Title: "NATIONAL TREASURE" MOVIE: FREEMASONRY'S NATIONAL HERITAGE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
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Copyright © 2004 Cutting Edge Ministries. All rights reserved. See full copyright notice below.
EXAMINING THE THIN OUTER LAYER: THE STORYLINE
Cast of Characters
* Nicolas Cage -- Benjamin Franklin Gates -- As an 11-year-old boy, Ben Gates listen intently to his grandfather's story as to how one of the secrets to the location of the "Templar's Treasure" had been entrusted to his great-great-great grandfather Gates in 1832.
* Jon Voight -- Patrick Henry Gates -- Ben's father who had been completely embittered by the family's obsession with the Treasure
* Christopher Plummer -- John Adam Gates -- Ben's grandfather who originally told him of the Treasure
NOTE: This Gates family, to whom the last remaining secret of the location of the Templar's Treasure had been entrusted, chose their first and middle names for the men from our original Founding Fathers. In these three instances, the Founding Fathers for whom they were named were all Masons. The love of Masonry was evident from these Benjamin and his grandfather was evident throughout the movie, and once the father realized the Treasure was real, he was enthused about Freemasonry also.
* Diane Kruger -- Dr. Abigail Chase, head of the Preservation Department of the National Archives. She provides the love interest of the movie, turning it into a romance which will appeal to the women and young girls in the population. At the end of the movie, she and Ben Gates are deeply in love.
* Sean Bean -- Ian Howe -- the financier of the Benjamin's effort to locate the Knights Templar Treasure. After Ian and Ben successfully locate the buried ship, the Charlotte, they reach the conclusion that the clue from the Charlotte indicated that the "map" which revealed the Treasure was printed on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Both Ben and Ian agreed that authorities would not allow either of them to examine the back of the Declaration; therefore, Ian proposed to steal the document, revealing his criminal expertise in the process.
Ben argued that no one could steal the Declaration, because it was a priceless national document which must be preserved at all costs. Ian then tried to kill Ben and leave him on the Charlotte, along with Ben's sidekick, Riley Poole. Of course, Ben and Riley survived, but the point here is that Ian was revealed as simply a criminal money-hungry treasure hunter, while Ben was cast as a patriot first and a treasure seeker second. From this point onward, Ben and Ian are fighting each other for control of the document and of the clues as they unfolded.
* Justin Bartha -- Riley Poole, Ben's sidekick and computer expert. Riley provided critical assistance to Ben as they successfully stole the Declaration just moments before Ian and his gang would have stolen it.
* Harvey Keital -- Agent Sandusky, the FBI Agent who was placed in charge of investigating the theft of the Declaration and of safely returning it to government control. After the Templar Treasure was recovered, the camera zeroed in on Agent Sandusky Masonic ring, telling us that he was a practicing Freemason. At the very end, Agent Sandusky exhibited a unique blend of humor and understanding of the Masonic significance of the National Treasure, even negotiating with Ben as to how each of the perpetrators working with Ben could get legally free from any charges. When Harvey told Ben that "someone has to go to jail" for stealing the Declaration, Ben gladly suggested seizing Ian and his gang, which Harvey promptly carried out.
BASIC STORY PLOT
This story begins in the Washington, D.C., attic of Grandfather, John Adam Gates, in 1974. Young 11-year-old Ben has just retrieved an old book with strange symbols on the front cover, when he turns to see his Grandfather standing sternly in front of him. After reproving young Ben, John Gates admits that Ben is old enough now to know the family history and its deep, dark, obsessive secret. The Grandfather tells the story:
In a dark, rainy and stormy night in 1832, Charles Carroll knew he was dying. He had to see the President, Andrew Jackson, so he summoned his carriage driver to drive him to the White House as quickly as possible. However, upon arriving at the White House, Carroll realized that the President was away for the evening. Since he knew he was dying and would probably not make it through the night, he asked young Gates to step into his carriage to learn of his "National Treasure" secret. Carroll was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, and had been entrusted with one of the many clues as to the exact location of the Treasure; however, by 1832, all the other clues had been lost. He handed young Gates a scroll fragment upon which was handwritten a clue:
"The secret lies with Charlotte"
This scroll fragment had remained with the Gates family ever since.
Grandfather Gates then told the story of the hidden Treasure: Opening to a scene of Egyptian pyramids, Grandfather related how this Egyptian Treasure had been fought over repeatedly over the centuries, Pharaohs fighting hostile foreign kings, and foreign kings fighting with each other. This Treasure passed through many hands, and in each instance, the current possessor added to the Treasure from his own culture and religion, so that the Treasure continually grew larger and more valuable.
Suddenly, Grandfather Gates grew somber, for the Treasure suddenly disappeared for over 1,000 years. Absolutely no one knew its whereabouts. However, during the First Crusades, brave young knights discovered a huge vault beneath the area of Solomon's first temple. The Treasure had been stored there. The knights vowed to keep this Treasure for their organization, so they smuggled it to Europe first and then to America. As the film showed the cargo ships on the open sea, carrying the Treasure to England, the camera zeroed in on the captain of one of the ships; he was holding an Egyptian medallion on which was imprinted a more crude depiction of the All-Seeing Eye hovering over an unfinished pyramid than is now imprinted on the back of our One Dollar Bill.
These Knights Templars formed an offshoot secret society called Freemasons, entrusting that organization with safeguarding the Treasure.
During the American Revolution, Masonic leadership became alarmed that the British might discover the Treasure and ship it back to England. Therefore, they hid the Treasure, leaving behind fragments of clues and riddles which only a person familiar with Freemasonry and with history could unravel. America's key Masonic leadership mentioned in this account was comprised of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere.
Just as Grandfather John was telling young Ben that the symbol of the All-Seeing Eye hovering over the unfinished pyramid was a symbol of the Knights Templar, Father Patrick walks into the attic and severely castigates Grandfather for filling young Ben's mind with this family foolishness. He tells Ben that they are leaving immediately. As he walks down the stairs, Ben asks his Grandfather if he can make him a knight of the Knights Templar tradition. Grandfather says some words over Ben and swears him into the "knighthood".
The scene then shifts to the present-day Arctic Circle, where Ben, now a young man, is traveling through the snowy expanse in tracked vehicles. Ian Howe is seated in the passenger seat. Behind Ben and Ian, Riley is seated, manning his computer, through which he is keeping track of their location in relation to their destination through a Global Positioning hookup. Where is their destination?
Ben and Riley had thoroughly researched the cargo ship, "The Charlotte" and had pinpointed her last known location. They had concluded that the ship had been trapped in a massive Arctic hurricane during the Revolutionary War era, and had become entombed in the ice and snow. They found the ship and began digging her out of her shallow grave. After digging out the top part of the ship, they descended into her bowels, where they entered the cargo hold. Ben noted that the captain of The Charlotte had died with a pistol in his hand, guarding one of the barrels on gunpowder.
As he emptied the barrel, Ben noticed a package buried in the middle of the gunpowder. Upon opening the package, they discovered an intricately carved Meerschaum Pipe, apparently carved from Ivory. As Ian examined the pipe, Ben noted that the handle was intricately carved, and looked for all the world like the carving was of symbols and words. Ben took the pipe, removed the handle, cut into his thumb with his knife, and spread his blood like ink over the carved intricacy. Then, he carefully rolled the handle on to a page in a journal he was carrying.
Ben immediately recognized that a message was being printed as he rolled the handle on the paper. The message was a riddle and contained Masonic symbols. It read, in part:
"The legend writ, the stain affected, the key in Silence, undetected, the iron pen wrought by 55 men, Mr. Matlock cannot offend."
Realizing he was examining a riddle, Ben drew upon his training in history and engineering to solve it. Soon, he concluded that, the Declaration of Independence was the center of the riddle, for the following reasons:
1. Mr. Matlock was the official calligrapher for the Continental Congress which had passed the Declaration
2. A total of 55 men had signed the Declaration, of which at least 9 were Freemasons
3. The "stain affected" referred to the practice, common amongst secret societies at the time in both America and Europe, to use an ink which disappeared once it dried, rendering it quite invisible to the naked eye. The only way a person could make the ink visible again was to use a re-agent and heat. Therefore, whatever ink had been used was invisible.
Ben put all the clues together, concluding that the back of the Declaration of Independence must contain a map written in invisible ink. Ian considered the matter and deduced that the Declaration would be the perfect document upon which to hide a map to the fabulous Knights Templar Treasure, since it would be the most continuously protected government document in the entire country.
Thereupon, Ian concluded they must "borrow" the Declaration so they could examine it. Ben immediately protested that this "borrowing" was stealing and they could not do it. At this point, Ian's right hand man pulled a gun on Ben and Riley and threatened to kill them both if Ben would not cooperate. Ben tried to buy time by lighting a flare, threatening to ignite the spilled gunpowder. When the flare accidentally falls to the floor and begins to ignite, Ian and his thug escape and lock the cargo hold door. Ben discovers a "smuggler's tunnel", into which he and Riley jump and begin their run to safety outside the ship. When the ship blows up, Ian and his hireling are each driving the two wheeled vehicles while Ben and Riley are thrown forward by the blast, but survive. Ben takes out a pocket Global Positioning device and calculates the way to the nearest village only nine miles away, from whence they can catch a flight.
Stealing And Examining The Declaration of Independence
Ben and Riley unsuccessfully attempt to warn the FBI and Homeland Security that someone is planning to steal the Declaration. Their last resort is to go to the preservation director of the National Archives, which is played by the beautiful Diane Kruger -- Dr. Abigail Chase. She listens to their story and does not believe them, either.
At this point, the storyline revolves around the parallel preparations Ben and Ian are making to steal the Declaration. While Ian is going about the theft through the use of explosives and other intrusive methods, Ben and Riley are planning to steal the Declaration in a more sophisticated operation. Ben gets to the Declaration first and escapes the hail of gunfire aimed at him by Ian's hired guns. But, both men realized that the opportune time to steal the document was on the upcoming Saturday, during a 70th Anniversary celebration of a particular exhibit at the National Archives. Of course, Dr. Abigail would be there.
As Ben leaves the National Archives with both the real Declaration and a replicate copy, Dr. Abigail follows him, for she suspects he may be trying to steal it after all. Ben gives her the replica copy and climbs into his van, while Abigail crosses the street to alert Security. Ian's van pulls up and kidnaps her, with Ben's van in hot pursuit. After a wild chase and much gunfire, Ben pulls Abigail into his van and they separate from Ian's van.
After some consideration, Ben, Riley and Abigail pull up outside Patrick Gates' house -- Ben's father. They lay the Declaration of Independence out on the dining room table, flipped to the backside. Once Abigail carefully applied lemon juice with a cotton swab to the upper right hand corner, she and Ben bent down to blow on the area, thus providing a certain degree of heat. Instantly, the Masonic Compass and Square appeared, with the "G" in the middle. Immediately below this symbol, several three-position numbers appeared, i.e., 3-12-2. Abigail states that this is an "Allendorf Cipher", where the three-position digits tell the location of individual letters contained within a key document; this key document is usually innocuous, like a newspaper of a certain date, or a certain pages in a book. The first digit refers to the page, the second digit refers to the line on that page, while the last digit refers to the beginning letter of a word. In this example, the key to 3-12-2, would refer to the third page, line number twelve, and the first letter of word number 2. Approximately three dozen of these three-position numbers appeared right underneath the Masonic symbol, running vertically downward at the extreme right hand side. Using a blow dryer to provide constant heat, Ben and Abigail kept the ink visible long enough to systematically write each three-position code down.
But, now the question remained: what is the key document to which these Allendorf Ciphers refer? Ben knows exactly what that key document was: the "Silence Dogoody Letters" written in 1722 by Benjamin Franklin to a newspaper entitled the "New England Current". There were approximately nine of these letters; it was to these letters these Allendorf Cipher codes referred. Since they were located at the Ben Franklin Archives in Philadelphia, the scene shifts there.
Unraveling the Clues and the Riddles
Ben and Riley pay a young boy whose age has to be around nine years old, one dollar for every four clues contained within the Silence Dogoody Letters". They gave the boy four of the Allendorf Ciphers and sent him to write down the indicated letters. Each time, the boy reports back to Riley across the street. When the boy is writing down the last four letters, Ian notices his rather odd behavior of studying the letters intently and counting lines and the number of words. As the boy runs out to give Riley the last four letters, Ian and his men follow. However, Riley is not there because he had seen the last clue -- the last four letters -- on an advertisement on the side of the bus, advertising the historic Liberty Bell. Riley left before the boy returned, going directly to where Ben and Abigail are located.
As Riley gives the riddle to Ben and Abigail, they realize the location is Independence Hall, and that the reference to "timely shadow" must mean a specific time as measured by the Sun. Ben suddenly remembers the painting of Independence Hall which appears on the back of the $100 bill; of course, Ben Franklin's picture is on the front. Looking through a water bottle to gain magnification, Ben looks at the time depicted on the clock; it is 2:22. Since the time was nearly 3:00pm, Ben and Abigail moan that they had just missed the "timely shadow", but Riley remembers that Daylight Savings Time was not initiated until World War I. Therefore, their current time was nearly 2:00pm. If they got to the top of the Independence Hall by 3:22pm, they could view the location of the "timely shadow".
At precisely 3:22pm, Daylight Savings Time, they noted the exact location of the shadow which the Sun was casting on the brick wall of the building adjacent to the Hall. Ben immediately ran down there and discovered a brick at that location which had a Masonic Compass symbol in the upper right corner. Digging the brick out with a large knife, Ben discovered the brick was hollow; it contained a set of specially created spectacles, with several lenses of various colors. The lenses moved up and down like the lenses found in eye doctors's offices today, so that a person could look at the document through clear glass, rose glass, or blue, or all colors at once.
Ben met Abigail and Riley in the meeting hall and spread the Declaration out, examining the back. Immediately, Ben saw a beautifully crafted, colored symbol. He saw what looked like a stylistic hilt of a sword, with the words, "Heere at the Wall" emblazoned across the hilt. Encompassing the shaft of the sword was a beautifully appointed encircled "triskele", which is a variation of the Number "666" [Dr. Cathy Burns, "Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated", pages 240-244].
Before Ben could do any further examination, Ian and his boys show up, triggering a chase scene, with Ben going one way with the spectacles and Abigail and Riley going the other way with the Declaration. At the end of the chase scene, Ian seizes the Declaration while letting Abigail and Riley go; meanwhile, Ben is captured by the FBI, led by Agent Sandusky
While at the local FBI office, Ben sees Sandusky fingering the lenses of the spectacles, moving them up and down, prompting Ben to realize that he should be examining the back of the Declaration with ech o the different colored lenses. In the meantime, Abigail and Riley have contacted Ian in an effort to spring Ben loose; they promised Ian he could take the National Treasure for himself if he would just return the Declaration undamaged. Another chase scene ensues which allows Ben to escape the FBI and join Ian, Abigail, and Riley. When they do join up -- in New York City because that is where the ancient street "Heere" joined Wall Street. After the Revolutionary War, "Heere Street" was renamed "Broadway".
At the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, Ben meets Ian and they haggle over how many more clues Ben has to identify before they can determine the location of the Treasure. To force Ben to completely comply, Ian reveals that he has Ben's father, Patrick, in his custody. At this point, Ben tells Ian they must go into Trinity Church at this location, because Ben has spotted a flag for Trinity with an encircled triskele underneath the words of the church.
As soon as they enter the church, Ben, Ian, and Patrick are joined by Abigail and Riley, accompanied by Ian's armed thugs. Ben and Ian examine the back of the Declaration on a table within the church, using the different colors of lenses, one at a time. As Ben and Ian looked through each colored lens, a different set of elaborate symbols and messages appeared. When they had examined the area with all three colored lenses, they realized that the location of the Treasure was located "Beneath Parkington Lane".
Assuming this location had to be beneath the church, the entire group descended down to the area below the church, which proved to be an old-fashioned burial crypt. Riley found one crypt with the name, "Parkington Lane" on it. The man buried in this crypt was a 3rd Degree Freemason of the Blue Lodge, as evidenced by Masonic symbols. Without warning, one of Ian's men started bashing on the front with a shovel, opening the area. When removing the casket, the bottom fell out, dropping the man's remains. The men slowly lowered the casket down to the floor.
Ian shined a light into the crypt, revealing the beginning of a tunnel -- "Beneath Parkington Place". All but two of Ian's men, along with the rest of the group, began to descend into the tunnel, leading them into a very harrowing, death-defying experience through five stories of an underground shaft and building. Finding an old-fashioned dumb waiter, the group lowered down to the designated level and got out, going into a large empty room. A lantern hung in this room, which Ben lighted with his torch.
As Ian began to insistently inquire why they had come to all this trouble just to arrive at an empty room, Patrick seized the moment to tell him that the lantern was the clue which pointed to another location where the Treasure was actually located. When Ian demanded to know exactly what this clue referred to, Ben told him it referred to the Old North Church in Boston, where the old saying, "One if by land, two if by sea" was coined during the Masonic Revolutionary War. Ian was completely fooled by this false clue, and left with his men, using the dumb waiter to return to the surface.
Once they departed, Ben and Patrick returned to the seemingly empty room, discovered additional clues which led them to an outer treasure room. Examining the walls carefully, Ben discovered more Masonic symbols set into the wall, including one circle symbol which was hollowed out exactly to the shape of the Meerschaum Pipe. After inserting the pipe head, and using the handle to push a button below, a tremendous sound occurred, after which a large door opened into the real treasure room.
The "National Treasure" had been discovered.
While treasure from many nations were discovered in this treasure-trove, the primary emphasis was on Egypt. Not only was the screen filled with Egyptian religious and cultural artifacts, but Patrick discovered a medallion covered by dust. When he rubbed the dust off, he saw an ancient Egyptian depiction of the All-Seeing Eye hovering over an Unfinished Pyramid. Divine Out raying lines surround these symbols, indicating the presence of Divinity. From this symbol, the All-Seeing Eye of Horus (Lucifer) hovering over the Unfinished Pyramid on the back of our One Dollar Bill was created. This medallion was exactly the one pictured at the beginning of the movie by the captain of one of the Templar cargo ships, as we have already reported.
Now that we know the thin outer facade of this "onion" -- the basic storyline -- we shall proceed to Part 2 of 3, where we shall unpeel many layers of meaning contained within this movie. We shall discuss the following subjects:
* Knights Templar secret society -- Background and pertinent facts
* Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism
* Masonic use of various methods of deception and subterfuge to avoid detection. Some of these methods are:
1) Building extensive tunnel systems and/or building underground
2) Using sophisticated encryption systems, including ciphers and carefully constructed clues combined with riddles
3) Using sophisticated inking systems which would either disappear after drying and/or could only be viewed under certain circumstances
In Part 3 of 3, we shall discuss the following points contained within even deeper layers of this movie:
* We shall examine the fact that this movie gave three clues which reveal the elite Skull & Bones secret society
* We shall examine the clock reading at Independence Hall on the back of the $100 Bill
* We shall examine the accurate depiction of Masonic, Rosicrucian, and Knights Templar symbolism used in this movie
* We shall discuss the small clues which lead me to conclude that "National Treasure" was written by Freemasons "in the know"
* We shall see how the quest for the "National Treasure" runs parallel to the "Quest for the Holy Grail".
The average person viewing this movie will not ever see anything more than just the barebones plot I have just given you. But, the movie has a lot more information to give the discerning and the knowledgeable. To this end, we dedicate Parts 2 and 3.
Since "National Treasure" made public symbols to which men were sworn to secrecy for the past five hundred years, one can only marvel that the hour must be very late: Antichrist must be close to appear on the world scene. Are you spiritually ready? Is your family? Are you adequately protecting your loved ones? This is the reason for this ministry, to enable you to first understand the peril facing you, and then help you develop strategies to warn and protect your loved ones. Once you have been thoroughly trained, you can also use your knowledge as a means to open the door of discussion with an unsaved person. I have been able to use it many times, and have seen people come to Jesus Christ as a result. These perilous times are also a time when we can reach many souls for Jesus Christ, making an eternal difference.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually.
If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
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