Researching Freemasonry

January 2, 2007

After I discovered that Freemasonry existed and decided that I wanted to look further into it, I first turned back to the Internet to start researching.  I had already looked at Wikipedia, but since I first discovered Freemasonry in a Podcast, I started looking for Podcasts about Masonry.

I went to Podcast Alley and found two Podcasts.  The first one that I looked into was called X-Oriente.  It is a very slick Podcast that is very well produced.  It was very interesting to listen to the shows because it gave me a different perspective about what is going on in Freemasonry today.  For example, one Podcast was an interview with a Grand Master who gave insights into the general workings and challenges of his district.  Another couple of Podcasts dealt with the challenges of recruiting younger members.  I sometimes felt as though I was listening to things that I shouldn’t be able to access as an outsider, but I appreciated gaining all of that knowledge. 

The second Podcast that I found was called The Digital Freemason.  It is a program that basically reads a Masonic Education Paper every week.  What surprised me about this Podcast was that the papers range from ones that were written last month to ones that were written almost a century ago, and they still apply.  Later I discovered that this Podcast originated out of my hometown.

I continued to research websites on the internet and discovered a lot of sites that were for and against Freemasonry.  One of the most comprehensive sites that I found was the oldest one dedicated to Freemasonry.  It is simply called “A Page about Freemasonry”.  It doesn’t have an easy URL so here is the link.

I came to the conclusion that the websites that were against Freemasonry fell into two categories. 

The first category was religion, or most often, simple Religious Fundamentalism.  These people relied on biblical quotes that they managed to interpret and twist around to their purpose.  They seemed to be threatened by people joining a group that generally opposes fundamentalist beliefs and encourages rational thought.  The new Pope actually announced that the Catholic Church still opposed Freemasonry, but I think that the Catholic Church is still in the Stone-Age with some of its thinking.  I actually went to Catholic school and at the time I was in High School, the Catholic Church still had not apologized for the imprisonment of Galileo for claiming that the Earth was not the center of the Universe.  (This happened in 1992) According to a Wikipedia article, the top reason for the opposition to Freemasonry by the Catholic Church is “Freemasonry’s acceptance of people of any faith in a religious atmosphere is seen as minimizing the importance of Catholic religious dogma.”

The second category of opposition was the Conspiracy Theory crowd.  If you search “Freemasonry” on YouTube you will come across many of these videos.  They manage to try and link the Freemasons to basically anything nefarious and evil, and some of their claims are actually quite humorous with their outrageousness.  The Conspiracy Theorists claim that they know more about all of the “evil plots” and “devil worshipping” than even the Freemasons themselves.  If a Freemason actually denied any of their claims, the typical response from a Conspiracy Theorist would be that the Freemason himself was not actually high enough up in the ranks of Freemasonry to know about it yet.

I didn’t just do research on the Internet, I actually bought some books too.  I was truly surprised by the number of books that were available in the bookstore.

The best one that I read for and introduction to the Craft was “Freemasons for Dummies” by Christopher Hodapp.  I recently discovered that the author actually has a blog here. If you flip through most of the basic “Introduction to Freemasonry” types of books you will find that they are all very similar, but this one seemed to have the most information.  Some of them are just full of useless filler.  For example, one of them had 30 or 40 pages of pictures of historical aprons.  This might be interesting to a Mason, but it wasn’t interesting to me when I was just concerned about finding out about the basics of Freemasonry itself.

Another book of note that I found interesting was “Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science” by Robert Lomas.  I actually found this hardcover book on one of the clearance tables in Chapters for $2.99.  It might not be the most exciting read in some sections, but it goes into great detail into the research of the people who founded the “Royal Society” in 1660 under King Charles II.  Sir Robert Moray was a very influential Freemason at the time and is credited for having the most influence in the creation of the Royal Society.  People might also find it interesting that one of the most famous Freemasons, Sir Issac Newton, was the fifth President of the “Royal Society”. 

For me, this book really peaked my interest in Freemasonry, because I have training in the Sciences and have worked as a Secondary Science Teacher.  Galileo Galilei was still under house arrest for his “crazy scientifically proven beliefs” when he died  in 1642.  The Royal Society, founded mainly by Freemasons only 18 years later, championed the rational scientific process that up to that date was so oppressed by religious doctrine.  I wanted to be associated with a group that historically thought this rationally and logically and attracted men of intelligence.

This is my 2nd post on Freemasonry and my experiences as a Freemason. Here is the Table of Contents of my Masonic Journey.


One comment

  1. I found this site to be VERY informative, not just for its information, but for how you pulled things together in a very personal way. In fact, it inspired me to start my own blog (http://MasonicTips.com) as I begin my journey. As of this posting, I have only just turned in my petition, so I’m not even a mason. I look forward to reading your future posts!

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