I recently saw a show that had the premise that many of the founding fathers were Free Masons so they dictated our constitution. They implemented all our laws, and they really run things behind the scenes.
According to this show, just over one third of the delegates to the Constitutional convention were Masons so that proves that they controlled the whole proceedings and dictated the entire constitution along masonic ideas.
One third is not a quorum, and anyone who knows anything about the conflicts among the delegates, the heated debates, the impasses, and the compromises they finally worked out, would see that one third of the group could not have possibly controlled the proceedings and gotten everything their way.
I think it is entirely plausible that some of the Mason's ideas did make it into the constitution. At their meetings they debated the ideas current at the time. So the part of the show where they showed excerpts from the Masonic rulebook and compared them to passages of the Constitution is likely accurate. But the idea that they are some kind of sinister shadow government just doesn't hold water.
And theses shows never tell you what the agenda is supposed to be. The Masons, to me, seemed to be good people who were trying to do good things. I believe it is also possible to find out quite a bit about this "secret" society.
I think it is in, "War And Peace," where one of the characters joins the Masons and the readers sees some of the inside and gets a taste of some of their values. And it is good stuff.
Conspiracy people also say that Mozart was murdered because his opera, "The Magic Flute," revealed too much about the Masons. It seems actually the Masons financed the Opera to help Mozart who was in bad financial shape. And Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto, lived to a respectable old age.
The show also brought up the old bit about the one dollar bill having Masonic imagery on it. One of the talking heads on the show said that only one person on the committee to design the official seal, which appears on the dollar bill, was a Mason, Ben Franklin, and his ideas were rejected.
The images on the bill came from the 18 century version of clip art. A source that may well have been used by the masons, but by other people as well.
And what is supposed to happen when you look at the symbols? Are they supposed to hypnotize you so that you start walking toward the nearest lodge to enlist?