Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Second Update to Occult Origins of the Counterculture

Here is another update to my Occult Origins of the Counterculture article. I still need to make a few minor revisions to the original article so hopefully that will be done within a few days.

In addition to the the shamanic ceremonies of First Nation peoples, another indigenous spiritual tradition that influenced Western occultism was the African religion of Vodun. Along with European folk magic, Vodun was merged into the syncretic religion of Lousiania voodoo, which by turn influenced the development of American spiritualism. In Haiti, a similar syncretic religion was created in the form of voodou, with many rituals and mythological figures overlapping with the American voodoo tradition. Both Louisiana voodoo and Haitian vodou were created when African slaves passed on to their descendants the traditional ceremonial dances of Africa under the guise of Catholic litanies following the suppression and criminalization of these ceremonies by slave owners. The religious suppression of the voodoo religion was a direct extension of the social policies enacted by Christian and Muslim colonization of Africa, which resulted in the murder of many Vodun priests as well as destruction of Vodun temples. One aspect of Vodun religion that was incorporated into its syncretic North American incarnations was the idea of continuity between the world of the dead and the living, in that ancestors were deified and considered an ever present part of the family through spiritual communion.

Although voodoo has been sensationalized as being oriented towards accumulation of material wealth and predatory magical powers, its origins are far more nuanced, centered around a belief in a nebulous force which pervades all aspects of existence. Because the Voodoo creation myth emphasizes metaphysical interconnectedness, extending emotional, material and spiritual support to family and community is considered an intrinsic expression of religious worship. Vodun cosmology also emphasizes the divinity of the natural world, formulated in a hierarchy of spirits from those that govern weather to smaller spirits who inhabit rivers, streams and even individual rocks and trees. Animism offers a continuity in belief between African tradition and that of European occultism. The overlapping belief in nature devas and elemental spirits formed the basis of many divination rituals and conjuration methods, especially regarding the use of botanical magic.

Occurring simultaneously with the rise of voodoo was the folk magic system of hoodoo which made use of European magical grimoires that typically contained translations of ancient Kabbalistic documents as well as unorthodox interpretations of biblical texts. The Old Testament is inundated with passages that justify slavery as a necessary, even righteous social institution, however vodoo and hoodoo practitioners emphasized the story of Exodus as a representation of the freedom-seeking impulse. When Moses lead the Israelites out of bondage in the Book of Exodus, the obvious parallel was the transatlantic slave trade, with the abolition movement seen by hoodoo conjurers as divine imperative. Largely for this reason, the primary magical texts utilized by hoodoo practitioners were the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, a compendium of magical seals, astrological treatises, and incantations taken from European occult literature, Talmudic magic names and Christian Biblical passages. The texts, although primarily printed in the 18th and 19th centuries, were purportedly lost writings of Moses and they circulated throughout The United States, the Caribbean, West Africa, Scandinavia and Central Europe, widely known as "the Black Bible". Moses, who was traditionally depicted carrying a serpent on his staff, became a figure who easily combined elements of the Vodun serpent god Damballa, primordial creator of life and archetypal father figure, with orthodox religious doctrines and European concepts of Luciferian Enlightenment.

Although recent years have, to a certain extent, seen the recognition of the voodoo religion as a richly varied cultural tradition, the central role of voodou and hoodoo conjurers in galvanizing slave revolts has not been fully documented, since most historians of the colonial time period held perspectives that would have been favorable to the economic interests of plantation owners. What has been conclusively documented is that, in 1791, under the cover of vodou ceremonies, Haitian slaves organized an uprising that went on to shut down the majority of sugar plantations on the island. Haiti, one of two sovereign states located on the island of Hispaniola, was a particularly appropriate locale for an uprising since its inhabitants had been subjected to some of the most horrific brutalities of the transatlantic slave trade. When Christopher Columbus and his men had first arrived on the shores of Hispaniola, they quickly established an enforced labor system in which the native Arawak people collected gold, with enforcement occurring via the method of slower laborers having their hands cut off. The original Arawak population has been roughly estimated to be at least 250,000, yet within less than 25 years, through murder, mutilation, malnutrition and mass suicide, that number was reduced to 50,000.

By 1650 almost none of the original Arawaks or their descendants remained on the island. The importation of African slaves soon replaced their rapidly dwindling numbers, however the population of foreign slaves was also continually replenished because their death rate was vastly higher than their birth rate due to similar brutalities. The unintended consequence for European colonists was that Haitian slaves were able to more effectively preserve African cultural traditions through vodou ceremonies, eventually leading to a resistance movement which was uniquely unified in comparison to other areas of colonial America. One of the most influential leaders of the rebellion was a vodou priest named Francois Mackandal, who created a secret organization connecting escaped slaves (Maroons) with those who still lived on plantations. The Maroons, a mixture of Native Americans and Africans, combined African agricultural practices with Native American wilderness skills as the number of former slaves surviving outside of the settlements of the colonists expanded. After the Maroons torched plantations and chased out the owners, Mackandal was burned alive in the public square of Cap-Francais on account of his role in organizing the insurrection. His actions set a strategic model for the Haitian Revolution of 1791, which is generally considered to be the most successful slave rebellion in the Western hemisphere.

Compared to the American Revolution, which exclusively granted rights to the minority of the white male population that owned property, Haiti's revolution sought and achieved political rights for the entire population. Although the insurrection was accompanied by horrific and dehumanizing massacres on both sides of the conflict, by 1803 slavery had been abolished and decolonization was attained. The secret society organized by Mackandal played no small part in Haitian resistance movements, and there is evidence to suggest that much of the symbolism and themes adopted by vodou-practicing Maroons were a product of Freemasonic influence. Anthropologist Richard Stanley gave the following statement in the special feature section of his documentary on Haitian vodou, The White Darkness: “Most books consider voodoo to be a combination of Roman Catholicism and African mythology. There are elements of voodoo that have nothing to do with either. There is a huge amount of Old World Masonic imagery—for example, pentagrams, which suggests that perhaps three or four hundred years ago slaves were initiated by previous imperialists. That's something that hasn't been talked about. I was told about the various handshakes and rituals that I would need to know. Altes Paul (voodou sorcerer) warmed to me after I gave him a third degree masonic handshake, convinced that I was a fellow Mason.”

In his book on Haitian vodou culture, The Serpent and the Rainbow, ethnobotanist Wade Davis describes a network of secret societies covering the country, each maintaining control of its own territorial jurisdiction. Haitian vodou cults inevitably contained elements of Freemasonic tradition, including ritual handshakes, initiation rites, banners and even a hierarchical degree system. This network is described in the book as a “quasi-political” force that effectively managed to organize a parallel government and expel the regime at Port-au-Prince. Unlike Freemasonry, vodou secret societies granted membership to women, many of whom became political leaders in their own right. This history of cultural influence reveals the ideological complexity of Freemasonry, which at times has participated in, and even instigated, the furthest abuses of colonial social institutions, and at others has worked towards political sovereignty of oppressed peoples.

The cultural influence of European colonists on Haitian secret societies was most likely a factor in the vodou cults' adoption of Masonic rites and regalia. This same influence may have also played a role in shaping the iconography of West African secret societies, which were located in the same approximate geographical vicinity from which Vodou cults descended. This West African cult network had risen to prominence precisely at the time when European slave traders invaded African villages and negotiated the right to abduct community members with the elders of their group, many of whom formed a fraternal order called The Ekpe. Similar to the vodou societies, the Ekpe organizational structure mirrored Freemasonry in all of its essential aspects, indicating the strong possibility that much of the imagery and mythology of these West African cults were synthesized as a consequence of collaboration with Freemasonic slave traders. The Ekpe hierarchy consisted of nine initiatory grades, with each successively higher rank ensuring greater prestige within the community. The cult society maintained the loyalty of their community by sponsoring elaborate masquerades, while also acting as a court system for the enforcement of debt collection, the nonpayment of which could result in the debtor being sold to foreign slave traders. Ekpe cults enacted a wide variety of punishments for nonpayment, ranging from fines to property seizure to execution. Those community members who were executed were left tied to trees with their lower jaws removed as a warning that others should obey the dictates of the cult.

Given the Ekpe's participation in enabling the transatlantic slave trade, it may seem counterintuitive that the group provided cultural and spiritual inspiration for another secret society, the Abakua, who would later act as a liberatory force against colonial occupation in Cuba. The latter organization was started by a group of former Ekpe members who had been imported as slaves into Havana, after which they reorganized to form a lodge, Efik Buton, named after a settlement in the Nigerian city of Calabar. Like the Vodou and Ekpe cults, the Abakua Society is structured around a graded degree system and oaths of secrecy are required during initiatory ceremonies. During the Christian festival, Day of the Three Kings, members danced through the streets wearing the Abakua ceremonial outfit, a checkerboard dress and a headpiece topped with tassles. The dress is reminiscent of the checkerboard floors of Freemasonic Lodges, whereas the headpiece is remarkably similar to the fez worn by the Shriners (Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine), who were established as an appendant body to Freemasonry.

Abakua was originally formed as a mutual aid society committed to resisting Spanish authorities by purchasing slaves in order to release them. In recent years the Abakua Society has been reframed as a national symbol of anticolonial liberation struggle by historians such as Dr. Ivor Miller, who has documented the group's cultural narrative through interviews with Abakua elders as well as more conventional academic sources. Miller states that, during the Cuban wars of independence, members of the Abakua formed associations with famous Freemasons like Antonio Maceo, Carlos Manuel de C├ęspedes and other leaders of the Mambi Independence army which fought to end slavery.This documentation should demonstrate that attempts to classify Freemasonry as necessarily always working towards oppressive ends are short-sighted simplifications of a multi-faceted legacy. However, the fraternity's reputation for conspiracy and intrigue is well deserved, and its history includes many reprehensible acts such as playing a central organizing role in colonial racism. Where the furthest extremes of this more problematic representation of societal conditioning play out tends to be in the advanced Freemasonic degrees which are heavily influenced by royalism and an agenda for concentration of wealth and resources.

To cite one example, Confederate war General Albert Pike was the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite's Southern Jurisdiction, who also wrote the primary reference book for Freemasonic ritual, Morals and Dogma. In Klu Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment, Vanderbilt University history department chair Walter L. Fleming wrote “General Albert Pike, who stood high in the Masonic order, was the chief judicial officer of the Klan.” Pike was the owner-publisher of the Memphis Daily Appeal, and on April 16, 1868, he authored an editorial stating the following: “With negroes for witnesses and jurors, the administration of justice becomes a blasphemous mockery. A Loyal League of negroes can cause any white man to be arrested, and can prove any charges it chooses to have made against him...The disenfranchised people of the South...can find no protection for property, liberty or life, except in secret association...We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active and vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed by all but its members.”

As Confederate commissioner of Indian affairs, General Pike negotiated a treaty of alliance between the Confederate government and Native American tribes. One of the signatories of this document was Freemason and Cherokee Chief John Ross. On May 5, 1855, Ross wrote a letter to Reverend Evan Jones, in which he described a “secret society” that had attempted to invade the Cherokee Nation: “It seems that there has been a secret society organized in Delaware and Saline Districts, auxiliary to a Mother Lodge in some of the States or Territories of the United States, and the enclosed copy is a form of the oath it is said to be administered to the members of the Society. But I do not apprehend that the authors of this sinister plot can possibly dupe the Cherokee people into their own ruin and downfall, as the schemes when found out will only render themselves more odious to all who feel an interest in the prosperity and welfare of the Nation.” The oath attempted to bind the Cherokee nation in support for slavery, and to “ any person that you may be instructed to, by the Mother Lodge, for any office in the Cherokee Nation or anywhere else, and to assist any member that may get into difficulty on account of being a brother of the Secret Society and to keep secret the names of the Brothers of the Society and other secrets of the Society.”
The secret society to which Chief Ross was referring was the Cherokee branch of the Knights of the Golden Circle (K.G.T), a fraternal organization that included in its membership many prominent Cherokees including Chief Stand Watie, who was also a Freemason affiliated with Federal Lodge Number One in Washington D.C. The Constitution to this adjunct organization states “No person shall become a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle in the Cherokee Nation who is not a pro-slavery man.” The Kansas Encyclopedia of 1912 states that the organization was formed as part of the Freemasonic Blue Lodges. Despite this uncharacteristic and obviously strategic inclusion of Native Americans by a Freemasonic sect, the Grand Lodge of Arkansas failed to recognize the charters of lodges registered in Native American territory following the end of the Civil War.

The overarching goal of the Knights of the Golden Circle was to create a circular-shaped Southern empire founded on slavery and centered in Havana, Cuba with jurisdictions extending throughout the Caribbean, to the Southern portion of the United States, the Gulf of Mexico, and Central America. The intended addition of fifteen new slave-holding states was to persuade Congress to abandon the goal of abolition. The economic security of the empire was hoped to be provided by slave labor capable of supporting industries including sugar, cotton, tobacco, rice, coffee, indigo and mining.

The political influence of the Knights is thoroughly detailed in The Private Journal and Diary of John H. Surratt, the Conspirator, which describes the author's induction into the fraternity through an elaborate ceremonial rite. Surratt discovered that prominent members of the K.G.C. included congressmen, cabinet members, judges, politicians and actors.. He also reveals the organization's intent to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, a plan whose formation began before the President's inauguration and was finalized with the actions of K.G.C. member John Wilkes Booth. Surratt had been accused of plotting the assassination and narrowly escaped arrest by fleeing the country. His mother, who owned the boarding house where the plot was conceived, was convicted of conspiracy and hanged by the United States Federal Government.

In addition to Freemasonry's role in pursuing colonial policy and intrigue in the Americas, the fraternity has also been unequivocally active in suppressing indigenous populations on the African continent. Renowned statesman, founder of Debeers diamond monopoly and 33rd degree Freemason Cecil Rhodes was one of the primary architects of the laws that would later enable apartheid in South Africa. For over forty years the Cape Colony had been based on laws that allowed the entire population to vote for representatives of the Assembly, irrespective of the race of the voter. Rhodes utilized his role as Prime Minister of the Cape to pass two laws that removed large numbers of native Africans from the electoral role. The Glen Grey Act strictly limited the amount of land Africans could possess, while the other law tripled the property requirements for the vote. The system Rhodes helped to set in place would develop into a framework for racial segregation that enabled white supremacy while reducing black Africans to second class status. The ultimate goal was to unite the entire world under an Anglo-Saxon empire intended to include Africa, South America, much of the Middle East, the East Asian coast and South Pacific Islands.

Once again, a prominent Freemason would call for the formation of a secret society to curtail the political rights of people of color. In his first will, Cecil Rhodes acknowledged plans for a “secret society” aiming towards “the extension of British rule throughout the world”, a goal that would be accomplished by the “ultimate recovery of the United States as an integral part of the British Empire.” The plan would be finalized in “consolidation of the whole Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial Representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.” This organization, The Society of the Elect, was the inner committee for a larger group, the Round Table Movement, which would establish the elite Rhodes scholarship program before finally attempting to implement neocolonial imperialism by way of global think tanks and non-governmental organizations.

In his exhaustive history of Western civilization, Tragedy and Hope, Harvard history professor and U.S. military political consultant Carrol Quigley inserts the following infamous quote: “There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and many of its instruments.” He further elaborates on the machinations of the Round Table group in another book, The Anglo-American Establishment: “This organization has been able to conceal its existence quite successfully, and many of its most influential members, satisfied to possess the reality rather than the appearance of power, are unknown even to close students of British history.”

The Society of the Elect was composed of a small handful of political leaders, including Freemason Lord Alfred Milner, who once stated “My patriotism knows no geographical but only racial limits. I am a British Race patriot.” Due to his success as a colonial administrator in South Africa, Milner was made a baron in 1901 and a viscount in 1902. After his retirement in 1921 Milner was appointed a Knight of the Garter, designating affiliation with the Order of the Garter, an organization which contains no more than 24 members including the British Royal Family. Society of the Elect member Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Esher, was also a friend of royalty, in addition to being a member of Lord Elgin's South African War Commission. Esher was known to be a confidant of Queen Victoria, as well as the most significant advisor to King Edward VII and King George V.

The political authority of the Round Table group in South Africa continued an extensive tradition combining Freemasonry and royalism on the continent. The Royal African Company was a slaving company founded by the House of Stuart, previously mentioned for their role in establishing the Blue degrees of Freemasonry. The company was led by James, Duke of York, the younger brother of James II, and was responsible for the transport of approximately 5,000 slaves per year. The total number of slaves transported between 1672 and 1689 is estimated to be between 90,000 and 100,000. Many of these slaves were branded with the letters DY, in reference to the Duke of York, while others were branded with the company's initials, RAC. The company was granted a monopoly in the region and given the authority to maintain troops, exercise martial law and capture any ships that defied the terms of their monopoly in the area. Revenues derived from slave-trading were divided equally between the King and company shareholders. Its profits were so significant that the Royal African Company played a critical role in the economy of London.

The stage of colonization defined by military conquest can be represented by the company founded by the House of Stuart, whereas the political imposition enacted by the Round Table groups, while no less destructive in its aims, is contingent upon neocolonial policies which seek to hide cultural subjugation under a guise of ostensibly democratic representation. At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, a senior Society of the Elect member named Lionel Curtis proposed the idea of establishing what Quigley describes as an “Anglo-American Institute of foreign affairs”, organized for the purpose of preventing future wars. This organization became known as the Royal Institute for International Affairs (RIIA), also referred to as Chatham House, and its U.S. counterpart became the Council on Foreign Relations. RIIA is now known as the second most influential think tank in the world, behind the Brookings Institute. The Queen of England is designated as the official patron of Chatham House, and through it, as well as other non-state actors, the influence of royalism maintains a covert presence in the international political process.

That Lord Milner, a key member of the Round Table groups, would also claim Knighthood in the Order of the Garter is likely no coincidence, considering that the Order is itself founded on the myth of King Arthur's Round Table. The Order of the Garter is the highest order of chivalry in England, considered to be the pinnacle of the British honors system after hereditary peerages, which are now normally only given to members of the Royal Family. Membership in the Order is always bestowed as the sole prerogative of the Monarch. In the historical treatise, Order of the Garter, politician, Freemason, royalist sympathizer and court astrologer Elias Ashmole contends that “The Order of the Garter was formed by Edward III, perhaps in imitation of King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.” Froissart's Chronicles, recognized as the primary expression of the 14th century chivalric revival, states “The King of England took pleasure to re-edify the Castle of Windsor, which was begun by King Arthur, and there first began the Table Round, whereby sprang the fame of so many noble knights throughout all the World. Then King Edward determined to make an Order and a be called Knights of the Blue Garter, and a feast to be kept yearly on St. George's Day.”
Arthurian legend tells the story of how the Round Table was designed to seat 24 knights, in parallel with the strict membership limitation of 24 within the Order of the Garter. There are other indications of the Order's origins in esoteric symbolism as well, such as its insignia which depicts a red cross on a white background, the same image that was carried on the banners of the Knights Templar. The red cross in the Order's insignia is depicted in the center of an 8-pointed star, traditionally known as the star of Venus or Ishtar. Within Babylonian and Assyrian cultures, the 8-pointed star of Ishtar was an astrological representation of the four cardinal directions divided by the two solstices and equinoxes.

Taken together, this symbolic imagery likely indicates the Order's association with ancient mystery schools that trace a direct line of descent from the cults of antiquity through mystical Catholic orders to the occult fraternities that form the basis of today's shadow government system.
The Order of the Garter's close relationship with Freemasonry is suggested by observing the extensive number of high-ranking Freemasons who have also been members of the Royal Family. The United Grand Lodge of England is the main governing body of Freemasonry within England and other Commonwealth countries. As the oldest Grand Lodge in the world, according to its records, the lodge is often recognized as the “home Grand Lodge” by international Freemasons. The current Grand Master of the lodge is Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, who continues an uninterrupted tradition of heading the lodge as royalty since it began keeping records in 1813. The book 10,000 Famous Freemasons, published by Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, claims that Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, was initiated into Freemasonry in 1952, stating: “Present at the initiation were the Earl of Scarbrough, Grand Master...and Geoffrey Fisher, archbishop of Canterbury. The lodge has many ties with the royal family as King Edward VII served as its first master in 1896 when he was Prince of Wales. King George VI...served as master when he was Duke of York.”

There is a certain amount of historical evidence intimating that the Royal Family's preoccupation with Arthurian legend, and concurring membership in secret societies, may not be a simple matter of antiquated pomp and circumstance, but instead a deliberate attempt to conceal a historical pedigree that could damage the family's claim to support democratic political structures. In the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, authors Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln unearth documents that they claim provide evidence of a secret society existing for the purpose of housing genealogical records that trace the origins of present reigning Monarchs to the Merovignian dynasty, which was ostensibly deposed in 751. The authors believe that these records were maintained by secret societies, including the Rosicrucians, Templars, and Freemasons, which sought to conceal evidence of the royal bloodline whose descendants would go on to take leadership roles in these same secret societies. In the course of pursuing research for the book, the authors discovered a series of pamphlets that contained royal pedigrees stretching from the early Middle Ages to the present day.

Three of the authors linked to the dissemination of the pamphlets were later found to have died under mysterious circumstances that point strongly towards murder. Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln managed to locate the daughter of another of the authors, who was unaware of her father's apparent interest in genealogy, yet also informed her interviewers that he had been denied a visa for entry into the United States on account of suspected espionage or other clandestine activity. Although the book has been dismissed by professional scholars as pseudo-history, probably in large part because of the authors' belief that the royal bloodlines they studied may have descended from Jesus, the dizzying volume of data contained within the book is unparalleled in scope, and far too exhaustively researched to be based purely in speculation. While many fans of the book argue that Holy Blood... exposes an unorthodox religious history with liberatory implications, few of these readers have speculated as to why it may be that a genuinely altruistic organization would resort to murder to maintain the cover of secrecy.

One possible explanation for this seeming paradox is that high-ranking initiates did, in fact, work to subvert dominant social institutions, not as a secret ploy to liberate the masses, but instead as a route to consolidate political and economic power for themselves and their descendants. In this scenario, a democratic political framework would be the ideal camouflage for exercising such a strategy, and the numerous proto-globalist projects of the Round Table movement may serve as prime example of this pattern. What this supposition amounts to is a literal re-establishment of the divine right of kings under cover of representative government. Of particular interest in pursuing this line of reasoning is historical data linking the legend of King Arthur's Round Table, and perhaps, Cecil Rhodes' Round Table groups as well, to the royal bloodlines from which present day Monarchs descended.

Wolfram von Eschenbach is the author of Parzival, which is considered to be one of the most important works of Arthurian literature, particularly for its focus on the Holy Grail which shifted focus away from King Arthur himself to other Knights of the Round Table. The story recounts the tale of Lohengrin, son of the Grail King Parzival and member of a secret order whose mission is to provide lords to kingdoms that have lost their protectors. Lohengrin was said to have rescued and then married the duchess of Brabant, after which he informed her that she was forbidden from asking him about his origins or ancestry. When the duchess finally succumbed to curiosity, Lohengrin abruptly departed, leaving behind a child of uncertain lineage. According to Eschenbach, this child was either the father or grandfather of Godfroi de Boullion, founder of the Knights Templar who captured Jerusalem from the Saracens. Bouillon himself was the subject of numerous legends attributing him with supernatural lineage, such as the story of his half-serpent daughter Melusine. Bouillon is also the subject of legend amongst Freemasons, who erected a statue of him alongside Lichfield Chapel which is considered to be a Christian holy site. In his book on Cecil Rhodes' wills, Society of the Elect member William T. Stead makes the following comment. In light of the historical and mythological data expressed above, this otherwise inexplicable quote becomes far more intriguing: “He aspired to be the creator of one of those vast semi-religious, quasi-political associations which, like the Society of Jesus, have played so large a part in the history of the world. To be more strictly accurate, he wished to found an Order as the instrument of the will of the Dynasty, and while he lived he dreamed of being both its Caesar and its Loyola.”