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Riddles in Stone
A review in three parts
The film makers promise to answer the "hard hitting questions." Unfortunately, the questions that are asked are simplistic, rhetorical, and sometimes plain irrelevent. Assertion and repetition replace any burden of proof. The hard questions aren't asked, much less answered. An overview is available here.
The "hard-hitting" questions
The first "hard-hitting" question asked is whether or not there is a pentagram visible. Look at a map; the observable presence of a pentagram is not controversial or even in question. The real question is whether or not this is significant. The real hard-hitting questions are the five questions that reporters have always asked: who, what, where, when, and why.
Starting with the question of Who, much is made of George Washington's involvement. But no mention is made of the correspondence and papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Pierre L'Enfant that clearly document Washington's lack of active involvement. The complete absence of any evidence that the men responsible for drawing the street plan—Thomas Jefferson, Pierre L'Enfant, Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Bannaker—might possibly have been freemasons is marginalized with another unproven accusation that there has been a cover-up.
When no evidence can be presented, the narrator's only argument is to note that some unnamed masonic websites also make the claim. Then, before the false logic of the argument sinks in, it is pointed out that Harry S. Truman was a freemason. Quite true, but quite irrelevant. In a verbal slight of hand, after S. Brent Morris points out that there are "overeager freemason" who have unwittingly included non-masons on lists of famous freemasons, the narrator uses the same expression to describe known freemasons in positions of political authority as "overeager".
The historical fact that none of the principal city planners can be shown to be freemasons, or that there is no reason to suspect that they were, is never made clear. (The 2011 discovery of records showing L'Enfant's initiation do not excuse an unsubstantiated claim made in 2007.) That Elliott Woods and James Hoban, two architects responsible for several important Washington, DC buildings, were freemasons is an historical fact, but no attempt is made to document the influence of Freemasonry on their work or to place their work in context of the many other non-masonic architects working in Washington at the time. Acknowledging that the architect of the Scottish Rite building, John Russell Pope, was not a freemason, the unsubstantiated claim is made that he relied on Elliott Woods and his equally unsubstantiated "esoteric knowledge." And no mention is made of Dr. William Thornton the first architect of the Capitol, who was also not a freemason. In fact, of the ten architects of the Capitol—from Dr. William Thornton, through Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Charles Bulfinch, Thomas Ustick Walter, Edward Clark, Elliott Woods, David Lynn, J. George Stewart and George M. White, to Alan M. Hantman—only two have been identified as freemasons: Thomas Ustick Walter who was a member of Columbia Lodge No. 91, Philadelphia, and Elliott Woods whose masonic affiliation has not been confirmed.
The question of What concerns the street plan; the position of buildings, monuments and statuary; and their design and decoration. Three different aspects involving a large number of architects, artists, city planners and decision makers. No attempt is made to determine how many men were involved in the decision making, how many were freemasons, or what their understanding of Freemasonry may have been. When the point is made that motive is undemonstrated, the viewer is given Ed Decker's assertion: "That's nonsense. They're put there by masons for masonic purpose." The film makers make no attempt to prove that assertion.
The question of Where addresses claims that buildings and streets were placed in specific places for specific purposes. A brief image of a square and compasses, turned sideways, is placed over the street plan. The image disappears quickly; unremarked is the fact that it has to be so distorted to fit the street plan that the square becomes a sharp acute angle. An image of a pentagram is placed over the street plan, but its equally distorted angles go unremarked. Claims are made of various alignments to stars but the complete absence of any proof that this was planned and intentional goes unreported. The observable fact is that most any city plan based on a radial design superimposed over a grid will create multi-pointed star shapes such as pentagrams, especially if there is no requirement that the streets actually connect. This documentary makes no attempt to prove, or disprove, the uniqueness of Washington, DC. Like so many other claims, this is left implicit but unproven.
The question of When raises the issues of relevance and causality. Noting that freemason Goethe published Faust, with its reference to an incomplete pentagram, in 1790, two years before L'Enfant's street plan was drawn, proves nothing but is added to the argument anyway. References to twelfth century Knights Templars and twentieth century authors allows the use of interesting pictures, but doesn't logically add to the argument. The perfectly valid questions of relevance and causality are neither asked, nor answered.
The final question of Why is of key importance. Implicit, but unproven, is the claim that Freemasonry is promoting a secret religious agenda, and has a reason to hide pentagrams and pagan symbols in the street plan and architecture. The narrator announces: "As the evidence will show, designing cities as a reflection of occult tradition was not a new concept to the founding fathers, among whom the influence of Freemasonry seems undeniable." No evidence is shown but that doesn't stop Dr. Stan Monteith from insisting "The occult is working at the highest levels of our society." Note the use of the definite article, "the", which creates the impression of a group, without defining it. Also implicit is the belief that the physical presence of symbols has a real-world influence, and the unproven assumption that Freemasonry, or individul freemasons, also subscribe to that belief. Again, assertion without evidence.
The claims, the accusations, the errors
Repeated claims are prefaced with: "many freemasons believe...," "Modern researchers believe...," "masons teach...," "it is believed...," "For many researchers...," "Freemasonry is said to have...." All are vague appeals to authority and consensus that go unquestioned, undocumented, and unproven.
The errors are many. The narrator claims: "In the seventeenth century, the Rosicrucian Order put forward a document called the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz." There is no evidence that such an "Order" ever existed until the late nineteenth century. The further claim is made that "The Rosicrucians are an arcane, mystical society that played a key role in devolopment of Freemasonry." Difficult, considering their legendary status. "The Rosicrucians, like the Freemasons, follow a particular philosophy known as hermeticism." By definition rosicrucians studied hermeticism, and probably so did a few freemasons. But the implication that Freemasonry as a society followed hermeticism is unproven. "When [Francis] Bacon sent his secret societies to the new world, the mysteries came with them." There is no evidence of any such secret societies. On the topic of the Knights Templar: "By now it is well-known that they fled to Scotland for refuge, hiding themselves in masonic lodges." Popularly believed perhaps, although no evidence of even that is provided, but the point is certainly not proven to the satisfaction of historians.
Biff Perry claims: "The symbol on the dollar bill is directly related to the Illuminati." Proof of this assertion is not given, and the available evidence to the contrary is not mentioned. The narrator stresses the "intential workings of the freemasons who launched the Boston tea party in 1773" but the lack of evidence is also not mentioned. Dr. Stan Monteith claims that the Illuminati "infiltrated the upper echelons of masonry and that is how it has managed to exist since that time." But no evidence is offered for any of this.
Ed Decker is allowed to claim that Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma "is given to the new masons" but the easily verified fact that the book has been out of print for over forty years is not noted. Many claims are made about masonic ritual and belief, but assertions still are not proof.
A rough log noting the many more examples of flawed logic, leading argument and assertions presented as evidence can be found through a link at the bottom of this page.
Speakers


"Pastor" Joe Schimmel Occult researcher who finds witchcraft in Harry Potter books.
Dr. Stan Monteith Host & Founder/Radio Liberty, who believes New Age adherents, Socialists, Internationalists and occultists are responsible "for America's spiritual and moral decline".
William Schnoebelen (aka Christopher Syn) Ex-mason, author of Masonry : Beyond the light, ex-witch, ex-Mormon, ex-satanist, ex-vampire, and now claiming to be a naturopathic doctor. Employed by Saints Alive in Jesus.
Ed DeckerPresident of Saints Alive in Jesus! a Christian ministry focused on freemasons.
William T. StillAuthor of New World Order: The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies, wherein he quotes an imaginary letter from Albert Pike to Mazzini.
Ian TaylorScientific Creationist and author of In the Minds of Men : Charles Darwin & the New World.
Dr. S. Brent MorrisManaging editor, Scottish Rite Journal, Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction.
Trevor W. McKeownCurator, Library and Archives, Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon, who has compiled the available evidence on the topic.
Dr. Robert HieronimusAuthor of Founding Fathers, Secret Societies, who writes that the "founding fathers were all secret members of the Freemasons."
Jim AlisonLawyer and researcher into ley lines and the alignment of ancient sites.
Dr. Obadiah HarrisPresident of the Philosophical Research Society, founded by Manly P. Hall
Buff ParryCryptologist who believes he's located part of the Holy Grail.
Peter DawkinsPhilosopher, seer and geomancer who questions Shakespeare's authorship of his plays.
Zohara Hieronimus Clear View broadcaster, and holistic health advocate.
Jane HensonBritish Blue Badge Visitor Tour Guide
Special appearance by
Benjamin CremeArtist who is in etheric communication with Maitreya, soon to reappear as the Christ—or Anti-Christ.
REVIEW | THE PRODUCERS | LOG

Riddles in Stone The Secret Architecture of Washington D.C. Secret Mysteries of America's Beginnings Volume II. An Antiquities Research Films Production. Executive Producer David E. Bay, Associate Producers, Jim Hedgepath, Mary Bay, Meg A. Pinto, Clark Aliano. Written, directed and produced by Christian J. Pinto. Research compiled by David E. Bay, Glenn Beckham, Tony Noel, Mike Noe, Christian J. Pinto. Masonic stock footage provided by Capstone Productions, www.masonictv.com Copyright 2007

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