Freemasonry Fact or Fiction?
With Freemasonry being such a large fraternity, and with so many important and historically relevant men who are Freemasons, the craft has more than its fair share of rumors and misconceptions about it.
This section of Valley Stream Lodge No. 1143's website exists purely to put some of these misconceptions to rest. So without further adue:
"Freemasons Run the World"
Freemasonry has never been about controlling the world. The mission of the Masonic Order is to promote religious freedom, the betterment of society, learning, self-improvement, good deeds and charitable work which benefits those in need. Just because many important men - sometimes famous for groundbreaking and historical work - were or are Freemasons, does not mean that the fraternity controls the world.
"You need to be asked to join the Masons"
This cannot be further from the truth. In fact, throughout most of our history, it has been forbidden in solicit membership to others. Only recently have these rules loosened up slightly. To be one, ask one.
"Freemasons had a hand in the founding of America"
Although it's hard to say just how much of a hand the fraternity had in the founding of the United States, the evidence of its presence during the early history of our great country is undeniable. 13 - or one third - of all the men that signed the Declaration of Independence were Masons, including William Ellery, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Thomas McKean, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Stockton, George Walton, and William Whipple.
"Masonic Rituals Involve Paddles"
There is little that can be told of our rituals to non-masons. However, it can be said in confidence that our rituals do not promote any sort of "hazing" or "paddling". Rather, our rituals are very respectful and honorable, and as a fraternity we take pride in our rituals.
"Some Masonic Rituals Involve Drinking From a Human Skull"
This is just not true. This conception has been around for ages and is highlighted in Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol", but it is merely libel originally brought about in the 1870's by an anti-Masonic "exposé". This does not happen.
"Most U.S. Presidents Were/Are Freemasons"
Just 14 of them. For more information on this see the presidents page
"Freemasons Accept Members of All Religions"
Fact (with one important condition) -
A man's religion is his own business, but the fraternity does require the belief in a supreme being. For more on this, see becoming a Freemason
"Masons built Washington D.C."
The Freemasons of Virginia and Maryland conducted ritual ceremonies for the first foundation marker stone of Washington D.C., as well as the cornerstones for the President's Mansion (the White House) and the Congress House (the Capitol building). Masons really did lay the cornerstone of the Washington Monument, along with contributing a series of commemorative stones that appear inside of the obelisk. They did have help though - George Washington was a Freemason, and consulted with non-Masons Pierre L'Enfant and Andrew Ellicott, who designed the street plan of the city.
If you have a question, please feel free to contact us
, and we will do our best to answer your question, and maybe even publish it here.