Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Investigation

Every person who petitions a lodge for membership is "investigated." How thorough the investigation is varies among the Masonic jurisdictions: some are rather lax; some more strict. I'd say my investigation fell somewhere in the middle. It involved a background check and three meetings or interviews with lodge officers. Two of these were in person and one was over the phone. The questions and discussions were general in nature but centered around why I desired to join and my belief in God.

Here is a list of the requirements taken from the Grand Lodge of South Carolina web site:

General Requirements

  1. Must believe in a Supreme Being.

  2. Must be male.

  3. Must be 18 years old or older.

  4. Must have resided in the state of South Carolina for 12 consecutive months.

  5. Must be able to read and write English.

  6. Must be recommended by two Masons.

Investigation and Balloting
  1. Must apply by petition at a regularly scheduled business meeting.

  2. Petition must be in the petitioner's handwriting.

  3. Petition must accompany the specified fee. Fees are set by individual lodges and approved by the Grand Master.

  4. The lodge will assign a committee of three to inquire into the petitioner's qualifications and make a report at the next scheduled business meeting.

  5. If the committee is favorable, a vote of the lodge members present at a business meeting is taken.

  6. If the vote is unanimous, the candidate is invited to take the first degree of three degrees.

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