Letter of the month: August 1999
From: "Shane Blanton" <email@example.com>
Subject: What to tell my wife?
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 15:18:53 -0500
My name is Bro. Shane Blanton. I am from Caldwell Lodge #502 F&AM in
Heflin, Alabama. I am getting married and I do not know what to tell my
wife. I am Southern Baptist and she is Pentacostal. We both attend the
same church now and she is having a problem with the secrecy of Masonry.
I have told her nothing other than we are a fraternity that does
public work and charity work. She wants to know all about the
organization and I do not know what to tell her. She thinks that there
should be no secrets between man and wife. I agree with that statement,
but yet I no the three obligations that I took. I feel pulled both
ways. It will not harm my marriage if I don't tell her, but she would
feel better knowing and I would feel less strain if I knew what to
really do. Thank you for your help...
To: "Shane Blanton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: What to tell my wife?
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 20 Aug 1999 15:18:53 CDT."
Dear Bro. Shane,
Good news. There is a ton of info at my web-site that should help you
First of all, in case she's worried about any of those 'devil
worshipping Masons' pamphlets that people run across in church
bookstores and stuff, there are some links from my web-site that will help:
- "Anti-Masonry dissected"
which is another Mason's web-site, with some good answers to those kinds
- "What is
Masonry?" -- some good articles on what Masonry is from a number of
points of view.
Page" -- a few people have written recently with questions about
Masonic secrecy, including one from a very suspicious fiancee (March
Next, YOU should be sure to make yourself as educated as possible about
Masonry. This includes knowing the difference between what you promised
to keep secret and what you didn't. The signs and tokens of recognition
you learned for each degree are your secret. The exact workings of the
degrees are your secret. But the contents of the lectures, what they
are about, is not secret. The lessons of Masonry, and the
interpretations of the working tools aren't secret. For instance, you
can tell her what you learned about: the common gavel, the 24-inch gage,
the trowel, the level, the plumb, the compasses, etc.
You can and should learn about, and tell your wife about, the
organization of Masonry: what is a lodge? what is a grand lodge? what
does the master do? what are his "powers" and responsibilities? how is
the grand master chosen in your state? what does a grand lodge do? what
is the history of your state's ritual -- what version do you use and
what versions does it descend from?
Does your grand lodge publish a "trestleboard"? That is a printed
version of the "exoteric" or "not secret" sections of the lodge ritual.
If they do, you can read her sections from that, and answer he questions
Two books that both you and your wife can read: "The Craft and Its
Symbols" by Allen E. Roberts, and Carl Claudy's "Introduction to
Freemasonry" (The Claudy book is wonderful, but unfortunately it's been
out of print for awhile.)
If you offer all this information, and she is still upset because you
won't tell her the "secret" grips and tokens of recognition, ask her
honestly why she wants to know them? You understand that they are:
- keepsakes from the days when our operative brothers needed to
verify the education and experience of a newly-arrived foreign
- symbols of the trust Masons place in each other to share
heart-to-heart troubles, questions, and advice,
- tokens of recognition that allow one Mason to visit foreign lodges
Unless you wife wants to pretend to be a Mason to visit another
lodge, why does she need those few tokens?
} She thinks that there should be no secrets between man and wife.
Really? I expect that married life is going to be quite an education
for you both. There will ALWAYS be secrets between you:
You will ask, "did you like the card my mother sent us for our
anniversary?" and she will think "it was a cheap and crummy
card that looked like it was picked out of the discard bin at the
drugstore at the last minute." But instead she will say, "it
was so sweet of her to remember us when she has been so busy."
Your wife will ask you, "How about Aunt Harriet? Didn't I tell
you he was a character?" and you will think, "What a stuffy old
hen. She didn't say four words all night that weren't a put-down of
someone or something. I can't believe she's the one I've been hearing
all those funny stories about. And what horrible breath! It smells
like she swallowed an unwashed weasel." But instead you will say,
"I don't think I've met anyone quite like her. I'm sure that to
appreciate her as much as you do I'll have to get to know her
Neither of you will call these "secrets" of course. You will think
of them as small acts of charity to preserve the harmony of the home.
And you will be correct, they are. But they are also secrets.
You might ask some of the other married members of the lodge if they
had similar problems, and ask if their wives might be available to meet
with yours to talk about this issue, and Masonry in general. Your wife
should understand all that Masonry can do to help and strengthen
families, to put this matter of "signs and tokens" into perspective.
In fact, your lodge could put together a program presenting a
lot of this information for all the wives and families. You're probably
not the only ones who would appreciate this material.
Finally, if your wife just absolutely cannot stand that you know some
small words and tokens that she doesn't, and she understands what they
are for and still doesn't care, then in the interest of family harmony
(remembering that every promise you ever made in lodge was conditioned
on "without injury to myself or my family"), then you just might have to
demit (resign) from your lodge. She will be losing as much as you are,
but she won't know it.
Please let me know what happens.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <email@example.com>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
| | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
| | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...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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