“Freemasonry, along with its simpler, more personal and more connected way of living, is on the brink of extinction,” says photographer Jamie Kripke. Despite being one of the world’s oldest and most well known fraternal organizations, the Freemason’s membership numbers are on the decline. While there may be a few factors as to why this is happening, there is no denying that the secrecy surrounding the organization itself plays a huge role. Masons blatantly combat myths founded by conspiracy theorists claiming cult ties and a “new world order” agenda, but the stigma remains. Generally speaking, Freemasonry is a philanthropic institution that aims to serve the general public through means of giving back to the community, donating upwards of $2 million a day in the U.S. alone. Recently, the group has changed its mentality towards outsiders - offering more information and insight to those interested in hopes of strengthening member recruitment. Kripke steps through the doors and into the Masonic Lodge to give us a peek into the world of Freemasonry.
Text by Jordan Felix