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. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    My question is ..... Is the GLoT Investigations Manual just a guide OR is it something the MUST be followed. We all have our own opinions about it, but what is the GLoT ruling on the Manual? I and others are giving Investigations workshops and we use the GLoT manual, but some get in to a play with "symantics" in that it is just a guide and nothing more than that. Some say it has the GLoT Seal on it and should be followed. If so, then why is there not a mandate sent to all Texas Lodges that the Manual must be followed? This is sometimes difficult and can be somewhat confusing when trying to conduct workshops. Too many "ol' timers" saying "this is the way to do it and way it should be done". Of course sometimes that's the way it is with some as they resist to change and I accept that, but again I'm trying to see if there is a definite rules to go by in Texas.
     
  2. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    I am torn on the subject.

    As a prospective candidate I was very nervous about being balloted on. One black ball rejects in my jurisdiction.

    However after becoming a MM, I feel that west door should be guarded with the one black ball rule.

    I have a question on masonic conduct...

    I miss several meetings where someone's petition is read in open lodge and I haven't paid attention to the trestleboard. Now I come to lodge and the IC is reporting back on Mr. X. His name rings a bell and I know him to be a manipulator and pathological liar. He bamboozled the IC and is now just a vote away from being elected. I can't tell anyone about him, can I? I can however throw a cube and prevent him from joining however in a 3 cube state, he would get in.

    The sword cuts both ways. Masonry will eventually outgrow the racism it has within its members and time will heal our fraternity. The question is, do we want to heal it with time or endanger it with rash decision making now? Do we allow potential members be cast aside for a year or do we resort to a process that may leave the door open for less qualified people to come in?
     
  3. Bill Rose

    Bill Rose Premium Member

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    I was black balled the year before gaining admission. There was about a two year period where those of us that were of the same profession were black balled. The year we had to wait to petition again was worth it however... We visited the Brethren often and either the one that didn't want us in changed his mind or wasn't present for the vote. I hope that he was present and changed his mind after finding me and the others well qualified.....Because of the circumstance of the three of us being black balled in a matter of 5 or 6 months of each other it was disheartening for me... When the change was made from 1 to 3 black balls it was a relief to me because I hated to see others fall victim of one person having such control... I also agree with others that a well done investigation is very important.
     
  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    That's exactly why one cube is supposed to be enough. He may be in a position of authority so it has to be kept secret.

    Are are more points to block, though. In some jurisdictions there's a question if there are any objections before conferring a degree. I suspect in almost all jurisdictions a confidential objection can be lodged in advance. My example is an EA who hid his heavy drinking from his friends before his initiation. If he stops drinking or even just cuts way back I'm okay with him advancing, but the fact that he kept it hidden led me to putting an objection in his file. It should have been covered by the investigating committee but over a dozen members were his friends where he worked.

    One insistent Brother can kill a lodge and it doesn't even have to be about race. We are all mortal and whatever issues we have will eventually die with us.
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    As there is no reference to it in the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas nor is there a Grand Master's Decision referencing it, I can only conclude that it is intended to be a guide and nothing more.
     
  6. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    Regardless of which method we use at the ballot box, we need to make sure the West Gate is securely guarded. We should be able to trust a Mason with our families. I have sat in lodge with men that I would not trust being alone with my dog. I have been taught that it is better to turn away 100 good men than to accept 1 who is unworthy. Being accepted into Freemasonry is not a right but a privilege. If we don't maintain high standards among ourselves and pass them on to those we admit, Freemasonry will not die from a lack of membership but from the rot that is within.
     
  7. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    I believe that because there is no true directive on conducting investigations in Texas, then the confusion (for some), own interpretations, methods will continue which in my opinion is still not moving us forward TOGETHER when it comes to masonic investigations. It will continue to be ..... "I've always done it like this"... or "this is the way I was told/taught".... or "it doesn't make sense so I just do it my own way despite what others want". Meanwhile as I continue researching on this I continue to hear stories from many brethren saying that right after making MM they were put on a investigation committee not knowing anything, but just tagging along and following everyone else's lead & later signing off on the petition. Again... no directive stating that a "newbie" MM could go along with the others to see how a investigation is conducted or even attend some type of training. Then we're trying something in this area to teach methods and since there is no true directive... it's going to take some time to sort out.
     
  8. scw538

    scw538 Registered User

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    I will admit I am not a fan of the one black ball but it is law in MS. My grandfather was blackballed 2-3 times not sure which. I was told my by my father . I'm sure it was due to his status in the community. But as you can see he waited six months and tried again and eventually was accepted. He went o. To become a Shriner and was active and deeply loved the craft. Fast forward 60 years my younger brother was blackballed on the first time. Once again b/c you are not allowed to ask but later found out the reason. An elder brother got him confused with another person in the community with an entirely last name. Luckily I convinced my brother to try again and he is a proud MM that works hard in the craft. So three to me would be great.


    My Freemasonry
     
  9. rebis

    rebis Premium Member

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    I vote for the one black ball system.
    It is likely that the brother that feels so passionate about a candidate as to block him, might know something about the candidate that
    The investigative committee might not have been able to assertain.

    In my view the most important thing is harmony amongst the brothers and the lodge.

    Let us recall the injunction given to us in a preceding degree.



    My Freemasonry
     
  10. scw538

    scw538 Registered User

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    Rebis if you like the one black ball I fully respect that. But don't you feel the one that cast the black ball should disclose his reason to the brethren. In MS it is forbidden to ask who cast or why.


    My Freemasonry
     
  11. rebis

    rebis Premium Member

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    I can see where the three ball thing might make sense.

    Our lodge for example is in a small town and there are no more than ten brothers that attend regularly. In our case the three ball system would not make sense.

    In a bigger city lodge with a whole lot more members, three balls would be much more appropriate.

    Thoughts?


    My Freemasonry
     
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Absolute secrecy of the ballot is a landmark whether it is in the list of any one GL or not so it should be forbidden in every regular jurisdiction.
     
  13. FlBrother324

    FlBrother324 Registered User

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    Has anyone been present at a vote when every black cube was cast that was in the ballot box?
    I was present, when the last Brother to vote asked if there were any more black cubes? He cast his vote with what was available. Prior to the vote, several Brothers addressed the Craft with important evidence of the individuals willful omission of facts concerning his trustworthiness as a potential Brother at that Lodge. My point being. that a Brother has a duty to inform the Craft as to the reputation of an individual they have knowledge of prior to a vote. If they weren't able to because of absence or other extenuating circumstances which kept them from doing so during the normal petition and investigation process, then they still can prior to the beginning of the balloting. The Craft has a right to decide how to cast their ballot with all pertinent information available if possible. Thereby guarding the West Gate, from those unworthy of our Fraternity's Greatest HONOR. There are individuals that could sell ice to Eskimos during a Blizzard, and make them feel like they did them a favor for doing it! Very good at hiding the real person to all concerned. Any Brother with valid information can say something in open Lodge prior to a vote happening. He just needs to ask the WM permission to address the Craft before hand.

    Our jurisdiction requires two Black cubes to reject. If there are 2 in the first Ballot, they are done, or 1 black cube in 2 consecutive votes. They will then need to repetition after 6 months.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2013
  14. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I was at a meeting where they had to take the cubes out of the EoS box so there was enough cubes for everyone to vote with. It was interesting to say the least.

    I feel if the investigation committee does their job then we can keep certain types out.
     
  15. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Actually, in Texas there only needs to be 5 black balls/cubes in the box- more than 5 doesn't matter anyway. And yes, I've been present when we ran out of black balls/cubes.
     
  16. scribe1384pm

    scribe1384pm Registered User

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    Bro lins, I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on the number of black balls or cubes to be placed into the ballot box. 5 is certainly not enough for all the members usually present at a stated meeting to vote should they be inclined to to vote with a black ball or cube. Glot laws state that there be ample number of both. To me ample number means if there are let's say 20 members present at least 20 of each color. I will agree any amount over 5 black cubes is overkill, but it would be embarrassing to me to attempt to vote and there not be a marble to be able to vote my conscience. When I was secretary not long ago, if I even thought there would be a unfavorable ballot I made sure there were "ample" marbles of both colors. Art. 223' necessary paraphernalia, #11.


    My Freemasonry
     
  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    If I'm at the ballot box and it's out of cubes I'll know on the spot exactly what's up. If the box is out of cubes there are going to be more than enough to determine the outcome. If I intended to drop a cube I'll know there's no need so I'll just stir them around. If you listen carefully you can hear that certain brothers in certain lodges tend to drop neither - I could hear that happen by years as SD standing guard over the ballot facing away but with the sound in my ears as the brethren voted. Some number of brothers always had the clunk noise of a drop others just the noise of stirring the balls and cubes.

    If the committee is going to make a negative recommendation one of my jurisdictions let's the WM offer the candidate his petition form back. I experienced that on one of the committees I served on. Unexpectedly to the petitioner his wife objected. That's only the nickel summary of the part that applies here - We would have had to give a negative recommendation and our jurisdiction allowed us to return his petition to him.
     
  18. scribe1384pm

    scribe1384pm Registered User

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    Doug, that is all well and good but in Texas all members of the lodge in which the vote is taking place must vote if present. Not pretend to vote.
     
  19. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I have listened and the ballots I've been to in Texas there has been a clunk for every member balloting.

    But consider - The secrecy of the ballot is sacrosanct as a landmark. No member my disclose his vote. If all of the type you wish to use are used up, which do you do? You'll know by the remaining type how the vote went before you go to the ballot. You can't announce what type they are because that's revealing your vote. It's a technicality you'd have to work out in your own mind on the spot. it's an interesting situation to be in.
     
  20. scribe1384pm

    scribe1384pm Registered User

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    You should not hear a "clunk". The ballot boxes in Texas are supposed to be heavily padded, which I assume is to prevent disclosing in any way how an individual may have cast his ballot. I'm not trying to be cute or catty, but I would suggest you purchase a copy of the GLOT Laws. I'm sure the secretary of your new lodge in San Antonio would be glad to order one for you. Or if you go to Grand Lodge in December I'm sure you can get one there. From it you can tell the slight differences from your other Grand jurisdictions and your new Grand lodge. Good luck in your travels Brother.
     

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