How to Solve the Membership Problem

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Robert H. Johnson, PM

Not too long ago, I published the partial results of a few surveys I completed about certain topics within Freemasonry. The first was when I tried to ascertain if the AASR (Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite) brothers knew what the "Royal Secret" was. You can read those results HERE. The second time around I though perhaps I would ask what people thought Freemasonry is in relation to the question I proposed. Find those results HERE. And the last time I ran it, I tried to ascertain just what would make our fraternity better. So, I created the "Let's Make Freemasonry Better" survey. Those results have never been released...until NOW.

Shortly after I released some data, I was contacted by Bro. Greg Stewart, Masonic author, Blogger etc. He talked to me about a survey he ran back in the 1990s. I was amazed at the results which he shared with me. Now, another survey is underway. Brother Jon Ruark, PM is undergoing the most comprehensive data analysis that has ever been done. While many of the questions he asks are similar to what we have asked before, it's how you're able to filter those results when it's complete that matters. This can give us some really intriguing views into what our strengths, weaknesses are and any other trends that may be present. Please take the time to watch the video presentation Bro. Ruark made at the Pennsylvania Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Skip to the 17 minute mark, as annotated in the video to get right to the presentation.

Now, I will invite you to take the new survey, and again it is imperative that you do. Remember, you can skip questions but honesty will give us answers. Follow the link below and then, read on.

So, what now? I am finally ready to release all my data. For the first time ever...take a look at the charted data below and enjoy. Over 1000 masons from Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets were surveyed.


  1. I love this, but am even more interested to start ripping into the data to see what it tells us. For instance, the majority of people are joining for esoteric reasons, and seem to be happy getting it from lodge (56% and 57% respectively). What does that tell us about where we need to focus?

  2. Interesting how the 4 "corners" (Ritual, Social, Education, Charity) are essentially even.

  3. I worry about the self-selection on this survey. While I do not doubt that it accurately represents the feelings of the 1000 Brothers surveyed, I wonder if those Brothers accurately represent the feelings of the Fraternity. Specifically the result about being interested in the esoteric comes to mind. I think that the Brothers who listen to Bro. Johnson's podcast and read this website are more likely to be into the esoteric than the average Mason, especially in smaller, more rural Lodges.

  4. Matthew, that's absolutely true. The 1000 guys we reached probably do lean more toward the esoteric. Great point. That's why Jon Ruark is doing the new survey!


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