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Freemasonry in Culture
Movies, TV, Books, & other Entertainment

Much of the information in this chart comes from others who have sent me emails, and often I put their information on the chart even though I do not know if it is accurate. Also, please remember that some people "see" Masonic aspects of movies, tv shows, and other cultural items that others might not think are really Masonic.

I am always willing to correct anything that others feel may be inaccurate.  Movies and TV shows are listed alphabetically, ignoring "the," "a," etc.

If anyone wants to send me email, especially if any of the information on this chart is not correct or if you know of additional information that should be included, please send me email by clicking on my name:
Paul M. Bessel

Movies

Movie Details
Any Given Sunday Starring Al Pacino. A film about a professional football team. In the film there is a fictional football team called the Dallas Knights. Their team logo is a triangular "All Seeing Eye" and a Templar cross.
Brotherhood of the Wolf a French film, set in the 18th or 19th century that became popular in the U.S. a couple of years ago. In one scene the main characters happen upon some ruins in the forest. One of the characters explains to the others that the ruins were of a Templar Church, one of the other characters, A Native American clairvoyant says something about there being a number of people tortured or killed on that spot. The movie's plot revolves around a secret society that wishes to overthrow the monarchy using a supernatural werewolf type creature. Also, in several scenes there is a fireplace visible in the background that appears to have a square and compass type design.
In the original "Cape Fear," with Robert Mitchum From an email message: Robert Mitchum makes mention of a dance hosted by the "Veiled Prophets," meaning the Grotto?
Cremaster 3 From an email message: A movie based on the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, titled "Cremaster 3," will be screened at the Film Forum in Manhattan from May 15-28, 2002. This is the last installment of a five-part film ["Cremaster 4" was the first] by Matthew Barney. Click on http://filmforum.com/cremaster3.html
As Barney, the writer/director/star, puts it: "The story has primarily to do with the construction of the Chrysler tower. And, as the Architect
is described, it starts overlapping with the mythology of the Freemasons. Hiram Abiff, the architect of Solomon's Temple, is the martyr in Freemasonry, in that he was killed by corrupt stonemasons who worked beneath him. They believed he knew the name of G-d and they wanted to be told the name of G-d. Hiram wouldn't tell them so he was killed by a plumb and a level to the temple [sic] and a maul to the forehead. So 'Cremaster 3' starts to fold into some of the mythologies of Freemasonry that way. Richard Serra's character, the Architect, becomes like Hiram at a certain point. And the Chrysler tower is actually never completed in the same way that the Temple of Solomon is never completed."
Click on
http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/barney/clip1.html
http://www.guggenheim.org/press_releases/barney.html
Dying Young From an email message:  There are two scenes where there is a statue of the woman by the broken column and the man grabbing her hair.
End of Days Supposedly a Secret Masonic order is discussed and they are trying to kill the main girl in the movie.
Erin Brockovich Shows a Square and Compasses on a corner stone of the courthouse
First Knight The following is from an email that was sent to me:
King Arthur tells Lancelot, "Tomorrow at sunrise you'll be born again, into a new life." When Lancelot  ( Richard Gere ) is knighted, the pledge is "Brother to Brother, yours in life and death." Each knight in turn says this to him while his hand is on Lancelot's shoulder, his on theirs. The king tells Lancelot, "If you must die for something, die for something greater than yourself." King Arthur (Sean Connery) tells him that every one of the members of the knights' council is equal. "No head, no foot, every one is the same," and in Camelot the king is there to serve. "In serving each other, we become free men." "Burn the walls, knock down these stones and Camelot lives on. It's a belief we hold in our hearts." 
From Hell This is a story about the Jack the Ripper murders, and the movie is based on a book, and presents the allegations, that "the Ripper" was actually a Freemason, who worked with other Masons to murder and mutilate women who knew secrets about the British Royal family that could have caused the public to be upset with them and with the Freemasons who were in high government positions. Masonic rituals are shown, as are men wearing Masonic aprons and jewels, and Masonic rings. This is an antimasonic movie.
Ghosts of Mississippi Starring Whoopi Goldberg and one of the Baldwin brothers. It is the story of the murder of civil rights icon Medgar Evers. The killer, who managed to remain free for a number of years was allegedly Byron Delay Beckwith. The aforementioned Baldwin brother plays a prosecutor who is prompted by Mrs. Evers (Goldberg) to reopen the case and bring her husband's killer to trial. In the first scene of the movie, it shows Mr. Beck driving in a car with a Shriner symbol attached to his rear view mirror. This is in fact is the first camera shot in the opening scene. The camera focuses in on the Shrine insignia, then fades out to show the car travelling in a rural area. Later on in the movie the symbol shows up in various evidence photos, and the killer wears a Shrine lapel pin throughout his trial. I'm not sure if they were trying to allude to a Masonic conspiracy among Southern Masons in law enforcement or to Mr. Beckwith's membership in the fraternity.
Lara Croft Tomb Raider According to what I've been told about this movie, it has many Masonic references, such as the All Seeing Eye, and a group called the Illuminati which is searching for light or knowledge.
Like Water for Chocolate Masonic funeral is clearly enacted
Lion King Head lion's partner had a cane with two balls attached to it
Lone Star According to an email sent to me, this movie makes several references to the Craft. Unfortunately, they are negative by association. The skeleton of a corrupt sheriff, played by Kris Kristofferson, is identified in part by his Masonic ring. It is a great movie, though.
Losing Isaiah a lawyer played by Samuel L. Jackson sports masonic pin on his lapel
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Freeze frame and take a close look at the "ringmaster's" jewel.
Magnolia (with Tom Cruise) There were various symbols of the craft. Part of the movie dealt with a kids quiz show and showed the backdrop of a wall which had various symbols such as the sign for medicine, knowledge, etc., but also showed a large square and compass. Also prior to the quiz show host going on the show (he was dying of cancer in the movie), his producer had his hand on his back with the camera focused on his Masonic ring and he said: "We met upon the level and we are parting on the square."
The Man Who Would Be King Many references to Freemasonry throughout the movie; they are the key to the whole plot.
Mississippi Burning A film about the murder of 3 civil rights workers in a small Mississippi town. In the film, Gene Hackman and Willem Defoe are a pair of FBI agents who are conducting an investigation into the murders. All the suspects were members of the Ku Klux Klan. Hackman and Defoe go to one suspect's house to question him about the murders and upon leaving Hackman points out a wedding picture that was in the house that had all the groomsmen giving a sign in which three of their fingers were pointing down. Defoe asks if it is some sort of Masonic symbol and Hackman says, "No, K.K.K."
Murder by Decree Story about the Jack the Ripper murders, presenting allegations that that they were part of a Masonic plot to cover up Royal wrongdoing and to maintain the hold Freemasons had on the English government.
National Treasure The entire film is about the search for a lost treasure that is said to have been collected and protected by the Knights Templar and then by the Freemasons, particularly Masons who were among the founding fathers of the United States. There are many references throughout the film to Freemasonry, almost all positive.
Road Rage There is a car chase scene in which pursuer and pursued dodge around a bus painted with Shriners' symbols.
Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) Flynn and someone else performed the five points of fellowship
Rosewood Prince Hall Masons help a white Mason who is a criminal, telling each other that this is what Masonry is all about. As a result they get into trouble that results in a racial pogrom that destroys the black part town. Also, shots of Masonic symbols on buildings.
Salvador From an email to me: In the 1986 movie "Salvador", directed by Oliver Stone, starring Jim Belushi and James Woods. James Woods is wearing a Hawaiian shirt when he meets with a US politician in Salvador. The imprinting on the shirt is covered with Red Shriner Fez's. From this point on he wears the shirt through the remainder of the movie
Shoot 'Em Up The bad guy in the movie wears a masonic pin on his coat throughout the movie.
The Skulls A recent film about an Ivy League secret society resembling that of the Skull and Bones. The candidates are placed in coffins during an initiation ritual in which they are sort of resurrected.
A Soldier's Story From an email message: The character played by Howard E. Rollins is a Black Army Captain who is told by a Black First Sergeant, "Every member of the Lodge is rooting for you, sir." This occurs just before Howard Rollin's character is about to meet the company Commander for the first time. The Company Commander is white and has never seen a "Negro officer."
a Laurel & Hardy picture called "Sons of the Desert" From an email message: I haven't seen it yet, but it's about a fraternal order of fez-wearing members.
Spartan Val Kilmer's character says: "If I want camaraderie I'll join the Masons." (He is trying to impress on a fellow soldier that they should not try to become friends.)
Tombstone "Hell, I have lots of friends.", one character says as he leans over the campfire, as his necklace with a wooden square and compass swings out, just after Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) is said, by Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), to be "walking on water".
True Grit Kim Darby instructs that her father be buried with his Masonic apron.
Van Helsing

From an email to me:
In the begining VanHelsing is wearing a mask with the "All seeing eye" and is in a castle with a large fireplace with the 32 degree scottish rite double-headed eagle etched in stone in place of the mantle.
The Director and writer are Stehphen Sommers who also directed The Mummy, The Scorpion King, and The Lion King, all of which contain masonic references.

Further listings at the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/cinema.html 
 

Television Shows

TV show Details
Are You Being Served (British sitcom set in a department store. 1979 episode.)
Mr. Humphries=I can't stand secrets.
Mr. Lucas=That's the reason you never became a freemason.
Mr. Lucas=Among others.
In the Heat of the Night Carroll O'Conner's (playing Chief of Police Bill Gillespie) Masonic Ring can be seen in numerous scenes. I do not know if Carroll O'Conner was a mason in real life or not.
Inspector Morse (PBS "Mystery" series, also aired on A&E) Episode titled "Masonic Mysteries"
Millennium There were numerous Masonic references up to and including a Masonic plot to take over the world.
Newsradio In one episode, the silly owner of the radio station is suing someone who cheated him, and he is told that if he wants to win his lawsuit he should know that all Judges are Freemasons, and all he has to do to win is tell the judge the secret word of the Masons, which is Tubalcane.  He tried to win his case on the merits, but is losing, so he says Tubalcane and the Judge immediately says he wins his case.
Simpsons In one episode the father joins a fraternal group called the Stonecutters, which has some resemblance to the Freemasons, but which is satirized, and which has a nice song about allegations of controlling the world, etc.

From an email message: Homer discovers that his father is a member. They're all around the table and his dad starts pulling out dues card and as he does, he names them. He says something to the effect of, "Let's see here, I'm a Mason, a Communist, a member of the Gay-Lesbian Alliance, and ... oh yes, here it is, a Stonecutter."

A Second Simpsons... In the episode where Burns builds a Casino. He is acting crazy or "eccentric" like Hughes was reported to act and one of his hallucinations was germs chanting "Freemasons rule the world, Freemasons rule the world."

Further listings at the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/tv.html 
 

Books & Stories

Book Details
The Cask of Amontillado
by Edgar Allen Poe
One of the characters asks another if he is a Mason. In fact, the entire short story revolves around this pun.
The Da Vinci Code By Dan Brown. The Book is a murder mystery involving the supposed family of Jesus, through French royalty. Freemasonry is referred to in many places, as Masons are said to be among those protecting the secret that Jesus had a family and descendants.
A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
One of the officers says he doesn't believe in religion but in Freemasonry.
Sherlock Holmes There are a number of references to Freemasonry in the Sherlock Holmes books, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a Freemason.

1-The Adventure of the Norwood Builder (Masonic watch charm).
I assure you that, beyond the obvious facts that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you."
Familiar as I was with my friend's methods, it was not difficult for me to follow his deductions, and to observe the untidiness of attire, the sheaf of legal papers, the watch-charm, and the breathing which had prompted them. Our client, however, stared in amazement.

2-The Red-Headed League
Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning glances. "Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else."
Mr. Jabez Wilson started up in his chair, with his forefinger upon the paper, but his eyes upon my companion.
"How, in the name of good-fortune, did you know all that, Mr. Holmes?" he asked. "How did you know, for example, that I did manual labour? It's as true as gospel, for I began as a ship's carpenter."
"Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is quite a size larger than your left. You have worked with it, and the muscles are more developed."
"Well, the snuff, then, and the Freemasonry?"
"I won't insult your intelligence by telling you how I read that, especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, you use an arc-and-compass breastpin."

3-The Adventure of the Retired Colourman (Masonic tie pin).

The Valley of Fear includes an account of an initiation in the "Society of Freemen"

Two Crowns for America
by Katherine Kurtz
For Kurtz, the Revolutionary War was the fourth attempt to remove the Hanovarians from the throne and replace them with the rightful Stuart monarchs. The first three attempts, in 1715, 1719 and 1745 were centered in the British Isles and failed. The supporters of the Stuarts used their Freemasonry lodges to guide the American colonists in the fourth attempt to replace the Stuarts. Masonic magic is available in the world Kurtz portrays. Prophetic dreams come to George Washington to prepare him for his role in the war. Joseph Warren, after being killed during the Battle of Breed's Hill is able to communicate with Mason Simon Wallace, a staunch supporter of the Charles Edward Stuart who had been named to the Order of the Thistle by the Scottish Pretender. 
War and Peace Many references to Masons, including a detailed description of a Masonic initiation using European ritual.
Further listings at the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon http://www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/literature.html 
 

Music

Music Details
Rapper DMX had a hit song that started out the first verse with "I've been threw mad different phases like Masons to find my way and now I know that happy days are not far away"
Steve Earle,  in the song Copperhead Road, on the album of the same name A line goes:

"Daddy ran the whiskey in big black dodge,
Bought it at an auction at the mason's lodge."

House of Pain, a popular Irish-American rap group Has the following lyrics in one of its songs: "Do you know / about the Masons / about their nation?" And later on, "To the 33rd degree, you know that's me."
video "Its Tricky" by the rap group RUN DMC the young lady who is playing the card game with Penn and Teller is wearing a black 32 degree Scottish Rite hat.
There is a CD titled "Mirakle" by Bailey, Tacuma & Weston From an email message: 

The artwork in the package is laden with Masonic imagery, including tracing boards.

It was a great surprise to stumble across it in Tower Records' jazz section.
I was browsing through Chet Baker and all of the sudden there's a Third
Degree tracing board staring at me. I e-mailed the record company to ask if
Freemasonry was important to the band, and I was told no, it was a simple
matter of the art director liking the images.

Click on
http://www.forcedexposure.com/artists/bailey.jamaaladeen.tacuma.calvin.weston.kerek.html

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus Masonic themes are in The Magic Flute (K.620), Masonic Funeral Music (K.477), Gesellenreise - A Fellowcraft's Journey (K.469), O Heiliges Band (K.148), Zerflieszet Heut, Geliebte Bruder (K.483), Ihr Unsre Neuen Leiter (K.484)
Sibelius, Jean Composed music for each Craft degree, which is used in the degree work in Finland. Masonic music of Sibelius is known as Musique Religieuse Op. 113 and it has been recorded both in Finnish and English (by masons). The rights of these recordings - and sheet music - belong to F. & A.M. Suomi Lodge No. 1 in which Sibelius was a member.
Sousa, John Philip Marches include Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, The Thunderer, The Crusader, Foshay Tower Masonic Memorial 
 


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