The Fraserburgh Lodge of Freemasons #1055

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry (or abbreviated simply to Masonry) is probably the oldest fraternal organisation in the world.

FRATERNAL - of or being a society of men associated in brotherly union, as for mutual aid or benefit.

The roots of modern Freemasonry can be traced back in time to the 16th. century by written accounts, beyond that is a subject of much argument, debate and conjecture (so I won't be going into that here), it is however, agreed upon that Freemasonry does pre-date written records.

The modern day structure of a Lodge of Freemasons is still based on the guild structures of old, in this case the guild of the Stone Mason's.

So how (I hear you ask...) did we get from being operative Masons in the 16th. century to speculative Mason's in the 21st. century?

Evolution... in this case the industrial revolution. As things progressed the need for educated men arose, in the form of architects, bankers, engineers, and so on. These men were initiated into the Craft, in much the same way that a building contractor will employ architects, designers, engineers, etc., none of whom are builders but very much part of the system. And so began the introduction of non-Masons into the Mason's Guild, and so it progressed until the speculative Masons outnumbered the operative... and here we are today.

But what is Freemasonry all about.?

The foundations of Freemasonry are built upon three great but simple principles...
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth...

BROTHERLY LOVE the concern which each Freemason has for his Brother, which is readily shown by tolerance and respect for the beliefs, opinions and practices of his fellows and his willingness to care for his Brother and that Brother's dependants.
...the Freemason is by nature and teaching a charitable man. He will cheerfully and kindly assist those less fortunate (whether Freemasons or not!). He will care for and support his community - local, national and international.
...the Freemason believes in Truth in all things in honesty and integrity in his personal, business and public life, in fair dealings and in firm standards of decency and morality.

...and because of these fundamental basic principles it is possible to unite men of every colour and creed under the universal banner known as Freemasonry.

To simplify the above would be to say that it is a Mason's belief that all men are created equal, and all deserve respect, love, relief and charity.

And what's all this talk about degrees..?

Craft Freemasonry consists of three degrees, those of...

Each degree has its own teachings in the form of morals, allegories and symbols to help good men become better men and implement some basic principles into everyday life.

Concerned with character or disposition, or with the distinction between right and wrong.
written, oral, or visual expression that uses symbolic figures, objects, and actions to convey truths or generalizations about human conduct or experience.
sign representing something.

The question "What is Freemasonry?" is commonly answered as "a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols", for a better explanation follow this link Morality, Allegory and Symbolism

The traditional framework into which most Masonic degrees are woven is the story and symbolism of King Solomon's Temple. The connection of Masonic teachings to the building of that great edifice comprises a system of education related to the traditional craft.

Is Freemasonry a secret society..?

No.! Freemasonry is not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets.!

And the difference being what.?

Freemasonry is a much publicised subject, between websites such as this, books, magazines, etc. there isn't anything that happens that hasn't been written about by someone somewhere. Its all been written about, admittedly some of what gets written is absolute gibberish, but then that's the same on any given subject.

Aside from that, Freemason's are at liberty to reveal themselves as such if they so wish. Have you ever had a friend that has been a long term member of, say for example a golf club or the World Wildlife Fund, and you didn't know? That doesn't make it a secret society, quite simply you just didn't know.

Masonic buildings (usually referred to as Temples) are usually conspicuous in any community, and any local could easily point it out to you. Also many Lodges advertise events online, in local newspapers and other forms of media.

Furthermore, there has never been any attempt to conceal the purpose, aims, and principles of Freemasonry. Its constitutions are published for the world to read, and its rules and regulations are open for inspection by anyone.

To be honest it doesn't really sound very secretive does it.?

The only Masonic secrets are those methods by which members (throughout the world) can recognise and greet each other. I know, its a bit disappointing but there you have it.!