Occult Profiles: Henry C. Clausen

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Robert H. Johnson

*Editors Note* In this series, I will be profiling some of the names you may or may not have heard of within the Masonic landscape. Some may have been members of 'regular' lodges, some of 'unrecognized' lodges, and some may never have been Freemasons, yet were influential in the Esoteric traditions from which Freemasonry has either borrowed from, or has influenced. I hope you will enjoy!

Henry C. Clausen was born June 30th, 1905 and passed away on December 4th, 1992. In the "real world", Henry was a REALLY BIG DEAL. He was made the Special Investigator for the Secretary of War and was the author of the famed, Clausen Report, which was an 800 page report on the Pearl Harbor attacks. The report set out to answer four questions:
  • What had Pearl Harbor 'known' about Japanese intentions before the attack?
  • What had Pearl Harbor 'done' with this information before the attack?
  • What had Washington 'known' about Japanese intentions before the attack?
  • What had Washington 'done' with this information before the attack?
What he finally came to was that, 
"...being caught unprepared during the Pearl Harbor attack, was due both to having two separate commands at Pearl Harbor (Navy & Army), and to having two separate Intelligence organizations in Washington and elsewhere (Navy and Army)."
 Further, that Clausen "...welcomed the combination of the Navy and Army [security] efforts by Truman (eventually this came to be called NSA)."

Within the Fraternity, Clausen was prolific. His writings spanned volumes. One of his most famed books, and one this author wishes he could get his hands on, Your Amazing Mystic Powers (1985) is said to be among his best works. He was an avowed occultist and made no attempts to hide it either. He became the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in 1970. Henry C. Clausen was also the man responsible for making Manly P. Hall a 33rd Degree Brother. He saw great power and truths contained within Hall's writings, and much like what happened to Paul Foster Case, Clausen did to Hall. He immediately absorbed Hall into the Craft.

This of course gave a sense of further validity for Hall in the Masonic world, it reaffirmed what Clausen had believed of the Craft, but not only for himself, but likely thousands more. Clausen often referenced Hall's works, notably The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Clausen essentially drew a line in the sand. In one of his most famous videos, none other than Ernest Borgnine, introduces Brother Clausen as he explains exactly what the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and Freemasonry for that matter, really is.

Henry C. Clausen by Travis Simpkins
Clausen makes the assertion that the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite [Southern Jurisdiction] is the modern home of The Mysteries. From Ancient Egypt, to Greece, to Rome, to the Renaissance and Enlightenment, to Kabbalistic Schools and then into Freemasonry. He doesn't assert that this is literal as some do, but rather through the means of war, appropriation and study. I did an episode dedicated to Illustrious Brother Clausen on the 'Whence Came You? Podcast', where I let loose Clausen's entire speech uncut for the listeners pleasure. 

Much controversy surrounded Clausen because of his beliefs and stances he took about the Craft. Rumor has it that all of Clausen's materials, books and videos were swept away, into the archives, basements and even the trash when he died. Whenever I've asked about these claims, I'm met with a change of subject. If anyone cares to refute this, be my guest.

Clausen was in my opinion a legend. He was an icon of Freemasonry. A man dedicated to his country, finding the truth in this realm-- and others. He is for me and countless others, due to his stature and station in the Craft, The Light House at Alexandria. You can find his videos on YouTube by simply searching. Below is the episode I did on Bro. Clausen. The artwork, is by Bro. Travis Simpkins.

Next week, I'll have another Occult Profile for you. Until then, keep your lantern lit.


RWB, Robert Johnson is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.

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