What would you like to see changed in the Masonic experience?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cemab4y, Dec 11, 2010.

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  1. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    They do? Citation?
     
  2. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    In my travels, I have visited lodges in 14 states, WashDC, and 5 foreign countries. I have met masons from many different jurisdictions. Although I am NOT an expert on the intricacies of the regulations from all 51 Grand Lodges, I have a good familiarity with the regulations of my own GL, and some others. The GL of KY specifically forbids advertising, and you are not permitted to invite a man to petition.

    I met a man from South Carolina, who was a past district deputy Grand Master. He informed me, that Masonry in South Carolina, is very discreet, and there is no open advertising at all.

    Some states, permit advertising. New Jersey has billboards, advertising the Craft, I have seen them.

    Missouri permits lodges to underwrite educational programs on public TV. I was in Kansas City, and I saw a broadcast that was sponsored (underwritten) by a Missouri lodge. I called the secretary of the lodge, and he gave me the run-down on the advertising regulations of the GL of Missouri.

    When I visit a lodge in a different state, I like to ask the officers about their GL regulations concerning advertising and recruiting. Most of them tell me, in no uncertain terms, that their GL forbids advertising and recruiting.

    If you want the specific regulations in a GL, I suggest that you contact the GL of the state you are interested in.
     
  3. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I was responding to your claim "most Grand Lodges either forbid any advertising or open solicitation of new members." I asked for a citation to the claim that most GL's have these prohibitions. I was not asking about a particular GL.

    You are able to name two GLs with these restrictions. That would seem to be contra to your assertion that "most Grand Lodges either forbid any advertising or open solicitation of new members."

    (Oh, and if we are playing number games, and I use that word advisedly, I've attended Craft functions in 16 US jurisdictions, nine jurisdictions without the US, have served as Chairman of JP for two national groups, am an emeritus member of an international G&A Committee, a national officer of one organization, and a regional officer of three organizations, none of which qualify me as an expert in all jurisprudence systems).
     
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    In a military lodge in a foreign country, you will meet masons from many different jurisdictions. I have discussed the topic of advertising/recruiting with Masons from a variety of GLs. Some states permit advertising (Maryland has radio ads, New Jersey has billboards, Massachusetts has a state-wide open house with media coverage ,etc). But the majority of the Masons I have interviewed on this topic, and the majority of the states I have visited, keep a tight lid on advertising.

    I would like to conduct a survey, and get the official word from every GL in the USA (Maybe Canada as well).
     
  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Which military lodge? How many times did you attend?

    Which states keep a tight lid on advertising?
     
  6. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I set up a Masonic "Square and Compasses" club at Al Asad air base in Iraq. We were NOT a degree-granting lodge, but a fellowship of men who were interested in Masonry. We attempted to obtain a charter from the Grand Lodge of New York, but we were never able to. (Read all about it at my blog www.cemab4y.blogspot.com )

    My (KY) GL does not have fraternal relations with PH masonry. I fellowshipped with PH Masons (OUTSIDE THE TYLED LODGE) at various military bases in Iraq/Afghanistan. I also met many mainstream F&AM masons during my ten (10) years in the Iraq/Afghanistan area. I have (in the past) belonged to a NY lodge (which no longer exists). NY has full fraternal relations with PH masonry.

    The GL of Ontario (Canada) operated a traveling military lodge at Kandahar, Afghanistan. I visited that lodge many times.

    Most of the masons I have met in the USA and abroad tell me, that their lodges/Grand Lodges forbid advertising and recruitment.

    As I indicated in a previous post, I would like to conduct a survey, and contact the various GLs in the USA/Canada, and determine what the advertising policies are in their various jurisdictions.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Here is an audio interview (no video), with a highly experienced Mason, with many Masonic honors. His statements about the way Masonry is heading, are very prescient and thoughtful. Please listen to it:

    http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/f/9/f/f9f...27840560&hwt=90cc3065130cc04904354c344299d68d

    (DISCLAIMER) Links posted by me, are for informational and discussion purposes only. I do NOT necessarily agree with nor endorse any of the statements presented.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  8. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I liked what he had to say on many points. I especially agree with his point about Freemasonry doesn't need to change to fit today's society. If we do, then it is no longer Freemasonry. We need to offer what we offer, and the best of society will come to us. That's what Freemasonry has traditionally been, and we have dropped that standard in the last half century, leading us to where we are today. As a whole, people are fixated on numbers rather than attracting the best and brightest.

    It kind of ties in with another thread on here I have purposely refrained from joining. We have opened the flood gates to people who don't even recognize that the way you dress when going to lodge (or church or a funeral, etc.) says a whole lot. That statement isn't a fashion critique. It's more rooted in fundamental sensibilities. I know plenty of great people who wear overalls and plenty of jerks who wear tuxedoes. I was at Grand Lodge last week and saw people dressed in all manner of ways that made me shake my head. Would George Washington or Benjamin Franklin go to a lodge meeting looking like they just finished mowing the yard or were trying out for the cast of Sons of Anarchy? What kind of message does that send to the public about the type of people we want in our fraternity? Freemasonry used to be for the most educated and respected people of the community. To quote Tom Jackson in the podcast, elite isn't a bad word. We should strive to be elite. Elite and being an elitist aren't the same thing. Being elite means being an example for your community, and hopefully being that example will make others on the cusp think, "Hey, I need to straighten myself out and be like those guys." (steps down off soapbox)
     
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  9. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Great point about being Elite. The same point could be made about Secrets. Some things are secret simply because you have to earn the right to know them. There is even an old adage that describes this. Something about "casting pearls......"

    I recently read a definition that went "to change secretly from within". I believe that this is the most effective way to change the human heart. Unfortunately the word that was being defined has fallen into disrepute. It is a pity because it also seems to be the best way to reform Freemasonry.
     
  10. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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    Freemasonry has changed over time though. The teaching and ideals have not, but the purpose, and reasons for joining have changed. The post Civil War-era was more mutual benefit reasons. No, we didn't offer the insurance that groups like the Grange or Elks did, but the reasoning was still there. The New Deal programs probably did more to kill social clubs and benevolent societies than anything else in history. Following World War II, joining was for social reasons and meetings changed to accommodate that shift in reasons.

    I don't believe that we attracted the best because our teachings, symbols, and allegories are better than any other groups. It attracted the best because it was the "it" thing to join and thus attracted more elites. I agree, we've lost that "elite" factor in most of our lodges and now the lodge seems to be attracting more wayward souls "looking for a purpose, etc." (Nothing against those joined for that reason.)
     
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  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I do not necessarily agree that Grand Lodges have "opened the flood gates". In 2012, the Grand Lodge of Texas reported 93,188 members. In 2013, The GL of TX reported 81,340 members. (Some TX Masons belong to more than one lodge). This is a loss of 11,848 or 12.71%. At first observation, it appears to me that the flood of members (at least in Texas) is going out, and not in. The membership totals for all USA Grand Lodges, show a 2012 total of 1,305,433 and a 2013 total of 1,246,241 or a net loss of 59,192 or 4.53%.

    Regardless of these numbers, most Masons are firmly convinced that everything in Masonry is just fine. After all, my lodge had three new EA's last year.

    My observation of these data, lead me to the conclusion that the numbers in Masonry are going down. Not all masons agree, that is their privilege. Not all passengers on the Titanic, agreed that the ship was sinking.

    I find myself in agreement, that the flood gates are open. My observation, based my experiences with the US Census Bureau, in statistical data collerction and analysis, leads me to the conclusion, that members are flooding out, and not in.

    The requirements to petition Freemasonry remain:

    -Male
    -Mature of age. (18 some states, 21 some states)
    -Belief in Deity
    -Good moral character

    I have also observed, a general decline in the appearance and dress of some of our membership. Slovenliness, does not speak well of any organization.

    I cherish the rituals and traditions of our beloved Craft. I have no desire to alter any of them, nor to scrap our ancient landmarks.

    BUT- We can and we must continue to make Freemasonry relevant to the 21st century man. VALUE from being a Mason, must be obtained by all of our membership, else we will have no members.
     
  12. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    But see your 2008 post:
    Posted Thu 24 April 2008 10:56 PM Hide Post
    I did attend the tiled meeting, after showing my NY dues card, and being satisfied that the lodge here, was in communications with the GL of NY, and that there would be no problem, since NY recognized the lodge here as "regular".

    When the GM of Masons in KY found out, he immediately contacted my home lodge, and told them not to accept any requests for demit.
     
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been posted to various military bases in Iraq/Afghanistan. I have met many fine PH masons. In the past, when I was a member of a NY lodge (the GL of NY has recognition with PH masonry), I visited one meeting. I have worked in Iraq/Afghanistan for over 10 years. And during that time, I have fellowshipped with many fine PH Masons outside the tiled lodge.


    (An incident occurred in 2008, recorded on my blog. The GL of Kentucky, reached a decision, and since then I have continued to associate with many fine PH masons, but outside the tyled lodge. The GL of New York has full fraternal relations with PH masonry. I pray that KY will soon join the many other Grand Lodges which recognize PH masonry as regular)
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  14. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    @cemab4y, so which statement is true? Only one of them can be.
     
  15. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I sent you a private response. Please keep the discussions on this thread "on point".

    During my ten years in the combat zone, I have associated with many fine PH masons. An incident occurred once in 2008, and I reached a decision with the GL of Kentucky. Since then, I have continued to associate with PH Masons, in Iraq/Afghanistan.

    I suggest that this dead horse stop being whipped.
     
  16. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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  17. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    For many years you have posted on every Masonic Forum the things that you believe are wrong with Freemasonry including derogatory remarks about the GL of KY as well as other Grand Lodges. You repeat information that you supposedly have heard from members of other Grand Lodges, but you do not post their names or any other kind of verification of what was said or what is actually the truth. You do not make any attempt to verify if what you are posting is the truth or not, so you in fact are doing nothing but gossiping.

    You have stated repeatedly that you were wrongfully suspended by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, yet you are “condemned out of your own mouth” by statements you have made in the past that clearly indicate that you were not unjustly suspended.

    You also stated as a justification for attending the “tiled meeting” “that the lodge here, was in communications with the GL of NY”, how did you confirm that? What was the name of the Lodge and what PH Grand Lodge chartered it.

    As a Master Mason you should be 100% certain that something is true before you indiscriminately post it on a website, blog, or forum.

    You may think that this is beating a dead horse and is off topic but since you post statements without any kind of verification to support your claims. Credibility and veracity are important, so your long and prolific history of posting misleading and inaccurate information is important.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
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  18. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    More misinformation, by "Mother Grand Lodge in England", at my peril I assume you mean the UGLE, however the fact that 2 Grand Lodges are in communication with the UGLE has no bearing on whether or not a member of one GL may visit the other. The 2 Grand Lodges must be in communication with each other.
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    my mistake. There is some discussion about the "Mother Grand Lodge of England". Many individuals use the term "Mother Grand Lodge", and UGLE interchangeably.

    And you are quite correct, that for a Mason who is a member of one Grand Lodge to visit a lodge in another jurisdiction, both Grand Lodges must be in full communications.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  20. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    See the response in private. This thread is about what you would like to see changed/improved.
     
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