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)
  2. No

    86 vote(s)
  1. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

    *nods, for me too. I don't know if the original idea was to ensure oratory didn't rule the lodge or what.

    To me it seems that anything that gets in the way of having an honest and frank discussion ought to have pretty tangible benefits, since it can easily lead to factions and divisions.

    You just need someone in the East who will not take sides, and who will benevolently moderate, in my opinion.

    But, whatever way squelches drama is best, in the end. I'd imagine they've tried a number of approaches over the years in masonry, so I'm slow to be overly critical.
  2. bullrack33

    bullrack33 Premium Member

    As a hypothetical situation, lets say that a Brother gets a ticket for speeding while driving to Lodge. During the meeting, a ballot is taken on a man who just happens to be a cop. The brother drops a black cube/ball simply because he is upset because he just received a speeding ticket.........even though the candidate didn't write the ticket. The candidate is undeserving of being refused into the Fraternity and he now has a grudge against Masonry. As a result, everyone losses.
  3. HghDnsty

    HghDnsty Registered User

    One only

    One should be enough...period. Trust in a brothers judgement, unwaivering. In many of the comments above the unaware are jumping to conclusions.
  4. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    Sounds nice in principle, but doesn't work in the real world.
  5. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    Re: One only

    When dealing with people, Brothers or not, never underestimate a person's emotions. Someone's emotions one day, like the example of Bro. Bullrack, may be not always be just and true. I do not believe we are jumping to conclusions that are wrong. I just feel that all the power left to an individual sometimes is not the best way to go about things. While we should vote with the knowledge given by an investigation committee not all people will follow that guide and may vote based on a prejudice or for some reason that would not normally sway a vote. People are unpredictable and will always be that way and we cannot change that. There will always be some people that vote against someone because of an old prejudice toward his family or something. The same reason we have 3 branches of the Federal Government is great reason to have the 3-ball rule, checks and balances.
  6. Robert G

    Robert G Premium Member

    One black ball was used to keep minorities out of the lodge by brothers who did not take the idea of the universality of freemasonry too seriously, or forgot that it's a man's inner qualities that are important. It's necessary, if we wish to have more diversity in our lodges, to not return to the one black ball rule.
  7. choppersteve03

    choppersteve03 Premium Member

    here in iowa its been one black ball.
  8. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    I hope that reason prevails and the Rule of Three remains after this annual communication. The discussion and votes in this thread give me hope.
  9. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

    In NL Canada it is unanimous. It is not too often one gets blackballed, but it has happened. I feel we must trust our brothers to do the right thing when voting on a candidate. When I was voted on there were two other brothers that were business rivals already members. They could have blackballed me, but never. Trust in the craft.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  10. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

    I believe the three black ball rule is the way to go. I have heard that some old timers in my lodge always put a blackball in the ballot box, no matter what. I personally think that allowing 1 person to have that kind of control is unnecessary
  11. Squire Bentley

    Squire Bentley Premium Member

  12. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    Just wondering, why does this thread keep getting marked as "new" without any new content?
  13. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    Whenever someone votes in a poll, the thread is bumped to the top, even without a new post.
  14. Cigarzan

    Cigarzan Premium Member

    I think 3 is the way to go.
  15. knightnblue

    knightnblue Registered User

    I'm really surprised at the reactions from all, but I have to admit that personal vendettas might arise with only one black cube/ball so, with that in mind I vote 3.

    Rick Flores MM Eagle Pass #626
  16. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

    Perhaps it is just me but three black balls is just as easy to get as one black ball. One thing I've learned from some old times is you can say a tremendous amount without ever saying how you are going to vote or asking somebody to vote a specific way. The WM has the option to ballot as many times as necessary, as long as he does so before asking about the results. Having said that you cannot leave when balloting is in process so if the WM knows of no good reason he can keep an entire lodge there all night if need be. If one brother drops a black ball it should be good enough in my opinion. Yes you could get a bad apple who drops black balls for his own gratification but if we do not have enough trust within our walls on Brothers doing the right things then perhaps that lodge needs to die by black balling new members. The four cardinal virtues should lead Brothers to make wise decisions and if a lodge is not educating enough for their members to be "Masons" then why should I care if their lodge fades away because of a lack of members. The quality will leave and find a different lodge to attend.

    I guess to me it all goes back to the basis for Masonry in my opinion. If I can't trust my Brothers then what is the point.
  17. Colby K

    Colby K Premium Member

    In my opinion acting this way is against what masonry is. A good mason would be able to look past the fact that the candidate was cop and see him for the man that he was, not only his occupation. I realize that this would only be true in a perfect world, but still, we should all strive to be able to do this.

    Here in Italy we use the single black cube. If anything we under use the power to deny somebody with a single vote because we know how serious one black cube can be. We understand the weight of vote and I have not seen it abused once. For this reason I think the single black ball works well.
  18. Spring TX MM

    Spring TX MM Premium Member

    I feel its far more common than we think where a Brother may not vote Masonically and might cast a vote based on an unmasonic prejudice or grudge. Any PM or Warden ever see a black ball or cube in every single ballot box regardless of who or what was being voted on??!!??!! No answer needed to that. Its more of a statement than anything.

    I too see the other side of the argument and in a perfect world, one would suffice. The problem is that its not a perfect world so 3 is a better option to protect against things as in what I stated above although its not even 100%. The rest we rely on faith that the Brothers will make the right decisions, Masonically speaking.

  19. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

    I'll put it another way too. I'd be slow to blackball a candidate. It is just in my nature. I'm a direct sort of person verbally, most people pretty well know how I feel on any given issue. But I'm slow to condemn a man who says they want to improve themselves.

    I'd feel more inclined to guard the west gate decisively if I knew that I was not the sole decider of a man's fate. It allows my consience to rest easier.

    So I think there is an argument to be made for three black balls from both directions really.
  20. Premium Member

    I voted One black ball. First of all, it's how we do it here in CT. Second, from what I have been taught so far, it is our right as Master Masons, to disallow membership into this great fraternity. If I know a man to be dishonorable, or know that his membership would be of detriment to the lodge, I may be the ONLY one who knows of this man's dishonorable character and it would be my duty to protect the Craft...if we needed three black balls to exclude the man from the fraternity and no one else knew of this man's poor conduct, then my vote to NOT let him in wouldn't matter and a dishonorable man would be let in....I understand the argument of childhood squabbles or the example of the man getting the ticket, however, I MUST assume that as Masons my Brothers at large would NOT act in a manner contrary to the obligations we took. Who am I to think otherwise without just cause or first hand knowledge? I respect the character and honor of my Brothers and without them giving me a reason to do otherwise, I will trust their decisions and expect them to act as true Master Masons.

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