This is meant has a history lesson and not a political or religious debate. I have edited out a lot of the major points because of religion. Also, I haven't checked to see if all the particular facts are true, but I've been researching this basic concept for a while now and it is definitely true. Source: http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/awaken/index.htm In the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry the 30th degree to the 33rd degree are degrees of Illumination with the 33rd being the most sought after by the 'illumined man.' The 33rd degree is the highest publically known degree in Freemasonry. The number 33 signifies 'Illumination' and freedom from religious dogma (superstition). The human backbone contains 33 vertebrea with the cranium (intellect) on top. The number 13 is also significant in the Mysteries. In the occult Gematria (number system) the number 6 represents man. I censored the rest of this paragraph due to heavy religious content. The obelisk (which is a phallic symbol pertaining to Osiris) is also another important symbol in the mysteries. It symbolises the Lost Word of Freemasonry or the 'secret' of the Mysteries. The obelisk is a symbol of the generative force of the sun god (intellect). To understand this fully it is necessary to study the Osirian cycle but I will not go into that now. Now consider the following examples..... First example censored due to religious content. If you look at the roof of the United Nations General Assembly you will see a large circular light surrounded by 32 smaller lights. If you look at the United Nations own symbol you will see a circle divided up into 32 sections with the center being the 33rd. On the United Nations symbol you will notice 13 leaves on the olive branch depicted. The symbol for the Soviet Union also has this feature as well as 32 rays emenating from the sun with the sun being the 33rd. The United Nations flag is in reality the Universal Flag of Freemasonry and this was confirmed by the Grand Lodge of Scotland's homepage. The Washington monument is an obelisk. There is an obelisk at the censored surrounded by a circle. This represents the union of Osiris and Isis (exoteric). Also these two symbols are surrounded further out by 32 archways on each side of the courtyard, in all it is an outdoor temple of the Mystery Schools. Look at the two Great Seals of the United States on the U.S. One Dollar Bill. Count the number of thirteens. On the eagle one wing has 32 sections while the other has 33. The symbology in these two seals is very blatent to those who understand the symbolic language. 13 inches is equal to 33 centimetres. So this relationship even shows up in our measuring system which originated in masonic France in the 1790s. 666 divided by 212 Farenheit (boiling point of water) is equal approximately to PI (3.14...) and 32 degrees Farenheit is when water becomes unfrozen which corresponds with the degrees of illumination in the Masonic Lodge. D. Farenheit was most definitely a student of the occult. As well as these few examples you will notice that many buildings (particularly those owned by foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation) are having symbology incorporated into their designs. Look out for symbols of the sun, pyramids, obelisks, the all seeing eye of Osiris, the circle with a dot in the middle, a snake in a circle biting its tale. The list of symbology goes on and on, it is all over the place.