[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: April 1998

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 23:43:30 -0500
From: Crutch <CrutchfieldWilliams-CSA@worldnet.att.net>
Organization: Crutchfield's Currency
To: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Subject: Membership

Dear Sir...

I am not a Mason. My Grandfather was, entered Baton Rouge, LA sometime in the early 1900's [1910+/-] moved to Houston, TX in 1924. My father was Enter Apprentice before WW2 and then never went further after coming home from war. My wife is Past Worthy Matron of League City TX.

Anyway, I'm quite shocked, austonded [sp?], at all the information regarding Free Masonry on the internet. I was stunned to hear a radio commercial about Masons the other day. "Ask a Mason about Free Masonary" sticks in my head. This was all so secret to me as a young man. And now it's being advertised on a radio sports talk show??? They gave an internet site; but, I didn't remember where it was, so I did a search and found your site.

I'm 49, I've never approached a Mason and asked for a petition for membership. I guess this is my question. I know that I have to ASK; but, is there such a thing as 'Asking' over the internet? Could there truly be an internet membership; or, is Free Masonary moving into the 21st Century and trying to get new blood? I talked to my cousin today who is a Mason. He's 53 and he says he is a 'youngster' in his lodge. He said 'New Blood' is needed!

Anyway, I would appreciate hearing any type of response you may be able to give me.

Thanking you, I remain

W. Crutchfield Williams, II.

Mr Dryfoos

I didn't see your link to membership until after I wrote my letter, but many of the sites I tried to link to from your page were not active. I couldn't get to that page. [Server not up or something]

Crutch Williams

To: <CrutchfieldWilliams-CSA@worldnet.att.net>
Subject: Re: Membership 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Thu, 16 Apr 1998 23:43:30 CDT."

Dear Mr. Williams,

First of all, sorry about your not being able to get to a lot of pages yesterday. Many of the pages that link off of my main page are served out from a computer on my desk, and as our building was set to suffer a series of "power interruptions" at various points last night, I was forced to turn my machine off until late this morning. You will find many of those pages available again even now.

Next, to your question: No, you cannot really petition a lodge over the internet. There is no such thing as "an internet membership" -- you should have a real lodge with real faces of men who can become friends or even almost family to you over time. You should find some lodges near to where you work or live, visit with some of their members and decide on a lodge you'd like to petition. Since your wife is in the OES, which accepts men (Masons only) and women, there may be men in her chapter who would be glad to see you in their lodge. You should ask.

Yes, I have heard that Texas has begun those radio commercials. But it is still the case that unless you approach a Texas Mason and ask to join, they might never approach or invite you. The tradition has always been that a man had to ask to join, and although the grand lodges are now giving that rule a mighty good bending, they haven't quite broken it yet.

Best of luck. Please stay in touch and let me know what happens. And if you do petition a lodge, please give the Master and the members my fraternal greetings.


| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| MPS; PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge, Malden, MA;  
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  |          & Ocean Lodge, Winthrop, MA;  
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | B'hood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not;       
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, East Lancs UGLE
|     "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|      whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|      or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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