Spiegel TV GmbH is a global television production company from Hamburg/Germany. They are producing a three-part documentary about secret societies for the German channel ZDF, directed by Jens Nicolai. The project's historian, Prof. Marian Füssel from the University of Göttingen (Germany) spoke with Dr. Bob for a few hours in March 2013 at the Washington School of Photography in Bethesda, Maryland. The anticipated air-date is December 2013.
Dr. Bob was especially pleased to be invited to speak at length about the influence of the Native Americans on the founding fathers. Unlike the dozens of U.S. documentaries on which he has been interviewed for History, Discovery, Nat Geo, SyFy, Fox, etc., the interviewers for Der Spiegel seemed to understand the importance of the usually overlooked impact of the Native Americans on Euro-Americans. Representatives from the League of the Iroquois were invited to attend and advise the Continental Congress during their deliberations, and taught Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, and many others the key ingredients for success. The union of the Iroquois League had maintained a successful representative democracy for hundreds of years, and the Colonists got their first inklings of independence by observing the societies around them. Europeans picked up a great deal from the indigenous peoples in addition to their government structure (agricultural science, medicine and controlled burn techniques, for example), but they were unfortunately unable to grasp the fundamental truth of most matrilineal societies on the East Coast - the place of power and reverence given to women. (See Jack Weatherford's Indian Givers for more examples.)
This is a drawing by Mohawk John Kahoinhes Fadden illustrating how the Iroquois were invited to share their wisdom with the Congress during the planning stages of the new government. This Der Spiegel interview with Dr. Bob Hieronimus will be one of the only documentaries that discusses this subject in any detail.
Prof. Dr. Marian Füsell of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, the Department of Medieval and Modern History, has a specialty in Early Modern History with a special focus on the History of Science. Below are some of the questions he planned to ask and summaries of the answers Dr. Bob gave.
What symbols on the US Dollar bill are related to Illuminati?
Sorry conspiracy theorists! My own research as well as the 2012 traveling exhibit “Celebrating the 225th Anniversary of the Great Seal” curated by Senior Curator, U.S. Diplomacy Center Dr. Priscilla Linn shows in exquisite detail the dry and historical veracity of the origins of these arcane designs and why they were really chosen by the Founding Fathers. It is a waste of time to try to connect these symbols to a Devil-worshipping secret society bent on world domination. That’s not to say selfish and greedy powerful men do not meet in secret and try to manipulate world events to their advantage – they do. But trying to use our national symbols to prove the existence of such a group is based on urban legends, lies, mistranslations, and has its origins in the anti-Communist propaganda of the 1930s. Go ahead and attack the secret cabals all you want, just leave our national symbols out of it.
What symbols on the the US Dollar bill are related to Freemasonry?
In my doctoral thesis and 2006 publication, Founding Fathers, Secret Societies: Freemasons, Illuminati, Rosicrucians and the Decoding of the Great Seal ( see www.SecretDestiny.org), I demonstrated how the evidence does not support a Freemasonic influence on the design of the United States Great Seal. As I browsed the web in preparation for this new book, however, I was amazed to realize that, almost without exception, most other people posting interpretations about our Great Seal all make this fatal error in assumption. And it is an error, there is no question about it. It is factually incorrect. There is NO direct connection between the Freemasons and the creation of the Great Seal. It is entirely untrue to say something like, “Freemasons designed our Great Seal,” or that “There is a Freemasonic message or intent behind the Great Seal.” In the United Symbolism of America, Dr. Bob explains: "Freemasons did not officially use the all-seeing eye as one of their symbols until several decades after the approval of the U.S. Great Seal." None of the designers of the final accepted version of the U.S. Great Seal were Freemasons.
Why is the number “13” so important concerning the US Dollar bill?
David Ovason has made a convincing case that Thomson changed the conjugation to the third person, so it would read Annuit (or “[He] favors”) instead of Annue (for “[please] favor”) in part so that the phrase would have 13 letters. It does seem as though they were trying to reflect 13 as many as 13 times in the Great Seal for the ostensible reason of celebrating the 13 united colonies or states.
Some of the Founding Fathers would have been familiar with the ancient symbolic associations with the number 13 and themes of renewal and rebirth. It’s likely they called such attention to the number not only for the 13 states, but also to link America to the theme of rebirth.
What does Annuit Coeptis mean?
Annuit Coeptis = “God favors our enterprise”. Seal historians have traced it back to Virgil’s Aeneid book 9, line 625, and Georgics book 1, line 40. In both cases, the phrase was Annue Coeptis, which was translated as an appeal to the Roman god Jupiter to favor these undertakings or enterprise. Latin teacher and Seal designer Charles Thomson changed it to Annuit Coeptis, which means basically the same thing, but uses 13 letters to say it.
What does E Pluribus Unum mean?
E Pluribus Unum = Out of many, One. The Iroquois taught the Founding Fathers: ONE arrow breaks easily; MANY together cannot be broken.
"We The People" Artcar and recently completed "We The People" Mural are each very much collaborative group efforts. The stories on the mural and the artcar teach how America is “Out of Many One,” and only through uniting as one people can we succeed. Our founders told us that with liberty comes enlightenment, but we lose it if the people themselves are not involved in the process.
Beneath the pyramid, what does Novus Ordo Seclorum mean?
"New Order of the Ages", or what they meant was, this was going to be the new American Era. Seclorum does NOT translate to “secular,” as many fundamentalist-conspiratorialists would have you believe. Using their version of specious Latin translations, fundamentalist-conspiratorialists will tell you that Annuit Coeptis and Novus Ordo Seclorum translate to “Announcing the undertaking (or birth) of a New Secular (or World) Order.” They want you to be afraid that the Founding Fathers were infiltrated by Satan-worshipping Illuminati who now control this country through the Freemasons.
Until the last few decades when this anti-American-symbol conspiracy took hold, these symbols have been interpreted on the surface to mean pretty much the same thing by all the different groups who used them: the eye is God, the rays are illumination or enlightenment from the Divine, the triangle is the Trinity, the pyramid is ancient strength.
Did the Freemasons play an important role in US history? Are there any masonic symbols hidden in the city planning of Washington D.C.?
Most of the people claiming there was a Masonic influence in the design of Washington, DC are not Masons themselves. At the same time, most of the contemporary Masonic historians will deny that there was any Masonic objective for the nation’s capital beyond the many cornerstone laying ceremonies performed by them, and their overall wish to see the plan for America succeed. The large number of Masons who are named as important players in the appearance of the city from 1791 through today is explained by them as of no more significant than the even larger number of Christians who have played important roles in creating the structures that are interpreted as Masonic. Most of the symbols that are called Masonic, in fact, are symbols used by a great many other groups and societies and for very similar reasons that the Masons adopted them, so if they do appear anywhere in DC with intentionality, we cannot automatically assume it was for Masonic reasons.
Why are these symbols so fascinating to you personally?
“I was familiar with the Great Seal’s obverse or eagle side, but the day the symbols on the seal’s reverse captured my attention, it filled me with wonder,” Hieronimus said about the moment in 1966 that started him on a decades-long quest of discovery. “I saw this pyramid and the eye in a triangle above it and wondered where something like that came from. I had never heard anyone talk about it. So I did what I thought a researcher would do and I contacted the State Department to ask about it. They sent me a full-color folder on the seal’s obverse that made no mention of the other side.” Hieronimus made another inquiry and was sent a photograph of the seal’s reverse with no explanation. He said he later figured out that he didn’t get an explanation because those he contacted honestly didn’t know the answers to his questions. With his curiosity piqued, the Baltimore artist set out to discover what the symbolism meant.