Massachusetts Grand Lodge
Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff; Text: Christine Makris/Boston.com staff
Want to join a fraternity whose ranks included Voltaire, Mozart, Ben Franklin, Thurgood Marshall, and Buzz Aldrin? To petition, you must be an adult male who believes in a higher power. Specific religious affiliation is unimportant. You need to believe in the idea that there is something greater, said Robert Huke, a spokesman. Applications usually require the recommendation of two masons. A review process follows, designed to test a candidates moral character. Acceptance into the brotherhood requires 100 percent approval of all masons in the lodge to which you apply.
There are about 1.7 million masons in the United States. American Masonic groups donate over $2 million a day to philanthropic causes.