Masonic secrecy is troubling to most outsiders and is the cause of much consternation to conspiracy theorists and the public alike. What is not understood is the reason for this secrecy or what it is used for.
Historically, Masonry had to keep secret it’s work because of the tyrannical powers of the Church and the government. Persecution for promoting religious freedom and radical scientific ideas was the norm. The early operative stonemasons had to keep their trade secrets. This concept carried over in a symbolic manner into Speculative Masonry. Freemasonry was kept secret for it’s mere survival. In todays world, this is no longer necessary. So why is there still secrecy involved, you may ask? The answer is simple. Secrecy is a test of character and of integrity.
When an individual becomes a Mason, they are entrusted with keys to the ancient mysteries. In fact, Masonry is the caretaker of the ancient mysteries. Mystery schools through antiquity were a means of teaching individuals an understanding of the esoteric aspects of life and of the universe. The individual receiving these truths had to be willing to undergo hardships and trials. They also had to be willing to keep secret the knowledge that they gained. This knowledge was in-fact, quite challenging to the narrow view held by society at the time. If this knowledge got into the wrong hands, it could be used for power-mongering. What is not understood about this knowledge is that it is not secret at all. Anyone who wants to learn the Masonic secrets need only look them up online, or in an expose book. The secrets are out there in the public domain. However, the truth is that these secrets mean nothing to the uninitiated and don’t seem to hold anything special. This is because it’s not about the words or handshakes, it’s about what keeping a secret does for the individual.
Secrecy is a psychological tactic used by the mystery schools to hold the individual accountable. Not accountable for any great secret truth, but accountable for their integrity and self control. The act of keeping a secret is an act of self control. A test of one’s will. This is the point of the secrecy. It is also a form of self-empowerment. The act of being able to keep a secret and overcoming temptation, gives the individual strength to overcome other vices in their life. The secret itself is not what’s important, it’s the effect that secrecy has on the psyche. This secrecy is what makes people on the outside view Masonry with contempt, but as you can see, the secrets themselves are not important.
Hopefully this brings some clarity to this controversial topic. The Masons aren’t trying to take over the world and their meetings are not springboards for political advancement. The secrets that everyone thinks that they have are unrealistic and are based purely in speculation. Some things should never be kept secret, like tyrannical moves by the government. However, secrecy that is used for gaining self control and integrity can be very beneficial.