I’ve been off the grid for a while, doing some heavy work. But I’m jumping back in and I wanted to give you something to sink your teeth into.
One of the biggest challenges for people is to think about what Freemasonry means and is. So I created a writeup about the Freemason Identity. As a note, this is just a briefer as truly understanding Freemasonry could take a lifetime.
Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Masonry is a “secretive society” yet the vast majority of the Masonic world can be easily searched online. It’s classified as a fraternity but it’s not like any fraternity we know today. Everyone who goes through the ritual is considered a Speculative Mason. While an Operative Mason works on actual buildings, a speculative Mason works on “building and perfecting their own mind” and are given tools with moral meanings that are up to the interpretation of the individual Mason. All brothers are equal on the level. And one step further, there isn’t any Masonic authority at all as each lodge/grand lodge can choose to recognize other lodges at their discretion.
The true origins of Freemasonry are generally unknown. What we do know is that Freemasonry has been spawned by a society of secretive builders. Many modern scholars point to the gothic builders of Medieval times as the source, but as someone who has experienced the ritual I can confidentially say there is no way those builders were the sole designers of modern Freemasonry. Archeological research has shown that there are references to Masonic elements as far back as the Ancient Egyptians. The Bible is littered with references to things that Freemasons experience and understand. From Greek Mystery Schools, to Jewish teachers/prophets, to The Knights Templar, there has been a variety of likely elements that lead to the gradual construction and design of the Speculative Masonry that we see today. In 1717 Masonry revealed itself to the public and you can now find Masonic lodges in almost every country around the world.
Freemasons have almost always been on the forefront of modern thought. Allowing men of all races and creeds to come together, and men of all religions and beliefs to come together and men of all social and economic classes to come together has been part of our design since time immemorial. We espouse values Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth and we constantly seek to internalize those ideas. We are ever in search of creating harmony between people. If there was a revolution against tyranny that installed a republic/democracy around the world, dollars to donuts there were Freemasons in key positions. From the civil rights movement, to religious freedoms, to the fighting of anti-semitism, to fighting income inequality, and so forth, Masons have always pushed for a more on-the-level society.
As such, we have been hated by many from day 1. Those ideas of religious tolerance made us enemies of the Catholic Church and the Church immediately hunted us down and imprisoned those that were Masons. Protestant leaders, the same people we fought for tolerance for, have condemned us as a Satanist conspiratorial force for world domination. The first American 3rd party, The Anti-Masonic party, wiped out Freemasonry in the US. Freemasons were hunted down during the Spanish Inquisition, and then Franco took power during WWII and imprisoned or killed 80,000 suspected Masons. We have been crushed in Tsarist Russia, and then sent to the Gulags in Soviet Russia. We have been banned from almost all atheist Communism groups for being a threat to their system and illogical for our theism. Italian nationalists have sought to kill us, African warlords have suppressed us, the UK government targets us specifically, Japan used as an an excuse to attack China in WWII, etc. We are banned in almost every Arab nation around the world, Al-Qaeda has tried to blow us up and much of Islam considered us a Zionist menace. Liberal hippies have accused us of being “squares” that we’re just a bunch of racist rich people. And our suppression culminated in the Protocols of Zion, and anti-Masonic/Jewish hoax that Hitler used to exterminate almost all the Freemasons he captured during the Holocaust. Even today, people treat us with a conspiratorial tone and suspicion.
However, I have never experienced a “Masonic SJW”. Masons don’t really talk about this part of our history or identity at all. After spending some time on TiA, I’m glad we don’t.
Yet while Freemasons have suffered, they have also occupied some of the highest positions of power in the world. From revolutionaries, to kings/presidents, to scientists, comedy, businessmen, artists, explorers, writers, clergy, sports, and philosophy, our brotherhood has helped laid the foundation for many great men to help build the world in better ways. No society of people have overthrown more tyrannical governments then Freemason brothers have. Even governments that have been occupied by some influential Freemasons! (see Mexico and France for example) The Rothschilds family was populated by a number of Masons, half of all US presidencies (President/VP) have either had a Mason there or a relative that was a Mason, about half of all US supreme court justices have been Masons, almost every major Hollywood studio had a Freemason founder, the Godfather of the Internet was a Freemason, etc etc. Even today, while the environment is still suspicious of Masonry, a few brothers have been public about their affiliation, such as Steve Wozniak of Apple, to John Elway/Shaq, Michael Richards of Seinfeld, to Eric Cantor of unemployed. And there are many others out there. Also Wikipedia is notorious for not having proven Masons to be on their respective pages…but it is Wikipedia so there’s that.
This is Masonry in all of its confusing, complex, enlightening, eclectic, diverse and similar identity. It’s a trip, I’ll tell you that.