The Central Lobby of the Houses of Parliament. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
What is Freemasonry?
When did Freemasonry begin?
The first grand lodge, established to govern Freemasonry in England and Wales, was formed in 1717, during a meet at a pub in the City of London called the Goose and Gridiron. But in Scotland, a masonic lodge in Edinburgh has records to show that it has been in existence since at the least 1599.
Why are they so secretive?
Freemasonry frameworks itself upon the fraternities of medieval stonemasons who would employ secret words and emblems to recognise each others’ legitimacy. During some periods of history, Freemasons have needed to go underground to survive. But there are persistent distrusts they remain secretive in order to disguised the route in which they can assist each other in business.
Is there any substance to these allegations?
Such rumors are very rarely corroborated, and masons are expected to swear an oath that they will not becoming involved in” any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society, by paying due obedience to the laws of any state “.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
No it is a secular motion, although new members are expected to acknowledge a sentiment in a God-like superior being. Anyone believing in a single deity may be admitted.
Are the the identity cards of all Freemasons kept secret?
No, individual masons can declare themselves if they wish, and their lists of senior secretary general of the brotherhood in England and Wales can be found in a masonic time volume. However, a great many masons do not disclose their membership outside the brotherhood.