References to Freemasonry in popular culture range from the vitriolic to the innocuous. Far more often they are merely misinformed allusions from which Freemasonry faces a far more insidious threat; that of being marginalized, trivialized, and fictionalized. Most of the references noted on this site are harmless, simply pointing out that Freemasonry has played a role in our society; some are humorous, yet some are disturbing in their associations.
Masonic references in the writings of Robert Carter
A British Naval officer, Sir Sidney Smith, falls in love with the daughter of a French aristocrat during the French Revolutionary period. Chapter six [pp. 261-274] is a fictionalized account of Smiths initiation into a lodge of Knights Templars in London, while further fictional details are given on pages 300-301. Claims are made that more than a hundred of the French National Convention were members of the Brotherhood [p. 304]; that Antoinette had assured her husband that the Grand Orient lodge was no threat to the social order; that "...British government aims and the aims of the Brotherhood were so intimately twined together." [p. 426]; that Britains loss of the American colonies was planned [p. 458-9]; and that the initiative for the French Revolution had come from the Brotherhood but events had become uncontrollable. |
Such errors as claiming Jefferson as a Brother or translating "Novus Ordo Seclorum" as "a new secular order" [p. 460] highlight the fictional nature of the book. It is noteworthy that although a great number of Masonic reference are made and the cover art includes a square and compasses, Freemasonry is never mentioned by name:
A man from the East, Brother p. 325
Brother pp. 89, 234, 252, 253
Brother Knight of the Order, an Illuminatus p. 381
Brothers pp. 118, 327, 457
Brotherhood pp. 180, 209, 303, 455, 456, 457, 489
Brother of the Craft p. 198
darkness visible p. 383
Handshakes pp. 104, 117, 516
Knights Templar p. 422
on the level p. 322
symbols p. 111
sign p. 178,
sign of the Brotherhood p. 194.
square-and-compasses p. 264
Craft p. 179, 180
Grand Master p. 196
Supreme Master pp. 197, 199
Stranger who travels to the West p. 233
Widows Son pp. 233, 234.
Orion Books Ltd., London: 1985. ISBN 0 75280 347 6 [paperback 585 p.]