We’ve heard it said many a time that Freemasonry is a conspiracy. The fraternity has long been easy pickings for conspiracy theorists the world over who have accused Masons of everything from assassination attempts to political coups.
Anyone who knows about the brotherhood’s inner workings understands that the conspiracy theories laid at Freemasonry’s door are off the mark and created to try and discredit the strong historical foundations upon which the fraternity is built.
Let’s take a look at some of the conspiracy theories that have been laid at Freemasonry’s door and educate ourselves on why they are not representative of the values and actual practice of the brothers within the fraternity.
As always, this writing does not represent the views and opinions of Freemasons Community, but is merely the reflections of one Mason.
Freemasonry is often mistaken for the Illuminati
The mysterious Illuminati is a favorite of conspiracy theorists all over the world. People who believe in the Illuminati’s existence accuse them of pulling strings behind government policy worldwide and consider them to be a type of new world order.
The Illuminati is so intriguing in popular culture that the group appears in movies, pop songs, and literature. They have been accused of influencing many of the major catastrophic events of the last few centuries.
A modern-day belief in the Illuminati is rooted in the Bavarian Illuminati that operated for only a decade, from 1776 to 1785. The group was initially formed to educate members on the importance of philanthropy and other secular belief systems that could influence political decisions.
Although there are perhaps some similarities in the Bavarian Illuminati belief systems and the early Masonic movement, they are not in any way related. Some of the modern-day confusion comes from the fact that some of the symbolism between each organization is shared, most notably the Eye of Providence, which has long been associated with the new world order of the Illuminati.
Because the accusations laid at the door of the Illuminati are so outlandish, it isn’t easy to lend them any credence. That being said, it’s undeniable that Freemasonry’s reputation has been damaged somewhat by the suspected activities of the Illuminati and the conspiracy theories that have followed.
Freemasonry as a front for Jewish world domination
Perhaps not as widely known as the misconceived conspiracy regarding the overlap of Freemasonry and the Illuminati, it has been suggested in the past that Freemasonry is just a front for Jewish world domination.
The theory goes that the inner sanctums of Freemasonry are dominated by Jews seeking to dominate the financial institutions that power the world. This was documented in the Anti-Semitic work entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
In the 1930s in Europe, Adolf Hitler believed that Freemasonry was merely a tool of Jewish influence, and he systematically wiped out any type of Masonic influence in Nazi Germany by purging Masons and discrediting their views.
Moreover, the covenant of the Palestinian movement Hamas claims that Freemasonry is a secret society founded to fund a Zionist plot to control the world.
It’s unclear exactly where this Anti-Semitic conspiracy theory originated, but it is perhaps representative of the wave of Anti-Semitism. That was prevalent in the world throughout the early-mid twentieth century. Because Freemasonry was a prominent community group in many parts of the western world, it was convenient for leaders to accuse Masons of supporting Jews to overthrow the pervading power structures.
Freemasonry controls the world of politics
Conspiracy theorists have commonly reported that Freemasonry pulls political strings worldwide, particularly in the US and the UK. We can perhaps attribute this to the fact that George Washington and several other early US presidents were Masons.
For some people, the fact that many US politicians were Masons is proof that the fraternity has directly influenced American politics since the declaration of independence. But this train of thought is flawed, and here’s why.
Related: Famous Men Are Freemasons
Just because former presidents were Masons, it doesn’t mean that the fraternity influenced policy. As those of us involved understand, the objective of Freemasonry is to encourage brothers to become more virtuous and to give their lives a framework, not to influence other people with their Masonic views.
Therefore, the fact that many early US presidents were Freemasons should be irrelevant when considering the decisions they made in office.
Freemasonry is trying to undermine religion
It has been widely considered by some of the world’s most prominent religious bodies, that Freemasonry attempts to undermine many of the accepted religious scriptures and associated teachings.
Perhaps the most prominent example today of this is the way in which the Catholic church prevents members of its congregation from becoming Masons. The history of mistrust between Catholicism and Freemasonry goes way back to the very beginning of the fraternity. Even today, Catholics who become Masons often keep it a secret from their church.
Religious authorities tend to have a problem because Freemasonry refers to ‘God’ as ‘The Grand Architect of the Universe’ and only require Masons to believe in a supreme being to join the fraternity.
This is a significant problem for many religions as they believe their God to be the one and only supreme being, and they don’t like the fact that Masons don’t stipulate the nature of the Grand Architect of the Universe.
Freemasonry has also been accused of making brothers perform Satanic rituals as part of initiation ceremonies, which of course doesn’t sit well with many of the prominent religious bodies in the world.
Although we know that such conspiracies are false, it’s still common to hear conspiracy theorists promote such misinformation, which of course poses reputational damage to the fraternity.
Due to the complex nature of Freemasonry and the fact that many of the rituals and ceremonies remain a secret to those on the outside, conspiracy theories will likely continue to abound in the near future. All Masons can do is ignore them and continue to attend their lodges, safe in the knowledge that the theories are baseless.