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Accidental candidate - need advice from Masons, Lodge officers
Posted: 14 February 2017 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I had planned on visiting a few lodges in my area, and went to dinner at the first one last night. I had spoken with the lodge secretary on the phone last week, and I told him I just wanted to visit because I wasn’t sure which lodge I wanted to petition. For whatever reason, I took my petition with me, even though it wasn’t completed (I hadn’t finished filling out the references section). At dinner, the lodge secretary asked to see my petition, and I told him I wasn’t ready yet. He told me he just wanted to look at what I had so far. Then he asked me if I brought the petition fee and background check results. I told him that I hadn’t, because I wasn’t planning on petitioning that night.

So while I’m talking to another Mason, I look up and the lodge secretary is signing my petition with another lodge officer. He came back to me and said they were going to present my petition at that night’s meeting. Keep in mind, I have never met any of these men before in my life.

I hadn’t decided to petition that lodge yet, and had at least one other that I wanted to check out. Is there anything I can do? Am I stuck in this lodge? Isn’t there supposed to be an Investigation Committee? How can it be a close group of brothers if they let anyone with dues money in?

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Posted: 14 February 2017 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Send the Secretary a letter in writing asking to withdraw your petition. It is important that it be a written letter. You might say in the letter that you are simply undecided and would reserve the privilege of petitioning the lodge in the future.

While I’m not sure exactly what the procedure in Kansas is but in Massachusetts the steps are:

1) Prospective member fills out the petition and submits it with his initiation fee. This is, of course after finding a sponsor.
2) The petition is read in open lodge.
3) The Master and two other brother meet with the candidate and fill out an application. The candidate is given the background check form and instructed in its use.
4) Copies are made of the application and petition and given to the members of the Investigation Committee.
5) The IC contacts and meets with the candidate. They report their findings at the next lodge meeting and the Master calls for a vote.
6) If the vote is unanimous, the candidate is informed of when he will be receiving his first degree.

Some lodges are desperate for members and will take in any warm bodies with the initiation fees. That would be a red flag for me.

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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: 14 February 2017 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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It occurs to me that there is a “misunderstanding” between you and the Secretary.  In all honesty, being new to the craft myself, I would call he Secretary and speak to him directly.

Explain to him that you believe there to be a misunderstanding and you feel it is best to get it corrected quickly.  Explain that there is still another lodge in the area you wish to visit prior to your official application submission to whichever lodge you choose.

Now, here is where you need to take a breath.. If this lodge is high on your consideration of joining, then you can either request a hold or withdraw the application, to allow you more time to decide.  If this lodge is not high on your consideration list, then you can request to withdraw the application.  Either case, a withdrawal should warrant a refund if you paid anything (less the cost of dinner).

I would certainly follow up with an email detailing your conversation, or voicemail, and your specific request. (for documentation purposes)

While it should not happen at all, if you need to contact the Grand Lodge of your home state to correct this misunderstanding, you will at least have your correspondence in writing to help back up your request.

All this being said, the sooner you contact the lodge about this, the easier it is to correct.

I am sure more knowledgeable brothers may have a more detailed direction to point you towards if I missed anything.

Thank you for your interest and I hope this has not soured your interest.

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 14 February 2017 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Thank you both for your replies. I just feel a bit silly for the misunderstanding. I’m going to request a withdrawal with the ability to petition in the future. Thanks again, gentlemen.

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Posted: 14 February 2017 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Brother John - 14 February 2017 12:07 PM

Send the Secretary a letter in writing asking to withdraw your petition.

There could be an issue though.

In our jurisdiction, once the petition is read out in open lodge and a committee is assigned we must (according to GL Constitution) follow through with the investigative and voting process. So in ours the candidate can withdraw his petition BEFORE it is read in open lodge but not after. And then even if the candidate refuses the invitation to be initiated he would have to wait a minimum of 6 months before petitioning another lodge in the jurisdiction.

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Jr Grand Deacon - GL of Alabama F & AM
Sr. Deacon - Howard E. Palmes Lodge #917, Mobile, Alabama

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Posted: 14 February 2017 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Not sure about your jurisdiction, but in my jurisdiction, the petition has to be signed by the individual. if you have not signed it, to my mind, it’s nothing more than a piece of paper with your name on it. Contact the Secretary directly, followed up with a letter.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

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

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Posted: 15 February 2017 04:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I agree with Bro Bob. If it is not signed by the applicant, its just a piece of paper.

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Posted: 15 February 2017 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Well that might be an issue.

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Posted: 15 February 2017 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Odysseus - 15 February 2017 03:51 PM

Well that might be an issue.

Sorry, but that’s rather cryptic. What do you mean?

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

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

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Posted: 16 February 2017 02:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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My guess is he signed it…

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Richard
Past Provincial Junior Grand Warden, Provincial Grand Treasurer (Royal Arch)
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Posted: 16 February 2017 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Are we certain it is a Regular Blue Lodge?

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Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 16 February 2017 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Richard George - 16 February 2017 02:52 AM

My guess is he signed it…

Yes, I had signed it.

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Posted: 16 February 2017 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Brother Joseph - 16 February 2017 11:13 AM

Are we certain it is a Regular Blue Lodge?

It’s definitely a regular Blue Lodge recognized by the GL of KS.

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Posted: 16 February 2017 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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OK, so you did, kindasorta, apply. The situation becomes clearer.

It shouldn’t be a biggie; these things happen. I would suggest that you contact the Secretary ASAP and say you are still considering it and not to process your application at present.

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Bro. Bob
Zetland Lodge No. 83
Calgary, AB

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

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Posted: 16 February 2017 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Sounds like a case of a Secretary overstepping his bounds.  I would speak to the Worshipful Master of the lodge explaining your situation.  It is up to him, technically, what goes on at meetings…..

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St. Georges Lodge #6
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Posted: 24 February 2017 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Yes I think I might speak with the WM of the lodge, since that secretary seems to not listen so well. It would also really drop that lodge in the standings as to which lodge to join. Nobody likes to be railroaded into anything.

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Ken Byrd

Petitioned 10/15/2013
Initiated 4/15/2014
Passed 3/17/2015
Raised 9/15/2015

Socrates Lodge #373
Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

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