What is Freemasonry hiding? Is there some great mystery at work in the secret workings of the Masonic Lodge? Why are Freemasons so Secretive?
Many masons will not answer questions about the fraternity as they believe it is supposed to be a secret. In the end this becomes a loss for the fraternity as any time someone asks a question about Masonry, it’s a great opportunity to talk openly about it.
A common reaction to this idea is that Masonry is a “Society with Secrets”, rather than a “Secret Society”, but this is equally confusing. There are aspects to Freemasonry that are kept and taught to only those who go through the initiations and ceremonies so as to keep them in a proper perspective and contextual meaning. These aspects are not secrets but instead knowledge that is best communicated in a specific and concise manner.
Many of the secrets have been published and written about, in many instances by Freemasons themselves, but the foundations of the teachings can be found throughout the spectrum of faiths and philosophical teachings of the past and present. It is in the process of their teaching that it could be best suggested where they are truly secret.
More in the series:
What is Freemasonry? – Part 1: What is a Freemason?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 2: How Old is Freemasonry?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 3: Why are Freemason’s Secretive?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 4: Is Freemasonry a Patriotic Body?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 5: Why Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 6: Why is Freemasonry a Ritual Practice?
What is Freemasonry? – Part 7: Why Does Freemasonry Use Odd Symbols?
From the ebook: What is Freemasonry?
The answer to the question, “Why are Freemasons so secretive?,” is simple. And, if a member of the fraternity doesn’t know the answer or understand it, then he understands little about Freemasonry.
The one and only thing that makes a man a Freemason is his obligation. In that obligation, or oath, he promises never to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry. We can argue all day as to what the secrets of Freemasonry are, but I would argue that they include a lot more than just the modes of recognition, which are a few signs, words and grips.
If I violate that obligation, then I am no longer a Freemason. So, when I refuse to reveal the secrets of Freemasonry, I am simply protecting my membership and my ties to the fraternity.
If you are not a Mason, then you have no more rights to the secrets of my fraternity than you have to my ATM pin number, my email password, the balance of my savings account, or the contents of the private conversation I had with my wife last night. These things are private.
If you are truly interested in knowing these secrets you may, if you are qualified, petition the fraternity for admission. You may or may not be elected to membership. You have no right to membership in our fraternity, but you may ask.
You may be able to discover many of the secrets of our fraternity by digging around in libraries or on the Internet. But, that makes you no better than the stalker who rummages through my garbage in hopes of finding my bank account balance and pin number.