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M. W. Hazen
Jah-Bul-On is not the god of Freemasonry
Regular Craft Freemasonry is not a religion and the initiatory rituals and ceremonies for the opening and closing of a lodge meeting are not forms of worship. While Freemasonry describes Deity with such expressions as "Great Architect" or "Grand Geometrician", these are descriptive metaphors and not proper names. There is no "god of Freemasonry". Freemasonry requires that individual freemasons profess a belief in Deity, but makes no claim to dictate to its members what they believe about Deity.
Regular Craft Freemasonry in North America is a completely independent organization from what are termed the concordant bodies of the Scottish Rite and York Rite, or Royal Arch. The degrees conferred by these bodies are additional, not higher or superior.
The accusation that Jabulon is the name of Freemasonry’s god appears in John Ankerberg and John Weldon’s, The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge: A Christian Perspective (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989, 1990, [1993]). The name of this "god," allegedly means "Jehovah-Baal-Osiris." Ankerberg and Weldon base their charge on Stephen Knight’s anti-masonic book The Brotherhood and possibly Darkness Visible by Walton Hannah (London: Augustine Press, 1952).
"As a ’secret name for God' Jabulon is said to be revealed in the York Rite’s Royal Arch Degree (the Seventh Degree), or the Scottish Rite’s Royal Arch of Solomon Degree (the Thirteenth Degree, sometimes called Knights of the Ninth Arch).
"It is true that a similar word is found in some versions of these degrees (recalling that Masonic rituals vary the world over) but it is not a secret God, or a secret name for God. It may be considered a poor linguistic attempt to present the name of God in three languages, such as 'Dios-Dieu-Gott.'
"Early French versions of the Royal Arch degree relate a Masonic legend, or allegory, in which Jabulon was the name of an explorer, living in the time of Solomon, who discovered the ruins of an ancient temple. Within the ruins he found a gold plate upon which the name of God (Jehovah) was engraved. The context of these rituals makes it quite clear that the two names are never equated, and the name of God is always spoken in reverence."1
In an article on the word "Bel," masonic encyclopedist Albert G. Mackey tells us:
"It has, with Jah and On, been introduced into the Royal Arch as a representative of the Tetragrammaton [the Hebrew letters YHWH or JHVH, i.e., "Jehovah"], which it and the accompanying words have sometimes ignorantly been made to displace. At the session of the General Grand Chapter of the United States, in 1871, this error was corrected; and while the Tetragrammaton was declared to be the true omnific word, the other three were permitted to be retained as merely explanatory."
"Unaware of its true origins, some early ritualists tried to explain the tri-lingual word using etymology. First, Jabulon was divided into syllables (Jao-Bul-On, Jah-Buh-Lun, Jah-Bel-On, etc.) on the supposition that they were Hebrew, Chaldean, Assyrian, Egyptian or other foreign words for God."
For a full discussion of the accusation that Jabulon is the name of Freemasonry’s god, you may be interested in reading Art deHoyos' explanation.

1. Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry? The Methods of Anti-Masons. Arturo de Hoyos and S. Brent Morris (Second Edition, Revised).


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