Review of Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ
By Patricius Anthony

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Review: Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ
Reverend Denis Fahey, C.S.Sp., D.D., D.Ph.
First Published 1928
Reprint Christian Book Club of America, 1994

By Patricius Anthony

Secret Societies


A little over ninety years ago, Fr. Denis Fahey's collection of articles, which originally appeared in the Catholic Bulletin, were published in book form entitled, Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ. The Christian Book Club of America reprinted the book in 1994.

The themes and subjects in these pieces, and the much-overlooked scholarly journal articles which appeared in the Irish Ecclesiastical Review during the 1920s, would form the basis for his theoretical work, The Kingship of Christ, which was to be the guidepost for his later empirical undertakings.

Those who study secret societies and their influence and manipulation of events are considered by the Establishment as "conspiracy theorists." Such a depiction has been a clever tactic by the powers that be to silence or distract from those which question the standard or "official" interpretation of events. Since much of a ruling regime's power comes from its control of the historical narrative, those who challenge orthodox history have to be silenced or portrayed as nutcases. Prior to the Politically Correct Age, however, popes and churchmen discussed the baneful effects that secret societies had on the world and warned Catholics of their influence. Not surprisingly, Vatican II did away with any such condemnations.

Today, while secret societies exist, their goals have long been accomplished as nearly every government the world over has adopted their principles. The triumph of secret societies has made Christianity impotent with little sway in the workings of the world. It has almost no impact in the making of laws, conduct of public policy, the morality of people, financial relationships, or social interactions. Secret societies derived their ideals from the various anti-Christian sects which had developed over the centuries and, most importantly, the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

While Fr. Fahey's book focuses on secret societies and their machinations in Europe, their influence in the US, and later throughout Latin America, was profound. The concept of "religious liberty" came to full fruition during this time, mostly derived from the writings of John Locke (1632-1704) which has remained an unchallenged ruling ethos of the American character accepted by generations of Catholics stretching back to the nation's founding.

Origins of Masonry

Organized modern Masonry can be traced to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 although its ideals and beliefs reach back to Antiquity. [50] Masonry's philosophic principles are derived from four sources:

The Jewish Kabbala Pagan secret rites: Egyptian, Greek, Syrian Parodies of Catholic ceremonies such as the Communion ceremony of the 18th century Degree of Rose-Croix Various heresies - Gnosticism, Manicheism, Albigensian

The most important influence on Masonry has been the Jewish Kabbala. Fr. Fahey quotes the English writer Nesta Webster in her exhaustive study on secret societies and the importance of the Jewish Kabbala in Masonry's development:

[T]he source of inspiration which admits of no denial is the Jewish Cabala. . . . The fact remains that when the ritual and constitutions of Masonry were drawn up in 1717, although certain fragments of the ancient Egyptian and Pythagorean doctrines were retained, the Judaic version of the secret tradition was the one selected by the founders of the Grand Lodge on which to build up their system. [quoted out of Secret Societies and Subversive Movements] [50]

Webster continues:

The Cabala is the body of the esoteric or secret doctrines or traditions, theoretical and practical, of Judaism. The theoretic or speculative Cabala is concerned with God and His relations with the world, man, angels, etc., and the whole is dominated by the pantheistic theory of emanation. [Ibid]

Fr. Fahey quotes the author A. Preuss in his American Freemasonry, who points out that the Kabbala received most of its influence and content from paganism:

It is from the Kabbala, which has drawn deeply from the ancient pagan mysteries, as likewise from these mysteries themselves, that we are to ask an explanation of what Masonry is, and of Masonic symbols. [50-51]


We must . . . study paganism to understand Masonry. Learned Masons have ever gone to pagan sources, and have always been able to find in them the true interpretation.

From its pagan-Kabbalist roots imbued with the ideals of the Enlightenment, Masonry would come to dominate not only the political discourse of much of the Western world, but its principles would bear particular fruit in the formation and development of the United States. And with the success of the American "experiment in liberty," Masonry would inspire the French Revolution and the other social upheavals of the 19th and 20th centuries which would lead to the dissolution of Western Christendom.

Fr. Fahey relies on Preuss' excellent description of Masonic philosophy:

We entered the Lodge and found the symbol G, as distinctive of Masonry as the cross is of Catholicity. It meant G.O.D., the phallic of the Lodge, and Geometry, the theology of Masonry. We were told that Deity in Masonry was the Builder, the architect of the universe, the superintendent under whom we, too, were builders; and having been previously informed that the idea of builder had been taken from the pagan mysteries, in which Deity was worshipped in the procreative faculties of man, it was evident to us that the Deity of the Lodge could be none other than man. [51-52]

Mankind, thus is divine and not a creature who has a duty to acknowledge, obey, and honor his Creator. Preuss adds:

. . . we went to Masonry for fuller instruction. It bade us study Geometry, and Geometry bade us study Nature. . . . We have found that Nature might be called God. That the Universe was an emanation from God. That creatures were the actual, existent ideas of God. We discovered that the ancient sages called God the Soul of the Universe. . . . We were taught by the Kabbalists, our trusted theologians, that God and Nature were one, and hence that God and humanity were one. [52]

To bring the Kabbala and paganism up to the 18th century Enlightenment standards, Masonry added the "god" of Reason into its philosophic foundations:

We were introduced to God identified with Reason; so that God was Reason, and Reason, God. Until finally, in the culminating lesson of Masonry, the last or Royal Secret, the Divinity of Man is clearly taught in the geometrical formula of the right-angled triangle, that Osiris and Isis produce Horus; the generative and prolific powers of Nature produce the Universe; the union of Deity and Humanity gives birth to Divine Man, the old pagan theory which makes all the gods bi-sexual. [Ibid.]

The Deistic God is born replacing the Holy Trinity with the "Unknown Father of Masonry" which in the end is humanity itself. Just as Satan so wily deceived Eve promising her and her naive husband that they would become all-knowing, Masonry offers humanity a similar future:

Here we have natural religion, here the great revelation of Nature, here Masonry's New Testament, in which, not the Christian Jehovah, in Jesus Christ, but the Unknown Father of Masonry, the Kabbalistic Jehovah, in humanity, 'has taken flesh and dwelt among us.' God incarnate - Man Divine - not on Jesus Christ, but in plain humanity, this is the Deity revealed by Masonry. [Ibid]


The philosophy behind Masonry is pure Naturalism and a rejection of the Supernatural Order and a denial that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity would become Incarnate to redeem mankind. Naturalism is thus the antithesis of a Christian social order as Fr. Fahey so incisively describes:

Naturalism is then the denial of that ordered subordination of the natural to the supernatural both in public and private life. . . . Naturalism means the rejection of all supernatural Revelation and the denial of the existence of the higher life of grace, participation in the Divine Life. [6-7]

The philosophical underpinnings of Masonry came during the ascent of the 18th century "philosophers" who were, in a sense, reacting to the myriad of theological divisions and thought within Protestantism which made it increasingly incoherent and open to ridicule. Instead of a return to the One True Faith, the new intelligentsia ditched Christianity entirely and returned to neo-paganism.

While nearly all religions and sects were tolerated by the Englightenment, one was held up to ridicule, scorn, and a "soft," but very effective persecution, which, by the end of the era, had stripped Catholicism of nearly all of its social power. The Church eventually succumbed and adopted many of these ideas by the time of the Second Vatican anti-Council, 1962-65.


Secret Societies employed an ingenious strategy to attain their influence within Western governance. At first, Masons would claim subservience to the king, prince, or ruling authority and outwardly pose no threat to religious institutions. The following passages from a Masonic tract at the time illustrates their thinking:

Represent to yourselves a man fearing God, faithful and loyal to his King, giving to everyone his due, not doing to others what he would not like to have done to himself, and you have the picture of a true Mason. [61]

Yet, this was for appearance sake only as a way to gain positions of power and conceal Masons' real objectives as Fr. Fahey elaborates:

[W]e find Masonry in these countries, as a rule, pretending to be religious and traditional until its plans were ready for the violent overthrow of the existing order. Then it became openly revolutionary and anti-Catholic. [60]

Once Masonry was tolerated, Fr. Fahey states, "It will act as it did in 1793 and as it is acting at the present time; it will assassinate or banish those princes to whom it had sworn fidelity and massacre or rob the ministers of that religion of which it invoked 'the sacred laws'. . . ." [62]

Once entrenched and seen as no threat to the social order, Masons would wait for revolutionary conditions or social upheaval to occur (which they invariably worked for behind the scenes) to then reveal their true agenda which was to overturn and, if not extinguish, at least marginalize the Christian social order.

Although it preached toleration, Masonry had no intention of allowing Catholicism to have much, if any, say in civil or political affairs. Instead, its ultimate goal was the Church's destruction as admitted by a French branch of the sect:

Freemasonry is the Counter-Church, the Counter-Catholicism, the Church of Heresy. We Masons must aim at the complete destruction of Catholicism. [62]

Even more blasphemous:

The triumph of the Galilean has lasted twenty centuries: he is dying in his turn. The mysterious voice which once on the mountains of Epirus announced the death of Pan, to-day proclaims an era of justice and peace to those who should believe in him. The illusion has lasted a very long time: the lying God is going into oblivion in His turn; He goes to rejoin in the dust of ages the other divinities of India, Egypt, Greece and Rome who saw so many deluded creatures prostrate themselves at the foot of their altars. [62-63]

Now that Masonry has arrived, mankind will be lifted out of darkness and brought into the Light:

Freemasons, we are happy to be able to state that we have contributed to the overthrow of the false prophets. The Church of Rome, founded on the Galilean myth, began to decline rapidly from the day when the Masonic association was inaugurated. Politically, Freemasons have often changed their costs. But Freemasonry has always stood firm on this principle: war on all superstitions, war on all fanaticism. [63]

Before becoming outright revolutionaries, however, Masons held to the principle that became to them, and most secret societies, a sacred dogma - "toleration." Not only did Masonry advocate toleration to secure its own position, but the concept became the great sword which Masons, Deists, and their fellow travelers used to bring down Catholicism. Typically, they did not openly attack the Faith, but used the ideas of toleration and "religious liberty" to undermine it, putting Catholicism on a par with every other creed, religion, or opinion no matter how perverse.

The State

Written almost a century and a half after the French Revolution put an end to Christendom, Fr. Fahey accurately summarizes the political ideal that still guides the Western world to this day, which secret societies were the willing conduit for its implementation:

The Kantian system leads on logically to the Pantheism of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, in which man loses his individuality and becomes a mere phenomenon in the realization of Universal Reason or in the evolution of the absolute. According to the conception of Rousseau, as Society is constituted by an arbitrary contract of individuals, free and equal, the State is the sum-total of these individuals, the Sovereign People in which is concentrated all power. [22]

Most of the anti-Catholic philosophers from the Protestant revolt on down taught that "the people" were sovereign and could rule and decide for themselves between "right and wrong" with no need of Almighty God or His Church. The State became a "divine" institution, the highest organization of society since it was embodiment of the "people's will:"

The two currents of philosophic thought give rise to the Divinity-State, leading on to the World-State, or Humanity-God (Pantheism). The State becomes the highest power, the supreme authority, the end to the perfection of which all human progress tends. As there is no higher power, from it all law and right are derived and on it all authority depends. If the people elect representatives, they do not lose their sovereignty, which is inalienable, so that it always remains true that man obeys nobody but himself. [Ibid]

Make no mistake, the idea of a "New World Order" did not originate with President George H.W. Bush's "thousand points of light" reference, but has been a goal of secret societies from their inception. "Another point about which specialists in Masonry are in almost perfect agreement," writes Fr. Fahey, "is that the ultimate aim of the sect and of all the secret societies, or sub-Masonries, which are directed by it, is a World-State." [57]

While the State is omnipotent, the Catholic Church is "considered to be a mere association, owing its existence to the State and holding all its rights from the State." [22] Nor can the Church claim for itself independence or that it obtains its authority and power not from "the people," but from God. This, of course, the State cannot tolerate. "The different Churches and Religions in the State," Fr. Fahey explains, "receive their existence from it and are tolerated as long as they satisfy the religious aspirations of groups of citizens, while not contravening the regulations made for the maintenance of public order. If any Church refuses to submit to the Civil Law, which is the expression of the Will of the Sovereign People, it will be made to feel the whole weight of authority." [23]

The State, therefore, is supreme in matters both civil and religious. To sell this notion to the masses, the intelligentsia of the time promoted the idea of democracy "rule by the people" as a way to push forward statism. Of course, the intellectuals both then and now had little concern with the advancement of the masses, but instead, saw in democracy that their position in society would become enhanced as the voice and guides of the public. And, as democracy expanded, so would the intellectual's role increase as greater government meant influential positions in the State.

Of course, in reality, rule of the people is a sham. Democratic government is controlled by elites who use elections, referendums, and representative political bodies to distract the public from those who really control society. Another factor, often ignored by Catholic historians in the rise of democratic governance, has been the financial aspect, in particular the power of central banks. The malignant development of central banking and the eventual abolition of the gold standard replaced with a system of fiat currencies provided the means where democratic nation-states financed their social welfare systems that gradually took over many of the functions and duties that the Church once performed - running hospitals, charities, education, recreation, etc.

Catholics & Masons

Fr. Fahey points out that Masons hid - and still do - their true intentions and beliefs which explains, in large measure, why many Catholics at first became or were closely associated with Masonry and is why a number of prominent Catholics (Mozart reportedly being one) were Masons and yet received no reprimand from the hierarchy. While secret societies were condemned by the Vatican, Masons and their fellow travelers increasingly began to hold important posts within European Courts and became trusted confidants of monarchs and were given important positions in the aristocracies. While initially membership in lodges was kept undercover, over time it became less of an obstacle for political advancement.

It was mainly the Jesuits who provided resistance to the increasing presence of secret society members in the royal courts, the latter of which invariably advanced policies that harmed the Church and strengthened the autocrats - and their own - power. Thus, the frenzied and deceitful actions by Masons and their like to pressure the monarchs and eventually the pope to crackdown and eventually suppress the Jesuits. The Crowns would pay dearly for their treachery, however, as the repression of the Society of Jesus meant that the enemies of the Church could now turn their ravenous sights on the monarchs and, in less than a couple of generations, Christendom would be dissolved and a secular world, created on the foundation of the nation-state, would emerge.


Fr. Fahey has trenchantly shown that Masons, the Illuminati, and other secret organizations are not some fantasies conjured up by conspiracy theorists, but were - and still are - composed of real individuals who formed societies and clubs which have played a significant role over the years in the bringing about the demise of Catholicism. Once Christendom was destroyed, they turned their sites on the Church itself with their final triumph at Vatican II.

While Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ was written some forty years prior to Vatican II, the ideas which these groups espoused, especially that of religious liberty and oecumenism, were adopted by the Conciliar Church. Not surprisingly, the Vatican II revolutionaries used the same strategies that the Masons employed in pushing their agenda through led by Hannibal Bugnini who, it has been reported, was a Mason himself.

If Catholicism is ever to return as the social paradigm for Western life, the forces and ideas which brought about its downfall must be understood, exposed, and, most importantly, defeated on ideological grounds. While such a task appears overwhelming in the current secular age, it is far more promising than what the ancient Christians faced under the domination of the Roman Empire. Secret Societies and the Kingship of Christ provides such insights for that necessary task to take place.