What would you change?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by hanzosbm, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    People invite people be it directly or indirectly regardless of their grand lodges offical position on it.
    Out of curiosity do we know what our numbers where like prior to each of the world wars?
     
  2. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    I would also change the emphasis on traveling, make your home lodge your priority.
     
  3. Andy Fracica

    Andy Fracica Site Benefactor Premium Member

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    We try to schedule around the petitioner's schedule but we are small city without long commutes so we usually shoot for a weeknight but would do a Saturday or even a Sunday evening if necessary.
     
  4. Andy Fracica

    Andy Fracica Site Benefactor Premium Member

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    I was asked to join by a friend from church 30 years ago and timing wasn't right. I waited 30 years for someone to ask me again and it never happened. It took my son to say that some of his friends were masons and he was thinking about joining the lodge. I told him if he joined I wanted to join and the rest is history, abet a short history.

    I've talked to some young guys and they never heard of Masonry or Freemasonry. So maybe we just have to get the word out, or better yet, maybe we just have to find a way to get the members who don't participate, more active.
     
  5. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    There is a lot of focus on getting people to join and no interest in what they find once they have joined.
    If we focus on the quality of our work, continue to develop and be attractive to candidates then people will join of their own accord.
    Have a read of “a Traditional Observance Lodge” and see what you think.
     
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  6. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Check out

    http://www.msana.com/msastats_14to15.asp

    Read it an weep!!!
     
  7. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Okay, now, show me the stats on how many quality members there were over the years.

    Obviously, a rhetorical request, but my point is, numbers don't show anything to do with the quality. I am 100% against inviting men to join. In fact, I think it is far too blasé as it is. Duly and truly prepared isn't about the way he's dressed, he has to be ready for Masonry before seeking admission. Seek, Ask, Knock, remember the lesson there. Freemasonry has been dumbed down far too much as it is, trying to blanketly increase numbers will accomplish that goal, but at what cost?
     
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  8. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Here are the membership stats, which are provided by the Masonic Service Association of North America.

    http://www.msana.com/msastats_14to15.asp

    Read them and weep!!!
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    There is the problem. 75 and even 50 years ago, men joined the same organizations and clubs, that their parents did. WW2 scattered the population, and emptied the rural areas. With less than 2% of our population living in rural areas, we are an urban society.

    I have seen some terrific documentaries on History channel and Discovery, dealing with Masonry, most of them are excellent. If you google "Freemasonry" you will get over a million hits. The "word" is there, and the word is "out", just that young men are not getting the message.

    As our membership cohort declines, and lodges close, there will be even less interest, and the fraternity will continue to spiral downwards, and die.

    Freemasonry can arrest this trend, and we can get our lodges back to growing again.

    Only if, we have the courage and determination, to put the processes and chains of the past, behind us.

    "The peaceful dogmas of the past, are inadequate to the stormy present" - Abraham Lincoln (not a freemason)
     
  10. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Quality is a subjective determination. If you ask two Masons, what is a "quality Mason", you will probably get three opinions. You are quite correct, that numbers do not show quality.

    Inviting prospective candidates to join, is not "dumbing down" the fraternity. If you ask a man with a Ph.D. degree to consider Freemasonry, are you going to "dumb down" anything? I believe that when we are permitted to solicit members, we can approach men with education, and men of quality. When you must wait for candidates to come to the West Gate, of their own free will, you are stuck with what comes in!

    Consider that!
     
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  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    True.
    It is, indeed, something to consider.
     
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  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I am not sure what you mean. I have been a Mason for over 35 years, but I have never encountered any "emphasis" on traveling (to other lodges). I know many Masons, who are terrified of visiting a different lodge, because they feel that they could not stand the examination.

    Of course, a Mason should support his mother lodge, as a priority. (When possible! My mother lodge is 500 miles from my residence). But visiting other lodges, is part of the "wages" of a Master Mason.

    Many lodges, do not have adequate degree staff, and they rely on nearby lodges for personnel to complete their degree teams.
     
  13. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    What's wrong with lodges closing? Seriously. Everyone acts like this is such a horrible thing. Have you considered the idea that maybe there are too many lodges? Everyone keeps talking about the post WWII membership numbers. So what? If you want Rotary club, they're accepting applications. I, for one, have no interest in throwing open the doors to everyone who wants to socialize.

    To what end? What does growth accomplish?

    I would estimate that in a given lodge of 200 Masons, 30 might actually be active. Of those 30, 15 are there purely for the social aspect, which can be found in many other organizations, and sit in the back and sleep through most of the meetings (literally or figuratively). Of the remaining 15, you have a mixture of brothers who want a few extra acronyms to list after their names, men who feel a duty to keep the lodge alive but would probably not be active if someone else was willing to bear the burden, and those who are genuinely interested in Freemasonry's teachings and lessons. Let's say be generous and say that 10 fall into that last category. That's 5%. The rest could easily find what they're looking for somewhere else. Mathematically, that tells me that we could have 5% of the lodges we do now, with 200 masons each and retain the same number of quality Masons.

    "But with such a small footprint, how will we be visible enough to attract new members?" Men who are genuinely interested in what we will do will find us. They always have. From times and places when Freemasonry was literally outlawed, to the ancient Mystery schools which were essentially secret societies. They continued to survive, and we will too.
     
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  14. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Absolutely. Dumbing down Freemasonry has nothing to do with the intelligence of the candidate, but rather the requirements and standards of the institution.

    Not at all. That's what black cubes are for.
     
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  15. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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  16. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    As I reflect on this disagreement, I realize that this is EXACTLY the point of this forum topic in the first place.

    We all have very different ideas about what Freemasonry should be. At the moment, in my opinion, it is try to be too much to too many people and because of that, it is failing. Jack of all trades, master of none. Our fraternity doesn't have enough focus. We're a social organization. We're a charitable society. We're a philosophical group. And regarding membership, we tell prospective members 'come on it, whatever you're looking for, we've got it!' only to have them turn away in disappointment when they find out that, yes, we have it, but it's one of 20 different focuses we have and none of them are done well.
     
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  17. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    A very good point, but, I believe it does make a difference. Sad though it is, most of the brethren don't REALLY get to know a prospect before voting on him. We ask him some questions, do a background check, maybe even have dinner with him a few times. We have to make that decision based on a limited amount of information. For me, the question of whether this is something he wanted badly enough to seek out and put some effort into versus he showed up because his boss invited him and he didn't want to look bad, tells me something about his motivations. Yes, you could simply ask him that same question, but actions speak louder than words.
     
  18. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    If your mother lodge is 500 miles away why do you maintain the affiliation? What value do you get fro that?
     
  19. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I can sort of understand this. Perhaps it's where his father or grandfather were members at or he just wants to support the brothers that raised him.
     
  20. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    True and for a few dollars every year it’s no big propblem, only issue I see is being a constant visitor no one expects anything of you, you never need to learn work an in some temples you won’t even pay for a meal.
    Of cause this is all moot if you have affiliated with another lodge in your new town?
    As a visitor I always feel a bit of an outsider and so I should, I don’t belong in the way the brethren of that lodge do, but it’s great to meet people and see the level other lodges are working at.
     

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