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cinepro

It's not just the Scouts: Freemasons declining in membership.

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I was reading up on what is going on in Israel today and found this interesting article about Freemasonry and its current push to get more younger members:

"Not a Cult: The Freemasons want you (unless you are a woman)"

Quote

If in the past, Freemasonry conjured up notions of a mysterious organization, and was spoken of in cautious whispers with furtive sideways glances, its members appear to be undergoing a genuine revolution. Just last week, the organization ran large ads in three newspapers in Britain, as part of a public relations campaign, in response, it said, to being “undeservedly stigmatized” in general. Last month, representatives of the Freemasons held an open meeting in Jerusalem. The trend, then, seems to be that the organization, which always maintained discretion of a type usually reserved for an espionage organization, is loosening up.

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“The Freemasons organization consists of an older public, and we want to make it more youthful. But you have to remember that being a Mason is a way of life of morality, integrity, help and truth. If we don’t want the Masonic idea to die out, we need new brothers.”

If you're not a Freemason already, what would it take to get you to join?  And are any women interesting in joining if they opened that up as an option?

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Breaking news, old fashion organizations are declining in membership!

At some level I think this is just normal and to be expected as a natural part of the cycle of trends and fickle human nature.  Its old, its no longer en vogue, it looks weird by contemporary standards. 

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Posted (edited)

Fraternal organizations like the masons peaked in popularity before private insurance became popular. People joined these organizations, particularly in the 1920's, because they offered health insurance and often life insurance. Once corporate America took over that all these groups including the masons dropped in popularity precipitously. It's been a slow decline ever since. (Many insurance companies still offer special insurance deals to fraternal organizations)

Edited by clarkgoble
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Posted (edited)

Opening their doors to everyone willing takes all the fun out of joining. Only thing that would make it worse would be admitting that they do not secretly run the world.

Edited by The Nehor
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23 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Opening their doors to everyone willing takes all the fun out of joining. Only think that would make it worse would be admitting that they do not secretly run the world.

:rofl:

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Posted (edited)

People live their whole lives behind a screen of some sort than be physically involved with other people.  No surprise here.

Edited by carbon dioxide

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I'd consider joining the Stonecutters

 

hBuHyTZ.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Gray said:

I'd consider joining the Stonecutters

 

hBuHyTZ.jpg

Who wouldn't?

 

Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do, we do!

Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do, we do!

Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star?
We do, we do!

Who robs cavefish of their sight?
Who rigs every Oscar night?
We do!
We do!

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As someone who had a bunch of masons in the family at one time I can expound a bit.  Not so sure about the insurance part (not suprised at all if at one time they did) but they not only offered job security, but also safety for the family.  Back in the day there was no such thing as an unemployed master mason, nowadays however....

Another big problem, so many people join the fraternity with their hand out, there have been lodges that were embezled out of millions.  Honestly, freemasonry can be tied to protestantism in that both are in a terminal decline.  Funny, outside of the states the fraternity is doing quite well, it's exploding in Latin America.  One bad thing about letting in a lot of the younger people, much like the rest of the nation they have problems, big ones and well, are causing issues for the fraternity.  There are lodges in states like washington and what not that made the mistake of letting in bad people and are paying for it now. 

If you want an even better read, look up the order of malta, they've not only been around since the middle ages, they're everything the york rite wishes they could be, literal knights of Christ. (sorta...)Was looking for a better one but this will work, wow they even have the order in Korea.....Deus Vult.  Other one is from the Lourdes pilgrimage. 

Had this discussion with a relative who's grand lodge, it's hard.  If they would be strict about who they would let in they would have to cut back but wow would they save the integrity of the institution.  Sure, not as large but better than letting in felons and pedos (it happens...)

Not everyone can be a mason he said.  If they would do like the Swedish rite (and they kinda did here back in the day...) and only allow trinitarians that would solve so many problems. 

 

malta korea.jpg

lourdes2016MM2.jpg

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Pike considered the “Scottish Rite to be, as all Freemasonry is, a medium of instruction.
The subjects of that instruction are political, moral and religious philosophies” (A Bridge
To Light, p. 2).

“There is also a religion of society …Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion”
(Morals and Dogma, p. 213). “It [Masonry] is the universal, eternal, immutable religion,
such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity… The ministers of this religion
are all Masons who comprehend it and are devoted to it” (ibid, p. 219). “God is, as man
conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself” (ibid, p. 223).

“Masonry, around who altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the
followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer …
must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope
to the written scriptures of his own religion” (ibid, p. 226). 

In Masonry, the Bible is on par with the Quran and the Hindu Vedas, despite them denying the 
key Christian doctrines.

“No man can be perfect but he can strive toward perfection and so constantly improve his
nature. Pike expresses this idea in Morals and Dogma: Step-by-step men must advance
toward Perfection and each Masonic Degree is meant to be one of those steps (p. 136)
and … to that state and realm of … Perfection … all good men on earth are tending (p.
538)”.

The Masonic path to perfection involves duty to God (worship), duty to country (service)
and duty to man (as in love thy neighbor). However, the Hindu or Muslim Mason hopes to 
achieve this by rejecting the perfection granted by Christ (Hebrews 10:14).

Jim

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On 5/14/2018 at 6:10 PM, cinepro said:

I was reading up on what is going on in Israel today and found this interesting article about Freemasonry and its current push to get more younger members:

"Not a Cult: The Freemasons want you (unless you are a woman)"

If you're not a Freemason already, what would it take to get you to join?  And are any women interesting in joining if they opened that up as an option?

Masonic orders such as Eastern Star and Job's Daughters are available to women (nonmembers in my family).

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Not surprising.

Tells me will the vehicle used to restore temple worship need to continue indefinitely after temple worship is restored?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2018 at 4:10 PM, cinepro said:

I was reading up on what is going on in Israel today and found this interesting article about Freemasonry and its current push to get more younger members:

"Not a Cult: The Freemasons want you (unless you are a woman)"

If you're not a Freemason already, what would it take to get you to join?  And are any women interesting in joining if they opened that up as an option?

I would only join if they drop the requirement for LDS people that want to join to perform secret handshakes and other practices that resemble sacred things to Mormons, even though the non-LDS Masons don't have a concern, and even some LDS don't have the concern either.  Such a requirement makes me uncomfortable to the point that I never joined.  And the Masons in the Salt Lake area would not accommodate me to not have to perform such things.  It is interesting to me that it is more important for someone to perform these actions to them than to have an interested person be a member.

But I also found their lack of understanding and lack of compassion for my concern insulting.

Other Masonic organizations like Co-Masonry already let in women.  It's only the mainline US lodges and some across the world that they affiliate with that are the old boys clubs still.

Now that the Church has consolidated the High Priests with the Elders Quorums though, it makes me question why I should not just consider my Elders Quorum a Fraternity now, of a sort?  Why would I join Masonry now that I am in with all the Priesthood in my Ward in sort of a fraternal-esque thing with all the brethren in the area?  I'm not sure I care about joining Masonry anymore.

Edited by EdGoble

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As I understand it, before WWII the membership was declining. Then after the war, many of the veterans felt a deep need for a fraternal support group, and Freemasonry stepped up and suggested that they were the natural place to fill that need. 

However, this was a congenial and social grouping, and not so much a religiously minded or 'seeker' type association, so the esoteric and 'deeper' philosophical reasons for the brotherhood went by the wayside, thus eviscerating the whole point of centuries of practice and worship within the organization. 

Not a frater but a former member of the SRRS... 

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5 hours ago, EdGoble said:

I would only join if they drop the requirement for LDS people that want to join to perform secret handshakes and other practices that resemble sacred things to Mormons, even though the non-LDS Masons don't have a concern, and even some LDS don't have the concern either.  Such a requirement makes me uncomfortable to the point that I never joined.  And the Masons in the Salt Lake area would not accommodate me to not have to perform such things.  It is interesting to me that it is more important for someone to perform these actions to them than to have an interested person be a member.

I know the contentious feelings about the rituals ran both ways.  In Utah, Mormons were banned from the lodges up until 1984 but now I think the Grand Master of the Utah lodge is a Mormon.  My favorite connection between Masonry and Mormonism is that after William Morgan disappeared for revealing the secrets of Masonry , Lucinda Pendleton Morgan, became one of Joseph Smith's plural wives. 

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39 minutes ago, phaedrus ut said:

I know the contentious feelings about the rituals ran both ways.  In Utah, Mormons were banned from the lodges up until 1984 but now I think the Grand Master of the Utah lodge is a Mormon.  My favorite connection between Masonry and Mormonism is that after William Morgan disappeared for revealing the secrets of Masonry , Lucinda Pendleton Morgan, became one of Joseph Smith's plural wives. 

Yep. One of my favorite polyandry details, too. Ah, the humanity! 

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1 hour ago, phaedrus ut said:

I know the contentious feelings about the rituals ran both ways.  In Utah, Mormons were banned from the lodges up until 1984 but now I think the Grand Master of the Utah lodge is a Mormon.  My favorite connection between Masonry and Mormonism is that after William Morgan disappeared for revealing the secrets of Masonry , Lucinda Pendleton Morgan, became one of Joseph Smith's plural wives. 

Well, I don't have a problem with other people performing the rituals in the lodge, or even watching the rituals performed.  I just don't want to be the one performing them, or at least the parts of them that involve things too close to temple practices.

And I don't see why it is such an issue for the Masons to allow some of their members to not have to perform them.  For example, in other places, where certain Christian denominations are prevalent, certain Masonic Grand Lodges have allowed people to join where they don't have to take part in the performance of the oaths.  Why then cannot the Utah lodge allow Mormons to not have to perform secret handshakes that they are uncomfortable with?  I don't get it.  But it is what it is.  And just like the boy scouts, these groups can choose who they will let be a member of their club.

If they don't want to allow LDS people in that are uncomfortable with those practices and give them a pass, then that is one more segment of the Mormon population that they will not have as part of their numbers, however small it may be.  If they cater to one segment of the population and make allowances for their religious concerns, they ought to make allowances for another.

But the Masons that I spoke to about this concern were not only unsympathetic to this concern, but in some cases were belittling me for it.  And I even talked to one of the "grand poobas" about it, and he was unsympathetic.  It was insulting.  One of them even thought I was trying to attack them as Masons just because I raised the concern, and I was genuinely interested for many years to become a Mason, but wanted them to make an accommodation.  And they refused and belittled me for a religious concern.

If this is the way they run things and treat people with genuine issues, perhaps they deserve to lose numbers.

Edited by EdGoble

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5 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

And I don't see why it is such an issue for the Masons to allow some of their members to not have to perform them.  For example, in other places, where certain Christian denominations are prevalent, certain Masonic Grand Lodges have allowed people to join where they don't have to take part in the performance of the oaths.  Why then cannot the Utah lodge allow Mormons to not have to perform secret handshakes that they are uncomfortable with?  I don't get it.  But it is what it is.  And just like the boy scouts, these groups can choose who they will let be a member of their club.

It's sort of key to the masons. The masons had them first. And if you change it then it's not really masonry anymore. I can certainly understand people not wanting to join the masons. But I confess I don't understand this demanding the masons change for Mormons. If you're uncomfortable with it, then probably being a mason is not for you.

 

Edited by clarkgoble

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, EdGoble said:

Well, I don't have a problem with other people performing the rituals in the lodge, or even watching the rituals performed.  I just don't want to be the one performing them, or at least the parts of them that involve things too close to temple practices.

And I don't see why it is such an issue for the Masons to allow some of their members to not have to perform them.  For example, in other places, where certain Christian denominations are prevalent, certain Masonic Grand Lodges have allowed people to join where they don't have to take part in the performance of the oaths.  Why then cannot the Utah lodge allow Mormons to not have to perform secret handshakes that they are uncomfortable with?  I don't get it.  But it is what it is.  And just like the boy scouts, these groups can choose who they will let be a member of their club.

If they don't want to allow LDS people in that are uncomfortable with those practices and give them a pass, then that is one more segment of the Mormon population that they will not have as part of their numbers, however small it may be.  If they cater to one segment of the population and make allowances for their religious concerns, they ought to make allowances for another.

But the Masons that I spoke to about this concern were not only unsympathetic to this concern, but in some cases were belittling me for it.  And I even talked to one of the "grand poobas" about it, and he was unsympathetic.  It was insulting.  One of them even thought I was trying to attack them as Masons just because I raised the concern, and I was genuinely interested for many years to become a Mason, but wanted them to make an accommodation.  And they refused and belittled me for a religious concern.

If this is the way they run things and treat people with genuine issues, perhaps they deserve to lose numbers.

Careful with that, lots of brothers out there who think you guys stole your handshakes from them, esp. if they have midwest roots.  Granted, depending on where you live no one will care, just saying don't make light of those things they take em seriously.  If you have issues with it, my advice would be reconsider joining or find a lodge that is mormon heavy or on the liberal side.  You're fortunate to live in a country that has some of the most liberal masonic rules and laws in the world.  If you live in Utah or Washington you'd be good I think, the current Grand Master of Utah is a BYU grad.   Also, if you're doing that well with your priesthood why bother?  Geez you probably have a group of sober people who look out for one another and help each other out, in many respects they put the masons to shame.  If I was in your shoes i'd just stick with that, you sound like you have an awesome thing going already. 

1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

It's sort of key to the masons. The masons had them first. And if you change it then it's not really masonry anymore. I can certainly understand people not wanting to join the masons. But I confess I don't understand this demanding the masons change for Mormons. If you're uncomfortable with it, then probably being a mason is not for you.

 

Lol depending on the state thats a great way to get a multi state masonic fight going, when a few lodges refused to allow gay men to be masons that got California, Washington and a few others involved, it was a huuuuuge mess. 

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2016/03/24/freemasons-tennessee-vote-uphold-ban-gay-members/82209272/

Edited by poptart

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

Careful with that, lots of brothers out there who think you guys stole your handshakes from them, esp. if they have midwest roots.  Granted, depending on where you live no one will care, just saying don't make light of those things they take em seriously.  If you have issues with it, my advice would be reconsider joining or find a lodge that is mormon heavy or on the liberal side.  You're fortunate to live in a country that has some of the most liberal masonic rules and laws in the world.  If you live in Utah or Washington you'd be good I think, the current Grand Master of Utah is a BYU grad.   Also, if you're doing that well with your priesthood why bother?  Geez you probably have a group of sober people who look out for one another and help each other out, in many respects they put the masons to shame.  If I was in your shoes i'd just stick with that, you sound like you have an awesome thing going already. 

Lol depending on the state thats a great way to get a multi state masonic fight going, when a few lodges refused to allow gay men to be masons that got California, Washington and a few others involved, it was a huuuuuge mess. 

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2016/03/24/freemasons-tennessee-vote-uphold-ban-gay-members/82209272/

I don't really care what they think  about Mormons, if they think that we "stole" their handshakes.  The Masons of the present inherited them from someone too, namely the guilds.  

Yes, you are right I do have a good thing going.  I'm talking about a point in time where I was investigating Masonry and very enamored with it and wanted to join.  That was several years ago, not now.  Not after the way I was treated.

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2 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

It's sort of key to the masons. The masons had them first. And if you change it then it's not really masonry anymore. I can certainly understand people not wanting to join the masons. But I confess I don't understand this demanding the masons change for Mormons. If you're uncomfortable with it, then probably being a mason is not for you.

 

Actually not.  The guilds had them first.  Nobody asked them to change it, just to give an allowance similar to how certain Christians don't have to perform oaths, as I told you.

Actually, being a Mason would have been for me, but that is past.  I no longer desire it.  This was years ago.  It is they who prevented it.  It is they who will not make an allowance.

I didn't demand it.  I asked it, and they refused it.  That's ok.  They make their rules.  It's called free agency.

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16 minutes ago, EdGoble said:

Actually not.  The guilds had them first.  Nobody asked them to change it, just to give an allowance similar to how certain Christians don't have to perform oaths, as I told you.

Actually, being a Mason would have been for me, but that is past.  I no longer desire it.  This was years ago.  It is they who prevented it.  It is they who will not make an allowance.

I didn't demand it.  I asked it, and they refused it.  That's ok.  They make their rules.  It's called free agency.

Uh, Masonry came from guilds dude, while they don't build cathedrals anymore the principles are kind of the same.

https://www.masonrytoday.com/index.php?new_month=4&new_day=19&new_year=2016

And yeah, the Oath thing has kept others out.  The English (I think) and the Swedish Rite only allows Trinitarians so that would rule a good chunk of this board out of the fraternity.  Not everyone can be a mason, rules are rules man, kind of like having a temple recommend, not everyone can have one.  I'm sure there are those who lie about their worthiness just like some lie to get into the fraternity, many lie about their belief in diety.  Anyway, you get the idea. 

Gee, I do know masonic handshakes are well, they suuure remind me of the ones they do in the temples.  Hmmmmmm, gee I wonder lol

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17 minutes ago, poptart said:

Uh, Masonry came from guilds dude, while they don't build cathedrals anymore the principles are kind of the same.

https://www.masonrytoday.com/index.php?new_month=4&new_day=19&new_year=2016

And yeah, the Oath thing has kept others out.  The English (I think) and the Swedish Rite only allows Trinitarians so that would rule a good chunk of this board out of the fraternity.  Not everyone can be a mason, rules are rules man, kind of like having a temple recommend, not everyone can have one.  I'm sure there are those who lie about their worthiness just like some lie to get into the fraternity, many lie about their belief in diety.  Anyway, you get the idea. 

Gee, I do know masonic handshakes are well, they suuure remind me of the ones they do in the temples.  Hmmmmmm, gee I wonder lol

Actually, no, they don't come from the guilds.  They were a group of Rosicrucians that highjacked the guild, took over, transformed it, and "acquired" their modes of recognition and ceremonies, etc.

Rules are rules you say.  Indeed.  Not everyone can be one you say.  Again, that is up to them, and it is in their power to make allowances.  It is in their power, regardless of what they say.  Say what you want.

I'm a very advanced in my knowledge of this thing, knowing everything about Masonry and the Mormon connection, so none of this is a surprise to me, so your saying "Gee, wonder why" is not necessary.  It doesn't a surprise me if they came from Masonry.  Why do you think I was so interested in it?  But I think that there is more to it than that.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, EdGoble said:

Actually, no, they don't come from the guilds.  They were a group of Rosicrucians that highjacked the guild, took over, transformed it, and "acquired" their modes of recognition and ceremonies, etc.

(Not writing directly to you but to readers more generally)

Origins have a lot of tradition and not a lot of evidence. Stevensons The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotlands Century is probably the best history book that looks at what can be established. There is a connection to the guilds, but whether the signs are exactly the same is somewhat unclear. Certainly Schaw appears to have made use of the trade guilds while adding more esoteric elements arising in the Renaissance. The English guilds were also unique in apparently already having a somewhat mythic history purportedly going back to Egypt and Solomon. Yates makes a big deal of the Rosicrucians but again there's a lot speculative there. Sevenson largely follows Yates there. Of course what the Rosicrucians were is again tainted with legend and speculation. While pagan neoplatonism is a distinct background coming out of the broad hermetic tradition again it's worth noting that there's a lot speculative. The 16th century stuff is really hard to establish so it's usually worth a skeptical eye - although 18th century is better documented.

From a Mormon perspective a lot of the hermetic/gnostic stuff held elements of the temple ceremony. Neoplatonism seems a background to many early Mormon texts like D&C 88 & 93 and possibly even the form the translation of Mosiah 15 takes. There's a distinct element in the endowment too. If you look at some of the texts that influenced Renaissance neoplatonism then you can quickly see the ties to ancient texts that seem more like the endowment than masonry does. 1 & 2 Jeu are particularly fascinating, although likely unknown in the Renaissance. But the notions of deification in the Corpus Hermetica while not the same as Mormon conceptions do seem a background to it. Kabbalistic texts and traditions famously also influence Renaissance figures as well as important figures in early modernism forming the background to masonry. So while signs/tokens were part of the guilds, they were also part of this broader pagan/jewish mystic tradition.

It's worth noting that for the so-called Rosicrucians radical Lutheranism probably was a bigger influence than the esoteric elements. It's also likely that Scottish highlander folk traditions also had an influence - which is perhaps more interesting for folk traditions around Joseph Smith.

 

From a Mormon perspective I'd add that a strong theological position is that the endowment is a dry run for the real thing. So just as there's an anointing to become (in future) a priest fulfilled later in a private meeting in the Holy of Holies, there's a similar "realization" of the endowment where one participates in a heavenly ascent. As such the endowment is preparatory and in one sense the signs somewhat irrelevant. They're place holders for the real thing. (I won't go too far down this line as in the past the moderators have had qualms with such discussions) While Scholem's scholarship on Jewish mysticism is somewhat controversial and dated, it's worth reading his accounts of Jewish views of heavenly ascents in late antiquity through to early modernism. Again things seem very familiar to Mormons. But I think one should see the endowment as preparatory rather than completing.

Edited by clarkgoble
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2 hours ago, EdGoble said:

Actually, no, they don't come from the guilds.  They were a group of Rosicrucians that highjacked the guild, took over, transformed it, and "acquired" their modes of recognition and ceremonies, etc.

Rules are rules you say.  Indeed.  Not everyone can be one you say.  Again, that is up to them, and it is in their power to make allowances.  It is in their power, regardless of what they say.  Say what you want.

I'm a very advanced in my knowledge of this thing, knowing everything about Masonry and the Mormon connection, so none of this is a surprise to me, so your saying "Gee, wonder why" is not necessary.  It doesn't a surprise me if they came from Masonry.  Why do you think I was so interested in it?  But I think that there is more to it than that.

Ok, that's where I still disagree with you.  I'm also a mason and have had more than a few past masters in the family, father was the only person never to become a mason, was too busy being a drunk and abusing my mom and myself and doing shady things.  Anyway, the only way you'd ever get out of something like that would be if you were made a mason on site and that is at the will and pleasure of the Grand Master of each state.  You have to be someone very very extraordinary so unless you start a new religion or something (I was thinking of starting my own belief system called blingtology, instead of guardian angels we have pimps keepin it real....) that's not happening lol.  On a serious note, even then it would be super rare, Grandmasters have irritated others in the past and been ousted from their seat of power it's happened.  While some things we bend on like taking obligations on your holy text of choice, the hand shakes you're doing or you're not going through the degrees, simple as that.  If you did approach them with that attitude I can guaruntee you some of the people in lodge would get a little irritated.  We have Catholics in lodge who technically aren't supposed to be there because of the papal bull, yet they sit as brothers with the rest of us, little unreasonable to expect the fraternity to cater to your whim I think.   Here in the states we're about as liberal as they come religion wise, for someone who claims to have an advanced knowledge of our fraternity to demand an exception over something that is as dear to us as say your undergarments reeks of entitlement, a big problem nowadays. 

 

 

Edited by poptart

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