I was recently asked a question by a Brother that I had no real good answer for. While we usually concentrate on how to get good men to join our fraternity the question on how to turn someone away rarely comes up.
My Brother has a certain someone who he has known for a long time, who constantly hounds him for information on the craft. Good news right? Well, this man, according to him, is far from the type of man who we would wish to call a brother and my Brother asked me how best to turn him away.
Recommending a man for our order is one of the highest honors that can befall a Freemason, but it also comes with great responsibility. With the future of Freemasonry still uncertain it is my opinion that we should be extremely careful of whom we bring among our numbers. It is hard enough sometime just to find good men who are also willing to take the chance on a Brotherhood veiled in mystery and history, but there will always be those out there who have no problem taking solemn vows just to find out what we are about. Men with no honor to keep their obligation and you know sometimes there is no real way of knowing this until way too late.
After getting the idea of what kind of man my Brother was talking about, I suggested he stress the moral basis of our order which might turn off an amoral person and if that did not work I suggested he just tell him that it is just a bunch of old men! I did not know what to say. I try to keep myself away from those type of people and if I must associate with one, and we all have to at one point or another, I keep it as shallow a relationship as possible.
What do you do with a man who wants to join Freemasonry but you think is not a good fit? Or even yet, what about a person who you think is alright but you just don’t like?
Tough questions when most of our lodges need more people, but I don't ever want some visitor to leave my lodge thinking of what I thought when I wrote Higher Standards or Lack Thereof.