Although the Freemasons number over six million members worldwide, they are a very secretive organization. the general public today thinks of them as a social fraternity like the Rotary Club, but that is hardly the whole truth. By mysterious coincidence, it seems, many Masons have been major figures in modern history. many of the Founding Fathers of the United States—including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere—were Freemasons. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian freedom fighter, was also one, as were the composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and writers François Marie Arouet de Voltaire and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Meaning of Masonry explores the beliefs behind the order, its cryptic rites and symbols, and uncovers its ultimate purpose.