American Z-Men: IV
by Dr. Stephen Flowers
Albert Pike (1809-1891) was a journalist, lawyer, general in the Confederate Army and the Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was born in Boston and passed the exams to enter Harvard, but could not pay the required tuition. So he headed West in 1831. After adventures in New Mexico he settled in Arkansas and was a journalist until 1837 when he became a lawyer and specialized in cases for Native Americans against the Federal Government. Pike entered the world of fraternal organizations in 1840 and eventually rose the highest level of Masonry. He was a captain in the army during the Mexican-American War, but was discharged for not being able to get along with his superiors. Pike was a strong supporter of slavery and of Southern secession. With the advent of the war in 1861 he was commissioned as a Brigadier General and given command over the American Indian troops the Confederacy had in the West. Again Pike ran afoul of superiors and was discharged after minimal combat. After the war he devoted himself to writing and research in Masonry and in certain political affairs. It is rumored that he wrote the rituals of the Ku Klux Klan, but this is incorrect. The reason for this error is that the Klan rituals of the second “incarnation “ of the organization were heavily influenced by Masonic imagery, because most of the members were Masons. In 1871 Pike published his monumental MORALS AND DOGMA which is a degree-by-degree commentary on the degrees of Masonry. Pike’s method of producing this book, by his own account, was a mixture of his own words and those of previous authors. This is the same method that would be used by Helena Blavatsky when writing her books ISIS UNVEILED (1877) and THE SECRET DOCTRINE (1888). In MORALS AND DOGMA Pike frequently mentions Zoroaster and the Zend Avesta in a positive way. He also “translated” the Avesta and the Rig Veda in the 1870s and recorded these in unpublished manuscripts. He was not a scholar of these languages, but rather used previous translations. The problem with seeing Pike as a proponent of Zoroastrian ideas are many: his work mixed all sorts of ideas together to embellish Masonic lore. His main focus was, as could be expected, on the LIGHT. He uncritically embraced the Gnostics on occasion, and clearly adopted the Luciferian principle of seeing the God of the Old Testament as a villain he calls ADONAY. In summary, it is hard to call Pike a Mazdan: his mixture of ideas is too uncritical and his support of slavery and attendant ideological racism preclude seeing him as one who clearly Understands the quality of Ahura Mazda. I think a Mazdan form of Masonry is possible, but I have yet to see it.