|I think I'm being followed by The Midnight Freemasons . . .|
And I'm not alone. It's not difficult to pick the Mason out of a crowd. I run across Masons all the time.
That's why it never ceases to amaze me when I write about Freemasons (which I frequently do) how many emails I get, and how many comments we get on the Midnight Freemasons like the one below. I'm constantly being accused of "outing" Freemasons. I've said it before, and I'll say it again--being a Freemason is not a secret! I've never known a single Freemason that has kept his membership a secret. It is not a fundamental rule of the Craft that we keep this information to ourselves. I've written three books about famous Freemasons. I've interviewed famous Freemasons, and I've had famous Freemasons contact me wanting to be in my next book about famous Freemasons. I don't know a single Mason that is "in the closet" about their membership.
It's just not a thing at all. There's no plot, and we're not following you or trying to infiltrate your book club for nefarious purposes. We aren't secretly spying on you while you eat your lunch at Subway, and we're not reading over your shoulder at the bookstore. But the emails and comments on the Midnight Freemasons persist, especially when I add an installment to my long-running series "Freemason Or Not?"
Here's one I just got as a comment on the Midnight Freemasons on one of my "Freemason Or Not?" pieces:
"Hello Todd I am glad to write to you for the first time. You present yourself as a GM right, 33, I am really glad for you and respectful... but how can you as a Freemason reveal a brother? Isn't it one of the first rule to NEVER reveal a brother FM? Or are all your articles misinformation for the profane? We've got a lot of FM in my family of course nobody will tell that they are part of it in front or profanes. So I am wondering how can you GM write down so many articles clearly passing away this fundamental fraternity's rule... please explain me GM."
So rest assured, if you're in the presence of a Freemason, it probably won't be very hard to tell. And if you ask somebody if they're a Mason, they aren't going to lie to you.
It's not a requirement that Freemasons keep their membership a secret--it's our membership in the Toastmasters that we don't talk about . . .
Note: Just for clarification, I am not nor have I ever been a Grand Master.
Another Note: I've been corrected and I've made some clarifications in this piece. In some places in the world it may not be wise to announce you're a Freemason because of a political or religious environment that exists, however, my main point is that it is not a fundamental fraternal rule that membership in a Masonic Lodge is something that we keep a secret. That is what is so often asserted--that we are to keep our membership a secret because it's a fundamental rule of the society. It is not.
Todd E. Creason, 33° is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor. He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series. He is the author of the From Labor to Refreshment blog. He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754. He is a Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org