Pardon my lack of knowledge on the subject, but isn't freemasonry simply derived from stone masons who didn't work for any lord or whatever?

I don't see why a lot of people spread conspiracy theories and whatnot about them. The things they include in these conspiracy theories don't even seem human. It reminds me of how rumors spread about certain cliques in high school, just because people didn't know them.

I read the "Simple Wikipedia" entry on Freemasonry... it described that it's basically just a group who is committed to helping others. I don't see any reason why this correlates to meaning "group who is secretly running the world".

Maybe I'm missing something here and someone more knowledgeable on the subject can clue me in?

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They started as stonemasons.  They're not anymore.

 

They have secrets, and have listed some powerful people among their members.  That's enough to set off Alex Jones and his ilk.  Same with Skull & Bones, etc.  When paranoid people don't know anything, they assume the worst.

 

JB

How do you know it's not running exactly as we intend? 

While the individuals don't wear masks the group as a whole does. Some just find that a little fishy.

They let Jews in, and the friend of your enemy is your enemy

The Pope had some not-nice things to say about them, so people following him won't like them

They don't let in women

Their architecture doesn't live up to their ideals

They're key to some hokey and/or racist novels that at least led to a movie with one of the nicer singing scenes in cinema

They didn't prevent the Red Revolution

Not everyone will be attracted to the way Masons do things - with a lot of structure and hierarchy; there are critiques of the Masons that parallel critiques of more public organizations like the House of Windsor and the Catholic Church

People in the Freemasonry AoM group may know more history.

I don't know anybody who hates Freemasons.  I do know of some that disapprove or disapproved.

Roman Catholic Church says Freemasonry incorporates some religious views incompatible with Catholic Christianity, and is bothered by strong oaths that might, so it says, contravene religious or civil obligations.

Some Protestants think Freemasonry has (secret from most of its membership) anti-Christian beliefs.

The Nazis didn't like anybody keeping secrets from the government.  I think Communists were the same.

Back around the 1830's there was a US political party called "Anti-Masonic."  But at that time that meant more or less "Anti-Drinking-Club."

Recommended reading:  Manhood and Ritual in Victorian America, mostly about Freemasons and similar fraternal organizations.  Won't tell you much about opposition to Freemasonry, but it will tell a good bit about Freemasonry itself.

I don't think there are any dry lodges in Canada.

Yea, most all (but not all) lodges are dry (and that has not always been the case). 

 The anti-masonry party came about after the only known time that Freemasons killed one of our own, a guy named Morgan who was kicked out of the lodge for being naughty and he threatened to publish a tell all. Some of the local brothers got together, burned the publishing house down, had Morgan arrested for failing to repay a debt, made his bail, took him out into the woods and he was never seen again.  The local sheriff, the judge, the bailiff, magistrate, everyone involved was a Freemason. 

Wasn't that back in the day s (the 1820s and 1830s) when in parts of the country, you had to be a freemason if you had any political or professional ambitions?

I recall from the very brief bit I encountered in reading history, that dependent upon where you lived, you had to belong to the "correct" society to basically do anything other than be a low-level employee.

Because we,,, RUUULLLEEE TTTHHEEE WORRRLLLDDD !!!!!!!!

I haven't seen any Freemansonry hatred in real life. Only conspiracy nuts seem to worry about them. 

+1
Some people can't handle being on the outside of exclusivity.
A large group of the Masons in Sacramento are men who immigrated from the Philippines.  My company was hired by one family. They were great. He referred us to the rest of the guys in his group and a lot of them called and they were great. They were nice guys with nice families and gave me a lot of business. Didn't strike me as complicit in an evil-organization hellbent on enslaving the masses, but then again I'm sure they were well under level 34 and just pawns in the death machine.

Lack of knowledge is fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate...

Yeah, I just partially quoted Yoda. But really. 

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