Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval have recently written a new book, The Master Game: Unmasking the Secret Rulers of the World which is published by The Disinformation Company. Graham Hancock is a bestselling author of non-fiction in the alternative history genre, perhaps best known for Fingerprints of the Gods. His two major British TV series (Quest for the Lost Civilisation, 1998, and Flooded Kingdoms of the Ice Age, 2002) put his ideas in front of audiences of millions and his books have been translated into 27 languages and have sold more than five million copies worldwide.
Rogue Egyptologist Robert Bauval was born in Egypt in 1948. A construction engineer, his interest in Egyptology is long standing, having lived in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East for much of his life. In the 1980s he developed a line of study linking the pyramids and the so-called Pyramid Texts with astronomy and famously published the bestselling The Orion Mystery.
Their publicist (Warwick Associates) has released part of Chapter 19 of the The Master Game book and given permission for me to share this here with you in order to find out more about the book and why Hancock and Bauval felt it was important to share this information. The following is a partial excerpt from the book:
If a monument or a building – or even, as we now can see, a whole city – can become like a living heart, a talisman charged with powerful ideologies and meaning, then the ‘pacemaker’ of such a talisman must be its cornerstone.
In ancient times, and in many different cultures, the dedication ceremony for a new temple or stately monument often called for elaborate rituals performed by the ruler. During such ceremonies the objective was to call upon a god or goddess to cast his or her benevolent and protective powers on the building – or even to beseech the deity to descend from the heavenly world and reside within the temple. A crucial element was the placing of a permanent marker to commemorate the ceremony, generally in the form of the ‘first stone’ or ‘cornerstone’.
In medieval Europe, in direct continuation of such ancient ideas, the laying of the cornerstone for a church or cathedral was understood to symbolise the ‘raising of the building into the light of day, into consciousness or towards the heavens.’ In this respect it was vital that the most propitious moment be selected when participants could be assured that the influences of the stellar and planetary deities were at their very best. To that end a ‘horoscope’ was cast.
The ‘Raising’ of Washington
On 18 September 1793, a little more than a month after the ‘Isis’ ceremony was held at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, another ceremony laden heavily with specific symbolic referents took place on a high point known as Jenkins Hill on the other side of the Atlantic. At the climax of this ceremony, America’s first president, George Washington, wearing a Masonic apron which had been presented to him by the Marquis de Lafayette, laid the cornerstone of the US Capitol in the presence of a congregation of high-ranking Freemasons.
George Washington became a Freemason in 1752 in Fredericksburg, and was ‘raised’ as a Master Mason the following year. In 1777, when the Freemasons in the American colonies sought to form a ‘United’ Grand Lodge independent from England, they offered the position of Grand Master to Washington, but he modestly declined, saying that he was not qualified for this high office. In 1788, however, he did become Master of the Alexandria lodge, today known as the Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, situated on the south side of the Potomac River near the city of Washington, DC. Since 1932 this famous lodge has been engulfed within a huge Masonic monument built around it. The monument is modeled on the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, the Pharos, and bears the official name of the George Washington Masonic National Monument. According to Harvey Wiley Corbett of the New York firm Helmle & Corbett who designed this monument:
… the Pharos was erected to guide the ancient mariners safely to shore; what would be more appropriate than a facsimile of that Lighthouse in Alexandria, Virginia on top of the highest hill and overlooking the Potomac River?
Isis of New York, a Talisman to ‘Liberty’
The idea of a similar monument to commemorate the friendship between France and the United States for the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was first discussed by Bartholdi and others at the home, near Paris, of Édouard René de Laboulaye, an authority on North American culture. It seems that Bartholdi simply ‘converted’ his original project for Egypt and proposed it instead as a ‘Statue of Liberty enlightening the world’ for New York. To this end the so-called Union Franco-Américaine (Franco-American Union) was established in 1875 to raise the necessary funds.
Here’s what the Reader’s Companion to American History has to say about the inspiration behind the Statue of Liberty:
Sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi combined elements of the Egyptian pyramids he admired with his mother’s face to serve as a model for the statue, which he finished early in 1884.
There has been much dispute about whether the face of the Statue of Liberty was modelled on that of Bartholdi’s own mother, and the matter, though trivial, has not been settled. What is more certain is that the statue was linked to the ‘cult of Liberty’ or the ‘Cult of Reason’ of the French Revolution, both of which, in the minds of Republicans, were intimately connected to Masonic ideals. It is certain, too, as we saw in Chapter One, that figures representing ‘Liberty’ and ‘Reason’ were often modelled on the Egyptian goddess Isis or her Greek and Roman counterparts.
Interestingly, according to French Egyptologist Bernard Mathieu, Bartholdi used to refer to the Statue of Liberty as the ‘Pharos’ before it was raised in New York, and he even designed a base for the statue just like the one believed to have been used for the ancient Pharos of Alexandria. Bartholdi, who had spent much time in Egypt and had studied the origins of this ancient ‘wonder of the world’, would certainly have known the association of the Pharos with the goddess Isis – and, by extension, her star, Sirius – that we explored in Chapter Ten. In this respect, it seems highly likely that his giant statue of ‘a robed woman holding aloft a torch’ to serve as a sort of lighthouse for the
Suez Canal and, later, for New York Harbor, may well have been imagined by him as Isis-Pharia and the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Excerpts taken from The Master Game by Robert Bauval & Graham Hancock, The Disinformation Company, LTD, ISBN No. 978-1-934708-75-0. Copyright 2011