Masonry and Felonies

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Blake Bowden, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Art. 506 states that any Mason who is convicted of a Felon is automatically suspended or expelled. What happens if a person already has a felony and petitions? Is that an automatic refusal of membership?
     
  2. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    The Grand Secretary has told us no...We should research why and if this man has changed his life. Exception to child molestation, that is an automatic ticket to no and cannot be brought into Lodge.
     
  3. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    A good question Brother Blake. I am in agreement that men can change their lives, and become good ,contributing members to thier communities and society as a whole. I also agree with the answer given by the GS, under no circumstances would I ever knowingly allow a convicted child molester into our fraternity. This is however my own personal opinion. I am wondering if anyone has actually found an article that covers this situation.
     
  4. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Good question. I happen to know somebody who when they were 18 and in high school still, screwed up with some drugs. Almost 20 years later they are an outstanding father, religiously active, and walking a straight path who has asked me about masonry but because I was under the opinion of a felony preventing somebody from joining I evaded the subject. If this does not prevent somebody then I may bring it up to them and see if they are still interested.
     
  5. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    I applaude your thinking, I would suggest being a bit cautious on this one as there are many brothers who may not be as willing to forgive as some are. I feel, we still have some in our midst who would not welcome this man with open arms. I am concerned that we might actually do your friend an injustice ,his renewed character may receive some harm due to the possibility of rejection. I would most definately let him know of the posibilities.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Here lies another important question....What is "Moral Turpitude"? Ask your DDGM chance are you will get a differrent answer as to what it is depending on who you ask.
     
  7. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    This question came up after lodge. The answer I got from an attorney is quiet different then what most would say. The common answer is "conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals." While if you look at a list it may not include things that I find being moral turpitude, I personally put drugs on that list because I despise them(seen the bad affects way to many times).

    The list I'm refering to and the definition I pulled is from [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude"]Wikipedia[/ame]. The irony of it is the attorney pretty much referred to the list and not a general answer.
     
  8. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    This is the article for if the investigation finds the candidate unqualified.

    Art. 411. Petitioner’s Total Disqualification. If the investigating
    committee finds the candidate totally disqualified for
    any reason, the facts should be reported to the Lodge, such report
    entered in the minutes, the fee returned, and no further action
    taken.

    However, I believe that child abuse or molestation would be treated as a manditory expulsion as stated in Art. 659 and must be grounds for automatic disqualification of petition.

    ...Notwithstanding the above, any member who is found guilty
    of, or who enters a plea of guilty, or of no contest to the charge of
    pedophilia or related charges (such as Indecency with a Child by
    sexual contact or any other means, Aggravated Sexual Assault
    with a child by any means and Sexual Assault with a Child by any
    means) and having been previously expelled from Masonry, shall
    not be considered for reinstatement or restoration of any Masonic
    membership and said member shall be expelled from Masonry for
    life and never again be considered for any Masonic related activity
    or membership. Any current Member having been charged and
    found guilty of, or having pleaded no contest to charges of pedophil-
    ia (such as Indecency with a Child by sexual contact or any other
    means, Aggravated Sexual Assault with a child by any means,
    Sexual Assault with a Child by any means) shall be expelled
    immediately, for life, from this Grand Jurisdiction. (Adopted, 2003)
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  9. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    We had a member to burn down a car wash a few years back. Would that make the list?
     
  10. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    funny I Just read that definition of Moral Turpitude in the proceedings for 1893!
     
  11. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Depends on the intent, if he was not intending to or had no evil intent then no. If it was Arson or Fraud of insurance then it would. I haven't read the law on this subject but the one place I know of moral turpitude being listed is on the petition. Not sure if it is listed in regards to members, it should be but I've not checked on it.
     
  12. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Post them.:beer:
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Man! Now THAT'S research! :D
     
  14. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    There is no middle ground.. ! if its a felonie... he is gone.. !
     
  15. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    How can you say this? That is not what the law states. Keep in mind we are talking about a candidate not someone that is already a Mason. The law is different here.
     
  16. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    According to US Legal Definitions:
    Burning down a car wash it is a •malicious destruction of property; which is a crime of moral terpitude.
     
  17. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    yep
     
  18. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    man thats a lot of typing. Im reading old proceedings as fast as I can to find items for a few specific lodges for my LOR paper Im researching. Ill try to remember to go back and find it if I havent taken that book back to the lodge yet.
     
  19. pha

    pha Premium Member Premium Member

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    Art. 506 states that any Mason who is convicted of a Felon is automatically suspended or expelled. That applies to a currently Square Brother, Exclusive of Murder or child Molestation which we would never let a man in with that type of History, if a man has lived his life free of any unlawful act's for a minimum of 5 year's we would investigate him and make a determination on a case by case basis, these are the kinds of things that can make or break a healthy lodge so be careful because after all we want Mason's and not just member's.:sc:
     
  20. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    Where does the 5 year clause come from. Is it in the constitution ?

    I know that you qualified your statement, or at least I think you did, by stating that that for present Mason, there is no recourse, he is out. I think you are trating a potential candidate in a diffrent manner. If this is so, this is the way that I interpet the present laws as well.
     

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