The Triple Filter Test

by MasterMason
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As always, just when I think I don’t have anything to share, a Brother forwards me a GEM. This month I have V.W. Bro. David Trace to thank.

It is called “ THE TRIPLE FILTER TEST” as coined by the great Greek Philosopher Socrates. And is as follows:-

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem.

One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher on the street and said “ Socrates, do you know what I just heard about your good friend?”

“ Hold on a minute” Socrates continued “ Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test.

It’s called the “Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple Filter????????” “ That’s right Socrates continued.

“ Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment to filter out what you are going to say. The first filter is TRUTH. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is the truth?

“No” the man said, “ I actually just heard about it and ……….”

“All right” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not”

Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of GOODNESS.

Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?

“ No, on the contrary……………….”

“So” Socrates continued, “ You want to tell me something bad about him but you are not certain if it’s true. You still have a chance to pass the test because there is one filter left, the filter of USEFULNESS.

Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really…………..”

“Well, “ concluded Socrates, “ If what you want to tell me is neither TRUE, GOOD or even USEFUL , why bother telling me at all.”


The above TEST made me think about the obligation in the Master Mason Degree.

Gossip and rumours can be so much fun, however, they can also be very devastating.

This test would be something to remember by all of us for the next time we find ourselves in such a situation.


It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory or defeat…………..Theodore Roosevelt

Sincerely & Fraternally

Norman McEvoy.

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