posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:46 AM
Freemasonry, as an organization endures ridicule on all fronts. Being accused of a varying amount of conspiracies, essentially to summarize it, if
there has ever been a conspiracy somehow, someway Masonry was involved.
Of course, this is absurd. This all seems to stem from misconceptions on "what is Masonry" .. Is it a religion? What is it's structure? What are
the beliefs? Isn't possible, no matter how remote that there COULD BE a secret Cabal running Masonry for subversive means?
I hope to expand upon the misconceptions I see most often on ATS, in the hopes to open peoples minds and allow a fresh outlook on Masonry.
Is Masonry a Religion? - Short answer: no Long answer: Freemasonry is many things to many people, and I will never deny that there have
been a few in our history who have thought Masonry WAS a religion. Freemasonry holds no Dogma.. we command our men to do good works for the sake of
developing their own person .. however we do not offer reprocutions, we do not offer salvation, we simply offer the command to do good because
it's the right thing to do. To join Freemasonry YOU MUST subscribe to SOME KIND of religion .. how ever loose the religious institution you
belong to does not matter, so long as you accept and respect the Deity you worship. Essentially this means unlimited faiths belong to Masonry, which
would make a singular dogmatic concept entirely impossible.
Freemasonry commands Family and God comes before Masonry. We expect Masonry to further your belief in your OWN religion, be it Christian, Jewish,
Pagan, Deist.. doesn't matter.
So If Masonry is Not a Religion, What is It?!?! A structured fraternity, essentially. Not a religious institution. It is however, an
institution that expands on certain philosophies.. philosophies are not religious beliefs, but rather ideas inspired by man, not God. Philosophies
can, of course be good or bad, depending on your prospective. The Masonic Philosophies are represented in the form of Degrees.. to impress upon a
candidate the importance of these ideas, and we expect all Masons to conform to the philosophies of the institution .. which is why unethical behavior
is quickly punished in Masonry..
Fine, So it's Not a Religion, But Why Rituals Then?? A ritual is essentially something done repeatedly as a custom, to impress upon someone an
idea, a belief, a concept, or even a habitual action. Brushing your teeth is a ritual. Accepting Communion is a ritual. Going to church on Sunday,
is technically a ritual.. Freemasonry's rituals can seem incredibly weird from an outside perspective. I was in the Master Mason Degree 3 times
before I even saw it (used and abused I was, I always end up being the candidate for inspection...) And trust me, it is something you will never
experience anywhere else in this day and age.. Is it Wrong? No. Is it Scary? Of course, that's the point.. to blindly and completely,
unconditionally trust strangers.. I can guarantee no where in the World will you find a test like that, other then Masonry.
All This "Brother" Talk, It's Kinda Cult Like?.. This one I take personally, because no one understands it, it seems anyways. I was out
with friends one night, and there was a guy with us who I had never met before, and turned out to be a Mason. But because he was a Mason, I was a
Mason, and we could swap stories and experiences and talk about our respective lodges we could call each other Brother knowing full well we traveled
the same path. I once was sitting at a restaurant table and our waiter was in my Scottish Rite class .. Never had a full conversation with him prior,
but knowing we traveled the same path, we where brothers and had much to talk about. I can think of no institution, no religion, no other fraternity
that brings Human Kind together in such a way. That where ever your travels bring you, there is a Lodge, and Masons all over the place that you can
create instant friends. The use of the word Brother is simply recognition of equality, my Brothers are my equal and I recognize them as such.
So, Who is the Head of ALL Masons? - Nobody. Freemasonry is a DIRECT DEMOCRACY. Something so many WISH we had in America. The Officers of
the lodges in any given state elect the Grand Lodge. The Grand Lodge operates the same way a normal lodge will, with one year terms.
Ok, But Isn't Possible for There to Be a Ultra Secret Masonic Cabal Dictating Masonry? - Yes AND No. No, there can never be a "head of all
masonic cabal" because that is not how our structure is formed. It is very possible however that someone in the Grand Lodge is corrupt and steals
money, or partakes in shady business practices. The Masonic Grand Lodges are so regulated by the IRS that it seems highly unlikely. And if you ever
get the chance to see a Communication you will see, a negative income flow from the Grand Lodge is enough to spark a riot. Stealing money would thus
be unwise. But again, it's possible, I imagine it has happened before as well. Individual Lodges are more easier to "corrupt" in the sense that
it's less regulated. Usually the heads of lodges and those who partake in Officer positions are the ones who care about Masonry so deeply they would
rather die then betray the institution. BUT it IS Possible. Any institution can have such corruption.
Many Anti Masons seem to think there is this secret collage of super wealthy Masons who run the show and steal the money. There isn't. IF there is
a conspiracy of a group of Masons stealing money, they are not doing it for the lodges, they do it for themselves and are not acting for the benefit
of Masonry, and do not represent Masonry. It is no different then Clergy members raping kids.. they are not true Christians, they do NOT represent
Christians, and they don't do it for the sake of the Church.
Secrecy Cannot Be Trusted!!!! - Sure it can. Secrecy, and Privacy are different, it is not the public's business to watch our meetings, our
degrees or anything of the likes. The actual "secret" is not so much a secret, but rather the entire collection of philosophies we have to live by.
Truly something only understand unless you actually partake in the degree, if YOU are the candidate. Not all Masons feel the secret, but those that
do never forget it (ah, forgot to mention, the secret can be explained in words, though different to every Mason, it is essentially a feeling
experienced in the degree work). There is no "secret" in the sense of "I know something you don't know!"
Why Are So Many Powerful People Masons? - The rich and the famous.. are eccentric. Most Masons, if you have not been able to tell are more on
the eccentric side.. We are "different" in how we think, act and so forth.. Masonry does not make a man powerful, instead powerful men join Masonry
because it fits their personality. I am yet to meet a man who attributes his success to Masonry.
Pagans! It's Not Compatible With Christianity! - Sure it is! There are Pagans in Masonry, there are Jews and Christians, Muslims and
Buddhist, Gnostic's and Deist! .. Masonry is only a school of philosophies and has nothing to do with religion .. If Freemasonry did lead you away
from your religion, then you where never really a believer to begin with. There is not a single lesson in Freemasonry that would go against ANY
Compatible With Christianity, Then Why NO Mention Of Christ???
Freemasonry, while completely compatible with Christianity, is NOT Christian in any way .. it is void of religion. The Great Creator is in reference
to a Universal God, represented by the many thousands of names, given by the faiths among the Masonic population to represent this singular God. We
do NOT delve into theological beliefs, so any reference to one religion in particular is not accepted, and even considered illegal. When I say Great
Creator, I think of my God, a Christian thinks of his, and we as Masons accept that both of our Gods are one in the same, represented by different
names based on how we our selves perceive the Lord. No two peoples religious beliefs are the same, and as such no one persons views should EVER be
forced upon anyone.
Masonry And ..... Politics? - NO. Freemasonry is not involved in Politics. Our political beliefs vary to every possible spectrum of the
political range that, it literally would be impossible to get people to accept on political belief.
What Ever, I STILL Don't Like Masonry! - I don't expect everyone to like Masonry. We will all admit, it is NOT for everyone.. But for that
man who is searching for something more, Masonry is there. For those in search of the light, Masonry is there.
I would suggest reading real Masonic sources, and develop a better understanding of the people before you spout hatred and bigotry. There is nothing
more unbecoming of a man, then to hate, shout and insult a people you know nothing about.. Vile is hatred, bigotry and ignorance, don't succumb to it
and be enveloped in it.. and most importantly.. accept
To those different then you. Thank you for reading!
-Steve, Master Mason.
[edit on 6/20/2008 by Rockpuck]