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Is the internet causing a resurgence in Masonry?

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posted on May, 20 2008 @ 05:32 PM
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"For a time it looked as if Masonry was going into a sharp decline, if not the death throes," said UCLA history professor Margaret C. Jacob, who has written extensively about the fraternal order. "But it looks like it may be making a comeback."

That's because the Freemasons, whose tenets forbid soliciting or recruiting members, have enthusiastically embraced the Internet as a way to leverage curiosity about an organization with its roots in Europe's medieval stonemasons guilds. Freemasonry today sees itself as a thinking man's salon, a learned society with a philanthropic bent.

"We had a record number of new members last year," said Allan Casalou, grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of California. "We added 2,000 men, which is the most since 1998 and our seventh straight year of membership increases."

LA Times Article


Similar to this lodge my own lodge is experiencing a huge resurgence in membership and the majority of it is men in their twenties. We have such a preponderance of persons to initiate that we are currently scheduling degrees for early in 2009, and this is with the addition of numerous Emergent meetings to handle the load.

While I do feel that our website has helped, I do not feel it is the sole reason for the amount of petitioners. I honestly feel that it is a sense of commradeire and a seeking of spirituality that compels these young men to ask a friend to recommend them to Masonry. The enthusiasm which this has casued in our lodge has carried over to the rest of our district and it seems this has lead to a further renewed interest in Freemasonry.

What are the experiences of others? Does anyone agree with the article and feel that this broad based climb in membership is internet related or is it endemic of other more deeply rooted social and spiritual issues?




posted on May, 20 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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I'm sure a mod will come along and want to move this thread, as it's not specifically conspiracy oriented. But I'll go ahead and reply while it's here, since this is the only board I'm paid to patrol.


The internet is the epitome of democratic publishing. Anyone can have a blog for free and spout whatever they want, true or false, well researched or pulled out of their collective * and all have the same accessibility. Similarly the preponderance of YouTube videos that could be made on something as low-fi as a cell phone can be viewed right next to trailers for the next big Hollywood blockbuster.

So the internet has changed the field in big ways. One result of that is anti-Masons being able to get their ideas more widely spread. Look at Freight Tomsen's post history promoting his own self-published book. There is so much more noise, it can be difficult identifying the signal. Insert needle + haystack metaphor here as well.

This leaves people who question those theories, people who see the outrageous claims of reptilian cabals in positions of power, and they want to do their own research into these claims. That might lead them to the relatively few Masonic bloggers and other sources of actual Masonic information on the web.

In that regard, the internet has helped shine a light through the darkness of hatred.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Geez Josh let the cat out of the bag, why don't you. Now everyone will know the truth, that cutbothways is realy an agent for the High Level Mind Controling Masons. That he puts forth his silly arquements so that they can be swatted down by other masons on the board, thus showing the greater masonic intellect.

The clock has started, how long until we hear from cutbothways?????

[edit on 20-5-2008 by lost in the midwest]



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:29 PM
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reply to post by lost in the midwest
 


I really wanted to make up a conspiracy for this thread, just to make sure it stays here, but, you know... I actually try to honor the T&C when they say

You will not post any material that is knowingly false, misleading, or inaccurate.
I know, I know. Crazy, huh?

I mean, I could speculate that Al Gore, who invented the internet, must be a Mason and that every IP packet is going through the All Righteous Supreme Uber-Council of World Domination and Funny Hats, where 5234° Masons sift through every post and repeat the good stuff to their masters (who are High Level Masons).

But I don't know if that would float (or if it should be flushed...)



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Are you implying that the internet, and the fact that many conspiracy theories are available therein, is casuing people who may be on the fence regarding Masonry to take it upon themselves to find the truth? That is an interesting tact and one that I did not consider.

I still feel the majority of petitioners do so because of a desire for fullfillment which is otherwise lacking, be it spirtual or communal.

[edit on 20-5-2008 by AugustusMasonicus]



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:32 PM
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Well truth be know I did post is jest, but the more I think about it, I wonder, it kind of makes sense in a way. It would explain why all of the sudden there are so many old threads being reopen. Nah can't be. Your right Josh I should know better.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Well, it was the internet that sparked your thread, so it was the tact I was going to defend. Sure, you could go off on a number of tangents:

  • poor education in the school systems leaving people to find truth for themselves
  • general unease with the morality of the country and the state of affairs in the world

Or maybe take the global village approach and say that as more diverse cultures and opinions are more readily available to outsiders, insular people might be more likely to question what they were taught and explore other possibilities they never imagined with a more open mind.

Who can say for certain?



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus
reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Are you implying that the internet, and the fact that many conspiracy theories are available therein, is casuing people who may be on the fence regarding Masonry to take it upon themselves to find the truth? That is an interesting tact and one that I did not consider.
[edit on 20-5-2008 by AugustusMasonicus]


I wouldn't say it is the conspiracy theories so much as the amazing amount of information about freemasonry that can be found on the web. I have been able to find books (for free) that I have never found in a public library. I have had discussions on masonry that I (sadly) have never had in a lodge. I would go so far as to say there is more masonic education on the net than can be found in most lodges.

[edit on 20-5-2008 by lost in the midwest]



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:47 PM
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reply to post by lost in the midwest
 


Agreed, however, were you already a Mason when you discovered this trove of information? I tend to discount the authors view that the internet is, in the main, responsible for more men becoming Masons.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 

Yes, had been for years, but in the same token I have witness several people here on this board becoming masons. Not so much because of the anti-masons' post but from the thought provoking answers to their questions by masons here. Our world has changed. It use to be that you came in the lodge through your dad, unkle, granddad etc. Today most people don't live in the town they grew up in. Thus they turn to the information highway for what they want to know about masonry



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:54 PM
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would Dan Brown not be the reason for an increase in masons, this sudden limelight ,people love a clique and everybody wants to be in on a secret.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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reply to post by lost in the midwest
 


I'd go one step further to agree with the article in that websites certainly put a face to Masonry. And on a few levels... For one, looking up a website of a local lodge and seeing pictures of the officers is a lot different than just seeing one line in the yellowpages with a phone number and an address, and then showing up only to find out you don't know what night they meet.

And on a more atomic level, the "faces" or personae of Masonic bloggers, and even the Masons on ATS do help humanize an inscrutable organization.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by R-evolve
 


We did get a few people stoping by to ask about freemasonry atfer Mr.Brown's book and more atfer the movie, but only a few stayed around long enough to learn anything about masonry. I can only speak on my own lodge, I don't know what the case was anywhere else.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by R-evolve
 


While I have met my share of people, who on finding me to be a Mason, immediately go into the Dan Brown-Templar-National Treasure routine. After discussing with them the more important points of Masonry, to me anyway, truth, relief and brotherly love, they typcially change the subject. Not that I admonish them or belittle the for their thought process but it is ephemeral information which they seek. The ones who are trully interested in Masonry come to me with questions and concerns of substance.



posted on May, 20 2008 @ 09:16 PM
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Ohio, which hosts one of the largest Masonic populations in the Republic, is still facing steep decline in membership.

The Grand Lodge has made efforts to digitize the record keeping of all Lodges to get a better grasp of the situation, however, nothing is being done and as of now it is a rumor.

However, it is not secret knowledge that lodges are keeping suspended, and even dead Masons on the books in the effort of retaining money to ensure the lodge can operate..

meanwhile Ohio lost nearly as many as California gained, and the average age of Masons continues to increase.

And to add to this problem, the Grand Lodge encourages making it easier for men to become Masons, and many new age members as well support "one day classes" of which the retaining ratio is pathetically low. In fact, seeing as the majority join through one day classes, the number of suspended Masons due to un paid dues continues to increase as well. an obvious burden for the small town lodge.

Is there a growth in awareness in regards to Masonry?

Yes.

Does the internet help?

Yes. People read the works of conspiracy theorist, consider it complete crap and investigate for themselves and become members. In fact, several of us, my self included, on ats joined the frat this way.

However, without a complete overhaul in the way Masonry is handled, governed, and addresses the public I do not see a Masonic resurgence to which we all hope for.

of course, that's my opinion, and my opinion on the future of Masonry is bleak .. at best.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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One way or another we need reform in masonry.
Masonry has kind of dropped the ball on its main goal of what its purpose is. The main purpose of freemasonry (in America at least) is charity. I’m not saying that charity is a bad thing at all, but that shouldn't be our main goal? It’s about spirituality and finding the answers to god and the universe and taking on the whole spiritual aspect of the world. ONLY in the U.S.A is freemasonry considered "a charity organization" everywhere else in the world freemasonry takes a different stance on their purpose.

I believe freemasonry in the U.S. needs to find its roots again and go back to the "good ol' days" (starting to sound like the South during the reconstruction period post-civil war), and to the way Freemasonry was. We need to bring back the spiritual side of masonry, and also make our investigation on new initiates stricter. Most of the lodges, that I know at least, are looking for a mass quantity of people, but for the most part don’t care about their well-being. We need to look at QUALITY over quantity. A few good masons are better then many that will benefit the fraternity in any way.

I hate to say this but the older generation of masons who turn the lodge into an elk's lodge, needs to die off or at least give the reigns to the newer generation who have good idea's for a change in masonry. We need to not be known as a charitable organization (not saying completely rid of charity, but not make it the procuring cause behind our purpose), but as a spiritual organization that seeks to turn those that join into spiritual beings.

Of course all of what I have said is in my opinion, just thought I would get that out there and see if anyone was sharing a common ground with my views.




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