The answer to question 1 is “sort of”. Exactly what goes on in the degree ceremonies is secret. There’s lots of symbology conferred and there are secret passwords and hand signals. That said, most of not all the wives know exactly what we do in our meetings and they approve because it’s all harmless and constructive.
For question 2, yes, I get a kick out of all the ominous myths surrounding the Masons. Especially since I know that the Masons are more similar to a prayer group than a secret, scheming cabal. I find lots of opportunities to have fun with the misconceptions.