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Freemasonry in From Hell
Subtitled a melodrama in sixteen parts, this "graphic novel"contains many errors and outright fabrications about Freemasonry. As an example, shown above is a set of panels from chapter 2, page 7, misrepresenting two points of masonic law and one of history. The rules of regular Freemasonry strictly prohibit the solicitation of members, or the use of Freemasonry to promote one’s career. And there is no documentation even suggesting that Dr. William Gull—whose bloody hands are shown— was ever a freemason.
Later, one of the several mythical origins of Freemasonry is repeated in conversation: "The Dionysiac architects?" "unmistakably.. A secret fraternity of Dionysus cultists originating in 2,000 B.C, they worked on Solomon’s temple, eventually becoming the Middle Ages' travelling Masonic guilds" [chapter 2, p. 14]
Chapter 2, pages 8, 9, 16 and 17 are filled with mistaken notions of masonic ritual and regalia. An appendex attempts to give a pseudo-scholarly veneer to this work of fiction, but the author’s lack of masonic research and his reliance on other works of fiction is telling :
"Details of Gull’s meteoric medical career are accurate, and drawn from A Biographical Sketch. Gull’s entry into Freemasonry is more problematic. The only source would seem to be The Final Solution, in which Knight dates Gull’s involvement with the craft from 1842, when the 26 year-old was employed at Guy’s Hospital. The Masons themselves have since denied that Gull was ever a member of their order, and have generally derided the claims made in Knight’s books, including The Brotherhood (Grafton Books, 1989), wherein Knight suggests that higher-level Freemasons pay homage to a bizarre triple-deity known as Jah-Bul-On. In at least this last denial, the Masons it seems may be telling less than the full truth: Martin Short’s Inside The Brotherhood (Grafton Books, 1989) seems to confirm that, despite Masonic denials, Jah-Bul-On is an authentic Masonic deity. How much, then, can their denial of Gull’s Masonic status be trusted? The problem we face here is that neither Knight nor the assembled ranks of Freemasonry are necessarily telling the truth, at which point an obscuring Victorian fog starts to engulf the facts of our narrative. Given that the tortuous story of the Whitechapel murders is filled with liars, tricksters, and unreliable witnesses, it is a fog we shall encounter often. The suggestion that Benjamin Harrison provided Gull’s entrance to the world of Freemansonry is entirely my own invention, based upon little more than Gull’s professed lifelong gratitude toward Harrison, Harrison’s comment to Gull (reported in A Biographical Sketch) that "I can help you if you will help yourself," and the fact that he happened to be in the right place at the right time according to Knight’s construction of events. In all other respects, Harrison’s inclusion during this scene is simply a convenience of fiction." [Appendex to volume one: page 7.]
"These pages attempt, after suggestions made by Stephen Knight in Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution, to explain why William Gull, ostensibly a talented doctor of no great social importance, should be appointed to treat the Queen’s son, Albert, Prince of Wales, as happened in 1871. Gull’s sudden appointment over the head of Sir William Jenner, hitherto the queen’s favorite physician, has never been explained, and thus the suggestion of Masonic influence proposed by Knight is extremely tempting in this context. Details of Masonic ritual recounted in these pages are inexact and drawn from numerous sources. Since the rituals depicted here are apparently kept secret even from lower-ranking Masons themselves, problems with accurate reportage will be appreciated. Gull’s initiation ordeal as a Master Mason is based freely on the research of Robert Anton Wilson as utilized in his Illuminatus! trilogy (Sphere Books, 1977) and in his various articles for Gnosis magazine. Wilson may also be given credit for identifying the Masonic verbal distress signal, "Will no one help the Widow’s son," The use of the word 'juwes" is suspect, being solely based upon claims by Knight in The Final Solution and The Brotherhood (see also John J. Robinson’s Born in Blood, published by Century Books, 1990). The three assassins of Masonic myth-figure Hiram Abiff are individually named Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum. Collectively, they are most often known as "The Three Ruffians," and only Knight claims "Juwes" as an alternative collective noun." [Appendex to volume one: pages 16 & 17.]

From Hell, being a melodrama in sixteen parts. Volume One, prologue, chapters one & two. 1991, 1992, 1994 Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell Northampton, MA : Mad Love Publishing in association with Kitchen Sink Press, Inc., 1994 ISBN : 0-87816-286-0. Originally serialized in Taboo #2 and #3 by SpiderBaby Grafix & Publications. First published by Tundra Publishing Ltd. in March 1991. Printed in Canada. Also see From Hell, The Hughes Brothers, Terry Hayes, Rafael Yglesias (screenplay) 2001, 122 min.


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