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Masonry is a passion that I love and can no longer partake in. Learn why.

As of July 19th, 2016, I was expelled from the Masonic Order. I am no longer a Mason and I will not attempt to mask that fact. The story is long and will be revealed.

That being said, everything that I originally wrote in this article remains true. Where it is necessary, I have rewritten it to change "we's" to "they's" and such.

Many things have been said about the subject of Freemasonry, both bad and good. When a man asks me about being a Mason, I ask him how much research he has done into the subject. If he has done at least some, I tell him to stop. If he has done none, I tell him, “good.”

You see, about 90 percent of what is out there on the Internet about Masonry is either false, whether by people who don’t know about Masonry, or they have an axe to grind against Masonry. Five percent is true, but not applicable to Tennessee, and the last five percent is true and correct. Knowing which is what is difficult for a Master Mason, let alone someone who knows nothing and is trying to find out about it.

First of all, the Masons are not a “secret society.” If they were, they wouldn’t be plastering the Square and Compasses on their buildings. The Masons are a society that has secrets. Most of those are about recognizing other brothers. No, I am not going to tell you what they are.

I will tell you what they do. They take good men, and make them better. As a man goes through the degrees of Freemasonry, they instill in them morals, how to be a good citizen and how to be an upstanding person.

This page, explaining about Masonry, is all that I can do about getting men to join the Masons. A Masons cannot tell someone, “I think you would make a good Mason. Would you like to join?” They have to wait for them to be asked, “How do I become a Mason?”

The requirements are simple. You must be an adult man, who professes a belief in, and an accountability to a Supreme Being. That’s it. Who or What that Supreme Being is, is between you and your Supreme Being. I don’t ask about it, beyond your belief. You can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, I don’t care. Your path is your own.

You then fill out a petition, which is “read out” to the brothers of the lodge, during the Stated meeting. You are then asked to come to the lodge, where they ask you questions about yourself, your motivations behind why you want to become a Mason and so on. You are also allowed to ask questions, which will be answered as best they can, without revealing any secrets. We explain in general terms what happens during the initiation. At the next Stated meeting (which is held every month and is where the business of the lodge is conducted) you are voted on by the Brothers who are present. If the vote is unanimous, you are informed when your invitation will take place. If there is even one “No” vote (we use white balls and black cubes, but this is where the term “blackballed” comes from) you are rejected, and must wait a year before you can repetition that lodge, or any other lodge.

The Masons aren’t looking for “perfect” men. If you have done something majorly wrong in the past, you won’t be denied on just that. They do, however, look at what you have done since then. If you made things right with your mistake, and gone on in your life and done better with yourself, they will seriously consider you. If you are just out of prison for your third felony conviction, just keep on moving. Straighten out your life and come back to us after you have been clean for 5-10 years.

Like I said, they aren’t looking for perfect men. The Masons are looking for those seeking to become better men, morally and spiritually. If you want to be a better man, husband and father, ask a Mason the next time you see one, “How do I become a Mason?” You can also walk into a lodge when someone is there and ask for a petition.

Now let me tell you what being a Mason was for me.

I was part of a Brotherhood that spans the world. I could walk into a lodge anywhere in the world, and after I had proven myself to be a Master Mason, I would have been as welcomed in that lodge as I was at home. As a Master Mason, you are expected to give what you can to someone who needs it, no matter if they are a brother or not. As a lodge, they routinely give to worthy causes, and when needed, help a brother out who is experiencing some tough times.

I did the same for my brothers as well, giving what I can, but not so much as to put myself or family in a bad spot. I have also helped total strangers, without regard for notoriety or repayment. Character, it is said, is what you do when no one is looking. If you do the right thing for the right reasons, you will be repaid a hundred times over. If you do something, even the right thing, for the wrong reasons I promise Karma will bite you in the butt every time.

If you are ready to make yourself a better man, consider joining the Masons. Here is a web page where you can learn more about Masonry in general.