Worshipful Festival Master
Right Worshipful District Grand Master
Brethren of the Honourable Fraternity of Freemasons
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

My father, Francis Lodowic Bartels, whom we honour and celebrate today at this Festival, was a Freemason of Grand Rank as so eloquently reflected in the oration. My husband, James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey-Orleans, was a Freemason of Grand Rank. My uncle, James Villiers Legge Phillips, was the District Grand Master. My only brother, Francis Lodowic Bartels Jnr., was a Freemason. All of them now belong to the Grand Lodge above.

To continue the family tradition, my son, Bertrand-Leslie Aggrey-Orleans, a barrister, is a Freemason.

Perhaps my “Masonic” lineage, so to speak, is what persuaded and encouraged the Lodges to take the tremendous risk of asking me to give the Festival lecture on the fascinating but vexed subject of “Freemasonry and Religion: Dispelling the Myths, Distilling the Truth”. I am deeply honoured and humbled by your gracious invitation. I trust that your confidence, which far exceeds my own, will be justified.  It is, indeed, a privilege for me.

In the introduction of his masterly publication “The History of Freemasonry”, Albert Mackey, a 19th-century American physician and author, himself a Freemason, quotes De Witt Clinton as follows:

“Of all the institutions which have been established to improve the condition of mankind, Freemasonry stands pre-eminent in usefulness as it is in age ….. “ The quotation goes on to explore the possible origins of the Craft.

Yet, Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, of all the institutions which aim at bettering the human condition, few are as misunderstood, maligned or even vilified as Freemasonry, surrounded as it is by myths and legends.

My own childhood recollection and “experience”, one might say, regarding Freemasonry was the eternal recitation of the ritual by my father in preparation for a Masonic meeting. The little books written in red and black were mysterious to a little girl. We understood as children that those books were sacred, not to be touched.  If we as much as set eyes on the writing we would go blind. These books were hedged and hallowed by secrecy.

And then there was Fio who brought the summons. A very dark-skinned middle-aged man, Fio was always traditionally clad in black. His appearance, to us, not only symbolized mystery but also served to emphasise the secrecy surrounding the Fraternity of which he was a proud and faithful servant.

Fio would stand at the bottom of the staircase until one of us plucked the courage to receive, almost snatch, the communication from his hand for Father.

These were my very first recollections regarding Freemasonry. Looking back, the recitation of the ritual served the additional purpose of exercising father’s mental faculties. Father was lucid until the end, putting the finishing touches to his manuscript. And Fio certainly deserved the utmost consideration.

But Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, my appreciation of Freemasonry has come a long way since.  And so has the appreciation of others.

A very senior public official in the security architecture of the country during the period of military rule is reputed to have indicated that had he known what Freemasonry was, a fraternity grounded in brotherly love, relief and truth, he would have joined the Craft. This was during the period when the then-District Grand Master, Right Worshipful Bro. J.V.L. Phillips, was doing his utmost to prevent the seizure of the Meeting Halls.  And I believe he largely succeeded.

Yet, the myths remain. To dispel the myths and distil the truth regarding Freemasonry, we might pose a few simple questions from the point of view of the layman about the Institution of Freemasonry and how it relates to religion and religious practices:

  • What is Freemasonry?  Is it a Religion or just a secret society?
  • What is Religion?
  • Who and what are Freemasons?
  • How does the Institution portray itself to the general public?
  • What is the public perception of Freemasons?
  • Why are religious bodies so adversely critical of Freemasonry?
  • Is there any semblance of occult practices in the rituals of Freemasons?
  • Do Freemasons have their own Bible and a Heaven reserved for them?
  • What are the Myths and the Truths?
  • Is the Institution doing enough to protect and defend itself against negative perceptions and mounting virulent attacks?

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry as an Institution is a world-wide establishment with a presence throughout the globe.  It has a very long history. It has its origins in the guilds of stonemasons and architects who built cathedrals and castles in medieval Europe.

The Institution itself defines Freemasonry as “A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”.

Morality connotes the principles of good behaviour and discipline and the maintenance of ethical standards and values across all spheres of life.  Little wonder then that one of the objectives of Freemasonry is to “make good men better”. However, one may wonder what is so peculiar about that system of morality as propagated by the Institution.  Possibly, it being veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols provides the answer.  The allegorical nature suggests that teachings of moral principles are done in the form of storytelling and the enactment of plays to underline clearly those desirable values that constitute the tenets of Freemasonry.  Furthermore, the use of symbols such as Masonic working tools and others for purposes of illustration falls within the scope of standards of teaching and learning using visual aids.

Freemasonry, we learn, is an Order founded on the principles of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth”.  Brotherly Love, it would appear, follows the same Christian virtues of love for one another, whilst Relief is about the precepts of mutual assistance, charity and giving to the less endowed and the deprived in society.  Truth, however, may be the contentious subject, that being one of the bases of religious disagreements as the perception of truth may very well vary, and indeed, often does, from institution to institution.

The attention of the newly initiated Mason is drawn to the Sacred Writings relating to the religious faith of the Initiate, and he is charged to consider those “as the unerring standard of truth and justice …” Based on his religious convictions, interactions with colleagues of other faiths could become an issue in the matter of what constitutes truth, thus undermining the maintenance of harmony. Of course, every religious body believes itself to be the true path to this and the life hereafter. This explains why the Order forbids discussions on issues of Religion and Politics in its assemblies.

Is Freemasonry a Religion?

The Institution contends that it is not a religion though its members are supposed to believe in a Supreme Being - God - in a generic sense.

On the website of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the Home of Freemasonry, it is clearly stated: “We are a unique members’ organisation that has thrived for over 300 years. Having no political or religious affiliations, we comprise members of all ages, races, religions, cultures and backgrounds”; and, the statement continues, “one of the oldest secular, social and charitable organisations in the world”.

In a recent response (December 2023) to the Catholic Church’s reaffirmation of its ban on Roman Catholics becoming Freemasons, the United Grand Lodge of England reiterated its stance on Freemasonry and Religion as approved in the Grand Lodge’s statement of September 1992 and published in the news media.  Part of that statement reads: “It cannot be too strongly asserted that Masonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for religion.  Masonry seeks to inculcate in its members a standard of conduct and behaviour, which it believes to be acceptable to all creeds, but studiously refrains from intervening in the field of dogma or theology.  Masonry, therefore, is not a competitor with religion, though in the sphere of human conduct, it may be hoped that its teaching will be complementary to that of religion”.

As so concisely expressed to the outside world, Freemasonry is not a religion nor is it the antithesis of religion.  But somehow, some ceremonies within its Lodges tend to reflect religious practice in a way which is probably peculiar to the Order, such as the singing of well-known Christian hymns, even if they are sometimes substituted by Masonic lyrics, the saying of prayers led by Chaplains and the presence of an ‘Altar’ on which is displayed a ‘Holy Bible’.  Furthermore, there are constant references to the Supreme Being (God) in various forms - The Great Architect of the Universe, The Grand Geometrician of the Universe, The Great Overseer of the Universe, The Supreme Commander of the Universe, The Most High, etc.  All this is in the public domain.  Most often, however, such information is misinterpreted by the non-Freemason.

Be that as it may, I believe that singing hymns and saying prayers alone coupled with the invocation of the various names of God during meetings, do not necessarily render an organisation a religion or a religious body.  Furthermore, in assuming obligations, the new Mason is assured that whatever vows he may enter into, would not in any way impede or meddle with his civil, moral or religious duties - a further declaration reflecting the secular nature of Freemasonry, an institution free of religious or political imposition.

The question of whether it is a secret society is always debunked with the straightforward answer - no. It is not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets, like other societies and institutions.

What is Religion?

Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, the raft of definitions from the Concise Oxford Dictionary to the Catholic Encyclopaedia and by Islamic scholars and philosophers have a common theme of faith in, and worship of, a Supreme Being on whom man is dependent and of whose powerful help he feels the need.  All of them connote spirituality and morality which are believed to be essential for human development.

Might it be that the critics of Freemasonry, observing the activities of the Institution and taking into account the various definitions of religion would conclude that Freemasonry, indeed, is a religion? Furthermore, given the spiritual beliefs and practices of our societies, could there be a fear of Freemasonry as a powerful global body capable of competing with religion and leading the ‘faithful’ astray?

Who and What are Freemasons?

In any case who and what are Freemasons?  Freemasons are a group of men who have come together, having joined the Order in accordance with given qualifications as specified by the administrative body, in this case, the UGLE.  The Freemason must be over eighteen (18) years of age, believe in a Supreme Being, be of sound mind and judgement, just, upright and with strict morals.  He must be ready to accept and be guided by the fundamental principles which constitute the character of the Institution - Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Service.  He must dutifully commit himself to following them.  The belief in a Supreme Being is rooted in the fact that the background of Freemasons cuts across several religions - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Baha’i faith etc.  In addition, Freemasons can boast of membership which embraces eminent personalities such as Kings, Presidents, Judges, Ministers of State, Diplomats, and indeed, notable experts and personalities from every profession.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Freemasons is the ability to live and work together in harmony and concord, pleasing each other, being happy and communicating happiness irrespective of religious differences, political persuasion, social status or financial standing.

Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, if ever there were any star attractions to wanting to be a Freemason, I believe that they would centre on the joy of being together with friends of different backgrounds in pursuit of common objectives. That brings to mind how non-Masons become Freemasons and whether they are able, having gained admission, to develop themselves sufficiently to represent the ideals of Freemasonry. I must mention this because I strongly believe that many persons may not necessarily know much about the Order before declaring their intention or accepting to join.  Some may, therefore, enter the Order with their own skewed perceptions regarding particular benefits, with a pre-determined agenda in mind only to be disappointed and end up not portraying the better person the Institution seeks to make of them.

How does the Institution Portray Itself to the General Public?

It would appear that the Order basically presents itself to the public as a fraternal (men-only) benevolent society through its focus on charity work.  When the Order is often featured in the media, it is about donations to the needy or making available resources that might be useful to selected communities. Indeed, the headquarters of Freemasonry (UGLE) is advertised as “one of the oldest and most charitable organisations in the world”.

So elaborate are the programmes on charity presentations that the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), funded by Freemasons, puts out for public consumption information on its activities which embrace a range of grants for charitable projects.  At the local level, we are all witnesses to the various donations extended to schools, hospitals and communities by the District Grand Lodge of Ghana (English Constitution) over the years, the most recent being support during the Covid-19 period, the Akosombo Dam spillage disaster and, today, the presentation of a Borehole Water Supply System for the AME Zion Cluster of Schools in Cape Coast.

In contrast, very little or nothing is said publicly about what actually happens during meetings or ceremonies behind closed doors in what used to be called ‘Temples’, but are now re-designated as ‘Halls’, possibly because of the backlash regarding the public perception of Freemasonry as a religion.  To that extent it might be said that the self-imposed secrecy which surrounds the meetings and ceremonies is what leads to the wild speculation by the public which endeavours to fill the vacuum in information. Hence, the so-called ‘secrets’ of Freemasons.

What is the Public Perception of Freemasons?

Somehow, to the general populace who are not Masons, particularly in our part of the world, the mention of the word ‘Freemason’ evokes some kind of awe akin to mysterious, mystical or occult practices. One only needs to browse through social media to be inundated with videos, films, adverts and spurious claims regarding the ‘powers’ of Freemasons, a tool, which fraudsters employ for their own deceitful purposes.

Some, however, view Freemasons with a deep sense of reverence, seeing them impeccably dressed in their black suits, driving beautiful cars, wining and dining at exquisite locations.  Even for this category of ‘observers’, there is a belief that there must be something in Freemasonry, which, should one be lucky enough to become a member, opens the door to wealth and success.

Generally, there is a lot of negativity in public thinking about the activities of Freemasons in Ghana, to the extent that many religious bodies do not relent in their criticism of the nature and character of the Fraternity.  The main bone of contention is whether Freemasons believed to be a cult, are not hiding behind the notion of a benevolent society such as the Rotary or the Lions Clubs (whose activities are openly known) to promote their ‘secret’ brand of religion.

Why are Religious Bodies so adversely critical of Freemasons?

Ghana abounds in religious bodies which serve a population composed approximately of 71% Christians, 20% Muslims and others (Government Census 2021). The principal Christian churches are the Roman Catholic, the Methodist, the Anglican and the Presbyterian Churches as well as the Church of Pentecost.

In addition, there are, a plethora of charismatic, spiritual and other religious groups littered across the country, all of which draw on the faith of their followers and do impact their level of perception of some institutions and people such as the Freemasons.  Their main attack is that Freemasonry is occult and satanic, but have no proof to support that contention, except to refer to special rings, handshakes, regalia and the secrecy shrouding their meetings which are always held behind closed doors.

Of the principal religious denominations, the Anglican Church is the most accommodating of the tenets of Freemasonry. The Church is supportive of the Institution and some of its Reverend Ministers are active members of the Fraternity.

The biggest religious body and severest critic of Freemasonry is the Roman Catholic Church.  It has opposed Masonic Lodges since 1717 and has had no fewer than eleven Popes condemning it over the years. The Church debunks the idea of Freemasonry being a benevolent and charitable organisation, especially when comparing the Fraternity with the Rotary and Lions Clubs or with the Catholic groups - the Knights of Marshall and the Knights of St. John International.

Among the many reasons adduced against Freemasonry is that the Order uses the Bible placed on an altar, quotes passages from the New Testament for its ceremonies, and yet omits the word “Christ” from the texts. Furthermore, and I quote “Freemasonry’s degrees did away with Christian prayer and any references to Catholicism. A Mason was now required to believe only in the deistic “Great (or Grand) Architect of the Universe) and an afterlife”.

The Church reiterates its position that Freemasonry is a religion in its own right and category with doctrines which are not compatible with Christian beliefs.  It maintains its landmark declaration of 1983 which states: “Therefore, the Church’s judgement in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged, since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden.  The faithful who enrol in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion”.

Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church considers that Catholics who are Freemasons stand the risk of excommunication if they do not cease being members of the Fraternity. The following is part of introductory comments to an Article in the New Catholic Encyclopaedia which further emphasises the Church’s anti-Masonic viewpoint. “Freemasonry is a politically powerful financial organisation operating under the guise of an all-encompassing religion generally open, at least at some levels, to everyone but atheists.  Their goal is the domination of the world from a deistic perspective (‘deism’- a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century, denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the Universe)”.

Albert Mackey is often quoted by the Roman Catholic Church in articles to support the Church’s standpoint on Freemasonry as a religion. One such extract reads: “Although Freemasonry is not a dogmatic theology and is tolerant in the admission of men of every religious faith, it would be wrong to suppose that it is without a creed.  On the contrary, it has a creed, the assent to which it rigidly enforces… This creed consists of two articles. First, a belief in God, the Creator of all things…and secondly, a belief in the eternal life, to which this present life is but a preparatory and probationary state”.

Allegations are further made about Freemasonry seeing itself not only as a religion, but as a universal religion, while considering Christianity as simply one of the many sects.

Another prominent Mason, also a 19th century American author and writer on Freemasonry, is often quoted by the Church to make its point.  Albert Pike describes Freemasonry as follows: “It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity…  Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and sublime one; that universal religion, taught by Nature and Reason”.  Pike further states: “Since Masonry embraces the religions of the world, it cannot require belief in Jehovah for this would exclude most of the world.  In order to accept Masons who believe in pagans, they require belief in "a God" or "a Supreme Being”.

These are but a few of the thoughts that infuriate the Roman Catholic Church and cause it to distance itself from, and condemn, Freemasonry.

On the other hand, the Methodist Church (UK) in 1985 issued guidance to the Methodist faithful, advising those who wanted to remain Freemasons to declare their membership “in order to remove suspicion and mistrust”.  Furthermore, directives were given denying Freemasons the use of Methodist premises for any Masonic-related meetings, services or any other purposes.

Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, it would be recalled that in December 1999, six Freemasons of the Royal Arch Chapter of Ghana (Irish Constitution) filed a writ at an Accra High Court against the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, seeking to compel the Church to withdraw from circulation a report concerning the Lodge.  It was about a decision by the Church to ban paid agents and elders as well as all members of the Church from being members of Lodges and other secret societies and that those who were already members would have to consider withdrawing their membership from those societies.  Of course, the Freemasons won the day, in terms of the High Court ruling in their favour, thereby virtually endorsing one vital affirmation in their pleadings, that “Lodges are Friendly and not Religious Societies, and that they have neither dogma nor theology and do not preach salvation”.  An appeal to a higher court by the Presbyterian Church against the High Court’s decision fell flat.

Against this background, it would appear that the big orthodox Christian Churches (except the Anglican Church) are embarked on a crusade against one big organisation that styles itself a benevolent society rather than a religion.  Following the trail are the smaller churches, all pointing accusing fingers at Freemasons’ Lodges for non-Christian satanic rituals.

What remains to be seen is how Freemasons would come out clearly and unambiguously to defend themselves against these accusations and prove all accusers wrong. Or are the obligations and the oath of secrecy taken by Freemasons a stumbling block?

Is There any Semblance of Occultism in the Rituals of Freemasonry?

Well, this question is best left to the Freemasons themselves to answer; but from my association and interactions with them and the literature I have read, I would say that there are rituals, but they are not occult.

But what is a ‘ritual’? Does the word ‘ritual’ refer to blood sacrifices or demonic practices?  Absolutely not! There are a lot of misconceptions regarding the word ‘ritual’.  Freemasons talk about rituals in their ceremonies to describe the format and process through which they go as stipulated in that little book titled ‘Emulation Ritual’.  This accords with the definition of the word ‘ritual’ by the Concise Oxford Dictionary as “a series of actions habitually and invariably followed by someone”. But the other definition of ‘ritual’ by the same Dictionary as “a religious or solemn ceremony involving a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order” is most probably the source of the misconceptions, confusion and mistrust which characterise the public perception.

Worshipful Festival Master, Ladies and Gentlemen, as earlier stated, the peculiar system of morality of Freemasons is veiled in allegory, a kind of play-acting to bring out the deeper meaning of whatever teaching is being expounded. The solemn ceremonies so well set up and performed across the various Orders in Freemasonry, the way I understand them, constitute the ‘ritual’ contained in those little books.

What about ‘occult’?  Again, the word occult refers to “mystical, supernatural or magical powers or phenomena”. Do Freemasons actually engage in occultism? Absolutely not, to the best of my knowledge and based on the meaning of occultism.

Nothing, however, prevents members of the Fraternity who are generally persons of substance in their fields of endeavour and deep thinkers from enhancing their knowledge in their individual capacity through the study of esoteric philosophical teaching, all in the pursuit of self-improvement. I would certainly not find that strange. Indeed, I would welcome that. Remember, one of the ideals of Freemasonry is to make good men better; and this should have nothing and has nothing to do with magical powers. It has to do with human development, in this case, the intellect.

Do Freemasons Have Their Own Bible and a Heaven Reserved for Them?

The Holy Book of sacred writings, called the Bible, we are all aware, has many versions - King James Version, New International Version (NIV), Catholic Pastoral Edition (of Community Christian Bible), Revised English Bible, etc.  However, the Books and related texts contained in these scriptures are about the same subject. The differences lie in the language and presentation because of the chain of translations over the years.

Within this context we might ask whether there is a Masonic Bible?  If there is, how different is it from the several other versions of the Holy Book?  Freemasons refer to the Sacred Writings for Christians as the Bible.  The Sacred Writings of members of other religious faiths together with the Sacred Writings for Christians (The Bible) collectively constitute the Volume of the Sacred Law (VSL).  The Christian VSL has the Old and New Testaments, containing the Books as available in the several versions listed.  What may differ from the VSL is the cover design, often bearing the Masonic symbols of the Square and Compasses, as well as the inner foreword and introductory write-ups about the Institution. Therefore, there is no special Bible appertaining to Masonic beliefs or religion that are spectacularly different from other Bibles available on the shelves.

If there are no special or peculiar Masonic Sacred Writings, might there be a Heaven reserved for Freemasons?  This, it would appear, is part of the misconception about Freemasonry as a religion, borne out of the peculiar names it adopts for various concepts in its practices. In Masonic terms, much to the chagrin of opponents, Heaven is referred to as the Grand Lodge Above.  What this implies is that either there is a separate Heaven for Masons where they go when they pass away from their earthly life, or that there is a place (a Lodge) reserved for them in the same Heaven referred to by Christians and other faiths.  Certainly, this constitutes one of the attacks on Freemasons, viewed against their claims of not being a religion.

The Myths and the Truths

Within our own localities, one of the myths that is easily debunked as ‘banalities and fairytale fantasies’ is occultism in Freemasonry, which is depicted as blood sacrifices, waking up the dead, conjuring up spirits for easy access to wealth etc. The accusation of religious mysticism with particular reference to devil worship and satanic practices is simply not true. It is a configuration borne out of ignorance. Freemasonry is not a secret occult group that holds answers to everything through supernatural powers. It is the pursuit of the improvement and enhancement of the moral fiber of a person through a system of values and a code of conduct based on the three great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

And how about the rather scary oaths and obligations with chilling penalties for the Freemason who divulges any Masonic secret or decides to leave the Order?  Once again, the truth is that these references are allegorical and not meant to be carried out as physical punishment. There is no physical punishment in Freemasonry. A Mason can resign from Freemasonry with or without a reason and nothing evil would befall him.

I have already mentioned the so-called Masonic Bible which is supposed to bear messages skewed towards Masonic beliefs.  It is clear that aside the ‘nomenclature’, the Bible used by Masons, in context, is no different from the several other versions of the Sacred Book used by religious organisations throughout the world.  The same holds true for the Muslims’ Holy Quran or the Hindu Vedas, etc., They all fall under the title, ‘Volume of the Sacred Law’.

Similarly, every religious faithful aspires to join his Maker in Heaven after this earthly life. Masons, in their various religious beliefs, also crave to do the same, but only refer to Heaven in Masonic terms as the Grand Lodge Above.

The truth of the matter is that Freemasonry does not force any religious belief on anybody. On the contrary, it encourages its members to follow their religious paths and never fail to acknowledge and perform the duties they owe to God, “with that awe and reverence which are due from the creature to his Creator”.

Freemasonry is, in truth, a fraternal and benevolent society in every respect, evidenced by the many charities it carries out so frequently around the globe.  Additionally, Freemasonry provides the platform and opportunity for people from all professions and all walks of life to meet as brothers, socialise and network, without recourse to any religious creed, political persuasion or acts of mysticism.

And how about the secret and special handshakes?  Yes, there are but these date back to the era of stonemasons who had to prove their worth as qualified builders from one level to the next. Free and Accepted Speculative Masons have adopted this practice by way of passwords leading from one degree in their ceremonies to the other; but there is nothing mysterious about them.

Another point to note is that there is a diversity of organisations classified as secret societies whose outlook resembles that of Freemasons, especially through their attire.  They are not Freemasons, but are erroneously considered as such by the public, especially when they carry out certain rituals during burials and funerals, which appear religious in scope.  Freemasons are not to be mistaken for them.

Way Forward

After the narrative of my presentation, it is time to ask whether the Order is doing enough to dispel all these negative allegations and perceptions about its perceived religious character as presumably handed down to its members. Is there a more ‘aggressive’ but diplomatic way of defending Freemasonry with concrete proof and references that would persuade the public of the true and positive nature of Freemasonry?  It would appear that the current approach of press releases in reaction to allegations is not adequate.  It is reactive and not proactive.

On the local front, is it possible that beyond the statements made during charity donations, for example, concerted efforts could be made, collectively and individually, to penetrate communities for interactions purposely to dispel the several negative misconceptions and inaccuracies about the Order?  If so, how can it be done?

And those secrets? Can there be any modifications? Of course, as a kind of discipline even among themselves, Freemasons are not entitled or expected to know what happens at the next degree which they are yet to attain.  A more open-door policy might curb the rumours of witchcraft and sorcery. But how do you do this, bearing in mind that the capacity to keep a secret is a requirement in many professions including diplomatic service. Non-disclosure agreements are a regular feature of the business world No one seems to be troubled by them.

On a lighter note, I am sure that you have heard that even though the Institution occasionally organises open days with press and cameramen to view their meeting places, hitherto known as Temples, the real secretive items, they claim, are removed and hidden. All that is shown to the public by the cameras are empty chairs and tables.

Worshipful Festival Master, Right Worshipful District Grand Master, Members of the Honourable Fraternity of Freemasons, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, my presentation reflects my perception of Freemasonry garnered through years of close association with outstanding Freemasons. But it would be remiss of me if I did not acknowledge the invaluable and indispensable support which I have received from very senior Masonic friends in crafting my presentation.  I am most grateful to them. If there are any flaws, I take full responsibility for them and I ask you in the spirit of brotherly love to forgive me. Right Worshipful Brother Isaac Owulaku Hood, District Grand Master, I thank you and all the brethren for the honour done by my father today, and thank you all for your gracious attention.


This lecture was delivered by Her Excellency Mrs Agnes Aggrey-Orleans at the 2024 Festival of Institutional Lodges under the auspices of the District Grand Lodge of Ghana E.C. June 8, 2024

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.