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New Freemason, having some doubts

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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:35 PM
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reply to post by Remmyjones
 


Man... This dude is DESPERATE to berate the masons, eh?

Anyways... On topic... My father, who just ran for a local political office, and I met a whole heck of a lot of Mason's and Shriner's for the first time. After interacting with these groups (they invited all Candidates and Staff to BBQ's etc. as a meet and greet for their members) We have BOTH (he's 50... I'm 25) decided we are interested in being Masons and well as Shriners.

Yes... There are a LOT of power players in these groups... But the misconception comes from people believing they recieved their power AFTER joining these groups. The exact opposite is NORMALLY true. Masons are a great organization; they donate (support and RUN) a LOT of local charities...
Mainly for the benefit of the poverty stricken families in this community.

These people aren't power hungry... or evil... They're powerful (or friends with powerful people in the community) people with time on their hands. What better way to kill some time then organize in secret and utilize your resources to help those in need in the community?

I want to clarify... my father and I have YET to join (not a lot of free time right now), but are definitely interested... And we were of the perspective that Masons were evil until we meet with the honorable respectable groups.
So while things I say are not 100% precise, it is the opinion of a former Mason basher, that this group is not bad... AT ALL.

However... If what the OP said is true... I would NEVER return to that lodge again... I know the BBQ's we attended had ABSOLUTELY NO questionable discussions or content.




posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:37 PM
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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by Drillworld
 


I am amazed that someone can be filled with such levels loathing and hatred for millions of people as a group who do nothing but hold closed door meetings to build social capital and give 1 million dollars a day to charity. It seems unfathomable, but then I am reminded that so often, people choose to hate and loathe those things which they cannot or will not understand. I guess it simply infuriates some people that - sometimes - there really is no conspiracy. But no matter how much hatred, loathing, and screaming you do - you won't change reality.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:20 PM
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Intrepid, thanks for handling this guy in such short time. It would seem that this person has tried to register several times today and posting, but his posts are so obnoxious that he keeps getting banned. I dont know, but anyone with that much hatred, well, I guess all I can do is pray for them.

Back to topic: I do have a question for the Masons here: Why the secrecy? I'm not against secrecy, just wondering why the Masons aren't supposed to share some things, like the handshake. Is it so that you can recognize a real Mason from a pretender? I'm sure there's a good reason, I'm just curious.
THank you.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:24 PM
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posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:30 PM
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reply to post by forestlady
 


While we, as modern Masons, practice what is known as Speculative Masonry at one time our Ancient Brethern practised what is known as Operative Masonry. They were the builders of the cathederals of Europe among other constructs. At that time a person typically was born, lived and died in the same town without ever traveling from it. The stonecutters however had the ability, because of their skill, to travel from place to place to exercise their skill as requested.

This lead to it becoming somewhat secretive in nature as the skills acquired were passed down from master to apprentice and jealously guarded. Modes of recognition were established for this guild and that practice carries on today, if only out of tradition.

Sadly, all of our modes of recognition and passwords are available online or in publications so they no longer are truly 'secret'. A true Mason however could detect an 'imposter' in short notice by how that person presents himself and answers Masonically related questions.

There is much, much more to our history than what I answered above but that is a very brief summation that is believed by many of the Brethern to be accepted. Hope this helps answer some of your questions.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by AugustusMasonicus]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by forestlady
 




Why the secrecy?


That is the number one question eh?

You have to look at from a different perceptive, and put the word "secret" under scrutiny. Everyone knows our rituals, what we do.. but we don't talk about it. It is ... Taboo.. you could say. Its disrespectful to hear a Mason talk to non Masons about degrees and what is said and so on.. not that "no one can ever know" because God knows its out there all over the net. Its a matter of tradition, respect, and honestly a little privacy.

There is no reason why monthly activities such as paying bills would interest anyone anyways, the only reason it seems people want to know is self insecurity and nosiness. "We are not a secret society, but a society with secrets" .. And if we held these secrets as truly being information only the elite should know, like some think, we wouldn't allow open membership as long as you know someone, and open the doors to lodges to the public on some occasions. Eventually the women in our lives (took my fiancee a while) get used to it and understand that we are not doing "something" behind these closed doors that would EVER be questionable if it where done in public. Just privacy from the outside, fast paced world.



the handshake.


I don't use the handshake to shake everyones hand.. a lot of times you can tell who is a Mason and who is not just by judging their character.. but if everyone knew the Masonic handshake, it could be exploited.. for instance going into a job interview and expect some kind of special treatment or something because you know the hand shake. People are shallow like that. But also, when we shake hands and isntantly recognize eachother as Brothers.. well I assure you I have met people while out of town that I never would have carried much of a conversation with, but the unity allows a flood gate of conversation, especially comparing lodges and practices.

Some people also use an actual ritual that can be done in public.. ask a question, get a specific response. That is my favorite way simply because I find it fun.


But if someone DOES know the handshake and uses it with a Mason.. the Mason will realize in a matter of 10 seconds if the guy really is one or not.

So. It serves a purpose.

We don't consider ourselves special, above any one or hold preferences to Masons over non Masons. Just a .. commonality between two people.

Hope that answered your question Lady.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:47 PM
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Thanks Rockpuck, that makes perfect sense. I can also see how people would take something out of context and erroneously point to it as an example of...whatever - another good reason not to tell everyone about everything the Masons are about.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by LightinDarkness
...1 million dollars a day to charity...


Can we please either show something to back this up or stop touting this figure?

I've heard a lot of Masons use it but I've never seen anyone show it. Frankly it shouldn't matter if it were $1,000,000 a day or $100.


From the article "Laudable Pursuit" published by the Knights of the North.

The figure that Masons donate $2 million a day to charity is ten years out of date, and intellectually dishonest, since three quarters of that figure are from the Shrine alone. We need to stop promoting ourselves on the coattails of the Shrine’s philanthropy.

Masters need to stress to their members that they need to look inward. Plow snow-covered sidewalks for the Lodge widows. Fund a playground for the local park. Take up a collection for the neighbor whose house burned down. Wrap up the leftovers from a degree dinner and take them to an older shut-in member or widow. Or just pay a brother's dues for him when he's down on his luck. Charity does not just mean money. Our personal time is much harder to give, and therefore, more precious.


I agree, and I think that we do ourselves a disservice when we try to bolster our positions by (for want of a better word) "bragging" about how much money Masons donate to charity.

That's not what Masonry is about; it's about you changing YOU, not anyone else. By virtue of that change, philanthropy and helping your fellow man is a natural progression.

The Oak - This is something to think about when you ask your lodge: "what do we do for charity?" It's not all giving money to official charities and hospitals -- not to detract from those, but I think you see my point.

~Sorry for the hijack~



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by kozmo
Reply to all Masons...

So, instead let us simply celebrate the fellowship of mankind and all strive to be better people regardless the mechanism chosen to accomplish such a mission. Fair enough?


Kozmo, that sounds like a good idea. I can see by all the recent deleted posts that this thread has taken a turn for the worse.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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Not to worry. Methinks Intrepid and company have things well-in-hand. The posts had nothing whatever to do with the thread and seemed to be of a decidedly angry bent



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
~Sorry for the hijack~


Yes, that is quite the hijack as the point was simply the main point of what we do is charity. The number is MUCH more than that since time has passed. I do not need to go through the GRAND LODGE (not SHRINE) financial statements for all 50 lodges to know that Masons give in excess of that much money per day. If you wish to dispute this fact, the burden of proof is on you.

It is quite obvious by looking at the financial records of any grand lodge, which I just googled and looked at a few. Combine those disbursements with all of the rites, and its even more. Combine that with the fact that MILLIONS of masons donate their personal money to charity (I know I do), and the number is much higher.

If you simply took the percent of all Americans that give money to charity and their average amount and used that amount on the number of masons, it would be huge. In fact it would be larger, since masons join the organization often due to its charity efforts, so a higher percent would actually be giving and they would be giving more.

If I wanted to brag, I'd do some research and tell you how many multiple millions it is. I'm not going to do the research, because I don't really care to brag - if you'd like to argue about it, however, I certainly will.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by The Oak
 


So Oak...have you found a lodge that looks better than the one you are at?



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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I would like to think everybody for posting on this thread, both negative and positive. After my meeting I was having some doubts, but all my questions were answered on this thread. I got the affirmation I was looking for from all the kind words from the brothers that posted and look forward to learning more and more.

ForestLady, you post seemed real articulate and thoughtful. If women could be a mason, you would be an asset to the craft.

On that note I was wondering why women are not allowed to be masons??? I know there is the order of the Eastern Star (sorry if that isn't right wording), but why has women been excluded from the freemasons. Does anyone see this changing? My personal opinion: I think it is a holder from times when women were thought of as somehow less than equal. Same situation with women not being Catholic priests. I could be way off in that opinion though as of yet I know far to little about freemasonry to formulate an educated opinion.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by The Oak
 


Ay, so it has - taken a turn for the worst that is. As always though you can count on the Mods to handle that in short order!


Hey, I just want to apologize to all I might have offended with my remarks regarding Masonry. After re-reading my postings of 2 days ago I can certainly see where you would intepret such words as hatred.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I do not hate Masons, I do not hate Masonry per se - but I do hate secretive mechanisms in general as I have found secrecy rarely yields results for those not "in" on the secret. After reading many of the carefully posted introspects posted by Masons on this thread I think I understand better the personal aspects of your membership and the importance of it's role in your lives. Perhaps I have been too judgemental and have allowed my sweeping generalizations to cloud my ability to realize that what is important to one may not be to another - and for that I am truly sorry. Please accept my apologies.

If anything this thread has taught me to stop and attempt to understand - fully - the perspective of others prior to offering my own opinion or criticism. As understanding that perspective may often help me to reshape my own. Thank you for that as it has helped me grow.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:23 PM
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I would like to thank everybody for posting on this thread, both negative and positive. After my meeting I was having some doubts, but all my questions were answered on this thread. I got the affirmation I was looking for from all the kind words from the brothers that posted and look forward to learning more and more.

ForestLady, you post seemed real articulate and thoughtful. If women could be a mason, you would be an asset to the craft.

On that note I was wondering why women are not allowed to be masons??? I know there is the order of the Eastern Star (sorry if that isn't right wording), but why has women been excluded from the freemasons. Does anyone see this changing? My personal opinion: I think it is a holder from times when women were thought of as somehow less than equal. Same situation with women not being Catholic priests. I could be way off in that opinion though as of yet I know far to little about freemasonry to formulate an educated opinion. (I didnt do a search to see if this question is answered in another thread, if it please just disregard)

Did some research on the female question, and found many threads that delved into that topic. I guess you can forget the question or if it is Ok with the mods we could rehash it again here. Many of the threads are older and maybe some new members will have a new perspective.
[edit on 14-12-2007 by The Oak]

[edit on 14-12-2007 by The Oak]



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by LightinDarkness
 


Easy brother ..

The Blue Lodges in America do NOT donate a million a day. I believe this was probably what he was saying. I know my Grand Lodge doesn't even have enough in its account to last 2 weeks at a million a day, and our largest single charity event only raises a few hundred thousand.

The Shrine donates the most, with an operating income somewhere in the hundreds of million a year.. they donate extensively.. they are Masons, so technically you could say Masons donate a million a day. The Grand Lodges them selves.. do not. At least like Axe said, I have never seen documented proof the GL's donate that much.

My state has one of the highest population of Masons (if not thee highest) in America, and our contribution to a million a day is menial.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


Great post. Thank you for being open-minded. Your post deserved a star at the very least.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by The Oak
 




On that note I was wondering why women are not allowed to be masons???


Because we are a fraternity. Women can join the non-fraternal order of Mason called Co-Masons.

Sometimes I wonder if we could benefit more people by allowing women in, but an institution as ingrained in tradition as we are that wont happen.

If women really truely wanted to be Masons, we would have seen Co-Masonry take off .. but it hasn't in the US. I hear in France there are far more Co-Masonic lodges, but then again French women have always known their place and made it their own. I don't see it taking off in America though.



posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:29 PM
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I believe that these groups on the whole are very good folks. On e sopuld never let a couple bad apples affect your image of an entire group. Nothing in freemasonry is hidden or secret except the method of greeting and of course the real boring stuff, but its better to pump it up some and push the boring idea to the back burner.

The beliefs of masonry are available for anyone to read at the MasterMason site although they are very clear that only a portion of masons actualy accept the beliefs.

I would not hesitate to join but I just don't have that kind of time on my hands. Possibly when i'm older.



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