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Investigation committee questions.
Posted: 12 May 2017 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello, I’m petitioning in NY state specifically Nassau county NY Long Island. I have been attending the pre meeting meal/social hour at my local lodge for about three months. The last time I saw the masons the Worshipful Master said NY state now does a thorough background check in place of each lodge doing there own, so I went on NYmasons.org to guarding the west gates link and paid for the check. After 10 business days I finally got impatient and emaild them to inquire the status, they apologized for the delay said it was sent already ... After that got worked out I found that I past with a perfectly clean background I wasn’t surprised but was relieved. Now I have filled out my petition and will be bringing the background review and petition to the lodge in two weeks. What step’s are left is it only the investigation committee and ballot that remain ? As far as the interview goes I’m trying to think how best to handle it, I’m recently engaged but my fiancée and I still live seperatly at home with our parents while we save up a nest egg to have as backup when we get our own place.  So where should it be and who should be there my parents know and support my interest in freemasonry as does my fiancée but I have a feeling my parents won’t want to get involved in being questioned my fiancée said she’s fine with it but she’s nervous because she’s shy.  So yeah sorry for the long rant of a post but what do you think, whole family if there willing and because I live at home or fiancée only because soon it will be her and I living together? And is at my parents home ok?

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Posted: 12 May 2017 01:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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These are great questions.

Investigation Committees prefer to meet the candidate at his home and meet his family. It helps to give a better overall impression of the candidate and his values, but it’s also to make sure that the family supports his decision and to address any questions or concerns family members may have because the last thing we ever want to do is get between a man and his family. Your family is more important than lodge and if you are forced to choose between the two, you should choose your family.

If you live at home and your parents are okay with hosting the meeting there, I suggest you do it at their house. They can be part of the meeting, but they don’t have to be. If they’re not interested in attending, that’s perfectly okay and it won’t be held against you, or them. I think it’s more important that your fiancee be there, because she’s going to be your “life partner” and the one who will be at home alone when you’re spending time at lodge and coming with you to any lodge couples events. If she’s not interested in attending the meeting, that’s okay, too. I’ve participated in a lot of ICs, and while usually the spouse is there (I’ve even done one where the candidate’s teenage daughter joined us), occasionally there will be a situation where the spouse supports the decision but her attitude is, “that’s his thing, and I’m okay with it, but I’m going to give him his privacy and not get involved at all.”

So my advice is to invite your fiancee, tell her she’s welcome there and that you hope she’ll join you, and let her decide. And be sure she knows that she’s welcome to ask the IC questions or express any concerns that she has.

Edit: the first time I read your post I missed the part about your fiancee being shy. That’s okay. She can just sit there quietly, and she’s not being judged. If she’s really uncomfortable, she can skip the whole thing but make an effort to encourage her to do it and tell her it’s not an interrogation, it’s just meeting to chat and get to know each other.

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Master-Elect, Garden City Lodge A.F. & A.M., Newtonville, MA—Entered: 4/12/01; Passed: 5/10/01; Raised: 6/14/01
Treasurer, Boston University Lodge A.F. & A.M, Boston, MA
Mount Lebanon Lodge A.F. & A.M., Boston, MA
Boston-Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite Valley of Boston
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Posted: 12 May 2017 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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As far as the type of questions they might ask, each investigator has his own preferences. But the purpose of all of the questions is simple - to find out if you are the kind of guy they will be proud to call “Brother”. Are you financially responsible?  The fact that you live with your parents tells me that you are not inclined to assume a dept you can’t pay - this is a good thing. Other things they might look for include
Are you honest?
Are you considerate of others?
Can you respect someone even (especially) when you disagree with them?
Do you try to make the world a better place, or are you only concerned about yourself?
Do you have more love in your heart than hatred?

The investigation is ALSO a good time for YOU, and your family, to ask YOUR questions. Get to know the investigators. Will YOU be proud to call THEM your Brothers?
Let them get to know you.

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Posted: 12 May 2017 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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The investigation is checking your references,  and finally interviewing you. What I tell candidates to expect is a visit by three men who want to be your friend. They will verify the answers you have previously given on the various forms you filled out, ask any questions they may have, and encourage you and whomever you choose to attend to ask any questions they might have.

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John Ruggiero
Master, Ancient York Lodge AF&AM;, Lowell, MA, USA

“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: 13 May 2017 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Thank you all your your answers. you have helped to put my fiancee’s and my own mind at ease.

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Posted: 13 May 2017 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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I would suggest you shouldn’t overthink this. The idea is to help you and they decide whether you are a good fit for Freemasonry in general and their lodge in particular. It’s an opportunity for you to check them out, too. The Craft is not for everyone and it would be a shame for you (or any other applicant) to go through all of the time, effort and expense only to discover too late that this is not your thing. You must have questions, things which are unclear to you.  This is your opportunity. Ditto your fiancée - if she is there, she gets to ask, too.

And don’t worry about asking what might seem foolish questions. I assure you that every single Mason for 300 years - every last one of us - has been in precisely the same place, at the same level of ignorance.

If you are worried about it, my personal call would be to try and arrange for the interview to be held in another place, like a park or restaurant. I would have your fiancée there, but she can leave at any time. In any case, if it is as your parents’ place, they need not participate. At most, you might want to introduce them and then lead the committee to a private spot in the house.

Good luck.

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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: 13 May 2017 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Ok thanks guys. I have another related question, I and all the masons at the meetings have been dressed in a suit, should this tradition carry over into the interview ?

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Posted: 13 May 2017 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Lodge meetings are formal occasions and we dress for them. I and everyone in my lodge dresses “business casual” for Investigative Committee meetings. While you really can’t be overdressed, I would rather see you as you are comfortable at home. The committee is a guest in your home, not the other way around.

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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: 15 May 2017 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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BrotherJohn - 12 May 2017 04:43 PM

The investigation is checking your references,  and finally interviewing you. What I tell candidates to expect is a visit by three men who want to be your friend. They will verify the answers you have previously given on the various forms you filled out, ask any questions they may have, and encourage you and whomever you choose to attend to ask any questions they might have.

Agreed!

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St. Matthews Lodge 906, Louisville,Kentucky.
Suburban Lodge 740, Louisville,Kentucky
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Posted: 23 May 2017 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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When I was interviewed back in September, 2 gentlemen came out to see my wife and I.  It turned out that one of the brothers that came out was an instructor (my instructor).  The other gentlemen was one of the brothers that normally do the investigations.

They came out dressed in suits and ties.  ( Although each lodge is different, this left a positive impression on me ) I will note here that I am over 40.  The younger generations, dependent on upbringing, may have a different opinion.

Unfortunately for them, I had access to a District Deputy, so almost all of my questions were already answered, prior to them even showing up.  However, it did not stop them from talking a little about a bunch of topics and asking if I understood any expectations or had any questions.  Also, they made my wife feel included and comfortable with the discussion.  This was very important to me.

One piece of advice I would offer to any potential candidate or member.. ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS ask about the lodge in general.  Ask things like if they are active and do things, how much activity is there and such.  It is always a good idea to get an understanding of what you should expect for functions / gatherings.

Some folks like, or only have time for, the once per month meeting or so.. others like a bit more activity.


Good luck!

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
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Signed By-Laws 5/17/17

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: 24 May 2017 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Thank you for your post. I go in tomorrow night to hand in my petition and background review. I was getting a little apprehensive about the interview as I’m sure my fiancée is getting a little nervous too but all the things you guys have said have put my mind at ease thanks

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