I am not a Freemason but i have been asked more than once to don the apron and swear the oaths..
I have also been told that Freemasonry is not a secret society, It is a society with secrets.
Never-the-less, it was the thought of being admitted to a secret society that attracted me to the idea of joining the Freemasons. I have an unhealthy fascination with the unknown.
Freemasonry has a mysterious history going back hundreds of years and it’s symbolism and iconography is embedded within our language, architecture and history.
One thing I didn’t quite understand when visiting a Masonic Lodge during a recruitment meeting was the rule asking you not talk about work, politics or religion.
Now, arguments often accompany political and religious discussion, so i could understand why those topics may be frowned upon. But I thought this would be just the place for movers and shakers, the people in positions of power to ‘Get Things Done’.. Where deals were made and projects started. How can this happen if all you have is small talk?
Now I think I get it.
Perhaps In one way Freemasonry is one of the Wests first social networks. Albeit a little more exclusive than the ones we have today. The small talk like the kind we see in our online social media networks was and is vital to build trust.
I imagine the Lodge meetings to be formal in some ways. Packed with ceremony and learning and the bar/social time afterward, the place where I’ve been invited to sample the subsidised beer, is where you shoot the breeze and get a feel for those you are connecting with.
Some of us do the same online. Twitter is a good example of people getting involved in small talk before contacts and connections are formally cemented. It may be at a conference or a social media get together where things move on to the next level. A quiet corner is found and business is done.
Here is the five minute chat with A Knights Templar Priest that started me thinking about how we ultimately use small talk to feel around for those we feel we can trust. In business, in play, in life..
We all may appear to be ‘open and transparent’ but I’ll wager many of us keep the finer details of our business transactions behind closed doors.
I enjoyed this. Very insightful. The audio definitely gives it resonance.
Phil Coyne says
Great use of AudioBoo with this one, really put it into perspective.
I have been wondering about this subject. thank you for this post. liked the audio as well.
I find the abstract concept of social network interesting. Especially since I not frequently sociable. I would like to study anthropologically these “networks” of human being communicating with one another. Very curious….
Ah, fascinating! Insightful! I like how you put the Twitter in a different perspective… interesting. How the small talk makes us … human? I wish it would be more small talk on Twitter though… it is too much advertizing these days! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂
John Buckley says
Fascinating yet inconsequential tosh!
I love the line “We know what you do, we know where you live!”
All Masons are taught to identify each other through the signs & symbols of their fraternity. That’s the point of teaching them. The idea that Masons of differing lodges cannot identify each other is simply bunkum.
It may be true that the ‘Revolutionary Faith’ (http://tinyurl.com/crr6k5) is no longer housed quite so securely and consequentially within the doors of the lodge but it certainly hasn’t left the building!
Read their own histories and literature, (it is both voluminous and ‘illuminating’ ) and you may begin to get some of idea of quite how seriously those who are most highly ranked take the ‘craft’.
If it’s just a ‘social network’ why is it still secret & why is HRH Prince Michael of Kent the current Grand Master of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex!?
I’m surprised he’s not on twitter!
fascinating intervfiew with the freemason – thanks
Richard Elen says
Fascinating insight and nicely backed up by the interview segment. Excellent use of AudioBoo and extremely creditable quality too!
Paul Hurst says
A great interview about an incredibly intriguing topic.
Simon Whitehouse says
Freemasonry is not a way of meeting the most wonderful people. It’s a way of meeting other *men*. They don’t accept women except for Ladies Night, oh and the Christmas Party.
There are “lady masons”, but not many.
“I am not a Freemason but i have been asked more than once to don the apron and swear the oaths.”
Odd. I thought you can only ask for membership, rather then have a Freemason ask you to join.
Hi Dene. Not sure where you heard that. Freemasons in the UK are often looking/asking for new members.
My exposure to Freemasonry has been limited, so I suppose it’s possible that the rules as they apply to different jurisdictions have become somewhat mixed.
I was just browsing around your blog and came across this post. I have heard many wild conspiracies about Freemasons little of which may be based in fact. It was great to read your perspective on it as well hearing the interview.
I think your comparison of Freemasonry to the Social Networking is very accurate I have also thought this.
A E Fleming says
Complete and utter garbage, honestly. If you want a more realistic assessment of Freemasonry, tune your brains to the History Channel or the National Geographic. Not only that but I don’t care where you are in the world, one of the global tenants of Freemasonry is that we do not ask people to become members. Under no circumstances. Ever. Recruitment is non-existant. Secondly, Masons from any lodge, anywhere will recognize the signs and words of another Brother no matter what or how different a lodge he came from. Finally, the stupid picture you have to accompany your lead-up into the piece needs to go. Replace it with a clown. Much more cohesive.
I think you are a bit sad that Freemasonry is not at all like the Da Vinci Code.
Last time I was in a lodge it seemed to me to be lots of ‘older’ men enjoying subsidised beer.
And yes I’m afraid I was invited to join. Maybe you should try to find something more exclusive to satisfy your fantasies. 😉
Beautiful capture. I found this really compelling, and found the guy to seem really clearheaded for all his obvious confusion in the whole thing. I have a theory that they are in such a hierarchical system that they don’t even know WHY they don’t understand it (nor are supposed to), but hey – I am one of those guys that thinks that (so write me off?)
Anyway, was drawn to your site by the Thinking Digital talk, and I am so glad ‘Anonymous’ (the movement of individuals not the organization) treated you well.
the thought of you joining the mason,s makes my blood run cold.
No danger of that Dave. I have my own secret societies.. doh!