Should I join the Masons?

Are there any networking benefits to joining such an organization? I’m all for charity, don’t get me wrong, but do Masons refer or give other Masons preference when it comes to jobs, stock tips, investment opportunities, secrets of the Universe, etc?

Can anyone explain the Mason requirement about “being whole” (or words to that effect).
I have relatives that were in the Masons for several generations.An uncle of mine wanted to join but had maimed his hand in a threshing machine as a teenager,it appeared to have been re-attached backwards though he could grip well with it.
His uncle couldn’t get him in,but a cousin in another location pulled strings and did the deed.
I believe it increased his business contacts and had other advantages in that way.

huh, sounds like pretty much everything my college fraternity does, from secret rituals right on through charity work (though we don’t run burn hospitals, we support the North American Food Drive).

What about the Masons being able to change lead into gold? And the thing about animal transformations? And cocaine?

I didn’t get a hat in the Scottish Rite, around here you have to buy your own, but the Shriner fez more than makes up for it :slight_smile:

If you’re interested in becoming a better person and helping the less fortunate with a group of people who’ll welcome you as a brother, go for it.

If you’re interested in getting good deals at some local stores, not getting ticketed if pulled over, getting access to a new customer base, or getting hiring preference than don’t bother.

This is a thread I did last year, and reading WhyNot’s story as well as hearing from other people who have been helped by Shrine of Scottish Rite hospitals is a great feeling.

They don’t take atheists, right? You have to believe in God, even if it’s just a Deist sort of God?

There seems to be a lot of intermingling of Shriner and Mason comments here. Is there some official relationship between them? I thought they were competitors like Ford and GM.

The Shrine is an adjacent body of the Masons, just as are Scottish and York Rites - all Shriners are Masons but not all Masons are Shriners.

ok, now seriously. What is the common interest that gives the group some cohesion, other than the comradery. Charity was mentioned but is that it?

Beer?

Well, that and the global domination. (The Shriners are a special branch organized to make Masonic conspiracy theories appear ridiculous. Clever, ain’t they? :wink: )

It is a very ancient landmark, and so its origins are lost in the mists of time. It seems to have been a requirement to be able to fight, and so may point to origins in the Knights Templar (“Templar Theory”). Or not.

In any case, it is not so much enforced anymore, In truth, the last time I saw documents relating to such exclusions was after the American Civil War. (Hey, I was reading old Lodge records. I was bored.) At that time they were quite strict.

In any case, the answer is “We don’t remember.”

edited to ask:

Where do you live, Key Lime Guy?

Ah, so the Shriners are the CIA of the Masons, and are used for “plausible deniability”?

Do those little cars have flame guns, grenade launchers and other Bond stuff?

I wish. My local Shrine doesn’t have a ‘Motorized Patrol.’ We have a Keystone Cops troupe. Somethings are beneath my own sense of dignity. Little cars are cool. Fake billy clubs are not.

I know a number of people with kids with rare orthopedic problems who receive their medical care at various Shriners Hospitals. It’s a real godsend for a lot of people. If we hadn’t been able to take advantage of some wonderful doctors in the military medical system, that was going to be our next resource for my daughter’s exceedingly rare form of dwarfism (SMD). One of her doctors, in fact, was trained at a Shriner’s Hospital.

So I don’t know anything about participating in the organization, but the results of the hospital work, at least, definitely make a huge impact on a lot of peoples’ lives.

I was a Master Mason for about 10 years; my father is 32nd Degree and Past Master of the local lodge (#54, AF & AM). I found the bigotry and xenophobia to be intolerable. These are, after all, just men. They come with all the ignorances and prejudices they grew up with, and then they put on lambskin aprons (you’ll learn that lambskin looks, feels and smells a lot like naugahyde) and pretend that their prejudices make them special. All of the talk of fraternity and proscription and being on the square and level that goes on in the Lodge Room is quickly forgotten afterward when the latest racist and sexist jokes are exchanged over coffee and doughnuts. The real shame is that a lot of poor mooks who join the Masonic Lodge believe Hiram Abiff really existed because no one knows what an allegory is any more. I’m willing to bet that at least 60% of lodge members believe modern Freemasonry actually dates back to the building of King Solomon’s Temple.

The charity work Freemasonry is credited with can easily be done by any group of well-intentioned citizens. There’s nothing special about Shriners that makes them better-suited to support hospitals (except, perhaps, their money.) If you really want to join a group that does good works and does everything out in the open, I’d recommend Kiwanis, Optimists, Rotary or some other civic organization. You can easily spend between $500 and $1,000 a year on working for your community and the betterment of humankind – and they serve lunch, too.

The Threadwinner!

Paul in Saudi,thanks for your answer.

Bacon. Trust me.

M’ pleasure.