The Hidden Hand that Shaped History
Has the course of History been directed by a small group of people with common interests? The paintings and pictures of the great men of the past centuries reveal a common thread which links them together. Is it a coincidence that many of them hid one of their hands when posing for a portrait? It seems unlikely. We’ll look at the Masonic origin of the “hidden hand” and the powerful men who used the sign in famous portraits.
“Today’s thinking toward a democratic world state is neither a new trend nor an accidental circumstance; the work of setting up the background of knowledge necessary to the establishing of enlightened democracy among all nations has been carried on for many hundreds of years by secret societies.”
-Manly P. Hall, Secret Destiny of America
Is there a hidden force behind the world events of the past centuries? Are the fall of European monarchies, the bringing forth of the Age of Enlightenment and our path towards a world democracy part of a great plan lead by a “hidden hand”? Before the advent of mass media, portraits depicting their leaders in majestic poses were the only artifacts people had. Do these portraits have an occult meaning?
One of those poses is the “hiding of the hand”. I remember my history teacher trying to explain why Napoleon was often shown with a hand inside his shirt. The common explanation went along these lines:
“Many theories have been presented as to why Napoleon is traditionally depicted with his hand in his waistcoat. Some of these theories include: he had a stomach ulcer, he was winding his watch, he had an itchy skin disease, in his era it was impolite to put your hands in your pockets, he had breast cancer, he had a deformed hand, he kept a perfumed sachet in his vest that he’d sniff surreptitiously, and that painters don’t like to paint hands”
Unless all the individuals discussed in this article had stomach ulcer or deformed hands, the gesture of hiding one’s hand simply has to have a specific meaning. It does. Most of the people using this sign are proven (and often enthusiastic) members of the Freemasons. Considering the great importance of this gesture in Masonic rituals and the fact that all of the elite were either part of Freemasonry or knew of it, it is simply impossible that the recurrence of this sign could be the result of a coincidence. The “hidden hand” can, in fact, be found in the rituals of the Royal Arch Degree of Freemasonry and the world leaders that use this sign are subtly saying to other initiates of the order: “This is what I’m part of, this is what I believe in and this is what I’m working for”.
The Royal Arch Degree
The Royal Arch Degree (the 13th degree of the Scottish Rite or the 7th degree of the York Rite) is also known as the Mason of the Secret. During this Degree, initiates are said to receive great Masonic truths.
“The members of this Degree are denominated companions, and are “entitled to a full explanation of the mysteries of the Order”; whereas in the former Degrees they are recognized by the common, familiar appellation of brothers, and kept in a state of profound ignorance of the sublime secret which is disclosed in this Chapter. This accords with the custom of Pythagoras, who thus distinguished his pupils. After a probation of five years, as stated before, they were admitted into the presence of the preceptor, called his companions, and permitted to converse with him freely. Previous to the expiration of that term he delivered his instructions to them from behind a screen”
-John Fellows, Fellows’s Inquiry into the Origin, History, and Purport of Freemasonry
“If we pass on to the Royal Arch, we receive a wonderful accession of knowledge, and find every thing made perfect; for this is the nec plus ultra of Masonry, and can never be exceeded by any human institution.”
-George Oliver, Lectures on Freemasonry
It is during this degree that the initiate learns the sacred name of God.
“A Degree indescribably more august, sublime, and important than any which precede it, and is, in fact, the summit and perfection of ancient Masonry. It impresses upon our minds a belief in the being of a God, without beginning of days or end of years, the great and incomprehensible Alpha and Omega, and reminds us of the reverence which is due to His Holy NAME.”
-George Oliver, Historical Landmarks
This holy name is Jahbulon, a combination of words meaning “god” in Syriac, Chaldaic and Egyptian.
“JEHOVAH. Of the varieties of this sacred name in use among the different nations of the earth, three particularly merit the attention of Royal Arch Masons:
1. JAH. This name of God is found in the 68th Psalm, v. 4.
2. BAAL OR BEL. This word signifies a lord, master, or possessor, and hence it was applied by many of the nations of the East to denote the Lord of all things, and the Master of the world.
3. ON. This was the name by which JEHOVAH was worshiped among the Egyptians.”
-Malcolm C. Duncan, Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor
The initiation ritual to this degree re-enacts the return to Jerusalem of three Most Excellent Masons who were held captive in Babylon. I won’t go through the whole ceremony and symbolism but at one point, the initiate is asked to learn a secret password and a hand sign in order to go through a series of veils. The following image depicts the hand sign required to go through the second veil, as documented in Duncan’s Masonic Ritual and Monitor:Advertisements
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