KQTV - St. Joseph, MO
Local Freemasons want to set the story straight about their fraternity
It`s a world-wide service organization some might know only from the movies but the Freemasons want to dispell misconceptions brought about by Hollywood. People may have seen their fraternity in movies like the Davinci Code. Their mysterious rituals attract many, but also shun others away. Who are the Freemasons and what do they know?
Brent Hunt reads some of the rites and beliefs of the Freemasons. He`s a member of Lodge 10 in Agency and said Hollywood has it all wrong.
"We`re not a secret society even some of the rituals that we use come straight from the bible," Hunt said.
Hunt grew up around masons, but it wasn`t until five years ago he became one himself.
"Some of the things that are kept secret are just what the tools that we use to make us better people or better individual in our community and without that secrecy we`re just another men`s club," Hunt said.
Meetings for the oldest and largest fraternal organization are held behind closed doors but entering this secretive society is attainable. Men with a clean criminal record, who believe in one God, are allowed in, if they pay an annual fee.
"It`s all about charity itís not about a religion or anything like that," Al Jackson, Freemason, said.
"All it is pretty much is taking good men and making them better men," Hunt said.
Sharing of their secrets and rituals is cause for dismissal. Their meeting room is filled with symbols, each with a deep meaning...
"The square is that we might square our actions with all men kind and especially with the Freemason," Hunt said. "The compasses represent the tenants of our fraternity and then the letter `G` stands for God but it also stands for geometry. Itís by geometry and literature and art and hearing and smelling and touching that we make ourselves more literate."
Their devotions are encoded and include Bible verses and abstract writings. Freemasons claim to have members around the world still some religious groups keep their distance.
"I grew up Catholic and back some years ago, the Catholics kind of denounced it like the Masonic order so my dad never got involved," Jackson said.
"Some churches don`t want to have any affiliation and most of that is just through not having the proper knowledge of who we are as Freemasons," Hunt said.
While the Freemasons are pretty open about their community outreach, their codes and rituals will remain a mystery at least for now.
Hunt said the group is made up mostly of older members and that`s why members are reaching out to a younger crowd. The young men`s group is called Demolay. The masons also have a separate women`s group, but they aren`t allowed to participate in rituals.