Why did you become a Freemason?
From: "Phillips, John B SPC 1CD 1ACB HHC (PKI)" <email@example.com>
Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2006 11:56:06 -0500
There is hunger that haunts us all. Curiosity seems to be that ever
agonizing type that affects me, though. The mysteries of the
Freemasons, before I became one, sent me along a journey to discover
what facts I could before it became inevitable that I must join. In my
mind I was trying to pick apart the differences as I researched all I
could on the internet. A cult? Satanic worshipers? Pentagrams? But
then I thought that some of the most influential men... good men... have
been freemasons. And that this is not a secret society, but rather a
society with secrets. What right do "cowens and eavesdroppers" have to
judge upon what they do not know and understand? I had to look beyond
the shallow perceptions of the Freemasons and make my own judgment based
upon what I did know. All the internet stuff was just way too
confusing. I did know that Shriners were masons and did a lot of
charity work, and that a lot of those men were good Christians and could
not possibly have anything to do with cultic rituals. These good men
displayed a sense of chivalry. Was chivalry dead?
The more I learned only seemed to make me even hungrier. I was a bit
reluctant to ask about it, though, as I was a reserved person; however,
knowledge thirsty. But, as they say, "Opportunity knocks." In my case
it literally did. I was new to neighborhood after becoming a newly wed
and I can remember my neighbor, David, coming over and introducing
himself. I watched as some nights he would go out all dressed as if he
were to attend a ball. He carried a "briefcase" on his outings. I also
observed a symbol on his vehicle. I had to ask what it was all about.
It was then that I discovered that he was a mason. He invited my wife
and I to discover what it was about at one of his meetings. There was a
dinner and a lot of friendly people there. Later, David had to go to
his "meeting" which I could not attend, but the spouses of the Masons
remained in the dining hall where they all mingled and had a good time.
It didn't take me long to realize, though, that all the people in this
place were white! How awkward. When we retired from the lodge, I had
to ask David about this. Was it racist? He replied in such a calming
and relieving way to where my mind was put at ease. He said that it was
not, but traditionally Freemasons were British and, therefore, mostly
white. It is now known as Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and was
nothing more than tradition. He explained how there were lodges that
were known as just Free and Accepted Masons that accepted everybody.
And Prince Hall Affiliated as well. This set my mind at ease but I
still did not feel so comfortable in that type of environment.
A year had passed. I suppose I kept the Idea of trying to become a
Freemason on the proverbial backburner. That was until I discovered a
co-worker, Scott, wearing a Masonic ring. I asked him about his lodge.
He explained that it was a Prince Hall Affiliated lodge. I expressed my
interest in it and my idea of perhaps becoming a Freemason. He advised
me to do some research before I filled out an application. Back to the
internet. It was hard to pick through all the good things and bad
things said about Freemasonry. Although I knew good men in Masonry
there was still that looming fact: "Secrets". That scared me. But I
had to tell myself that I could not judge these men based on secrets
that others have made assumptions about. There was only one surefire
way to find out. I had to join.
I knew it couldn't be evil. If it seemed as if I was going down a
dark path I could always quit, right? I applied and Scott assembled an
investigating committee. These men who were assigned made me feel
comfortable. All were quick to answer any questions or doubts that I
may have. If I recall that is the time definition of a "gentleman".
Was chivalry dead? This Masonic "brotherhood" seemed to be teeming with
chivalrous gestures and I was all too eager to become a part of it. The
Lodge voted on my application and I was accepted. So in conclusion, I
joined out of curiosity at first, that nagging hunger, but soon realized
that this "brotherhood" made good men. I learned the principals behind
all good men and was shown the "light". I am now a Master Mason and
there are no regrets.
St. James Lodge #71
Class of Pison
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