Has the course of History been directed by a small group of people with common interests? The paintings and pictures of the great men of the past centuries reveal a common thread which links them together. Is it a coincidence that many of them hid one of their hands when posing for a portrait? It seems unlikely. We’ll look at the Masonic origin of the “hidden hand” and the powerful men who used the sign in famous portraits.
“Today’s thinking toward a democratic world state is neither a new trend nor an accidental circumstance; the work of setting up the background of knowledge necessary to the establishing of enlightened democracy among all nations has been carried on for many hundreds of years by secret societies.”
-Manly P. Hall, Secret Destiny of America
Is there a hidden force behind the world events of the past centuries? Are the fall of European monarchies, the bringing forth of the Age of Enlightenment and our path towards a world democracy part of a great plan lead by a “hidden hand”? Before the advent of mass media, portraits depicting their leaders in majestic poses were the only artifacts people had. Do these portraits have an occult meaning?
One of those poses is the “hiding of the hand”. I remember my history teacher trying to explain why Napoleon was often shown with a hand inside his shirt. The common explanation went along these lines:
“Many theories have been presented as to why Napoleon is traditionally depicted with his hand in his waistcoat. Some of these theories include: he had a stomach ulcer, he was winding his watch, he had an itchy skin disease, in his era it was impolite to put your hands in your pockets, he had breast cancer, he had a deformed hand, he kept a perfumed sachet in his vest that he’d sniff surreptitiously, and that painters don’t like to paint hands”
Unless all the individuals discussed in this article had stomach ulcer or deformed hands, the gesture of hiding one’s hand simply has to have a specific meaning. It does. Most of the people using this sign are proven (and often enthusiastic) members of the Freemasons. Considering the great importance of this gesture in Masonic rituals and the fact that all of the elite were either part of Freemasonry or knew of it, it is simply impossible that the recurrence of this sign could be the result of a coincidence. The “hidden hand” can, in fact, be found in the rituals of the Royal Arch Degree of Freemasonry and the world leaders that use this sign are subtly saying to other initiates of the order: “This is what I’m part of, this is what I believe in and this is what I’m working for”.
The Royal Arch Degree
The Royal Arch Degree (the 13th degree of the Scottish Rite or the 7th degree of the York Rite) is also known as the Mason of the Secret. During this Degree, initiates are said to receive great Masonic truths.
“The members of this Degree are denominated companions, and are “entitled to a full explanation of the mysteries of the Order”; whereas in the former Degrees they are recognized by the common, familiar appellation of brothers, and kept in a state of profound ignorance of the sublime secret which is disclosed in this Chapter. This accords with the custom of Pythagoras, who thus distinguished his pupils. After a probation of five years, as stated before, they were admitted into the presence of the preceptor, called his companions, and permitted to converse with him freely. Previous to the expiration of that term he delivered his instructions to them from behind a screen”
-John Fellows, Fellows’s Inquiry into the Origin, History, and Purport of Freemasonry
“If we pass on to the Royal Arch, we receive a wonderful accession of knowledge, and find every thing made perfect; for this is the nec plus ultra of Masonry, and can never be exceeded by any human institution.”
-George Oliver, Lectures on Freemasonry
It is during this degree that the initiate learns the sacred name of God.
“A Degree indescribably more august, sublime, and important than any which precede it, and is, in fact, the summit and perfection of ancient Masonry. It impresses upon our minds a belief in the being of a God, without beginning of days or end of years, the great and incomprehensible Alpha and Omega, and reminds us of the reverence which is due to His Holy NAME.”
-George Oliver, Historical Landmarks
This holy name is Jahbulon, a combination of words meaning “god” in Syriac, Chaldaic and Egyptian.
“JEHOVAH. Of the varieties of this sacred name in use among the different nations of the earth, three particularly merit the attention of Royal Arch Masons:
1. JAH. This name of God is found in the 68th Psalm, v. 4.
2. BAAL OR BEL. This word signifies a lord, master, or possessor, and hence it was applied by many of the nations of the East to denote the Lord of all things, and the Master of the world.
3. ON. This was the name by which JEHOVAH was worshiped among the Egyptians.”
-Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor
The initiation ritual to this degree re-enacts the return to Jerusalem of three Most Excellent Masons who were held captive in Babylon. I won’t go through the whole ceremony and symbolism but at one point, the initiate is asked to learn a secret password and a hand sign in order to go through a series of veils. The following image depicts the hand sign required to go through the second veil, as documented in Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor:
“Master of Second Veil: “Three Most Excellent Masters you must have been, or thus far you could not have come; but farther you cannot go without my words, sign, and word of exhortation. My words are Shem, Japhet, and Adoniram; my sign is this: (thrusting his hand in his bosom); it is in imitation of one given by God to Moses, when He commanded him to thrust his hand into his bosom, and, taking it out, it became as leprous as snow. My word of exhortation is explanatory of this sign, and is found in the writings of Moses, viz., fourth chapter of Exodus”:
“And the Lord said unto Moses, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow”
-Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor
As stated above, this hand gesture is said to be inspired by Exodus 4:6. In this biblical verse, the heart (“bosom”) stands for what we are, the hand for what we do. It can thus be interpreted as : What we are is what we ultimately do. The symbolic significance of this gesture might explain the reason why it is so widely used by famous Masons. The hidden hand lets the other initiates know that the individual depicted is part of this secret Brotherhood and that his actions were inspired by the Masonic philosophy and beliefs. Furthermore, the hand that executes the actions is hidden behind cloth, which can symbolically refer to covert nature of the Mason’s actions. Here are some of the famous men who used this hand signal.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was a military and political leader of France whose actions shaped European politics in the early 19th century. He was initiated into Army Philadelphe Lodge in 1798. His brothers, Joseph, Lucian, Louis and Jerome, were also Freemasons. Five of the six members of Napoleon’s Grand Councel of the Empire were Freemasons, as were six of the nine Imperial Officers and 22 of the 30 Marshals of France. Bonaparte’s association with Masonry has always been played down in historical records. Masonic researcher J.E.S. Tuckett addresses the situation:
“It is strange that evidence in favor of the Great Napoleon’s membership of the Masonic Brotherhood has never been examined in detail, for the matter is surely one of interest, and – seeing the remarkable part that remarkable men played in the affairs of Europe, at a time when Continental Freemasonry was struggling out of chaos into regular order – it cannot be without an important bearing upon Masonic history”
In his essay on Napoleon and Masonry, Tuckett claims:
“There is incontestable evidence that Napoleon was acquainted with the nature, aims and organization of Freemasonry: that he approved of and made use of it to further his own ends”
-J.E.S. Tuckett, Napoleon I and Freemasonry (source)
Napoleon was also said to be aided by occult powers. In 1813 he was defeated at Leipzip and behind him was a “Cabinet of Curiosities” in which a Prussian officer discovered his Book of Fate and Oraculum. Originally this Oraculum was discovered in one of the Royal tombs of Egypt during a French military expedition of 1801. The emperor ordered the manuscript to be translated by a famous German scholar and antiquarian. From that time onward, the Oraculum was one of Napoleon’s most treasured possessions. He consulted it on many occasions and it is said to have “formed a stimulus to his most speculative and most successful enterprises.”
Karl Marx is known today to be the founder of modern Communism. Despite being denied by some Masons, Marx is said to have been a 32nd degree Grand Orient Freemason. Marx became the spokesman of the atheist and socialist movement of Europe. He planned the replacement of monarchies with socialist republics, with the next step conversion to communist republics.
George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and is considered to be the “most important American Mason”. Charles Willson Pealed produced this painting when Washington was 52 years old. Notice the position of Washington’s feet: they form an oblong square. The position of the feet are of utmost importance in Masonic symbolism. Compare this with this excerpt from Duncan’s Ritual Monitor:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is considered to be one of the most prolific and influential composers of music ever. He also was a Freemason and was initiated in the Austrian lodge Zur Zur Wohltatigkeit on Dec. 14th 1784. Mozart’s creations often incorporated important Masonic elements. The Magic Flute opera was mainly based on Masonic principles.
“The music of the Freemasons contained musical phrases and forms that held specific semiotic meanings. For example, the Masonic initiation ceremony began with the candidate knocking three times at the door to ask admittance. This is expressed musically as a dotted figure: meanings. For example,
This figure appears in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute in the overture, suggesting the opening of the Masonic initiation.”
– Katherine Thompson, The Masonic Thread in Mozart
The musical progression of The Magic Flute was based on the Golden Ratio (1,6180…), the proportion of everything that is considered divine by Mystery Schools.
Here are compositions created by Mozart for use in Masonic lodges:
- Lied (song) “Gesellenreise, for use at installation of new journeymen”
- Cantata for tenor and male chorus Die Maurerfreude (“The Mason’s Joy”)
- The Masonic Funeral Music (Maurerische Trauermusik)
- Two songs to celebrate the opening of “Zur Neugekrönten Hoffnung”
- Cantata for tenor and piano, Die ihr die unermesslichen Weltalls Schöpfer ehrt
- The Little Masonic Cantata (Kleine Freimaurer-Kantate) entitled Laut verkünde unsre Freude, for soloists, male chorus, and orchestra
Marquis de Lafayette
Marquis de Lafayette was a 33rd degree Freemason. According to Willam R. Denslow’s 10,000 Famous Freemasons, Lafayette was a French military officer who was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde Nationale during the bloody French Revolution. Lafayette was also made an honorary Grand Commander of the Supreme Council of New York. More than 75 Masonic bodies in the U.S. have been named after him, including 39 lodges, 18 chapters, 4 councils, 4 commanderies, and 7 Scottish rite bodies.
Salomon Rothschild was the founder of the Viennese branch of the prominent Mayer Amschel Rothschild family. The most powerful family in the world has greatly influenced the policies of Germany, France, Italy and Austria. The Rothschilds are also the main players behind the creation of Zionism and the state of Israel.
The power of the Rothschilds went way beyond the confines of the Masonic lodge. They are said to be part of the 13 “Illuminati Bloodlines”. An analysis of the recently built Supreme Court of Israel (see article here) confirms the Rothschild’s embrace of Masonic symbolism.
Known as “El Libertador” (the Liberator), Bolivar is considered to be the “George Washington of South America”. He joined Freemasonry in Cadiz, Spain, received the Scottish Rite degrees in Paris and was knighted in a Commandery of Knights Templar in France in 1807. Bolivar founded and served as master of Protectora de las Vertudes Lodge No. 1 in Venezuela. The country of Bolivia is named after him. Bolivar also served as the president of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia in the 1820’s. He belonged to the Order and Liberty Lodge No. 2 in Peru.
Notice in the image above the position of his feet (oblong square) and the checkerboard pattern of the floor, also Masonic. His stance might have been inspired by the Knights of Christian Mark Degree as depicted below in Richardson’s Monitor of Freemasonry:
Stalin’s reign of terror in the Soviet Union lead to the deaths of millions of his own countrymen. He is often shown in pictures using the hidden hand gesture. No official records have been found that prove Stalin’s initiation into Masonry. Of course, dictators such as Stalin tightly controlled all information concerning themselves and their affairs, making it difficult to prove anything one way or the other. The hiding of his hand, however, provides an initiate’s clue to his possible allegiance to an occult brotherhood.
After being shot in 1940, the young man on the right has been
edited out by Stalin’s people.
As seen above, thee leaders using the “hidden hand” gesture had a great influence on world history and many were confirmed Masons. This gesture is an obvious yet widely overlooked detail which hints at the leader’s embrace of occult philosophy. By understanding this fact and by recognizing the IMMENSE influence these leaders had on the course of History, we can begin to realize the hidden force which is currently steering the world toward international democracy.
Members of these brotherhoods might have maintained different opinions and even adhered to different factions (communism vs. capitalism), but the fundamental philosophy, beliefs and ultimate goals are still the same: the coming of an “Age of Reason and Enlightenment”. Of course, any serious researcher is already aware of the role of Masonry in the unfolding of world history. The “hidden hand” gesture, so often used by historical figures is simply the outward expression of this little known fact. As Confucius said, “Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws.” These people’s words and policies will eventually be twisted and forgotten, but their image will remain for the ages.