic mounds of Brittany pre-date BCE. In Sir Norman Lockyer, who was at that time the editor of the prestigious scientific publication Nature, studied the temples of ancient Egypt and noticed that many were built so as to allow the Sun to shine on important parts of the interior on special days of the year.
He surveyed a number of sites in Britain including Stonehenge and arrived at the conclu- sion that some of the alignments he observed formed part of a calendar which was based on the solstices and the equinoxes. An important megalithic settlement had been discovered half a century before Lockyer put forward his theory, when a severe storm washed away part of a sand dune on Orkney Mainland, and revealed ancient stone dwellings. The site, known as Skara Brae, was not properly excavated until archaeologist Professor Gordon Childe started a dig in What he found is generally accepted as the best-preserved prehistoric village in northern Europe.
Skara Brae had been continuously occupied for approximately Before Civilisation 7 Lockyer, N: The built-in fireplaces, dressers, tables and stone beds have been pre- served. The site consists of seven near-identical apartments and what may have been a workshop, or a brewery,10 and it is thought likely that there were more apartments that have been eroded into the sea. It is known that there was no supply of wood to burn, so firewood had to be brought in by boat from the Scottish mainland.
It is also evident from the study of bones that meat was shipped in, pre-butchered, which indi- cates that the inhabitants were considered to be important people who deserved to be carefully looked after.
A quite different kind of stratified Neolithic society can be postulated. Such a society could have achieved all that Thom has suggested it did because the members of the elite would have been free from the need to obtain their own food and build their own dwellings and could have devoted their entire time to religious, scientific or other intellectual pursuits.
If our hypothesis of a Religious Revolution is approximately correct it began with the progressively wider establishment of professional priesthoods in early Neolithic times, from about BC. This vision implies the existence of some type of formal training for these specialists. It is impossible to prove but, given the concentration of. The Megalithic Builders 12 Mackie, E: The Megalithic Builders. Megalithic structures across Orkney, it seems reasonable to suppose that Skara Brae might have been a kind of Neolithic university.
No archaeologist would today deny that many megalithic sites are built with alignments to the solstices and equinoxes as well as towards key rising and setting points of the Moon and other heavenly bodies. The man who, almost single-handedly, founded archaeoastronomy as a true science was Alexander Thom, a distinguished professor of engineering at Oxford University.
Thom, who spent fifty years of his life surveying and studying megalithic sites, made one of the most astounding breakthroughs in the field of archaeology. Thom first become interested in megalithic structures as a young man in his native Scotland. He began his surveying work because he suspected that the sites did have astronomical alignments.
His painstaking measure- ment of site after site slowly produced data that indicated that these pre- historic builders, from the islands off northern Scotland right down to Brittany in France, had shared a standard unit of measurement. It was sur- prising enough that they were so well organised as to agree an interna- tional standard unit, but the sheer precision with which the unit had been applied was truly amazing.
The Megalithic Yard, as Thom called it, was clarified over the years he spent surveying, and eventually he defined it as being equal to 0. Thorn's work was initially ignored by the archaeological establishment, but thanks to an objective study by statisticians it became accepted among numerate scientists that a system of measurement was in use over large expanses of prehistoric Europe. However, it is still ignored by some less well informed archaeologists, who proffer ludicrous notions such as the idea that this highly respected professor of engineering had fooled himself by identifying nothing more than the average pace of a megalithic builder.
Had these critics taken the time to check their supposed counter-.
The existence of an ancient standard unit of length demonstrates that a shared mathematics was in use over a remarkably large geographical range. The use of "abu" meaning "father" as an honorific is still used in the Middle East today, hence "Abukir" named after "Father" or Saint Cyril.
The book's authors claim that the stonemason-origin theory could be discounted because it had so many apparent fallacies. Why would powerful and rich people have been attracted to join a fraternity that came from poor and uneducated stonemasons' Guilds? The theory of Freemasonry originating in London in is also regarded as unlikely, because there are earlier mentions of Freemasonry in other locations.
The authors concluded that Freemasonry was actually as old as it claimed in its traditional ritual, dating back to the building of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.
Knight and Lomax claim to have analysed their sources rigorously, including the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible , ancient Jewish texts, the Dead Sea Scrolls , the Gnostic Gospels , and Masonic rituals to support their conclusions.
They note the global significance of religion and that any major refutation of commonly held beliefs would meet resistance from the established and orthodox authorities in any particular religion. They note that, 40 years after their discovery, only about half of the available material had ever been published or made available for independent review. It was not until that public access restrictions were lifted. The scrolls contained various versions of Biblical texts, all of which were more than years older than the oldest surviving Hebrew texts that were produced by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher in AD The texts of these scrolls are believed by the authors to have been written by ancestors of the same Qumran community of the Judaean hills that found them.
The authors also believe that the Qumran Community were Essenes , and that they and the Nasoreans and the original Jerusalem Church were all one and the same. That is, the ancient Qumranians were the first Christians.
They decided that the story of Hiram Abiff was actually based on the initiation ceremonies of the ancient kings of Egypt. They also came to the conclusion, after analysis of the New Testament, the Gnostic Gospels, and Masonic ritual, that Jesus and the original Christians were thoroughly different from what the Roman Catholic Church and orthodox Christianity has taught they were.
The authors believe that Jesus did not claim to be divine, but was instead a messiah in the Jewish sense of the term, a good man and a freedom fighter, trying to liberate the Jews from Roman occupation. The authors do not claim that the Christianity is incompatible with the ideals and goals of Freemasonry. Neither do they claim that the Jewish Faith or the Muslim faith or Buddhist faith are incompatible with the tenets of Freemasonry.
Although The Hiram Key highlights some inconsistent historical references within various dogmas , they do not claim dogma to be devoid of value to humanity. The book is more an examination of historical references rather than an examination of religion.
Jesus did not claim to work miracles , according to the authors. When Jesus claimed to have raised Lazarus from the dead, it was intended as an allegorical reference; followers were referred to as the "living" and others were referred to as the "dead" in certain Jewish esotericism of the time.
Similarly, Jesus' turning water into wine merely meant elevating people to a higher status within the framework of the sect. The authors believe that Jesus' sect, the Jerusalem Church, operated some kind of "quasi-Masonic" initiation ceremonies and develop that line of thought to claim that Jesus was thus, in a sense, a Freemason.
Man, God, Myth, or Freemason? The book contains a radical hypothesis about the origins of Freemasonry, seeking to demonstrate a heritage back through the Knights Templar to the Jerusalem Church and Pharaoic Egypt , claiming to draw on a wide range of material to support this hypothesis. The work has been subject to criticism  from within the established body of masonic-research, based on:.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge No the principal Lodge of Masonic research under the United Grand Lodge of England , has criticised the book as Pseudohistory ,  and some Masonic libraries categorise the volume as fiction. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved