Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I contact you?
  2. How long has Masonry been around?
  3. How has Masonry lasted so long?
  4. Who is eligible to become a Mason?
  5. Can Women Become a Mason?
  6. Have there been any famous Masons?
  7. Is Freemasonry a Religion?
  8. Are the Masons a “secret society”?
  9. Are the Masons really involved in a conspiracy to control the world?
  10. What are “appendant bodies”?
  11. What are the benefits of a Mason?
  12. How many Freemasons are there?
  13. What types of charitable work do Masons do?
  14. Which particular Lodge should I join?
  15. Do you have a question about Freemasonry?
  16. How accurate are the “hidden secrets revealed” shows on TV, movies such as “National Treasurer” or books such as “The Lost Symbol” when it comes to Freemasonry?

 

Q – How can I contact you?
A – New Smyrna Lodge can be contacted by E-Mail at NSL149@cfl.rr.com , U.S. Mail at 300 N. Riverside Dr, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168, or by Telephone: 386-423-2370.

Q – How long has Masonry been around?
A – According to Masonic beliefs, our Fraternity began during the building of King Solomon’s temple in the city of Jerusalem (in what is now Israel) circa 970 B.C. Many of our traditions and teachings are based upon references to the Temple in the Bible’s Old Testament. The formal structure of Freemasonry as we know it today was established in London, England in 1717, upon the founding of the first Grand Lodge of England.

Q – How has Freemasonry lasted so long?
A – Our Fraternity has endured over the centuries because it is strongly founded upon truly timeless beliefs, values and virtues. Among our most deeply-held values are charity, friendship and brotherly love, which are integral parts of our goals of “making good men better” and which are the building blocks of living according to Masonic teachings. Freemasonry has also endured for so long by wisely avoiding the issues that have torn apart families, societies and nations throughout history. For example, we do not address matters of religion or politics in the lodge. Ours is a fraternity of friends and brothers, and we do not allow outside influences to divide us.

Q – Who is eligible to become a Mason?
A – In Florida, the requirements to apply for membership in the Fraternity are simple: one must be a man, 18 years of age or older, with a belief in “a Supreme Being” (based on any religion: we do not require any specific faith, but must not be an atheist), and of good character. A man interested in joining must contact a lodge or member and request an application. We are not allowed to solicit members.

Q – Can women become Masons?
A – In Florida, Freemasonry is a fraternal organization for men only. However, we do have sister organizations for women, such as the Order of the Eastern Star and the Ladies of the Oriental Shrine. There are also related organizations for younger people, such as DeMolay for young men and the Rainbow Girls for young women.

Q – Have there been any famous Masons?
A – There have been thousands of famous Masons throughout history, ranging from kings to Presidents to Founding fathers, scientists to musicians to astronauts and virtually everything in between. A list of the world’s most famous Masons would include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, General Douglas MacArthur, William Shakespeare, General Lew Wallace, Roy Rogers, Henry Ford, Mozart, Beethoven, Mark Twain, Neil Armstrong, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Harry Houdini, Charles Lindbergh, Red Skelton, the Marquis de Lafayette, Voltaire, Davey Crockett, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, John Wayne, Arnold Palmer, and many, many others.

Q – Is Freemasonry a religion?
A – No, while one of the tenets of Freemasonry is a belief in a “Supreme being,” Freemasonry does not specify any religion, faith, or church. Men of all religious backgrounds are welcome to join our Fraternity, as long as they believe in the existence of one ever living and true God.

Q – Are the Masons a “secret society”?
A – No, we are not. In fact a mason typically wears a Masonic ring or lapel pin, has a Masonic emblem on his cars, and speaks proudly and openly about being a Mason. Masonic Lodge buildings are always in public view, and are clearly marked with Masonic symbols and the name of the Lodge. Lodges are also typically listed in the public telephone directory. Some of the ceremonies are completely open to the public, as well. For example the annual Installation of Officers in a given Lodge is open to all; so are the Masonic Funerals conducted for deceased Masons. It is only certain parts of our ceremonies and rituals that we reserve for Masons only, and we also keep private certain means of identifying one another, but in this regard we are no different from virtually every other fraternity.

Q – Are the Masons really involved in a conspiracy to control the world?
A – No, of course not. Conspiracy theorists have been spreading rumors like this for centuries, but they have never been true. It is true that many powerful and influential men have been Masons, but false that they have ever “taken over”. In fact, it is a central tenet that each and every mason must submit to and obey the laws and government of the country in which he resides. Similarly, while many Masons were involved as participants in the founding of the United States, it is not true that then country was secretly “taken over” by the Masons.

Q – What are “appendant bodies?
A – When non-Masons think of Masonry, they generally are thinking of what we call “Blue Lodge Masonry” which is that part of Masonry that addresses the first three steps, or “Degrees”, of a man’s Masonic journey. Once a man has completed those first three Degrees and become a Master Mason, he is the equal of every other Mason in the world. The status of a Master Mason is the pinnacle of ones journey. However, there are a number or “append ant bodies,” or Masonic “spin-off” organizations that focus more on the elements of Freemasonry not addressed in Blue Lodge Masonry, and others that are designed for those not eligible for regular membership, such as women or younger people. The purpose of these “appendant bodies” is to provide opportunities for Masons to more fully develop their Masonic education, and for others to enjoy the fraternal relationship that Freemasonry offers in different ways.

Q – What are the benefits of being a Mason?
A – It must be stressed here that the “benefits” of being a Mason are not, can not and must not be the motivation to join the fraternity; In fact, a prospective member must expressly acknowledge that he is not seeking any kind of reward by becoming a Mason, as a part of the application (or petition” process) .There is no financial reward for being a Mason, However being a member of the fraternity is, in itself, very rewarding and satisfying. For example, we find in the Lodge a welcome relief from today’s hectic and competitive lifestyle; In the Lodge we are all equals, without regard to profession, social standing or wealth. Moreover, generally speaking, to be a Mason is to believe in a certain moral code and belief system, one which is shared by Brother Masons all over the world. It is always a very warm feeling to know that one is among one’s own peers, to be welcomed among friends and to be free to be oneself. It is also rewarding to work in chartable efforts for the benefits of others in the community less fortunate than ourselves. In fact, it has often been said that, overall, Freemasonry is among the most generous chartable organizations in the world. Among the things a Mason is sworn to do is to support other Masons in times of need. It is indeed comforting to know that one’s Brothers will be there should one of us, or a family member, need help. I have seen this in action and I cannot overstate the beauty of Masons coming together to help one another. Truly, we are “Brothers”!

Q – How many Freemasons are there?
A – The estimates vary, but at last count it was reported that there between five and six million Freemasons worldwide, including between two and three million in the United States.

Q – What types of charitable work do Masons do?
A – We Masons participate in an array of charitable work, donating both time and money to a great many causes. In fact, it was recently estimated that Freemasonry as a whole donates between two and three million dollars PER DAY across the world. We here in Florida also have our own charities, such as the Masonic Home, the Knight Templar Eye Foundation, the Shriner Children’s Hospitals, the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, and many others.

Q – Which particular Lodge should I join?
A – Each Lodge has “jurisdiction” over its own geographical area; In other words a man seeking membership in the fraternity would need to contact the Lodge nearest his place of residence. For example, a man living in the New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill, Samsula, or Port Orange area should contact New Smyrna Lodge for information on membership. Port Orange residents could also inquire to the two Lodges in Daytona Beach about membership. A complete list of Lodges in the 16th Masonic District is listed elsewhere in this website.

Q – Do you have a question about Freemasonry?
A – If you have a question about Freemasonry, please e-mail it to NSL149@cfl.rr.com. If it is a question we can answer, we will post both the question and the answer on the website. We will not post any personal or identifying information about you.

Q – How accurate are the “hidden secrets revealed” shows on TV, movies such as “national Treasurer” or books such as “The Lost Symbol” when it comes to Freemasonry?
A – While certainly entertaining, such shows, movies, and books are not very accurate at all. To those of us who are Masons and know the truth of these subjects, these “revelations” range from “poetic license” and innuendo to plain ignorance or outright lies, and should generally be regarded as such. For example, Dan Brown’s new book, “The Lost Symbol”, paints a favorable picture of Freemasonry and of the honor and integrity that all Masons share. However, the book constantly refers to Masonry as a whole when in fact the symbols, places and specifics that are used all belong only to a certain branch of Freemasonry known as the Scottish Rite, rather than Masonry as a whole. If a man wants to know the truths of Freemasonry, he should consider joining our Fraternity and learning for himself.