Masonry

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tulianr, Apr 3, 2013.


  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    I was watching a documentary today, which led me to think that in a post SHTF world, it would be a good thing for each community to establish a group of partriotic-minded individuals, who could keep their mouths shut, watch each others’ backs, and help those in need within the community. It would be ideal if these groups could be well organized, and have some sort of communication with other like-minded groups in other communities. Some sort of secret communication or recognition signals might also be in order.

    Then I realized that such groups already exist – they are called the Masons.

    Before everyone begins to google their favorite Masonic conspiracy theory, let me say that I’m not really interested in discussing conspiracy theories. I’ve heard them all, and my thoughts to those individuals who would tell me “the truth” about Masonry are similar to what I expect a woman’s thoughts would be listening to a male gynecologist explain to her about menstrual cramps - “You can read all the books you want, but if you haven’t been there, you don’t really know what you’re talking about.”

    The Masons have been accused of trying to run the world, trying to destroy the world, running the world’s banking system, Satan-worship, and sexual deviancy. Discussing all of the various conspiracy theories that are out there would not only require an entirely new thread, but probably its own forum, and those already exist anyway.

    I’ve been a Mason for thirty years, and I have yet to meet a brother Mason who is interested in running (or destroying) the world. Most of them are doing good to master online banking, never mind orchestrating international banking schemes. Religious discussion is banned within the lodge, so it would be difficult to “worship” anyone, and most of them are too old to engage in sexual deviancy, even if they could spell it.

    My point is this. An organization of primarily conservative, mature individuals, who have a vested interest in their communities, and a stated desire to do good (when they aren’t engaging in their favorite deviancy) exists within practically every community in the United States; as well as on major military bases abroad. They have a proven track record of being able to keep secrets, a vetting procedure to keep out malcontents; and, despite all of the conspiracy theories, their rolls have included some praise-worthy individuals.

    Most people already know that George Washington was a prominent Mason. So were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Nathaniel Greene, Henry Knox, Benjamin Lincoln, Israel Putnam, John Stark, John Paul Jones, Ethan Allen, Joseph Warren, Paul Revere, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Frederick Von Steuben. (I won’t expound upon these individuals’ contributions to our nation’s struggle for freedom. I’m counting on our Monkeys having a better than average knowledge of American Revolutionary history.)

    Fully forty-six percent of the general officers of the Continental Army were Freemasons; as were nine of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and thirteen signers of the Constitution of the United States.

    The minutes of the meeting of the St. Andrew Masonic Lodge (of which Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, and John Hancock were members) on the night of the Boston Tea Party read: “Lodge closed on account of few members present.” Notes indicated that: Consignees of Tea took up the brethren’s time.”

    These were people invested in their community, not afraid to defy authority, and willing to do what they thought was right, regardless of the consequences. They had an answer to government attempts to disarm the public – “No.” These Masons were monkeys before being a monkey was cool.

    Later rolls of Masons included: Generals - George C. Marshall, Omar Bradly, John Pershing, and Douglas MacArthur; Patriots - Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston; Actors – John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Audie Murphy; Explorers – Lewis and Clark, Kit Carson, Buzz Aldrin, and John Glenn; and Authors – Mark Twain, and Rudyard Kipling.

    It’s something to think about when considering the need for a network of dependable local individuals in a post SHTF world. You could be in worse company. Just my two cents.
     
  2. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have been contemplating becoming a Mason for years now. If I were to do so, I would be a 3rd Generation Mason. Neither my grandfather or uncle has ever pressured me into becoming a Mason. Both are Master Mason's and Shriner's, I do not remember which Rite though.

    I have seen first hand the benefits in business and personal relationships from the connections one makes being a Mason, through my family and others I know. There is no doubt in my mind that being a member has positive benefits from the Fraternity, let do look out for one another.

    My grandfather was retired military and later a Counselor at the VA for amputees. He was not a wealthy man but was definitely rich in his connections in many facets of life. Grandma was Eastern Star for as long as I can remember. Both were heavily involved and always gone to some Convention somewhere in the country. I always knew they were connected but it never sunk in just how connected they were until each had passed away. The amount of people that showed up and offered support was staggering at their funerals.

    A couple years ago I was back in Ann Arbor, Michigan for career-related training. In the motel I was staying at, I noticed a guy in the elevator wearing a Masonic lapel pin and struck up a conversation. Turned out the guy was from the same Lodge as my grandfather in Arlington, Texas. I found it kinda weird to run into a guy that knew my grandfather 10 yrs. after his passing, while I was over 2000 miles from home. I know it sounds stupid but the way the conversation took place and his reaction to me when I told him who my grandfather was, when asked who my grandfather was. It almost felt like my grandfather was reaching out to me from the grave.
     
    tulianr and mysterymet like this.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    My brother is a mason, though we have never really discussed it.
     
  4. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    One thing that has been a roadblock to people becoming Masons, certainly in past years, is the misunderstanding about how to become a Mason. A few years ago the rules were relaxed somewhat, but prior to that it was absolutely forbidden for a Mason to invite someone to become a Mason, or even suggest that they might want to join the Masons. It was a serious enough offense to get someone hauled before a disciplinary board. YOU have to ask a Mason to obtain an application for you, and bring it before the lodge. Many people over the years, not understanding this, felt rather snubbed at not being invited to join; but their friends and family members who were Masons have been specifically prohibited from inviting them. Because Masons take their vows so seriously, it is absolutely imperative that an applicant wants to become a Mason for their own reasons.
     
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    And yet, if you know little about the club, why would you want to join? Masons are SO secretive, they are nearly secluded. You can't learn much unless you join, and without that knowledge, why would you think you would be a good fit?
     
  6. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+

    always considered Masons to the leaders of the sheeple .... I wouldn't want any of them knowing my plans ....
     
  7. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Demitted many yrs ago because of wife problems but have deep respect for the org. It is not a Christian org but many are. I call them brothers for a reason. Granted the upper hierarchy in the past has made some strange statements but the rank and file members are the cream of the crop IMO.
     
    tulianr likes this.
  8. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    What you say is true, and my curiosity was indeed one of the main reasons that I joined. My father wasn't a member, but my grandfather was and eight uncles were, as were most of my father's friends. Knowing that these people, all of whom I deeply respected, were in an organization convinced me that it could not be bad. But, none of them would tell me anything about it. They would always smile and say that if I wanted to know more, I'd have to join.

    The Masonic organization has opened up a lot in recent years. An aging and dwindling membership has convinced most that the ways of the past aren't working so well these days. It is no longer an offense to suggest that someone consider joining, and many Masons are much more open to explaining the goals and and inner workings of the organization.

    The documentary that I mentioned watching in the original post is one that I can highly recommend - "Freemasonry Revealed" (2007). It addresses the general structure and purpose of the Master Mason's Lodge, offshoot Masonic organizations, the history of the organization - both historical and legendary, conspiracy theories, and actual wrongdoing that can be tied to Masonry. They interview both Masons and non-Masons, including some who are openly antagonistic toward the organization. I think it's a pretty balanced presentation. It was the portion of the documentary which discussed Freemasons during the Revolutionary War that prompted me to begin this thread.

    In a nutshell, Masonry is a benevolent fraternity. The primary idea behind Masonry (IMO) is to make good men better. Increasing ones understanding of the world, humanity, the cosmos, and ones self, is stressed. Masonic Lodges are usually active in charity work within the community, and often anonymously. Harmony and fellowship are of prime importance within the lodge. Usually, lodge meetings are followed by a dinner, either prepared by the brothers, or brought in pot luck.

    While some things vary from State to State, and lodge to lodge, in general terms, joining a lodge consists of contacting a Mason who has known you for some time and asking him to obtain an application for you. You fill out the application and he returns it to the lodge. It is then read before the lodge for three regular meetings, and anyone who knows you will speak up and relate what they know, or think, of your character. This is the most important part of the vetting process. After the third reading, a delegation, usually of three Masons, will contact you for a brief face to face meeting. They'll talk to you try to get a feel for who you are. They will return to the Lodge and report their findings. A secret ballot vote will then be held. A white ball means yes, and a black ball means no.

    One black ball is all that it takes to deny one membership. If a black ball is found in the ballot box, a re-vote will he held, to ensure that the black ball wasn't a mistake. If it occurs again, the matter is settled, and membership is denied. The idea behind this is to keep out bad apples, and to maintain harmony within the lodge.

    If no black balls are found within the ballot box, membership is approved, and a brother will be selected from the Lodge to be your teacher and mentor. Over the next few months, you and your mentor will spend a great deal of time together while you learn something akin to a catechism. It's called your "work." He will ask you questions, and tell you the answers to the questions. You will memorize the answers, and eventually parrot them back before the Lodge. One hundred percent accuracy is not required, nor expected. What is expected is that you will try. These questions and answers are also designed to teach lessons that you will remember for life, because of the thousands of times that you will say them, over and over, before you reach the point that you say them before the Lodge.

    You will learn your Entered Apprentice work, and then appear at the Lodge for your Entered Apprentice initiation. While the initiation is an unusual affair in the minds of most, at no time will you be harmed, shamed, or needlessly embarrassed. Remember that these people have invited you inside their organization as a brother. They are not going to subject you to some frat boy style initiation. Each element of the initiation is designed to teach you something. It is something akin to a morality play, in which you take a part. You learn lessons that you will remember for life because each lesson is something that you did, not something that someone said. Part of your "work" will be the vows that you take as an Entered Apprentice Mason. When you take your vows, you are then a first degree Mason.

    Then, you learn your Fellowcraft work, and take your Fellowcraft initiation. You are then a second degree Mason.

    Then, you learn your Master Mason work, repeat your Master Mason vows, and take your Master Mason initiation. You are then a third degree Mason, and as much of a Mason as you will ever be. The Master Masons' Lodge is called the "Blue Lodge." As a Master Mason, you will be a full member of the lodge, obliged to vote in all matters before the lodge, and will take an active part in all Lodge operations. Later, you can become an officer of the Lodge if that is your desire.

    There are higher degrees, such as 14th Degree Royal Arch Masons, 32d Degree Knights Templar Masons, and 32d Degree Scottish Rite Masons. Whereas your first three degrees will have taken you many months to achieve, these other degrees are usually obtained over a weekend or two. Each degree will teach new lessons. A 32d degree is the highest degree you can work toward, although there is an honorary 33rd Degree that can be conferred for long and valued service.

    There are also offshoot organizations such as the Shriners, the Eastern Star, etc. Each Masonic organization has a favorite charity. For the Shriners, it's burned and crippled children. The Knights Templar support an eye foundation.

    Many Masons simply stay within the Blue Lodge, and others prefer to move on to other organizations.

    I am sure that the entry process sounds like a huge hassle; but it is important to ensure that each applicant fully understands what they are agreeing to, and are taking their vows seriously; because, in general, this is a lifetime commitment. Along with your work, you will learn the ways in which one Master Mason can recognize another. This is important, and is some of the most secret elements of what you will memorize, because the vows that you take are serious, and you are expected to honor them. For example, if a person I have never met before presented himself to me and proved himself to be a Mason, and asked me for the use of my car, I would hand him the keys. If he needed a place to stay, he would be my guest. If he were hungry, I would feed him. If another Mason divulged a secret to me, I would take it to the grave with me. Likewise, I know that I could walk into any Masonic Lodge in the world and my needs would be satisfied by my brothers. If I was hungry, they would feed me. If I needed a job, they would find me one. I have a network of friends that I have never met in every community in this country, and beyond. I've run into Scottish Masons, English Masons, Irish Masons, and Egyptian Masons, and in each case I met a brother.

    Well, this long winded post should answer most general questions. I'll be happy to address more specific questions if anyone has them.
     
    ColtCarbine, Silversnake and kellory like this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Secrecy is why I have pursued it any further. I never want to be put in a position where I find out that l'm driving the getaway car. I go into things with a clear understanding of what I am doing, or I'll shear off, and watch for threat. In general I don't trust most people, until I get to know them.
     
  10. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    These days, I think that it is possible for a non-Mason to understand Masonry to a degree that was impossible twenty years ago, due to the relaxed attitudes about sharing information about the organization by most members. I think that you CAN know what you are getting into, before stepping across the threshold.In the past, all that the Lodge would promise you was that nothing you would be asked to do would "interfere with your duty to your family, your God, or your country."

    Now, they are a little more forthcoming. There is nothing sinister about masonry, and the only bad that you will find in any Lodge is the bad that members bring into the organization with them. Like any other organization, it tends to be a reflection of it's constituent members. That is why they work so hard to keep the bad apples out. In general, it's a good organization of good people with good intentions. The members are, in general, mature family men, of conservative political leanings, with a patriotic nature.

    Just like with social media, you can share as much, or as little, of your personal business as you wish to with your brother Masons. I would venture to say that most Masons are "preppers" without knowing what a "prepper" is. They are, by and large, people who put things by for a rainy day, as a matter of course. It would probably seem odd to them that there is a word for such. They would simply see people who did not save for a rainy day as foolish grasshoppers. I think most Masons would make good "preppers;" and many of the people I have encountered on this forum I believe would make good Masons. That's why I started the thread. Just to throw out the idea, and attempt to provide some genuine information amidst the sea of utter nonsense that floats about the web on the Masonic Order.
     
  11. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    These days, I think that it is possible for a non-Mason to understand Masonry to a degree that was impossible twenty years ago, due to the relaxed attitudes about sharing information about the organization by most members. I think that you CAN know what you are getting into, before stepping across the threshold. In the past, all that the Lodge would promise you was that nothing you would be asked to do would "interfere with your duty to your family, your God, or your country."

    Now, they are a little more forthcoming. There is nothing sinister about masonry, and the only bad that you will find in any Lodge is the bad that members bring into the organization with them. Like any other organization, it tends to be a reflection of it's constituent members. That is why they work so hard to keep the bad apples out. In general, it's a good organization of good people with good intentions. The members are, in general, mature family men, of conservative political leanings, with a patriotic nature.

    Just like with social media, you can share as much, or as little, of your personal business as you wish to with your brother Masons. I would venture to say that most Masons are "preppers" without knowing what a "prepper" is. They are, by and large, people who put things by for a rainy day, as a matter of course. It would probably seem odd to them that there is a word for such. They would simply see people who did not save for a rainy day as foolish grasshoppers. I think most Masons would make good "preppers;" and many of the people I have encountered on this forum I believe would make good Masons. That's why I started the thread. Just to throw out the idea, and attempt to provide some genuine information amidst the sea of utter nonsense that floats about the web on the Masonic Order.
     
    Pineknot likes this.
  12. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Odd, several posts are doubling. Medicine, this one, and the new one about securing a BOL. That I know of. Other odd responses as well.
     
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