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...if an Internet site about Freemasonry is real:

As interest in Masonry moves forward as a result of public interest piqued by such things as the 'DaVinci Code' and the many books and articles arising from it, we increasingly receive inquiries from those reading this site wondering if this or that organization whose website they've stumbled onto is legitimate. Sometimes it's as a result of a fellow worker suggesting that they should join Freemasonry. They're concerned - and rightly so!

First, and simply: there is NO WAY that you can join Freemasonry by sending money to someone at an internet site. It's just not the way it's done. PERIOD! No need to write us and ask, "But what if...." Please understand this simple word: NO! They're not Freemasonry and you'll just be throwing your money away.

Now, assuming that no one is suggesting you send money to them via the internet, let's look a little further: are they claiming to be a Grand Lodge of the United States? If so, move along. That's another red herring. Each of the 50 states of the United States has its own Grand Lodge. The idea of having a 'national' grand lodge was abandoned in 1843 and has never been considered since.

Passed those questions? Then take a look to see if they are on the list we've got here and confirm that the website addresses match. Don't rely on similar sounding names: that's one of the 'games' that's being played out on the internet these days. People create something that's 'like-sounding' hoping that archaic terminology used by Freemasonry might work in their favor. "United Grand Lodge of England", "Regular Grand Lodge of England", and "Grand Lodge of All England" - as examples - all sound pretty impressive, don't they? Yet only the United Grand Lodge of England is accepted throughout the world and membership in it makes you a part of the 4-5 million member strong fraternity. Joining one of the other two - or any unrecognized group - will leave you unwelcome to attend lodge meetings in the tens of thousands of lodge buildings around the planet. You'll certainly be welcome to meet with whatever members there are in these unrecognized 'groups' but you may want to 'count heads' first and see if you're comfortable with the results! Many of these groups that have formed in the past couple of years especially (regardless of their asserted claims to history) have less than a hundred members. Further, as someone who is NOT a Mason, you have no way of knowing if they are considered 'regular' despite assertions of such.

And using one of these two 'other' English groups above as a further example: it has 'chartered' a Grand Lodge in North Carolina. You can certainly feel free to join the "Regular Grand Lodge of North Carolina" and you might like the dozen (+/-) people that they claim as members. However, you'll NOT be accepted by the over 50,000 Freemasons in North Carolina, will never be allowed to sit in a meeting with them, nor will you be considered by them or the millions of Masons world-wide as a Mason - although you might trick someone on the web a thousand miles away.

We know it can be confusing - and with the advent of a renewed interest in 'all things Masonic' we expect that we'll see even more self-created groups, many of which will exist only in the mind of a couple of their founders and some of which will be for the sole purpose of helping line the pockets and/or egos of their creators.

Don't be mislead: if you want to become a Mason, do make sure that you're joining the Masons and not some other group playing dress-up!

There's no way to copyright the words "Mason" or "Freemason" so - in this as in everything (unfortunately)

BUYER BEWARE!

Prince, the Search DogJust click on "Prince, the Search Dog" to find things on our site. He's on every page and he'll take you directly to our search form where you can see if we've written about whatever it is you're interested in. Prince has a great memory; he always remembers where things are!

This site and its contents are (copyright) 1998-2014 by Edward L. King (Ed King). All rights reserved. All comments and opinions are mine personally.

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