Have you heard of Freemasonry? If so what do you know about it? If you're like most people, you probably heard stories of its hidden agendas and their desire to achieve global domination through a new world order. But is this true? The answer may shock you. Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternities. While its traditions date back to early history, Masonry in its current form appeared when its public events were noticed by the residents of London in 1717. Although Masonry—particularly during its early days—had some elements of secrecy, the first discovery of the supposedly highly secret Masonic ritual actually happened in 1696! Since then there have been tens of thousands of books published about this not-so-secret organization. Freemasonry’s singular purpose is to make men better and its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts throughout the centuries. Freemasonry is neither a forum nor a place of worship. It is not a religion, as many believe, and it does not teach a religious philosophy. Still, many questions remain about this “fraternity”. The following 25 Curious Facts About Freemasonry will attempt to shed some light on the matter and help us understand the organization’s cause and purpose a little better.
25 Curious Facts About Freemasonry | List25
Freemasonry exists in various forms all over the world, with a membership estimated at around five million (including approximately 480,000 in Great Britain and over two million in the United States).
Contrary to popular belief, the Freemasons are not a secret society. A Mason can freely tell people they are a Mason. They just can’t reveal the secrets of the order.
The conventional establishment of Freemasonry is usually dated to 1717, when the Grand Lodge of London emerged on June 24. The emergence of this Grand Lodge marked the beginning of Grand Lodges governing other lodges.
Freemasonry employs the tools and instruments of stonemasonry to teach a system of morality, friendship, and brotherly love, hence, the standard emblem of Freemasonry is the square and compasses.
Masonic symbols are usually regarded as existing because of the fraternity’s secrecy. However, in reality, Freemasonry started being illustrated by symbols because at the very beginning most Freemasons could not read, so the symbols served to remind members of the fraternity’s teachings.
The oldest Masonic symbol is the square and compasses. It is also the most universally recognized symbol of Freemasonry, though its exact significance varies from country to country.
A Masonic “lodge” refers to the congregation of people who meet there, it’s not just the name of a building. Each lodge gets a charter from a “Grand Lodge” but they basically run themselves. There’s no overarching ritual for running a meeting; it varies with each individual group.
It’s impossible to become a Freemason if you’re an atheist. The first requirement is that potential members must believe in a higher power of some kind.
There are two known branches of Freemasonry. The Regular, guided by the United Grand Lodge of England, and the Liberal, represented by the Grand Orient of France.
Masons traditionally recognize each other by various “secret” signs, including wearing a ring with a Masonic emblem, various lapel badges, and sometimes the famous Freemason handshake (when shaking hands, the thumb briefly strokes the other man’s hand in a certain way), though the last is mostly restricted to Freemasons in San Francisco and Washington, DC.