David Barton—the Newest Anti-Mason

A Critique of David Barton’s
The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers

Aledo, TX: www.WallBuilders.com, 2005, 132p., lots of pictures

By Dr. Michael G. Maness




This following is the full version of the critique,
that was originally intended for chapter 12.D of my book,

Character Counts—Freemasonry USA’s National Treasure
and Source of Our Founding Fathers’ Original Intent

The book version is now condensed, to make room for other more important material.



Barton’s New Book Occults Freemason Founding Fathers

Barton Not a Straight Arrow

1. The Sum of a Marketing Master

2. Barton Makes Dupes out of Millions!

3. Barton’s “Christian Perspective” and Occulting of His Best Source

4. Oodles of Oddities—21 by the Short Count

5. Barton’s Molests Albert Pike and Alphonse Cerza

6. Barton’s Molests Masonic Services Association

7. Barton Shows All of His Colors, by Accident—He Purposed to Hide

8. David Barton’s Most Crafty Innuendo-Inconsistency

9. Only a Few Founding Fathers Freemasons—Barton Lies

10. David Barton’s Crafter Secret Third Agenda

11. Barton Wants to be a Master WallBuilder, just Not a Master Mason

Barton Not a Straight Arrow

I sent Barton a copy of the first version of Character Counts in 2006, and was snubbed in January of 2008; he did not even hint a response, only claimed that he had not received the book; I sent another copy to the address he listed as agent for his new 2008 WallBuilders LLC with the Texas state comptroller’s office.[1]  This section is repeated in the online version of our demolition of portions of Barton’s Original Intent.


Part of the reason for condensing it in the book, in addition to shortening the book, is because Barton was far too stealthy to take seriously, once one does look at his material. He truly caters to the innocent, and we give him far to too respect in including such a lengthy demolition.  Plus—here, the whole world can see.  And see for free, though he is charging $6 and $7 for booklets half this long (but he does have lots of pictures).


A new attack on Freemasonry comes more from a sucker punch, and such can hurt, if properly delivered. The multiple Christian Right establishment agendas have placed an emphasis on the Christian faith of our Founding Fathers, and we are proud that Christianity was the major faith of choice during the founding of the USA. I do not know anyone who disputes that popularity of Christian beliefs during the decades before and after 1776.

But is dead wrong to assume Christianity was the sole reason for the founding, and the irony here is that the very diversity of Christian belief systems prior to 1776 is the proof of the major reason for the 1776 Declaration of Independence—sheese, I almost feel pulled here, but independence was the reason for the Declaration, and the Unitedness of the States was the reason for the Constitution. And in this context, it is so terribly wrongheaded to exclude Freemasonry. Most of these Christian establishment revisionists exclude Freemasonry, when not cursing it; but at least one, David Barton, has placed a new and unique twist on Freemasonry unseen in the literature and out of the circuit completely with the best literature. We will show that shortly, after a brief look at his business.

As we saw above in his Question of Freemasonry in Part One (4.D), Barton twisted Freemasonry to serve his establishment agenda in a smooth for of market-based history making.[2] Obviously, his attack on Freemasonry in that itsy bitsy book is a sideline to his larger business, WallBuilders LLC, and the little book reveals more about his business than he intended.

Barton has made inroads all over the country, even to the point of being hired by the Republican National Committee (RNC) in 2004 to hold “300 RNC-sponsored lunches for local evangelical pastors.”[3] Barton’s America, To Pray or Not to Pray?, 6th edition, came out in 1991 and his America’s Godly Heritage came out in on tape in 1992 under the WallBuilders.[4] His major work, Original Intent—The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion, came out in 2000 under his WallBuilder Press imprint, that also now publishes all his books, booklets, and some school curriculum.[5] Barton has been at this for a long time, at least since the early 1990s, and has had critics of his historical revisionism for that long.[6] David Barton is listed as the president and founder of WallBuilders.[7] So he has been doing business in Texas for almost twenty years now, being hired in 2004, but you will look in vain on his web site to find out when he started his business.

Under what name has he been doing business? Another secret?

Barton has been doing business from Texas under WallBuilders (earlier WallBuilder, now printing under WallBuilder Press), yes, since 1991 at least, when the 6th edition of his America was registered at the Library of Congress. He has been trying to build walls for twenty years. It appears as a ministry—his mission and he has a 5.01.c.3—and his primary market is unashamedly the Christian Right in the distribution of Christian values. But his business is a for-profit business; just look at the huge price of his booklets. There is nothing wrong with starting a business, and all businesses evolve. But it is not clear how long or under what name Barton has been doing business.

Yes, on September 7, 1978, he started a 5.01.c.3, WallBuilder Presentations, and the tale of the tap says some strange things. From his 2005 Form 990, he took in just over a million in “direct” public support and expended just over a million, for nearly a 100% spent of the donations, apparently, but just what charity or tax exempt service he was providing is hard to figure.[8] This is a charity, a non-profit—you know—for the benefit of humankind, and tax exempt. And the RNC hired him to do 300 lunches in 2004, and in 2005 he lists his expenses for 350 “presentations” that made up the bulk of his 2005 “expenses” from the tax exempt donated funds. Hmmm? I just don’t get it, and there is no explanation that defines what charity is going for on his web site, other than to help him re-establish Christian values in government. Define irony here for me: he makes a million-plus in tax-free donations and spends nearly 100% of that on a mission to fight separation of church and state.

That should be clear on his web site, and yet you will not even find the full name of his 5.01.c.3 there. You will look in vain to find out when his WallBuilders Press started, as though that was a secret, and Barton’s web site does not tell when he started any of his businesses. Apparently he was self-employed or something; not even the Parker County Courthouse has a record of any business registered under the Barton name. But—strangely—he just got his Texas charter for his new for-profit WallBuilders LLC on January 2, 2008.[9] Why do you start a for-profit company after so long as a non-profit?

What business name was using for his for-profit items, like his high-priced little booklets, and reprints of ancient classics? Don’t know. But on his 2005 Form 990, Barton does list a $6,995 digital scanner, with a total $54,035 of office and computer equipment used 100% for his ministry.[10] You must see that there is for-profit intention for his booklets (for what non-profit use are they?). His high-priced booklets are clearly $500 dollar hammers he uses to fund his WallBuilding. And a $7,000 digital scanner? What does that do? Scan soup for the poor? Or scan books to help the RNC lunches?

These are not questions I can answer clearly. But I did not see anything but a big business enterprise on his web site, and he did not want to talk about his errors or his being caught in his occulting. But in the light of charity, that is given to him, I question to high heaven the tax exemption process itself that would allow someone to be funded to cater almost exclusively to the wealthy for the purpose of changing the government.

I think he would make more money helping people do the same.

His WallBuilders is so big now, that his “Research Department at WallBuilders receives hundreds of emails and letters, therefore it may be several months or more before a response is sent.”[11] And I apparently got through with special handling, after I e-mailed him from his web site these criticisms, wondering about the advance copy of this book that I sent him over a year ago. You can see from Barton’s e-mail that he checked with his “Executive Director who scoured the logs of the mail room and shipping and receiving departments,” but to no avail.[12] Sounds like a big for-profit business to me.

I found out that David Barton is on the advisory board of the Providence Foundation, a Christian reconstructionist that mirrors WallBuilders.[13] In a revealing article on Belief.net, Barton networks across the nation advocating the USA is a Christian nation in its founding.[14] In an interview with Pat Roberson, who asked about “proof” that the USA was founded as a Christian nation, Barton said this:

There is a lot of proof. Not the least of which is a great Fourth of July speech that was given in 1837 by one of the guys who fought in the revolution, who became a president, John Quincy Adams. His question was why is it in America that the Fourth of July and Christmas are the most celebrated holidays? His answer was that at Christmas we celebrate what Jesus Christ did for the world [with] his birth, and on the Fourth of July we celebrate what Jesus Christ did for America, since we founded it as a Christian nation.[15]

Yes, from 1837 and John Quincy Adams. And that is how Barton rationalizes more often than not, occulting other stuff that he does not like. From a Christian perspective, yes, God brought about the USA, and in Islam, providence plays the same role, for all people are in submission to the will of Allah. Adams can interpret history inside of his faith as we all do, but ignoring what the Founders did is as bad for Adams as it is for Barton.

Is that his example of how he wants to re-build America, with dual corporations with semi-secret histories, and tax exemption that supports the molesting indicated below?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

At first glance, it looks like David Barton has put together something unique in his WallBuilder.com business, even important. But on a closer look, you will see a man who abuses quotes and manipulates, and uses rather poor rhetoric in the process. It is not a surprise then that he does not access much modern scholarship, or that his work is not seriously considered by modern scholarship; it is rather lonely, except for the market he has cultivated.

If you just trust Barton to lead you straight, he makes a case for Christian original intent in our USA Constitution that seems to have just been discovered. Remarkable—what a discovery—but only if you trust him. He seems innocent. When you check his stuff, things go awry, and quick. After the following, here is one conclusion up-front—many other Christians have seen some of the following and not shared it with Barton. Far too many have allowed Barton his illusion of scholarship because of politics, because patriotism is popular—a good and needed virtue—and because there is some appetite for “Christian USA” that seeks to make being patriotic Christian or being Christian a good USA citizen.

We can see in Washington’s writings a few Christian statements, and they are very few among the tens of thousands of extent documents on his life. What, now, what precisely does Barton and others want to establish from the few Christian faith writings of Washington? Washington’s life is perhaps the most documented life of the 18th century, indeed, one of the most documented in human history. By all accounts, Washington was at the top of the list in 1790 and remains to this day the single most pivotal person in American history.

Washington is crucial to Barton and others, even “the Foundingest Father of them all” according to renowned historian Joseph J. Ellis said, “the most ambitious, determined, and potent personality of an age not lacking for worthy rivals.”[16] The more you know about Washington, the more connected he becomes to the kind of nation that was established. Newsweek ran an excerpt from American Gospel—God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation in which Jon Meacham related, “In a treaty with the Muslim nation of Tripoli initiated by Washington, completed by John Adams, and ratified by the Senate in 1797, we declared ‘the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.’”[17] If Barton had found a quote of Christian establishment by Washington, his case could be sealed and the rest of history would bear that out. But what does Barton have to say about this quote on the non-establishment of the United States upon Christianity by his own best Christian Founding Father? Not a peep. 

Barton knew about it—he has the largest private library of about 70,000 items of the era—but he addressed his market, not the real concerns. That quote of non-establishment is critical to Barton’s entire ministry, and vastly more important than his spook-house sections. Avoiding that quote in both his Original Intent and his Question of Freemasonry was cunning or cowardly, like so much other blather, and if left unchecked his cunning will affect the perception of Freemasonry in the eyes of the innocent until his ways and means are thoroughly vetted.

Unlike Barton, it was clearly the intent of our Founding Fathers that a man could be a full citizen and not have to be a Christian, and Ben Franklin is one such man. And Jon Meacham’s American Gospel—God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation serves this up at the right time in a most generous manner.

On the other hand, David Barton twists and molests, and that is wrong for a Christian. And then makes a million-plus dollars off it. Ten thousand Christians ought to call him to account. Check the following and see for yourself whether it merited Barton’s attention. Barton strives to rebuild a wall of Christian foundations, because he does not like the immorality today. But that is no excuse to be immoral, and then to do so under the guise of Christian innocence; that would be of no consequence, except that he is wanting to take the government back through his immoral tactics. I had enough, so I called him out, but he ran behind his busy schedule and mail department that gets too much to handle.[18] See if the following was reason enough to snub.

It is immoral to deceive the innocent and to dirty the lives of good men. Barton intended to deceive Christians as a Christian for the purpose of making money, and in his Freemasonry book he slams the character of a million Christian Freemason men today too. Nasty.

This is market-based history making that needs vetting.


1. The Sum of a Marketing Master   ~   TOP

More than the SBC squeak, there is another Frankenstein pygmy loose that will run amuck because of its associations more than its reality. This piece will make headway because it is attached to the Christian establishment caucuses, and Barton’s rhetoric and marketing have gotten him into many churches. This little Frankenstein really did go to the market and never made it home.

David Barton’s The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers (WallBuilders, 2005; $7.95) is 132 pages long with 116 pages of text in about 14-point type with 1-3 photos on nearly every page, sometimes 4-5 photos. It’s flashy. His main purpose is to establish the Christian focus of Freemasonry in his Founding Era, where he lays a yokeless egg shell claim that only a few Founding Fathers were Freemasons. His top secret purpose is to hog-tie his Founding Era Freemasonry to his Christian establishment agenda.

This little thing hit my desk in the last stages of the first version of Character Counts. Since then I have been snubbed by Barton by e-mail. He does not have time to “refute” me; you can see his remarks and mine on-line.[19] I did not need refuting; I just expected some form of encounter, even within a vision of an apology from him after being caught (we don’t think he made this many mistakes). Barton is caught—hook, line, and stinker bait—and his illegal gaming with our beloved Founding Fathers and fallacious pandering of Christianity needs to stop.

Barton’s influence and thus-far perceived character will allow his Question of Freemasonry more credibility than it deserves. Not until the tenth draft of this review did I finally ask: of all persons, did David Barton intend to occult and to bear false witness? Did Barton lie? Of all persons, Barton cannot be seen as merely ignorant. I mean, look at how well he tries to footnote. And he is heard in churches as an historian on the Founding Era, an influential wind for the Christian establishment caucuses.

At first, I thought him innocent, but after a while I came to see guile and shameless molesting of others. So I intended to give his sorry work a real thumping, and I placed a rougher draft of this on-line for all the world to see.[20] I sent him a certified copy of this book, to double up on this revision, and a copy of this as I was refining it by e-mail. He lambasted me in his first e-mail, a year after I sent him a copy of Character Counts, saying I could say anything I want on my web site, while he charges for booklets smaller than the critique![21] And in his Documents of Freedom you can buy copies of the Declaration, Constitution, and Washington’s Inaugural for $3.95 that are available in a hundred places on-line. Barton places several dozen 17th century documents online, just not the Declaration—you have to pay for that.[22] What a money making operation.

Just at the start, Barton places a painting of Washington leveling the USA Capitol cornerstone on the cover of his Question of Freemasonry—the cover—a ceremony that was very well publicized and very well attended, but Barton occults the publicity. He should not occult, and he should have used his sources.

The first sentence of this book reveals more than he intended: “Although hundreds of books have been written on the subject of American Freemasonry, this one examines an aspect rarely touched: did Freemasonry substantially impact the American Founding?” (5). At the start, Barton tells us he is aware of hundreds, but scantily uses them among his 309 endnotes; instead of using the hundreds on American Freemasonry, he prefers some kooky works. Barton is wrong that historians have “rarely touched” the question of Freemasonry impacting the American founding, as nearly every historian of note contradicts Barton. It would be nice to see those hundreds, and we give you 800+ on Freemasonry online at www.PreciousHeart.net.


2. Barton’s Pagan Secret Masterminds Dupe Millions   ~   TOP

Barton shoots himself in the foot many times, but he cripples himself when he tries to shoot with both hands. At the start of his book, today’s millions of Christian Freemasons are dupes! Barton is a crook here dressed up like a Christian saint, and that’s what he gets for dressing up himself. See how he shoots himself in the foot. According to several of Barton’s good and ugly statements and series of innuendos, the real geniuses are the Pagans driving and manipulating the poor duped Christian Freemason leaders; according to Barton, the Pagans are geniuses of such superior intellectual caliber and supremely dexterous subterfuge, living masterminds that even Barton himself cannot locate them.

Who are those few Pagan geniuses who can stay behind the scenes for a hundred years and pass on their masterful skills of covert conniving? Living today—who are these super-stealthy persons who continuously and totally dupe several thousand leaders and millions of Christian Freemasons into mistakenly support Paganism in private while they spend their public lives winning people to Christ and changing the world for good? True geniuses these Pagan masterminds are, if Barton is right. Barton’s Pagan point is demonstratively pushing the very edge of innuendo: he flatly says (with references) that today’s Christian Freemasons are Pagan-infested, which is all but saying they are duped. The dupedness of millions of Christian Freemasons is Barton’s most sly innuendo. A real super-duper, in the dress of Christian innocence, designed to for the innocent.

Here, malignant craftsmanship or idiocy took over. Barton clearly tells his audience that Freemasonry is Pagan and that Freemasons are gullible in the pages of his little book, and he apparently calculated that his reader would shun Freemasonry and miss his heavy innuendo of the duped Freemason leader. Crafty or idiotic? Barton is either crafty in his claims that legions of legends are duped, or it’s just idiotic writing.

On the first two pages of Barton’s overview, he notes three categories of literature: (1) Christian Exposés of Freemasonry, (2) Freemasonry of the Founding Fathers, and (3) Christianity in the American Founding. “If the first two are correct,” says Barton, then “the third must be incorrect”: Barton starts his argument against Freemasonry upon the fallacy that his manipulation of his own contrived categories forms a proper syllogism. You just have to read his booklet to see the absurdity of this. What played backward, in his sloppy rhetoric, means that since Christianity was there in 1776, then Freemasonry was not—goodness.

In his first category, Barton wrongly says, “Christians who have studied modern American Freemasonry in a serious manner have documented irrefutably that it is antithetical, hostile, and heretical to many orthodox Christian and Biblical teachings” (p. 5). What a hateful thing to say of millions of Christian Freemasons! Millions—but he asks not a single one, and he leaves ten thousand pages from Christian Freemasons hidden! He trashes today’s Christian Freemasons at the start! What is Barton’s support for that encompassing and hostile start in his Question of Freemasonry? No great question there. Barton references the works of Jim Shaw, Tom C. McKenney, Jack Harris, and Claude McClung. Barton pretends there is a wide distance between the Founding Era’s Freemasonry and today’s, in his first 60 pages (50% of his little book), saying that today’s Freemasonry is heretical, all dependent upon his first endnote and other innuendos.

Who are Shaw, McKenney, Harris, and McClung? No monuments exist for them. Those are strangers to most of Barton’s audience. Are they the best Barton can pull from his magic hat? Is that all? No, not all, but just about.

Barton’s inconsistency hurts Christian integrity when he says between pages 30 and 33 that the modern Freemasonry revival was led by anti-Christian Pagan practices blasphemous to the Bible. What a sucker punch. That needed to be proven irrefutably, not just claimed with a couple of itsy-bitsy dubious references; we are talking about millions of Christians. Between Barton’s Freemasonry revival and his section on Christian denominational exclusions, Barton shuffles in a paragraph on Freemason U.S. presidents and high public officials that Barton insinuates Freemasons used to bolster the image of Freemasonry. SBC George W. Truett and other Christian leaders were Freemasons during the era Barton claims as Pagan-infested, but cunningly left them out. Did Barton miss the inconsistency? Or did he see and then occult the inconsistency?

Good men bring credibility to an organization, whether that is Christianity, Freemasonry, the U.S Army, Lions Club International, or any organization. Barton uses that for Christianity and his Founding Era Freemasonry, but he cannot stand that applying to 21st century Freemasonry. Good men joined during the Freemasonry revival, including millions of Christians, and it was their good character that fed the revival and bolstered the reputation of Freemasonry. Barton insinuates millions are Pagan-infested dupes, including the leaders!

Is Barton that dumb or just cunning?


3. Barton’s “Christian Perspective” and Occulting of His Best Source   ~   TOP

As a Christian myself, I challenge David Barton’s pretension that he was examining from a “Christian perspective” (5). Christians are not supposed to occult good work, misrepresent work, or call other Christians Pagan without irrefutable proof (not even their enemies). Even novice scholars try to look at all the material they can find, and this book indicates that Barton did truly look at some good work and occulted the work he found.

At the start, we pull forward David Barton’s best source, Steven Conrad Bullock’s Revolutionary Brotherhood—Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order 1730-1840 (1998), a master work of which Barton only uses the first part of the title (because the second part does not serve his revisionism). David Barton’s double-edged point was that there were few Founding Fathers who were Freemasons, and so Freemasonry did not significantly impact the Founding Era (24, 114, 116). Yet Barton’s best source—Steven Conrad Bullock—crashes into and smashes Barton like a speeding 18-wheel Kenworth rolling over a Volkswagen bug. Where did the bug go? Barton used Bullock as an authority five times to ferret out snippets of Christian history, yet nearly every page of Bullock’s large book collides with Barton’s yokeless egg shell claims.

Look at the title of Steven Conrad Bullock’s work again, the last part of which Barton left out. Colliding with Barton, Bullock expertly and eruditely outlined precisely what his full title said: Freemasonry impacted both the American Revolution and the early growth of the USA. Freemasonry was not the cause of the Revolution, but far better than anything Barton has written Bullock masterfully indicated the pervasive influence of thousands of Freemasons. That is not all: Bullock’s multitude of endnotes with many from original sources consume more text than Barton’s entire little book.

And Bullock is ignored again in Barton’s Original Intent.

David Barton occults his own best source, Bullock, and clips the title! Stand back, take a deep breath. That should be enough to critically undermine Barton’s credibility, even without Barton’s molesting indicated below.

As you thumb through David Barton’s 116 picture-laden pages of his Question of Freemasonry—you are left with questions. Barton confuses his readers when he brings up the anti-Mason writings of Satanic accusations to the Founding Era. Very sloppily, Barton sticks in a bad picture of the star for the Order of the Eastern Star (OES) as a “Masonic pentagram” without a single word on the OES; Barton gives looney tunes from anti-Mason authors that he then corrects, and then he contrasts the anti-Mason pro-Pagan-da with the Pagan pentagram (68). What a jumble. Instead of correcting good works, Barton corrects the anti-Mason fruitcakes, as though those fruitcakes were credible on a wide scale, instead of the “hundreds of books” written on American Freemasonry by Freemason and non-Mason authors.

Barton goes to the city dump, and picks up wacko trash to refute, as though the wacko trash was reputable or wide spread. Barton could have gone down to the city hall and asked the Freemason who is the Mayor or city attorney, or any one of several million Christian Freemasons. But, no, Barton goes to the city dump.


4. Oodles of Oddities—21 by the Short Count    ~   TOP

Here are 21 other oddities in Barton’s little Question of Freemasonry.

1. Barton separates himself from the “cacophony of modern voices” by saying he will use original documents from the Founding Era. Barton footnotes that he has “one of America’s largest private libraries focused on the American Founding, with some 70,000 documents” but scantily uses them in his 309 endnotes (6-7). Truly, with so many documents, are Barton’s Original Intent and these 116 picture-laden pages all he could find on Christianity and Freemasonry in our Founding Fathers? That’s a truly private collection.

2. Barton confuses the Scottish Rite with the Shriners without distinguishing their principles or websites, preferring anti-Mason dumpsters (7-8).

3. Barton recognized that Freemasonry requires a belief in God, but falsely attributes universalistic attributes as though there is nothing shared in life between the faiths, like love for truth and justice. He quotes a few early Christian Freemasons as typical of the era’s Freemasonry, but fails to recognize that every Christian imputes their faith into the symbolism—which is the purpose of Freemasonry (7-16).

4. Barton makes several snide remarks like “probably 99 percent of today’s Freemasons have no idea whatsoever of how to construct a stone building” (11) like that means something to his purpose, or that he himself just cannot understand the metaphor of building character. I wonder if he knows how. I actually do know some who do know to build a stone a building, and some who know how to draw the blueprints, others who know how to establish the corporations needed to run a stone building company, and a few that know how to take that company public and even international. Can David Barton? He is not even good at snob remarks.

5. Barton says several times that only a “few Founding Fathers were Freemasons” (24, 114, 116). How can he ignore non-Mason scholars on Freemasonry like Jasper Ridley, Steven Conrad Bullock, Margaret C. Jacobs, and more? Why does he occult true scholars of the Founding Era? Another secret?

6. Barton says several times that “Freemasonry has undergone radical changes since the eighteenth century” like “night and day” (24-25), but does not document well the changes (other than churchiness) and occults how most of the principles have not changed. Some people wanted Freemasonry to be more church-like in 1776, and that is no different than today. Every Christian Freemason is supposed to apply the symbolism into their own Christian context—building character. So what is Barton’s point? Seems he too wants to impute Christian-church-likeness into the lodge, except that he does not want to be a member, or even ask one?

7. Barton documents that prayers “in Jesus’ name” were given in 1783 and snidely remarks that none are today; I have said some and heard some; but the real kicker is that prayers are said—today—and Barton occults how free a Freemason is (37); Barton mentions Jesus being “downgraded” (44), occulting Freemasonry’s purpose as not a church but a moral fraternity, occulting that it was not a church in 1776 any more than it was a Universalism then, or today—except as a Christian or Universalist might apply the symbolism to his own faith.

8. Barton documents a few Founding Era Freemasonry authorities that used Christian requirements and some of today’s who do not, ignoring that many have for 300 years rode the middle course of remaining a fraternity under the God of the Bible allowing freedom (37-47). Barton occults that, since 1717, Freemasonry has consistently denied being a religion. Barton quotes Freemasons that claim Christian beliefs (39-47)—yet, so what? A Christian Freemason—what is the point, then or today? Christians have always made up the majority of Freemasonry, and that is another proof it is not a religion. Likewise, Christian Freemasons applied the symbolism of Freemasonry to their faith of choice in 1776, and they are still doing that today. Barton would have found that out if he had asked one of the millions of Christian Freemasons today. Just one. He runs his business from Aledo, Texas, and the Texas Grand Lodge is one the largest in the world, with a world-class Freemasonry library. Why occult that? Barton travels the USA, but will not stop in the dozens of Freemasonry libraries, not even in Texas, where he lives.

9. On a 3/4 page footnote on page 38, Barton notes how only “one out of three American Masons” pursue higher degrees (like the Scottish Rite). Without going to their American web sites (srmason-sj.org or supremecouncil.org) among the 50 web sites he uses, Barton quotes from one of his references who said the Scottish Rite “repudiates any specifically Christian qualifications” (p. 38), and Barton allows the innuendos from repudiate to indicate the opposite of age-old Scottish Rite principles, reflected in their creed: “Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.” Later, Barton used 1871 Scottish Rite leader Albert Pike as typical of all Freemasons, but failed to reveal that the 3rd degree Master Mason is actually the highest degree. A lot of confusion in one footnote.

10. Barton cunningly over-attributes spiritual meaning to the symbols without respect to the individual Freemason’s faith; indeed, a Mason’s trowel is a symbol to “spread the cement of brotherly love … unites us into one sacred band” (29), but Barton imputes into that a Universalism of his own making, occulting or just ignorant that people can unite together to build a fence, a house, or even a country, like our Founding Fathers did without necessarily sharing the same faith.

11. Sandwiched between anti-Mason leaders (and ministers) and some Christian denominational statements against Freemasonry, Barton squeezes in like lettuce something most uncomfortable for him in the names of USA Presidents and other high-profile persons who were Freemasons (32-33). Even though he does like lettuce, Barton had to do that, because most of the educated public know that they were Freemasons and good men—there are a legion of legends—but Barton brushes them off as used by Freemasonry. Were they good men or not? Or dupes? Barton leaves us with an innuendo of duped, naming several, but somewhat occults the millions more, legions of legends, and many Christian ministers. Were Teddy Roosevelt and George W. Truett such weaklings as to be used by a secret Pagan group to bolster its public image as Barton pretends?

They were all used while they changed the world? If you can believe Barton here, I have some ocean-front property in Arizona to sell you. This section (with photos) meant nothing to his book, nor to character counting, but actually hurt his book. Barton smacks their character, and thinks he is better for it. If their work had meant anything to him, Barton would have started with them—the legends and the best—instead of making them lettuce in an already bad sandwich.

12. Barton claims the blood oaths were not a part of the Founding Era Freemasonry (45-46) with a single 3rd-party reference from an anti-Mason (46, endnote 126, a quote from Attorney General William Wirt in John Quincy AdamsA Portrait of Masonry…), clear hearsay in a court of law, and somehow with bloody oaths coming into existence after 1800—dubious at best. Sure, for some, the oaths appear abominable, as though the marriage oath “until death do us part” is less abominable merely because it does not use blood next to death. But the most dubious of all is a denial of the symbolism of the bloody oaths for the candidates and another occulting by Barton that hides from his readers that all things in the Lodge are symbolic.

13. Barton’s use of the Illuminati and John Robinson’s 1798 Proofs of a Conspiracy Against All the Religions and Governments of Europe was a typical anti-Mason spook-house tactic, a really funny trick. Only it is a dead rabbit that he pulls out of his hat. Barton says that “Robinson accurately charged that the Order of the Illuminati … was behind much of the bloody French Revolution and its widespread anarchy” (49-50). How Barton uses Robinson as an authority on the French Revolution and Freemasonry is truly an astounding revelation of Barton’s talent and tactics; it also reveals his grossly inept grasp of the French Revolution, as though abject poverty, brutal injustice, and royal irresponsibility had no bearing.

14. In the same chapter with the Illuminati above, Barton tosses in correspondence by Washington as an indication of a huge distance between European and American Freemasonry (53-58), which is all the more ironic, since Barton goes to great lengths to distance Washington from being an active Freemason, but still active enough to know the teachings of the Illuminati and to know that no Lodge in the country was infected with the Illuminati (59-66). Hmmm? Somebody’s wrong—either Washington or Barton.

15. In the same chapter with the Illuminati above, Barton leaves out Margaret C. Jacob’s masterful Living the Enlightenment—Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe (Oxford Univ. Press, 1991, 304p.) who also uses original source material, like 18th century police records, on just what Freemasonry was in France in the late 1700s and during the French Revolution, and most distinct from the Illuminati sect and a long way from Barton’s slouching efforts.

16. Barton throws in chapter 7, pages 67-90 or 20% of his book, on Masonic symbolism in Washington, D.C., but this 20% of his book contains Barton’s corrections chiefly of anti-Masonic and conspiracists’ claims of Satanic influence attributed to Freemasonry! Barton corrects what wacko conspiracists have attributed to Freemasonry! That boggles the mind. Kooky or cunning? Why not simply counter what Freemasonry claims? Why does Barton challenge the stupid anti-Mason material? Is it because of the attraction of spook-houses? Because Barton, too, likes to tantalize his readers with Satanic atrocities? At least it tantalizes him, for it’s not much use for anything else, and it is 20% of his book—boo, so scary. But, thank God, we are saved by the WallBuilder.

Barton ends chapter 7 with a wild-eyed quote summing up several conspiracists’ views on Freemasonry origins in either anti-Catholic Protestants, Israeli Zionists, the invention of witches and Satanists, or mules for the Rothchilds or Jewish bankers, leaving the spook-house innuendo to the reader’s imagination as to just which might be right. Barton uses wackos from the city, but will not ask a one of the millions of Christian Freemasons a single question. The most astounding claim that Barton makes is this: “In short, no Founder - whether Masonic or non-Masonic - made any proposal about America’s symbolism that was in any manner hostile to Christianity” (90; bold italic underline his). That is great to know, coming from Barton, because in this very book Barton also does not give us a splinter of Christian symbolism in the founding of architecture of Washington, D.C., leaving untouched the modern work of David Ovason and Robert Hieronimus.

17. Barton recognizes Albert Mackey (1807-1881) and Albert Pike (1809-1891), but not very well in his 4-page chapter 8 (91-94)—his flashy 4-page chapter—footnoting that Pike was an officer of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) with a footnote that endnotes three works on the KKK. That was the time of the Civil War, and there were a lot of prejudicial folks back then, including the Southern Baptist Convention. Does Barton believe that no Christians have been members of the KKK? By Barton’s logic, if a Christian was a member of the KKK, then Christianity is kooky.

Barton gave no point about his KKK reference, which is more like the KKK than not; he simply allowed another spook-house innuendo of the wickedness of the KKK to do its dirty work, intimating the KKK as somehow in some way indicative of modern Freemasonry—another sucker punch. And Barton occults what Pike wrote on equality, and further occults how the modern era of Freemasonry from 1900 to today includes millions of Christians. If Pike had lynched an black man, I would not want to be associated with Pike any more than I would want to be associated with Protestant Reformer John Calvin for sanctioning the burning at the stake of Michael Servetus, October 27, 1553, under the Justinian Code.[23] Servetus sang praises to the Christian God as the flames were stoked by Christians. Barton misses the point of the era they lived in, cannot separate their work from their associations, and just selects the ugliest things he can find outside the context of history—in his 4-page chapter. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the master occultist of them all?

18. Barton’s final chapter 9 with 19 pages indicates a few falsely attributed Freemasons and the Christian affiliation of a few Freemason Founding Fathers with a few good pages on Benjamin Franklin—his best chapter with more mug shots—indicating how the Founding Fathers were either Christian or at least pro-God. Barton says definitively that there was “no evidence of hostility toward Christianity” in the few Founding Fathers who were Freemasons (114)—like he is correcting someone somewhere who believed that (like Paige Patterson today)—and he does that clearly insinuating that today’s Freemasonry is hostile to Christianity. Barton does that while occulting the millions of Christian Freemasons today, as though they were not proper people to research. Let’s see—when I win someone to Christ as a Christian Freemason, is that hostile to Christianity? Is Barton just dumb or cunning here, like Barton does not know there are millions of good Christian Freemasons? No, Barton knows, and he knows his audience.

19. Barton states that few Founding Fathers were Freemasons and that Freemasonry had little impact upon the founding of the USA (24, 114, 116), and so the last sentence of his little book closes with:

Therefore, the fact that a few of the Founding Fathers may have been involved in early Freemasonry cannot legitimately be used to undermine the otherwise Christian nature of the American Founding (116).

Nice and neat, occulting so much—there is little doubt about Barton’s intention—he is trying desperately to revise history.

All of Barton’s little book on Freemasonry and our Founding Fathers is predicated upon his larger Original Intent and upon his own ghost that someone (like the anti-Masons he quotes and refutes) is bent upon undermining the Christian nature of the USA’s founding. The irony here is that Freemasonry never undermined Christianity in 1776 like the anti-Masons pressure-cook and Barton corrected, and does not undermine Christianity today like Barton corkscrews. Barton refutes anti-Mason works, and then he adopts some anti-Mason work to support himself—are you dizzy yet—without ever showing us how he decided which to pick and which to refute. Worse, he leaves untouched the non-Mason scholars like Jasper Ridley, Steven C. Bullock, Margaret Jacobs, and more.

20. Barton grants credibility to Freemasonry solely because of the Christian faith of the few Freemason Founding Fathers and a few pieces of Christian literature associated with Freemasonry in 1776, but cannot deal with the Christian faith of Freemasons today: Christian character counts then, but not today.

21. Lastly, and not least, Barton all but says millions of Christian Freemasons are dupes today, and he occulted tens of thousands of pages of Christian Freemason writings. Worse, Barton had not the courage or integrity to ask a single one, and snubbed me for asking. Barton said in his second sentence at the start of his little book that he was going to write from the “Christian perspective” (5), which somehow in his mind makes the avoidance of millions of Christians a Christian perspective. If his chapter 7 at 20% of his book is any indication, he likes the city dumpsters and other kooky conspiratists more than a million fellow Christians, even more than George W. Truett. Barton could have asked, but then that would not have sold books or fed his flashy agenda.

In a very large honorable book, a few of those 21 oddities could be overlooked as errors or overstatements. No book is perfect, and even good writers make mistakes, jump to conclusions, or in the fire of passion overstate beyond reason. That is the nature of writing, where only a few can cook a controversial meal without any lumps. In a large book there would still be some meat to chew on, that could possibly offset a few mistakes or overblown excitements, even 21 blowups. Yet when collected, the above 21 oddities are terrible, caught in a book only 116 pages in large type with lots of pictures. Each paragraph of his 116 pages contained oddities. It would take a 100+ pages to expose all of Barton’s tricks, fumbles, and walking-of-the-ball trafficking in his first 30 pages. That is, those 21 oddities are the most obvious allegations against our American heritage, and Barton deserves attention on how he molests our American heritage.

Barton’s Question of Freemasonry is directly related to his larger opus, Original Intent, and his WallBuilders ministry, which are all about trying to forward a Christian establishment agenda. Barton is one of the kings of the Christian establishment caucuses, but he never seems to share his court. Who are the top Christian establishment scholars? That’s a needed booklet.

Barton hits Freemasonry hard at the start of his book, assuming it a religion with some off-color quotes from Freemasons Albert Pike and Manly Palmer Hall; a typical and unsophisticated opening gambit, as we have shown, being that both Pike and Hall were not evangelicals. Barton abuses non-evangelicals Pike and Hall in words meant to typecast all Freemason Christian evangelicals as either non-Christian or Universalists. Barton mirrors SBC Bill Gordon’s Closer Look in many ways in order to forcefully generalize a negative rap on Freemasonry worldwide. All, can I say again, without asking or reading a Christian Freemason. Barton’s use of non-evangelical Pike is a ludicrous rationalization that compares to someone using a quote from a Buddhist, Muslim, or Christian who just happens to be a member of the Boy Scouts, Lions Club, American Legion, or a quote from a fisherman or hunter to typecast the theology of all the members of those groups. Are all Boy Scouts Buddhists because a Buddhist applies Buddhism to scouting? Ludicrous, but for Barton’s seriousness, and desire to impact our government.

Is the Founding Era Freemasonry Christian because of Washington’s Christianity? Is today’s Freemasonry Universalistic because of Manly Hall? Is Civil War Freemasonry non-evangelical because of Pike? Gosh, that’s a lot of generalizations to assault millions of Christian Freemasons today without ever asking one.

Do you want someone who reasons like that running the government or making laws about religion? Or affecting our freedom? What is Barton trying to recover?


5. Barton’s Molests Albert Pike and Alphonse Cerza   ~   TOP

Right out of the gate on page 18, Barton gives a handful of quotes on why Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. From Albert Pike’s massive Morals and Dogma on page 524, Barton shortens Pike’s sentence to, “Jesus of Nazareth was but a man like us, or his history but the unreal revival of an older legend,” which is shockingly only the objective part of the sentence; Barton leaves out the first part and sentence subject of which began: “We do not tell the sincere Christian that….” Immediately, why does Barton molest and clip-short a sentence in order to corkscrew an opposite meaning from Pike? Why molest? In the very next sentence, Pike continued to explain how Freemasonry does not theologically instruct, saying, “To do either is beyond our jurisdiction.” Barton quotes a clipped-short sentence to corkscrew the opposite meaning, and then he challenges his own molested quote as non-Christian. (My comment following this, a friend convinced me to leave out.)

What Pike actually says on page 524 is that Freemasonry does not theologize, respecting the Freemason’s conscience, but that is of no interest to Barton. Here it is: Barton either intentionally malignantly corkscrews the opposite meaning out of Pike or Barton merely stole that corkscrewing from another source without looking and referencing the original source—the first is criminally false witness, and the second is sloppy thievery. Thief or slanderer—that’s irrefutable, at least from this first edition of Barton’s little storybook.

Barton does not even utilize Alphonse Cerza’s Anti-Masonry: Light on the Past and Present Opponents of Freemasonry (1962), a master work that again (as with Bullock) Barton cuts off the end of the book’s title. This is the best history of anti-Masonry, and Freemason Cerza brings his skills as an attorney to this history to defend Freemasonry. Barton’s gunmanship fails here, totally avoiding the tonnage of Freemasonry credibility in Cerza. Barton uses one quote from Cerza’s appendix on Albert Pike’s response to Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Humanum Genus. Barton appears to hide the context of the quote. Again, Barton molests a quote from Pike saying that modern Freemasonry in the U.S. “is not what it was in the days of the Fathers” (bold italic underline Barton’s p.94; regular Cerza p.255). Pike was not talking about how American Freemasonry principles had changed. Barton molests Pike’s quote as evidence of how today’s Freemasonry has been corrupted, while Pike was actually lamenting how some outside of legitimate Freemasonry were corrupting. Barton makes no distinction between the legitimate and illegitimate; Barton just corrupts Pike’s meaning and hides Cerza’s correctives. Barton molests a piece of Cerza’s own appendix against Cerza without mention of Cerza’s own purpose! You have to read Attorney and Freemason Cerza to appreciate his unique contribution to the literature as the best history of anti-Masonry bar none, vis-à-vis the light of Freemasonry.

David Barton knew that Pike’s work was published in 1871 (endnote 27). Not that much has changed in Freemasonry from 1776 to 1871 to today, but Barton tries with a few molested quotes from Pike and a few quotes from a couple of kooks to foist another innuendo—Barton takes a shot at millions of Freemason Christians today with non-evangelical 1871 Pike.

Contrary to Barton, the real history is that Freemasonry has changed less than Christianity for the last 200 years, not the theology or Trinity, but the Christian denominational structures and prejudices. The constitutions of 1717 Freemasonry reflect more similarity with today’s American Freemasonry than most of the organizational elements of many Protestant denominations reflect a similarity between their beginnings and today. (That comparison would make a great book.)


6. Barton’s Molests Masonic Services Association   ~   TOP

Barton uses the Masonic Services Association of North America’s web site, msana.com (MSA), and molests a quote on the eye in the pyramid article. Barton quotes three sentences from the MSA admitting that Masons are “gullible who repeat the tall tale,” but Barton hides the quote’s context, allowing the negative innuendo of gullible; Barton says, Masons “openly acknowledge” gullible in a kind of self-admission without a droplet of context. Barton in a tricky and gutless way says Freemasons openly acknowledge they are gullible. What sloppy work. Barton spent more time on the MSA’s use of gullible of all things than Barton did on what the MSA had to say about Freemasonry’s age-old principles. Barton just hid the MSA’s good stuff and molested their own correctives.

Who is Barton writing to? Gullible? Barton claimed gullible with a molested reference! Barton’s credibility in this book is absolutely dependent upon his readers’ gullibility, of all things—dependent that his readers would not check his own sources. Gullible? You shall see.

Then Barton uses the MSA correctives as authoritative refutations of falsely attributed Freemasons. Barton did not relay that the MSA started in 1917, during the beginning of the Freemason bad-boy Pagan era Barton alleges, and Barton occulted that the MSA’s own historical archives on Freemasonry collide with his own Pagan allegations. The MSA is a good place to go, and Barton should have read and quoted what the MSA had to say about Freemasonry instead of pirating their own corrective to malign them. In a snide footnote, Barton said on page 22, “Since many will probably automatically distrust what a Mason says about the Founders, much non-Masonic historical evidence will also be presented that independently reaches the same conclusions.” As asinine and inconsistent as that sounds, it is nice to know that Barton himself affirms the credibility of Freemasonry authorities—real nice—and how true it becomes as we expose more of Barton’s molesting ways. In other words, Barton affirms the credibility of Freemason authorities against the anti-Mason while Barton is molesting the quotes of his Freemason authorities—slap my knee and pinch me, and forgive me as a Christian Freemason for enjoying that contradiction too much.

Barton avoids the many correctives by Freemason scholars, and sometimes he uses a quote from a kook, as in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, to illuminate an alleged dark side, letting the innuendo of strangeness carry the day.

Barton molests a quote at the start that is crucial to his rationale!


7. Barton Shows All of His Colors, by Accident—He Purposed to Hide   ~   TOP

In Question of Freemasonry, Barton documents the Christian faith of several Freemason Founding Fathers and counters an innuendo of widespread belief that Jefferson and others were Freemasons. Not as many are confused as he insinuates, and he uses some good Freemasonry sources to correct. Who are those confused about falsely attributed Freemasons? Who needed his corrections of falsely attributed Freemasons? How important is that correction over proof that millions of Christian Freemasons are Pagan dupes? Answering those questions would have served his book’s purpose.

Barton shows all of his colors on Freemasonry, all of the colors he left out of his Original Intent book. He shows all of his colors, which shall be his undoing if his followers go to most of his own sources; and showing these colors will irrefutably discredit him if they go to the sources he occults, like Jasper Ridley, Steven C. Bullock, and Margaret C. Jacobs, just for starters. Barton shoots himself in the foot so many times, occults so much, and molests so many that one may actually come to pity Barton. In the light, Barton actually embarrasses Christian honor. Barton’s deceptive tactics offend Christianity. Character counts too much and cripples Barton’s credibility around every corner.

This is a terrible book with a hidden agenda, but quite artistic in how it is done, especially in how artfully he tries to dupe his readers. Let me show you.

Twice, on the front and back covers, Barton asks, “Was America Founded by Freemasons?” That must be an important question, yet even Barton documents a little of how Freemasons helped and avoids a truck load of jewels in several of his own sources. What’s up with Barton’s twice-advertised question? Who believes the USA was founded by Freemasons alone? No one believes that, not even Barton’s two best sources on Freemasonry (Bullock and Cerza). Only Barton believes that someone believes that. His twice-advertised question is just another innuendo and advertising ploy—sensationalism—in one of the most innuendo-driven books you will see. Barton’s rhetorical question is another ghost that never gets any bones. Maybe we should call Ghost Busters.

It gets worse. Barton flatly declares that Washington “was an active Christian and an inactive Mason” (114). Hmmm, after 114 picture-laden pages? The only thing Barton proves is that his own expectation of his readers’ innocence, and that they will not look closer. Barton shoots himself in the foot again, for he believes George Washington credible enough to comment on Freemasonry—as we do—quoting Washington saying, “I believe notwithstanding, that none of the Lodges in this country are contaminated with the principles ascribed to the Society of the Illuminati.”[24] Barton is in a pickle, then: he alleges Washington’s inactivity but uses trusts Washington’s knowledge of what is in most of the “Lodges in this country.” Given Washington’s scrupulous concern over his honor, a more accurate interpretation of both statements would be that Washington was not as active as he would have liked to have been, but was still active enough and certainly in touch enough to know what was going on in most all the Lodges in the country.

Who do you believe—Barton or Washington? Character counts here.

Barton used the internet, with over 50 websites in his 309 endnotes and missed Denslow’s massive four-volume 10,000 Famous Freemasons! Barton missed the Scottish Rite web sites when he comments on the Scottish Rite. Barton missed the many Grand Lodge web sites around the world, including Texas’ and England’s sites, only using one from the Yukon. Yes, the Yukon. Although a good one, still, why the Yukon? Barton lives in Texas! Makes you smile and shake your head in disbelief, and kick a cow patty. Barton only used the stuff on the Captain Morgan murder from the Yukon, as credible, and missed the Yukon stuff that would have collided with his book—even from the Yukon. I mean to say as loudly as possible—even the Yukon knows better! Barton used the Yukon and occulted the Yukon, you just have to the Yukon to see that. Barton missed the oldest Masonic publisher in the USA, Macoy.com. Barton missed one of the best publishers of rare out-of-print books, kessinger.net. How does Barton miss such pivotal authors as Denslow, Macoy, Kessinger, Ovason, and Hieronimus?

Did Barton avoid Google and Amazon and the Library of Congress too?

How does Barton miss the modern work of non-Mason world-renown historian Jasper Ridley; Freemason scholars Allen E. Roberts, Art DeHoyos, S. Brent Morris; Christian Freemason Rev. Joseph Fort Newton; the ground-breaking works of Margaret C. Jacob, Lynn Dumenil, Judith Rasoletti, Gary Leazer, John J. Robinson, Wayne Andrew Huss, Dorothy Ann Lipson, William D. Moore, Douglas Campbell Smith, Jessica Leigh Harland-Jacobs; the huge cross-continental study of Richard W. Weisberger and Wallace McLeod; and the doctoral dissertations of Janet Mackay Burke, James D. Carter, Keith Doney, Anthony D. Fels, and Vahid Jalil Fozdar? It is not because these scholars believe Freemasons alone established the U.S.—they don’t. Ooops isn’t appropriate!

George Washington is crucial to all Barton’s work, yet why does Barton leave out Julius Friedrich Sachse’s Washington’s Masonic Correspondence as Found Among the Washington Papers in the Library of Congress (1915, 144p)? Real historians build on the work of others.

Are those authors among the “cacophony of modern voices” (6) that he does not list? Perhaps because of their collision with his purpose? Perhaps because his readers might like them more than his 116 picture-laden pages?

No—he did not miss them. He avoided them to avoid work.

Let me grind this in—Barton did not miss them. His pride and joy is in tapping the original sources, and his books have to have lots of footnotes. He wants to be seen as a scholar; that sells more books and posters. Barton most emphatically did not miss those. He simply occulted them to revise history—to make money.


8. David Barton’s Most Crafty Innuendo-Inconsistency   ~   TOP

The most crafty innuendo-inconsistency is that character counts for Barton’s Christian Freemason Founding Fathers (with Benjamin Franklin smuggled in), but, strangely, character does not count for Christian Freemasons today. Barton feels no compunction over that. The inconsistency is a little subtle, but becomes clear on a second read. It is crudely rude. Once in the light, that inconsistency is crucial to the book’s main point: Freemasonry was OK in 1776 because of Christians, but because of some mysterious shift, somehow millions of Christian Freemasons are duped today—millions of them.

Because Freemasonry has allegedly mutated from a Christian saint in the 1700s into some kind of strange non-Christian something, according to Barton, he pretends to shoot the beast he calls modern Freemasonry with a shotgun. His scatter gun cannot take down big game, and Barton does not sit still long enough to do anything well. His hunting jeep is filled with paraphernalia—309 endnotes—yet under the canvas Barton seems to have gotten a lot of accessories from old pawn shops, fellow anti-Masons, and the city dump. Barton’s not a hunter, just a story teller, and all real hunters know that. After Barton’s safari tall tale, ask where the trophies are. Barton looks like a hunter, because he has a jeep and a few quality pieces anyone can buy, and an innocent person might like the story, if that person did not know any Christian Freemasons.

Barton’s own argument turns on him and supports Freemasonry credibility today. Barton should squirm here. Barton handcuffs the credibility of the Founding Era Freemasonry to the Christian character of the Founding Fathers, but—somehow, someway, like smoke and mirrors—that very same credibility does not apply today. The credibility-handcuffed-to-Christian-character does not apply today because of Barton’s first endnote and a little other blather! Why is Christian Freemason character credible in 1776 and not today? Not because of a droplet of analysis of Christian 1776 living compared with today, not anywhere in Barton.

The hunting tall tale of his little book is about a trophy sewn together from the good, the bad, the ugly, and a few dead carcasses. Like SBC expert Bill Gordon, only without SBC backing, Barton creates a little Frankenstein pygmy of his own. Barton’s real skill is not gunmanship or scholarship, but in his craftsmanship of innuendos designed from start to finish to discredit today’s Freemasonry in the eyes of innocent Christians. Ruthless here—and a marketing gamble—the honor of Christian Freemasons today means nothing, nothing; only his Freemason Founding Fathers matter. Barton loves his own version of our Founding Fathers, especially the Christian ones. Like a fetish—he does have 70,000 founding era documents—he revels in his own cooking. But the brew stinks. If you believe Barton, then millions of Christian Freemasons are duped—poof—without a jury or judge, or the ability to say a thing.

What precisely is Barton trying to bring back to in his WallBuilders business? To judge without asking the accused a question?

Character counts for and against Barton, who of necessity has to occult a legion of legends to retain credibility. As long as his readers do not know any Freemasons or much history, Barton is credible. Barton depends upon the innocence of his reader—needs their gullibility.


9. Only a Few Founding Fathers Freemasons—Barton Lies   ~   TOP

In a uniquely pleasing twist in the anti-Mason literature, Barton uses Christian character counting to grant credentials to the Founding Era Freemasonry. At least it was good then! Look at Barton’s book, specifically the first few pages and last few pages. Scan the middle. Barton believes he has established the Founding Era Freemasonry as a decidedly Christian organization, and Barton concludes by leveling a yokeless egg shell claim that only a few Founding Fathers were Freemasons. Barton clearly missed this inconsistency: according to himself, Freemasonry was decidedly Christian with only a few Founding Fathers in it, yet Freemasonry was all over the colonies in 1776 by Barton’s best source, Steven Conrad Bullock.

Few?—Barton lies. That is not a mistake. Barton lies.

You will wince if you compare Bullock’s masterpiece with Barton. Barton would have done better to have left Bullock out, like he leaves so many others out, rather than to have included snippets, clipped short the title, and avoided Bullock’s tonnage of Freemasonry networking in the Founding Era. That was not ignorance or laziness. That was multiplied cunning dependent upon his readers’ innocent trust, for even the full title of Bullock’s work, Revolutionary Brotherhood—Freemasonry and the Transformation of the American Social Order, 1730-1840 (1996; 421p.), his best source—the title alone—runs against his twice-said conclusion. No, Barton did not make a mistake in saying there were only a “few of the Founding Fathers may have been involved in early Freemasonry”—no sir. He just took a gamble and lied, to sell more books and support his wall building.

That is easy to see … in the light.


10. David Barton’s Crafty Secret Third Agenda   ~   TOP

Barton’s secret triple agenda is not apparent on the outside of his book, because he advertises a single agenda, indeed, titled The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers. Barton tries to establish the Christian focus of the Founding Fathers’ Freemasonry. He does that for a few Founding Fathers in a small section in his little book. Christianity was the dominant faith of the colonies in 1776, and no one is confused about that. But Barton refuses and occults that there were more different kinds of Christians and deists who met under God in Freemasonry Lodges than gathered anywhere else prior to 1776.

Barton’s Secret Third Agenda is to bring his own special brew of Founding Era Freemasonry into his Christian establishment agenda and to serve his WallBuilding business buck making. Barton does use Steven Conrad Bullock’s monumental work, so—because of Bullock—Barton is aware of how pervasive Freemasonry was during the Founding Era. Barton legitimizes Freemasonry because of the Christian faith of our Founding Fathers, makes an excuse for Benjamin Franklin’s non-Christian but respectful demeanor, argues for Christian Washington’s Freemasonry inactivity without documenting Washington’s church-going activity, argues against the false membership of a few, and after all that Barton lays a large yokeless egg shell that only a few Founding Fathers were Freemasons. After all his hop-scotching, Barton concludes that only a few Founding Fathers were Freemasons—a truly yokeless egg shell claim—and he offers no selection criteria to distinguish between the sources he uses and the sources he occults. All this in a very little book.

Barton acknowledges that Freemasonry requires a belief in God, but too weakly tries to isolate the Christian God in the Founding Era from today’s Freemasonry. Barton simply occults, and does a dance with Benjamin Franklin; the reality is that little has changed, and we have good Christians and vague deist-like Franklins today. All because Freemasonry is not a religion, just a fraternity on the tradecraft of character counting where a Freemason is truly free to apply the moral symbolism as he chooses—something Barton cannot understand or merely occults.

Advertising a single agenda to your market base and including multiple agendas in the text is not a crime, just good marketing and good title selection. The problem with Barton is how he markets and the magnitude of his triple agenda in such a small book. His book’s words are clearly split 50/50 between a few Founding Fathers’ Freemasonry and a Pagan allegation against today’s Freemasonry—a clear double agenda. But there is a secret invisible third agenda. If you’ve read Barton’s larger Original Intent, then you know that this little book is clearly designed to contribute to Barton’s USA Christian establishment agenda and his WallBuilding business.

Barton’s Secret Third Agenda is truly invisible; there are no words about it in the book. Yet, Barton’s Secret Third Agenda is the book’s primary purpose and the only truly cohesive element between the good, the bad, the ugly, and the stink bait. Barton’s invisible Secret Third Agenda is to draw the Founding Era Freemasonry into Barton’s proofs that the USA was founded as a Christian nation. What a trick. That becomes clear if you read his larger Original Intent and all his WallBuilders.com stuff. Look at his posters. Barton magnifies every speck of Christian whisper he can find in our Founding Fathers’ writings, and even non-Christians get honorable mentions, like Franklin, when they have something good to say about God. Yet he has 70,000 documents!—and he should have found much more than he did. Is that all the Christian documentation Barton could find? Barton’s invisible Secret Third Agenda and hidden purpose of his little Question of Freemasonry is to slyly pull the Founding Era Freemasonry into his Christian establishment agenda!

That is crooked.

Barton is an example of an illegitimate genre of literature called market-based history making. Barton pretends to be exposing history, even Christian history. On a closer look, Barton is making history to feed a particular market, cunning in his revisionism. Barton writes specifically to his own market, mainly the innocent non-Freemason or evangelical Christian who is already duped by Barton’s previous Original Intent. Those who believe the USA was founded exclusively on Christianity instead of a move away from Christian establishment will love his little book, and that’s who it was cunningly tailored and marketed.

Whatever does Barton mean by his twice-advertised question “Was America Founded by Freemasons?” on both the front and back covers of his book? His answer is only a few, but that is only a yokeless egg shell claim. Barton’s twice-advertised question betrays his invisible Secret Third Agenda and his only truly cohesive element. From start to finish, Barton planned to hijack off the high seas of history the Founding Era Freemasonry and—like a slave trader—bring them on board, stuff them in the hold of his ship, deprive them of clean water, and then chain their credibility to the oars of his Christian establishment agenda. And then Barton goes fishing. His twice-advertised question is just another innuendo for the sake of market-based history making, the making of a boneless ghost to lure his readers and then reel them into his rusting ship on the line of Christian establishment—that, somehow, the Founding Fathers just forgot to constitute.

David Barton’s market-based history makes him a good living, but at what cost? Barton molests USA heritage! The good character of millions means nothing. Why does Barton corkscrew an obvious double standard, using Christian character counting to establish credibility in 1776 while totally occulting Christian character counting in 2008? Why does the character of world-renown Christian Freemasons not count for Barton? Character counts for Barton only when it supports his market-based history making and slyly serves his establishment agenda, and his WallBuilding business, and the rest of history and even living men are conveniently occulted. And his Secret Third Agenda, caught like a cat in a bag, is to use the Founding Era Freemasonry to support his Christian establishment agenda.


11. Barton Wants to be a Master WallBuilder, just Not a Master Mason   ~   TOP

Barton shortens quotes and shortens book titles to suit his market. Unbelievable duplicity by someone so strung out on Christian establishment. Is the molesting of quotes, the occulting good work, and the avoidance of millions of Christians the kind of behavior Barton is wanting to establish? And if Barton will avoid a million Christians, then—government wise—what becomes of non-Christians in his new establishment? Of course, Barton does not reveal that yet; his Wall is not built yet.

The USA was not founded upon Freemasonry or Christianity; it was a new government founded upon freedom and founded as a move away from the Christian establishments the pervaded the Thirteen Colonies. Washington is crucial to Barton and others, even “the Foundingest Father of them all” according to renowned historian Joseph J. Ellis. The more you know about Washington, the more connected he becomes to the kind of nation that was established. Newsweek ran an excerpt from American Gospel—God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation in which Jon Meacham related, “In a treaty with the Muslim nation of Tripoli initiated by Washington, completed by John Adams, and ratified by the Senate in 1797, we declared ‘the Government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.’”[25] If Barton had found a quote of Christian establishment by Washington, his case could be sealed and the rest of history would bear that out. But what does Barton have to say about this quote on the non-establishment of the United States upon Christianity by his own best Christian Founding Father? Not a peep. But you know Barton knew.

Freemasonry supported the founding on freedom more than most of the Christian colonial establishments did in 1776. The minorities wanted freedom then, and still do. Until 1776, Christian religious differences were more often harassed in the colony. A preacher could get arrested for preaching in an open field without a license. We will see more of Barton later, when we reveal more of Freemasonry’s contribution to the establishment of the USA.

If Barton and Barton-like Christian establishers are right, then Christianity would have been constituted. Gosh, it’s childish—if Christianity or Freemasonry had been established, it would have been constituted! There is no essential difference between established and constituted, except in Barton. Our Founding Fathers constituted what they wanted to constitute. What they did was brand new and a break from the mainly Christian British Empire and Christian establishments in the colonies. If anything, our Constitution has more similarity to Freemasonry’s respect for all persons of any faith than any individual colony’s Christian establishment had before the Constitution was written.

Barton is still in metaphor, symbolically representing his cause, but Barton wants to move beyond metaphor and truly change the USA; Barton truly does want to be a master WallBuilder, just not a Master Mason. He really does not know how to build anything well.

Barton’s Question of Freemasonry fails, and blasts his own credibility in the foot, for character counts through all of life, not just in those he likes. Because Christianity is an honorable faith, and because the character of a legion of legends and millions more, then and today, are far more credible and irrefutable, contrary to Barton’s occulting and molesting and because of Barton, we need more Christian light on character counting, much more light.





This above was the full version of the critique,
that was originally intended for chapter 12.D of my book,

Character Counts—Freemasonry USA’s National Treasure
and Source of Our Founding Fathers’ Original Intent

The book version is now condensed, to make room for
other more important material.



Dr. Michael G. Maness

see much more at











[1] See www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton.pdf for our dialogue. He claimed no to have received the book I sent by registered mail a year ago, so I sent another, this time to address listed for him as agent of WallBuilders LLC at the Texas comptroller’s office, 426 Circle Drive, Aledo, TX, 76008; and anyone can check the USP tracking #EB-882315748-US. See his incorporation http://ecpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/Index.html under tax id #17522695232.

See www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2005/751/627/2005-751627779-025074e8-9.pdf for his Form 990 for his WallBuilders Presentations non-profit for 2005; direct public support was $1,146,760 with expenses at $1,157,499 (“Program Services” at $863,534 and “Management” at $291,766).

[2] See volume 1, chapter 4.D for our demolition of David Barton’s The Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers (WallBuilders, 2005; $7.95) in our Frankenstein exposé.

[3] See www.SourceWatch.org/index.php?title=David_Barton for a good review and links. And at Barton’s web site/store www.WallBuilders.com/ABTOverview.asp, this is said about him, “He has received numerous awards including several Who’s Who honors, two Angel Awards for excellence in media, and the George Washington Honor Medal. He has spoken to numerous state legislatures, consulted with both state and federal legislators on various bills, and has written amicus briefs in cases at the U. S. Supreme Court.

[4] David Barton, America, To Pray or Not to Pray?: a Statistical Look at What Happened when Religious Principles Were Separated from Public Affairs (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder, 1991; 239p; LOC 94172358) and America’s Godly Heritage (Aledo, TX: WallBuilders, 1992-1996; 2 sound cassettes; LOC 2004581249; published 1st 1993, 3rd edition published in 2007 by WallBuilders Press.

[5] David Barton, Original Intent—The Courts, the Constitution, and Religion (Aledo, TX: WallBuilders Press, 2004, 1st 2000; 534p.). See www.WallBuilders.com for his books under the WallBuilders Press imprint, and Drive Through History—America, “perfect for home schooling”: www.WallBuilders.com/store/product230.html.

[6] See this article www.PositiveAtheism.org/writ/founding.htm that sums up what some found in 1996.

[7] See www.WallBuilders.com/ABTbioDB.asp, accessed 1-25-8.

[8] His Form 990 for 2005 his direct public support at $1,146,760; his expenses were $1,157,499 (“Program Services” at $863,534 and “Management” at $291,766).

See www.GuideStar.org/FinDocuments/2005/751/627/2005-751627779-025074e8-9.pdf for the whole enchilada, or www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton_2005_Form_990.pdf.  

[9] At http://ecpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/Index.html, you can see his Texas charter by entering either WallBuilders or his tax id 17522695232: the officers are David Barton, president, Cheryl Barton, secretary and director, and C. G. Barton, director and board.

David Barton is the registered agent: 426 Circle Drive, Aledo, TX, 76008.

[10] See www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2005/751/627/2005-751627779-025074e8-9.pdf for the whole enchilada, or www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton_2005_Form_990.pdf, page 25 of his 2005 Form 990, his supplemental Form 4562, Section 179 Deductions Before Limitations and Special Allowance.

[11] From www.WallBuilders.com/ABTcontact.asp, accessed 1-25-8.

[12] See www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton.pdf for our brief e-mails.

[16] Joseph J. Ellis, His Excellency: George Washington (2004; 320p.): xiv.

[17] Newsweek (4-10-06): 54, from Jon Meacham’s American Gospel—God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation (NY: Random House, 2006; 399p.).

[18] See www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton.pdf for our brief e-mails.

[19] See www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton.pdf.

[20] See the older rough draft here: www.PreciousHeart.net/Barton_Freemasonry.htm.

[21] Separation of Church and State (20p. text, 4.2p. notes; $3.95), Keys to Good Government (32p., $4.95), America’s Godly Heritage (64p., $5.95), The Bulletproof George Washington (68p., $6.95), A Spiritual Heritage Tour of the United States Capitol (110p., $6.95), The Role Pastors, Christians in Civil Government (56p., $5.95), Noah Webster’s Advice to the Young and Moral Catechism (53p., $6.95), The Spirit of the American Revolution (25p., $3.95)—that’s 45.60 for 443 pages. Accessed www.WallBuilders.com 1-18-8.

[22] Here www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/declaration.html – there is no better sight on earth, but Barton prefers to make money of copies, and a few dimes discounted if you buy bulk copies.

[23] Though John Calvin did plead to no avail for a more milder form of execution, a really nice guy.

[24] Barton, Question of Freemasonry: 54, from Washington’s Papers (1998, Vol. 2,): 555.

[25] Newsweek (4-10-06): 54, from Jon Meacham’s American Gospel—God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation (NY: Random House, 2006; 399p.).