Among the many secret fraternal brotherhoods in
the history of mankind, Freemasonry seems to be an easy target for criticism by
the skeptics, mostly because freemasons have a policy of remaining immune to
all the accusations imposed upon them.
Freemasonry was virtually unknown to most people,
especially Indians. With the release of the popular bestselling novel 'The Lost
Symbol' by Dan Brown, there was a considerable statistical increase in the
number of people intrigued by Freemasonry.
According to the United Grand Lodge of England,
governing body of Freemasonry in UK, Freemasonry is a non-religious,
non-political, fraternal and charitable organization that 'teaches
self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members
are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly
The Grand Lodge of Michigan doesn't consider
Freemasonry to be a 'religion' as such though it emphasizes on the Fatherhood
of God and the Brotherhood of Man. 'The fraternity of masons are an
organization of men bound together with a philosophy of moral standards, mutual
understanding and brotherhood in which all men are on a level and equal' is how
they define it. They describe Masons as 'Men who have decided they like to feel
good about themselves and others. They care about the future as well as the
past, and do what they can, both alone and with others, to make the future good
Until now, Freemasonry was considered to be an
esoteric and secret organization, plotting conspiracies against leaderships and
involved in devil worship.
The method of recognition by secret signs,
words, grips, steps, etc.; a belief in the existence of God and in future life;
secrecy; and symbolical method of teaching are among the 25 'landmarks' or the
essential points of Masonry.
Masonic symbols and practices, metaphorical in
practice, were strongly opposed by religious leaders from around the world,
claiming them to be satanic and evil. Masons, on the other hand, consider their
acts of worship purely noble, and not anti-religious.
Assumed to be the protectors of the 'wisdom of
the ages', masons are deeply protective of their secrets and acts of their
brotherhood. Their practices are thought to have a profound impact on their
spiritual personalities, enlightening them, and releasing them from the
darkness of ignorance. Their ritualistic rooms and objects, though crude,
depict symbols of human's wisdom and their movement or progression towards a
higher power, making them capable of bringing god-like powers into themselves.
Contrary to their tag of 'secret society',
Masonic buildings are very clearly marked - Masonic brothers wear very visible
rings and jewelry, and Masonic meeting schedules are mentioned in newspapers.
They are, in fact, a society with secrets, much like any other organization or
company whose products we use in our day-to-day life. Pepsi may not be a secret
society, but it doesn't just give away its secret formula to everyone. The same
applies to the masons who strive hard to keep every bit of information to
themselves and maintain confidentiality.
Honor and integrity are essential to life. Life
without honor and integrity is without meaning. This is the Freemason motto. It
is worth following.