In his youth, Serge Abad Gallardo joined Freemasonry with the conviction he could contribute to make the world a better place. He turned 24 years later to Christ, convinced he had been serving the wrong cause and, above all, the wrong Master.
An architect and a former senior French territorial government official, Gallardo has been a venerable master and a member of the high ranks of the global Masonic order Le Droit Humain, which he left in 2012 after experiencing a sudden conversion at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Since then, Gallardo has been dedicating his time to sharing his long experience within Freemasonry, informing people about the mechanisms and potential dangers of such an institution through regular conferences across France.
To help spread his message about Freemasonry, which the Code of Canon Law (1374) prohibits, he has also written a number of books, among which include Je servais Lucifer sans le savoir (“I Was Serving Lucifer Without Knowing It,” Pierre Téqui, 2016) and La Franc-maçonnerie démasquée (“Exposing Freemasonry,” Good News, 2017).
His last work, Secret maçonnique ou verité catholique (“Masonic Secret or Catholic Truth,” Artege, 2019), sheds light on the problematic dimension of secrecy in Freemasonry, especially its consequences on societies and democracy.
While discussing his personal journey with the Register, Gallardo explains why Masonic activities are deeply incompatible with the Christian faith.
You decided to leave Freemasonry after a staggering conversion at the Marian shrine in Lourdes. Can you tell us more about it?
The first step of my conversion happened before a statue of St. Thérèse of Lisieux at Narbonne Cathedral. My son was in trouble, and I was going through a difficult time. One day, I decided to go to the cathedral that was next to my office to pray.
Soon after, I told my wife it could be nice to go to Lourdes to pray a little for me and my son. I didn’t have the faith I have now at that time, but a small ray was already arising in me when I decided to go to Lourdes. There, I went to the grotto and prayed a whole Rosary for the first time. At the end of the prayer, as I got up, my legs gave out under me and felt paralyzed. I saw a strong light coming out of the statue of the Virgin Mary. Some people around tried to help me to my feet, but my legs stayed paralyzed for many minutes.
I’d been through an incredible experience. I initially didn’t tell my wife because I wanted to do a few medical analyses first. It turned out that nothing was wrong with me. I saw a psychiatrist to make sure I wasn’t having a kind of mystic delirium, and he found I was sane.
I didn’t completely understand what happened to me right away, but I felt that God had entered my life and that everything in me was about to change forever. I made a retreat soon after, and everything made sense. This is how my real life of faith began.
I heard a priest say that, sometimes, God lets Satan act so that Satanic temptations and actions can contribute to the man’s salvation — with the human being’s will, of course. I believe it is an answer to the question of evil.
Did you leave Freemasonry right away?
Not immediately. When I got back to my lodge after all this, I started feeling that this activity was not in line with my faith. I progressively stopped attending Masonic meetings, and I spoke with some priests that confirmed the incompatibility between my faith and Masonic activity. I officially quit about a year after my return to the faith.
Have you suffered reprisals since you began reporting on your experience publicly?
When I meet my former Freemason companions on the street, most of them just turn their backs on me and won’t even say hello. Just a few of them understood my approach and respect it, but they can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
When you are a Freemason, administrative hassles can be very easily resolved, as Freemasons are present in all public administrations. You always have a way out, but once you leave Freemasonry, you lose everything, and they can even make everything harder for you.
Did your testimony help other people open their eyes to the reality of Freemasonry or encourage them to leave it?
Yes, it helped several people. One day, I met a shopkeeper who I didn’t know was a Freemason because he belonged to another obedience [branch]. He recognized me and blamed me for writing books against Freemasonry. He eventually confessed that he was both a Catholic and a Freemason, and he thought it was totally compatible. He told me that his lodge had recruited a senior officer that suddenly resigned after reading one of my books, as he is a Catholic and he realized he was committing a serious sin. A number of former Freemasons have been writing to me to share their testimony over the past few years. I cannot change the world, but I can open some consciences.
What do you do now? Didn’t this decision to leave Freemasonry affect your professional life?
I quit Freemasonry in 2013, and I was fired from public administration in 2017. A file had been built against me in the meantime. I am one of the very few senior officials to have been fired for “unsatisfactory performance.” And it happened after 35 years of rave evaluations from my supervisors. I kept all the documents as potential proof. I went from being a highly competent public official to an underachiever. So I am unemployed today, and I hope I can retire soon.
But I accept this situation quite well. I write and give conferences for the glory of the Lord, to help people, especially the Christians, avoid the trap of Freemasonry.
How did you join Freemasonry in the first place?
I was looking for answers about spirituality, about the meaning of life, and I thought I could find them in a Masonic lodge. I was in my early 30s, and I had a high social status, which made me the perfect candidate.
Why do you think Catholicism is incompatible with Freemasonry?
If someone is very involved in Freemasonry’s initiatory step, like I really used to be, and if at the same time, he has a real living and carnal faith, an interior conflict will necessary arise. We cannot think on the one hand that God was made flesh, that Christ is the Son of God and died on the cross to save us, and on the other hand consider, like Freemasons believe, that God is something abstract, an undefined force called the Great Architect of the Universe, which is similar to a cosmic force, to a kind of naturalism. Those two things are doctrinally far too different to be compatible. Some Freemasons believe in the Christian God and think it is compatible with their Masonic activity, but it is a deep theological mistake.
The second fundamental incompatibility is that one cannot seek the truth through esoterism, resorting to rituals and “magical” processes, to some cosmic elements that are not necessarily divine, and at the same time resorting to the power of God to walk toward the Truth. These are two very incompatible and opposed paths. Such a conflict is true for worldwide Masonry, including that found in America or Europe.
Have you ever seen any clergyman in your lodge?
Not personally, but I’ve heard of some cases. I cannot testify personally, but it is very likely that representatives from the Church belong to Freemasonry. Spanish historian Alberto Bárcena dedicated a book to this topic in 2016.
While quoting extracts from Masonic initiation rites, you often mention sentences that are strangely similar to some Bible verses. What is the purpose of such a distortion?
There definitely is a misappropriation. The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, the most ancient and widely practiced rite in the world, also found in the U.S., originally referred to the Bible in high-grade rituals in order to put a mask on their activities and reassure the royal and ecclesiastic authorities.
And the presence of biblical passages is also one of the reasons why many Christians are hooked, because they are told that in Freemasonry, people swear on the Bible and they study the Gospel of St. John. But anyone can do that, make a free interpretation of the Bible and found a congregation, a sect, a group and say it is compatible with the Catholic faith as their truth is being sought in the Bible. There is a real deception behind the Masonic narrative.
What made you think that you were serving Lucifer, as the title of one of your recent books suggests?
One day, when I was an officer in the lodge of Le Droit Humain, I heard a first-grade ritual that I never heard before and that pays tribute to Lucifer. It is also part of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. I heard the venerable master say: “We must thank Lucifer for bringing light to men,” etc. I was quite taken aback.
This ritual, and Freemasonry in general, consider that religions, and Catholicism in particular, obscure the truth to believers and keep it to themselves, while Freemasonry provides keys to human beings so that they can fully free themselves.
Furthermore, in my two last books, I quoted extracts of a document that is accessible only to high-grade members, so the so-called “blue lodges” [which gather the new members] don’t have access to it. It is taken from Paroles Plurielles — a publication issued by my Masonic order — in which are compiled the best written texts regarding societal issues or Masonic rituals and that are on display in lodges. In this three- or four-page document, there is a text that praises transgression, and the one that allowed it — Lucifer. It is worth noting that Freemasons usually mention Lucifer rather than Satan.
Can members really get out of Freemasonry? Aren’t Masons forever bound by a Masonic vow?
Officially, from an administrative point of view, we can leave quite easily. Although not frequent, it is not so rare that Freemasons quit. And there is even an ad hoc commission to understand why people quit. You just need to send a letter to the venerable master, although it doesn’t have to be accepted.
But contrary to what Freemasonry says, we don’t belong to it forever after our Masonic vow. In the 1884 encyclical Humanum Genus, Pope Leo XIII recalls that a Freemason who comes back to the Church as a repentant Catholic is released from any Masonic vow. It is very clear.
You make a clear distinction between the institution and its members, of whom many are unaware of its true nature and the real implications of their commitment.
Absolutely. It is important for me to recall that I have nothing against Freemasons as persons. Many of them aren’t aware of the Luciferian aspect, of the kind of indoctrination and unique thought surrounding the Masonic doctrine. Some of them are really good people, convinced they are working for the good of humanity and seek to improve themselves with great intellectual honesty. However, I am strongly opposed to the aura of secrecy and mystery that surrounds Freemasonry. I think people should be able to know exactly what they are getting into. Then, if they persist in their will to get involved in Freemasonry, it becomes their personal responsibility.
Does Freemasonry really have the ability to do harm to society and political life? Are Freemasons really at the origin of societal laws such as those on abortion or same-sex “marriage,” as is often suspected, or do you think that such a claim is part of conspiracy theories as esoteric as the Freemasons’ own ideas?
It is absolutely no conspiracy theory to say that Freemasonry holds strong political power over society. There are solid proofs. In France, for instance, the law allowing the contraceptive pill (1967) was initiated by Lucien Neuwirth, who was a Freemason. In addition, the French law on abortion (1975) was promoted by Simone Veil. I don’t know if she was a Freemason herself, but she was at least openly very close to Masonic ideals [she received vibrant tributes from the greatest French Masonic lodges at her death in 2017]. Moreover, the first politician to have tried to introduce the legalization of euthanasia in France was Freemason and French senator Henri Caillavet, in 1978. In the same way, the law on same-sex “marriage” (2013) was promoted by French politician Christiane Taubira, who I met in Guyana — where I worked for a few years — and who is a Freemason.
In my book, I give figures about the two French assemblies — the Senate and the National Assembly. The Freemasons represent around 0.03% of the French population and yet 35% of France’s deputies and senators are Freemasons. It is 120 times more likely to become a deputy or a senator for a Freemason than for someone who is not.
Then there is the so-called “Fraternelle parlementaire,” an informal organization which gathers elected officials at the highest political levels. They are from all Masonic obediences, including some that are not necessarily allies. The Fraternelle is successively presided over by people from the left and the right. It is no accident that French citizens no longer know who to vote for.
The former president of the association, Bernard Saugey [senator of The Republicans, a center-right political party, and openly a Freemason], once said: “If I play my role well, parliamentarians from the left and the right will vote together on societal issues.” And now we have a new proof of that, with the law on medically assisted reproduction [recently approved by the Senate, although predominantly conservative].
One solution to this serious threat for democracy would be to abolish secrecy and oblige politicians to publicly say they are Freemasons. At least the citizens would clearly know who they vote for.
Solène Tadié is the Register’s Rome-based Europe correspondent.