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.
Masons are committed to making good men better, and are expected to uphold high standards of moral character. The Lodge is primarily known for its charitable work, and between hospitals, scholarships, public works such as litter control campaigns and other good deeds, millions of lives have been improved by our efforts. Still, like any large and longstanding organization, there have been some controversies associated with the Lodge over the years. Most of these are overblown, and the worst of them have no association with Masons in this country today. Here’s a look at some of the more notable controversies associated with the Masonic Lodge.
The Lodge’s commitment to tolerance and the brotherhood of all men has produced hostile reactions among many elements interested in keeping people divided and at odds with one another. For this reason, there are times when the Lodge has existed more or less underground. In most times, however, the Lodge operates openly, only keeping certain things private—means of identifying other Masons and details of certain rituals, for example.
Freemasonry is a social and service club that has attracted attention for as long as it has existed. Members must believe in a Supreme Being and agree to abide by the moral laws of society and government, but these beliefs have long attracted opposition from many sources. Two of the most vocal groups have been those opposed to the group’s political influence, and religious groups who actively discourage their members from joining.