THIS IS MY FIRST POST ON THIS THREAD
I am surprised by the junk being thrown around, and wish only to offer some light where there seems to be massive amounts of confusion and
I do not want to get into fights with groups of people in general, or any one person in particular, and suggest that answers to many often asked
questions can be found on the website shown here...
May I add...
Although there are many organisations or people who claim the title 'Masonic' not all are recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England, of which
I am proud to have been a member for the last 20 years, having joined at age 21.
Whilst some people may immediately brand me as 'involved' in the often alleged 'Masonic conspiracy', and therefore suggest that everything said or
quoted by me or any other Mason 'cannot be trusted', I should here observe that asking for answers from non-Masons may be less fruiutful.
Before I was a member, I asked members about Masonry, not non-Masons.
As a youngster I greatly admired my now-deceased grandfather, and always wondered why he was such a noble and honorable man who had great respect from
many, and had great respect for others. I can say that I never heard him say a bad word about anyone.
These and other qualities are in no way exclusively Masonic; indeed one of my closest friends, who is not a Mason, also has the most noble of
qualities in abundance. Many of which could easily be descibed as 'Masonic'.
As a teenager I thought to myself, 'If my grandfather, who is a good man has been a Mason for 25 years, then Masonry must be something good as
well!' I asked questions, and was told 'Masonry is a moral guide, if you follow it you can do no wrong in the sight of God and man'
I joined, and was convinced by the positive message of Freemasonry, and saddened by the misconceptions that abound.
I have to say that I am in no way perfect in the eyes of God or man, but as Enzo Ferrari once said... 'There is no such thing as perfection, only the
search for it'
I wish everone of you who reads this, Mason or non-Mason, a happy and fruitful life, and trust that all find what they are searching for.
For the interested...
The 'Book of Constitutions' and 'Ceromonies' are published and can be purchased by anyone.
The United Grand Lodge website is..
Extract from the Q&A section...
Q Why are you a secret society?
A We are not, but lodge meetings, like those of many other groups, are private and open only to members. The rules and aims of Freemasonry are
available to the public. Meeting places are known and in many areas are used by the local community for activities other than Freemasonry. Members are
encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.
Q What are the secrets of Freemasonry?
A The secrets in Freemasonry are the traditional modes of recognition which are not used indiscriminately, but solely as a test of membership, e.g.
when visiting a Lodge where you are not known.
Q What happens at a lodge meeting?
A The meeting is in two parts. As in any association there is a certain amount of administrative procedure - minutes of last meeting, proposing and
balloting for new members, discussing and voting on financial matters, election of officers, news and correspondence. Then there are the ceremonies
for admitting new Masons and the annual installation of the Master and appointment of officers. The three ceremonies for admitting a new Mason are in
two parts - a slight dramatic instruction in the principles and lessons taught in the Craft followed by a lecture in which the candidate's various
duties are spelled out.
Q Why do Freemasons take oaths?
A New members make solemn promises concerning their conduct in Lodge and in society. Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional
methods of proving that he is a Freemason which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known. Freemasons do not swear allegiances to each
other or to Freemasonry. Freemasons promise to support others in times of need, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God,
the law, their family or with their responsibilities as a Citizen.
Q Why do your 'obligations' contain hideous penalties?
A They no longer do. When Masonic ritual was developing in the late 1600s and 1700s it was quite common for legal and civil oaths to include physical
penalties and Freemasonry simply followed the practice of the times. In Freemasonry, however, the physical penalties were always symbolic and were
never carried out. After long discussion, they were removed from the promises in 1986.
I will come back to this thread from time to time.
Regards and Best Wishes