The Purpose of the Guarding the West Gate Portal is to provide potential Petitioners with the tools to obtain a background review which is required by most Masonic Orders and Entities.

The Grand Lodge of New York requires that a Petitioner provide a copy of a recent Guarding the West Gate background review report attached to the Petition for Initiation and Advancement when submitted to the Masonic Lodge to which the Petitioner is seeking membership. The Petitioner shall review his background review report and after his review if the Petitioner desires to proceed, he shall place the report in a sealed envelope and attach the envelope to this petition.    

Use of Guarding the West Gate is not limited to use by New York Petitioners, but is open to all Petitioners of Masonic Orders and Entities that require a background review. Guarding the West Gate is not to be used for any other purpose other than petitioners seeking membership in a Masonic Order.

Let it be known that misuse of Guarding the West Gate or the reports generated by use of the Guarding the West Gate  in any form may result in Criminal Prosecution as well as Masonic Investigation.

Guarding the West Gate requires personal information in order to provide the Petitioner with the required documents to complete the Petition for Initiation and Advancement. The Guarding the West Gate portal is a secure site. Once the background review is completed, the sensitive personal information is erased and disposed of.  No storage of sensitive personal data will occur on the site. The report will be filed/archived by your Name, Lodge Name and Lodge Number. Additionally, financial information for the payment process will not be stored or archived on the site. Pay Pal Pro is the preferred method of payment. A Pay Pal account is not required; Pay Pal Pro accepts all credit and debit cards. PayPal collects the payment information, processes and protects the transaction. Guarding the West Gate never sees or has access to your Credit or Debit Card information.

Why is there a request for your Social Security Number? Entry of the Social Security Number is NOT optional, but required. Use of the Social Security Number insures that we have the correct information attributed to the Petitioner. Social Security Numbers will not be archived, shared or stored in any manner; all parts of the Social Security number will be destroyed once the file is marked completed and not stored on the Guarding the West Gate Portal/Website.

TAKE NOTICE: A background review will not be run without the entry of a Social Security Number, the Public Records Data Systems will return all records attributed to the same name entered with a Social Security Number to narrow the information stream, sometimes taking hours to sort the data to ensure the correct information is attributed to that Petitioner, therefore a Social Security Number is required to request a background review.

In reference to your Social Security Number, if any discrepancies are discovered you will be contacted so that you may contact the Social Security Administration. 

Why do you want my phone number and email? In rare cases, names and dates of birth are similar and erroneous entries may be attributed to a Petitioner. If that occurs, we may have to contact the Petitioner for verification. Once the background review is completed, phone numbers and email addresses are not shared. The Background Review will be emailed to the email address the Petitioner provides.

How long does the background review take to be completed? Under normal circumstances, it takes 3-5 business days. If you do not receive the report in 3-5 business days please email the Tiler at

The nature of the background review is a search of the public records and social media attributed to the Petitioner for criminal and arrest history as well as review of sexually related crimes data bases. Guarding the West Gate does not review financial information or conduct credit checks or contact credit bureaus. Bankruptcies, Liens and Judgments do show on the report but having such does not preclude your petition from consideration. The final report will not include dates of birth or un-redacted Social Security Numbers. The financial value of the liens, judgments and bankruptcies are not included on the final report.

Let it be known that all Petitions for Initiation and Advancement are reviewed by an appointed committee of Three Lodge Members referred to as the Investigation Committee.  The Petitioner may also be contacted by a NorthStar Coach. The Petition and background review report will be reviewed. If a criminal or arrest history exists, you will be contacted and allowed the opportunity to offer an explanation and surrender the circumstances under which the incident occurred. Hence, depending on the severity of the incident, an arrest or conviction may not preclude your Petition as being looked upon favorably. The contents of your background review will not be discussed in any open or public meetings and is restricted to use by the three persons appointed to the Investigation Committee, this is the reason the Petitioner is directed to place his report in a sealed envelope and attach the envelope to his petition for indication and advancement. Once the Investigation Committee has completed it Investigation the Background Report will be returned to the Petitioner.

What is NorthStar? The NorthStar Project is The Grand Lodge of New York’s initiative for meeting and mentoring new Masons in the State of New York. The NorthStar link may be found at the bottom of the Grand Lodge of New York web page.

Very often, background reviews will be as large as 60-125 pages and may be as small as 1-5 pages, Guarding the West Gate is only concerned with criminal history, arrest history and derogatory matters. We will review and analyze the raw data and generate a standardized report with all discoveries and derogatory information listed and will provide the sources where the information was found.

The key word in the Petition for Initiation and Advancement Process is "HONESTY." Being honest and upright in the Initiation and Advancement process will carry you much further than deception. Falsification of a petition for initiation and advancement will cause the petition to be immediately disqualified. If falsification of a petition for initiation and advancement is discovered after the petition has been processed and the incitation and advancement is in progress or has been completed an Investigation by the Law Enforcement Committee may be convened and may result in Masonic charges, suspension or expulsion. “Honesty” will get you further than deception.  

Petitioners should list known arrests and convictions, and the location where they occurred on their Petition for Initiation and Advancement. 

Once Guarding the West Gate completes the requested background review and emails the report to the Petitioner, the Petitioner should review the report for accuracy, if there is a discrepancy discovered, the Petitioner should contact the Tiler at If there are no discrepancies and the Petitioner desires to proceed, the Petitioner should place his report in sealed envelope and attach the sealed envelope to the sealed Petition for Initiation and Advancement if you desire to proceed.

If a discrepancy is discovered, please contact and you will be contacted for discussion.

Take Notice, Guarding the West Gate will not store any secure order information. Our secure checkout is processed & protected by PayPal Pro. Guarding the West Gate will never have access to the Petitioners Credit or Debit Card Information.