|What is Freemasonry? Secretive, all-male fraternity & philanthropic organization that evolved from building trade guilds in 18th-century England & spread with Enlightenment. Stonemasons became "speculative" or "free" masons.|
|Was not supposed to observe religious or social distinctions, and, over time, really did not over time. Examples: the upwardly mobile Benjamin Franklin & Paul Revere.|
|Emphasized fellowship & male bonding in age (18thc.) & culture in which men were not supposed to express inner emotions or admit vulnerability|
Ultimate Boys’ Club:
|Claimed to be quasi-Christian but looked/functioned almost like an alternative religion.|
|In early US, the best way to make political & business contacts, plus a place to meet & party in private, away from women. Masons supported brothers & kept secrets.|
|Prominent role of Freemasons in Early American Republic: Washington & many other Founders as members; cornerstone ceremonies; the Great Seal of the United States.|
|Origin: 1826 kidnapping and murder of William Morgan, an ex-Mason from Batavia, NY (along Erie Canal) who planned to publish Masonry’s secrets.|
|Investigations discovered that masons in office were helping protect the murderers.|
set off a major national campaign to exterminate Masonry. What did the
Antimasons dislike about Freemasonry?
|Jack the Ripper supposedly a Freemason whose crimes were covered up by his Craft brothers, based on resemblance of wounds to Masonic Oaths.|
|Hitler, Mussolini, and the Ayatollah Khomeini all persecuted Freemasons, while Pat Robertson & other conservative Christians, hate groups, conspiracists crusade today.|
Evil Masonic deeds: JFK, Manson family, & esp., New World Order.