One of the most common questions asked about Freemasonry is about our secrets.
Let's be clear ... we are not a secret society ... we have a web page, easily accessible by anyone with a computer and internet access. Not a very secret way to operate.
However, we do have secrets. Essentially, these secrets have to do with how one Freemason acknowledges another ... and yes, it includes the "handshake".
Freemasonry has long since ceased to have any real secrets. The "secrets" have been printed in many, many books and can be found on the internet. And, before you ask, no ... this is not the website to find them.
You may be interested in the following copied (with permission) from Freemasons Victoria:
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest existing fraternal organisation in the world.
It comprises an estimated 5 Million members world wide with 13 000 in Victoria. Modern Freemasonry traces its organization historically to the late 17th century and proudly preserves the traditions it has inherited from those times. These traditions make Freemasonry unique within the community.
Freemasonry offers men a principled way of life, a sense of belonging and of personal growth. The principles by which a Freemason is expected to conduct himself are based on tolerance, equality, charity and honour. Freemasons demonstrate these principles by showing tolerance and respect for the opinions of others, behaving with kindness and understanding and practicing charity and care for their community. Freemasons illustrate these principles for new members through ceremonies which utilize the tools of medieval stonemasonry as symbols.
Freemasonry recognizes the richness of all cultural beliefs and excludes no individual from membership on the basis of race or politics. Though Freemasons are required to profess a belief in a Supreme Being the specifics of a Freemasons belief are considered to be a personal matter.
Freemasons pursue their personal development by working towards the betterment of all humanity through widespread community involvement. Freemasonry offers its support at all levels from local fundraising to international relief efforts such as the Tools for Timor and Eplitiya projects.
Victorian Freemasons have a Task Force to assist the communities following natural disasters.