Ask! Because Masons have not traditionally recruited members and do not hold public meetings, there has long been confusion about how to join the Fraternity. Should I wait to be asked? Does someone ask me, or do I need to ask them?
Today, because of widespread interest in the Fraternity - along with the breadth of both information and misinformation found on the Internet - the content on this site was assembled to help men understand the membership process.
Most men still begin the process of becoming a Mason by simply asking-just as Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Revere and most every Mason from the past to the present day has done.
Membership is open to men of every race, religion, culture, and income level. The basic requirements for membership are listed here.
Men usually seek out a Lodge near their home or workplace or ask a Mason they know to recommend a Lodge to them. Masonry is not for everyone, however. It does not purport to reform bad men, only to provide a lifelong opportunity for good men to improve themselves and the world around them.
The Masonic Fraternity seeks only men of good character as members. In fact, Masonic Lodges are required to review every applicant's moral and social character, and members must be unanimously balloted upon in a Lodge by all members present (and yes, the centuries-old "blackball" voting system is still in use).
Alternately, an Illinois Mason can inform a good man that he knows that should he wish to join, he is welcome to do so under a program called Invitation to Petition. So, if a Master Mason who knows you believes you have the character traits to be a good Mason, he may propose you for membership in a Lodge and have your name balloted upon, and then inform you of this action.
Or you may proactively seek out membership on your own by asking a Mason for a petition or completing a Petition Request Form here and submitting it via this website. In either case, the choice is still yours.