It's Not About Titles and Prestige, It's About Servitude to the Craft

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Dan Gentry

I have a secret. The brothers who have met me may or may not know this. It is a deep, dark secret and you must be patient with me, it is difficult to admit. Brothers...I do not wear Masonic regalia outside of lodge events. There, I said it. Upon my car, you will not see any emblems or symbols, my hands wear but one ring, my wedding ring and it is not Masonic in nature. My shirts are mostly covered in warnings to others to not mess with me or are in support of law enforcement or fire departments. My hat is from the 101st Airborne where I served in the US Army, and my sweaters are usually of my old high school, my daughters high school, or some name brand.

I know that some of you believe that you need to buy me some regalia and make me official, some may want to adorn my car in stickers and emblems. How can I be a Mason and not show others this prestige of which I belong?? But just like titles I have had, I pay this no mind. I do not find I must advertise my relationship to the craft. In fact, in most cases, I believe it to be detrimental. Okay, so why do I tell you this? Why would I forsake the ritual of wearing rings and pins and buying lapel extensions for more pins, hats, shirts and more pins? It is a simple answer: I see no need. Why would I? So people will ask me about the craft and I can be a walking billboard and advertisement? I am an elitist of thought, believing that the only way to further the craft, is to make it harder to join. Make it mandatory to go through degrees slowly and not cater to the whims of an individual to boost numbers. Follow the patterns of the craft these last few years, and you will see we are on a decline in membership and I say, "good." Why? Because I want men who want to help the community, who want to study history and want to understand the esoteric value. Again, I'm an elitist and an idealist. Fewer people and higher dues. More "Brothers" and less of every other title. Less pomp and circumstance and more value and work.

You see, many men climb and claw their way up the ladders, and when they reach the "top", they feel the journey is complete because now they are what they perceive as at the top, and they have the title they deserve. This is appalling to me for one very important reason. I have been taught that each man who goes through the initiation is a Brother and I have been taught that "Brother" is the greatest title that could ever be bestowed upon me. Now I'm being told, "no, you need to have Right Worshipful and a PM after your name to have an opinion or to show your opinion has any worth". Funny part is, I'm hard headed and I am not big on rank, all this does for me is make me never want to move through any lines, serve in any position or take up any office of the lodge and it causes me to have disdain. I have been in chairs, by the way. In fact, I was an "unofficial official Senior Deacon". I was good at what I did, tried to improve every time I did it, got down and dirty with the esoteric values of the work and did my due diligence. You see, I was where the lodge needed me to be, doing what they asked me to do. It's not about titles and prestige, it is about servitude to the craft, and that servitude is diminished when it is overshadowed when a wrong sense of worth is attached to a position of servitude.

Do us all a favor, drop the titles, the hurt looks you display when you are "only" called Brother, roll up your sleeves and get back into the quarry and show the other brothers you lead from the front. The Army taught me that there are men that are actually leading the group, and the other ones are just reminding everyone what their "rank" is because no one wants to follow them. Sorry if this is harsh, but in my opinion, we've put up with it for too long, and it's time for those concerned with titles to move on and let the Brothers do their work.


Brother Daniel "Doc" Gentry is a Brother Master Mason under the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Mason's of the State of Illinois, in the 1st Northeast district. His sign is Leo, and has been known to enjoy long walks in blizzards. He is stubborn and has no plans of joining the York or Scottish Rite anytime soon. Also in his spare time, he is a great DM for D&D games. Sacred Geometery! You can reach him by email at

1 comment:

  1. Well expressed and written - speaks my sentiment. Bravo! SMIB...