1. Keep what he told you in the safe repository of faithful breastsRecently, I have been reading on various Masonic fora that this is actually a serious consideration. What would you do? Let me give you a specific case that I saw.
2. Tell him to confess or you will expose him
3. Expose him to the brethren
4. Bring Masonic charges against him
As the Senior Deacon of a lodge, where the Junior Warden is the brother charged with Masonic investigations and the preferring of Masonic charges, a brother comes to you. He tells you on the square, that as you will be the Junior Warden next year, you need to know about Worshipful Johnson (not his real name).
He told the Senior Deacon Worshipful Johnson is running a pornography business on the internet. More than that, Worshipful Johnson’s business ethics are less than stellar. He invites brothers to invest in his business, telling them it was a loan, or that he would give them shares of his business without telling them the nature of his business.
I will leave out how it was resolved here, as this is not relevant. You are the Senior Deacon, and in due time, are elected and installed as Junior Warden. Do you act on the information given to you in confidence, because the brothers who shared it with you won’t step up, or do you keep it in the repository of your faithful breast?
The Senior Deacon/Junior Warden kept the confidence he had been entrusted.
It is my opinion that, as our obligation states, we are to keep the secrets of a brother master mason as our own, when given to us in charge as such, murder and treason excepted. Now, I also know in some jurisdictions, the obligation is Felony and treason excepted…
If we do not, or cannot keep the trust, what kind of brothers are we? We are charged in the third degree to hold out a hand to a fallen brother, and to whisper good counsel in his ear, in a most friendly manner, thereby seeking to bring about a reformation.
It seems to me, therefore, that we have no other choice but to follow our obligation… if we are given information in trust, and we have no knowledge ahead of time of the information from non private sources, then we are obligated to keep the information secret. More, even if we do know already, we cannot use the confirmation given in trust, as it was given in trust.
I tend to take our obligations pretty literally. If I swear to do something, I do. Other brothers view the obligations as guidelines, suggestions.
So, what do you do with your obligations?
May the blessings of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons, my brotherly love prevail, and ever moral and social virtue, cement us.