Oddfellows and Freemasonry

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by widows son, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Driving through my city I've noticed a number of lodges called Oddfellows. After looking them up I found a brief summary on them, but not much that is useful. Are they in any way related to freemasonry? I've seen pictures of them wearing aprons and other jewelry that resembles Masonic regalia. Is there a common origin?
     
  2. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    They are another fraternal society, but they are not related to Freemasonry at all, though the organisations in structure are fairly similar. Without having ever attended a meeting I'd also wager that they probably share a number of ideologies with us.
     
  3. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Their symbolism is identical such as the all seeing eye, the skull and cross bones and the ark of the covenant. My question is why the similarity? Did ex-masons create the Oddfellows?
     
  4. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    Not according to themselves. http://www.ioof.org/aboutus.html But the symbols you mention are ones that have been used for a very long time. In some cases thousands of years. I don't think it is that surprising than an order made during a period of enlightenment would choose to adopt them.
     
  5. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Yes I understand that but like I said I've seen pictures of them wearing regalia and aprons, and using those symbols as we do. I'm wondering at the start perhaps masons had an influence on it.
     
  6. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Thx for the link btw
     
  7. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    Ain't heard of them in years. I didn't know any were left.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    There are 2 Odd Fellows Lodges in the Houston area. The Houston Chronicle profiled them a few years back. They, like most fraternal orders, are suffering from declining membership.
     
  9. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Gonzales (pop 7200) has one. I forgot, but either the Odd Fellows or the Elks were founded by Freemasons.
     
  10. phulseapple

    phulseapple Premium Member

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    The Freemasons do not hold exclusive rights to those symbols so other groups have every right to use them as well. It is possible that men could be members of both groups.
     
  11. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Right I understand that but, they use them in the exact manner as we do, which is why I asked if masons created the oddfellows
     
  12. RHS

    RHS Registered User

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    Masonry is so ancient and meaningful that a lot of other organizations throughout time have adopted or based their ceremonies or organizations on masonic ceremonies or principles

    Just a few off the top of my head.... College fraternities, Boy Scouts' Order of the Arrow, Mormon ceremonies, Knights of Columbus, etc...
     
  13. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Ya, but their lodges are identical, their aprons are almost identical, their jewels and collars are identical, their politics seem to be the same as ours, it just seems that they are masons in all except name.
     
  14. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    I'm not sure about their rituals though, haven't been able to find any info on them
     
  15. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    One explanation for the OOF is that it originated from men of the trades that didn't have guilds. The "odd fellows", as opposed to Freemasons, carpenters, coopers, etc. I've read that earliest lodge records go back to 1730, although the federation as such goes to 1780. I have no doubt that there was a lot of drinking from the same well when it comes to symbols. From what I've seen Oddfellows symbols are more literal/allegorical than Masonic symbols, which tend to the esoteric and abstract.
     
  16. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Gotcha. I actually came across some info where it said ex masons from London started OOF
     

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