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What about secret handshakes, ritual, and passwords?
Posted: 18 July 2007 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Freemasonry, often called the “Craft” by its members, is founded on metaphors of architecture. Following the practice of the ancient stonemason guilds, Freemasons use special handshakes, words, and symbols to not only to identify each other, but to help, as William Preston said in 1772, “imprint upon the memory wise and serious truths.”

Although every new Freemason takes an oath – and vows to keep secret the metaphors of Masonry – the metaphors are only used to help Masons become better men; and there’s certainly no secret surrounding what it takes to be good and true.

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Posted: 19 September 2007 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Despite being in a skilled trade the stonemasons most of them could not read or write. Handshakes and passwords were the easiest ways to prove that you belonged to the craft. Engineers and archetects would by need, have to know how to read and write. 80% of Europe’s population could not read or write until well into the 20th century. Learning by rote was quite common. This tradition of grips, words, tokens are a carry over from those days.

The grips and words also enabled fellow stonemasons to help, aid and assist each other.

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Wayne W. Anderton

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Posted: 07 January 2008 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Some years ago I was pleased to join other Masons on a brief trip to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to meet other DR Masons. The exicitement of the trip included being brought to the Cathedral that has housed the remains of Christopher Columbus.  There on the ancient wall next to vault was the ancient “Mark” of the Masonic Stonemason workman.  The idenification of one mason to another was also to show the mark of the quality of the workmanship. And it was explained that the protection of that trade depended on quality and integrity of that work. Since that time the subtle idenification of masonic symbolism has intrigued me and I literally search it out. Anyone can buy a ring or lapel pin, but its the deeper philosophical and symbolic “marks” that count.

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Posted: 02 September 2008 09:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I spent Sunday with my father walking around the grounds of Norton Country Club watching the PGA tournament that day. I asked him if any of his relatives were Freemasons and he told me, “Definitely not”.

He then proceeded to tell me what he thought of the Freemasons. He said that the Freemasons were definitely anti-Catholic and that after a certain degree (I imagine he was talking about the Scottish Rite) that the rituals are against the Catholic faith. I tried to explain to him that the Freemasons are open to any man who has a belief in a Supreme Being, and they don’t care what faith you are. I’m not even in the Freemasons, but I found myself on the defense. He then told me that “it was commonly known” that the Freemasons are connected with the KKK, due to the fact that they only allow white men to enter. I found this interesting as he is a member of an organization that allows no women. Does that make the his organization a bunch of bigots even though at their core they were created to train militia men (and ONLY men)?

He did get me thinking though. Do I want to join an organization that creates a problem between my father and I? If I were to join, how could I try to better educate him? His views sounded dated and he kept talking about “back when I was a kid, this is the way the Masons were perceived”.

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Posted: 02 September 2008 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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That’s not an altogether unusual story. Thanks for sharing it.

Although you need to make your own decision on things, I should tell you that one of our younger members in Massachusetts joined the Fraternity against the wishes of his father, who had similar thoughts. Afterwards this young mason ended up bringing his father into the Craft—and both are now very active. His father says: “I have no idea why I thought the things I did—there’s nothing in Freemasonry anywhere that any Catholic would not be proud to be a part of.”

Just food for thought.

Bob Heruska
Boston, MA

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Bob Heruska
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Columbian Lodge
Boston, MA

Member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite, and the Mystic Shrine.

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Posted: 02 September 2008 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Thanks Bob. I still plan to attend the Open House. Perhaps, I can try to educate him as I go along. If he can see the good I am doing, perhaps he’ll come around.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I have been a Mason for a quarter of a century. I have completed the 29 operative degrees of the Scottish Rite, and the Shrine. I can promise you, that there is nothing in Masonry that could remotely be construed to be anti-Catholic. Freemasonry accepts into its membership, men of many and varying religious experiences, including Roman Catholics. Freemasonry can be called a friend and supporter of all of the world’s great monotheistic religions.

My wife is Russian Orthodox. She has heard wild tales of the Freemasons being opposed to her religious faith. She learned the truth, when I was deployed to Iraq, and the Masons and their wives, in our lodge looked out for her.

Everything in Masonry is broadcast out to the whole world, for anyone who wishes to learn.

I wish you luck. I am a third generation Mason, my father, and both of my Grandfathers were Masons.

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Charles E. Martin
Alexandria, Virginia

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Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green, KY (Grand Lodge of KY, F.&A.M.;)
Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Mass. (Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, F.&A.M.;)
Alexandria, VA Scottish Rite Bodies, A.A.S.R. (Southern Jurisdiction, USA)

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Posted: 06 June 2009 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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i am also a 3rd generation mason.And saw this same conversation between my father and uncle (my mother’s brother).I also have a friend who is cathlic. he swears masons wont accept him becouse he is. I believe this goes back to the templar knights who were declaired heritic’s by the church following their arrest by the french on fri. the 13th 1307 on the order of the king. Either way it has no merrit in masonry and only adds somthing for the conspiricy fanatics to argue about.After about 4hrs.my uncle asked for a petition and has happily ben a mason now 30 yrs.My friend in Ohio has ben a mason almost a year.It did take me longer to convince my friend than it did my father.My sugestion is you decide for yourself,go to the open house talk to the men you meet.and come back and let us know what you decide,

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Bro. Jerry
Rifle,Co. #129

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