Lomas and Knight's "Hiram Key"

Concerning The Hiram Key, I can't offer any opinions on what is says about Freemasonry. Based on Amazon reviews, some Masons think they're right; those who sound more intelligent think that Lomas and Knight are way off base. But what they say about the Bible certainly isn't credible.

Written by an advertising and graphic design marketing specialist and an electrical engineer, The Hiram Key is a speculative conspiracy piece that claims that Christianity is a fraud, and that Masonry is at the root of the truth. As a research specialist, I found this book painful: Documentation is practically non-existent, and that's enough for me to dismiss this work completely and justifiably out of hand.

Key claims about matters of history (especially with reference to claimed travels of the Knights Templar) are made with nary a footnote; the claims are merely asserted as though they were common, indisputable knowledge -- no works are cited from respected medieval historians, classicists, or anyone whose work is germane to the topic.

What few notes are offered do not even give page numbers; anyone seeking to cross-check this work will have a long travail ahead of them. I would suggest that the authors do not want anyone checking their claims, because they are either false or else speculation being offered as fact.

What things I am able to check, or have in the past, show this book to be completely without credence: Claims that Mithra and Dionysus were sources for the story of Jesus and the claim that Nazareth did not exist in the first century are among the worst. Of the latter, it is said that there are no records referring to Nazareth at the time, and this is said to be "a unique situation as the Romans kept excellent records throughout their empire" -- what "Roman records" that are still extant that should have mentioned Nazareth is not mentioned, however.

The book also uses equally non-credible works as sources: Eisenman, Allegro, and Baigent and Leigh. Also offered is an equation of the Qumranites with the Jerusalem church and with the Freemasonsas well. Indeed, groups are equated with the Freemasons on the basis that they teach "truth, righteousness, and humility" like the Freemasons do. So does that mean uess Confucius for example was also a Freemason?

I challenge anyone who thinks this book worthwhile to defend it to me with documentation. I issued that challenge almost a decade ago -- and there have been no takers.

-JPH