The Cosmic Clash of 2020. The perfect storm. White Male Supremacy finds its savior, but the savior is an outsider who knows nothing about protecting the fraternal secrets. Suddenly centuries of seemingly separate struggles make sense, and everyone wonders how we overlooked this critical piece of the puzzle. How are systemic racism, sexism, religion, politics, and attitudes toward LGBTQ and abortion all interwoven? Pour yourself a cup of coffee, and sit back to explore with me this important piece of the puzzle that’s been hidden in clear view, a piece that links it all together.
Once upon a time, white men sailed to this “new world” from Europe with dreams of being free of the oppressive governments and religions of their native lands.They came from different countries and many different life circumstances. Many of them were members of secret male societies which they continued on their new soil, fraternal brotherhoods built on tiered secrets, opened one level at a time, and on brotherhood loyalty as the supreme guiding virtue. The vision was a masterful one of guaranteed power, and it worked for centuries until that chosen savior exposed the secrets.
The basic vision was this: The brotherhood was for men only, and all white, with such an intricate network of leadership that whatever need one had, legally, professionally, or maybe a career position for his son, someone within the network could meet the need. The levels within the organization began with shared ritual as the new members developed and proved their loyalty, then progressed to multiple successive keys of power, intricately woven into each other’s power to form an unbreakable power network. The organization was for leaders and laborers of all kinds: elected officials, attorneys and judges, business owners, ministers, police, entertainers, writers, military personnel, landowners, slaveholders, even framers of our beloved Constitution . . . all white and all male.
The fraternal loyalty, which took precedence over everything else including religion and family, was a cemented commitment to each other’s power and to white male power in general. Only white men would be decision makers in this constructed civilization. They alone would vote. They alone would be allowed a college education. It was the law. They made the laws. They were the courts. They were the police. They were the controllers of what children were taught in school and the framers of religious indoctrination.
Another brilliant part of the plan was that hundreds (Dr. Robert Forrey says thousands) of organizations would spin out from the original, each taking new names, thus ensuring that if one organization should get into trouble or fall into negative reputation, it would not soil the name of all the others. These ranged from seemingly unrelated fraternal lodges like The Kiwanis, The Shriners, and The Grange, to organizations like The KKK which began as a "respected" and "Christian" organization.
What They Needed from Black People
From black people they needed manual labor. Large landowners needed their crops planted, their cotton picked, their dinners prepared, their houses, businesses, and churches built; and because they bought and sold slaves as if they were work horses or mules, their wealth was very literally tied into them. Female slaves were regularly used for sex, which had the added benefit of creating more slaves/property.
After slavery was abolished, the black population became a threat to the white brotherhood power. The last thing in the world they ever wanted to see was black people getting to vote.That could threaten the white male systemic control and design of society; so throughout the nation’s history to now, laws have been forged and lines drawn to keep black people from voting or obtaining any other power, even including owning a house or land.
Between 1877 and 1950, more than 4000 black people, mostly men, were lynched. These murders were events that sometimes brought 4,000 - 5,000 white spectators, sometimes with souvenirs and even postcards made of the hangings, and spectators often lined up to pose for photos with the hanging dead man. Often it was no secret who the mob instigators were, but they were protected by their brotherhood. After the Civil Rights era, white on black murders changed in nature, becoming fewer and more discreet, but they never stopped.
In 2008 when a black man became President of the United States, the white supermacist arms of the white brotherhood came out in full force from their hiding places; and in 2016 they were instrumental in the election of one who would give them whatever they wanted in exchange for their loyalty to his own personal power. This has unleashed a culture of black murders like we haven’t seen since the lynchings. With the motivation consistently to keep black people from getting to vote, the loyal brothers are turning a blind eye to the most egregious and heinous of murders, most noted by police officer brothers, but also by blatant white supremacists who are literally hunting black people as if they were deer, shooting or running over and disposing of any who are spotted alone. I’m making no assertion here that the mainline fraternal lodges condone such behavior, but the protective network of each other is there nonetheless. “Self defense” they say, or “he was just a lone wolf,” to divert any thought of a network. Then they might put him on leave, maybe even suspend his pay for a time, maybe even let him go to jail for a couple of years, but ultimately the network has his back.
What They Needed from Women
From women their needs were twofold. They needed sex, and they needed a wife to cook and care for them at home. It would seem their strategies could be simpler here, right? But they aren’t.
In order to keep a woman at home, she must be dependent on her husband for survival. Thus the early laws that only men could attend college and the cultural expectation that a woman’s place was in the home. Outside work was a threat to that dependency, giving her money with which she might support herself. A sinister aside to this education strategy is that now, because there are more women than men graduating from college, there is a white male strategy to disavow college education, making it meaningless, and encouraging instead church schools, some of which are being named “colleges” without any credentials or legitimate accreditations. The goal: men remain in control.
The best way to keep a woman from working outside the home is to keep her pregnant and busy with child-raising. Read that again. The biggest blow to this strategy was the birth control pill in 1960. Anything that can stop pregnancy is the enemy to the brotherhood power. Thus the current political manipulation of religious groups about abortion. Taught that “liberals” are “baby killers,” rather than that “liberals” are against elected men making decisions that control women. Nobody, by the way, is pro-abortion; and the “partial-birth abortion” propaganda being shown and touted in churches comes out of right-wing politics as a manipulation of the vast population of so-called evangelical voters. Real pro-life and pro-choice are not mutually exclusive of the other.
Now stay with me here. This gets deeper. What better way to keep women under control than to convince them that it’s God’s idea. Southern Baptists, for example, have an annual preaching and Sunday School teaching rotation that regularly reminds women that the man is the head of the home, that wives are to submit to their husbands, and even that they are to say yes to sex anytime their husband wants it. God says so, because the men wrote and designed the doctrines and the study curriculums.
Women are not left completely out of the fraternal orders. They have their own companion organizations, often called auxiliaries. Auxiliaries by their very name are supplements or add-ons to something else. They don’t stand alone, and their teachings are controlled by the main (male) organization. The role of women’s (or ladies’) auxiliaries is subordination, support, and assistance to the main (men only) organization. This distinction begins early. In Southern Baptist mission training of children, for example, the boys’ organization was originally named Royal Ambassadors (RAs) and the girls’, Girls Auxiliary (GAs).
Until 1920 women also were not allowed to vote (and then, only white women). Just as with black people, voting is power, and women had no business with that kind of power. When the women’s movement won the women’s right to vote, another of the learned white fraternity strategies came into play. Intimidating. Manipulating and belittling woman into believing that only men need to care about politics, and only men can properly understand it. Then, not only does the woman’s vote not make a difference, but it can even be two votes for the man as he instructs his wife in how to vote.
In the 1970s a power marriage took place between conservative politics and fundamentalist religion. This was a carefully conceived strategy led by Jerry Falwell Sr., father of the Jerry Falwell of recent “pool boy” fame. This union would be a boon to the Republican Party and a political infusion to denominations like the Southern Baptists, who would be led to focus their religious fervor on the white fraternity political issues of abortion and homosexuality, both threats to white male control.
Although the brotherhood members were in the framework of the establishment and on-going organization of the Southern Baptist churches from the Convention’s 1845 inception, in a fierce denominational battle that spanned from the 1970s through the 1990s, the male power network officially gained full control, one entity at a time, of all the SBC resources, boards, and seminaries. Control of the seminaries, the educational grounds for future church leaders, ensured perpetuation of the political takeover. All administrators, leaders, and individual churches that refused to embrace their ideology, were ousted from the Convention. With the SBC being the largest Protestant religious denomination in the country, with currently over 14.5 million members (2019), this was no small victory for the white brotherhood network.
Despite its large membership, the SBC was in some ways an easy target. Already, with few exceptions, only men were allowed to be pastors or deacons, and denominational education materials indoctrinated church members to believe that God set men in power over everything. Still the take-over was a huge undertaking; but it would not be their biggest.
2009 saw the beginning of a spin-off extreme right political group that called itself the Tea Party, set out to take over all the local, state, and national politics. The ultimate power grab. And, although the Tea Party name didn’t hold a respectable reputation for long, they successfully overtook the mainstream Republican Party, much of which was already a part of them.
Therefore . . . Are you still with me? . . .Our current political storm. It’s not an isolated battle of black vs. white, or men vs. women, or even Republican vs. Democrat, in any traditional sense, as neither the president nor the Republican party is traditional Republican. Rather, it is a war, and quite a nasty one, between white male control for absolute economic, political, and social power, and Democrats who are fighting against that complete power grab.
I’m not sure there’s any such thing as a “normal election,” but this one is definitely not that. The thousands of white power brotherhood organizations will be voting for the Republican Party, which now belongs to them until traditional Republicans can find a way to take back the party. The rest of us MUST vote Democrat. Not because Democrats get everything right, but because, in this particular moment in history, Democrats are trying to save our very Democracy from an internal white power terrorism like we cannot begin to imagine.
Friends and family, we have all been manipulated and brainwashed. Yes, white men included. So many white men in the lower levels of the fraternal organizations, or in leadership positions in their churches, are not aware that they are being played as pawns on a chess board, perpetuating a worldview completely contrary to that of the biblical Jesus that so many of them profess and passionately desire to follow. Maybe pride, or too many decades of indoctrination, or maybe the fraternal bonds themselves, will keep them from hearing this alarm, but the rest of us must break away. Vote Republican again after the Republican party reclaims itself, but this November, all true US patriots must vote against this takeover, even if it means voting separate from your husband, son, or pastor.
White Brotherhood Strategies
Allow me to shift gears here. For the sake of your reading time, I will skip here the analysis of the current president and how he fits into this whole white male power system. He doesn’t fit neatly into any party or any fraternity or lodge. The strategies he brings to his corrupt politics overlap but are not identical to the institutional strategies of white male power. I will highlight here six major strategies that are easily recognized if we begin to watch for them. These are not new strategies, but tried and true strategies that have manipulated and controlled people like us across many centuries and cultures.
1.Gaslighting and Intimidation take many forms. The idea is to question the speaker in such a way as to make them question their own intelligence or sanity. Gaslighting might be overt or very subtle, making us doubt ourselves or feel like we are less intelligent. It can be as simple as the criticism of “women drivers” (coined because driving was another way women gained their independence), or as deeply woven into us as religious doctrines of depravity and guilt. Now we are seeing it constantly in social media in the laughing emoji to intimidate / laugh at those who post anything “liberal.”
One strategy that has worked effectively for centuries is name calling. If we give a group of people a label and use that label derogatorily, we dehumanize the group, making them less intelligent, less important, or less human than “us.” Women drivers. Old wives (and their tales). “Baby killers.” “Feminist” and “Feminazi” are the names pinned to women who don’t accept that women are subservient to men. Vietnamese soldiers were brainwashed to call their enemies “gooks,” making them less human and easier to kill. And the N word.
The current president uses this strategy constantly: the Chinese virus, Crooked Hillary, Sleepy Joe, Pocahontas, nasty Women . . . Perhaps the greatest current example is the word “liberal,” which comes from the same root as “liberty” and “library,” meaning free or open to views different from one’s own. It has become a derogatory word, though, used to describe anything or anybody that disagrees with extreme white male politics. It works as a dehumanizer because we have fallen for the gaslighting.
2.Terrorism and Threats are the ultimate intimidation. Cross burning. Lynchings. Church shootings. Cowardly anonymous threats on the lives of People of Color and/or Women running for office or speaking out in power. Ask any of them. They have stories.
3.Truth has no meaning. Lying has no meaning. Say whatever might save you at the moment, whatever might get you a vote, whatever might keep you out of trouble, whatever pops into your head, no matter how ridiculous, no matter if you said exactly the opposite yesterday. For example: Following the 2020 Democratic National Convention , the president tweeted that the DNC left “under God” out of the pledge of allegiance. Then later the NC Republican Party mailed cards to households across the state repeating this blatant lie. Why? Because if people see it in writing, they will believe it without question, and it will anger them against voting for “liberals,” and if anyone were to sue them for blatant lies, they know the voting damage has already been done, and also that the case would take longer than the election.
Denial fits into this strategy. Just deny every accusation, even if it’s right there in plain view; even if you just said the opposite to a different group of listeners and it’s on record for all to see.
Another form of this is Accusation, accusing the opposition of the corruption you yourself committed, before they can accuse you. Then, when they do accuse you, it becomes a “he said, he said,” farce, as if neither is truthful. This is another favorite of the current president. Want to learn his secrets? Listen carefully to the out-of-the-blue accusations he makes about his opponents.
4. Another strategy, especially of our current presidential administration is Bombarding, or shooting so much corruption without pause so that it’s impossible for opponents or outsiders to keep up with or to react to all that needs reaction.
5. Strategy number five: Distraction or diversion. When something damaging is being exposed, it’s a strategy to distract attention from it, with whatever might divert people’s attention.
6. Finally, Education is critical to the longevity of any ideology, especially through the institutions of school and church. If we wanted to perpetuate the superiority of white men, we could fill children’s history books and curriculum with photos and stories of mostly no one except “dead white men,” particularly those the secret societies know belonged to their own. The best way to perpetuate any thought into the future is to make it a part of every child’s education, including the important job of textbook writing. A quick Google search, for example, will bring up innumerable shamefully whitewashed textbook descriptions of American slavery and “happy” slaves.
Second only to schools, places of worship are the most strategic institutions for perpetuating whitewashed history, politics, etc. Especially in the denominations in which leaders have little or no educational requirements, or in which their educational institutions are self-contained (i.e. taught by their own), this is a relatively easy target now, thanks to centuries of carefully laid groundwork. Find an isolated passage in the Bible that appears to make your point, and preach/teach it repeatedly as coming straight from God’s mouth. In the SBC, for example, all 47,500+ churches celebrate a Sanctity of Human Life Sunday every year, in which they reiterate the evils of abortion, using two verses (Psalm 139:13-14) for which the writer had no thought whatsoever of abortion. Yet, because of the indoctrination, the mere mention of the verses automatically takes the more than 14.5 million Southern Baptist minds to their politics of abortion. Any teaching can perpetually and repeatedly be spread to thousands of churches through the Sunday School curriculum, and through the training curricula of future ministers.
The deteriorating quality of educational testing has also made indoctrination (or brainwashing) simpler. When a unit on the Holocaust, for example, is tested objectively with “How many Jews died?” rather than “What could make an entire nation follow the orders of such a corrupt man?” the higher order levels of thinking are not being trained. Memorization, not analysis, synthesis, or problem-solving, becomes the goal.
And, because public schools teach science, which is a threat to some of this brainwashing, many church groups are being encouraged to open their own church-supported or home-based schools, in which they can perpetuate and control their own church teachings, similarly insulating what the children will be taught.
Summary and Final Thoughts
We are living in a frightening time of unprecedented political divisiveness. We see voices of color crying out. We hear young voices and women’s voices yelling to be heard. We identify the politics and sometimes the religion. These cries are not separate from each other. The connecting thread is the centuries old white male fraternal network, the brotherhood of white male power and loyalty, divided into many names for its own posterity, but no longer secret.
The white fraternity lodge culture is losing ground in American society as the younger generations of men are finding their relationships and identities elsewhere. Freemasonry in the US has declined from 4.1 members in 1960 to fewer than 2 million at this writing. While this is good news to “liberty and justice for all,” the fraternal mindset is so woven into our nation’s framework that we rarely recognize its face when we are looking squarely at it.
Fraternal orders have made great contributions to our communities, states, and nation. For much they are to be commended and appreciated. Against the insular hoarding of wealth and power, however, the time has come for us to take a stand, to finally make good on our American dream of “all humans are created equal." Daddies, brothers, and uncles, will you join us, side by side, in this movement for change? Your mothers, your sisters, your daughters and granddaughters, your black and brown and Jewish and Muslim coworkers and neighbors are watching for your courageous response.
1. This article is not saying that white men are bad. This article is not saying that members of white male secret societies are bad. This article is not saying that all members of white male secret societies condone the evil racist acts and ideologies of the KKK and neo-Nazi organizations that use much of their ritual and teaching. This article is not saying that white male fraternal organizations do not also use their wealth and power for valuable contributions to society. It IS saying that the most threatening terrorists and the greatest danger to our democratic republic are white and male, and that they are not “lone wolves” but a long and strongly established network of intentional power.
2. Most of the mainline fraternal organizations have made valuable contributions in the building and framing of our culture, and some have abandoned the racist and sexist philosophies embedded in their beginnings. The writer of this article says thank you for both, and adds a strong challenge that those lodges that now know and do better will openly own their past and intentionally work to tear down and rebuild what has proven detrimental to our national, spiritual, relational, and political health.
The writer of this article is a Republican-turned-Independent and writes out of love for our country and our democracy, not for any political party, although in this election she will vote almost entirely Democrat. She grew up in a rural one-stoplight town and has always lived in the South. Her religious background and seminary training are Southern Baptist.
1984, by George Orwell, 1949. Sometimes dangerous warnings have to be presented as fiction, to protect the author
When Everything Changed, by Gail Collins, 2009. HIstory of Women 1960s to 2009
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, 2018. Why it’s hard for white people to talk about racism
White Too Long, by Robert P. Jones, 2020. White American Christianity’s shockingly intimate relationship with white supremacy
13th 2016 documentary about the 13th Amendment and how law enforcement, the courts, and the prison system by design perpetuate racial inequality
The Handmaid’s Tale 2017 TV series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel; society where women are property