ORGANIZATIONS: Apathy on Lodge Night

Founded and operated for a seemingly infinite variety of reasons, ranging from royal good fellowship, to mutual financial benefit (low-cost insurance), to generously financed works of public good will,† the nation's 248 major fraternal orders (125,861 local chapters) have shared as never before in the golden bounty of U.S. prosperity. Since 1947, overall membership in the Masonic order, biggest U.S. fraternity, has climbed 10% to 4,000,000; the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, second largest, reports a husky 25% gain in new dues-paying brethren to a total of 1,200,000. From Calais, Me. to Elsinore, Calif., more than 20...

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