In Disney’s 2004 action-adventure film National Treasure, Nicolas Cage plays a historian hunting for fortune hidden by Founding Fathers who were Freemasons, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. The baroque plot, with its allusions to far-reaching power across time and geography, plays into the public’s long-running, conspiracy-minded fascination with the male secret society’s lore.

As it happens, Walt Disney himself was a member of a Masonic offshoot youth organization, and many of the founding fathers of the entertainment business – including Louis B. Mayer, Tom Mix and Cecil B. DeMille – were Masons. When California membership peaked at 245,000 in the mid-1960s, L.A.’s nexus for the group, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, had just been erected on Wilshire Boulevard in tony Hancock Park. (It later was used as a location in National Treasure.) […]

Continue reading: Inside Hollywood’s Secret Masonic History, From Disney to DeMille | Hollywood Reporter

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