Freemasonry, what role in the 21st Century?
[...] From its birth as an organized fraternal movement in early-18th-century London to this very day, Freemasonry has been the object of wide curiosity and occasional intense suspicion. With its elaborate secret rituals, its involvement with both ancient wisdom and modern Enlightenment science and reason, and its relatively exclusive membership (applicants must ask to join and are then vetted and voted upon), the Masonic brotherhood has proved almost tailor-made for weavers of conspiracy theories or opportunistic authors eager to make a buck by imaginatively "exposing" the secret ways and even more secret ambitions of the craft. If the "grand secret" of Freemasons, as brother Benjamin Franklin once said, "is that they have no secret at all," those who suggest otherwise--including novelist Dan Brown of Da Vinci Code fame in his forthcoming novel, The Solomon Key --have seldom gone wanting for a receptive audience. [...] Development here.