A few operational problems
It would have been amazing if a human organization could have escaped imperfection. Despite the moral values to which he refers, Masonic dynamism comes up against a number of difficulties. We must be aware of these biases which fuel anti-Masonism. The main obstacles to the diffusion of the Masonic ideal concern, in my opinion, six areas:
- The hiatus between a beautiful ideal and obsolete rituals:
This is the greatest difficulty that one can experience when starting out on a Masonic career; how can it be explained that rituals written in the 18th century with references to the limits of mythomania can still serve, in the 21st century, as frameworks for symbolic work? The jaded answer is to take refuge in "Everything is symbolic!"; everyone arranges themselves and everyone acts as if! And fortunately, in spite of this somewhat "mouldy" aspect, human beings manage to give life to a formal exercise and give it a certain humanity.
- The Masonic ideal and the behaviour of certain Freemasons :
Freemasons are human beings like any other and as such they may be tempted to violate the moral principles they are supposed to promote in order to put their personal interests first by using unsavoury methods (from trickery to mafia drifting); it is in this way that some people make the headlines and that journalists put forward their Masonic membership; mention was made of lodges that could be considered Mafia inasmuch as they grouped together members using the Freemasons' network for criminal activities. Is this a reason to denigrate Freemasonry and its ideal? Obviously not!
- Problems related to group dynamics:
Whatever the group, the dynamics that take place in it can be the cause of perverse effects that can lead to the disintegration of the group; this general law is also true in Freemasonry and is the cause of certain difficulties.
- the hierarchical drift of the high ranks :
We do not say it but we think it very strongly: a mason who attends the so-called superior workshops (beyond the 3rd degree) is ... something else!!!! Can we not consider this drift as the most important cause of the inability of Freemasons to be recognized for their "wisdom"!
- the dysfunction of the obediences :
Several remarks are commonly stated:
obediences tend to live as institutions that function for themselves; a minority of brothers and/or sisters have become connoisseurs of "administration" creating a gap between the members of the lodges and their representatives;
The multiplicity of Masonic organizations, rivalries and the propensity for each to want to be recognized as a pole of reference discredited the role of the obediences;
All in all, the division and obediential irresponsibility are pushing away the implementation of reforms that would be essential to optimize the role of the obediences! There is even a temptation to create wild lodges!
- The selective role of the cost of Masonic membership :
Theoretically this is not a selection criterion, but to participate in Masonic activities supposes a minimum budget of around 500 €/year, which can be prohibitive for some families.
- the difficult opening to cultural diversities:
Masonic rituals are very imbued with Judeo-Christian references which can constitute, for masons and bricklayers from other cultures, a reading grid far removed from their own cultural references. Without questioning the existing rituals, could we not envisage a universal rite?
- the business drift:
This drift concerns practices which are not illegal but which do not fall within the field of Masonic activity as such: it is essentially the activities of what are called "fraternal", associations under the 1901 law which group together Freemasons according to a community of interests: profession, origin, politics, centres of interest, etc...