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MASONIC BIOGRAPHIES

FRINGE FREEMASONS
MANLY P. HALL
The Secret destiny of America
While not mentioning Freemasonry by name, the illustration heading chapter 7 [p. 73.] incorporates a selection of masonic tools: the compasses, a square, twenty-four inch gauge, trowel and plumb rule.
Manly P. Hall claims that the Dionysions "signed each stone with the secret symbols of their cult..." [p. 77.] but doesn't provide an example, or even jusification for the claim.
When he claims that Ashmole was "the first non-craftsman to be permitted membership" [p. 80.] he is obviously unaware of the earlier membership of John Boswell.
Hall makes a number of other claims without giving any citation:
"a strange man who seems to have served the explorer [Columbus] in the capacity of councillor." "...reminiscent of the black-robed man who guided the destiny of Mohammed. Were these obscure figures ambassadors of the secret government...?" [p. 86.]
"All these groups [Illuminati, Rosicrucians, Knights of the Holy Grail, cabalists, etc.] belong to what is called The Order of the Quest." [p. 79.]
"The obverse of the great seal has been used by the Department of State since 1782, but the reverse was not cut at that time because it was regarded as a symbol of a secret society." [p. 180.]
The lack of reference to any proof is frustrating. But even when Hall purports to give citations, his citations also lack proof. An otherwise unsubstantiated claim is made that on 4 July 1776 a mysterious stranger gained access to the deliberations of the delegates to the Continental Congress, gave an impassioned speech which swayed them to sign the declaration of Independence, and then mysteriously disappeared from the locked room. In chapter 17 Hall reports that A. P. Warrington, esoteric secretary of the Theosophical Society in Ojai, California, possessed a rare old volume of early American political speeches predating those preserved in the volumes of the Congressional Record. [p. 165.]
"He made particular mention of a speech made by an unknown man at the time of the signing of the declaration of Independence. The particular book was not available at that moment, but Mr. Warrington offered to send me a copy of the speech, and he did; but unfortunately neglected to append the title or date of the book. He went to India subsequently, and died at the Theosophical headquarters at Adyar, in Madras." [pp. 165-66.]
Hall further cites Robert Allen Campbell who claimed, without citation, that a mysterious stranger had given the USA flag design to the committee of Franklin, Lynch and Harrison on 14 December 1775. [Robert Allen Campbell, Our flag. Chicago, H. E. Lawrence & co. [1890] 128p. col. front., illus. 21 cm. LCCN: 10002224]
All in all, this book is highly unsatisfactory as a history text. Unfortunately it has been widely read and has become yet another branch in the growth of several legends about the founding of the USA.

The Secret destiny of America, Manly P. Hall. ISBN: 089314388X pb 200p.

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