Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that has been in existence for centuries. Its members are bound together by a shared belief in a higher power and a commitment to moral and ethical values. While Freemasonry has a rich history and has made many positive contributions to society, there have been instances of conflict within its lodges, particularly in Southern California.
One of the main issues with Freemason lodges is ego clashes between members. As with any organization, there are bound to be differences in opinion and personality conflicts. However, in Freemasonry, these conflicts can become particularly intense due to the emphasis on hierarchy and the importance of rank within the organization.
In some cases, these conflicts can lead to outright fighting between fraternity members. This behavior is particularly concerning, as it goes against the very principles of brotherhood and unity that Freemasonry is meant to uphold. It can also create a negative image of the organization, making it less attractive to potential members and damaging its reputation in the wider community.
One potential cause of these conflicts is the perception that some members are more important or influential than others. Freemasonry has a complex system of ranks and titles, which can lead to a hierarchical culture that values status over unity. This can create a sense of competition between members, with some vying for higher positions and more recognition than others.
Another factor that may contribute to conflict within Freemason lodges is a lack of transparency and accountability. While secrecy is an important part of Freemasonry, it can also create an environment where certain members feel they are above reproach or immune to criticism. This can lead to abuses of power and a sense of entitlement among certain members, which can in turn lead to conflict with others who feel marginalized or unfairly treated.
Ultimately, the issues with Freemason lodges and fraternity members fighting in Southern California are a reminder that no organization is immune to conflict and that it is important for members to remain committed to the principles of brotherhood, unity, and respect for one another. By addressing the root causes of these conflicts and promoting a culture of openness, accountability, and mutual respect, Freemasonry can continue to thrive and make positive contributions to society. Like many other Fraternal, Faith and Community organizations, Freemasonry has been evolving over the years and is dwindling in numbers. When the Lodges themselves seem to be fading away due to new members not being retained, young minds in Freemasonry are managing to find one another, work together and continue the message and mission statement of Freemasonry itself. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned here.
Another major issue which seems to be causing issues for our Southern California Lodges is the abuse of finances, mis-handling of funds and mis-management of the "business" of the Lodge as a non profit due to the neglegence from current members who do not have the proper training or in some unfortunate cases seem to have intentional purpose for their own personal gain. In the end, these individuals often get caught and their actions bring a negative light to our institutions. Our Lodges really need to have stronger training programs and requirements/qualifications before certain individuals are placed in these positions of responsibility.
Do you have similar challenges/concerns happening in your local Lodges? Feel free to contact us and share your experience with us.
Fred Wolf is a Past Master, Officer's Coach and Past Secretary in Southern California and has contributed to numerous literary projects regarding our challenges in Blue Lodges today.