The Freemasons are considered some of the strongest, most dangerous and most secret societies in history. Their members have been said to be some very powerful ones, including famous international leaders who could easily control world currencies, start wars and infiltrate any other society at will. And entrance to the Freemasons was not easy at all.
Currently the group of freemasons is said to include around 6 million people worldwide. Some of the most famous members are said to have been George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, Harry Truman, Duke Ellington, Winston Churchill and Gerald Ford, among others. All well known names widely recognized all over the world.
The Freemasons were one of the 'good societies' in existence, promoting good deeds, acts of charity for the benefits of the community as a whole. While they are secret, there is lots of information about their values, principles, symbols, morals and ways to enter the exclusive society. In fact the Freemasons themselves prefer to be called an 'esoteric society' with a few secrets.
While the first masonic lodge (called The Grand Lodge) has been formed in 1717 when 4 groups of London lodges have joined together, it is said that masonic lodges have going back as far as the 16th century in Scotland.
Currently there are 3 main degrees of Masonry:
- Entered Apprentice, which gives you a basic membership into the society
- Fellow Craft, an intermediate position where you are to learn more about masonry and further your knowledge
- Master Mason, this is the most advanced level, where you are actually taking part in masonic rituals and activities.
The most common symbols associated with the Freemasons are the square and the compasses, and to enter meetings the members use various handshakes (tokens) and signs, which can be different from group to group. These different signs can easily identify the genuine members of the society.
Becoming a member can happen if you are recommended by another Mason, or when potential candidates inquire about the membership, however there are a few requirements that can make this possible:
- the person should be a man
- he should believe in a Supreme Being
- should have a good reputation and healthy morals
- should be physically and mentally fit
- must be freeborn (not a slave, etc)
- needs to come with sound character references
Women can not join the regular Freemasons lodges, however from case to case they can join various masonic bodies which is open for women as well.
Image credits: public domain Wikimedia