Review of Freemasonry

Make this site your Home Page Print this page Send Masonic E-card Subscribe News Alerts by Email RSS News Feed
PS Review of FM Search Engine:
recommend PS Review of Freemasonry

by W.Bro. Francis Vicente PM
Brotherhood Lodge #126, Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, USA

The reach of the Internet, (blogs, Youtube, Google, etc.) as a vehicle to promote Freemasonry and blunt/counter anti-Masonic attacks is a must tool for the Fraternity in the new century.

For its proper use, we must:

  1. Understand the venue

  2. Be aware of the techniques used by the media today

  3. Be proactive in putting our message forth

  4. Blunt any negative attacks as soon as they appear.

Use of the Internet has expanded dramatically in the last decade. With wider bandwidth, data coding techniques and faster and more capable networks and electronics,  faster transmission of data has been possible. Large data files can now be transmitted in seconds especially using fiber optic systems. Consequently transmission of real live pictures of events recorded  by amateurs as they happen is now possible to your computer. The broadcast news media, no longer controls news events and information flow as they once did. Individuals are now empowered to act as reporters, critics, generators of news events and editorial writers, and they are doing it.

This new found freedom is heady stuff. It can be used for good and for evil.


First, the existing good uses for Freemasonry. Web sites are in existence for most, if not, all Grand Lodges. Those web sites usually have links that can access other Grand Lodges. However, individual subordinate lodges are currently a mixed bag. Some lodges have excellent sites, some are mediocre, but a large number do not have a site at all. Some blogs exist but are hard to find. Some well-done videos are available on youtube. At least one video blog exists which I have found 1. The latter is well done. However, it is criticized a few blogs down.

To access the textual pro-Masonic sites is best done by using Google with Freemasonry as the search word. Similarly, to access the videos is best done by going to and using “Freemasonry” as the search word. I do not give the sites themselves due to the ever-changing nature of the web sites. Using the search word “anti-mason” can access the anti-Masonic sites.


The Freemasonry search will also bring up quite a large number of anti-Masonic sites.

The anti-Masonic sites fall into three categories; those sponsored and created by Religious Fundamentalists, Conspiracy theorists, and the Ignorant.

The Religious Fundamentalists can be of any organized religion 2. Typically most of their attacks deal only with outward manifestations of the Craft, such as rites, forms, rituals, or ceremonies. However some deal with the factual, historical progression of the relationship between the two. There usually is great discussion of the intent and purpose of the institutions. These haters of Freemasonry are usually uninformed or else dictatorial in their attitude. To achieve their purpose they distort, take things out of context, or outright lie.

A few years ago an evangelical minister used Pike’s “Morals and Dogma” to show the evil of Freemasonry. What he wrote and Pike actually said were two different things. He chose certain phrases, removed subsequent material and coupled them with other material elsewhere in the document. When both documents are placed side by side with the original Pike document lined through those parts omitted, the distortion becomes evident. This is a favorite trick. Pick out an obscure but famous document (which is bulky, not read by many) and distort it to fit their view. In short they use a neurolinguistic-programming trick to frame the argument and paint a mental picture of their distorted view.


We as Freemasons need to reframe the debate by using the Internet blogs and video techniques to present:

1)      Our belief in God

2)      Our belief in the brotherhood of man

3)      Our love of freedom that permits freedom of discussion and thought.


It should be noted that political dictatorships function the same way as ecclesiastical ones. This is the main reason that dictatorships close down lodges as they come to power. It is a fear of freedom being given to the masses, which endangers their rule.


Next we turn to the Conspiracy Theorists. Although no doubt always present in humankind, the modern conspiratist has been empowered by world events of the last few decades. Given access to the Internet they have a venue to promote their theories without much chance of being called on them. An example is the book novel “The Divinci Code”3 which is nothing more than a well crafted fictional novel, but with some juicy half truths sprinkled here and there. The public, hungry for entertainment, but ignorant of Freemasonry and the disputes with religion begins to believe the conspiracy theory.


Television has trained the public to look for information using “sound bites.” This is a neurolinguistic technique called framing/reframing, 4 which uses the subconscious mind (which accepts all information without discrimination) to store data. Normally the conscious mind will filter the information stream. However, in the video world people look for entertainment and their guard is down. The result is that misinformation becomes resident in the subconscious ready for recall when properly triggered. Thus when a conspiracy theorist presents his video with “Divinci” overtones people listen, and believe.

One video blog on attacking the United Grand Lodge of England is particularly clever this way. While the commentator is droning on about the supposed conspiracy of Masonic World Domination the video shows the elegantly clad Grand Lodge officers in full regalia entering their Lodge, close the doors (with a bang of course) and place the Tyler’s guarding the entrance. As he continues droning on the camera pans the outer face of the building pausing momentarily at some object on the cornice (which is not readily identifiable) but which he implies is an Illuminati symbol. The video continues in this vein for a total of a half-hour.

Most people are lazy, do not have the time, or are not really interested in the topic, but will remember the “sound bite,” headline, or video misrepresentation. Thus the falsehood becomes “a fact” and difficult to counter.


To counter this type of insidious propaganda, we as Masons must be proactive. If the “Morgan Affair” of the 1820’s in the United States taught anything it is that. Face your accusers down. Pennsylvania Grand Master George M. Dallas 5 and a number of masons, when called before the Pennsylvania legislature to be questioned about Freemasonry, refused to be sworn, faced down their tormentors and won the day. The situation had gotten to this stage because at the time Grand Lodges decided to remain silent thinking the problem would go away on its own. It didn’t until confronted.

Similarly today, Freemasonry cannot stand by and ignore these attacks by remaining silent.

We now turn to ignorance. Unfortunately today few Americans have heard of Freemasonry and fewer still know anything about the fraternity. The same is probably true in other parts of the world.


An anecdote from personal experience shows the problem. A few years ago I was watching a local patriotic parade where the local Lodge was participating. A little girl turned to her father and asked, “who are those men wearing aprons.” Her father’s response was “ their sign says Masons, but I never heard of them nor do I know who or what they are.”

I wonder whose fault that was. The father was sincere in his ignorance, but it was our fraternity’s fault that the public doesn’t know about us. If you drive along a road anywhere in the United States, you will usually see a sign or set of signs at the entrance to a town, announcing various organizations active in that community. There usually is a sign with the square and compasses and the inscription of the local lodge number or name. All Masons know what the sign means, and if we wish, we can look up the Lodge for that town and visit. But only we Masons know this. I am sure that at one time being associated with the craft called for respect. Today I believe that respect has been lost. It has been lost because the population at large doesn’t even know we exist. If the public knows any thing good at all about us, they think we are a bunch of old men belonging to a secret society.


The Internet can be used to bring light to the public. The Internet is tailor made for grass roots public education and participation. To do this effectively we should frame our message to deliver positive “sound bites” about the Craft. For example, a video on youtube showing Christmas presents being given to children at a Shriner’s Hospital could show a prominent display of the square and compasses as well as the Shriner emblem and a slogan such as “Mason’s helping children.” Similarly putting such a video on local TV News broadcasts would reach a large population. Both approaches should run concurrently. Video blogs showing the good Masonry does while subtly reframing the anti-video production can be effective.

Above all the Internet should be used as an educational tool for the brethren as well as the public.


First, we need to educate our older members in the use of the computer and the Internet. Second, the Worshipful Master of each subordinate lodge should assign a computer savvy brother to establish a lodge Internet site; encourage access to Lodges of research and their use by all members for educational purposes; have free downloads (or nominal fee) of papers generated by those lodges.

Past Masters are valuable resources. They should be encouraged to continue their Masonic work by participating in these Lodges and by being mentors for new members at each step of the candidate’s advancement. This mentorship should continue even after the candidate is raised to Master Mason.

At a minimum, Lodge web sites should be a communication tool for use by the members of the fraternity. As suggested above web sites should be created for each Lodge, (It should have member’s e-mails for access with password protection.) and should have as a minimum the following information:

                        Lodge name, district, and region

                        Latest news e.g. next stated meeting, (could replace current Mailed

Lodge notices thereby saving printing and mailing costs)

Worshipful Master’s Page with message for the month,

            Officers names and pictures

                        Brief history of the Lodge

Living Past Master page. Deceased Past Master page.

(P. M.’s with Lodge identified if current lodge is a merged lodge. )

Memorable Events (could include pictures)

                        How to contact.

Much can be done with the Internet to help the Fraternity. Some small examples are given here with the hope to prod the brethren into further thoughts on how to use this valuable resource.





  1., search word =Freemasonry, Video title: Freemasonry Today

  2. Thorn, Richard P. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”, 1994, M. Evans & Co, New York, N.Y.

  3. 3.Brown, Dan “The Da Vinci Code”, 2003, Doubleday

  4. Bandler, Richard and Grinder, John “Reframing (Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Transformation of Meaning)”, 1982 Real People Press, Moab, Utah.

  5. Huss, Wayne A. “The Master Builders”, Volume III: Grand Master Biographies, 1989, Winchell Co. of Philadelphia

Home Page | Alphabetical Index | What is New | Freemasons World News
Research Papers | Books online | Freemasons History | Symbolism & Rituals
Saggi in Italiano | Essais en Langue Française | Monografias em Português | Planchas Masonicas en Español

| Sitemap | Privacy Policy | How to Contribute a Paper |

RSS Feed News Feed | News Alerts Subscribe News by Email

visitor/s currently on the page.