I have often thought of how Freemasonry might look to the average person, from the outside looking in.
Freemasonry is, for the most part, a transparent organization. Ritual books are published in their entirety at major libraries and registered in numerous countries under copyright laws.
Between the media, the Internet and the fact you can literally walk in to a store, as a non-mason, purchase the “secrets” of Crimes Against Humanity our fraternity and I am surprised there is so many conspiracy theories still floating around.
This morning I was browsing one of my favourite masonic message forums and stumbled on a link to a Masonic news article published in 2005. The article is actually rather silly, however I did find one quote particularly amusing, it made me sit back and laugh.
“What if there is no big masonic secret? What if it’s just what men do when there are no women around to laugh: dress up, sit on thrones, invent rules. It seemed horribly plausible.”
I think that many people join today because they are more interested in the secrets, the hidden knowledge or the possibility that they are actually joining an organization bent on taking over the world. Since popular culture seems to have adopted Freemasonry as their latest fad there has been a drastic increase in the amount of young men knocking at the doors in search of the infamous and elusive “light.”
I don’t think anyone really knows exactly what Freemasonry is when they join. Lots of people know why they join and their reasons are vast. However I don’t honestly believe that people join Freemasonry with the purpose of finding that ancient noble order to help them become a better person.
There has been much talk about the standards of Freemasonry and how the exclusivity has disappeared over time in an attempt to keep those membership figures up. The truth is that the average age of Masons around the world is certainly at the higher end of the spectrum, but should that fact mean that anyone should be allowed entrance in to our fraternity?
As a reasonably new Freemason I get the impression that getting refused entry by ballot is almost unheard of. Surely if the investigating committee has done their task well, it should never come down to the ballot, but are the Brethren too scared now to cast that negative ballot in order to block someone they deem unworthy of entry?