From the Commander of Kadosh (March 2020)

posted Feb 28, 2020, 1:23 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

The publication we receive from our Supreme Council frequently highlights Scottish Rite Masons who have made significant contributions in the past.  Some years ago, while at the Long Beach Bodies, I had the opportunity to see Brother General Curtis LeMay’s white cap.  During World War II, he developed the technique of carpet bombing.  After the War and during the early part of the Cold War, he was the commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).  Before deployment of ICBMs, the

B-52s of SAC were in the air constantly and flew routes that would allow the crews to deliver weapons into Russia quickly should the need arise thus providing a deterrent.


Many of use are familiar with some of the Past Grand Commanders of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction.  One of them made significant contributions to the United States during and after WWII and to the Scottish Rite.  That is Ill. Henry Clausen.  His contributions to the Scottish Rite include a number of books, a revision of the Degree rituals that were used for a time and Clausen’s Commentaries on Morals and Dogma.  He is a Past Grand Master of Masons of California.  Born in San Francisco in 1908, he became a lawyer.


In WWII, he joined the Army “for the duration”, a civilian at heart.  As a Trial Judge Advocate, he was involved in the court martial of Army inspectors at the Wright engine plant in Ohio who made fraudulent inspections of military aircraft engines.


Secretary of War Henry Stimson realized, in 1944, that high ranking military personnel had provided false testimony regarding the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  Stimson brought in a relatively unknown major to reopen the investigation.  That major was Henry Clausen.


Between November 1944 and September 1945 Brother Clausen traveled over 55,000 miles and interviewed over a hundred military and civilian personnel of high and low rank.  These interviews and examination of many classified documents, some designated top secret as late as the 1970s, resulted in an 800-page report that left no stone unturned.  Nearing the end of his life, Brother Clausen wrote a book, in 1992, Pearl Harbor Final Judgment which told about his 1944-1945 investigation.  In the book, ties to Freemasonry were mentioned several times.


Working on the investigation, Brother Clausen needed to get copies of top-secret MAGIC and PURPLE decoded messages.  Those were the names of two Japanese codes the United States had broken and messages so encoded were being read by us.  Initially a number of officers had lied to Brother Clausen about the existence of such decoded messages on orders from their higher-ranking officers.  This was due to the then highly classified content of those messages and even the fact we were able to read them was also top secret.


           Brother Clausen was persistant and started working up the military chain of command to gain access to those messages.  He ended up in the office of Brother President Harry Truman.  Initially Truman was very reluctant to allow access but then Brother Clausen reminded Truman of somethings they had in common.  He reminded Truman that while he was Past Grand Master of Masons in Missouri, Clausen, before the war, had been Grand Orator of the Grand Lodge of California.  On hearing this, Truman got up went to Brother Clausen and promised his complete cooperation in gaining access to the needed decoded intercepts.


In his book, Brother Clausen goes on to tell of a meeting with Brother General Douglas MacArthur.  He told MacArthur about being Grand Orator and congratulating him on being a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.  MacArthur had said earlier that he wanted to expand the moral principles of Freemasonry in the Far East.


Brother Clausen asked MacArthur if he could send some items to Manila needed for the start-up of a Masonic Lodge.  MacArthur agreed and assigned his G-2, Willoughby, also a Mason, to the task.  Besides sending rods and Bibles, MacArthur was instrumental in having confiscated Masonic property in Manila and Japan returned to the Masons.


Brother Clausen passed away in San Francisco and is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Colma.  This is the same cemetery where Brother Emperor Norton is buried.  To visit the Clausen crypt, enter the building to the right of the entrance, pass the chapel and turn left at the niches.  Go down the corridor of crypts and look at the bottom row on the left.  A short distance in you will see his simple, unadorned bronze name plate.


When I was researching this article, I felt one web site would be of interest if you want first-hand information of the circumstances surrounding Pearl Harbor beyond what the movies and cable TV give.  It is quite long equal to a hundred or more pages.  It has Clausen’s interviews with a hundred or more people who were involved in deciphering the coded messages, getting them to command officers, and actions taken or not with the information.  It even has a number of pages with the names and (maybe) location of the Japanese Navy around that time.  It also includes comments by Brother Clausen, Stinson and others on the interviews.


To find the site Google “Henry Clausen Pearl Harbor”.  Part way down the first screen there is a reference giving a site as “ibiblio”.  That is the one.