But Freemasonry—born in Britain, after all—had adherents on both sides of the conflict. Tabbert, of the George Washington Masonic Memorial, said Masonic groups allowed men on both sides of the revolution to come together as brothers—not to promote a political view, which would be against Masonic tradition. “For many years [Masons] claimed in their own quasi-scholarship that all of these revolutionaries and Founding Fathers were Freemasons,” Tabbert said. “A fair number of them were, but they weren’t doing these things because they were Freemasons.” (Abbott)
Contrary to The Lost Symbol, you don’t have to drink wine from a skull to become a ranking Freemason. In fact, tradition dictates that Masons don’t recruit members but simply accept those who approach them of their own free will. When Freemasonry hit its peak in the U.S. during the late 1950s, Kinney, the Masonic historian, said, almost one of every ten eligible adult males was a member—a total of some four million and hardly a tiny elite. Today membership numbers, like those of other fraternal organizations, have declined dramatically, and only about 1.5 million U.S. men are Masons. But with The Lost Symbol already igniting interest in Freemasonry, Masonic centers are bracing for tourists—and maybe a few new recruits (Freemasonry).
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