The Freemasons are shrouded in mystery and conspiracy. Their organization spans the entire globe and there are lodges from Africa to Oceania, but none are interested in divulging their secrets. This atmosphere of secrecy has gripped many and some have come to believe that the Masons may control the world governments, practice satanic worship, and/or control popular cultural entertainment.
It is also believed that the Freemasons may overlap with or be controlled by the now infamous Illuminati. Whatever wild ideas may be floating around, we only know that there are very few truths available to combat the crazy theories that have materialized.
What Are The Freemasons?
The Freemasons are a worldwide secret society. This organization evolved from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. Once the decline of cathedral architecture came to pass, the guilds transformed into lodges and started to become the Freemasons that we are familiar with today.
The first Grand Lodge was founded in England in 1717 and they adopted the rites and trappings of ancient religious orders as well as chivalric brotherhoods. By the 1730s, Freemasonry had made its way to the United States and lodges opened up in Philadelphia and Boston. Now there are lodges spanning the globe including Africa, Asia, North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, Europe, and Oceania.
Since the Freemasons follow ancient rules of chivalry, this means that women are not allowed to become Masons except under special circumstances and dependant on individual lodge rules. In certain circumstances, it is allowed for a woman to join if her husband passes away in order to continue his trade. The Freemasons also allow trans men to apply for membership and believe that a trans woman who was previously initiated as a Freemason is still a Mason after her transition.
There are three traditional degrees—Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason—that are studied. However, there are also a dizzying array of extra degrees, lodges, and systems in place depending on your particular lodges rules. They also love and study Masonic symbolism, which is likely an aspect that interests conspiracy theorists the most.
Also, although it is required for initiates to believe in a supreme being and take their vows upon the matching scripture, discussion of politics and religion are banned. There is still plenty of information known about the structures and history of the Freemasons, but plenty also remains shrouded in mystery.
So, What Are They Hiding?
Well, we don’t know! Since every lodge is run individually and their secrets have been well kept over the past couple of hundreds of years, it is unlikely that we'll be able to learn any further information about the organization. The Freemasons purpose and secrets will remain shrouded in mystery, although their global presence and membership are sure to remain a hot topic for wild conspiracy theorists.
In any case, we highly doubt that the Masons are controlling governments, pop culture, or performing satanic rituals; it’s more likely that they’re teaching each other secret handshakes over brunch beers while discussing their next social and charitable events.
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