With the recent release of the Bella Book edition of A Matter of Degrees, what better time to answer the question, “What is Freemasonry?” And “What are the Freemason’s secrets?”
Within my suspense thriller, my protagonist faces solving her brother’s murder. She suspects that the answers to his death exist in an all-male secret society, Freemasonry. Resorting to some extreme measures, she disguises herself as a man and infiltrates the freemasons. Unfortunately for Jessie, she learns much more than she bargained for … Freemasonry’s royal secret.
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is a male secret society. It is a fraternal order, and while its origins are unclear, many surmise that it dates back to the stonemasons of ancient Egypt, or even the Sumerians. For the most part, Freemasonry consists of men with strong spiritual and moral values. Within the hierarchy of the organization, the member can choose to remain in the lower lodges or climb through a series of degrees in search of further light.
The Freemason Lodge
In freemasonry, the term lodge has different meanings. While Masons meet in a lodge, the group of members is also referred to as the lodge. There are three lodge types that work the three degrees of craft which are the apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. Those lodges are the Blue Lodge, Craft Lodges and Ancient Craft Lodges. In the United States, the Blue Lodge is more common.
What are the Degrees of Freemasonry?
The freemason degrees are confusing to the outsider. It began as a two degree system, and then it evolved to three degrees. For those masons choosing to move beyond the Master Mason, they can move into the York Rite or Scottish Rite orders.
The Scottish Rite has 33 degrees, counting the three degrees through a Master Mason. This Mason structure is popular in continental Europe and North America. The York Rite has fewer degrees though graduates to the same level as the Scottish Rite’s 33rd degree.
The 33rd degree of Freemasonry is an invitation only membership. It is said to comprise of the world’s most powerful men, including most U.S. presidents. According to several resources the only presidents that were not members of Freemasonry or elite associated secret societies were Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
What is the Royal Secret of Freemasonry?
The Freemason organization is extremely guarded. To protect the organization’s secrets, the candidates take blood oaths and perform arcane rituals to advance in the society. Additionally, the men communicate in public openly through signs, symbols and even handshakes.
Freemasonry contains an intimate secret, often alluded to as the royal secret. While some speculate that this mystery was lost ages ago in ancient Egypt during the legend of Hiram Abiff, others believe it was lost with the demise of the Knights Templar in 1307. Then, there are those who suspect the secret is contained within the 33rd degree of Freemasonry.
There is no doubt in this author’s mind that the secrecy of the organization has drawn the attention of many other authors, like Brad Metlzer, Dean Koontz, Michael Flynn and of course, Dan Brown, to name a few. This secrecy fosters writers to create conspiracy stories. In my story, I do reveal the royal secret which admittedly sits outside most people's comfort zone. Of course, this is my own creative conjecture on what secret would justify the Masons to take blood oaths to protect. Is it the real royal secret? Do you think the Freemasons would tell me if it were?
Is A Matter of Degrees an anti-Freemasonry book?
A Matter of Degrees is not an anti-freemasonry book. While some Mason rituals are included in the story, and may render the organization is a less than flattering light, I did my best to convey the rituals as close to accurate as my research permitted. My deepest apologies if I offend anyone. It is my belief that there are many paths to the one true Light and Freemasonry is a unique way.
Alex Marcoux's Blog - What is Freemasonry? What are the .., http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/5974192-what-is-freemasonry-w... (accessed April 16, 2014).