A Friend - A Brother

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Blake Bowden, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    A couple of years ago a founding member of this site made some poor choices and in the end, had Masonic Charges filed against him. Unfortunately, another Brother whom he confided in decided to print out their conversations, run to the Grand Lodge of Texas and file charges. This raised a red flag for me -- how much can I confide in a Brother before they run off and put my membership in jeopardy? As a Mason, I've always been told to whisper good counsel to an erring Brother, not go behind his back and file charges. I've been a Mason since 2008, joined numerous appendant bodies and spent hours, days and years doing everything I can to grow the Craft. Time has passed since this occurred, but it still bothers me. In regards to the aforementioned Brother, he's been left in limbo as the Grand Lodge of Texas will not respond to his inquiries.
     
  2. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    Kind of goes against the obligation doesn't it? I have to agree with you on this. We had a similar thing happen a while back but it was a visiting member that caused the uproar.
     
  3. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    You should be able to confide in a brother at all times without worry of being retaliated against. You may want to make sure its not the two things that are left at his option, though.
     
  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The reinstatement process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in the jurisdictions I know it starts at the lodge level not at the grand lodge level. If that's the case in Texas as well the GL folks don't have any place in responding to him until the lodge that he was a member of files the appropriate paperwork.

    The process tends to be very slow. An old friend had a DUI years ago and he goes through the process every few years. At some point it goes from too soon to it's been long enough. The nature of the crime matters greatly. I've been at GL when a reinstatement petition for a child molester was read, not happening ever to every brother in attendance.
     
  5. usmcvet

    usmcvet Registered User

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    I would be upset too. It is an important lesson thought. Don't put it in print if you don't want to see it on the front page of the local paper.
     
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  6. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    Wonder did any of the Grand officers tell the informer he was off the [ ] unless a loss of life or
    Was involved?


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  7. usmcvet

    usmcvet Registered User

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    Treason or Murder are exceptions but it also said it was up to each of us. If a child molester confessed to me I would not hold that in confidence. I suspect the "offense" was much more benign though. Still an important lesson.
     
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Some states list murder, treason and felony. Some states don't list it being at our option. Reasonable variations.
     
  9. usmcvet

    usmcvet Registered User

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    Mine said murder and treason but also said others @ your discretion.
     
  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Some jurisdictions don't give you options.
     
  11. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    No sir tell the relatives!!!


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  12. usmcvet

    usmcvet Registered User

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    Meaning every thing but Treason and Murder must be held in confidence? Glad that's not my situation.
     
  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    How many times have you been told a secret with going through the mumble mumble mumble before receiving that secret? No brother so far has ever asked me to do that. Then again how many brothers mention offhand that they committed crimes? I don't know that I can remember that happening either.
     
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  14. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    Right!!! If its your secret the real way to keep it is to keep it!!!


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  15. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    According to the Ob I took, if a Brother tells me he robbed a bank, I must keep it a secret. On top of that, if I know the police are going to raid his house, I have to warn him.
     
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  16. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

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    Yes pretty much as such !!!


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  17. usmcvet

    usmcvet Registered User

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    Never. I've been a cop going on 22 years. =)

    that is the Only way to keep a secret. Keep your mouth shut!

     
  18. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I swore to keep a Brother's secrets, with only two exceptions, and those at my discretion. I also swore to warn him yadayada. In NM they are the fourth and fifth "furthermores."

    On the flip-side, I promised to whisper wise council in his ear, so if he did tell me he committed a crime, I would have to encourage him to come clean to both the authorities, and the Lodge.
     
  19. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    That portion of the process has been taken out of the lodges hands, and has been moved to the Grand Secretary for reasons that have never been clear to me. The Junior Warden now does little regarding the law as anyone can file charges directly with the Grand Secretary and the dispute is never handled in the actual lodge itself. There is a resolution that wants to remove that and put it back in the lodges hands, but we will see if it passes.

    I have always found that dispute resolution needs to happen at the lowest level, from the battlefield to the lab. I don't understand why Texas Freemasonry isn't the same...

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  20. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    Yeah the threat of Masonic charges and actual attempt of Masonic charges ruins Masonic enlightenment. I have seen charges pressed rightfully so, and have seen them pressed out of pettiness. Someone threatened me with Masonic charges because they don't like me, it soured me for a while on the fraternity.

    Masonic charges are costly in so many ways, and brothers need to use it as a last option when everything else has failed, not a first line action or threat because of a disagreement.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
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