References to Freemasonry in popular culture range from the vitriolic to the innocuous. Far more often they are merely misinformed allusions from which Freemasonry faces a far more insidious threat; that of being marginalized, trivialized, and fictionalized.
Masonic references in popular culture are detailed elsewhere on this site, as are references to the Illuminati (see sidebar). This page is reserved for references that are more oblique than obscure, refer to other references, or simply don't fit into any other catagory.
Donald Trump (2016)|
On 18 August 2016 five statues of then presidential nominee Donald Trump, commissioned by the activist collective Indecline, were placed in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle. The nude figure is wearing a masonic square and compasses emblem ring, although Las Vegas-based sculptor, Ginger (Joshua Monroe), has stated in an interview with Greg Stewart that he knew Trump was not a Freemason but used the ring to symbolize his secret dealings. While claiming to respect Freemasons and their good work, the use of this iconic symbol further mythologizes and marginalizes the organization that it is intended to represent.
A. Kurtz Clothing (2006)
The American clothing company, A. Kurtz Clothing, made a name for itself in pseudo counter-culture military inspired fashion clothing early in 2006. The name does not appear to be based on Georges-Antoine Kurtz from Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness nor from Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979). The logo, a stylized letter "A" may be no more than that, or it may have been intended to echo the masonic square and compasses.
"Buy Nothing Day" (2004)
Ad Busters promotion
Ad Busters promoted their annual "Buy Nothing Day" on 26 November 2004 in Vancouver, BC, by placing 3 3/4" x 4" black and white stickers on lamp poles, construction hordings and public buildings. The use of the eye and triangle from the American dollar bill, with the addition of sweat drops, a cartoon convention for anxiety, is probably nothing more than a graphicly effective commentary on consumerism although the icons popular identification with the so-called New World Order and global economy cannot be ignored.
Conspiracy Skimboards (2004)
The use of the all-seeing eye continues to be popular in marketing to so-called edgy, alternative youth markets. A promotional sticker featuring the all-seeing eye was affixed to a Vancouver pedestrian crossing sign sometime in 2014. The website for Conspiracy Skimboards, a skimboard company brand based in Vancouver, BC created in early 2013 by Anthony Davis of Kyda Creation, is no longer online and most references to the brand are found in archives of Skim Magazine.
Super Bowl advertisement
The narrative of this advertisement has the devil, or Satan, trying to convince an everyman consumer to sell his soul for a luxury car but failing when the affordable price tag is revealed. Entertaining, except to those for whom Satan is more than a metaphor or myth, but many Freemasons and anti-masons saw something far more insidious in a ring worn by the tempter, a ring many viewed as being masonic.
Vanity Tattoo and Piercing! (2017)
A tattoo shop in Surrey, BC, has modified the masonic square and compasses with the addition of a leviathan cross (the alchemical symbol for sulfur, adopted by Anton LaVey's Church of Satan) and letter "V".
Auburn Bob, Print Leggings & Masons Cap
Posted on May 29, 2010 in: Tokyo Street Snaps
"The hub of this youth-oriented, street-fashion craze is the area surrounding Harajuku Station in Tokyo." "We noticed her eye-catching accessories, including bright patterned leggings and a Scottish Rite Masons cap." "I love the old Mason-wear trend in Harajuku right now! So cool for some reason."
A Youtube video about racecar culture shows one participant in a parade planning meeting wearing a t-shirt with several masonic symbols.
"Coffee House Propaganda" (2004)
Ill Will Press cartoons
"Your flyer says that as long as I'm carrying around a Star Shmucks Coffee cup I'll convey a trendy image, loved by all and accepted by the coffee house illuminati?"
SMBC Theater (2012)
The introductory graphic for this online video series is noteworthy.
Spread Shirt (2012)
An online supplier of printed t-shirts, amongst the almost 12,000 designs are at least two of masonic note.
Virtual Fez (2007)
"It's the latest craze to hit SecondLife: the virtual Masonic Fez."
In the news
Dianne Reidy in the House of Congress (2013)
During a live television broadcast of a protracted and acrimonious budget debate of the United States House of Congress on Wednesday, 16 October 2013, long-time stenographer Dianne Reidy left her workstation and approached the podium to deliver what has been described as a message from God, erroneously claiming that the American Constitution had been written by Freemasons."
A subset of contemporary rock music is a genre that evolved out of the drug subculture of the mid 1960s. Freemasonry rarely, if ever, appeared in either psychedelic art or lyrics, but a popular symbol was the all-seeing eye and pyramid. It was identified less with the Illuminati or any particular political agenda than with a general mind-expanding concept of the occult.
Heavy metal, goth rock performer Brian Warner (1969/01/05 - ) A.K.A. Marilyn Manson, is not known to be a freemason but his fans appear to believe he often uses masonic symbolism, confusing Freemasonry with such non-masonic symbols as the Egyptian obelisk, the Lorraine cross and the pentagram.
Mansons first album, Portrait Of An American Family (06/12/1994) included the lyrics "little gs and big dicks" from "My Monkey". This might refer to the "G" placed inside the masonic square and compasses, and the obelisk, but since the obelisk is not a masonic symbol, it would only be a masonic reference if Manson believed it to be so. The title of the song "King Kill 33°" is less a reference to Freemasonry than it is to an obscure anti-masonic conspiracy theory.
Holy Wood (In the shadow of the valley of death) LP, Nothing/Interscope, 2000/11/14, track 18 "King Kill 33°" 2:18 min..
Cf.: James Shelby Downard (born c. 1909) "King Kill 33 degrees." in Parfrey, Adam, ed. Apocalypse Culture. New York: Amok Press, 1987.
Adult Swim (2012)
Warner Bros. Entertainment
A 15-second bumper (station identification announcement) references secret societies, the masonic square and compasses emblem, and the generally accepted earliest date for evidence of humans.
Babylon 5: "The Gathering" (1993)
J. Michael Straczynski
The use of a pyramid in a mural depicting the advance of human society is a common symbol and is only noteworthy in the context of its prevalence in popular culture as a reference to either Freemasonry or the Illuminati.
In the opening sequence, host Alex Trebek introduces one of the contestants by commenting that he is a Freemason, and asks him to explain what that is. The contestant gives a clear and informational explanation.
Jeopardy! Season 31, Ep. 145 [2015/04/03]. Contestants: Pat Kavanaugh (CHI): Marketing content manager, Tom Imler (Kerry, NC): Data repair tech and Kerry Greene. Host, Alex Trebek, Announcer, Johnny Gilbert; Video Clue Presenter, Dan Patrick Dan Patrick. Created by Merv Griffin, directed by Kevin McCarthy. USA, English, 22 min. Jeopardy Productions, Inc. Game show, NBC.
An eye in a triangle [00:00:42] popularly, albeit erroneously, identified with the Illuminati is juxtaposed with newspaper clippings of non-mason George W. Bush.