Does a person have to be asked or invited to join the Freemasons?
No. This is a common misconception because we do not proselytize (recruit someone to join one’s party, institution, or cause). Every person must come “of their own free will and accord”, without influence or persuasion. Anyone is able to join a Masonic lodge simply by showing interest. There are a few requirements, which you can read about in our section How Can I Become A Freemason?
Do you have to be a Christian to become a Freemason?
No. Freemasonry is open to anyone of any religion. In fact, you will not be asked what your religious preference is. Talking about religion (not spirituality) is not allowed in a lodge. Therefore, Freemasonry is a brotherhood which helps the community with no religious barriers. You are however, required to have a belief in “God” a “Supreme Being” or a “Divine Creator”…. whatever your spiritual belief. However, you cannot be an “Atheist”(see How Can I Become A Freemason?). Freemasons take great honor in respecting “God”, life, humanity, and all creatures great and small. We stand up for the fair and equal treatment of all religions.
Does Freemasonry have a specific political agenda?
No. Freemasonry has always been open to anyone of any political party. In fact, you will not be asked which political party you support. Talking about ‘politics’ (not current events in the world) is not allowed in a lodge. The reason for this is so that men can get together and have a brotherhood helping the community without the problems of political differences. We as Freemasons take great pride in being patriotic, law-abiding citizens that are helpful, courteous and stand up for the fair and equal treatment of all.
Are women are excluded from joining the Freemasons?
Women are not excluded from joining aspects of Freemasonry. The Masons are a Fraternity. Its the same reasoning that men do not try to join a Sorority. There are many Masonic bodies that women can join (see Structure Of Freemasonry), such as The Order Of Amaranth, The Order Of The Eastern Star, The Order Of The Golden Chain, The Order Of True Kindred, White Shrine Of Jerusalem, Jobs Daughters and The Rainbow Girls for young women, just to name a few. There are Masonic clubs and bodies for everyone of any age or sex.
You said it was a fraternity… I thought that The Masons were a ‘secret society’?
No. We are a fraternity with some ‘secrets’. If we were a ‘secret society‘ you most likely wouldn’t even know it existed. Our buildings are clearly marked and our membership clearly documented and open (see List Of Famous Freemasons). Masons freely and proudly admit that they are members. We publicly wear masonic jewelry, have stickers/emblems on our cars, hold parades, fund-raisers, dinners, cookouts and have many publicly open events. There is simply nothing that suggests that we are a secret ‘society’.
So, what about all these ‘secrets’ I hear about all the time? Why have ‘secrets’?
The only ‘secrets’ are passwords, gestures, handshakes and other means for one Mason to know another and what level they are. This is mostly out of tradition. These combinations of ‘secret’ gestures have been and are still utilized to know if a person is really a Mason if he wants admittance to a lodge. Once one is a Master Mason, he can go to any lodge in the world and gain admission using these gestures. One example being only Master Masons can vote on changes made to the lodge or its policies. These ‘secret’ gestures are to ensure that a man is who he says he is and has done the proper work to attain his ranking. All other ‘secret’ knowledge that Freemasons share (which focuses on living as a better being) is information that has existed since the beginning of time and has been passed down through many cultures. This information has always been available, as long as one knows how to recognize it.
But, aren’t you a ‘Secret Cabal’ here to bring about ‘The New World Order’?
Yes. It’s called Western Democracy. We weren’t the only ones by far who had a role, but we played a big part. The representative republic you’re living if you live anywhere in North America or Europe is what we were working toward. Let’s all hope that it stays that way.