Myths Clarified
Popular questions answered and explained

If there is one thing most people are sure they know, it's that freemasons are never supposed to talk about freemasonry.

 

Not true. Oh, there are some secrets, but there's nothing in them that would interest anyone except a freemason. Almost all of the "secrets" deal with ways of recognizing each other. But as far as Freemasonry, what it does, what it teaches, how it's organized, where it came from, what goes on in a Lodge meeting - that's open for discussion. Given a chance, we'll probably tell you more than you really wanted to know. We're excited about the Fraternity, we get a lot out of it, and we really want to share that with others.

Then why hasn't anyone ever asked me to join? 

 

It's no reflection on you. There is a rule in freemasonry that a person must seek admission himself. We aren't allowed to go out and twist arms. There is a reason for that. A person needs to come to freemasonry because he really wants to, not because he's been talked into it. Freemasonry is a real commitment. If you are a freemason and you need help, every freemason in the world MUST help you, if he possibly can. By the same token, you must be willing to help any freemason who needs it. And then there is another reason - a person has to be ready for freemasonry.
Freemasonry isn't a civic club, although we do a lot of civic projects. It is a Fraternity. We're dedicated to the growth and development of our members as human beings. A person has to be ready to grow, has to suspect that there is something more to life, and wants to know what that is, before he is really ready to become a freemason.

 

 

What goes on in a masonic meeting?

 

There are two types of meeting agenda. The first is like the business meeting of any other organization. It takes us just a bit longer to call themeeting to order, because we use a longer opening ceremony or ritual than most civic clubs do. But, it reminds us of some of the most important lessons in freemasonry. Then, when the lodge is "open", we hear the reading of the minutes, vote to pay bills, take care of old and new business, and plan projects, just like everyone else. The other type of meeting is one in which new members are received. This is done with a beautiful ritual, centuries old, which is designed to teach some important lessons and to start the person thinking about his own nature as a spiritual being.

What's the initiation like?

 

The ceremonies of masonic initiation are meaningful and historic. Nothing humorous or embarrassing is permitted. In fact, it is a very serious masonic offense to allow anything to happen during an initiation which is undignified or "funny".

 

I've heard that Freemasonry is a religion. Is it? 

Can a man be a Freemason and follow a religion at the same time?

 

Freemasonry is not a religion, however it acknowledges the existence of the Supreme Being. No atheist can become a freemason. Prayer is an important part of the masonic ritual. Masonic vows are taken in the name of the Supreme Being of the person's particular faith, but Freemasonry never tries to tell a person how he should think about or how he should practice his particular faith, or why he should believe. We offer no plan of salvation. We teach that man should live a good life, not because that alone will earn him entrance into heaven, but because anything else is destructive, both to himself and to those around him. It is good to be good. 

As to whether a man can be a Freemason and religious, the best answer is that most us are. There are many Freemasons who belong to all sorts of faiths, like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.

Are there any churches or religions whose members you won't accept as freemasons?

 

No. A man's belief is his own business, and freemasonry has no right to approve or disapprove of his belief.

 

 

What about those "Secret Vows" I hear so much about?

 

The exact words of the vows are secret. That's one of the ways we recognize each other. The contents of the vows are not. In less formal language than we use in the Ritual, a freemason promises: "to treat women with deference and respect, to help a Brother when he asks for and needs help, to remember that people are entitled to dignity and respect and not to treat them as if they were things, to follow the directions of the Grand Lodge in things masonic, and if he disagrees, to use the proper channels to express that disagreement and seek resolution, to respect the traditions of the Fraternity, and to keep secret the few things that are secret".

Are there any churches or religions whose members you won't accept as freemasons?

 

No. A man's belief is his own business, and freemasonry has no right to approve or disapprove of his belief.

What about those "Secret Vows" I hear so much about?

The exact words of the vows are secret. That's one of the ways we recognize each other. The contents of the vows are not. In less formal language than we use in the Ritual, a freemason promises: "to treat women with deference and respect, to help a Brother when he asks for and needs help, to remember that people are entitled to dignity and respect and not to treat them as if they were things, to follow the directions of the Grand Lodge in things masonic, and if he disagrees, to use the proper channels to express that disagreement and seek resolution, to respect the traditions of the Fraternity, and to keep secret the few things that are secret".

Why don't you let women join?

 

We're a Fraternity, a Brotherhood. The essence of a fraternity is that it is for men, just as the essence of a sorority is that it is for women. That's the primary reason. Recent developments in psychology and sociology have discovered another reason. There is a new thing called "male bonding." That's the new technical way of saying something that has been known for thousands of years. It's important for men to have a few things they do by themselves, just as it is for women to have the same thing. 
But that doesn't mean that there is no place for women in freemasonry. In fact, there are several masonic organizations for both women and men. The order of the Eastern Star is one.

Just what is a "Lodge"? What does it look like? Who runs it?

 

A lodge is both a meeting place for freemasons and the freemasons who meet there. You could actually say "The Lodge is a meeting at the Lodge." It's a Middle English word. When the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were being built, the masons had special, temporary buildings built against the side of the cathedral in which they met, received their pay, planned the work on the cathedral and socialized after work. This building was called a lodge. The term has simply remained down through the ages. 
As to the officers, the leader of the Lodge is the "Worshipful Master". That title doesn't mean we worship him, although some people have thought that is what it means. The titles we use come from Middle English, about the time of Chaucer. Just as mayors in Australia, England and New Zeeland are addressed as "Your Worship", the Master ofthe Lodge is called "Worshipful Master", meaning "Greatly Respected". The 2nd in charge is the Senior

Warden. The third is the Junior Warden. We have a Secretary and a Treasurer, just like any other organization. Assisting the Master & Wardens are the Senior and Junior Deacons and Inner Guard. They carry messages and help with the ritual work. The Stewards traditionally help with the setting out of refreshments. Finally, the Tyler sits at the door to make sure that the Lodge is not interrupted and to help visitors get into the Lodge Room.

Just what do freemasons do?

 

Charity is the most visible masonic activity. Each year freemasons give many millions of dollars to charity. Some are large projects, some are small. One of the latest project is the Grand Master's Victorian Bushfire Appeal which set up a taskforce only days after the first fires started. The taskforce was launched with an initial contribution of $400,000 that was used to react to the needs of communities and individuals directly affected by the fires. And that is just the start. Freemasons throughout the world, give millions of dollars each day to charitable causes, most of which are not masonic. A fact never publicized and thus hardly known. All those things are external, and they are important. But the real things the freemasons do are far more difficult to describe. In essence, we try to build ourselves into better men, better fathers, better husbands and better citizens. We strive for self development and self improvement. We try to learn more about what it means to be human and what it takes to become better men.

If that is the Lodge, what is the "Grand Lodge?"

 

The Grand Lodge is the State Organization of Freemasons. The local Lodges are members of the Grand Lodge. The Grand Master of Freemasonry is the same as the Premier of the State

How can I find out more? I have more questions that I would like answered!

 

Freemason Lodges organize Open Nights for this exact reason. Ladies are also welcome to attend these nights, as well as any friends or relatives you may want to bring with you. Open Nights provide you with an opportunity to enter and see a lodge, meet Freemasons and ask any questions that you would like answered.
To find out when an open night is held at Lodge Dignity or in a lodge near you, please contact our secretary who will gladly provide you with a date, time and place of an Open Night coming up. We'd love to see you there.

 

 

How does a man become a freemason?

 

As we said earlier, no one will ever twist your arm. If you seek membership, you are required to make contact on your own free will and accord. If you decide you want to become a Freemason, please contact our secretary or ask any freemason for an application form. Fill it out and return it to him. He'll take it to his Lodge and turn it in. A committee (of about two or three) will be appointed to talk with you and with people you may list as referees. Its purpose is to ascertain that you are a man of good character and that you believe in God. Atheism and Freemasonry are not compatible. The committee will report its recommendation back to the Lodge. The Lodge will vote. If your petition is accepted, the Secretary will contact you about a date for the first of three degrees. There is some study and a bit of memory work required with which your Lodge Brothers will always help you. After the Third Degree you will be a full-fledged Master Mason and will have joined the oldest global brotherhood in the world!

Freemasons Victoria

  • Facebook App Icon

Webmaster:- Bro Harry Vagianos