Thousands belong to it. Hundreds of cities host it. But what is secrecy surrounding practice of Freemasonry, and is it safe for our communities?
Operating under assertion of promoting "mutual assistance" between its members, Society of Free and Accepted Masons is a fraternal organization, comprised primarily of men from various walks of life. Criteria for membership includes belief in a supreme being, as well as "birth in freedom," or that outside bondage of slavery.
Many other fraternal organizations such as Moose, Elk, and Kiwanis have assembled a network of member-driven chapters throughout world, however none have generated criticism as that of Freemasonry. Multiple, profound incidents involving members of organization lead to a singular question: is Freemasonry a haven for mentally ill?
In this article, we’ll explore emotional payout behind participation in Freemasonry, and incidents that have led to perception of Freemasonry as a terrorist organization meant to obstruct legal system.
Freemasonry is a ritual-based organization, meaning each activity, from closed meetings to new member induction, is a performance of specific actions with value assigned by its membership.
From a psychological perspective, individuals who feel compelled to participate in elitist ritualistic activities do so to affirm self worth. It is for this reason that Freemasonry attracts individuals who lack a sense of unconditional acceptance within mainstream society, identifiable by desire to be "free" and "accepted" individuals within a private "society."
A group of individuals seeking affirmation of self value is likely to share other related emotional disorders, therefore resulting in, even if unintentionally, patterns of unhealthy behavior or actions that are accepted by group.
Interaction with peers outside of traditional work and family environments can be an enriching, rewarding way to improve quality of life while promoting unity and fulfillment of worthwhile community causes. Though Freemasonry’s marketed organizational construct conveys this, goals and objectives integrated into its following reflect an obscure secondary motive: to ensure well-being of its members through mutual assistance. Providing a support network of mutual assistance to an emotionally deprived group of individuals seeking affirmation of value may be aspect of a seemingly typical fraternal organization that has associated Freemasonry with a spectrum of malicious activities including organized crime, pedophilia, and murder.
Those who engage in criminal activity do so for a myriad of reasons. Psychological fulfillment of a crime is generally defined by previous experiences or emotional status of perpetrator. While not all criminals are considered mentally ill, many exhibit psychological traits or characteristics that may lend to a mindset more conducive to criminal behavior.
Relative to Freemasonry, traits such as self esteem issues and a desire to feel "understood" by similar individuals within a peer group may create and perpetuate an environment accepting of otherwise traditionally inappropriate behaviors. In seeking to "self medicate" through interaction with like-minded individuals, organization may actually be increasing participants’ desire to engage in inappropriate behaviors deemed acceptable by group.