7 Things You May Not Know About Freemasons

Freemason secrets allegedly lurk behind everything from the planning of our nation’s capital to murder. Members of the enigmatic Masonic brotherhood include prominent politicians, Founding Fathers and titans of business. In modern times, Masons are known for donating millions to charity. But who are the Freemasons and what do they stand for? Is there really a secret Freemason handshake? Here are seven things you may not know about Freemasons.

1. The Freemasons Are the Oldest Fraternal Organization in the World.

Freemasons belong to the oldest fraternal organization in the world, a group begun during the Middle Ages in Europe as a guild of skilled builders. With the decline of cathedral building, the focus of the society shifted. Today, “Freemasons are a social and philanthropic organization meant to make its members lead more virtuous and socially oriented lives,” says Margaret Jacob, professor of history at University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe. Grounded in the Enlightenment, the organization “still conveys [the era’s] core values, religious tolerance, thirst for knowledge [and] sociability,” says Cécile Révauger, a freemason, historian of Freemasonry and professor at the University of Bordeaux.

While not a secret society, per se, it does have secret passwords and rituals that originate with the medieval guild, says Jacob: “In the original guild, there were three stages: Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Masons who oversaw everyone working on a site. Today, these degrees are more philosophical.”

2. Freemason Symbols Aren’t What You Think.

Freemasons have long communicated using visual symbols drawn from the tools of stonemasonry. The “All-Seeing Eye,” or Eye of Providence, while not designed by Masons, has been used by the group to represent the omniscience of God. The most well-known Freemason symbol, “The Square and Compasses,” depicts a builder’s square joined by a compass. The “G” at its center remains subject to dispute; some experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example, believe the “G” in the symbol’s center represents geometry, a critical field to the first Freemasons, while others believe it represents God, the “Grand Architect of the Universe.” The Square and Compasses remains a popular symbol on Masonic rings.

There’s another, lesser-known Masonic symbol drawn from nature: the beehive. “Masons were originally working men who were supposed to be as busy as bees,” says Jacob. “And the beehive symbolizes the industriousness of the lodge.”

WATCH: America's Book of Secrets: Freemasons on HISTORY Vault.

3. Yes, There Is a Freemason Handshake. Several, Actually.

Freemasons greet one another with a variety of handshakes, all based on one’s rank within the organization. “There is a handshake for each degree: Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master, i.e., the first three degrees and also in the higher degrees,” says Révauger. “Each rite has its own handshakes, so there is quite a variety. They are used during Masonic ceremonies.”

4. The Catholic Church Forbids Members from Being Freemasons.

While Freemasonry is not itself a religion, all its members believe in a Supreme Being, or "Grand Architect of the Universe.” Members come from many faiths, but one denomination in particular bars any crossover. The Catholic Church first condemned Freemasonry in 1738, prompted by concern over Masonic temples and the secret rituals performed within them. In the 19th century, the Vatican even called the Masons "the Synagogue of Satan."

The Church went even further in 1983, declaring: “Their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion."

5. Freemasons Inspired America’s First Political Third Party.

In the realm of politics, the first third party in the United States, the Anti-Masonic Party, formed in 1828 in response to fears that the group was growing too secretive and powerful. Many of its members touted conspiracy theories about the Freemasons, with some leaders claiming that an infamous murder of the time had occurred at the hands of the Masons, in an effort to keep to keep the victim from revealing the organization’s secrets.

READ MORE: One Man Exposed the Secrets of the Freemasons. His Disappearance Led to Their Downfall

6. It’s Still a Boys’ Club…Mostly.

Traditionally, Freemason membership has only been open to men. In the group’s “1723 Constitutions,” a kind of guidebook to the organization by James Anderson, written under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of England, women and atheists were excluded along with enslaved people.

Now, “masons come from all walks of life, provided they can afford to pay the annual subscription,” says Révauger. But while women are allowed to join an affiliated organization called The Order of the Eastern Star, and some lodges recognize female members, “freemasonry is not as universal as it claims, since in many countries…women and atheists are still excluded.” In the U.S. and Europe, it can vary city to city, lodge to lodge.

Since there is no national organization in the United States, “grand lodges in each state are a court of last resort,” says Jacob. This has led to some controversial rulings: “Particularly in southern states, Freemasonry remains segregated,” says Jacob. “In the United States, several Grand Lodges still refuse to recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry, i.e., African American Masons,” adds Révauger.

READ MORE: 5 of History's Most Secret Societies

7. Famous Freemasons Are Everywhere.

Famous Freemasons can be found throughout history: George Washington was a Master Mason, and Benjamin Franklin was a founding member of the first Masonic Lodge in America. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Gerald Ford were Masons, as was Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Davy Crockett, Henry Ford, actor John Wayne and astronaut Buzz Aldrin were also Freemasons.

Freemasonry and Catholicism - Rosicrucian

Past popes knew well that Freemasonry is Satan's chosen instrument for attacking the Catholic Church. To this day it remains the most condemned belief system in the Church's history. They are already judged their ends, their means, their doctrines, and their action, are all known with indisputable certainty. Possessed by the spirit of Satan, whose instrument they are, they burn like him with a deadly and implacable hatred of Jesus Christ and of His work and they endeavor by every means to overthrow and fetter it. The concerned pontiff spoke of previous papal condemnations of this secret society, which cloaks itself in charitable garb. Many times have We sounded the alarm, to give warning of the danger but We do not therefore think that We have done enough. In face of the continued and fiercer assaults that are made, We hear the voice of duty calling upon Us more powerfully than before to speak to you again.

Members of the enigmatic Masonic brotherhood include prominent politicians, Founding Fathers and titans of business. In modern times, Masons are known for donating millions to charity. But who are the Freemasons and what do they stand for? Is there really a secret Freemason handshake? Here are seven things you may not know about Freemasons. Freemasons belong to the oldest fraternal organization in the world, a group begun during the Middle Ages in Europe as a guild of skilled builders.

He became a shippingengineer and eventually immigrated to the United States. By he hadbecome seriously interested in the study of metaphysics and spent the next fewyears consciously working and searching for spiritual Truths. Cosmic , Freemasonry , Catholicism , Freemasonry and catholicism. Link to this page:. He was instructed in theetheric Temple of the Rose Cross, receiving the occult Teachings that heeventually incorporated intoThe Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, published inNovember He foundedThe Rosicrucian Fellowship in August , andspent his remaining years, until January 6, , writing, lecturing, establishingFellowship Headquarters in Oceanside, California, and generally spreading theTeachings of Esoteric Christianity the pioneer spiritual Teachings which willprepare all humanity for the New Age of Aquarius, when all nations will join inUniversal SYMBOLISM Divine symbols which have been given to mankind from time totime speak to that forum of truth which is within our hearts, and wakenour consciousness to divine ideas entirely beyond words. It expressesthe key to man s past evolution, his present constitution, his futuredevelopment, and the method of blue background represents God the Father the golden starsymbolizes Christ born within the spiritual aspirant and radiating from thefive points the head and four limbs the red roses indicate thepurification of the human desire nature on the cross of matter the bloodof the aspirant cleansed from passion.


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Seven things you may not know about John Maynard Keynes

1. John Maynard Keynes was the most important economist of the 20th century, but he had only eight weeks’ undergraduate training in the subject and never sat an examination in it. He studied classics and mathematics at King’s College, Cambridge, and missed his King’s friends, their incisive conversation and their beautiful surroundings while working discontentedly as a Whitehall civil servant. No one ever becomes an economist by an uncontrollable impulse. He simply went into the profession in 1908, aged 25, because he was offered a Cambridge lectureship in economics, which gave him the chance of returning to the friends and buildings he loved. Keynes always treated economics as pre-eminently a matter for ethical judgements. For him, prosperity liberated people to make their own choices and helped them to enjoy life. But the love of money for its own sake seemed to him “a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a kind of shudder to the specialist in mental diseases”. Traditional capitalism “exalted some of the most distasteful human qualities into the position of the highest virtues”. He saw his task as saving capitalism from itself.

2. Keynes would have abominated the nationalism, the philistinism, the bullying and the shallowly held prejudices of Margaret Thatcher. And yet, in one crucial respect, he was a proto-Thatcherite. She notoriously told Woman’s Own magazine, “there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families.” Keynes liked to quote a remark of the 18th-century moral philosopher William Paley: “although we speak of communities as of sentient beings although we ascribe to them happiness and misery, desires, interests and passions nothing really exists or feels but individuals.” He believed in the primacy of individual effort, individual self-respect and individual fulfilment. Individualism was the ineradicable core of his economic thinking.

3. Keynes was bisexual. His orientation was towards other men, but at the age of 38 he began a mutually satisfying affair with the ballerina Lydia Lopokova, a dancer with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. They married in 1925, when Keynes was 42 – his best man was the painter Duncan Grant, who had been the chief male love of his life. It proved a happy and fulfilling marriage. But the period when he was picking up young men took him to places quite outside the regular Cambridge don’s experience. He spent Christmas of 1910 in the Victoria Commercial Hotel in Ramsgate with a group of pantomime actors (“whose chief characteristic seems to be their extraordinary kindness”, he said) because he was sleeping with one of them. For the same reason, he went to watch Aston Villa play Blackburn Rovers in 1913 – the football stadium reminded him of the Coliseum in Rome (“The crowd maintain a dull roar nearly all the time, rising into a frenzy of excitement and rage when the slightest thing happened”).

4. Keynes was a pioneer of women’s rights to control their own bodies and of gender equality. In 1923, early in his affair with Lopokova, he became vice-president of Marie Stopes Society for Constructive Birth Control. In Moscow, in 1925, Keynes gave a lecture advocating contraception that aroused hilarity in his communist audience. Later that year, he had more success addressing a summer school at Cambridge. The restricted availability of contraceptives, the lack of sex education, marriage and divorce laws that treated women as subordinates, criminal sanctions against homosexuality, job discrimination against women, unequal pay – “in all these matters,” he said, “the existing state of the law and of orthodoxy is still medieval – altogether out of touch with civilised opinion and civilised practices”.

A painting of John Maynard Keynes by Duncan Grant (1917). Photograph: Estate of Duncan Grant, courtesy of Charleston Trust

5. Keynes detested “the Goody-Goody Gang”, “the busybodies and spoilsports”, who had converted merry England into a place of proverbial gloom. He believed that the proper aim of work is to provide leisure. A workaholic himself, he wanted other people to enjoy shorter working-hours and longer holidays. In a period of two world wars, he trusted the arts to enlarge people’s hearts and minds, and teach them how to think, feel and live well. During the height of the second world war, Keynes persuaded the treasury to fund the Arts Council of Great Britain, and in 1946, the year of his death, secured a £500,000 grant. With his dying strength, he worked to reopen Covent Garden theatre, which had been turned into a Mecca dance hall, as the Royal Opera House. At the royal gala ceremony he had a heart attack. Afterwards, talking with his family, he wept as he told how the opera house usherettes had donated their rationed clothes coupons to provide fabric for new lampshades for the bracket lights in the auditorium in time for the gala.

6. Keynes was turned into an epithet – “Keynesian” – which has identified him with deficit finance. Keynesian is one of the words used to describe the running of a budget deficit in order to pay for government activities – running schools, hospitals, the armed forces. It is true that in the 1930s, during a period of economic depression and high regional unemployment, he advocated a public works programme of housebuilding and roadbuilding in order to stimulate the national economy by pumping more money round. But he saw such measures as interim devices to meet particular crises and affirmed that budgets should be balanced in ordinary times. As a treasury official in the 1940s, he warned that deficit finance seemed a “rather desperate expedient”. He opposed governments going into debt in order to maintain personal levels of consumption. He thought prodigal spending was habit-forming, and destructive of nations as well as of companies and individuals.

7. Keynes believed in second thoughts. He did not believe in mental standstills. He knew that most of his ideas had only transient value. He wanted to dismantle conventional habits and assumptions, and to rethink previous systems of thought – including his own. He had the courage to treat economics as a matter of time and temper. A generation is usually reckoned as spanning a quarter of a century, but he saw that it took half that time to turn a schoolchild into an adult with attitudes, choices and responses that could not be predicted. Many of the Nazi storm troopers who supported Hitler in 1933 had not been old enough for school when the first world war ended. It takes only a dozen years for new states of mind to prompt new quandaries, expectations and pressures of which political leaders must take account. Keynes was the economist who thought more of generations than of immutable rules.

Richard Davenport-Hines’s Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes is published by William Collins.

Group and manage your tabs with built-in controls

Arif Bacchus/Digital Trends

Are you a person who has a lot of tabs open at once? You might be doing some shopping or working on an important project for school or work. Well, Chrome has your back with several built-in features. These include Tab Group, as well as some manual tab controls that are built into the right-click menu on the New Tab bar.

We’ll start with Tab Groups, which lets you couple together tabs under a specific color and name, rather than keep them separate across the top of your browser window. This is useful for separating out the things you might be shopping for online, for example, or a specific part of a research project, or even anything you might be currently actively browsing for or on.

To use Tab Groups, you need to have a set of tabs open. Then, right-click on the tab that you want to group and choose Add tab to new group. You can then name the tab group and assign it a color. Any subsequent tabs can be added to the group by also right-clicking and then choosing Add tab to group. You can close and remove groups at any time by just right-clicking the group.

You also can manage your tabs manually from the right-click menu on that tab. If you right-click a tab, you’ll see access to controls for moving the tab to a new window, closing all tabs to the left or right of it, or even opening a new tab next to it.

Just over 100 years ago, in December of 1920, The Manchester Masonic Lodge was presented its charter and on January 21 st , 1921, it held its first official meeting. On that special night, Manchester’s first Master, Worshipful George F. Cooke, rapped the gavel and began our history in Manchester by the Sea. Also in attendance was the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Arthur D. Prince, who presented to the Lodge the candle setting that you see in this video below.

On January 21 st , 2021, 100 years to the day, the officers of Manchester Lodge gathered to commemorate our 100 th anniversary, which also happened to be our 1,000 th meeting. Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, our sidelines were quiet, but this was tempered by the knowledge that we will have a grand and more appropriate celebration later in the year. Under normal circumstances, the Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, Most Worshipful Richard Maggio, District Deputy, Right Worshipful Neal P. Packard, as well as many Brothers from the surrounding area, would have been in attendance to help us celebrate this great and important event. They too, will help us celebrate this sublime occasion later in the year.

As part of this quiet, and somewhat poignant celebration, the Worshipful Master of Manchester Lodge, Worshipful Christopher J. Thomas, re-lit the 100-year-old candle in honor of those who are no longer with us, our current brothers around the world, and our future brothers that have not yet knocked on the door of Freemasonry. The flame of these candles represents the light that guides all of us down our Fraternal path.

Congratulations Manchester Lodge on 100 years!

7 Things You Might Not Know About The Thoroughbred

Thoroughbreds are one of the most well-known breeds in the world. Even those who wouldn’t know how to mount a horse or the difference between a halter and a bridle know what a Thoroughbred is, thanks to horse racing. But beyond their sleek, athletic bodies and amazing speed, how well do you know this horse breed? Read the following fun facts and see if any of them surprise you!

#1 – The breed was developed from three stallions.

Every purebred Thoroughbred today can be traced back to just three stallions that were used to as the foundation stock: the Darley Arabian, the Godoplhin Barb (sometimes called the Godoplhin Arabian), and the Byerly Turk.

#2 – The foundation mares were all owned by English Kings.

The Royal Mares as they are called, were owned by James I and Charles I of England. These are the mares that were bred to the three foundation stallions to develop the great race horse.

#3 – Many of the “Greats” in racing have enlarged hearts.

Secretariat’s heart was 2.5 to 3 times the size of a normal horse’s. It is estimated that it weighed 22 pounds. His triple crown rival, Sham, had a heart that weight 18 pounds. Makes you wonder how big American Pharoah’s heart is, doesn’t it?

#4 – Thoroughbreds hold more World Records than any other breed.

This mighty horse knows how to make history. Several Thoroughbreds have long standing World Records including Winning Brew who holds the record for fastest speed achieved by a horse. At two years old she was clocked going 43.97 mph.

The most expensive horse ever sold at auction was for a two-year-old unnamed colt that had never raced. He was bought for $16 million.

Another Thoroughbred, Lukas, holds two titles: World’s Smartest Horse (World Records Academy) and “most numbers correctly identified by a horse in one minute: 19” (Guinness World Records). The list goes on!

#5 – There will never be a Secretariat II in the US.

The Jockey Club in the United States oversees the naming of all registered Thoroughbreds in the country. They do not allow people to use names of certain famous horses again, including Secretariat. (Of course, someone in another country could register their Thoroughbred, but it seems like a nice tribute to the great ones, doesn’t it?)

#6 – They DO come in colors other than brown and gray.

While nearly 90 percent of all the Thoroughbreds registered with The Jockey Club in the United States are variants of brown (bay, dark bay, chestnut, etc.) or gray/roan, they do come in black (very rare) and white (extremely rare). There have even been palomino, buckskin, prelino, smoky black, smoky cream, cremello and spotted Thoroughbreds, though these colors are not recognized by the Club.

#7 – Thoroughbreds were created for racing.

While many breeds’ uses have changed over the years, and with some breeds being developed without a clear use in mind, the Thoroughbred has always been all about racing. Horse racing has been around since the 1100s, with the foundation for the Thoroughbred breed beginning around the 1700s in England. They were bred strictly to race “over the flat” and it shows. Today, they are still the world’s premier racer, even though many are used for other sports such as jumping and dressage.

Interested in learning about another fascinating horse breed? Check out our articles 5 Fascinating Facts About The Marwari Horse and 8 Things You Didn't Know About The Paint Horse.

7 things you didn’t know you could do in New Jersey

Whether you’ve lived in New Jersey your entire life or just made the move to the state, there’s no shortage of things to see, do and explore. So much, in fact, that even New Jersey natives likely haven’t gotten around to doing it all. Get outside of your comfort zone and take a day trip to a site you’ve never been to before, embrace the spooky history of the state or bring some thrills into your daily life with online gaming. Here’s everything you didn’t know you could do in the Garden State.

Immerse yourself in New Jersey folklore

Legend has it that the Jersey Devil calls the Pinelands home (Photo: Getty Images)

The New Jersey Pinelands aren’t just filled with lush trees – they’re also the rumored home of the official state demon, the Jersey Devil. Folklore in the area differs about the origin of the creature, but “sightings” have been plentiful over the years – with the consensus being that the winged creature has been responsible for damage to the farms and towns in the area for decades. If you’re a fan of the supernatural and the spooky, make a drive out to the state’s Pine Barrens and see if you can spot a sighting of your own!

Win money without leaving home

New Jersey residents can try their luck on the new playMGM app (Photo: playMGM)

Gambling in New Jersey is something most people know about. But what most people don’t know about is that New Jersey is one of the first states to have online gambling. Thanks to playMGM’s new online gambling products, you can bet and win real money from the comfort of your living room. Online gambling is legal and regulated in New Jersey, which means you can get all the fun and intrigue of a real casino on your own schedule. Through playMGM Casino, you can play your favorite games like slots, roulette, blackjack, progressives, and video poker. Your information is always safe and secure, and you can deposit or withdraw funds easily.

Take in the sights above sea level

Nothing beats the view from Jersey’s High Point State Park (Photo: Getty Images)

As the name would indicate, at High Point State Park you can catch some of the most awe-inspiring views in New Jersey from up above. Take a drive along Route 23 and park near High Point Monument for stunning sights of farmland, forest and valleys from the highest point in the state, clocking in at 1,803 feet above sea level. The land for the sprawling park was donated by Colonel Anthony R. Susie Dryden Kuser, who also built the 220-foot High Point Monument, meant to honor all war veterans. The locale includes trails for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding, among a slew of other outdoor activities.

Go on a wine tasting tour

Sip on wine made at Jersey’s own local vineyards (Photo: Getty Images)

There’s no need to trek to the west coast for a vineyard tour – both Central and South Jersey are home to a bevy of wineries perfect for a day of sampling. Grab a group of pals and stop at the most popular spots – or spend the afternoon at your favorite one. Vineyards also offer the option to book a tour to learn about the venues’ history, and many events are hosted by these locales each season – including food truck festivals, musical performances and even grape stomping. Cheers!

Pick your own fruits and vegetables

Pick the freshest produce straight from New Jersey farms (Photo: Getty Images)

They don’t call it the Garden State for nothing! New Jersey is home to a number of farms where you can get your hands dirty and pick your own fruits and vegetables. Late summer is the ideal season for picking pears, plums and peaches, and heading into fall is prime season for harvesting apples and grapes. Keep tabs on the weather conditions, which may affect harvest times, and plan your trip to one of the dozens of pick your own farms while supporting local businesses. Head home with your spoils in hand and use the fresh produce for salads and baking for weeks to come.

Kayak on the Hudson River

Kayak on the Hudson River for a fun local adventure (Photo: Getty Images)

You may be used to traveling the Hudson River via bridge or ferry, but adventure seekers can get right into the water for a different vantage point of some of the area’s sights. Throw on your bathing suit, as well as clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet and head to the water. New to kayaking? You can dip your toe in (literally) by staying in between piers at a number of locations along the river. Looking for more of a balance challenge? Try stand up paddle boarding, also offered at a number of locales. Reward yourself with a hearty lunch at one of the go-to pizza places in Hudson County. If you’re feeling extra brave, you can tour via kayak to visit the world’s most famous Jersey Girl—the Statue of Liberty.

Visit one of the country’s biggest waterfalls

New Jersey is home to one of the largest waterfalls in the U.S. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the midst of the industrial area of Paterson lies one of the largest waterfalls in the United States: The Great Fall of the Passaic River. Plot out a day trip, during which you can take a guided tour and learn about some of the history in the area – for example, that Alexander Hamilton designated Paterson as the nation’s first planned industrial city in the 1700s. Wander around the trails and tote along some food for a meal at one of the site’s designated picnic areas after you’re done snapping photos.

Whether you’re after action, excitement, relaxation or a mix of all the above, the great state of New Jersey has something for everyone. Visit to learn more about online gambling in the Garden State, and don’t miss out on all of these hidden New Jersey gems!

Members of the editorial and news staff of the USA TODAY Network were not involved in the creation of this content.

7) It&rsquos a Small World

Toronto Blue Jays MVP Pat Borders, wearing catchers equipment, piles on top teammates at the Toronto Blue Jays down the Atlanta Braves to win the 1992 World Series in Atlanta Saturday, Oct. 24, 1992 . (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

It may be called the World Series, but it doesn&rsquot seem like the rest of the world gets to play. The Toronto Blue Jays are the only team outside the US to have won the World Series &ndash they were back-to-back champions in 1992 and 1993.

Advertisements in smart TVs and mobile apps can’t be blocked by browser-based ad blockers because smart TVs and mobile apps don’t run in a browser. This is where Pi-hole shines since the ads are prevented at the network level (before the ads reach the device), you can prevent ads from appearing on Internet-connected devices that aren’t a Web browser. An example blocking ads in NBC’s mobile app for watching the olympics (ad-free with Pi-hole).

Watch the video: Τα μυστικά της μασονίας από τον θεολογο Θεόδωρο Κυριακού. AlphaNews (January 2022).