In 1943 France, in the Chamber of Deputies, Pierre Avenel (Maurice Remy) gives a speech to the members of Parliament that ruffles the feathers of leaders and proponents of all the predominant French parties. In the audience are members of the secret society of the Freemasons.
After his speech Pierre is approached by the Freemasons to join their society. Pierre considers their offer. Eventually he comes to believe that the Freemasons are interested in serving France, so he agrees to join. After going through the initiation ceremony Pierre is approached by various members looking for favors.
The Freemasons embark on a plan of indoctrination to sway Pierre to the evils of Masonry and to advance the power of the Masons as well as the Jews into world domination. Eventually Avenel sees the truth about the Masons and is targeted by them.
“Forces Occultes” AKA “Hidden Forces” was released in 1943 and was directed by Jean Mamy. Mamy used the pseudonym Paul Riche for the film. It is a French docu-drama and a propaganda film that was commissioned in 1942 by the “Propaganda Abteilung” AKA the “Department of Propaganda” of Nazi Germany during its occupation of France.
The film was written by Jean Marques-Riviere and produced by Robert Muzard. Director Mamy and screenwriter Jean Marques-Riviere were ex-Masons. The film strongly denounces Freemasonry and Jews as well as France’s parliamentarianism style of government. The idea of the film is to portray Masons as a corrupt money hungry organization that is out to run the world and have power over every government in the world.
France was occupied by Germany from 1940 to 1944. After France was liberated from the Germans, writer Jean Marquès-Rivière, producer Robert Muzard, and director Jean Mamy were put on trial for collaboration with the enemy. Muzard was condemned to 3 years in prison and Marquès-Rivière was condemned in absentia to death and degradation. Mamy was condemned to death and executed in 1949.
The film is definitely propaganda and, mostly likely, fascist, but it’s no worse than any of the other pro-Nazi films of the era. The fact that 2 of the Nazi sympathizers responsible for creating the movie were sentenced to death seemed a little extreme but, I suppose that, during war, a traitor is a traitor. As a historical artifact it is important, but its depiction of Masonry and its ideas is far from true. Still, conspiracy theories concerning the Masons are still circulating.
Some prominent Masons include President George Washington, Harry Houdini, Mark Twain, John Wayne, Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, both Presidents Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The film is purported to show an authentic Mason initiation ceremony that was used by French Mason Lodges is 1939.