FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show World Leaders After A Secret Grand Lodge Meeting?
An image shared on Instagram purportedly shows former President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Chinese President Hu Jintao at a secret Freemason Grand Lodge meeting.
View this post on Instagram
The photo actually shows Bush, Putin and Jintao at a 2006 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam.
The image shows Bush, Putin and Jintao wearing blue robes, standing together. “Bush, Putin and China’s president photo taken at a secret Grand Lodge meeting,” reads text inside the post. “They are all in the same club, answering to the same Lord, pretending that they are enemies because that keeps them in power, so they can introduce even tighter draconian measures in each of their respective countries to keep the swill down and ensure THEIR BREED stays on top.”
The post appears to be suggesting that all three world leaders are members of the Freemasons, a secret fraternal order that dates back to the Middle Ages. The Instagram image includes a picture of the “square and compasses,” a symbol utilized by the Freemasons, according to the group’s website. However, the picture was not taken at a secret Freemason Grand Lodge meeting.
Check Your Fact found the same picture included in a Time Magazine slideshow titled “See World Leaders Wearing Local Attire at Past APEC Summits.” APEC is a regional economic forum made up of 21 member countries that are located along the Pacific Rim, according to its website. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show George W. Bush’s Daughter Wearing Hijab)
“From left, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush wear traditional attire during the APEC Summit in Hanoi on Nov. 19, 2006,” reads the caption of the photo in the Time Magazine slideshow. The picture can also be found on Getty Images.
It is common for world leaders to don traditional garb during APEC’s annual summit, Buzzfeed News reported. In the instance of the 2006 APEC Summit, the presidents wore traditional Vietnamese “ao dai” silk tunics, according to Reuters.