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Holy Royal Arch
A completion of the Craft God's lost Name found English Masonry retracts
The 'Cornerstone' rejected Major points Royal Arch room
How the 'temple is ritually desecrated by this degree Royal Arch tracing board Kabbala roots

A 'completion' of the Craft Degrees

Masons calling themselves ‘the Antients' who had not formed part of the Grand ‘Lodge of 1717, created in 1751 a rival Grand Lodge, also manned by aristocrats, which stood for the link with Christianity and certain other aspects of the old tradition which the ‘Moderns’, loyal to the 1717 Grand Lodge, had tampered with. The two Grand Lodges vied with each other to recruit provincial Lodges. To complicate matters here were also what the great Masonic historian J. Heron Lepper called the ‘Traditioners’ who, while remaining under the jurisdiction of the London ‘Modern’ Grand lodge, nevertheless did not follow its lead entirely.

There was another, later to prove most important, bone of contention between the Antients and the Moderns - the position of a Masonic degree and associated working termed the Holy Royal Arch. This time it was the Modems who objected to something new: some of the Antients had instituted this fourth degree one of the first mentions of which is in 1746 when a prominent Irish Antient was ‘exalted’ to it. The Moderns claimed that this was a departure from unalterable tradition because the old craft, like other guild crafts, had known only a hierarchy of three degrees Apprentice, Journeyman or Fellow, and Master Craftsman. Despite the Moderns’ objections, the Royal Arch ritual grew steadily in popularity. Perhaps the turning point in the dispute came as a result of Thomas Dunckerley, a natural son of George II, a keen Mason and a Traditioner among the Moderns, coming out as an enthusiast for Royal Arch, to which he was exalted as Masons term initiation to the Royal Arch according to his own report in 1754. Dunckerley looms large in masonic history and other prominent Moderns soon came to share his enthusiasm. 

Eventually, in 1813. tired of their long quarrel, Antients and Moderns were reconciled, the Duke of Kent, Grand Master of the Antients, giving way to the Duke of Sussex, Grand Master of the Moderns, who thus became the first Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England. The Moderns gave way on Royal Arch, saving face by having it declared that this was no fourth degree but simply a culmination of the other three degrees, which completed the making of a Master Mason. The Antients for their part gave way to the Moderns in accepting the total de-Christianisation of the brotherhood.

The Union's acceptance of Royal Arch workings is of great importance~ for it completed in all essentials the structure of Freemasonry as it exists today. Just as the Moderns de-Christianised the movement, so with the acceptance of Royal Arch the Antients succeeded in introducing the undeniably occult – notably the invocation of the supposedly rediscovered long-lost name of God.  It is perhaps because the Freemason’s God, as revealed to  Royal Arch Masons, is so far from being ‘that Religion to which all men agree’ that it determined that Holy Royal Arch workings should not be conducted in lodges but separately in ‘Chapters’ under the control of a Grand Lodge and of Grand Chapter overlap and today both bodies have their seat at Freemason’s Hall in Great Queen Street, Holborn

'The Brotherhood' Stephen Knight: Pages 28-29

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God's lost name found
  • It is important here to understand that serious occult practitioners have always had a fascination with 'the lost name of God'. In Aleister Crowley's infamous book 'Magick' we read on page 200..'Such a word was indeed the lost tetragrammaton  It is said that at the utterance of this name the Universe crashes into dissolution. Let the Magician eagerly seek the Lost Word, for its pronunciation is synonymous with the accomplishment of the Great Work...The Master Therion has received this Word; it is communicated by him to the proper postulants, at the proper time and place, in the proper circumstances.'
According to the myth mimed in the Holy Royal Arch a crypt is found in the foundations of the ruined temple in which is discovered the 'omnific word', the lost name of God.  That name is 'JAH- BUL - ON, which Masonry declares to mean "I am and shall be Lord in Heaven on High, the Powerful, the Father of all"

The name is regarded as being so sacred that no Royal Arch Mason may say it aloud by himself but must have two other Royal Arch Masons present with each saying one part of this trinity.

In fact the candidate solemnly promises.. 'that I will not dare to pronounce that Sacred and Mysterious Name which may now for the first time be communicated to me, unless in the presence and with the assistance of two or more Royal Arch Companions, or in the body of a lawfully constituted Royal Arch Chapter, whilst acting as First Principal'

Referring to  Freemasonry's claim that Jah-bul-on meant 'I am and shall be; Lord in Heaven' the Church of Scotland doctrinal report stated ..

'To those who are unfamiliar with the original languages, the use made of what purport to be Hebrew and other Ancient Near-Eastern words must seem impressive and doubtless the use of Hebrew letters scattered across the documents adds to the sense of mystery. Much of it, however, is linguistic nonsense which anyone with a minimum knowledge of Hebrew can immediately recognise as such. For example, the explanation of the mysterious compound name JA-BUL-ON in Lecture 3 of the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland as being the name of God in three (or four) different languages is totally unjustified.
JA is not Chaldean for "I am", nor is it the Hebrew for "I shall be".
BUL is not the Syriac word for "Lord" or "Powerful" nor is it a compound word made up of the preposition "in" or "on" plus "Heaven" or "On High".  Nor is "ON" an Egyptian word meaning "Father". To conclude, therefore, that this name means "I am and shall be Lord in Heaven on High, the Powerful, the Father of all" is wholly misleading. Furthermore, when Hebrew letters are scattered round the divine triangle the explanations given to them are such that their inaccuracy should be evident to anyone with an elementary knowledge of Hebrew'

The name Jah-bul-on is in fact a trinity of names made up from Yahweh - The God of the Hebrews, baal - the Canaanite deity and osiris - the Egyptian god of the underworld..  Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia (95: 516) and the ‘Masonic Ritual and Monitor (58: 226) admit that “Bul” or “Bel” refers to the Assyrian or Canaanite deity, and that ‘On” refers to the Egyptian deity Osiris. Wagner in his ‘Freemasonry; An interpretation (16:338 -39), reveals the Masonic goal in this pagan trinity..

“In this compound name an attempt is made to show by a co-ordination of divine names..the unity, identity and harmony of the Hebrew, Assyrian and Egyptian god-ideas, and the harmony of the Royal Arch religion with these ancient religions. This Masonic ‘unity of God’ is peculiar. It is the doctrine that the different names of gods as Brahma, Jehovah, Baal, Bel, Om, On, etc., all denote the generative principle, and that all religions are essentially the same in their ideas of the divine”

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English Masonry retracts

In 1989 it was announced that JAHBULON would soon be dropped from England's Royal Arch Ritual.   ‘Grand Scribe Ezra’ Higham denied this was in response to recent Christian condemnations.  Journalists later visiting Freemason’s Hall overheard chortles that junking JAHBULON had invalidated the book “Inside the Brotherhood’ even before it was published. However on March 4th Clifford Longley (The Times religious affairs correspondent) wrote that by replacing JAHBULON with JHVH - meaning Jahweh, the Jew’s Holy Name for God -Masonry may be falling in ‘deeper waters than the Grand Lodge has yet realised.. While to invoke a false God is idolatry, to invoke the Name of the True God falsely is blasphemy’.

Now non masons assumed that, it JAHBULON was no longer in the ritual, Mason’s could at least utter this ‘sacred and mysterious name’ of God without having their heads cut off. Yet when England’s fraternal front man was challenged to say it on radio he refused saying “because I’ve promised not to

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The 'Cornerstone' rejected

Four times in scripture Jesus is referred to as the keystone or capstone or cornerstone (depending on translation)  

Yet in this ritual - the completion of the Craft degrees - the candidate removes the Keystone from the foundation of the temple in order to let in 'more light' and 'receive the holy word' 

Yet Jesus Christ is not only the Keystone but also the Light and the Word.

The following passage is quoted from the Holy Royal Arch Degree

The Principal Sojourner causes candidate to grope (in the darkness of the vault) and places a scroll into his right hand.

Candidate:   “Is is found”

Zerubbabel’: “What is found?”

Candidate:   “Something like a scroll of vellum or parchment”

Zerubbabel:   “What are its contents?”

Candidate:   “For want of light I am unable to discover”

Zerubbabel:   “...Rise, wrench forth the Keystone, and prepare to receive the light of the Holy Word” 

                 plus these lines during the lengthy ritual

  “..we therefore enlarged the aperture by removing the key-stone..”

  “..the secrets of the Royal Arch were only regained by wrenching forth the keystone thereof..”

This degree actually has the candidate ritually removing Jesus Christ from the foundation of the Temple.

Matthew 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: 'The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD'S doing, And it is marvellous in our eyes'?

Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

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Major points involved in the Holy Royal Arch degree.

  • Hoodwink is placed over the candidates eyes
  • The ceremony enacted out centres around a hidden vault that is found during rebuilding of Solomon's Temple.
  • The candidate is lowered down into this vault and told to remove the cornerstone to allow more light into the vault. A Mason acting as Zerubbabel calls out to the candidate "Rise, wrench forth the keystone, and prepare to receive the light of the Holy Word"
  • The lecture includes the explanation "the secrets of the Royal Arch were only regained by wrenching forth the keystone thereof"
  • The secret regained is the 'Sacred and Mysterious Name of the True and Living God Most High"
  • This rediscovered name for God is revealed as 'JAH BUL ON'  It is regarded by Royal Arch Masons as too holy to be uttered by one person, therefore it needs three masons to utter one syllable each.
  • Masonic writers agree that this is a composite of three gods. JAH for Yahweh. BUL for Baal. ON for Osiris.
  • Degree curse invoked includes "..suffering loss of life by having my head struck off" (Sometimes "suffering loss of life by having the top half of my head struck off")
  • Candidate is clothed in 'robes of innocence'
  • Degree jewel is pinned onto chest, plus a badge and ribbon (sacred emblem)
  • Mark known as the 'mysterious triple Tau' is placed on the forehead as a mark of salvation (referring to Ezekiel 9:4)
  • Secret password is 'Ammi Ruhamah'
  • Candidate is presented with the working tools of the degree. Sword, trowel, pickaxe, crowbar & shovel.
  • The ritual oath is sealed by kissing the VSL (Bible or other sacred book) four times through a square & compass and sealed with the words 'So mote is be' (used only in Freemasonry and Witchcraft)

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The Royal Arch Room in Grand Lodge Headquarters in Molesworth Street Dublin. The second oldest lodge in the world.   Note that Masonry obsession with Egypt.

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For a photographic tour of this lodge click here

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Royal Arch tracing board


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Kabbala roots

'As I read and re-read 'The Mystical Qabalah' I could only endorse F de P Castells' view that Freemasonry is indeed Kabbalism in a different garb; the similarities are unmistakable, from the reference to God as 'The Great Architect of the Universe', which most people will recognise, to the lesser-known symbols of the altar of the double cube, and the equal-armed cross which appear on the Tree of Life as symbols of Malkuth, the tenth and last Sephirah, and also form part of the ritual of the Royal Arch. It is on this altar that the sacred and Mysterious Name of the True and Living God Most High' is purported to have been found. That name is revealed to the candidate as 'Jah-bul-on and he is warned never to utter it outside the Royal Arch Chapter' 

Taken from the chapter ‘The Kabbala’ page 176 of. ‘The Craft and the Cross’ by Ian Gordon (Master of his mother lodge, Assistant Sojourner in the Royal Arch, Raphael in the Rose Croix, and Captain of the Guards in the Knights Templar. Acquainted with ‘Mark masonry’ -one of the oldest grades of freemasonry- and a member of its appendant order, ‘The Royal Ark Mariners’. A Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine, a member of the Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and two other craft lodges, ‘Charterhouse’ and a Steward’s, or Red Apron lodge.

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