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.
> 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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