There has been much speculation as to what takes place at the Freemasons meetings. They are regarded as a highly secretive organization and what knowledge is known about them seems to be conflicting depending on where it’s coming from.
There has been quite a bit of material floating around concerning what a degree is when it comes to the Masons. They use this terminology for the level of standing one is at. It is portrayed by means of a ceremony when an individual member reaches a certain level or “degree” as they call it. There are three degrees, which are the Entered Apprentice, Fellow craft and finally the Master Mason. These are not names that were just made up they are actually the names of the individual craft guilds found within the craft of Masonry.
Much as we do today with having apprenticeships in some of the trades, they did likewise in the old days. As the apprentice became adept at learning the trade he then moved up as fellow of the craft (journeyman) then once he had learned all there was to know he became a Master Mason. Hence, the purpose of the degrees in today’s Freemasons.
In order to get their point across the Mason conduct plays or rituals as they are called. The ritual includes the participation of the individual graduating to the next level. As a teaching aid, they will use tools of the trade as symbols.
It is said that the lessons taught in these rituals pertain to life itself and its integrity. It is to display trust and the spiritual nature that every man has within himself. It promotes the values and importance of self-control and the aspects of love. It values secrecy as confidence.
This takes us to the issue of the Freemasons being accused of being a secretive organization. Some say that Masons don’t hide from being one, yet others will say that you may have relatives that are Masons and you don’t really know it. Their main symbol is the Square and compasses, which depicts the tools of the trade. You will see these displayed on rings, and tie tacks for example. Therefore, for this reason they class this as openness. It is unclear however, at what degree one must be at in order to be given this privilege.
They don’t hide their meeting places as they are most often beautiful Lodges but there is speculation that there is a secret knock in order to gain entry.
The reason for this secret knock according to their explanation is to keep non-members out. This way assistance isn’t given out to the wrong persons. It’s unclear though what the meaning of assistance is.
Then there is the secrecy that arises from not being able to put certain aspects into words. For example the changes that apparently take place in a member as they grow in the brotherhood of the organization. Most anyone will admit that the Freemasons fraternity is definitely well known. There is no secret about that. What the secrecy centers around is what takes place within the walls of the Freemasons temples?