To a Non-Mason: You Must Seek Masonic Membership!


                         TO A NON-MASON:
                          YOU MUST SEEK
                             MASONIC
                           MEMBERSHIP!

     Ask and you shall receive!  Knock and the door will be 
opened unto you!  Seek and you shall find!  As a Past Grand 
Master of Masons in California, these comments of mine may be 
helpful.
      Many men live a lifetime and never know they must ask for 
admission to the world's oldest, most purposeful and greatest 
Fraternity.  They do not realize that they will not be invited.  
They must come in of their own free will and accord, without 
persuasion, for, that is the manner in which many millions of 
Masons in America have been accepted.
     True, some countries have interpreted the ritual in a more 
liberal fashion.  For example, we are reliably informed that the 
United Grand Lodge of England, Premier Grand Lodge of the World, 
has permitted as "proper" the practice of making an approach to 
carefully selected men whom those making the approach consider to 
be suitable candidates.  This, I think, is an outgrowth of the 
situation which prevailed in the Middle Ages when altered 
conditions of trade resulted in old guilds introducing honorary 
members.  The fundamental requirement, in any event, is that 
membership must be wholly voluntary, without persuasion, so that 
whether approached or voluntarily requested the application 
itself is of the candidate's own free will and accord.  

You may ask, therefore, is visible proof available of the 
claimed great antiquity of your Order?  Do Masons revere God?  
Why are Masons called builders?  Are Masons dedicated to freedom 
and are they champions of liberty?  Do they practice charity and 
benevolence and strive to promote human welfare?  Do Masons 
number among them many who are outstanding and famous in the 
fields of business, the professions, finance, the arts, music and 
high public and military service?

Our Masonic antiquity is demonstrated by a so-called Regius  Poem
written around the year 1390, when King Richard II reigned  in
England, a century before Columbus.  It was part of the King's 
Library that George II presented to the British Museum in 1757.  
Rediscovered by James O. Halliwell, a non-Mason, and rebound in 
its present form in 1838, it consists of 794 lines of rhymed 
English verse and claims there was an introduction of Masonry 
into England during the reign of Athelstan, who ascended the 
throne in A.D. 925.  It sets forth regulations for the Society, 
fifteen articles and fifteen points and rules of behavior at 
church, teaching duties to God and Church and Country, and 
inculcating brotherhood.  While the real roots of Masonry are 
lost in faraway mists, these items show that our recorded history 
goes back well over 600 years.  Further proof is furnished 
through English statutes as, for example, one of 1350 (25 Edward 
III, Cap. III) which regulated wages of a "Master...Mason at 4 
pence per day."  The Fabric Role of the 12th century Exeter 
Cathedral referred to "Freemasons."

The historical advance of science also treats of our 
operative ancient brethren who were architects and stonemasons of 
geometry.  It is apparent from this portrayal that they had a 
very real and personal identification with the Deity and that 
this fervent devotion provided energy to build cathedrals.  They 
embraced the teachings of Plato and understood and applied 
Pythagorean relationships.  Just as there is a beauty of harmony 
credited to mathematical relationships on which music is based, 
in precisely the same way these master geometricians treated 
architecture.  The architects and stonemasons became the 
personification of geometry, performing extraordinary feats with 
squares and compasses.  Geometrical proportion, not measurement, 
was the rule.  Their marks as stonemasons were derived from 
geometric constructions.  The mighty works they wrought, 
cathedrals with Gothic spires pointing toward the heavens, and 
especially their "association," were not without danger and 
opposition, bearing in mind the Inquisition established in 1229, 
the Saint Bartholomew's Eve Massacre of 1572, and the revocation 
of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.  These historical points remind 
us of the need for our cautions against cowans and eavesdroppers. 

Our operative Brethren of the Middle Ages thus were the  builders
of mighty cathedrals throughout the British Isles and 
continental Europe, many of which still stand.  These skilled 
craftsmen wrote in enduring stone impressive stories of 
achievement, frequently chiseled with symbolic markings.  With 
these architectural structures of these master builders there was 
a companion moral code.  These grew up together.  Out of this 
background modern Freemasonry was born.

Although "Lodges" had existed for centuries, four of the  "old"
Lodges met in London on St. John the Baptist's Day, June  24,
1717, and formed the first Grand Lodge of England, thereafter 
known as the Premier Grand Lodge of the world.  No longer 
operative as of old, the Masons carried on the traditions and 
used the tools of the craft as emblems to symbolize principles of 
conduct in a continued effort to build a better world.

The American colonial Masonic organizations stemmed from  this
Grand Lodge of England and were formed soon after 1717.  Its 
then Grand Master appointed Colonel Daniel Coxe as Provincial 
Grand Master of New York, New Jersy and Pennsylvania on June 5, 
1730, and Henry Price of Boston as Provincial Grand Master of New 
England in April 1733.

George Washington joined Fredericksburg, Virginia Lodge in  1752
and later was Master of Alexandria Lodge.  As Grand Master  Pro
Tem of the Grand Lodge of Maryland and while President of the 
United States, he laid the cornerstone of our Nation's Capitol on 
September 18, 1793.  Items from his Masonic life which we can see 
today include his Masonic apron, the square and compass he used 
as a surveyor, and the Masonic Bible on which he took his oath of 
office, administered by Chancellor and Grand Master of the Grand 
Lodge of New York, Robert R. Livingston.

Masons are dedicated to freedom and are champions of 
liberty.  This is as much a cardinal characteristic today as it 
was when colonial Masons were in the forefront of our fight for 
freedom and independence.  Even then, however, Masonic Lodges 
remained Sanctuaries where war passions were conciliated with 
brotherhood.  The background thus displayed makes clear that no 
tyrant nor dictator can exist in a country where Freemasonry 
prevails and hence the first act of a tyrant or dictator is to 
obliterate Freemasonry.  Masons, imbued with traditional concepts 
of freedom and liberty, wielded a vital influence and vigorously 
worked to put their ideals into practice.  Our distinguished 
Revolutionary War Brethren included, among others, these leaders" 
 Washington, LaFayette, Franklin, Hancock, Revere, John Paul 
Jones, Rufus King, James Otis, Baron von Steuben and Joseph 
Warren.

Masons practice charity and benevolence and strive to  promote
human welfare.  All over the world Masons care for their 
indigent Brethen, widows and orphans; maintain homes; support 
their mother countries in great wars; aid medical research, 
gerontolgy, blood banks, youth programs, military rehabilitation; 
contribute scholarships and practice character building.

Masons number among them today many outstanding and famous 
Brethren in the fields of business, finance, the arts, the 
professions, music and high public and military service.  They 
have included fourteen Presidents and eighteen Vice Presidents of 
the United States; a majority of the Justices of the United 
States Supreme Court, of the Governors of States, of the members 
of the Senate, and a large percentage of the Congressmen.  Five 
Chief Justices of the United States were Masons and two were 
Grand Masters.  The five were Oliver Ellsworth, John Marshall 
(also Grand Master of Masons in Virginia), William Howard Taft, 
Frederick M. Vinson and Earl Warren (also Grand Master of Masons 
in California.)

World-famous, active Masons have included Will Rogers, Simon 
Bolivar, James Boswell, Robert Burns, Edward the VII, Giuseppe 
Garibaldi, George the VI, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Rudyard 
Kipling, Franz Joseph Haydn, Lord Kitchener, Louis Dossuth, 
Giuseppe Mazzini, Wolfgang Mozart, Jose Rizal, Cecil J. Rhodes, 
Sir Walter Scott, Jean Sibelius, Voltaire, and many, many others. 
 Astronauts have included Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Leroy Gordon 
Cooper, Donn F. Eisele, Virgil I. Grissom, Edgar D. Mitchell, 
Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Thomas P. Stafford, Paul J. Weitz and 
James B. Irwin. 

Masons have had a great interest in maintaining free public 
schools.  It was our Brother Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, 
a constructive statesman of unusual ability, who was largely 
instrumental in establishing the foundation of our free public 
school system in America.  Masons believe as the twig is bent so 
is the tree inclined and that an educated citizenry is vital for 
enlightened living.  "Knowledge is power."

Most of the eminent Masons of modern times have been honor  men
of our Scottish Rite, a worldwide organization of the Masonic 
family.  The Northern and Southern Scottish Rite Jurisdictions in 
America confer the Fourth through the Thirty-third Degrees and 
are engaged in many good works including extensive research into 
the causes and cure of childhood aphasia, schizophrenia, 
contributions in the fields of medical research, endowments and 
scholarships, and patriotic, moral and spiritual programs.  
Allied organizations include the Knights Templar, the Royal Arch 
Masons, the Royal and Select Masters, the Masonic Service 
Association, the Masonic Relief Association of the United States, 
and the Shrine.

All in all, an inquiry will reveal an image of Masonry as  having
a grand design for the betterment, happiness and 
enlightenment of mankind.  And he who poses these questions and 
then petitions and is accepted for membership will be mighty 
proud and grateful for a dignified, inspiring and rewarding 
experience.  

The moment a candidate signs his petition, has been 
accepted, and enters a Lodge, he is immediately imbued with an 
easy, comfortable feeling in surroundings that are impressive and 
fraternal.  He will find that within a regular and recognized 
Lodge there will be no discussions of partisan politics or 
religious dogma, thereby assuring brotherly tranquillity.  He is 
given a warm welcome that conveys a feeling of being very much 
wanted as an active integral part of the group so that he looks 
forward to enjoyment of time-tested and intellectual progress.  
The successive steps bring new thrills and adventures in a place 
where he participates with pleasure in the ritual and procedures. 
 His days as an Initiate pass quickly toward new friendships, 
greetings and welcoming smiles of his Brethren in the Lodge room 
and at the banquet table.