[Square & Compasses]

Some Points About Freemasonry

Some points about what Freemasonry is and is not, and what we do and do not...
  • Freemasonry is a charitable organization. Freemasonry, for just one of many possible examples, is the largest contributor of blood to Red Cross and other blood banks. The Shriners' Burns Institutes and Hospitals for Crippled Children (at which all services are FREE!) are well known, but it is less known that to join the Shrine, you have to be a Freemason.
  • Freemasonry is a social organization. Freemasons enjoy meeting new people and socializing with old friends. The Craft offers ample opportunities for both.
  • Freemasonry is an educational organization. It is one of our basic principles that Freemasons should seek a greater knowledge of the universe and their place in it.
  • Freemasonry is a philosophical organization. Our ritual (which is rich, complex, and endlessly inspiring) stresses certain fundamental truths upon which, on reflection, men of many different backgrounds, religions, and opinions can agree -- and have agreed for centuries. This ritual forms the focus of our regular meetings.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a religion. No atheist can be a Mason, and we as Masons are obliged to honor the Deity we recognize, but we preach no dogma and we neither offer salvation nor threaten damnation for the observance or omission of any particular religious belief.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a political organization, despite any fiction one might read concerning long-defunct splinter organizations or those that met under the guise of Freemasonry, like the Illuminati or P2. In fact, the discussion of political issues is strictly forbidden at Masonic meetings.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a secret organization. A secret organization is one that keeps its existence, or at least its membership, secret. Everyone knows Freemasonry exists, and Masons are proud of being members. Freemasonry is an organization with secrets -- mostly relating to forms of recognition, points of ritual, etc. We do not have the recipe for the Elixir of Life, nor (despite recent sensational publications) do we know where the Holy Grail is hidden.
...I hope this helps those non-members who have been wondering.

The preceding is my own opinion. I am not a spokesman for Freemasonry as a whole (there is no such person) nor for any grand or subsidiary lodge or other subset of Masons.

--- Wor. Steven H. Mesnick

The preceding essay is (CL) Copyleft Steven H. Mesnick <mesnick@pobox.com> 1994.

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