Petition Investigations Manual

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Jul 25, 2011.

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    No Mason could be charged with a higher or more noble and rewarding responsibility than he who is charged with the responsibility to be a guard at the entrance porch of the Temple. This manual was created to help Masons conduct thorough background investigations.

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  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    from page 7: "and valuable information might well be to the credit of the Petitioner. If it proves to be to the discredit of the Petitioner, then the investigator has done his job well." (italics mine)

    Am I the only one who has a problem with this statement? IMHO, it is, at best, mindless.
     
  3. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Howso? Good information is to the petitioners credit, bad information is certainly not to his credit. It is the investigator's job to find out both the good and the bad, and if he finds out those things, then he's doing his job. He should be looking for skeleton's. He ought to be guarding the West gate. That's his job on the committee. Not sure that I understand the complaint.
     
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with bro. Benton.
     
  5. Dow Mathis

    Dow Mathis Premium Member

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    Indeed. As the claim goes, "Masonry takes good men and makes them better." I was told, during my interviews, that masonry isn't about the business of saving or rehabilitating bad men. It is in the business helping men who are already "good" to become better men. Better in their community, better in their business and personal life.

    As important as it is to find out about the petitioner's good qualities, it is equally or maybe more important to find out about his faults and failures, and how he deals with them. How does he face adversity? The true measure of a man can't be taken when he's on top, but only when he's forced to deal with those things that would tear him down. How does he deal with them? Does he face them or does he run from them? Is he the type of man who will willfully harm or take advantage of another? Was he that man in the past? If so, what has he done to change that in himself? As the guide asks, would you trust him alone with your wife? Would you let him date your daughter? Would you leave him alone in your house?

    Yes, these are hard questions, but I think that they're necessary questions. The fraternity can't afford to leave the west gate poorly guarded, or worse yet, not guarded at all. I also think that they're questions which are not asked enough. I wasn't asked all of the questions suggested in the guide, although I believe that my answers would have been satisfactory, had the questions been asked.

    There, that and a buck or two or five will get you a nice, hot cup of coffee.
     
  6. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I think I may be thinking along the same lines as you are. To me that statement is more of one that says we are not looking for the qualities of the person as much as we are trying to find fault. The way that statement is written it seems to say that only if you find fault have you done your job properly. As an investigator your job is to find out if the man is worthy of joining our glorious Fraternity not break him down until you find a fault with him. If that were the case there would be very few, if any, people left in the Fraternity. Speaking for myself here, and I am sure I am not the only one, I have done things in the past that I am not proud of and could be something that someone might deem as qualifying for not becoming a Brother. While it is true that diligence is required of us in guarding the West Gate I don't feel as if we take the pessimistic standpoint we are better off.
     
  7. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't feel it's so much a pessimistic standpoint as it is raising our standards. The quoted section may have needed to be worded differently, or perhaps clarified, but I really feel it's just trying to reiterate what is being said throughout most of the guide.

    Maybe I'm a little bit of an elitist but I feel we need to raise our standards from 'anyone that doesn't have a criminal record' to 'only the best of the best'. You can be a good man and still not be a good fit for Freemasonry.
     
  8. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I still think though that maybe trying to dig all of the skeletons out of a person's closet may not be the best way to go about it. I feel though as if we should be looking more to what benefit we could expect to gain by admitting a person in rather than what can we find to keep him out. I agree that the standards could be raised but the way that was worded makes it sound as if instead of investigating the persons character we are looking to assasinate it. I also agree with the fact that just because someone doesn't have a criminal record doesn't automatically make him qualified. I want to be clear that I am not condoning letting everyone through and that the standards should be higher than what they are at times, I was just trying to say that the way that particular snetence is worded is a bit harsh and unclear as to what exactly is being referred to. It sounds bad when the statement is put "if it proves to be a discredit to the Petitioner, then the investigator has doen his job well". Shouldn't it be that if the Petitioner is found to be of a high moral character and would be a benefit to the Fraternity then the investigator has done his job well?
     
  9. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Of course there is this whole paragraph:

    Which I think makes it abundantly clear that the good matters as well.
     
  10. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I think that the sentence highlighted by Brother Bill is not written very clearly. It seems to contradict what you have posted. I am not trying to argue that what it is the whole booklet is saying I am just pointing out that that particular sentence paints a very different picture. I was just putting my 2 cents worth in on that particular phrase. I apologize if my statements were taken as offensive by anyone. I agree that we do need to be more careful on who we let in or turn away.
     
  11. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Brothers, I think it is a simple error in grammar here.... I think it should read:
    "If it proves to the discredit of the Petitioner, then the investigator has done his job AS well." (Caps are MY insertion).
    That completely changes the meaning of the sentence.

    The investigating committee is just that. It should be thorough and unblinking in what it does. Otherwise, we let men into the Fraternity for the wrong reasons and we let the wrong men into the Fraternity. That does us more damage than anything else or dectractors might say about us.
     
  12. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I think the above would be a good solution. It probably was meant to be that way, but simply dropped the 'as' on accident. And that wouldn't be the only typo I found.

    (I can be kind of a grammar nazi, at least in publications that ought to be professional.) :p
     
  13. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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  14. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I agree with you. It is funny how a simple word can completely change the meaning.
     
  15. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Bro. Brent nailed it. Perhaps we should have Bro. Timothy review Grand Lodge submissions before they are published. :wink:

    BTW, my students have dubbed me "the Word Nazi"! :thumbup:

    One of my English profs illustrated the problem thus:

    "What's that in the road ahead?" is not quite the same as

    "What's that in the road, a head?" :laugh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  16. Dow Mathis

    Dow Mathis Premium Member

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    Ahh, proofreaders... the unsung heroes of the literary world. Reminds me of this:

    A guy is standing in a bar having a drink, when this furry creature walks in, orders a sandwich, takes two bites, pulls a gun and shoots out a light, then walks back out. Obviously upset, the man asks "What in the world was that?"

    The bartender says, "Oh, that was a panda."

    The guy answers back, "No way that was a panda. I'm a wildlife biologist, and I study pandas in the wild. That was not a panda."

    The bartender hands him a Dollar Store dictionary and says, "Oh yeah? Look it up for yourself."\

    There on page 397 the man read, "panda - medium size furry mammal. Eats, shoots and leaves."
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  17. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    That's great! I may have to borrow that sometime for Facebook and the errors I see on there.

    Sent from my iPhone using Freemasonry
     
  18. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Is the file at the start of this Thread the latest?
     
  19. Dow Mathis

    Dow Mathis Premium Member

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  20. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Thanks,

    All the brothers in my lodge like this stuff on paper I like it on my tablet.
     

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