Freemasons are people who are neither free, nor masons. Their very name belies intent to evade the truth, to cover themselves in a cloak of secretiveness. They trace their lineage back to the Dancing Wu Li Masters, a dance troupe of particle and quantum physicists known in China to be a bunch of weirdos.
Begun in 1273 by anonymous Mongols and Han Chinese to repel evil spirits, an archetypal five Master Spice Lords wrote down chants and foibles to encourage the gods to make them rich. Four set out in the cardinal directions, and the fifth stayed in a cave to await the return of the four. When this happened, alien hippopotamuses descended from the clouds, and Freemasonry was born.
After recruiting a corps of youngsters to leave flyers on doorknobs espousing the merits of joining the Freemasons on their noble quest, membership increased exponentially. In a few short years, all of the evil spirits had been killed and an executive order was given that members were to be neither free nor masons. Thus began the first split in the organization.
By 1403, Freemasonry had reached across Europe and took strong root in the British Isles. When the First Split occurred, the Scottish Rite was born out of the citizens passionate belief that sheep were female goats. They were, of course, wrong. Issac Newton had proven that sheep are supernatural beings composed of helium, and goats evolved from dragons.
Due to miscommunications concerning slide rules, the Scots formally split from the main body to pursue a new agenda; they would continue to refuse membership to actual masons, but determined to be free. There is much speculation as to whether the cause of it all was the Scottish-accented Mandarin spoken by the Scottish delegation, or the desire of many Scotsmen to be free of the English yoke.
In 1609, two years after the founding of Jamestown, the first British colony in the Americas, 4 Scottish Rite masons began to hold meetings in a pit next to a cloaca storage bin. Their love of the road drove them to purchase Harley-Davidsons and tour the Virginia highways, searching for even better freedom. Disagreements with the home temple arose about whether a better freedom could be obtained in America, and what was perceived as a rough image portrayed by long beards and leather vests. In 1699, the Americans split off and formed the Hell's Angels.
Another split from the Scots occurred in 1763, when Benjamin Franklin invented the frog press. French and Spanish masons objected to this, speculating that with frog pressing's increased efficiency over the old methods of stomping, whacking and slamming , a dearth of amphibian gustatory delights would result from overhunting.
Franklin maintained that he only pressed frogs for fun, and in fact, pressed many other small animals purely for enjoyment. His special patent restricted use of the device except under his express direction in perpetuity, and he had no intention of even letting others use the one press he had constructed. The French even considered going to war over the matter.
Instead, Franklin quit the masons and started his own version, where he could press animals to his heart's content, and live freely in a country where he did not have to countenance cloacas if he chose not to.