Quiz: How Much Do You Know About the Freemasons?: HowStuffWorks
How Much Do You Know About the Freemasons?
5 Min Quiz
What are the Freemasons?
The Freemasons are a collection of fraternal organizations. They have a reputation for secrecy, but that's actually not an accurate depiction of these groups.
The Freemasons started as a professional fraternity in which profession?
In the 14th century, stone masons created a serious of credentials to protect their craft. The Freemasons have since evolved into a much broader series of activities.
What the traditional symbol for the Freemasons?
Freemasons began with stone masons. They often used tools like the square and compass to do their jobs, so these are the organization's traditional symbols.
Where do Freemasons go do conduct much of their business?
Freemason activity centers around their beloved Lodge. That's where they hold meetings, conduct club business, and plan to take over the world, and we're probably joking about that last part.
Why did early Freemasons earn a reputation for secrecy?
In the early days, stonemasons proved their legitimacy by using secret symbols and words. The idea was to keep outsiders from infiltrating their trade and their network of clients.
Where was the first Freemason lodge established?
Scotland, the birthplace of so many of Western cultural touchstones, also gave rise to the Freemasons. The first lodge may have been established in the late 1500s.
Which of the following statements best describes Freemasonry?
The Freemasons aren't some strange cult of the underworld. It's a secular organization primarily concerned with professional networking.
Masons are supposed to take an oath that promises what?
In spite of their (inaccurate) public perception as a force of cultural subversion, Masons are expected to be peace-loving. They take an oath that they'll not harm peaceful society.
In what era were Freemasons openly persecuted?
To be fair, was there anyone that Hitler didn't persecute? The Freemasons were another target of the Third Reich, so they went underground during the war.
Freemasons have a reputation for secrecy. These days, how secretive are they, really?
The Freemasons aren't exactly the CIA. They do protect some information - like any other exclusive club - but they don't have any deep dark plans for the world.
Members of the Freemasons are expected to believe what?
In the Freemasons, there's no indication that you have to believe in a specific god. But you are expected to at least go through the motions in expressing belief in a higher-deity, such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
How do Masons publicize their membership in the lodge?
It's one reason that the organization has a reputation for secrecy. Members don't really talk about being members - it's a relatively hush-hush topic.
How many degrees of Freemasonry are there?
Per medieval traditions, there are three degrees in Freemason society. They are Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Mason.
How often are women admitted into the Freemasons?
The Freemasons are mostly a boy's club. However, in some isolated cases, women are admitted and welcomed with open arms.
What's the name of the organization that oversees all Freemasons?
Unlike a lot of organizations, there's no overarching headquarters for Freemasons. They are mostly independent lodges … and sometimes don't really recognize each other at all.
Which icon of history was part of the Freemasons?
Like many powerful men who knew their way around society, George Washington was a prominent Freemason. He was even Master of his lodge.
How much time do Freemasons spend discussing religion in their lodges?
In theory, religion is off the table. Lodge meetings are supposed to pretty much avoid the topic of religion.
How do people generally start the process of joining a lodge?
In most situations, prospective members must flat-out ask to be a part of a lodge. Then, they have to survive an interview process that determines whether they are truly worth of Freemasonry.
To what degree to Masons discuss politics at their gatherings?
Like religion, politics are off the table at Mason meetings. These two topics are simply too divisive for a professional networking group.
What are Grand Lodges?
Grand Lodges are the top lodges. They are a headquarters of sorts for a particular area, like a county or state.
Religions is mostly a taboo topic. But when someone applies to a lodge, what might happen?
In most cases, lodges allow people of any religion, so long as that religion specifies a single god. But there are some lodges that only admit candidates who believe in the "right" religion.
Why do few Freemasons publicly declare their membership status?
The pervasive public perception of Masons as weirdly secretive types doesn't make lodges forthcoming about their status. So most men don't declare their membership to others.
What's one way Masons greet each other?
Like all "secret" societies, the Masons have a groovy secret handshake. It looks suspiciously like a normal handshake.
Freemasons sometimes have which reputation?
In some areas, Freemasons are considered very, very conservative. And in some cases, they've earned (rightly or wrongly) a reputation for resisting progress and change.
What was a purpose of the original Freemasons?
Stonemasons needed to standardize pay rates so that everyone got their fair share. So they helped to regulate wages throughout the lands.
Freemasons are always committed to what?
There's no universally-accepted (or even clear) doctrine for the Freemasons. But no matter where they are located, they're committed to their brotherhood and continual self-improvement.
What was another traditional activity at lodge meetings?
In the olden days - and even now - drinking was part of lodge meetings. Members take meals and drinks together as part of the bonding experience.
Starting in the 1800s, most lodges were made up of which kind of men?
As stone mason guilds faded in the 1700s, the lodges found their ranks filling with gentlemen. Membership became more for well-to-do types hanging out with like-minded men.
What's the Catholic Church's stance on Freemasonry?
The Catholic Church has a long-standing reputation for condemning organizations that might be perceived as gaining in political power. It has always condemned the Freemasons.
How is Freemasonry faring in the United States?
For decades, membership in the Freemasons has been declining, particularly in America. Very few people express interest in joining the groups today.
Image: National Library of Ireland on The Commons via Wiki Commons
About This Quiz
They’ve been ostracized as politically-subversive dissidents. Some suspect they’re part of the New World Order, out to reform society in their vision. Or maybe they’re just black-hearted witches. For centuries, outsiders have scratched their heads regarding the Freemasons, a worldwide group that has a reputation for secrecy. In this hard-hitting investigative quiz, do you really know anything about Freemasonry?
As the name implies, the Freemasons have their roots in an ancient trade. That craft made many men rich, but it required a degree of professionalism and credentials that other people tried to emulate. So the real pros formed their own groups to keep copycats at bay, and to keep their pay rates fair. Do you recall some of the primary purposes of mason guilds and groups?
In the process, Freemasons garnered an aura of secrecy that pervades even today. Many members don’t talk about their activities, which further deepens the suspicions of others. But they’re not witches… really. Peek behind the closed doors of this Freemasons quiz now!
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