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The International Committee of the Red Cross is Occult and Esoteric

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/5/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,492 times Debate No: 44627
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Some websites suggest that the Red Cross is an occult organization, and the Red Cross magazine briefly mentions such a story about its founder.[1] I anticipate the debate to have a sense of humor.

I like the Red Cross and appreciate its work, and the discussion is meant for amusement and debating on

"Occult" here means esoteric and foreign to mainstream religions like mainstream Christianity or Judaism.

Occult: mystical, magical beliefs, practices, or phenomena, as in "a society to study alchemy"
Synonyms: magic, sorcery, wizardry, white magic, mysticism

Mainstream religions include: Catholicism, Lutheranism, Conservative Judaism

Esoteric religions and organizations include: Theosophy

The "Red Cross" refers to the IFRC and its subsidiaries such as the Irish Red Cross.

The Red Cross's logo is:

Red Cross


1. I am arguing against the proposition that the Red Cross organization is esoteric, while my opponent is arguing in favor of the proposition.

2. Please do not use tricky wordplay with the terms above.

3. In the first round I will say why I do not believe the Red Cross is esoteric, and debunk the claims that it is.

4. In the first round my contender will accept the debate, can give an introduction of why he/she accepted the debate, and explain why he/she believes the proposition.

I begin the first round:

The Red Cross is not officially recognized as an occult organization, nor does it present itself as one, nor is it recognized as one by fraternal organizations.

The Christian Heritage Fellowship explains that the Red Cross was founded based on the Christian beliefs of its founder, Henry Dunant, to help people.[2]

A Masonic site says that in "Un Souvenir de Solférino..., he proposed... voluntary relief societies for the prevention and alleviation of suffering in war and peacetime, without distinction of race or creed."[3] It's true that Masons allow members regardless of creed, and that putting societies beyond religion was an idea of the Enlightenment era, however Christianity has taught to help people regardless of background since Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. If Masons were to help people regardless of creed, it would be to their credit, however it would not be unique to their society alone. Thus, the Red Cross's founding principle is a universal, humanitarian ideal.

There is certainly no serious evidence of the Red Cross performing rituals or having religious doctrines, either. All of the above shows the Red Cross to be basically a humanitarian organization that does not discriminate against members of various religions.

It's true that a Masonic website says: "Dunant was a freemason, an organization whose roots are found in the history of the Knights Templar. The red cross was the symbol of the Templars… His birthday, May 8, is celebrated as World Red Cross... Day."[4] A biographical site adds: "Henry Dunant is... suspected of being a freemason and a homosexual. As a result, he has to flee to Paris, where he... helps the president of the French Red Cross, Count Emmanuel de Flavigny".[5]

However, the modern-day president of the Dunant society, Roger Durand answered in a Red Cross interview:

  • Dunant had a love affair - as moving as it was mysterious - with Léonie Kastner, the widow of a French composer. His homosexuality is a hypothesis that can neither be confirmed nor denied. One thing is certain: in 19th-century Geneva homosexuality was regarded as a huge handicap and was therefore never openly acknowledged. That being said, a man's greatness is not measured according to his sexual orientation!
  • Dunant is often labelled as a Freemason. Is it true?
  • In all likelihood it is just a myth. In any event, no Masonic lodge has ever claimed him as a member.[1]
So according to a scholarly authority, his membership is likely a myth. Further, the fact that his alleged sexuality and his membership are mentioned in the same passage does not mean there is a connection between the two either.

The Secret Dictionary claims:

  • The Red Cross was founded by Henry Dunant... supposedly in response to the Austro-Sardinian war. He witnessed the war first-hand on… you guessed it 24th June – St John the Baptist’s Day. [T]he Templars’ sister order, The Knight’s Hospitaler, were also known as the Knights of St John.[6]
Well, No, I didn't guess it. It's true that Masonic lodges are often dedicated to St. John, but it is far too weak a coincidence to propose that the battle was on that date and that Dunant would go see the battle on the date in order to start a charity based on a society whose saint belonged to that date.

The American Red Cross, a subsidiary of the IFRC, was founded by Clara Barton, a kind woman.

  • She wanted to provide for the wounded on the battlefields, but as a woman, she was afraid. Her father alleviated her fears and she later confided, “As... the daughter of an accepted Mason, he bade me seek and comfort the afflicted everywhere"... Stephen Barton presented his daughter his gold Masonic emblem, asserting that she was to wear it.[7]
According to the Masonic Voice-Review,
  • She was a member of many orders and societies… The Order of the Eastern Star [was] very dear to Miss Barton. One of the most thrifty vines of fraternal life in all the land of the Pilgrims is 'Clara Barton Chapter No. 63 Order of the Eastern Star' of Oxford, Mass... Miss Barton comes from a family of Masons 'I saw Masonry's lasting virtues upon the battlefields.' said Miss Barton...[8]

However, the fact that she was affiliated with the Masonic Eastern Star did not mean that the organization she founded itself was. Further, her admirable goal of aiding the wounded is hardly unique to esotericism.

On another note, Manuel Juncos the founder of the Puerto Rican Red Cross is listed as a Mason in The Everything Freemasons Book.[9] However, Puerto Rico is a small country and is not necessarily representative of the rest of the world.

To sum up the backgrounds of these three main figures, a scholarly authority on Dunant considers it unlikely he was a Mason as some rumors say, and while Barton and Juncos were, and a founder’s own background need not define that of an organization that he/she founded. Besides, membership in fraternal organizations was more common in those days

Further, the symbol of a red cross does not have an inherently occult meaning. Pope Urban II’s declaration in 1094 was one of the first recorded uses of it: "wear it, a red, a bloody cross, as an external mark, on your breasts or shoulders".[10] This reflected the use of it as a symbol of martyrdom to the Crusaders. The red cross was also used in the flag of Georgia in the Caucuses mountains and that of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which survives today as a major mainstream monastic order in Palestine.

In particular, the Knights Templar adopted the Red Cross on a white background as their Crusader symbol in the 12th century. The Templars, like the Knights Hospitaler from whom comes the word “hospital”, were dedicated in part to giving aid to pilgrims to the Holy Land.

One website that attempts to connect the Red Cross charity to the Templars claims:

  • The Red Cross & St Johns are throwbacks to Knights Hospitalers, Knights of St John ([who use a red] Maltese Cross) and the Knights Templar (Red and white Flag/Cross of England). The modern units of St Johns and The Red Cross are benevolent organisations. For example, they are charities…, they carry out medical and practical help, food supplies and so on around the world. However, they use old occult symbols, as their logos.
  • The Knights Hospitalers, Knights of St John, were perhaps the most 'charitable/occult religious' in the first place. It is suggested that another group - the Knights Templar, however were specifically set up and used as a front. Templar Knights (a charity) operated inside the Catholic Church (charity), mainly using it to front corrupt business activities. An early form of protection racket, if you like - and also to hide their occult religion. Their main purpose that they was to supposed to carry out - was guarding pilgrims routes to holy lands.[11]

On the contrary, a connection between the charity work of the Red Cross and the Knights Templar is difficult to show. The Red Cross was founded over 500 years after the end of the Knights Templar in the early 14th century. The fact that they both use a red cross does not mean that the Red Cross charity chose their symbol directly from the Templars, just as the fact that they both performed charity work does not mean that the Red Cross decided to do charity work based on the fact that the Templars did.

Further, scholars frequently doubt that the Templars were occult. Although the French king accused the Templars of heresy, scholars generally consider their trial a farce and the charges against them unreliable. Even if the red cross were seen by some to be an “old occult symbol”, this does not mean that the Red Cross saw it that way when it adopted what was by the 19th century a widespread symbol, used in a number of European flags.

8. Masonic Voice, Vol 14, p.139
9. John Young, The Everything Freemasons Book, p. 104
10. Washington Irving, Alhambra, xliii



Before I take up the debate, I just want to clarify that I started the 'Secret Dictionary' with high hopes, but found time constraints prevented me from developing it further, and I left it to stagnate, so I was quite surprised to receive this challenge some seven years after writing the brief entry on the topic above.
With that in mind, and with apologies in advance to anyone I may offend, I maintain the position for the following reasons...
Firstly, secret societies, by their very nature, don't tend to publish their motives until long after they have been infiltrated/made public. As a general rule, secret societies/cults, etc. attract members by promising access to some inner knowledge held only by the senior members. That knowledge could be anything from a plan to overthrow governments, to the true nature of the holy grail.
Freemasons have tended to claim their origins in the Knights Templar, whose symbol was the red cross on the white background - familiar to the English as the flag of St George. It is for this reason that in Arabic countries, the above mentioned group operates with the name and symbol of the Red Crescent - because Muslims tend to perceive the Red Cross as the symbol of the Christian invaders during the various Crusades.
After the official dissolution of the Knights Templar, their priories and wealth were redistributed to other knightly orders, especially the Knights Hospitaller, whose symbol is the green cross now used as the modern pharmacist symbol.
I don't wish to suggest that all hospitals are secret societies either, but what I am saying is that these organisations trace their origins back to such groups. Whether there members are aware of any occult origin or not is also open for debate.
I think it's Mitsubishi that traces its origins back to one specific samurai in the 1800s, who acted as a sword for hire to rich businessmen, and eventually founded a company which is now one of the worlds leading electronics manufacturers. Does this mean that your TV was built by samurai? Of course not! But the group are proud of their origins, and presumably have artifacts and memorabilia from their founder somewhere in their HQ.
The Red Cross has its HQ in Geneva, in Switzerland - the country whose flag is an inverse of their own. Switzerland, like the Red Cross, takes a neutral stance in all wars, but often receives criticism for profiting from both sides.
As for the founder Dunant is long-since dead, it would be quite difficult to prove either his membership of the Freemasons, or his homosexuality (and I fail to see how one might influence the other, other than the fact that in the 19th century it might have been safer to keep either fact personal and secret). But esoteric knowledge can be acquired in all number of different ways, and membership of a group does not prove knowledge of its inner secrets any more than proving non-membership would prove he couldn't have figured it all out for himself!
For those who want to know more about the symbolism involved - the red cross has appeared in various knightly orders, countries flags, and even the name of the esoteric order of Rosicrucians (the order of the Rosy Cross), and can be seen in the symbol of the Gnostic movement, the logo of the Zodiac Killer of the movies of the same name and so on. It actually represents the four points of the compass and the four turning points of the year (solstices and equinoxes) - all stuff which back in the days of inquisitions and witch-hunts was punishable by death (usually by burning at the stake).
In my opinion, most secret societies begin with noble intentions, but by the simple fact of having to remain secret to avoid persecution, eventually become corrupted and/or lose their collective memory of their founding purpose.
Do I believe the modern Red Cross to be anything other than a force for good in the world? Absolutely not. And as long as wars exist, I hope that organisations like this continue to step in where governments lack the willpower or desire to do so. But to say that all their esoteric connections are merely coincidence is naive to say the least.

(I wish to thank the person who started this debate for inviting me, and in so doing not only rekindling my interest in this subject, but also bringing me to a website I did not previously know about, but look forward to participating in further)
Debate Round No. 1


I wish to thank Victor Machin, author of The Secret Dictionary, for joining the debate.

In his reply, Mr. Machin focuses in part on the symbolism of the Red Cross. He claims that it "actually represents the four points of the compass and the four turning points of the year". But why should this be the inherent, actual meaning of the Red Cross? A plus sign is also a cross, as are the letter t, the main symbol of Christianity, the intersection of two streets, the juncture of slats on a window pane, and other simple things. Sure, a compass can look like a cross, but why should a compass symbol be red? More importantly, why should we believe that the Red Cross had any of these meanings in mind when it chose its symbol?

Tenuous claims about the Red Cross symbol vary wildly on the internet. One essay, "The Red Cross of Azazel" claims:
  • The Sumerians worshipped Azazel as Ninazu (nin means 'lord‘), the god of healing and of the underworld. The Romans knew him as Aesculapius, the god of medicine, and he was known to be as well the Greek and Phoenician god of healing. The red cross which represents the god-angel of healing Azazel is for this reason used as a symbol of the medical organization known as the International Federation of the Red Cross, most commonly known as the Red Cross. ("Many of the magical charms and spells were for the healing of the sick or for the prevention of disease... Many charms and spells surviving to the present day contain the names of pre-Christian gods... These spells are usually connected with cures for diseases in human beings and animals" (Margaret Murray, The God of the Witches, p.75).[1]
On closer review, however, that author relies on baseless, weakly connected asserts. He claims without evidence that Azazel was the same as the Sumerian Ninazu, Roman Aesculapius, or its Greek or Phoenician equivalents. He asserts that the Roman deity had a special medial staff, but does not prove that Azazel had that same staff. Likewise he claims that Azazel's sign is an X, but fails to show that this association is ancient and then he likewise asserts without any real basis that this translates into a cross, which is a different symbol. He fails to show that Azazel was a healing deity, except to claim that Azazel is portrayed this way in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, where the demigod was portrayed negatively.

Finally, the essay did not show that the Red Cross as an organization intentionally picked the red cross symbol because they saw it as related to Azazel or because it saw Azazel as a"healing" deity. Therefore, while proposing the possibility that the red cross was associated in pagan times with pagan deities, that author of the passage fails to back up this claim.

Turning now to the Knights Templar, it's true that they used a red cross on a white background like Machin says. However, the reason Muslims used the Red Crescent was not because they associated a Red Cross with the Templars, but because they associated it with Christianity.[2]

Machin is also right that the Knights Templar were absorbed into other groups like the Knights Hospitaller. But those were both different groups. Why should we think that any occultism by the Templars was carried over into the Hospitallers? And why should we believe that centuries later it was passed into the Red Cross? These are major gaps in time and organization.

Nonetheless, like a few other websites, The Red Cross of Azazel also tries to draw a connection between the Hospitallers and the Red Cross:
  • Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem is the medical organization known as the International Organization of the Red Cross which likewise employs a red cross on white background insignia, this being the sign of Azazel. The British Red Cross Society works closely with a group called the St. John Ambulance Association, named after the leader of the Knights Hospitallers, St. John of Jerusalem. The red cross, also known as St. George‘s Cross, is the English national emblem...[1]
As before, this essay appears to make large leaps in logic. It equates the Hospitallers with the International Red Cross, when in fact these are two distinct organizations. It then repeats the baseless claim that this is Azazel's "sign". And it then mentions that the Red Cross Society works with St. John's Ambulance Association. What conclusion exactly are we supposed to draw from this? How does the fact that the Red Cross chooses to maximize its efforts by cooperating with an ambulance association named after the Hospitallers' saint, St. John, show anything odd or unexpected about the Red Cross?

I do not expect Machin to answer for the passage above, but rather to show the reader the kind of tenuous, if not invented, claims and suggestions sometmes made.

Next, Machin points out that the Red Cross HQ is in Switzerland, that their flags are reversed, that they both take a neutral stance in wars, and that they are criticized for profiting from both sides.
I fail to see how exacly that hardly suggests the Red Cross is esoteric at all. At most, one could conclude that the organization is closely connected to Switzerland and its government. Some writers, like Alan Butler in The Warriors and the Bankers, claim that the Templars moved to Switzerland.[3] They assert that Switzerland's political system became established about the same time as the Templars were banned from neighboring France, and that the Templars' abilities explain the rise of Swiss banking, independence, and military security. However, Switzerland was in fact already developing by that time. There doesn't appear to be any readily available direct proof of a connection between the Templars and Switzerland, either.

Further, it's doubtful whether the Red Cross's symbol was really chosen as the inverse of the Swiss flag:
  • According to the ICRC, the emblem adopted was formed by reversing the colours of the Swiss flag. However, according to jurist and Red Cross historian Pierre Boissier, no clear evidence of this origin has been found; the concept that the design was chosen to compliment the country in which the convention at which it was adopted was held, was promoted later to counter the objections of Turkey that the flag was a Christian symbol.[2]
Although the reason for the symbol may be a bit uncertain, the question remains: Why should the reader imagine that the Red Cross's symbol was based on some supposed occult idea of the Templars, instead of the simpler idea that it has to do with Swiss neutrality, Christianity, or even mainstream ideas about those knights?

Machin also mentions the Rosicrucians in his response. They were an esoteric group of the late medieval period whose name refers to the "red" or "rosy" "cross". For them, this cross had an esoteric meaning. As with the Templars, however, it is not clear why they or their interpetation of the symbol must be considered connected to the IFRC, since they were different organizations centuries apart.

As for Masonry, as with others, the Red Cross is supposedly also a symbol. "According to the 'Structure of Freemasonry,' the 'Order of the Red Cross' stands third in the top echelon of power just behind the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the 'Order of the Knights Templar.' ...the red... cross was adopted as an identifying symbol of the Masonic tradition".[4]

Recent developments cast serious doubts however on claims that the International Red Cross sees its symbol as occult. Conflicts have arisen due to occasional perceptions of the Red Cross or Red Crescent as a religious symbol, and in a few cases there have been attacks on Red Cross workers. As a result, the "ICRC has called for a single, culturally neutral symbol."[5] The International Committee of the Red Cross has a sister organization, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which disagrees, as its member nations wish to keep their national symbols. At this point, the Red Cross as a whole has decided that countries can use not only the symbols of a red cross or crescent, but a red diamond, which could be useful in areas of religious conflict. The debate within the Red Cross over its symbolism shows that the organization does not use the red cross symbol out of Rosicrucianism or another kind of esotericism, because it would hardly wish to remove its symbol.

The ICRC's disagreement with the Israeli Magen David society also shows a lack of unusual meaning in its symbol. That society performs work similar to the Red Cross, but wanted to use a red hexagram for the Star of David instead. The ICRC's position disagreed out of reluctance to make its symbol easily replaceable with other religious or national symbols. Instead, it wanted one standardized, neutral, non-national sign that all countries would respect, and its official position is that the cross is merely the reverse of Switzerland's flag. Specifically, Arab countries disagreed with adding the hexagram, while the American Red Cross witheld $30 million in donations from the International Red Cross for failing to include the Israeli society.[6] The fact that Arab countries, who don't use a red cross, have enough decisionmaking power in the international organization as to make it lose millions over the issue of symbolism shows that the organization could hardly be united around something like occultism.



To begin my response to round 2, I wish to make a few points clear...

Firstly, that I am new to the debating scene, and as such was not familiar with the idea of quoting sources, organising points, etc., and thank Rakovsky for his advice on this matter. I shall, however, not be using any of the links he provided in his email to me on this subject, as I suspect he may be trying to lead me down the argument he has prepared in advance!

Secondly... despite stating that he does not expect me to defend someone else's website - I find the introduction of someone else's work quite distracting from the nature of a debate, and feel I should state that the internet is replete with views, opinions, facts and ideas from every quarter possible. To quote from someone else to try to put me in my place seems a bit like a presidential debate beginning with "Hitler said x, and he was a politician, therefore the presidential candidate is Hitler"!

I will, therefore, not be introducing Reptilians or David Icke, as he tried to suggest I do, as I am not, and never have been, a believer in the more alien-centric aspects of conspiracy theories.

What I will point out is that he supported my argument when he said the Muslims view the Red Cross as a Christian symbol, and that it has something to do with the crusades... Wikipedia states that..

"Crusade" is a modern term, from the French croisade and Spanish cruzada, that was applied to the medieval military expeditions only in retrospect. -

The etymology of the word Crusade therefore contains the word Cross in both French and Spanish (crois, and cruz respectively). It could be argued that this name comes from the use of the cross as a Christian symbol, or that it comes from crossing the Mediterranean. But most crusaders travelled across land, and only the Templar ships regularly travelled to and from the Holy land to transport pilgrims. The cross itself may be a Christian symbol, but so too was Icthus the fish. The cross predates Christianity by many centuries:

The cross-shaped sign, represented in its simplest form by a crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly predates, in both East and West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes back to a very remote period of human civilization. It is supposed to have been used not just for its ornamental value, but also with religious significance.[2] -

The ICRC and Rakovsky's "Serious Doubts"

In much the same way as some Buddhists are keen to point out that the swastika existed long before Hitler adopted it as the symbol of Nazism, some feel uncomfortable using it today because of the negative associations it now has. But does that now make it a Nazi symbol instead? Could it be possible that an organisation as vast as the ICRC might have a vested interest in downplaying any occult connection to its symbol? The continuation of an organisation beyond the death of its founding members is always going to take it in new directions, and maybe there are people high up in the organisation that don't even know that the cross has any symbolic meaning beyond its similarity to the Swiss flag. BUT THIS DOESN'T MEAN IT WASN'T INTENDED TO HAVE ONE!

Imagine the Church of Satan decides in the future, after the death of its leader, that they want a new direction for the group and start doing humanitarian work. What would their new leader say when asked "But your inverted cross represents evil, doesn't it?"

As with hieroglyphics, symbols have associated meanings that are culturally understood even without words to explain them. Corporations spend millions on rebranding to try to make their logos as rich with meaning as possible.

On Rosicrucians

I mentioned Rosicrucians for the same reason as the Templars and the Masons - all esoteric groups claim some connection between each other. If The Red Cross is one such group, then there IS a connection, no matter how tenuous. The fact that its modern corporation-style organisation is reluctant to admit such a link is the same as the fact that the White House doesn't go round shouting from the rooftops that many of the founding fathers (including George Washington) openly admitted membership to Masonic fraternities. Benjamin Franklin, while in London, was a regular visitor to the infamous (although I suspect largely just for kicks) Naughty Hellfire Club - .

Swiss Flag

Many of the flags that we know nowadays have their origins in Heraldry, and the coats of arms of Kings and Queens. Only a brief glance at the symbolism of heraldry will show that EVERY ASPECT OF A FLAG HAS OCCULT SIGNIFICANCE. Even the shade of red is important. People don't just say, "Hey, we're a country now - why don't we throw some shapes out and see which one looks best on our headed notepaper?"

Use of a white cross as a mark of identification of the combined troops of the Old Swiss Confederacy is first attested in the Battle of Laupen (1339), where it was sewn on combatants' clothing as two stripes of textile, contrasting with the red St. George's cross of Habsburg Austria, and with the St. Andrew's cross used by Burgundy and Maximilian I. - .

Back to the 'serious doubts' point for a moment
- I find the argument extremely weak to say that someone saying they are not occult is proof they aren't! That's like if a gangster went to court, and the judge said "Are you, sir, or have you ever been, a gangster?" - and the gangster said "No, sir. Never sir. I love my grandmother and give flowers to children and all that," and the judge says "RELEASE THE PRISONER!"

The problem that my newfound friend Rakovsky seems to have is that he has set himself an impossible task. To prove that something has no hidden meaning or secret plan is, and always has been as impossible as it is to prove that an openly secret society doesn't have an evil agenda. When General Franco had the Spanish Masonic Lodges closed, accusing them of plotting against the Spanish state, they could not prove they hadn't any more than he could prove they had. But he had the soldiers, the guns and the wall ready to line them up against if they didn't go home quietly.

So, in summary, and in preparation for round three - if a third round is needed, I believe that it is clearly demonstrable that

1 - The Red Cross as a symbol is chock-full of esoteric, occult, spiritual and religious imagery, and its choice of colour is as important as the fact that its four points are equal lengths (unlike the official symbol of Christianity)

2 - An organisation that names itself after its symbol is not going to just switch to something else for kicks. I remember when the BBC decided to simply change the colours on its logo there was a public outcry at the millions it cost to do so. Imagine if they then said "some people might find the letters BBC offensive, so we're going to call ourselves WWF from now on"!

3 - The whole point of esoteric knowledge is that it is hidden from the general population. Just because we know that organisations like the Freemasons exist, and can even find out by law (in the UK at least) who is a member, we don't know exactly when it began, or what its founding members had planned for it at the time - and certainly not whether they intended it to last hundreds of years.

Debate Round No. 2


I appreciate Victor Machin's humor in his introduction above.

In his second reply, Machin claimed that "all esoteric groups claim some connection between each other" and concluded that the Red Cross must be connected to multiple ones. But isn't this an exaggeration? In the 16th century, two Greek brothers of the Angeli Comneni family created the Constantinian Order of St. George - St. George's sign being the red cross.[1] Then in the 19th century the York Rite created the Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, which it considered it was reviving (This added to other uses of a red cross). However, the Greek prince Demetrius Rhodocanakis claimed that he was in fact the grandmaster of the Constantinian Order of St. George. In return, in 1871 the Masonic Imperial Council of England officially denied that it claimed any connection to the Constantinian Order of St. George.[2] The Masonic Dictionary says about its Order of the Red Cross of Constantine that "no direct connection can be made with" an order of the time of Constantine, the 4th century AD.[3]

The best conclusion then is that this Order was made in the 19th century based on the idea of previous orders, but not necessarily having a strong connection to "all" of them. Further, while those much older Greek orders may not have been esoteric, they serve as examples that connections between organizations that appear to be close might not be.

How might one imagine a link between groups? Jordan Maxwell writes in Matrix of Power:
  • Why is the International Red Cross able to go behind enemy lines in wartime, in conflict? There is a reason. The International Red Cross, out of London, connected with the American Red Cross, comes from the Red Cross of Saint George. The cross on the British flag, the red cross - that is also from a Masonic institution.[4]

One website claims in a similar vein:
  • The "International Red Cross" is the only organization allowed to go behind enemy lines during wartime or what the Masons would term the "Theatre of War". Why do you think this is. How are they somehow IMMUNE? Because ALL WARS ARE STAGED BY THE FREEMASONS… Another symbol of Freemasonry is the Cross of the Knights of Malta.[5]
The website then shows the Malta cross: Malta

The passage’s use of capitals reflects the exaggerations in this line of thinking. A simpler reason that the Red Cross is allowed behind enemy lines is because both sides in conflicts want their wounded or imprisoned soldiers to be given medical treatment and supervision, which is what a neutral, international organization can provide.

Further, the ICRC’s office is in Geneva, not London. The mere fact that England and Malta have red crosses on their flags does not mean that they have a secret, esoteric affiliation with the ICRC, whose symbol has the shape of Switzerland’s flag instead of theirs. Finally, it seems very unlikely that “all” wars are staged by Masons, because unfortunately there have been wars all over the world for thousands of years.

Another alleged association is between the French “Priory of Sion” featured in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code novel. Barbara Aho writes that the Red Cross founder’s
  • name also happens to be the address of the Prieuré de Sion in Paris: “110 Rue Henri Dunant, 92700 COLOMBES.” The “red cross” is, in fact, the Rosy Cross or Rose Croix, the Rosicrucian emblem of the Prieuré de Sion. Little wonder the funds collected by the Red Cross for disasters such as hurricanes fail to reach the victims.[6]

However, the “Priory of Sion”, whose bulletin was registered at this address, has since been recognized as a hoax, as its owner, Pierre Plantard, told a French court.[7] In any case, the mere fact that an organization is on a street with a certain name does not necessarily mean a connection between the organization and the street’s name. If it was on Greenland Street it would not mean the Priory was connected to Greenland.

In his argument, Machin claims that secret societies propose “inner knowledge” like the holy grail or political change. I would ask him then what kind of esoteric ideas the Red Cross could have or be used for? And why are political ideas or change supposed to count as esotericism?

Besides founding the Red Cross, Henri Dunant nobly campaigned to ending slavery, actively helped develop the benevolent Young Men’s Christian Association, and formed the Provident Society to protect the rights of POWs. His biography adds that “he founded the International Society for the Revival of the Orient in 1864” for European Jews yearning “to return to their homeland in Palestine” and establish a colony.[8] Soon after he established the International Palestine Society and the Syrian and Palestine Colonization Society for this purpose, but the efforts were unsuccessful due to the Russo-Turkish war.[9] A Turkish newspaper suggested in 1865 that Dunant “was one of the persons who is very close to the French Emperor.” It added that Adolphe Cremieux, the founder of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, invited him to the organization’s board
  • on the idea of an international Red Cross Organization. The speech by Dunant received lots of applause and the old Baron James de Rothschild committed to undertake the management of the Treasurer’s Office of the French Committee to Assist Wounded War Veterans. And, now Napoleon and Rothschild’s friend Dunant, all of a sudden, became the prominent defenders of a Jewish State in the Palestine. The consultants of Emperor Francis Joseph – and the Austrian Secret Police Service Organization – think that this was more than a coincidence and fear that Napoleon III will succeed, with the help of people like Lesseps and Rothschild, in something that Napoleon has not been able to.[10]

Like many newspapers, the Turkish one uses sensationalism, like saying he was close to the French emperor, made an impression on sponsors for his planned Red Cross organization, and impressed the Austrian emperor as well. Since Austria had no colonies in the Middle East, its emperor’s fears must have been that its competitor, France, would control the International Red Cross. The question of French vs. Swiss control of the Red Cross was an issue at the time, but the emperor’s fears and the above-mentioned controversy were deflated when neutral Switzerland was chosen as the organization’s headquarters.

Dunant’s humanitarian motives come across in his major humanitarian projects, helping slaves, the wounded, and POWS. Today, “colonization” is discouraged and viewed as powerful countries taking over weaker ones, and major human rights organizations see the situation in what the Red Cross calls the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” as one example.[11] But in the 19th century, Dunant viewed himself helping people return to their homeland, which fits his humanitarian motives. Why should any of these projects be very unlikely for a benevolent campaigner of the 19th century like Dunant?

The fact that Dunant may have been close to the French emperor actually makes sense, because Dunant was trying to gain acceptance and sponsorship for his major humanitarian organization. The value of sponsorship also explains why, according to the British Red Cross, Nathan Rothschild was its chairman from 1901-1915, a service which naturally was to his credit.[12]

Unfortunately, space does not permit me to pull apart similar claims about the Rockefellers, Irish Red Cross, shared office space, “alien-centric” theories etc. Jesse Ventura debunked the latter in the “Reptilian” episode of his show Conspiracy Theory.

Regarding Machin’s counterarguments, I don’t want to debate the burden of proof, but I would prefer to assume a major international charity was not occult, unless shown otherwise. Machin finds it distracting that I discuss other articles, but unfortunately Machin has not given much direct evidence of such a relationship to go on. He claims that groups like the Red Cross "trace their origins" to earlier esoteric groups like the Templars and Hospitallers. But why does he belief that they consciously trace this relationship? How does he know those two groups were actually occult, if the French king’s Templar trial that made these claims was political and inquisitorial, and the Hospitallers were not declared occult?

Machin writes that the red cross sign is full of spiritual, esoteric imagery, and knightly orders used it. But why should we think that the knights or the ICRC chose it with those specific esoteric meanings in mind, as opposed to more mundane meanings like the one announced by Pope Urban II at the start of the Crusades - purity and self-sacrifice?

In conclusion, we do not have enough reason to consider the ICRC occult. It’s unclear that Dunant was a Mason, and whether he or other founders were does not mean that they intended to make it occult. A red cross can refer to many things, including Christianity, self-sacrifice, and the Swiss flag - which the ICRC’s matches exactly in shape. Perhaps Dunant or someone else just invented it as distinct from previous designs? The ICRC has major humanitarian, normal, practical reasons for its work, and the organization’s creation closely resembles the humanitarian motives of Dunant’s other campaigns.

10. via



Rakovsky’s first point really comes about as a result of nitpicking, and I accept full responsibility for it – if I’d phrased the sentence “Most esoteric groups claim some connection with one or another” rather than "All esoteric groups claim some connection between each other", his first point would have not even made it onto the page. Even so, to argue that an example of group A not knowing of the existence of group B does not mean that group B didn’t know about group A.

Jordan Maxwell

Jordan Maxell is one of my favourite conspiracy theorists, but I’ve never read a word of his – I’ve only watched videos of him talking about his ideas, and I believe that the quote given is from a video, not a book – .

Maxwell tends to talk in a natural, unrehearsed way, and often repeats himself from one video to another, but does not have hard facts at hand, and no doubt checks his facts a little more before going into print. For example, the ‘British’ flag is not the flag of St George (that is specific to England). Britain uses the Union Jack – a red cross and red X with white borders over a blue background – there’s far more colours and shapes on it than the simple red cross on white background we’ve been describing.

Neutral Flags

Back to the Warzone argument – there already existed a perfectly useable flag for any group wishing to wander around in war zones – that of a white flag with NO CROSS, CRESCENT or ANYTHING!!! In fact, when John Lennon invented ‘Nutopia’ - - he chose a plain white flag for that very reason, so that his invented nation would always have to remain neutral in wars.

Priory of Sion

Proving my point for me again, Rakovsky uses the Priory of Sion as an example. He thinks that because this organisation was proven in court to be fake, that their connections with Rosicrucians, Masons and the Holy Grail did not exist. But this demonstrates how a new group (even if invented by one lone nutjob, assuming that Plantard was such) will always draw influences and ideas from older, more famous ones. And just like my hypothetical gangster in round 2, if you’re in court accused of running an illegal organisation, if you can convince the court that the group doesn’t exist, there won’t be any charges to face.

Inner Knowledge

As Rakovsky points out, I stated that secret societies claim inner knowledge about things like the holy grail or political change. In making this point, he has also presented a possible explanation for just what the Red Cross may have had as its founding motive. If the group was established with Zionist ambitions, its founder hobnobbing with Emperors might have been with that aim in mind. But because the central principal of Zionism was the establishment of Israel as a nation state, since 1948, that goal would have been completed, and would now not be the organisation’s hidden motive.

Nobody would deny Dunant’s humanitarian aims – in the same way that Freemasonic lodges often make donations to charities. But his being a Mason would mean that he was a person with an interest in the occult, so it’s the chicken and egg again. Was he a Mason, in which case any organisation he set up would have Masonic influences, or is the suggestion that he was a Mason merely a result of the recognition of Masonic influences in his organisation.

Burden of Proof

To say “I would prefer to ASSUME a major international charity was not occult” (capitals added by me) seems like arguing “I would prefer to assume that nobody would ever do anything in secret ever and that everyone in the world is good and true”.

I don’t have any direct evidence of a relationship, and neither would anybody other than those who are in on the secret, if there is one. But to say that organisations can use symbolism completely innocently and without any knowledge of its meaning is absurd. Even if they hadn’t done any research whatsoever into the occult, sooner or later somebody would have asked “did you know your symbol means this…?”. Stories abound of car companies whose sales are damaged by mistranslations of their products names. These stories are famous precisely because the first thing a corporation does when it finds out it made a mistake is TRY TO FIX IT!!!

The ICRC wouldn’t even need to debate about changing their logo if it was COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS!!! They’d just say, “To avoid offending anyone, and to show we have no occult connection whatsoever, we are now using the symbol of a baked potato on a rainbow coloured background. Oh, wait – rainbow flags have gay-rights connotations… So no colours at all on the flag – we’ll just stick a baked potato on top of the flagpole.”

If you’re going to march into a warzone waving a flag, you at least want to know what the flag means, and whether it’s likely to get you shot or not.

In conclusion

It IS unclear if Dunant was a Mason or not. It IS unprovable whether he had any occult plan for his organisation. And even if he did, I feel I should point out that ‘occult’ does not mean evil – it only means hidden. Coca Cola have a secret recipe for their drink; they are therefore an occult organisation. The very fact that it is impossible for any organisation to publish EVERY MEETING, CHAT AND DISCUSSION THEY EVER HAVE means that they all have things hidden from public knowledge. How can a company launch a new product if they told their competitors about it before even finishing their research?

I close by saying that the Red Cross is, therefore, an occult and esoteric organisation because a) we don’t know the full details of their establishment, and b) their name is based on the esoteric symbol that they have used since their foundation.

Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
That's good victor. I would enjoy seeing you around here more. I'm very much into occultism and understand that the very nature of these occult organizations they are going to be almost impossible to prove they are occult. There is a code of honor and secrecy at work that is taken very seriously and really when judging these things you've got to use your own knowledge of the occult and gut feelings to figure things out.
Posted by VictorMachin 5 years ago
I just want to point out in my defense that I took on the challenge mainly to test my debating skills. I realise now that the wording of the challenge sets the burden of proof on my side of the debate, which by the very nature of occult, hidden motives would always be more difficult to prove. I could quote conspiracy theorists till I was blue in the face and have each one shot down with a simple "but they're conspiracy theorists. How can you consider them credible witnesses"!
Even so, I enjoyed debating, and regardless of the result I believe that a truly enlightened debate contains some element of truth on both sides of the argument. As for trying again, Wylted, I will certainly take on another debate with a little more attention paid to quoting sources and the like, but don't feel any need to re-debate this particular question.
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
Machin I think you're capable of making your case better. I urge you to get your facts together and try this again.
Posted by rakovsky 5 years ago

The meaning of the symbolism can be considered as a factor in the debate topic.
Posted by Wylted 5 years ago
Would you be willing to argue that the Red Cross doesn't use occult symbolism? I'm not saying I'll accept if you do but I just want to know.
Posted by babemagnet 5 years ago
Sorry bro cannot debate you on this due to your definition of the word occult. My definition in my works refer to occult as being hidden. And that is the basis for my short story. However, thanks for your interest .
Posted by Jifpop09 5 years ago
I've never heard anyone say the red cross is an occult organization.
Posted by YYW 5 years ago
This is one of the stupidest debates I have ever seen on DDO.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: TL,DR, but Con seemed to have more sources.
Vote Placed by Wylted 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I think the fairest thing for this debate would be for both sides to share the BOP. Neither side made a compelling case. Pro you really need to source stuff better especially when making these types of claims. Also pro you need to do more to make these connections. I know it's not easy to prove these connections because these occult societies are very secretive but even if your whole case revolved around showing the symbolism was beyond mere coincidence more effort needed to be made to show that coincidence wouldn't account for the same things.