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Freemasonry's Beliefs and Their Struggle for Secrecy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

William Degnan Extended Essay "Freemasonry's Beliefs and Their Struggle for Secrecy" January 13, 2003 0530-019 3,306 Abstract The extended essay project was done on the Masonic group of people who have been an influential part of history as a whole. In this essay I am going to explore the belief system of the group. As well as demonstrate why there is much controversy surrounding the group by expressing the opposing views. The Masons basically are a group of men that have shared feelings about brotherhood, morals and community progress. These men belong to the world's largest fraternity in the world. It spans all nations, races and religions. The group as a whole is very secret. For instance the origin and the time that this group was structured is still uncertain. Many actions and activities of the group are also low key. This makes the group very vulnerable for Anti-Masonic groups. Many famous and important people in the world have belonged to the Freemasons. When criminal acts or injustices in the community take place, the Anti-Masonic groups place blame on the masons. What was found out by the research is that the secrecy of the Masonic organization is to be kept at all times. Some times extreme measures are taken to insure its secrecy. Anti-Mason groups are detrimental to the survival of the group. They dampen their progress and lower their popularity rating with the public. It is an ongoing battle that doesn't seem like it will cease any time soon. There is a society in which many people belong. Many people are your everyday people; people that run the country, people that own business to people that pass you on the street. You wouldn't know they belong to this society because they are everyday people. This society has been around since the earliest of times. The members are dedicated to brotherly love, relief for the community and strong morals. ...read more.

Middle

To gain the membership required, each member must agree to belief in a supreme being. Although, the New and Old Testaments are both part of the five degrees. This makes the Eastern Star a particularly Christian group (Virginia). Since, the Eastern Star is a sort of division of the Masons, this must make them a particularly Christian group (Mackey). Since the Freemasons group of extreme size, controversies are always surrounding them. There is also a great deal of controversy that stems from the secretive nature of the Freemasons. Many prominent figures including founding fathers and presidents have been Masons, and in some cases Freemasons have been accused of giving other Masons unfair advantages in job promotion, and also controlling decisions in government by being a sort of underground government themselves (Virginia). A large part of joining the masons is having that advantage of job promotion over non-mason coworkers (Dumenil, 23). The biggest controversy concerning the Freemasons took place in the United States during the early 1800's. In 1826, one man decided he was going to publish a book that contained all of the secrets that's the Masonic society had hidden. This man was, Captain William Morgan, a regular member of the Masonic society. The place that the book was being published was burned to the ground and the Captain suddenly disappeared. There are many different endings to this story that go around today, but it is said that he was captured by the Masons and killed. Most Masons today say that is not what happened, but Morgan really left the country and went to Canada. It was noted by a anti-Masonic group that a year later the body was found in a harbor. Other accounts say that his body was never found. What the real truth may be is irrelevant. The fact that these stories set the Masons back a step in popularity is important part. ...read more.

Conclusion

Others were ignorant and in the dark. (Marrs, 17) The masons as a society are very secretive and extremely widespread. The society is formed on the basis that brotherly love, belief in religion and helping the community are musts. These characteristics don't make the masons seem like they have any wrongdoing in their actions and so fourth. Even so there is is much criticism of the freemasons as a group. There have been numerous attacks against freemasons and what the supposedly have hidden from the rest of society. The most potentially damaging attacks of this century have come in the past two or three years. People have tried to convince society that freemasonry is rooted in heresy. Even in the face of extreme large amounts of criticism the masons have chosen to remain silent and not release any secrets. Whatever the actions were, or the motives have been they have always allowed themselves to be easy targets. It seems that the masons have been deliberately accused of certain things therefore they will gain the reputation that will put them under. Whether another society has done this to them is unknown. Everything seems to denounce the Order of the Masons. It is probably not long before the masons come out and set the record straight, rather than just accept the blows of criticism. They rely on their acts of reconciliation and following the principles of brotherhood, relief and truth, which is not enough to keep the largest fraternity in the world operating. It is very amazing that a group of people could persevere through the trials and tribulations that they have been through. It was very hard to gather reliable and large amounts of information because of the secrecy. What was learned is that this group operates for nothing but the good of themselves and others. Many very important figures of the world were members of this organization. This is a reason why there is so much controversy surrounding this group. All in all, its been the most successful attempt at a unified group or "secret society. ...read more.

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