The Not-So Mysterious Freemasons
I've been a Freemason since the mid 1990's. I initially joined because my grandfather, my father and my uncle were part of the fraternity and as a Denton it was expected. Like most, I went through the degrees of initiation and then checked that off my list and it was years before I went back. Then, in 2016 I took a position as Chief Development Officer/Senior Vice President of Masonic Homes of Kentucky. Instantly I was surrounded by the fraternity, from having to attend lodge meetings to being involved in Grand Communication (the annual Kentucky meeting of all Freemasons). My life revolved around the oldest fraternity in the world.
From here, I began to wonder why so many people, including some churches, had a distrust of the fraternity and after years of being a Freemason, and even being the Master of my lodge (the master is the highest office in a lodge) it still surprises me. A lodge is lucky to agree on whether we are going to have turkey or ham at the next meeting so I can't imagine any lodge having any ulterior motive. The meeting typically have a medium age of 68 and most members are retirees. Although politics are not discussed during lodge meetings it doesn't necessarily mean it is not discussed during our dinner immediately following or before the lodge meeting. During those discussions, I found that almost ALL Freemasons that I talked with our true red, white and blue bleeding Americans. They have a profound love for their country, their families and God. Almost all of them attend church (usually Baptist or Methodist Churches...at least at my lodge) and tend to be conservative. So again, why the distrust?
I think the distrust and rumors related to the lodge come from years of suspicion because no one (outside of the membership) knew what took place in the "secret" lodge. Of course with any large organization there are always going to be some bad apples that give the institution a bad name but overall I have found nothing sinister about the fraternity. Now I know some might say "well your not high enough to know the bad stuff yet!" or "you've just not made it to that level yet!" but I can say I know many who are at the highest levels of Freemasonry and without a shadow of doubt I can tell you that those members are truly honesty and upright men who have the good of the community and the fraternity at heart.
So in closing, I want you to know that Freemasonry truly is a blessing to many in the community. From providing medical care for children to housing and care for our elderly...there really is no mystery.