Freemasonry is easily one of the most pervasive international fellowships in world history. It is difficult to determine their actual origins. It is known that they began to organize possibly as far back as the days of Solomon’s Temple, but the establishment is a general subject of conjecture. The most prevalent condition that promotes this idea of organized criminal activity is the element of secrecy that is at the center of the operations of the lodges and the protectionism that is implemented by their hierarchy.
Most people who have heard of the Masonic Lodge have heard conspiracy theories and lies about our work. We are supposed to be a secret society, bent on ruling the world. We are supposed to engage in black magic or blood sacrifices. We kill those who go against us—they say—and plot for all sorts of evil. Books, films, websites and fringe radio talk shows have all been produced to slander the Lodge, and Masons have come under heavy persecution around the world.
Few organizations in the world are as controversial as the Masonic Lodge. This can seem confusing at first to those familiar with what the Lodge actually does—charitable work such as Scottish Rite hospitals, brotherly fellowship for its members and the opportunity for self-improvement for those who learn its ways. A look at the history of the Lodge and the lies that have been spread about it can help to clear up this confusion.
The prominence of some Masons, and the interest piqued by the privacy of many of our rites has led to speculation and curiosity. Some of this speculation has mixed with conspiracy theories to produce some major misconceptions about the Lodge. In the interest of protecting our image, here are some of the most common mistaken ideas about Freemasons and a response to each.
Antisemitism is, in many ways, the original conspiracy theory. The idea that a tiny group of people is plotting within its ranks to take over the world, the bizarre legends about their supposed origins and the violence of the paranoid people who believe these tales are all hallmarks of both antisemitism and conspiracy theories. Around the same time as antisemitism’s rise, many of the same bitter souls who attacked Jewish people began an obsession with the Lodge. To this day antisemitism and anti-Masonic ideas go hand in hand. Here is a look at the connections between antisemitism and anti-Masonry.