Saturday, September 23, 2006

North Carolina Grand Lodge votes against recognizing Prince Hall Masons

An unconfirmed report has just reached us that at Friday's Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, held in Winston-Salem, a vote was held on whether the Grand Lodge of North Carolina would recognize the predominantly black Prince Hall Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

Our source tells us that the proposal did not pass. He reported that the vote tally was 685 votes for recognition, 404 votes against, but a 3/4 majority is required for a proposal to be carried by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

According to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina's website, the Grand Lodge's Mission Statement is: "The mission of Freemasonry in North Carolina is to raise the moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual conscience of society by teaching the ancient and enduring philosophical tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which are expressed outwardly through service to God, family, country, and self under the Fatherhood of God within the Brotherhood of Man." [emphasis mine]

North Carolina Masonic Grand Officers can be reached at email addresses listed on their site.

Thank you to NDGINDIANA for keeping us abreast of this situation.

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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.


  1. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity...

    Scratch that. Liberty, Funny Aprons, Fraternity.

  2. Brother Larry Thompson is reporting on the Philalethes List the following vote count:

    Out of 1085 votes cast

    681 pro recognition
    404 against recognition

  3. It is, BTW, a 2/3 majority, not 3/4. A small distinction to be sure, but enough to make a difference.

    Attempts to amend legislation to reduce it to the original simple majority also lost.

    So did attempts to remove the voting rights of PGMs.

  4. what a joke. I attended another PHA raising yesterday. It was again one of the best displays of brotherhood I have ever experienced in a lodge and from brothers. I would refuse any GHS from a mason whose GL refuses to recognize. Not only is it un-masonic, it is un-american. When are the southern GL's going to wake up and join the 21st century?

    What the F*&$ is going on in this fraternity? Is there no unity? Is there no brotherhood?



  5. Hello tubulcain420,

    The following is an email sent to you by Weifarere via your account on The Three
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    An unconfirmed report has just reached us that at Friday's Annual Communication
    of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina, held in Winston-Salem, a vote was held on
    whether the Grand Lodge of North Carolina would recognize the predominantly
    black Prince Hall Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

    Our source tells us that the proposal did not pass. He reported that the vote
    tally was 685 votes for recognition, 404 votes against, but a 3/4 majority is
    required for a proposal to be carried by the Grand Lodge of North Carolina.

    According to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina's website, the Grand Lodge's
    Mission Statement is: "The mission of Freemasonry in North Carolina is to raise
    the moral, social, intellectual, and spiritual conscience of society by teaching
    the ancient and enduring philosophical tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and
    Truth, which are expressed outwardly through service to God, family, country,
    and self under the Fatherhood of God within the Brotherhood of Man."

    all day raising 5 candidates at the Prince Hall lodge yesterday, I get this news
    from NC. Way to make me proud to be associated with you.

    You embarrass me.
    un masonic and un american behavior associated with masonry !

    Thumbs up NC

  6. Three Pillars Official Rules

    Rule 4.02 (iii)
    Criticisms Of Specific Grand Lodges

    While it may be reasonably argued that some Grand Lodges are losing site of the purpose of Freemasonry, it is unfair to point fingers at any one Grand Lodge. We have members of virtually every Grand Lodge on the forum. Thus an attack on any one Grand Lodge is an attack on our forum member from that Grand Lodge. We also have several Grand Lodge officers here who are trying to make a difference, both on the forum and in their Grand Body. If you have issues with a specific Grand Lodge, please take it up with that Grand Lodge via your lodge secretary. No user of The Three Pillars Masonic Discussion Forum, by virtue of their user account with The Three Pillars Masonic Discussion Forum is empowered to act in any other manner than they would if they did not have a user account with The Three Pillars Masonic Discussion Forum. This includes, but is not limited to, the following of proper Masonic protocol for contacting Grand Lodges other than the user’s ‘home’ Grand Lodge.

  7. anonymous is a coward.
    Protectant of Racist GL's as well
    repressor of truth and equality and free speech, especally when it deals with the truth

  8. If you don't like t3p's rules, don't play in their sandbox.

    If you break their rules and they toss you, go somewhere else not as strict.

    I'm just guessing here, but all the name calling in the world isn't going to change the votes of those 404, and most especially if its coming from three states away. The change has to come from within - either with one-on-one discussions, direct confrontation, edits from the GM or mass resignations. But the North Carolinas and the Georgias and the rest really couldn't care less what Ohioans and Hoosiers and Iowans have to say about it. Yankee badmouthing never changed one damn thing in the South for two centuries, no matter how tempted we are to do it.

  9. i'm playing in the real world with real human beings feelings.
    It is not a sand box.

    So if I never had brought the topic at t3p, it would have swept under the rug and the little boys in the sand box would keep playing nicely without caring about what is happening outside of it.
    give me a break already.

    sand box=reality with real people

  10. Well looks like another Klan Lodge.
    North Carolina

    The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America and the Hosue of the Temple need to decide where they stand. With equality or with the Racist.

  11. Lodge meeting in my basement in 30 minutes!

    Mom will be providing juice and cookies.


  12. Sounds like the NC Grand Lodge needs some Jim Jones Koolaid.


  13. The ThreePillars is for fascist Masons only. If you don't tow the line and walk lock-step with your Grand Lodge then they will oust you just like the Waffen SS removed the enlightened thinkers from Germany.

    Tubalcain, you should be proud of being deleted from their forum. It is proof that you are a real man and a true Mason. You have proven that you will do what is morally right. The ThreePillars mods have no concept of morality or justice. They are full of themselves and will abuse anyone who threatens their ego.

    Think about it. By deleting those who do not agree with them they are cutting themselves and their members off from reality. They have created a Masonic utopia governed by rules that hide reality from their view. Instead of actually dealing with the issues they pontificate to the choire.

  14. Bad Bob,

    C'mon! Everything in Three Pillars Masonry world is perfect! There are no instances of dissenting opinion. All is wonderful and rosy! There are no race issues or problems. The rumors of such bad things have been greatly exaggerated! Yeah...Right!!!

    You are indeed correct! Thanks for your post!


  15. Brothers, The Threepillars, Knights of the North, etc, are just little boys playing at being Masons. We can't be bothered with children when we are engaged in the great work. There is far too much left to be done.

  16. Your adolescent sanctimony has been duly noted. I might be impressed if you'd actually build something more substantial than a website and accomplish anything more meaningful than name calling and issuing "press releases." If you are part of the USGL movement, prove your worth with action. Mouthing off in brat mode only gives your enemies ammunition. And slinging mud at others who are also making reforms makes no sense.

    I used to think that progressive Masons were all on the same side. But there's a chattering faction out here that seems to want little more than to hack their GLs to bits and dance on their bits in hobnailed boots. Beyond that, they have nothing to offer but insolence. If that's your new Freemasonry, keep it. It's yours.

  17. If I am correct, I was spreading the word of the proud GL of NC, which I do not belong to.
    So I was not tearing my GL to pieces.
    after spending hours with PH masons on Saturday, raising 5 new MM's, seeing and being apart of their rituals, then finding out that a GL I'm supposed to recognise, votes not to recognise these men?

    NC should be called out and every other GL as well

    How a GL and individual masons are not embarrased to still be racists is a slur on the fraternity as a whole, and they get away with it.

    American Freemasonry has ZERO accountability, or other GL's wold be stepping up and doing something, but they don't.

  18. The UGLA is about action Mr. Anonymous. We have confronted the Grand Lodges of Alabama and Georgia directly. We have pointed-out their racism in the press and media. We are actively meeting with young men throughout the south and telling them about Freemasonry.

    What have the other "progressive" Masons done other than talk and chat on forums.

    You are full of $#it.

  19. Your puerile answer proves my point. You are a walking advertisement for the UGLA. Other brethren associated with it understand the responsibility of that position and take care when speaking in public. A fledgling group that is under growing scrutiny can ill afford for its supporters to answer criticism with such infantile stupidity.

    If you intend to lead, start acting like a leader, not a crybaby. If you are afflicted with hoof and mouth, go exercise it somewhere other than in relation to questions about your group. Otherwise, you'll stain your new organization with an image that will appeal to no one who seeks a more honorable fraternity.

    Tearing down is easy. Building is not.

  20. Well...You know about those "anonymous posters" talking about how bad us progressive masons are...picking on those poor bigot masons in NC and Alabama. We just need to let them practice their rascism in peace.

    Anonymous, your posts about the Widow's Son's supposedly childish "Brat-mode" responses prove that you are just as an ostrich with your head in the sand. You choose to ignore the scandal going on around you. You think that the only reason that the GL's are suffering is because of someone ranting and raving over it and that THAT is the reason that GL's are catching flak.
    Have you ever stopped to think that the GL's, by their own actions, have brought their own downfall upon themselves?
    You said, "If this is your future Freemasonry, you keep it...You can have it." Well, it seems to appear that the Future of Freemasonry just very well may be ours. If things keep on the way they're going... The GL's may just devour themselves in a mass feeding frenzy of land grabs and lodge closures. And you're right... We'll keep it. Perhaps we can aspire to be better custodians of the craft than our predecessors have been.


  21. Oh, was he talking about me? I couldn't tell who Anonymous was referring to. I assumed his comments were directed towards "Jean."

    — W.S.

  22. As a Mason that was there, It was not about Prince Hall, the vote was about the Grand Lodge trying to make the Blue Lodges vote that Way. First by changing an age old regulation from 2/3 to majority rule in order to pass Prince Hall recognition. If the issue was not being made in those conditions, as it has been for years, it most likely would have passed. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

  23. Widow's Son Said: "I assumed his comments were directed towards "Jean."

    Yes they were.

    But Darren's response has a big fat chip on his shoulder too. Are UGLA meetings like this? Chest thumping over victories like getting radio hosts fired, followed by choruses of how terrible the rest of the Masonic world is? Honestly, with all of that self-congratulatory back-patting going on, you guys will dislocate a shoulder.

    To the Anonymous poster from NC, if I am not mistaken - and perhaps I am - the 2/3 rule was an innovation made two or three years ago when the vote was close to passing with a simple majority. The anti-recognition crowd changed the rules to a much higher majority. No matter - it came within 43 votes this time.

    Next year, or perhaps the following one.

  24. Anonymous,

    No chip on my shoulder. I just like it when the ugly head of racism get's exposed for what it is. You get to see how people really feel.

    Frankly, if you feel that it's OK for masons to deny Freemasonry to honest, honorable men just because they happen to be black... Then it is you that has the chip on your shoulder...not me. Your beef seems to be with the whole African-American constituent of the population.

    You seem to have used your comments not to really express your support of the the N.C grand lodge...but rather to denigrate and malign the UGLA. No problem with expressing your opinion. If you don't like the UGLA...fine.

    Understand, I am posting as an individual and not as representing the views of the UGLA. My view is that what N.C. did was abhorrent and completely anti-masonic. Now if you feel that was out of line... My home lodge is Sandy Springs, GA. in the Blue Lodge... and Rose Cross of Gold #1 in the UGLA... Bring me up on charges of unmasonic conduct and let's have our day in the Grand Lodge. Otherwise...there simply is no defense for the racist actions of the Grand Lodges of N.C, Alabama, nor any other lodge that sponsors segregation. And I will defend that stance as a human being and as a Freemason. I don't take joy in the Blue Lodge self destructing...rather, I feel sorrow and pity that such Lodges are not doing what is morally, ethically, and theologically right.

    Darren Simpson

  25. Widow's Son,

    I think Anonymous might be an apologist for the Blue Lodge. What do you think? He seems intent on trying to make it look like the UGLA is the bad guy here. Seems to think that WE are responsible for the problems the GL's are facing. Do you think it's Ed King???

    Darren :)

  26. Moving into NC from the west, it is like I have stepped back in time. Most masons in my home state recognized that Masonry teaches nothing to justify segregation based on race. Unfortunately we had to wait for enough of the elder Masons who didn't see life this way to die off before mutual recognition with Prince Hall was a reality. Spet 2006's vote at 63% was closer than the 50% vote in 2003 so maybe next Grand Lodge, the motion might pass. As I come into NC now I must choose between afialting with Masons who don't believe all men are equal, transferring to a PH lodge, or staying with a distant jurisdiction.
    Some Choice.
    Segregation dies hard in the ole South, but get real, times change!

  27. WillyChee: Welcome to the Old South. At least in North Carolina, the brethren get to vote for it. Down here in Georgia, just mentioning the idea brings out the white sheets.

    — W.S.

  28. I was there at NC Grand Lodge and voted FOR the resolution to pass. The resolution to go back to simple 50/50 majority also passed. So, the PH recognition will for sure pass next year.
    But, I guess the biggest reason why I commented on this thread was to Masonically address the hateful comments I've read above. If ANY or ALL of you are truly Masons, then all of you know as to the sacredness and soleminity of the ballot. When Breathern cast their is cast for what they feel is the good of masonry. I myself do NOT agree in witholding the rights of recognition from the PH Grand Lodge of NC....but, I will NOT despise and hate my NC Grandlodge Brothers for voting their opinions. If this due process had been left to profane politicians, the recognition would have surely passed by now....but, the profane world doesn't live by Masonic value and temperence. We should always respect true Masonry....and give it its just rewards. The NC Grand Lodge is a just and noble institution....and a lot of its members are hardened walnuts who take a while to crack. Give that a thought. PLEASE!

  29. Triple:

    So last year, when a 3/4 majority was needed to pass legislation, 63% voted affirmative.

    Now that you've dropped the majority back to a simple 50%, it still didn't pass. Where did those 13% yes-voters go in just one year? That many people don't just change their minds. What kind of backroom politics went on in the past year?

    — W.S.

  30. Widow

    The vote to amend the constitution and allow a simple majority 50/50 was passed right after the PH vote failed. So, in all probability the PH vote will be a shoe in next year. I have already heard rumors from lodges in NC near the GA border that NC Masons will not be allowed to attend GA Lodges if the PH vote passes in NC. I just wish it would all be over at once and all the states not recognizing PH Lodges would do so and carry on with Masonry.

  31. Actually, the NC Grand Lodge passed the resolution returning their vote back to a simple majority vote, as this was the desire of the Grand Master and I'm glad that such has been done because next year in 2008, the NC Grand Lodge will for the first time in history, recognize the PHA Grand Lodge in NC because they've had a simple majority for years now, but with the instituted 2/3rd majority required since 2003, they've never been able to get enough votes to acheive recognition, although the Grand Master of NC has been made an honorary member of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge back in 2005, and has been pushing for this recognition ever since. It's about time, that our brethren in NC stand above the evil tides of racial segregation and recognize our PHA brethren in that state. Mason's shouldn't be racist, and if they are, they remain Masons 'in name only' as far as I am concerned.

    For the lastest of NC Grand Lodge actions, view their online edition of the NCMason magazine found at NC Mason

  32. For those who don't want to wade through the NC Masonic newsletter, here's the pertinent info about the 2007 vote regarding Prince Hall recognition, from the newsletter:

    "Recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of North Carolina was defeated. There were 665 votes in favor and 423 against. That was short of the two-third majority needed to recognize. It was the first time that the vote has garnered less support than the previous year.

    "The Credentials Committee had previously reported that the total registered votes were 1088, precisely the number of votes cast on the recognition ballot. Several delegates asked Grand Master Rigdon to take a reballot since a 100% vote was very unusual and perhaps suspicious. Grand Master Rigdon declined, and recognition will wait at least one more year.

    "Registrations had continued between the report of Committee on Credentials report and the vote in question. The ballot was a written one. The next issue was also determined on a written vote. In 2003, James A. Johnson 413 introduced and got passed a change in the vote needed for recognizing a grand lodge. It raised the bar from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority. The purpose of the change was to delay the recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. It has succeeded well. Without it, this recognition would have happened in 2004. This year, delegates returned that vote to the one used for more than 200 years, a simple majority. The vote was 724 in favor, 272 opposed."

    — W.S.

  33. Thank you, Widow's Son, for your comments, and I am also keeping a close watch on the progress of the NC Grand Lodge from the north here in Virginia.

    My uncle is a Mason of Hiram Lodge No. 40 there in Raleigh, and when he came up here to Virginia to raise me back in September of this year, he told me after the ceremony that those 'clandestine' Masons of which I promised I would not associate with were 'those Prince Hall Masons you hear so much about' and I didn't say anything to him at the time, other than to inform him that in VA, our Grand Lodge recognizes the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, and thus they're not clandestine to us. He didn't seem to understand, but I'm sure he will, and I look forward towards next years Grand Annual Communications as I'm sure those who are opposed to recognition will be working their politics this year, to attempt to try and gain enough in their favor to keep the recognition from happening, it will be interesting to see what happens.

    As I've stated previously, just because our Virginia GL recognizes the PHA brethren, most lodges in my district don't, or won't and I've heard racial jokes told in open lodge in another Masonic district about 20 miles from here, and some anti-Jewish jokes have been reported from lodges within my own district, and so racism doesn't die, even in the Ole Capitol of the South.

    One cool item of interest is that our Grand Master here in Virginia, MWB Edmond Cohen, is Jewish and he has scheduled a Grand Master's one-day class for a set date in August, I can't recall exactly what it is, but there will be lots of new Brethren introduced to our gentle craft this year because of the return of the one-day class, as our GM last year didn't have such a class that I am aware of.

  34. Well, IMHO the one day class is an abomination to Masonry. The idea that you can rush a candidate thru raises LOTS of questions in my mind concerning his qualifications and the Lodge's intent.
    The 3 degrees are to be seperated by a time of trial and can a man's moral character and his willingness to contrive be tested in one day? Why not just take the man's dues and let him be a member of the PTA/Blue Lodge? I bet you won't see a PH Lodge do a one day degree! In England...where modern Masonry was founded, each degree is often spaced as much as a year apart. I just feel that running candidates thru like cattle is not for the good of Masonry....but serves only to increase revenue. That is JMHO!

  35. Those of you who have made assumptions that North Carolina Masons are racists because of the failed PHA recognition vote are most certainly wrong.

    Fact: There are Puerto Rican, Mexican, Guamanian, Korean, and Filipinos Brothers in my Lodge-and there are African-American Brothers in a mainstream Lodge in Charlotte, NC.

    I can not claim that there aren't bigots in NC lodges--and I agree that it's unmasonic to refuse to sit in lodge with someone simply because of the color of a person's skin; but, to say that the GLoNC is a racist institution is going to far.

    I've been told once that I should demit because the GLoNC doesn't recognize PHA and is therefore a racist institution. How would that help changes things, if it were true? Would it help if the officers who voted for recognition demit as well? No, I will stay with my Brothers and change things from within--that is how progress will be made.

    Our GL, and the MWPHGLoNC have been working together for several years to combat this issue. And like the Brothers' postings before me stated, recognition will most certainly pass in 2008 with the simple-majority vote reinstated. That will be the best outcome for our great Fraternity.

    "To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied, must be your constant care..." - MM Charge

    Also, one last point: PHA Masons are not perfect ashlars themselves. I travel to military installations throughout the world because of the type of work I do; and more times than not, when I meet a PHA Mason he's on the level until I tell him I'm not PHA. I've even be accused of being clandestine, or "bogus". But always, because I am a self-proclaimed ambassador of NC Masonry, I make sure we part on the Square.

  36. I am a mason here in North Carolina. I feel that some of you are wrong by assuming that we are all racist. Some of the older members of the lodge may hang on to some racist convictions, I don't have any. Most of the brothers in my lodge feel that Prince Hall should be recognized. Most of the brothers can't help what our officers vote.

    I feel strongly that next year prince hall will be recognized by North Carolina. Although,not being allowed by Prince Hall to visit their lodges after we recognize them hardly sounds fair. I guess no one looks at that side of the coin. I think so called recognition is just a bandaid for a bigger issue.

  37. is my understanding when talking to the NC Grand Secretary Walt Clapp that the "right to visit" clause of the reccomendation for recognition vote was excluded by the PH Lodge. In otherwords....then don't want us visiting them either. All they want is recognition from us, so that the GL of England will recognize them as a regular lodge. I've found that racism is a 2 way street.


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