Freemasons: We are discriminated against

Media play-back is unsupported on your device

Media caption The top of the Freemasons in England and Wales says he can’t show the particular BBC the handshake.

The particular Freemasons have placed full-page commercials in several national newspapers calling to have an end to the “discrimination” against their particular members.

The particular United Grand Lodge of Britain (UGLE) said it welcomes people from all walks of living but that members are “undeservedly stigmatised”.

It stated it had written to the Equality plus Human Rights Commission.

Recent news stories questioned the particular influence of Freemasons in policing and in parliament.

Within an advert in the Times, the Day-to-day Telegraph and the Guardian, the regulating body of Freemasonry complains from the “gross misrepresentation” of its members.

Under the headline “Enough is certainly enough”, chief executive Dr David Staples said the organisation raised a lot more than £ 33m for good causes this past year.

This individual said people of any competition, faith, age, class or politics persuasion were welcome in the 300-year-old organisation.

The particular United Grand Lodge of Britain is restricted to men, although individual women-only lodges also exist.

Freemason facts

Picture copyright United Grand Lodge associated with England
Image caption There are about six mil Freemasons worldwide and more than two hundred, 000 in the UK under the United Fantastic Lodge of England
  • There are about two hundred, 000 male Freemasons and four, 700 female Freemasons in the UK
  • Freemasons meet in a temple, which they contact a “lodge”, as it is understood which is where ancient stonemasons met whenever working on a church or cathedral
  • Lodges are grouped by area, roughly in line with the old county limitations
  • Freemasons wear masonic aprons, dating back to to the theory that freemasonry started out the stonemasons, who wore all of them for protection from stone chipping
  • The particular “third degree” is the final phase before becoming a fully fledged Builder. The ceremony involves close asking, which is where the expression “giving somebody the third degree” originates
  • Famous Freemasons have included Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Burns, Oscar Wilde and Peter Sellers

There are about 200, 000 Freemasons in England and Wales, who satisfy in more than 7, 000 lodges.

In the last week, the particular Guardian reported that two Freemasons’ lodges are operating at Westminster – which it mentioned were for MPs and politics journalists.

Yet Dr Staples said that, although the lodges existed, none of their members had been MPs or political journalists.

The revelation followed statements that members of the Freemasons had been preventing reform in policing . The particular outgoing chairman of the Police Federation, Steve White, told the Protector the society was thwarting improvement of women and those from black plus ethnic backgrounds.

Doctor Staples rejected those claims because “laughable”.

He or she told BBC Breakfast: “We’re not really a secretive society. Nepotism (and) data corruption is not tolerated. ”

He added that the handshake utilized by members during ceremonies is “not secret” but , when he had been asked to demonstrate it to audiences of BBC Breakfast, he dropped, saying he had “promised” not to.

You might also like:

The advert adds that the company will be running a series of events this season designed to answer questions people might have about the organisation, whose activities are certainly not widely known.

Dr Staples also invites direct queries to become sent to the Freemasons’ London head office, Freemasons’ Hall.

However, many have responded to the adverts along with scepticism.

How do members be discriminated against when “we don’t know who they are”, requests Labour MP Melanie Onn .

Image copyright laws Getty Images
Picture caption A monument commemorating those who were awarded the Victoria Cross medal is unveiled outside of the Freemasons’ Hall in London

Related Topics