Tuesday, May 22, 2007

'Evil that goes unchallenged is evil that will eventually prevail'

The following anonymous post was made as a comment on the Burning Taper article Masonic obligations: Do we owe blind obedience to Grand Masters?"

The post is so interesting and, in some ways, so shocking, that I wanted to republish it here as an article in its own right in case you don't always check the comments section of older posts.

I have corresponded privately with this "anonymous" poster for some time now, and have heard this and even more scandalous stories about grand lodge improprieties in the writer's Masonic jurisdiction. I'm glad he is now willing to come forward publicly with some of them.

The writer has his own reasons for remaining anonymous at this time. I believe him to be a good and true brother, and while I have no firsthand knowledge of these events, I have no reason to doubt his story.

The events described did not take place in Georgia.

— W.S.



> But aren't we past Orsen Wells by now (1984)?

I believe you mean George Orwell, else your reference to "1984" has eluded me.

> Are we really at they're mercy? ...I think we are speaking of the same outcome but how do WE get there?

That's a good question, and the truth is, I don't know. The power brokers entrenched in the Masonic Grand Lodges of the US today aren't going to willingly give up their fiefdoms, no matter what they have to do. They insist that their own actions aren't governed by the same Masonic laws that govern the rest of us, and they brazenly do exactly as they please, while brushing away anyone who dares to take a stand against their corruption.

Recently in my grand jurisdiction, several of the older Past Grand Masters finally realized what the younger ones were doing, and tried to take a stand. Charges of un-Masonic conduct were initiated against the reigning Grand Master, who (among other serious issues) had been fired from a lengthy career in law enforcement for sexual harassment of one or more of his subordinates. He even had to move to another state during his term as Grand Master because his reputation in law enforcement here prevented him from being able to find comparable employment.

Masonic law here dictates that charges of un-Masonic conduct against a Grand Master can only proceed with the majority consent of all the living Past Grand Masters. As soon as the reigning Grand Master was made aware of the charges against him, he called a meeting of the Past Grand Masters to discuss the subject.

As the Grand Master called his own meeting, he took charge of it, thereby effectively becoming the presiding officer at his own "arraignment." Then, with the support of his grand line, he made certain that one of his cronies assumed "chairmanship" of the committee. A few of the older PGMs objected, noting that our Masonic law requires the most senior PGM to chair such meetings, but that elderly brother was unable to attend due to frail health and the recent death of his wife, and it was declared that he had forfeited his right to preside.

The reigning Grand Master then lectured the assembled PGMs for an hour or so, and when he finished, he and his entourage left the PGMs to conduct their deliberations without the testimony of any other "witnesses." The "chairman" of the committee then removed the charges from a sealed envelope, read them silently to himself, and returned them to their envelope without ever allowing any of the other PGMs to see or hear them. He then called for a "vote of confidence" in the reigning Grand Master, but the written votes of (mostly older) PGMs who weren't able to attend were disqualified. Again, a few of the older PGMs objected, but the "chairman" declared that since the brothers hadn't been able to hear the "testimony," they weren't able to make "informed decisions," and their votes were summarily dismissed.

So the "vote of confidence" in the Grand Master was sustained by a majority of the PGMs present at the meeting called by the Grand Master, and presided over by one of his cronies. A few days later, the Grand Master declared the brothers who had initiated the charges against him "suspended pending Masonic trial," on charges that they'd "conspired to subvert the authority of the Grand Master." The Grand Master then appointed Grand Lodge Trial Committees composed of other cronies to "try" the brothers, and not surprisingly, every one of them were declared "guilty" and expelled for life. One of the accused brothers even suffered a heart attack while waiting to testify in his own defense, and was rushed from the Grand Lodge offices in an ambulance. Rather than postponing the trial, however, the Grand Lodge Trial Committee declared him guilty in absentia, and sentenced him to expulsion while he was undergoing emergency heart surgery at the local veterans' hospital.

In a last ditch effort to right the course of Masonry here, the older PGMs made one final attempt at the following annual session of Grand Lodge. When nominations were solicited for the office of Grand Master, the Deputy Grand Master who had supported his predecessor's corrupt reign was immediately nominated. An elderly but courageous PGM then attempted to nominate an alternative candidate, but the reigning Grand Master angrily rapped him down and declared that he wouldn't accept that nomination. Despite having no authority to "reject" nominations, the Grand Master said he had to "do what's best for the good of Masonry," and the elderly PGM shuffled back to his seat with his head hung in shame. Needless to say, with no other "nominations" being accepted, the DGM was "elected," and the future of corrupt leadership here was thereby perpetuated.

In our Grand Lodge, voting delegates consist of principal officers from blue lodges, as well as all Grand Lodge officers and committee members, PGMs, DDGMs, etc. All Grand Lodge committee members are appointed by the Grand Master himself, as are the District Deputy Grand Masters, etc., so that the Grand Master effectively "controls" about one-third of all votes at Grand Lodge. Most of the important issues that come before the Grand Lodge require two-thirds majority approval, and with a "solid block" of one-third that supports the Grand Master unanimously, it's effectively impossible to achieve a sufficient majority to effect any kind of real reform.

Just to make sure that reform efforts don't have a chance, however, any "resolutions" submitted to Grand Lodge that would help restore the power of majority rule, and return Masonry to a correct and upright path, are simply declared "out of order." In one year alone, nearly 20 resolutions regularly approved and submitted by blue lodges, were declared "out of order," or "not for the good of Masonry," and were dismissed by the reigning Grand Master, who has no legitimate authority to dismiss resolutions, regardless of his own personal opinion of them.

In the long run, it's back to what I said previously: "People who have to work within a framework of rules are at an insurmountable disadvantage against those whose don't." Mainstream Masonry in my jurisdiction has been hijacked by a brazen political clique, yet the vast majority of regular Masons don't realize it even now. The clique controls the principal venues of communication, and the only story that reaches the majority of Masons is the one the Grand Lodge wants them to hear, which is often a complete fabrication.

The minority of Masons who realize what's really happening are left with no means by which to change the "system" either from within, or from without. In order to continue practicing Masonry as the gentle and noble craft it was intended to be, they've been forced to start over with a new lodge, which is obviously considered to be "clandestine" by their mainstream counterparts.

Perhaps someday Masonry will again be as it was in its early days — a loose affiliation of independent lodges with no Grand Lodges, or other central governing authorities. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it seems to me that the absence of central authority would certainly be preferable to the dominance of corrupt ones, such as some that exist today. I can't say if all Grand Lodges are as corrupt as the one here, but I suspect they are, or eventually will be because they choose to turn a blind eye, rather than taking a stand for what they know is right.

Evil that goes unchallenged is evil that will eventually prevail, and if the corruption that's rampant in the leadership of the Masonic fraternity today is allowed to continue, the Masonry that once existed as a benevolent force in the US, is surely destined for extinction.

— An anonymous Freemason

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15 comments:

  1. it is sad that this will happen with no repercussions.
    i too have seen this type of behavior as well.

    It saddens me immensely that this is what our frat has turned into, where elders turn their backs on wrong doings.

    keep burying heads in the sand, it is not my GL so I do not get involved

    same ol mantra

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  2. Lest you think this article to preposterous to believe or you have some misguided idea that a Mason would not imbrue his hands in such a dastardly undertaking.

    Then hear it now directly from one who was in the forefront of the endeavor to bring these matters to the attention of the membership.



    January 25, 2005





    “A HYPOTHESIS?”



    Hickory Dickery Dock. Is it a Conspiracy or a Plot?



    As I lay in my hospital bed recuperating from a recent heart attack, I had much time to think, reflect, and ponder. I had time to allow my mind to retrace many events of this year. Some events of which, I have first hand knowledge and have been directly involved in as well as adversely effected by, and others of which I have become aware and made knowledgeable. As I lay pondering and wondering I gradually acquired a perception or an insight. An insight I will share with you here.



    Upon returning from the hospital, I reread the last postings to the hirama site, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hirama104 (Messages). I have searched many of the IRS files on the Internet, and I am much wiser now. If for no other reason then to be convinced the IRS and some in our Fraternity, must be studying from the same book. I can’t make heads or tails of the IRS rules?



    The recent postings to the hirama site, have given me much reason for thought. While thinking, looking, and reflecting a great number of interesting thoughts cruised through the crooks and crannies and yes, “Chasms” of my mind. I must admit (Schism) sent me to the dictionary. Both the word and the article I found most interesting.



    I have been particularly enthralled with the postings numbered 155-156 & 157. As I read them, I found at least in my mind, an interrelationship. Although all three are quite different they are in fact all related. If that confuses you good, “you are in good company.” As that is exactly what we are supposed to be, “confused”.



    I titled this peace “Conspiracy or Plot” for a reason. There is a possibility we as a fraternity have fallen pray to the “Biggest, Subtlest, well thought out, long range hoax and conspiracy conceivable?” What I am about to reveal, “I can not”, I doubt anyone could substantiate. That is part of it. That no one would, and or could, substantiate so much as a small portion of this mental conjuring.



    Like I said, I read the recent postings and they put me to thinking. I scrolled back over other postings. I was paying particular attention to the postings of ZX. One thing started to intrigue me. Who is ZX, and how is it he knows so much? Is he, as pointed out in this posting to the ZX site, potentially anyone?



    7/10/2004



    To readers who are truly Master Masons - I write only to caution you that for those who do not know the true identity of "Z X hirama104@yahoo.com, calling themselves 'Hiram'" use caution in engaging in Masonic communications. For all I know this person is a suspended or expelled Mason, a non-Mason, a person of non-age, or a woman.



    For true Masons, the Obligation means something. For “Hiram”, the person has either not taken the Obligation of a Master Mason or has chosen to ignore everything about it. Certainly people of honor, truth and integrity do not hide behind pseudonyms. They do not use fake names to cover their violations of the Masonic oath.



    For any true brother having a question and desiring truth, contact me directly and I will be glad to provide you truth, with my name on it, not a lie under a pseudonym.



    If Hiram is truly a Mason, we have an excellent example of a person operating without the due-bounds of our Laws and Obligations.



    I am,



    George R. Franks, Jr., Master Mason

    Deputy Grand Master and Presiding Officer

    Grand Lodge of Arkansas



    Allow me to reemphasize what was said here. “For all I know this person is a suspended or expelled Mason, a non-Mason, a person of non-age, or a woman.” To that let me add (Or a Grand Lodge Member)? Easy now don’t swallow your tongue. I didn’t say, “was or is”, I only added to what has already been said above “For all I know”. Well for all “I know”, ZX could be a Member of Grand Lodge?



    To illustrate my thinking I ask some simple questions. The answers to which have me somewhat confused. “Depending on what the answer is of course? Some answers make more sense then others and some do not lend themselves to this hypothesis at all. On the other hand there are answers that are self-evident, and do in fact add validity to what I’m asking here?



    Who is ZX?



    A person:



    1. Aware of far more going on in Grand Lodge then the average Mason.



    2. Possessing above average intellect and masking it with subtle nuances of typing errors and grammar.



    3. One who obviously isn’t afraid of consequences?



    What had me baffled is not so much who, but why? To that end I started thinking. This is not to point an accusation at any one, but rather to point out some potential answers to all the question that keep resurfacing in my little pea brain. To that end I’m reminded of the old shell game or a magicians slight of hand. That’s right direct your attention away from the true objective. If you recall, ZX only came on the scene after the infamous “Through out all Countries” e-mail. That e-mail may have in fact been a “God Send” to someone, or at the very least given them some inspiration? That e-mail may have enabled them to accelerate the unleashing of a master plan heretofore only partly being implemented.



    What better way to mask your activities, then to cause an up roar, by diverting everyone’s attention toward something or someone else, or both? By starting a controversial web site, which you are in control of, but are hidden by the use of a pseudonym? It’s one of the oldest ploys in use in covert operations. “Accuse your adversary of exactly what you are doing. Keep them busy putting out fires you start, and accuse them, of starting them. Leaving you free, to peruse your master conspiracy.



    I’m sure you will agree to tell a good lie you have to sprinkle it with some truths. It’s like the old adage, “ A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down”. While looking back at some of ZX’s postings, I noted on several occasions he refreshed or repeated, some of the things he had said. Why? I’m guessing there was a spoonful of truth in some of them, thus he was adding credence to all else he was saying. You remember the old adage. If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, eventually someone will begin to believe it. Proving true isn’t it?



    We now come to what started out as a few Brothers talking amongst themselves about the actions or inactions of others. This small group exploded, when the ZX e-mail site, popped up. Those few became several. ZX’s mailing list was becoming unmanageable. Thus the hirama web site was born. Now anyone could post to the site. Now the cleverly laid plan was in place and a number of Brothers willingly fell in as unknowing pawns. The site became almost self-sustaining only requiring a few kicks now and then. As, is evidenced by the sprinkling of hirama postings.



    Don’t scoff the plot thickens. By now there is a small group forming a coalition. The same group so many times referred to as conspirators, misrepresenting the truth and the tellers of out right lies. This coalition having read the Digest extensively moved to have the Masonic Law and Usage Committee invoke its powers to form a Trial Commission and ascertain if charges ought to be brought by some of the coalition members.



    There is indeed a conspiracy afoot, but the question is, who are the conspirators? Everyone in the Fraternity is being informed of the conspiracy. At every meeting at every opportunity, anywhere, everywhere, by whatever means presents itself the ruse is perpetuated. To add validity to the ruse several of the conspirators are named. Remember that spoon full of sugar?



    The members of the coalition are accused of conspiring, spreading rumors, innuendos and untruths. Remember what I said about the shell game? Remember the magician’s slight of hand? Remember to accuse others of exactly what you are in fact doing. All this time the coalition members are thinking, the MLUC will soon get things straightened out. While the coalition is thinking this, other conspirators are moving in the background. Quietly, stealthily, the efforts of the coalition members are undermined.



    A letter is sent summonsing all the Past Grand Masters, by so doing the letter makes the issuer the principle speaker and the coalition’s efforts are there by effectively thwarted. To further insure control of the PGM’s and the MLUC a second letter is sent, on the same day from the same offices to the same Past Grand Masters. But this one is signed Chairman Masonic Law and Usage Committee. Thereby putting all in receipt of the second letter, the (PGM’s-the-MLUC) on notice, the issuer and signer of the letter is and will be heading the (MLUC) committee. Removing the heretofore protocol, of the senior member in attendance heading the committee.



    Now, the stage is set, all the power players are in place, all that remains is to add validity to all that has transpired. The speaker makes his address. The MLUC listens, as he tells his tail of woe. After the address he retires and the MLUC considers his impassioned words, there is a motion to give the speaker a vote of confidence. All the efforts of the coalition are for naught. There efforts have been effectively voided. But they have been allowed to play their parts, and they have played them flawlessly to this point. But they are not yet used up they still have slight of hand value, as we will soon see.



    Quickly all the “Conspirators” are suspended. Causing their attentions to turn inwardly and start considering their own plight or plights as the case may be. The suspensions serve as an ominous yet mute testimony to others, not to undertake such a hazardous venture. Adding to the belief all power and control, lie in the hands of the one chosen as the repository of such.



    Remember, I said in every lie there is a little truth? Let us now move to execute just a little more of our conspiracy. The

    Grand Lodge sojourns to Jonesboro, for the dedication of a new Lodge and the instillation of its Officers. Dispensations having been issued many months ago, for the craft to work in another lodge pending the dedication of there new one and the instillation of their Officers. At this occasion there is also a little unobtrusive and discreet propriety observed, the instillation of three new Grand Lodge Officers. Why so far away, why so far away from the watchful eyes of central Arkansas? But there is no cause for alarm. No reason for suspicion, not to the average onlooker.



    But in the mind of one who has been, watching, wondering, and thinking? It becomes a curious thing to one who has become suspicious of any and all actions of certain people it is a puzzlement? To such a person it’s no surprise when the realization comes. “Its no surprise only the Grand Secretary, Treasurer and Orator are sitting offices to which they were elected.” That is only a small insight. Then comes the realization. “75% of the Grand Officers are sitting chairs to which they were not elected.” Nowhere in the world from the antiquity of Masonry to this day, has there been such an occurrence. By no stretch of ones imagination, could such an event happen? It’s utterly unbelievable? But, it’s a fact. It has happened, it is history.



    My mind is a jumble of thoughts, the letter “W” never took on such emphases before. Why this? Why that? Where is it all leading? What is the purpose? Where are the answers? Where do you look? What Questions do you ask? Who should you ask the questions of? Who knows what? Questions, questions, questions.



    As my mind races trying to comprehend it remembers, only recently has there been issued a letter. Dictating who sits where at Grand Lodge. I wonder why? Never before in history has designated seating been an issue. Why now? Why all of a sudden the necessity. The stated answer is, ease of counting votes. But most important issues are decided by ballot? Not by hand? So you wonder? Is that the real reason? Is that the only reason? The letter also states only (the delegates) those on the lower floor will be allowed to speak. The wheat has been separated from the chafe. Again why, why has the wheat been separated from the chafe? Could it be to ensure the chafe remains silent and should there be a need to remove the chafe? By having it all in one place that task becomes much easer?



    Alas the plot thickens yet again. To solidify the appointments to the Grand Line the letter further decrees there will be “No Nominations from the floor”. The Grand Line is now totally set with appointees. Not a single moving Line Officer is sitting a station to which the Fraternity elected him. In an effort to insure those expressing ideas, not in agreement with the clique don’t get elected. Their resumes are removed from the Grand Lodge packets. Thus PGM, Paul Bush, PM, O. D. Burtcher, and PM, Travis Collins are precluded from running. After all Brothers Burtcher and Collins are suspended, they can’t run?



    No consideration is given to the fact Brothers Burtcher and Collins just might be acquitted? But there is little chance of that. Very few have ever been found, not guilty in a Grand Lodge Trial Commission? You ever hear of a "preconceived, prejudicial, inference of guilt”? Uh-oh? Talk about “Wronged, Cheated and Defrauded?” You know the kangaroo might jump sidewise this time. Stranger things have and are happening.



    Look back, three paragraphs above. See the slight of hand? I to had to look closely. Only recently has the letter dictating the seating at Grand Lodge” been posted. Ah-ha, the mind begins to learn slowly, but it does learn. In this case lets think like the Japanese. “What you see is what you are meant to see”. From the most recent letter, think back. All the way to the first letter from Grand Lodge, this year? If you thought back to the letter expunging the per-capita tax you are looking and thinking good, but you have just been mislead again. As soon as Grand Lodge convenes right away control will begin. But the question is control by whom and for what reason? The delegates thinking they are in charge step forward, and in an unprecedented voting procedure again vote on the per-capita tax. It is of minor importance as to the out come of the vote. It is only part of a ruse, as you will soon see.



    There remains but a few loose ends to tie up before Grand Lodge convenes. The time has come to deal with the previously suspended Brothers. The ones suspended back in September and November. A question forms. Why so long in bringing them to trial? The answer gives an insight. By having their trials just before Grand Lodge? There is no time for the Appeals and Grievance Committee to review and report. But the controversy will be a hot subject to keep the masses occupied while the master plan is further implemented.



    But, could it be someone has unwittingly revealed a part of the plot? Has there been a slip? Or is it a carefully calculated part of the plan. Could it be by “Hickory, Dickory, or Dock? The Grand Lodge Delegates could be tricked into executing a part of the Plot. Is there the slightest chance resolution number thirteen (13), Voting at Grand Lodge, could pass? Only officers of the Grand Lodge shall be entitled to vote in Grand Lodge. Delegates from subordinate Lodges shall not be entitled to vote. Can there be enough confusion injected into the Grand Lodge Convention as to allow the wording on the floor to confuse the issue and delegates unwittingly vote them selves out of control of there own Grand Lodge? Is there the remotest possibility someone might accidentally miscount the ballot? Stranger things have and are happening.



    By this point you should be asking yourself some questions. Where is this tale going? What is its point? Why all the attention to the voting at Grand Lodge. Can it be pointing out how delegates vote one-way on an issue one year, only to find the following year, a craftily worded address and motion induces a reversal the following year? When trials are held behind closed doors is the Fraternity “holding true to its tenet of truth, is it holding true to its ancient landmarks”?



    When those in charge fail to invoke the aid of deity at proceedings is the Fraternity “turning it’s back on God”? When the leadership of Free Masonry shuns it’s own laws and its membership turns a blind-eye, is it “Still Free Masonry”? Is the Craft being “quietly subverted from within”? Is that what all this is about? Has all this been to point out, that violating the Digest and the Constitution, the sacrificing of honor and integrity even the destruction of Masonic careers are of no importance? You think all this is “Hogwash”, or could it be,



    “THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL CONTROL OF GRAND LODGE”?








    O. D. Burtcher, PM
    Adoniram #288
    Ambassador of "Friendship,
    Morality and Brotherly Love".

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  3. i am amazed that this kind of thing goes on.

    call me naive (and indeed, ive only recently been raised to the 3rd) but this scenario just doesnt happen here in australia, or at the very least, in new south wales and the australian capital territory.

    if no one would mind, i might forward this story to my district grand inspector of workings to see if he can fill me in on any of the darker politics of our wonderful fraternity.

    i refuse to let stories like this one get me down - i love freemasonry with all my heart, and i, as a young freemason, refuse to let us go down this path.

    c z . . .

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  4. to cz,
    I too am an Aussie Freemason, from NSW also. I'm not a 3rd yet, but I agree, I don't hear of such wrong doings are going on. But then agian, I might be naive too.? haha

    By the way, what district are you brother?

    - 85eternal

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  5. I know the brothers in Arkansas and what they were forced to suffer through. The new crop of Grand Masters across this country are more like the Waffen SS than Freemasons. Even the old Past Grand Masters are being abused by them.

    Masonic real estate is being stolen from our brotherhood by profiteering Grand Pooh bahs. They are driving the fraternity into the ground in order to sell off its valuable real estate for pennies on the dollar to corporations they own.

    This is a war being conducted by the Grand Lodges and the Scottish Rite against every Mason in this country. If we don't make a stand then we will lose everything that 300 years of Freemasonry has given to us.

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  6. George Orwell or Orsen Wells- Same thing in this matter. Sorry I goofed that one folks. My point was taken though but the question still stands.
    These are the problems we run into by discussing issues online.

    One anonymous mason to another... HA

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  7. I seem to recall a noteworthy brother was recently chastised by his Grand Lodge for "communicating" with other Masonic brothers in other jurisdictions, without going through the "official channels." His Grand Lodge told him that all communication between Masons in different jurisdictions, should be conducted only through the Grand Secretaries, and he was told to stop communicating with Masons in other jurisdictions through the Internet.

    As I see it, however, we are "FREE Masons," and communication is essential to freedom. That's undoubtedly why the "freedom to assemble" was "guaranteed" to US citizens as a part of their "Bill of Rights." If people can't openly meet and discuss issues and ideas, it's a lot easier for the truth to be obscured and manipulated. Anyone who doubts that, need only recall the way the Nazis and the Soviets controlled the news media during their reigns of power.

    When the USSR collapsed a few years ago, a free press began to operate for the first time in generations. Curiously enough, however, I remember hearing reports a lot of former Soviet citizens didn't like it. They weren't accustomed to seeing different points of view, and many said they wanted the media to take one side or the other, and tell them which position to endorse. In short, the people had become so accustomed to someone telling them what to think and do, they didn't know how to make their own decisions without such "guidance."

    Masonry in the US today isn't much different. The vast majority of Masons (probably 90%) are really just Masons in name only; at some point in the past, they received their degrees and have maintained their dues, but they haven't attended a lodge of any kind in years. Many don't even know any other Masons; they don't know what time or day their own lodges meet, the names of any of their lodge officers, and they can't recall any of their signs or passwords. Perhaps worse, in order to hide their ignorance, if someone inquires about Masonry, they reply: "I can't tell you anything about it because it's a secret."

    In the US, probably fewer than 10% of all Masons have attended a lodge meeting in the last 5 years, and at least 80% of those will never attend another lodge meeting for the rest of their lives. They don't know what's going on in the fraternity, they just "assume" that everything's fine, and wouldn't believe the reality if someone showed them a video of it.

    I was an active Mason for a significant number of years; I worked my way through the chairs, and I attended the annual sessions of Grand Lodge in my state many times, even when I wasn't required to as a "principal officer" of my lodge. The things I've seen and heard are so bizarre and blatantly wrong, few reasonable people would believe them.

    Within the last few years, I've seen the entire elected line of officers at a blue lodge removed from office, charged with un-Masonic conduct, and tried before a Grand Lodge Trial Commission. Their crime? They'd sold barbecue at a city festival as a charitable fundraiser, and a few of the brothers working the event had been observed refreshing themselves with 3.2% alcoholic beer, which had been provided by the event organizers. Masonic law in that jurisdiction prohibits Masons from engaging in the sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages containing MORE than 3.2% alcohol, and it prohibits the consumption of such beverages on lodge property, but it specifically exempts those containing 3.2% alcohol or less.

    Even though by ALL accounts, the "beer" the brothers consumed at the city festival, was in fact 3.2% alcohol, the brothers were removed from their offices and their lodge's charter was arrested. They were charged with un-Masonic conduct, the Grand Lodge sent a list of their names to every blue lodge in the state with strict orders not to allow them to attend, and they were eventually "tried" and "convicted," -- not by a jury of their peers, but by a Grand Lodge Trial Commission composed solely of members appointed by the same Grand Master who made the charges against them!

    When a member of the trial commission was later confronted with the fact that the beverages the brothers consumed didn't meet the definition of "alcoholic beverages" as outlined by their Masonic code, he replied that the public wouldn't have been able to distinguish between 3.2% beer and "regular" beer, and that the convictions were therefore proper, even though the brothers hadn't actually violated ANY Masonic laws.

    In another example, a Worshipful Master of a blue lodge conducted a fish fry from which 100% of the proceeds were sent directly to the Grand Lodges of Louisiana and Mississippi for the relief of Hurricane Katrina victims in their state. Several hundred people attended the event, and while the WM had gone to buy more food, two Masons who were suspended or expelled from the Masonic fraternity in his state, showed up with their wives and families, purchased tickets, and were served meals.

    The Grand Master in that particular state had recently issued an "edict" that suspended and/or expelled Masons in his state were to be strictly prohibited from attending ALL events at Masonic lodges -- even events open to the general public, as was the fundraiser for hurricane relief. When the WM returned with more food, a Grand Lodge "representative" in attendance informed him of the arrival of the suspended and/or expelled Masons, and told him he was required to ask them to leave.

    The WM then assembled his principal officers, as well as the sitting Masters of several other lodges in attendance, and asked the suspended and/or expelled brothers to join them in the prep room. There, away from the eyes of the public, the WM read the Grand Master's recent directive to the now "unwelcome" brothers, both of whom apologized for their ignorance, and agreed to leave without delay. At the conclusion of the event, the WM announced the total collected to the crowd (about $3,000) and directed the Treasurer of his lodge to divide it equally between the Grand Lodges of Louisiana and Mississippi, and send them checks along with notes of explanation.

    The following business day, the WM sent a comprehensive report of the event to the Grand Master of his state, and a few days later, he received a "reply" in the mail informing him that his Grand Master had removed him from office, and declared him "suspended pending trial" on charges of un-Masonic conduct, namely that he'd "allowed" suspended and/or expelled Masons to attend the fundraiser at his lodge.

    Several months later, the WM was finally summonsed to appear and be "tried" before a Grand Lodge Trial Commission. Because he'd already been declared "suspended," however, the trial couldn't be conducted on a Masonic "degree," or even with the participants wearing Masonic aprons. Instead, it was conducted in a back room of the Grand Lodge offices, and orders were issued that no Masons were allowed to attend except those specifically called as witnesses.

    The "prosecutor" was the same Past Grand Master who was fired from his law enforcement job during his term as Grand Master the preceding year. The "chairman" of the Trial Commission was a former police colleague of the fired Grand Master, and both of them, along with ALL the other members of the "jury," were appointed by the Grand Master who himself initiated the charges!

    Five witnesses testified on behalf of the accused, all of whom agreed that he hadn't been present when the suspended and/or expelled Masons arrived at his lodge, and that as soon as he returned, he followed his Grand Master's directive to the best of his ability by asking the former brothers to leave. All agreed that the accused WM had done everything within his power to comply with the GM's directive, and indeed, all agreed that they'd never known the WM to commit any act of un-Masonic conduct in his entire life.

    After about 4 hours of taped testimony, the accused WM was finally given permission to leave, but the witnesses who testified on his behalf were asked to remain. They were made to raise their hands and swear a solemn oath not to discuss or reveal the nature of the trial or their testimony. A few days later, the accused WM received a letter in the mail informing him that he'd been found "guilty as charged," and sentenced to a "definite suspension of 50 years." Furthermore, he was instructed that because he hadn't "honorably" completed his term as Worshipful Master, he wasn't entitled to the title of Past Master, and his lodge was instructed to remove his picture from the wall of Past Masters, and return it to him, thereby erasing the memory of his years of service to his lodge.

    Perhaps to add insult to injury, neither the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, nor the Grand Lodge of Mississippi, ever sent so much as a "thank you" note to the former WM's lodge for the contributions they'd made, which totaled just short of $1500 each. Both cashed the checks they received, however, thereby conclusively proving that they DID receive the money. One can only speculate about the reason for their apparent lack of gratitude, but it can reasonably be deduced that the Grand Lodge of the suspended WM's state, directly contacted the other Grand Lodges, and told them not to acknowledge the donations.

    I could go on, and on; I could tell stories about Grand Masters threatening Past Masters with charges of un-Masonic conduct if they didn't agree to be forcibly "re-obligated" in the Master's degree as an instrument of punishment and humiliation. I could tell stories of Master Masons blatantly violating their obligations by betraying the "secrets" of their brothers, thereby getting them suspended and/or expelled. I could tell tales of Grand Masters "expunging" lawful votes at Grand Lodge, and forcing lodges to vote on the same issues two and three times at successive Grand Lodge sessions, etc.

    The only thing is, if I took the time to write down everything I know, 95% of my fellow Masons wouldn't believe it anyway. They'd think I was lying, or that I'd lost my mind, and the things I've seen with my own eyes couldn't possibly happen in a Masonic lodge. Quite honestly, I wish that was true, but it isn't.

    For "young" Masons who may be reading this, I certainly HOPE that Masonry in your part of the world is a LOT different than it is in mine (the central United States). For your benefit, however, I will offer you some words of wisdom that an elderly Past Master and Past District Deputy Grand Master, once told me:

    "Masonry appears best when viewed from afar. The closer you get to the center, the more deeply involved you become, the more you realize it's rotten to the core!"

    I urge you, look deep within the leadership of your own Grand Lodges. If you see shadowy figures "steering" the institution like the "smoking men" from the "X Files," that's a warning sign.

    If you see a fraternity with thousands of members, but just a tiny handful of the same ones are continually reappointed to all the Grand Lodge committees and offices, that too is a warning sign.

    If you see men within your fraternity -- especially those in salaried positions -- remaining in those same positions (such as Grand Secretary and/or Grand Treasurer) for decades, that should be an obvious warning sign that shouldn't be ignored.

    Finally, however, if you see "opposition candidates" and others in your Grand Lodge who are courageous enough to stand up for their beliefs, get "slapped down" by the presiding political establishment, that's a sign that political corruption has gone much too far.

    True Masons, like all men of honor, don't slap each other down for holding and/or expressing different views. They respect each other's opinions, as well as their right to express them openly, and they allow the truth to be revealed by the strength of their arguments, not the "power" of their positions.

    This brings me back full circle to the point I was originally making about political groups trying to maintain a stranglehold on the exchange of ideas and information. The Internet has allowed people from all walks of life and all parts of the world, to "meet upon the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square." Here, the dirty secrets that have festered far too long, can finally be exposed, and people can make up their own minds about who's right, and who's wrong.

    I've heard numerous Grand Lodge officers state with mournful disdain that "the Internet is going to destroy Masonry." Perhaps from their perspective, it will, but perhaps the Masonry they've created in the last few decades, isn't the way Masonry was ever intended.

    Perhaps Masonry was supposed to be more than just a "social club" controlled by political cliques who dictate what to do, and what to think. Instead, perhaps its greatest form and function is to serve as a forum through which men from different areas and different walks of life can meet in equality, enjoy each other's company, share each other's knowledge, and benefit from each other's experiences.

    In our great Masonic temple, is it best to sweep the "dirt" under the rug and pretend it doesn't exist, or sweep it out into the light of day where the neighbors might see it for a while, but the winds of change and the rains of redemption will eventually wash it away?

    What say you?

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  8. anonymous:

    i'm in district 4.

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  9. throw open the doors and let the divine wind blow through and clean out the badness and let in the light.

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  10. I want to personally thank those brothers who have had the courage to speak out about what's really taking place in Freemasonry in this country.

    The time for change is long overdue.

    Thank you.

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  11. I'm quite glad that Masonry in my part of the world seems to be above this. A big part of it is probably the fact that the Grand Master here isn't declared to be infallible - if he makes a bad judgement, methods exist to nullify it.
    We have a jurisprudence committee (composed solely of PGMs) that voices their opinion on legislation. Even then, if the assembled Brothers at the Grand Lodge session see fit, they can go against the opinion of the jurisprudence committee.
    Just a report that, in some places in the US, things aren't nearly as bad is in other places.

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  12. sorry, i meant district 41.

    my apologies.

    c z . . .

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  13. semanticdm writes:

    >We have a jurisprudence committee (composed solely of PGMs) that voices their opinion on legislation. Even then, if the assembled Brothers at the Grand Lodge session see fit, they can go against the opinion of the jurisprudence committee.


    We have the same thing here, and typically speaking, the committee recommends against the adoption of most legislation that ordinary lodges regularly submit. Since the majority of delegates at Grand Lodge are either overwhelmed by the experience, or don't know their elbow from their armpit (or both), they almost always vote whatever way the committee suggests.

    There was a notable exception a couple of years ago, however, when the Past Grand Masters here made an effort to set Masonry back on a correct and upright course. That year, nearly 40 resolutions were submitted to Grand Lodge, which is more than 10 times the average number, and that year, the fired police commander happened to be the Grand Master. When it came time to consider resolutions in Grand Lodge, the Grand Master perpetrated one of the greatest political maneuvers I've ever seen. His words were approximately as follows:

    "Brethren, when resolutions are submitted to this Grand Lodge, they're typically given to a group of Past Grand Masters for their review and recommendation. There's no law that says we HAVE to do it that way, however, and this year, we're going to do things a bit differently. I have full faith and confidence in the brethren of this Grand Lodge to discuss the resolutions submitted, and make up their own minds about how they want to vote without anyone telling them what to do."

    The Grand Master then proceeded to read the first resolution exactly as it was written, and he called for discussion. I don't recall what the resolution was, but it was fairly ordinary, and there wasn't much discussion about it. In due time, a hand vote was conducted, and the overwhelming majority vote was approved.

    A repeat of that process was performed a few more times, and things appeared to be going along exactly as Masonry is intended, until a resolution came up that the Grand Master didn't want to be approved. He simply said: "Resolution number (x) is un-Masonic, and we're not going to talk about it." He then turned the resolution face-down, placed it on the stack of material he'd already covered, and proceeded to the next resolution.

    Each time a resolution came up that the Grand Master didn't like, he simply declared it "out of order," or "un-Masonic," and didn't allow it to be read! So passed into oblivion the best efforts of numerous lodges, as essentially half the resolutions submitted were disqualified without discussion, or even the possibility of a vote.

    Like a number of other brethren in the audience, I just sat in my seat and smiled. It wouldn't have done any good for me to stand up and speak, as I surely would have been rapped down, and probably escorted from the building. A few brethren got up and left, vowing never to return, but the majority just sat there and watched, undoubtedly feeling as though they'd fallen down some sort of Masonic "rabbit hole."

    In one stroke of evil genius, the Grand Master completely circumvented the Grand Lodge voting process, and single-handedly usurped complete control. Despite telling the delegates he had "full faith and confidence" in them to make up their own minds, he took away their right to choose, and a surprising percentage (many addled by old age) didn't even seem to realize the bait and switch!

    If you think that such things can't happen in your Grand Lodge, you're wrong. All it takes is one Grand Master with a tiny conscience and a huge ego, and you'll see the same sort of things happen in your state that I've seen.

    There ARE people in the world today, who want to take away the "rights" that other people have traditionally enjoyed. As an example, most Americans hold dear their "Bill of Rights," but few realize that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those "rights," has been challenged numerous times by people who want to take them away. The only reason we still have those rights, is that people whose names we don't know or remember, had enough courage to stand up and protect them for the rest of us.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking that any man is an island. Whenever the rights of 1 man are violated, the rights of ALL men are diminished accordingly. If the governments of your Grand Lodges, or your states, or even your nation, are allowed to dispense with laws that were intended to protect the rights of their citizens, the road to slavery is a lot shorter than you think.

    The only "rights" that people have in Masonry, or anywhere else, are the ones they're willing to protect. Hopefully, the cause of right will eventually prevail, but it won't unless a few people are courageous enough to stand up for it.

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