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For centuries much of the population has regarded membership in the fraternity of freemasons to be by invitation only. And for centuries this has been incorrect. Most freemasons are actually forbidden from inviting anyone to join the craft. This helps to ensure the integrity of the fraternity by eliminating recruitment and by only admitting men who truly want to be there. It is only after a man asks to be a member, does the long process of vetting begin which may eventually result in a vote. It is up to the petitioner to get to know the brethren of the lodge and convince them that he is deserving of being made a brother. In many jurisdictions, the only way to become a mason is to ask a mason. Hence the now common phrase, to be one, ask one.