Ten-Second Takeaway

Ever wondered what the abandoned, beautiful grey bricked building near Sterling Cinema is all about? We decided to dig up some information about it, and it’s more than what meets the eye.

A Secret Society

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The Freemason’s Hall actually represents the centuries old secret society, the Freemasons. Though not much of it is known to the public, after almost 250 years, on their 250th anniversary, Freemasons Mumbai opened their doors to the public for the first time back in 2008. It supposedly came to Bombay in 1758 during the British Raj. Now, the building is not open to the public.

Known to be in existence since 1700s, Freemasons was pushed into the public limelight following John F Kennedy’s assassination {it was linked to the society} to Jack the Ripper {the notorious serial killer in the UK who was a Mason}. Purely hearsay, it is said the society believes in a ‘New World Order” – to infiltrate political and economic positions in the government’s across the world – something the society refutes till day. Hence, in 2008, for the first time, Freemasons in Mumbai held a press conference to put these theories to rest- as part of their outreach plan and to commemorate their 250 years in Sobo.

Anything Else?

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The membership of the society – as expected- is highly secretive and exclusive. Only the existing members can refer new members to join the society – and the existing members should’ve known the person for a long time. Women, however, are not allowed to be a part of the society – a prejudice that doesn’t help its popularity at all – not in 2016, not ever. Though women do have their own exclusive all-women Masons society.

So, We’re Saying…

At first look the Freemasons Hall looks like an ordinary, abandoned building from the British era, but the story and facts behind it are far more interesting. So, next time you cross the building, keep in mind you’re crossing a one-of its-kind secret society in Mumbai – and if you;re vigilant enough – you may catch a glimpse of the members {or so we hope}.

#LBBTip: Quite a few prominent Mumbai residents have been associated with this society, like the first CM of Bombay, Bal Gangadhar Kher and actor Ashok Kumar.

Photos: Aman Deshmukh/LBB