5 Answers

  1. We define a sect as a group of believers of a particular religion, whose teachings differ from the mainstream trends of this religion, for example, whips and Orthodox Christians, Mennonites and Lutherans, etc. A sect does not have to be totalitarian, but it can be – if its community and teaching are concentrated around one charismatic leader who controls all aspects of the sect's life, in terms of faith and lifestyle.

    There are almost no similarities between the sect and the Masonic lodge at all: except that they are closed groups of people united by certain ideas, where newcomers are allowed according to certain rules – and it is also important that the surrounding society in most cases treats both with caution (but not always hostile), and there are a huge number of conspiracy theories around them.

    Sects usually engage in proselytizing (campaigning and recruiting new members), distribute literature, invite outsiders to their meetings, etc. Freemasons do not do this, on the contrary, in order to get to them, the candidate must voluntarily pass several stages of testing, and then they will decide whether to accept him or not. In sects, members are united by a common religious teaching, in Freemasons they are united only by common moral principles (mutual assistance, equality regardless of social status, the desire to improve in science and become morally better), but they do not have a common religion, everyone preserves and professes their usual religion, religion is not discussed in the lodge. Sects have either an elected council of elders or a charismatic leader. Freemasons only have elected and rotating leaders. In sects, there are different levels of hierarchy (community leader, elder, etc.), freemasons have degrees of initiation (they are not related to leadership positions, they are like ranks and positions in the army, not the same thing). Sects are connected horizontally with their co-religionists in other countries, communicate with them, make friends ,conduct joint projects, etc., and consider themselves one social group with them. Freemasons, too.�

    It would be more correct to compare Freemasons not with sects, but with debating social clubs, such as societies of young scientists at any university faculty. They are very different people who come together in the evenings to discuss philosophical questions, to invest together in the publication of a book, but at the same time the society is ancient, so it has beautiful clothes and rituals that attract new candidates there.

  2. A sect is a very simple organization, usually short-lived. It often focuses on a single person or a particularly extreme idea. Very often they are deceptive so that the leaders of the sect can get a profit from the participants.

    Freemasonry, on the other hand, is a much more complex and large movement, almost a religion, like Scientology. Like any other religion, Freemasonry is beyond individuals, time, states, and situations. Freemasons perform their rites both as prisoners in concentration camps and as leaders of supranational entities, while the sect is not capable of such a thing. The sect clings to each other, tries to close down, recruit, seal up its supporters so that everyone is visible, whereas Freemasonry can be practiced by anyone without knowing 95% of other Masons.

  3. sect in translation, it is simply a teaching. if a certain teaching has seized power in a certain society and through the heralds of “officials” of this society, it names itself a church, becoming a religion. those teachings that have not yet been able to seize power or are designed for a limited circle of “admirers” – call themselves a lodge

  4. Well, of course, otherwise we Freemasons are so stupid and will rush to talk about our nishtyaks. No, we will not have enough free trips to the Maldives ourselves !

  5. Despite the excellent answer of E. Kuzmishin (see above, I myself gave this answer a+), I would somewhat summarize:

    So, first�total:

    1. Esotericism. The principle of esotericism means that a person who joins an organization at different levels of his initiation learns more and more, gets access to more knowledge about his community. In some sects (Scientology) esotericism is highly developed, in Freemasons it is moderately developed, but still exists.

    2. The principle of closeness. Both the sect and Freemasonry are closed communities. The similarity with sects is that they (Masons at least historically) isolated themselves from the world and “outsiders”. This was especially true for political Freemasonry, which for a time devoted itself to the struggle against absolute monarchy and feudalism for progress (then Masons were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment).

    3. Religious syncretism. Many sects practice the principle of syncretism, that is, no matter what religion you profess, you can be a member of our wonderful teaching. The Masons ' syncretism is quite clear-they accepted believers of any religion and even deists into their ranks (although they were opposed to accepting atheists for some time).

    Next up is the�difference:

    1. Religiosity and spirituality. Freemasons are not a pure religious organization, but a religious-philosophical and ethical teaching. There are no religious and philosophical doctrines among sects, and the sect's philosophy is generally viewed negatively.

    2. Progressivism and eschatologism. Freemasons, as a rule, always advocated progress and freedom, and of a special type, they everywhere supported bourgeois revolutions. Sects usually oppose progress or paint it in eschatological tones (that is, the big kayak will come soon anyway, and therefore it is necessary to prepare for it and join us).

    3. Unity and discreteness. Sects are usually united within themselves. Freemasons have historically been divided into “red” and “blue” Freemasonry, and so on. Freemasons are not as united within themselves as they might seem.

    In general, Freemasonry is a syncretic (eclectic) ecumenical religious-philosophical and religious-ethical teaching. As such, it is more of a “movement” than a “sect.”

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