Facts or Information about Freemasonry

Why Become a Mason?

There are many personal benefits to becoming a Mason, and the rewards can be different for each person. But all Masons share a common goal: to become a better man.


When you become a Mason, you become part of ancient tradition that spans centuries. From the original stonemasons that produced some of the most majestic architectural wonders of Europe to modern day Masons who participate in numerous charitable foundations, you’ll feel connected to a vital, growing and spiritually uplifting organization of moral men.


You’ll share the values of the great men who founded the United States: Men who believed in the brotherhood of man and the ideals express in the U.S. Constitution. Freemasonry is built upon the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Brotherly loves is the practice of the golden rule. Relief embodies charity for all mankind. Truth is honesty, fair play and adherence to cardinal virtues. Above all, men of all faiths are welcome, as long as they believe in a Supreme Being.


Masons seek to improve themselves and to help others, not because they think they should, but because they want to. Because of this crucial distinction, Masons give freely of themselves and ask nothing in return. Nationally, Masons give away more than $2 million every day to relieve suffering. When you’re a Mason, the satisfaction derived from selfless service is immeasurable, for it is in helping others that one most helps himself.


Masons come from all walks of life: accountants, teachers, office workers, laborers — you name it. They represent all creeds and cultures, and all are welcome. You are bound to develop lasting friendships, meet new business associates, and broaden your circle of friends. No matter where your travels take you, it’s great to know there are brothers you can depend on and trust.


By attending Masonic Lodge meetings and learning from your fellow Masons, you’ll strengthen the bonds of fellowship as you join together with like-minded men who share ideals of both a moral and metaphysical nature. You’ll enjoy the friendship of other Masons in the community, and you’ll be welcomed as a “brother” by Masons everywhere in the world. Freemasonry also promises that should you ever be overtaken by misfortune, sickness, or adversity through no fault of your own, the hands of our great fraternity will be stretched forth to aid and assist you.


From its earliest days, charity has been the most visible Masonic activity. Freemasons have always been devoted to caring for disadvantaged children, the sick and the elderly. In fact, Masons in North America give away approximately $2 million to national and local charities each day. Masons are also actively involved in a great deal of community volunteer work.


The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has advocated the education of members since its foundation years. Its ceremonies provide instruction to all members, supplemented by various other activities such as seminars, lectures, workshops, reading and use of audiovisual materials and the Internet. Because Freemasonry is an esoteric society, certain aspects of its work are not generally disclosed to the public. Freemasonry uses an initiatory system of degrees to explore ethical and philosophical issues, and the system is less effective if the observer knows beforehand what will happen. It is described in Masonic craft ritual as "a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."


Freemasonry offers its members leadership opportunities at the lodge, district, and Grand Lodge level. As Freemasons progress through the craft, they discover different aspects of themselves and develop a range of skills that even they might not have known they possessed. By developing leadership techniques that fit their personality, Masons unlock the door to their full potential.



A Masonic Lodge, often termed a Private Lodge or Constituent Lodge in Books of Constitutions, is the basic organisation of Freemasonry. Every new Lodge must be warranted by a Grand Lodge, but is subject to its direction only in enforcing the published Constitution of the jurisdiction. A Master Freemason is generally entitled to visit any Lodge in any jurisdiction in amity with his own. He is first usually required to check, and certify, the regularity of the relationship of the Lodge - and be able to satisfy that Lodge of his regularity of membership. Freemasons gather together as a Lodge to work the three basic Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. Freemasons meet as a Lodge not in a Lodge, although Masonic premises may be called Lodges, as well as Temples
("of Philosophy and the Arts").


The Holocaust

While the number is not accurately known, it is estimated that between 80,000 and 200,000 Freemasons were exterminated under the Nazi regime. Masonic concentration camp inmates were graded as political prisoners and wore an inverted red triangle.
The small blue forget-me-not flower was first used by the Grand Lodge Zur Sonne, in 1926, as a Masonic emblem at the annual convention in Bremen, Germany. In 1938 the forget-me-not badge – made by the same factory as the Masonic badge – was chosen for the annual Nazi Party Winterhilfswerk; a Nazi charitable organization, which collected money so that other state funds could be freed up and used for rearmament. This coincidence enabled Freemasons to wear the forget-me-not badge as a secret sign of membership.
After World War II, the forget-me-not flower was again used as a Masonic emblem at the first Annual Convention of the United Grand Lodges of Germany in 1948. The badge is now worn in the coat lapel by Freemasons around the world to remember all those that have suffered in the name of Freemasonry, especially those during the Nazi era.