Freemason Provincial Grand Master Stephen Blank gave details of how members of the organisation enjoy themselves at dinner parties after BBC News host Simon McCoy claimed the Freemasons were a “dull bunch”.
The BBC host, known for his deadpan demeanour, read some of the rules members of the United Grand Lodge of England have to comply with to the Provincial Grand Master.
He said: “Just looking at the rules ‘there will be no talk of religion, politics or business at dinners’.
“Are you essentially a rather dull bunch?”
In an attempt to defend his and his Freemasonry fellows’ reputation, Mr Blank gave a list of activities that make their dinners “extremely” good.
He said: “We have a really good time. We have a good time because we do our ceremonies, we do our rituals by memory and we try to do a good job at it.
“And at the dinners afterwards we laugh about the mistakes that people made. We laugh about other jokes that happened.
“We have a drink or two but not too many and we have an extremely good time.
“That’s why people stay members of the organisation. They wouldn’t stay otherwise.”
The United Grand Lodge of England recently placed adverts in newspapers headlined “enough is enough”, saying it is the victim of misrepresentation.
Chief executive Dr David Staples said he had written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission about concerns its 200,000-plus members are the victims of gross misrepresentation and discrimination.
He said: “I appreciate that you may have questions about who we are and what we do, so why not ask those who know?
“Throughout our 300-year history, when people have suffered discrimination Freemasonry has embraced them into our lodges as equals.
“The United Grand Lodge of England believes that the ongoing gross misrepresentation of its 200,000 plus members is discrimination. Pure and simple.
“Our members shouldn’t have to feel undeservedly stigmatised. No other organisation would stand for this and nor should we.”