Skip to content

Robert W Sullivan IV


This week on The Malliard Report, Jim peeks under the mysterious apron and reveals some of the checkered insights to a number of the most renowned yet mysterious symbolism known to man. On this episode Jim is joined by 32nd degree Free Mason and bestselling author Robert W Sullivan IV to discuss hidden symbology in movies, themes, trends, and their cyclical patterns, and provides some insight to the meaning to some of the iconography that so many know, but know so little about.
Growing up in Maryland and studying Law at Trinity, Oxford, and Widener University, Robert honed his quick wit, and delved into his fascination with the occult. Joining the Masonic Lodge in 1997, Robert quickly rose through the ranks and soon found himself sitting at the 32nd degree. An avid writer and fan of the rich meanings and history of symbolism especially that found within the Masonic teachings, Robert soon noticed that rituals and iconography were sprinkled throughout most of our popular culture. (Most notably within movies) Robert quickly began documenting the various appearances of rituals, symbolism, etc. which eventually led to his first Cinema Symbolism: A Guide to Esoteric Imagery in Popular Movies. As most of these creative endeavors go, Robert quickly learned that he had too much information for just one book. A second Cinema Symbolism soon followed and there currently is a third in the works.
While there may be a large shroud of mystery surrounding Freemasonry, the overarching general concept consists of fraternal organizations that trace their lineage to the original stonemasons. Stonemasons originated as a fraternity in the fourteenth century in efforts to regulate the qualifications and interactions of stonemasons, authorities, and clients. Today they retain the levels from the original craft guilds of Apprentice, Journeyman (or Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These individuals fall under a larger group call a Lodge which is overseen by regional level Grand Lodge or Grand Orient. Each lodge is independently ran, and does not answer to a singular hierarchy. Modern Masonry is broken into two very broad groups. Regular Freemasonry, which maintains that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member professes a belief in a supreme being, that no women shall be admitted, and that political and religious discussions are not allowed. Secondly, there is the newer more “liberal” variant of Freemasonry referred to as “Continental Freemasonry” and this allows a lifting on some if not all of the aforementioned restrictions.
Robert provides some amazing insight to some of the meanings behind the symbology that is often seen and associated with when dealing in Freemasonry and candidly shares his thoughts on the perceived notions of Freemasonry and much, much more. There is so much to Freemasonry that an hour long show is not nearly enough, and without writing a dissertation that would rival that of a doctoral thesis, we can only begin to scratch the very top surface level of the very tip of an incredibly large iceberg. So we encourage you to go out there and dig into your own research. If not on this topic, on something else that you find fascinating. The world is a crazy and mysterious place. But I digress. Robert is a great guest and you can find all of his latest information on his website and all of his books are available through Amazon. To keep up to date on all things Malliard head over to Twitter @Malliard and make sure to like and share the show!