Keeping it 'secret'.

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by CLewey44, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    On a regular basis, we have people on here asking about joining the fraternity of Freemasonry. Typically, those on here asking are living in countries that it is illegal or very uncommon to say the least. Many times these guys will say things like I NEED to know or please answer my questions etc. To them, Freemasonry is such a secretive organization it drives them crazy not knowing anything about it therefore they are so intrigued about joining.

    Many times, psychologically speaking, it's human nature to want something we cannot obtain. In Westernized countries, Freemasonry is old news and most people have full access to internet and libraries/books (not censored like most second and third world countries) making it easier to just 'read about Masonry' thus losing that mysteriousness. Most of us knew a grandfather or uncle that was a Mason and there was nothing particularly mysterious or interesting about them.

    I know the oaths we took are at times a little vague but at what point did posting things all over the internet about Masonry, publishing books etc. become ok in the eyes of the fraternity? Is this ease of access to information what has contributed to the demise or interest in Freemasonry? Have we now lost an entire generation of Freemasonry to too many 'loose lips'? On the other hand, in places it's still mysterious, would lodges thrive in that environment as does interest in Masonry thrives in those environments? Ease of access to websites and even Masonic books was a little difficult to come by before the Satanic panic of the 80s when Masonry thrived here.

    I see sites on the web, ran by "Masons" that have most, if not all, of the 'secrets' of Masonry (whatever that is) and at the very least much of its philosophy. Why are we not just having these conversations in lodge? Why the books and websites? It discourages attendance at the very least and certainly discourages interest in joining.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Your implying it's not ok already.

    Nope.

    Nope.

    Perhaps, but maybe not for the reasons one might assume.

    Tradition!

    Not if it's giving seekers what they want.

    Nope ;-)
     
  3. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    I have no issue with a masonic website explaining things to include philosophy (obviously since I run one). I do take issue with a small number of sites (some not run by regular "Masons") that put forth the ritual (in detail) along with signs of recognition etc.

    Most of my Masonic books range from between the 1880's - 1950's, though I have collected several new that are great. Our Philosophy is and really has never been a secret since it's based on works from BCE. (....waiting on Coachn to advise the difference between a Masonic Library and a Free-masonic library lol.... He'd be right.)

    I would alter this to "it's human nature to want something we are unwilling to work for". :)
     
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  4. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I hear you both, just wanted to point out that books from 1880s to 1950s were very difficult to come by for non-Masons vs. today. No B&N or internet back then to buy them. Most libraries didn't carry them. Just wanted to make that quick point.
     
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  5. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    You are correct in your assessment my good Brother...

    And that library thingy can be found here: https://buildinghiram.blogspot.com/2016/02/what-kind-of-library-do-you-have.html
     
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  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When you point, a man follows where your finger points to. When you point, a dog sniffs the end of your finger. "On the internet no one knows you're a dog" has far more meaning than being about appearance. It's about how someone reacts to a pointer.

    The ritual is a pointer. The secrets are what we point at. The secrets are not the tip of our pointing finger.

    When someone comes from a country where Masonry is banned, pray for them. Pray for their enlightenment.

    But sometimes it may be that the person from that country is trying to reveal who in his country is involved. In other words lying. Pray for their moral reformation.

    "A man's reach should exceed his grasp" and "On the internet no one knows you're a dog" are opposite statements that refer to the same meaning. Thought and imagination triggered by shared experiences.
     
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  7. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    Isn't there a tyled section on this website? Because I've noticed a lot of strange questions, not like I'm interested in being joining freemasonry, but more of a whose who and where. It maybe just me. But in today's world , there seems to be a lot of Cowen's and eaves droppers.
     
  8. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    There's no such thing as a tyled internet site. You have no way of knowing who is sitting at the keyboard at the other end of the conversation. I could have walked away from my computer and someone else sat down and started looking around. I can't count the number of times I've seen someone get "pranked" by a child or "significant other" who makes a post on Facebook using that someone's identity because they left their computer logged on.
     
  9. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
    Absolutely!
    Saw this happen at work.
     
  10. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I think we could post the entire ritual here - and in reading, someone will still not understand Freemasonry. Indeed, someone who has heard and seen the entire ritual for years might not get Freemasonry.

    The mystic and the mystery remains.

    I would say if you want to understand any "decline" in Freemasonry, don't look at the ritual, look at everything else, especially what happens off site a Masonic Building how connected your brethren are or are not. If there is one thing we should focus on, its the fraternal, because when fraternity is happening, especially with thoughtful and curious brothers, Masonic Education naturally flows...
     
  11. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I understand the security side of things for sure. Especially in places where Masonry is 'suspect' in the eyes of the locals, at best. I also understand a lot of brothers are grounded in 'facts' that are really more of a perspective. But my point is the likely correlation between membership dwindling (which is ok as long as lodge attendance is good) and current/future technology, loose lips and accessibility to something that was at one time virtually unknown about except by members. Believe me, I understand there are a million other contributors to this but is what I mentioned a possible piece of the pie. It's something to ponder.
    Brother I feel you for sure. However, some of this, I think, may have more to do with retention. The fraternal aspects etc. Most men join out of curiosity. Mostly. If all that a guy wanted was a fraternal bond they could find that anywhere. They choose Masonry to feel apart of something exclusive maybe. That opinion may change later but doesn't change the initial feeling. That fraternal bond is weak sometimes as many have mentioned on here. I dont know how many times I've been snubbed by "brothers" or have seen others snub someone. At times it lacks that bond and is even disappointing at times in that regard. I remember a brothers son died a few years ago via suicide and nobody was talking about going to check on him, Marine vet, had guns, who knows what was going through his head. Our lodge sent him a card... ..... .....a card. I remember I was a brand new MM and actually said some thing after the meeting about us going to his house to check on him, someone said they'd text him. That really deflated me and I thought, "wow under a WCS situation, we send a guy a card and a text. How generic and convenient. I've seen this not welcoming behavior as well in three states. It's not just one. I know many of you have fine lodges and districts that are not like this but understand it's not always like that elsewhere.

    You're definitely correct about posting it and understanding it or not. I would venture to say most MMs dont understand it. I've said before, many non-Masons know more about Freemasonry than actual members. In years past very few outside the fraternity knew anything about Freemasonry and people were joining left and right. Before that it was even more secretive and many didnt even know of their existence hence creating a mystique later that resulted in 4M Masons in the U.S. alone by the late 50s. I'm not debating but sort of trying to be the Devil's Advocate for my own question haha. I know it's not as simple as what I presented but I feel it's a piece of the pie. I would like to see data, and I have before, on incoming Masons vs outgoing (NPDs, death etc) If I recall only one state was in the black. Maybe that's changed but numbers are sliding very quickly and one apparent difference is what I've presented. Again I understand it's only a piece of the pie, maybe even a very small piece but one nonetheless.
     
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  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I have never been a member of another Men's organisation outside Freemasonry, but I trust what my Brothers who have been in the military say, the only thing is civilian life outside the military for the bond it creates is Freemasonry. It's Thursday here on a workday at 1:30 pm , and I have already spoken to three brothers . It would be unusual to pass a couple of days without speaking to a Brother from one of my two lodges, but that's the fraternal world we have built over the last decade. Our last Brother in distress something like you describe, our (single) WM moved in with him. That said, I found a brother at another lodge recently who was homeless and reported that to a PM - they've done nothing for him and have their head in the sand over it.. Not all lodges are made the same... but by the same token, they are not "made" they are built and we try to build ours every day.
     
  13. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Sounds like you fellas have built something really good for yourselves. That's awesome. I saw mention of the funeral you attended and there were over a dozen brothers present at that particular funeral. That's good to hear. There is nothing more important than supporting each other during crisis. It's easy not to do and very emotionally demanding to do for someone. However, it shows a true inner character to be there for them like that.
     
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  14. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I agree and thanks Brother, and were still "building" :D
     
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  15. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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  16. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I hear you. I would explore around to see if you can find a TO lodge or better yet SRICF if you can get invited.
     
  17. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I currently belong to a TO lodge, but we're very small. And, I think half of our officers are SRICF, but I have not been invited.
     
  18. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Nice, it sounds like you're doing all the right things to reach your goal there.
     
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