A Brother Asks: Are Brothers Vulnerable to Exploitation by Other Brothers?
My Response: You bet they are!
That being said, my experience also tells me that Brothers who have done the “Work of the First Degree” are far less Vulnerable and far less likely to be Exploited.
My experience also tells me that far too many Freemasons are Vulnerable and are very likely Exploited because they do not do the Work.
The troubles faced by the entire Fraternity are of its own making and through self-sabotage. Very few Brothers have completed the Work to which the First Degree alludes. They advance prematurely because they have fulfilled bare-minimum requirements that make them better members, not better men; and we allow it!
That incompletion of Work and premature advancement sets them up to being Exploited; and our Fraternity as well. They have not developed within themselves what is required to lessen and even prevent Exploitation. What’s more, collectively, we do this to our own Brothers by allowing this Work to go undone.
But don't take my word on this. Assess your own experiences and ask yourself, "If I had done the Foundational Work myself, would I be better at dealing Effectively with opportunities that may exploit me to my detriment?"
Brother John S Nagy
 This is some, but not all, of the Foundational Work:
- Hearts (Emotions - Passions and Desires) Must be Subdued and Circumscribed
- Rubbish (V&S) Must be Summarily and Thoroughly Divested
- Priorities (Values-Beliefs-Morals-Ethics) Must be Set
- Standards and Boundaries Must be Established
- Time Must be Managed
- Responsibility Must be Accepted
- Accountability Must be Embraced
- Integrity Must be Sought and Kept
- Boaz (Manly Virtues) Must be Well-Established
- Unfailing Honest and Rigorous Self-Reflection Must occur Regularly
You can read more on this within the book, "Building Boaz", Volume of the Building Better Builders Series of Uncommon Masonic Education books and videos.