The Freemasons will often boast of past historic members such as George Washington and Paul Revere just to name a few, that they were proud Freemasons. This boasting is as if because prominent men of society were members then the entire organization should be above question.
Some Freemasons will tell you in simplified terms that they are a group of closely-knit men that get together for fellowship both spiritually and intellectually. Now the real anti Freemasons view them in a much more devious light determined that they are out to take over the world.
It would seem that their beginnings are somewhat of a mystery in itself. Even the members themselves are often unclear as to the beginning, some will tell you different stories. Here are some of the explanations as to their roots that you may hear?
-they descended from the Druids of ancient times. -they are affiliated with the Isis-Osiris cult that prevailed in ancient Egypt -they were the Essenes, which was a group of Jewish Monks who bonded together BC around the 2nd century. -then there are those that believe they go back as far as King Solomon’s temple Built in Jerusalem 967BC. This is based on the Bible’s account of the temple being built by the stonemasons whose bond has carried on through the years to the now Freemasons.
This latter belief has a legend. It is said that an individual by the name of Hiram Abiff who had worked on King Solomon’s temple knew of the secret of the temple but refused to tell others. When he refused to disclose this secret, three other co-workers murdered him. It is said that King Solomon ordered his men to find Hiram’s body so the secret of the temple would be brought back. They were unable to find the body so the King established a new Masonic secret. It is believed that this secret was Mahabone meaning the Grand Lodge door opened. Now this is the password that those members of the third degree Masonry must use to gain entrance to the Lodge.
There have been factors to show that the Freemason have some type of connection with another group called the Knights Templar. Their history purports they armed themselves in 1118 Ad to protect Christians than were leaving Jaffa enroute to Jerusalem. As legend as it this Knights Templar discovered the most precious treasure ever know to humanity amongst the ruins of King Solomon’s temple. The Knights were now one very rich entity. King Philip IV of France in-07 have all the Knights Templar arrested so he could take their treasure. Or so rumor has it.
No one knows for sure what happened to the Knights after this but some said they went into hiding and continued their meetings in secret. Eventually they came out of hiding with a new name reportedly to be the Freemasons. There is some speculation that this group had a hand in instigating the French Revolution as a means of revenge for what the French King did to them. This is a most intriguing story but there are other Masons who will paint a much more subtle picture concerning the rough masons of the 1700?s. As the story goes, there were two types of mason the rough masons who did average work on ordinary stone, then the free masons who did intricate works of art on the softer stone. The Freemasons wanted to keep themselves segregated as an elite group from the rough masons so they devised a code amongst themselves using code words, handshakes and other secret forms of addressing one another.
The Freemasons have not always been a membership of all men. Actually, there were women members back in the 1700?s but they were tossed out because the men feared the women would take their attention. In addition, they didn’t think the women could keep their secrets.