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Hidden Treasures: Sacred Relics of the Freemasons

Freemasonry dates to the 17th century. Its members are part of a private fraternity, and do charitable work. But the society keeps secrets, too -- men must ask to join, and symbols and rituals are used to bond members together.

At a Masonic museum in Boston -- the birthplace of American Freemasonry -- some ceremonial objects in storage are considered so sacred that most Freemasons aren't allowed to see them.

As part of an occasional series for All Things Considered -- the Hidden Treasures Radio Project -- Harriet Baskas takes a look inside the vaults of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

This story is part of the Hidden Treasures Radio Project series, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Cultural Development Authority of King County, Wash.

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