"It is a general popular error to suppose
the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its
It's fashionable today to find boogey-men hiding in every corner. In days of constant news and insatiable curiosity, it should be easy to understand how a three hundred year old institution which has always been quiet (somewhat secretive, in fact) and slow to respond to the charges of its critics could be seen as something to fear. Within this realm, Freemasonry looms large as one of those 'boogey-men'!
The 'social objections' to Freemasonry are primarily presented by those who believe that a horrid 'New World Order' is arriving and that Masons are part of this overarching conspiracy. Many of these who rail against Masons and Masonry are simultaneously 'religious intolerants' but others have a confused message of nationalistic jingoism which berates Masons for founding the United States in a manner which is not to their liking.
Here we address claims
such as the following:
Disregarding the good that Freemasons have done throughout these past three centuries (see our section on Masonic charities, for just a few examples), insinuations of wrong-doing persist. Common arguments against Freemasonry today will often begin with a tale of political intrigue: the supposed murder of a defecting Freemason! What they fail to mention is that this occurred nearly 200 years ago (William Morgan). They may add that a never-identified killer of prostitutes in England (Jack The Ripper) over a century ago was a Mason.
As time passed, Freemasonry found itself linked through innuendo
and whispering but without any proof whatsoever to such unsavory things as the
Ku Klux Klan,
world takeover with a religion (the
Jews), and the assassination of
US President John Kennedy. Today, paranoia
runs rampant, tying both Masons and Masonry in a patchwork quilt of groups who
supposedly are attempting to create some type of "New World Order" or to imagined gas chambers under the
Denver International Airport. On the right you'll see a listing of the
various 'social objections' to Freemasonry. We urge you to examine these in
Are these objections legitimate?
When contemplating some of what we describe as 'social' objections to Freemasonry, it's easy to discern the cataclysmic warnings also found in the religious objections. Particularly, though, from the social perspective, it is both instructive and eerie to re-read Richard Hofstadter's classic essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics". This work is one we read in college and again at the outset of this site's creation. We would encourage anyone who wonders what is going on with the world to get a copy of this truly classical work. Hofstadter notes that the conspiratorial bent has infected disparate ideological movements over the course of American history and includes reference to Freemasonry. Anyone surfing the web today can readily observe his hypotheses in action.
Hofstadter found key symptoms that were common in the paranoid style:
And this is what we find with SO many anti-Masons: that desire to be the 'watchman on the wall' defending - whatever it is they imagine themselves defending. Keep one eye open as you sleep tonight: you never know when this three hundred year old organization will FINALLY get it right and control the world! (PS: I've got 'dibs' on Bermuda in case anyone's interested!)
Updated 24 October 2004. 19 July 2005, 26 December 2005, and 21 February 2006
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