Narrative of the events in the successive Sessions transacted in the court of King Herod Agrippa, (1) that blossomed, culminating in the foundation of the Masonic Association. Session of June 24 of the year 43 after Christ: How Hiram Abiud, Counselor of the King Herod, conceived the idea of founding the Masonic Association, proposing it in the Court of Jerusalem.
On that date Hiram presented himself before King Herod, expressing himself in the following terms:
Majesty, when I saw that the impostor Jesus' men and their followers increased in number and endeavored to confuse the Jewish people with their preaching, I decided to present myself before Your Majesty to propose the foundation of a secret association whose principles might attack those confusers with all the means within our reach to bring their corrupt and corrupting works to collapse and to eliminate them, if it is possible. The King heard him, pleased, and said to him: Speak, Hiram!
Majesty: It has been confirmed before Your Excellency and before all, that that Impostor, Jesus, has captivated, with his teachings and his acts (both deceptive) the hearts of a part of the Jewish people, your people; and how it is obvious that his partisans are multiplied day by day.
It is evident, also, that since his appearance until and including his death, and from his death until today, we have not known how to attack efficiently those whom we should call "our enemies'" nor have we been able to eliminate all that is inculcated in the simple hearts of the people, all the teachings opposed to our religion, which are corrupt and false.
We must recognize, although it may grieve us, that the multiple persecutions realized against that Impostor, and notwithstanding. submitting him to justice, sentencing him and crucifying him: the result has been futile. Without effect our fathers battled tirelessly. We believe in their having conquered in the battle, but we have not obtained nor perceived even any sign of success. We contemplate, confounded, that the more arduous our battle is against his partisans, the greater is the number of his followers, and the number of sympathizers with the religion established by him increases. It seems that there has been a hand, a force, secret, mysterious, that punishes us without our being able to offer resistance. It seems we have lost all our strength to defend our religion and our existence itself.
Majesty, based on the evidence that there is no efficacious means of incorporating our ideas, nor firm hope of attacking that force, undoubtedly mysterious; there is no other path than to establish a Mysterious force, similar to that one (to attack mystery with mystery, in mystery). I have come to the conclusion that it is our unavoidable duty, unless you have a better idea, to establish an Association of a greater power so it may assemble the Jewish forces threatened by that mysterious force. It is fitting that no one know anything about its foundation, its principles and its actions. Only those whom Your Majesty may choose as founders will know the secret of the foundation.
Only the active associates will know the important decrees. The central see will be this palace and we will found affiliates in all the centers that might be invaded by the preachers of the teachings that the Impostor published with such audacity. Therefore, Majesty, what do you think of the creation of this longed-for force, with which we will attack and eliminate that hidden but real power that threatens our existence?
Speaking then, the King said: You know, oh Hiram, that your idea is glorious, it is worthy of your privileged intelligence, it could not have come except from your heart, ardent with religious zeal, oh, genius of profound judgment!
We must realize this project as quickly as possible. We must ask the opinion of Moab(2). Then we will choose the men who will participate in the foundation with us.
Summon Moab tomorrow. Do not let him know anything. I will inform him.
(1) Herod Agrippa Is king of Judea from the year 37 to the year 44 of our era. He is the grandson of Herod the Great, who ordered the infants of Bethlehem slain.
(2). Moab Is the first counselor of Herod Agrlppa.
The second meeting King Herod held with Moab Levy, his first counselor, and Hiram Abiud, on June 25 of the year 43 of our era.
King Herod spoke first and said: What happened and what continues happening, my two companions, since the appearance of the impostor Jesus, deserves to occupy our attention.
We must find a means to help us attack that sect of people that, in spite of their small number, confuses the people with their false teachings. Moreover, those who adopt those falsities not only conform themselves by their adoption, but practice them devoutly and, to fill the measure to overflowing, they publish them courageously, without any fear, wherever they go.
Let us note that the propagation of such teaching increases day by day. Let us recognize that their followers, now perfectly identified with the cause, have separated themselves from our religion. Let us not doubt that those who waver today will soon fall in the snare of the deceit.
To avoid this danger, no other alternative remains to us than to establish an Association whose object will be to incorporate secretly the spirit of the Jewish Nation and to be able thus to crush that mysterious and criminal hand that directs that movement, and to silence its propaganda. If we do not succeed in this intention, many people, inclined toward the lies preached by that deceiver, will fall under his influence.
Before the problem worsens, my dear friends, we must give it the importance it deserves. Let us now select the companions who will collaborate with us in the foundation. These must be possessors of proven honor, profound discretion, great activity and immense zeal for the protection of the Jewish religion.
I offer you, Hiram, our appreciation, for having been the suggester of this idea: to found this Association for such a noble purpose. Speaking then, Hiram said: May God prolong the age of Your Majesty the King. All the merit belongs to Your Majesty; from your noble origin the entire nation takes grace; all the good the Nation possesses redounds from your blessing.
I beg your Majesty the King to select our brothers and companions to form the Association. Then Herod named nine men, ordering Moab and Hiram to record their names, that is: The King, Herod Agrippa, Hiram Abiud, Moab Levy, Johanan, Antipas, Jacob Abdon, Solomon Aberon, Adoniram and Ashad Abia.
The Foundation of the Association, "The Mysterious Force"(3)
The founders named, just mentioned, were summoned and they met, presided over by King Herod Agrippa. He began the session with the following discourse:
Dear Brothers: You are not the King's men and his collaborators. You are the support of the King and of the life of the Jewish people. Until now you have been his faithful followers. >From this moment on you will be his brothers.
I give you this title of Brothers so you may evaluate my sentiments toward you and the tenderness you wrest from me for the purpose that has brought us together here in this important session I give you this very affectionate title to demonstrate to you that, in spite of being your King, I am your brother in the Jewish nation, in the Jewish religion, for which my heart overflows with love and devotion. All reasons that oblige me, from now on, to help you and be faithful to you. Above all we need to be brothers in order to begin properly the undertaking for which I have called you and which will be of great benefit for our country.
Each one of you knows, without doubt, the obligations towards one's brother. From this moment on, I want you to know that I have linked myself to you with the obligations of a brother. These obligations are greater than those of a King toward his subjects, for the betrayal of a King is not improbable, but the betrayal of a brother impossible.
(3). This name. was suggested by King Agrippa for the purpose of attacking the Divine force, mysterious according to them, with a similar force, but how different is the Divine from the human!
Let us all understand then, and let us not forget, that this fundamental meeting realized by this new group is based on Brotherhood. On this Brotherhood we will build our edifice; and that title of tenderness, "Brotherhood," will be the cornerstone of our edifice until the end of time.
My Brothers: The aristocracy as well as the common people have perceived the spiritual and even political revolt that the appearance of the Impostor Jesus has caused among the people, and especially among our Israelites.
Since that man arose, preaching those false teachings and inculcating that spirit that he pretentiously called the "divine spirit," numerous persons whose spirits are confused and corrupted are joining him. He attributed divinity to himself. Being nothing but an indigent, he disputed with us over the Kingdom. We have noted a great power in him, which he left as an inheritance to that group he called disciples. He founded an Association that he called a religion, it being called that by them as well. This supposed religion is at the point of overturning the foundations of our religion and demolishing it.
Being nothing but a humble one and an impostor, he adopted the name, "Jesus of Nazareth, 'King of the Jews." He claimed to have been conceived by a divine power and born of a virgin, one who remained a virgin even after having given birth. He exaggerated in this deceit and fraud until affirming that He was God, the Son of God, and the One sent by God, doing everything that God does.
He attributed to himself the gift of prophecy and the power of performing miracles. He claimed to be the hoped-for Messias of whom our prophets announced the coming; not being anything but a vulgar man like the rest of the people, devoid of any feature of the Divine Spirit, withdrawn to the extreme from the rectitude of our firm Jewish doctrine, from which we are determined not to deviate in even one point.
Never will we recognize such a person as the Messias, nor will we recognize his divinity. We know that the hoped-for Messias is not yet among us, nor has the time of his coming arrived. Nor has any sign been exhibited that might indicate his appearance. If we commit the error of letting our people follow him and be deceived, we convict ourselves of an unforgiveable crime. He was submitted to justice and sentenced to the maximum penalty. He was chastised and injured like the greatest of criminals. He bore all that with extraordinary patience that astonished everyone. Finally, we crucified him, he died and we buried him, leaving guards who watched the tomb. But it was claimed that he was risen, resurrected! Abandoning the tomb. We did not find out how his "resurrection" happened, nor did the guards. No one doubted the loyalty of those posted at the tomb because they were from among his enemies. He disappeared in an unknown manner, in spite of the zealous vigilance and the security of the closure.
His followers later claimed to have been with him (living), as he was before his death; that is, with his body and spirit. They spread the news, then, that he ascended to Heaven and that he will come on the day of Final Judgment to judge the living and the dead. His leaving the tomb, my friends, was a decisive blow for his rivals; it was a powerful means that encourages his men to continue spreading his teachings and to prove the confirmation of his divinity.
Brothers: that was a severe blow that our fathers suffered, demolishing their force and ours as well. His partisans dispute with us over religious authority and temporal authority; with the first to attack our religion and with the second to take the Kingdom from us.
We will not recognize, on any point, a religion other than ours, the Jewish religion that we have inherited from our ancestors. Duty calls us to preserve it until the end of time.
That blow had never been expected. That mysterious force had never been dreamed of. Our fathers attacked it and we continue attacking it. In spite of everything, astonishing! Their number increases. Observe with me how the son is separated from the father, the brother from his brother, the daughter from her mother, all alienating themselves to join that group. This affair encloses a great secret. How many men, how many women, how many entire families have abandoned the Jewish religion in order to follow those impostors, those partisans of Jesus. How many times they were threatened by the priests and authorities, in vain!
Brothers: there is something that we must not ignore. Since that impostor Jesus began his teaching and preaching years ago - I beg you to consider this among the secrets we must keep he spoke to the people like a man, in spite of his youth. Our fathers asserted it, having been witnesses present. Our fathers gathered in the corridors of the temple, they deliberated and discussed what would have to be done to destroy that danger that threatened the Jewish religion. They did not omit using even a single means to serve, in that way, the Jewish religion and nation. If this enthusiasm had not intervened, the number of Jesus' partisans would be much greater.
Now then: if our fathers have triumphed partially in impeding the people from following the confusers, they have done so without any association, without a spirit of unity, without a strong official league. How successful will it be, then, if we found this Association? Will it not be astonishing?
I swear by my life! I swear by Reason! That we will attain a ll our desire, we will attain our longings, not only of impeding the Jews from following that confusing force, but of crushing that force and its leaders.
Although we may not reach that ultimate phase, that of final triumph, we will at least liquidate that terrible current that threatens our nation; thus we will save its existence, and the name, Jew, will not be blotted out.
It would be fatal if we did not imitate the enthusiasm of our fathers, for if we do not persist in the cause opened by them, know from this point on that the Jewish nation will be blotted out and not a single trace of it will remain. We cannot tolerate our silence, being the leaders of the destinies of the nation. Would we, by our silence, commit a crime against ourselves, against our children, against our grandchildren and against all our descendants? Then. brothers, in order to exchange ideas and reach an agreement about the foundation of an Association that endorses the intention mentioned and explained, I have called you to this meeting of a private, political and religious nature. We will strike, thus, the first of our blows at all those followers of the imposter, especially those outstanding in the villages, who excel in deceit; for in each one of those villages an affiliate of the Association will function.
We will not be able to diminish them without a general league that unites us all and to make the formation of that league possible it is necessary that the principal center be here.
Let us not have the slightest doubt that our Association will be of very great importance and of invincible power, with which we will cast to the ground that mysterious force and every thing built by Jesus, his disciples and his partisans.
I have chosen you and called you from among my people, demonstrating the confidence I have placed in you; if it were not so, I would not have attempted this secret. I ratify my hope that you will unite your hearts, bodies, words and acts with mine. This is my faith in you; this is my adherence to the religion and to the nation. I believe you value my confidence in this affair. How do you respond to what I have told you?
You must keep the secret! Adonirom arose and speaking for all those present before the King said: Majesty: because of the great emotion that seizes me, I take upon myself the privilege of speaking in my name and in that of my brothers, my present companions. I do not doubt that the loyalty of these brothers toward the nation is any less than yours or mine. If our desires and longings are united, then our hearts will be as well. Thus, we have a single heart in several bodies. To this heart we will unite thousands of other hearts and we will incorporate them to it. How can this not be carried out if Your Majesty has already placed the first stone in this edifice, if he has placed the cornerstone on a foundation as firm as "Brotherhood?" A marvelous title, as is its suggester. Majesty, we salute you and we salute the Jewish nation incarnate in your person. Who among us does not offer his service to these ideals, on hearing your so certain and sweet words? Who among us does not rise like a lion to attack those defrauders, to kill them and to kill their partisans, even though it may be one of our sons?
We are all hopeful that the league alluded to by Your Majesty will spring from our Association. From it will be born a very great force with which we will eliminate that magic power of the Impostor and we will defeat his partisans. Thus we will save our Kingdom which will be prolonged until the end of the world.
Then Adoniram, directing his glance toward his companions, said to them: What is your reply?" To which they all cried as one: We approve everything that you have said. Then King Agrippa said: I am grateful to you; I appreciate your enthusiasm; I appreciate your zeal. The confidence you have placed in me pleases me a great deal. Let us meet again, then, the day after tomorrow, to found the Association and to take the oath of sincerity and fidelity. We will begin our work immediately.
Hiram, who was entrusted with writing what was manifested in this session, said: Majesty, dear Brothers: Because of his great courtesy, His Majesty has attributed to me, his faithful servant, the merit for the conception of the idea of founding this Association. It is my duty to offer my gratitude to His Highness and dear Majesty. I ask permission of my Lord to make known a final word concerning the subject in this session: In spite of my being the creator of the idea and the expounder of it before His Majesty, I must acknowledge the merit of its having been approved, embraced and protected; we must keep in mind his firm will of carrying out this Association, of bearing it to triumph, which will be the triumph of the nation and the religion.
Therefore, I ask you, Brothers, to approve the recording of the name of His Majesty with the title of Founder, in the Register of the Association.
Moab Levy speaking, said: You are doing well, Hiram, by your fidelity and submission to our Lord; we accept and acknowledge your renunciation of this right that we all acknowledge as His Majesty acknowledges it. We share your fidelity with you and we agree with the request. Let the name of His Majesty be noted in the records as founder.
Hiram so noted it and said: Does it please my Lord that the name of the Association be the "Jewish Fraternal Union?" The King replied: No, Hiram. Yesterday I have prepared another name. "The Mysterious Force." Do you all approve it? They all answered: Indeed, we approve it.
The name was recorded. The King said: Let all be present the day after tomorrow so each one of us may take the oath corresponding to his responsibility. And the meeting was closed.
The Frightful Oath
In the presence of the nine Founders, the King, presiding over the session, began it, saying:
My Brothers: I have no doubt of your sincerity and affection. We know that your respective functions are in direct relationship with the Jewish religion and nation, with the country and the king; for that reason we must bind ourselves by on oath that each one of us must take in the presence of the others.
I have composed its text and I have called it the FRIGHTFUL OATH. I will be the first to take it. I will read its formula to you before taking it officially, so you may approve it if it seems complete to you.
And the King began the reading of the text of the Oath.
Text of the Oath:
"I, (John Doe, son of John Doe), swear by God, the Bible and my honor, that, having become a member of the nine founders of the Association, 'The Mysterious Force,' I bind myself not to betray my brothers, the members, in anything that might harm their persons, nor to betray anything concerning the decrees of the Association. I bind myself to follow its principles and to realize what is proposed in the successive decrees approved by you, the nine founders, with obedience and precisian, with zeal and fidelity. I bind myself to work for .an increase in the number of its members. I bind myself to attack whoever follows the teachings of the impostor Jesus and to combat his men until death. I bind myself not to divulge any of the secrets preserved among us, the nine; either among outsiders or among the affiliated members.
"If I commit perjury and my betrayal is confirmed in that I have revealed some secret or some article of the decrees preserved among us and heirs this commission of eight companions will have the right to kill me by whatever means available."
The King repeated the reading of the Oath three times so that all might understand it well before its being recorded.
Hiram said: My Lord, the King: the text of this Oath is solely for us, the Founders; therefore, there must be another formula for the affiliates. For as Your Majesty has said, no one other than we must know the secrets of the foundation.
The King replied: I know all this, Hiram; this Oath issolely for us. On finalizing the foundation we will prepare the general Oath. You must know, moreover, that all those who are our heirs must bind themselves with our Oath.
The King continued. Brothers: you have seen that this Oath is horrifying, frightful. Each one of us must mediate on it before taking it, for oath binds the Founder with chains of steel. It chains him to the brotherhood, it chains him to the fundamental principles whether they be innocent or corrupt. It chains him with obedience to the orders and decrees of the commission and with the fulfillment of everything decreed, good as well as bad. It obliges him to attack the Impostor's men and to kill them in any way possible. It obliges him to be a perfect guardian of the decrees of the Association, even in front of his own sons, except the one who will be the trustee as heir to the secret. Just as he is obliged to carry out orders to kill, so also he is obliged with respect to the divulgence of something prohibited, that the Association judges expedient for the preservation of the Jewish religion. He is even obliged to sacrifice everything dear to him to serve its principles.
That is why, I repeat to you, because we must mediate on this because this Oath is not only for us, but also for our sons, our grandsons, our descendants A proposal of that, I want to reveal to you one of the secrets of my father and of my grandfather, Herod the Great. They gave secret orders to kill all those they could of the partisans of the Impostor. My father informed me that all those who carried out the orders were punished in their property, in their health, in their children, with all kinds of illnesses and with a horrible death.
I inform you of all this so you may know that, after taking the Oath, we are all bound in such a way that we will not be able to release ourselves, repenting for what is committed being of no avail. And do not forget, Brothers, that we and only we, the nine will be the "Chained Ones," and the ones responsible because the Internal Law that we will sanction tomorrow will be known only by us and will be the patrimony of our heirs only, who will receive it successively until the complete eradication of the impostors. Whoever will enter the Association with us or with our heirs will never know anything of the internal secrets nor of the fundamental goals.
Let each one of us copy the formula and take it to study it before taking the Oath. Let It be known that the first stone of our edifice will be this frightful Oath. You may leave and the day after tomorrow you will come to decide if the Oath will have these terms or if the text is to be changed.
The horrifying oath of the founders.
The nine founders being present, the King declared the session open and asked the opinion of all concerning the Oath. It was accepted unanimously and recorded. Immediately they agreed to take it to complete the foundation of the Association.
The King took the Bible, placed it on a table and said ,Do as I do. He placed his right hand on the Bible, everyone imitated him, beginning with Moab Levy, Hiram Abiud, etc. Then each one of them held in his other hand the paper with the text of the Oath. The King was the first to take the Oath; Moab followed him, then Hiram, and the others until the last.
The Oath taken, each one returned to his place and the King gave the following discourse: Brothers: Now our Association, "The Mysterious Force," is founded. Its force, acts, principles and goals will be mysterious forever. Thus we will be able to eradicate the fallacies of Jesus and his followers. We have- now made ourselves brothers. We must form a true brotherhood, different from that which the Impostor claimed to form, a brotherhood of deceit and witchcraft. Our brotherhood is truthful, it is the foundation and the backbone of our Association. Now that we are chained and bound to the chains, let each one ofus prepare himself for the work; the work consists in killing by whatever means possible the disseminators of the teachings of Jesus. This is our noble intention, this is our religious and political goal.
Now that we have confederated our hearts here, let us trust that we will attain the formation of the National League that will unite us and dignify our Jewish existence and essence. Only with this league will we defeat our enemies and crush their forces, those forces that claim to nullify our religion in order to perpetuate the deceits inherited from the Impostor, their Chief. In short, I tell you that the foundation of our acts must be: fidelity, discretion and the cruel courage to eliminate them. On delivering these secrets to our sons, let us inculcate these principles in heritage. They, in turn, will bequeath them to their sons so that our principles and secrets will continue in an hereditary and sound manner from one century to the next, and thus forever.
We know that the impostor Jesus attributed to himself the performance of miracles. He said that he was the Son of God, that he himself was God. Could there be greater impudence? Besides, he has spread many other false concepts, which, faced with, we cannot nor must not keep silent; for example, his manifesting himself as King of the Jews. Do you not see in that claim imprudence, impudence and unqualified insult?
Thus our fathers judged it. That is why they attacked him; that is why they persecuted his partisans. .
And that is what inspires us to establish an Association that may continue the battle. For, without an association, some of them succeeded in attaining great and unforgettable triumphs in that field.
Two villages that you know, where they killed three followers of Jesus, served as an example to the rest. With the fate of those three, not a single inhabitant of those villages and their vicinities dared to follow those preachers. Up to the present we have no knowledge of anyone's having joined the impostors or of their having returned to these villages. Such a measure being crowned with such great success without a league or association behind it, can you imagine the magnitude and the benefit that will be attained with the foundation of our Association?
With the will of God, we will blot them from the earth, one by one. Thus we will escape the danger of the teachings of their Chief, the Impostor.
Brothers: I would not have revealed these secrets to you if I had not had the will to ratify my great confidence in you. But I want to reveal to you the profound conviction of our faith in the frightful oath we have taken. From this day on you will relinquish from your heart all doubt, fear, betrayal or perfidy. In this course I will be the example so that from today on we will be a single soul and a single heart.
Each one of you, in turn, must be an example for every affiliate. And now, let us rejoice in the inauguration in order to march with gravity and diligence on the path of great success.
Brothers, it is the duty of each of us to have a copy of all that has occurred and been written to date and hereafter. Thus each one will have a history of our acts which, although limited, will be the inheritance that he will pass to his son from generation to generation; it will last with the advancing of days and the passing of time as long as the followers of Jesus the Impostor exist on earth.
The King stood, followed by the eight; he said: Now let us toast ourselves with a smiling face and a pure heart. Let us toast our brother Hiram with preference; let us applaud and exclaim three times: Long live our principles! Long live our Association, until the end of time! All the others exclaimed: Long live our King! And the King cried: Long live the Jewish religion, long live the Jewish nation!
Then he. said: The next session will be held six days from now. In this interval you will copy the articles of the sessions held to date so each one may have his own. Mine will be written by Hiram.
Foundationof the first lodge, called the "Lodge of Jerusalem"
The nine Founders presented themselves. The King, as President, inaugurated the session, saying:
Dear Brothers: Each association must have a private see where its active members meet. This hall, where we have realized our fundamental meetings, will not serve for our secret meetings. We must install a see that will be called the Lodge of Jerusalem. This Lodge must be located in a hidden corridor where no one will see us nor hear our decrees. I take this opportunity to call your attention to an affair of utmost importance. We have said that we must increase our Association until thousands of people join, thus increasing our strength. But if it should come to be known that this Association has been founded at this time, it will cause fear and reaction, and consequently, the alienation of a part of the people, especially in these critical times in which the revolution of that Impostor continues increasing its strength. We nineare the cornerstone of this splendid edifice which is "The Mysterious Force." Let us consider, then, the instruments for the construction of this edifice. Let us saturate ourselves with the grandeur of our mission in this political and religious work that would not exist if it were not for us, for without masons and instruments there is no edifice. Obviously, we are the reason for the existence of this edifice. I desire, and I ask that you accept with me, the making of this edifice the most magnificent of palaces. And how? With Occultism. And what does this Occultism mean?
Listen: The best means of making our association, besides grand and important, exciting, is to hide the date of its foundation, the names of its founders, our names, from every affiliate, whoever he may be. These secrets will be guarded by the nine of us and each one of us will pass it on as an inheritance to one of our sons, the most serious, the most secretive, when he reaches 21 years of age. His own brothers must know nothing.
What we must say, then, to the affiliates is that this Association is very ancient, no one knows anything about the date of its foundation, nor of its founders; it was dissolved and dead until a little while ago. As there will certainly be opposers, we will satisfy. their doubts telling them: King Herod found in his father's treasury ancient papers that indicate the existence of a most ancient association, said papers containing signs and laws. And it pleased him so that he wanted to revive it; and truly he revived it, in accord with what was written in the documents.
With this legend we will hide the date of the foundation and the goal of the Association. This will be our principal weapon. Occultism will be a disguise even for our brothers although they reach the highest of degrees; in regard to these degrees, I must let you know beforehand that with brothers Moab and Hiram we will make different degrees for the associates and, once in order, we will make them known so you may give us your opinion.
What's more, we will hide all the decrees issued by us nine. Besides, it will not escape your profound discemment that the absolute concealment will provoke the desire to enter our Association, to know the occult.
There will be other secrets, secondary ones, that the brother will only be able to know after taking the General Oath, the text of which we will study in the next session. The Oath will oblige him to keep the secret.