"Freemasons Rule the World"
Fiction - Freemasonry has never been about controlling the world. The mission of the Masonic Order is to promote religious freedom, the betterment of society, learning, self-improvement, good deeds and charitable work which benefits those in need. Just because many important men - sometimes famous for groundbreaking and historical work - were or are Freemasons, does not mean that the fraternity controls the world.
"You need to be asked to join the Masons"
Fiction - This cannot be further from the truth. In fact, throughout most of our history, it has been forbidden in solicit membership to others. Only recently have these rules loosened up slightly. To be one, ask one.
"Freemasons had a hand in the founding of America"
Fact - Although it's hard to say just how much of a hand the fraternity had in the founding of the United States, the evidence of its presence during the early history of our great country is undeniable. 13 - or one third - of all the men that signed the Declaration of Independence were Masons, including William Ellery, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Thomas McKean, Robert Treat Paine, Richard Stockton, George Walton, and William Whipple.
"Masonic Rituals Involve Paddles & Torture"
Fiction - There is little that can be told of our rituals to non-masons. However, it can be said in confidence that our rituals do not promote any sort of "hazing" or "paddling". Rather, our rituals are very respectful and honorable, and as a fraternity we take pride in our rituals.
"Most U.S. Presidents Were/Are Freemasons"
Fiction - Just 14 of them.
Freemasonry Fact of Fiction?
With Freemasonry being such a large fraternity, and with so many important and historically relevant men who are Freemasons, the craft has more than its fair share of rumors and misconceptions about it.