YAKIMA, Wash.- Freemasons are well-known all over the world. However, many of us only rely on theories and rumors when discussing what exactly they do.
I stopped by their annual convention on Friday at the Yakima Valley Convention Center to set the facts straight on this historic fraternity.
It's one of the oldest and most well-known fraternity's in the world, commonly accused of being secretive, running the world, or even being a cult but these notions are false. While their meeting are typically closed doors, and no girls allowed, KIMA was able to get a sneak peek at the Freemasons of Washington's annual convention to find out the truth about this historic fraternity.
"The one conspiracy that really bothers me the most is that we're trying to take over the world, absolutely not,” said Sam Roberts, Grand Secretary of Washington’s Freemason jurisdiction.
"I can tell you right now I’ve been to many of meetings where the topic is picnic and people argue over who will bring the ketchup and mustard,” said Jim Mendoza, said Grand Master of Washington’s Freemason jurisdiction.
"What we are trying to do is make the world a better place," said Roberts.
But the accusations don’t stop there, there's even false theories about how to become a member.
"There are a lot of people that might be interested but they're waiting to be approached and unfortunately that won't happen,” said Warren Schoeben, the incoming Grand Master for Washington’s Freemason jurisdiction.
And despite traditional rituals and historic terminology such as "most worshipful" Masons say they are not a religious organization but do require members to believe in some higher power.
"Your personal relationship with him makes sure that you keep yourself in good moral ethical pathway," said Roberts.
Good character and ethics playing an important role in the Masonic Code.
"Those two things will describe good moral character- so you don't cheat, you don't lie, you don't steal, and you deal honesty above all,” said Roberts.
Freemasons also dedicate themselves to serving others, well known for the Shriners Children Hospitals.
This year, the Masons of Washington, partnered with the Honor Flight Network to send WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans back to Washington D.C. to view the memorials.
"When there's a cause, we embrace that cause, and we will embrace it in such a way that for lack of a better term it becomes our cause and it's just something that we want to see successful," said Mendoza.
Alongside their traditional rituals also comes old-school values, focusing on social civility.
"It doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank, what you do for a living, how tall or how short you are, you're my brother, you're my equal,” said Mendoza explaining the relational side of Freemasons.
And the fraternity is not as gossip-worthy as you may have thought.
"If you want to sell movie tickets this this is not it,” said Roberts speaking to the truth behind Freemasons.
To find out more about Freemasons follow this link.