The History & Purpose Of The Freemasons


Photo by janwillemsen / CC BY

The order of Freemasons has been in existence for hundreds of years, dating back to the 17th or 18th century. Similar to a college fraternity, freemasons have rituals and ceremonies to promote and celebrate their new members. They claim their goal is to promote friendship, morality, and brotherly love among their members.

Freemasons today say that they accept men from every race, every religion, every opinion and every background. As with most clubs, this was not always so; in America, African-Americans were refused admittance which prompted them to create a group of their own which is known today as Prince Hall Freemasonry. It is also worth noting that freemasons do not admit women; although there are Masonic lodges started by women they are not recognized a legitimate, and will not admit anyone who does not believe in a “higher power”. It doesn’t matter which higher power, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, whatever, as long as the man is not an atheist he can be admitted.

The original freemasons were local groups or fraternities of men who were actually stonemasons. Stonemasonry is the craft of making a piece of stone into geometric shapes such as a fountain, a tombstone, or a building. Some of the most famous buildings in the world are works of stonemasonry such as the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal, and the Easter Island statues. These early groups of men were like regulators, assessing the training of those who were Masons and also oversaw interactions with possible clients and figures of authority.

It’s interesting to note the conspiracy theories surrounding the Freemasons. Since the late 18th century people have been ascribing secret “goings-on” to the Freemasons usually involving world domination of one sort or another. Some groups have claimed that there is influence from freemasons in the legal systems, while others claim the Freemasons have infiltrated and control the highest levels of government power. Freemasons have been linked with the John F. Kennedy assignation, Jack the Ripper, and even the 9/11 terrorists. In London, doctors and the medical community in general have come under scrutiny with claims that the hospitals have their own lodges. There are also the infamous Illuminati with whom the Freemasons are supposed to be connected.

The order of Freemasons looks to “make good men better” by mentoring about values, truth, charity, and serving the community. For those who have questions about the Masons there are many websites available, some with live chat rooms that can give a person more information. With over 3 million members worldwide there are many lodges where an individual can walk right in and ask any questions they may have. An individual who is interested in becoming a Freemason must be sponsored by someone who is already a member and considering the size of their organization there’s sure to be a Freemason you already know.

At the end of the day the Freemasons seem to be an organization of men who have their meetings and rituals, serve their communities, do charitable works, and build things. If every organization performed acts such as these the world would benefit tremendously.