Demit?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by mark!, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. mark!

    mark! Guest

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    How does one go about demitting from a lodge? I'm currently in a position where I want to switch lodges, my home lodge is far away from me, and with my work schedule there is a lodge right down the street that meets my needs schedule wise, also has an Eastern Star for my wife, and Demolays for my boys if interested at that age. I'm at the point now where I have received in the mail my form for lodge dues, do I just send a letter in for demit or send in dues and a letter? How does this process work exactly.
     
  2. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

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    Mark, I believe the first thing you should do if you haven't already done so is petition for membership at the new lodge; after you have been accepted there you would file an application for demit with your current lodge (you can get this from your new lodge secretary). You can do this simultaneously but to prevent being "a man without a country" make sure you are accepted in your new lodge first before demitting.

    When your old lodge receives your application for demit as long as you are in good standing there they will issue a certificate of demit to your new lodge and with GL. Since the timing of all of this will roll over into next year they may ask you to pay pro-rated dues for January............probably not but it is a possibility.
     
  3. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I would suggest that you make sure you like the new lodge first. Plus, you can always be a plural member of both lodges if you wish.
     
  4. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Brother Mark,

    You will want to contact the Secretary of your current home lodge for a Certificate of Good Standing as a starting point. The Secretary will either send the Certificate of Good Standing to you directly or to the Secretary of the Lodge to which you want to petition. Within the Grand Lodge of Texas jurisdiction, you can have plural memberships. Many Texas Masons maintain a membership in the Lodge in which the were "raised" and in the Lodge where they currently live.

    You will need to petition the lodge that you want to join. If you are accepted into that new lodge, then you may then want to withdraw your membership from the old home lodge.

    DO NOT DIMIT or otherwise withdraw your membership from the home lodge first. Do that last.

    That way, if for some odd unforeseen reason, the brothers of the new lodge should not vote in favor of your joining them, you maintain your home lodge membership.

    Dimitting can leave a Mason in the position of being "a man without a country." He can attend lodges but cannot vote or hold offices. It would be better to simply drop your membership from the old lodge than going through the process of dimitting. From what I understand, a Mason who dimits is a Mason without a Lodge at all.

    Tim Fleischer
    Salado Lodge #296
     
  5. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

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    Knew I was forgetting something!!
     
  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Y'all got close. The correct procedure is to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your Secretary. It has to go to you because you have to sign it before submitting it to the new Lodge.

    The CGS gives the option of joining the new Lodge as a plural member or transferring your membership from the old Lodge to the new on its face. If you wish to transfer, you will not lose your membership in your old Lodge until you are accepted into the new Lodge.

    You do not need to demit or withdraw from your old Lodge- it will happen automatically. If you are rejected by the new Lodge, you will remain a member of your old Lodge.

    Don't forget, you'll also need to fill out a Petition for Affiliation by CGS- the Secretary of the new Lodge should be able to help you with that.
     
  7. LDSpears

    LDSpears Premium Member

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    What is CGS? And if you are a "Man without a country" how would you visit another lodge without a dues card. Just curious? Thanks.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Certificate of Good Standing

    That's why you don't demit. You only become a "man without a country" if you demit from your Lodge. Far better to transfer to a new Lodge via CGS.
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    A "CGS" is a certificate of good standing. This is a letter or document, from the secretary of your lodge, stating that you are a Master Mason in good standing. Not all Grand Lodges have these certificates.

    In most cases, your paid-up dues card, will establish you as a Master Mason in good standing. When you move to a new area, you may wish to join a new lodge in your new area of residence. Some Grand Lodges permit their members to hold multiple memberships.

    This can get confusing. Some Grand Lodges permit their members to join as many lodges as they wish to, without restriction. Some Grand Lodges permit their members to join only one or two lodges in their jurisdicition, and permit their members to join lodges out of state, without restriction. Some Grand Lodges permit their members, to belong to only one lodge. You need to check with your own Grand Lodge, and the Grand Lodge of the new lodge you wish to join, to get the exact policies from BOTH Grand Lodges.

    You should inform the secretary of your "old" lodge, and keep him informed of your masonic status, and any other lodges you join.

    I highly suggest, that you make 100% certain that the lodge in your new city, has accepted you for membership, and you have a paid-up dues card from their lodge, PRIOR to asking for a demit from your old lodge (assuming you do not wish to have dual memberships). This way your membership will be "seamless", and you will not be left "high and dry" with no membership from any lodge!

    Now to another topic- If a Mason drops membership with his lodge, and/or all lodges, then he is no longer a Master Mason in good standing. You cannot participate in Masonry at all, most states. If you tried to visit a lodge in say, Tennessee, and you had no paid-up dues card, the lodge membership would be well within their rights, to deny you visitation.

    When you are visiting a lodge (that you are not a member of), the lodge must be satisfied that you are a MM in good standing. You will be asked to produce a current dues card from your home lodge. You may also be required to stand an examination, to prove up that you are a Master Mason.

    I have visited lodges in 13 states, WashDC, and five foreign countries. Do not attempt to visit a lodge, where you cannot be vouched for, unless you can produce a paid-up dues card, for the current year, from your home lodge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not true in Texas. See below:

    Art. 373. (410). Non-Affiliates: Privileges Allowed and Denied.

    An unaffiliated Mason, holding a dimit or its equivalent granted by a regular Lodge or the authorized Grand Secretary of this or any other Grand Jurisdiction with which we are in fraternal relations, may:
    1. Visit a Lodge as provided in Art. 382.
    2. Sign a petition for a new Lodge Under Dispensation (Art. 184), or for a new chartered Lodge (Art. 205) or affiliate with any Lodge in this State; provided that such unaffiliate, in any case, is domiciled in this Grand Jurisdiction.
    3. March in a Funeral or other Masonic Procession or appear Masonically clothed at a Masonic funeral, when properly accredited and permitted by the Worshipful Master, upon satisfactorily accounting for his non-affiliation.

    He shall not:
    1. Preside over or fill any station or place in any Lodge.
    2. Confer, or otherwise participate in conferring any degree.
    3. Vote by ballot or otherwise on any matter coming before any Lodge, or lodge any protest whatever.
    4. Address the Lodge or speak upon any matter before it, unless invited thereto by the Master presiding.
    5. Participate in any official capacity, or in any organization or body whose membership is limited to Master Masons.
    Unaffiliated Masons are amenable to Masonic Law and subject to Masonic discipline. (See Art. 495.)

    Art. 382. (418). Non-Affiliates.
    A non-affiliated Mason may not visit any Lodge in this jurisdiction more than three times unless he shall petition a Lodge for membership. If his petition is rejected he may be allowed to visit Lodges for one year thereafter, when he should again petition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Amazing what you can learn on these forums. Bravo to Texas, for this enlightened policy. I once visited Fraternity lodge #1111, in El Paso. I had to show a current dues card, and stand an examination. What a treat to see the Worshipful Master in a Stetson hat, and boots.
     
  12. LDSpears

    LDSpears Premium Member

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    Thank you Bill for that very informative answer. Since you knew that one, I will ask one other on the subject. If a brother demits for a time and then becomes affiliated again, does the time that he was unaffiliated count towards his time as a mason as far as say the 25 year pin, etc...?
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    AFAIK, it does not.
     
  14. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    But I am guessing that time spent as a suspended Mason does count against someone's time, correct?
     
  15. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I know that time spent suspended does not count toward total service time. AFAIK, time spent under demit does not count, either.
     
  16. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    That would only make sense as you haven't been paying dues.
     
  17. LDSpears

    LDSpears Premium Member

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    I appreciate your answers, but I was really wondering if anyone knew what the rules say.
    A mason without a country is still a mason if he can go visit lodges. Therefore, I could see how his "Time in Grade" would still carry on while he was unassociated.
     
  18. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have visited lodges in 13 states, WashDC, and five (5) foreign countries. I have always had to show my dues card. Trust me, if you show up a lodge, where no one knows you, and you do not have a paid-up dues card, in your possession, the lodge would be well within their rights to refuse your request to visit.
     
  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Here's what I found:

    Art. 14. Masonic Service Awards.

    1. At each Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge, each Master Mason in attendance thereon, and a member of a Lodge in this Jurisdiction who has been in good standing in a Lodge or Lodges for a total of fifty years or more shall be presented with a suitable emblem commemorating such membership, which shall be known as the “Fifty-Year Masonic Service Award,” <snip>

    As defined below, a demitted Mason is not in good standing of any Lodge, thus time spent under demit does not count toward a service award, except as stated below.

    When a Brother has been dimitted or has been suspended for non-payment of dues in a Texas Lodge (or Lodges) prior to December 3, 1941, and prior to that date has been reinstated upon payment or remission of such dues, such period (or periods, if more than one) of suspension or demission shall be included in the fifty year period. (See Article 316.) Being suspended for non-payment of dues while a prisoner of war or within a combat theater of operations at the time of suspension shall be considered as time in good standing upon the return of the Brother to said Lodge. (Revised 2002)

    Hence, the exception proves the rule.

    Art. 317. Dimit: Unearned Dues Refunded.

    A member applying for a dimit shall be charged the unpaid pro rata part of his dues up to the time the dimit is granted; which sum must be paid before his application therefor is granted. If he has already paid his dues the Lodge shall, upon granting the dimit, refund to him the pro rata part thereof covering the unexpired portion of the period for which he has theretofore paid.

    As this article shows, a demitted Brother pays no dues as of the date of his demit, thus he is not in good standing in any Lodge.
     
  20. LDSpears

    LDSpears Premium Member

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    I would have certainly thought the same, but according to reply #10, he has a right to visit. I really would have thought if you demit, you were out, but apparently not. Go figure.
     

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