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. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Quality cannot be mass produced and is expensive. It also lasts longer and retains it's value longer.

    Many brothers are more worried about quality without the understanding that you compromise quality with more and more quantity. If you want to see this for yourself then go look at tables in Wal-Mart and compare those with some well-made hand-crafted tables if you can find any for sell locally. One is cheaply made with quantity in mind, using inferior materials and assembly methods (also known as 'planned obsolescence', which is a whole other thread in itself) where the other is likely far more expensive, made out of superior materials, and well assembled. This is because it was designed with quality in mind, the builder/company has a reputation to uphold.

    Anyhow, long story short: You can have quality and you can have quantity but you cannot have both at the same time. They are polar opposites and one repels the other.
     
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  2. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    The big box VS boutique question. If only I had a personal recollection that bears on this issue. {dreamy music swells and the screen dissolves into wavy lines} Two years before I became a MM my jurisdiction streamlined the ritual and greatly simplified the examinations. (my examination consisted of giving the word, grip and saying yes after each promise was read to me.) When I discovered that the examination that I took was not the same one my father and grandfather had taken I became determined to learn theirs. Working from an old one letter key I reconstructed the old catechism. Then, having learned it on my own, I proposed to my WM that I be allowed to perform it in Lodge as an entertainment. I figured that the old guys would enjoy hearing it again and the new guys would learn something. I was surprised when he told me that when the G.L. approved the new examination they also outlawed the old catechism style examination and that it was a Masonic offense to perform it in open Lodge. When I asked why he told me that only one system of examination could be used because (and here is the point) they wanted to avoid the perception that there were two types of Masons.

    Soooo, as long as we need the income from the inactives to keep out Lodges open, we need to keep them convinced that they are 100% Masons. We can't allow them to think that maybe there are two types of Masonry and theirs is the inferior one. Of course the easiest way to make everyone equal is to teach everyone nothing. But that would be silly. We wouldn't do that would we?
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Texas, at least according to one of our working tools, says it is totally down w/ some contention within the Craft as long as it is of the noble sort. I'm very proud that I learn all the ritual I can and that we haven't yet come to the "every Mason gets a trophy" mentality (just) yet. ;)
     
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  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    If the endowment does not cover the per capita then the endowment rules need to be corrected moving forward and/or there needs to be some sort of ""Proposition 13" reaction to GL per capita increases. Maybe both.

    Many of the years I have attended GL there were rules changes to improve the life membership aka endowment rules. All too often those improvements were voted down. We delegates as a whole have shot ourselves in the foot when it comes to endowments and trust fund distributions.
     
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  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    When I hit Like I don't mean I'm happy about this state affairs. I remember a brother getting very upset when I explained it was the Hiramic legend. Similar to your indication, I fancy I can predict the likelihood of new members leaving because he will not find the subjects you referenced taught.
     
  6. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I have seen repeated failure in setting the endowment/life memberships at the correct level. There was even one Lodge giving them away as an honor, resulting in desperate financial circumstances.

    In Utah, it is the representatives to GL which set the per capita.
     
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  7. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In my state, a life membership is 20X your current annual dues. Up front, the lodge loses a little financially each year, but it will continue to pay dividends perpetually after the member has died. In the long run, they are good for individuals and lodges. The number seems to work.
     
  8. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Agreed, if dues are set high enough and if the principle isn't invaded.
     
  9. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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  10. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    --I am still not following you. First, you say the system(lodges) were designed to be supported by "(extremely reduced) dues, low degrees costs, bank deposit interest and random donations(sic)". Your words exactly,

    and then you say "Yes, it has "evolved" to be this way(sic)". Again, your words exactly. Evolution means change. Which is it? Design or evolution?

    In my mother lodge (Bowling Green KY), the cost of dues has definetly NOT kept up with inflation. Dues are therefore less (in inflation-adjusted costs) than the dues were when the lodge was founded. (please do not ask for hard data, I am in Kuwait).

    AND- Bowling Green lodge does not have an "endowment fund", or any other interest-bearing accounts which are providing funds to operate the lodge. I suggested such a fund, some years ago, and my idea was rejected. The lodge membership said (as they almost always do) that "We never did it that way before".
     
  11. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    In reference to your Mother Lodge:
    1. Do they collect enough from dues to support the operation of the Lodge even though dues have not kept up with inflation?
    2. If not, how do they cover the deficit?
    In regards to the "endowment fund", you indicate that the Lodge does not have existing surplus funds (interest bearing accounts) that can be designated and managed as an "endowment fund", so how did you propose to fund and manage it?
    1. From operating surplus?
    2. From an assessment on the members?
    3. Some other method?
    Or did you just throw it out there in the manner, I think we should have an "endowment fund", and expect others to sign on to the suggestion and figure it out, so you could start posting online that you are responsible for your Mother Lodge having an "endowment fund"?
     
  12. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Yes, that has been clear.
    Your point?
    I believe I was clear in my response. BUT, let me try yet another way to say the same exact thing but in a different way: That evolution was driven by a series of decisions DESIGNED to keep dues EXTREMELY REDUCED by fostering further dependence upon other revenue sources to support those dues. BTW - If you check out Lodge operations outside the USA, there are about 30 to 45 members per lodge, a new member only comes into the lodge in dead man's shoes, the dues cover the expenses and the expenses are low (in relation to what is offered) because there's very little "dead, as in non-moneymaking" overhead. USA lodges usually own the building they meet in. There are rarely other lodges or other organizations/businesses sharing the building. USA lodges have high overheads in relation to what is provided for that overhead. The money to support these lodges is usually offset by things other than dues because $1000+ annual dues for most MS lodges is way more than most members are willing to put forth.

    If all this is not clear to you, then I am not your light bearer on this.

    and you can't see what I have been sharing?!?!?! It's clearly right before you! Your lodge dues are deliberately designed to be low with a fostered dependence upon another revenue source to make up the difference!
    AND... other things must be done to keep those extremely reduced dues intact!

    So, looking for donations in the form of fundraisers is now part of the design of your lodge operations. Yes, this is intentional, no matter how covert it might be.

    Furthermore, it is also a heavy unbrotherly burden upon the active members as it puts the load upon their shoulders to make up the difference that is not paid by the inactive members!
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
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  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    =================

    My home lodge collects dues of $83.00 per year per member. A portion of this is rebated to the Grand Lodge, the balance stays with the lodge. Several masonically-affiliated bodies share the building where the lodge meets. There is a "temple association", and all of the various bodies (with the exception of the youth groups), manage the operation and maintenance of the building. Each "tenant" contributes a share, based on the percentage of the temple association which is owned by the various groups. (The youth groups are permitted to use the building free of charge).

    The dues of the Craft Lodge alone, are not sufficient to operate the facility, but the combined resources of the temple association members are adequate to meet expenses.

    The lodge has a small "rainy day" fund, that can be tapped to meet any unusual expenses. If there is a major need, like a new water heater, we will have a fund-raiser.

    Some years ago, I proposed that the Craft lodge explore the possibility of setting up an endowment fund, to purchase interest-bearing securities, to assist in financing lodge activities, and to help moderate dues increases in the future. ALL I did was to propose a "feasibility study", and examine the possibility. No one was interested, so I dropped it.

    I envisioned setting up a committee to establish a fund.

    The initial "seed" capital, would come from the following:

    1-Members (and anyone) would be asked to contribute as they wished.
    2-On the annual dues form, there would be a line, where each member could contribute any amount they wished, over and above their dues assessment.
    3-Fund-raisers (pancake breakfasts,etc) could be held, and some or all of the proceeds would be plowed into the fund.
    4-Members would be encouraged to make a provision in their wills, for a contribution.


    . The monies collected would be used to purchase securities, certificates of deposit, etc. The revenues from the fund would initially be plowed back into the fund, and after some years, the revenue would be tapped to help meet lodge expenses. I did some preliminary research, and I was willing to chair the committee, and get the project organized. No one was interested, so I just dropped it.

    I assure you, I was NOT interested in my personal glory. I have found that it is amazing what can get accomplished, when you do not care who gets the credit. Some (not all) members grumble every time that there is an increase in lodge dues. I felt that an endowment fund would be a way to help meet lodge expenses, without having to hike dues every year. The idea never got off the ground, so it died.

    I found it somewhat ironic, that the members who grumble and complain the loudest about dues increases, were the same ones who were against the endowment fund, to help moderate future dues increases.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015
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  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it.
    Vladimir Mayakovsky

    One idea that I have been kicking around for some years, is one that I picked up from a movie. In "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" (1939), the plot involves the idea of setting up a "National Boys Camp" , where boys from all over America would go for a summer, to learn about American history and government.

    I would like to pick up and modernize this idea, and maybe make it a reality. First, it would have to be co-ed, young ladies and young men.

    Freemason Richard Dreyfuss has started the "Dreyfuss Initiative" . See http://www.thedreyfussinitiative.org Its goals are simple:

    “To teach our kids how to run our country, before they are called upon to run our country…if we don’t, someone else will run our country.” - Richard Dreyfuss

    I believe that the Masonic community in the USA, could come together, and provide the financing and direction to make a national youth camp for civics instruction a reality.

    We could establish a camp in a rural area, maybe in the Rocky Mountain area. We could invite kids from all over America, to spend the summer there. The camp would provide civics and history instruction. We could get some guest instructors from major colleges and from the US government and military. The kids would get instruction in the mornings. In the afternoons, they could participate in wholesome recreational activities like horseback riding, backpacking etc.

    Tuition could be charged on a sliding scale, enabling kids from modest backgrounds to afford the experience. Individual lodges could sponsor a scholarship program, and locate a deserving student in their community, and then send the young person to the camp.

    An effort like this would be a continuation of our splendid tradition of universal education. The Wolcott Foundation (affiliated with High-Twelve International) provides scholarships for graduate studies in government at George Washington University.

    What do you think about this? Could we make this happen?

    I believe that an effort like this would be an opportunity to influence many young people in government, and perhaps lead them towards a career in public service.
     
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  15. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Unless you are capable of creating and funding this on your own, you are asking others to do it for you. Great Ideas are a dime a dozen, and that is about what they are worth.

    Instead of creating something new, why not support DeMolay? Instead of teaching boys about leaders, DeMolay teaches boys to be leaders. IMHO, being a role model for one boy is worth more than teaching 10,000 boys to define the term "role model".
     
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  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Great Idea... however, Freemasonry as an organization should not be involved whatsoever. SO, we should not make it happen.

    Freemasonry is scattered in far too many ineffective and superfluous directions. It would be far better for it to clean up its own ACT before STAGING inroads toward any other "worthy" distractions.
     
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  17. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Based on your previous post in another forum he was made a Mason and became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1 or 2 days. Has he contributed anything to Freemasonry since becoming a Mason? His bio on the site you listed does not even mention his Masonic affiliation.
     
  18. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Sorry, double post. Content deleted.
     
  19. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Good God Man! It's "RICHARD DREYFUSS"!!!! What does his Masonic Affiliation matter? IT'S RICHARD DREYFUSS!!!!!!
     
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  20. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    “We”, do you have a mouse in your pocket?

    I do not think that Freemasonry can or should create a charity/foundation for every societal need, but if you want to be taken seriously you should put forth the effort to develop a detailed business plan before you make a proposal and not rely on the efforts of others to accomplish your goals.

    Now a few random quotes:

    "Vision without execution is hallucination.” Thomas Edison

    “He is all hat and no cattle.” Author unknown

    “He is a legend in his own mind.” Author unknown

    “Money talks and bull$hit walks.” Author unknown, but the first time I heard it was from an old country bank President.
     
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