by Brother Terence Satchell
Throughout my entire experience in Freemasonry,
I have wondered what can be done to bring those Freemasons that do not attend
lodge meetings back into our temples. I found these dues-paying Masons to be a
frustrating breed. They must believe that being a Freemason is important
enough to continually make a monetary payment to their Masonic organizations
and yet it is not important enough for them to actually attend and contribute
their time. I assisted in planning and executing a number of lodge functions
in order to bring these silent members back and there seemed to be no
response. I began to develop the opinion that these men were simply neglecting
their Masonic duties.
And then, I became one of them.
It wasn’t intentional at first. It started by
moving to another town, then I became busy with my career, then I lost contact
with my closest Brothers, and then before I knew it, Masonry wasn’t even on my
mind anymore. Occasionally I would post a story on The Euphrates that I had
written while I was active in the lodge, but that was only because it was
convenient and could be done in five minutes. I was literally uninterested in
This sounds like an easy problem to fix. If you
aren’t an active Freemason, just attend a lodge meeting and get involved,
right? Wrong. I found out rather quickly that there was nothing motivating me
to go back to lodge. There isn’t anything interesting about a lodge meeting.
We pay the bills, plan mundane dinners, and discuss our charitable endeavors.
I didn’t join the Freemasons to do any of those things and no one ever told me
that that is what we really do when I was petitioning. I stopped caring about
Masonry, because Masonry was boring and a complete waste of my time. I
realized that the only reason I used to be active was because I enjoyed
socializing with the many good friends that I had in my lodge. Without that
connection, Masonry was no longer important.
That is the problem with modern Freemasonry.
I’ve heard so many Masons say “You’ll meet so many good men in Masonry.” Well,
sure you do, but I have also met many good men outside of Freemasonry and the
vast majority of my friends do not belong to the fraternity. So that is no
reason to join or remain a Freemason.
Many men cannot explain exactly why they want
to be a Freemason, but it almost always has the same theme. Men join
Freemasonry because they believe that it will lead them to enlightenment both
mentally and spiritually, give them some sort of moral compass, and will help
them to lead a better life. They expect a top-notch society. One in which all
men meet upon the level, but upon a level above the profane world outside of
the lodge. They expect an education. They expect class. They expect a
I know, because that is exactly what I
Sadly, our lodges are stuck in a time warp. We
are obsessed with sticking to the 1950′s model of a civic organization. We
talk about making our lodges more attractive and yet we continue to operate
them in the same outdated way. We want to operate on the cheap. We want to
“dumb down” Masonry to make it easier to grasp. We want to copy the model that
Rotary and Kiwanis have provided instead of following the model that
Freemasonry created over 250 years ago. We have turned our organization into
an outrageous bureaucracy where every single event requires the unneeded
approval of some Masonic dignitary. The world’s greatest fraternity has become
the world’s most mundane organization.
That is the state of Freemasonry today. That is
why men become dues-paying Masons. That is why I became a dues-paying Mason.
If Freemasons want the society to survive, some radical changes must be made.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to discuss this in detail. The question
that must be discussed is: “What must Freemasonry become in order to be
relevant in American society again?”
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