posted on Jan, 16 2006 @ 07:48 PM
I'm not fishing for congratulations, pats on the back, or anything like that, so please bear with me. I've read this site for a long time, but never
felt like I had anything substantial to contribute. Now, I think I do.
I know three Masons (I imagine that I know more, but am not aware of their affiliation). The first was my grandfather - a good, upstanding, honest man
that I have always considered my hero. Even though I grew up mostly in my grandparent's home, I only learned of his membership a few years ago, when
he died. We found masonic stuff amongst his estate belongings. This doesn't surprise me, as my grandmother was the type of die-hard Catholic that
would have frowned on the Masons if anyone religious ever denounced the group. She also frowned on rock music, and roleplaying and video games. My
grandfather was not a religious man. In his younger days, he was Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout troop, and Advisor for an Explorer Post (the older kid
version)... probably a reason that I got involved in the scouts. A truly upstanding man.
The second Mason, I've known for about twenty years. He was an executive within the local Boy Scout district, big into community service, and an
advisor for the Scouting service honor society. We realized a long time ago that we shared a common interest (roleplaying games), and became friends.
He introduced me to the convention circuit, and probably helped shape my career interests as a result. He advised the Explorer Post that I helped
found, and later advised myself.
The third Mason, I met last year. He is also a gamer, and convention attendee, and likes simple pleasures like hanging out at the bar and having a few
drinks with the guys. It’s hard to get to know someone in just a year, but he seems to be a decent human being with good intentions. He’s
politically active in the local lodge.
Now, a little about me: I’m a late-20’s male. I live in the town I grew up in. I had a 4.0 GPA in high school, was a member of the National Honor
Society and the community service club. I got 1600 on the SATs. I attended an Ivy League school. I was a Cub Scout, and went all the way through the
ranks to Eagle Scout. I was a member and then advisor for an Explorer Post. I’ve been happily married to my college sweetheart for four years. I
work as a Forensic Consultant. I was raised a Roman Catholic, but evolved into a Hobbsian Deist. I’m a published author, I help administer a
world-wide RPG campaign, and I work gaming conventions as an unpaid volunteer. I have a dog, and hate my wife’s cat. I like single-malt scotch
(straight up) and red ale, and am quite fond of nine ball at the local pool hall.
So, in summary: I think I’m a pretty well-adjusted, intelligent, upstanding guy with good intentions. Every Mason I know seems to be of the same
I’ve done my homework, read all of the accusations and rebuttals, read the official statements and the anti-masonic stuff. I decided to join the
local lodge. And here is what I can offer: a step-by-step account of what I’ve found, as it happens. If I am told that something is for no one
else’s ears, I will keep it secret, but will mention its existence. So, here we go:
In November, I told Mason #3 that if Masonry was similar to how Masonry describes itself, then I was interested in joining.
In mid-December, that friend handed me a blue form, and asked me to fill it out. It asked for my name, address, whether I had applied before, and for
two recommending members. I was told that it didn’t matter if I could produce two names, but that it would help. He offered to be name one.
A few days later, I contacted Mason #2, asking for a second recommendation. He was ecstatic, and said he was honored that I would ask. He also said
that he would drive several hours (he’s moved from the area) to attend anything that went on.
In late-December, I handed in my blue form to Mason #3, as he was heading off to a lodge meeting. Two days later, I got a phone call from the lodge
secretary, who wanted to schedule an interview in my home. We decided on the next evening.
The next evening, three gentlemen (one, I’d say younger than myself, and two older) showed up at my home in business suits. They earned brownie
points with me early on – I mentioned I had a dog, in case of allergies, and they showed interest in her (most non-friend visitors go “a dog, ho
hum, whatever”). They asked my wife to stay for this interview. They read some boilerplate warning me that the organization was not a religion,
cult, employment provider, business opportunity, insurance policy, or burial service, and that if I was expecting to get one of those sorts of
benefits then I was to be disappointed. They told me all about the order – honestly, I didn’t learn anything new… it was the same stuff one can
find on the fraternity’s official sites. They only said one thing regarding religion – ‘Do you believe in God?’ They were friendly, and spoke
very… humanly. There was an aspect of comic relief between two of them. As they prepared to leave, they asked if I wouldn’t mind letting them see
One thing bothered me a bit – I asked what degree of politics runs through the lodge, and they said ‘None.’ I know that is not completely true,
as I’ve heard my other Mason friends mention a brother filing charges against some brother, and cliques within the lodge… no different than any
other group of people. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t expect someone advertising a club to mention petty things like that.
Two weeks later, I got a letter in the mail – I had been voted upon, and selected to receive the three Masonic degrees. I am to show up at 6:30pm
this Friday at the local lodge, in formal attire, to become an Entered Apprentice. Tonight, I got a courtesy call from the secretary, making sure I
could make it. He said to say hello to my dog for him.
More to follow, as it happens…