Trick Tracts Facts: Masons

In the Chick Tract The Curse of Baphomet [tract][review], the order known as Freemasonry is attacked and said to be "evil", the spawn of the devil and nothing more than another form of "witchcraft". My own research tells a different story.

In the 1823 Farmer's Almanac, the "Character of a Freemason" was listed thus:

The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct. Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect; they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world. A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine except those written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same. He kneels before the Universal Throne of God in gratitude for the blessings he has received and humble solicitation for his future protection. He venerates the good men of all religions. He disturbs not the religion of others. He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself. He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended. He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge, because he is honest upon principal.

Because Freemasonry is spiritually-based and does not necessarily adhere to any particular religious sect, it is feared and shunned by most organized religions. However, one has to wonder how an order that is focused on doing good, helping others and actively being more spiritual persons can be considered "evil".

It is easy to call something "evil" which we do not understand, but ignorance is not an excuse to condemn anyone or anything simply because it is "different" or doesn't fit into a neat little package of what someone believes "should be".

A Page About Freemasonry has this to say about what it means to be Mason:

Masons are men who voluntarily asked to join a lodge. They were accepted because they were good men who believe in God and hold high ethical and moral ideals. They go to meetings which they call the lodge, in order to learn and to teach what 'friendship, morality, and truth really involve, and to practice on a small scale the reality of brotherhood. They also have meetings open to their wives, children, and friends where they promote an understanding of the serious nature of the Fraternity by entertainment and sociability. Practical programs for charity and relief are planned and executed. The special kinship they feel for each other as a brotherhood is their deepest satisfaction."

That doesn't sound very "evil" to me.

More Info on Masons and Freemasonry

Freemasonry on
Teachings and practices of the secret fraternal order officially known as the Free and Accepted Masons, or Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.

There are approximately 5 million members worldwide, mostly in the United States and other English-speaking countries. With adherents in almost every nation where Freemasonry is not officially banned, it forms the largest secret society in the world. There is no central Masonic authority; jurisdiction is divided among autonomous national authorities, called grand lodges, and many concordant organizations of higher-degree Masons. In the United States and Canada the highest authority rests with state and provincial grand lodges. Custom is the supreme authority of the order, and there are elaborate symbolic rites and ceremonies, most of which utilize the instruments of the stonemason—the plumb, the square, the level, and compasses—and apocryphal events concerning the building of King Solomon's Temple for allegorical purposes.

The principles of Freemasonry have traditionally been liberal and democratic. Anderson's Constitutions (1723), the bylaws of the Grand Lodge of England, which is Freemasonry's oldest extant lodge, cites religious toleration, loyalty to local government, and political compromise as basic to the Masonic ideal. Masons are expected to believe in a Supreme Being, use a holy book appropriate to the religion of the lodge's members, and maintain a vow of secrecy concerning the order's ceremonies.

The basic unit of Freemasonry is the local Blue lodge, generally housed in a Masonic temple. The lodge consists of three Craft, Symbolic, or Blue Degrees: Entered Apprentice (First Degree), Fellow Craft (Second Degree), and Master Mason (Third Degree). These gradations are meant to correspond to the three levels—apprentice, journeyman, and master—of the medieval stonemasons' guilds. The average Mason does not rise above Master Mason.

If he does, however, he has the choice of advancing through about 100 different rites, encompassing some 1,000 higher degrees, throughout the world. In the United States, the two most popular rites are the Scottish and the York. The Scottish Rite awards 30 higher degrees, from Secret Master (Fourth Degree) to Sovereign Grand Inspector General (Thirty-third Degree). The York Rite awards ten degrees, from Mark Master to Order of Knights Templar, the latter being similar to a Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Mason.

Other important Masonic groups are the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, to which many African-American Masons belong; the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (the “fraternal fun order for Blue Lodge Masons” ); and the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Thirty-second degree Masons who, as the Shriners, are noted for their colorful parades and support of children's hospitals). There are also many subsidiary Masonic groups, including the Order of the Eastern Star, limited to Master Masons and their female relatives; De Molay, an organization for boys; and Job's Daughters and Rainbow, two organizations for girls. Many of the orders maintain homes for aged members.

Frequently asked questions about anti-Masonry from The Grand Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon:

This Anti-masonry FAQ is intended to address issues of willful ignorance or malicious misinformation. It contains verifiable and documented historical events and more.

A wealth of Masonry information from American Mason:

Freemasonry, or Masonry, is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world, a universal society of friends who seek to become better men through their association with one another and their more.

Learn more about what Masonry is in the Freemasonry Primer:

Freemasonry's singular purpose is to make good men better and its bonds of friendship, compassion and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military and religious conflicts through the centuries. Freemasonry is neither a forum nor a place of worship. It is not a religion nor does it teach a religious philosophy. For nearly three hundred years it has attracted men of high moral character who support the tenets of temperance, fortitude, prudence and more.

Shining some light on Freemasonry and those that oppose it is Anti-Masonry: Points of View:

Since the earliest days of Freemasonry, there were people and groups who opposed its existence for various reasons. On this site, we describe: The objections to Freemasonry, Those who oppose Masons, and Masonry Freemasonry itself - including Masonic Charities, books about Masonry, Famous Masons and much more. Our site contains over three hundred pages of facts. We hope it will be more.

Learn even more from A Page About Freemasonry:

Est. October 1994 -- the World's Oldest Masonic more.

An overview of Freemasonry from

Opinions about Freemasonry around the world may differ from place to place, but Freemasons always stress non-dogmatism and tolerance (albeit often within certain defined limits). This openness has led to friction between Freemasonry and organizations which hold a negative view of ecumenism, or are themselves intolerant towards other forms of belief and worship. Masons have been opposed throughout history by various religious groups, such as some Protestants and certain more.

In-depth look into the order on The Centre for Research into Freemasonry:

The Centre for Research into Freemasonry was established by the University of Sheffield in the academic session 2000-2001. The Centre undertakes and promotes objective scholarly research into the historical, social and cultural impact of freemasonry, particularly in more.

Learn what it means to be a Mason from The Fidelity Lodge:

Membership in the brotherhood of Masons means many things. It means being part of an unbroken tradition that stretches back over 500 years to a time when guilds of freemasons traveled throughout Europe laying the stones of the great Gothic cathedrals. It means sharing the values of our nation's founding fathers; the ideals of men who believed in the brotherhood of man, ideals which are firmly rooted in the Constitution of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It means becoming a better person while helping to improve the quality of life for others. It means forming deep and lasting friendships that transcend the boundaries of race, religion, age and culture, as well as those of geography. But most of all, being a Mason means the kind of deep satisfaction that comes only from selfless giving; from doing for others without asking, or expecting anything in more.

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