America isn't the only place where Freemasonry has lost its "influence."
The provincial lodge of the Royal Order of Scotland is currently in last-minute negotiations with its Merchant City (a central district of Glasgow) landlord to keep its meeting place at the Trades Hall on Glassford Street, The Herald recently reported. Five Masonic lodges that previously also met there have already moved out of the building, which was built by stonemasons in 1791 and has provided meeting space for Masons and other union, guild and fraternal groups since 1824.
The Royal Order of Scotland is unable to pay the rent.
The Masonic organization dates back to at least 1741, and proclaims the King of Scots as its hereditary grand master. An empty chair is maintained at each meeting, awaiting the king's return.
Membership in the Royal Order of Scotland is by invitation only, and requires belief in Trinitarian Christianity. Most of the provincial grand lodges require that a candidate have been a Master Mason for at least five years, and to have shown outstanding service (e.g., held offices) to Freemasonry and/or the Church. Most lodges require as a prerequisite membership in the York or Scottish Rite as well as in at least one other Christian order, according to Wikipedia.
One member joked that Masonry certainly doesn't rule the world. "We don't even have influence over the place where we hold our meetings," he said.
Another unnamed Royal Order brother told a reporter that rising rents were an indication of "masonophobia."
Image: Breast star of a member of the Royal Order of Scotland
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