One black ball?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Mac, Jul 19, 2011.

?

Should one black ball be all it takes to reject a candidate?

  1. Yes

    59 vote(s)
    40.7%
  2. No

    86 vote(s)
    59.3%
  1. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    542
    25
    18
    During a recent Grand Master's Conference, the Grand Master discussed returning to one ball being sufficient for rejection of a candidate (instead of the three currently needed).

    What are your thoughts on the matter?

    I personally feel that one old timer who may disagree with a candidate based on religion or color should not have the power to outright prevent a man from becoming a Mason with just his one vote.

    It's one thing to say men who vote this way should never have been made Masons, but their ideals and stance on these issues were judged when they joined in the 40's and 50's, or were judged in the 60's and 70's by men who joined in that era. Their ideas are outdated, but they unfortunately might still remain, even unknown or unspoken until it counts: the ballot.

    I think rejecting with one black ball is a move in the wrong direction.
     
  2. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    641
    10
    38
    I think we're fine with the three black ball rule. One black ball is two easy to manipulate, a simple majority could cause discord in the lodge. We're at a happy medium right now, a compromise, where both extremes are unhappy with the current policy. That's usually a good place to be.
     
  3. tbone1321

    tbone1321 Premium Member

    175
    0
    0
    I am actually torn on the issue I think it should be a unanimous vote because all brothers should agree to let a man in and if there is a brother that feels that the person we are voting on is found unfit to be made a mason the other brothers should support his decision but then again a simple childhood squabble or rival businesses or other frivolous matters could stop a good man from becoming a mason. So it is hard for me to decide but I feel three is fair
     
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,146
    619
    113
    I'm old school despite my young age, I voted for one black ball.

    I can really see either side of the argument but even if someone gets blackballed that doesn't mean they couldn't just petition again later.
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  5. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    542
    25
    18
    Wow, I'm genuinely surprised this is split right down the middle. Granted n=8, but jeez.
     
  6. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    1,215
    45
    68
    I voted no, but in reality I am torn. I think that 3 is the way to go because you could help eliminate someone keeping someone out for a personal reason. I think that it will still happen on occasion since some people like to "talk" to others about a candidate. I also see the other side too and a part of me believes that it should be unanimous. Either way I would accept it.
     
  7. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

    595
    9
    0
    I voted no for two reasons. First, allowing only one allows someone to use their vote to keep people out if they so chose to use it that way. I know we have rules/articles about it and our esteemed Brother Bill will tell us what those are...I'm just pointing out human nature as a few other brothers have done so below...the second reason is that (providing there is no campaigning going on to keep someone out) if there is something to keep a candidate out, I would prefer that 3 people vote their conscience...actually I would prefer that the investigation committee does its job and not recommends someone that shouldn't be recommended....Just sayin...

    Just for the record....in our lodge, we do not use a black ball, our black ball is actually a cube, and as our WM had said last year, White Ball elects, Black Cube rejects. (We use the cube so that if a brother cannot see well or the lights go out, we could, in theory, vote in the dark)
     
  8. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    542
    25
    18
    I'm in the same boat as you, brother. I just think it's dangerous to allow one brother's prejudice to deny another man's entry into our noble fraternity.

    As far as reapplying goes: Would you reapply a year later? What if someone committed electioneering (which never happens) and managed to get enough cubes in the box to block the guy for 3 years?

    If I petitioned to join a group and was denied for no valid reason, I would most likely write it off altogether, and perhaps justly so. The probability of such a thing happening increases when you put the ability to reject in the hands of only one brother present.
     
  9. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

    595
    9
    0
    ...if someone gets 3 black balls/cubes 3 years in a row...then I would have to say the investigation committee failed or there was some campaigning going on...
     
  10. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,146
    619
    113
    Back when my grandfather was a young mason it was very common for people to get turned down for no 'valid reason'. In fact, looking back at the records it seems like a lot of people who were admitted into the fraternity in our town had been blackballed the year before. My grandfather was blackballed the year before he was admitted as well.

    The mindset at the time was that if someone wanted to join for the right reasons then they'd likely apply again the next year. If someone wanted to join just because it tickled their fancy at that time however, they'd likely move on and forget about the fraternity.

    I'd like to point out also that the one black ball system was in use for a long time and it seemed to work well enough. :)
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  11. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    542
    25
    18
    So you're saying it's appropriate for a closed society to reject someone at least once under the premise of "if he wants it, he'll be back"? As I understand it, a rejection means he can't reapply for a year. That's a long time and a lot of lost light, if he's a genuinely deserving person.

    Just because something was done for many years doesn't make it right.
     
  12. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    1,146
    619
    113
    You're correct brother, it doesn't make it right.

    What I am saying, however, is that if someone wants to join for the right reasons they'll re-apply. A year isn't a long time at all and, to me, it says a lot about a person who re-applies after a year instead of tossing in the towel and giving up after being denied.

    I'm fine with either system though, like I said. I think the one ball system was better though, it's problems were created by a few people, not the system itself.
     
  13. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    1,215
    45
    68
    I don't think that the thought of if they want it bad enough they'll be back is a good reason to vote someone down. If that had happen to me for no good reason would I be here today? No most assuredly I wouldn't be. My opinion of the Fraternity would not be favorable either. It just isn't good business to work that way. I don't think that just because it has always been done that way or if it worked then why can't it work now is an acceptable reason. Look at the conversations we have had about Prince Hall Masons. Keeping the old ways is not always the best way. If it were then we would never be able to associate with PH Masons and that Brothers would be a tragedy.
     
  14. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    376
    8
    18
    Voted no. I like the idea of requiring three to prevent personal vendettas from holding a guy back.
     
  15. Observer

    Observer Registered User

    30
    0
    6
    If the system is so open to corruption by a few people, then there is a problem with the system.

    I think the law (or its interpretation) of not discussing a candidate is at fault. If you are going to put a new roof on the lodge or new locks on the door, you can bet the discussion is going to be extensive as to what kind to buy. Why not discuss the qualifications of a potential brother. It should certainly be handled masonically and I believe an open discussion would facilitate that. It might also help some brothers to see that their actions might not be on the square.
     
  16. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    376
    8
    18
    If you have a problem with the petitioner you should voice your concerns to a member of the investigating committee.
     
  17. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    2,591
    142
    83
    No. No man is an island. No one man has the right to control the wishes or directions of a lodge of masons.
     
  18. lopezgj

    lopezgj G. Lopez, PM Premium Member

    9
    0
    1
    I concur with us being at a happy medium at this particular time. We will always have opportunities for improvement in our methods & processes, but for the time, I support our current process. I think we have a systematic problem and this potential change could serve as a catalyst to drive focus towards better investigations. Better investigations would demand better Masonic education. This would inherently cause a refocus on quality rather than quantity.
     
  19. choppersteve03

    choppersteve03 Premium Member

    280
    0
    0
    We are still using the single method in Iowa ,i must admit i had never heard of the thrice method till it was posted here.
     
  20. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

    200
    0
    0
    I like the 3 ball/cube method. It does seem to cut out the "I don't like him" factor and the "I'm in a bad mood so I want to blackball someone" bit too.
     

Share My Freemasonry