Translated from Johannes Rothkranz. Die Zertrümmerung des Christlichen Abendlandes, Durach, Verlag Anton Schmid, 1977
Martin Luther belonged to the German congregation of the Augustinian hermits. From 1503, when he took over a professorship in Wittenberg, Johann von Staupitz, “Luther’s patron and backer” (Dietrich Emme, Martin Luther. Seine Jugend und Studentenzeit 1483-1505, Regensburg 1986, p. 178), was Vicar General of this Order. The LThK (Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche) (“Staupitz, Johann von”) tells about him among others:
‘In Wittenberg he entered into close association with Luther from 1508 to 1509 and in 1512, whom he especially helped in his fears of predestination. In 1512 he handed over his professorship to him and from then on lived mostly in southern Germany. He happily greeted Luther’s appearance in the Indulgence quarrel. However, from 1519 he became more alarmed, and in 1520 he laid down his office of Vicar General, especially so as not to have to act against Luther. He moved to Cardinal M. Lang in Salzburg, where he converted to the Benedictine order in 1522 with papal dispensation and became abbot of St. Peter. This led to an estrangement from Luther. Staupitz did not share his non-Catholic teachings, spoke out in 1523 for the condemnation of the Lutherans as non-believers and did not hold back in his last letter to Luther in 1524 (the year of his death).
So this is the official Staupitz picture of church history, and it resembles the official Reuchlin picture in a nutshell. Reuchlin and Staupitz initially stand by Luther and his Reformation, which they also, each in his own way, strongly challenged. Then, just in time, they withdraw, remain loyal to the church and die as her pious sons! It must of course be left open as to what they actually died as, because one can still convert on the deathbed. In a nutshell: Staupitz did not only belong to a Rosicrucian lodge, he was even its leader. That could also be the reason why he was mostly in southern Germany from 1512 onwards, as the seat of this lodge was Nuremberg.
‘Luther was a slave to the leader of the Nuremberg lodge,’ Norbert Homuth correctly observes, and presents the following passage from Luther’s letter of October 3, 1511 to von Staupitz as one of many evidences for this: – You leave me too much, because of you I felt like a weaned child about his mother. I dreamed of you last night, I felt as if you were parting from me, I cried bitterly. Then you waved your hand, I may be calm, you would come back.’ (Homuth, Die Verschwörung des Antichristus, p. 77 (with reference to Ludwig Keller, Die Reformation, Leipzig 1885, p 326)
Homuth further explains: The Freemasonic Lodge in Nuremberg, which worked in the spirit of humanism, and because of the leadership role of Mr. Staupitz was also called “Sodalitas Staupitana”, was the main engine of the early Reformation and the young Luther. Why that? According to Luther’s own words it was Staupitz and his lodge brothers in Nuremberg who had incited him against the Pope. A source attests to these own words of Luther Homuth unfortunately does not name. But one can find one in the Luther researcher Dietrich Emme, who only mentions the extraordinarily important passage in passing:
‘In a speech at the table recorded by Anton Lauterbach
Luther wrote on July 16, 1539 about the last hours before entering the monastery: “Later I regretted taking the vow, and many advised me against it. But I insisted… I was dead to the world until God found it time and squire Tetzel and Doctor Staupitz drove (sic!) me against the Pope.”
It seems strange that this instructive testimony has always been overlooked by official Church historiography; let us hope that this is solely due to the admittedly enormous abundance of literature left by Luther directly (works, letters) or indirectly (speeches at the table).
It is equally strange that none of the Catholic church historians seem to have ever ‘stumbled’ upon von Staupitz’ Nuremberg lodge activity. Fernand Mourret noticed at least his ‘lack of firmness’(?): ‘One will see him alternately support Luther and let him fall, bow to Tetzel, and secretly laugh at him, correspond with Cajetan on friendly terms and fight him.’
Mourret actually attributes Luther’s apostasy from the papacy to the influence of von Staupitz ‘(!) but considers his corresponding taunts against the highest ecclesiastical Magisterium to be merely sad ‘stupidities’.
When in Augsburg, in October 1518 the papal legate Cardinal Cajetan threatened to arrest both the recalcitrant Martin Luther and von Staupitz, who was still supporting him, Staupitz advised Luther to flee and ultimately helped him to flee himself!
While the LThK (see above) vaguely claims that Von Staupitz did not hold back with ‘his displeasure against the Lutheran movement in his last letter to Luther,’ one reads it not only in more detail with the Jewish Luther biographer Richard Friedenthal, but also quite different: ‘The abbot replies to his dear Martin and assures him that he still loves him most constantly … Staupitz cites another example from Scripture, the parable of the prodigal son. Luther led the people from the empty pods of the grains, which the prodigal son ate in his poverty with the pigs, back to the realms of life. One owed him a lot. But he warns: Luther should not disturb the hearts of ordinary people! He asks him, my beloved friend, to think of the little ones and not to worry their consciences. He prays for the neutrals, who persist in honest belief – Luther should not condemn them! How many abuse the gospel for the sake of the freedom of the flesh. Perhaps, so he thinks resignedly, his mind is too hesitant or timid, and that is why Luther must understand when he [Staupitz] bows down in silence. This friendship ends in silence, without a break; shortly afterwards, Staupitz died.’
c) The Nuremberg Rosicrucian Lodge
For profane and ecclesiastical (‘Court’) historiography, it seems – like Freemasonry in general!! – not to have existed at all. Yet it is anything but a phantom. Because Norbert Homuth, incidentally at home in Nuremberg himself, got his knowledge of this humanistic lodge and its decisive influence on Martin Luther and the Reformation from a book published in 1885 in Leipzig: The Reformation of a certain Dr. Ludwig Keller. What Homuth probably did not know, at least not mentioned: his informant is apparently identical to that secret archivist Br.’. Dr. Ludwig Keller in Charlottenburg-Berlin, whom the high-level freemason Karl Heise quoted in 1920 as the author of various books on the history of Freemasonry published between 1903 and 1911, although we are less interested in these later works by Keller than in his status of a ‘German assigned grand master’, as attested by his lodge brother Heise. As the grand master of the ‘noble’ bricklayer’s guild, Keller should have been just as well informed about what the Nuremberg Lodge, which was already flourishing in around 1500, was all about, as were those masonic brothers who on a first-day cover in Monaco in 1971 on behalf of the ‘Masonic Philately F.D.C.’ (‘Philatélie maçonique F.D.C.’)! – published Albrecht Dürer, born 500 years ago, with the typical ‘look’ signal of the ‘initiated’ as ‘Member of the R.’. (Royal?)(Rosicrucian?) Nuremberg Operative Lodge’ (‘Membre de la R.’. Loge Operative de Nuremberg’) (cf. the picture from page 77 of Homuth’s o.cit.).
The members of the Nuremberg cabbalistic inspired Rosicrucian lodge, which, as already mentioned, was chaired by Johann von Staupitz, were according to Homuth/Keller: Lazarus Spengler, Albrecht Dürer, C. Celtis, Holzschuher, Georg Beheim, Anton, Andreas and Martin Tucher, and Kaspar Nützel, Jakob Welser, Chr. Scheurl, W. Pirckheimer, Hieronimus Ebner, et al. At least the four loge members I have highlighted in bold have stood out as active supporters of the Lutheran reformation (Celtis died too early to still be able to cooperate). The common church historiography has by no means escaped the fact that Nuremberg was the real hotspot of the religious split, but it does not know the actual, the real reason for this: the concentrated (and not somewhat random) rooting work of a Jewish-Kabbalist ruled Rosicrucian lodge (and not just some isolated or loosely befriended humanists.
The article Nürnberg of the LThK (loc. cit.) states in a meaningful way: ‘Luther’s teaching found sympathy from the beginning in the Augustinian monastery, which was intricately connected with von Staupitz, which respected councilors and citizens frequented; it was preached by W. Link and the eloquent A. Osiander, … advocated by Laz. Spengler in the city council. This mood also influenced the Nuremberg Diets in 1522/23 and 1524. … The victory of Lutheranism in Nuremberg was already decided before the religious discussion led by Scheurl (March 1525). Nuremberg’s attitude became of the highest importance for Protestantism as a whole’ I have again emphasized in bold the names of the Rosicrucian Lodge Brothers who determined ‘Nuremberg’s’ attitude! There will be something said below about Wenceslaus Link, who was also highlighted.
The completely unspiritual Ulrich von Hutten understood almost nothing of Luther’s theological concerns; strangely enough, however, he knew exactly who to turn to when, in 1520, he had to vent his irrepressible joy at the new spiritual freedom supposedly brought about by Luther: ‘Hutten cheered hopefully and carelessly in a famous letter to the Nuremberg patrician Willibald Pirckheimer, the friend of Albrecht Dürer and the head of the Nuremberg Humanist Circle: “O century! O sciences! What a joy to live now and not, my Willibald, to retire! Studies flourish, spirits stir! But you, Barbarism, may you take the rope and go into exile …”’
Let us hear as the third unsuspecting witness Joseph Lortz, who has no idea about the Nuremberg Rosicrucian Lodge, and yet lists its most important exponents one after the other: ‘We have followed closely how the atmosphere for the innovation was prepared in Nuremberg by various circles, and how that is exploited by the city council (and by the Diets of 1522/23 and 1524). In 1521, the humanist Pirkheimer waged war against the bringer of the papal bull in ‘Der Gehobelte Eck’; since 1522 the humanist Osiander preaches about the Antichrist in Rome; the Augustinian monastery opens itself to the new teaching; Spengler, a city clerk, writes already in 1521 a defensive pamphlet for Luther and influences in the same way the city council, where one reads Luther’s books despite the prohibitions (like everywhere); Dürer is waiting for the Christian rebirth that Luther is supposed to bring … It has been established that the official passage of the city, that is, of the city council, from Catholicism to Lutheranism was unusually well prepared: the fate of the first failures is revealed. The city council is now expanding its late medieval sovereignty over the church (partly through direct negotiations with Rome) so far that, after the religious talks of 1525, led by Scheurl, it is in control of the situation.
All the relevant Rosicrucian Brothers are listed here again (von Staupitz himself was behind the Augustinian monastery). Finally, let us take a brief look at what the LTHK (loc. cit.) – precisely because of its ignorance – has to say about these ‘initiated’ actors of the Jewish-Kabbalistic revolution:
Art. ‘Dürer, Albrecht’: ‘In the first excitement, he welcomed Luther as a fighter against abuses. In view of the further development, especially the iconoclasm, he withdrew from the movement, in agreement with his friend Willibald Pirkheimer; but, like him, he maintained a good relationship with Melanchthon, who was valued as a mediator – as will be shown later, a brother mason!
Art. ‘Pir(c)kheimer, a Nuremberg patrician family … Willibald’: ‘He defended Reuchlin and attacked Luther’s most powerful opponent in the to him, not to the Strasbourg Nik. Gerbel attributable … Eccius dedolatus [Der gehobelte Eck, Glib Eck] …. and in a second, unprinted comedy … with bitter satire. However, although at first ‘good Lutheran’, he did not want a break with the Church. In 1521 he asked therefore for the absolution from the ban that had struck him as a follower of Luther … Pirckheimer was only a friend of the alleged reformer Luther; to the false teacher he was a ‘decided enemy’, so decided that he continued to maintain ‘a good relationship’ with the false teacher Melanchthon (see above!)!’
Art. ‘Scheurl, Christophs’: ‘Initially enthusiastic about Luther and still leader of the Nuremberg Religious Discussion in 1525, he, Eck’s friend, was not satisfied with the development of the Reformation and, at least since 1530 [?], stood on the ground of the old Church’, possibly just to cover up traces, like his other lodge brothers.
Art. ‘Spengler, Lazarus’: ‘Friend of W. Pirckheimer, songwriter, advocated Luther’s teaching with several writings … and contributed a great deal to their victory in Nuremberg. At Eck’s instigation, he was banned from the Church’, from which he, like Pirckheimer, was later released, but presumably in the same spirit as this friend of Melanchthon!
Luther’s superior and fatherly friend von Staupitz brought him into close contact with the Nuremberg Rosicrucian Lodge, which he ran. ‘Already in 1516, that is, 1 year before Luther’s theses were posted, Luther had his family coat of arms made for him, of course in Nuremberg, namely a rose cross, the symbol of the Rosicrucians… With this crest Luther openly confessed his sympathy for the ideas of the Nuremberg Lodge, that he visited more often than once, for instance on October 23, 1518, on the return journey from Augsburg and in October 1510 [sic]. Lazarus Spengler took care of the production of the rose cross and then asked Luther ‘whether he liked it’’. And further:
‘Staupitz became more and more a spiritual leader, who introduced Luther ever deeper into … the illuminated knowledge of the secret brotherhoods, which at that time all had one thing in common: they were waiting for the consolation of Israel, for a man who would liberate the Church from its ‘Babylonian captivity’. Accordingly, Luther, whom had already been offered the leadership of the Nuremberg Lodge, saw himself pushed into the role of liberator, which he gladly accepted. He now nicknamed himself Eleutheros (Liberator). Numerous letters from Luther signed Eleutheros have survived. He also changed his original name from Martin Luder to Martin Lutherus, alluding to Eleutheros, and his campaign pamphlet From the Babylonian Captivity of the Church has its background in this [in the original text: his] self-confidence.
Luther’s friend Wenzel (Wenzeslaus) Lin(c)k, who followed his heresy, was at the same time Staupitz’ confidant, then his successor as Vicar General’; ‘as confidant of his superior and at the same time chairman of the lodge von Staupitz, he too could be ‘initiated’ into the secrets of the Rosicrucians.’ Together with von Staupitz he fled in October 1518 from the papal legate Cardinal Cajetan from Augsburg. The LThK writes about his connection with von Staupitz and influence on Luther (op. cit., art. Link (Linck [h]), Wenzeslaus), that he became dean of the theological faculty in Wittenberg ‘as early as 1512 (with Luther’s doctorate). Was at the same time prior of the Augustinian monastery there for a time, accompanied his patron Staupitz on visitation trips to southern Germany, the Rhine and the Netherlands … 1517 -19 preacher in Nuremberg, 1520 Staupitz’ successor as Vicar General of the German Order Province. Was a trusted friend of Luther, whose position now also came into play in the resolutions of the Wittenberg chapter of the order (January 1522) and found more and more supporters in the order.’
In view of the fact that Dietrich Emme ‘proved through a profound study of sources that Martin Luther did not simply join the Augustinian order’, but sought refuge there in two respects (from secular justice, but also because of his distress of conscience) after he had in Erfurt stabbed a comitian in a duel, it must be considered likely that his Rosicrucian order superiors von Staupitz and Link used Luther’s distress of conscience (about which Staupitz, who had been Luther’s regular confessor and soul guide since 1508 was informed in the best possible way!) and that had in no way to be remedied, skillfully for the subversive goals of themselves and of those who commissioned them. Luther personally, when setting up his Reformation heresy, was primarily concerned with the subjective theological overcoming of his tormenting scruples. This is supported by his remarkable about-face, which Homuth aptly describes and evaluates as follows:
‘Even if Luther broke with the lodge system in 1525 because he correctly recognized the Jewish / Kabbalistic background as the emancipation movement of Judaism (see his hate speeches against the Jews), this no longer had any influence on the further course of events; it was too late then; because the work of division of the church was successfully completed.’
 Compare, for example, the blue-eyed judgment by Loriz, op. cit., p. 236: ‘Staupitz, Luther’s superior, was linked in a special way to Luther’s fate. He had given the struggling young monk some pastoral care. He had brought him to the Bible professorship in Wittenberg. He had an understanding of Luther’s opposition to scholasticism and to much externalization in the church. But he was Catholic. He had to suffer from the development.’
 Mourret, op. cit., p. 290. 34 Ibid. P. 293. As an example, Mourret describes the following incident: ‘Luther one day finds the works of Johannes Hus in the library of the Erfurt Convention. As he reads, he cannot help feeling deep sympathy for this courageous spirit. Of course, Rome condemned him! This thought preoccupies him. But one day Staupitz showed him a portrait of one of his predecessors in the gallery of superiors of the Order of St. Augustine, Zacharias, and says to him: ‘Do you see this monk: he must be in hell if he has not repented; for he is one of those who had John Hus condemned at the Council of Constance by forging the Bible. Similar slogans helped to lower the reputation in Luther’s eyes, which until then had enjoyed the authority of a council that condemned a heretic.’
 See ibid. p 311f. According to Richard Friedenthal, Luther. Sein Leben und seine Zeit, 8th edition Munich – Zurich 1982, p. 223f, von Staupitz would have left the city of Augsburg before Luther to avoid the threatened arrest.
 36 Friedenthal ibid. p. 401.
 Cf. Homuth, Die Verschwörung des Antichristus, op. cit., p. 77 and 81
 Cf. Karl Heue, Entente-Freimaurerei und WWII, 2nd edition (reprint of the 3rd edition, 1920) Struckum 1991, p. 59 or p. 119 note 1.
 See Johannes Rothkranz, Freimaurersignale in der Presse. Wie man sie erkennt und was sie bedeuten. Durach (Verlag Anton A Schmid) 1997
 Homuth, Die Verschwörung des Antichristus, p. 77 (Keller, Die Reformation, op. cit. p. 326), emphasis added.
 Friedenthal loc. cit. p. 278f, emphasis added.
 Which, according to the irrefutable research results of Erwin Iserloh, never took place, but is a pure legend.
 Homuth, Die Verschwörung des Antichristus, op. cit. p. 78 (referring to Junghans loc. cit.).
 Ibid. p. 79. According to Mourret loc. cit. p. 281 note 5 ‘Luther signed with the name of his father Luder until 1517 [!], at which time he gave up this name, which means ‘carrion’, in favor of ‘Luther’ which – he said – comes from Lothar or Lauter.’
 So consistently Friedenthal loc. cit. p. 216 and Mourret loc. cit. p.. 308
 Lortz loc. cit. p. 356f.
 Emme loc. cit. passim.
 Cf. Mourret op. cit. p. 290 note 2.
 Homuth, Die Verschwörung des Antichristus, op.cit. p. 80.