Masons have long been depicted as a secret organization composed of prominent people who have access to a certain level of world knowledge and are believed to know the truth about religious affairs, sciences and many other aspects of life. Masons however are not secret organizations. They are known far and wide. They claim instead as not a secret organization, but an organization that holds some secret.
Conspiracy theories surrounding masons became controversial at the height of the Dan Brown book series. They were portrayed as people who know the downside of the Catholic Faith, and that they pose great risk for people’s faith to be shattered if secrets of their organization are revealed. Their early brothers were known to have experienced persecutions under the hands of the priests. Some were murdered or burned to death as their presence posts great risks to the authority of the church.
Whatever way masons are portrayed, they are actually groups of people bonded together by common ideals and moral values. They are not a religious institution but they have their own rituals, practices and conditions for membership based on the values of truth, brotherly love and compassion as well as liberation.
To become a mason, a person has to be invited by a mason inside the organization. Membership is based on recommendations from within the members of the circle. Before, only men are allowed to enter the organization but nowadays, women are already included. Masons have rich symbols and allegories which make them mysterious and at the same time respectable.