Went to my first dinner.. a little puzzled.

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by Capricornguy, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    Prior to this had a distant relative introduce me who was a past master. They located a lodge that they thought would be a good fit.

    However I was a little taken back. The Master of the lodge was extremely nice to there.

    Everyone was caring and nice except for a couple people. The officer sat me down and told me the entry was very strict at the lodge and also a couple of people there didn't bat an eye at me. Everyone else was nice and open.

    I did notice an age gap and the younger masons were the cooks? Only 2-3 younger masons there around my age. Early 30s to 20s.

    Huge on the Masonic History. I figured it would be more towards the belief of being a goodman or maybe I was mistaken. Could be just the lodge from what I've read. What puzzled me is I thought lodges were accepting of new members so they could keep it going. Maybe it was my vibe but I'm not sure. It seemed like they weren't into new recruits. One said "This guy wants to be a mason and thinks maybe we'll let him in". Probably a jab but of course I'm new. The whole scene is new.
     
  2. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Lodges are accepting of new members but will also do their due diligence on prospective applicants.
     
  3. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    Hard to judge without having been there, but whilst you've said the majority of them were "caring and nice" and "nice and open", you appear to be concentrating on the couple of guys who were more wary. By your own testimony, they don't seem as indicative of the whole. (And it's entirely possible that the chap who said "thinks maybe we'll let him in" was trying to a land a dry joke and failing to do so.)

    It is fair to say that the joining process is not simply a rubber stamp situation — this is something that they were quite right to say up front — but, generally speaking, it also isn't particularly onerous. What they want to know is that you share masonic values and, if initiated, will take your membership seriously. It's also fair to say that some people are just prickly and the "couple of people" you mention just happen to be amongst those.

    I would suggest continuing to get to know the lodge and its members; don't burn any bridges; and if in the end it isn't a good fit, then somewhere there will be a lodge that is.

    I wish you well going forward.
     
    Bill Lins likes this.
  4. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    You’re probably right on focusing on the bad vs good. Probably just nerves since it was my first time.
     
  5. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    As Bro. William said, without any of us having observed both sides of the interaction it is hard to give an accurate response. I have been present at dinners where a potential candidate made an ass of themselves and then wondered why they couldn't get someone to sign their petition. Many members are always wary of potential candidates and may come across as standoffish at first. There is a term you will hear frequently called, "Guarding the West Gate." This refers to the process of diligently vetting potential petitioners. While some Brothers are more open and welcoming to visitors, they are all likely looking for the same things. Your bearing, manners, how you conduct yourself as a whole. Without a close friend or family member there to recommend you, it is likely some Brothers will be wary at first. But if you are serious, stick with the process. Behave as if your mother is watching you. And ask questions of whomever is assigned to guide you through the process. Dont read ahead. Stay away from any exposes on Freemasonry or books that delve into the discussion of the symbolism of the degrees. Good luck. Keep us informed of how it is going.

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  6. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    Another thing is they require 6 signatures. I’ve seen only three some places. Three recommendations from outside and three inside the lodge.
     
  7. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    Probably not a bad thing. Many jurisdictions only require as few as two. Just be yourself. Get to know the Brothers. They want to see what kind of person you are and if you will be a good fit. Once they feel comfortable I am sure getting the required signatures wont be a problem. As for recommendations from outside of the Lodge, never heard of that. Maybe a regional thing?

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  8. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    All great points, but not all "masons" are the same. There is a good chance those prickly guys will continue to be that way even after you're made a master mason. Some people are just shy or have been burned so many times socially in their lives they dont even try anymore.

    Masons are not perfect and generally speaking they represent a pretty normal social setting. Several quiet people that talk only to whom they know best, some very social that will talk your ear off for an hour, a couple of pretentious know-it-alls, a couple of clowns and the inevitable a$$hole or two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2019
  9. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I had to have external references as well as Brothers who signed for me... that’s a requirement in NM.
     
  10. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    Interesting. I had not heard that before. Learn something new every day!

    I can see the point to the requirement. But what if you put a reference that you dont know harbors ill will towards the Craft? I dont know, I just have an aversion to taking Masonic business to outsiders. The Investigation Committee, doing their due diligence, should be able to find out all they need to. Bit again, I can see the benefit for having references as well.

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  11. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    We require 4 character references (plus Proposer and Seconder, that makes 6 - but you can dispense with Proposer and Seconder with the GMs permission to allow good men not known to Freemasons to become members). Hell, I can even quote the rule number about references (217(h)).

    The 4 character references do not need to be Freemasons. Many say they are a waste of time, but they don't know how to read them (mind you, younger people often don't know how to write them either.... but length is sometimes an indication). And Yes, I have received bad references before. They guarded our West Gate.
     
  12. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    2nd Visit was not a formal visit. Made friends with Senior Warden and Secretary sorta. Just a lecture on how to get through it. A small group did not want to converse. They were older people, some hindu/jewish. I told my relative about it. He said don't worry about it. There is always a group that doesn't want to converse with others.
     
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Hindu and Jews in the lodge? Sounds diverse.
     
  14. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    It seems that. No complaints except I get the stand off-ish vibe.
     
  15. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    Isn't that how it should be?

    I couldn't tell if you were saying that as a positive observation or one of surprise. This is, of course, one of the problems with "conversing" via internet forums! Most of the Lodges in our District have a diverse membership including Christians of many Denominations, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans and others. I am certain this varies with geographical demographics.
     
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  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    It is!
     
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  17. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    My Mother Lodge is extremely diverse, one of the things that drew me to the Craft.
     
  18. Capricornguy

    Capricornguy Registered User

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    Wiccans can join? That's surprising.
     
  19. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

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    I know several Wicca Freemasons. Some jurisdictions may take issue, but many more do not. How a Brother connects to Deity is his own business. It is more important that you believe than what you believe.
     
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  20. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Why?
     
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