Due to the secrecy of freemasonry hundreds of unfounded conspiracy theories have developed. Some of these have been recorded as early as the 18th century. Those who study these theories tend to place them into three categories. These are: political, religious and cultural.
One common conspiracy theory suggests that masons engage in devil worship. Another is the belief that mason societies are in control of national governments. Sometimes supporters of these theories will cite policies as evidence. In order to come up with such speculations the writer will usually misinterpret the doctrines of mason organisations.
Such is the scope of these conjecture based allegations that they relate to practically all aspects of society. Most of them are founded on certain assumptions. This includes the idea that freemasonry is a religion in itself and that it worships a God that is the antithesis of good.
Conspiracy theorists also base their ideas on the concept that those in masonic orders are well connected to powerful, secret government agencies. The occult plays an important role in these theories. According to conspiracy community members the rituals of masons contain a heavy amount of occult worship.
Despite anti-mason rhetoric being around for nearly 200 years these theories have become more popular in recent times. This is due to the rise of the internet. Anyone can post their ideas online without having to cite evidence. People who view these sites can sometimes be persuaded by the argument if they do not do their own independent research.
A common tactic of these websites is to use real facts and twist them to support an untrue narrative. Therefore easily influenced people should be particularly careful when reading conspiracy theories. Ideally they should only trust facts and opinions that come from legitimate, unbiased news sources.
Some conspiracy theories are easier to dismantle than others. For instance, in recent years the concept that all masons are secretly reptilian beings has been seen online. Another suggests that these societies faked the moon landings. The latter theory can be easily rebutted by using scientific research. So too can the theory that the Earth is actually flat and that masons have lied about it being a sphere. These sorts of conspiracies are so bizarre and illogical that they can be torn apart with little effort.