Choctaw Falls, AR — Researchers at the United States Chamber of Freemasonry have released the results of a study which shows that the average amount of time when a new Mason thinks he knows everything is about two and a half years.
“Yes, it will vary from lodge to lodge,” explained Bro. Ledge Porter, “but generally speaking, sometime between two and three years, a Mason will suddenly believe himself to know just enough to start feeling a bit superior to the new candidates.”
We asked about the paradox that contrasts the results of the study to the truism that Freemasonry is a lifelong learning process.
“Oh, no doubt that many of the guys don’t’ actually believe that they know *everything.* But once they hit that critical juncture, they develop certain feelings of smugness that they are well advanced; in fact, enough so that they can even start making moral judgments on a new member’s behavior.”
Noting that many Masons are asked to join the officer line within their first few years, we wondered if there might be a connection.
“We haven’t seen a solid causal connection,” Porter said. “That is, we haven’t figured out if being a new officer makes one a bit of a moralizing ass, or if it takes two years in order to internalize the Masonic culture to the extent that one feels comfortable in making public corrections to the new guys.”
Porter added, “Of course, the smug satisfaction of correcting a newb in public is something that sticks with Masons throughout their Masonic career, so we don’t expect this research to lead to any cure. However, we think that this may have some usefulness, because some of those who hit this juncture are not only making judgments about new candidates, but also about older officers. We think that it may be possible, by examining such individuals, to identify future Grand Lodge officers.”
— Conte Calvino Gliostro