Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that traces its origins to the loose organization of medieval stonemasonry. Early organizational forms included lodges, incorporations, and craft guilds. It is now more of a fraternity for the upper class boys.
A few years ago, I was really into Freemasons, mostly because I had just completed the book The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown. I used to visit a Master Mason frequently while I lived in Australia.
|Salt Lake City Lodge|
I know that the Masons have a lodge up in the avenues of Salt Lake City, and if you ask them nicely they might give you a tour of the building. As I google-searched Freemasons in Utah, I discovered that they had a lodge closer to where I live, in Provo.
The Provo group calls themselves Damascus #10 Free and Accepted Masons of Utah. I drove by their lodge in Provo only to find that it is quite humbler than the building in Salt Lake. The building in Salt Lake is a huge stone building with Gothic-looking sphinxes guarding the front door. The Provo lodge looks like a small grade above an elementary school portable. Before I could even contact them, I had to read a disclaimer that the Freemasons are not a charitable organization so please do not contact them with the idea of joining them and then have the brotherhood support you financially. I was cool with that, since I really wasn’t keen on joining. I just wanted to chat with them, and learn more about them and possibly score a tour of their lodge.
I received an email address to (I think) their Provo group's secretary. After a phone call and an email exchange, he invited my family and me to a Freemason barbeque.
I told him I would look into it. He also told me about their initiation process, which required that I had to know some local masons for at least six months and then if they felt like recommending me to the group they would proceed to do so. I told him about how I knew a Master Mason in Australia and he said that didn’t count. As I read the attached advertisement for the barbeque I discovered that it was more of a formal visit than I thought it would be. Every non-mason visitor was required to pay five dollars to get in and then the members of the masons can spend the rest of the evening evaluating you for membership. Something else with the family came up that night and I was unable to attend the barbeque with the Freemasons, which was deep in Hobble Creek Canyon. I wrote my correspondent back and said that I was sorry that I was unable to attend the barbeque but to keep me posted on future events. He never replied back to me and has shunned me ever since. I guess I failed their initiation test.
What do you know about the Freemasons? Have you ever met one?