Yet, within the fevered imaginations of some, often those who also buy into conspiracy theories and Bigfoot sightings, how relevant are they in our modern society? Decades ago, being a Mason was viewed by some in the immigrant communities as a way to 'buy in' to the American dream of upward mobility or class mobility in some parts of Europe. But since the end of the second world war, the membership and influence of Masons has diminished considerably. Seriously, how many of you really know of any serious Masons under the age of sixty? Just how 'secret' can a 'secret' society remain in today's world of the internets, Facebook, iPhones etc.... In town and city after town and city one can find underutilized or abandoned buildings which once housed large clubs of Masons, Scottish Rite temples, Kalurah temples etc..etc... - in downtown Binghamton, NY, my hometown, the sturdy, size of a city block 1930's Temple has been vacant since I was in high school in the 1970's and is a decrepit, falling apart hulk. The equally large Kalurah temple in town, which once showcased boxing matches, basketball tournaments and circuses has been an Assembly of God church for as long as I can remember going back to the 1960's.
Here in the South, every small, population-600 town has a closed-down Masonic lodge made up of cheap brick or cinderblock.
Locally, the Masons and Eastern Star are little more than a social club for the black community.
I do know a couple of Masons/Eastern Star members in their late-20s/early-30s, but both view it as a sort of cultural oddity they participate in to make their grandparents happy.
I have wondered more than once what it is about Orthodox message boards that seem to attract the Masonic conspiracy wingnuts.