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Some of Hosea's relatives joined this General Society.

BALLOU'S SECOND INFLUENCE

The next influence on his life was the Mason (again with a possible Jewish heritage) Ethan Allen. Ethan Allen's book Reason the Only Oracle of Man changed Ballou's thinking. Allen's

Masonic membership has been debated back and forth, the author tends to side toward the evidence that he was a Mason. Records from lodges back then are often nonexistent, and it is not that perilous to believe statements of people that he was a Mason. Masonry was very strong in that area and not only influenced Ethan Allen, but also the family of Joseph Smith. (The connections between the Universalist Church and the origins of Mormonism will be discussed elsewhere, as well as the Masonic tie ins.)

Ballou himself cites Masonic deist writers as the source of his views. "It may be proper for me here to state one circumstance, which, no doubt, had no small tendency to bring me on to the ground where I have, for many years, felt established. It was my reading some deistical writings.

By this means I was led to see that it was utterly impossible to maintain Christianity as it has

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