Can a man leave the Masonic Lodge?

You may have heard the phrase, "Once a Mason, always a Mason."  Freemasonry wants its members to believe that they can never renounce their involvement  in Masonry.  Yet, many, many men have renounced. 

In the 1800's, as a direct consequence of the Morgan Affair, the church took a strong stand against Freemasonry.  Captain William Morgan had arranged with a printer to expose the secrets of Freemasonry.  He was abducted near Niagara, New York by Freemasons.   Morgan's body was never recovered.    As a result of the public uproar over the abduction and presumed murder of Captain Morgan and the firm stand of the church, a majority of Masons renounced.  Approximately three-quarters of  the Masonic Lodges were closed for lack of membership.    Many churches decreed that a persistent Mason would not be eligible for membership.  The issues used were the ungodly blood oaths and being yoked with unbelievers. The result, of expelling Freemasonry from the church, was revival.

Historically, Christian men have renounced Freemasonry when confronted with the nature of the lodge.  Christians continue to renounce today.  Many who recognize the errors of Freemasonry continue to pay their dues and simply never go back into the lodge.   Others, quietly quit paying their dues and say nothing.  Those methods are not desirable, because it does not provide a witness for others who may be having the same doubts about Freemasonry.  Those who wish to be a witness to others in lodge, as well as those who want to make it absolutely clear that they are separating from the craft, notify the lodge in writing.  Typically, a lodge will issue a "Demit" when a man resigns Freemasonry.  The purpose of a demit is to enable the individual to prove that he has fulfilled all of the requirements and was a Mason in good standing.   It allows him to join another lodge, or rejoin the same lodge at a later date, without going though the initiation rituals again.

The procedure to renounce Freemasonry is simple.  Simply notify the members of the lodge in writing, stating that you are renouncing Freemasonry and tell them in clear terms that you never want anything to do with it now, or at any time in the future.  Tell them you no longer are a Mason.  They have no legal, moral or other means to compel you to continue. 

A resignation letter which you can print out and mail to your lodge is available here in PDF format.  (If you do not have the Adobe Reader, it is available free from Adobe.)  Simply fill in the blanks, make a copy for yourself and mail it to the lodge, addressed to the members of the lodge. 

In many jurisdictions they are required to read a communication, or make it available to the members, if it is addressed to the membership, rather than the Master or Secretary.   In practice, when the letter is strong enough, the Worshipful Master may direct that it be dealt with quietly, rather than be read in open lodge - a violation of Masonic regulations.  But, who is to know?  The fact that they received the resignation letter will not be shared with the membership.  They do not want to make an issue of it, because if others understand the reasons why you are renouncing,  some may agree with you and also leave. 

Our experience is that a good letter leaves little doubt about your decision and the reasons for it.  When solid reasons are given, they are very unlikely to pursue the matter, unless you are in a leadership role.  In that case, they may assign individuals to attempt to convince you that you are making a mistake.  If sound reasons are documented in your letter, you can simply keep repeating those reasons and they will give up.  Some former Masons have been called by close friends, or family members.  They may send your pastor, if he is a Mason.  We know of no case where violence has been used, in modern times.  It seems that the craft learned a lesson with the Morgan Affair. 

We believe that if it is apparent that you are standing with other men who have renounced the lodge, they are less likely to attempt to try to change your decision.   Our sample letter contains the Ex-Masons for Jesus logo.  You may use it as is, retype it without the logo, or create your own letter, as you think best.

Download a resignation letter in PDF format.

View the contents of the resignation letter with your browser.

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