For centuries, people have feared members of the elite who meet each other socially. For the same reason, some people are terrified of G8 conferences and the United Nations. Are these heads of state conspiring to reshape the world to their megalomaniac views? Secret societies inspire the same qualms because they are, well, secret. Freemasonry is often the topic of choice for conspiracy theorists. After all, it is a dream come true for them. But is Freemasonry different from other famous secret societies like the Illuminati, the Ordo Templi Orientis, or the Skulls & Bones, of which both Presidents Bush are members? Let's see if there's really basis for concern.
First of all, Freemasonry, whose official name is Order of Free and Accepted Masons, is not a religion. It's a fraternal organization where the members get together to share their high moral standards. Masons are required to believe in one ever powerful being, a supreme God, but it doesn't matter from what religion this deity emanates.
Members of all religions are welcome within the Masonic ranks. It's a science that teaches morality and these teachings are based on symbols related to the building of King Solomon's Temple around 1,000 years B.C. They believe in principles associated with the Judeo-Christian faith but their meetings aren't about worship. They promote love, faith and duty, believing that a strong sense of honor makes people better. Socially conscious, they see their purpose as helping their fellow man and the community. Basically, Freemasonry is the mother of all personal growth seminars. The brotherhood teaches the virtues of life, which leads to personal and spiritual enlightenment.
According to Masons, the stonecutters who erected Solomon's Temple, especially the mythical master builder Hiram Abiff who had been slain in the Temple, planted the seed of Freemasonry 3,000...