Monday, 21st October 2013
by Farrah O’Connor
Most notably the Freemasons have a reputation for being an enigmatic and mysterious society of the world’s elite who have become the topic of one of pop culture’s favourite conspiracy theories. These theories along with the fraternity’s ‘esoteric’ nature have preceded their reputation and overshadowed what they say they are.
What exactly are the Freemasons? Why do they generate such an intense public interest and why are they the object of such universal public scepticism?
The Freemasons are the world’s oldest non-religious and non-political fraternal organisations origins. Their principles and teachings state you have to take a moral and ethical approach to life based upon integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. There are approximately 6 million worldwide members of this fraternity, over 250,000 of these are in England.
To be a Freemason you must believe in a supreme being, whoever this is, is the individual’s choice and is irrelevant to their philosophy. The ethos of Freemasonry focuses on man’s relationship with fellow man and humanity.
Once you become a Mason there are three known levels of Masonry known as degrees; Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. A Mason must work through each of these levels applying their own philosophical and personal interpretation to progress to a higher level.
This all sounds quite interesting but rather mundane. It is when the conspiracy theories are discovered that the Freemasons become increasingly interesting. These conspiracy theories have never been proved or disproved and are generally about politics, religion and their influences on popular culture.
Political conspiracy theories include the British Judiciary being heavily infiltrated with Masons who disrupt the legal system by allowing fellow Masons ‘the benefit of the doubt’ in court. It is believed that they also provoked the French and American revolutions in conjunction with the Illuminati.
There are theories which also link the Freemasonry to the Illuminati (another ‘esoteric’ society who oppose superstition, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power). They are known as the illuminate Freemasons. They are believed to secretly control many major aspects of our society and government and are working to establish what is known as the ‘New World Order.’
The worshiping of Satan is one of the central religious conspiracy theories concerning the Freemasons. There are also claims that those Freemasons at a higher degree deceive those at a lower degree by gradually revealing this secret religion as they progress though the Masonic stages.
Conspiracy theorists also say that the Masons have interwoven their Masonic symbols and numerology into modern culture in corporate logos. On the US dollar for example, notably is the Masonic symbol ‘The Eye of Providence’. They also believe that it was the Masons who founded the United States and even designed the Washington Street grid in the shape of another one of their symbols the ‘pentagram’ (a 5 pointed star that appears on Masonic regalia).
Other less believable theories claim that ‘humanoid reptiles’ are behind the secret society and that they faked the Apollo Moon landings.
Over the years it has been said there has been some very high profile Freemasons including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Clark Gable, Mozart and Oscar Wilde to name a few. It is has also been said more recently that celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Bono, Jay-Z and Kanye West are a part of this underground group.
These conspiracy theories are only theories after all. But within every speculation there’s a little truth, isn’t there?