Friday, November 30, 2007

Bro. Rich Graeter's new paper is chemotherapy for Freemasonry

Last night W. Bro. Richard Graeter published to the Internet his impressive Masonic paper titled Reform Freemasonry! A Vision for the Future of Freemasonry. I sat up into the late hours reading it, and found it to be a treasurechest of positive ideas that, if implemented, would pump new life into an ailing American Freemasonry.

Drawing on ideas of notable Masons before him as well as 21st century business management techniques, Bro. Rich blends together a prescription for the fraternity that could save the patient, restoring Freemasonry to its former health and glory.
Author’s Note

There is a substantial and growing body of work addressing the decline of Freemasonry in the 21st Century. The decline has been so painfully obvious for so long that the body of work analyzing its causes stretches back decades. With the advent of the Internet and online publishing, forums, and BLOGS, the growth in the conversation of this topic has become exponential. Over the years I have added my voice to this cacophony as well. My favorite target to blame for all our misfortunes was failed leadership, particularly at the grand lodge level. But I was wrong. I have come to understand that I had mistaken what was merely the symptom of the disease (failed leadership) for the disease itself.

The good news is that I believe that the disease afflicting Freemasonry is curable. But treatment will not be easy. Like a radical treatment regimen for cancer, it will be painful and may even cause the patient to become more ill over the short term. But, the patient is still strong; is possessed of a good heart and a noble sprit; and, if it can face the brutal truth with courage, it will prevail.
Bro. Rich's paper is divided into five sections that look towards the future of Freemasonry.
The first section, Voices in the Wilderness, reviews four selected publications from the current body of work that addresses the future of Freemasonry.

The second section, How to Preserve and Stimulate Freemasonry, applies the discipline of the Business Week best-selling book Built To Last, by authors Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, to Freemasonry as an organization. Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies — how they grow; how they attain superior performance; and, how good companies can become great companies. His books have been fixtures on the Business Week bestseller list and have been translated into 25 languages. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company.

The third section, Something To Believe In, explores the three building blocks that are essential for building an organization that can move the hearts and minds of its members and some of the reasons behind the failure of our grand lodge organizations from being able to accomplish this goal.

The fourth section, The Grand Hairball, adapts the sage advice of corporate gurus Dr. Oren Harari and Gordon MacKenzie to the masonic context, and presents some conclusions on one possible root cause of the disease afflicting Freemasonry, as well as proposing some chemotherapy for grand lodges that could help lead to a cure.

The concluding section, Freemasonry 3.0, closes with a radical vision for the wholesale reorganization of the body of Freemasonry should grand lodges fail to take progressive action to respond to the needs, hopes, and aspirations of today's young Freemason. Freemasons were meant to be great innovators, and it's about time that we restore this legacy.
Bro. Rich's well-researched and well-thought-out paper is destined to become a Masonic classic. I urge you to read it, think about it, discuss it, and implement some of the ideas it presents.



Author's note and Introduction reprinted with permission.

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53 comments:

  1. Slight correction - Euclid did NOT break away from the Grand Lodge of Michigan. We formed a NEW lodge outside of the Grand Lodge.
    Looks very interesting though. I look forward to getting a chance to read it over more fully.

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  2. I perused it closely and like many of the things the paper says. Of course, I rarely am given to agree wholeheartedly with anything anyone says, as I am an individual who acts of his own free will and accord. All-in-all, I think he is right; the problems are not insurmountable by either the GL or the regular lodges.

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  3. Just a suggestion, you might want to post a link. With the little "read me", I almost missed the point.
    Otherwise what wonderful insight.
    Great piece of writing!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I especially enjoyed his wise perception here.
    I can see his judgement is not clouded with malice, but rather with a rational understanding of things.
    mind over emotions.
    great job brother!


    A Radical Idea
    Imagine, for a moment, a Grand Master armed with both the vision to dream an
    unbounded future for Freemasonry and the courage to pursue the dream.
    Looking around, he sees the glaring disconnect between the mindless repetition
    of today’s rote “tradition” and the core purpose and core values that Freemasonry
    used to represent. Seeking to recapture that which was lost, he creates a new
    haven for experimentation—an at-large Grand Master’s district. The purpose for
    this special district is to create a home for new lodges to creatively explore new
    and innovative ways to practice the timeless core of Freemasonry in a manner
    relevant to today. Freed (by special dispensation) from the weight of rules,
    regulations, and district deputy grand masters, these lodges answer only to the
    Grand Master himself, who in turn, wisely, benevolently, gives them the freedom
    to create, be fruitful, bountiful, and multiply!
    Alas, we all know that the above scenario is all but impossible in the oppressive
    climate that governs grand lodges. So, if grand lodges will not suffer creativity,
    will not suffer successful lodges to orbit their Grand Hairball, then perhaps the
    time has come for those lodges that dare to accelerate to escape velocity and,
    following the challenge of Dr. Harari, start with a new dream, a bold vision with
    audacious goals.13
    The challenge, according to MacKenzie, is to orbit the Giant Hairball, which
    means to actively engage in the opportunities that an organization presents
    without being sucked into the Hairball of the organization.14
    Orbiting is responsible creativity: vigorously exploring
    and operating beyond the Hairball of the corporate
    mind set, beyond “accepted models, patterns, or
    standards”—all the while remaining connected to the
    spirit of the corporate mission.
    To find Orbit around a corporate Hairball is to find a
    place of balance where you benefit from the physical,
    intellectual and philosophical resources of the
    organization without becoming entombed in the
    bureaucracy of the institution.15
    The challenge to the Hairball is to allow people to achieve orbit. But the more
    massive the Hairball grows, the greater gravitational pull it exerts, sucking
    everything into the “nothingness of corporate normalcy made stagnant by a
    compulsion to cling to past successes.”16 In such cases, orbiting may not be
    possible (nor tolerated by the Hairball), leaving one with the stark choice of
    remaining to be suffocated by the soul-crushing rule of what worked in the past
    or flying out into deep space, liberated, but alone.
    ©2007 Richard A. Graeter
    42
    A very recent occurrence provides an example of what can happen to lodges that
    dare try to orbit the Grand Hairball. A few years ago, a group of young men
    dedicated themselves to reinvigorating their local lodge in Cleveland, Ohio. The
    newly renamed Halcyon Lodge, #498 F & AM, beholden to the Grand Lodge of
    Ohio, has a rich history going back to 1877. They occupied a magnificent temple,
    which sadly, in a refrain all too familiar to most masons, was deteriorating due to
    lack of attention and money. The building was home to a number of nonproductive
    masonic tenants and little else.
    The young men of Halcyon Lodge decided that it was time to take aggressive
    action. First, they raised their outdated and grossly insufficient annual lodge dues
    to $150. This caused a mass defection of “veteran” masons who apparently did
    not think that their masonic experience was worth 42 cents a day. Had any who
    were truly in distress asked for remission, it certainly would have been granted.
    None did.
    Next, the men of Halcyon Lodge took on their non-productive masonic cotenants.
    They asked them to pay their arrearages and begin contributing to the
    restoration of the Temple building. Their masonic brethren answered this call by
    abandoning the temple to find cheap space in some other crumbling masonic
    edifice. Ultimately, the men of Halcyon were left in sole possession of a tenantless
    building that needed work. So they rolled up their sleeves and set to work!
    They restored the grandeur of their lodge room, the elegance of their dining hall,
    and added amenities like wireless Internet, HDTV, and workout equipment. But
    they did not stop there. Seeing the opportunity in their underutilized asset, they
    endeavored to build out rooms to serve the non-masonic community as well.
    After meeting with their local youth boxing association (a 501(c)(3) charity), they
    built a boxing ring! Their aim was to reimagine their heretofore mostly empty
    temple into a vibrant community center that could once again teem with life.
    Then, this lodge full of enthusiastic young men did the unthinkable: they gave
    their shining temple away! One of the largest budget items for any lodge that
    owns a temple building is real estate taxes. In Ohio, fraternal groups are not
    exempt from real estate taxes; but charities are. So, in an inspired maneuver, the
    young men of Halcyon Lodge formed a charity for the community and gave their
    building and a substantial sum of money to this new charity that was created to
    serve not just masons, but the community at-large. Now they could not only
    claim an exemption from the heavy burden of real estate taxes, but they could
    grant deductions from Federal income taxes for donations made to the entity.
    And as their mission had expanded to serving the community as a whole, they
    could now solicit support from that community.
    Along the way these young men also embraced the Traditional Observance Lodge
    movement, adopting TO practices like use of a Chamber of Reflection and an
    intensive candidate education program. They created an impressive web site that
    ©2007 Richard A. Graeter
    43
    quickly became recognized as being one of the best lodge-hosted web sites on the
    Internet.
    So, these enthusiastic, dedicated young men: revived their lodge, attracting new
    young candidates to Freemasonry that had previously not found anything there
    to interest them; restored their magnificent temple building; invited the
    community into their newly restored building, turning a once mysterious
    building into a hub of community activity (and exposing many people to
    Freemasonry for the first time in the process); and solved the intractable real
    estate tax problem by transferring their building to a 501(c)(3) charity. Any one
    of these feats would be impressive, but the young men of Halcyon Lodge did them
    all in less than three years!
    And what was the Grand Lodge of Ohio’s response to their inspired success? Was
    their success acknowledged? Were they asked to share their model as a template
    for other lodges to follow? Were they even given an “atta-boy” from any grand
    lodge officer? No. They were investigated, intimidated, castigated, probated, and
    threatened. Why? Power and control, as always. In Ohio, the grand lodge tightly
    regulates temple companies that own masonic buildings. In the eyes of the grand
    lodge officers, the real estate transaction must have seemed like a plot to free
    Halcyon Lodge from the power and control of the grand lodge, and that they
    could not suffer.
    Apparently, they did not care that the Halcyon Model made good sense or even
    that it was wildly successful; all that mattered was their power and control.
    Ultimately, on November 12, 2007, the brothers of Halcyon Lodge returned their
    charter to the Grand Lodge of Ohio following a visit by a delegation of grand
    lodge officers sent to threaten them into submission.17 Apparently, the Grand
    Lodge of Ohio will suffer no orbiting satellites, no matter how successful they
    may be.
    Perhaps in the end, the need for grand lodges is more illusion than reality. Like
    the Wizard of Oz, grand lodges attempt to project an image of being great and
    powerful, but if you follow Toto and look behind the curtain, all too often you find
    petty men, frantically turning knobs and pulling levers in a vain attempt to
    appear more important than they really are. In order to encourage and organize
    the creation of new lodges, eliminate the artificial divisions of state boundaries,
    and liberate lodges from the whims of petty men vested with a little brief
    authority, perhaps it’s about time we begin exploring a new organizational
    structure for the 21st Century that is independent of the antiquated grand lodge
    system. Exploring this new organizational structure is the topic in the next and
    concluding section, Freemasonry 3.0.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, a mind unclouded by malice is nice to see. It's too bad we haven't seen that from others. Usually, we see irrational hatred for GL brethren and the brethren under the GLs-some of the present company included. This worthy, regular brother has a better ability of stating his case than those who said 'we make them sick' or call us 'bobble-heads'.

    Of course, I personally come across gruff at times, but you can't always get a real picture until you see the reaction. Peace out.

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  6. To understand the entire problem, we can no longer look at what Freemasonry is doing wrong and partake in finger-pointing (as the article's author suggested early on). This is a Masonic problem, but it is not EXCLUSIVELY a Masonic problem. It is a nation-wide trend amongst virtually ANY variety of civic groups:

    from Civic Involvement On Decline Across America:

    "Such sentiments extend to parents' participation in their children's school organizations. Kingsport Board of Education Vice President Susan Lodal, a past president of the Dobyns-Bennett PTSA, says there is a definite decline in participation from parents and their families.

    "Just as you're seeing volunteers drop in numbers elsewhere, they are in the schools," Lodal said.

    "I was sorry that other people didn't take that opportunity (to participate in PTSA). But I also realize there were people with job situations, or they might have been single parents and didn't have the time to give to that."

    We need to realise what is at issue here. With the Knights of Columbus growing and still excluding non-Catholics and women, the answer isn't necessarily where the blame has been usually placed. Where is it then? Apparently, not in several suggestions in this excellent article. Something else it must be.

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  7. We are kidding ourselves to no end if we want to pretend Freemasonry is a bubble. Civic orgs. are suffering decline everywhere. Why are we not looking at the bigger picture? That's my question. Certainly, Freemasonry needs to evolve, but even when a group evolves that is no guarantee. Changing just to get more members will kill Masonry and not get any more members in the long run. If we do the right thing whether or not it benefits us, people will be intrigued.

    Can Civic Groups Survive?: ABC NEWS report

    "A lot of these fellowship organizations have been replaced by professional organizations that cater to the educated middle class," she said. "This is contributing to greater inequality in America, dividing the highly educated and professional managerial class from everyone else."

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  8. We can expect nothing less when we have many well meaning Brothers working overtime to make Free Masonry something that it is not.

    Where have I heard that before?

    Brandt

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  9. It is not my purpose to make Freemasonry anything else than what it is, and what it is I feel deeply and passionately in my heart.

    If brethren work overtime to delude themselves into thinking Masonry is alone in this struggle and all other civic groups are not experiencing similar patterns of decline, then we are missing an ENORMOUS part of the equation.

    The decline is fairly across the board with similar civic groups. Save for Kiwanis, who is growing but declining in male membership, and the Knights of Columbus, which is growing despite exclusion of atheists, women, and non-Catholics.

    We must examine this issue fully and carefully and stop vilifying our brethren. For me, my brethren are those in regular Masonry. Not excluding those who are not from the 'brotherhood of man', but it is different than being a Mason.

    All-in-all, I have NO fear for the future of Freemasonry. It is NOT about the numbers, it IS about the brothers. It will survive, even if it's ten brethren meeting in a garage. Our impact will be lessened, and that would be a tragedy, but Freemasonry is not going away anytime soon. It will change for the better. I wish anyone who believes in their heart they are a Mason that they are rewarded with appropriate wages in their journey. I wish them the best. In so doing, it might not be what they or I think the best when they initially receive it. The best might be they join us, or the other way around. It's not up to them or I.

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  10. 'How good it is when brothers live in peace and harmony.'

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  11. I continue to read this blog with amazement. The Grand Lodge Masons constantly make jabs at anyone not in their camp, and then accuse the other part of name calling when they fight back. How arrogant and stupid are these guys? Better yet, how stupid do they think the people who read this blog are not to recognize their petty tricks.

    If they really didn't care what other Masons were doing, they would be silent and respectful, but instead they try to bait other Masons into a fight. How childish!

    It's obvious to the blog readers that you are frightened of anything new and simply react in blind rage.

    Quit lying by adding at the end of every post "...but I wish them well" because everyone knows your lying and it makes you look even worse.

    Grow up, get a life and let others do what makes them happy. Chances are they will leave you alone too.

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  12. Great post for Mason, non-mason, or Masonic ______ like myself!

    Thanks Burning taper!

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  13. "Quit lying by adding at the end of every post "...but I wish them well" because everyone knows your lying and it makes you look even worse."

    Let me look even worse by stating the truth and saying I wish them well. It's better to look bad but tell the truth, so I'm not afraid of looking bad because I told the truth.

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  14. I agree with the worthy brother to varying degrees, and disagree in some places. This statement, at least, is unquestionably true:

    "The good news is that I believe that the disease afflicting Freemasonry is curable. But treatment will not be easy. Like a radical treatment regimen for cancer, it will be painful and may even cause the patient to become more ill over the short term. But, the patient is still strong; is possessed of a good heart and a noble sprit; and, if it can face the brutal truth with courage, it will prevail."

    ReplyDelete
  15. I like this quote quite a bit as well:

    "My favorite target to blame for all our misfortunes was failed leadership, particularly at the grand lodge level. But I was wrong."

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  16. You are right. Regular Masons are all united under a common bond, although we might not always agree. I have brothers by blood like that too. I do not love them less because we disagree

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  17. The new age is here....lets be prepared for those who will be seeking. A more mystical discipline in lodge might be interesting. To be exclusive in our selection of candidates is wise...but the qualities required should be nonelitist and selfless.

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  18. Great days are upon us Brothers, great days.

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  19. "If brethren work overtime to delude themselves into thinking Masonry is alone in this struggle and all other civic groups are not experiencing similar patterns of decline, then we are missing an ENORMOUS part of the equation." - Anagram

    Did you know that Grand Orient Masonry has been steadily growing around the world? If you have nothing of value to offer then you will decline, but if you have something of substance you will grow.

    I'm glad I had the opportunity to evaluate both before deciding which I should join.

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  20. "If you have nothing of value to offer then you will decline, but if you have something of substance you will grow."

    Then we will grow. Here in lodge, we ARE growing. Four brothers since September might sound small, but in our small town it's very big. Eight last year. Another two at least in the wings. Must be offering something, and it's not the Grand Orient. It's a little like saying the fundamentalist Christian groups are growing. It's absolutely true, but their numbers are relatively insignificant compared to the Catholics, who I understand are shrinking.

    Freemasonry in the U.S. like nearly every other philanthropic group is shrinking. The shrinkage is slowing in some areas, however. New Jersey and Hawaii, for example, grew slightly in 2005. Many areas didn't lose as many as one might expect, sometimes only in the double or single digits.

    In 2005, it appears the area with the largest losses were in the South. That doesn't seem to be too surprising given the unquestionably negative climate there and the growth of anti-Masonic Fundamentalist Christian churches in the Bible-belt. It should also be noticed that Texas has a large loss, but also a lot of regular Masons.

    Canada had significant growth in Saskatchewan, although they are losing members to death and attrition too. Historically, we've lost members before and swung back.
    Of course, the numbers are not the point. If the floodgates were opened and we accepted anybody as a member, our numbers would burgeon perhaps in G.O. like fashion. We've always been on the outside, and will remain so until the world catches up.

    If you have access to G.O. numbers, we'd love to see them to see how and where they are growing. Here is a link to our numbers on the Bessel website:

    Masonic Stats at Bessel.org

    Good luck with your journey.

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  21. The decrease in membership for American Freemasonry is 3% nearly everywhere in 2005. Not quite a mass exodus. At 48K, the G.O. still has a long way to go to make to make up the 2 Million Freemasons in America alone. A lot farther than we have to stop the 3% loss in the regular lodges, and we *will* do it. Thank you for making me look at the stats again, I feel more confident than ever that regular Masonry is doing just fine. We have work to do, yes. With PHA recognition, we are taking the first baby steps into a grand era.

    The following article purports that the loss of membership is NOT our biggest problem, that the loss of Masonic identity is:


    The Working Tools


    *Resisting and denying change*
    "With few exceptions over the last several decades, we have been content to listen to excuses, avoiding examination of the complicated set of changes that has weakened Masonry’s relevance to our contemporary lives. Even today, we want to think of “loss of membership” as our major problem. This report argues that membership loss is not the major problem. In fact, our study asks that we shift our thinking
    to consider our loss of membership as merely a symptom of the problem.

    Based upon its study, the Task Force proposes that our core problem is twofold:

    1.Loss of Masonic identity
    2.Lack of energy invested in Masonry

    This means our fraternity has suffered a loss of Masonic identity as an observable way of life, and our lack of energy invested in Masonry no longer makes the fraternity relevant to our busy contemporary
    lifestyles.

    Seeking a lost identity
    As Masons we have taken our fraternity’s identity for granted, and we have allowed the general public to forget how important we are to the fabric of society. We forgot that what we DO for each other, our
    lodges, and ourselves enriches the quality of life for our families and communities. Only recently has
    Masonry found a new place in popular culture with the introduction of Dan Brown’s book, The DaVinci Code, and the movie, National Treasure. Now we see our public identity positioned in the context of historical fiction. We owe the public more than fiction; we owe them facts, and we owe them our best performance every day.
    Members ask the familiar questions such as:
    Can’t we just purchase the solution to our image and membership decline?
    Can’t we just fix lethargy with a new PR campaign, developed and implemented by outside PR agencies?
    It would be convenient if traditional approaches alone would change the status of Freemasonry in the minds of the general public."

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  22. The growth of the Grand Orient when compared to UGLE related Freemasonry should be understood in the context that SOME Grand Orients ARE recognized by the UGLE:

    Grand Masonic Lodge of Scotland

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  23. I believe that stat of 2 million is GROSSLY misleading. Out of those 2 million how many are really active? IN places where they have McMason ODC programs they make 10,000 in one day but so what? How many of thse just go out and buy a ring, head straight for the Shrine and never again set foot in a blue lodge? How many of those 2 million are wet lodge Masons or knife and fork Masons who only use the lodge to socialize? I can tell you at my former lodge the before meeting dinner was always packed. 100 easy. Then during stated meetings at least 75% would not be there.

    I am getting tired of that 2 million number. When you peel away the outside layer we are lucky if there are 100 thousand really active members. And that would be a generous estimate.

    BC 2006

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  24. quote
    I believe that stat of 2 million is GROSSLY misleading. Out of those 2 million how many are really active? IN places where they have McMason ODC programs they make 10,000 in one day but so what? How many of thse just go out and buy a ring, head straight for the Shrine and never again set foot in a blue lodge? How many of those 2 million are wet lodge Masons or knife and fork Masons who only use the lodge to socialize? I can tell you at my former lodge the before meeting dinner was always packed. 100 easy. Then during stated meetings at least 75% would not be there.

    I am getting tired of that 2 million number. When you peel away the outside layer we are lucky if there are 100 thousand really active members. And that would be a generous estimate.

    BC 2006
    end quote

    You can be tired of whatever you would like to be tired of.

    But the facts remain the same regardless of if your tried or not.

    The Brothers that are members are free to practice their masonry however they see fit, if that means going and having dinner with their brothers and not sitting though a boring stated meeting, then they can do that, they came to share in the fellowship. If they joined so that they could go participate in the shrine, well so be it, that is after all their choice, and guess what again, they are surrounding themselves with their brothers.

    It is after all about brotherhood.

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  25. Loo Vet Oo said...

    The children of Horus have been reborn into the Light. My joy is beyond the number of stars born in Orion.

    Hail! Xen Irixis Niytrx Siri nun Btyus Sirii!

    Horu ibit Set

    Agreed

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  26. The Children of Horus are named Quebhsennuf, Hapi, Tuamautef,
    and Mestha and we Tahnk You

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  27. Ohio's Grand Lodge has its rules, for better or worse. There are ways to change them, especially when we consider that we elect our Grand Lodge officers, and they are charged to serve -- not be served.

    Halcyon's case was a sad one, but for those who are looking to build from scratch, the easiest way to ensure that the building stays independent of Grand Lodge rule is to build it outside of Masonry. Form a blind trust, build a structure, and then rent it your Lodge (or to several Lodges) for $1 per year. Simple enough. It's a privately owned building.

    - Ben R.

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  28. Many of the Grand Lodges are refusing to allow their lodges to suspend for non-payment. I just found out that this is true in Ohio. The lodges are being forced to pay per capita on members that haven't paid their dues in ten years.

    The Grand Orient experiences between 85 and 90% attendance at its lodge meetings. The Grand Lodges are lucky to have 10% in attendance. I believe this illustrates the nature of the value proposition. A large number of GO Masons find value in their lodge whereas only a small number of Grand Lodge Masons find anything of value in their lodges.

    I wonder what other stats are being fudged by the Grand Lodges?

    Anagram is living in a delusion.

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  29. Unless you can prove your assertions such as 85-90% participation and the rest, it must be assumed you are the one living in a delusion. People can say what they like, and do. Like this:

    "A large number of GO Masons find value in their lodge whereas only a small number of Grand Lodge Masons find anything of value in their lodges."

    You can back this up with actual information, we suppose? Or are we to take your word on these matters when you won't take ours on ANY matter? You have the propensity to say that people are lying or deluded if you do not agree with them. I'm not saying either. I'm saying you can present facts to back your 'facts'.

    A large number of brethren I personally know find great value in our system. Even if they do not come, it does not equate to the same thing as them 'not finding value'. It's the individual's choice to find whatever he seeks of Freemasonry. For some, donating time to a children's hospital is plenty.

    Of course, a 'large number' finding value does not prove worth, as Ayn Rand points out. A large number of Germans found value in Nazism. A large number of Jim Jones's followers found value in his teachings until he killed them. People are easily deluded. It's easily possible that members in other bodies are deluded.

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  30. i guess if your GL systems only recognises and awards members for consequative check writing year after year.

    You never have to show to Lodge, or participate, but if you cut a check for consequative years, you will be awarded. For check writing and nothing more!

    So, we reward mediocrity.
    Why show up at all, just write a check and get awarded for it!


    Throw out the babies with the bath water who actually work in the Lodges, community and buildings.

    GL system wants to recognise check writers instaed

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  31. 2 bowl cain is essentially right. In most cases, being a member in good standing (i.e., just paying dues) for 25, 50, or more years is all that is necessary to be awarded recognition from the Grand Lodge.

    I do not agree, however, that not making it to meetings is tantamount to mediocrity. Those who cannot or, for whatever reason, choose to not attend still support the Lodge financially by maintaining their good standing. In that sense, they are doing a great service to the Lodge. Bills must be paid, meals must be served, programs must be conducted, etc.

    I do believe that regular attendance, demonstrations of leadership, the incorporation of progressive policies where appropriate, fellowship, etc., are the best services a man can provide his Lodge. But being a member in good standing on paper only is far from mediocre. That's why many Lodges develop their own awards for merit. For example, my Lodge confers its own award on those go above and beyond Masonry's call of duty. The award has nothing at all to do with Grand Lodge.

    - Ben R.

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  32. It used to dismay me at the brothers that do not show up, and still does. However, people have the right to belong and there is NO requirement for attendance. This is left to the brother's freedom of conscience.

    I did miss about a half-a-year's worth of meetings due to illness. Nobody questioned my absence. They did know why, so it was mitigating. Still, whenever a brother appears I have not seen in a long time or I have never seen I welcome them cheerfully. As correctly pointed out, Masonry can take a chunk out of a person's life depending on the amount of their involvement and how begrudgingly they accept the responsibility. It is not my place to judge the reasons for missing meetings-that is up to the individual to judge for themselves. We do not reward mediocrity IMO, because there is no reward for writing a check. At least if you show up to the dinners, you are getting something in return. If you do not, you're getting very little. The Mason is rewarded for his work commensurate to the amount he puts in.

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  33. Grand Lodges? Who TF are they to tell anyone What TF to do? Seems like a scan to me... I like blowing in the wind as I see fit...

    I think Halcyon is on the right track.. It was about time someone gave a Grand Lodge the might east wind of wisdom...

    M.A.

    ReplyDelete
  34. One more thing,people are saying they stole the lodge by giving to charity.
    What is the limit that a lodge can gift to charity?
    And what is their prcedure, both Lodge by-laws and The code book?

    If the same gift was given to the special olympics ,the Shrine hospital or to the Ronald Mcdonald house. Would that have been ok?

    Thanks again
    Noel

    ReplyDelete
  35. Code Book of Masonic Law

    ADOPTED BY

    The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio

    CHAPTER 9
    TEMPLES AND FINANCING THEREOF

    Sec. 9.06 No Temple Company, Temple Association, or other Temple operating group of which any Lodge is the owner, or of which any Lodge is a member or stockholder, or of which membership, stockholding or ownership is predicated on membership in a Lodge, or which is proposed to be formed by a Lodge or any members therof (solely or in concert with others) shall adopt, amend, revoke, or otherwise alter its Articles of Incorporation or Association, Constitution, Code of Regulations, By-Laws, or other body of governing rules without first obtaining the written approval and consent of the Temple Committee of The Grand Lodge and the Grand Master.


    I'll post it here for you again.... the rules that were not followed.;

    ReplyDelete
  36. Some people just will never get it.

    Facts, all I want are facts not your interpetation just facts.

    Are you a member of said Lodge or Grand Lodge Brother Greg?

    If not, it is more speculation and hearsay.

    Spend some time with the family or go to the park, You are way to infatuated with this. If you put as much energy into your family,lodge or something positve as you do this, I bet you would be one heck of a family man or a community leader, unless this is all you have for entertainment. And if thats the case, I don't know what to say but good luck.

    In the end it does not matter what any of us think. We just have to wait for the outcome like it or not.

    Fraternaly,
    Noel

    ReplyDelete
  37. Noel.

    I have cited the Ohio code, You have read the words of the former Master of the Lodge stating that the GL told them to reverse the transfer because the rules were not followed.

    It simply isn't rocket science to figure out that the rules were not followed and an illegal transfer took place.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gregg,

    Who has possession of the building?

    If the Grand Master was right then he could easily have just gotten a summary judgment and seized the building.

    Apparently, it's not as simple as you would like everyone to believe.

    Maybe the transfer was legal?

    Maybe the Grand Master wanted the building to sell to a real estate developer so that he could get a kick back and line his own pockets?

    You have a very limited knowledge of the facts but speak with such authority. Only a fool would make such claims in the absence of all the facts.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Dear Bro. Rich,

    I congratulate you on a very well thought out paper. Your clear reasoning has lighted the way to a clearer understanding of the issues.

    Reading through this blog has given me additional insights into the ideas you have so eloquently expressed in your paper. These brothers are lost to Masonry because they have sacrificed their self and their sense of reason to the collective conscious of the present government of Masons known as Grand Lodges. Their suffering is of their own making, yet they cannot understand this simple fact.

    The "Giant Hairball" is an excellent illustration of the effects of this collectivism on the minds of so many Masons.

    They may never understand or be able digest what you have said to them. The responses to this blog have little to do with the ideas you have shown them. They seem all too interested in repeating the ideas of the collective, seemingly in hopes that through this repetition it will in some way become more justified.

    Fraternally,

    Howard Roark
    Sirius Lodge

    ReplyDelete
  40. Just how many aliases to you have Jeff?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Men who promote fear in others always need a devil to blame, even though it is they who are the manufacturers of the fear.

    You have made Bro. Jeff Peace the devil in your own image. Everything you fear and hate about yourselves you attribute to him.

    It's convenient to place the blame for your failures on one person, but it speaks more of you than him.

    ReplyDelete
  42. quote
    Men who promote fear in others always need a devil to blame, even though it is they who are the manufacturers of the fear.

    You have made Bro. Jeff Peace the devil in your own image. Everything you fear and hate about yourselves you attribute to him.

    It's convenient to place the blame for your failures on one person, but it speaks more of you than him.
    end quote


    LOL so I did get it right. If it wasn't you you would have denied it with the first sentance.

    Jeff if you use enough aliases, maybe people will be fooled into thinking you have more followers than you do.

    Good tactic, but anyone that has been watching your antics for any time can see your hand.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'm Jeff Peace
    Brandt Smith is Jeff Peace
    Chris Michalek is Jeff Peace
    Tony is Jeff Peace
    Tom Coste is Jeff Peace
    Chris Snow is Jeff Peace
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    If everyone is Jeff Peace then how did Halcyon vote to leave the Grand Lodge?

    If everyone is Jeff Peace then who were all the Masons that met in Atlanta on Friday?

    You don't know me or Jeff Peace. As a matter of fact you know next to nothing about any of us.

    ReplyDelete
  44. quote
    If everyone is Jeff Peace then how did Halcyon vote to leave the Grand Lodge?
    end quote

    well, that's pretty simple, they didn't. In order to have done so they would have had to propose it at a stated meeting, sent a notice to every brother of the lodge, and had the vote at the following meeting.

    That's how things are done when making such changes. But as we all know that was not done.

    So what happened is a few former brothers held a discussion, decided not to follow rules, and from my understanding have subsequently been kicked out for doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  45. For the record, I'm not Gregg, but he and I are much the same...

    M.A.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed

    reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



    Sarah

    http://www.thetreadmillguide.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. "The Constitution(codes & regulations)is not an instrument for the government(Grand Lodge's) to restrain the people(craft), it is an instrument for the people(craft) to restrain the government(Grand Lodge Ego maniacs). . . lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
    ~ Patrick Henry

    ReplyDelete
  48. I do not know the individual posting this blog (listed below), but I am intrigued that he has brought to light much concerning the Halcyon Lodge situation, and even posted the legal charges brought against the lodge. Of course, the Constitution also guarantees citizens certain rights and protections against someone's rights being violated.

    It's interesting that WS has not found this newsworthy, but a protest against a gas station is. Wonder why?

    http://abelscenotaph.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  49. "stir it up"
    bob marley

    plus, the story will be after a judge rules on it, all else has been speculated to death.
    innocent till proven guilty, I say in America at least, no?

    some still follow the story, just nothing new?

    ReplyDelete

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