LONDON – Freemasons have taken out advertisements in British newspapers to say their members are being unfairly stigmatized, after reports of secret lodges for lawmakers and journalists.
The ad is published Thursday in newspapers including the Daily Telegraph and the Times by the United Grand Lodge of England — which describes itself as a fraternal organization with charitable aims. It is headlined "Enough is Enough," and says members are the victims of "ongoing gross misrepresentation."
Lodge CEO David Staples says people may have questions "about who we are and what we do," so the masons will hold open houses and question-and-answer sessions around the country in the coming months. He says the lodge raised more than 33 million pounds ($46 million) for good causes last year.
The Guardian newspaper in Monday's edition reported that two lodges for members of Parliament and political journalists operate secretly in Westminster.