I consider two things on this page: what I believe about Freemasonry, and what I think about the future of Masonry in the United States.  



The Purpose of Freemasonry

I believe that Freemasonry has two purposes. I believe Masonry has had both these purposes from its very beginnings. Although consciousness of these two purposes has waxed and waned among the Masonic community across the centuries, these two purposes remain crucial and central to the Masonic endeavor; in our day, we ignore them to the peril of the Fraternity.

  1. One purpose of Freemasonry is the moral development of the individual. Freemasonry is the best vehicle that Western civilization has for the production of emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually mature men of all nations, races, and creeds. This is no small feat. For all practical purposes, Freemasonry is the last remaining initiatic tradition. Western civilization, at the least, has more need of it than ever before.
  2. One purpose of Freemasonry is the moral development of society. Freemasonry has been a major force in the development of democracy, religious toleration, public education, science, the rule of law, and other social good in the West for more than two centuries.This is a major step in the moral development of humankind. Here again, Western civilization, at the least, has more need of these benefits than ever before.



I believe that Freemasonry in the United States—and, from what my informants tell me, throughout the English-speaking world—is at a fork in the road, so to speak. On one path, Freemasonry becomes virtually extinct within the lifetimes of men we are now initiating. On the other path, Masonry regains it vigor and strength, becoming the fraternity of about 8% of the adult male population. 

I discuss the data that lead me to these stark conclusions in my book, The Resurgence of Freemasonry. Beyond the data, as I outline in detail in the book:

  • One of the principles of effective living is that ‘if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep on getting the results you’ve been getting.’ If Grand Lodges and Particular Lodges keep going on with business as usual, then we are headed along the path of virtual extinction.

  • Another principle of effective living is that ‘a clear understanding of the problem prefigures the lines of its solution.’ The main cause of Masonry’s membership problem is the relatively poor state of the Masonic program offered in the typical lodge—the result of generations of neglect. By vigorously reforming this situation, we are addressing the problem at its root.

All those men on the front cover of my book: are they leaving the Fraternity? 

Or are they entering it? 

That, my brethren, will depend a great deal on what we do—or fail to do—over the next few years.