Originally Posted by KSigMason
No, I'm not a clandestine Freemason. I am a part of the recognized, true bodies of Freemasonry. The Orients and unrecognized, rogue Lodges are a thorn in the side of Freemasonry and our noble causes. Even as a Mason under my Grand Lodge, I don't fall under the British Crown. The UGLE, or any other Grand Lodge, wouldn't ever try to encroach upon another Grand Lodge's sovereignty as it would cause schisms within the Brotherhood. By my Oath as a Master Mason I, and all those within my Grand Lodge, couldn't be under the control of the British Crown as a woman cannot be a Mason, under the Grand Lodge regulations that all recognized Grand Lodges abide by.
Freemasonry strives to better the world around us. We strive to set an example of virtue and charity that others may follow. We believe equality, morality, love for one another, integrity, and fidelity/loyalty. Every man joins for various reasons, some are not always good. Some, like conspiracy theorists join with mercenary motives to expose us, and some join to see if they can get networking-connections. I'm not going to lie and say every Mason has been good - there is always a bad apple in the orchard.
Why haven't you been convinced? I bet many of the benefactors of these Masonic charities would have to argue against your distrust.
It's not so much secrecy (as you can find most anything on the internet) as it is privacy. There are many things outside the realms of this venerable Fraternity that are private and do not let non-members attend. We're a private group and as such entitled to privacy. I mean, you're not willing to share with us your bank account number and routing number, are you?
I couldn't help noticing the use of the words 'noble' and 'sovereign' in your first paragraph. Perhaps this was just an accident.
You admit that 'there is always a bad apple in the orchard'. Presumably this is a reference to the infamous P2 lodge of Italy who had to be broken up by the Italian government.
P2 were an exception because they worked outside of the government and against the government as part of a conspiracy.
But what about the Masons who work within the government and with the government?
For example what is your answer to the observation that Freemasons have the reputation of being pro-establishment, conservative and right wing?
As for the following quote:
We're a private group and as such entitled to privacy. I mean, you're not willing to share with us your bank account number and routing number, are you?
Don't forget that what you just said could accidentally be misconstrued as an attempted offer of a bribe!