"George Washington is the American Christ"
September 10, 2009 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Mystical Sites – U.S. Capitol : The US Capitol isn’t simply another governmental building. It is the spiritual center of the United States. Its structure, its art and its symbols all reveal the great importance of secret Fraternities in the shaping of the world most powerful government.

An entertaining if not specious look. Also, don't miss the breakdown of Jay-Z.
posted by Burhanistan (60 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
At the center of it all is George Washington, a 33rd degree Freemason being anointed as the “American Christ”.

Did not use batshitinsane tag. FAIL.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:44 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Previously on Metafilter, Lady Gaga: Illuminati mind control puppet.
posted by mhum at 2:46 PM on September 10, 2009


I was prepared for serious weirdness, but that actually was entertaining and thought-provoking, with just the right amount of crazyspice.
posted by exogenous at 3:00 PM on September 10, 2009


This sort of stuff is exactly why the National Treasure movies are a guilty pleasure of mine.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:00 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Related, from today's Washington Post.
posted by EvaDestruction at 3:01 PM on September 10, 2009


I love this stuff. Some of my most beloved and craziest books are on this topic.

The spice that makes it work: a whole lot of architects and builders were indeed Freemasons (and many still are today, for that matter, though the numbers are way down and your average 21st century Freemason is a lot less involved) and they used the symbolism of their club as their own clever decoder rings. Like signing something, but only the other cool kids would really notice or be able to 'read' them.

All the little hidden messages and cute cleverness is more akin to showing off to each other than any kind of significant attempt at magicking. Winks and secret handshakes, but in stone. Graffiti tags of the 18th century.
posted by rokusan at 3:07 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Directly under the dome, on the floor below is the Capitol’s crypt. It comprises 40 Doric columns sustaining the floor above. At the center of this circle of columns is a brass compass star which is the literal center of Washington DC.

It contains the still beating heart of the Being known as Virginia Dare, the first European-born thing in America. I say thing because the young Ms. Dare was, even as a child, a ruthless and coldblooded monster. She avoided the sunlight and had massacred half the town before her 10th birthday. The nearby Natives tried their best to kill Ms. Dare, an arrow made from a Crow feather turned her to dust, but her dark red heart remained, still beating. It was buried on the Island, Roanoke, which slowly began to wither and die. The remaining villagers quietly melted into the mainland, making a vow to never reproduce again.

Andrew Jackson, in clearing away the Cherokee rt all off their lands, was seeking the Heart Of Ms. Dare. He found it, and had it placed in the center of D.C.

Manifest Destiny really took off after that.
posted by The Whelk at 3:10 PM on September 10, 2009 [29 favorites]


You know, Neil Gaiman says it's either The House on the Rock or Lookout Mountain / Rock City and all things considered, he's a lot easier on my suspension of disbelief than Vigilant Citizen.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:11 PM on September 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


No, The House On The Rock is the holiest place in America, the most mystical and sublime.

Lookout Mountain is the opposite, the counter-point, a place devoid of magic.
posted by The Whelk at 3:12 PM on September 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is this the same guy that did the occult symbolism analysis of Lady Gaga? Because that was awesome.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:12 PM on September 10, 2009


"Shht, it’s O.K. puny savage, our great civilization will take good care of you."

The statue of Washington reminded me more of this statue of Augustus.

Related, from today's Washington Post.

"Brown might be one of the best-sellingest authors of recent times..." "Best-sellingest"? Monica Hesse and David Montgomery might be some of the reporteringiest reporters of recent times.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:13 PM on September 10, 2009


Winks and secret handshakes, but in stone.

Our capitol is basically built of Easter eggs?

So our founders were nerds, not wizards...
posted by hegemone at 3:16 PM on September 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


I have a friend who used to go on and on about the layout of Austin. The state capitol is bisected by 13th street. The UT tower is bisected by 23rd street (both mystical numbers, according to -- I dunno what). Austin is not laid out on a strict N/S grid, but it's kinda tilted north/northeast. HOWEVER, the state capitol and the UT tower on on an EXACT North/South axis!

It went on from there, but that was the beginning. There were astronomical markers as well, like things that lined up on the equinox, etc. And of course, it was all the Mason's doing. OoooEEEooooh.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:19 PM on September 10, 2009


At the center of it all is George Washington, a 33rd degree Freemason being anointed as the “American Christ”.

Did not use batshitinsane tag. FAIL.


Not that I don't think it's insane, but the Apotheosis in the Capitol dome is pretty consistent with this insane view. I was simultaneously amused and offended the first time I saw it.
posted by The World Famous at 3:19 PM on September 10, 2009


The pagan gods and George Washington-as-the-Jesus put a hole in that founded-as-a-Christian-nation crap.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:24 PM on September 10, 2009



Winks and secret handshakes, but in stone.

Our capitol is basically built of Easter eggs?


Actually! 18th Century portrait painting was designed to flatter the viewer's education. All these subtle and obscure and complex metaphors and references to Classical and Important texts and other famous paintings ..because only an equally educated and refined person would notice/appreciate them ..to separate them from any ole' merchant who could just have his picture painted.

Ask me about Fantasy Bouquets! Prove to me my in Art History 101 wasn't ill-spent!
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on September 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


So our founders were nerds, not wizards

There's a difference?
posted by adamdschneider at 3:27 PM on September 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


So our founders were nerds, not wizards

There's a difference?


There is. For example, Ritchie Blackmore is not a nerd.
posted by The World Famous at 3:29 PM on September 10, 2009


This guy could have been a lit prof if he wanted to.

Jay-Z wearing a Do What Thou Wilt hoodie is actually pretty edgy (probably the doing of some handler who read Crowley during a middle school goth phase).
posted by phrontist at 3:30 PM on September 10, 2009


Our capitol is basically built of Easter eggs?

Well said. Exactly.
posted by rokusan at 3:31 PM on September 10, 2009


Ugh, classist 1337 nerds?! This just keeps getting worse...

(Fantasy Bouquets sounds entertaining!)
posted by hegemone at 3:31 PM on September 10, 2009


Slater: And she was real cool, too. She'd harvest the crops, man. And that's what I'm talking about. She'd put it in the, in the, err, bushels and stuff and sell it, you know? Because they had to make ends meet and stuff. I mean they ... what? ... did you ever look at a dollar bill, man? There's some spooky stuff going on on a dollar bill, man. I mean, and it's green, too.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:33 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Fantasy Bouquets sounds entertaining!)

Alot of paintings of Bounty or Huge Ass Vases of flowers are impossible. Flowers that bloom out of season, exotic flowers they've never seen out of books, fruits that ripen at different times, etc. It was supposed to show the skill of the artist not just to record nature, but to create it and thus create something miraculous.
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The National Heritage Museum (Lexington, MA) which is next door to and run by The Supreme Council, 33° | Scottish Rite Freemasonery | Northern Masonic Jurisdiction | United States often features exhibits that show the many Freemasons who were patriots (e.g. Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Sam Adams, George Washington, Paul Revere, William Dawes, Joseph Warren, Robert Livingston, Andrew Jackson, etc.) of the Revolutionary War and early years of our nation and how they played a part in the founding of the country.

The Secrets of Masonic Washington: A Guidebook to Signs, Symbols, and Ceremonies at the Origin of America's Capital.
posted by ericb at 3:45 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Andrew Jackson, in clearing away the Cherokee rt all off their lands, was seeking the Heart Of Ms. Dare. He found it, and had it placed in the center of D.C.

Jackson was indeed a Freemason
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on September 10, 2009


I find this sort of conspiracy stuff entertaining, but anyone who thinks for a minute that allegiance to esoteric fraternities outweighs simple greed and lust for power as motivating factors in the our politicians' decisions is a fool.
posted by dortmunder at 3:52 PM on September 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Don't laugh. The TRUTH about 9/11 will soon be revealed. Are your perceptions so LIMITED that you do not see the meaning when the THE PENTAGON is attacked and THE TOWERS are brought down? When you sleep do you not hear in the DARKNESS the gibbering whispers of the nameless HORROR held imprisoned at the center of five concentric RINGS, the base of each secretly inscribed with the ancient symbols revealed by BLIND madmen? Is the falling TOWER of the major arcana not the archetypal representation of chaos, ruin, and destruction? Who could have forseen that both TOWERS could be brought low at once, temporarily disrupting the occult protections sealing the GATE at the center of the PENTAGON. Did you not hear the eldritch SHRIEKS of madness as the OUTER RINGS were breached on that black day? Let us never forget the sacrifices that prevented the final STRIKE which would have broken the INNER RINGS and allowed that shapeless CHAOS to swallow the world.

NEVER forget.


(too soon?)
posted by Justinian at 4:29 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lookout Mountain is the opposite, the counter-point, a place devoid of magic.

You take that back! Take it back!
posted by nola at 4:36 PM on September 10, 2009


Cool Papa Bell: did you ever look at a dollar bill, man? There's some spooky stuff going on on a dollar bill, man. I mean, and it's green, too.

When I lived in Davis, CA, there was a big revival meeting, and the preacher apparently held up a dollar bill and showed everyone all the satanic symbols on it. The next day all my co-workers were terrified of their money.

[they've probably got over it by now]
posted by acrasis at 4:51 PM on September 10, 2009


Wow, I'm actually shocked to see how many things I've missed. I've visited the Capitol and seen all this but never really gave much thought to the statute on top of the dome or the figures in the painting. Weird of me. This page is a deceptively cool find.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:55 PM on September 10, 2009


(too soon?)

Yeah, you're a day early.
posted by arcolz at 4:59 PM on September 10, 2009


America's God: An Examination of Civic Religion in Theory and Practice is an interesting paper touching on some of this stuff from a different angle.
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:20 PM on September 10, 2009


It contains the still beating heart of the Being known as Virginia Dare, the first European-born thing in America.

Sadly for the myth the pigs Columbus brought from Spain had bred scores of generations by the time of Virginia's birth, not to mention the men he brought as well. Perhaps this explains why many millions of mestizos are now reversing manifest destiny?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:25 PM on September 10, 2009


When I lived in Davis, CA, there was a big revival meeting, and the preacher apparently held up a dollar bill and showed everyone all the satanic symbols on it. The next day all my co-workers were terrified of their money.

You forgot the part where the preacher offered to wash their souls and sacrifice his own by taking their money. It's standard procedure.
posted by wendell at 5:25 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good point. It's essential for us to be aware of the ideologies that are shaping what's happening in our world. However they might seem.

Just last night I was reading a Wikipedia page about an early-20th-century artist who was tightly connected with the Theosophy movement. This guy (and Hearst, apparently) managed to help a US VP (to FDR) lose his job.

Someone has removed all references to Theosophy from the article. AS IF! it would somehow protect his artistic image. You can't even understand the first half of the 20th century unless you understand all the undercurrents that were circulating.

And still are.

In case anyone's interested, the old book "Morning of the Magicians" (Pauwels, Bergier) has a fascinating chapter on the occult undercurrents of Nazi Germany.
posted by Twang at 5:28 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, batshitinsane as some of this may be, I love his justification for including the Lincoln painting:

The only reason I’ve posted this painting is because I find it funny.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:31 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Capitol’s most important feature is of course its massive dome which carries heavy symbolic meaning, as we’ll see later.

I want to be there when he finds out that the dome was added in the late 1850s
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:46 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in, oh, 1980 or so, I visited Washington, walked into the Capitol past some sleepy guards, no metal detector, wandered up and down the halls looking at the decor, sat in the Senate gallery for a while taking in a debate about adopting the metric system, walked around some more, and left.

Those days ended on 9/11, and we've all lost something huge - the ability to freely mix with our elected representatives in the seat our our government.
posted by beagle at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


The state capitol is bisected by 13th street. The UT tower is bisected by 23rd street
heh - it amuses me to no end that people will take something as arbitrary as a number and decide that it has mystical significance. Also, I like George Washington's masonic frilly apron.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:30 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those days ended on 9/11, and we've all lost something huge

Tell me about it! A dear friend who has been up into the dome TWICE was gonna hook me up but now NO ONE gets to go there.
posted by johnj at 6:32 PM on September 10, 2009


Just to bring this back a little closer to the planet that we live on. My Dad was a lifelong Mason. He was born the same year as JFK and if he was still alive now he would be 92. He went just as far as he needed to to get full membership in the Masons, and no further. He discouraged me from joining a fraternity in college, because he was opposed, on principle, to exclusive organizations.

Nevertheless I’m sure that his Masonic ties helped him further his career. He told me a little about the initiation procedure, and he told me the password. The password, if they haven’t gotten around to changing it, is: “I see you travel.”

That goes back to the medieval stone masons who built the cathedrals of Europe. Those guys had a skilled craft that afforded them the opportunity to travel to the cultural centers of the world. Meanwhile everyone else in their social stratus was locked down to tending beasts for the lords of the manor.
posted by Huplescat at 7:40 PM on September 10, 2009


Dear sweet fancy Moses, people, don't let Charlie Sheen get hold of this! He'll get twenty minutes with President Palin in 2017...
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 PM on September 10, 2009


Also, WRT significant numbers: at this point in time, I have been favorited 777 times. I feel lucky! Let's go shoot craps!
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:48 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


This poor fellow seems unaware of how haphazard the construction of the capitol was, you can imagine how people who build cities in swamps would tend to lack design foresight. The Washington monument around which the city was built was an afterthought started in 1848 and finished in 1885 nearly a century after the city was founded.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:09 PM on September 10, 2009


The next day all my co-workers were terrified of their money.

That kind of situation could end up very beneficial for anyone not terrified of their money.

Me: "Give me your money, I will sanctify it with Jesus blood and return it if and when it is cleansed."

Crazy person: "Oh God. Just take it! Take this tool of the Dark Lord from me! Get it away from me now!"

Me: "Excellent."
posted by IvoShandor at 9:02 PM on September 10, 2009


heh - it amuses me to no end that people will take something as arbitrary as a number and decide that it has mystical significance. Also, I like George Washington's masonic frilly apron.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 6:30 PM on September 10


eponysterical
posted by the_bone at 9:48 PM on September 10, 2009


His page about Jay-Z also links an analysis of Rihanna's Umbrella then Disturbia:
While Umbrella seemed to be, at face value, a song about love and friendship, the song actually described the manner in which Evil seduces weak spirits with promises of material success.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:17 PM on September 10, 2009


Washington, Washington -
6 foot 8, weighs a fucking ton.
Opponents beware, opponents beware -
He’s coming, he’s coming, he’s coming.

Let me lay it on line he had two on the vine;
I mean two sets of testicles so divine.
On a horse made of crystal he patrolled the land
With the mason ring and schnauzer with his perfect hands.

Here comes George, in control -
Women dug his snuff and his gallant stroll.
Ate opponents brains and invented cocaine,
He’s coming, he’s coming, he’s coming.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:48 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


No, The House On The Rock is the holiest place in America

Perhaps that is why the roof leaks often.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:29 AM on September 11, 2009


the ability to freely mix with our elected representatives in the seat our our government.

Go register as a lobbyist and that ability comes right back.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:34 AM on September 11, 2009


The password, if they haven’t gotten around to changing it, is: “I see you travel.”

I'm not sure what password that's supposed to be. But if the ritual is 'ever constant' I'll suggest Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor by Malcolm C. Duncan [1866]. "Changes" from the original text seem to happen however.

I'll also point to this rabbit hole I'd love to find the original documents for:
"Müller told me that the Nazis were obsessed with the Masons but when the Gestapo got around to really investigating them, they found nothing sinister at all. Just a social organization and nothing more."
posted by rough ashlar at 6:01 AM on September 11, 2009


A friend on facebook (more like acquaintance who I have not ever met in real life) uploaded pictures of a Masonic ritual he was involved with. One early-30s guy and a bunch of 60+ white haired geezers wearing aprons and smiling for the camera. Kind of kills the mystique.
posted by molecicco at 6:12 AM on September 11, 2009


If we can pretend that George Washington was a Man God American Christ and that all these weird symbols and such protect us from evil... can I pretend that the stuff from super natural is real too? Really? AWESOME! Me/ grabs rock salt shells and racks a double barreled sawed off. Now all I need are the abs and the good looks then I'm set.

Interesting read but seriously though, where is the batshit tag?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:01 AM on September 11, 2009


Before I get caught up in the comments and forget- George Washington has his own mythology (SYTL- prob'ly NSFW).

I wodner when the Moon Nazis will make an appearance. That's the only thing separating 'our fearless hero' from Indy. Right?
posted by LD Feral at 7:18 AM on September 11, 2009


Aww, beat to it- and I thought searching the list for 'rap' was clever enough ;)
Here comes George, in control -
Women dug his snuff and his gallant stroll.
Ate opponents brains and invented cocaine,
He’s coming, he’s coming, he’s coming.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:48 AM on September 11 [+] [!]


Go get 'em kaibutsu. ;)
posted by LD Feral at 7:27 AM on September 11, 2009


The website is too well designed, the writing too coherent, and the general overall sober analysis (crazy or not) doesn't merit your silly tag.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on September 11, 2009


"Changes" from the original text seem to happen however

The "ceremony" in which the guy was shot has nothing whatsoever to do with any of the three degree rituals of Freemasonry. I read elsewhere that it was a separate club within the Lodge members themselves that this was associated with, and it just happened in the Lodge building/facilities.

Offensive or defensive weapons are not allowed in Lodge. Period. At mine, even the law enforcement officers among our members lock their guns up in the office safe before proceeding further into the building.
posted by mrbill at 9:31 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Umbrella synopsis is utterly fascinating. I've been playing this song w/ a female bandmate and we may just have to re-arrange it with the 'dual voices' like he mentions. He does make a glaring mistake when he says that the shot of Rhianna in the triangle looking like the horned goat god is physically impossible. All she's doing is throwing her head forward and twisting her arms up behind her. Not very hard to do unless you're morbidly obese.

And also, he does realize that the capital dome was added later. He mentions it in the article.

Great find.
posted by daHIFI at 9:44 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am fully confident that George Washington was the American Christ. I mean, he invented both the ukelele and the Black Bottom while at Valley Forge. Vo-do-de-oh, vo-do-de-oh doh!
posted by Spatch at 10:23 AM on September 11, 2009


That goes back to the medieval stone masons who built the cathedrals of Europe. Those guys had a skilled craft that afforded them the opportunity to travel to the cultural centers of the world. Meanwhile everyone else in their social stratus was locked down to tending beasts for the lords of the manor.

Right. That was the whole idea, that to get ahead, you needed to learn a skill, and to do that you had to join a guild, not only for the skill but the social connections. But the guilds weren't limited to crafts or merchants; a lot of guilds were purely social clubs. The Masons did start as pretty much a stone masonry guild but expanded to become an exclusive club meant to further social status and ensure lifelong security within the group. It also became embroiled in the Crusades, and to this day Jacques de Molay is considered a martyr of sorts. De Molay is also the name used by the Mason youth organizations today (a friend was in De Molay).

As far as I can tell, most modern Freemasons are about as sinister as shriners, but historically the Masons have served as an exclusive club with the keys to power, sort of like Skull and Bones, with a lot of mystical trappings and hazing-type rituals for new initiates to sort of dazzle them with bullshit, but with very real connections to the top. Their connections back to the Crusades and the Catholic Church, their historic connections with many of the most powerful people in the US going back to its beginnings, plus their secrecy and obsession with mysticism has only served to give fertile ground for conspiracy theories. I prefer Umberto Eco's take on this, as well as Robert Anton Wilson's.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:22 PM on September 12, 2009


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