The theme of my above referenced commentary seems to run throughout the history of Freemasonry and I keep discovering it in my various readings. On 11 December 1894, the then Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina – Most Worshipful Brother Stiles P. Dendy, addressed the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons of South Carolina.
“I regard the non-affiliate, in most instances, as a parasite on the body of Masonry,” he said, “and is generally one who is wanting in appreciation of the true nature and purpose of the Order, and when admitted finds himself out of harmony with the whole trend of its teachings, or one who has sought admission from unworthy and improper motives….” What was to be the solution to the “bane of Masonry in the present age”? Bro. Dendy suggested that the Lodges take a more critical look at applicants for admission, “a more searching inquiry, not only as to the physical qualifications and moral fitness, but also as to the intellectual capacity of candidates to apprehend and appreciate the sublime teachings and mysteries of Free Masonry.” 11. Source: Cornwell, Ross & Willis, Samuel M. A History of Freemasonry in