Masonry originated in Hellas, was run by women and was not a secret (no secret handshakes, signals and the like: those things were developed later on when those places were infiltrated and they wanted to keep the knowledge for themselves).

Knowledge was imparted to all who sought it from there: Masonic locations would have been the prototypes of what are now known as universities. (The only knowledge that was kept secret by the original Masons involved genetics since it could be weaponized if it got into the wrong hands.)

The square tops of graduation hats symbolize the mortarboard used by masons when building structures. The square – 4 sides – was/is very important in Masonry: 4 represents the name for God: ΘEOΣ (The Greek Origin of Freemasonry p.123-124) and the four elements – air, fire, water, earth (p.128).

I have gone into much detail about this phenomenon in the following articles that are about the Bible – the essence of the knowledge contained within it is of Masonic origin.

In The Beginning Was The Word

The Ten Commandments

God Is Light

Archaeological evidence also exists which demonstrates that Masonry was birthed in Hellas. In the following book The Greek Origin of Freemasonry, p. 10, under the heading, LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, is this paragraph: 

The following illustrations represent archaeological findings of significant Masonic meaning. They date back to, between 2000-3000 B.C., and perhaps earlier. They were not found in Egypt, nor excavated at Jerusalem. They were discovered only in Greece.

P.S. For those who have made an effort to find the book, The Greek Origin of Freemasonry, I need to offer you a word of warning: if the book you have in your possession is not the second edition (1956) version, you will most likely have a heavily edited copy that does not contain all the truth that is in the second edition. If you have a recently reprinted version of that earlier edition, it may also be compromised. I recommend that you cross reference the page numbers listed in my articles with your own books to verify whether you have the exact same edition as me. I suspect that they have already begun eliminating the primary sources as listed on p.180 under the NOTES title, and, the BIBLIOGRAPHY on p. 202.

I implore anyone who has a copy of this book in their possession, any of the primary sources listed within it, or any other document like it, to keep it all in a safe place. One day it may be needed as evidence if they ever want to discredit me, or anyone else like me.

I will now specifically address Hellenes all over the world: make whatever attempts you can to preserve this knowledge because we are the custodians of it. We are not to profit from its dissemination as it belongs to all peoples. Anyone who exploits it will pay the price as are many now because Judgment Day has finally arrived. It is best if the knowledge is not gathered in the one location as it will be far too easy for it to be stolen as it was after the so-called destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. Let’s learn from the mistakes of our ancestors who trusted the wrong people. We need to create inventive ways of spreading the True Word so that it remains with humanity for eternity.

So Mote It Be