Freemasonry is the largest initiatory and fraternal organization in the world. Given many speculations of what freemasonry truly is, it would be difficult to give it a concise explanation.
The organization’s rituals and the rules of internal conduct are never disclosed to the general public, and its lists of members are never published anywhere. Freemasonry is by all means neither a religious nor a political organization. Members are constantly encouraged to seek self-improvement. Being a secret society, Freemasonry has been a subject to an enormous amount of conspiracy theories to which no real connections exist.
Freemasonry, or sometimes referred to as Masonry, is also the oldest fraternal organization.
It can only be speculated as to when or where it emerged because many of historical records have perished. It is possible that Freemasonry has its roots in the old masonic guilds, who built medieval castles and cathedrals. Another view would suggest it being a legacy of the Knights Templar order, a group of monks-warriors founded in 1118, who pledged to protect those travelling to the Holy Land.
In 1717, Freemasonry founded its official Grand Lodge in London, England. The United Grand Lodge of England, or UGLE, is an administrative unit responsible for the recognition of Freemasonry around the globe.