Any organization with secrets is bound to attract myths and controversy from people on the outside. But it seems that, for whatever reason, Freemasonry receives a lot of unwanted attention, and as a result, many wildly inaccurate myths circulate about the fraternity. In this post, we will discuss four of the most commonly held myths about Freemasonry and try and set the record straight.
As always, this writing is not an expression of the official views of the Freemasons Community, but simply the reflections of one Co-Mason. We do not condone or attempt to reveal the any of the secret practices and rituals of Freemasonry.
1. Freemasonry is for rich, old, white men.
Some people believe that Freemasonry is a community for rich, old, white men. There’s a perception that only those with status and money can join a Masonic lodge, and membership of the fraternity is reserved for those within the upper echelons of society. This, however, is wholly inaccurate. Freemasonry is open to any man of eighteen years or older, providing they have a belief in a Supreme Being. Men of all colors, socio-economic status, and cultural and religious backgrounds are welcomed into lodges all around the world.
2. The American government is controlled by Freemasons
This one is a favorite of conspiracy theorists. Perhaps stemming from the fact that many former U.S. Presidents have been Masons, some people believe that Freemasons control the actions and policy of the American government. While there are undoubtedly Masons involved in U.S. politics, the notion that the whole Senate is controlled by the dark forces of Freemasons is totally far-fetched and sensational. Little else needs to be said here.
3. Masons are anti-women
Freemasonry has long been accused of being anti-women. Granted, throughout history, Freemasonry has been a society for men only, but that doesn’t mean that brothers are inherently anti-women. In fact, Masons are men of good moral character and respect their families and broader communities. Also, there are actually two appendant bodies of Freemasonry that are exclusively for women, which are fully supported by the United Grand Lodge of England.
4. Freemasonry seeks to replace the church
One of the most contentious things about Freemasonry is the fraternity’s relationship with the church and other religious bodies. To some, Freemasonry is a threat to established religion, and seeks to prise people away from their religious faith. In reality, Freemasonry is not a religion, and clearly articulates that it is not an alternative faith for men to consider. Instead, Freemasonry deals with a man’s relationship with his existence and provides him with principles and values that help to guide him through life.
If you’ve spent any time at all researching or learning about Freemasonry, you’ve almost certainly heard about one or more of the myths discussed above. While brothers will never be able to appease all of their critics, busting these myths gives you peace of mind that Freemasonry isn’t a sinister organisation with a hidden agenda.