Dealing with lazy EA's

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Bingo!

    Let me clarify my original post. While some of the EA's were initiated and never came back, there are some whom I consider active members. Unfortunately, progressing through the degrees isn't a priority, which is the problem.

    I don't have my GL Lawbook handy, but what can be done if an EA fails to complete his work within a year? Is his dues card no longer valid?
     
  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Basically, nothing. He is still an EA and can, if willing, complete his instruction & turn in his work at any time. The only thing is, if he has gone "out-of-time", he'll have to petition for advancement before he can receive his FC degree.
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Instead of voting on his advancement after a year, I'd like for the Lodge to have the power to invalidate his dues card and remove him from the fraternity. I'm not saying it would be a common practice, but having that power may "encourage" lazy EA's to get on the ball or risk expulsion.
     
  4. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Sounds like you need to get busy writing up your resolution- needs to be to the GSec by May 15th. :wink:
     
  5. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    Blake,

    As it stands you can bring masonic charges and suspend or expel an EA or FC if necessary, but they do not pay dues nor hold voting rights until they are a MM. They are not entitled to the honors and privileges of a Master Mason. If you want to keep them from attending the stated meeting simply inform the lodge that you will be opening on the Masters degree, invite them to the meal before, open on the 3rd degree, and inform them that the Stewards need some help in the kitchen from the EAs and FCs. I do not think that this would be any more a detriment to peace and harmony than informing them that Grand Lodge law changed and the lodge just voted you guys out. Maybe twenty years from now their priorities will change, and they will return or maybe if explained to them properly they will decide to buckle down now.

    Personally I like the system in Texas the way it is, if someone does not complete their work in the prescribed time the door is always open for them to return, and I do not think that suspension for not completing their work is a necessary tool because after all they have much more to work towards. It sounds as though the only privilege extended to them is attending the stated, if the Master sees it as a problem he can always remedy that without changing grand lodge law. I mean no disrespect with my comments, simply my opinion.

    Respectfully and Fraternally,

    Chance Robinson
     
  6. Ed Nelson

    Ed Nelson Registered User

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    This was brought up at a District Officers meeting I attended this week.

    One person brought up that it is essential that the candidate investigation committee meet with the potential member and explain exactly what masonry is, what will be expected for them.

    It was said that many new candidates come in not really or fully knowing what masonry is. Some think they are going to levitate 3 feet off the ground or be giving some type of power or influence (too many movies)once they are members.

    The reality is that it's a lot of work for them initially and they are going to have to put in some time studying, memorizing, and learning. They need to know that, understand that, and agree to that before their petitions are ever even read in lodge.
     
    dalinkou likes this.
  7. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not for simply failing to work.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I have emphasized this with those who have approached me asking for a petition. Seems to work with half of them- the other half disappear after their initiations. Some just aren't cut out to be Masons, for others the time just isn't right yet.
     
  9. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    Agreed ... I failed to state "if necessary"... for a masonic disciplinary violation.
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    One idea discussed on this forum and others is that of asking the newly initiated, passed, or raised brother to write a paper or presentation on some aspect of the degree in which he just participated. I have to admit, I've been disappointed by how little people seem to retain from the symbolism of the EA degree, and the FC is all but a stepping stone to so many brothers. They remember something about stairs and that's about it. ;)

    I think by having them study the process through which they just went, you have them own it. Right now, they get an old lecture with a power point. I would like to see a degree where the WM utilizes a tracing board of some kind for the lecture.

    I have a friend being initiated soon, and I'm currently working on a Masonic Education presentation on the symbolism of the EA degree. A second lecture, delivered less formally and in an almost conversational manner.
     
  11. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I know for me when I was an EA I had the drive and will to see this through. In Oklahoma all stated meetings are conducted on the MM degree. It cannot be done on any other degree. Just being a part of my first meeting was an exciting experience. I wanted to contribute to the Lodge as much as I could. I knew that other than showing up a breakfast or an EA degree was my limits. I couldn't be a part of anything that to me was worthwhile without being a MM. I took the time when I was initiated to to talk to my mentor and set up times with him when we could meet and study. Except for maybe 2 or 3 times I kept those appointments through all 3 degrees. At the time my mentor was also the WM and I also saw this as an opportunity to prove to him and myself that I had the initiative to be of service. I think that many times some of these candidates come in with a preconceived notion of what Masonry is and usually it isn't what they thought it would be and simply disappear. The books and movies trend we are seeing is helping that out. The lazy ones are more than likely a lost cause from the beginning. I didn't have anyone in my family that was involved with Masonry to influence my decision to join or give me a preconceived notion of what I was getting into. Sometimes I think that by going in blind, so to speak, like I did also helped me develop the drive that I have. All we can do is reach out and let them know we are there for them and if they need the help and want it all they have to do is ask.
     
  12. K.S.

    K.S. Registered User

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    I really think a small part of the blame lies in the MM's of the lodge. EA's need to be looked after a little bit, as a father might look after his own son.
    It took me 6 years from initiation to raising. When I was a newly minted EA, it was a lonely, dark time. Not much contact with the lodge, trying to study ciphers that looked like gibberish, and it cause me to fall through the cracks for a time.
    I had a sick child in the hospital on and off for 2 years, wife lost her job, and I had to try to pick up extra hours at work. 3 years after initiation I came back to the lodge got passed, a few months later, suffered an injury at work, almost lost my house and spent alot of time in rehabilitation.
    I went back to work, into a flurry of negative changes in the company I work for, now I was forced to work overtime, on a late shift, a mountain of debt to work off while putting my wife through nursing school (still) and took another 3 years until the dust somewhat settled and I could come back to lodge. I finally was raised a month and a half ago, and NONE of it was due to being a "lazy EA".
    I know they are out there, and I believe that Masonry needs to be explained before one submits a petition, so our time and their time isn't wasted on the 1°.
    But they shouldn't automatically be written off as Lazy. EA is a lonely spot to be in, they have to want to do the work, but it is up to the MM's to extend the hand of fellowship.
    .............................(Just my 4 cents)
     
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  13. s_pike

    s_pike Registered User

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    I copied this from an earlier post on this thread.

    "One idea discussed on this forum and others is that of asking the newly initiated, passed, or raised brother to write a paper or presentation on some aspect of the degree in which he just participated."

    Nothing in the Degree work can be written down on anything! Remember your EA Obligation my Brother.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  14. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Some things can be written...there have been countless books written on Freemasonry and I doubt each of those authors broke their obligations.

    I think it's important to note in your quote that the brother mentioned writing about aspects of the degree (such as the lessons, symbolism, ect) and not the degree itself. This is a pretty important difference, in my opinion.
     
  15. s_pike

    s_pike Registered User

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    Agreed my Brother.
     
  16. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    haha, I remember the obligation quite well. I should have been more clear:

    I believe you are only forbidden from writing down the words of the ceremony and the "secrets" that are conferred. If it was a blanket prohibition, then there would be no research societies.

    I believe a brother writing on the entrance into the room, on circumabulation, black and white tile, etc, helps him embrace the degree. That is just my opinion, though, and as I've expressed in other threads, I hope to one day create a "different" lodge where Masonic education is the focus more than bill-paying and the reading of the minutes.
     
  17. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    You aren't kidding.

    In our lodge, we seem to have about a 50% EA dropout rate. About half of them, they'll do the degree and then you never again see hide nor hair of them. Its not like they don't know where we are, they've been coming and having coffee and meals with us for a few months to get their petition signed. I think they just decide that after seeing the degree that it isn't anything they want, which is sad, but its their choice.
     
  18. Thestoat

    Thestoat Guest

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    hi

    It seems to me that my jurisdiction is quite different, as I didn't have to turn in that much work before passing.

    I had a shaky start to masonry, and I nearly left, but with support and a change of lodge, I became fired up for freemasonry.

    I definitely wasn't lazy before passing, I bought my own ritual book to gain a greater understanding of the rituals and meaning, I learnt the working tools, inner guard bits, all on my own at home.

    But for me, it was a hard path, my opinion is, if they are offered help and guidance, yet still can't turn in the work they need to do, either they are genuinely lazy, and therefore not having, and as such is this the fault of the original investigators on their application.

    Or the guys concerned have personal issues, work issues, or some sort of stress in their life, we all work hard, but if you want it, you'll do it.

    Perhaps there's too much on getting people in quickly, without preparing them enough before initiation.

    Just my thoughts.

    And hello to my Texas brethren
     
  19. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I really understand what you are saying. Truly life does get in the way sometimes. I would never consider what you went through as qualifying for the title of "lazy" and more than likely the opposite of that. I commend you and your will stick it out through the hard times and come back to the Lodge when you could. I think that sometimes when a mentor is assigned to an EA they sometimes fail to live up to the "mentor" title. A phone call or a visit here and there goes a long way in helping someone move forward. We are initiating a candidate next week and we have had numerous volunteers to step forward and teach the lectures to him and check in on him to make sure everything is going good and if he needs help with anything. One of the problems I see though is sometimes the relationship between EA and MM isn't a reciprocal one, which it needs to be if it is to succeed.
     
  20. youngsandy

    youngsandy Registered User

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    Call me picky but there are no MOCK degree's in Freemasonry, you work a degree with a Substitute Candidate.Don't devalue what we have by using words like Mock.
     

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