This short essay first appeared in my book Dissenting Views, published in 2009. Reprinted here due to current events...
The Klu Klux Klan (from the Greek “kuklos” meaning circle) was founded by six Confederate officers in the aftermath of the Civil War. If you have ever seen old photographs of the Klan, they are frequently arranged in a circle facing each other – hence the name.
The very first Imperial Grand Wizard, bestowed in 1866, was a high-level Freemason by the name of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another Freemason, Albert Pike, was named the Chief Justice of the KKK. Pike wrote the book Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, a virtual Bible of the Freemasonic movement.
When I was in Memphis the weekend of April 5th for the 45th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, the keynote speaker for the Coalition on Political Assassinations was Judge Joe Brown. During Judge Brown’s talk, he noted that there had been a great controversy in Memphis surrounding Nathan Bedford Forrest. In addition to being the person Forrest Gump was named after, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slaveowner as well as being the champion of the KKK. Indeed, the hotel we were staying in was just a few blocks away from the slave auction, which at one time was the largest in the United States.
There is a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in a public park in Memphis. I took some video of it during my tour of the city. He is in a heroic pose gazing at his enemies in the distance. I am of both Hispanic and Jewish descent, so one imagines that I would be among those enemies.
There is a statue of Albert Pike in the United States, too. It’s across from the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He is the only Confederate soldier to have his own statue in our nation’s capitol. What an honor.
There is a great deal of controversy about Albert Pike’s identification with the Klan, because the first extant source that we still have dates back to 1905, 14 years after his death. There are a great many sources that identify him as such, however, and there is no dispute that Forrest was both the highest Klansman in the land and a high-level Freemason. In any case, there was no particular contradiction between the two.
Scottish Rite Freemasonry, incidentally, posits a religious doctrine reminiscent of the Egyptian cult around Horus and Set. Horus, the god of the sun, would rule the day, while Set would rule the nighttime. Similarly, Morals and Dogma preaches the worship of Lucifer (identified as the “light-bearer” or the “morning star” in the Bible) like so: “Thus, the doctrine of Satanism is a heresy; and the true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay; but Lucifer, God of Light and God of Good,is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the God of Darkness and Evil.''
By “Adonay” Pike means what most people take to be God – i.e., Yahweh or El. You may recall that in the story of the snake in the Garden of Eden, the snake tempts Eve with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That is to say, Lucifer is the god of Education, if you see what I mean. Whereas God, as depicted in the Bible, is a maniacal egotist who identifies himself as “Jealous” when speaking to Job and casually sends she-bears to kill those whom He doesn’t like.
Why in the hell are there statues in the United States of two Confederate “heroes” whose primary contributions to humanity are the destruction and enslavement of fellow human beings? How can we be serious about improving race relations while continuing to honor the psychopaths who took part in the slave trade? Is there a statue of Curtis LeMay or Robert MacNamara in Tokyo? How’s that shrine to Henry Kissinger coming along in Chile?
Honoring these men is insane. Those statues should come down.
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