Freemasons and Freemasonry

I’ve read that Freemasons take an oath to conceal the crimes of other Freemasons. True?

Also, is Freemasonry really a form of religion?

Contestant #3

I’m sure to be corrected on some of this stuff because I know I’m not an expert on the Masons.

The Masons are a fraternal organization that is loosely Christian in outlook (having been founded among Protestant Christians). One aspect of their organiztion is its internally secret nature. Any group that cloaks itself in secrecy is bound to come under suspicion–and the Masons have. The Catholic Church (cognizant of the Masons’ Protestant origins) decided that the secrecy of the Masons is a violation against the confessional because a sin committed under the oath of secrecy might not be confessed (or confessed accurately). Some Findamentalist Christians have jumped on the bandwagon, claiming that the “oaths” of the Masons are violations of God’s prohibitions against oath-taking.

(The RCC still has a rule against Catholics joining the Masons, but it has allowed Masons to join the RC Church since the early 1970’s.)

Basically, this stuff sounds like ignorance-bred fear. I don’t recall any reputable “renegade” Masons reporting that they had major crime sprees made with the annulment of their members.

In answer to the OP in short:

A) False.

B) No.

Tomndebb had it right. The OP is attempting to further ignorance. But since it’s from Contestant #3, why should that come as a shock?

Actually, I read in several sources that freemasonry is pre-protestant. As a fraternal organization, its roots date back directly to at least the 14th century (Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland, was a Mason) and certain aspects of it date back to the Crudades and the Knights Templar. The Catholic Church’s problem with freemasonry is not that it is protestant, but that it is a secret organization. The RCC is generally against any secret christian organization that isn’t the College of Cardinals. Of course, conspiracy theorists aside, the modern masons are about as harmful as the Elks or the Kiwanis club, and serve about the same role in modern society. They may have more history than the Oddfellows, but they are little more now a days than a fraternal organization.

Jason R Remy

“Open mindedness is not the same thing as empty mindedness.”
– John Dewey Democracy and Education (1916)

Thanks Tom for your attempt to answer the question with actual information in the form of sentences. It’s a nice contrast to the weak response from Monty.

You confuse me though with this statement:

“I don’t recall any reputable “renegade” Masons reporting that they had major crime sprees made with the annulment of their members.”

Well gee…if they took an oath to CONCEAL the crimes, why pray tell would you expect to receive a “report”? Hmmmm…

Hey Monty, I stated in the OP that these are things that I have read. I didn’t make this stuff up on my own. Apparently, there are lots of people that have these understandings about the Freemasons. In fact, here’s a link to some stuff (just one example) that has been written about them:

All that Monty has offered is HIS say-so. The world according to the word of Monty folks. What do you offer as proof Monty? (besides your usual show of weak debating skills?)

Contestant #3

Note my use of the word “renegade.” Most outfits have someone that their opponents can parade around as having been an initiate who realized the errors of his ways and has escaped to tell the world the truth. Anti-Jewish groups hold up people who claim to have been raised Jewish and know that the (clearly forged) Protocols are really true; people at the claim to have escaped Catholics and escaped Masons (no escaped Muslims, that I saw) ready to reveal “the truth” about whatever group they are “exposing.” I have never encountered any of these allegedly “saved” Masons discussing an oath to cover up crime. Most of the oaths that Masons are supposed to be swearing are simply to keep the organization secret. Of course, if the organization has ulterior motives, simply doing that could be criminal in nature.

Jayron 32:
I have found some of this stuff confusing. The earliest indication of the Masonic Order that I can find dates to the ealy 1700’s. But you are right that a lot of earlier people are named as being Masons.

I have always figured that that could happen in different ways: The Masons may claim an historical figure as “one of their own” to show the great age and wisdom of the group; anti-Masonic groups could claim ancient Masonic activity to “prove” that they are an ancient and evil society seeking world domination; there could actually be an ancient Masonic Order.

One prevalent story that I have heard is that the original Masons were the survivors of the purge of the Knights Templar who took their gold and their wisdom acquired in the Holy Land and sailed off, landing in Scotland, where they were hidden from the eyes of the French king and from Rome. At that point, «name-your-Scots-hero» is identified as having befriended them and become an early Mason.

There are a number of problems with those stories. None are insurmountable, but they need to be addressed. There is no historical record of any similar event. The Scots leader differs from story to story. Until the rise of Puritanism in England overflowed to the North, Scotland was one of the most Catholic of countries–so why would they have hidden a fugitive from the pope? Why would a group of warriors start an organization and give it the name Freemasons?


I am not an expert, but I was Job’s Daughter (a sorority for young women related to Freemasons) in my Christian days, so I have a little background.

It was, according to modern-day Masons, a sort of workers union for the stonemasons working on cathedrals. It was started in the 13th century or thereabouts (actual date unknown) to raise wages and to provide for the widows and orphans of men killed on the job.

They must promise to believe in one almighty God, to become better husbands and fathers, and to help the community. They must also promise to keep the actual meetings secret, and not to reveal The identities of other members. This last is just tradition, as they were formed as a union to stand up to the (catholic) church. As secrecy was very important in the early days, they developed symbols and secret handshakes and so forth, to recognize other members.

That’s it. That’s all I really know about them.

It’s o.k. to say nasty things about a group because you read it?
Of course, you read the Star, and listen to Art"they’re coming to take me away!"Bell.

What’s your source this time?

I listed my source dickwad…can’t you fucking read?

Contestant #3

Your first posting"I read somewhere…"

Your second posting a bit later,“Here’s a link to some stuff(just one example)…”

There is NO direct link between the two statements.

You may apologize now.

Cool it, C3. Or take it to the Pit.

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

Hey David B,

Why do you never admonish the troll Slythe?

Is he your brother-in-law or something?

Contestant #3

Let’s see. Did Slythe call somebody a “dickwad”? Nope. Did Slythe say, “can’t you f***ing read” (without the *'s, of course)? Nope.

Gosh, I guess we have our answer as to why you got warned and not him, don’t we. Now please don’t clutter up this thread with any more of your complaining about being moderated.

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

There is no oath to cover other masons crimes, although the fraternal structure of the organisation may suggest to non-Masons that there is.

Freemasonry cannot be considered a religion as such for several reasons, here are just two.

  1. Masonic rituals do not take the form of worship.
  2. Freemasonry is non-sectarian, Muslims, Jews, Christians etc. can be Masonic Brothers within the Lodge.

The Grand Lodge of Scotland was granted a Royal Charter in the 14th Century, the founding Lodge was (and is) Kilwinning #1.
This being the case Masonry is descended from the Catholic Church. The formation of the English Grand Lodge was an attempt to distance themselves from the predominantly Jacobean Masonry of Scotland and only then did the organisation take on a Protestant slant (all be it Anglican).

I admit it! I am David B’s brother-in-law, TOO!

Dave, ol’ buddy, kin you loan me fifty bucks till next week?


dawnbird wrote:

One conspiracy-debunking source I read (or maybe I heard it on the Discovery Channel or some such) said that, some time during the Renaissance when their membership was dwindling, the Masons opened their doors to to people who weren’t actually involved with stoneworking. These honorary members of the Masons – lodge members who weren’t actually masons by trade – were called “Freemasons”.

It may have been that the Masons existed since the days of the Knights Templar, but that Freemasonry didn’t get started until the 1700s or so.

In William Poundstone’s book Big Secrets, information is given about the initiation rituals of the Freemasons. It is gathered from their own manuscripts obtained from the Geo. Lauterer Corp. in Chicago.

Information is also given on the “secret handshake”, the password, and the “secret word”.

Carpe hoc!

Advance warnng!!!
Do NOT read the section on Twinkie filling!

The Freemasons are involved in Twinkies?!

No, that would be the Illuminati.