Sent in a petition about 6 months ago

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by RBE5864, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    Hey y’all hope you are having a great weekend. A little background about myself is I am a 21 y/o college student, I have many family members who have passed away that I learned to be Freemasons. As well as grandparents still alive that I have reason to believe are masons.

    Around 6 months ago I sent a petition in to my local lodge near my university. I was told that when I sent my petition in that, “The wheels move slowly in Freemasonry, but we should vote on you in the next three weeks.”. I waited around 6 months, until a couple weeks ago I finally decided to send a text message to the Worshipful Master who sponsored me asking if a decision had been made. He replied saying he was not in office anymore but that it was definitely too long to have waited. He sent a text message to the new secretary and I was told that they would look back in the notes the next day and get back to me. Two weeks have passed and I have not received an answer or the fee that they collected when I sent the petition in. How should I go on dealing with this situation? Is this a normal situation?
     
  2. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Whats the name of the lodge and wich grand lodge is it?
    Paying a fee before you even petition seems fishy...
     
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  3. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    Procedures vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction so, yes, please let us know what the Grand Lodge is. But I agree with Bro. Elexir: the whole thing seems slightly strange. Six months, in itself, is not necessarily a problem: in many lodges or jurisdictions, it's expected that the brethren should have time to get to know you if they don't already know you. What is unusual, however, is that you weren't invited to dine or otherwise socialise with them during that six months, and that they don't appear aware that you've submitted paperwork. It is also usual in most jurisdictions that a lodge would "conduct an investigation" (i.e., interview you) before voting. There is, in any case, a formal procedure in every lodge and jurisdiction for dealing with petitions, and it's rather hard to tell from the information whether you're on track with that or not.
     
  4. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    I completely agree with you. At my first meeting with the Worshipful Master, we discussed the process of signing a petition. I then asked for a petition. I was never made to feel welcome or asked meet some more of the brothers. After about a week of the petition being sent in, I got a phone call for the interview. I went in for the interview, and was honestly made to feel very uncomfortable. During the interview only two investigators showed up. I was told by the Worhsipful Master that there were three investigators in our initial meeting. After the interview I texted one of the investigators asking if they would like me to come back when the third investigator isn’t busy so that he could get to know me. The investigator texted me back something like, “No he won’t. Please don’t text this number again, any other things you have concerns about call the lodge directly.” I thought this to be very strange but took it as maybe part of the procedure during investigation. As I looked more and more into the process and procedure online I realized that being invited to dinners and meetings before hand was normal, as well as socializing with some of the brothers.
    The lodge is part of the Grand Lodge of Alabama.
     
  5. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    I don't know if we have any Alabama brethren on this forum who can shed some light, but – frankly – if your story is accurate, it doesn't sound like an entirely fair shake. I wouldn't begin to speculate on the reasons, for I have no idea, but I do know that if this were the process I'd been through, that lodge wouldn't be my first choice.

    If I were in your place, I would do two things. First, I would withdraw my petition formally and thank them very courteously. I would not do it in a way that burnt any bridges. There are plenty of ways to say "the time just isn't right for me right now, but I appreciate your consideration."

    Then I would sniff around the local scene, both in person and online, and find another lodge to petition. I would suggest doing research because lodge culture varies not only from GL to GL, but from lodge to lodge. It seems to me that the biggest lesson here (albeit only in the subtext) is that you'll want to find a lodge culture that fits you, as well as you fitting them. I don't know why they've handled you the way they have, but it's also clear that you've not been impressed with them. That should be a big warning buzzer. I don't know the Alabama scene at all, but I do know there are lodges with young guys who are keen on taking up all that freemasonry has to offer and yet with older guys who have not grown jaded but have a lot of wisdom to offer. You want to find one like this, I suspect, not least because you're young, and a masonic journey will last your spirit for years, if done well.

    Final suggestion is that, when you do find the lodge that works for you, go join them for dinner or track them down at whatever open events they offer and get to know them for several months before you submit your petition. That way, you'll be in a better position to gauge their response before your application to join ever goes in. There's no requirement that you petition the first one you come across.

    GL of Alabama has a listing of their lodges here:
    https://www.glofal.com/lodges/

    and a Google map of their lodges here:
    https://al.gvsoftware.com/lodges_map

    P.S. - If, as you mentioned, you have living grandparents or parent that you suspect are freemasons, ask them! They can help smooth the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  6. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    Thank you for the advice.
     
  7. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    If the petition has already been voted on, but I they have kept the results from me, can I still withdrawal my petition?
     
  8. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    If they've communicated nothing to you, then there's no reason for you to believe they've had a vote (whether they have or not!). In those circumstances, it seems to me you could write to withdraw in good faith. When you then petition another lodge eventually, you can say (when they ask if you've ever petitioned another lodge) that you had petitioned one and then withdrew because that wasn't the right time or place for you.
     
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  9. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    you don’t mention which of the Grand Lodges of Alabama it is but I would recommend contacting it directly and just asking if there is a laid down process for new Initiates and go from there.
     
  10. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Yes. We're not a cult LOL... you can withdraw it.

    It does sound a bit weird. Some places have an "application fee" (we do, but no one ever asks for it), but the usual time to collect money is after a vote and also when an initiation has been scheduled; or on the night of initiation. Out of interest, how much money did you give them ?

    I can tell you, with a change of Sec, this situation is not unheard of. Things fall between the cracks - always remember, we are a group of volunteers, some of whom are aged, AND, a group of often disorganized (but happy) blokes at that !

    The correct person to contact would be the Secretary.. It does cross my mind, do you think they might have found something out about you, esp via Social Media which has caused concern ? If not, it is more likely an administrative snafu... but if you were my mate, given the cold welcome, I would suggest you find another lodge..
     
  11. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    I was asked to give them $150 for the imitation fee.
    As for social media, there wouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary they would have found. Unless they do not like my taste in music (Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, Neil Young) Hahah. Those bands are often seen as music for pot smokers, but at my interview when they asked about drugs I made sure to disclose the fact I used to smoke pot, but have since matured and do not smoke nor drink. This would be the only thing I could think of that they may have not liked other than my religion (Judaism), which they asked me a lot about. The investigator made one comment during the investigation that made me think it could have been due to religion, he said, “do you mind sitting next to a knights Templar, a group of people that would have slaughtered heretics”, To which I replied “I would try to understand their perspective and respect their point of view”. I often try to see the bright side of things and from what I read and know about my family who are Freemasons is that they are a group of very Free thinking individuals. But hopefully my petition accidentally fell through the cracks.
     
  12. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    Language seems a bit strong there. Slaughter?! It's not like the KTs are anything other than a bunch of guys who dress up like knights; they're not really in any way related to the actual KTs (who, ironically, were disbanded by the papacy in the middle ages for supposed heresy). In any case, it has very little to do with a craft lodge. York Rite degrees (of which KT is a part in the US) are added extras to the core craft lodge. You can be a mason, full and complete, without ever taking any of the York Rite or, indeed, Scottish Rite degrees. (Though I do believe that, in fact, there is a US-based Jewish brother in this forum who is indeed a KT.)

    One of the core, non-negotiable principles of freemasonry is that men can sit in lodge together – Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, etc. – as equals before the Great Architect of the Universe. As long as you are prepared to affirm your belief that a GAotU exists, that *should* be all that's required. That's not to say that all lodges or all individual masons live up to the highest standards; but there *is* a standard which we're asked to uphold, and that's what it is. (Freemasonry is about building up the brotherhood of man, not "slaughtering" those who don't worship like us.)

    I would again urge you to approach your relatives whom you believe to be masons; they'll have nothing to hide (i.e., you won't be imposing on them by asking) and they may be able to either shed light or direct you to a lodge you could feel more confident to approach.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  13. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    25 for background. 100 for the EA degree IF the ballot goes well.

    There is another 200 dollars due on the day of your EA degree.
     
  14. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Thanks for the information. I guess there are costs involved with checking someones background?
     
  15. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    The Grand Lodge of NJ does a felony check. The rest is on the petitioner to be forthcoming if they have something that needs to be brought up at the investigation.
     
  16. acjohnson53

    acjohnson53 Registered User

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    Normally your fees are non-refundable, and yes you should have heard from them along time ago. First who gave you the petition?


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
  17. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Im not the original poster. I petitoned and joined 5 years ago.
     
  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    They are refundable in Utah.
     
  19. RBE5864

    RBE5864 Registered User

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    They had told me when giving the fee that the background check money was non-refundable, but the initiation fee money I would get back if black balled.
    The past Worshipful Master, and current Worshipful Master gave me my petition. They both sponsored me as well. As far as I know that whole process was done correctly, I asked for it and how it works. But I could be wrong.
     
  20. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    same.

    You get back what you didn't utilize. At most, you're out the 25 dollars for the background check here. If you go through with the EA and flake out, you're out the 100 + background

    +100 for FC, etc.
     

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