Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Masonic Wiki Wars

Wiki Wars are nothing new. They've become commonplace, especially in the political arena, and politicians and their supporters are constantly re-writing history on the World Wide Web's most popular source of "facts," the open-source written-by-the-public encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The fledgling United Grand Lodge of America, formed in December, 2005 by Free-Masons generally fed up with the state of "mainstream" Freemasonry in the southern United States, recently created an entry describing their history, goals and raison d'etre on Wikipedia.

Within hours, someone not affiliated with the UGLA had erased everything that had been written, and replaced the entry with a poorly written and generally inaccurate diatribe against the UGLA.

A UGLA member replaced it with the original entry, and again, the self-appointed anti-UGLA expert deleted it and put up his own negative piece.

The unknown anti-UGLA writer (if you can call his entry writing) supports his weak comments about the UGLA with but two links as sources, one to the official UGLA website and one to Bro. Ed King's website.

Some UGLA brothers think the mystery writer could be Bro. King himself. Bro. King is a self-appointed online Masonic "Know It All." Or for all I know, he's been officially recognized as such by some Masonic group. (Some Masons seem to love giving each other plaques and certificates.) Bro. King's website,, which claims to have been online for at least eight years, contains several inaccurate references to the United Grand Lodge of America, including calling its members "expelled Masons," which they are not. To my knowledge, members of the UGLA consist of demitted Masons, of Masons who were "erased" from their blue lodge and Scottish Rite temples without trial, and of Masons who still also hold membership in mainstream Antient blue lodges.

Bro. King has devoted a page on his website to discuss the UGLA. His stance is nearly identical to the one shown in the anti-UGLA article that keeps reappearing on Wikipedia.

I personally know many UGLA members, and have since before the UGLA was founded. Yet I'd never presume to be an expert on the organization. I'd certainly never hold myself up as someone who was competent to write an encyclopedia article about them.

Only someone authorized by the group itself should be writing an information article about the group.

If whoever is behind the recurring adulteration of the Wikipedia entry wants to write articles debunking or ridiculing the United Grand Lodge of America, that is fine. That's what your own website or blog is for.

But using an encylopedia to bash your opponents is just tacky, and definitely unmasonic. I call upon whoever is repeatedly changing the Wikipedia entry to stop his childish activity.

Incidently, as of this writing, Bro. Ed King's own blog, the egocentrically-named "Masonic Musings from ME!", hasn't been updated since August 10, 2006.

Here's the rather weak entry (typos and grammatical errors included) on the UGLA that someone keeps replacing the official entry with:
The United Grand Lodge of America is an unrecognized body of Freemasonry, aimed at practicing the Modern's version of Freemasonry. It's [sic] stated mission is "the Brotherhood of All Mankind under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity through Universal Tolerance and the enlightenment of humanity."

[1] One of the main differences between this orginization and Mainstream masonry is that the UGLA is willing to recognize all masonic and non-masonic bodies, not believing in the ideal of recognition. However, the UGLA has failed to receive any recognition from any other body dealing or not dealing with any concepts of accepted freemasonry.


The United Grand Lodge of America was formed by expelled masons on December 27th, 2005.[1] While it is uncertain the specific individuals that formed this fraternity, it is known that the individuals decided upon it's [sic] creation after being expelled from Freemasonry for various reasons. These individuals felt wronged by the Grand Lodge system and sought to form a orginization [sic] not relying on hierarchy.[2]

Conflicting Ideals

While the UGLA was founded by ex-masons, it's [sic] ideals are conflicting with current F&AMasons and AF&AMasons. These conflicts are listed below:

1)The UGLA was not chartered by any existing Grand Lodge, or any recognized group of Blue Lodges.

2)The UGLA is seeking the disappearance of the current Grand Lodge system, and have all blue lodges report to one Grand Lodge; current freemasonry is sovereign to each state.

3)The UGLA is not recognized by any masonic body, therefore any of it's [sic] members will not be recognized by the regular Masonic bodies found throughout the world.

4)The UGLA does not have the support base or historical credibility such as the current Freemasonry orginization. [sic]

See Also

UGLA Home Page
Masonic Info Home Page
Lodge Room US


1. United Grand Lodge Home Page, December 27th, 2005

2., United GL of America
And here's a recent version of the Wikipedia entry the United Grand Lodge of America posted itself:
The formation of the United Grand Lodge of America of Accepted Free-Masons represents a return to the principles of the Grand Lodge of 1717 and the true spirit of the "Modern" Speculative Free-Masonry. Our mission is the Brotherhood of All Mankind under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity through Universal Tolerance and the enlightenment of humanity. The Grand Lodge represents a confederation of sovereign Lodges composed of Free-Masons dedicated to the Royal Art.

We welcome all honorable men and Free-Masons from around the world, regardless of Masonic affiliation, race, or religion, into our Lodges for we truly believe that a man is first made a Free-Mason in his heart and that no institution can judge this sublime act of the Creator. Every man and Free-Mason must be judged by his own individual merits as a brother and a fellow human being. For far too long Free-Masons have allowed petty Grand Lodge politics to separate and divide them. If our message to the world is "brotherhood" then we must first reestablish the same within Free-Masonry and exemplify it before all mankind.

The United Grand Lodge of America was founded on December 27th, 2005 by Masonic representatives from several states who perceived a growing necessity for reform within the American Craft. These honorable brothers put their oaths, taken before the Creator, above their own personal comfort and security because they felt a greater obligation to fulfill their promises to both God and the Craft.

If you are new to Modern Free-Masonry you may want to visit Modern Free-Masons at

Mission & Ideals

Free-Masonry is a doorway through which one can pass that leads to a Speculative Science that teaches a Peculiar System of Morality through the use of allegory and symbol. This, however, is not its ultimate aim. A man who rightly understands the Art is forever changed from within through coming to a true understanding of Charity (loving kindness). It is at this moment that he perceives the divine in all things and how we are all the children of one great Father.

The mission of Modern Free-Masonry is the Brotherhood of All Mankind under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity through Universal Tolerance and the enlightenment of humanity. Free-Masonry for the sake of itself is devoid of meaning and purpose. Many Masonic organizations have lost sight of the divinely inspired goal of the Craft, and have attempted to turn Free-Masonry into nothing more than a social club and philanthropy. The effect of this is apparent throughout the Craft today as the eternal Light grows ever dimmer within it.

For most organizations, whether Masonic or other, their main priority is self-perpetuation. They establish rules and guidelines which they believe will ensure their survival. Therefore it would seem that our first priority should be to ensure the survival of the United Grand Lodge of America or Free-Masonry itself. This, however, is inconsistent with Masonic philosophy. We view service to the Deity as our number one priority followed closely by service to mankind. The survival of Free-Masonry is the result of the performance of our duties and obligations to both God and man.

While politicians and military leaders draw lines on the globe to separate and divide men, we build bridges to unite them in Peace, Love, and Harmony.

The mission of the United Grand Lodge of America is to create, for the first time on our shores, a single, unified Grand Lodge for all Free-Masons dedicated to preserving and extending the benefits of Modern Free-Masonry throughout the United States of America. Our Grand Lodge is dedicated to restoring the ancient Craft ritual first used by the original Modern Free-Masons at the dawn of the 18th century. In promoting this ritual, we seek to restore the original teachings of Free-Masonry of that peculiar system of morality that leads to an understanding that we are all part of a brotherhood of man under the universal eye of Deity. We have reinstated Masonic education to its proper place as the primary work of Free-Masonry. To prevent the abuses that infect other grand lodges, we are organized as a decentralized and democratic confederation of sovereign and independent lodges.


During the Masonic schism (1751-1813) between the Grand Lodges of the ‘Moderns’ and the ‘Antients’ the concept of Masonic recognition was introduced into Free-Masonry. Each Grand Lodge claimed that only those Lodges and Masons recognized by them were truly Masonic. Thus Lodges and Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the ‘Antients’ were considered clandestine by the Grand Lodge of the ‘Moderns,’ with the same being true for the Grand Lodge of the ‘Antients.’ Needless to say the concept of “recognition” served the political aims of the Grand Lodges while dividing individual Free-Masons into separate camps.

The most unfortunate result of the schism between these two Grand Lodges was that the concept of recognition was carried forward by future generations of Free-Masons and used by Grand Lodges to divide men who would otherwise have no natural animosity towards one another.

The concept of “recognition” is, in itself, un-Masonic and against the primary aim of Free-Masonry – the Brotherhood of all mankind under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity. The concept of recognition is made possible only when men agree to place their loyalty to an organization above what they owe to both God and their fellow human beings. Thus Free-Masons engaged in such a practice have abandoned the concept of the brotherhood of man and replaced it with the brotherhood of the chosen. In many respects this is no different than the Nazis or the KKK. The Grand Lodges will decide who are the perfect and chosen men and out of blind loyalty Free-Masons must agree or be punished.

From the time of the great schism between the ‘Moderns’ and the ‘Antients’ the concept of recognition has been used to discriminate against men. The English have used it to denounce the French and the Anglo-Americans have used it to denigrate their African American counterparts. All of this was done in the name of Free-Masonry, a fraternity founded upon the principle of brotherly love.

The founders of the United Grand Lodge of America have wisely prohibited it from engaging in the process known as “Recognition” through constitutional law. In this they reference the Charges of a Free-Mason by James Anderson (1723):

"...we being only, as Masons, of the Universal Religion above mention'd, we are also of all Nations, Tongues, Kindreds, and Languages... if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly"

Further, they have firmly established God and the brotherhood of man as the basis for all Masonic law. The Grand Lodge cannot enact any rule or regulation that would divide men and/or Free-Masons because it goes against the primary aim of Free-Masonry (the brotherhood of man), and because it violates the universally accepted idea that God created all men equal.

The United Grand Lodge of America opens its doors to all men regardless of Race, Religion, or Masonic Affiliation and seeks to unite them into one great brotherhood under God.

Resources 1. United Grand Lodge of America 2. The Modern Freemasonic Journal 3. The Grand Lodge At York
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  1. Why I am dipping my toe into this water I have no idea, because I know it will only rain grief on my head.

    The Wikipedia is an encyclodedia. It’s not a forum. It’s not a private website. And it’s not designed as a place for warring factions to engage in propaganda fights. I have read the two entries you have posted, as well as looking back at the different versions in the brief history of the entry. Members of the UGLA may object to the brief treatment and lack of detail, but the first entry outlines the basic facts of the UGLA’s formation. The second entry, on the other hand, is a manifesto. Is the first entry factually incorrect?

    More to the point, like it or not, the UGLA is, AT THE PRESENT TIME, insignificant. I’m sorry, but the small fistful of members who trumpet its goals and successes are a small blip in the history and collective body of worldwide Freemasonry. Like Rob Morris’ Conservators, the UGLA might force changes within US Freemasonry, or vanish, or both. But posting websites and trying to out-shout mainstream Masons who object to the UGLA’s methods does not automatically grant your group the moral high ground, nor does it exempt you from rules in places like the Wikipedia. Frankly, UGLA is lucky to get any mention there at all, because apart from their own self-promoting, their actual accomplishments have been practically non-existant.

    I will note that other groups like the Masonic Restoration Foundation, the Institute for Masonic Studies in California, the Knights of the North, and a huge raft of other small but influential groups within Masonry do not have Wikipedia entries, and several have been deleted by the encyclopedia’s monitors because they do not meet the program’s notability standards. At this point in time, I would argue, neither does the UGLA.

    As an outside observer, it is impossible to discuss the UGLA in a rational manner with its members without the rapid descent of the discussion into insult and invective, largely from its more outspoken originators. They have an axe to grind, and no one denies that they got what appears to be a raw deal from their Grand Lodge. I have followed their story, mostly from their own words, since the “other side” doesn’t seem to speak up. What they don’t understand is that they are their own worst enemies. Any questioning of the UGLA’s motives or methodology results in a torrent of insult and childish ranting. It is clear that, in spite of wild claims to the contrary, young men are not beating a path to their door. The UGLA website lists only two lodges. One is in Alabama with no posted meeting information. The other is in a Starbucks in Georgia. Perhaps the lack of rapid growth and popularity among disaffected masons they so desperately want to appeal to may be attributed to the public bad manners of its five or six loudest promoters. The overriding sense that most come away with is that they don’t play well with others, and their own attitude towards men who are their brethren is no more “Masonic” than the men they are locked in mortal combat with. In fact, in many cases, it's far worse.

    If the UGLA wants to be worthy of the notability they seek, they need to shut up and get to work actually building something instead of trawling the internet looking for insults and treating skeptics with sneers of contempt. Because after a year of this nonsense, all they have to show is a website, a motorcycle club, and getting two radio hosts fired.

    Sorry fellas, I'm not your enemy. I know what you are fighting against and the frustration you must feel. But sometimes it's useful to see how you look outside of your own echo chamber.

  2. I agree, the UGLA's own entry is for all intents and purposes a "manifesto," not a true encyclopedic article.

    And the one posted by their detractor is indeed factually incorrect. The writer is not qualified to write an article about something of which he has no direct knowledge.

    Which is more factual? The manifesto. It should be edited, to be sure, but should not be repeatedly deleted in an ongoing clash of pro- and anti-Masonic forces.

    — W.S.

  3. If that is so, the only proper resolution is to delete the entry until an objective, unbiased one can be crafted.

  4. Since when is it "anti-Masonic" to edit the self-promoters of the UGLA?

  5. Since when is it "anti-Masonic" to edit the self-promoters of the UGLA?

    Dang, there are way too many "anonymous" guys around here.

    Anyway, part of the "anti-Masonic" stuff may come from the long and IMO very tedious edit wars over on the Freemasonry page itself. Both the K0nspiracy K00ks and several Fundies have taken the page - and the discussions - into the realm of the ridiculous. There's a lot of sensitivity over there right now.

    That said, I just wanted to chime in to agree with the first "Anonymous"'s exceptionally well-written comment. It's true that the UGLA's own entry is simply a rehashed clip of their website, and there's quite a bit of stuff that doesn't meet the Wiki policy of "verification, neutral point of view and no original research."

    And unfortunately, there has been misuse on both sides of this, judging from the currently edited page and discussion.

    And I want to - again - mention that the overwhelming majority of Masons have not had any experience like what the UGLA members have experienced, so it's no wonder that they become upset or defensive. Instead of suggesting that all Freemasonry is corrupt or has lost touch or doesn't present the best teachings (which doesn't jibe with the "Masonry" that most of us know), they might consider just sticking to the facts instead of using words that seem to promote and encourage, er, "schism-ness."

    Is that a word?

    Tom Accuosti
    The Tao of Masonry

  6. And so they finally failed to follow the Wikipedia rules one too many times and got their entry deleted completely. Not by cruel and imperious "Antient" Masons acting in an un-Masonic manner out of jealousy and fear, but by weary, unbiased humans in the real world who got worn out by their childish behavior.

    The UGLA guys are their own worst enemies, and they seem to be unable to learn from their failures. I keep reading comments like, "I went to some of their meetings, but I got fed up with Masonry..." That sounds more to me like the UGLA experience is less than stellar.

    Maybe these boys just can't play with others, and no one wants to join a club like that.

  7. "Only someone authorized by the group itself should be writing an information article about the group. "

    Technically, that would be against Wikipoedia's conflict of interest rules.

  8. Looks like the Wiki article on the UGLA has been completely deleted now, unless the page has moved from the link you provided in your

    One thing you can look into is to do some digging around on the editors/deleters of the article. There is a large group of resident masonic editors on Wikipedia that virtually control the entire site as it is related to Masonry - even remotely related.

    It is quite an eyefull, and a story I think you have only scratched the surface on.


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