Has anyone ever been inside a Masonic Lodge?

Back story: So....I've been accepted into a unique pre-apprenticeship program for women to try to increase my earning potential, among other pursuits. It's a big bold scary move, but if successful I could potentially double (or triple) my income very soon!

So I know nothing about the trades. I've been drawn (through research) to bricklaying and/or tile marble...(Don't laugh).

I came across free masonry in my search, and remembered a weird fundamentalist video I saw once about the masons being of the devil. And then they showed a horrific anti-abortion video and cried THE WORLD IS ENDING!! (It was in 1999 right before Y2k)

After that I stayed away from knowing more....scared the shit out of me (I was 17).


See more here:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry

Part of that article here:

Freemasonry describes itself as a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. The symbolism is mainly, but not exclusively, drawn from the manual tools of stonemasons - the square and compasses, the level and plumb rule, the trowel, among others. A moral lesson is attached to each of these tools, although the assignment is by no means consistent. The meaning of the symbolism is taught and explored through ritual.

All Freemasons begin their journey in the "craft" by being progressively initiated, passed and raised into the three degrees of craft, or blue lodge Masonry. During these three rituals, the candidate is progressively taught the meanings of the lodge symbols, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other Masons that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegory and part lecture, and revolve around the construction of the Temple of Solomon, and the artistry and death of his chief architect, Hiram Abiff. The degrees are those of Entered apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. While many different versions of these rituals exist, with two different lodge layouts and versions of the Hiram myth, each version is recognisable to any Freemason from any jurisdiction.

In some jurisdictions the main themes of each degree are illustrated by tracing boards. These painted depictions of Masonic themes are exhibited in the lodge according to which degree is being worked, and are explained to the candidate to illustrate the legend and symbolism of each degree.

The idea of Masonic brotherhood probably descends from a 16th-century legal definition of a brother as one who has taken an oath of mutual support to another. Accordingly, Masons swear at each degree to keep the contents of that degree secret, and to support and protect their brethren unless they have broken the law.[15] In most lodges the oath or obligation is taken on a Volume of Sacred Law, whichever book of divine revelation is appropriate to the religious beliefs of the individual brother (usually the Bible in the Anglo-American tradition). In Progressive continental Freemasonry, books other than scripture are permissible, a cause of rupture between Grand lodges.

It's all very elusive and weird. I've seen Masonic Lodges, but never ever heard anything about them. I don't know ANYONE who has ever gone to one, and I hope I'm not stepping into a cult-trade if I become a mason...or is it just some kind of club where they do weird hand shakes and collect money?

Pardon my ignorance, but it's a brave new world!!!

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shhhhh......

are you sure your all together insane enough to fit in there?

I've heard it said that the masonic is a chartable organisation and, although it operates with secret meetings and handshakes, it is said to have no dark undertones or evil agenda.  It gets to the point though, that the only way to prove that is by not being so secret, and if it were not true to begin with, what is the point in being so secret?

I don't know what it is they get up to,  It may be harmless.  But the simple fact that they demand such deep levels of secrecy and rituals means that only the top level members could knowingly assure you that they mean you no ill, and why would you believe them?

I would imagine that it would be harmless for you.  After all, if there is something sick and twisted that goes on, you probably wouldn't pass the secret tests and probing questions that would qualify you as nuts enough to know about them. you would probably just get the basic members pass, with access to the sauna and jacuzzi etc.

Think though, if it ever did come out that at the rituals at the heart of the organisation was truly messed up, for instance if they conducted human sacrifice or if they ritually raped children, and the organisation was forcibly disbanded and its members named and shamed, how do you think you would be treated? I don't think that people would care if you were an entry level member.

I'm not saying don't get involved, or even that their secrets are even evil. but you would will be expected to help keep secrets that you don't know the details of.  You will be asked to enable rituals that you wont be allowed to see.  i would invite you to assume the worst, just for a moment, and ask yourself if your still comfortable with the idea.

I hope you don't take anything I've said as a personal insult, it is only intended and an invitation of consideration.

"Maybe I should study carpentry instead, lol"

I would go with carpentry. I have a brother in law who comes from a family of masons and his knees are shot. Masonry wears on the body more so than many trades. Mixing mortar, if you don't have a tender, will give you a new found respect for the trade as well.

I think the 'club' has went past its routs in that regard.  Members would claim that it can help you in all aspects of life.  if you are in a 50/50 car crash seniro and the cop is a mason, if your in a job interview, if your trying to get a bank loan etc.

Here's an interesting page.  I'm not sure how accurate its facts are.  But it is, in its self criticle of this fact from the start and throughout - http://listverse.com/2012/11/21/top-10-scandalous-freemason-secrets/

In today's world there is no relationship between being a bricklayer and a Freemason. Any theistic male, despite his occupation, can become associated with freemasonry. As a woman you will find membership hard to secure.  :^ )

If my mason history is in any way based on truth, I think it was set up by a group of stone masons and later opened its doors to people from other aspects of life.

These days, I think there'd be the same odds as a tiler or brickie  being a mason as someone that worked with computers, or trained animals.  In other words, I don't think you could assume the guy that built your house is in the masonic any more than the guy that delivered you mail this morning.

You would think that if the group did support the betterment and promotion of its members, they would find themselves promoted faster to the top of their respective fields.  Though that is just a thought.

One of my fellow students at college announced that he'd been accepted into the society. We had a debate about it in class. At the time, we didn't believe the Free Masons were open to women. My fellow classmate knew diddly-squat about masonry but he may have been setting up a career in international relations. It's a bit fuzzy.

I don't know if I'd say they have, "no dark undertones". If former members can be believed part of their rituals include pretending to murder their own members. Now maybe this is no more sinister than playing the antagonist in a play. I don't know. But I do know that in England they've come under scrutiny for being a well organized old boys club with a far-reaching anti-competitive business network. They've set up a system where they show preferential treatment to fellow masons in the business world and screw others over. I want no part of that. I don't assume that because someone has something in common with me, like a membership in a club, that they're decent people. Atheist, white, male, whatever, I will still judge you based on your words and actions.

Yup, I wouldn't say they have 'no dark undertones' either. "it is said to have no dark undertones" would be more representative of my meaning if I was to be quoted in a fair light.  

Apart from the miss quote I would entirely agree with you, as is pointed out in the rest of that statement, and throughout  the following three statements I made on the subject.

I wasn't really misquoting you. I was just responding to the idea that some say there are no dark undertone. I wasn't trying to suggest that it was your stance. No offense intended at all.

no problem at all, no offence taken.  

I do like to clear things up quickly on forums like this though, as what can start as a miss understanding can turn you into a full supporter of some ridiculous views very quickly.

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