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Posted: 08 November 2014 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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sammy_sp - 07 November 2014 11:53 PM

Thanks for your detailed response. It is quite common for freemasons not to talk about their membership in the organization, not even to their immediate families, due to the oaths taken during the initiation ceremony.

My family and those of my brothers know quite a bit about Freemasonry. In fact, my daughter wrote her term paper for a Cultural Anthropology course at Leslie University about the Fraternity. She was given free access to the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts including the extensive Masonic Library as is anyone interested in the Craft. She interviewed a past Grand Master who answered her questions freely, completely and truthfully. She got an A, by the way.

I encourage you to ask your father to elaborate on the subject and tell you what he learned during his membership in DeMoley when he was young. Have you ever asked him if his parents told him of any of the freemasonry secrets/rituals?

The details of our rituals are kept private because they are time-tested teaching tools that work best when the Candidate doesn’t know them. As a result, no Mason who takes his Obligation seriously and wants his son to get the full benefit of the lessons taught in the degrees would reveal those details. I always ask people interested in joining not to look up the rituals for this reason.

Freemasonry teaches good men to become better. However, it is not necessary to be a freemason to improve yourself as this is a self discovery process and depends on the effort you put into it. Being a member of this organization helps facilitate the process by involving you with “good” like-minded people that can help you become better.

Completely true. You also have the benefit of having a few million friends and brothers all over the planet who know you are a man of character and can be trusted and are ready to help you if you need it.

However, unless you know all the details about the secrets involved in freemasonry, how could you consider yourself to be of like mind to its members and how can you expect them to believe that you are? I am not sure if that may be a reason for your petition’s approval taking some time as I am not a member of that lodge, but that should not be very uncommon with people new to freemasonry like you.

We are very selective about which of our friends we decide to sponsor if they ask. I consider the man’s character and ask myself, “Would I be proud to sit next to this man in lodge?” In other words, our gate isn’t left open. If a man asks to become a Mason who is not known by a current member we will get to know him and make sure he is someone we consider a friend before we would allow him to become a brother.

Please consider answering the question of why freemasonry, one of the oldest secret societies, remains closed to the public to this date and only teaches its initiates and is a man-only organization. Unless you are clear on the answers and have made up your mind that it is right for you, I don’t think the Master of the lodge could possibly be sure that you would be the right member to join.

Thanks for the laugh, sammy. If we are a secret society, we’re the only one that marks our buildings, lists our phone numbers, has web sites and answers questions like these in a public forum.  If we’re trying to be a secret society, we’re really bad at it :) The only things we keep secret are the details of our rituals (the reason was explained above) and our means of recognition. The reason for keeping our means of recognition secret should be pretty obvious. This is how we know a man to be a brother ( I would also ask for a dues card).

Don’t get me wrong, everything we keep secret is readily available to anyone and has been for a very long time. The formation of the first Grand Lodge was in 1717 and the first “Freemasonry Exposed” book was published in 1723. The point is that I and all good Masons took that oath you mentioned so even though we all know you have probably already watched videos and read every word of ritual we have, we are not going to share with any non-Mason. Not because there are deep, dark secrets but simply because this is how we know we can trust our brothers. If you can’t be trusted to keep simple things like this to yourself, you’re not the kind of man I would be proud to sit next to in lodge.

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God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 09 November 2014 02:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Thanks John for the clarification. Those were my views based on the freemasons I’ve known.

The details of our rituals are kept private because they are time-tested teaching tools that work best when the Candidate doesn’t know them. As a result, no Mason who takes his Obligation seriously and wants his son to get the full benefit of the lessons taught in the degrees would reveal those details. I always ask people interested in joining not to look up the rituals for this reason.

Could you please provide an example? Maybe we could try out one of your rituals and learn for ourselves! Considering I am not interested in joining it wouldn’t hurt.

If we are a secret society, we’re the only one that marks our buildings, lists our phone numbers, has web sites and answers questions like these in a public forum.

Not really.. I started reading Morals & Dogma and wasn’t able to understand it. The writer keeps using words written in capital without explaining what they mean. I recall he even used words and specifically said you already know the meanings, which non-Masons don’t obviously!
It started as a secret society and is not currently open to the public either.

The only things we keep secret are the details of our rituals (the reason was explained above) and our means of recognition. The reason for keeping our means of recognition secret should be pretty obvious.

Why keep your means of recognition secret? Also, why not let everyone try out the rituals (if there are actually any rituals to begin with!)

The point is that I and all good Masons took that oath you mentioned so even though we all know you have probably already watched videos and read every word of ritual we have, we are not going to share with any non-Mason. Not because there are deep, dark secrets but simply because this is how we know we can trust our brothers. If you can’t be trusted to keep simple things like this to yourself, you’re not the kind of man I would be proud to sit next to in lodge.

Oh, I haven’t watched any videos coming from a mason that would explain any of the so-called rituals. Could you please provide a link to a “legitimate” one?

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Posted: 09 November 2014 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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No, sammy_sp, we don’t provide examples, sorry. Nor videos of our ceremonies. Our rituals are time-tested teaching tools capable of imparting valuable lessons. If not done properly, on the other hand, they would yield bit little value. Besides which, they are private. If you feel you can do it on your own, that nobody needs Masonry to learn, then feel free - carry on. Nobody is stopping you.

As to Morals and Dogma, it’s unsurprising that you didn’t get much out of it. Frankly, I doubt many people can read it without difficulty. Pike had a fairly ponderous style even in a time where such was the norm. That said, the book is not regarded as a central text by mainstream Freemasonry, nor was Pike writing as an official spokesman of the Craft (there aren’t any). But all that is immaterial to the point Brother John was making. We openly publicize our existence, our locations and our identities and run hundreds of websites to talk about ourselves. Secret societies simply do not do such things. To ignore all that because you didn’t understand a complex, dated and unofficial tome is rather naiive.  We are a not a secret society, although we are a society with a few secrets. There is a difference.

About the only secrets we have are means of ensuring ourselves that we are dealing with a real Mason. As a Mason, I can go virtually anywhere in the world and be sure of being welcomed. If for no other reason, that’s a good reason for us to know who we are dealing with. To suggest that we should just throw it all open would shatter the grounds for that mutual trust so central to our fraternity.

Now, in any case, are you really here to learn?

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Zetland Lodge No. 83
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Initiated 1 March 1979
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Posted: 09 November 2014 09:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Why is it that a person has to be a mason for the rituals to yield value? I don’t know any rituals to try on my own and don’t believe any real ones exists anyway, so it’s all FAKE.

As for Morals & Dogma, YOUR brother John mentioned you were not a secret society and the secrets were all out, so I was referring to the fact that they are not. As explained, he refers to things and says the fellow craft, etc. are supposed to know, but how am I supposed to know?! Clearly I am not his audience, so it’s no use to read it, except for improving my English since it’s written so nicely..

Now, in any case, are you really here to learn?

Am I really here to learn??? Pardon me, didn’t know there was something to learn here! If you mean learning about YOUR fraternity which doesn’t welcome me and has de-brothered me, why would I wanna do that? Otherwise please go on we’re listening :)

Thanks,

Sam

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Posted: 09 November 2014 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Ok Sammy.  Try this on for size.  One of our rituals involves being prepared in a specific fashion that includes a blindfold fort part of the time and one pant leg rolled up.  This is a well known fact among the profane.  I will not go into any detail because I made a promise that I would not divulge those details to anyone except a brother mason.  The means of recognition that we keep private are done so for the same reason.  It proves that we are trustworthy.  If we can’t be trusted to keep something simple like a grip or word private, how can we be trusted with more important things.  This is the biggest hangup the uninitiated have.  They feel just the opposite.  Since we won’t share the insignificant words or means of recognition that we somehow are shady.

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St. Georges Lodge #6
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Posted: 09 November 2014 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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If you do an internet search, you will find several of the rituals on YouTube, if you are interested. Keeping the rituals private/secret makes for a much more profound impression on the candidate, when the ritual is performed.

As far as “Morals and Dogma”, it is a tough nut to crack. Keep in mind, that Albert Pike was self-educated, kind of like Abraham Lincoln, reading and studying on his own. There is new, modern rendering of “Morals and Dogma”, called “Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century”, where a group of scholars, took the text, and “translated” the turgid prose, into a more coherent and understandable form, to assist the modern reader, in understanding the meaning. If you are interested, you can order this book on line.

You are quite right, that self-improvement is an individual process. Our lessons in rectitude of conduct, and charity and brotherly love are broadcast out for all the world to see. I wish more people would look up these lessons and take them to heart.

The words, grips, signs, etc have all been broadcast in various “exposes” and all can be found on the internet and in various books. If you do an internet search, you can find all of them easily.

Keeping the modes of recognition “secret” is more of a tradition, than a reality. Operative Masonry began in a time before widespread literacy, and the only way for a true and lawful Mason to establish his “bona fides”, was by unwritten means.

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Posted: 09 November 2014 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Dear defiled brother Paul,
Thanks for the suggestion. However, if the profane knew any real rituals they’d be holy by now, so why bother ridicule myself?! As I mentioned though I don’t believe holifying rituals exist! So what kind of more important things are you hoping to be trusted upon? Does it make you feel important?! Why would you wanna be involved in them when you don’t know the whole thing? (and of course you don’t.)

@dear de-brothered Martin: The internet is full of imposters with all sorts of rituals, signs, etc. but they can’t be trusted of course. They are just there to create a false impression of power for the fraternity. As for the “words, grips, signs”, they are purposely chosen to be so general so they can then claim all these other famous non-Mason people were/are masons. I wouldn’t believe that unless the person is alive and announces publicly that he’s a mason. Anyone on the street may use those words, grips, signs, including myself and I’m sure you have better ways to find each other, like by doing a search on the name- I assume you should have a directory with the names of other members as most organizations,companies, etc. do? If the imposters think they’re fooling someone, they’re fooling themselves.

Anyways please don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge/hate you guys since I don’t really know anything much about your fraternity, but your organization doesn’t intrigue me.

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Posted: 09 November 2014 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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So, sammy, according to you, there’s nothing here to learn, because it’s all, “FAKE,” but you are all the same here saying things which seem remarkably like questions.  (At least they look like questions; they have question marks at the end.)

And Freemasonry doesn’t ‘intrigue’ you, but you are still here, post after post…

And now starting to resort to personal insults. How charming, how mature.

Which raises the obvious question, sir - what are you here for? I would be the last man to accuse anyone of trolling, but it’s starting to seem just a weeee bit like somebody’s got a line in the water…

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Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979

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Posted: 10 November 2014 12:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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I was “responding” to someone’s question here and then your brothers started quoting me and I also learned in your website non-Masons aren’t supposed to answer questions!!! Since I don’t know you, sir, I’m not sure which one of us is more qualified to teach the other, but as far as freemasonry is concerned of course you would be the one with more info since you’re already a member. I was curious to see why people join your fraternity and learn what kind of personality/mind-set masons have, but don’t seem to be getting much out of this website. I’d still hang around though. Feel free to “ask” any questions!

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Posted: 10 November 2014 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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One of the reasons that we keep the simple signs, tokens, and grips secret is to prove our trustworthiness to each other.
If you found that a friend of yours could not keep a small secret, would you trust him with something big and extremely personal?

We promise to keep each others secrets {barring criminal activity or treason},

It is requested that non-masons [ie: profane] not answer questions because you do not have the proper frame of reference to give a suitable answer.

Freemasons have all types of personalities ranging from very extroverted to every introverted and it will help both to improve themselves by doing the work specified in the Degrees. If you have the mindset to learn in a specific way amongst men who have walked the same path and who are willing to help and guide you no matter where and when, then you have dome to the right place. If you just are curious and want us to hand you the secrets/keys, then you are in the wrong place because out lessons do not work in that way.

To take a quote from the VSL, “Let him who has eyes to see and ears to hear take these lessons…............”
{quote may not be 100% accurate as I do not have my book close by}

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Posted: 10 November 2014 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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sammy_sp - 09 November 2014 07:16 PM

Dear defiled brother Paul,
Thanks for the suggestion. However, if the profane knew any real rituals they’d be holy by now, so why bother ridicule myself?! As I mentioned though I don’t believe holifying rituals exist! So what kind of more important things are you hoping to be trusted upon? Does it make you feel important?! Why would you wanna be involved in them when you don’t know the whole thing? (and of course you don’t.)

I applaud you on your valiant attempt at invoking some sort of emotional response, however you have not succeeded.  I am neither spoiled nor one of the profane.  As for “holifying” rituals, sorry, we are not a religion, merely a fraternity.  Those rituals would be found in each individual man’s chosen Faith.  Our rituals are teaching methods and are purely symbolic.  I do believe you are not familiar with the definition that we refer to when we say ritual.  It is not meant as a spell or any other hocus pocus incantation.  Our ritual is simply the set of procedures we use during each of our different meetings.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but there you have it. 

What I want to be trusted with is not the point and the point may not be as mysterious as you want to believe so I will not bother wasting time explaining it to you as my initial explanation is as plain as it gets. 

As for you last comment to me, please do explain to all of us how I do not “know the whole thing”?  I mean, seriously.  What basis do you have as a non member to tell me what I do or do not understand about a fraternity that I am a full member of.  I mean, you say yourself below that you know nothing about the fraternity so how can you claim that I do not? 

sammy_sp - 09 November 2014 07:16 PM

Anyways please don’t get me wrong, I don’t judge/hate you guys since I don’t really know anything much about your fraternity, but your organization doesn’t intrigue me.

Then what is your purpose for being in this forum anyway?

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
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St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
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Posted: 10 November 2014 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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@dear de-brothered Martin: The internet is full of imposters with all sorts of rituals, signs, etc. but they can’t be trusted of course.

—-There is all kind of information on the internet about Masonry. Some of it is reliable, some of it is not reliable.

They are just there to create a false impression of power for the fraternity.

—Most people over estimate any “power” that Freemasonry has.


As for the “words, grips, signs”, they are purposely chosen to be so general so they can then claim all these other famous non-Mason people were/are masons.

—- The modes of recognition date back to antiquity. Masonic membership is not kept secret. Most lodges keep detailed records of the membership, and Masons wear rings, pins, belt buckles, etc. I persuaded the state of Kentucky to issue an official Masonic vehicle license plate. Most celebrities who are Masons, do not hide the fact. I personally witnessed the academy-award winning actor, Richard Dreyfuss, take his degrees in Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite.


I wouldn’t believe that unless the person is alive and announces publicly that he’s a mason.

—- This is your privilege. There are detailed records kept by the fraternity, and no lodge would ever claim that someone, famous or not, was a Mason, if they were not.

Anyone on the street may use those words, grips, signs, including myself and I’m sure you have better ways to find each other, like by doing a search on the name- I assume you should have a directory with the names of other members as most organizations,companies, etc. do? If the imposters think they’re fooling someone, they’re fooling themselves.


—-True, the modes of recognition can be easily obtained by anyone. There is no comprehensive data base with the names of all Masons on it. First, it would be prohibitively expensive, and difficult to publish. And, since there is no Grand Lodge of the United States, each state lodge would have to be researched.

If a Mason wants to determine if a man is a true and lawful brother Mason, there are several ways to accomplish this. You can ask to see his dues card, which is a receipt of payment of dues. And you can ask some questions, related to ritual and custom, which only a Mason would know. It is not difficult to determine if a man is a “cowan” (imposter) .

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Posted: 10 November 2014 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Thanks for all your detailed responses, His brotherhood.

@W Br Gleason: I still think the reason for the signs, grips, etc. is to create a false impression of power for the fraternity and scare the profane since they are chosen to be extremely common and can “mistakenly” be used by anyone including the non-masons, so they’re not for you to recognize each other but for the profane to think they are recognizing you.
“then you have dome to the right place”, why do masons make a lot of typos? You should suggest the lodges provide you with some working keyboards!
As for your quote from Matthew 13 (I think), I am not a fan of Jesus and have recently just started reading some of the Bible. I think his audience are the unholy God believers not the profane so it doesn’t apply to me anyway.

@dear de-Bro. Paul: I think we’re saying the same thing differently; I never believed you did any kind of spell/hocus pocus incantation.
As for “knowing the whole thing”, you don’t have to know something to know that someone else doesn’t know it. Since YOUR brothers mentioned the secrets/lessons of masonry are taught in the long run through life experience, etc. and considering you can become a Master in this fraternity in only 7 years but you aren’t able to change any of the rules, I wouldn’t think many of you know the exact purpose of the fraternity as you don’t have any power over its function, or maybe you do but just don’t have power over its function, so my apologies if you know/think you know and I’m mistaken.
As for my purpose, I said it already; I’m here to learn about the character/beliefs of the brotherhood, psycho-analyze, and learn why people join, in order to satisfy my curiosity.

@dear de-Bro. Martin: Thanks for the clarification.

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Posted: 10 November 2014 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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sammy_sp - 10 November 2014 03:02 PM

@dear de-Bro. Paul: I think we’re saying the same thing differently; I never believed you did any kind of spell/hocus pocus incantation.
As for “knowing the whole thing”, you don’t have to know something to know that someone else doesn’t know it. Since YOUR brothers mentioned the secrets/lessons of masonry are taught in the long run through life experience, etc. and considering you can become a Master in this fraternity in only 7 years but you aren’t able to change any of the rules, I wouldn’t think many of you know the exact purpose of the fraternity as you don’t have any power over its function, or maybe you do but just don’t have power over its function, so my apologies if you know/think you know and I’m mistaken.
As for my purpose, I said it already; I’m here to learn about the character/beliefs of the brotherhood, psycho-analyze, and learn why people join, in order to satisfy my curiosity.

 

Thanks for the chuckle.

Just what do you THINK needs to be changed?  The rules are the rules.  Some can and do change.  Others do not and will not.  The function and purpose of our fraternity is simple and yet it is different for each member.  You can spend all your time and effort pscho-analyzing it all you want, but you will not get a single definitive answer because one single answer for your question does not exist.  I would like to know what you THINK the purpose is.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 AMD
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St. George’s Commandery #37
Oriental Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S.
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Posted: 11 November 2014 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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@dear de-Bro. Paul: You’re welcome. Why do you think any rules should not be changed? There is no rule that is 100% correct so there’s always place for improvement in everything. I don’t know the rules so I cannot say “what” needs to be changed, but I don’t agree with obeying any solid unchangeable rules. I get the impression it is possible this organization has some brainwashing impacts on its members, although again I cannot be sure since I haven’t been a member (and do not plan to become one.) But the fact that you all seem to believe in certain rules gives me the creeps! Take the secrecy for instance, you seem to unanimously agree with keeping the secrets secret. Or any other rules you may have for that matter, or simply agreeing with the purpose of the fraternity, its plans, etc. whatever they may be. We all get brainwashed at times without realizing it. The way I notice myself being brainwashed is when I realize that my opinion about a certain concept is the same as almost everyone else in my community while other communities may hold different opinions. When I have an argument with someone who has a conflicting opinion, all of a sudden it comes to me that I never truly gave the topic any thought. Unless you’ve thought about a concept and have your own reasons, it’s very simple to get brainwashed by listening to other people’s seemingly logical arguments and get satisfied, especially when you keep things secret; you’re not able to even hear the conflicting arguments anymore since you won’t be talking about it outside your community..

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