Free Masons. Who are they, what do they represent and are they worth joining?

je25ff

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??? Secret? Our Grand Lodge is on the web and physically located on Tremont St. United Brethren Lodge in Marlboro, MA, which I was affiliated with for some years, is located on Main St and has a 10 foot tall stainless steel Square & Compasses on the front of the building. Do we have secrets? Sure. So does the US Government and Coca Cola. Secret society? Not really.

But that is entirely up to you; if you ever do decide to join, one thing you'll be asked is if you're joining "of your own free will and accord."
Oh no, that's not what I meant. AFAIK, the masons are really just a modern day representation of a secret society or mystery school and, I don't think it's about taking over the world; it's far simpler than that. I read a fascinating book on it: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-History-World-Mark-Booth/dp/1590201620

It goes off the rails, but not in a way that is conspiracy related. The author tends to simply approach many of the ancient knowledge schools as if he were an adherent rather than arguing about the veracity.
 

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The basis of AF&AM Masonry is the trade guilds in ancient times. Masters of those trades had "secrets" on how they did the work that they only shared with their equals. Possibly the origin of the term "tricks of the trade"? In modern times, Masonry has taught the symbolism associated with the stone guild trades . . . those are the "secrets" in modern day Masonry.

For those that object to "secrets" or belong to religions where you are supposed to "spill all that you know", give some thought to the following:

- Those that work in medical fields, EMS, fire or police need to be able to keep info confidential or secret. HIPAA and MA law on Privacy of Personal Info requires this. Common sense means that EMS, fire and police can't share with the public some things that they see, info they have. A personal example: I was working a police shift and back then we patrolled our square on foot and rattled doors of businesses. The next day my Chief told me that a detective armed with a Rem 870 was on the other side of the bank door when I rattled the door . . . they had a tip of a potential bank robbery, so had staked out the bank . . . I didn't have a "need to know" so was not informed.

- Those that work in research or gov't contracts with a security clearance also need to keep info secret from others or face firing and/or potential criminal charges/jail time.

There is no exception to my above examples for "confessionals" (which I am told is the objection of some Catholic authorities).

So in conclusion, ask yourself what is the difference of substance between the above examples and belonging to some fraternity that has some secrets? For the record, in my 35 years as a Mason, my Wife has been allowed to attend almost all installations of officers and other events including sitting in a Lodge, so it is nowhere near as "secret society" as many think.
 

Infinite Jester

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Participated in a great EA Degree last night down at Parker Lodge in N Woodstock. Myself and 7 other brothers from North Star lodge made the trip down from Lancaster to help out. Great Degree work from everyone involved. Didn't get home till close to midnight. I think Freemasonry is the only thing that would keep me out that late when my 4am alarm clock is waiting.


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Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be a candidate in the Joint Valley Degree Day in Portsmouth. I witnessed the 10°,16°,18°, and 19°. The 18° Knight of Rose Croix of H.R.D.M was easily the most impressive.
Today is National Scottish Rite day, and I will be heading to Penacook to receive the 32°, Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. This is the highest degree I can attain on my own, as the 33° is given honorarily.
The Scottish Rite is sometimes referred to as Freemason college. It takes the lessons learned in Blue Lodge and expands upon them, offering one further light in Masonry.
If you're a newly made Mason, and on the fence about joining Scottish Rite, I'd encourage you to speak with some brothers from your local Valley. These are theatrically presented degrees, complete with costumes, sets, lighting and sound. You won't be disappointed.
 

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Is this something the masons would or could help out with? A friend of mine suddenly passed away, i know he was a member of St. Andrews Lodge #39

Hopefully anything that could be in the works is in the works already, i'm just curious if there's a support system in place...

https://www.gofundme.com/treys-funereal
I take it that this is a RI Lodge, right?

If so, contact the Secretary of St. Andrews Lodge #39:
(508) 252-4238 Lodge Secretary

If you aren't able to reach the Lodge Secretary, call RI Grand Lodge and ask for the Grand Secretary:
(401) 435-4650, Hours: 8:30am to 4:00pm*
 

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Always in search of further light, I journeyed down to Manchester Friday evening to participate in the York Rite's Royal Arch degree. I, along with 13 other brothers were advanced to Companions. Chapter put on an excellent degree in the big lodge room. If you've ever had the opportunity to visit Washington Lodge #61, you'll know how impressive that room is.
Saturday morning we were hosted by Lafayette Bible Lodge #41 in Goffstown for the Cryptic degrees. Council conferred a beautiful Royal Master & Select Master degrees.
Even with the heavy snow, all 14 of the companions were present.
It was nice to see some brothers I knew from my Scottish Rite activities.
 

Rob Boudrie

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Masters of those trades had "secrets" on how they did the work that they only shared with their equals.
Bob Javery (RIP) was a master gunsmith in the Dudley, MA area. He devised a fixture for machine checking 1911 frontstraps but always made sure the fixture was out of sight when any customer was in his shop. Same idea.
So in conclusion, ask yourself what is the difference of substance between the above examples and belonging to some fraternity that has some secrets?
The difference is that Google will reveal many of the Mason's secrets [smile]

MD's don't have secrets as to how they treat people. In fact, they increase their professional prestige by publishing info on new techniques they devise. Patient info, however, is secret. A "secret society" in my opinion is on that has secrets tha go well beyond confidentiality of member info. My local gun club keeps its member list secret but is by no means a "secret society".
 
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Always in search of further light, I journeyed down to Manchester Friday evening to participate in the York Rite's Royal Arch degree. I, along with 13 other brothers were advanced to Companions. Chapter put on an excellent degree in the big lodge room. If you've ever had the opportunity to visit Washington Lodge #61, you'll know how impressive that room is.
Saturday morning we were hosted by Lafayette Bible Lodge #41 in Goffstown for the Cryptic degrees. Council conferred a beautiful Royal Master & Select Master degrees.
Even with the heavy snow, all 14 of the companions were present.
It was nice to see some brothers I knew from my Scottish Rite activities.
Congrats to you and the other Brothers.

I saw a photo of that group posted on FB Saturday AM. Good looking group of Brothers. That room is very impressive. I have never been there for a Degree. But have attended many GL Annual and Semi Annuals as an Officer, Rep to GL or an occasional Proxy.

At one GL meeting many years ago, they put on a program that replicated the 2nd half of Bro. George Washington's MM Degree. Done in full period piece regalia. Even though it was @250 year gap from his actual MM Degree held in Virginia to when I saw it in GL of NH, there were only a few minor differences in the wording that is used today.
 
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The following event at the Norwood Public Library (MA) may be of interest to those interested in Masonry (open to public).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at 7PM at the Morrill Memorial Library.

It is a chance to view the contents of a recently opened time capsule from 100 years ago and was buried in the cornerstone of the Norwood Masonic Building.


http://www.norwoodlibrary.org/freemasonry-in-norwood-unlocking-a-legacy/

Flier is below.


For those that can't make the date but are interested, the flier states that the contents will be on display in the library lobby from January 4th thru the 30th.
 

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