Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Investigation Committee:

Investigation #1:

So I ended up getting this phone call from @@@, one of the guys on the investigation committee. He asked if I there was a time when the two of us could get together & officially go through the 'interview.' I suggested going to a little café near my apartment.

We met there in the early afternoon, (I work from home), and went through some official questions that @@@ had on his paperwork. It was quite easy; I'd been nervous about it, wondering if there was anything that might trip me up. In actuality, there was none. The questions ranged from "Do you believe in a Supreme Being," to "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" etc...

The one question that I thought was odd was the question asking about my bills.

Umm... Just the regular ones...

That was strange.

Eventually, I learned that the main reason they ask that is to make sure that you're not joining to be 'bailed out' by Freemasonry. One of the coolest things that the Masons do here in California is that they have the Masonic Homes for retired Master Masons and their widows.

They want to make sure that you are looking to join the craft because you want to, and you have something to contribute (personally, not necessarily financially), not someone who's looking to 'pull one over' on Freemasonry & get something for nothing.

After hearing that, it made complete sense.

The 'examiner' asked if I was married, and since I'm not, he didn't have to meet with my spouse. One of the biggest things that they take into account is how your spouse feels about you joining. If she has any questions, they could be answered, and if she still has misgivings, that would weigh heavily on whether or not you get admitted. If your wife doesn't want you in, then you basically don't get in.

We then spent the rest of our time together talking about what made him interested in the craft, and how in his native country he met some amazing people who were Masons, and when he came to the U.S., it was a foregone conclusion that he'd join.

[As an aside: After hearing about how some lodges are "lily-white," and that some areas in the U.S. make it uncomfortable for people of color to become Masons, I find it completely heartwarming that my lodge is so multi-cultured. Almost every minority is represented, and with each of my grandparents from a different country: (American Indian, Mexican, Australian, & Italian), this place just feels good.]

Eventually both of us had to go back to work, we said our goodbyes, and we went our separate ways.

Investigation #2:

I got another phone call later that week from ###, my 2nd investigator. We set up an appointment for him to come over to my apartment a couple of days later. He came over & we sat down & and went through the paperwork, rehashing the same questions that @@@ and I went through.

Bing, bam, boom - twenty minutes and he was done.

The cool thing about talking with ###, was the fact that we'd already talked at length at one of the dinners at the lodge, so he already knew who I was & had an impression of me aforehand.

He explained to me that he, and whoever else was on the investigation committee (He gave me strict instructions to NOT tell him who the others were...) would all compile their reports and would submit them at the next stated meeting.

At that stated meeting, the lodge would vote, and if I got a 100% approval, then I was in.

All that was left to do was to wait.

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