Masonic Solicitation Policies
The information on this chart comes from information supplied on Masonic email and other sources.
If anyone has definite information about the rules in each Grand Lodge concerning solicitation of new members, please send email to Paul M. Bessel at paulb’at’bessel.org
U.S. Grand Lodges
|State||Solicitation permitted in some form||Solicitation not permitted|
|Arizona||Regulation No. 37 of the Grand Lodge, F&AM of Arizona reads as follows: A neutrally-worded approach may be made to a man who is considered to be a suitable candidate for Freemasonry. After the procedure of obtaining membership in a Masonic Lodge is explained, he may be reminded once after the approach was made. The potential candidate must then be left to make his own decision and come of his own free will.|
|Colorado||In Colorado the Grand Lodge changed the regulation where a Brother can invite a worthy person to petition to become a Mason.|
|District of Columbia|
|Kansas||In Kansas, we have the similar type of invitation as Colorado, although I am not sure there is a limit to how many times someone can be asked to join. We also have a very effective Grand Lodge program, the “Friends of Masons”. This program is put on by one or more lodges, with a Grand Lodge representative who will conduct the session. We invite several non-Masonic Friends to a dinner and presentation. Fellowship is emphasized, and families are encouraged to attend this dinner session. The Grand Lodge Representative has a video presentation, and answers questions. We have found anywhere from 50% to 90% success rates with this program. The whole thing to be properly planned takes about 2 – 3 months, to allow time to contact each invitee, and to make sure that they are properly welcomed and escorted by their Masonic friends.|
|Missouri||The Grand Lodge of Missouri a few years back permitted directly asking a candidate if he would be interested in the Fraternity. Prior to that the acceptable “Aggressive Non-Solicitation” would be sort of as you described with statements or questions that did not directly ask him to join. Personally I like the idea of being able to directly ask a man who I know to be worthy to join with us. Why even take the chance of missing an opportunity to strengthen our ranks. I don’t feel this would be an improper solicitation.|
|New Jersey||In NJ a person is not asked to join the masonic fraternity|
|Ohio||Section 34.01(b) of the Code states: It is Unmasonic Conduct to use mass media techniques to openly invite the general public to petition for Masonic Membership; however there is no objection to selectively identifying a man who you believe would make a good Mason and explain that you would be proud to sponsor him for membership in a symbolic lodge. After the procedure for obtaining membership in a Masonic lodge is explained, the potential candidate should be left to make his own decision and come of his own free will.|
|Oklahoma||Oregon does not permit a Mason to ask someone else to join the fraternity.|
|South Carolina||South Carolina does not permit a Mason to ask someone else to join the fraternity.|
|Texas||The Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas, Title IV, Chapter 1, Article 393a:
Solicitation. This Grand Lodge supports and practices the ancient custom and usage among Masons that a man is required to present himself for the Degrees of Masonry of his own free will and accord. At the same time, it acknowledges to all Masons of its obedience, that it is permissible and proper to extend a neutrally-worded invitation to petition for the Degrees of Masonry to a man whom you have strong reason to believe is of good moral character and reputation, who is otherwise qualified to petition under the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas. After answering the non-Mason’s questions about the Fraternity (those proper to be discussed) and explaining the procedure for petitioning, the potential candidate should be left to make his own decision and to proceed of his own free will. (Adopted 1992).
|Washington||In Washington state you can ask a person if he every thought of becoming a Mason, or “You know you’d make a great mason” Things of that nature. This was passed in grand Lodge several years ago.|
|Wisconsin||The same is true in Wisconsin (as in Colorado) and has been for a few years.|
Non-U.S. Grand Lodges
|Jurisdiction||Solicitation permitted in some form||Solicitation not permitted|
|England – UGLE||From an email message:It is permissible to approach an appropriate individual and ask if they have ever considered joining the Craft. They can also be given the two ‘white books’ issued by UGLE which deal with the FAQ. Having done so, they should be left in peace to consider the question for some time. If no direct response is received, a further enquiry should be made in the line of a reminder of the previous conversation, but no pressure should be applied or deadlines given.
If the individual gives a positive indication, or says that time and other pressures have prevented proper consideration, a further conversation is appropriate. If the response (then or later) is neutral or negative, no further pressure should be applied.
Retrieving the ‘white books’ should be part of the second stage exercise and not used as an excuse for a further enquiry.