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Freemasonry in a Nutshell, 217sec Video.

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posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by uk_jsm
Another interesting vid involving the FreeMasons.

I saw a TV programme a while back covering a lodge in the UK and was totally amazed to see how luxurious it was. And they dont get up to much. hmmm.

I have always wondered why people who join these organisations do so. What is the innitial interest. Perhaps someone here can enlighten me.


My response earlier in this thread


Originally posted by uk_jsm
Having said that, im pretty convinced now that their days are numbered. There seems to be an awful lot of clubs within clubs, and of-course, if you exclude someone in one way or another, you seriouslly cannot expect their loyalty can you...

Nope, not for me i thinks!!!


Never has been for everyone. It isn't a club per se and any group will have individuals that click and those that don't. I can't speak for Masonry in general but certainly in my Lodge in suburban Toronto (not to mention at least one of the other two Lodges that use the same Temple) has seen a steady growth of interest from and initiations of 20 and 30-somethings in the 6 years that I've been a Mason. I think it's a demographic thing and while a large percentage of the Boomer cohort gave Masonry a pass, the Gen-Xers seem to be finding something that resonates for them within Masonry.

Just my experience. YMMV.




posted on Jan, 3 2008 @ 04:23 PM
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reply to post by uk_jsm
 


Edit: FITZ, you beat me to it!


Several people in this thread have already stated what drew them to masonry. For me, it was the best of both worlds: getting up close and personal with some interesting esoteric philosophy while concurrently getting to do some charity in the community. Yes, I could have done either of those things without masonry, but at the same time why should I if I have the option to do otherwise?

Masonry is not nearly as wealthy as an institution as it once was. I think the "golden era" of masonry where most lodges had amazing amounts of money is long gone. What exists today is a shadow of the past, in terms of material wealth.

Masonry's days are only as numbered as the days of humanity's existence are. Despite declining interest in civic groups and fraternal organizations across the board, membership in masonry is now increasing for the first time in quite a while. As for the whole "clubs within clubs" - as others have stated, there are none within masonry.

[edit on 3-1-2008 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 08:18 AM
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Originally posted by LightinDarkness


Masonry is not nearly as wealthy as an institution as it once was. I think the "golden era" of masonry where most lodges had amazing amounts of money is long gone. What exists today is a shadow of the past, in terms of material wealth.


I would have to disagree with this because it insinuates that at some point, the fraternity was wealthy. But that's really never been the case. In colonial days, Lodges didn't even own their own buildings, but met in taverns instead.

The organization has always been a non-profit institution, so has never accumulated any significant wealth. In fact, Masonic organizations have pretty much always operated at the break-even point, and many times even in the red, in order to support various charities.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 08:41 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


That brings to mind another question for me:

A while back, probably on ATS, I read that a percentage of individual Mason's earnings or a set donation was inherited (expected) by the lodge, on a regular basis, to fund events and projects.

Is there any truth in this rumour, at your lodge or any other that you are aware of?



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 09:06 AM
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reply to post by xSMOKING_GUNx
 


65 dollars a year.

That is what my dues are anyways. They change depending on the lodge. Other then you are obligated to pay nothing. If you join a Rite you add a due .. My Scottish Rite dues are I want to say $60 but I think it may actually be higher then that.

You donate depending on however much you want to give..



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by xSMOKING_GUNx
reply to post by Masonic Light
 


That brings to mind another question for me:

A while back, probably on ATS, I read that a percentage of individual Mason's earnings or a set donation was inherited (expected) by the lodge, on a regular basis, to fund events and projects.

Is there any truth in this rumour, at your lodge or any other that you are aware of?



Absolutely not.

You pay your dues and that is all that is expected. However if you want to donate to any charity that is an individual decision.

I personally try to donate to autistic causes.

Never once was I told that a % of any dollar amount has to be handed over.

Cory



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


In the US, the fraternity was very wealthy at one point. There were far more members than there are today, and the cost of dues were in line with inflation. My lodge's dues, if they kept up with inflation, would be $500 a year. They are around $60 a year right now. The buying power of a dollar has decreased while most lodges netted a loss of members for years and did not raise dues in line with inflation. This has caused us to lose the buying power we once had.

Charities can be wealthy, all they have to do is divert cash flow into long-term capital assets like buildings - which the fraternity did do during this time. There is no need to have a building where a lodge meets only once every few weeks, but many lodges have just that. Some now share, but many still have their own "private" lodge. As we have lost buying power, we have had to give up some of these buildings or rent them out.

We see case studies of this in blue lodges and the rite. See the whole "is freemasonry a religion" thread that talks about a court case that arose from the Scottish Rite trying to lease it's building out to keep up the building maintenance since membership was no longer high enough to do so.

[edit on 4-1-2008 by LightinDarkness]



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by xSMOKING_GUNx


A while back, probably on ATS, I read that a percentage of individual Mason's earnings or a set donation was inherited (expected) by the lodge, on a regular basis, to fund events and projects.

Is there any truth in this rumour, at your lodge or any other that you are aware of?



It is not necessarily expected, although several Masonic organizations have programs that allow one to contribute through an inheritance if a member so wishes to take a part in it.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by LightinDarkness


In the US, the fraternity was very wealthy at one point. There were far more members than there are today, and the cost of dues were in line with inflation. My lodge's dues, if they kept up with inflation, would be $500 a year. They are around $60 a year right now. The buying power of a dollar has decreased while most lodges netted a loss of members for years and did not raise dues in line with inflation. This has caused us to lose the buying power we once had.


I agree with your comments about Masonry not keeping up with inflation; I only disagree that Masonic organizations were once wealthy. As an accountant by profession, and having served on several Grand Lodge committees concerning finance, I've been able to make a general study of the subject, and have found that the fraternity, in and of itself, has never really had a strong bottom line.

And while it is true that there were once more members than there are today, there were also more Lodges to keep up. The decrease in membership is on a basically even ratio with the decrease in Lodge expenses, especially with more Lodge consolidations. Therefore, at least for the most part, the decrease in expenses cancels out the decrease in dues-paying members.

But, as you mentioned, I think inflation is the key. Many Lodges are still charging basically what they did in 1957 for dues. Thirty bucks per member no longer goes very far, especially when 20 of it goes to GL.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 



Out of interest; can this be an inheritance left in a Will?, and can this be set up for certain purposes like looking after siblings of the deceased for instance?



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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My blue Lodge dues are 60 a year.Lodges all around the nation are hurting from what I hear, it doesn't really seem to be the case so much in England in my experiences, I talk to a few English masons on line from time to time, but I think masonry has always been a little more influential in England.Of course, I could be wrong, maybe a few of this boards English posters will have to have the final say on that matter.But as some of our older brethren pass on, there aren't an equal number joining to take their place by far.Lately though I have noticed an increase in say 28-40 year old men joining at least at my lodge and some other near ones, and I have heard others say the same.I try to donate to Lodge when I can, as the vast majority of our membership is of retirement age and on fixed incomes.I don't think that there is any grave threat to Freemasonry in the near future.Some Lodges have been joining together in one building and abandoning their individual lodges, but Freemasonry's teaching and charity will always be available for those who seek it.

If I pass on, I am sure I would will something to the Lodge, but it is in no means a necessity or obligation of the members to do so.It would be more of me putting something back into an organization that caused me to evaluate myself internally and strive to become a more selfless and caring individual, and I could never financially match the good that Masonry has done me as an individual, I feel that I am forever indebted for the personal growth that has come from being a mason.

On an off note, I am glad that the discourse of this post is so civil, I think that a lot of people who had some questions are getting open answers, and it is wonderful anytime that we are afforded a chance to learn about any subject.Nice work to all who have posted.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:18 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


What is GL?

And why do they take a two thirds of these due's?



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:26 AM
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Masonic Light, do most lodges still pay Tylers? I think ours gets 15 or 20 dollars a year I'm not sure but its pretty low.I always tease our Tyler and tell him he's only in it for the money, and ask him if he built the addition to his house yet.

Do you know historically, masonically (sp?) why the Tyler was decided to be a paid position?



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:26 AM
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GL is the Grand Lodge, every state has one.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by xSMOKING_GUNx
reply to post by Masonic Light
 


What is GL?

And why do they take a two thirds of these due's?


Grand Lodge.

GL charges each Lodge X number of dollars for each member per year. The individual Lodge establishes a fixed amount of dues each member must pay per year in its By-Laws.

If Lodges have no other source of income, then it must use the net income of dues after GL fees in order to cover expenses for the entire year. Obviosly, if a Lodge charges $30 a year for dues, and has to pay GL $20, it's not going to have enough, so there will have to be some serious fundraising events planned.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by masonica_esoterica
Masonic Light, do most lodges still pay Tylers? I think ours gets 15 or 20 dollars a year I'm not sure but its pretty low.I always tease our Tyler and tell him he's only in it for the money, and ask him if he built the addition to his house yet.


It varies. My Lodge pays him $50.00 per year, plus $5.00 per meeting he attends. The Secretary and Treasurer also receive salaries.


Do you know historically, masonically (sp?) why the Tyler was decided to be a paid position?


Traditionally, it was the duty of the Tiler to keep the building and grounds clean, so he had to do a decent amount of work.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


I agree. There is no grand lodge or sitting pretty right now. Most of the wealth displays I have seen are not from grand lodges, usually from individual lodges.

Perhaps wealthy is not the right term - maybe the the illusion of wealth is. Shifting dues toward investments in capital assets gives the physical illusion of having money, even though in many cases there was no long term endowment set up for the maintenance of these buildings and dues were not raised to keep up.

By the way, do you know if any of the grand lodges are involved in any long term strategic planning? That is one thing that I think many GL's could benefit from.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by masonica_esoterica
It would be more of me putting something back into an organization that caused me to evaluate myself internally and strive to become a more selfless and caring individual, and I could never financially match the good that Masonry has done me as an individual, I feel that I am forever indebted for the personal growth that has come from being a mason.


If it is not to personal, would you be willing to elaborate on how being a Mason has made you evaluate yourself and aided you with your personal growth?

I will understand totaly if you would prefer to keep own beliefs to youself, no pressure, but I am genuinely interested.

Regards.



posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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No its not really necessarally an intrusive question, it is just one that is really hard to answer.I guess a good metaphor would be being in love, when you are in love you know it, and it is strong and deep and emotional, but suppose that someone who had no understanding of love, maybe had only heard of it conceptually asked you to describe love to them.How could you accurately undertake such a task and frame the beauty,depth, and complexity of love in words?How can you describe an emotion or feeling?That is the sort of difficulty that I would face in answering such a question.

I suppose that I have always felt detached from society to an extent.Material items have never had much meaning to me, matters of the soul, righteousness, conduct, integrity, etc always have held much more sway with me than how much is ( or isn't may be more in order :-P ) in my bank account for example.It does bother me constantly that I feel that society as a whole is lacking and missing something.Not so much in a theological manner, even though I have the utmost respect for all religions, regardless of my personal interpretations of them or belief structure, I realize that anything that mankind uses to grow spiritually that imparts sound moral and ethical teachings is beneficial.But as a culture I feel that so many people have lost the realization that we are one in the same all of us, every person has the same drives, passions, and needs.

The community should be the building block of society, but how many people today don't know their neighbor?How many of us strain to buy items that we don't really need, and drive ourselves into debt for things that won't matter when we are buried.I guess what I really get out of the teachings of Freemasonry is a sense of centeredness or groundedness, and a reminder of what it is in life that truly matters, and that society in general is due my care,respect,and understanding, even when they don't act in accordance to ethical principles, and even if someone's actions are negative or abysmal, they are due my kindness, because the spark of the creator is in every man and woman, so in respect to that, everyone deserves my kindness, compassion, time,advice, and charity if I am within means to help them.

It is also nice to go to a place where other people are trying to uphold high moral and ethical principals that is a secular organization.I would hope most churches have the same transcenency to them, though I realize that sadly even in churches some people are only taking up space not seeking the deeper meaning of divinity and walking a life of faith.It's really hard to describe what or how I changed, but the degrees, and the kindness of my brethren really caused me to examine myself, and to realize that my actions were further in need of rectitude as I was now representing everyone's opinions on Masonry in general if they knew little of it by how i interact with them.Also it is hard to go into describing changes without going into the rituals, and even if you manage to find a copy online that is legitimate, and read it, it pales in comparison with actually going through them.

I hope this comes close to answering your question without being to esoteric in nature.



posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by masonica_esoterica
 


Thank you.

That is realy quite profound, I can realise the atraction to Masonary for you.

I am interested to hear from others if they are willing to open up, I realise that this is quite a personal point and will totaly understand if you would rather not.

Regards.




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