Notes and Quotes-February 6, 2022


Tom Morrow


The World’s Most Mysterious Organization

By Tom Morrow

Chances are very good you, or one of  your close relatives or friends have or is a “Freemason.” It’s an ancient fraternal organization that all walks of life are members, including U.S. presidents and other world leaders.
For the most part, Freemasonry is a mysterious, world-wide fraternal organization for men only.
The first Masonic Grand Lodge was established in England in 1717. What’s the origin? One theory suggests Freemasonry may have been an outgrowth of Rosicrucianism, which is a spiritual and cultural movement that arose in Europe in the early 17th century.
Shriners International, commonly known as the “Shriners” is a Masonic society established in 1870. Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth. The organization is best known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children that it administers, and is well-known for the red fezzes members wear. Shriners are prominent daily via television for their pleas of donations for their hospitals.
To join a Masonic Lodge it is the candidate who must “… ask to join.” While the candidate may be encouraged to ask, he may not be outwardly invited. Once the interested party makes his initial inquiry a formal application may be proposed and seconded or announced in open Lodge and a more or less formal interview usually follows. If the candidate wishes to proceed, references are taken up during a period of notice so members may inquire into the candidate’s suitability and discuss it.
The attitude of most regular Anglo-American grand lodges remains that women Freemasons are not legitimate members, but that comes with an asterisk regarding transgender women, In 2018, Freemason doctrine notes members who, after initiation, ceases to be a man does not cease to be a Freemason. Anglo-American guidance states transgender men are allowed to apply for Freemason membership.
A minimum requirement of every body of Freemasons is each candidate must be “free and of good repute.” The question of freedom is nowadays one of independence. Every Mason should be a proper and responsible person.
Most Grand Lodges require a candidate to declare a belief in a Supreme Being, although every candidate must interpret this condition in his own way. All religious discussion is commonly prohibited.
If the candidate wishes to proceed, references are taken up during a period of notice so that members may inquire into the candidate’s suitability and discuss it. Finally, the Lodge takes an officially secret ballot on each application before a candidate is either initiated or rejected. The exact number of adverse ballots (“blackballs”) required to reject a candidate varies between Masonic jurisdictions from one to three negative votes.
During the induction ceremony candidate are required to undertake an obligation, swearing on the religious volume sacred to his personal faith to “do good in society.” Masons will promise to keep the secrets of their degree from lower degrees and outsiders, as far as practicality and the law permit, and to support a fellow Mason in distress. There is formal instruction as to the duties of a Freemason.
Freemasonry has attracted criticism from organized religions for supposed competition with respective doctrines and has long been the target of conspiracy theories, which assert Freemasonry to be an occult and evil power. Although members of various faiths cite objections, certain Christian denominations have had high-profile negative attitudes toward Masonry, banning or discouraging their members from being Freemasons. The longest history of objection to Freemasonry is the Catholic Church.
Dan Brown, an American author best known for his thriller novels “Angels & Demons” (2000), “The Da Vinci Code” (2003), “The Lost Symbol” (2009), “Inferno” (2013), and “Origin (2017) all have prominent references to Freemasonry.
Controversy theorists have long associated Freemasonry with the New World Order and the Illuminati, and describe Freemasonry as an organization either bent on world domination or already secretly in control of world politics. Freemasonry in the United States faced political pressure beginning with opposition to Andrew Jackson, who was a prominent Freemason. A number of political figures in the U.S. have been so noted with a membership list headed by presidents George Washington, James Monroe, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford.
Freemasonry is viewed with distrust even in some modern democracies. During Germany’s Nazi regime, the preserved records notes the persecution of Freemasons during World War II. Adolf Hitler believed Freemasons had joined those Jews conspiring against Germany. While the number of Nazi victims is not known, historians estimate up to 200,000 Freemasons were killed by the Nazi regime. Masonic concentration camp inmates were classified as political prisoners and wore an inverted red triangle.
The various aspects of Freemasonry is quite extensive and takes far greater explanation than this space allows. This is but a basic description of what has always been one of society’s great mysteries – for men only.

(Published in OsideNews)