What are you willing to discuss outside of a tyled enviornment?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by hanzosbm, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. bezobrazan

    bezobrazan Registered User

    I'm pretty much quiet about everything Masonic.
  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    I once had a dream of a very large conference hall with all sorts of fraternities sitting each in their own group and regalia. The matter of GL declarations of irregularity did not occur.

    Perhaps they were all upright and true - regardless of the order to which they belonged.

    A decade later I heard of the GAOTU and much later saw that S/He did not take too much notice of human rules.
  3. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    The wording in Duncan's Ritual is not binding on anybody whose Grand Lodge doesn't use Duncan's Ritual. The idea that we cannot discuss anything about Masonry with a non-Mason is a suicide pact for the craft. If a non-Mason asks me questions, I'll discuss anything that does not reveal the secrets of Masonry.
    Bill Lins and Browncoat like this.
  4. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    While I agree that the wording is not the same as Duncan's in all Grand Lodges, I would imagine it would be similar. As for not discussing Masonry with non Masons being a suicide pact for the Craft, the first Masonic exposure text was published in 1730. Freemasonry didn't even expose that it existed until 1717. There had been hundreds of years of Freemasonry before that, so your argument that it would suddenly die doesn't really hold a lot of water.
    As for you discussing anything that does not reveal the "secrets" of Freemasonry, I have two questions:
    1) From this discussion, we have seen that there is no definitive guideline as to exactly what the secrets are. Where would your propose drawing the line?
    2) Does your oath not include the portions I mentioned above? If it does, how do you rationalize your decision?
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    The boundary is different jurisdiction to jurisdiction and even within jurisdictions few are aware of what the actual rulings are, if that jurisdiction even has rulings on the details.

    The version in my mother jurisdiction has yet another Masonic technical term in the part about clandestine Masons. The wording in the California version is a technical term for passing the tiler to attend one of their tiled meetings or allowing our tiler to pass a clandestine Mason to attend one of our meetings. Since recognition is more strict than regularity of origin the ruling is more strict than the oath. I have now learned two more ritual versions and they use technical terms that teaching how to pass a tiler.

    When I read your quote from Duncan I didn't know if it was an error that had crept into the ritual sourced by Duncan or if it was an error when Duncan was written.
  6. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    New Jersey has a "social media" directive by the GM about how one should act while participating in on line forums.
    dfreybur likes this.
  7. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

    If you are only referring to secrets that can be communicated in words then you are not referring to the secrets with which I am familiar.
  8. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

    The following are various terms that are used relative to prohibition of discussion with clandestine Masons and those who are suspended or expelled. There may be other variations that I am not aware of. While, they all may be open to interpretation, the first two certainly seem to be more restrictive in terms of prohibited subject matter than the last two, with the quote from Duncan’s “converse on the subject of Masonry” appearing to connote a very restrictive meaning. I can only add that in my opinion we are only obligated to comply with the language in the Obligation we each took.

    · “converse masonically”

    · “converse on the subject of Masonry”

    · “hold Masonic communication”

    · “hold Masonic intercourse”

    I personally think that “The obligation of an Entered Apprentice – as is used in most Grand Jurisdictions – does, however, address the issue and as long as Masons abide by such there should be no real problems.”

    Masonic Communication or Conversation

    Interesting discussions and debates are often generated when attempts are made to define exactly to what “Masonic communication” refers beyond – of course – the use of the term to indicate a formal meeting of a Masonic lodge or Grand Lodge. To avoid confusion, “conversation” should probably replace “communication” when dealing with the subject of individuals talking or corresponding about Masonic subjects.

    Just as it regards non-Masons, it is generally well accepted that regular and recognized Freemasons “are forbidden to associate or converse on Masonic subjects” with clandestine Masons.[ii] What exactly does “associate or converse” mean? No reasonable person should think that the prohibition on association and conversation should include social, vocational, or religious contact with those that do not belong to regular and recognized Freemasonry – as long as such contact is not for the purpose of discussing Masonic subjects. But herein may be the root cause of debates concerning this subject. What exactly are Masonic subjects and what is considered Masonic conversation?

    Some Masons take the position that Masonic subjects are limited to those involving certain esoteric teachings and rituals of the Fraternity or – more specifically – the modes of recognition and that the discussion of such with another is the only thing that amounts to Masonic conversation. Some will take it a step further and include in the definition of a Masonic subject the tiled proceedings of a lodge or Grand Lodge that take place behind closed doors. Others are broader when defining Masonic conversation and feel that acknowledging another – without concrete evidence – as a Freemason amounts to Masonic conversation. Then there are those that go to the extreme of not discussing any aspect of Freemasonry or disclosing that that they are a Freemason except with and to those that they have indisputable knowledge that confirms the other man’s status as a regular and recognized member of the Fraternity.

    This subject has become very pertinent in the last few years as more and more Masons are using the Internet to correspond and discuss the Fraternity. Grand Lodges and individual Masons are wrestling with how to use the Internet for the good of Freemasonry and their own Masonic self-development while – at the same time – ensuring that inappropriate Masonic communication or conversation does not occur. Without a doubt, the Internet is a medium that the Freemasons of old did not anticipate or plan for and many of the constitutions of Grand Lodges do not adequately address the issue of online sites and forums. The obligation of an Entered Apprentice – as is used in most Grand Jurisdictions – does, however, address the issue and as long as Masons abide by such there should be no real problems.

    Mackey, Albert G. as revised by Hawkins, Edward L., An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences, Volume I, New York and London: The Masonic History Company, 1914, p. 170.
    [ii] Ibid, p. 154.

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  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    "So, if our obligation goes so far as to say that we cannot speak about any Masonic subject, even with a brother who is behind on his dues, how do we then rationalize putting these discussions out there for the public or purposely having them with non-Masons?"

    But neither of the examples you provide have that broad language. "Converse masonically" and "any Masonic subject" are different words. Additionally, Duncan's is not Masonic law in any jurisdiction of which I'm aware.

    In any case, GLs differ in the interpretation of this obligation. You should seek guidance from a senior member if your GL.
    Jason A. Mitchell likes this.
  10. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    Umm. The PWs?
  11. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    Caution is a great word. However that leaves room for interpretation when guidelines do not exist on how to act when it comes to electronic communication.

    We're not supposed to make contact with a Lodge until we are in the jurisdiction of that Lodge unless it is done via your secretary. At what point does making arrangements via social media/message forums cross that line?
    hanzosbm likes this.
  12. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

    I would like to modify what you have said (typed) here. "We make good men better", to me, is pretty lame. I think it should be said that we take a good man and give him ways to make HIMSELF a better man, because not a single member of my Lodge(s) has made me a better man, that has been done by ME, if I have indeed become a better man since my initiation.;)

    EDIT: Now, I have had the inspiration of the other, some of them, members to help me make the appropriate changes.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Being a relatively new MM my standard is this: I will speak of thing that I am SURE are O.K. to discuss. If I know something is not to be spoke of outside of lodge, or I am not sure, I don't discuss it.
  14. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

    Perhaps the best answer I have seen for this most important of questions.
    Travelling Man91 likes this.
  15. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    Since the genuine secrets are reported to be lost and Freemasonry claims only to protect the substitute secrets, then any person who demonstrates that they have made real progress with the genuine secrets gets a genuine but cautious reply from me.
  16. GKA

    GKA Premium Member

    There are different opinions within my lodge as to what can and cannot be discussed, however, it is widely agreed that the modes of recognition are never shared with a non Mason nor anything about lodge business, recently there has been some concern as to the brothers privacy so now we screen all publicized info and publish in our news letter only that which each brother has authorized such as phone numbers etc.
    Duncan's is a sore topic for most of us even though it is not 100% accurate :)

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