Following on from an earlier blog, I contacted the FOI departments of 131 UK Higher Education establishments, asking each about their institution’s position on Freemasonry, with respect to their students and staff. Within 48 hours 77 acknowledgments had been received (59%), including a handful of immediate and brief replies:
- The University of Cambridge: “… does not have any formal ‘position’ on freemasonry, including in statements on institutional positions as released to the media. Accordingly the information you have requested is not held.”
[N.B. The Isaac Newton University Lodge (est. 1861) is a Masonic Lodge, close by the University’s Botanic Gardens, primarily for the benefit of past and present members of Cambridge University.]
University of Winchester: “Members of the University’s Board of Governors have to declare membership. Other than that, the University has no policy.”
Heythrop College (University of London): “… has no policy relating to Freemasonry amongst its students and staff.”
- Northumbria University: “… we have no ‘position’ on Freemasonry amongst students or staff.”
- Goldsmiths, University of London: “… does not have a policy or position on the matter you raise and therefore we do not hold any information relevant to your request.”
I suspect that these few responses represent the majority. If anything more interesting arises, I’ll let you know. But why should we the uninitiated (known as ‘profane’ by Masons) be concerned about recruitment of young people into ‘the Craft’, whether in universities or elsewhere?
- No mainstream Lodge or Grand Lodge of Freemasons accepts women as full members. Sexism in universities
- Freemasonry has atrophied into a ritualistic men’s club that promotes none of the intellectual curiosity of Isaac Newton‘s day.
- The close and high-level connections with Royalty reinforce concerns about Freemasonry and an already too powerful Establishment dictating terms in British society.
- The essentially secretive nature of Freemasonry fuels speculation about allegations of corruption, both nationally and worldwide: e.g.