Mason Proclamation

The Oaths, the Penalties, and the Secrets - whether all disclosed with perfect accuracy or not; whether understood as they were by the murderers of Morgan, or as explained by the defenders of Masonry - are unreasonable, odious, and I believe unlawful. The Oaths of all Masons, heretofor admitted, if they ever had any binding force, are dissolved by the public disclosure of the secrets, which they had bound themselves to keep. Their country calls on them to disclaim henceforth and forever all secrets, and as incidental to the injunction of them, all oaths and penalties. This reasonable and moderate call has not only been resisted by the great body of Freemasons throughout the United States, but no man, high or low, eminent or obscure, has dared to avow this opinion and unite in this call without being assailed in his reputation, robbed of his good name, insulted, abused and vilified openly and in secret, by individual Masons and by organized Lodges, a body of at least two hundred thousand men, scattered over the whole Union, - all active and voting men, linked together by secret ties, for purposes of indefinite extent; bound together by oaths and penalties operating with terrific energy upon the human heart, and upon its fears; embracing within the penalty within its laws the President of the United States and his leading competitors; and winding itself around every great politcal party for its support, like poisonous ivy round a sturdy oak, and round every object of its aversion, like the boa-constrictor around its victim. Such in faint and diluted colors is at this time the image of the Masonic Institution in these United States. Commanding despotically a large portion of the public presses - intimidating by its terrors multitudes of others - and amid all its internal dissensions, uniting with the whole mass of its power against every common adversary, one of the most alarming and pernicious characters in which it now presents itself, is that of its political dominion. You tell me that you are Antimasonic in your opinion and feelings, but are perplexed by the mixture of Politics with Antimasonry. But you place herein the effect before the cause. The mixture of Politics is with Masonry.

President John Quincy Adams
Quincy, Massachusetts
23 September, 1831

Transcriber: ES
Created: 21 November 2006