Freemasonry and Society


Subject: Leaflet: Freemasonry and Society

This is the text of a leaflet published by by the Board of
General Purposes of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1987.


                        Freemasonry and Society

Introduction:
     This leaflet is intended to expand a topic mentioned in the
leaflet "What is Freemasonry". It explains the United Grand Lodge of
England's view on Freemasonry and Society.

Respect for the law:
     Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of any
country in which a man may work and live.

Principles:
     The principles of Freemasonry do not in any way conflict with its
members' duties as citizens, whether at work or at home or in public
life, but on the contrary should strengthen them in fulfulling their
private and public responsibilities.
 
Use of Membership:
     A Freemason must not use his membership to promote his own or
anyone else's business, professional or personal interests. This is
made clear directly or by inference several times during a Freemason's
early career so that no Freemason can pretend to be ignorant of it. A
Freemason who transgresses this rule may be suspended from Masonic
activities or even expelled.

Family:
     Freemasonry should not be allowed to harm a man's family or
other connections by taking too much of his time or his money or
causing him to act in any other way against their interests.

Duty as a citizen:
     A Freemason's duty as a citizen must always prevail over any
obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason
who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully or to confer an unfair
advantage on another Freemason is contrary to this prime duty.

Personal or business difficulties:
     If it could be proved by evidence that any personal failure or
business difficulty was attributable to 'Masonic influence', Masonic
authority would take a serious view of the fact, as it would be
contrary to the principles of Freemasonry.

Secrecy:

* Freemasonry is not a secret society.

* Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs
  as private matters for its members.

* There is no secret about its aims and principles. Copies of the
  constitutions and rules can be obtained from Freemasons' Hall by
  interested members of the public.

* The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes
  of recognition. Its ceremonies are private.

* In ordinary conversation there is very little about Freemasonry
  which may not be discussed.

* On inquiry for acceptable reasons, Freemsons are free and will be
  proud to acknowledge their own membership.