Education Application – Episode 2: The Current “Culture Club”

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Mark St. Cyr


Originally published at the Whence Came You Podcast (link here) on August 29, 2023 for its  Education Application series. Adapted here for the Midnight Freemasons. 

Let’s dig in…

When I refer to culture, I’m speaking directly to the attitude of all those involved both from an operational sense, as well as its general membership. In other words – all its statutory officeholders all the way through the rank and file membership.

So with that, let’s now use an actual real-life example to give further context that’ll also help ease further understanding.

Ready? Here we go…

A meeting was about to begin and everyone was ready to start, then it became obvious one officer was missing.

As everyone looked around it became apparent one of the officers was either going to be late or was a no-show, but no one knew. Everyone began doing the “Do you know?” Did he call you?” Did he say anything to you?” and so forth. You’ve all witnessed scenes like this.

So now the obvious was to find out so a decision to delay or something other could be had.

A phone call went out where it was then learned – he had just finished a colonoscopy and was in no shape to attend and fulfill his role at the meeting.

The brothers, to a man, took sympathy with the situation and proceeded to make hurried arrangements to still conduct the meeting. As to “get it in the books.”

Luckily they were able to meet quorum because there just so happened to be one extra in attendance who just so happened to be the only one to return of many who participated in a recent one-day class.

Now let’s move into the true devil in the details in all of this and just to reiterate: Remember during the inaugural episode I made the point I will not sugarcoat issues? Well, we’re now going to enter that sugar-free zone. So here we go…

First and foremost…

Had this newly initiated brother not been there?

A quorum would not have been met – therefore – no meeting. Resulting in a complete waste of time for all involved. A true debacle right out of the gate.


How is it that a brother, who has now moved to the next level up in the line of chairs for higher office allows such a thing to happen regarding his nonattendance and the difficulty he surely knows that causes?


To simply not take the time nor even make the effort as to warn or notify anyone prior, even up to the day of the actual meeting is cause alone for stern rebuke in and of itself. Let’s be candid here: This type of procedure is one that’s scheduled in advance. This is not like some emergency that happens to everyone where making arrangements to the contrary is impossible. We’ve all had those, and they happen. It’s called life.

But it doesn’t stop there…

The handling by this brother is one thing but then everyone else’s reaction to it was not what should be thought as “acceptable” by any measure. As a matter of fact – it borders on pitiful if not downright so, trying to argue to the contrary, which many of you may now be contemplating with arguments such as…

“The missing brother may have a legit excuse that we just don’t know – and the attending brothers were just trying to work through what was just a bad situation the best they could therefore blah blah blah”

Sure, OK, but I’m sorry, it’s arguments like this that demonstrate why you yourself may be more of the problem than you fully understand. Why? Because it’s these sorts of responses, general nullifications, or excuses if you wish that de facto legitimize situations such as this to happen routinely, continually ad infinitum.

Again, If you think I’m being too harsh here? Let me lay it out this way…

To reiterate: A procedure such as this (the colonoscopy) is usually scheduled far in advance. At some point in time when adding it to his own calendar – mentally or otherwise. He must have become aware there was going to be an obvious conflict.

Again, for clarity, I ask you to answer for yourself: Does one simply not know or does one casually forget when their respective Lodge meets either day or time? Add to that: especially if it's a seasoned member?

Let’s move on to another…

He answered his phone. That’s how it was learned. They had to call him to find out, otherwise – squat. So what have we learned? Well, we are now fully aware he was not incapacitated enough to answer – therefore logic dictates – he was also not incapacitated enough to not call and let someone know. Or said differently…

By dint of his own actions, it demonstrated the decision in relation to commitment of obligation was not worth his effort. You may want to disagree, but the fact proves otherwise. Sorry to be so blunt, but that’s what I do.

Here’s the other in all this that needs to be part of this summation: The vast majority of the brothers attending this meeting were themselves all high officers in different bodies both in blue lodges as well as concordant. Why is this important to the overall thesis?

Because: as far as could be discerned, it was all just shaken off as “Oh well, another day in the life of Lodge.”

This is a snapshot of the culture permeating throughout Freemasonry today where the jokes write themselves. Think about it. A brother decided he would rather go through a colonoscopy and beg for forgiveness later than – attend a meeting that lasted little more than 40 minutes consisting of a discussion itself mere minutes on prior meeting plans, then a reading of the minutes from the prior meeting of plans discussed at the last meeting – then – adjourned.

The problem is – it’s no laughing matter. And It’s all true. How do I know?

Because I was there – I was that new initiate.

We’ll tackle how this and more can change in subsequent articles. See you then.

Mark St.Cyr

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