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Livin' in hater's minds rent free - since 2006

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."-

In the past 13 years since the inception of this site, we've NEVER received as much e-mail (cumulatively) about one individual as we have about Mr. Brad Cofield- Ed King-Masonicinfo.com

It may seem that we are being harsh to this individual, but only because everything he stands for flies in the face of our sacred traditions.
-inactive Mason and rabid fanboy Bryan Caldwell

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Think, and stay safe

As is customary a candidates requesting membership into a Masonic lodge is (usually) subject to a Masonic investigation. This usually is done by the lodge "investigative committee." usually consisting of three interviews and when possible home visits by three separate Brothers of the lodge. They are to report their findings and based upon the information gather a candidates petition will either be rejected or accept and eligible for a vote by the lodge membership.

This is the way it usually goes. However, there have been an increasing amount of reports and observations of ways of doing this that just don't sit well with me. In fact I find them potentially dangerous.

First on this let me inform the readership that I have been in the human resources industry since 1994. Legal compliance is a major function of human resources so what I am about to type I am very familiar with.

There are lodges out there who are now requiring candidates to submit for formal background checks. This means that the candidate would have to be notified before petitioning and consent in to the background check in writing. They would also have to give over a copy of their state issued identification, a copy of a birth certificate as well as their social security identification number.

Now, I have a huge problem with this. First of all, there are stringent state and federal regulations in the handling of this type of sensitive personal information. The lodge doing this type of procedure would have to show the documentation showing that they are in compliance. In fact they would have to publicly post this, say on their website for an example.

If they are not doing this how are we to know who is keeping these records and who has access? to give over such information is to give someone everything they need to perpetrate identity theft. We know, that identity theft is a major problem throughout the world. One that can potentially ruin lives.

I am not accusing any Masonic lodge of doing such a thing but why take the risk? Everything that needs to be known as far as a persons relevance to Masonic membership is easily accessible via public record.

I would deeply question the motives of any lodge (Masonic or otherwise) who claims to need just personal information.

My advise, if they need to see a photocopy of your identification card this is understandable. Just make sure to black out the identification number. There is no excuse for them to need a copy of your birth certificate and never ever give anyone representing a lodge your social security number. For any reason! Run, don't walk away from such a situation.

When made to feel uncomfortable listen to your gut. If something seems fishy it's probably a good sign to walk away. Remember, no Masonic order, lodge , grand lodge or independent is the only game in town. Use rational common sense.

Think , and be safe.


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