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American Albert Pike: Hero, or Villain?

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posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 04:50 AM
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There is such a great volume of conflicting information regarding this man that I, at trinitymans suggestion, have started this thread to try to search out a definitive answer on this question.
Specifically, was Albert Pike an instrumental figure in the development of the KKK, or was he wrongfully associated with them?
He was a high level American Freemason, and apparently was quite an influence on their organization.
He was a lawyer, I think I recall.
He was a respected orator, and is often quoted.
Somewhere in the US, I think either Washington DC, or New York there is a statue of him.
That is my contribution......




posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 04:51 AM
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Right. Well I'd better go and delete the one I started then



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by BlackGuardXIII
If the Pike supporters are right, though, and Pike had nothing to do with the KKK, then the man is the victim of a wicked smear campaign.

Well, I think that's about the size of it. A fairly detailed rebuttal of the claims that Pike was a member of the KKK can be found here.

However from all I've read about Pike he seems to be pretty non-racist and a quite unlikely character to be a member of the KKK.

From masonicinfo.com

Pike was considered by his contemporaries as being one of the least racially biased individuals of his time. During his military service in the US Civil War, he chose to lead only native Indian troops - something others eschewed because of the perception that Indians were 'sub-human'. His position on slavery is sometimes assumed because of his service in the Confederacy yet that assumption reflects ignorance of the beliefs of a well-read gentleman living in the South and feeling an obligation to support 'his' country.



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 06:19 AM
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Oh this is great...

www.masonicinfo.com...

Go to the page and scroll down to the New York Times claim.



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 11:04 AM
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BCY Freemasonry
It was not until Dr. Walter L. Fleming republished Lester's booklet in 1905 that a list of names of key Klansmen was included in a preface. In 1924, Ms. Susan L. Davis published her Authentic History, in which she contradicts a number of points made by Lester, denigrates Fleming for his superficial knowledge of the Klan and condemns Lester's co-author, David L. Wilson, for suggesting the Klan had failed.
Any other book or article promoting Albert Pike's association with the Klan will either cite Fleming or Davis, cite other authors who cite Fleming or Davis, or not cite anyone. Both Fleming and Davis accepted, unquestioningly, the fifty year old reminiscences of several of the founding members of the Klan.


It looks like they are saying that the founders of the klan were saying that Pike was an important member, and that other founders were masons (later in the page). I fail to see why this is unaccpetable evidence. Masonry obviously had serious problems back in these days, being as racist as most people tended to be.

[edit on 28-9-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Trinityman
Oh this is great...

www.masonicinfo.com...

Go to the page and scroll down to the New York Times claim.


I was a regular poster on alt.freemasonry when all this occured. Since that time, the webmaster of the "Freemasonry Watch" website has admitted being "St. John the Sublime Reformer." It is interesting to note that the very moment he was caught with his pants down in a lie, he scuttled off to create that website, not allowing his teachings to be rebutted there.



posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 10:50 PM
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I fail to see why this is unaccpetable evidence. Masonry obviously had serious problems back in these days, being as racist as most people tended to be.

[edit on 28-9-2005 by Nygdan
One of the issues that the RCC had with Masonry was its acceptance of different faiths. The applicant could be from any faith as long as he was a theist. This was heresy to the church, and was the whole reason for their secrecy being necessary. So, while they were likely quite racists by modern standards, in those days they were considered too accepting of different people.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:21 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

BCY Freemasonry
It was not until Dr. Walter L. Fleming republished Lester's booklet in 1905 that a list of names of key Klansmen was included in a preface. In 1924, Ms. Susan L. Davis published her Authentic History, in which she contradicts a number of points made by Lester, denigrates Fleming for his superficial knowledge of the Klan and condemns Lester's co-author, David L. Wilson, for suggesting the Klan had failed.
Any other book or article promoting Albert Pike's association with the Klan will either cite Fleming or Davis, cite other authors who cite Fleming or Davis, or not cite anyone. Both Fleming and Davis accepted, unquestioningly, the fifty year old reminiscences of several of the founding members of the Klan.


It looks like they are saying that the founders of the klan were saying that Pike was an important member, and that other founders were masons (later in the page). I fail to see why this is unaccpetable evidence. Masonry obviously had serious problems back in these days, being as racist as most people tended to be.

I've read this passage several times, and I can't find any reference to Pike being a member. Could you perhaps elaborate, as I may be being dim this morning?

As far as racism goes, freemasonry has never had an opinion, but freemasons have tended to reflect the society in which they are grounded. So when you say serious problems I would ask - in relation to what? We must be careful not to judge the past by our own standards lest the future do the same to us


[edit on 29-9-2005 by Trinityman]



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 02:02 AM
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Below is an excerpt from a letter written in support of leaving Albert Pikes statue alone. It is written by the Rev. Howard L. Woods, Grand Master, Prince Hall Masons of Arkansas. The full letter can be found at this site.

www.masonicinfo.com...

'Let the statue be torn down and America and Freemasonry will be in jeopardy, for one would have to wonder, "What would be next?" As a Prince Hall Mason, an African American and supposedly free-thinker, I can see a higher power than the mortal mind of Albert Pike guiding his pen as he wrote such beautiful words of life without an occasional helping hand from someone "bigger than you or I."
Let the statue stand, even if it is proven that Albert Pike did write ritual for the Ku Klux Klan; more ignoble deeds have been done by others without sacrifice of their historic heroism.'



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:08 AM
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Perhaps I am misunderstanding the page then. It seems to be saying that Flemming and Davis are the original books that have the claim that Pike was a KKKer. Why is Flemming and Davis's work rejected? On the other hand, what evidence did they use to support these statements, it seems that the BCY page was saying that it was based on statements made by other original members of the KKK, but that these are useless merely because they were many years after the fact. But perhaps I am misunderstanding where Flemming and Davis got their information about Pike. That would seem to be key.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
Perhaps I am misunderstanding the page then. It seems to be saying that Flemming and Davis are the original books that have the claim that Pike was a KKKer. Why is Flemming and Davis's work rejected? On the other hand, what evidence did they use to support these statements...


That is precisely the point. Fleming listed Pike as Chief Judicial Officer of the KKK, but said absolutely nothing else about it. His name simply appears on a list in the book. Fleming himself was a student of Confederate history, and presumably admired Pike because of his military career. It is possible that Fleming just included him to fill in an empty space on the list. It is also possible that he was referring to a different "Albert Pike". It is likewise possible that someone told him that our Pike had been in the KKK, and he was relying on hearsay.

The page at the Grand Lodge of British Columbia admits that we can't we be 100% sure either way, but specifies that there is no evidence which links Gen. Pike to the Ku Klux Klan.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 09:42 AM
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Well, the way I am reading it is as follows...

1. 1884. Lester writes a booklet about the original KKK. No mention of Pike. From Wikipedia (my bold):


The Klan's first incarnation was in 1866. Founded by veterans of the Confederate Army, its main purpose was to resist Congressional Reconstruction, and it focused as much on intimidating "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" as on putting down the freed slaves. It quickly adopted violent methods, and was involved in a wave of 1,300 lynchings of Republican voters in 1868. A rapid reaction set in, with the Klan's leadership disowning it, and Southern elites seeing the Klan as an excuse for federal troops to continue their activities in the South. The organization was in decline from 1868 to 1870, and was destroyed in the early 1870s by President Ulysses S. Grant's vigorous action under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act).


2. 1905. Fleming reprints Lesters booklet and includes a list of key klansmen in preface. Pike referenced as Chief Judicial Officer with a line drawing of him in masonic regalia lifted from Morals & Dogma.

3. 1924. Davis publishes, contradicting Fleming and denigrating Lester. No mention of Pike.

4. These are the main publications and all other work will either
(a) cite Fleming
(b) cite Lester
(c) cite others who are citing (a) and (b)
(d) cite nobody

So the way I read this, only Fleming is mentioning Pike in any of the primary sources. However BCY goes on to state (bold text is mine):

The first work about the Klan, Ku Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment was written in Tennessee in 1884 as a 119 page apology and justification for the Klan, by one of the founders, Captain John C. Lester and a non-Klansman, Rev. D.L. Wilson. Walter L. Fleming added notes and an introduction for the 1905 edition. Fleming provides no quotes from Albert Pike or other corroborating references.

In a note of acknowledgment Fleming thanks a number of people, including Major James R. Crowe and Major S. A. Cunningham, for their assistance. The source of his information regarding Pike is not cited.

The plate facing page 19 displays seven images over the title, "Some Klansmen." The first photograph is of D.L. Wilson, who was not a Klansman. The central image is not a photograph, but appears to be a pen and ink tracing of a photograph of Albert Pike in Scottish Rite regalia, found as a frontispiece to many editions of his Morals and Dogma. Although slightly larger than the six photographs, its size and position need not have any significance other than an attempt at balanced design. The photographs appear to be reproductions of newspaper or magazine clippings. No attribution or citation is noted.

The title of Chief Judicial Officer does not appear in the Prescript of the Order, under Article I, Titles; Article V, Judiciary; or elsewhere. [pp. 153-176.] The title also does not appear in the 1868 Revised and Amended Prescript.

Strongly influenced by the Dunning School, Fleming wrote four monographs, one dissertation, and two articles on the Ku Klux Klan. Both Fleming's Civil War and Reconstitution in Alabama and The Sequal of Appomattox contain chapters on the Klan's history and administration; nowhere does he mention Albert Pike.


Its just pretty inconclusive. We have to accept that Fleming lists Pike as a senior member. We also have to accept that this is the only mention among a series of documents, and was 14 years after Pike died. Did Fleming lie... why? Was he mistaken... how come? Why did Davis refute much of his work? As we don't know the motivation of any of these individuals then all that is left is speculation.

One thing is sure though, the racist incarnation didn't begin until 1915 - 10 years after Fleming and 24 years after Pike's death.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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Very interesting, seems like, at best, Flemming is getting his information from klansmen he interviewed, but this is around 1900, 30 some odd years later, and I don't see it saying that he interviewed Lester or the other founders specifically, which is noteworthy.

I think that since he's listing other non-klansmen as such, that that is a mark against Pike beign in it. And that he's listing pike as having an office which can be shown to not have existed at the time, that really counts as a black mark against him being a klanner.

I do find it odd that Pike is so vorciferously attacked tho, it looks like lots of of other masons were invovled in setting it up, why the focus on pike? because of morals and dogma probably. Also, a far blacker mark against masonry than some of the individuals in it helping to make the cluclos knights is simply the segregation of the lodges based on race, something that masonry seems to openly admit and just as openly scorn today.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
I do find it odd that Pike is so vorciferously attacked tho, it looks like lots of of other masons were invovled in setting it up, why the focus on pike?

Masons appear to have been involved in the setting up of KKK II, unfortunately, but I'm not sure there's any evidence to suggest their involvement in KKK I. From BCY:

That some members of the 1920s revived Klan were also freemasons cannot be denied. "While its influence in local lodges probably varied widely, the infiltration of the Klan was noticeable enough that most Grand Masters, prompted by unfavorable public opinion and dismay over the dissension the Klan was promoting within Masonry, found it necessary to make a statement either condemning the Ku Klux Klan or denying Masonry's connection with it."



Also, a far blacker mark against masonry than some of the individuals in it helping to make the cluclos knights is simply the segregation of the lodges based on race, something that masonry seems to openly admit and just as openly scorn today.

This, I think is a quite separate issue. I am often making the point that the attitudes of freemasons reflects the society in which they are based. British freemasons traditionally are reserved and like to keep themselves to themselves, for example. There's no reason to think that the endemic attitudes in the Deep South wouldn't translate into lodge rooms.

However the issue of multiple Grand Lodges in US states in more an issue of regularity rather than racism, IMO. It took mainstream state GLs some time to start recognising their Prince Hall equivalents, more because of the perception of competition as much as anything else. The fact that PH GLs in the deep south are still not recognised by state GLs (and vice versa I might add) is a local issue due to entrenched local attitudes. However this is changing. It is quite possible that we may see mergers between state and PH GLs in the future. Certainly there is a huge amount of 'behind the scenes' pressure from many Grand Lodges for this devisive issue to be put to bed once and for all.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by Trinityman


Masons appear to have been involved in the setting up of KKK II, unfortunately,


This is true, but deserves elaboration. The founder of the modern Klan was a Mason. He was also a member of many other fraternal organizations: Oddfellows, Elks, Eagles, Moose, etc. The fact that he had happened to be a Mason is not more significant than that he joined practically everything he could.

He then tried to becaome a "professional fraternal organizer". He wasn't particularly impressed with Masonry and the other fraternities, so he attempted to create one in his own image, inspired by the original Ku Klux Klan.

A brief history of this individual can be read here.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by Trinityman
This, I think is a quite separate issue.

Agreed.


I am often making the point that the attitudes of freemasons reflects the society in which they are based. British freemasons traditionally are reserved and like to keep themselves to themselves, for example. There's no reason to think that the endemic attitudes in the Deep South wouldn't translate into lodge rooms.

How do you about what this says about the ability of the fraternity to teach moral lesson, by the by??


more because of the perception of competition as much as anything else.

There wouldn't've been any competition to worry about tho if the lodges weren't segregated tho.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by Trinityman

I am often making the point that the attitudes of freemasons reflects the society in which they are based. British freemasons traditionally are reserved and like to keep themselves to themselves, for example. There's no reason to think that the endemic attitudes in the Deep South wouldn't translate into lodge rooms.

How do you about what this says about the ability of the fraternity to teach moral lesson, by the by??

I think it probably says more about the ability of some freemasons to absorb it.


There wouldn't've been any competition to worry about tho if the lodges weren't segregated tho.

This is quite true, but there is more here than meets the eye. You can read about Prince Hall, the founder of PH Masonry here.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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He opposed slavery he was on the sides of indians...these records are not posted all over. There are US war records about the indian bit. I will have to dig up all the docs and make a page on my site. I will do this in the next month and post a follow up. People would be surprised about what he has done and belived.



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 03:25 AM
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Was Pike a Confederate Military leader? If so, how is that possible if he was anti slavery, which was what I have always thought was a major reason for the war?



posted on Oct, 21 2005 @ 06:33 AM
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I vote villain. And to add some more lines so one of these Freemasons posting here don't turn me into the administrator for one-liners, I'll say that he's a typical bad boy hiding behind a few fronts -- like the Mafia do and the rest of them, give some money to charity and then parade it around. Lies, lies, lies. Even Judas claimed to care for the poor. And the power-grabbing socialists do all their evil deeds "for the children's sake." Truly wolves in sheep's clothing.



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