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As of 1990, the Masonic Lodge had a U.S. membership of 4,000,000 and worldwide membership of 6,000,000 (The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge, p. 323).  Membership is marked by various degrees through which one may pass.  Also available are numerous affiliate organizations with specific memberships: 

Youth - Demolay

Women - Eastern Star

Relatives - Job's Daughters


To become a Mason, one must go through the Blue Lodge, which is the parent or mother Lodge of Freemasonry.  The Blue Lodge consists of three degrees which serve as initiatory stepping stones into the deeper areas of Freemasonry:

1.  Entered Apprentice

2.  Fellow Craft

3.  Master Mason


After completing these degrees, one is a full Mason and may either stop or progress further along the Freemasonry route with a choice of two branches:  the Scottish Rite, consisting of 30 degrees; or the York Rite, which consists of the Chapter degree, the Council degree, and the Commandery degree.



Freemasonry has no worship services because it is not a church per se, but rather a fraternal organization.  Masonic gatherings are more like club meetings, which may involve a number of issues such as Masonic-sponsored community projects, current events, or Lodge business.  Yet Masonry has all the trappings and nomenclature of a deeply religious organization:  the meeting place is a "temple" that has an "altar" and a "sacred book"; "prayers" are spoken by a "chaplain"; rituals are performed.


Freemasonry has never had one authoritative leader.  Masons are led by the laws and regulations of Freemasonry itself.  Each separate Lodge (meeting place) elects its own officers.  Even so, all lodges worldwide have the same symbols, degrees, and teachings.  Grand Lodges, which are a combination of more than one Lodge, also have elected officers.  All Freemasons are bound through obedience to the ancient mystery "truths" that are gradually revealed as they advance in rank (degree).


Freemasonry is a secret fraternity that does not publicize its Lodge rituals or its sacred beliefs.  The three most authoritative works on Freemasonry are Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia by Henry Coil, Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey, Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike.

The following is a quote from Albert Pike's "Morals And Dogma", Published by the authority of the "Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree For The Southern Jurisdiction Of The United States" in March, 1919:

"Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries..., conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be mislead...Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it."


Masons will often claim publicly that they are not part of a religion, but authoritative Masonic writings give Freemasonry the character of a religion.  "Freemasonry may rightfully claim to be a religious institution...We open and close our Lodges with prayer; we invoke the blessing of the Most High upon all our labors; we demand of our neophytes a profession of trusting belief in the existence and the superintending care of God" (Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, 2:846)

Other literature written by Masonic authorities shows that the religion being promoted through Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity.  Freemasonry denies the Trinity, the deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith, the uniqueness of the Bible, and a number of other Christian beliefs.  Masonry also promotes involvement with the occult as a means of achieving higher degrees of "truth".

Information taken in part from Charts of Cults, Sects & Religious Movements by H. Wayne House

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