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Thread: Freemasonry: Any good?

  1. #51
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Templogin View Post
    You can help local charities without the need to wear an apron.
    Not if you work in a soup kitchen
    Beyond ideas of good and bad, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

  2. #52
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    Touché

  3. #53
    I've been interested in it for a while, my school has a lodge and I have been asked to join a couple of times.

    Having been a member of a gentleman's club and left because it was so archaic, out of touch and elitist I assumed freemasonry would be similar.

    Are there many members under 35? Is it basically a golf club for people who don't play golf?

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  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by oliverte View Post
    I've been interested in it for a while, my school has a lodge and I have been asked to join a couple of times.

    Having been a member of a gentleman's club and left because it was so archaic, out of touch and elitist I assumed freemasonry would be similar.

    Are there many members under 35? Is it basically a golf club for people who don't play golf?

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    It really depends on the Lodge you join, there are some University Lodges which will generally have a younger profile.
    Overall there is currently an ongoing drive to attract younger members into Freemasonry to balance out what had become an older demographic. In Leicestershire there is a Rugby team and a new Cricket team being set up by some of the younger members which is becoming very active in the Province.
    What I like is that you get to meet some great people from a wide range of backgrounds on an equal, friendly footing.


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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliverte View Post
    I've been interested in it for a while, my school has a lodge and I have been asked to join a couple of times.

    Having been a member of a gentleman's club and left because it was so archaic, out of touch and elitist I assumed freemasonry would be similar.

    Are there many members under 35? Is it basically a golf club for people who don't play golf?

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    It's not archaic, nor elitist. We have quite a few members 30-40 yrs old. It's whatever you want it to be.. There is absolutely no snobbery as everyone is equal and that's what's good about it. We recently had an unemployed member going through the chair and if anyone was on his down and outs it was him, but he was given the highest respect.
    Loads of social events, meeting people, and making friends. Freemasonry is the next largest fundgiving organisation next to the lottery and something to be proud to be part of.

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    It's not archaic, nor elitist. We have quite a few members 30-40 yrs old. It's whatever you want it to be.. There is absolutely no snobbery as everyone is equal and that's what's good about it. We recently had an unemployed member going through the chair and if anyone was on his down and outs it was him, but he was given the highest respect.
    Loads of social events, meeting people, and making friends. Freemasonry is the next largest fundgiving organisation next to the lottery and something to be proud to be part of.
    Thank you for the info, the charitable side really appeals!

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  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingBanana View Post
    He might have been referring to The Ancient Order Of Water Buffaloes.

    They used to exist, no idea if they still do.


    ETA according to Wikipedia they still do, but doesn’t look like the organisation is in great shape:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roya...r_of_Buffaloes
    It could have been them but this was 20+ years ago. It definitely involved buffaloes. :)

  8. #58
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Freemasonry is the next largest fundgiving organisation next to the lottery
    Are there any published figures for that or is it just hearsay Rod?
    Beyond ideas of good and bad, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

  9. #59
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  10. #60

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    Are there any published figures for that or is it just hearsay Rod?
    Yes, there is plenty of evidence but it can be somewhat murky given the various routes / organisations through which the money is raised and distributed. However, if you look online there is plenty to review!
    Here are the UGLE details: www.ugle.org.uk/giving
    Here is a fact check from Channel 4: http://www.channel4.com/news/factche...laims-stack-up
    Here is the relevant section from the Charities Commission where reports in the Documents tab list who actually received what in 2016 - 2017: http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk...281942&subid=0
    There are also many donations made from individual Lodges to local charities. Hopefully this is some help?


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    Last edited by adg31; 11th July 2018 at 19:24.

  11. #61
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    I'm still not comfortable with it's reputation as a secret society. Worth reading is The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight. Although it's getting a bit dated, at the time he wrote it, for example, most rank and file police officers were not members, by the time they rose the ranks to senior positions, most were.

    Every now and then someone shakes my hand and I feel the knuckle inside. I never know whether they have disformed digits or they are on the square.

    Masons may also be storing up trouble with their entry requirements in the 21st century "Any man over the age of 21 may join regardless of ethnic group, political views, economic standing or religion although he is expected to have a faith".

    In the absence of a belief in a supreme being, then … I'm out.
    Last edited by broxie; 11th July 2018 at 19:55.

  12. #62
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    I'm still not comfortable with it's reputation as a secret society. Worth reading is The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight. Although it's getting a bit dated, at the time he wrote it, for example, most rank and file police officers were not members, by the time they rose the ranks to senior positions, most were.

    Every now and then someone shakes my hand and I feel the knuckle inside. I never know whether they have disformed digits or they are on the square.

    Masons may also be storing up trouble with their entry requirements in the 21st century "Any man over the age of 21 may join regardless of ethnic group, political views, economic standing or religion although he is expected to have a faith".

    In the absence of a belief in a supreme being, then … I'm out.
    What about Gareth Southgate?
    Beyond ideas of good and bad, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

  13. #63

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    I'm still not comfortable with it's reputation as a secret society. Worth reading is The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight. Although it's getting a bit dated, at the time he wrote it, for example, most rank and file police officers were not members, by the time they rose the ranks to senior positions, most were.

    Every now and then someone shakes my hand and I feel the knuckle inside. I never know whether they have disformed digits or they are on the square.

    Masons may also be storing up trouble with their entry requirements in the 21st century "Any man over the age of 21 may join regardless of ethnic group, political views, economic standing or religion although he is expected to have a faith".

    In the absence of a belief in a supreme being, then … I'm out.
    It's often described as a society with secrets rather than a secret society - although most of the secrets have actually been in the public realm since the 1950's!
    As you may guess I'm proud to be a Freemason - there goes my shroud of secrecy - as was my grandfather.
    It's wrong to speak ill of the dead so I'll refrain from commenting on Stephen Knight - I would however suggest that basing your opinion on one persons views is not always the best thing to do.
    However, I absolutely respect your views and decisions not to join.


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    Last edited by adg31; 11th July 2018 at 21:28.

  14. #64
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  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    It's often described as a society with secrets rather than a secret society - although most of the secrets have actually been in the public realm since the 1950's!
    As you may guess I'm proud to be a Freemason - there goes my shroud of secrecy - as was my grandfather.
    It's wrong to speak ill of the dead so I'll refrain from commenting on Stephen Knight - I would however suggest that basing your opinion on one persons views is not always the best thing to do.
    However, I absolutely respect your views and decisions not to join.
    I hadn't made a decision not to join. TBH, until I read this thread, I hadn't even thought of joining. I am a SWM just turned 60 and want to do things that improve the quality of mine and others lives in the lessening part of my life that is left. A good friend, now departed, was a mason and he always donated 10% of his income to charitable causes via the masons.

    What happens in older life is that with more spare time and an assumed wiser mind, many people turn to projects they think are benevolent to others, ie the magistrates benches are full of 50+ women who want to do something, the masons are occupied by older men who want to find something fulfilling. I don't meet the criteria of believing in a higher being so I'm excluded.

    If the masons could modernise themselves, as organisations have been doing, perhaps they would boost membership of those who feel the will to help others whilst feeling part of a union themselves. A snazzy new logo, You Tube videos with some funky soundtrack … (ok ignore last sentence).

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    I was invited but in this country you have to be deist.
    I offered to take the oath on Darwin’s “on the origin of species” or on Hawking’s “A brief history of time”.
    Both were rejected
    Similar story here. I’m not interested in joining an organisation that is based on non-evidence based reasoning.

  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    I hadn't made a decision not to join. TBH, until I read this thread, I hadn't even thought of joining. I am a SWM just turned 60 and want to do things that improve the quality of mine and others lives in the lessening part of my life that is left. A good friend, now departed, was a mason and he always donated 10% of his income to charitable causes via the masons.

    What happens in older life is that with more spare time and an assumed wiser mind, many people turn to projects they think are benevolent to others, ie the magistrates benches are full of 50+ women who want to do something, the masons are occupied by older men who want to find something fulfilling. I don't meet the criteria of believing in a higher being so I'm excluded.

    If the masons could modernise themselves, as organisations have been doing, perhaps they would boost membership of those who feel the will to help others whilst feeling part of a union themselves. A snazzy new logo, You Tube videos with some funky soundtrack … (ok ignore last sentence).
    Grand Lodge must have been listening to you:
    Snazzy new logo - check
    YouTube videos - check
    All joking aside, if you look at the UGLE website they are genuinely trying to modernise themselves and are making far better use of modern digital media in order to do so. However, for an organisation with a traditionally ageing demographic which celebrated its tercentenary last year change doesn't come quickly - evolution not revolution - which may be no bad thing.
    They are also now running a #EnoughIsEnough campaign to correct inaccurate reporting rather than sticking to the older 'never complain - never explain' strategy which allowed so many bizarre theories to gain traction in past years.
    We all join for different reasons; for me it was following in the steps of my Grandfather who died in 1941 well before I was born.
    At my initiation someone took the time to find a copy of my Grandfathers Summons from 1938 to present to me - explaining that the ceremony I had just gone through, almost 62 years to the day, would have been almost identical.
    That was 22 years ago but I was hooked!
    I wish you every success in finding something which meets your admirable criteria for giving something back - and if you ever want to know more about Freemasonry PM me and I'll be happy to help.


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  18. #68
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    True

    Quote Originally Posted by Templogin View Post
    You can help local charities without the need to wear an apron.

    But where’s the fun in that?

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    Yes, there is plenty of evidence but it can be somewhat murky given the various routes / organisations through which the money is raised and distributed. However, if you look online there is plenty to review!
    Here are the UGLE details: www.ugle.org.uk/giving
    Here is a fact check from Channel 4: www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/do-the-freemasons-claims-stack-up
    Here is the relevant section from the Charities Commission where reports in the Documents tab list who actually received what in 2016 - 2017: http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk...281942&subid=0
    There are also many donations made from individual Lodges to local charities. Hopefully this is some help?
    Interesting reading from the C4 fact check -

    The advert, by the United Grand Lodge of England, started by claiming they value service to the community, saying: “Last year we raised over £33 million for good causes.”
    FactCheck has found that nearly half of the money (£15.8m) was spent on charitable causes that support their own members. That leaves slightly over £17m given to non-masonic charitable causes.
    Almost all of the cash for masons was distributed via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).
    This includes paying private school fees for the children of masons, when life-changing circumstances prevent them from meeting the costs themselves. They also pay for “specialist tuition, and a host of extracurricular activities”.

    If Freemasons think that paying private school fees is essential charity work then i'm afraid you have a completely different values system to me and is not certainly something I would think the majority of the public would agree with. The fact that over half the money raised for 'charity' goes to support their own completely reinforces some of the criticism raised previously in this thread.
    Last edited by vulcangascompany; 11th July 2018 at 23:26.

  20. #70
    Grand Master VDG's Avatar
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    Substitute MCF for Chelsea Arts Club Benevolent fund, would you still have a problem if they be looking after their members children and in addition to that donate large sums to non arts related charities?
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  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    The fact that over half the money raised for 'charity' goes to support their own completely reinforces some of the criticism raised previously in this thread.
    Do you still hold that view even though all of the money is done so internally, that is, within the organisation?
    You will never see a Freemason rattle a tin and ask you, or any other non masonic individual for a donation.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    ... that leaves slightly over £17m given to non-masonic charitable causes
    Which is less than British Airways raise from passengers leaving loose change in envelopes on their flights via their "Flying Start" scheme.

    http://www.ba-flyingstart.com/

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    Which is less than British Airways raise from passengers leaving loose change in envelopes on their flights via their "Flying Start" scheme.

    http://www.ba-flyingstart.com/
    But enough to buy air ambulance helecopters, blood bikes, ambulances, support local your hospices, RNLI etc, etc...

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Tifa View Post
    But enough to buy air ambulance helecopters, blood bikes, ambulances, support local your hospices, RNLI etc, etc...
    even enough left to pay for private school fees as well!

  25. #75
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    Which is less than British Airways raise from passengers leaving loose change in envelopes on their flights via their "Flying Start" scheme.

    http://www.ba-flyingstart.com/
    To be fair, that is the total figure since 2010 and not an annual figure.
    Beyond ideas of good and bad, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tifa View Post
    But enough to buy air ambulance helecopters, blood bikes, ambulances, support local your hospices, RNLI etc, etc...
    I would not criticise any charitable donations, but since Jan 2017, the assets (ie helicopters) of LAA have been their own. Where in the funding of the LAA do the Freemasons sit?


  27. #77
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    Since the Freemasons don't seem to harm anyone, does it matter that they support their own members and their families when they fall on hard times?

    And if they raise money for charity (used in the broader sense rather than an individual charity), raised totally by themselves, from themselves why shouldn't they spend it how they please?


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  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    Since the Freemasons don't seem to harm anyone, does it matter that they support their own members and their families when they fall on hard times?

    And if they raise money for charity (used in the broader sense rather than an individual charity), raised totally by themselves, from themselves why shouldn't they spend it how they please?
    Quite, and I wholly agree. Except one shouldn't use charitable donation as a marketing ploy.

  29. #79

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    Quite, and I wholly agree. Except one shouldn't use charitable donation as a marketing ploy.
    I would agree with you, as someone else has said previously you can give money to charity or help in your community without wearing an apron. However, charity is one happy and beneficial effect of Freemasonry that I believe it's members can be proud of.


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    Last edited by adg31; 12th July 2018 at 07:55.

  30. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    The fact that over half the money raised for 'charity' goes to support their own completely reinforces some of the criticism raised previously in this thread.
    Sorry, in what way is helping others less fortunate than yourself not charitable?



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  31. #81

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by broxie View Post
    I would not criticise any charitable donations, but since Jan 2017, the assets (ie helicopters) of LAA have been their own. Where in the funding of the LAA do the Freemasons sit?

    I'm believe it sits under Trusts and Foundations; this may help from the LAA website: https://londonsairambulance.co.uk/su...ndonfreemasons


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    Last edited by adg31; 12th July 2018 at 08:11.

  32. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by hops View Post
    But where’s the fun in that?
    The fun is in doing something decent, helping others.

  33. #83
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    tbh the more I read here the more I'm inclined to consider joining the masons. There's lodge within about 15mins drive of where I live so that helps. The major issue I have is getting permission from SWMBO! I idly mentioned the masons last week (after spotting this thread) and she was NOT complimentary :-( I'd say 99% of her prejudice is ill-informed gossip which is a shame. I also mentioned it in the office and my MD said he considered it a few years ago but the showing of the left breast+leg put him off... a feeble excuse I think however he tends to be more into looking after number one (and number one's family) rather than the community at large.

  34. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    Sorry, in what way is helping others less fortunate than yourself not charitable?



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    It’s rather like an insurance policy.

  35. #85
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    Free masonry: Any good?

    I don't know how much have you got, we have quite a large wall to build, would you consider delivering?
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  36. #86

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    It’s rather like an insurance policy.
    So if I see the son of a fellow Freemason orphaned the best thing to do is walk past them and do nothing to help but go looking for a stranger to help instead?
    On this basis I'm guessing that the Freemasons helping to fund the London Air Ambulance is another form of insurance in case they ever need to be helped by it?


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    Last edited by adg31; 12th July 2018 at 08:26.

  37. #87

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    So if I see the son of a fellow Freemason orphaned the best thing to do is walk past them and do nothing to help but go looking for a stranger to help instead?


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    No, his father has paid in.

    Reading earlier posts they haven’t always been helpful in similar circumstance anyway.

    If I help my son out I won’t call it charity.

  38. #88
    Grand Master seikopath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    Sorry, in what way is helping others less fortunate than yourself not charitable?



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    it entirely depends on the motivation.

    there are many instances of groups and individuals ostensibly doing charitable stuff because it looks good. e.g. trump often trumpets the work of the trump foundation for example.


    I'm not saying the masons don't do anything good at all and that their charitable work is purely for show, but i do find the picture you paint of knights in shining white armour who only are in it for the good of the whole community a bit far fetched tbh. there must be a massive amount of self interest at play. and this, historically at least, is their general reputation amongst the community at large. after all, the vast majority people generally act in a selfish manner. why should masons be any different?

    more specifically, if charitable work was the main objective of the masons, then i think there would be many , far better ways to go about that.

    generally i think the masons do have a PR problem, most of which tbh i think is of their own doing. there is a massive amount of suspicion and distrust of them. so thanks for your open communication. all the best dave
    Beyond ideas of good and bad, there is a field. I'll meet you there.

  39. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    No, his father has paid in.

    Reading earlier posts they haven’t always been helpful in similar circumstance anyway.

    If I help my son out I won’t call it charity.
    Do I know the person being helped by the charity?
    No, they are simply a person in need?
    Do I mind if they are related to a Freemason?
    No, over half of all masonic charitable giving is to non-Masonic organisations.
    So to use your analogy would you call helping out a total stranger, rather than a blood relative, charitable?


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  40. #90

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by adg31 View Post
    Do I know the person being helped by the charity?
    No, they are simply a person in need?
    Do I mind if they are related to a Freemason?
    No, over half of all masonic charitable giving is to non-Masonic organisations.
    So to use your analogy would you call helping out a total stranger, rather than a blood relative, charitable?


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    Doesn’t matter whether you know the person. It’s somewhat akin to a mutual society.
    Family of the member is also covered. You help the family knowing if the situation was reversed yours would be.

  41. #91
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  42. #92

    Freemasonry: Any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by seikopath View Post
    it entirely depends on the motivation.

    there are many instances of groups and individuals ostensibly doing charitable stuff because it looks good. e.g. trump often trumpets the work of the trump foundation for example.


    I'm not saying the masons don't do anything good at all and that their charitable work is purely for show, but i do find the picture you paint of knights in shining white armour who only are in it for the good of the whole community a bit far fetched tbh. there must be a massive amount of self interest at play. and this, historically at least, is their general reputation amongst the community at large. after all, the vast majority people generally act in a selfish manner. why should masons be any different?

    more specifically, if charitable work was the main objective of the masons, then i think there would be many , far better ways to go about that.

    generally i think the masons do have a PR problem, most of which tbh i think is of their own doing. there is a massive amount of suspicion and distrust of them. so thanks for your open communication. all the best dave
    Cheers Dave, I agree that Freemasons have created a PR problem through their traditional 'never complain - never explain' ethos which allowed rumours to become facts.
    I saw this many years ago at work when one of our managers was dismissed for quite large scale corruption. Sitting at lunch I listened to a conversation being held stating that the manager was of course a Freemason on the fiddle with fellow Masons. After listening for a while I enquired which Lodge they were a member of - or at least in which town. It turns out that there was no proof that they were Freemasons (they weren't fortunately!) but it shows how easily rumour can become fact if left unchallenged.
    For me the #EnoughIsEnough campaign by Grand Lodge to specifically challenge rumours circulated as fact in the media is a huge step forwards.
    Now I'm off to don my shiny suit of armour and ride my trusty white steed to the office! Have a good one


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    Last edited by adg31; 12th July 2018 at 10:25.

  43. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Doesn’t matter whether you know the person. It’s somewhat akin to a mutual society.
    Family of the member is also covered. You help the family knowing if the situation was reversed yours would be.
    So why do some claims for alms by Freemasons and their families, as noted above, go unanswered when over half of the spending is on non Masonic charities?
    If it was a mutual society as suggested nothing would go to external causes if there was a single Freemason in need.
    Benefit is provided on the basis of need - something I believe is common to almost any charity.



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  44. #94
    It does make me laugh a little though when masons claim it isn't an old boys network or a leg-up club. There's no favouritism they say, OK maybe a bit of work goes to other lodge members but that's no different to giving work to someone at your golf club. Or we raise a lot of money for charity; OK a significant chunk of that money is reserved our own members when they need some help but that's still charity. Sorry, but that basically covers the main hallmarks of an old boys network and a leg-up club.

  45. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    even enough left to pay for private school fees as well!
    Again a misconception! Yes internal charities exist to help Masons but it is also 'means' tested before anyone can benefit. Fees are not dished out automatically to pay for childrens schooling wether it's private or University. If a Mason applies for any fees, he has to be pretty much destitute financially before he is granted any, and then it's only for short periods of time, let's say he's been made redundant, then finds work again. Applications for grants from Masonic Funds have to be assessed carefully and need to be checked against state benefits first before help may be offered.
    We had an applicant submitting a case for a stair lift but because he was considered financially capable of financing it himself he was refused a grant.
    Last edited by Rod; 12th July 2018 at 09:01.

  46. #96
    I don't know how it works in other Lodges but in ours the WM chooses one or more charities to support for the year that he's in the chair. Whilst they are encouraged to support some of the Masonic Charities there's nothing to stop him focusing solely on a non-Masonic one close to his heart. It has tended to be 50/50 Masonic / Non Masonic.

    Personally, I still give to charities outside of the Lodge but the Masonic element has encouraged me to give more, which can't be a bad thing. There's no compulsion though.

    That said, I've been rather absent in the last few years. I still belong to a Lodge but have resigned from Chapter as I was never going. There are a number of things about Masonry and my Lodge in particular that don't sit very well so I'm giving it a bit of a break for the time being.

  47. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by Groundrush View Post
    It does make me laugh a little though when masons claim it isn't an old boys network or a leg-up club. There's no favouritism they say, OK maybe a bit of work goes to other lodge members but that's no different to giving work to someone at your golf club. Or we raise a lot of money for charity; OK a significant chunk of that money is reserved our own members when they need some help but that's still charity. Sorry, but that basically covers the main hallmarks of an old boys network and a leg-up club.
    I'm sorry that you have gained that impression as I can't think of a single fellow Mason I've met in the past 22 years who has given someone a 'leg-up' on the basis of their being a Freemason.
    As to charity, if someone is in need they are in need; for me looking to help them is a reasonable mark of a civilised society. As someone else has pointed out all charitable awards for Freemasons and their families are all means tested so it is really a point of last resort for many rather than a jamboree doling out cash to Masonic all comers.


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  48. #98
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    My father in law was a Freemason for many years, yet there was absolutely no assistance given, emotionally, financially or otherwise, when he had a massive heart attack, which caused his business to fail and his wife/young daughters were left homeless. I am sure this varies between individual personalities within the different Lodges, but I was under the impression it was one of the fundamental underlying principles of the whole organisation.
    Quote Originally Posted by vulcangascompany View Post
    Interesting reading from the C4 fact check -

    The advert, by the United Grand Lodge of England, started by claiming they value service to the community, saying: “Last year we raised over £33 million for good causes.”
    FactCheck has found that nearly half of the money (£15.8m) was spent on charitable causes that support their own members. That leaves slightly over £17m given to non-masonic charitable causes.
    Almost all of the cash for masons was distributed via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).
    This includes paying private school fees for the children of masons, when life-changing circumstances prevent them from meeting the costs themselves. They also pay for “specialist tuition, and a host of extracurricular activities”.
    Interesting to see that private tuition fees for members are specifically mentioned, as both of my father-in-laws daughters (my wife and sister-in-law) had to leave their private schools due to the inability to pay the fees when his business failed.

  49. #99
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groundrush View Post
    It does make me laugh a little though when masons claim it isn't an old boys network or a leg-up club. There's no favouritism they say, OK maybe a bit of work goes to other lodge members but that's no different to giving work to someone at your golf club. Or we raise a lot of money for charity; OK a significant chunk of that money is reserved our own members when they need some help but that's still charity. Sorry, but that basically covers the main hallmarks of an old boys network and a leg-up club.
    Many years ago worked in a company where the M.D. made it known he was on the square. By his very nature he was greedy and always on the fiddle, a new car every year and a large bonus, whilst he told his staff there was no money for a pay rise for the staff, driving to Czechoslovakia instead of flying claiming a £1 a mile for the journey, taking his wife as a consultant on £1,000 per day, etc., etc. He had one of the lodge members, who was a builder, repair the factory roof. The bill was about £8,000, but he wanted some work done on his house, which was about £4,000. This got added to the roof bill, so the home work became free. A group of the mid-ranking employees got together, of which I was one, and threatened to go to the parent company with our notes of his misdeeds if he didn’t give all the staff a pay rise. It took a couple of months, but we got 3% our first rise in 3 years.

    Freemasons are a bit like council tenants, you only notice the bad ones.

  50. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    Again a misconception! Yes internal charities exist to help Masons but it is also 'means' tested before anyone can benefit. Fees are not dished out automatically to pay for childrens schooling wether it's private or University. If a Mason applies for any fees, he has to be pretty much destitute financially before he is granted any, and then it's only for short periods of time, let's say he's been made redundant, then finds work again. Applications for grants from Masonic Funds have to be assessed carefully and need to be checked against state benefits first before help may be offered.
    We had an applicant submitting a case for a stair lift but because he was considered financially capable of financing it himself he was refused a grant.
    Here is the fact check from Channel 4: www.channel4.com/news/factcheck/do-the-freemasons-claims-stack-up

    Can you confirm then that Channel 4 claims re: FM paying for private healthcare and private education from charity funds are inaccurate / wrong? Thanks

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