Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Anonymous poster calls United Grand Lodge of America 'Klan-destine'

In an unexpected and humorous twist to the ongoing saga of Antient Masonic racism, the formation of the United Grand Lodge of America, and the general state of discord within Freemasonry, an anonymous poster has surfaced recently on Burning Taper sowing his own seeds of Discord.

In his latest comment, we're warned that the "Joseph A. Walkes Jr. Commission on Bogus Masonic Practices under the banner of the Phylaxis Society" is watching.

Apparently certain elements of Prince Hall Masonry aren't happy with the UGLA. The Commission has labeled the UGLA as "bogus." Sidestepping the word clandestine (which white Antient Masons have used for centuries to mean, mostly, "the black lodges," or so I was told when I was raised), the Commission says that bogus means "fraudulent."

How can members of the United Grand Lodge of American be fraudulent Masons, when they were all raised in regular, recognized Blue Lodges under the jurisdictions of their respective Grand Lodges?

Joseph A. Walkes, for whom the Commission is named, apparently wrote a great deal about "bogus Freemasonry," something that evidently has been rampant in black culture. His article “Bogus Black Groups or Black on Black Crime” stated, "Unfortunately the leadership of both Prince Hall Freemasonry and its Caucasian counterparts have little or no knowledge of Masonic common law, and exactly what Freemasonry is all about, and they continue to make dumb and dumber statements on the subject of bogus frauds operating within the Black community, such as calling them 'non-Prince Hall Masons.'"

On their website, they write:
10 STUPID justifications plus a BONUS given by Bogus Masons as to why they should be recognized

Misguided bogus Masons say:
  1. We read the same rituals
  2. We take the same degree
  3. We practice the same Masonry
  4. We have the same regalia
  5. We give the same grips, signs and words
  6. We confer the same degrees
  7. We take the same obligations
  8. We Black Masons should stick together
  9. We believe in God
  10. We belong to the same church
  11. BONUS) He’s my Frat Brother (Greek)
It's my understanding that UGLA members are regular Masons, and not concerned with "recognition" as practiced by Antient Masons, either white or Prince Hall. Perhaps some of their members can comment on this apparent animosity from this black organization.

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94 comments:

  1. Looking at us is different than declaring us "bogus". We invite their scrutiny. However, we are not and will not be dragged into all of the recognition foolishness because it only seeks to divide people not unite them.

    We would be more than happy to talk with one of their representatives.

    Brian Roper
    UGLA

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  2. I'm actually beginning to wonder if that anonymous poster isn't really with the Ku Klux Klan and he is just here to stir racial intollerance among Masons.

    Mr. Anonymous,

    The UGLA is open to all men of all races and creeds. There is nothing you or your sheet wearing friends can do about it.

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  3. Just goes to prove the mentality of some of these Anonymous'. If you read their posts in a child-like, playground bully voice...it seems to fit that kind of context.

    Darren

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  4. Dumb question, but I have never been really sure about the differences in labels: When one refers to "Antients", does that mean just "A.F. & A.M" lodges, or does it include "F.& A.M." as well (basically, all of the masons under the state grand lodge system)?

    Good posts and updates on the movement to erase racism in masonry.

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  5. Here's my 2cents coming in in the 7th inning: I associate with Prince Hall Masons. A Prince Hall works at the VA hospital where I have an account, he and I have fellowship quite often.
    Now, there is another black gentleman, who is a mason, but not a Prince Hall Mason. He is not that well informed, but seems to go under International AF&AM or something or another, but is not recognized by prince hall. Maybe what anonymous was talking about was this international group of black mason, trying to talk logic to the prince halls about recognizing each other?
    the 3 of us will sit and talk masonry, and can't understand why they don't intermingle?

    The prince halls have 4 blue lodges, this other group has 6.

    now if the UGLA, which I'm not clear on their recogintion policy, recognizes both black masonic groups, GOD BLESS!
    That would be the smartest thing masonry could do.
    no one benfits from division. period.

    if they follow the ancient constitutions, have a 3 degree system of advancement, hello brother!

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  6. "Many Freemasons have adopted the word to describe so-called Masonic operations that perform functions and exert power and influence over blind innocent men. Masonic operations that work without authority, the common customs and traditions of Freemasonry are considered “BOGUS”. This is evident, especially when the word started to be strongly used after the Thomson Masonic Fraud in 1922. In the recent past though sometime used as a slang expression, the word “bogus” in not a slang word in the real sense today as it is now part of our official vocabulary. The reason for this is because the word “bogus” has been used for so long that it is not an informal nonstandard vocabulary word composed typically of coinage. To describe these illegal groups in a sugar-coated manner shows the lack of honest and effective communication to save innocent people. The late Brother Joseph A. Walkes Jr., in his article “Bogus Black Groups or Black on Black Crime” stated, Unfortunately the leadership of both Prince Hall Freemasonry and its Caucasian counterparts have little or no knowledge of Masonic common law, and exactly what Freemasonry is all about, and they continue to make dumb and dumber statements on the subject of bogus frauds operating within the Black community, such as calling them “non-Prince Hall Masons”. Some of our leadership do not understand the importance of educating ourselves of these groups who are bogus. The word “BOGUS” is NOT a figure of speech but part of our vocabulary and common language."

    This website and statements are from what I believe is this other "non-prince hall" masonic group, and took offense to his brand of masonry being called bogus.
    and the statement of understanding the real tenets of freemasonry, we are all brothers under the all seeing eye of god, so we are all brothers,period, and stop the simple minded, name calling, stake claiming attitudes which result in division.

    In My Humble Opinion, that is.
    One would think that the enlightened mind could grasp that concept and run with it.

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  7. I think the UGLA recognizes any man who has been truly made a Mason in his heart. They don't play Masonic politics because they put brotherhood first. Which is the way I think it ought to be too.

    I agree with much of what the UGLA is doing and hope that other Masons will see that much good is being accomplished by these brothers.

    They've done something even the state Grand Lodges were too afraid to do --- They addressed the race issue head-on. They had the courage to put actions behind their words.

    God bless.

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  8. I must correct myself, after reading more on http://www.phylaxis.org/bogusmasonry/masterfraud.htm ,
    I beliee this is written by a prince hall mason making brethren aware of scam artists and claiming masonic lineage and the importance of education the brethren.

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  9. the 3 of us will sit and talk masonry, and can't understand why they don't intermingle?

    In a word: Politics.

    The recognition issue goes back to well before the 1717 UGLE stuff. In fact, any student of the esoteric has probably run across such statements as "So&so began the Grand Occidental Rite after his trip to Egypt". Reading further into it shows us that as lodges began to mingle the political types with the esoteric junkies, some splits and schisms were bound to occur. The 1700s founded so many new lodges and societies that some kind of recognition became imperative so that the Knights Who Say Ni didn't steal members from the Golden Sunset by claiming that "we're exactly the same, only better".

    At some point one of the landmarks of Masonry becamse the right of territorial jurisdiction, most likely so that, for example, the GL of Mass could not charter lodges in Conn, RI and New York and thereby steal Nutmeggers away. In fact, NY and Mass did charter several lodges in Conn, but we absorbed them after we became a state and formed our own GL. Those lodges still retain some of the customs of their respective chartering states, much to the chagrin of certain GL officers.

    Naturally, the issue of territoriality ran smack head-on into the PH lodges. If Mass or NY couldn't charter a lodge in Conn, then certainly no other jursidiction could do so, either. The problem was resolved by ignoring the issue, by pretending that they did not exist. Conn and a dozen other GLs began to remedy that 15 years ago, and other GLs followed suit.

    That issues, though, was smoothed over because the grandaddy UGLE recognized the "regularity" of PH GLs. Not so for, say, King Hiram or King Solomon GLs, which themselves were offshoots because of internal schisms in the PH GLs. Conn has several unrecognized GLs, mostly in the shoreline cities heading toward NY City. We even supposedly have an order that admits women, although it may be a rumor since I can't find it on the internet, nor does anyone who's mentioned it to me have any substantiation.

    There are, though, several such orders in NY, andn they are not all related. I've been chatting for five years with women Masons - before I became one, myself. One order in NY is a resurrected Memphis-Misraim rite, and sounds really interesting. Since the MM branch split off from F&AM before it was F&AM, there's no chance of recognition as long as they hold to the policy of territorial jusrisdiction. I dont' know about the Hiram and Solomon GLs, but the MM will recognize me, should I choose to violate my obligation and come to see a degree.

    The entire situation is political, of course, and it's a shame that the early Masons were so uptight about it that they felt the need to write it into the obligations.

    What adds to the shame, however, is how some Masons treat the very idea of unrecognized or clandestine lodges. It amazes me that a group of men who boast about their religious tolerance and be so proud of how they can sit with Catholics and Episcopalians and Baptists and Jews and Muslims and Hindus can not see the paradox in being so intolerant in their attitudes toward Masons of other jurisdictions.

    The Tao of Masonry

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  10. These misguided folks that are knockin the UGLA are just mad because the UGLA is successful and growing. Its all a money game with the BL GL guys! The UGLA is psissing in their sandbox and taking away young folks and messin up their plans to sell off the lodge buildings.

    Sounds like they're the ones being crooks, not the UGLA!

    Hugh Janus IV

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  11. Thanks for that Tom, I as well have looked at MM stuff and would be cool for educational stuff in BL, but our elders would never allow it. It is nice for the three of us, from 3 different jurisdictions/GL systems and meet and talk on the level. It is so simple and undivisive and natural that it boggles and educated logical unbiased mind?

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  12. Good work Brothers. You obviously have the corporation miffed. I think that they are starting to see their own clay feet. Isn't idolatry fun!

    Seriously though, I want you all to know that you are not alone. There are more of us that are in the trenches. In a fifth pillar sense.
    G-Mason

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  13. Does the Klan not like having their hoods torn off? Are the so upset that they have to try to turn the table. The cat is out of the bag and it is about time.
    What next?
    The UGLA is doing good work. Why is anyone threatened by it?

    G-Mason

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  14. UGLA Brothers, the Masonic world is watching in wonderment. For the first time they are seeing someone actually do something instead of just talking about it. Your doing what the rest of us only dream of.

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  15. G-Mason and friends of the UGLA,

    Thank you! Thank you sincerely!

    Darren

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  16. What people seem to forget here is that freemasonry is an ancient system that is passed down from legitimate sources. That source giving the lodge power to work. With that said, many of these "bogus" lodges are formed when a lot of these "new" leaders didn't get their way, or were expelled, or power hungry. They pick up leave and start their own system of masonry. Look guys this is the best way I can explain why it's not right. A lot of you may belong to a college fraternity that you love or some society or another. One day a group of guys say that they don't like what's going on and they break off and start their own group. Using the same name, group colors, shield or crest, signs and symbols, but now instead of it being Kappa Alpha (just an example) its Alpha Kappa. Same ritual and all. Does that make it right for them to just walk off and use the same everything without the proper authority to do so? NO! I'm a Prince Hall mason and all Prince Hall mason can trace their lodge back to the Prince Hall mother Grand lodge in Mass. All Caucasian lodges can trace their blue lodge or their Grand lodge to a legitimate source that gave them the AUTHORITY to work. These newly found Grand Lodges have no authority to do so as stated in the ancient system and are therefore irregular in origin. If masonry were to let everybody start a grand lodge and lodges everywhere any kind of way, the system as we know it would not have lasted as long as it has.

    Peace and Love

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  17. It is my impression that an important lesson of masonry is tolerance. Why is segregation practiced in any form? I became a mason in my heart first. THEN a lodge. Get over it.

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  18. I am a member of the UGLA. The claim that we are "bogus" Masons doesn't really bother me because I know that I was raised in a just and regular Lodge of Masons. What bothers me are the accusations that we are all "a bunch of expelled Masons." I am a Past Master of my old Blue Lodge. (Birmingham 757-Grand Lodge of Alabama) I demitted from said lodge in good standing. I have been in communication with Alabama's 2005-2006 Grand Master and still consider him a brother and a friend. I joined the UGLA because I liked the vision that they have for the fraternity and I wanted to be a part, certainly not because I was expelled. (Nor were any other of the members of my present UGLA lodge, Temple of Regulus in Birmingham, AL.) We are all Masons and we should all meet on the level.

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  19. Concerning the web page for the Phylaxis Society's Joseph A. Walkes, Jr., Commission on Bogus Masonic Practices, it was agreed by myself and Bro. Jeff Peace that the Commission and her members would not deal with the UGLA at that time. That was march of 2006. I as the director of the commission have kept my word,however, I told Bro. Jeff, though he had problems with his GL, he should go thru the due process, and that it was wrong for him to start his own GL. It would do nothing more than taint his admission back into his old GL if another GM came in and had a change of heart. Let it be known that NO ONE from the Commission has posted a thing as of yet about the UGLA

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  20. By the way, the last post was from Ralph L. McNeal,Jr.

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  21. I'm a Past Master of a Georgia Masonic Lodge.I am embarrassed that my Lodge and The Grand Lodge of Georgia are racist. I'm Not A Leader but I do vote. Just know that if this issue were ever to be decided as to weither my Lodge would remain racist or join the real world, I would vote to recognize Prince Hall Masonary. Unfortunately that's one vote the racist leadership will nerver permit except for a miracle. This opinion must remain announomous. That way I can still vote in case of a miracle. mjt

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  22. Reading this article I can truly see that some of my fellow brothers are can not grasp the concept of what bogus means. I am too a Prince Hall Mason and to be honest we recognize our caucasian counterparts are a regular legitimate masonic body whose lineage can be traced back to UGL of England , The mother lodge of Masonry, Now for these other so-called Masonic bodies the first thing that your are taught is that you have to have a charter empowering you to do work. Who chartered you grand lodge? Because if your charter is not on the scroll from UGLE than you are not regular i.e. bogus and illegitimate and unrecognized. I invite you out to get healed into a real masonic body where by you are recognized and can be brought into the light.....

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  23. It's a shame that a Mason would have to fight long and hard for other masons to recognize him. I would hope that that brother would realized that the real journey was personal, and not one to be seen by others. Apparently that is not the case. It is apparent that a great majority of PHA masons, after a long, drawn out ordeal to be recognized by white masons, and England that now they feel that they are some how "more" of a mason than other masons. So, I guess they were "bogus" before, and still are in some states,before that recognition. It's sad. Go do some charity or something.

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  24. Wow, Some of the stuff I've read here is so freakin' ridiculous. It has been my experience that since I'm a member of a southern jurisdiction I get the PHA thrown in my face all the time.
    "Well if you guys are so good why don't you recognize Prince Hall Masons." Then we are called racist. I am far from racist, in fact I think that not recognizing PH as regular masons here in the south is a travesty. Listen, if every progressive minded brother left the system, there would be no progressive votes to actually make change. We have two PH brothers who have left comments here, and no one can state the facts of the situation more succinctly than themselves. You see they had fallen into the category of clandestine masonry FAR LONGER than any other person here, and they realize and understand the criteria and reasons. It's not that they are in the "in club" now and feel they finally get to be exclusionary too.
    If you are currently a regular and recognized Freemason don't demit and join a spurious lodge, get more active in your own, become an officer and work your way up to past master. In my jurisdiction you can vote at the Grand Lodge once you become a Junior Warden. The more people we have, the better chance we have to change things for the better. However when someone gets mad and forms their own coterie I would argue that they are the ones who divide the craft. Yes they will accept anyone, and just watch the masses flock to them.

    If you are a regular and recognized Free Mason and you have a penchant for all things occult, form a study group and if you are afraid of your brothers not approving, keep it down low and on the square. If not then join or form a non-masonic occult group.

    As far as the GOA, is concerned I have been to their website and there is no contact information. There is a web form that a person can use, but it unnecessarily obfuscates the process. I do not see any lists of subordinate lodges or names of the Grand Officers. This lack of transparency is astounding to me.
    I have also read online the suggestion that some northern jurisdictions should withdraw recognition from the southern Grand Lodges until they get right and recognise PHA. I agree 100%. In fact a Brother stood up at one of the local Scottish rite meetings and said nearly the same thing not too long ago. I have no doubt that there are some racist brothers in Masonry. To paint us all with such a wide brush shows where the real discrimination lies.
    Sorry for coming so late to the conversation, and taking up so much space. Peace.

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  25. Listen, if every progressive minded brother left the system, there would be no progressive votes to actually make change.

    ::applauds::

    I've said this, myself, once or twice :-\

    I hope that it now carries more credence coming from someone in a southern jurisdiction. The ancients recognized that true change comes from within.

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  26. That is why they control the voting process and then control who gets appointed to the line to insure changes DO NOT come from within!

    Exactly bro tom, knowing that changes can only come from within, they have rigged the system so NO changes will ever be made! The inside system is ran by cronies and nepotism so fight any change or insiring minds.

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  27. T Ron, I would ask just exactly how they control the system, and rig the voting? Many of these comments would be more convincing if people explain exactly what leads them to believe these things.
    In a regular lodge voting is by secret ballot, I would assume voting at the Grand Lodge level is the same, but I am not sure about that and will not pretend otherwise. The process I have always been a part of is transparent and fairly obvious. In our jurisdiction Grand Lodge leadership is elected by the body of Past Masters, Worshipful Masters, and sitting Junior/Senior Deacons.
    Now, one kind of man could assume that the officer line is stacked not only in Grand Lodge but every subordinate lodge within the jurisdiction ensuring that every member of the Grand Lodge Body are racist, and totally willing to shut out any form of change. Another kind of man could assume that this is just how it is here. I'm sure you realize that the majority of masons in America are old men. Not just "older," but OLD. In the south unfortunately that translates to having racist tendencies. It is unfortunate. Just as change finally came to every other "regular" Grand Lodge in America it will come here. Progress can never be stopped.
    None of this however warrants me skipping off and creating my own Grand Lodge. The Grand Orient is legitimate in my eyes, even though they are irregular. I even feel sympathetic towards they way they look at things, but I gave my word as a man and a Mason that I would not hold Masonic communication with them.
    These other lodges like the "Regular Grand Lodge of England," "Grand Lodge Of York and All England"(whatever the name is,) "Grand Orient of America," or the "United Grand Lodge Of America," every single one does its best to obfuscate just exactly what they are and where their authority comes from. Were I to jump to conclusions I would assume that their names or "histories" were meant to confuse people who knew little about the craft, and lead them to their coffers. If they could prove that they derive their authority from a lodge or order that existed prior to 1717, have much more respect for these groups. I'm sorry if I offend anyone reading this, but I think I have a valid point, and W.S. has a valid disclaimer. Peace.

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  28. Oh, and thanks for the props Tom. From what I've seen you are a pretty astute and well reasoned brother. It means alot.

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  29. The inside system is ran by cronies and nepotism so fight any change or insiring minds.

    ::looks down to see his own purple apron::

    T-Ron, do you really believe what you just said?

    Look, I've been around the Conn GL for a while, and here's what I see: it's the same damn people on all the committees all the time, not because of nepotism, but because most other people don't want the job!

    I spend two Saturdays a month (some bros spend 3 or more) going to meetings. I'm out several nights a week at different lodges. I help with rehearsals, I go to installations, I get invited to PM meetings, and believe me, it's not the exciting, glamorous life you may think.

    DDGMs have it even worse, because in addition to their regular visitations, they are usually asked to head up some other GL committee. I don't know about the larger states down south, but up here most GL reps are picked not as a favor to anyone, but because they're willing to put in the time.

    And, unlike a number of people who complain about this, I do speak from experience: most GL officers are regular guys who want the best for the fraternity. Unfortunately, they can only deal with the information that they're getting; if 100 brothers tell them one thing, and only 2 tell them something else, guess who they're going to listen to?

    Your job - in order to change from within - is to get those 2 guys to convince two others, and then they to convince two more. D'you see how that works?


    Nimrod - some people find it easier to blame the system than to work with it. I understand this, it's human nature. But this is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to konspiracy theories; it's a shame that some of the worst konspiracy theorists are actually those within our ranks.

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  30. Okay, I have been watching in transparency for a while now and so I've decided to post. Here I am, a prospective mason looking at all of the hoopla going on in the world and now in freemasonry. I am thinking about joining, but I do not like being forced into something. I.e. I want to joing a Grand Lodge, the chances of this happening in Georgia or slim. I'll probably be blackslisted and directed to the Prince Hall Lodges. Is this right? I don't think so, all the research I've done over the years to confirm my decision, have led me to one thing. People are still idiots, biggots, etc and the pure lapse of logic is amazing.
    I went into one lodge here, because I didn't know anyone there and was calmly walked to the door. I am a very stubborn person, but this blatent ignorance vexes me a bit. I feel that masonry is the right "calling" for me, but I don't want to join any organization that still breeds this type of hostile air.

    Isn't freemasonry supposed to unite brothers in a effort to bring change to your surroundings in peace and harmony? No matter your RACE, location, or creed. This is not what I'm seeing.

    If the UGLA or whoever is a group of masons that plan to change this. I'm all for it. But like the other members in here said. You become a mason first, then you join a lodge. I have made my decision, but I refuse to expend otherwise useful energy in a lodge full of hypocrisy. No matter which lodge it is. I'm not a brother yet, but geez. Seeing all this makes me never want to become one.

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  31. Everything I've ever heard about Prince Hall Masonry, and all of their lodges websites which I've seen, has been impressive. They seem like a bunch that really has their act together. If I were located in Georgia, I would petition Prince Hall rather than the "traditional" GL. I presume the racism problem is one way - PHA would allow white folk like me to join, right?

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  32. Mason,

    I just wanted to let you know that stuff like this has been happening for as long as Masonry has been around. It isn't a new development by any means. When you suggest that you will be blacklisted of directed to PHA, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Lot's of people can and are blackballed for all kinds of different reasons. If you are blackballed by one lodge I encourage you to try another.
    You are right, lots of people are ignorant, bigoted, etc. No one is perfect, not even Masons. Any person who claims to be, or to have all the answers is lying. Masonry is about becoming better, and everyone has room for improvement.

    "I went into one lodge here, because I didn't know anyone there and was calmly walked to the door."

    If you showed up at a lodge, while they were meeting it is very likely that they will calmly walk you to the door.

    "I feel that masonry is the right "calling" for me, but I don't want to join any organization that still breeds this type of hostile air." Masonry doesn't breed hostility. Hostility, Ignorance, Racism and the like are similar to Fungus. It grows anywhere and everywhere it can find a dark corner. No organization is immune, once again anyone who tells you otherwise is mistaken.
    Freemasonry should unite people on all these points, but it is only as good as it's constituent members. I don't think it is meant to change your surroundings or the world. It is meant to change yourself, and when enough people are enlightened then change comes to the world naturally.

    "If the UGLA or whoever is a group of masons that plan to change this. I'm all for it."

    If you find yourself happier in one of their lodges then it may be right for you. I would caution you to be careful
    and make sure your bullshit detector is turned on when talking to ANYONE about masonry (even Me), and make sure you are not fleeced by some pirated organization.
    In my opinion you may have the ideals of Masonry in your heart but you are not a Mason until you travel the same path that millions before you have.

    Jeff,

    I'm not sure about Georgia, but PH in other states will certainly accept you.

    Tom. you are exactly right. These guys are DYING to find someone to take over lodge leadership positions. Our secretary has been the same guy for probably 15 out of the past 20 years. Not because he is greedy, but because it is hard to find people who will step up.

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  33. Nimrod. I wasn't talking about the PH masons. I'm talking about the GL masons. When I finally got enough courage to visit the lodge I went an hour and a half early before the time listed on their sign, so that maybe I could talk to them and get to know some of the members. It was about 9 members there and I talked to the first member that approached me.

    I introduced myself and what not and even asked if I could join their lodge. He said that he wasn't a freemason even though he was wearing the appropriate jewerly. I'm not saying all the Grand Lodges are like this, but this one assumed I didn't know any better. What I meant by blacklisted and you corrected to blackballed what that upon getting turned down by one grand lodge I will be turned down to all other grand lodges I apply.

    I've recently talked to another GL and the member I got in contact with was very excited about masonry and therefore got me excited again. This was a phone meeting, so I'm a tad bit nervous about the reception I might get upon my actual visitation. He even pointed to me to someone a little more excited than he was, which is hard to believe.

    "I would caution you to be careful
    and make sure your bullshit detector is turned on when talking to ANYONE about masonry (even Me), and make sure you are not fleeced by some pirated organization.
    In my opinion you may have the ideals of Masonry in your heart but you are not a Mason until you travel the same path that millions before you have"

    I am cautious about making a decision and my bs detector is up to max already. I've only considered the GL's and the PH lodges because I've been exposed to both. When I was on the west coast, they mingled and I knew members of both lodges. Yeah, things are a lot more diverse there. This is why I'm a little confused about the issue when I moved back here. The only lodge I was told to be careful in my petitioning were the Scottish Rite lodges. I didn't know that extended to all, but the PH lodges.

    I've grown up seeing and knowing both sides, so to be forced to pick is hmm..quite a disappointment.

    Oh to Jeff, I have seen both lighter and darker Americans in PH lodges. Just all the websites I see here don't show much diversity.

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  34. Ok Mason I see what you are saying a little clearer. Let me say this. GL (I assume you mean Grand Lodge.) It can be a good place for info, but you can't petition Grand Lodge. There may be a lodge that is subordinate to the Grand Lodge that actually meets in the Grand Lodge Building, but the only members of Grand Lodge are Past Masters (Men who have served as a Worshipful Master in a subordinate lodge) and the higher officers.
    Also in the US (with the exception of Louisiana) there is no such thing as Scottish Rite Lodges. Lodges in America only work 3 degrees. beyond that you have to petition either the York or Scottish Rite to receive the rest. That being said, there ARE Scottish rite versions of the 1st three degrees, but no one actually performs them, except maybe a few lodges in Louisiana. I'm not sure about that, but that is what I have heard, and it is a throwback to their French roots.
    I hope I have helped elucidate things a bit more for you instead of muddle the situation, and I sincerely wish you luck in your search for more light. Peace.

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  35. Thanks Nimrod for the information. I saw my mistake after I posted. You have to go through the traditional 3 degrees before you can go into York Rite or Scottish Rite, etc. Sorry for that.

    What I meant by Grand Lodge are the lodges that are recognized if you search for lodges under the "jurisdiction" of the Grand Lodge of Georgia for example. I know there are also PH grand lodges which have districts. I'm scheduled to meet for dinner next week, so hopefully things go well. If not, I'll just walk next door, lol.

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. Seek and ye shall find, Bro. Hodapp has posted a very interesting article about the Scottish Rite in Louisiana. I highly reccomend it. http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2008/01/historic-scottish-rite-event-in-new.html

    (sorry I forgot the link the 1st time)

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  38. The Grand Orient of the United States of America should not be viewed in comparison to the state Grand Lodges or Prince Hall. The GOUSA does not require a belief in deity and is humanist in its philosophy.

    It states its principles openly.


    Principles


    Our cause is the intellectual, spiritual and social advancement of humanity. To accomplish these aims we have established the following guiding principles for Free-Masonry:

    1. We believe in the freedom of conscience of all people, and that it is an essential component of liberty, equality and fraternity.

    2. We believe in and support the separation of religion and government, and promote religious and spiritual tolerance among all people.

    3. We believe in and support the freedom of the press as a necessary component of maintaining the inalienable rights of all human beings, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    4. We believe in and support the need for higher education and life-long learning.

    5. We believe in and support an impartial judiciary system as essential to guaranteeing the preservation of human rights.

    6. We believe in and support the arts and sciences as essential elements in the progress and evolution of humanity.

    7. We believe in and support efforts that work towards global environmental and ecological sustainability as essential to the survival of the human species.

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  39. Just a point of clarification:

    "The GOUSA does not require a belief in deity and is humanist in its philosophy."

    One can be humanist in their philosophy and believe in deity. By definition, the two concepts are not necessarily juxtaposed. All other conceptions offered in the statement are in agreement with the UGLE system of Masonry. These principles, however, are left to the individual to decide upon.

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  40. I wonder if the anonymous poster's objections are related to the UGLA's support of Ron Paul in light of the Republican presidential candidate's long-time association with racist groups? Including taking money from neo-Nazi leaders and having his campaign organizing lead by a current Klan member? Just a thought.

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  41. Anagram,

    At least be honest and accurate in your posts.

    The UGLE, as an organization, does NOT actively support any of the things listed. Whether or not their members can choose to do so privately is irrelevant.

    I seriously doubt that the UGLE or any of the American Grand Lodges would consider themselves to be humanist in any way, form, or fashion. Your statement is a distortion of the reality.

    The UGLA does not support Ron Paul or any other candidate. The owner of the BurningTaper blog supports Ron Paul.

    Please at least attempt to post with some level of integrity in the future.

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  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  44. There are many UGLA members that have expressed their support for Ron Paul on this board, and it can easily be shown. While it is true that this does not show the UGLA's official support, it does show support amongst its members. It's not a great leap to suggest the UGLA supports Ron Paul, or is this a case of 'just because Bush is giving a speech in our church, we're out of it'?

    "The UGLE, as an organization, does NOT actively support any of the things listed. Whether or not their members can choose to do so privately is irrelevant."

    Good to hear freedom of conscience is irrelevant to you, Howard. We see you do not truly believe in its power as you have to tell people what to think. I never said or implied that, "...the UGLE or any of the American Grand Lodges would consider themselves to be humanist in any way, form, or fashion." as you imply. At least be honest and accurate in your posts. Please at least attempt to post with some level of integrity in the future.

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  45. From the UGLE website:

    "You agree to promote the general good of Society, to cultivate the Social Virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Mystic Art as far as your influence and ability can extend."

    This fairly sums up the UGLA's 'guiding principles'. Yes, these are the Masonic principles I live by as a member of a UGLE affiliated lodge. I actively support these things, as does my UGLE affiliated lodge, as does my lodge.

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  46. A statement on the meaning of Humanism:

    "In this century, humanism has come to refer to a philosophy that rejects traditional religious dogmas and usually theism itself. Although it is possible to be both a theist and a humanist, most who consciously use that term are atheists - especially if they are secular humanists . This modern humanism is a direct outgrowth of the Renaissance Humanism."

    For my part, I consider myself a Humanist, but not a theist.

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  47. A definition of a Clandestine Mason, which all UGLA members fulfill, as well as the definition for 'suspended' or 'expelled'. This should clarify some specific questions:

    "CLANDESTINE LODGE AND CLANDESTINE MASON:

    A clandestine Lodge is one that has not been issued a charter from a duly recognized Grand Lodge and, therefore, you may not visit such a Lodge. One who belongs to one of these Lodges is a clandestine Mason and therefore, not entitled to visit your Lodge. A Master Mason from a regular Lodge should also not conduct Masonic related discussions with a clandestine Mason."

    I'm not sure 'masonic related discussions' are clearly defined in the definition.

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  48. Interesting statements on the meaning of 'bogus' here:

    http://www.phylaxis.org/bogusmasonry/definition.htm

    "10 STUPID justifications plus a BONUS given by Bogus Masons as to why they should be recognized

    Misguided bogus Masons say:

    1) We read the same rituals

    2) We take the same degree

    3) We practice the same Masonry

    4) We have the same regalia

    5) We give the same grips, signs and words

    6) We confer the same degrees

    7) We take the same obligations

    8) We Black Masons should stick together.

    9) We believe in God

    10) We belong to the same church

    BONUS) He’s my Frat Brother (Greek)


    Seems the UGLA fits this definition too.

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  49. Ironically, I agree with your definition of "clandestine".

    You are not a member of a lodge recognized by the Grand Orient of France or the Grand Orient of the United States of America and are, therefore, a clandestine Mason from my perspective. I do not recognize you as a brother or a Mason.

    Now, I realize that you will claim the same of me but what of it? Who cares? I'm a member of an organization of which I agree with their ideas and principles. You are a member of an organization that you agree with their ideas and principles. If both of us are satisfied with our organization then all is well and good.

    Your organization traces itself back to the Grand Lodge of London in 1717 through the United Grand Lodge of England which was established in 1813. My organization traces itself back to the Grand Lodge of London through the Grand Orient of France. Both the UGLE and GOdF began out of the Grand Lodge of London. Both have legitimate lines of succession. Unfortunately, they disagree on certain principles, and that is what separates the two.

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  50. 1) We read the same rituals

    (The GOUSA does not have the same rituals as you.)


    2) We take the same degree

    (The GOUSA does not offer the same degrees.)


    3) We practice the same Masonry

    (The GOUSA does not practice the same Masonry as you.)


    4) We have the same regalia

    (The GOUSA shares some regalia with you but not much.)


    5) We give the same grips, signs and words

    (No again, we use the French grips, signs, and words.)


    6) We confer the same degrees

    (No.)


    7) We take the same obligations

    (Not even close.)


    8) We Black Masons should stick together.

    (Not relevant to the GOUSA as we have men of all races)


    9) We believe in God

    (Some of us do and some of us don't.)


    10) We belong to the same church

    (Irrelevant)

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  51. "You are not a member of a lodge recognized by the Grand Orient of France or the Grand Orient of the United States of America and are, therefore, a clandestine Mason from my perspective. I do not recognize you as a brother or a Mason."

    Just so we understand one the other. I agree also that the UGLA does not practice the same Masonry practiced in our lodge, nor Masonry at all.

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  53. 2) We take the same degree

    "2) We take the same degree

    (The GOUSA does not offer the same degrees.)"

    The 'official' GOUSA website states:

    "Q: What rituals do Grand Orient lodges use?

    A: Each lodge is free to choose the ritual that best suits the needs of its members. At the present time, we are offering Scottish Rite, Modern Rite, American Preston/Webb, and English Emulation."

    Ergo, the GOUSA 'offers the same degrees' according to whatever the individual membership wishes. IF 'the ritual that best suits the needs etc.' is chosen, then the lodge is free to choose it. Of course, the GOUSA clearly fits the definition of 'bogus' according to PHA (of which I am not a member):

    “...the word “Bogus” has been around for a very long time and it defines all things fake and fraudulent. Many Freemasons have adopted the word to describe so-called Masonic operations that perform functions and exert power and influence over blind innocent men."

    Quite defines the GOUSA judging by their actions thus far. Raising the dues on older BROTHERS to drive them out for one thing.

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  54. It is true that each lodge *can* choose its own ritual. None have chosen to adopt any of your rituals.

    Further, the GOUSA lines of legitimacy are as sound as yours when you consider that the GOdF is also a creation of the Grand Lodge of London. Your claims of superiority are rendered silly and superficial.

    Do you have the courage and integrity to admit that there are other forms of Freemasonry that are just as "regular" as yours, or are you merely a zealot of dogma?

    Can you come down from your high horse and meet others on the Level, or are you just puffed up with worthless pride and vanity?

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  55. "Do you have the courage and integrity to admit that there are other forms of Freemasonry that are just as "regular" as yours?"

    Of course. I do so freely. Just that the GOUSA is not regular by definition. In that case, my oaths supersede. Simple. I am glad you have oaths that seem to require no work on your part.

    "Can you come down from your high horse and meet others on the Level, or are you just puffed up with worthless pride and vanity?"

    I already meet others on the level on a regular basis. You have already said you do not recognize me as a brother or a Mason.
    If I'm on a 'high horse and puffed up with worthless pride and vanity', then I am meeting you on the level. I merely pointed out the fact that the GOUSA is by definition, clandestine. You seem to wish to make an issue of the fact.

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  56. Your arrogance and lack of objectivity is telling. Like so many men claiming to be Masons you have missed the point of everything you were given. Sad. Very sad.

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  57. To Jeff:

    To answer you question do PH Masons accept caucasian men. The answer is yes. In my lodge alone we have 78 members, 24 are caucasian. We as PH Mason follow the strict code of the Masonic practice. PH Masonry is open to all men, of all races, and ethnical backgrounds. We do not play the color/racial barrier and most military lodges throughout the world are PH Affiliated (PHA). It seems that alot of Masons are just not informed or educated as to what "regular" is. Do your research and if your Grand Lodges forbids recognition of PH masons then voice your opinion. We have the ability in this country to select leaders each year, maybe it's time to elect some new officers and get rid of the old farts who do not want change....

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  58. The many faces of the

    /GOUS/UGLA/Sirius/RRCG:

    Definitely clandestine by the objective definition of the word.

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  59. Another example of why people who use Masonic symbolism should not be accepted out-of-hand.

    Malachi York

    Be careful how closely you believe shysters. The
    /GOUS/UGLA/Sirius/RRCG could well be a scam.

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  60. Of course we are supposed to consider GOUSA because they think PHA and regular Masonry 'foolish' for not being fools to recognize GOUSA. Being fools apparently unites people according to the GOUSA Who could look about and disagree with such an assertion? Better to be foolish than fooled by the GOUSA or anyone else who makes random claims without evidence.

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. François-Marie Arouet,

    I hate to burst your egotistical bubble but the GOUSA neither wants nor needs the recognition of PHA or the state GL's. We left the GL's and PHA because we found them to be morally bankrupt and without merit.

    Several of the state GL's still openly practice racism, and the others continue to support this practice by continuing to recognize them.

    You expel brothers without trial or evidence of wrong doing (i.e. Grand Master Haas in WV). I find this to be un-American and un-Masonic to the highest degree.

    Your Shrine organization is under investigation in multiple states for financial wrong doing. (See Sandy Frost's many essays on this matter.)

    Being "recognized" by your organization is akin to being allies of the Mafia or the KKK. Thanks but no thanks. The GOUSA prefers the company of honest and moral men of all races.

    Howard

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  63. Anagram,

    Your rhetoric and arguments would be indicative of intelligence on your part if they weren't completely devoid of common sense.

    Howard

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  64. I read through the information on Masonicinfo.com and found it rather amusing in the level of absurdity it displays. Even a man of limited intelligence can see it is nothing more than propaganda and low brow trickery on the part of the author.

    It's illustrative of how far American Masonry has sunk, and to what level it is willing to stoop to continue perpetuating its fraudulent self-aggrandizing claims of moral superiority.

    It's no wonder that most Americans view Freemasonry as a silly club for fat boys and old men. Everywhere one turns there is a plethora of examples and proofs to be found.

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  65. "Being "recognized" by your organization is akin to being allies of the Mafia or the KKK. Thanks but no thanks. The GOUSA prefers the company of honest and moral men of all races."

    That's a pretty ridiculous claim, Howard. I have to take issue with the attacks you make on people's intelligence. Those are not honest debating tactics, but ad hominem attacks. Allow me to elaborate,

    "An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem (Latin: "argument to the man", "argument against the man") consists of replying to an argument or factual claim by attacking or appealing to a characteristic or belief of the person making the argument or claim, rather than by addressing the substance of the argument or producing evidence against the claim. The process of proving or disproving the claim is thereby subverted, and the argumentum ad hominem works to change the subject."

    Admittedly, I know very little about these "Clandestine" organizations. I do not know if the GODF has ever actually chartered a GOUSA lodge. I suspect, however, that the lodges that formed the GOUSA were in fact chartered by regular, state Grand Lodges. That is, if any actual chartered lodge were involved in its formation. I'm sure that you consider yourself in amity with the GODF, but I haven't seen it said anywhere that they have extended recognition to the GOUSA. One pattern I notice is that people who support these clandestine groups often take up the cause of PHA or Haas, but it is usually shown that even these people do not support the clandestine operations. I can not speak for Haas, but from what I know of the situation it seems to be that he is trying to work from inside to change the system.
    Also, I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to take on and use the symbolism of an organization they seem to despise so much. In my mind it is like a group of cops got fed up with their police force, quit, and started their own separate police force.
    Or a plumbers deciding to quit their union, and start their own. Which seems to defeat the purpose of a union in the first place.
    If I am wrong on any of these counts please enlighten me, but for the sake of the craft keep it civil.

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  66. On a side note, why is it so hard to find out who the Grand Lodge officers for the GOUSA are? Could you list them and what states they come from? How many lodges belong to the GOUSA at the present? Why is the process for contacting the GOUSA so obfuscated? No email address, just a web form. Thanks for any answers you can provide.

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  67. Nimrod,

    I browsed through the Grand Orient of France's web site and did not see a listing of their officers. The only email address they provide is that of their web master. The George Washington Union doesn't list their officers either, and provides only one email address. I suspect the GOUSA web master chose a form to avoid SPAM.

    M.W. Bro. Aaron Peavy is the Grand Master of the GOUSA.

    I'm surprised to see that you were offended by my remarks concerning your system of Freemasonry. Since you appear to enjoy denigrating others I thought you would enjoy the same treatment. Perhaps I was mistaken?

    The GOUSA was created by brothers from the Grand Orient of France working with American Masons who were in agreement with the ideology of the GOdF. At that time Americans that wanted to be a part of the their system had to join French speaking lodges, or the mixed gender system provided by the GWU. By creating the GOUSA they have provided Americans with an English speaking masculine system.

    I disagreed with the ideology of the American system and welcomed the creation of the GOUSA. It was a personal choice. One that made me much more comfortable as a Freemason. This is not to say that everyone should feel as I do. Every Freemason should be free to choose that which suits their own individual beliefs. The concept of Absolute Freedom of Conscience professed by the GOdF, GWU and GOUSA is in agreement with my own philosophical views.

    As a man and Freemason I respect your right to belong to whatever organization that you choose. In return I expect the same level of respect from you. This is the honorable and reasonable way for men to treat one another. If, however, you and your brothers are incapable of respecting others, then you shouldn't be surprised when they show little or no respect for you.

    Howard

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  68. Nimrod,

    I think you may wish to re-read your own post regarding ad hominem attacks. If you take the time to read it carefully you will discover that ad hominem refers explicitly to attacking the individual making the argument. In the case of the statement you quoted I was comparing and contrasting organizations. There was no ad hominem attack against any individual. Further, my statement did not act to change the subject of the argument, but to prove that the GOUSA neither wants nor needs your recognition, and that recognition by your organization would actually be a black mark against the GOUSA.

    "I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to take on and use the symbolism of an organization they seem to despise so much. In my mind it is like a group of cops got fed up with their police force, quit, and started their own separate police force." - Nimrod

    This is a poor example that illustrates a complete misunderstanding of the situation. We believe that American Masonry has been subverted and perverted from its original purpose. By participating in it and contributing to its continuation we would be promoting the continuity of concepts with which we disagree and find to be immoral.

    As many modern scholars, such as Prof. Margaret Jacob (UCLA) and Jonathan Israel (Oxford) have pointed-out, Freemasonry began as a cosmopolitan movement in Europe that expressed the essential ideas that grew into the Enlightenment. It is difficult to see any of this in the present American system.

    If you agree with the present system then please remain there. I do not, and moved on to something I find to be more honest and morally sound.

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  69. Thanks, for your reply Howard. Let me take your reply point by point.

    1)The Grand lodge officers I inquired about were those of the GOUSA, not GOFD or the GWU. I had wondered if a member of that system would know who his GL officers were, or if he had easy access to a list of who they were.

    2) The point about spam, is irrelevant. Nearly everyone has to deal with spam, but most Grand Lodges still post email links for easy communication. I still find it interesting.

    3)I don't get offended. In fact, I love debating.However, as my last point states personally attacking someone in a debate does nothing for your argument and only leads people to believe that you can not back up your points. I don't understand how you can mis-characterize anything I've ever said here as "Denigrating." I don't do personal attacks Howard, and I doubt you can show me otherwise.
    4) Thanks for the information on how your system was formed. Let me ask you this, What is the name of your group? Is it the GOUSA,or the United Grand Lodge of America?
    5) As far as the ideology of your system goes, personal belief in a deity is optional, but what about political belief?
    6) Even though I believe respect is earned, I have never showed you any disrespect despite your accusations or the various insults you have posted in this thread.
    As I was wrting this I noticed you left another comment, I will address those points as well.
    1) As far as the ad hominem attacks go, I was actually referring to the comments you make insulting others intelligence. It only takes a brief perusal of the many comments you have left in this thread to find an example.
    2) I agree that American Masonry isn't perfect, but according to MWB Harry Carr in a speech given to the Long Beach Scottish Rite the rituals Americans practice are actually a purer form than those given by the UGLE. You are right in stating that the enlightnement started in continental Europe, but lets be real clear in stating that it was brought there from the British Isles.

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  70. "I agree that American Masonry isn't perfect, but according to MWB Harry Carr in a speech given to the Long Beach Scottish Rite the rituals Americans practice are actually a purer form than those given by the UGLE. You are right in stating that the enlightnement started in continental Europe, but lets be real clear in stating that it was brought there from the British Isles." Nimrod

    Much of Carr's information is outdated and has been proven inaccurate by more modern research in both England and America.

    The latest research from Oxford University indicates that the Enlightenment did not begin in England, but the Netherlands. The real push towards Enlightenment did not begin in England until after the revolution when Charles II was placed on the throne.

    Regarding my earlier responses they were addressed to Anagram and not you. My response to your objection to ad hominem attacks was based on what you quoted as being such. If you had intended to point-out something else then you should have done so.

    You may consider my remarks to Anagram as "ad hominem", however, I would say that they were merely observations based on his posts. All I see are endless justifications of the failures and hypocrisy of American Freemasonry followed by denigrating attacks on other legitimate Masonic organizations.

    You claim to be "regular" but I find that to be devoid of any real meaning. You expect me and the rest of the world to agree that you are regular just because you say so. If you argue that your Masonry came from the Grand Lodge of London, and that justifies its regularity then I can also make the same claim of Grand Orient Freemasonry.

    If you claim that belief in God is a Landmark or requirement then I can argue that many of the founding members in 1717 were acknowledged atheists, agnostics and deists. Further, I can show that the Grand Orient of France never had a requirement for belief in God until the 1870's, and then only for a few years before removing the requirement once again. Since they were created by the Grand Lodge of London, and recognized by them, belief in a deity must not have been an original requirement. As I recollect this didn't become a requirement in England until after the union of 1813.

    We can go round this endlessly and never get anywhere!

    Do what you want and believe what you want. It's no great matter to me. Just don't go throwing stones at the beliefs of others while at the same time claiming moral superiority through tolerance, when it is increasingly clear that tolerance is altogether missing from your ideology.

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  71. Ok, well I will assume that you last post was completely directed at me.
    To begin with I must apologize because I meant to say that Freemasonry started in the British Isles, and it is my fault I didn't make that more clear.
    Secondly, David Stevenson, a Professor from the University of St. Andrews has a book published by Cambridge University Press, which goes a long way in validating Carr's ideas. You are right we can go round and round on certain issues.

    If you reread the post I made earlier, Howard, you will see that what I said was:
    "That's a pretty ridiculous claim, Howard. I have to take issue with the attacks you make on people's intelligence. Those are not honest debating tactics, but ad hominem attacks. Allow me to elaborate,"

    Observations or not, they still never address the argument at hand, and tend to distract from points that were raised.

    Deists actually do believe in God. I really would like to if any of the founders considered themselves atheists at the time of their involvement with Masonry. However I doubt it. Yes I do believe that belief in God is a landmark, and it has been expressly written as such since before 1717. You may have something that leads you to believe otherwise, and I would like to see that as well.
    Finally, I do not throw stones at others beliefs. I have atheist friends, and I do not believe that belief in God is the fountain of morality. I have gone on record as being 100% ok with the GODF, I just can't recognize them. I consider myself a secular humanist, who does believe in God, and most of my beliefs are very liberal.
    Statements such as,
    "Being "recognized" by your organization is akin to being allies of the Mafia or the KKK. Thanks but no thanks. The GOUSA prefers the company of honest and moral men of all races." Really doesn't help to prove your point.
    After all this, none of my questions were ever really answered, yet again.

    "On a side note, why is it so hard to find out who the Grand Lodge officers for the GOUSA are? Could you list them and what states they come from? How many lodges belong to the GOUSA at the present? Why is the process for contacting the GOUSA so obfuscated? No email address, just a web form. Thanks for any answers you can provide."

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  72. Nimrod,

    The GOUSA web site provides information on all Grand Orient lodges in the United States.

    Please see: http://www.grandorientusa.org/lodges.asp

    It would be a violation of my obligation to provide you with the name of any Grand Orient brother. The fact that the Grand Master has made himself known to the public allows me to post his name.

    I do not feel that the process of contacting the GOUSA is obfuscated in any way. A main phone number was just emailed to the lodges recently and I'm sure they will make it available on the web site in the near future.

    Further, the GOUSA has been continually updating its web site to provide more information about itself on a regular basis. It may be several months before the site is completed. This is not indicative of obfuscation but time and resource management. The web site simply hasn't been a priority of the Grand Orient.

    As for the UGLA, its officers were approached by the brethren wishing to form the GOUSA, and they decided to merge with the newly forming Grand Orient. This union has been to the benefit of everyone involved.

    "As far as the ideology of your system goes, personal belief in a deity is optional, but what about political belief?" - Nimrod

    The principles of the GOUSA are clearly stated on the web site. Some of them are clearly political. We support the political and philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment just as does the Grand Orient de France.

    This is a major difference between your system and ours.

    To me the differences between our two systems can be broken down as follows:

    1. The GOUSA views Freemasonry as a secular organization while the American system views it as "the handmaid of religion" (to quote Pike).

    2. We see the purpose of Freemasonry as being the brotherhood of all mankind, while the American system sees it as a means of self-improvement. ("We make good men better")

    3. We view politics as necessary to preserving human rights and furthering the purpose of Freemasonry, while the American system is divorced from politics entirely by its own rules and regulations.

    Is one system superior to the other? No. They simply have different ideologies. Some people are attracted to the one while others relate more closely to the other. The two can coexist peacefully because neither are inherently in opposition to the other.

    Anagram was openly attacking the GOUSA as is the author of Masonicinfo. My response was to make a point, which it did. We can either coexist peacefully or engage in an unnecessary long and drawn out conflict.

    In the end your claims of obfuscation are baseless. If you want to know more about the GOUSA you should contact the Grand Secretary through the form provided on the web site. Q and A on a blog is not the right way to go about it.

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  73. “Deists actually do believe in God.” – Nimrod

    By definition deists view god as removed and disinterested in the world. It’s hard to imagine such a deity being the source of any system of morality. Then there is the problem that pantheists were lumped into the idea of deism. That’s very shaky ground Nimrod.

    “Yes I do believe that belief in God is a landmark, and it has been expressly written as such since before 1717.” – Nimrod

    If you choose to view the Grand Lodge of London as a continuation of the guilds then you can see it that way. However, it’s pretty clear that the Grand Lodge of London wasn’t a continuation as the St. Johns Masons (real stone masons) refused to join with the newly formed GL in 1717. Further, the rituals of the guilds were quite different from those of the new GL.

    While the English were the first to announce speculative Freemasonry to the public, it’s not so clear that the speculative Craft was originated in England. There is much evidence surfacing to support that the first speculative lodges were formed in the Netherlands, and that both Ashmole and Morray visited these lodges. Then there is also the issue of the Knights of Jubilation and Toland’s Pantheistikon that must be addressed. Perhaps more on this later.

    A quick look at Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 will reveal that there was no prohibition against atheists. Anderson says: “A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor, an irreligious libertine.” This is found, not in the section regarding membership requirements, but in the lecture to be read to a newly made brother. It is an admonishment that an understanding of the “art” does not lead to atheism or deism, not a prohibition against atheists. Also, the time in which this was written must be taken into consideration. Anderson had to be very careful not offend the church or the crown.

    When it comes to “Ancient Landmarks” we are once again on shaky ground. While Anderson does mention there being inviolable “Ancient Landmarks,” he never mentions what these were. It is not just an oversight in the 1723 Constitutions because they are also absent from the 2nd edition, published in 1738. Bro. Peace wrote an excellent paper on this subject that is worth a read.

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  74. "The two can coexist peacefully because neither are inherently in opposition to the other."

    Absolutely. 'Clandestine and Bogus' lodges do coexist peacefully with regular lodges. The issue of the blog is whether or not it is proper to call them as such, not whether they can coexist or not. The Grand Orient is free to exist, as this country is free. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Now was that so hard?

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  75. How strange...

    Who are these clndestine lodges?

    I was always taught it was the Americans and the English.

    Of course I never called them that because it was no great matter to me.

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  76. I always call the clandestine lodges clandestine as it is of no great matter to me. They just are, that's just a fact.

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  77. "By definition deists view god as removed and disinterested in the world. It’s hard to imagine such a deity being the source of any system of morality."

    It's really not. Imagine a God, with infinite and completely natural foresight based on mathematics and geometry, designing a universe where love was inherent into the natural order of things. Not hard to imagine at all, really, and not reliant on miracles to support it.

    "Then there is the problem that pantheists were lumped into the idea of deism. That’s very shaky ground Nimrod."

    What is the problem here? Pantheism can be based on a view in which God (the universe) is a living being. The laws of nature are the laws of God. Nothing unnatural is possible, but nature itself appears unnatural. God need not be supernatural at all. Aside from that; why does God necessarily need to be the source of a system of morality?

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  78. Where it all started-the Modern Rite of Memphis. Apparently, this is the predecessor to the Grand Orient of the United States before the RCGG, the UGLA. Information's tough to find, but it seems to this intrepid reporter that it ended with allegations of chicanery, just as the Grand Orient of the U.S. started out. I don't know if this is all true as information is hard to find, but if it is then there is a possibility that people who don't want to let you know any specific details about it are attempting damage control on the fourth attempt. Even using the name of a fictional character to hide behind and claiming it would break their oath to give information about its officers. We hope nobody would take out an account at a bank that wouldn't give you their information. In all fairness, I am using a name not my own. That proves nothing.

    I do not know this to be true, and it might all be well-meant and on the up-and-up. A healthy and natural inclination is to be highly skeptical of anything that smells like a scam. This has that stench, and I do hope it's not true for those involved. Well intentioned and intelligent people can fall for devious plots. This may seem mean-spirited, but I honestly hope this is not the case. It wouldn't be right if I did not voice my concerns, however erroneous they might be. I apologize if they are. Just read it and the other article offered earlier and judge and research for yourselves.

    From Grand College of Rites

    "A recent group calling itself the "Modern Rite of Memphis" was quickly and rightly condemned by the regular American Grand Lodges, because it had no legitimate claim to the Rite of Memphis and seemed mostly interested in taking people's money. It is important to note that the constitutions of the Rite have always stated that the charter for a jurisdiction is null and void if the Rite does not confer degrees for the space of one year. The Constitutions were clearly written this way to prevent someone from making a claim to the Rite without working the rituals. Because a single officer(!) of the GCR is also an officer of the Scottish Rite, it was claimed that some influence extended between the two groups; this assertion is unproven and no direct evidence can be shown to support it. A study of E.J. Marconis de Negre’s book, The Sanctuary of Memphis demonstrates that the Rite of Memphis was specifically copied the degrees of the Scottish Rite. The secrets of the degrees, as revealed in this book, correspond directly to each other. This fact is significant, because the Scottish Rite actually created several of the degrees which were hijacked by the Rite of Memphis. The GCR has a very positive attitude towards all Masonic rites, and invites Freemasons to learn and study them as much as possible. Indeed, since its founding, the GCR has put more ritual material into the hands of American Freemasons than any other Masonic organization. The GCR’s so-called “criticism” of the Rite of Memphis was solely focused on recent money-making ventures, which denied the authentic history of the Rite, and the lineage of the GCR’s Memphis heritage. Although the GCR has been accused of publishing “poor or incomplete texts of the ritual,” it remains the only Masonic Order to make so much material available, and remains the only recognized Masonic Order laying claims to the Rite of Memphis and other “exotic” systems of Masonry."

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  79. Let's put the record straight.

    The Modern Rite of Memphis was NOT the Rite of Memphis. The Modern Rite of Memphis had 17 degrees, none of which were from the Scottish Rite. The original Rite of Memphis founded in France had 93 degrees.

    The Modern Rite of Memphis was started by brothers in North Carolina as a purely esoteric rite for esoterically minded Masons.

    The RRCG (Rite of the Rose Cross of Gold) had nothing to do with the Modern Rite of Memphis or the original Rite of Memphis. This was Bro. Jeff Peace's attempt to create an esoteric appendant body that operated in lodges. It's aim was to keep and retain young Masons who were quiting the fraternity after only 24 months of membership. The RRCG was created out of a brainstorming session with M.W. Bro. Bobby Simmon, PGM of Georgia.

    The RRCG was highly successful in Georgia. So successful that the Scottish Rite lost 98% of its members under the age of 40. In response they attacked the RRCG and a Masonic witch-hunt followed.

    These brothers then went on to form the UGLA due to the injustices of the situation in Georgia and Alabama.

    The UGLA attracted more brothers who had been alienated from the old system, and eventually merged the UGLA into the newly forming Grand Orient of the USA.

    None of this was profit motivated. If it had been and brothers were ripped off then there would have been complaints from the members. No one is complaining and the organization continues to grow.

    If trickery or fraud was behind any of this then where are the people who were tricked or defrauded? Strange that not one person is upset if trickery or fraud was involved, don't you think?

    The GCR can claim anything they want, but where is the proof? Where are the people who were cheated?

    These claims are baseless and nothing more than a propaganda tool being used by the Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction to dupe its own members.

    When brothers like Brandt Smith and Tom Coste (both have gone public) began to realize that they were being deceived, they decided to learn more for themselves and not trust what they being told about the RRCG/UGLA
    at face value. What they discovered was a mountain of lies being perpetuated by the Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction to protect its own income stream.

    The UGLA and the GOUSA have been and are completely financially transparent to their members. No officer is compensated for their labors. The Grand Treasurer's books are open to any member to view at any time. The same was true of the RRCG.

    Quit being a tool of the Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction, and learn the facts before you open your mouth with allegations.

    Now, I would like for you to explain how the Scottish Rite - Southern jurisdiction received $90,000 of a defunct lodge's funds, when it was supposed to be divided among the members of the lodge. Please also explain why the Scottish Rite temple in Mobile, Alabama was sold out from under its members, without their permission, and the moneys then sent to the Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction headquarters in Washington D.C. Since the members paid to build the building, it seems only just and fair that they should have some say in what happened to it, don't you think?

    Howard

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  80. Actually, there's more.

    What do you think about the North American Shrine collecting money at intersection for the children's hospital but then using it to buy booze and dresses for the Pontentate's wife? This was reported in the Orlando Sun and by Sandy Frost. What about the officers of the Shrine loaning themselves $400,000 in Shrine funds? How moral was it of the Shrine to run prostitutes out of a hotel room in Alberta, and then justify it as money for the charity to the Canadian Mounted Police? What about the bingo racket being run by Shriners for the "charity" when the New York Times reported that the brothers were actually pocketing the money?

    The Grand Lodge of Alabama also has some screwy finances. On one report the show their net worth at approximately $17,000,000 but on another internal report they state over $41,000,000. Where is that additional $24,000,000?

    Please show me the finances of the Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction. If you ask for them you will be turned down, even if you are a member. If everything is on the level then what's the BIG secret? How much money do they really have? Do they really need to collect more money from their members?

    If you want to talk about fraud and corruption then I can keep going and list much more.

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  81. Now let me tell you why American Freemasonry is in the state its in.

    For the past fifty years your leaders have done everything in their power to cheapen the fraternity to the point that every petty criminal and their brother could join. The lodges got so desperate that they would take anyone off the street and make them a Freemason.

    Do you really believe that the grand old Masonic temples in the inner cities were built on $50 a years dues? Hell no! If you look back at the lodge records they were paying far more for Masonry than most of us could even imagine. To fee to petition was the equivalent of one week’s wages and the dues would be over $350 in today’s dollars.

    The reason you’re losing all of these magnificent buildings is because you’ve cheapened Freemasonry to the point that the lodges are almost bankrupt. You have allowed the idiots running the Grand Lodges to mismanage the affairs of the fraternity for so long that it will be another generation before things can even begin to turn around. Masons today expect Masonry for next to nothing and to change that and rectify the financial damage already done will be a very difficult, if not impossible, challenge.

    The low life scum you admitted while the West Gate was wide open and the cost of entry merely pennies now sit in the highest places of management. They control the fraternity with an ever tightening grip of absolute power. They seize lodge properties in the name of consolidation and then pocket the money. Every day more and more of your Masonic heritage is sold off because you allowed yourselves to be duped, and continue to do so. Anyone who questioned them was expelled without charges or trial, and then defamed through the rumor mill as un-Masonic, clandestine, and a trouble maker.

    The intelligent and honorable businessmen, attorneys, doctors, etc. abandoned your Freemasonry long ago. The ones that remain are dubious at best and you would be wise to question their motives.

    I left all of this because I wanted to be a part of an organization that wanted to make a difference in the world. An organization that was financially transparent and more interested in building the Masonic fraternity than ripping it apart and selling it for profit. During my time as a mainstream American Mason I saw the reality of what was happening behind the scenes and decided to vote with my feet. I could no longer support such blatant corruption and injustice.

    When I see the posts on this blog and others it makes me sad that so many good Masons have been duped by the few bad apples that are destroying the fraternity from within. You want the grand old fraternity that you thought you joined and struggle continuously to try and restore it while the power brokers set about defeating your efforts or utilizing them to their advantage.

    In my opinion there is no way to correct the present situation. The organization has simply been pushed too far down the wrong path, and those who hold the power will never let it go because they have to much to gain through the purposeful destruction of the Craft. If you think the Scottish Rite is your friend you better think again. They are at the very core of the issues and they will do whatever is necessary, no matter how Machiavellian it may be, to finish what they started when Grand Commander Clausen was removed from office in a coup in the early 1980’s.

    Mainstream American Freemasonry is IRREGULAR, not Masonically, but financially and morally. The sooner you realize this the better chance you will have to saving it from those who will destroy it.

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  82. Your defense is mainly a sleight-of-hand ply to change the focus from you to someone else. Your googled cases against the fraternity and its appendent bod8es are not concluded, just as the case against Halcyon lodge is not as yet. I'm willing to wait and see the outcome. Your org started with accusations of financial chicanery. How long do you think it will be before a criminal element invades (if it hasn't already)?

    With 80 billion dollars at its disposal, I am not surprised someone might try to get at the Shrine funds. I'm afraid someone in the government might do it next!


    It is my sincere hope that all financial improprieties are exposed and dealt with and the proper actions taken. Your vilification of Masonry in no way excuses you from potential wrongdoing. Scamming someone is not always about money, but also about ego- stroking. Look at Jim Jones. Books can be cooked if the scammer is good enough, and four tries at it in fewer years might give a person good practice.

    Who are these "The intelligent and honorable businessmen, attorneys, doctors, etc. abandoned your Freemasonry long ago." Who are your members? Forgive me if, even though you cannot say, I am skeptical of your assertions without information. You speak in vagaries constantly, and give little real information. Most scam artists do so. They also change the name of their businesses a lot.

    I find the experience of Masonry to be the extreme opposite of what you are wont to describe. I can readily believe there are bad members in the fraternity. I cannot believe they are mostly bad. Of course, as long as it's within the dictates of their freedom of conscience, should be fine with you. It is rich with education and history and brotherhood. Just this month, I participated in raising a brother to the degree of a FC, enjoyed a filling luncheon, and discussed education with 30 other brothers over a seven hour day. It was fulfilling and rewarding, both on the level of brotherhood and education. I know many 50 year members, and they are the grandest and most dedicated Masons you could meet. With the vague information offered, why do you think it should not be suspect? I love my brethren and my lodge with deep appreciation. How much appreciation does it show to create a new organization every year-and-a-half, and proclaim you quit it altogether as Jeff Peace has (I believe more than once)?

    Did I ever say I thought the Scottish Rite is my friend? I don't belong. On the other hand, many worthy brethren who are friends of mine do. Another attempt on your part at evading the questions?

    Seriously, methink thou dost protest too much. I only mention this to ward off potential approaching danger. Your replies vilifying others only seem to confirm suspicions more than it does to deny them. I say all this of my own freedom of conscience. I hope that those who read this are willing to take care for themselves and approach the information with a wary eye.

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  83. "Your googled cases against the fraternity and its appendent bod8es are not concluded..." Francois

    I beg to differ. Several Shriners are spending time behind bars and others have been fined.

    The Mobile Temple is gone. It's a parking lot. Hard to avoid dealing with a physical reality, isn't it.

    I have provided facts that can backed up by court cases and the national media. All you have provided is accusations without so much as a scrap of evidence or proof.

    Where are the UGLA/RRCG members that feel cheated or wronged? Where are the Halcyon members that feel cheated or wronged? Can find even one person?

    I have provided you with millions of dollars in fraud, theft and corruption in mainstream Freemasonry but you have yet to find even one person or piece of evidence to support any of your claims.

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  84. If you, or any Mason, wants to bring a CPA and audit the finances of the RRCG/UGLA or the GOUSA the books are open for review.

    Financial transparency and complete openness have always been central to these organizations. The founders ensured it due to all of the corruption they had witnessed in mainstream Freemasonry.

    I promise you that the Scottish Rite and other Masonic bodies in the American Craft will never be so open with you or anyone else. As an example two young brothers were expelled on sight by the Grand Master of Kentucky just for questioning the finances of the Kentucky Masonic home. Both sued and the Grand Lodge reinstated them. It's a matter of court records. Look it up for yourself.

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  85. "I beg to differ. Several Shriners are spending time behind bars and others have been fined."

    See? It does work. It can be changed. Justice is served, and these individuals were likely and rightfully removed from the roles of their individual lodges. That, of course, is at the discretion of the brethren of the lodge. Sad that it happened, but it could have happened to any group with money. I suspect it is happening in many groups. That does not make the individual members evil because there are some bad apples.

    Is the reformed Halcyon lodge in the center of legal wranglings and accusations of financial wrongdoing or not? Just answer that. I suspect they have been since the creation of the Grand Orient.
    "The Mobile Temple is gone. It's a parking lot. Hard to avoid dealing with a physical reality, isn't it."

    Not really. It's just a building. So too are many great structures of antiquity. What is the issue here? No information offered at all. Did someone attach it to the back of their truck and steal it? You've given us no information, and we would like to get some. We do not fear the truth, but you are throwing vagaries again. Reality is reality. In reality, you continue to poke at the Shrine, but never answer a direct question.
    Your assertions are just as unfounded; particularly the one about doctors and lawyers being members, or the Grand Orient officers being more than 5 guys, or the 'Modern Rite of Memphis' not being the 'Rite of Memphis'. I'll let others decide if the information is valid or not. Many in Jonestown did not feel cheated or wronged until it was too late. I'd hate to see a Jefftown massacre or a Peace Gate happen. I'll leave it for the readers to decide for themselves the validity of the provided information.

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  86. "I promise you that the Scottish Rite and other Masonic bodies in the American Craft will never be so open with you or anyone else. As an example two young brothers were expelled on sight by the Grand Master of Kentucky just for questioning the finances of the Kentucky Masonic home. Both sued and the Grand Lodge reinstated them. It's a matter of court records. Look it up for yourself."

    I already know about this. The justice system in this country is working. Note the brothers did not want to go start something else. This happened to our GL. Two brothers that I know demanded to see the books. They were shown the books and found no improprieties. Granted, certain GL officers were not happy, but both remained brethren and one passed away several years later while serving as Master of the lodge. The other remains active, both were Masters of their lodges more than once since, and both brethren were good men and Masons. Your promise is thus disproven.

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  87. Jonestown is a good example of what's happening to all of you. In your case, however, it would be Morristown. You follow blindly without ever questioning what's really taking place all around you. You cast stones at the people who have done their best to help you see the situation for what it really is.

    In the end you will have lost everything generations of American Masons built for you. All of this because of your own arrogance and vanity.

    As Don Henley of the Eagles recently said, you have a "frail grasp on the big picture."

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  88. I agree with Henley; you do indeed have a frail grasp on the whole picture. I also agree with the Fibonaccis and Anarchy 6 and the Dead Kennedies and Pop Will Eat Itself. What of it?

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  89. "You follow blindly without ever questioning what's really taking place all around you. You cast stones at the people who have done their best to help you see the situation for what it really is."

    I see you are not willing to answer the questions offered, and instead offer ad hominem attacks. That's fine, as it can be amusing to partake. You try to show people the situation as YOU WOULD LIKE THEM TO SEE IT-it is up to the individual to decide if that is really 'how it is' or not. I fully accept the information and applaud the justice served. You say that is blind.

    I would be blind to take the word of one who refuses to answer them. In my experience, Masonry has been extremely positive. You say that is blind, I say you're the blind one to not see the good in Masonry.

    I have asked you to give me more information which you have NOT. Because I don't know what you are talking about when you say the 'Mobile Temple' and ask you for more information, you say I am blind. You may call me blind, but you are the one who is blind on purpose. I say to the people to read and decide for themselves if they wish; not just my information, but yours as well.

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  90. First off, lets keep the discussions civil on BOTH sides and don't try to convince me that either side has been.

    I was grand treasurer of UGLA and have been drafted to do the same for the GOUSA.

    Books are and have been open to all members upon request.

    No member has ever requested a refund or claimed to be cheated.

    By GOdF tradition, member names are only allowed to be made public by the member himself or with his permission. All the lodges know who the officers are.

    Masonic.info is not an objective site and presents only one opinion. For some reason, many masons take King's rantings as the gospel truth without investigating divergent views.

    Only the GM and/or the Executive Board speak for the GOUSA.

    Finally, I would like our roads to converge at some time in the future once MORE progressive men come to power in the state grand lodges. However, we must first learn to be civil to one another and quit attacking each other's institutions and look for the good in each, not the bad.

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  91. However, we must first learn to be civil to one another and quit attacking each other's institutions and look for the good in each, not the bad.

    Hmmmph. Sounds like some kind of radical, to me.
    ;-0

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  92. Tom,

    I wanted to mention that your recent post elsewhere (don't remember where right now) was one of the best and most well-considered messages concerning the issues at hand in relation to Halcyon lodge available from either side of the issue I've seen anywhere. Thank you for your post there. I am of course curious to see how the matters play out with Halcyon, as many of us regulars are, and I assume most of the Grand Orient members are.

    Meanwhile, I have personally learned more about the issues at hand by ribbing the Grand Orient than direct and polite questioning has ever done to what I have seen and experienced; here or anywhere else I have found thus far. All in my opinion only, of course.

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