the eye and the seal

What's the real story behind the seemingly ominous symbol on the Seal of the United States?

According to some of the more popular New World Order conspiracy theorists, secret societies don’t just rule the world from the shadows. They’re apparently so confident that they communicate in public with secret symbols such as The All Seeing Eye and the seal around it on the back of a US dollar bill. They allege that the Eye is a Masonic representation of the sky deity Horus and that the words on the seal hold a boast of success.

First, lets start with the Eye and the fact that its not actually a Masonic symbol. There are very few groups that use as much mysterious symbolism as the Freemasons, but they don’t create all the symbols they use. Since Medieval times, the Stone Masons Guild has been reproducing all sorts of symbols on many a building and came in contact with many groups the symbols of which filtered down through the centuries and were eventually adopted into Masonic tapestries alongside traditional symbols such as the twin pillars of Joachim and Boaz, sun and moon disks and the square and compass.

The All Seeing Eye started out as the Eye of Providence, a Christian symbol demonstrating the trinity of God in the shape of a triangle. One side was the Father, the other was the Son and the third represented the Holy Ghost. It was later combined with Masonic representations of God (Yahweh) as an eye looking out from the heavens. In 1782, the symbol was drawn on top of an unfinished pyramid with 13 steps symbolizing the original 13 states of the Union by the artist and lawyer William Barton. His choice was motivated by the popularity of the Eye of Providence at the time and he used the resulting image as the reverse of the first American national seal.

Charles Thomson, another member of the design committee added the words Annuit Coeptis instead of Bartons recommendation of Deo Favente Perennis, (enduring by the favor of God). Conspiracy theorists usually translate Annuit Coeptis as our undertaking is successful. But thats not true. The literal Latin translation is “he has approved our undertaking,” and Thomson explained his word choice in the Journals of the Continental Congress:

The Eye over it and the motto Annuit Cptis allude to the many signal interpositions of providence in favor of the American cause. (page 339)

The words Novus Ordo Seclorum mean “new order of the ages,” not new world order and they refer to the American experiment with democracy. Since ancient Greece, democracy was never practiced in the Western World and America was a new order, one that has been favored by God in continuing the experiment. This is what Barton and Thomson wanted to convey in the Latin slogans on the Great Seal. The interesting catch here is that neither of the original designers of the Great Seal were Freemasons.

The Masonic overtones to the Great Seal kicked in when Franklin Delano Roosevelt approved of an homage to the Great Seal to be featured on the new dollar bill in 1935. Roosevelt was a 32nd degree Mason. Two fellow Masons, Wallace and Morgenthau Jr. ( Secretaries of Agriculture and the Treasury respectively), were involved in helping Roosevelt make some minor changes to a proposed Seal design and contributed to the legend of the Masonic All Seeing Eye and almost all of the incorrect and sinister interpretations of it influenced by the Taxil Hoax along with the other popular secret society conspiracies of the time. The fact that the original Seal was created a century and a half prior by a group of non-Masons is never mentioned.

Look into the history of the sinister Great Seal heralding a malevolent new world order by some secret cabal and you find no Masons, no Illuminati, no secretive religious sect. Just a Christian symbol and a dose of nascent American symbolism and optimism inscribed by a lawyer with a lean for arts and a respected Revolutionary a decade before the Masons picked up the symbol and over a century and half before three Masons in a presidential administration made a tweak or two to an homage we see on the dollar bill today.

# oddities // eye of providence / freemasons / new world order

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