Joined site to ask a question.

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Daniel40356, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Daniel40356

    Daniel40356 Registered User

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    I just had a question. I heard some lodges leave "having a felony" up to its members. Of course I have one from my younger years. Getting the felony was absolutely my own fault and I take full responsibility for it being my fault. I continue to take responsibility for it in certain ways. But my question is do the free mason allow people like myself to join? Also just because I took responsibility for my actions, if accepted to a lodge would I also have to prove myself if you will, to the lodge and its members while also earning respect and trust that that's not who I am anymore?
     
  2. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    This varies by Jurisdiction (or state, in the US).

    For jurisdictions in which it is not a bar, remoteness of offense, nature of offense, and subsequent life are considered.

    Recommend you consult a criminal law attorney in your area about relief from the conviction: reduction to a misdemeanor, expungement, or pardon.
     
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  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    There are multiple levels of answer to the question.

    Some jurisdictions allow a man to petition as long as he discloses his past. Failure to disclose then when the felony conviction is discovered will definitely result in permanent expulsion.

    Some lodges automatically reject felons even if their jurisdiction allows it. Some Brothers automatically reject felons even if their lodge allows it - Noting that any discussion is absolutely forbidden of how we vote at the ballot box on any one ballot.

    Introduce yourself at the local lodge and ask. We have many forms of generosity and this may well be one of them.
     
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  4. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    dfreybur is absolutely spot on. The only way to know for sure is to contact your local lodge(s) and make an inquiry. Above all be honest about your past when asked and reveal it when filling out your petition. I know of folks who were not recommended by the investigating committee because they "forgot" to include a long past felony and then it appeared when the Grand Lodge performed a criminal background check. The reason for rejection was the omission, not the felony.
     
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  5. Daniel40356

    Daniel40356 Registered User

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    Thanks for the replays. I'm currently working to have the one I have removed. As my state does allow to have low risk, non violent felonies removed. I fall under that category. My past is an embarrassment to me. I think about it often. even though I'm not that way any more. It still bothers me. It will probably still bother me even after I have it removed. But thanks for comments.
     
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  6. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    In the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky a felony conviction is a deal breaker.
     
  7. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    New member here in El Paso. I wanted to ask the same question. I have a non-violent felony charge from 1987. There was no conviction, adjudication was witheld and it doesn't prevent me from purchasing a firearm. My distant past is also an embarrassment to me, but joining this brotherhood is a great honor to me. Does anyone know how Texas lodges, specifically El Paso would consider this?

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  8. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    That sounds like something if you were forthright about would likely not be an issue. All you can do is meet with your local lodge and its members on a night that is having a "stated meeting". Talk with them, see what they advise and possibly petition.
     
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  9. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    Thank you so much for the reply. It is something that I would always be honest about and completely upfront. I'm just not sure what the lodge policies would be be. Some are very strict about it. I have left a message at the Lodge here in El Paso and I am waiting for a call back. I would consider it rude just to show up.

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  10. Andy Fracica

    Andy Fracica Site Benefactor Premium Member

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    Daniel,

    In Indiana having a non-violent felony does not preclude you from petitioning a lodge. It is up to the individual lodges to approve or reject your petition. In my own lodge, we recently voted to accept a candidate who had a non-violent felony from over 20 years ago. He served his time, he paid restitution, and he has kept himself out of trouble for the last 20 years, and he disclosed all of this to us with his petition.

    We initiated him as an Entered Apprentice and within one month he recited the Entered Apprentice catechism at our next EA degree, he will soon be passed to Fellow Craft; he has become a true and faithful brother among us.

    Check with the Grand Lodge in the state where you live and if it is not a deal breaker, meet with the brothers of a lodge that you want to join and be very honest with them about your background and then if they have no problem with you, ask to join the lodge and submit a petition.
     
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  11. hfmm97

    hfmm97 Premium Member

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    Mark, I have been a Mason 21 years this month and you would NOT be rude showing up the day of their stated meeting - most lodges are not staffed every day and you could wait a while. Any man interested in the Masons needs to take the initiative in the process of inquiry (you must ask the lodge to join), admission, etc


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  12. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Wouldn't be rude at all. :) If they are worth their weight in salt they'd welcome you as a guest and talk with you about joining if you were interested. Some lodges have a website that would show a calender or schedule of some sort such as "Meetings held 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Dinner at 6:30pm and meeting starts at 7:00pm" You would just come to the dinner part. You can also email the secretary and most are good about getting back to you. Good luck and I hope it all works out well.
     
  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Well....if you were not convicted and it was not adjudicated how do you have a felony on your record?
     
  14. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    Because I was still "charged" with a felony, which is the wording asked on the Texas petition.

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  15. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    But I believe I meet all the requirements, I have a love of people and of wanting to return the blessings that I have been given. I do believe in the Divine spirit, the Eternal and bornless one, the most holy. I just think the Masons would allow me to serve him, and that is my primary goal.

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  16. hfmm97

    hfmm97 Premium Member

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    Mark most investigation committees will (or should) ask - what can you CONTRIBUTE to the lodge? Kind of like what JF Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country” replace “country” with “lodge”


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  17. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    That is a good question. All of you must understand, I have never petitioned, nor ever visited a lodge. I always considered myself unworthy. I would bring all of my time and efforts to bear on the requirements and duties of the lodge and the Masonic Brotherhood. The members of The Lodge are the components of such, and the sum is much greater than the parts. Monetarily, I am not rich. But my time and efforts can contribute to the furtherance of the Brotherhood and the organization. I would never turn a brother away. My home would be welcome to all Brothers, those in need would be comforted and loved as I would all Brothers. Any project or task that required volunteers, I would be the first to step forward. I can only hope that I would be accepted, and treated the way I would treat all Brothers.




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  18. hfmm97

    hfmm97 Premium Member

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    I did not mean in a monetary fashion, more like service to the lodge. For example, when I was studying to be a Master Mason I helped out in the kitchen and served meals to elderly brothers (or any brother who needed assistance) at the dinner before the meeting. I also helped with cleanup and preparation of meals and learned valuable skills.

    We are NOT expecting our brothers to be rich (I’ve found very few who are) but that they have the extra funds to pay for the required fees and dues without being a burden on themselves or their family.

    I wish you all the best and hope that you find what you are looking for in life. Your next step is to go to the lodge that is convenient to where you live and/or work and meet the brothers (I was fortunate in that I had a friend (no longer here on Earth with us) from church that took me to his lodge and thus I had a smoother time in getting into lodge.


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  19. Mark Petro

    Mark Petro Registered User

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    Thank you my friend, you are truly an asset to your Lodge and the people in it.

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  20. hfmm97

    hfmm97 Premium Member

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    Mark,

    You are most welcome and kind. Although I became a full member of my lodge (Master Mason) 21 years ago this month, I have come to realize with the help of Almighty God (and Masonry has strengthened my faith immensely), that I am more of His unworthy servant in every way and I feel that in all seriousness I am a “servant mason”.

    In a way, I consider myself fortunate that I joined Masonry before the world wide web presence - this meant that I had to go find friends who were Masons and physically go to the lodge.

    I recommend to all men who are seeking to be masons spend MINIMUM time on the internet as possible looking up masonic-related sites, particularly if/when they submit their petition (application) for membership. When they are accepted, the best use of their time is to study for their degree exams with the brothers.




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