Take the mystery out of the Freemasons Fascinated by Freemasons? Freemasons For Dummies is the internationally bestselling introduction to the Masons, the oldest and largest "secret society" in the world. This balanced, eye-opening guide demystifies Freemasonry, explaining everything from its elaborate rituals and cryptic rites, to its curious symbols and their meanings. With new and improved content, including updated examples and references throughout, this new edition of Freemasons For Dummies provides the most straightforward, non-intimidating guide to the subject on the market. Updated expert coverage of the basic beliefs and philosophy behind Freemasonry Revised information on the history of the society, including updates concerning its founding, famous historical members, and pivotal events New coverage devoted to the recent influx of younger membership The latest and ongoing controversies and myths surrounding Freemasonry The role of women in a Masonic organization, including opportunities for women to participate in Freemasonry The effects cultural and political changes and worldwide events are having on the organization If you're intrigued by the mystery that surrounds the Masons, get ready to learn the facts about this ancient order in Freemasons For Dummies.
Introduction 1 Part I: What Is Freemasonry? 9 Chapter 1: Lodges, Aprons, and Funny Handshakes: Freemasonry 101 11 Chapter 2: From Cathedrals to Lodge Rooms: A History of the Freemasons 21 Chapter 3: The Philosophy of Freemasonry 55 Chapter 4: Politics, Religion, and Freemasons: They Don’t Mix 63 Part II: The Inner Workings of Freemasonry 89 Chapter 5: How the Freemasons Are Organized: Who Does What and Why 91 Chapter 6: The Ceremonies of Freemasons 115 Chapter 7: The Symbols of Freemasonry 129 Chapter 8: Myths and Misconceptions about Masons 151 Part III: When One Lodge Isn’t Enough: The Appendant Bodies 163 Chapter 9: Introducing the Appendant Bodies: Who’s Who, and Who Isn’t 165 Chapter 10: The York Rite 181 Chapter 11: The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite 203 Chapter 12: Shriners International 221 Chapter 13: The Extended Masonic Family 231 Part IV: Freemasonry Today and Tomorrow 249 Chapter 14: So Is It Still Relevant? 251 Chapter 15: Freemasons and the Future 259 Chapter 16: So You Want to Become a Freemason 267 Part V: The Part of Tens 279 Chapter 17: Ten Groups of Famous Masons 281 Chapter 18: Ten Amazing Conspiracies, Anti-Masons, and Hoaxes 289 Chapter 19: Ten Cool Masonic Places 301 Part VI: Appendixes 305 Appendix A: The Regius Manuscript 307 Appendix B: Anderson’s Constitutions 329 Appendix C: Finding a Lodge 335 Index 347
Christopher Hodapp has been an active Freemason and board member in his home state of Indiana for many years and holds memberships in several national Masonic organizations. He has written numerous articles and has contributed to several documentaries about Masonry. He is editor of the Journal of the Masonic Society and has authored and co-authored several books on the topic including The Templar Code For Dummies and Conspiracy Theories & Secret Societies For Dummies.
Take the mystery out of the Freemasons Curious about Freemasonry? Freemasons For Dummies is the internationally bestselling introduction to the Masons, the oldest and largest "secret society" in the world. This balanced, eye-opening guide demystifies Freemasonry, explaining everything from its elaborate rituals and cryptic rites to its countless symbols and their meanings. If you're intrigued by the mystery that surrounds the Masons, get ready to learn the facts about this ancient order in Freemasons For Dummies. Freemasonry 101 — find out what Freemasonry is (and isn't), get a crash course in Masonic history from 1000 B.C. until today, and grasp the basic beliefs and philosophy of the Masonic institution The stones and mortar of Freemasonry — discover what goes on in a Masonic lodge, from the officers and governing powers of Grand Lodges to the ceremonies and rituals of Freemasonry Who's who — shine a light on the many different groups (known as appendant bodies) within the Masonic family: who joins them, who can join them, and why they do Modern Freemasonry — get insights into how a very old, very private fraternity that advocates faith, morality, harmony, and personal responsibility survives in an age of isolation and indifference Famous Freemasons — get to know famous Freemasons, from founding fathers, civil rights activists, and scientists to musicians, actors, and sports figures Open the book and find: How Freemasonry unites men of different ages, faiths, and cultures The symbols, myths, and misconceptions of Freemasonry Details on the three essential Masonic degrees The lowdown on the York Rite and the Scottish Rite Masonic groups for women, children, and fans of funny hats Facts on how Freemasonry varies from one country to another Details on how to find a lodge and become a Mason Ten amazing conspiracies, anti-Masons, and hoaxes Learn: What goes on in a Masonic meeting The true purposes of Masonic "secrecy" and philosophy Facts about famous Masons throughout history Which other civic organizations are related to Freemasonry