Date of Origin: Late 16th Century – Present (though claims itself to be more than 6,000 years old which is explained bellow).
Historic Significance: Diminishing of religious dominance in Europe and shift to secularism and philosophy of the origin of the universe, of the self and of the living beings.
Origin: A hierarchical fraternity (male brotherhood organization) that provides a space for members to meet, network, learn, discuss and push forward the collective ideas into action while keeping all the inner goings of the organization in secret. The Dominance of Britain and France over major parts of the world through colonies assisted in the wide spread of the fraternity. This lead to the transfer of the Fraternity to the United States, other European countries and the colonies world-wide.
Founders: Politically/Socially Involved Figures, Philosophers, Royal Counselors, Financiers, Traders, Army men. Mostly which had financial/social power and ambitions to go beyond the grip of the religious figures and kings as the representatives of God on Earth.
- Researches, studies, books, press and media publishing. This aims at pushing forward their ideas/plans through all kinds of academic material, novels, researches, business magazines, media, press…etc.
- Rituals, ceremonies, handshakes and symbols involving allegory to actual masonry(building & construction), Geometry, the Zodiac, Judaism and myths. Due to linking to those myths, geometry and old building skills(art of masonry) the fraternity gives itself a mythical start date of 4,000 years before Christ. This aims at creating a spiritual/intellectual attachment, discipline, commitment and loyalty of the members to the organization as something of an older presence than any other organization/state/country.
- Charity, social services (home shelters, educational scholarships, medical assistance, philanthropy through public organizations) this aims at both helping the community and gaining the public’s support and sympathy as people of good heart and intentions.
Organizations Directly Related or Allied to Masonry: