Page 27 - Montana Freemason Magazine March 2014
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Montana Freemason                March 2014	                                      Volume 90 Number 1

and allowed unsuccessful probings. Brown says: “He even one going away, although I rarely [spoke] for less
was too weak and emaciated to withstand a major than two hours, often two and a half, and sometimes
operation, and there was no remedy. He must literally three.” Esoterika, p. xxxi
starve to death.” Brown, p.467
                                                         It is tempting to speculate that on some occasion
As it turned out, the starvation was of short in Butte, or Deer Lodge, or Helena, or other places
duration, as his throat glands “began to swell and in Montana, that Albert Pike, while addressing the
choke him.” Brown, p. 467/8 He died the next evening Masons of Montana, developed some of the theories
(1891).                                                  that he offered in what later became his “Esoterika.”
                                                         One newspaper at the time said that, “After the
[6] Montana                                              lecture was a banquet... toasts were offered... Gen.
                                                         Pike complimented the Masons of Montana very
It should be clear to the                                        highly, by saying that in pro- portion to
reader now that Albert Pike,                                     population, Montana had more Masons
far from being a man frozen                                      than any other State or Territory,” a
in time with a single work,                                      true statement at the time (though our
M&D, continued to expand                                         population was small).
his thinking. For those who
are curious about Pike’s visits                                    Another contemporary newspaper
to Montana, and his love of                                      account says, “General Albert Pike.
Blue Lodge Masonry, you                                          Gen. Albert Pike, accompanied by
are encouraged to look at                                        Harry R. Comly, Esq., arrived in
the Scottish Rite’s “Master                                      Butte Sunday, 19th inst., and last night
Craftsman III” program, which                                    delivered one of his celebrated lectures
relies on two textbooks, one of                                  on Masonry in Masonic Temple to
which is called “Esoterika.”                                     the Masons of this place, which was
                                                                 listened to by a large assemblage of the
Pike, in Esoterika, says,                                        fraternity... and by length term of office,
“I have often and in various                                     age and eminent ability is recognized
places repeated to Master                                        throughout ... [as a] Masonic authority.”
Masons, in Lodge and in Grand
Lodge assembled, the lessons                                       Did Albert Pike write in Morals and
of the Masonic symbolism that                                    Dogma information intended to never
will be found in the following                                   be expanded upon, nor bettered? Did
passages of this manuscript.                                     Pike never change his views, or grow
I have found that even by intelligent men, and men in his understanding of them? Or, is it just possible,
deeply interested in the subject, explanations given by that perhaps Pike, on his many travels, including
me have been so imperfectly remembered that they to Montana, came to better understand the world
have begged me to repeat them by letter; and I may around him? To be sure, much of what Pike offers
safely affirm that no one, of all who have heard these in M&D is sound; in some instances, his prose has
lessons (never yet written down, and never twice yet to be improved on even today. But when you hear
delivered in the same language, or twice confined someone sharing positions from Albert Pike, or the
to the same points and illustrations), could possible Scottish Rite, that purport to depart from reason and
write out half of them, even in substance.” Esoterika, the natural world, and verge into the fantastic and
pp.87-88                                                 supernatural, do yourself a favor and remember the
                                                         other Albert Pike, the one who lived in the world, and
Further, “Although Masons will not read much, spoke before the Masons of Montana.
they listen excellently well and patiently for any Resources:
length of time - if the speaker will tell them anything
worth listening to. I think that I have talked to some _History of the Supreme Council 33*_ by James D.
sixty Lodges in different places, from New York to Carter, 1967
New Orleans, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, _A Life of Albert Pike_ by Walter Lee Brown, 1997
to Lodges composed largely of men reasonably well _ Esoterika_ by Arturo de Hoyos, 2007
educated: lawyers, divines, and clergymen in New _The Unprofitable Study of Theosophy_ by Daniel
York, workmen in the saw-mills of the territory of Gardiner, 2013
Washington, and of miners in Nevada, without in any
instance the audience becoming weary, often without
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