8 Myths About the Freemasons

As the new Dan Brown book The Lost Symbol is released, National Geographic takes a look at the Freemasons, their symbols, and the myths surrounding them.
Freemasonry is rich in symbols, and many are ubiquitious—think of the pentagram, or five-pointed star, or the "all-seeing eye" in the Great Seal of the United States.

But most Masonic symbols aren't unique to Freemasonry, Kinney said.

"I view the Masonic use of symbols as a grab bag taken from here, there, and everywhere," he said. "Masonry employs them in its own fashion."

The pentagram, for example, is much older than Freemasonry and acquired its occult overtones only in the 19th and 20th centuries, hundreds of years after the Masons had adopted the symbol.

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I agree with Gauldar's comment. How any organization begins is not how it ends. Organizations mutate, devolve, and die just like any organism. For how freemasonry started, see The Sufis, by Idries Shah.
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Don't know if you can use the BBC's Listen Again in the US, but Radio 4's Front Row programme reviewed the latest Dan Brown.

Critical? Ripped it to shreds!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mjpnk

Starts about a minute in - but it's worth hearing the rest of of the programme for the Mark Knopfler interview.
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