Originally posted by network dude
Do you remember what was whispered in your ear as you knelt at the altar after taking the obligation of the entered apprentice?
You were asked what you most desired.
I like to say a cold beer in practice, but a mason knows the answer.
____ in masonry.
I came into Masonry before the advent of the Internet. These days, practically all Masonic rituals are available to anyone who wants to Google them.
When I was initiated, the facade of secrecy still surrounded it, and I was not familair with the actual ritual beforehand. Indeed, since I've left
Masonry, I've spoken in depth with many Masons about the issue, including former ones.
As you know, most Masons drop out soon after they receive the degrees, usually through NPD. I spoke to some of these men, and most of them told me
that they were extremely disappointed in what goes on in the lodge. They had not bothered to research the ritual beforehand, or thought it was
secret....and their story here is similar to mine: had they known the ritual beforehand, they would not have partaken in it.
This is why all attempts made by the lodges for membership retention will fail. When I was active, I once served on a committee to call NPD brothers
and those who began the degree work but never completed. Our purpose was to try to generate interest among these who had fallen by the side.
For the most part, I was only hung up on. Got cursed out a few times. Same thing happened to the other committee members. I spoke with guys from other
lodges who had tried a retention programs, and their results were the same.
When I took the first degree, at the proper time I, like all the candidates, was prompted to say "light". I was then promised that if I lived in
accordance with freemasonry, I would attain light. This was only the first of many promises that the organization makes to its new recruits that are
I am reminded of my lessons every day in all the things I do. Am I treating this person as I promised I would as a mason? Am I acting in a
way the the brethren in my lodge would say is an example of how to be a good mason?
Sure you can do all that without masonry. But, you can do it with masonry too. I am sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as we do. It does seem funny
that you would invest so much in masonry only to come to the conclusion you have 20 years later.
My friend, I assure that my decision to leave Masonry was not an easy one. In fact, it was very painful. There were always things I found
questionable, as you probably have as well. But I became so thoroughly indoctrinated in it, that I chose to ignore it. I've traveled all over the
nation to Masonic funtions. I kept hearing lodge chaplains giving pious prayers in the lodge room, while telling dirty jokes in the kitchen 15 minutes
later. I kept hearing past masters tell newly initiated apprentices during the ritual that freemasonry is a universal brotherhood, and after the
ritual is over, tell them that the lodge conducts an investigation of all petitioners to make sure they are white. Masons take obligations to regard
each other as brothers, and yet stab each other in the back the first chance they get.
I guess I like the character aspect of it best.
The character aspect of it is why I left, and why thousands more are leaving. It's why freemasonry is dwindling in membership, and why petitioners are
becoming fewer. It's why the turnover rate in the fraternity is so high.
edit on 12-4-2013 by thelonious2 because: (no reason given)