What about the secret rites and rituals of Masonic gatherings? Once again, according to The Masonic Myth, these activities are probably kept secret because they are very mundane, somewhat uninteresting, and “much ado about nothing.” The ritual for becoming a mason requires the initiate to wear special clothing. He must knock three times on the secret inner chamber door, and then once admitted, he is led around the room blindfolded while tethered to another member.
Next, he is questioned, sometimes repeatedly, for answers to questions about Masonry’s past history which varies considerably in Masonic libraries. In many cases, the candidate must give rather rote answers from a catechism, which is more like a secret unwritten work than anything definitely factual. Finally, the initiate must swear on his bible to uphold the truths and righteous living standards of all Masons everywhere.
Historically, Masonry traces itself back to two main sources: guilds of stonemasons and the Knights Templar of much earlier times. In order to protect their skills and wisdom, the medieval stone masons joined together in loosely formed pacts to protect the secrets of their trade. I used the word "wisdom" because many of the structures built by these remarkable stone masons still stand today. Lodge minutes dating back to 1599 have been uncovered in the British Isles of Scotland.
One can only imagine the innate engineering skill a stonemason had in order to make two towering Gothic columns meet in a central arch far above an aisle, apse, sanctuary, or main body of a church. Of course, they learned by their mistakes. After several structures collapsed, these masons developed the idea of flying buttresses to send the outward force of high archways to the outside perimeter of the building and into the ground.
The other highly speculative source for Masonry places it on Temple Mount, the alleged site of the original Temple of King Solomon. Some even claim that Masons actually built the King’s temple. To this day, many structures built by Freemasons for their ritualistic activities are modeled on a minor scale to represent Solomon’s vast temple network.
Most interesting is this: Freemasonry is not a religion. It does not attempt to indoctrinate a candidate with a particular brand of belief or faith. So what is its critical attribute? After reading The Masonic Myth I would have to answer: Freemasonry is an order of people historically united in spirit by a natural impulse to improve their world.