Claims have been made that Albert Pike was a high ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan. This is a claim that is impossible to either substantiate or disprove. Research into primary source material will reveal that there isn’t any primary source material.
The only writings that would come close to qualifying as a primary source is a booklet written by one of the Klan founders, Captain John C. Lester, in 1884, comprising his reminiscences fifteen years after the fact. The only name noted in Lester’s book is one reference to “Gen. Forrest”.
It was not until Dr. Walter L. Fleming republished Lester’s booklet in 1905 that a list of names of key Klansmen was included in a preface. In 1924, Ms. Susan L. Davis published her Authentic History, in which she contradicts a number of points made by Lester, denigrates Fleming for his superficial knowledge of the Klan and condemns Lester’s co-author, David L. Wilson, for suggesting the Klan had failed.
Any other book or article promoting Albert Pike’s association with the Klan will either cite Fleming or Davis, cite other authors who cite Fleming or Davis, or not cite anyone. Both Fleming and Davis accepted, unquestioningly, the fifty year old reminiscences of several of the founding members of the Klan. There is no source documentation, corroborating evidence or other testimony to implicate Albert Pike with the Klan. Pike had been dead fourteen years when Fleming first published, and was in no position to address the issue.
There are several separate claims. First, that Albert Pike was the founder of the Ku Klux Klan; second, that he was a member, or leader, of the Klan; third, that he was a racist; and fourth, that Freemasonry is the current reincarnation of the Klan. The following notes will demonstrate that his leadership role or membership is strictly hearsay, that his racism, while nothing to be proud of, was mild by his contemporaries’ standards and that any accusation that Freemasonry is a Klan front, or vice versa is completely unsubstantiated and unfounded.
First they [freemasons] eliminate all “documents” Although Klan records are being stolen, there is no proof or evidence that freemasons have been party to these thefts.
It is noteworthy that the author of these accusations, who is from Vancouver, B.C., quotes from Fleming’s out of print and rare Ku Klux Klan, a book that has been missing from the Vancouver Public Library since September of 2000.
“…even the Library of Congress was a victim to something that was happening all over the nation: rare Klan books and files are being stolen. The problem has been increasing over the past seven years, and the clipping files of local libraries and newspapers are especially vulnerable. (The historic KKK clipping file once held by the Kokomo Tribune, for example, is now missing.)”1.
All those who write critically of Freemasonry are anti’s and all anti’s are frauds, liars, zealots, or extremists and cannot be accepted. This is the author’s accusation of Freemasonry’s attitude. Freemasonry doesn’t claim this.
in the jacket cover of most masonic books is typed that the books MUST be returned to the Lodge if the owner dies. Generally, only lodge ritual books or Monitors are expected to be returned to the lodge upon the member’s demit, expulsion or death. Certainly, no history texts are so designated. The first printings (1871-1881) of Pike’s Morals and Dogma carried the proviso: “Esoteric Book, for Scottish Rite use only; to be returned upon withdrawal or death of recipient.” This was dropped in most editions printed after 1881.
It is called historical revisionism. Historical revisionism generally takes one of two forms: changes in understanding of past events in the light of new, more accurate research; or changes in interpretation of past events to promote particular political or ideological agendas. The first, sometimes termed historiographical revisionism, is a legitimate pursuit of historians. The second, less a form of revision than of denial, utilizes the omission of contradicting evidence, and occasionally outright fabrications — and has given the popular use of the term revisionism an unsavory connotation.
In the case of the American Civil War and Reconstruction: “Revisionism draws its strength from three decades of hard research, from an impressive array of scholarly articles and monographs, from modified ideas about race, and from a changed social climate.”2
“Professional educators announced early in 1981 that they would inaugurate a major effort to stop the Klan from recruiting in public schools. …their agreement on a revision of Reconstruction history was a significant move….” 3
and of course nothing an “Anti” says or writes is acceptable to a Mason. Logicians term this “Circular Reasoning” and furthermore classify Circular Reasoning as a Fallacy. Fallacies are errors or flaws in reasoning. This statement might be a fallacy of circular definition (where the definition includes the term being defined as a part of the definition), or it might be a fallacy of distraction by damning the origin, or even an ad hominem attack, but circular reasoning is another name for “begging the question,” where assumptions are accepted without proof. This claim is an example of circular reasoning since no proof is given that Freemasonry or all freemasons hold this view. Our reference to the Vancouver Public Library above is both a logical fallacy of innuendo and a causal fallacy. But it felt good.
Pike wasn’t just any Freemason he was the head of the Supreme Council which has defacto control of the Entire World Wide Masonic Movement. Annually elected Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, from 1859 until his death in 1891, his work was not considered regular Freemasonry by many Grand Lodges at the time. He never held any elected Grand Lodge office. There are over 200 independent and sovereign masonic jurisdictions around the world. Neither he, nor the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction have or had any administrative or ritualistic influence on any Grand Lodge or Orient.
High Degree Masonic Membership of the Leadership of the Old and New Klans
William Joseph Simmons
That some members of the 1920s revived Klan were also freemasons cannot be denied. “While its influence in local lodges probably varied widely, the infiltration of the Klan was noticeable enough that most Grand Masters, prompted by unfavorable public opinion and dismay over the dissension the Klan was promoting within Masonry, found it necessary to make a statement either condemning the Ku Klux Klan or denying Masonry’s connection with it.”4
Membership in a concordant body that confers additional degrees is no indication of authority within Freemasonry.
William Joseph Simmons, organizer of the 1915 Klan revival, was a “member of two different churches, he also joined the Masons, Knights Templars, Knights of Pythias, the Odd Fellows, and eight other lodges. He was a good promoter for the Woodmen.”5 There is no record of his having held masonic office.
KKK had openly advertised in newspapers for new recruits specifying that masons were preferred That at least one Kleagle directed one advertisement at freemasons doesn’t demonstrate that Freemasonry was associated with the Klan.
“Kleagles also hung around other fraternal lodges and were especially successful at wooing the Masons. Many Kleagles were Masons themselves. (In fact the King Kleagle of Wisconsin put an ad in the August 26, 1921, edition of the Madison State Journal, reading:'”Wanted: Fraternal organizers, men of ability between the ages of 25 and 40. Must be 100% Americans. Masons preferred.’) Most importantly, however, Kleagles were told to sell the Klan in a way that most appealed to the community.”6
The letter that the head of the Supreme Council wrote about a Roman Catholic President in 1960 in the official newsletter of the Scottish Rite – New Age Magazine “Luther A. Smith, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, told his readers:
“Whatever bigotry is in evidence in the United States is exhibited solely by the Roman Catholic hierarchy; that the Canon Law of the Roman Church and the directives of the Pope validate the fears of the people that the dual allegiance of American Catholics is a present danger to our free institutions, and lastly that the people in passing upon the qualifications of a Catholic candidate for the Presidency will be guided by their knowledge of history and their great store of plain old-fashioned common horse sense, and their innate caution not to gamble when their liberties and the national security are at stake.
Among American citizens there should be no question or suspicion of allegiance to any foreign power, but in the case of the Roman Catholic citizen, his church is the guardian of his conscience and asserts that he must obey its laws and decrees even if they are in conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
He later wrote:
Our thanks and appreciation go to the thousands who have encouraged us with their plaudits for what we did for their greater enlightenment and understanding of the question: ‘Why would it be unwise to elect a Roman Catholic President of the United States?'”7
Inappropriate as posing such a question might be by current standards, this does not imply that the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction supported the Klan, nor does it have any relevance to Albert Pike’s alleged involvement a century previous.
…the non-recognition as “regular” of Black only Prince Hall lodges Prince Hall Grand Lodges have no bar based on race. Of the 51 Grand Lodges in the USA, 42 currently recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry. Of the ten Grand Lodges of Canada, all recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry.
The Grand Lodge of British Columbia, in 1946 adopted a statement of Basic Principles for Grand Lodge Recognition. It requires a recognized Grand Lodge to have “no debarment from membership because of nationality, of race, of color, of sectarian or political belief….”
It was in 1905 that the Neale Publishing Company, New York and Washington, published Ku Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment, written and edited by Walter L. Fleming, incorporating earlier published material by J.C. Lester and D.L. Wilson. Historian Walter Fleming’s introduction to this 1905 book explains that he has been given “information in regard to Ku Klux Klan, by many former members of the order, and by their friends and relatives.” Dr. Fleming states that “General Albert Pike, who stood high in the Masonic order, was the chief judicial officer of the Klan.” On a page of illustrations of important founders of the KKK, Dr. Fleming places General Pike’s portrait in the center, makes it larger than the six others on the page, and repeats this information as a caption: “General Albert Pike, chief judicial officer”. The first work about the Klan, Ku Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment was written in Tennessee in 1884 as a 119 page apology and justification for the Klan, by one of the founders, Captain John C. Lester and a non-Klansman, Rev. D.L. Wilson. Walter L. Fleming added notes and an introduction for the 1905 edition. Fleming provides no quotes from Albert Pike or other corroborating references.
In a note of acknowledgment Fleming thanks a number of people, including Major James R. Crowe and Major S. A. Cunningham, for their assistance. The source of his information regarding Pike is not cited. [p. 27.]
The plate facing page 19 displays seven images over the title, “Some Klansmen.” The first photograph is of D.L. Wilson, who was not a Klansman. The central image is not a photograph, but appears to be a pen and ink tracing of a photograph of Albert Pike in Scottish Rite regalia, found as a frontispiece to many editions of his Morals and Dogma (see top of page). Although slightly larger than the six photographs, its size and position need not have any significance other than an attempt at balanced design. The photographs appear to be reproductions of newspaper or magazine clippings. No attribution or citation is noted.
The title of Chief Judicial Officer does not appear in the Prescript of the Order, under Article I, Titles; Article V, Judiciary; or elsewhere. [pp. 153-176.] The title also does not appear in the 1868 Revised and Amended Prescript.
Strongly influenced by the Dunning School, Fleming wrote four monographs, one dissertation, and two articles on the Ku Klux Klan.8Both Fleming’s Civil War and Reconstitution in Alabama and The Sequal of Appomattox contain chapters on the Klan’s history and administration; nowhere does he mention Albert Pike.
It was in Nashville that Albert Pike and other Confederate generals met in 1867 to form a southern states-wide terrorist KKK, expanding the little project they had started two years before in Pulaski, Tenn.
Major James R. Crowe The original Klan was started sometime between Christmas 1865, and June 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee by Major James R. Crowe of the fourth Alabama Volunteers, Richard R. Reed, Calvin E. Jones, John C. Lester and Frank O. McCord, editor of the Pulaski Citizen who had served in the Tennessee Infantry, and Captain John B. Kennedy. None served under General Albert Pike.
A plaque in Pulaski, listing the six founders, commemorates “Ku Klux Klan organized in this, the law office of Judge Thomas M. Jones, December 24th, 1865.”
In April 1867, when the Pulaski Den called a reorganizational meeting in Room 10 of the Maxwell House in Nashville, General George Gordon composed the Prescript or pamphlet of rules. This meeting coincided with a public nomination meeting for Democratic candidates for the fall election. According to Wyne Craig Wade, on Morton’s testimony, it was several weeks later that Captain John W. Morton offered the position of Grand Wizard to Nathan Bedford Forrest.
This is contradicted by Rev. Thomas Dixon, Jr. (1864/01/11 – 1946/04/03) who claimed that Forrest was elected Grand Wizard at the Nashville meeting, after having taken an oath from Captain Morton in a secluded valley outside the city earlier the same day. Pike’s presence is not noted by Dixon or Wade. Neither Pike’s name nor that of John C. Brown, George Gordon or Nathan Forrest appear in the regular listing of hotel arrivals in the Nashville Republican Banner. 9
On December 23, 1865, Pike was in Little Rock Arkansas. Although Pike was editor of the Memphis Appeal in 1867-1868, and therefore was in Tennessee, there is nothing to connect him with the Klan meeting in Nashville. 10
As owner-publisher of the Memphis, Tennessee, Daily Appeal, Albert Pike wrote in an editorial on April 16, 1868: “With negroes for witnesses and jurors, the administration of justice becomes a blasphemous mockery. A Loyal League of negroes can cause any white man to be arrested, and can prove any charges it chooses to have made against him. …The disenfranchised people of the South … can find no protection for property, liberty or life, except in secret association…. We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active, vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed from all but its members.” That Pike reflected the prejudices of his time and place does not prove that he belonged to the KKK or was a leader. This call for action appeared in a public newspaper during an election year while the Union League of America, or “Lincoln’s Legal Loyal League,” was promoting negro suffrage, disenfranchisement of Confederates and the repudiation of state rights. Without the full, unexpurgated text, it is not possible to know if this quote is an accurate reflection of Pike’s intended meaning. Walter Lee Brown, as noted below, interpreted the full editorial as a criticism of the Klan. Pike later wrote:
I am not one of those who believe slavery a blessing. I know it is an evil, as great cities are an evil; as the concentration of capitol in a few hands, oppressing labor, is an evil; as the utter annihilation of free-will and individuality in the army and navy is an evil; as in this world everything is mixed of good and evil. Such is the rule of God’s providence, and the affairs of the world. Nor do I deny the abuses of slavery.****Necessarily it gives power that may be abused. Nor will I under-rate its abuses. It involves frequent separation of families. It, here and there, prevents the development of a mind and intellect*****. Marriage does not create an indissoluble bond among the slaves. It gives occasion to prostitution. The slave toils all his life for mere clothing, shelter and food; and the last is heard sometimes upon the plantations, and in rare cases, cruelties punishable by the law are practiced. 11
Dr. Walter Fleming designates Confederate Major James R. Crowe as the pre-eminent source for his 1905 KKK History, and describes Crowe as one of the original KKK founders in Pulaski. Fleming says that Major Crowe “held high rank in the Masonic order.” In his honor roll of “well-known members of the Klan,” Dr. Fleming places “General John C. Brown, of Pulaski, Tennessee” and “Colonel Joseph Fussell, of Columbia, Tennessee.” In his Note of Acknowledgement, Fleming cites nine people whose assistance was of “especial value.” That Crowe is mentioned first does not imply he was a pre-eminent source.
Although Crowe served as Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Crypic Rite of Tennessee in 1886, this office confers no power or rank in regular Craft Freemasonry.
General Brown and Colonel Fussell, like Major Crowe, are identifiable as soldiers of Albert Pike’s masonic order. General Brown had been a master mason in the Pulaski lodge for 15 years when the KKK was formed there, and became grand master of Tennessee Masons and governor of Tennessee during the Klan’s era of power. Colonel Fussell was commandant of Tennessee’s masonic Knights Templar during the Klan rule. The preceding masonic information is taken from Tennessee Templars: A Register of Names with Biographical Sketches of the Knights Templar of Tennessee by James D. Richardson. Brown’s and Fussell’s masonic careers are clearly documented. The claim that they were Klan leaders is only based on the word of Crowe. There is no other documentation. Pike had no authority over the Grand Lodge of Tennessee.
This James D. Richardson was himself the Commandant of Knights Templar and Grand Master of Masons in Tennessee, and was speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives during the era of the Klan power. This same James D. Richardson was Albert Pike’s successor as commander of the southern Scottish Rite masons. Richardson (March 10, 1843 – July 24, 1914) was Speaker of the Tennessee Legislature in 1871, State Senator in 1873 and Congressman from 1884 until 1904.
He was elected Grand Commander in October 1901, succeeding Judge Thomas H. Caswell. Pike had died ten years previous in 1891.
There is nothing to associate him, in any fashion, with the Klan.
Susan Lawrence Davis’ 1924 Authentic History, Ku Klux Klan, 1865-1877, repeats the pattern Fleming created in 1905, revealing Pike’s KKK role but treating him and the Klan sympathetically. The Davis book was written to celebrate the new, 20th-century KKK, which was just then staging full-dress mass marches in Washington and northern cities such as Detroit. In her chapter on General Pike’s leadership of the Klan, Miss Davis applauds Pike’s clever stewardship of the KKK secret organization. She reproduces in her KKK history an oil portrait of Albert Pike given to her for the KKK book by Pike’s son. Published at the height of the Klan revival, before its 1925 collapse, this book provides no source for any claim for Albert Pike’s leadership role in the Klan other than the self-serving undocumented notes of John C. Lester and claims of James R. Crowe. Davis’ self-published work has no academic credibility.
This painting by Charles Loring Elliott is actually in the possession of the The Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA in Washington, DC. Davis may have been given a reproduction, but she never posessed the original.
In his book, The Tragic Era, Claude Bowers, who served many years as the U.S. ambassador to Spain and to Chile, described Albert Pike as one of the handful of distinguished, respectable founders of the KKK and the Klan’s leader in Arkansas. Heavily influenced by the views of the Dunning School, Bowers is not creditable. He cites no reference for this claim. 12
The same is true of other book-length histories of the Klan and numerous published biographies of Albert Pike: Pike’s role as Klan leader or KKK boss of Arkansas is discussed…. No references cited. Fred W. Allsopp’s Albert Pike, A biography [Parke-Harper Company, Little Rock, Ark.: 1928] doesn’t mention the Klan. Dr. Walter Lee Brown’s four-volume dissertation A life of Albert Pike states that in a newspaper editorial written by Pike on April 16, 1868, he “left the impression that he neither belonged to the organization nor considered it worthy of his support.” [Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1997. 610 p. : ill. ; 27 cm. LoC: 019116]. Neither Thomas Edwards Hatch (Albert Pike, 1891), Horace Van Deventer (Albert Pike; a biographical sketch, 1910), James T. Tresner II (Albert Pike : the man beyond the monument, 1995), nor Claire C. Ward (Albert Pike year book) refer to Pike’s alleged Klan membership.
Although The Ku Klux Klan : an encyclopedia by Michael and Judy Ann Newton, [1991, ISBN: 0-8240-2038-3] notes on page 464, “Pike was also identified as an early Klansman and co-author of the KKK’s original prescripts.” their citation is Allen W. Trelease, who referenced the discredited Susan L. Davis in noting “Pike may well have affiliated with the Klan…” 20
“Prominent Southern gentlemen were later cited as state leaders of the Invisible Empire. Alabama claimed General John T. Morgan as Grand Dragon. Arkansas was headed by General Albert Pike, explorer and poet. North Carolina was led by former governor Zebulon Vance, and Georgia by General John B. Gordon, later a U.S. Senator.
John B. Gordon The full quote:
After the Klan had spread outward from Tennessee, there wasn’t the slightest chance of central control over it—a problem that would characterize the Klan throughout its long career. Prominent Southern gentlemen were later cited as state leaders of the Invisible Empire. Alabama claimed General John T. Morgan as Grand Dragon. Arkansas was headed by General Albert Pike, explorer and poet. North Carolina was led by former governor Zebulon Vance, and Georgia by General John B. Gordon, later a U.S. Senator 21. But the leadership of these men, originally appointed by Memphis officials, was usually in name only and nowhere lasted longer than 1869; such experienced veterans quickly realized the impossibility of governing in secret such widespread bands of young hellions and wanted no responsibility for it. 13
Wade’s source of this reference is Susan L. Davis who had no source documentation other than the claims of John C. Lester and James R. Crowe. Note that Wade does not claim Pike was a Klan leader — only that he had been later cited as one.
Albert Pike also wrote extensively on a number of racialist topics,frequently extolling the virtues of the Aryans and their imagined history and religion which he tried to show was the precursor of Freemasonry in is numerous Published Works, including seperate ones on just that very subject alone. It would seem that Pike was a dedicated Racial “Scientist”. Pike wrote three manuscripts on the Aryans, Irano-Aryan Theosophy, Sanscrit, the Vedas and the history and culture of India. None of them had anything to do with racialist issues, white-supremacy, the KKK or Freemasonry. Adherents of what has been termed the “Sixth Era” of the Klan in the late twentieth century believed that his 1874 Irano-Aryan Faith and Doctrine as Contained in the Zend-Avesta (first published in 1924) was a cypher in support of white supremacy. Although Pike makes at least one reference to his personal belief that the “white race” is of a “higher and nobler” nature, the book as a whole is not directed to arguing or proving that belief. 19
See Ray Baker Harris’s Bibliography of the Writings of Albert Pike. [Supreme Council S.R., S.J., Washington D.C.: 1957]. Cf. kukluxklan.org [2005/08/22] where Knights of the Ku Klux Klan national director, Thomas Robb, claims that Pike helped Simmons reorganize the Klan in 1915.
“I took my obligations from white men, not from negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave masonry, I shall leave it” Albert Pike 33rd* source: Delmar D. Darrah, History and Evolution of Freemasonry 1954, page 329. The Charles T Power Co. The full quote:
The status of Negro Masonry in this country was perhaps never better defined than it was by Albert Pike in 1875, when he said, “Prince Hall Lodge was as regular a Lodge as any Lodge created by competent authority. It had a perfect right to establish other Lodges and make itself a Mother Lodge. I am not inclined to meddle in the matter. I took my obligations from white men, not from negroes. When I have to accept negroes as brothers or leave masonry, I shall leave it. Better let the thing drift.”14
Note that the Supreme Grand Commander of the United Supreme Council (Sept. 14, 1887 – d. Oct. 18, 1904), Southern Jurisdiction, Prince Hall Affiliation, Thornton A. Jackson, was a personal friend of Albert Pike’s. Pike presented Jackson with a complete set of his rituals for use by the Prince Hall Scottish Rite.15
Pro Slavery Cherokee Indians in the Oklahoma Territory who were members of the Masonic Knights of the Golden Circle. A vehicle for American expansionism, the Knights of the Golden Circle was not masonic.
Soon after the collapse of the Know-Nothings in 1856 from sectional strife, one of its Virginia members, George W. L. Bickley, formed the Knights of the Golden Circle. The interesting name came from Bickley’s fantastic scheme for a South American fillibustering expedition. A great circle could be circumscribed on the globe, with Cuba as its centre and with a radius of sixteen geographical degrees, that could encompass Mexico, Central America, the northern portion of South America, and the West Indies. Bickley proposed to lead private armies across the Rio Grande, conquer and annex these lands, and parcel them out as new slave states, preserving the balance of power with the North. 16
The Choktaw and Indian Nations, some of whom were slaveholders, and whose members belonged to the Knights of the Golden Circle, were friendly to the Southern cause from the beginning, but it was different with the Cherokees. The latter had placed themselves under the protection of the United States, and had bound themselves to make no treaty with a foreign power, which they then considered the Confederacy to be. Leaders of the Treaty party and the Old Settlers among them sided with the pro-slavery people and joined the Knights of the Golden Circle, but the loyally inclined members of the tribe, who were in the majority, combined into a society called the Kituwha, an ancient order, which opposed the slavery adherents.17
…it seems pretty clear to most researchers who was higher up the secret society occult ladder and therefore more instrumental in the founding of the Klan…. No references cited, reasons given for the claim, or justification of the term “occult ladder”.
Do you say that Professor Fleming, Miss Davis, Mr. Bowers, and all the other pro-Confederate historians were liars when they wrote of Pike’s marvelous deeds as KKK founder and leader? Liars? No. Discredited promoters of a partisan and strongly opinionated interpretation of the history of American Reconstruction? Yes:
“But before the revival, a crucial role was played by the scholarly historians of Reconstruction. Heavily influenced by the 1872 joint committee minority report, these historians, from 1893 to 1907, systematically distorted the motives of radical Republicans, falsified the behavior of Southern blacks, and glorified the Ku-Klux Klansmen as heroes. Their influence on subsequent histories, both academic and popular, was enormous. The most important of their works were Woodrow Wilson’s A History of the American People, John Ford Rhodes’s History of the United States (volume 6), Hohn S. Reynolds’s Reconstruction in South Carolina, William A. Dunning’s Reconstruction, Political and Economic, and the numerous Reconstruction monographs by Columbia University historian Walter Lynwood Fleming.”18
Fleming’s only source appears to be John C. Lester and James R. Crowe. Susan L. Davis’ only source appears to be John C. Lester and James R. Crowe. Claude G. Bowers’ only source appears to be Fleming and Davis.
None of them describe any “marvelous deeds” but only refer to Pike’s reported leadership. None of them provide any real citation or references. The alleged claims of other historians who refer to Pike are not referenced so cannot be addressed.
…the Secret Masonic Lodge of B’nai B’rith puts the muscle on…. The B’Nai B’rith (Sons of the Covenant) was founded in New York in 1843. This service organization has no affiliation with Freemasonry. Lady Queenborough’s claim that Pike signed a treaty with the B’Nai B’rith in Hamburg is unfounded: The SRSJ never claimed jurisdiction outside North America. [Occult Theocrasy, p. 288.]
They want to have it both ways: first to issue propaganda justifying Klan terrorism as the work of “respectable” men like Pike; later, when their hero is under attack, to claim that their own propaganda slanders their man! No reference or citation is given for any alleged statement by freemasons that Klan terrorism was justified. All references cited are by authors sympathetic to the Klan or white supremacy; none are by freemasons, or those authorized as representing regular Freemasonry.
Opponents of the Klan
As a counterpoint to the masonic affiliation of some Klan leaders, it should be noted that major opponents to the Klan were also freemasons:
Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893)
General (later Congressman) Benjamin Franklin Butler of Massachusetts drafted and lobbied for the first Ku Klux Act which passed on April 20, 1871. A bill to execute the Ku Klux Act passed the Senate but defeated by the House. A second bill drafted by Rep. Samuel Shellabarger of Ohio Senate on May 21, 1872, but failed in the House on June 6, 1872. The act of February 28, 1871 was amended in the Sundry Civil Bill passed June 10, 1872 with a “rider” introduced by Kellog of Louisiana. Along with Republican Senator Charles Sumner, he proposed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, a seminal and far-reaching law banning racial discrimination in public accommodations. The law was declared unconstitutional.
Butler was a member of Pentucket Lodge in Lowell, Massachussetts and was made an honourary 33° member of the Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction on March 16, 1864.
John Scott (1824-1896)
This U.S. Republican Senator from Pennsylvania from 1869 to 1875 (b. July 24, 1824 – d. Nov. 29, 1896) headed the 1871 “Scott” Senate Committee investigating reports of the Ku Klux Klan, and the Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionery States(Washington, 1872). The majority report filed by Scott on February 19, 1872 comprised twelve large, closely printed volumes clearly condemning the actions of the Klan, and directly lead to the passage of the Ku Klux Act.
Scott was a member of Lewistown Lodge No. 203, in Lewistown Pa.
James E. Boyd
This Confederate soldier renounced the Klan and provided much testimony to the Scott Committee. He was later a Governor of Nebraska and a member of Capitol Lodge No. 3 in Omaha, Nebraska.
George H. Williams
(b. March 23, 1823 – d. April 4, 1910) This Oregon Senator, prosecuted Klansmen while Federal Attorney General. He was later Mayor of Portland. Denslow identifies him as a freemason, but supplies no record of membership in Oregon; probably Iowa.
Although irrelevent to any accusations leveled at Albert Pike, it can also be noted that at least two other well-known freemasons condemned the revived Klan.
Founder of the Fuller Brush Company and a freemason, Fuller denounced Klansmen as “fools and radicals” [The Fiery Cross p. 193]
“Klan editors had assembled ninety-six of Henry Ford’s antisemitic essays from The Dearborn Independent and bound them in a volume they entitled The International Jew The book subsequently was reprinted in Germany by the Nazi World Service. On January 12, 1942, an embarrassed Henry Ford wrote [Imperial Wizard James A.] Colescott saying that he did ‘not subscribe or support, directly or indirectly, any agitation which would promote antagonism against my Jewish fellow citizens.’ Ford threatened the Klan with legal action unless it ceased publication and circulation of his misbegotten essays.” [The Fiery Cross p. 273] U.S. Congress, House Congressional Record, 77 Cong., 2 Sess. (1942): A1084.
Wyne Craig Wade. The Fiery Cross, The Ku Klux Klan in America. Simon and Schuster, Inc. New York: 1987. [p 405.] ISBN: 0-671-41476-3 ^
Kenneth M. Stampp and Leon F. Litwack, ed.. Reconstruction., An Anthology of Revisionist Writings. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge: 1969. [p. viii] SBN 8071-0312-8. [531 pages]. ^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 390, 391.] ^
Lynn Dumenil (b. 1950), Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930. Princeton, New Jersey: c.1984. [p. 123. see also p. 259 for list of published denouncements.] xviii, 305 p.,  p. of plates ; ill. ; 23 cm. For Masonic disapproval of the Klan, see Tyler-Keystone 38 (May 1923): 93; Calif. Proc., 1925, correspondence, pp. 30-311 39; Texas Freemason 32 (January 1926): p. 3; Masonic Review 2 (October 1921) p. 53; Donavan Duncan Tidwell, “The Ku Klux Klan and Texas Masonry,” Transactions, Texas Lodge of Research 14 (1978/1979): pp. 160-176; Tex., Proc., 1925, p. 21; Texas Freemason 32 (January 1926): 34; Tex. Proc., 1921, pp. 39-48; Calif. Proc., 1925, pp. 399-402. For Masonry’s connection with the Ku Klux Klan, see Kenneth T. Jackson, The Ku Klux Klan and the City, 1915-1930 (New York, 1967), pp. 29, 95, 134, 143, 161, 162, 191, 203, 204, 290, 219, 259, 277-278. Cited by Dumenil. ^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 141.] Simmons photo, uncredited, from Norman MacKenzie, Secret Societies. London : Crescent Books, Inc., 1967. p. 278.^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 155.] ^
Luther A. Smith, The New Age “The Grand Commander’s Message. New Age magazine, February 1960. Luther A. Smith, The New Age “The Grand Commander’s Message, The New Age and the Election.” The Supreme Council, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, Washington, D.C.: November 1960. [p. 4.] ^
William Harvey Fisher. The Invisible Empire, A Bibliography of the Ku Klux Klan The Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuehen, N.J. & London: 1980 ISBN: 0-8108-1288-6 ^
Andrew Nelson Lytle. Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company, J.S. Saunders & Company, Nashville, Tennessee: 1996, copyright 1931 (statement supported by Captain Morton [p. 383.] ISBN: 1-879941-09-0. Also see White Terror,Allen W. Trelease. p. 14. ^
Fred W. Allsopp, Albert Pike, A biography “Letters to the People of the Northern States.” Parke-Harper Company, Little Rock, Ark.: 1928. [p. 184.] ^
Fred W. Allsopp, loc cit. [page 181.] ^
Claude G. Bowers. The Tragic Era, The Revolution after Lincoln. Houghton Mifflin Company. The Riverside Press. Cambridge Massachusetts 1929. 540 pages.[p. 310] ^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 58.] ^
Delmar Duane Darrah, History and Evolution of Freemasonry The Charles T. Powner Co. , Illinois: 1951. [p. 319.] ^
“On the Origins of the Prince Hall Scottish Rite rituals.” Art deHoyos. HeredomTransactions of the Scottish Rite Research Society. Vol. 5, 1996. S. Brent Morris, ed.. [pp. 51-67.] ^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 39.] ISBN: 0-671-41476-3 ^
Fred W. Allsopp, loc cit [pp. 221, 231.] ^
Wyne Craig Wade. loc cit [p. 115.] ^
Emails sent (2002/03/18) to this website by a self-claimed third generation Klansman report that both Pike and this book are highly revered by the Klan. Using the first two initiatory rituals of Freemasonry for their own, they believe that they were written by Pike. If they are, in fact, using masonic rituals, Pike did not write them. They would probably have copied Ralph P. Lester’s 1904 Look to the East!, Thomas Smith Webb’s 1816 The Freemason’s Monitor or William Preston’s 1775 Illustrations of Masonry. They may be using the ritual Pike wrote for his fourth and fifth degrees of the Scottish Rite.
William Joseph Whalen, in his 1987 Christianity and American Freemasonry mistakenly reports that Nathan Bedford Forrest founded the Klan; repeats without providing citation the claim that Pike was the Klan’s Chief Justice; excerpts the Negro Freemasonry quote without providing context; and notes that “Some believe Pike concocted the ritual for the original KKK.” (p. 17-18).
That Albert Pike is revered by today’s Klan does not demonstrate or prove that he had any association or sympathy with the original Klan.^
White Terror, The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction, Allen W. Trelease. London: Secker & Warburg, 1972. 556pp. ^
White Terror, : “Three years later, in testifying before the Congressional investigating committee, Gordon was as evasive as Forrest. He admitted that he had joined early in 1868 a secret organization that was formed throughout the state [Georgia] and probably beyond it for the purposes of protecting society against Negro depredation and the supposed dangers of the Union League.” [p. 74.] “Its members, the general declared, were in reality the Negroes’ best friends, the kindest of their former masters, those most apt to give them money in times of hardship.” [p. 74.] “The most charitable interpretation of his denial that he served as state chief of the Klan is that he acted in that capacity during the initial organizational stage without being formally inducted.” [p. 75.] ^