criminal records

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by kevhumph, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I can’t speak for Australia but in California you wouldn’t be allowed to join. Or at least not without Grand Lodge intervention.
     
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  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Same here in Kentucky.
     
  3. SCStrong

    SCStrong Registered User

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    I believe the same is true here, in South Carolina, too.
    Good luck to you - may you continue on the positive path ...... I am a firm believer that all men can improve themselves and overcome any past misdeeds with the help of God and a good attitude.
     
  4. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Please provide your cite.
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Bro. Gilmore, you are referring to Bro. McCrae's Resolution #19, which did NOT pass. The following is the current version of Art. 393:

    Art. 393. Qualifications.
    A candidate for the degrees of Masonry must be free-born, sound in mind, of good moral character, a full eighteen years of age on or before the day his petition is received by the Lodge, and without maim or defect which will render him incapable of earning his own living or receiving and imparting, Masonically, all that is required by the ritual of the several degrees: provided that as to physical maims and defects Articles 27 and 401 of these Laws shall be applicable. However, an individual who has been found guilty of, or has pleaded no contest to charges of pedophilia (such as Indecency with a Child by sexual contact or any other means, Aggravated Sexual Assault with a child by any means, Sexual Assault with a Child by any means) shall be disqualified to submit a petition for the degrees of Masonry. After the foregoing requirements have been strictly met, the question of the candidate’s mental, moral, and such physical qualifications as do not come within the restrictions of Art. 401 is one to be decided within the sound discretion of the members of the Lodge petitioned. (Revised 2015)
     
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  6. Jason Gilmore

    Jason Gilmore Registered User

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    I stand corrected. For some reason that resolution stuck in my head. Bro. Lin, I apologize.
     
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  7. BullDozer Harrell

    BullDozer Harrell Registered User

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    Mr. Kevhumph, i really hope you consider that there the men who have to decide upon your Petition for membership into their Fraternity might have very real reasons for their decisions.

    In Lodges, you will more than likely have men whom aren't allowed to associate with convicted felons. It could cost them loss of jobs in some cases if discovered. Even though we like to think that Freemasonry is something apart from the larger society. But in reality it's not.

    The politics of the outer societies influence the workings of our inner Brotherhood.

    Good luck.

    Sent from my SM-T377P using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Most certainly another thing to consider.
     
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  9. Randy81

    Randy81 Premium Member

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    In Louisiana, a felony doesn't automatically disqualify you, but I think it'd definitely raise some red flags.
     
  10. Bird_n_hand

    Bird_n_hand Registered User

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    Is it really a freemasons secret to becoming a better man? I too was convicted 15 years ago, I was the last person in my state to go through the youth offender placement, a program that once sent juveniles to adult prisons. It was later seen as cruel and they changed the rules about that. Neither here nor their, I don't have much family and the family i did have passed away while I was incarcerated. I literally was released as a man with the life experience of someone who should've still been in high school. It's been along time since i seen a jail cell. I'm a changed man and I don't feel like my past is accurate to who i am today, my question is why all the secrets. If freemasons purports to make good men better men then even if I'm barred from petitioning then wouldn't a good man have some form of compassion and shed light on a man who wants to better himself? I for one love to help people and people whom I feel i can enlighten I do so willingly. I've lived alot and seen alot that most people can't imagine and I've been able to help people in somewhat similar circumstance. I'm an accomplished proud man like most of you, needless to say if all men share a father making us brothers would you let your brother stay outside in the cold weather when he's asking to be let in all because he made mistakes in his past, let the man without any mistakes throw the first black ball I say
     
  11. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    I refer you to my response to the original question which I suspect you may not have read!
     
  12. Bird_n_hand

    Bird_n_hand Registered User

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    I have read. In my home state of Washington any felon is barred from petitioning, period. So moot point. Also what is a prosper and seconded? I'm assuming it's the investigative committee? And how much away does an individual lodge have in accepting a petition apart from the GL?
     
  13. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    You're 31 years of age and convicted at 15 hears ago, so you were convicted at 16 ? Here, that would be significant....

    "Also what is a prosper and seconded?" - a Freemason who proposes you to become a Freemason and a Freemason who seconds that application.

    "And how much away does an individual lodge have in accepting a petition apart from the GL?" Varies, but everything - GL will never make you a Freemason, a lodge will, but the rules of GL can stop you becoming one. As a senior lodge member, I can put a motion to change those rules, I wold also expect quickly get a meeting if I requested one with the Grand Master, Grand Sec etc who might have the power to give a dispensation to the rules.

    If such a man approached me, and the charge was not for unjustifiable violence, rape or significant drug trafficking, I would likely give him a hearing.. but the rules can be very tight in the States and other places.

    An application to join is not like a court where its better to set a guilty man free than convict and innocent one - its better to miss a good candidate than let a bad one in. That's my view, but I would think most Freemasons would agree.
     
  14. Bird_n_hand

    Bird_n_hand Registered User

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    Yes I was 16, convicted and sent to prison at 17. One caveat though. A juvenile can only be tried as an adult for robber, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, drive by shooting, murder or rape. Drug crimes get defered to juvenile court. Not making excuses for myself I deserved to go to prison. It was the only way I could wisen up and walk a different path
     
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed. The West Gate should be securely guarded indeed!
     
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  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Proposer - Top line signer, must be a member of that specific lodge. Seconder - Other signers on the petition, in many jurisdictions they only need to be members of that jurisdiction but the rules vary. In most jurisdictions the investigating committee may not have men who signed your petition because the signers are supposed to have already investigated your character.

    Leeway only adds restriction one level at a time. If a candidate is barred at any level, that's it. Barred by GL rules, the check gets returned. Not recommended by the investigating committee, might never even go to ballot. Fail the ballot, not invited to take our degrees. In no case can any one level say yes overriding a previous level. More local levels can only say no.

    Just checking - Are you aware that there are 2 regular and recognized jurisdictions in the state of Washington? I don't know the rules of both of them but there will be differences in details. It might be worth checking the rules of both jurisdictions to see if this particular rule is one of the points of difference.
     
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  17. Bird_n_hand

    Bird_n_hand Registered User

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    I wasn't aware. I thought all freemasons were the same. And that all were under the same grand lodge. Can you give me more guidance in this fact because I will definitely look into it
     
  18. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    There are responses from members of more than 10 Grand Lodges in this thread - all will have slightly different rules...
    Good suggestion - but a felony will be a tricky thing in most places in the States.
     
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  19. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    There are nearly one hundred recognized grand lodges in the US alone, and other countries have one or more, as well.
     
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  20. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Yep.
     
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