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If you become a Freemason can you leave the Brotherhood ?
Posted: 25 October 2010 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello, this is my first post in this website. And i wanted to ask, I am not a Mason but, if i become one and after some time i want to leave the Masonry is it available?
PS. sorry for my bad english.

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Posted: 25 October 2010 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Opeth - 25 October 2010 09:53 AM

Hello, this is my first post in this website. And i wanted to ask, I am not a Mason but, if i become one and after some time i want to leave the Masonry is it available?
PS. sorry for my bad english.

Of course you can.  If any man decides he doesn’t want to be a Mason anymore, the nice way to do it is to submit a letter of demittance stating that you wish to demit.  Then you will no longer be required to pay dues and you simply just don’t go to meetings anymore.

Another way to do it (not recommended) is to just stop going to meetings and paying dues.  Then once you are in arrears for dues for x amount of time, the lodge just votes to suspend the member.

Either way, there are never hard feelings.  Men choose not to participate in Masonry for many reason, some for time constraints, others because they just lose interest.  We respect each other’s choices and there is no penalty for stopping your Masonic participation.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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Posted: 25 October 2010 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thank you for answering. I was curious because i heared many things about that, that scared me a little bit.
All bests!

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Posted: 25 October 2010 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Opeth,

What Bro. Dan has written is correct, but I would like to add two points:

Of the two courses he has listed, the second is considered by Masons to be more or less dishonorable. The first, obtaining a demit, is no problem. If there are no charges of misconduct pending against you and your dues are paid up, you request a demit, in writing, and the lodge can not refuse to grant it. If you owe dues, you pay them and you are then what we call “square on the books” and you will receive your demit. You are then no longer a member of your lodge, but you are still a Mason, although an unaffiliated Mason. This is a status which is frowned on officially. One of the basic principles of the craft is that Masons congregate in lodges. One who has surrendered the right to meet in lodge is only nominally a Mason. However, one right remains to the unaffiliated mason: if he changes his mind, he can apply to any lodge for affiliation and, if approved, join it without paying the full fee and without going through the initiation ceremonies again. In some jurisdictions, this is how a mason changes lodges in the event he moves or is dissatisfied with his lodge and would like to join another. He obtains a demit and is then free to submit a petition for affiliation to another lodge. No opprobrium attaches to one who demits from a lodge if he promptly reaffiliates with another.

To simply stop paying dues and thus subject yourself to perpetual suspension from membership is viewed as the coward’s way out. It also works a disadvantage on the lodge. Lodges pay a per capita tax to their Grand Lodge annually to support its activities. If a member does not pay dues, the lodge still has to pay the tax on him to the Grand Lodge until they suspend him. Lodges exempt certain brothers from dues payments (those who can’t afford to pay, certain officers such as the Secretary in lieu of a salary, ministers of the Gospel in some jurisdictions) and don’t mind paying the tax on these. But no lodge wants to lose money on a brother who should be paying his dues but doesn’t. All that said, even a member who has been suspended for years for NPD (non-payment of dues) can still regain his membership by applying for reinstatement and paying up what he owed when he was suspended (no dues apply in the years a member was suspended).

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Liberty Pickering Lodge #219, Baltimore MD
Druid RA Chapter #28, Baltimore
Hiram Council #5 R&SM;, Baltimore
Monumental Commandery #3, Baltimore
Harrisburg Consistory AASR, Harrisburg, PA

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Posted: 25 October 2010 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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It wasn’t my intention to show both options as “acceptable”.  I merely meant that men leave Masonry in a number of ways, but any way it is done, there are no serious consequences so long as the man doesn’t desire to return to the craft.

If he does end up wanting to return to the craft, obviously the first way to leave is best, because a demit for a lodge is basically a no questions asked “honorable discharge”.  Getting suspended would require some hoop-jumping to get reinstated as an active brother.

My point was that nobody is going to show up at your house with baseball bats if you quit, as I believe that was the true nature of the question.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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Posted: 25 October 2010 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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You are, as usual, entirely correct, Dan. I wanted to get the official position posted for those who may be interested. I suppose that our inquirer has perhaps seen some of the sensational or anti-Mason stuff which presents Masonry as super-secret and vengeful, which could hardly be farther from the truth.

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Liberty Pickering Lodge #219, Baltimore MD
Druid RA Chapter #28, Baltimore
Hiram Council #5 R&SM;, Baltimore
Monumental Commandery #3, Baltimore
Harrisburg Consistory AASR, Harrisburg, PA

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Posted: 25 October 2010 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Anything you’ve heard about there being some grave physical punishment for leaving is untrue.  The only possible “bad” things that can happen to you during your involvement with Freemasonry is

1)  Reprimand
2)  Suspension
3)  Expulsion

All these things affect your standing in your Lodge or attendance at Masonic meetings only—there is no imposition on your personal life or any penalty—either monetary or physical—that comes to men that need to leave active Masonic participation.

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Posted: 10 December 2017 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to get clarification on one point. It’s been stated here that the honorable way to leave masonry is to request a demit. This not officially leaving freemasonry as it puts you in a frowned upon position of being an “unaffiliated mason.” Is there an ethical way to no longer be a mason, unaffiliated or otherwise, should a person choose?

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Posted: 10 December 2017 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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You mean like a piece of paper saying you are no longer a mason?  I’ve never heard of that.  I guess a better question would be why you would care whether or not you are unaffiliated if you’re no longer want to be a Mason.  I suppose at that point you would cease to care with the Masons thought about you. I’m not aware of a specific state of being other than active, suspended, expelled, or unaffiliated.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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Posted: 10 December 2017 07:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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If you are unaffiliated mason and that is frowned upon, then you really cannot ever truly leave masonry as the OP asked. You will always be considered a mason and be in a state at which is not seen as honorable by other masons. I suppose being expelled is the only way to truly be not considered a mason in any way suspended, unaffiliated, or otherwise.

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Posted: 11 December 2017 12:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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reachingforlight - 10 December 2017 07:31 PM

If you are unaffiliated mason and that is frowned upon, then you really cannot ever truly leave masonry as the OP asked. You will always be considered a mason and be in a state at which is not seen as honorable by other masons. I suppose being expelled is the only way to truly be not considered a mason in any way suspended, unaffiliated, or otherwise.

There is no shame in being unaffiliated. All that means is you took the honorable route to leaving your lodge rather than being a burden on the lodge until the Master has to suspend you. Many unaffiliated Masons are simply moving and would be welcome at any lodge they care to visit. In Massachusetts,  this status only lasts a year then the brother is permanently barred from visiting other lodges until he chooses to join one and start paying dues again.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

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: 11 December 2017 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Under the English Constitution, you can resign from a lodge and remain as an unattached Freemason, but you can also, via a form from UGLE, resign from Freemasonry. In the latter case, you are no longer a Freemason and if you wished to rejoin, you would be required to go through all the degrees again. Some might do it to avoid masonic discipline, others for personal reasons… Losing one’s faith being one that springs to mind.

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Richard
Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, Provincial Grand Treasurer (Royal Arch)
Member of Craft, Royal Arch, Ancient & Accepted Rite, Mark, Royal Ark Mariner, Knight Templar, Knight Templar Priest, Order of Secret Monitor, Royal Order of Scotland
UGLE.

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Posted: 11 December 2017 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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The GL of Alabama has something called renunciation.  To renounce Freemasonry is to state you no longer are in agreement with the fraternities aims and wish your name to be removed from all Masonic roles you are currently a member of.  Once you have renounced the fraternity only the grand lodge can restore your membership.  It’s kind of like self-expulsion.

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DeWayne
MM, RAM, RSM, KT, KM, SRICF, Athelstan

I’m living in the DC area now.

There is no Gospel According to St. Youtube.

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