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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus - December 2007

National Treasure - Book of Secrets

            The new National Treasure movie titled National Treasure – Book of Secrets is scheduled to be released in theatres December 21, 2007. Having had an opportunity for a preliminary screening the following comments are based on that viewing.

There are very few references to Freemasonry. The movie never approaches the Masonic theme so evident in the first National Treasure. The few references to Masons or Masonry would not attract a reaction from the audience. The theme of the movie is, again, the discovery of a vast treasure, although this time there is no Masonic connection.

The scenes in Washington DC are primarily centered around the Library of Congress and the White House, with an additional scene at Mount Vernon in Virginia. Paris and New York City are also featured. There are some references made where background information might be helpful to our readers and so we hope the following information will prove useful to you.

In the beginning of the movie reference is made to an organization known as the KGC. One of the characters has a pin prominently displaying the letters KGC .

The Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) was one of a multitude of political/fraternal organizations formed during the American Civil War period. According to Mark A. Lause, Department of History, University of Cincinnati, the KGC were pro-Confederate sympathizers. They were also rumored to have amassed a “vast treasure” to fund future war plans. Roy Sylvan Dunn writing in a 1967 edition of the Southwestern Historical Quarterly notes that the KGC’s activities diminished when the Civil War ended.

In a conversation concerning the Statue of Liberty “Laboulaye” is mentioned as the person who conceived the idea of the statue.

Edouard Rene de Laboulaye was a French jurist. He is considered as one who watched carefully the development of the United States and was an admirer of its Constitution. He is considered by some as having formulated the idea of presenting a statue representing liberty as a gift to the United States, a symbol for ideas suppressed by Napoleon III. Of course, the sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi is the one who created the Statue of Liberty and helped present it to the United States at the location where it now stands on Liberty Island in New York harbor. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was also a Freemason and a member of Lodge Alsace – Lorraine in Paris.

References are made to Albert Pike as a Confederate General but with no mention of his Masonic membership.

Albert Pike was indeed a Confederate General who fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas. He was also an ardent Freemason and is remembered as having been the guiding force behind the development of the Scottish Rite into a major Masonic organization.
           
The concluding scenes of the movie take place at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

The movie makes no reference to the sculptor but both Gutzon Borglum, who was the sculptor of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and his son Lincoln Borglum were Freemasons. Following the death of his father, Lincoln Borglum was assigned the task of completing the Mount Rushmore Memorial.

Gutzon Borglum was raised in Howard Lodge #35 in New York City and served as its Master in 1910-1911. Lincoln Borglum was raised in Battle River Lodge #92 Hermosa, South Dakota.

National Treasure – Book of Secrets is a fast paced thriller as was the first National Treasure movie.

Twain Award - 2007

The Twain Award participating lodges are currently sending in their submission material for consideration for the 2007 Awards. Because several lodges contacted the MIC with good reasons for not being able to submit by Dec. 1 we did extend the final submission date until Dec. 20, 2007.

The quality of the submissions we have received are truly excellent. The work being done in many of our lodges is an outstanding credit to our fraternity.

After the final judging and the 2007 Twain Award winners have been announced we will again post selected achievements from the participating lodges on our website and have a summary in an upcoming issue of Focus.

IIf your lodge has not participated in the Twain Award Program we would urge you to give consideration for entering in 2008!

Conspiracy Theories

            Popular culture enjoys stories based on conspiracy theories of which there are many. One such fictionalization insists that there is a relationship between a Mason’s Degree status and the information known about a conspiracy theory. In fact, there is no evidence to support Freemasonry’s involvement with any conspiracy—with or without regard to its Degrees. Masonic Degrees are concerned primarily with communicating the importance of honor and integrity, teaching that each person must take responsibility for his own life and actions.

 

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