Masonry or freemasonry, from French francmaçonnerie, is a secret organization that brings together individuals grouped into entities known as lodges under a precept of fraternity. The institution defines itself as philanthropic, philosophical, symbolic and non-religious, of initiatory property and in order to promote the moral and intellectual progress of the people.
The lodges of Freemasonry act as grassroots organizations and are usually grouped under a higher entity, known as Grand Lodge. Each lodge has signs and emblems that identify it.
Freemasonry is believed to have arisen on the European continent at the end of the XVII century. Its objective is to train its members for the development of reflective capacity and dialogue, encouraging these members to transmit the values they have acquired among those around them.
The origin, activities and organization of Freemasonry are often debated since, due to the secrecy of the association, it is difficult to access verified and official information. A distinction is generally made between two streams of Freemasonry: the regular masonry (which follows certain traditional rules) and the liberal or adogmatic masonry (which is not based on a regular standard already established).
The first of the cited Masonic currents, the regular one, is one that starts from the following beliefs: there is only one God or Supreme Being, the inclusion of women in this type of lodge is not allowed, the oaths have to be carried out about a Bible or holy book, and discussions that revolve around religion or politics are prohibited.
The second current, adogmatic masonry, is based on the fact that it recognizes and accepts the role and presence of women in its lodges, there is the principle of absolute freedom of conscience of each of its members, and the social participation and debate on all kinds of issues, including politics and religion.
Freemasons are divided into three different degrees: apprentices (the elementary grade, formed by those who start), classmates (the second degree, with the Mason dedicated to learning) and teachers (Grade number three, which implies greater participation in all dimensions of Freemasonry).
In recent years, thanks to the world of Literature, a great interest in the world of Freemasons has been awakened. Specifically, it has been achieved thanks to two books by Dan Brown that have also been brought to the big screen with enormous success around the world.
The first of these works is the novel “The Da Vinci Code” which takes as its starting point the murder of a curator of the Louvre Museum named Jacques Sauniere. His granddaughter Sophie and the professor of symbology Robert Langdon will be the ones who initiate an investigation parallel to the official one to try to discover what is hidden behind that death since everything seems to indicate that the deceased was the Grand Master of a lodge that protected a secret that puts in danger to Christianity.
The second novel is “Angels and Demons” and in it the aforementioned professor will face another important lodge in history: the Illuminati.
Among the most famous Freemasons in history are Napoleon bonaparte, Winston churchill, Simon Bolivar Y Abraham Lincoln.