"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Arizona Anti-Mason Posts Videos of Degree Rituals Taken Surreptitiously

by Christopher Hodapp

Following the statement last week from the Vatican reaffirming the Church's longstanding prohibition of Masonic membership for Catholics, the usual platoon of online anti-Masonic wing-nuts came tumbling out onto the Intertubz to post and re-post all the usual anti-Masonic tropes and conspiracy allegations. Most are easy to ignore, or simply dispense with by citing factual information, if anyone wants to bother wasting that much time and breath. (I've got a whole book dedicated to telling the true facts about this fraternity - not that the antis care to believe it.) But one person in particular on X-formerly-Twitter has generated a lot of discussion among Masons themselves — not out of offense or anger or indignation, but out of sadness, more than anything else. 

A self-touted "traditional Catholic influencer", "undercover journalist" and "whistleblower" called Kyle Clifton has been gleefully circulating videos of private Masonic ceremonies he claimed to have shot with a hidden camera after having joined a local lodge. Images on his posts and other clues quickly pointed to his location as Arizona. 

Lodge tylers everywhere should be familiar with his face and background, in case he turns up in your neck of the woods. That's his profile picture, depicting him with the Arizona state flag, but looking for all the world like he's sporting a radiant, holy halo of sanctity (or more correctly, smug sanctimony). 

On his various social media pages he sports an 'America first' ball cap - perhaps he missed the details that America's first president and scores of other founding luminaries who created the Declaration of Independence and hashed out the Constitution were Freemasons. But more of his absurd phobias and errors anon.

On Tuesday this week the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F&AM of Arizona, MW George Rusk, issued a statement concerning this incident and verifying the source as an Arizona Mason:
"One of our members has posted on social media videos of our ritual. This is a breach of trust and a violation of his obligation to the craft. He took an oath and could not keep it. The information he posted is not unknown to the internet; a simple search will find something similar. But his posting did expose him as someone who cannot be trusted more than it exposed our Fraternity.

"The Grand Lodge is investigating this incident and will act upon the results according to the Arizona Masonic Code and legal advice from Grand Counsel. I request that you refrain from spreading any rumors, but if you have direct information about the posting send it to the Grand Secretary.”

This may come as a shock to those breathless readers of InfoWars and other sites that have been celebrating Kyle's puerile little incident all week, but our Masonic rituals are scarcely a Big Secret. And that's been true for a very long time. But Masons value our privacy every bit as much as Kyle, his fellow RadCaths, the staff of InfoWars and its audience all do. 

Exposés of Masonic ritual have existed since about ten minutes after the organization of the premiere grand lodge in London in 1717. When Samuel Pritchard's Masonry Dissected was published in 1730, the printer couldn't keep it in stock, it sold so fast (likely more to Masons themselves than the general public, to be used for learning their degree work). When the Nazis goose-stepped their way into Paris and began identifying French Masons, they shot an anti-Masonic propaganda film that exposed the ritual of the Grand Orient de France. In the Internet age, videos of Masonic ritual – either photographed surreptitiously, or recreated by former Masons themselves – have been circulated before. And fully typed-out Masonic rituals themselves have been posted on the web since at least the 1980s. Masonic "secrecy" has never really been about hiding our initiatic rituals from the outside world, and the various attempts to embarrass us or somehow make us apoplectic over being "exposed" don't really give us fitful nights fretting about it.

There's a certain aspect of these incidents that's always been comical. On the one hand, many comments responding to Kyle's videos have been soaked with the usual allegations of soul-destroying spookiness, Devil-worship, Satanic symbols, along with a raft of offensively anti-Jewish rhetoric, claiming the rituals are anti-Christian blasphemies and that Masons are really just evil Jews or their willing henchmen in the whole "global domination" fantasy. 

Young-shaver-me-lad and "undercover journalist" Kyle alleged in his posts, "The masonic oath & penalties are sworn over, essentially a Jewish Talmud. The 3 lamps are illuminated to mock our Holy Trinity." Such accusers believe Masons to be all-powerful, world-controlling, bald-headed, cat-stroking super villains. On the other hand, the same commenters go on to say the whole thing is a bunch of silliness, giggling over a group of middle-class guys engaging in bad acting and spouting mumbo jumbo. Puffy flyover-country Protestants who secretly pretend to be Moloch-worshiping Old Testament Hebrew priests.

So what are we – malevolent, all-powerful evildoers, moronic dupes, or suburban backyard vaudevillians? I'm confused.

Of course, Kyle himself seemed more preoccupied with the colossal prank he was pulling than in actually paying any attention to the ritual and lectures he went through when he joined. If he actually looked at the book that he took his own obligation upon, I'll bet fifty quatloos and a groat that it was a King James Version of the complete Holy Bible, and not the "Jewish Talmud" (which would be a neat trick anyway, since the last complete Talmud I saw a couple of years back filled ten large hardback volumes and about two feet of bookshelf real estate – and Masonic altars aren't usually that big). Or perhaps he mis-typed and meant the Tenach, the Hebrew origin of the Old Testament. 

In any case, it appears that he never bothered to discover that his very own version of the Bible (presuming he actually owns one) also includes the Old Testament. A subsequent video he shot depicts a large family heirloom-type King James Bible on the lodge altar, customized as a gift for Freemasons with introductory pages explaining many biblical passages and unfamiliar archaic terms that appear in Masonic ritual. It's not any sort of bizarrely edited or abridged "Masonic Bible," which he would know if he had actually checked the full text and table of contents. But perhaps he's just unfamiliar with reading Biblical text. If he had, he'd know there's an awful lot it has to say about deceivers.

The one sure thing about two-faced people is you can't trust either one. By posting these videos, Kyle exposed far more about what sort of man he really is. He clearly lied from the moment he expressed a false interest in joining, knowing his church of choice prohibits Masonic membership. In most cases, a potential candidate asks a friend or co-worker known to be a Mason if he can join — so Kyle knowingly and wittingly lied to that friend. Every step he took was deliberately deceitful, and at multiple times in his degrees he was asked ifhe was willing to proceed or withdraw. He clearly believed his deceit was just fine because he was really in the service of righteousness. . . or something. 

In light of that, who in their right mind would ever trust him now? Who'd hire him as an employee, knowing that he lies on applications, can't be trusted to keep anything private just because he was asked to do so, and makes up his own version of situational ethics? What boss would have him? What friend can ever trust him? What spouse would ever believe him? 

The truth about Masonic secrecy ever since the very beginning of the fraternity is that it's about honor. In the end, everything civilized human beings do requires honor, because your word has got to be your bond. Civilization depends on it. If you say one thing but do the opposite, society will eventually get the message and turn its back on you. If you can't keep something as dumb and trivial as a handshake or a password a secret simply because someone asked you to, how can you be trusted in anything else you say or do?

Zealous people determined to tear down Freemasonry for their own religious purposes will never be convinced that quite literally millions of Masons from 1717 up to today would never voluntarily join – and stick with – anything that was evil, sacrilegious, nefarious, or remotely ‘satanic’. Among the millions of men who have become Freemasons over three centuries have been thousands of devout Christian clergymen, and possibly hundreds of Jewish rabbis, Muslim imams, and countless other priests and leaders from among the world’s major religions. To believe that those men in particular would have any desire to belong to an organization that openly or surreptitiously engages in activities that propagate the worship, glorification or veneration of Satan – or any other spiritually evil entity of any stripe – is a completely unhinged delusion. Masonic ritual encourages every man to study his own faith, to participate in his own religion's congregation, to consult the ancient texts deemed to be holy by his own religion to find his path to eternal salvation. That includes Kyle. Freemasonry is not a religion, nor are we a path to a glorious resurrection and afterlife. And we've never claimed to be.

This is a fictional, spooky movie, boys and girls - not a Masonic meeting.

The fraternity occasionally has attracted men who really are hunting the spooky-ooky dressing up in black robes, chanting backwards in badly conjugated schoolboy Latin, burning incense and sacrificing the big-breasted blonde virgin on the altar stuff they've seen in moldy old 60's Hammer horror films (usually led by Christopher Lee). If they actually get as far as going through the very real Masonic degree rituals, they're bitterly disappointed to find out that we really aren't raising the dead and worshipping some hoary old demiurge after all.

Once the dust settles, Kyle will doubtless be expeditiously expelled from the fraternity (if he hasn't already quit or been booted out by his lodge and the grand lodge). And, contrary to what his cheering "I've exposed the Masons!" audience might childishly believe, that will be the sum total of the "penalties" he will suffer. Because, as he was doubtless told during his degrees, those "bloody penalties" he was "threatened with" during the "Masonic blood oaths" are purely symbolic, and have been from the start of the fraternity. Actually, they were rooted in what began as disfiguring penalties in medieval Europe, which prevented a man's body from being buried in the consecrated ground of a churchyard. 

Catholic churchyards, I might add.


  1. A few years ago I was interviewed by Mo Rocca on "CBS Sunday Morning." He asked me, "What would you do if I found out the Masons' secret handshake and password?" I replied, "I'd buy you a beer!" I then went on to explain that I had made a promise to not tell anyone; I hadn't made a promise to care if anyone found out. The promises that I made are more of a measure of my integrity than anything else. Freemasonry was formally organized with the creation of the first grand lodge in London in 1717, and the first exposure of Masonic "secrets" was published in 1723. In other words, we managed to keep our secrets secret for about 6 years! Keeping the secrets doesn't really protect anything -- it's too late for that. However, it's still a good measure of integrity. --S. Brent Morris, PM

    1. " I had made a promise to not tell anyone; I hadn't made a promise to care if anyone found out."

      I always thought this was the perfect response. "Exposing our secrets" doesn't do a thing to diminish the bonds of brotherhood that Freemasonry creates between its members. But it trivializes those bonds by removing the ritual from its context and true purpose. Sadly, the overaged brats who gleefully giggle and squeal like sugared-up toddlers when they "discover" what we do and then want to broadcast it far and wide are the kinds of vandals who get their kicks breaking windows and slashing tires. They build nothing, they help no one, they simply tear down that for which they have no regard.

      Kyle's little stunt will likely disappear quickly in the day-to-day garbage dump of Internet noise — stories tend not to last very long in a world that has no attention span anymore. It certainly won't have the lasting effects of the Taxil hoax or Barruel's paranoid fantasies.

      If he thinks that he's strengthened his church by trying to turn men away from us, he's done nothing of the kind. It's like thinking if he busts out all the stained glass windows over at the Presbyterians' place, his own church will draw converts. No, it only leaves a mess and creates sad, bitter people who have to try to clean it up again. It's just a damned shame he has to find out at our expense.

  2. At least one of the videos has almost 8 million views on X. There are probably thousands if not millions of views on other platforms as well. This is undoubtedly the worst expose our beloved fraternity has ever had to endure, at least in terms of viewership. I am afraid that these videos will do lasting harm to our membership reach if they remain online. Signed Roberto, LDH Brasil

  3. Thank you for this clear, well reasoned response. As Brother Hodapp states, our work hasn't been secret for roughly 300 years.
    This newest expose' is simply more of the same.

  4. I take issue with one thing. Those Hammer films are not bad! They’re great! Don’t be dissin’ Christopher Lee!! :)

  5. Seems Kyle did an interview with a Catholic website after releasing his spy-cam videos to the world. In it, he claimed he's received numerous death threats. No way to assess that claim for its truthfulness, nor is there any way to determine if any such "threats" actually came from Freemasons, or if they were other pranksters just trying to troll him.

    However, he did say that joined the lodge at age 18 specifically because he "wanted to expose Freemasonry", believing it to be "influential in much of the evil in the world."

    Fro the interview:

    He explained that as a young man he was asking question such as: “Why is the world the way it is? Why is there so much degeneracy in this world? Who’s pushing all this propaganda?” and that the more he researched “it was like everyone was pointing to the Freemasons.”

    “I went down to a local Freemason lodge and I befriended some of them and got into it. But then I realized I was a little bit over my head with it all,” Clifton said.

    Clifton explained that, after developing a significant online following for his undercover journalism work, he decided earlier this year to go back to his local lodge and film one of the rituals.

    I WON'T say this is just a small reason why initiation of 18 year olds may be a lousy idea, because such men are not yet mature enough to make important judgement calls and life decisions entirely on their own. That doesn't make initiating them a GOOD idea. Some men are mature beyond their years, but most just aren't and still need time. Kyle joined because of a whole raft of fantasies he believed, and it's clearly now embedded in his character. He deliberately joined a lodge with the express purpose of lying to men who were supposed to be his friends because "exposing" the ritual was his sole purpose. And he kept the lie alive for what sounds like several years before he snuck in a spy camera and plastered his work across the Internet.

  6. All conspiracy theorists - anti-Masonic, antisemetic, anti-Catholic, etc (and often a combo plate) tell you that most members are deluded chumps but the real inner circle knows and is in control of it all. This is a wholly unprovable assertion - which is exactly the point if you care more about your screed than the truth. - Alan S, Chicago

  7. Before I petitioned decades ago I found a good description of Freemasonry in the New Catholic Encylopeadia. The third degree obiligation was spelled out verbatim. It was obvious that author of the article was familiar with the Masonic ritual secrets. The Church clearly knows of our teachings and how it differs from its own.

  8. It's not necessarily so bad to initiate young masons. There is demolay for boys. Maybe 18 is still young enough to go join them. And if they did get into masons at 18, normally people learn calm from their peers, most people grow into being reasonable.

  9. If someone is just 18, could they go join demolay still? Normally 18 should be old enough to learn to be chill and reasonable, so it's not bad to join masons at that age either. The expose is something a 12 year old would do.

    1. Yes, DeMolay is to age 21. I actually remember hearing of someone who did join the masons at 18 or so then joined DeMolay afterwards, which is really kind of odd but it's doable.

  10. We don't if we have integrity reveal confidences. If someone shares with us a situation because they are dealing with something that they need to share, we don't broadcast it. This respect for confidences goes with being mature and adult and respected, Being circumspect is part of being of good character.

  11. While this is very disappointing and measures must be taken to make sure it does not happen again, it does nothing at all to stop our mission of making good men better. It does nothing to stop our practice of bringing men of different religions, politics, races and finances together as brothers. This is why conspiracy theorists and religious tyrants both in the past and very recently oppose us. Because we are proof that humans are not so different and that we can work together in peace. The mission of Freemasonry is unharmed and unchanged.

  12. Sounds like RadCath Kyle was in mortal sin when working through the degrees. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say he likely received communion at the same time. Sounds like a good reason for booting him from his local parish and excommunicating him. Isn't that the proper place for us Catholic Freemasons?

  13. It is important to guard the west gate.. a quick Google search would have prevented this.


    And Kyle Clifton, a Fuentes acolyte with ties to APU, was also among the counter-protesters.

    Clifton was behind an account on Instagram called “afu.arizona” which posted white nationalist messaging, touted the “great replacement” theory and antisemitic images.

    Antisemitism was present among the counterprotesters with some spewing rants about “freemasonry” when debating with abortion rights activists. Many of the Freemason conspiracy theories are rooted in antisemitism and can be traced back to an antisemitic hoax from more than a century ago.

    Clifton arrived with a group of Kari Lake campaign staff members who were part of the counter-protest, where they also handed out Kari Lake campaign signs. Among them was Matthew Martinez, Lake’s field manager, who was said to have been disciplined by the campaign for infiltrating leftist ASU groups.

    --WB Jason Crowder


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