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Young lads do join, the children of Masons tend not to for whatever reason. At least, not until they are older. That is a recent phenomenon, I suspect it's just because teenagers don't give a shit about their Dad's hobby. In recent years, a lot of late 20s early 30s lads have joined and they all have similar stories about feeling rudderless and having shit using friends.
Revealing Stonemason secrets was punishable by death, as that was their trade and livelihood and was enforced by The Crown, nowadays you'd be barred from the freemasons and barred from membership of practically every similar organisation, like Rotary clubs, etc. It's called wilful perjury and it makes you an outcast to the point where people will pretend you don't exist.
Whether you disagree with me or not is irrelevant, as it's a basic part of animal psychology. Something I've studied extensively. Familial altruism is common and indeed imperative to the survival of your genes, but that's selevtive altruism. Pure altruism is very much a conscious decision. Nepotism isn't an issue because we get taught to be fair in all our dealings and actions and by seeking out freemasonry you've chosen before even entering the craft to live your life the way they require you to. Nepotism is inherently unfair, so it's not the done thing. If a friend got you an interview at their workplace they've done it because they are your friend, not because you're a brother; in fact and it would be in spite of that. Their is a lot of myths about it, but they stem from the fact a mason can identify another mason without anyone else knowing what has happened.
There aren't a lot of fees in the GLSCO. The GL sets the fees for new members and the yearly "sub". When you join you pay a token, it's an element of ritual and the "fee" can't be disclosedfor this reason. The Sub is about £32 a year, and lodges provide catering for free at every single meeting and if you need a lift, brothers all take turns carpooling so they can drink so you'll always have a way to get there. The lodge provides you regalia on the night depending on your station. You're not required to buy it yourself if you can't afford it. You're required to wear a shirt and a tie, but I don't imagine that being a barrier for most people. Also, freemasonry is overwhelmingly working class.
The brotherhood of freemasonry is about teaching morals and values that the stonemasons taught their apprentices and studying the allegory and mystery behind the stonemason's philosophies on life, it's not going to be for everyone but the people who get involved get a lot out of it, make friends and get pissed into the bargain. I've learned more about geometry since I joined than I learned in high school, too. Like the vertex of a circle, there is a teaching which centres around this and it's fascinating. There are lectures on everything, as masons are encouraged to patron the liberal arts. A lot of my favourite inventions, like the Steam Train, were not only invented by a mason but were funded through lodge help. The Royal Society in Edinburgh was chartered by The Crown at the request of the Grand Lodge. So much of what makes us British is intrinsically linked with freemasonry. I digress, but I have enjoyed talking about it a bit and clearing up any misconceptions people might have had. If anyone is considering joining, go to the r/freemasonry subreddit as a jumping off point. I met a nice ex squaddie lad on there who is joining in England and we had a decent chat, but if you still think it's weird then that's fine. It is a bit weird, I'm not ignorant to that.