I haven't felt compelled to talk about the Masonic Fraternity for a while, and my posts on the subject only remain online for a very short period of time. Freemasonry is a subject that the fraternity does not really like to talk about openly. Its not that they are trying to hide anything, its just that it seems whatever is revealed is taken and twisted into something to make Freemasonry look bad.(identity withheld)
All of my previous Masonic Posts have been limited publication. Normally posted for the benefit of a friend or a person who was looking at become a member of the fraternity. I don't leave these articles up long simply because some Grand Lodges to frown upon any discussion of Freemasonry, especially its problems, via the Internet or other public forums. I have refrained from posting any new articles on Freemasonry over the past year, but when the above statement was relayed to me via email ... well ... I'm sorry, I can't just walk away from this.
First things first. If you are not a member of the Masonic Fraternity in Good Standing, you have no claim to the rites, benefits, or privileges of the Masonic Fraternity, and that includes recognition by those who are currently in Good Standing with their Lodges. Ancient Traditions dictate that when it comes to "secret societies", you are either in or out, you are either a brother or you are not. How you are treated by the Brethren after you have fallen from Good Standing will depend on (a) why you're not in Good Standing, and (b) how well you respect the tenants of Freemasonry and honor your obligation.
It doesn't matter what degree you hold. It doesn't matter if you were a member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite, or the Mystic Shrine. It does not matter if you are a Past Worshipful Master of a Lodge, or were a Grand Lodge Officer. If you are NOT a member in Good Standing, you are not entitled to the rites and privileges of Freemasonry, nor the recognition and acceptance of those who are in Good Standing. So, the person who made the statement above, complaining about the fact that the new Freemasons are not giving him the respect he feels he is due is showing those who understand the tenants of Freemasonry that he has no understanding of the obligation he took and the tenants he agreed to. It shows an arrogance that is often seen as undesirable in Freemasonry, one that is unfortunately common within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Missouri AF&AM as many of its Master Masons over the past fifteen to twenty years did not, as some say, "earn" their degrees but took the easy method called the "One Day Chance to Advance Class."
Dear sir. It isn't that your past membership doesn't mean anything to the new people coming into the Fraternity. They are honoring their obligation, the promise that they made to the fraternity. They could be said to be paying respect to your past membership, remembering the commitment that you seem to have forgotten. I am not offended when someone reminds me that we cannot discuss certain issues of the Brotherhood. I expect this. I remind those who know of my Masonic past of my current status. I expect this even though I not only held the 32nd Degree AASR, but am also a Past Master.
So, dear sir, if your Masonic past means anything to you ... reflect on your obligation ... return to the brotherhood in your heart, walk from darkness to the light. Light is not exclusive to any organization.