Freemasons For Dummies


Christopher L. Hodapp is the author of Freemasons For Dummies, the world's best-selling introduction to the Masonic fraternity. His Freemasons For Dummies Blog is the most widely read source of current national and international news about Freemasonry.

Chris has written for nearly twenty years about Freemasonry, fraternalism, 'secret' and secretive societies, the Knights Templar, and conspiracism.

Chris is the Associate Director of the Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana. He is a popular speaker around the world, and a frequent radio and television guest. He has been featured numerous times on NPR, History, Discovery, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and the American Heroes Channel - most recently on 'America: Fact Vs. Fiction.' He will soon be featured in 2020 on 'The Curse of Oak Island - Drilling Down' on History.


Chris lives in Indianapolis, Indiana




Perspectives On 200 years of Indiana Freemasonry

by Christopher L. Hodapp

Freemasonry crossed the frontier into the Indiana Territory along the banks of the Wabash River in 1809. It would take nine more years and the declaration of Indiana statehood before the formation of the Grand Lodge of Indiana F&AM on January 13, 1818 in Madison. Since that time, Indiana's Freemasons have been at the center of their communities, their state, and the nation.  

Heritage Endures is a different type of Masonic grand lodge history book. It frames the Hoosier state's fraternity within America's history and the outside Masonic world for the last two centuries.  Heritage Endures explores some of the most fascinating, heroic,  touching, turbulent, and a few of the most unsettling moments of Indiana's and America's Masonic history.

This book was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Indiana F&AM for its 200th anniversary. But Heritage Endures goes far beyond the borders of Indiana and tells a broader tale of Freemasonry as a fraternal and social force that has evolved and adapted to suit the times in which it has resided. It is a unique series of perspectives of the Masonic fraternity in America as a whole, using the Hoosier state's Masons and their lodges as an example of the nation's wider fraternal landscape.

"I don't know if the Grand lodge of Indiana is special, but this history is—it's well written and fascinating to read..." S. Brent Morris, Scottish Rite Journal

Click here for ordering options.


Harry S Truman: The Freemason

On April 13th, I was interviewed with fellow Freemason Clifton Truman Daniel about his grandfather, President Harry S Truman about some of the quite public Masonic events during Truman's career as a senator, vice-president, and finally as president. The online program was presented by the Grand Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the USA.

'Your Son Is My Brother' - Masonic Service Centers of WWII

During World War II, the Masonic Service Association converted 90 centrally located Masonic temples and halls into Army-Navy Masonic Service Centers across the U.S. The program was actively promoted by Missouri senator and Past Grand Master Harry S Truman. 

This video is a Power Point presentation I created in January 2020 about Truman and the Masonic Service Centers for Indiana's Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research U.D. 

Recent Work

Indiana Freemasonry and the KKK of the 1920s in 'Heredom'

My home state of Indiana was at the center of a brief but explosive mania in the 1920s, America’s involvement with the Ku Klux Klan. The total national Klan membership is thought to have reached nearly six million in 1924, and eventually encompassed 30% of Indiana's white adult male population: an estimated 250,000 at its height in the Hoosier State alone. It was perhaps inevitable that Masons and their lodges got swept up in its path.

My expanded paper, Indiana Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s appears in Volume 26 of Heredom, the 2019 collection of papers from the Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS).


What Reviewers Have said About 'Freemasons For Dummies'

“No book since John Robinson’s ‘Born In Blood’ has created more interest and excitement in Masonic circles and among the general public.” 

Carl Wilson, The Rite Recorder 

“This might be the best general book on Freemasonry any Mason or non-Mason could want.” 

Gary Dryfoos, A Page About Freemasonry 

“The book is a delight; no Masonic prudery here, no academic dry as dust chapters, no grand lodge views as determined by a camel of a committee—rather, a simple, readable style that encourages one to read on.” 

The Square Magazine

"Highly recommended, especially for the new Mason.” 

Jim Tresner, Scottish Rite Journal 

“Outside of a Masonic roast beef supper, it’s the best twenty bucks you’ll spend this year. . . I recommend you buy a couple of copies because the first one will be dog-eared in no time.” 

Stephen Dafoe, Author of Nobly Born 

“If you are new to Freemasonry and want to learn more about it but cannot stomach dusty tomes with unpronounceable titles hidden in your local libraries, ‘Freemasons For Dummies’ is for you.” 

Jose Diaz, Grand Lodge of Ohio 

“I think this book is the best thing that has happened to Freemasonry in many a moon, causing many a brother to read a Masonic book for the first time...” 

Ralph Herbald, PM, Southern California Research Lodge 

“I have enjoyed reading many portions out loud to my wife. . . She now understands more of what I hold so dear to my heart.” 

Greg Johns, Evansville, IN 

“Chris Hodapp has written a darn good book.” 

S Brent Morris, Author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Freemasonry