AIMS AND RELATIONSHIPS OF THE CRAFT
Approved by Grand Lodge on 4th August 1949
In August 1938 the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland each agreed upon and issued a statement identical in terms except that the name of the issuing Grand Lodge appeared throughout. This statement, which was entitled "Aims and Relationships of the Craft", was in the following terms:-
From time to time the Grand Lodge
of Scotland has deemed it desirable to set forth in precise form the aims of
Freemasonry as consistently practised under its jurisdiction since it came
into being as an organised body in 1736, and also to define the principles
governing its relations with those other Grand Lodges with which it is in
In view of representations which have been
received, and of statements recently issued which have distorted or obscured
the true objects of Freemasonry, it is once again considered necessary to
emphasise certain fundamental principles of the Order.
The first condition of admission into, and
membership of, the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is essential
and admits of no compromise.
The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume
of the Sacred Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every candidate is required
to take his obligation on that Book, or on the Volume which is held by his
particular Creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.
Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset,
strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to
subvert the peace and good order of society, he must pay due obedience to
the law of any state in which he resides or which may afford him protection,
and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign of his
While Scottish Freemasonry inculcates in each of
its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the
individual the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs.
But neither in any Lodge nor at any time in his capacity as a Freemason is
he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological or political
The Grand Lodge has a1ways consistently refused to
express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy either
at home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with an
action however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its
unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the
relations between one Government and another, or between political parties,
or questions as to rival theories of Government.
The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist
bodies styling themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these
principles, and while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge of Scotland
refuses absolutely to have any relations with such bodies or to regard them
The Grand Lodge of Scotland is a sovereign and
independent body practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and
only within the limits defined in its Constitution. It does not recognise or
admit the existence of any superior Masonic authority however styled.
On more than one occasion the Grand Lodge has
refused, and it will continue to refuse, to participate in conferences with
so-called International Associations claiming to represent Freemasonry,
which admit to membership bodies failing to conform strictly to the
principles upon which the Grand Lodge of Scotland is founded. The Grand
Lodge does not admit any such claim, nor can its views be represented by any
There is no secret with regard to any of the basic principles of Freemasonry, some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge will always consider the recognition of those Grand Lodges which profess and practise and can show that they have consistently professed and practised, those established and unaltered principles, but in no circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety by those who desire to be recognised as Freemasons by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.