There are many different groups, evangelical and fundamentalist Christian groups, conspiracy theorist, self proclaimed moralist all screaming that secrecy is evil and nothing good need remain a secret. Now for the Christian groups claiming such, never mind that the most ancient translations of the Bible provide that Jesus taught his disciples “secrets” and his “secret” teachings such as in Matthew 13, “The disciples came to him and asked, ‘Why do you speak to the people in parables?’ He replied, ‘The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.’”
This country was formed because of the secret meetings of likeminded men working together for change to bring freedom to the people from under an oppressive king. The Underground Railroad operated in secret to remove men, women, and children from the bondage of slavery. There are a number of instances throughout history, when clearly; the protections of secrecy are evident. Yet, we have our detractors claiming that nothing “good” need be done in secret.
Here is what they are missing. Secrecy breeds trust and courage. There are many reasons we may love our spouses, but believing we can share anything with them is an important aspect to a healthy relationship. The idea that your closest companion will not share your private moments with anyone else is what allows you to trust them. The idea that we can trust them gives of the courage to share with them. This is the basis of the secrecy of Masonry.
In a world where everyone cannot line up fast enough to share their deepest, darkest moments on television for all to see, when peoples most intimate moments end up as the next video download on the Internet, when you share with a friend and before you leave the room, the information has been text messaged or e-mailed to someone not intended to hear it, Masonry teaches the value of a secret.
When the leaders of the Church claim there should be no secrecy, what they are really claiming is that they fear they would not be able to manipulate information if they did not have access to it. The Earth being round was a secret because the Church locked up the men who professed the hard science behind it. That man can attain inner peace without the intervention of a man in a white robe still needs to be a secret in some circles less you are ostracized in your local church community.
Sometimes we forget how valuable closing our mouths and keeping them that way can be. Listening is often an unintended consequence of maintaining secrecy and, low and behold, we even learn something here and there.
Lastly, trust and courage are the ingredients of faith. There would be no birth of faith without the establishment of secrecy.
The power of the secret is the power of faith.