Frequently Asked Questions

Is Freemasonry a religion or cult?

No, Freemasonry is a secular organisation that welcomes people of all faiths, who acknowledge a Supreme Being.

Is there animosity between Freemasonry and religion?

In the past, some churches have not liked Freemasonry but this is largely the result of misunderstandings which are being broken down. Freemasons are encouraged to follow their own religions.

Can Roman Catholics become Freemasons?

Yes, we have Freemasons from many faiths, including Catholicism.

Does Freemasonry have any political allegiance or agenda?

No, leaders and members of different political persuasions have been Freemasons and we specifically avoid discussing politics in our meetings in order to keep the peace and not be distracted from our primary purpose.

Do Freemasons give each other preference in employment and business?

It is definitely not acceptable for Freemasons to give unfair preference to Freemasonry candidates in their job roles in the community. Freemasonry can be a business network for people to make new contacts but we do not operate in any way to create an exclusive circle of advantage.

Why is Freemasonry secretive?

In its early days, Freemasonry had reasons to be secretive to protect its stonemasons and to validate their skills. This secrecy really outlived its necessity and caused many misunderstandings and bizarre speculations. These day Freemasons are quite open about their membership, their meeting places and their objectives. We still have some matters that are confidential, as any organisation has. This particularly applies to our rituals which, like many traditional rituals, have more power and significance through being revealed to initiates at the appropriate time. We have nothing illegal or undesirable to hide.

Are Freemasons still stonemasons?

No, this is a myth made popular by the Simpsons ‘Stonecutters’ episode. We take symbolism from stonemasonry but no working with stones! We do however learn some interesting facts in and around the topic of working with stone.

Is there any truth in the many strange stories we hear about Freemasonry?

Unfortunately the internet, novels and other sources popular sources spread some very odd ideas about Freemasonry. There is no conspiracy to take over the world, no black magic, no devil worship and no links to the Illuminati.

Is there a governing body that sets Freemasonry rules?

No. Freemasons around the world follow the basic tenets of a constitution which was written in the 1700s. There are slight variations between jurisdictions but the integrity of purpose is protected by the Grand Officers in each location. In Queensland, the United Grand Lodge of Queensland is the body that guides and supports the independent local Lodges.

Do Freemasons have a special handshake to recognise each other?

In the days before printed certificates, the handshake was used to identify the various skill levels of a mason and is still in use today.

What are reliable sources of information to find out more about Freemasonry?

There is much conspiracy-theory misinformation on the internet and those who want to research further should look at Freemasonry sources or reputable academic institutions. Please contact us if you have any questions not answered here and we will be happy to give you honest answers.

Do I have to be nominated by a Freemason to become a member?

Traditionally, new members had to be nominated by a Freemason but these days not everyone knows a Freemason and, if you are a man of good character who meets our criteria, we will find a nominator to introduce you.

Who qualifies as a Freemason?

All men aged over 18 of any religion, background and culture are welcome. You must acknowledge a Supreme Being (not necessarily Christian) and be committed to upholding our values and codes of conduct.

Can gay men become Freemasons?

Yes. We do not consider it our place to enquire into sexual preferences. Integrity and ethical behaviour in relationships are the important thing.

Do Lodges have facilities for the disabled?

Many Lodges do but some of our older regional buildings cannot easily be adapted. Please let us know if you need special considerations for access and we will do our best to assign you to a suitable Lodge.

Can I join any Lodge I like?

When your application is accepted, your contact will discuss with you which would be the best Lodge. Usually this is one closest to your home.

Why can’t women become Freemasons?

Long before today’s ‘Women’s groups’ and ‘Men’s sheds’, Freemasons recognised the necessity for men to meet in each others’ company to explore their path through life. Our organisation’s purpose is ‘making good men better’. As better men, we are better husbands, partners, fathers and sons. There are related Freemason Orders for girls, women and partners of Freemasons.

What are the regalia and medals all about?

The regalia and ‘jewels’ follow a long tradition and recognise different levels of hierarchy and achievement. They are worn for ceremonial occasions.

Do I have to buy uniforms to wear to meetings?

As a new Freemason you will need a white long-sleeve shirt, dark (black or grey) trousers, black shoes and a black bow tie. At the beginning, the Lodge may supply your regalia but as you progress through the ‘degrees’ it is usual to buy your own regalia. This is usually available second-hand through your Lodge, or available new from a variety of suppliers.

Is there a lot of academic learning of ancient texts involved?

No. You learn through mentoring and passing on knowledge. There is no need for academic study. Self-knowledge is developed through participation in a series of ceremonies (called degrees). They include, the Entered Apprentice Degree; Fellow Craft Degree and; Master Mason Degree. Other than your annual fee, it does not cost you anything to complete these degrees.

Will Freemasonry give me business networks?

Yes. You will meet men from many walks of life and sometimes these may be useful business contacts. However you will not automatically be given preferences by other businesses just because you are a Freemason.

Does Freemasonry benefit my family?

In creating better men, we hope to create people who build strong families and good relationships. There are no automatic monetary benefits for Freemason’s families. 

Can I come along to a meeting and see if I like it?

No. Only Freemasons and those being initiated may attend our regular meetings. We are here to answer all your questions to make sure you can make an informed decision.

Where do my membership fees go?

Membership fees are used to cover costs. We do not set out to make a profit but have many financial commitments in maintaining our buildings, providing regalia and running the organisation. 

Do I have to keep my Freemasonry secret?

No, you can speak openly about being a Freemason but there are certain aspects of the meetings which you will be asked to keep confidential.

How long does it take to become a Freemason?

The time it takes to join can vary between 2-5 months in general. This comes down to the time of year that you sign up and the Lodge you seek to become a member of. 

What happens at a typical Lodge meeting?

Lodges meetings can only be attended by members. The first part of the meeting covers all administrative matters such as, minutes of the previous meeting; proposing and balloting for new members; discussing and voting on the annual accounts; masonic news and correspondence; news about charitable work and admitting new members. The second part of the meeting features ceremonies to convey moral lessons and demonstrate the principles of Freemasonry. 

What are Freemasons expected to give or contribute as charity or volunteer service?

Charity and care within the community are part of the Freemasons’ commitment but there is no mandated level of donation.  People contribute according to their means and the time they have available.

Does the Freemasons’ charity only benefit Freemasons?

No. All tax-deductible donations to Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland or special appeals go directly to the community beneficiaries. There is a separate fund to support Freemasons and others in times of exceptional need.