I have a friend……
No… It’s True.
I really do have a friend.
At least around 9 years ago when I was looking into Freemasonry I had a friend.
We talked a little bit about Masonry and I thought it would be a good idea to join the Fraternity.
The lodge I joined has a policy that you must know a mason for at least 6 months before being able to petition.
Well it turned out there was someone I knew in the lodge that went to the same elementary school I did, same Middle School, and can you believe it?
He went to the same high school. 😱😱😱
Fortunately, he had a good opinion of me and recommended I join the lodge (or unfortunately if you’re going off of this article’s title). So within a total period of about 7 months I made a friend, learned about freemasonry, petitioned, got investigated by a few masons, was voted on, accepted and was initiated an Entered Apprentice.
So what does this have to do with Free Masons being jerks you ask?
Well…. Upon being initiated as an Entered Apprentice you’re somewhat told to be on the lookout for other ‘Good Men.’ At least that was something I was told.
I was also told that if there was any doubt in my mind that they might discredit or embarrass the fraternity to say, ‘sorry jack, keep on moving down the line.’
Well, I guess that makes some sense…
I was told that the purpose of the organization was to take good men and make them better.
Also, I was told that the fraternity couldn’t take someone who was a ‘bad man’ and make that man into a good man.
I could think of a list of people that I could recommend
(hey…. Where’s the gavel emoji? I didn’t even know it was missing… First you let me know the possibilities then you censor 🚫 my speech 🚫)
If you could believe it 26 years old and I already had a list of enemies.
Well… Maybe not soo much enemies as people who had abused my trust, trifled with my emotions, used me as a pawn, or generally been unkind.
I guess I knew a few Men who had done something like that, but who doesn’t?
So, at that point, I had two lists growing in my mind.
- The Men I knew, who I thought would be excellent Masons
- The Men I knew, who I thought would be TERRIBLE Masons.
Well, now that settled it. If any of the excellent Men I knew wanted to know about Masonry I would invite them to a meetup. If any of the TERRIBLE Men asked me about Masonry I’d throw them on a goose chase. Pretty Simple I thought.
Until a few months later, when I was going through the degrees of Scottish Rite Masonry, I was taught that as Masons we aren’t really the judges of what’s good or bad.
But you told me to be on the ‘lookout.’ and if I don’t know who’s a ‘good’ man or a ‘bad’ man
How can I know who to recommend or not?
So I knew as a Mason I’m supposed to be empathetic.
And I get that for the NICE people, but some of these guys in my life were just meanies.
They were like the Taylor Swift song and I couldn’t picture them any other way.
Well…. I decided to forgive one of the meanies in my life after going through those degrees, and I didn’t just recontact him…
I found out he was looking for a place to live and ‘down on his luck.’
“Well guess what dude! I’m looking for a roommate could you do 200$ a month?”
“Wow Really?!? That’s cheaper than what I’m paying right now. You think I could?”
“Let me talk it over with my brothers.“
(My flesh and blood brothers, we were living at my parents house at the time while they were out serving as missionaries in Italy)
So I convinced my brothers that he’d be a great roommate
turns out he was……
for about a week.
Ok he might have been ok for longer, but things did turn sour.
One of my brother’s helped get him hooked up in the extra business.
Basically he got paid to be in the background of some movies.
This was all fine and good, he even got a girlfriend out of the deal.
(The roommate, not my brother)
After paying his first month’s rent he stopped paying anything. He even started using my brother as a taxi service (Not the one who got him the extra work, who might conveniently already be at the gigs).
He was having difficulty supporting himself and we were enabling him, by allowing him to live rent free, take portions of our prepared meals and ferry him around.
I had remembered going through a similar experience with him trying to start a business together.
Why I had cut ties to begin with. ✂️
Then after all the hurt and emotional abuse I endured
From the selfish ignorance of this man….
I convinced my flesh and blood to bring him into our home?
Then sat idly by as he began to use them up the way he had used me up?
Forgiveness isn’t supposed to work this way?
I had learned something….
….From a Masonic Degree….
One day I overheard him CURSING out my brother for not picking him up
(somewhere less than a mile a way. Have you heard that you can use legs for walking? 🚶♂️)
He told my brother that he was stupid.
I just hit a breaking point. 😡
I got real emotional, came out of my room and told him that, ‘I wasn’t his friend.’ My brother was always going to be more important to me than him. I told him that, ‘you can’t use up people the way you are. My brother is bending over backwards for you doing things you should be able to take care of yourself.’
Sure my brother could have said no, and probably should have.
But, I also know the kind of person my brother is and that he’ll completely destroy himself trying to help and please others. He’s the kind of guy you want as a friend if you’re a decent human being. He, like myself, can have a hard time setting those limits. ⏰
So I told this guy he needed to move out within the week. His parents lived nearby and I knew he could go live with them.
So it didn’t feel like I was exactly throwing him out on the street 🛣️.
After that emotional spat, he headed into his room and I could hear him sobbing.
I felt kind of bad.
Especially after ‘forgiving’ him
the situation wasn’t helping anyone.
Now I’ve tried to tell the story in a way that doesn’t make him sound like a real horrible
SCUM OF THE EARTH 🌎
Kind of guy, and I probably could make him out that way.
But, the truth is I don’t think he’s such horrible person.
I haven’t spoken to him since he moved out of my parent’s house some 7 years ago and I am a bit curious as to how he’s doing.
My truth is that it really was harmful for myself and my brothers having him around.
Doesn’t make him a bad person, just another person trying to make it in this world like you or me. But doesn’t make it wise to keep him around.
Since that point of time, which was fairly early in my masonic journey, I’ve been afraid to even think about either of my mental lists
I figured I had somehow gotten in, that they had thought I was a good guy at the time and now this was just my group.
So this is where I really get into freemason’s being jerks (if you didn’t catch it already). I can think of dozens of men I know that would benefit greatly from being masons, and I get along really well with them.
But my experiences with them and the choices I know they’re making lead me to think that, they wouldn’t be so great for the fraternity.
So do I judge if a man is good enough to be a freemason?
If by judgement you mean, being selective, than yes.
But more accurately I am judging whether or not he is welcome in my home as a brother.
I know I’m no judge of whether that man is a good or a bad man.
I don’t even really know if I am good or bad
I know I try to be good, and I believe that most people desire to be good also
I think interpretations of that sometimes get mixed up
I have to look at the lodge 🏠 as a whole.
Obviously I know that a Mason must believe in God, and if he worships another God than I do that is fine, but does he respect my belief in my God and will he explore that with me? Is he someone that I can learn from and provide value for?
When you know someone to be a Mason there are certain things you should know about him just because he is a Mason. If I doubt your belief in God and your kindness to humanity than I will likely vote against you.
Freemasonry is a charitable organization, but we should not bring charity to whom we decide to join our ranks. What I mean is we should not allow people through our doors because we pity them, or think that it will help to benefit them.
Do I think all men could profit from Freemasonry?
Should all men be made Freemasons?
NOT A CHANCE
Because it is not what is best for Freemasonry as a whole 🥧 <<<<(A whole pie)
One of the beauties of the craft is that each lodge is able to operate with a degree of autonomy.
That level of Autonomy may be different state to state, but with it comes various personalities of lodges.
So if you think someone is not a fit for your lodge, but not necessarily the kind of person that shouldn’t be a mason it’s OK to vote No.
I would still invite you to reach out to the petitioner and explain to him he may fit with the personality of another lodge and just because he was voted no by your lodge does not mean he wouldn’t fit in elsewhere.
In Damascus Lodge #10 we have a requirement that to petition the lodge you must have known a Mason for at least 6 months. We provide multiple opportunities every month for us to get to know you and you to get to know us. By the end of 6 months you’ll know if you’re likely to be rejected because we’ll talk to you about it quietly.
At the end of 6 months you’ll likely know if you’re a good fit for our lodge or not. It may seem like a long time, but it’s relatively short for a lifelong commitment.
So as Freemasons we can be minor jerks when it comes to our membership
And we should be.
At least in terms of who we allow to join our lodges
When people don’t fit in it’s bad for everybody
It can be a hard conversation
And we need hard conversations 🧱
Might be easy for me to say now as a member
I’m grateful to be a Mason,
It’s not for everyone
If you’d like to know more and see why being a jerk…
may not be so bad
Send us an Email
Ask about our meetups (if you’re in the Utah. Otherwise you can go to the Grand Lodge website for whatever state or country you’re in i.e. google “Ohio Freemasonry.” Contacting them they will get back to you and let you know the closest lodge to you)
We’ll get back to you
And if I were a betting man 💵💵💵
I’d bet we don’t treat you like a jerk
I bet we’re real nice 😁😁😁
You let us know if we’re not.
Comments? Questions? Jokes? Want more Articles? Go ahead and write below 👇👇👇