Letter from the Third Ruffian

Devotion News No 93, Oct - Nov 2014.

Letter from The Third Ruffian

Greetings Brothers.

I’ve been reading the letters submitted by that sanctimonious Hiram. I keep up with current events (like he does) but I’ve adopted the language of the day. I was never one for pretence or to stand on ceremony (or ceremonial). Clear and forthright, allegories are good, but a bit of straight shooting is better, as is a bit of tolerance and forgiveness (hint, hint). Many seem to have the knives out for your leaders. I made that mistake, surely you learnt how it causes disaster. We should have led and influenced from below and within the system, not tried to challenge the unchallengeable, ultimately we became destructive, not constructive. We should have just got on with things and ignored Hiram’s many faults rather than focused on them. Please forgive me my transgressions of the past and below, but realize I was misguided but well intentioned. I actually try to be good man, but I should have consulted more widely, or listened to the majority in our group of 15…

I don’t understand most Freemasons – most think they are smarter than they are. That an emblem, title, medal or membership of a certain group makes them smarter. That they love to focus on petty side issues and ignore the real problems. Freemasons are often just plain dumb. I was. But I learned from my mistakes while many others just keep repeating them and lament the results. Idiots.

I worked in building with specialized knowhow.. Knowledge that was only held by a micro leadership team and not freely shared and developed nor improved and documented. There was no transparency. Leaders had their favourites and seemed to ignore the rest of us. We tried to change that but it lead to destructive factionalism. What you might not know is we asked, reasoned and pleaded for the secrets behind success, but they were not shared. They weren’t even discussed with us! Apparently we were not worthy. Our leader was autocratic, inflexible, and frankly not up to the task of managing us, then made things worse by condescendingly dismissing us rather than being a source of light, morale and cohesion. He treated us like naughty children and did not create pride, failed to positively react to change and challenges. He lost our respect. That might be our failing, but ultimately it was his – he should have managed us better. He never looked at the problems with his followers by looking at himself – according to him, it was all our fault. We were the bad guys.. He should have started by listening. Not listening was the catalyst for our poor behaviour.

One stupid night we formed a conspiracy. Some of us were smart enough (some say “honourable” enough) to realize our mistake and withdrew, three blindly continued with disastrous results for all. It reminds me of your current lack of faith in your leadership and the pots shots taken and returned by your leaders and followers. Very destructive. Each group likes to blame the other without self examination of the part they play in the situation. Reject me and my two mates as ashlars ! Work together and agree to disagree when you need to.

We were engaged in building something important and valued by all. We wanted to build more structures, but to do it we needed the knowhow. To try and get it we ended up destroying one of the three interlinked sources who had it, losing it forever. It was impulsive and short sighted…. Self destructive. But we were right in one respect. We wanted to change the status quo for the better. Rather than harnessing and guiding our enthusiasm our leader closed his ears and our enthusiasm turned to contempt and we ended up destroying what we really needed. It was a hard lesson...

The bossman was right in one thing though – we should have been more patient, but he should have been less paternal – after all, we weren’t kids, we were his brothers.

I don’t understand you freemasons. If you have a problem, just talk about it. Then act as a united team to solve them.

Fraternal Regards