Lodge Politicians

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JMartinez, May 25, 2014.

  1. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

    Brethren, its around that time of year again, for elections. There is at least one in every lodge in the world. Sometimes there is a group of them. The politicians of the lodge, who are obsessed in organizing the "line-up" for the next year. All they talk about is lodge politics. I usually deal with these brothers with an open mind and understanding heart. However I would like to here how you personal deal with these brothers? How does your lodge deal with them? Does your lodge encourage/discourage this type of behavior? In what ways do you respond to these brethren?

    A Message for the lodge politicians around the world and all: Brethren, please remember that a position in the lodge is a privilege and an honor. We as masons need to support each other in all our journeys. Remember that from the youngest entered apprentice in the northeast corner all the way to the worshipful master in the east, or grand master, potentate, etc. we are all equal. And at the end of election night, no matter the out come, we are all brethren. May brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue cement us.
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  2. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    You have two types: Those who are constantly trying to get themselves or their friends in the East and/or on committees...and those that try to plan the lineup for the well-being of the lodge.

    The second type just seems smart to me, poor planning leads to poor leadership which seriously hurts the lodge. I can't stand the first type much though...even when they do good things for the lodge it's just so that have something to point at and say 'look what I did!'
    Derek Harvey, Zack, afd004 and 4 others like this.
  3. Tony Uzzell

    Tony Uzzell Registered User

    I agree with @JJones on this.

    With lodge "politicians" it all comes down to their motivations. I have the same opinion about people who seek office in Grand Lodge (and Grand Chapter, Council, Commandery, Imperial Potentate, Supreme Council AASR, etc.). If they are doing it to further the goals of the Craft, to improve themselves and others in our Fraternity, and are focused on what is best going into the future for Freemasonry, then I'm for it. If these guys are looking to organize a strong "line-up" (I've participated in doing that myself in several organizations) so that the Lodge, etc., is able to work well into the future and meet our collective goals, then let them go about their work and be thankful that there are brothers whose focus is the future well-being of the Lodge.

    Also, as to the people whose goal is to further themselves with no concern for whether or not it is best for the Craft: I have no stomach for them.

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  4. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

    As the older Brother who taught me the work... 'If a guy wants in the lineup, if he wants to be Master, then he's probably not the guy you want for the job.' I would apply the same principle to a Brother for whom others politic for that privilege.
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  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    One of the years I was in the east there was a elderly brother with an attitude so positive emulating him is to be a better man and Mason. I appointed him a steward because I wanted his attitude to rub off on the other officers in the south. The next year I was in the east again so I shuffled the appointed officers. We were short on qualified line officers so I appointed him Junior Deacon and agreed to work with him on his ritual. Basically I wanted his attitude to continue its work on the officers in the south. My brother didn't manage to get the work more than approximate.

    The brother following me appointed me Tiler (local tradition) and called a meeting of the line. Our elderly brother wanted to go through the line and die a PM. His ritual was almost as poor as his attitude was good. We were asked to help him in every way we could and if one of us had to spoon feed him lines during Stated meetings that is what he wanted us to do. Our lodge had a degree team system and the elderly brother took a few walking parts with few words. He pretty much wandered around radiating positive attitude during degrees.

    Other than ritual he did step up and lead just fine. His leadership style was different but it worked. I think the line before and after him was the better for having carried him on ritual. Was it generosity that lead us to carry his ritual as he advanced through the line or was it politics? The answer is not always what it seems. If a lodge is insular and slow to befriend that's one thing. If a lodge is putting a brother who is poor at X but good at Y through the line maybe it's something else.

    I get that as a brother moves through stations in our order it gradually becomes more political. What I don't get is where the border is. At refreshment after meetings I just started sitting at the table with the group who seemed the closest, worked at serving the lodge, and let the politics of the matter handle itself. Maybe that's how to pierce a perception of cliches and insular behavior.
  6. Tony Uzzell

    Tony Uzzell Registered User

    I can't agree with this.

    Some people are good leaders who want to help others and they like leading. Just because a guy wants to be Master doesn't mean he's out for himself. Maybe (in fact, in my experience, it's far more likely) a guy who wants to be Master has something to offer as a leader and knows he knows how it's done.

    It's a lot like saying a person who wants to be President won't be a good President when all of the Presidents we historically consider great sought the office just as steadily as those we deem to be poor Presidents, with the possible (although unlikely) exception of Washington.

    Glen Cook likes this.
  7. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    It really depends on the reason a man wants the position. Servant type leaders will seek positions if they know they have something to offer the lodge. They'll accept the position, do what they set out to do, and then step back once the job is finished and/or the job is done. They'll also accept/take a position out of necessity if need be.
    Power/ego type leaders, on the other hand, will seek positions if they know that position has something to offer them. They constantly seek out position and title...not because it benefits their organization...but because it benefits themselves (or at least they perceive that it does).

    Servant type leaders don't actively seek position but it generally falls upon them. Power/ego types are constantly looking for ways to justify going or returning to the East.
  8. Tony Uzzell

    Tony Uzzell Registered User

    This sums up the entire argument and it was a key part of my point. It all comes down to motivation.

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  9. dmurawsky

    dmurawsky Premium Member

    To further complicate things, though, I am reminded of a quote: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". A person may be motivated to do good, but ultimately do harm because he failed to consider some nuanced thing or another.
    I believe that balance is the key. You are motivated, but temper your enthusiasm. You are political, but consider everyone's opinions, including those of your "opponents". And, most importantly, you consider the law of unintended consequences with everything that you do.

    Sent From My Freemasonry Pro App
    Derek Harvey and Bill Lins like this.
  10. Angler

    Angler Registered User

    Our lodge has a progressive line. If you want to serve the lodge, you can ask to get in line and work your way through the chairs over several years. Usually, you prove yourself to be a leader and learn the ritual much better as you move up. Each brother in front of you has the opportunity to derail your progress if you prove a poor player. You also have the option to move ahead (up to deacon) if you prove yourself worthy.

    It drives out the politics. Peace and harmony prevails.
    Warrior1256 and Willys like this.
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    That's the way it is in my lodge.

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