Did industrial tycoon and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller pen a Masonic creed that gave instructions to the world's elite on how to control the masses? No, that's not true: No evidence of such a creed attributed to Rockefeller exists, and the text attributed to him only traces back to 2002 and makes reference to video games, which were not invented by the time Rockefeller died in 1937.
The purported creed bears a resemblance to an anonymous post titled "THE SECRET COVENANT" posted on the financial website Bankindex.com in 2002 (archived here). A modified version of the creed reappeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on September 11, 2020. The section of the post that cites the purported creed began:
TEXT TAKEN FROM JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER MASONIC CREED -
' We will keep their lives short and their minds weak while pretending to do the opposite. We will use our knowledge of science and technology in subtle ways so that they never see what is happening. We will use soft metals, aging accelerators and sedatives in food and water as well as in the air. They will be covered in poisons wherever they turn.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook on June 8, 2021:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jun 8 20:18:07 2021 UTC)
In 2020, Snopes debunked the claim that this was a legitimate creed authored by Rockefeller. In addition to the discovery that the first version of the creed seemed to have originated in 2002 on Bankindex.com, the debunk also stated the obvious: that many of the inventions included in the version of the creed featured in the Facebook post, like video games, were invented after Rockefeller's death in 1937.
The Bankindex.com version of the creed also did not attribute it to Rockefeller. Instead, it was attributed to an anonymous Internet user. A message at the end of the Bankindex.com post from the website's editorial staff explained its origins:
The Bankindex editorial staff thanks you for all your e-mails regarding this piece, but we do NOT know who he or she is. The piece came in through one of our forms and the Author left an unusable e-mail address. Thank you.
Lead Stories reached out to the Rockefeller Archive Center on June 8, 2021, for confirmation that the creed featured in the Facebook post was not a part of Rockefeller's personal or professional records and to verify whether Rockefeller was even a participant in Freemasonry. The archive center referred us to resources that detailed Rockefeller's personal beliefs, business concerns and philanthropic contributions. In the archive center's biography of Rockefeller, it noted:
In addition to creating several corporate philanthropies, JDR continued to make personal donations to the following: theological schools; the Palisades Interstate Park Commission; victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; the Anti-Saloon League; Baptist missionary organizations; various YMCAs and YWCAs; parks in Cleveland; and colleges and universities, including Brown, Bryn Mawr, Columbia, Harvard, Spelman, Vassar, Wellesley, and Yale.
The biography, along with searches of "Freemasonry," "Freemason" and "lodge" in the Rockefeller Foundation's Digital Library, did not yield any documentation of Rockefeller involvement or philanthropic ties to Freemasonry.