Visiting a Masonic Lodge

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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 01:37 PM
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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:03 PM
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posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by Zhenyghi
Also forgot to add a thing about the dues, which I won't mention specifically, 'cause I'd imagine they may vary by jurisdiction.

There are yearly dues, as to be expected, plus a "passage fee" with each degree, which I did not expect. There also seems to be some instruction time I would have to undertake before each degree - something I also did not expect - I thought I would just show up, and the ritual would be done.


There is a one time fee for the degrees (in my lodge it is $125 I believe and that includes your first year dues). Annual dues are $50.

In our jurisdiction we certainly recognize that not everyone can shell out this much money. I think you will find that Masons are always willing to help out with financial obligations.

I understand that some lodges may charge more or less. To me it's a fantastic value.

As you can see, though, Freemasonry is certainly not making a profit. On the contrary many lodges would go under without a continuing endowment.

I can give you an example:

My lodge (in which I will be stepping down as WM today since my year is complete in the East) has 167 members. Unfortunately we are lucky to get 12-15 to come to a meeting.

Ideally all 167 would pay their annual dues, giving the lodge an income of $8350 per year. Of that we pay a $10 "per capita" to the state Grand Lodge for each member ($835), leaving an annual revenue of $7500.

We are fortunate to belong to a Masonic Center where several lodges and bodies meet and we rent our facilities for $1174 per month (including utilities).

(Anyone see a problem yet? The Liberal Art and Science of Mathematics comes into play here).

In addition we have other recurring expenses like a telephone line ($40 per month), refreshments ($60 per month), flowers for our Masonic widows on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas.

There are other boring ongoing expenses like $400 a year for liability insurance, $180 a month for a Secretary salary (an INCREDIBLE bargain, btw)... etc ad nauseaum.

We also pay for supplies for charity events, and we try to donate to charitable causes as much as possible.

In an ideal world we would be spending about three times our income (still better than Uncle Sam) if all members paid annual dues.

Here is the rub: Our lodge, and many others, offer a Life Membership option. A member can purchase a lifetime membership for $750. Many states require a member to have paid a number of years or be a certain age.

With the bulk of our population (masons and US citizens at large) approaching their later years and fewer new members to take their place many lodges are in a financial downturn simply because there is no one paying dues to replace the lost income of life memberships.

Our lodge is only able to function due to the modest income provided by interest from funds we received by selling a large tract of land bequeathed to us many years ago. This worked out great when interest rates were high, but some of our investments return a laughable 0.75% (that's correct, less than ONE PERCENT) interest.

Why do I say all this?

Firstly, as a non-profit institution I don't think it's unreasonable to share our financial picture.

Secondly, to rebut the claims that we are a wealthy organization, or that we are wealthy men.



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by network dude
 


Haha! They're literally void of any sense of morality or goodness and I'm sure none except the dad has ever read a book.

Does it ever bug you guys when people who promote greed, lust and hubris use your symbols?



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by Zhenyghi
 


Greetings, Zhenyghi!

You have discovered Masonry! Congratulations. As some of the ATS Brethren have pointed out already it is possible to find a lodge with younger membership. My lodge has a mixture of both now, but still the majority is Brothers of 50 years or more. They are literally walking books though, and have great insights into the Order and are usually pretty fun to talk to. Most will probably be Past Masters or former officers of some kind as is common with the old dudes.

Ask questions, and ask a lot. The only dumb question is the one that goes UN ASKED. So feel free to pick brains as much as you will. Most of the guys will probably get a kick out of the conspiracy questions.

Best of luck! The ATS Masons are all willing to help, too. Despite what some people feel about us 'round these parts



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 06:22 PM
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U can bet my first question here is gonna be..."is anyone here a member of ATS ?"
edit on 6-6-2012 by ElOmen because: (no reason given)
edit on 6-6-2012 by ElOmen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 11:49 PM
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reply to post by Zhenyghi
 


Hahahaha.. sounds like my home lodge. The lodge I go to now is a very young lodge, average age maybe 33-34? With several of us in our 20's.

You could find a younger lodge, they are out there, or join an old one. Old lodges will either be replaced by someone younger or die off.


(edit to add that age is very rarely an issue.. I can totally understand a 25-30+ year gap between you and the next youngest active member, but in a normal lodge the ages will be very widely distributed and everyone gets along just fine.)
edit on 6/6/2012 by Rockpuck because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 05:57 AM
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Glad to hear you took the time to visit a lodge and see things for yourself. It seems to have become common place for people to read an anti-Masonic thread and a few google searches later you are an expert on Freemasons and their dark secrets. Its refreshing to hear peoples perspective, who are not lodge members but took the time to seek out the answers from the source.

Star and Flag.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by protocolsoflove
reply to post by network dude
 


Haha! They're literally void of any sense of morality or goodness and I'm sure none except the dad has ever read a book.

Does it ever bug you guys when people who promote greed, lust and hubris use your symbols?


Black and white tiled flooring does not belong to us , we use it as a symbol , but it is not "ours" . Many use this pattern in their homes , in stores , eateries , on TV , movies and in paintings because it creates an illusion of depth . Also in the home it is neutral color scheme that allows one to use most (and change) any colors they wish in a room without the worry of it clashing with the flooring .

I re-tiled my kitchen floor years before I became a Mason and knew of the Masonic symbolism . Our kitchen is small , so I opted to use black and white tiled floor so as to make the room to appear to be larger than it really is .

On another note , none of the lodges in my area have black and white checkered flooring anywhere in their lodges . Almost all have blue carpet with the exception of my home lodge which has this awful orange/red carpet . The only reason we have that is because it was cheap to purchase back in the 70's .
edit on 7-6-2012 by whenandwhere because: grammar



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 07:51 AM
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Originally posted by protocolsoflove

Does it ever bug you guys when people who promote greed, lust and hubris use your symbols?


Most of what the critics of Masonry call "Masonic symbols" aren't really Masonic symbols at all. Obelisks, pyramids, and so on, are frequently characterized as "Masonic symbols" by them....but in fact, they are not used as symbols in Freemasonry.

Other symbols can be said to be universal. It is true that they are used by Masons, but also by non-Masons for different purposes. The All seeing Eye is an example, as is the mosaic pavement.



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 08:27 AM
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My only concern now with the Masons is if I can incorporate that organization into my life where I belong to 10 other organizations - 7 of which require dues or suggest an annual monetary oblation. Having the time to attend meetings regularly is also a concern.

I'm not worried about the "old geezers" - there are quite a few in my other organizations, and I often get along with them quite well, but sometimes its nice to speak to a contemporary, and I've more or less gravitated towards those closer to my age.

I'm content with my life and my postition/activity in the other groups to which I belong, so I wouldn't want to sacrifice one or more current organizations to to accomodate Masonic activity.

I'll think about it...



posted on Jun, 7 2012 @ 10:41 AM
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reply to post by Zhenyghi
 


Having completed my year as Worshipful Master I can offer a little perspective.

I have two boys, 6 and 8. The commitment is not huge by any means (a couple of business meetings a month and a couple of degree evenings a month), but it does take a toll on the family sometimes when they are acting up and my wife has to put them to bed etc. while I am gone.

I am sure that like my lodge they will not pressure you to give any specific amount of time, unless you become an officer, but also I believe that the more time you spend in lodge the more meaningful it becomes personally.

Family is ALWAYS ALWAYS first, even where masonry is concerned.

Also, Freemasonry will always be there if you decide it's not the right time in your life.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 03:35 AM
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I have had some thoughts about the Freemasonry dress-code.
It seems to me that Masons belonging to the Grand Lodge Of England dress up for their meetings (black suits, black shoes, bowties, etc), while the American Masons seems to be allot more casual and are allowed to wear suits in almost any colour they wish, combined with normal ties or not even a tie at all.

What do you Masons here on ATS think about it? Is it good or bad with dress-codes in this environment?

I can imagine that some people appreciate a dress-code and some people find it allot more relaxing not having to think about something like that.




posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 03:55 AM
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reply to post by LiberalSceptic
 


Where I live the GL Officers wear Mourning dress, and Lodge Officers wear tuxedos for degrees, and dark (grey/blue/black) suits for other meetings. I have also seen Brethren in Scottish Highland dress. The only time I have ever seen the Brethren dress casual is for casual outings and degree practices. I have heard of Lodges with very relaxed dress codes but never encountered it personally.

I like the dress code, it makes an impression on new candidates and visitors.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:04 AM
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Many years ago, my cousin and I visited a Lodge for an open day. It was very informative and was also taken about the Lodge and when it came time for us to ask questions, I asked the
"tour guide" whether Jesus was a Freemason as his cousin was John the Baptist and he was baptized by John and John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of the Freemasons, well the tour guide denied this fact saying Jesus was too busy to worry or join and sort of group at the time. Funny though that the tour guide was a priest or ex priest for that matter and I am sure would have denied Jesus's role in any such group like the early Freemasons.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by no1smootha
reply to post by LiberalSceptic
 


Where I live the GL Officers wear Mourning dress, and Lodge Officers wear tuxedos for degrees, and dark (grey/blue/black) suits for other meetings. I have also seen Brethren in Scottish Highland dress. The only time I have ever seen the Brethren dress casual is for casual outings and degree practices. I have heard of Lodges with very relaxed dress codes but never encountered it personally.

I like the dress code, it makes an impression on new candidates and visitors.


No1smootha, this is what I got when I Googled Morning Dress.


Is that what you refer to?
Looks rather smart I would have to say.



Regarding the Scottish Highland Dress, I did a Google search on it as well.
Would this be correct?




May I ask if you live in the U.S. or England?
I guess that the Scottish Highland Dress would be a giveaway that you live in England or perhaps Scotland, but then again, I think that you could have been visiting another Lodge or perhaps had visitors in your own Lodge, so my question stands.

edit on 10-6-2012 by LiberalSceptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:19 AM
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reply to post by ElOmen
 

Where I live the DMV had been run out of a masonic lodge every Friday.



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by LiberalSceptic
 


Yes, both are correct.

I live in the western USA, but have attended Lodge with Brothers from Scotland.

I am curious how the other Brethren will answer this question.
edit on 10-6-2012 by no1smootha because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by tiyxx
reply to post by ElOmen
 

Where I live the DMV had been run out of a masonic lodge every Friday.


I have never really heard any good things about the DMV (allot of queuing and general hassle) . I hope that is not connected



posted on Jun, 10 2012 @ 04:27 AM
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Originally posted by no1smootha
reply to post by LiberalSceptic
 


Yes, both are correct.

I live in the western USA, I am curious how the the Brethren will answer this question.


Thank you for the enlightenment.





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