is a fraternity, not a religion.
fraternal association dedicated to making good men better, Freemasonry respects the religious beliefs of all its members.
Freemasonry has no theology and does not teach any method of salvation. In particular it does not claim that good works guarantee
Freemasons are united in their desire to be of service to mankind.
Freemasonry supports homes for members and their spouses, most Masonic services, including Shrine medical and burn centers,
are available to all citizens. In 1990, American Masonic philanthropy totaled more than $525 million, of which 58% went to
the general public.
Freemasonry is an open, not secretive, society.
meetings are announced publicly, Masonic buildings are marked clearly and are listed in phone directories, and Masons proudly
wear jewelry identifying their membership. Freemasons inherited a tradition of trade secrets from the cathedral building guilds
of medieval Europe.
The only "secrets" still belonging to modem Masonry are traditional passwords, signs of recognition, and dramatic presentation
of moral lessons.
Freemasonry is open to all men of good character who believe in God.
does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, or social class.
family of organizations is open to all.
admits only men, but many Masonic related organizations, such as the Eastern Star, Amaranth, Job's Daughters, Rainbow for
Girls and DeMolay for Boys, offer ample opportunities for women and youth.
Freemasonry does not require improper oaths.
solemn promises taken in Freemasonry are no different than the oaths taken in court or on entering the armed services. The
much discussed "penalties," judicial remnants from an earlier age, are symbolic, not literal. They refer only to the pain
any honest man should feel at the thought of violating his word.
Freemasonry teaches individual improvement through study.
encourages study, including literature by the great writers of ancient times. Freemasonry does not sanction the views of these
authors but offers them for each individual's reflection and evaluation.
Freemasonry teaches in steps.
learn through a series of lessons. These "degrees" of insight move from basic to more complex concepts. This no more hides
the nature of Freemasonry from novice members than does having student understand fractions before calculus.
Masonry is practiced worldwide.
are approximately 2.5 million Masons in the United States
and nearly 6 million throughout the world.
has many groups, each with a special social, educational, or philanthropic focus. A man becomes a Mason in his local Lodge.
Then he joins any of the following "Appendant Bodies": the Scottish Rite, York Rite (which includes the Royal Arch and Knights
Templar), Shriners, Grottoes, Tall Cedars, etc.