24 Facts About Freemasonry


Degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Entered Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason.

FactSnippet No. 428,420

The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry and entrusted with grips, signs, and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated.

FactSnippet No. 428,421

Candidates for Freemasonry are progressively initiated into Freemasonry, first in the degree of Entered Apprentice.

FactSnippet No. 428,422

At the other end of the spectrum, "Liberal" or Continental Freemasonry, exemplified by the Grand Orient de France, does not require a declaration of belief in any deity and accepts atheists.

FactSnippet No. 428,423

Freemasonry describes itself as a "beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols".

FactSnippet No. 428,424

Snoek: "the best way to characterize Freemasonry is in terms of what it is not, rather than what it is.

FactSnippet No. 428,425

Freemasonry was imported to Jamaica by British immigrants who colonized the island for over 300 years.

FactSnippet No. 428,426

Prince Hall Freemasonry exists because of the refusal of early American lodges to admit African Americans.

FactSnippet No. 428,427

English Freemasonry spread to France in the 1720s, first as lodges of expatriates and exiled Jacobites, and then as distinctively French lodges that still follow the ritual of the Moderns.

FactSnippet No. 428,428

From France and England, Freemasonry spread to most of Continental Europe during the course of the 18th century.

FactSnippet No. 428,429

Many Ottoman intellectuals believed that Sufism and Freemasonry shared close similarities in doctrines, spiritual outlook and mysticism.

FactSnippet No. 428,430

Dispute during the Lausanne Congress of Supreme Councils of 1875 prompted the Grand Orient de France to commission a report by a Protestant pastor, which concluded that, as Freemasonry was not a religion, it should not require a religious belief.

FactSnippet No. 428,431

Term Continental Freemasonry was used in Mackey's 1873 Encyclopedia of Freemasonry to "designate the Lodges on the Continent of Europe which retain many usages which have either been abandoned by, or never were observed in, the Lodges of England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as the United States of America".

FactSnippet No. 428,432

Majority of Freemasonry considers the Liberal strand to be Irregular, and thus withhold recognition.

FactSnippet No. 428,433

Freemasonry had always promoted cosmopolitan universal values, and by 1917 onwards they demanded a League of Nations to promote a new post-war universal order based upon the peaceful coexistence of independent and democratic nations.

FactSnippet No. 428,434

In general, Continental Freemasonry is sympathetic to Freemasonry amongst women, dating from the 1890s when French lodges assisted the emergent co-masonic movement by promoting enough of their members to the 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite to allow them, in 1899, to form their own grand council, recognised by the other Continental Grand Councils of that Rite.

FactSnippet No. 428,435

Freemasonry has attracted criticism from theocratic states and organised religions for supposed competition with religion, or supposed heterodoxy within the fraternity itself and has long been the target of conspiracy theories, which assert Freemasonry to be an occult and evil power.

FactSnippet No. 428,436

The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declared that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication, and banned books favouring Freemasonry.

FactSnippet No. 428,437

Freemasonry's writings represented his personal opinion only, and furthermore an opinion grounded in the attitudes and understandings of late 19th century Southern Freemasonry of the US.

FactSnippet No. 428,438

In recent decades, however, reservations about Freemasonry have increased within Anglicanism, perhaps due to the increasing prominence of the evangelical wing of the church.

FactSnippet No. 428,439

The Orthodox critique of Freemasonry agrees with both the Catholic and Protestant versions: "Freemasonry cannot be at all compatible with Christianity as far as it is a secret organisation, acting and teaching in mystery and secret and deifying rationalism.

FactSnippet No. 428,440

In 1799, English Freemasonry almost came to a halt due to Parliamentary proclamation.

FactSnippet No. 428,441

Grand Masters of both the Moderns and the Antients Grand Lodges called on Prime Minister William Pitt and explained to him that Freemasonry was a supporter of the law and lawfully constituted authority and was much involved in charitable work.

FactSnippet No. 428,442

Freemasonry is viewed with distrust even in some modern democracies.

FactSnippet No. 428,443