It seems that the topic of Freemasonry can pop up just about anywhere. I was having breakfast with a friend from church when the subject of Freemasonry came up. My friend is not a mason, but he told me that a number of our church members are. I had seen a lapel pin here and there on several of them, but I never gave it much thought. But after hearing a brief list of some church members who were Masons, I was intrigued. My first thought was, "How can these blatantly Godly men be Satan worshipers?" Obviously, I had some pre-conceptions of Freemasonry, so I decided to do some research to see just what it was all about. So began my journey.
Being an Internet geek, I started at the obvious places: Google and Wikipedia. As with most topics on the Internet, I was overwhelmed by the volume of information. It was also a bit discouraging because it seemed that for all the positive and informative Masonic sites I found, there were just as many if not more negative and anti-Masonic sites. On one hand, I read information on pro-Masonic sites that sounded above board and legitimate, and on the other hand, I read the conspiracy theories and claims about Freemasonry's supposed "true" origins, involvements, and agendas. Some of these sites are quite convincing, and they do have some excellent information, but after a while, I became skeptical of many of the claims of the anti-Masonic view. I was reading one anti-Masonic blog that appeared to have some excellent and interesting information...up to the point where it referenced the "Moon Landing Hoax"! That's when the alarm bells went off, and I realized that my perusal of Masonic information had simply confirmed what I have always known: The Internet continues to be filled with lots of crackpots and paranoid people sporting tin-foil hats.
Are some of the anti-Masonic sites worth reading? In fairness, I have to say yes. After all, I believe that it's important to understand all sides of an issue. Just try to be discerning about what both sides have to say. It was at this point that I stumbled upon the site MasonicInfo.com. At first, I thought it was yet another anti-Masonic site. But it turns out that it is a very pro-Masonic site that includes lots of interesting anti-Masonic information with responses, rebuttals, and explanations from a Masonic perspective. I found it to be very informative, and I was impressed that it presented both sides of the story. I especially liked the "Masonic Primer" section which contains lots of interesting historical and practical information about the "who", "what", and "why" of Freemasonry. For anyone interested in Freemasonry, I suggest you check this site out. It is rich with information, and well worth the read.
One interesting consistency I found with many pro-Masonic sites is that they tend to provide just enough information to get you interested in what Freemasonry is, but they don't reveal everything about it. Many Masons will tell you that there are many things about Freemasonry that simply need to be experienced. In contrast, many of the anti-Masonic sites tend to want to reveal everything to the visitor. Again, this makes sense, as the apparent goal of many anti-Masonic sites is to "expose" Freemasonry. If you want to read the details of the rituals, and learn all of Freemasonry's "secrets", there are numerous sources, and they are available. But if you are at all interested in joining, then I'd recommend that it's probably best to avoid those sources and just experience things as they come. I've chosen not to dig too deep, for should I decide to join, I don't want to "spoil" anything.
Do take the time to research and learn. There are lots of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what Freemasonry is and isn't. Heck, if nothing else, you are in for some interesting reading!
This is my first article about my experience in Freemasonry.
- PC Magazine, 2006
- PC Magazine, 2006