What is Freemasonry? In ancient times Mariners set sail for unseen, unknown shores. They were of different
races, spoke different languages, and had many religious beliefs. Their reasons for traveling varied;
sometimes curiosity and the search for knowledge played a part, at other times the lure of treasure and
adventure. Occasionally, they found themselves driven by forces beyond their control. For some the oceans
and seas were mere barriers to be overcome, something between them and their goals. Their ships were but a
means to do so, their fellow passengers (and crew) no more than a part of the experience. Yet there were those
who felt the call of the deeps and, for them, the sea was their home. Their ships had their own identity; their
fellow crew (and passengers) became family formed through sharing life's adversities. The sea was in their

In these modern times many of us find ourselves sailing for unseen, unknown shores. We are still of many
races, languages, and different religious beliefs. As individuals, our travels on the sea of life are towards a
destination often unclear. In spite of modern technology, knowledge, and wonders beyond the imagination of
our ancestors, many find themselves rudderless and drifting. Far too many find themselves desperately bailing;
the immediate prospect of sinking being of far more import than the purpose of the cruise.

What is Freemasonry? It is, for one thing, too much to describe in such a small digest. There are two things it
is not. Freemasonry is neither a religion nor a political movement. Discussion of either religion or politics is not
allowed in the Lodge. The purpose of this is simple. Freemasonry spans the globe. Brotherhood is maintained
through common ground. While belief in a Supreme Being is a requirement of membership: the form, function
and extent of that belief are left to the individual. Lodges exist in most free Nations of the world (and in some
not so free) and, therefore, operate in myriad political environments. Brotherhood is best served by the non-
inclusion of religion and politics. Further, Freemasonry, like life itself, means something unique to each
member. Our rituals provide common bonds between us, but our reasons for traveling vary….

Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal organization in the world today. Like the British Empire of yesteryear, it
can be literally said that the sun never sets on Freemasonry. It is one of the largest philanthropic organizations
in the world; the Shrine Hospitals a Crown Jewel of hundreds of charitable organizations supported by Grand
Lodges, Lodges, and Appendant Bodies. Freemasonry is family oriented. Some of its Appendant Chapters
(Order of the Eastern Star, DeMolay, Rainbow, Job's Daughters, to name a few) allow the entire family to
become involved. Freemasonry is the largest Mystery School in the world. Like the sea you may find shallow
shoals and mysterious depths. To make good men better is the most universal of its goals. Its existence spans
centuries, its principles have founded Nations, and its members have effected the course of history. What is
Freemasonry? It's a chance of discovery; a journey of hope; a vehicle of travel:

under the canopy of Heaven it offers you opportunities to explore new horizons and find Brethren when you get

Freemasons are your brothers, fathers, uncles and cousins. They're your co-workers, employers, firemen and
police. Ask what Freemasonry means to them. Call or go to a Lodge and ask to speak to an officer or member.
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." What is Freemasonry? Find out for yourself.

Glenn Freeman
MM, AASR, 32'