Secret societies are great material for bestselling novels like the The Da Vinci Code, but the reality for groups like the Freemasons is that fewer people these days are interested in their secrets and in New Zealand membership is at an all time low.
There were almost 47,000 members at its peak in the 1960s, now there are fewer than 11,000.
The Grand Master of New Zealand Freemasonry, Stan Barker, says although new members are joining, they can't compete with the number dying or the time-pressures of today.
"I guess I could say that my father probably would never change a nappy in his life," he says. "No young man with a family's going to: get away with that nowadays."
The decline is despite a spike in numbers when the Freemasons, known for their charitable work and donations, tried to raise their profile by inviting the public and the media into lodge meetings in 2004 .