SCOTLAND’S Freemasons are finally giving the public a glimpse into their “secret” society – while insisting “We’re just ordinary working guys”.
Conspiracy theories about the society, with secret handshakes and ancient rituals, have long claimed that they have influence over politicians and police.
The organisation, which dates back to the 16th century, has now responded to the claims and described them as “laughable”.
And they’re insisting they’re just “ordinary working guys” revealing they have bus drivers and taxi drivers amongst their members.
Famous members of the all-male organisation have included King George VI, Robert Burns, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Walter Scott.
They are set to quash previous speculation and broadcast their previous off-limit ceremonies in a BBC documentary, Secrets of the Masons, later this month.
The Grand Lodge of Antient, Free and Accepted Masons of Scotland is the governing body of Freemasons in Scotland and sits in plain sight on Edinburgh’s George Street.
A Film crew has been allowed to pass the doors of lodges in Scotland and give a first-look inside it’s buildings to reveal some of what the ancient society gets up-to.
Robert Cooper, the lodge’s curator and official historian is frustrated with the idea that the members have influence over public life.
Cooper hopes the documentary will debunk myths about the organisation and boost membership.
He said: “Most of our members are ordinary working guys; bus drivers and taxi drivers, with the odd dentist and mid-ranking professional.
“In Scotland the lodge was created by working men and that is reflected in our membership today.
“The idea that we somehow run the country behind closed doors is laughable. If we genuinely were a secret society, you would know very little about us.
“People love conspiracies and, unfortunately, we fit the bill.
“We have never had an opportunity to explain ourselves to wider society. We are keen to improve our public profile and redress the balance.
“However, we accept that a minority of people will always be against freemasonry whatever we say or do.”
The organisation will not be revealing their secret handshakes or grips in the documentary, which airs on Monday 19th of March.
Cooper added: “It would be the ultimate spoiler. If I told you the butler did it would you still go and see the play? I don’t think so.”
The hour-long BBC documentary will by narrated by Glasgow’s own Sea of Souls and Outlander actor, Bill Paterson.
A spokesman for BBC Scotland said: “The freemasons is an organisation that many people have heard of, but relatively few know much about.
“To some observers it is a club characterised b funny handshakes, to others it’s a secret group with genuine power which can have a questionable influence in some areas of society.
“For the first time Freemasons have allowed cameras into a number of Scottish lodges to shed light on the organisation.”