To easily understand everything about Freemasonry
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- At last a book which gives clear answers to all your questions on Freemasonry.
- 292 pages of useful Questions and Answers, to help you prepare a well-structured application.
- List of Masonic Obediences to contact.
- Sayings and Don'ts. MUST READ.
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What Does The Entrance Procedure Entail?
In this chapter, we will try to give you a maximum amount of information, without unveiling the surprises that await you and constitute the unforgettable charm of the ceremony of integration in a Lodge. It is useful to know that Freemasonry is not one big unified Whole. The rites, traditions, and rules differ according to your future Lodge and the Obedience it belongs to. This is why the version we reveal does not constitute a universal truth. It can happen that from one Lodge to another, within the same Obedience, different rules are adopted.
The first thing to know is that not everyone applies for entry to a Lodge through the same channel. Some will be co-opted by a friend, colleague or neighbour, while others will send a letter to the headquarters of the Obedience and wait for an answer. The easiest method is, of course, sponsorship by a Sister of Brother of the Lodge. In this case, the Worshipful Master of the Lodge is directly informed of your existence and the criterion of confidence is automatically fulfilled. However, there are no hard and fast rules that apply. We have seen candidates write directly to the internet site of an Obedience and be admitted to a Lodge in a relatively short time, whereas others, who apply through a member of the Lodge, can wait a very long time.
Once this first step of introduction is over, you should normally meet the Worshipful Master of the Lodge in person. This is an informal meeting, where he or she will ask you all sorts of questions, in order to check that your candidature is serious. The next stage is a vote by the Lodge on the continuation of your candidature. All the Master Masons of the Lodge will vote on this. In fact, Freemasonry is very democratic in that everything concerning an Initiation is voted on by the individual Lodges, the power to decide who is initiated belongs to each Lodge and not to the Grand Master of an Obedience. Freemasonry is not a pyramid. The exercise of power is mainly horizontal.
Once your application has received a positive vote, the Initiation process gets under way.
One of the most common procedures is as follows. Three Master Masons of the Lodge are chosen by the Worshipful Master to meet with you individually, without knowing who the two others are. A first interviewer is assigned the task of asking you about your personal and family life, and assessing your personality. The second interviewer will concentrate more on your opinions concerning political and social matters at home and abroad. And finally, the third interviewer will ask you about your spiritual practice, your opinions concerning morality and philosophical subjects. Each interviewer then writes a report which will be read in the Lodge and is followed by a second vote. If this vote is positive, you will be asked to attend a future meeting of the Lodge for a final interview.
Alternatively, instead of three different individual interviews, you will meet with a small group of Master Masons, who will cover the same subjects and then write a collective report.
The third stage is common to most of the Rites, but not all of them. It is when the candidate is blindfolded and solemnly questioned during a meeting in a Masonic Lodge. The candidate is seated in the middle of the Lodge and the Sisters and Brothers ask questions on different subjects, often in relation to the reports of the three members of the Lodge you have already met. You will be asked to answer as honestly as you can. After this final test, the Master Masons vote once more on your Initiation. It is the moment of truth.
 In the case of the Grand Orient de France, for example, one-third make a spontaneous application and two-thirds are co-opted (Source: Alain Bauer, Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France from 2000 to 2003).
 If this stage is skipped, the Master Masons of the Lodge vote directly on the collective report.