Friday, November 09, 2012

International Order of Co-Masonry Recruiting

If you think we're the only ones attempting to recruit new members, catch this article about England's International Order of Co-Masonry in the Independent.

From Freemasons Launch Recruitment Drive For Young Women:


Nikki Roberts is someone a teacher might call a good “all-rounder”: smart, pretty, lots of friends. Aged 31, she is also a far cry from your typical Freemason. But that, if the Federation of the International Order of Co-Freemasonry has its way, is about to change.
Forget secretive circles of white-haired men locking fingers in strange handshakes, they say. A British branch is in the throes of a thoroughly modern recruitment drive. It is using Facebook and Twitter to sign up new members, particularly young women, to its society.
“A lot of people have misconceptions about what Masonry is,” Ms Roberts says. Not surprising, given that for centuries members of this traditionally male club have refused to divulge what goes on behind closed doors in meetings and ceremonies. “I can say that it [the Freemasons] is an association, a fellowship if you like, dictated by a system of morals, with lot of symbols and philosophy...” Roberts explains. She compares it to an “occult”: “You need to believe in a divine intelligence or supreme being.”
Since joining the Freemasons five years ago, Roberts says her life has been transformed. “I gave up a lucrative job in the City and now I work in health and social care, something more rewarding,” she says. While cohorts at her lodge (one of the only mixed gender orders in the world, the British Federation) range from party-planners to nurses – many of them female – there are other common elements among members, she says. “The kind of people it draws are interested in being good people; we have respect for laws, we like giving to charity... we live by certain morals.” It is a “life-long commitment”, she adds.
The biggest misconception, Roberts says, is that women are not suited to joining the club. “People choose the Masons in order to become more aware and to awaken areas of their mind to their true nature; women, being naturally nurturing and intuitive, are particularly responsive to that.” That, however, is a matter of opinion. Ask Ken Kirk, 86, a former policeman and a member of the strictly-male United Grand Lodge of England and the answer is clear: “Mixed gender orders? Absurd.”

9 comments:

Lane Raub said...

freemasonry us and always will be a fratenity of men...period. Lane Raub. capitol lodge#3 Omaha NE A.F A.M

proud pappa said...

A principal point of the fraternity is to be a place for men to gather with men. CoMasonry is not nore ever will be masonry. Any push to integrate gender is a push to kill one of the most beautiful points of the lodge.

MP said...

And people used to say it is and always will be a fraternity of white men, period.

Richard said...

"And people used to say it is and always will be a fraternity of white men, period."

To be fair, that should read "SOME people used to say..." And, to be fair, SOME people maybe still do say that; more's the pity. Whereas gender has always been a "landmark" of Freemasonry, race has never been.

Thomas Johnson said...

The demographics between men and women are continuing to change or evolve in America, and in other parts of the world. This, of course, affects the current status of Freemasonry here in America and abroad as young men (and some older ones) try to figure out where the women of their lives fit in during their Masonic careers. I, personally, want the "male only" branch of Freemansonry, which I am a proud member of, to always exist and I love my jurisdiction. But I would be fooling myself as a man and a Mason if I failed to recognize that there are Women Freemasons present today who follow the three great Masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, along with the VSL, Square, and Compasses, present on their altars in similar fashion to their male only counterparts.

In other words, though they they are not recognized as "Regular", these female Masons may be regarded as being, members within the general true spirit of Freemasonry. If you study the history, you will find that the first female Freemason, an Irish woman named, Elizabeth Aldworth (1693-1773) was made a Mason by her Father, Viscount Doneraile, a "Regular" Mason. It is said, Sis. Aldworth eventually became Master of her father's Lodge. I have met several female Masons while traveling through,London, England.

Great Britain has a strong female Masonic presence with several Masonic Grand Lodges of male and female, and female only membership. In response to this fact the London Lunchtimers of England was formed on 3rd March 1995 and exists "to extend the hand of welcome and fellowship to all those with a genuine and positive interest in Freemasonry regardless of sex, creed, or any other limitations. London Lunchtimers meet informally for lunch every 2 months in central London. It is open to anyone with a positive interest in Freemasonry. And you donot have to be a member to attend their meetings. Lunchtimers is now a worldwide organization. For more info, check out their website at Lunchtimers.org

chester said...

Keep the "male only branch",we are not asking for you to integrate or evolve for that matter.The ancient landmark piece is up for debate but we know that the ancient mystery school system has always initiated the female because they understood energy and Nature.I understand and overstand that there are cycles and we are currently dominated by the patriarchal egocentric thought.

MozGoneWilde said...

Wow... my God man. The above comments are EXACTLY the reason why I left the male-only side to go to the mixed. Some of the most insightful and enlightened Masons that I have ever been blessed to meet have been women and it's sad to see that freemasonry in the American lodges hasn't evolved more. Even the UGLE has stated that women can actually be real Masons.

As someone who's known both sides, I've never met more real Masons and real Freemasonry as I have in the mixed Orders.

Losthermit said...

I am curious about co-masonry's third degree. I can just imagine the.. uh... lady candidate.

Aaron said...

I also left male-only Masonry due to some of the repressive ideas that have been expressed here. I joined an F. & A.M. lodge without even considering gender as an issue. Among other reasons, I joined because Freemasonry had its foundations in the enlightenment and rational thought. Over time, I came to be disappointed to find that male-only lodges in our present day now represent some of the same backward thinking that I think the founding brothers were trying to get away from. Therefore, I could debate with great confidence why the admission of women is more harmonious with the philosophy and foundations of Masonry than remaining in male-only 16th century philosophy, but I don't have the space here to do so.

Suffice it to say that I echo MozGoneWild's comments. Since joining a Co-Masonic lodge, I have had a far better experience Masonically speaking. Many of the female members far better represent ideals of the craft in their knowledge and behavior than many of the male-only counterparts.

I also have to say, experiencing both rituals, that Co-Masonry (American at least) is completely regular in all aspects. If a male-only Mason were to sit in one of these lodges with the gender of his brothers hidden, he wouldn't be able to tell much difference between that lodge and his home lodge. It IS authentic Masonry.

Finally, it's necessary to follow-up on some concerns regarding the preparation of the candidate (particularly the clothing in the third degree). Without revealing specifics, just know that there are ways of keeping things modest for female candidates while at the same time following the ritual correctly.