posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 10:32 AM
As a Freemason, I can tell you that we are not a secret society, but a society with secrets.
I know the statement shown above will no doubt get a few people's hackles up but it is true, and if you pause for thought it makes sense too.
Freemasonry has been around for millennia and as its name suggests, it grew from those involved in the trade of Masonry. Many of the secrets,
passwords and 'special handshakes' were developed purely to allow Masons to identify one-another, or be identified as Masons of a particular level
of skill or experience. By doing this, a Mason could prove his worth and be paid for his work accordingly.
Needless to say, most Freemasons today are not actual stone masons and the organisation is mainly devoted (in my experience, anyway) to raising money
for charities and good causes.
In my own Lodge, we regularly raise money from events and then donate it quietly, without any fuss, to people or organisations we feel need some extra
help. Typically we do this by spotting a need, for example reading an article in the local paper about the family of a person with disabilities who
need to buy a special piece of equipment like a hoist or electric wheelchair, but cannot afford it. We take a vote, and if approved, we either send a
representative round to the family with a cheque, or arrange for the piece of equipment to be bought and delivered.
No executive salaries to pay, no people with clipboards in the town centre trying to get you to sign up for a direct debit to a charity without
telling you they are being paid £50.00 per day to stand there. We just raise the money and give it away.
Most Lodges (my own included) have one or two 'preferred charities' to which we donate money repeatedly throughout the year. In our case it is for a
childrens hospice in the town in which our Lodge is based. Over the years, we have donated many thousands of pounds to this very worthwhile cause.
We do not seek publicity for our actions, preferring instead to simply help where we can. To be honest, it does give me a nice warm 'fuzzy' feeling
to know that we have helped a particular individual or good cause if we get any feedback - some people won't know where the money came from, whereas
some will, and they will usually say 'thank you' - and everyone we have helped (who knows where the money came from) is very grateful. I don't feel
embarrassed about that - its a natural emotion as far as I am concerned.
I keep quiet about my membership, although a few close friends and most of my family know I am a Freemason.
It is true that the organisation is there to help other Freemasons as well. The same could be said for a number of other organisations too - from the
boy scouts up! The basic thinking here is that if I am a Freemason and know that another Freemason is in trouble/distress/etc, then I should help him
if I am able to, so long as by doing that I do not cause harm to myself or my family.
In terms of Freemasons being in it 'for the power' thing, I have not benefitted directly or indirectly from being a Freemason in all the time I have
been involved (over 5 years) in terms of getting new business (I work for myself) or in terms of gaining 'power' by which I think the original
author is implying some kind of power over others in society. I have risen through various 'positions' within Freemasonry over the years but you
could liken these to the various positions in any organisation that needs some structure (e.g. Chairman/Treasurer/Secretary etc, etc) in order to
operate effectively - there is nothing untoward about this and it does not give me any 'power' outside my Lodge.
I have never tried to benefit business-wise, in spite of several people 'identifying' themselves as Masons to me (whether deliberately or not!)
during business meetings.
So, feel free to carry on with your theories, but as another respondent suggested, why not just ask and see if you want to join!
Oh, and there's no goats involved!!