Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Brother Asks: Secret Society



A Brother Asks: Are we members of a secret society?

Coach: You bet we are!
 
Brother: But how could this be?  We are not unknown.  Anyone can look our organization up in multiple ways and find us.  Our buildings are clearly marked and identifiable.  How could we be considered part of a secret society if our society, our meeting places and our meeting times are known and able to be pointed out or found out readily?
 
Coach:  That's because most people have no clue what "secret society" actually means.  This includes many members of our organization!
 
Brother: But doesn't "Secret" mean "not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others"?
 
Coach: Yes.  It does have that meaning.
 
Brother: Then how can we be a part of something that most anyone can find out if they don't know?  Would you please explain further.

Coach: Sure. Most all of the confusion stems from "semantic drift" and context usage. 
 
Brother: Semantic Drift?
 
Coach: Yes.  Words change meaning over time and within the context of how they are used. 
 
Brother: Context?

Coach: Yes.  Many words change their meaning depending upon how it is .  I can secret something away to keep it a secret.  The word changes meaning depending upon how it is used.  It also changes meaning when it is used as a noun, a verb or an adjective.
 
Brother: Okay.  So, the word "secret" has changed its meaning and can change meaning depending upon use.  The most common usage of the word is along the lines of what I shared, "not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others". However, within the context of being an adjective describing a society, it has an utterly different meaning. Right?
 
Coach: Yes.  The word didn't always have the common meaning used today.  It used to mean "separate; distinct"[1]. These days, its meaning has drifted and the original use has become obsolete and unknown. Its meaning has drifted so far from the original use that most of society has no idea what it actually means.
 
Brother: Yes.  I can see this occurring every time the term is "secret society" is brought up, even within the fraternity.   You would not believe the arguments that I been witness to. 
 
Coach: I would.  I've seen them as well.  The fact of the matter is, we "set ourselves apart" from the un-separated masses the moment we step through that inner door, enter the temple and remove ourselves from the profane world.
 
Brother: Okay.  I get it.  Although the existence of our organization is not unknown, as in, not a secret, by belonging to it, and setting ourselves apart by being members, we are members of a society that sets itself apart thus being a secret society.
 
Coach: Yes, you do get it.  Kudos!
 
Brother: Thanks!

Coach: Furthermore, if you want to call me "secretive", I accept this as a compliment, even though it is implied by the un-separated masses to be a dark stain upon my person due to their ignorance of the term. 
 
Brother: And those who reside within the fraternity who don't get it?
 
Coach: All we can do is provide them further Light and hope that they come to understand it also.
 
Brother: I agree.
 
Coach: Joining this secret society is opting to be set apart for all the right reasons.  Membership is a badge of honor, one that I wear with pride.

Brother: I agree with this as well!  But what do we say to those Brothers who insist that we are not a secret society; we are a society with secrets?

Coach: We tell them that we are a well-known secret society with secrets and we make no effort to hide these facts.  It may cause them to pause and reflect.  They may actually laugh at the implied irony they assume is present.  They might even reject it saying that the statement contradicts itself. 

Brother: I don't think they'll understand it though.

Coach: Maybe not. But they'll likely never understand it until they are faced with the opportunity to think differently about it.  The point is to get them thinking and talking about it. 

Brother: Agreed!  What about those people outside the fraternity who call us a secret society?

Coach: Give them a chance to get educated?

Brother: How do we do that?

Coach: Start by saying exactly what you said to me early on.

Brother: What 's that?

Coach: How can the fraternity be a secret society when you and so many others know about it?

Brother: Ah!  Give them an opportunity to think about what they are saying?

Coach: Yep.  And if they take that opportunity, they might likely learn a thing or two.

F&S,

Brother Coach John S. Nagy

---------------------
[1]  (obsolete) Separate; distinct. [origin] late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin secretus (adjective) ‘separate, set apart,’ from the verb secernere, from se- ‘apart’ + cernere ‘sift.’

 
 
 

A Brother Asks: Sacrilegious Brothers





A Brother Asks: Coach, what do we make of the sacrilegious brothers who reject the fact that Freemasonry has always been intertwined with Christianity and that many brothers believe that the symbolic lodge is supposed to have tolerance for their religious beliefs when in fact they are to have tolerance for hers- Christianity?

Coach: We should make nothing of it.  Yours is not a view that is commonly held by many members and stating it as fact doesn’t help to bring harmony among Brothers and Fellows.  Opinions shared such as yours will likely cause more division than unity.  It is not conducive to the fellowship many seek.

Brother: It's no secret that Freemasonry has been mostly tied to countries in which Christianity is the religion of the land and that the charges hold that we are to be members of the religion of our country, …

Coach: Those charges were Stonecraft charges.  They were not universally in force when Grand Lodge Freemasonry was first established circa 1717 CE (see: Bro. Anderson's disclaimer about "ancient times").  They were based upon prior era Stonecraft documents, not upon Freemasonry documents created during and after the start of the Grand Lodge era.  Brother Anderson referred to these charges in his Constitutions.  However, he did so only to pave the way for a non-religious fellowship, one that was more suited to the ends of the organization and not to the ends of specific religious members.  It is one of many reasons why religion is not to be discussed within open lodge.  It is not what the fellowship is about and for good reasons...  the USA, and many other countries for that matter, is not a Christian country. 

Brother: …but what do you make of the fact that modern Masons have destroyed the significance of the Holy Bible as the Volume of Sacred Law in order to fit their logic of "universality?"

Coach: You are stating your opinion as fact and doing so in a clearly divisive manner.   Modern members of the Freemasonic fraternity accept other members based upon their belief in a Supreme Being and not how they choose to view that Supreme Being.  The sacred text of each member is only significant to that member; as it should be. None of this destroys anything other than the ability of zealots to push their own personal religious agendas upon other members.

Brother:  If I live in Idaho and Christianity is NOT my religion but the Holy Bible is the VSL in my lodge in Idaho, what does that say about me if the Bible is not binding on my conscious?

Coach: Using your proposed “ifs”, I give you the following… The book you took your obligation upon should be the book that best exemplifies what is etched in your heart.  The book that is upon the Altar should be that book when used for that purpose.  Unfortunately, the Volume of Sacred Law upon the Altar does indeed vary from one jurisdiction to another.  Should the book upon the altar not be your Volume of Sacred Law when your obligation is taken, then the default defense for taking your obligation upon a different book is that the book symbolically represents, as a suitable substitute due to the jurisdiction’s conditions, the book that is etched within your heart.  We could painstakingly quibble the nuances of this ad nauseam; however nothing shared will change the validity and utility of what was just shared.  It's the reality and it is this way for good reasons as well.

Brother: In my opinion, it means that my obligation is not binding and thus void.

Coach: I’m glad that you are sharing this as your opinion. It is a typical one brought about by an either-or, all-or-nothing, black-or-white mental process.  Freemasonry invites men to think outside this narrow box.  That being said, ritual is a “symbolic” lodge experience.  The Volume of Sacred Law is a symbolic prop that you place your hand upon during the Obligation.  In turn, when you want authenticity, it should be symbolic for what is etched within your heart.  When you can get to use the real thing to take your obligation upon, it only adds to the authenticity of your experience!  However, when you can’t have in place the actual artifact you would like to have, you must find or accept a suitable substitute that'll serve this purpose instead.  It doesn’t invalidate anything, unless you truly want it as an excuse to invalidate something. That will always be your choice; however, invalidation is not required and it is certainly not desired by the majority.

Brother: If I subscribe to no religion, as many brothers today, then ultimately there is no book for me to take my oath upon.

Coach: Within the context of your "if", you can take a lot of things to an extreme in analyzing Obligation scenarios.  However, your all-or-nothing conclusion is not supported by any strong realistic arguments.  The entirety of ritual is allegorical and when taken literally, and not symbolically, tends to ruin the experience and its intent.  A non-religious spiritual person already understands the Volume of Sacred Law to be symbolic for what is already etched within the heart of the man taking the obligation.  Books in these scenarios are only outward representations of what is already written within. 

Brother: If every lodge in America uses the Bible as their primary Volume of Sacred Law, what does that say about modern American Freemasonry and its members?

Coach: Once again, within the context of your "if", it says that the symbolic lodge experience is still vibrantly valid, that it is not taken literally by the majority of its members and that zealots have not yet ruined this experience for the majority.  I think that says a lot about the special nature of our institution, its resilience and the men who belong to and run it.

Brother: My cognition is that we're doing it wrong and allowing some to join who really don't belong and it is these sacrilegious brothers who have tarnished the proper order and interpretation of the symbolic lodge, just as in the higher degrees of the AASR where Jesus Christ was revered as the Grand Master of Masons before these sacrilegious men infiltrated Freemasonry and removed all connotations and references to Christ.

Coach:  It appears you are quite zealous in your stance and equally zealous in your views.  You have the right to state your opinion in this matter.  However, I believe you’ll not find much support for your staunch opinions and views by the majority of men who do not and will not buy into either of them, and for good reasons too.  The premises, arguments and conclusion you have put forth are not based upon reality.  They are based upon conjecture, false conclusions and wishful thinking and not many care to hang their hats upon things that will not hold them in a secure way.  You might do well to keep your passions within due bounds on this for they are bound to cause undue friction when shared with those whom you disagree.

F&S,

Bro. John S Nagy
 
 
 

 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Brother Asks: Freemasonry's Design and Intent

 
 
A Brother Asks: What is our organization designed to do?
 
Coach: The Organization is Designed to Introduce men to what they can do to Improve themselves.  More specifically, what they must do to move themselves from Youth to Mastery.

Brother: Okay, so it introduces men to the work that improves them.  What occurs afterword?

Coach: Once Initiated into that System, it is up to each man to Step Up to Do the actual Work.

Brother: That's it?  There's nothing else?

Coach: Yes.  When a man truly Desires the Improvement he Professes, he Shall and Will do the Work.

Brother: What if he doesn't want to do the Work?

Coach:  When he only gives lip service to a Professed Ideal, you shall see no improvement Work pursued and, as a result of that lack of Work, you shall see no improvement in that man.  The man does not become better.

Brother: Why is it left up to each member to do this Work?

Coach:  The Work has been, is, and shall always be Self-directed and Self-initiated. It is internally driven and must be for mastery to be achieved.

Brother: That makes sense.   If you profess to be a man who desires betterment, then you'll not have to be told twice what needs to be done to get it.  You'll not have to be continually prodded to get to Work.  You'll get to work and do what all men should do to mature and cultivate mastery.  However, when you're not a man who is true to his word, you'll show the lack of integrity such men reveal by their very appearance.  That look shall betray them every time.

Coach: Exactly!  The Organization is only there to assist in pointing out the need for that improvement effort.  Additionally, there are only a few men within it who have done the Work to some degree.  Those who have done the Work shall never nag those who haven't.

Brother: Why not?

Coach: It's the antithesis of what needs to occur for men to mature.  Part of being a man is being proactive in matters of betterment.


Brother: I can see that.

Coach: There is a downside.  Not all men within the organinzation can provide the assistance needed to move males from Youth to Mastery, especially to those individuals who make every effort to go far beyond the accepted and well-entrenched norms of men who never seek this end.

Brother: I agree.  It's clear to me that the organization as a whole does not support such activities.  Additionally, there are very few within the organization who seek anything other than titles in their participations. 

Coach:  Yes.  Fortunately, when a man wants more, he shall find ways of Obtaining it.  He shall invest heavily in accomplishing his passion despite the lack of support he shall encounter at almost every turn.

Brother: Agreed!

Coach: However, when a man doesn't want more, he shall get that too.

Brother: Yes.  I've seen this as well.

Coach: The Work shall always be there for those who want its Benefits.

Brother: What can I do to improve?

Coach: You've been shown.  Study ritual, seek the clues within it that point toward what must be cultivated within you to achieve Mastery, create a plan to do this Work, and stuck to it regardless of what life throws at you.

Brother: That's very doable!  Thanks Coach!

Coach: You're most welcome!  Now... get to it!

F&S,

Brother John S Nagy




Monday, April 2, 2018

A Brother Asks: Ritual's Points



A Brother Asks: What's the point of Freemasonic ritual?

Coach: The point of Ritual in general is to introduce men to thinking differently about how they think normally. The point of Freemasonic ritual is to let men know they can think extraordinarily!

Brother: What's the point of using archaic words when more modern day words would be easily understood?

Coach:  The point of Ritual's use of archaic language is to jar those who can be jarred into thinking about looking into the meaning of words as they change with time and context. Sure, ritual could use more easily understood words, but such easy engagements do not invite men to exercise extraordinary use of their mental abilities.  Men's brains transform to the better with beneficial use.  They transform in extraordinary ways when the extraordinary is put before them to ascertain and perpend in depth. Add to this the fact that philosophical and theological terms in general were originally conveyed within context and these terms change their meaning when interpreted out of context.  Men who are challenged to recognize, understand and apply this information are more apt to cultivate their minds in extraordinary ways.  This especially applies to preparing them well for their spiritual and philosophical pursuits.

Brother: Wait! These terms change when interpreted out of context?

Coach: Yes.  The point of Ritual is to let men know that the meaning behind the words of their faith are no less transitory in meaning, especially when interpreted out of context.  In other words, if you are not aware of the meaning of specific terms within the context and culture in which they were originally used, you are not likely to interpret these words properly.  Interpreting these terms out of context, you are highly likely to come to a misunderstanding of what was originally conveyed and conclude things that were never intended.

Brother: So, ritual is like a prompt to get men to take actions along these lines?

Coach: Yes, if the man is so able. Ritual is a simple nudge provided to each of these capable men.  The presentation of archaic words within Ritual increases the possibility of having each man realize that the words of their faith are no less archaic.  Each term needs further thought, especially within context. 

Brother: What about those who do not heed the call to explore, comprehend and go further in depth?

Coach: Ritual weeds out those who superficial say through their actions, "I'll apply no in depth thought toward what is put before me".  There are quite a few members who fit this category.  You can tell who they are by how they speak about ritual.  Their very looks betray them.

Brother: Okay that explains it.

Coach: Explains what?

Brother: Why I encounter so many of these members who just memorize and regurgitate ritual but who have little to no in depth understanding of what they share.

Coach: Ritual points are made and, when they are, opportunities to benefit by them are presented to those who shall think deeply about these points. Those who remain superficial about these points will either unknowingly preserve this opportunity for others coming through or leave never knowing of what opportunities they missed.

Here's are questions for you to consider:  What ritual terms have you discovered to have meanings other than what you first assigned to them?  What difference did knowing these actual meanings make for you?

F&S,

Bro. John S Nagy




Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A Brother Asks: Quantity or Quality?



A Brother Asks: Coach, should we be more interested in quantity or quality?

Coach: Good question!  Let's first put something out on the table that needs to be understood in light of the nature of organizations.  There's a serious survival versus thriving game that has to be both understood and played out by every lodge.  That game is first focused upon making sure there are enough bodies in the Lodge organization to accomplish all the tasks necessary to keep the doors open. 

In that vein, there is a specific base line number of members that has to be available for this to occur.  Once that base line is met though, if the lodge doesn't focus upon improving quality, not just numbers, then they will continually be focusing upon quantity just to survive.  Far too many lodges are caught upon in the survival aspect of lodge management to clear the base line numbers necessary to even start focusing on quality.  Some never get past it.  Some do but continue to focus on numbers and never bring quality into their focus.

Brother: I had not thought of it this way?

Coach: Many members don't.  They came up through survival mode lodges and never experienced lodges that are in thriving mode.

Brother: I see that happening all too often.

Coach: Exactly! That being said, I'm never impressed by the quantity of men who show up. I am always impressed by the quality of the men showing up. Their quality tells me what kind of lodge experience that can be expected.  I believe all good men are impressed in this way.  When a lodge is thriving, it also tells me the right men are attracted to what is offered.

Brother: So, what's the problem?

Coach: It's a cascade of problems.  The first thing that gets in the way is our lodges being dominated by men who selectively ignore the very things that bring about quality men.  That leads us to the central problem:  Very few members are actually doing the Work that ritual directs them to do in improve themselves.  Ignoring the Work and not doing the Work are innovations to the Craft.  These collective undesirable innovations rule lodge activities in covert ways that undermine the very ideas that founded this society - making good men better. 

Brother: Innovations?

Coach: Yes.  Innovations.  The support staff is going through the motions but they are not practicing what they preach and they are not supporting what needs to be done to improve our members.  These are innovations and contrary to the very essence of our Craft's "being true to one's word". 


Brother: So, they're not walking the talk? They are not abiding by their obligations.

Coach: Exactly!  But let's get into that a little...  which obligations?

Brother: The ones that focuses upon not wronging, cheating or defrauding.

Coach: So how is ignoring the Work that ritual directs us to do and not supporting doing this Work wronging, cheating and defrauding?

Brother: When members don't do the Work that ritual directs them to do, they don't get the benefits that such Work provides.  They don't improve.  The don't get better.  They are wronged, cheated and defrauded out of the value they would have received had they done the Work.  What's more, when they are in charge, they progress other members who likewise don't follow suit in doing the Work ritual directs them to do and are likewise wronged, cheated and defrauded as a result. 

Coach: Yes.  We have countless generations of members who have no clue that being Masterful and being a titled Master are two entirely different things.  Each has been wronged, cheated and defrauded and, when they get involved in progressing candidates, they support the same for their Brothers.

Brother: What do we do about it?

Coach: To attract the kind of men the Fraternity needs to transform good men to better men, our lodges must show signs of Masonic Life, not just Freemasonic Activities designed to keep the doors open.  Brothers must demonstrate Masonry in our everyday living and be an example of what transformation is possible.
 
These quality men in turn shall Attract the Attention and Support of Good quality men and bring the fraternity from just surviving to thriving.

Here are questions for you to perpend:  Are you a member of a lodge that's in constant survival mode, or is it thriving and for all the right reasons?  How do you tell the difference?
 

F&S,

Brother John S Nagy


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

A Brother Asks: Losing EAs



A Brother Asks: What do you feel contributes the most to a new candidate not continuing his Masonic journey after receiving his EA?


Coach:  Simply put, the most contributing factor is "disenchantment". 

Brother: What contributes to this disenchantment? 

Coach: Several things. Let's put aside the obvious balls being dropped by the Lodge itself* and discuss the typical things that candidates should not ever be exposed to. 


Brother: Okay.  Let's get into it.

Coach: Sure. Candidates become disenchanted and quickly lose interest when...
  1. ...what is offered is not what they originally wanted or joined for. 
  2. ...they expected totally different activities involving personal growth and not just memorizing things that are not understood, explained or well-justified by those doing the training.
  3. ...the social interactions, offerings and opportunities are not what they want to engage in.
  4. ...they are disinterested in or turned off by who is involved.
  5. ...they were needlessly embarrassed by the immaturity of too many schoolboy antics put forth under the guise of "fraternity" and "brotherhood".
  6. ...training and indoctrination is continually offered masquerading as education, mentoring and/or coaching.
  7. ...their other interests compel them to discontinue.
  8. ...abrasive personalities and biasing that reflects intolerance are ever present.
  9. ...too much organizational support stuff and no true personal development is the lodge's focus.
  10. ...they realize all too soon that those running the machine don't know that they are running a machine or that they are not truly initiating anyone.
Unless something else is keeping the interest of these disenchanted candidates, they soon pull the plug and vote with their feet.

Brother: How do you change any of this? 

Coach: Great question!  Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Before they petition, find out what they want from the organization and what they want to join for. 
  2. Make sure those members who are doing the memorization training understand it, can explain and justify it well, and can do so in such a way that it has absolute relevance to the personal and professional growth of the candidate.
  3. Before they petition, make sure that the lodge social interactions, offerings and opportunities are what they want to engage in.
  4. Before they petition, make sure they are interested in and not turned off by who is involved within the lodge.
  5. Make sure they were not needlessly embarrassed by any schoolboy antics put forth under the guise of "fraternity" and "brotherhood".
  6. Make sure training and indoctrination is not masquerading as education, mentoring and/or coaching.
  7. Before they petition, make sure they have time to allocate toward lodge activities they would be interested in.
  8. Make sure any abrasive personalities and biasing that reflects intolerance are eliminated from the lodge before they even approach the lodge to petition.
  9. Make sure they don't get pulled into too many organizational support activities and are provided support for the personal development activities pointed toward by ritual.
  10. Make sure the lodge is not so busy running the machine that they forget they have a paying customer who deserves to be treated as an authentic initiate and apprentice to the Craft.
Each and every one of these items contributes towards Candidates getting their needs met and each supports them receiving what initiates should be receiving from an organization that professes to make good men better.

F&S,

Bro. John S Nagy
--------------------------------
*and this does occur when the lodge either does not have a process in place to keep candidates fully engaged in their progression or the individuals in charge do not follow through on what they should be following through on should there actually be a process to follow.



Saturday, March 24, 2018

A Brother Asks: How to "Manage" a Scared Wife?



A Brother Asks*:  Coach, I come from a long line of Freemasons. I wish to take my Masonic career further and believe that my wife needs to be on board with it. Unfortunately, my now wife has withdrawn her support of my furthering my Craft involvement, due to some conspiracy web site's claims that the Craft is a "marriage wrecking ball".  Coach!  Conspiracy theories have got the better of her and her curiosity has driven her to the darkest corners of the internet, and lack of Craft support is the end result. What can I do about it?

Coach:  Have you tried talking with her about the nonsense and rubbish on the web designed to deliberately create fear?

Brother: Yes.  I've read this material and tried to talk her through it, but alas, she's under the impression that the Craft is a sinister organization that's hiding all sorts of dark secrets and practices. What's worse, despite my best efforts she won't allow me to show her the truth of the matter. She's taken a hard line position.  She refuses to attend any functions.  She refuses to speak with other masons. She's also convinced it changes people for the worse. She pointed out that one member who was raised around the same time I was had a nervous breakdown.  I tried to tell her that this was from the constant finger pointing that goes on in every conspiracy theory circle, but that only made things worse.  "It's always the masons to blame!" she said! It's got her worried sick and me backed into a corner.
 
Coach: Unfortunately, this does happen and it usually occurs when a person is fear based, misinformed and desires to enjoy the benefits brought about by all those individuals who will step in line to rescue and support that person's need to be fearful.  In other words, fear is used by individuals who want to control others who desire to fix fears that cannot be fixed by any legitimate outside source, including the people trying to help!  It's an inside out job!  It's an insane strategy though and it is employed very effectively upon unsuspecting and na├»ve individuals to control them and pull them into games that support further control.

Brother: If I have to choose between her and the craft of course she'll win.

Coach: Good!  As it should be.

Brother: Clearly I can't give up on my wife but I'd hate to have to turn my back on my family legacy. 

Coach: Well understood too!

Brother: She's said she's ok with me staying in the blue lodge but said it would break her heart if I went further. I wish to follow my father and his before him but I risk breaking her heart and I can't do that.   Coach!  I'm clutching at straws here but I was wondering if anyone you know has had a similar experience? If so how did you manage it? 

Coach:  (DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed counselor or a mental health professional!  Keep this in mind as you read further.) First off, you are not alone in your struggle.  You're involved in a game that played in many relationships. 

Brother: It is?

Coach: Yes. It is.  That being said, you may not want to read this. Be prepared for major bluntness... and brace yourself:

 
There are bigger problems here than the organization that you are thinking of moving up within and the troubles you face are not related to your organizational involvements.
 
How do you manage this?

Short Version: Just Stop Trying To! You can't and won't "fix" your wife. The more you try, the less that you'll have a healthy marriage. 

Long Version: You're making her problems your problems; Don't do this!  She has you in fear as a result because you believe your further involvement in Freemasonry threatens your relationship and marriage; It Doesn't! She is threatening your relationship, but she is engaged in a bait and switch with you and wants you to believe that Freemasonry is the problem; It Isn't!

Consider the following "possibilities":
  1. She is scared because she has chosen to be scared; nothing you do can change that so stop trying to fix her. 
    •  Be aware that she may be unknowingly wanting you to play the fix it game and use your disinterest to get angry with you if you don't play along.
  2. She has got a bigger problem and it's not fear; it's a control issue. 
    •  Be aware that she may be oblivious to this or deny it because it undermines her game.
  3. She has power over you by expressing this fear, knows it and it is being used to manipulate you and your relationship. 
    •  Be aware that she may not understand why she is doing all this but this does not make it any less real or controlling.
  4. She is also telling you in a very subversive and underhanded way that she DOES NOT TRUST YOU OR YOUR JUDGEMENT. If she did, she would not have this insanity polluting your relationship. 
    •  Be aware that this is foundationally the biggest issue of all, that she may have no clue that she is sending you this message of mistrust and that when confronted she will likely deny or try to minimize it.
  5. She is lying to you (and likely to herself) about her being "okay with [you] staying...". 
    • Don't buy into it, but be aware she may be incapable of seeing the truth due to her upbringing and surrounding dysfunctional support system.
You would do well to explore The Drama Triangle should you want to not get pulled into it ad nausea!
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle
  2. http://www.johngouletmft.com/Breaking_The_Drama_Triangle_Newest.pdf
BTW - The brother who snapped and had a nervous breakdown: That was going to occur whether he joined Freemasonry (or any other organization), or not. He was a volatile bomb with a hair trigger ready for the right conditions to go off. All the signs were there and it is a shame he made it through the West Gate. Those who guarded it did not know what they were doing.

You have some serious things to consider here, and they are not related to Freemasonry.  Your organizational involvement is merely a focal point.  I'm glad that you chose her over the Craft.  You have you priorities straight.  You also have a tremendous challenge ahead of you for the issues here are not related to Craft involvements at all. They are related to deep seated trust and control issues that would have likely showed up regardless of what organization you belonged to.

I wish you and your wife well!

F&S,

Coach John S Nagy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(*This conversation represents a composite of many chats between myself and Brothers and clients alike.)
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Brother's Trust is Paramount!


 
FILED UNDER: How to Erode a Brother's Trust
 
I just received four more annoying Face Book private messages just today.  They were heart tugging private messenger texts.  They were shared by "Brothers" encouraging me to pass them along.  It was obvious that they were fabricated to be passed along by the unsuspecting. 
With a little effort I discovered that not one of them was fact checked and they were all patently FALSE.
Yes.  You heard me.  Brothers did this.

Here is a stern and blatant WARNING that all Brothers should heed!  When you want anyone as your trusting Brother to continue to trust you, don't encourage them to forward or share anything that you have sent to them that you have not personally fact checked yourself.  Do this and they shall not put any faith in future sharings from you if you have been found to be a sharer of false information. Your further sharings will not to be trusted into the future or taken seriously.
Furthermore, you will eventually be blocked; especially when you show all outward signs that you don't appreciated hearing that:
  • your lack of due diligence erodes their trust
  • your bad attitude toward their pointing this out annoys you
  • your words show disrespect toward their pointing out your irresponsible behavior
  • your insistence that you didn't do any harm
  • your not offering a deserved apology for not doing your job as a Brother and making them do it for you
Here’s the truth:
  1. When you pass along things that are hoaxes, you propagate lies and you waste time and erode trust.
  2. When you don't push back and tell your Brothers in what they are involved, you contribute to the lie and waste of time.
  3. When you don't want to get blocked, on face book and in life, do your DUE DILIGENCE BEFORE you pass something along to assure that is NOT a hoax. 
  4. When you want a Brother's trust back, clean up your mess!  Own up to what you did , notify everyone you've mislead and push back upon those who mislead you and pushed such nonsense your way. 
  5. When you take your sharing Brothers to task in doing the same you help curtail mistrust.  
The only way this irresponsible behavior is going to be reduced is when Brothers push back upon those who are irresponsibly wearing their titles.
 Here are a few things to think about, with Masonic allusions in tow:
  1. When you word cannot be trusted, what good is your tongue?
  2. When your heart is misplaced, who has removed it from your chest?
  3. When you're torn between owning up to what you did and running from your responsibilities, who has severed you in twain?
F&S,
 
Coach John S. Nagy



 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Brother Asks: Buying into the Fantasy



A Brother Asks: How do you quickly determine when another Brother has drunk the Kool-Aid and bought into the fantasy.
 
Coach: You'll know, when he acts like and states that he really believes Freemasonry is a continuation of Stonecraft in a speculative form and sells it as such rather than understanding and enjoying it as the "role-playing theatrical society with a moral purpose" that it is. 

Very few Brothers realize that the lexicon, words, symbols, and lore used within the society have only been borrowed from Stonecraft and integrated into our organization's writings and rituals to add an authentic feel to its plays.  They're not historic and neither is the lore. 
 
Brother: Wait?!  Freemasonry isn't a continuation of Stonecraft in a speculative form?
 
Coach:  Perhaps you and I need to take a moment, step back and have you explain in more detail exactly what you meant by drinking the Kool-Aid and buying into the fantasy. 
 
Brother: Just pulling your leg Coach.  That's exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks!

Coach: LOL!  You had me going there.
 
Brother: It's about time.
 
F&S,
 
Coach John S Nagy