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Leaving the Lodge - a newly former Freemason speaks out

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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 09:57 AM
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Up until last week I was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite (SJ) Freemason. I was entered, passed and raised several years ago and have greatly enjoyed many aspects of the fraternity. The entire experience of having been a mason actually brought me much closer to Christ in my walk of faith. In fact, it was many elements of lodge that made me realize my love of ritual and liturgy and led my wife and I to enter the Catholic Church after several decades of being protestants.

I'm writing here today not for reasons of negativity or to cause consternation, but simply to hopefully dispel some ideas about the fraternity and give a clearer picture of what it is and isn't. I'm exceptionally busy with clinical work currently, so I may or may not be able to answer questions in a timely manner or at all.

Let me preface by saying that these are my reasons for leaving and absolutely do not reflect on anyone else nor on their own walk of faith or connections to the fraternity. If you are a mason and disagree with my words here I have no problem with that, but I feel that what I'm about to state is fundamentally, objectively true (although some will want to make this about subjective truth).

I left the fraternity for several reasons and none of which have to do with what the rampant naysayers on these boards would presuppose. There was never any devil worship. There is no new world order plan. The videos and texts cited most often are contextually problematic or simply wrong. I left for reasons that are far more real.

Reason 1: racism. The problem is rampant in many lodges; in some it is blatant and in others it's subtle. And being that there is no overall governing body for all lodges nationwide the problem will likely linger for many generations to come just as it has for many generations passed. It bothered me from the beginning and finally I could no longer personally ignore it. Certainly there are many organizations that have racist motives, but freemasonry espouses that all men are equal while allowing lodges to remain open that spit on this very ideal. Rationalize all you want, but I could no longer do that in good conscience.

Reason 2: relativism. My Christian faith is the most important thing of my entire existence. I believe fully and firmly in the divinity of Jesus Christ, His death, burial, resurrection and propitiation for our sins. I realize for many this idea is ridiculous or repugnant, but I am fully persuaded of this truth. In lodge through each degree I heard numerous references to afterlife - many times the phrase "the great celestial lodge which we will one day join" was used. We were informed that to gain access to this "celestial lodge" we would have to live good lives, live within the bounds of the compass-inscribed circle, let Deity shape us from rough ashlar to perfect and follow all the precepts of masonry. In fact, in my apron presentation, scripture was quoted to the effect that one day the apron would be laid across my dead remains as God welcomed me with "well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Matt 23:25). These points were never lost on me and from the beginning I felt God drawing my attention to these details.

I believe God deals with us personally through our conscience. I believe His Holy Spirit directs us that way. I generally perceive it as a nagging or "poking" thought that, over time, just won't go away. I would stand in lodge monthly and hear scriptures read and ideals promoted whereby we, as masons were ALL going to that celestial lodge. As a Christian my belief is that only those who accept Christ and his work of grace for us are potentially the only ones destined for an agreeable afterlife (call it "celestial lodge" or whatever you like). Who actually gets into heaven is for God to decide, not me. I understand that fully, but in the plan He seems to have outlined for us in His word Christ is the only way. I'm not here to debate that point with anyone. If you don't believe that I have no problem whatsoever. That's your choice. Week after week of hearing the fraternity imply that we could somehow find God through other means than Christ felt disingenuous.

I finally decided I could no longer espouse this relativism or indifferentism that the brotherhood holds dear. I realize that very aspect is what draws many to the fraternity, but it's what finally pushed me away. In my view, it's a dangerous ideal, if in fact, Christianity is true.

I'm happy for my time spent in the fraternity because it truly did deepen my walk with God and opened avenues of thought that I'd not considered before. I don't rail against any of my former brothers for any aspect other than the problem of racism. If you continue in the fraternity then your own conscience must decide whether or not you are okay with this hypocritical aspect, even if it's not present in your own lodge.

I'm sure some may comment here that I should leave the Catholic faith or Christianity in general as it, too is hypocritical. I'm sure some will cite all sorts of reasons why the Church is bad or why I am wrong or crazy. In the end though I'm perfectly happy and confident in my choices and with my current life. I do my best to live out the ideals that Christ gave us and when my last breath has been drawn my great hope is to enter into the rest He's prepared for all those who call him Lord.

My best to everyone here. May God keep you all.




posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:05 AM
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I'm sorry that you've decided to leave the Order, my friend. I've also had my share of discrepancies within my Masonic journey, but have decided I can do more to change for the positive when my journey takes me East. I won't speak for any one else, but I know that other Brothers understand where you are coming from.

Please travel well.
edit on 24-4-2012 by W3RLIED2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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I feel this way too....




I believe God deals with us personally through our conscience. I believe His Holy Spirit directs us that way. I generally perceive it as a nagging or "poking" thought that, over time, just won't go away.


Thank you for sharing.

I feel as though if I had walked in your shoes I too would have made the same conclusions and taken the same actions.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Upon reading the title of this post I was afraid this was going to be the next piece of bashing.
How wrong this idea of mine was.
Thank you so much for your account.
Let's hope it helps to reduce the pile of nonsense that is being spread about freemasonry :.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


I am sure God is a lot happier with your decision to leave than to stay. Nothing about Gods work or word should be kept secret. The simple fact that they respect or worship other lesser gods (Rumors say the high ranking members worships Satan) and not only Jesus Christ would have unleashed Gods fury on you.

That nagging feeling was God telling you to get the hell out of there. You should feel lucky to still have God on your side that way. Congratulations on moving away from evil and God is in your heart, not a building.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


My Brother,

I am sorry that you are leaving, but you make some good points. I also feel like Freemasonry amplified my walk with Christ and multiplied my faith.

My lodge is in the midwest and I feel like we have eliminated racism, but I understand there are places in the country where lodges are facing the evil that is racism. As you know that is not the universal philosophy of Freemasonry and it troubles me deeply that it still exists.

My beliefs differ from yours in that I believe Christ preached a message of salvation for all (which I've been told is universalism and wrong by some outside the lodge).

I feel strongly that Freemasonry imposes no religious dogma on any man, but I can see also where men who believe strongly in their own religion might not agree with Freemasonry's path.

I also thank you for being completely honest about Freemasonry. I have never met you but I know you are a man of honor and integrity not only by having been a mason, but also as a Christian who professes your beliefs.

I wish you the best in your life, as I believe any true Freemason would, and no matter what beliefs or associations we hold I consider you a true member of the brotherhood of humanity under the Fatherhood of God.

Thank you for speaking the truth about Freemasonry, and you have my admiration for your dedication to your family and your faith!



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by Patriotsrevenge
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


I am sure God is a lot happier with your decision to leave than to stay. Nothing about Gods work or word should be kept secret. The simple fact that they respect or worship other lesser gods (Rumors say the high ranking members worships Satan) and not only Jesus Christ would have unleashed Gods fury on you.

That nagging feeling was God telling you to get the hell out of there. You should feel lucky to still have God on your side that way. Congratulations on moving away from evil and God is in your heart, not a building.


God is pleased when any of His children follow their heart and their conscience. I think HardToStarboard would agree that we hide nothing about God that cannot be found by any person with an honest desire to know Him.

Freemasonry accepts no man who worships 'lesser gods' or 'Satan'. It is the antithesis of what we are and abhorrent to the fraternity. A man cannot be both a Freemason and a believer in anything other than one Supreme benevolent Father.

Finally, I say this not as a Freemason but as a fellow Christian and child of God - God is always on your side. He is always There as he promised. God does not condemn or punish. God would no sooner destroy, kill or cast out one of his children than any good father would. God is Love and there is no fear in Love.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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Far too many people have a misinterpretation of the Masons.. I'm not a Mason myself but I've worked with them locally helping build networks, maintain servers and web sites and to help with anything IT ..

I'm not putting down the Masons.. there are a lot of smart, honorable people in there.. but to think they are a secret order controlling the world on some level is just far from realistic.. they've been lumped in with the non-existant illuminati, the new world order and things like that.

People who support such theories obviously don't know what they are talking about and are just regurgitating something they read, or saw in a movie or tv special in my honest opinion.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Sorry to lose a brother under circumstances such as you describe but I appreciate your conscience leads you to do what you feel you must.

I appreciate your point about racism whether overt or not. For all the intentions to better ourselves as men, our fraternity is ultimately still a congregation of men with all the inherent petty shortcomings embodied in mankind as a whole. I find that the stories of sometimes almost willful forgetfulness about the "son of Adam" invocation particularly annoying because at least in lodge, we are all to meet on the level and hopefully take (or learn to take) that equality out into the world with us as a way of improving ourselves and society in general.

My own lodge is rather racially and religiously diverse and while I haven't seen racism at play, I have quite recently witnessed brethren who come only quite occasionally showing up to blackball an application for affiliation from a mason who's been coming out quite regularly as well as assisting in practise sessions to help officers from my lodge and others in the district polish their ritual and mechanics. My own experience with the particular brother has only ever been good and while I can only trace that experience back 5 years or so, my understanding is that there is an old grudge against this brother that obviously some members feel disinclined to relinquish, a grudge that even a cursory rereading of the Ritual would remind them is at odds with the First Degree Apron charge. You can lead a horse to water....

As far as your feeling that a close reading of your faith precludes you recognising the good inherent in brothers of other faiths, I'm most reminded that "my Father's house has many mansions" and that we mortals are ill-equipped to parse the mind and Will of the Almighty on such matters. Need I point out that the Troubles in Northern Ireland show just how easily Christian can turn on Christian even though following the same two-millennium-old directions of the same leader? We as a species seem predisposed to stubbornly hold to mindsets about life and the world at large that as of late have more in common with two-year-olds than what we as adults have aspired to grow to, a trend I find more than a bit worrisome.

Collectively whether Freemasons or not, we have it within our power the ability to make this existence if not Heaven, at least tolerable for all that tread the mosaic pavement. What I find worrisome and retrograde in terms of the social progress that has been accomplished in the last few centuries is the childish inclination to view matters in terms of absolutes, black-and-white only with no provision, allowance or tolerance for grey. I almost seems like there are some that would prefer this life be a self-righteous Hell for all rather than a tolerant coexistence. That way, an avoidable madness lies.

I'm sorry you feel that leaving the Craft is the only option open to you. All I can do is wish you well on your journey and that our paths cross in better circumstances

Fitz



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by NeverSleepingEyes
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Upon reading the title of this post I was afraid this was going to be the next piece of bashing.
How wrong this idea of mine was.
Thank you so much for your account.
Let's hope it helps to reduce the pile of nonsense that is being spread about freemasonry :.


Sadly, it won't. There are just too many in this world invested with proliferating hate at others. It has been ever thus and while progress has been made in reducing this apparent default in the inward man, it must be pointed out that walking a downward slope to the base is always easier than pursuing the upward path to higher objectives and aspirations.

Fitz



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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Brother --

Thank you for your post. But I have two questions for you.

First, why did you decide to make a public post about your experience? What was your motivation? Was it confessional in nature? To clear your conscience?

Racism is all around us. It is in every dark corner of society. It gets passed down from one generation to another, and is so very unfortunate that people still continue to think this way. You are in a position to assist change. Yet you chose to walk away instead of helping to effect that change? A 32 degree Freemason should be better suited to be tolerant, even to those around you who are not.

Second, one of the first requirements to become a Freemason is the belief in a supreme being. Not necessarily "GOD" but rather one greater than yourself. Shouldn't that have been a clue as to what you were in for to begin with?

No offense here. I am just curious as to after spending a lot of time over the years to achieve 32, you seem to have suddenly come to the conclusion that the Freemasonry was "not for you"

With all respect, I thank you for sharing. The masonry has lost a limb today from its family tree.

Best to you!



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 



Reason 1: racism.


Thank you for re-affirming my suspicions. Also, thank you for having the guts to say it out loud...



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:51 PM
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Originally posted by InfoKartel
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 



Reason 1: racism.


Thank you for re-affirming my suspicions. Also, thank you for having the guts to say it out loud...


Perhaps you are fairly recent to ATS or this subforum in particular but it's never been denied that though Masonry is intended to make good men better, as with any group there are always going to be those for whom truly meeting all men on the level isn't necessarily a goal. It's a sad comment but it's a comment on those men rather than the fraternity. I think it's either JN or ND that could speak more to this as a local societal artifact better

Fitz



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:01 PM
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Sorry to hear about your discrepancies with the Craft. If you ever come to Idaho, we've done a great deal to stop any remnants of racism in the Lodge and we have a fairly decent Catholic community as we have a large hispanic and Basque community as well.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


I understand your first reason fo demitting. I have seen instances of racism ouside of my state and I also would not be tolerant of being a member of group that espouses Fraternity and Equality but fails to afford these tenets to those of a different ethinic backgrund. I have several good friends who happen to be non-white and I would be ashamed if they ever asked me for a petition and I had to make excuses for my groups bad behavior, fortunately I have seen ZERO instances of racism in my home logde/state and we have men of every background in my lodge.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 01:18 PM
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No explanation of what you consider "racist motives" in the order? That is a pretty general allegation. What are these "racist motives"?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by METACOMET
No explanation of what you consider "racist motives" in the order? That is a pretty general allegation. What are these "racist motives"?


He didn't say there are ""racist motives" in the order". What he did say is:


Originally posted by HardToStarboard
Certainly there are many organizations that have racist motives, but freemasonry espouses that all men are equal while allowing lodges to remain open that spit on this very ideal. Rationalize all you want, but I could no longer do that in good conscience.


So, HTS is decrying racism within Freemasonry in the southern U.S.; not the same thing at all.

He not unreasonably expected the Masons of his experience to rise to the professed beliefs of the Order which evidently they did not. All this goes to show is that some Masons (like other members of society in general) can be annoyingly two-faced about things. We as a group aspire to better but there's always going to be those who can't or won't be what it is a Mason professes to aspire to be.

That's a truism that's unfortunately applicable to society as a whole.

Fitz



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:38 PM
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At least you got something good out of it



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Be vary of what you WANT to be true... because often it isnt reality. Its a pity you couldnt have been more christ like and witnessed to them instead of running away with your tail between your legs.

Your belief in an afterlife is every bit as rediculous as their racism. Ignorance is at the root of all mysticism and delusion.

grrrrrr....



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by Wertdagf
reply to post by HardToStarboard
 


Be vary of what you WANT to be true... because often it isnt reality. Its a pity you couldnt have been more christ like and witnessed to them instead of running away with your tail between your legs.

Your belief in an afterlife is every bit as rediculous as their racism. Ignorance is at the root of all mysticism and delusion.

grrrrrr....


This is a ridiculous assertion. This is an honest man who is following his conscience. He is certainly not 'running away'. He made a bold declaration of his beliefs without judging others (sounds like Christ to me) and did not condemn anyone. Racism is a disease. Intolerance is a disease.

You may well be right about ignorance being at the root of mysticism. For thousands of years it has been taught that ignorance (of the flesh, of the ego, of the mind, of desire, of money, of power) is the road to enlightenment.

You also said something unintentionally with is a powerful truth... "it isn't reality". Reality is an illusion. Each sentient being fashions reality precisely BECAUSE it's what they want, whether they know it or not.

Finally, 'belief' in an afterlife is not required in order to 'have' an afterlife. Just wait...





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