reply to post by driley
As for the discussion about blackballing... In my jurisdiction at least, blackballing a candidate to see if he would reapply or because you haven't
had the chance to meet him would be a Masonic Offense -- casting a facetious ballot -- which would subject the individual to Masonic Trial and the
penalties of reprimand, suspension or expulsion. Blackballs are and should be extraordinarily rare. They are not cast because an individual has not
met a man. They are the last defense of the Fraternity for a situation in which a member has knowledge he must keep private but which disqualifies a
I'm not questioning your districts Masons or disagreeing with your idea, but in my district we have had a rash of "curious" applicants. They want
to know more, they watched National Treasure, and they think they will get rich or famous by becoming a Mason.
Many times these are good kids from the University and there is no 'good' reason to black-ball them other than questioning their motivation or
The fraternity has lost effectiveness and mystique over the past 100 years or so. We don't ask for sacrifice from our members. We seem to be happy
enough to just get their dues paid, and I feel that is killing the fraternity.
My good friend is a "Q-dog" at FSU. He spent a full year meeting all the active members of the fraternity. Doing them favors, getting to know
them, winning their respect, before he was invited to pledge. During his pledge he made a lot of sacrifices, learned the history and customs, and
finally he became a full-fledged member.
It is sad that such an old and respected fraternity as the Freemasons, the father of all modern fraternities, has lowered its standards below that of
a typical college fraternity!!
So, while I liked reading your post, and I think your heart is in the right place, I am looking to add value to this fraternity by finding the right
people that will make some effort, show some commitment, learn the history and the work, and put in work within the fraternity. If someone cannot
make the simple effort of coming to a meal, or coming to my work, or calling me on the phone, then they do not deserve to be a part of such a powerful
and storied organization. I have made a few enemies, but our lodge is now growing, and our attendance is way, way up. In three years we have gone
from 10 out of 160 members at meetings to 30 out of 160 at meetings. We have Valentine Dances, Americanism Nights, we meet every Tuesday for
catechism classes and degree practice. We are restoring our former glory, and we place some demands on our new members!!
I almost quit after my Fellowcraft, because I was disappointed at the frivolousness of the process, and when I became a Master, I was surprised to
find that about all the lodge does is pay bills and go home! We lost a few candidates after EA, or FC degrees, but not anymore!! Now, our candidates
are surprised at the attention they receive, the responsibilites they are given, and the expectations they are held accountable to! They VALUE the
experience and it is no longer frivolous!!
I blackballed a re-admission ballot of the Past-Master that raised me to MM! He didn't pay dues, he didn't show when I asked him to come to lodge,
but then after being suspended he wanted forgiveness. I invited him to the meal the night we were to vote, and he didn't show up. He actually got
several black balls for that. He later started coming to every meal, we eventually re-instated him, and he hasn't missed a meeting since!!
MASONRY IS IMPORTANT. IT IS HISTORIC. IT HELPS MAKE LIFE-CHANGING CONNECTIONS, MORALS, AND LIFESTYLES. IT SERVES AS AN EXAMPLE TO THE COMMUNITY.
WE TAKE IT SERIOUSLY IN MY LODGE.