3 Black Balls Vs 1 Black Ball

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Tx4ever, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    I support going back to 1 black ball/cube.
     
  2. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    My grandfather was mayor of his community for years. He ran against the same guy several times. My grandfather was blackballed every year for a total of 7. The the guy passed on. My grandfather finally made it in. I do not like the one black ball rule.

    Let's make it a single black ball, but let everyone know who voted black. That would make it more legit. Actually that would be bad.

    I just don't agree with letting one jerk kill a lodge for years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  3. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    And I don't agree with letting one bad apple destroy a lodge from within.

    The West gate has stood unguarded for far too long, and Masonry has suffered devastating blows from the negligence of the brothers who have absconded their duties.

    Are there crappy examples like your grandad's? Sure. Are there a plethora more examples of a man who has no business being a Mason being admitted with barely a cursory glance? I believe so.

    We take obligations that are binding and irrevocable. I believe a man should have the right to refuse to accept someone he doesn't want to be obligated to. It is not my place to judge his motives...that's God's realm.
     
  4. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I agree about guarding the west gate, but I believe it more complicated than dropping to one black ball. We are going to have a further reduction in membership when this goes into effect. I have no issue with small lodges. My smallest lodge has 32 members. My largest has 400. I enjoy the small one more. But with small lodges you increase the financial burden on each member. Is there a way to have more members and guard the west gate? Yes!

    Stop using the investigation committee as a way to get non-active members involved. Make the investigation committee out of the best and most masonically educated brethren. Train them to guard well. Will we get bad apples? Sure! 1 black ball will not prevent bad apples either.

    What should we do to fix the bad apple issue? Find a faster way to compost the trash.
     
  5. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I think some of this can be changed with changing the procedure to ballot. I think we should ballot for a candidate like we normally do. The petition is read. The reports from the investigation committee are read. Then there should be a motion from the floor to accept or reject the petition followed by a 2nd. After the 2nd, then there should be a chance for discussion like there is on all motions. There may be some, there may be none, but there should be a chance for the lodge members to openly discuss the candidate before voting on the committee reprots.

    I also think there should be some better guidelines for the committee to cover during the investigation. I know each person interviews differently, but I think there are more bases we can cover during the investigation. I think there should be some guidelines set for the committee, either by the lodge or by GL.

    I think the single black ball is giving a little too much power to one person. I think if there is open discussion on a motion like on most things we vote on, if there is a substandard candidate that has something question in his history that may not come out during the investigation, the lodge can be made aware of it during this discussion and vote accordingly. This discussion should not be used as a time to electioneer for or against the candidate, but to discuss real information about them.
     
  6. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    Excellent. That's a good start. Maybe after that starts to finally happen we can start facing reality and begin consolidating the unneccesary bloat of lodges we currently have.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  7. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    As long as everyone is willing to step up to pay the dues that will be required by small lodges or agree to sell our most outstanding properties (e.g. the Grand Lodge). There are lodges in the US and Europe that are paying $50 or more dollars per month. Yes, that is per month. The cost of our infrastructure will not drop with membership. The cost of belonging will rise.

    Before we all jump on the 1 black ball wagon, I think we need to make sure that there is no other solution to the problem with the west gate. I can name three lodges within a 30 mile distance of my home that will have issues with a controlling brother that will blackball every new member. These brothers did it before the three ball change. They are saying they will do it again.

    We even have a couple in one lodge that will not let new brothers get involved if they ever attend another lodge as a visitor. These are long term brethern that were voted in on the 1 ball rule. The problem is not with the west gate alone.

    Look at Arkansas, it is just as bad at the East Gate.

    Now I am going to support the Grand Lodge and the Grand Master, but I really think that we are throwing the baby out with the bath water on this one. We are not addressing the issue where it needs to be addressed. If we were allowed to discuss the petitioners prior to voting, I believe bad apples would get 3 black balls. If we move to 1 black ball, we are going to lose good men.

    All good organizations make bad decisions from time to time. It is usually due to people with good intentions making a decision that does not directly fix an issue. This is usually due to not understaning the underlying issues. If the issue is people getting in that should not be in when 1 member knows information on a candidate. Let him share the information. Let the lodge as a whole decide. Don't put the prospective candidate's and the lodge's fate in the man's hands.
     
  8. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    Most jurisdictions have a 1-black ball rule. Texas is one of few who does not have that rule.

    I don't think it's really that big of a deal.
     
  9. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Most jurisdictions have few lodges and most are small. Many jurisdictions use code books in lodge. Many jurisdictions have dumbed down the esoteric work. Many jurisdictions have all 3 degrees on one day. Many jurisdictions do not allow plural membership. Do we have to change just because other jurisdictions do it differently?
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    Is it actually against Grand Lodge law to hold a discussion on the candidate when the petition is read or before the vote is taken, or is it only against custom?

    ---------- Post added at 10:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:12 AM ----------

    To play devil's advocate, how does 3 black balls solve the Grouchy Brother problem? As has already been pointed out on this thread, plenty of brothers are able to convince two other brothers to vote with them if they want to blackball someone. Why not change it to majority vote? Force the Grouchy Brothers to convince half the lodge to vote with them if they want to blackball someone. No, it's not traditional, but neither is the three black ball rule.

    On the other side, if there are lodges that have Grouchy Brothers who blackball everyone, one could argue that the free market will weed them out in favor of lodges with more open doors. Eventually, I would imagine those lodges would die out from lack of new membership to pay the bills.
     
  11. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Honestly not sure about this, but I'd be curious to know. I don't have a copy of the Grand Lodge Lawbook, unfortunately, so I can't look it up.


    But you forget, we're completely unwilling to let any lodge die for any reason and Texas, and will join two, three, four, or more lodges just to keep charters active. It's lodge inflation, is what it is.

    I think the three vote rule is fine. It's a good compromise between one nay rejecting and majority rule.

    Which I think isn't nearly selective enough. My college fraternity voted most things by majority rule, and some poor decisions can be made that way.

    Of my two college fraternities, one required 75% vote to allow a member in *after* completing all requirements, and the other required a *unanimous* decision by the brotherhood just to send them a bid (a petition, in effect). Both of those fraternities did just fine, and they were arguably stricter than our lodges.

    I think the balloting systems isn't the problem, it's the investigation.
     
  12. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    It hasn't been that long since we went to 3 black balls. In reality, all we'd be doing is reversing a previous decision, not following other jurisdictions.
     
  13. Tx4ever

    Tx4ever Registered User

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    Does anyone remember the reasons {Stated} for changing from 1 to 3?
     
  14. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    I'm not worried about the number of black balls, in fact I have no problem with having 3 instead of one to keep someone who may or may not hold a grudge from acting on that grudge.

    For me I do believe it all starts at the recommendation. The investigation should confirm a recommendation and the recommendation shouldn't be given lightly...its the first stop in guarding the west gate. And it shouldn't be the only point in which we guard the gates...
     
  15. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Exactly! Then the investigations should be a second gate. Then, with a change to law, a discussion about the candidate could be a third gate. With 3 properly used security gates we should have a better, and at the same time a system with less chance of abuse, method than a 1 ball solution.

    Abuses...
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    OK- the only thing I found was thus:

    "Art. 505. Certain Other Masonic Disciplinary Violations

    17. Canvass publicly for or against the admission of a candidate into Masonry."

    "Canvass" is defined as the act of "seeking orders or votes" or "determining opinions or sentiments".

    Speaking strictly for myself, I believe that if I have information about a candidate, be it good or bad, as long as I don't say "Vote for (or against) X", I can (and, in my mind, have the duty to) advise the Lodge of said information. In addition, I do not believe anything said in a tiled Lodge can be construed as having been done "publicly". Of course, the Grand Master's & Jurisprudence Committee's mileage may vary. :wink:
     
  17. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Think I will get much flack when I ask the GM about this at the GM conference this Saturday?
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Actually, I don't think he'll have a problem with it. It'll help us guard the west gate better, which is what he says he wants.
     
  19. Tx4ever

    Tx4ever Registered User

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    Believe me you wont have tp ask
     
  20. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    That's not a bad thing.
     

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