Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Alabama governor 'outed' as racist Freemason

Live, at this moment (7 am - 11 am ET), the Russ and Dee Show radio show on 101.1 FM, "the Voice of Alabama," has "outed" governor Bob Riley for being a Freemason. They read the 1876 Grand Lodge Masonic Resolution (below) supporting racism and keeping Freemasonry all white.

Go here and then click in the upper right to listen to their stream.

Dee repeatedly has called for Gov. Riley to resign from the racist lodges of Alabama and, if he wants to be governor of all the people, not just whites, he should join the alternative, non-racist United Grand Lodge of America.

Russ and Dee supported Riley's losing opponent in the primary, and have gleefully jumped on the "Riley is a racist Mason" bandwagon.

I didn't hear about this show until well after it started this morning, and so I've heard only the last hour and a half or so. During that time, I heard at least two members of the United Grand Lodge of America call in and make very poignant points about the real purpose of Freemasonry. This tended to subdue Dee (who pretty much ran the show... we didn't hear from Russ much) a bit, with her congratulating the UGLA callers and saying they were the "hope for the future."

Several Antient Masons called in as well, defending their racism. The final caller, a proud southern Illinois redneck who sounded like he had a wad of terbacky in his mouth, defended Antient Masonry by saying that only "clandestine" Masons, which he defined as not having been chartered, are disallowed, and that there have been no qualified black applicants. He also tried to say that Masons were only following rules set down by the "founder" of Freemasonry, King Solomon (later he referred to King Solomon as "King James"), when they disallowed blacks in their lodges. He proudly boasted he was a "32nd degree Mason."

In 1876, the Alabama Grand Lodge passed the following resolution, "as to Negro Masons."

When Dee read a few passages of it to the final caller, he said, "Oh, it says that?", and all the wind went out of his sails.

From the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama 1876
Page 23 & 24

“As to Negro Masons”

“Whereas, the question of the recognition of Negro Masons has been made more than usually prominent during the last year; and whereas this Grand Lodge has a well-settled opinion upon this subject, which she desires most respectfully and fraternally to express to her sister Grand Lodges everywhere, and especially to those of the United States; she deems the present a fit opportunity to set forth the reasons which impel her to that opinion.

1. It is indisputable that whatever theory we adopt as to the origin of Masonry- whether that which carries it back to the original Father of mankind, and his immediate descendents;, or to Enoch and Noah; or to the building of King Solomon’s Temple; or arising from the constitutions of Pythagoras; or if we trace it back to the Eleusinain Mysteries; or to those of Ceres, and the institution of the Bacchanalia; or, what is most probable of all, the incorporation of the Roman builders under Numa Pompilius that theory carries us back to the Caucasian Race.

2. Masonry was originally, what it is mainly today, a social institution; intended for those who daily mingled in the ordinary walks of life, in business, in pleasure, and in the family circle; into which it is not credible that anyone of the Negro or any other of the inferior races, could have been admitted.

3. That Negroes have of late years been admitted into Lodges of Free Masons is due, it is believed, to the sympathy which has been excited for them by anti-slavery societies generally, and particularly by those of the United States; and that any were admitted during the revolutionary war by traveling Lodges belonging to the British Army, was due to the feeling which existed at that time against American patriots; a proceeding entirely at variance with the object of the formation of such Lodges, they having no right to confer the degrees upon any citizen or resident of the county in which they might be sojourning, but only upon members of the army to which such Lodges belonged.

4. Although it is usually said that Masonry is universal, and that in every clime Masons are to be found; yet it is only universal in so far as the Caucasian Race has carried it into every quarter of the globe; and if that race has sometimes admitted Negroes, and others of the inferior races, it has done so in violation of the original and fundamental laws of the Fraternity.

5. In view, therefore, of these facts, indisputable as they are conceived to be, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama seizes the present as a fit and proper occasion, to declare its purpose, under no circumstances whatever acknowledge the legality of Negro-masons, such acknowledgement being foreign to the original purpose of the Fraternity, and introducing an element of demoralization into the society.”

Resolution passed

For more information, see Alabama Grand Lodge Facts.

Image: Grand Master Frank W. Little with Brother Bob Riley at the Clay County Courthouse cornerstone removal ceremony in Ashland, AL on Aug 12, 2006.

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  1. Does it matter if all your constituents are racists too?
    It shed some light on southern bapists,oops, i mean, freemasons, who refuse to live in the 21st century.
    good stuff brothers

  2. The UGLA is the future of Freemasonry. I no longer have any doubts.

    Thank you brothers for making a stand.

  3. Good points. I have one question that this site and its commentors may be able to address. It's a bit off point, but this blog seems to be a leader in quality masonic discussions, esp. on the movements to improve Masonry. One issue to address - The theory upon which the UGLA bases its own authority to form a "new" GL could be used by any group of well-thinking men. Could we have an outbreak of competing "Grand Lodges," with numerous men calling themselves "Antient Grand Lodge of Texas," "Modern and Improved GL of the Tri-State Area", "Traditional Grand Lodge of Oklahoma" etc. Could Freemasonry become so decentralized, unregulated, and diluted that calling oneself a "Freemason" is as generic as calling oneself a "Christian." Even the UGLA must recognize that there is some value in a centralized voice, else these brothers would have simply "practiced" masonic tenents without challenging the GL structure. It's worth discussing.

  4. I'm all for starting a new Grand Lodge of Discordia and Things We Like To Eat, Yum! (GLDTWLTEY!)

    Who's with me!

  5. The UGLA does recognize the need for a "centralized voice" that expresses the wishes of the lodges and their members. The present system is nothing more than an oligarchy of the few dictating to the many. The UGLA provides a centralized system where the power has been returned to the lodges and their members.

    Try taking away the centralized power of the 'Antinet' Grand Lodge and returning to it the Masons and you will have a war on your hands. Sometimes change requires more than just talk; it requires purposeful action.

  6. hey anonymous, what you described as what could happen is in place now. Each GM of each GL answers to nobody. Each GL will say they don't get involved in other GL's business(recognition,etc.), so what we have is 51 independent GL chartering lodges that operate without any real uniformity. I hear in Ga. lodges, they pray to jesus and have a southern baptist flavor, where in our northern lodges, brothers will protest f a blue lodges shows favoritism to one religion over another. ETC...
    present system is as disheveled as a chinese fire drill and will never improve as long as masons think their titles really mean something and until masons stand up and take back their power. Outside of a charter, what does GL's do for the Lodges except collect funds and give em dues cards?
    They collect monies from destitute lodges and wait for them to fail financially!
    great plan

    as long as they follow the ancient charges and keep out criminals, who cares if they are the freemasons of east bum f*%k.

  7. UGLA is 'political' slander organization

    Apparently the reason they used the "Russ and Dee" show for their Masonic smear campaign is that the radio hosts were backing the opposing candidate, for Governor, who lost.

    what losers.. Prince Hall in Georgia
    has already declared them to be Klan-destine, go figure..

  8. Hey wait a minute! The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia IS clandestine. Isn't this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? lol

  9. Yea, just like a 'Stuart' to go calling a 'Hanover', 'Antient'.

    The Grand Lodge of Georgia IS Modern.
    Not of 'Continental' 'Pretense and Posture'.

  10. Oh yea the Grand Lodge of Georgia are such great guys. Sure looks to me like they are a corrupt group of old men plotting conspiracies against their younger brothers.


    If you call that Masonic then your definition of Freemasonry is very different from mine. As far as I'm concerned the Grand Lodge of Georgia is irregular according to its own Code for taking away the right of due process, and literally CLANDESTINE for plotting conspiracies in secret.

  11. What? They should plan conspiracies in public?

    Where's the fun in that?

  12. Quote from Anon.: "...the radio hosts were backing the opposing candidate, for Governor, who lost."

    Apparently, you do not have a clue. The opposing candidate is still the opposing candidate, and as far as I can see she can't lose until there is a vote.

    Sometimes, exposing the truth is more important than politics. Perhaps you should rethink your ethical stance on this issue if you agree with the GL of AL.

  13. I doubt seriously your radio friends
    at 101 would be helping her out, either, mr. obfuscator. Party opp.
    The party line (UGLA)is always to act one way and speak another.

    Here read about your friends: russ and dee fine.


    We still don't know how many caucasians around much less how many negro buds you have. They think you are bogus too.

  14. Since you accuse us of not being truthful, why don't you come out from that cloak(or is it sheet) of anonymity Mr Anonymus. Not being from Birmingham, I don't know the true feelings of Russ and Dee but whatever their shortcomings, they outed the racists in control of the GL of AL.

    The UGLA has nothing against Gov Riley personally except that he is a member of an avowed racist institution. Care to back up your claims that "we act one way and speak another" with some facts?

  15. He is most likely a Grand lodge spy from Georgia or Alabama.

  16. No really I was still wondering how many "people" hang with you guys at
    teh Starbucks... sheesh no free refills? try 'waffle' house or the treefort in your grand hierophants backyard.

    just like 'dee and ruse' you only seek to deride and confuse.

    Mary, Mary. Why ya buggin?


    Fair and balanced. I know you hate that, right?

  17. "Care to back up your claims that "we act one way and speak another" with some facts?"
    from the UGLA grand secretary's desk...

    "..what we need is a new type of klan"
    G.David Cooksey.

    not too unlike the radio personalities and anti's you guys buddy up to.

  18. Again, anonymous how about a little information. Are you a mason? What GL? Quit hiding you coward.

    Brian Roper

  19. I think the transition of Bro. Cooksey to an enligtened Mason is altogether commendable. Apparenlty, the United Grand Lodge of America can deliver on the ancient promise of Freemasonry: the brotherhood of man. They have demonstrated that they have the ability to actually change the hearts of men.

    Excellent job brothers.

  20. You know, the Anonymous' here seem to be really good at hit and run but they've not offered one shred of evidence to support their claims.

    UGLA is a political slander organization? What a joke! UGLA is not political.

    UGLA took away due process? Where? Our whole organization is based organizationally on due process! Of course, Anonymous doesn't mention how the Grand Lodges are ruling by "EDICT" more and more lately. Sounds like another knee-jerk response from another ostrich with his head in the sand...or somewhere else...

    Prince Hall thinks UGLA is clandestine? Check again, Anonymous. Of course...the
    " We still don't know how many caucasians around much less how many negro buds you have. They think you are bogus too." -comment pretty much tells the whole world that may or may not have your white linens at the dry-cleaners! Just an opinion, though...

    The last laughable comment I read was this:
    "Oh yea the Grand Lodge of Georgia are such great guys. Sure looks to me like they are a corrupt group of old men plotting conspiracies against their younger brothers.


    Corrupt old men? Think you have it reversed! What's the median age of folks in the Blue Lodge in Alabama? It's a lot higher than those in the UGLA. By the way...that piece you linked to was something called tongue-in-cheek humor and sarcasm. It was written to satirize the mind set of Grand Lodges like those in Georgia and Alabama.

    So far, This particular sock-puppet has managed to establish that he is likey an ignoramous and a buffoon. Perhaps he is a lackey for the Grand Lodge of Alabama...If this is the best they can do... Well...enough said.

    Darren Simpson

  21. Political? UGLA? naw...
    why are you working with in sheeps' clothing dept. at Ala. GOP?


    Bogus in the Commission Site Scope

    There are two Bogus Grand Lodges that are now being watched by the Joseph A. Walkes Jr. commission on Bogus Masonic Practice.

    1. The United Grand Lodge of America of Ancient Free-Masons.

    2. Grand Lodge being started by the National Grand Lodge in Arkansas.

    3. And there is another Grand Lodge under investigation to be named later.

    Soon as we have the research we will have articles available.

  22. So... let me see if I got this right? Prince Hall (primarily African American Masonry) is opposed to the United Grand Lodge of America which is open to men of all races?

    If this is true then Prince Hall has some racial issues of its own. Why would Prince Hall, a group of black Masons who have decryed racism in the white Grand Lodges, be against a Grand Lodge that is open to men of all races? Are we to conclude that Prince Hall masons are themselves black racists?

    Then there is the issue that the Phylaxis Society itself has been de-recognized by some Prince Hall Grand Lodges. Could it be that some Prince Hall Grand Lodges are not racist while others are? Hmmmm? Certainly gives a brother a lot to think about doesn't it?

  23. Anonymous,

    I have no idea what you are talking about and even though I voted Republican last go around... I don't know of any wolves in sheeps clothing. By the way... It's United Grand Lodge of America... Not the "Antient" connotation you clipped and posted.

    More mis-information from the un-informed. That is so typical of Anonymous "sock-puppets". Since you won't post a name...I'll name you "Lamb-chop" Thanks, Lamb-chop!

    Mason, Republican, and de-bunker of Anonymous buffoons.

  24. Anonymous # 2,

    Thank you for that post. You took the words right out of my mouth. I think that "Lamb-chop", as I have named him (Anonymous #1) is simply placing any little shred of malcontent he can find to advance his misguided basis. This "commission" does not speak for all, or even a majority of Prince Hall Grand Lodges for that matter.
    Lamb-chop simply is battling with whatever he can scrape up with all of the finesse and scholarly accuracy of a spilling box of hammers!

    Darren Simpson :)

  25. Holy good gravy! I turn my back for a moment and y'all got some excitement down there, don't you?

    Hopefully, this will be a good opprotunity for the southern mainstream lodges to be a little more progressive, and move into the 20th century.

    The Tao of Masonry

  26. Bro. Tom,

    We expect a note from your doctor to excuse your absence.

    You miss a day, you miss a lot.

    — W.S.

  27. I've been following this comment stream and articles posted on other blogs as well. I heard the exchange on the Russ & Dee show. You know, a lot of folks are trying to say that these guys in the United Grand Lodge of America and such are just charlatans or fake masons.

    But from what I've seen, they've done everything they said they would do. They are out in the open and above-board with what they stand for and what they're about. They're ideas seem to be really forward-thinking. I think that the way they have been treated by blue grand lodges is a travesty. When will the blue lodge wake up and smell the coffee?
    UGLA guys, please keep doing what you're doing! You guys have made the most progress that masonry has seen in over 200 years!

  28. Tom!

    Good to see you enter the fray!!!

    The Modern Freemasonic Jornal Blog

  29. So I wonder how long it will be before the GL of Alabama implements it's damage control measures? I've heard that Georgia is already planning it's moves!

    Darren Simpson
    The Modern Freemasonic Journal
    Le Chevalier Maconnique

  30. Anonymous,

    You made the crack about UGLA people meeting in Starbucks. Well, far be it for them to follow tradition with our country's founding fathers of meeting in bars and pubs. Sure, it ain't Starbucks, but I bet they had to pay for their refills too!

  31. Look, my big, ol' white butt is safely ensconced in a comfy chair 1,500 miles from there. I don't have a dog in that hunt. Far be it from me to speak ill of a brother Mason (even if he is a GM), but it seems that Russ & Dee are helping to whisper good counsel in his ear, and I hope it sticks, instead of running out the other side. I sincerely hope that something positive will come of this for the entire state, and will trickle down - or spill over - into the neighboring states. There is no reason for the discrimination regulations to stay on the books.

    What I really don't get, is the tossing around of the "clandestine" label. Most listeners would have no idea about the internal politics anyway. Cracks me up, though, to hear the PH lodges using the term. Of course, I do understand that quite a few of the small jurisdictions have themselves split off from PH lodges, so maybe they're more sensitive.

    And I've said this before,and I'm sure I'll say this again: I've got nothing against the UGLA. While it's too bad that they felt the need to go off on their own instead of trying to work from the inside, if the recent posts from "Bro. Secretary" are true, then that presents an entirely different light on the matter. But still, I'd sure like to see less bickering and bitterness, and more treating each other as brothers - from both sides.

    The Tao of Masonry

  32. Any Gl system over 75 years old is filled with racists from both sides, they are from a different generation, ALL THE MORE REASON FOR A UGLA!

  33. Where did Lamb-chop go??!! Just when it was getting interesting!!! They always fade back into the woods they popped out of when it starts getting interesting!


  34. Bro. Accuosti ,

    The bitterness will end as soon as more Masons are willing to act like brothers and toss politics to the wind. You're an excellent example of this type of man and Mason - a model for all of us.


  35. How many black members has the UGLA?

    Do you know that Cooksey is gay?

  36. How many black members has the UGLA?
    Do you know that Cooksey is gay?

    Who the hell cares? What possible difference would it make to anyone?

    BTW, I know several gay Masons in AF&AM jurisdictions, so what's your point? If you've got nothing good or positive to offer, then why bother posting?

    The Tao of Masonry

  37. Cooksey not gay he's black!

  38. Cooksey could be a bi-purple-people-eater for all I care. The question is, why are you diverting the attention away from the truth?

    BTW, show me the sources for that article on Russ & Dee... What, there are none? That is why it is an opinion piece and not real journalism.

  39. Of course it's an opinion piece... it's my opinion of what I heard on the radio show. I never claimed (here) to be a journalist, though I was one in a previous incarnation.

    Ladies and gentlemen, though I don't like censorship, if these cheap ad hominem (against a person) attacks continue, I will have to flip the switch to ban anonymous posts. C'mon, guys, if you're a Mason, act like it. If you're not, act like one anyway.

    Don't make me quote Rodney King.

    — W.S.

  40. the elder masons aroun me tried to label a bunch of young non married masons as faggots as well in my area. What is it about southerners and older men that have them fear a confident un wed man?
    If a guy is not married, does he have to bang a broad on the alter for it to be ok and he not be considered gay?
    The elders trowing the gay terms around in my town all happened to be southern transplants up north.

  41. Research studies have shown that the more homophobic a man is, the more likely he's a closet homosexual.

    — W.S.

  42. I know all of this revolves around the UGLA issue. I'm not against the UGLA because I believe these brothers were wronged by the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

    The UGLA has created a schsim at a time in Masonic history when we need to be more united. I would like to appeal to all Masons to help resolve the issues that created the UGLA before the problem becomes too big to be easily resolved.

    We need to find a way to open a conversation between the UGLA and some of the Grand Lodges. By doing this there may be a way to discover a middle path that can benefit our fraternity instead of cutting it into ever smaller pieces.

    I know there are many egos involved in this issue but I believe they can be soothed if we appraoch this honstly and fairly.

    Please repost this anywhere you like. Hopefully others will see the benefits of this approach as opposed to continuing with the present strategy of denying there is a problem that needs to be fixed.


  43. "Of course it's an opinion piece... it's my opinion of what I heard on the radio show. I never claimed (here) to be a journalist, though I was one in a previous incarnation."

    Sorry Brother, I was reffering to the free press article, not your blog. I know and am very familiar with the sources for your article.

  44. I happen to be an regular Alabama Mason from a mixed ethnic background and I have found no discrimination in the many Lodges that I have attended. I have found that the posts on this site only wish to stir old s!@# and the more you stir old s!@#, the more it is going to stink. What Masonry's detractors refuse to acknowledge is the good that Masons have done in the past and continue to do today. There are over 700,000 children whose lives have been changed by Shriners' Hospitals. Not to mention children who learn to read because of the Scottish Rite. Need I remind you of the contribution that Brethren such as Simon Bolivar and Voltaire made to the cause of liberty? Let us stop bickering and remember our obligations. Thank you, Governor Riley, for your steadfast dedication to your obligations.

    Auburn University Mason

  45. Brother from AU,

    The debate isn't about "mixed ethnic backgrounds." Heck, even I'm of mixed ethnic background, if you consider the Germans and the Irish and AmerIndians to be "ethnic." The issue is about whether African-Americans can join the regular, Antient Masonic lodges under the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodges of Alabama or Georgia, or whether these grand lodges will recognize a Prince Hall Mason as a true and lawful brother.

    I have no issue with a private organization other than Freemasonry having whatever membership rules they want to. I do have an issue with Freemasonry proclaiming to the world that one of its main tenets is "universal brotherly love," and then excluding like-minded individuals, including other Masons, because of their race or skin color.

    In Alabama, the racism is institutionalized, in the 1876 Resolution that was re-affirmed in 1970. It proclaims, "we reject negroes as Masons." Say whatever you want; that proclamation still stands as official doctrine.

    In Georgia, the racism is less official (as far as I know — there may be a similar document in the Georgia vaults), but there all the same. I heard more than once some brother in my lodge say he would vote against any "n-word" who petitioned, not that there was a chance in Hades of a black petitioning a lodge in rural north Georgia. The guys just said it in reaction to the questions younger Masons asked.

    Once I even heard it said, aloud during a tyled meeting, that "everyone should own one or two n-words."

    I've noticed in the news reports about Gov. Riley that the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Jerry M. Underwood, was quoted as saying that Alabama Freemasonry has an ethnically diverse membership even though critics say it has no blacks.

    "We have Hispanics and Indians," he said. "In fact, we brought in an Iranian here in Montgomery a few weeks ago."

    Again we see a smokescreen, as no one has questioned whether ethnic groups other than blacks have been denied membership or recognition.

    Also — the issue is not whether or not Masons or Shriners have "done good" for "the children," either. Whether they have or not has nothing to do with the racism under discussion.

    — W.S.

  46. Love this discussion guys. I am the guy who stood up at the GL of Alabama to speak in favor of investigating recognition of PH Masonry. While I do support the idea of the UGLA I am disheartened that in order to accomplish it they had to break off and start a GL that is by definition clandestine. It would have been better, although virtually impossible, to get a couple of GL's to merge and work on getting others to follow suit.

    As for the election and the controversy, for the record...I supported Bob Riley still do. I was disappointed to see how little traction the story got though. And I was very amused to suddenly start getting phone calls from Masons around the country asking me if the stories they heard about my speech were true. It was such a surprise to hear I had cussed out the Grand Lodge and was spitting and stuttering with rage as I spoke. That memory must have been repressed and I wll surely need hundreds of hours of therapy to recover it. (grin)

    Keep up the pressure guys. Eventually things will change.

    Alex J Harris
    Solar Lodge # 914
    Huntsville, AL
    Under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, F&AM

  47. Alex Harris should have joined a PHA lodge from the start.You were out of order when you spoke about the subject of recognizing The Prince hall Fraternity at the 1999 Grand Lodge communication. Then we all noticed that you went online and typed a bunch of hogwash blogs once you left the communication. You also made the whole situation out to be bigger than what it was. If you don't like the fact the we don't recognize Prince Hall, then get out of the fraternity.

  48. I can't believe what I'm seeing here.

    You guys are arguing about racism? No wonder this country is going to pot!

    Listen: despite all the silly, amusing conspiracy-theory lore about what it is exactly you guys DO in your little club, the fact remains that your members are some of the smartest, most right-hearted, and most influential men in this country. You are founded on the traditions of bettering yourselves and the betterment of society as a whole, as well as the preservation of the ideals upon which this nation was based. Regardless of what you choose to tell the rest of us; you are NOT simply a little tea-time "charity club."

    We need you.
    This country needs you to resolve this, get your heads out of your asses and get to work doing whatever it is you do to fix the mess this buffoon we have in office has made of the Bill of Rights.

    Help us, Obi Wan Kenobi; You're our only hope.

    Thank you,
    Li'l ol' Jenn
    (a bystander)


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