From: Ron Blaisdell [email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, August 06, 1999 7:53 AM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: The Nature of Freemasonry
We must not solicit members, yet if we are to have candidates we must somehow let worthy men know of our Fraternity and its nature and purposes. To do so, we must first ourselves understand that nature and those purposes. What follows will barely scratch the surface. It is easier to say what Freemasonry is NOT. It is not a charity, nor do-gooder society. Masonic bodies and individuals should and do perform charitable services, but this is merely a fortunate by-product of Freemasonry, not Freemasonry itself. It is not a social club. Conviviality is a pleasant natural result of the fraternal feeling generated in the Lodge. Masons should have fun and enjoy life: all really big people do; but having fun is not the purpose of Freemasonry. It is not a reform school. It can make a good man better, it gives you tools to reshape your life. But you must recognize those tools and learn to use them; YOU must do the reshaping, Freemasonry cannot do this for you. There is a notion that Freemasonry teachers simple moral values such as honesty and truthfulness; but after all, we do know knowingly admit crooks and liars in the first place. Freemasons may enjoy greater success than non-Masons. This is not because of favors from nor the influence of Masonic brethren, but because those who become Masons are, or should be, men capable of greater achievement. Masons do not "join". They BECOME Freemasons. A man is a mason for what he is and what he knows. "What he knows" is a lot more than passwords, ritual, precise floor work. It takes more than degrees, dues cards and certificates to prove that you are really a Mason. What sort of man should be a potential candidate? Again, it is easier to say what sort should NOT be considered. Some say they admire the philosophy of Freemasonry, but "organizations scare me" or "Why do you have an organization for it?" They have a paranoid horror of all discipline and authority. Their idea of being fiercely independent is to live on welfare rather than risk having to take orders from a boss. "Superior" and "inferior" have become dirty words. It has become unacceptable to do a better job or to strike for self- improvement. Truth exists no matter how unpopular and whether or not anyone believes it. A truth is that nothing of consequence is accomplished without organization and discipline. No human can successfully live outside society and every society entails a system of authority. A truth is that each of us is inferior in some ways, but happily superior in others. Let those who cannot accept such truths go join something that requires no effort and gives them everything free; they are not suited for Freemasonry. In some places, the penalty clauses have been eliminated on the grounds they are repugnant to the young men of today and that the penalties are never actually inflicted; yet the three penalty clauses, taken together, form one of the most significant symbolisms in Masonry. Changes are instituted to make Masonry "more palatable for the average man." Freemasonry was never intended for the average man, it is for the superior. It is not supposed to be easy nor "palatable," it is not supposed to require nothing of you. It is difficult, and should be; it is for the strong, the venturesome, the workers and the doers. Freemasonry promises you no magic formulae, no instant success. It offers not a garden path, but on the contrary a grueling journey up a rough road strewn with obstacles, along with frustration, danger and privation. But what beauty, what peace and harmony and satisfaction away you at the end of that road!
Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him/her to be untrue or unsound. - Morals and Dogma Ron Blaisdell, PM Capital of Strict Observance No. 66