A few days ago, on St. John the Evangelist's Day (once a day of major importance to Freemasons), the current Florida Grand Master, Robert Trump, ordered Bro. Bryce to stop communicating via email with Masons in other jurisdictions unless he had express written permission from the Grand Master.
On Dec. 27, W. Bro. Trump wrote to W. Bro. Tim, demanding he "cease and desist the distribution of any and all materials, either printed or transmitted, to be used by members of any other Grand Jurisdictions unless prior permission has been obtained by you in writing."
What the hell are they afraid of? What hackneyed powerbase are they trying to maintain? What has Freemasonry become, where a brother cannot communicate with other brothers without "permission"?
Bro. Tim, being a good Mason, is following the dictates of his Grand Lodge, and will no longer be sending out his regular email communications to other Freemasons. Again, the Masonic world is worse off because of the stupid "orders" of a self-serving Grand Master and Grand Lodge.
Freemasonry, once the bastion of free speech, self-improvement and self-knowledge, has shown itself once again to be the stronghold of archaic, petty would-be tyrants.
Below you'll find the letter from M.W. Grand Master Robert Trump to W. Bro. Tim Bryce, and Bro. Tim's reply:
RE: Articles to other Grand JurisdictionsPhoto: W. Bro. Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
W:.Timothy L. Bryce,
Find enclosed a copy of a letter from the Grand Lodge of New York and a copy of an email from the Grand Jurisdictions of Iowa and Washington, in reference to materials sent by you to members of those Grand Jurisdictions and their stated concerns. As you can see, when communicating with members of other Grand Jurisdictions, there is a certain protocol to be maintained and proper procedures which must be adhered to.
Chapter 15, Regulation 15.01, Page 171 in our Digest of Masonic Law states, "All Inter-Jurisdictional correspondence shall be sent through the office of the Grand Master, except that request for "Work by Courtesy" to and from other Grand Jurisdictions may be made through the office of the Grand Secretary."
All Grand Jurisdictions have similar regulations to govern all correspondence with their members within their particular Jurisdiction, and your correspondence violates these regulations.
This latest letter from the Grand Lodge of New York and this email from Iowa and Washington are only two of several pieces of correspondence received from other Grand Jurisdictions by our Grand Lodge in the last few months, all of which questions the legality of your correspondence with, and to its members.
Therefore, in order to allow the Grand Lodge of Florida to be in compliance with the rules and regulations of other Grand Jurisdictions, and continue to maintain a good and friendly Fraternal relationship with said Jurisdictions, you are hereby ordered and directed to cease and desist the distribution of any and all materials, either printed or transmitted, to be used by members of any other Grand Jurisdictions unless prior permission has been obtained by you in writing. Also Regulation 15.01 in our Digest of Masonic Law must be adhered to in all future cases.
I firmly rely on your duty and honor as a Master Mason to see that this order is carried out immediately upon receipt of this letter.
Robert D. Trump
RW Martin A. Danoff, GM/NY
RW Gilbert Savitsky GLNY
RW Robert P. Harry, Jr., DGM
RW Joe A. Fleites, SGW
RW Dale I. Goehrig, JGW
MW Roy Conner Sheppart, PGM&GS
RW David A. Henderson, DDGM-21
MW Richard E. Lynn, PGM/Chairman, Jurisprudence
December 30, 2006
M:.W:.Robert D. Trump
MW Grand Lodge of F.& A.M. of Florida
East Palatka, FL 32131
Dear Bro. Trump,
I am in receipt of your letter of December 27, 2006 to "cease and desist the distribution of any and all materials, either printed or transmitted, to be used by members of any other Grand Jurisdictions unless prior permission has been obtained by you in writing."
As you know, I was ordered last year to cease and desist producing all Masonic publications, which I complied with. Since then I have written several Masonic articles aimed at improving the fraternity, all of which I make freely available to anyone who wants to publish them (except Florida). To this end, I include the following statement in my articles:
"NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body. As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:
Reprinted by permission of the author and "FreeMason Information" http://www.freemasoninformation.com/"
Accordingly, I have received numerous requests over the last year to reprint my articles in Masonic publications which I have granted. I have also been asked on several occasions by Florida Lodges to use my work, all of which I have denied. To this end, I believe I am already in compliance with your order.
Since I no longer operate any Masonic publication, I have no control over the physical publication of my articles, nor do I seek such control due to the censorship ruling by your predecessor. I would like to mention here that I have not received or charged one penny for any of these articles. Also, I do not discuss anything that could be construed as Masonically secret.
2007 represents my 10th year as a Mason. During the past several years, I have been in contact with Masons from around the world via the Internet. When a work of mine is published, I send out a notice to my contacts that it is now available and where on the Internet they can find it. I believe it is this notification you are referring to in your letter of December 27th. When I broadcast an e-mail message of the availability of my articles, I include the following statement:
"IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ADDED OR REMOVED FROM MY MAILING LIST, PLEASE DROP ME A LINE."
Further, I do not charge anyone for these notifications or solicit any money for doing so. In addition to the notification, I include links to Masonic News stories as published on the Internet.
As per your order, I will cancel the weekly e-mail broadcasts and will notify my contacts accordingly.
However, I need some clarification: Do you mean to say that I can no longer communicate with a Mason outside of Florida? Please understand that I monitor obituaries in the Tampa Bay area, and when I come across a Brother who has passed away in our area from another jurisdiction, I notify the Grand Secretary of that jurisdiction and the Brother's home Lodge (if I can find them) of the passing. This is greatly appreciated by all involved. By your order, I assume I am no longer allowed to do this.
I also assume your order applies to all other Florida Masons and that I am not being singled out and discriminated against. In other words, no other Florida Mason should be making e-mail broadcasts or contacting Masons outside of our jurisdiction without the expressed written approval of the Grand Master or Grand Secretary. For example, I am on the e-mailing list of some of your District Deputies who forward to me your own weekly e-mail message. I did not ask to be placed on these lists but have not registered an objection yet. Nonetheless, I believe the Craft should be formally informed of your policy regarding e-mail in order to avoid any other embarrassments to the Grand Lodge.
My Masonic writings are something I do personally and have nothing whatsoever to do with my business, M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company. Any attempt to interfere with my business will be resisted by all legal means. I am beginning to believe there is a premeditated attempt by the Grand Lodge of Florida to interfere with my rights under the 1st Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Brother Bob, we have known each other for many years now, back to when you were State Chairman for the Grand Master's Charity where I built a web page to assist you. Since then, I have fully cooperated with you and have always been honest with you. I do not believe you can accuse me otherwise. It is for this reason that I am surprised and disappointed that you thought so little of me as to send me your letter as opposed to picking up the telephone to discuss the problem. From my end, it appears there are other forces at work here driving your decision.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
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