If you ask a Freemason the origins of masonry you may be told a story about how Freemasonry was originally started by a group of stone laying masons. Eventually they will say that freemasonry became open to all non-masons. You may also be told that there is in fact nothing secret about the Freemasons, nor anything mystical. The truthfulness to these claims remains unproven at least to non-masons. Any decent amount of study upon the Freemasons and it will be revealed that their origins do in fact go back to Knights Templar and further back to Egyptian times. Quite possibly even the lost city of Atlantis.
Perhaps more important to us now is knowing that the Freemasons played a large roll in the founding of the United States. The masonic references can be found through out the U.S.; as well as the U.S. currency itself. The founding president George Washington was also a Freemason. In fact the Washington monument is derived from Masonic culture itself. Benjamin Franklin was even a Freemason, in fact most of the founding fathers of the U.S. were masons.
What does this mean? To put it simply by having a country heavily steeped in Masonic lore; means that its laws and principles too were founded to better serve the ideals of the Hermetic Masonry. It has even been rumored that the Ku Klux Klan was started by a Freemason; Albert Pike to be precise. It is no wonder then that the ranks in the KKK are so remarkably similar to the titles of the Masons. Most all Freemasons will deny this though. However to this day there have been separate black and white lodges. Only in recent times have the two been able to intertwine severing any remnants of racism. Freemasonry also does not allow women in their lodge. For this they have established the Eastern Star a female equivalent of the Masons. One must not forget the youth organization for men called the DeMolay. Aptly named after Jaques DeMolay of the Knights Templar, which the Freemason may deny link to.
While the brief summaries of the Freemasons entails secrets, and conspiracy, they still do a tremendous amount for society. It cannot be forgotten though these implications this most sacred fraternity may be culpable of. Although the Freemasons are shrouded in secret they still hold more weight than many care to admit. This is because each member undergoes through the ranks a very trying ritual, where life and limb itself are threatened. The masons say these threats are all in metaphor or allegory; but a great many used to be enforced.
“To be a Mason one must ask a Mason.” As their numbers grow weak in modern times some Freemasons are forced to abandon this creed. They have been reduced to asking interested parties or face loss of power and tradition. Freemasonry is the largest fraternity in the world. Lodges can be found everywhere, so for numbers to dwindle must be a truly terrifying proposition. If the Masons and their occult secrets interest you then I say find your local lodge and join up. Let it be known most of the masons left are nothing more than glorified boy scouts. Many of them know nothing of their true heritage.
Below is a great documentary on Freemasonry, although a little heavy on conspiracy.