So, you want to be a Freemason. Let me tell you why you can’t.
1. You’re Looking for Fame and Fortune
The idea that Freemasons rule the world, that you can gain untold wealth and power within the Fraternity, that Masonic connections will get you ahead in life is tripe. Anyone who attempts to enter our organization for any of these purposes will be sorely disappointed if they can even get past the initial interview.
Do we offer wealth untold? We certainly do, although not of the kind you’re probably thinking. Our wealth is that of knowledge. Knowledge of self, to be precise. Knowledge of the Universe. Knowledge of moral ideas and philosophies unburdened by religion and politics. Wealth unmatched and of far greater value than gold or credit.
2. You’re Too Lazy
Freemasonry takes work and if you don’t put your time in, you won’t receive your wages. It is a profession, a career, that takes up time and energy. To be a Freemason, you cannot coast by—you should not! The wages to which I refer are not given in charity though Masons espouse that great attribute as the greatest of all.
To think that you may enter an esteemed organization such as ours and not contribute is ludicrous. Nothing of worth is delivered without a price and work is required to honorably earn that which is of worth.
3. You Don’t Have The Time
Time is a commodity that is precious and should never be traded for worthless pursuits. Thus it is with Freemasonry. To be a Freemason, one must dedicate time to the endeavor. In some instances the time committed is minimal. In others, it is consuming. Although Freemasonry is never to interfere with your necessary vocations, duties to God, your family, or your neighbor, you must still practice and work.
The development of your mind and consciousness requires that you devote time, and time devoted to improving oneself is never wasted.
4. You Don’t Want To Participate
Freemasonry does not need an audience. Participation is key to everything in Masonry. If you aren’t a person who can engage in the work, the brotherhood, the quality growth of the Lodge and Freemasonry in general, you’ve no business being a part of this austere organization.
Engaging in Masonic activities includes behavior outside the Lodge when you are required to represent the Fraternity to the Public. Engagement within the Lodge includes actively participating in Masonic education and filling in roles where you will best serve the Lodge. Freemasonry should benefit from your participation as much, if not more than you benefit from being a Brother. Selfish pursuits aren’t welcome.
5. You Don’t Have A Belief in A Supreme Being
This is a mandate of our Fraternity and will not be overlooked under any circumstance. A belief in a supreme being means that a person may be bound to their moral obligations. You are holding yourself to a higher standard of honor and integrity because God is always watching, He is always present, and you are not to disappoint the Supreme Architect of the Universe. Trust in a Brother is paramount to brotherhood and this trust extends to the knowledge that your Brother isn’t going to misrepresent the organization, reveal any of its secrets, or take advantage of another Brother.
6. You Have An Ego
Everyone has some ego. Without Ego, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish much in life. But I am not referring to your self-esteem when I say that Ego isn’t welcome in Freemasonry. The part of Ego that I’m referring to is a desire for power, unworthy advancement for the sake of title and prestige, a position of absoluteness that your opinion should reign supreme, or that you deserve more than the respect that is due all men.
We meet upon the Level and that equality extends beyond the walls of our temples and buildings. Humility, open-mindedness, and the charity of acceptance are what is required.
7. You Can’t Accept The Landmarks and Tenets Of The Fraternity
Freemasonry is an ancient and honorable organization that is steeped in tradition both in ceremony and practice. We stand for Good, Morality, Dignity for All, and all of our ceremonies are designed to promote the education of these attributes in Men. These traditions may seem cumbersome to those who have no patience for the historical conventions of our forefathers but to a wise man, the ceremonies and modus operandi found within our halls are ripe with lessons. If you cannot respect the landmarks and tenets of Freemasonry, you might as well look to a different organization for membership.
8. You Think Freemasonry Is A Chauvinistic or Racist Organization
Speaking of tradition, there are some very real misrepresentations of Freemasonry in existence even within recognized dispensations. Along with these misrepresentations which suffer from a misunderstanding of landmarks made by past and present cultural leaders exists misconceptions about the reason traditional Lodges do not allow women to be members. If you perceive our intentions to be chauvinistic or exclusionary for the sake of bias, you are sorely mistaken in your ignorance.
If you’ve been made aware of Masonic Lodges where minorities are not welcome, know that these are a misrepresentation of Masonic Law. Immoral and ignorant cultural tradition has been cultivated within lodges who should not be able to claim the venerated association with mainstream Freemasonry. These are in dire need of restructuring and their jurisdictions should be fast about that work.
As for our reason for not allowing women admittance into the Fraternity, the word Fraternity should be a decent enough explanation. Men and women are different creatures, not that one is better than the other for without one the other is left wanting by nature of the divine plan. Each desire and needs to spend time with their own sex; a scientifically proven fact that supports the idea of same-gender, platonic time for the improvement of a man’s health, mind, soul.
Is Freemasonry entirely exclusionary of females? No. There are many appendant bodies that include women, focus on the excellence that is women, and promote the well-being and growth of the female spirit. And while, at one time, the reasoning was likely due to the ignorance and self-importance of men as well as restricting social roles, it is now upheld in traditional Freemasonry purely out of respect for the concept of fulfilling the needs of its members. Guy’s time where like-minded men can get together and philosophize, engender morality, and influence its membership in good and just ways.
9. You Don’t Understand The Difference Between Our Fraternity and Greek Fraternities
Perhaps you believe the jokes and misconceptions surrounding Freemasonry that involve goats and a lot of alcohol. If so, you’ve been influenced by anti-Masonic propaganda designed to injure the highly-regarded reputation of our organization from people who were jealous of membership or hateful of members. Such is the absurdness of these concepts that Masons have taken to sarcastically joking along with society rather than defending the Fraternity.
Colleges have adopted the concept of Fraternity from the ancient craftsmen fraternities wherein apprenticeships and sponsorships assisted in establishing skills and careers. Unfortunately, the rash and brazen nature of youth have caused the reputations of these Greek Fraternities to become seriously tainted. Movies, news stories, books… they have all painted this picture of college fraternities and sororities in a negative light.
Freemasonry is not a Greek Fraternity. Established in a time where being a part of a guild or fraternity was one of the main ways to gain a proper education, Freemasonry has kept its purpose, moving past the practice of Operative Masonry and focusing its efforts on the merits of Speculative Masonry for all good men who wish to become better men.
Alcohol distribution at the lodge is prohibited and though sobriety is left to the individual concern of each Brother, drunkenness is highly discouraged and frowned upon within the Fraternity. One of our charges is to “avoid all intemperance and irregularities that may impair one’s faculties or debase the dignity of your profession.” The profession to which this is referring is that of being a Freemason. Once again, this alludes to maintaining the respectable image of Freemasonry both inside and outside of the building.
Note: Rules about alcohol consumption and sales within Lodges vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. All jurisdictions that I’m aware of do not allow alcohol within a Lodge while at work.
10. You Have No Desire To Improve
If your sole purpose to join Freemasonry revolves around the potential for social interaction, partying, playing games, and “hanging out” then you’ve come to the wrong place. While Brotherhood does involve many of those activities, the primary purpose of Freemasonry is to provide education, culture, and associations that will assist a good man in becoming a better man. The very slogan that is presented to the public in so many forums and from so many platforms is “Making Good Men Better.” So if you are not interested in improvement, do seek another organization.
In summary, as an organization, we accept individuals who have determined longevity in the pursuit of self excellence, service, and the gaining of knowledge. Freemasonry is not a career for the average person. We require the cream of the crop, quality men who esteem their God, their families, and themselves enough to work at becoming the men that the Supreme Architect of the Universe has planned for them to become. Are you that man, or am I right in telling you that you cannot be a Freemason?