Friday, August 15, 2008

The Grand Orient of the United States: Facts & Fictions

The Grand Orient of the United States: Facts & Fictions by Bro. Jeff Peace

There are many facts and fictions floating around the Internet regarding the new Grand Orient of the United States. Unfortunately, some brothers are simply striking out in fear against the new Masonic body because of what they read somewhere on the Internet. Others are simply speculating and drawing wild conclusions based on bits and pieces of information. I thought it would be helpful to provide some factual answers to the many questions being asked.

The Grand Orient of the United States is a part of the Traditional Cosmopolitan Masonic movement that began in Europe in the eighteenth century. It shares many things in common with Anglo-American Freemasonry but there are also significant differences between the two. Both forms of Freemasonry evolved out of the speculative Masonic movement that began in London, England in 1717.

Many Masons want to argue over which system mostly closely represents the original Freemasonry established in 1717. The answer to this question has eluded historians for almost two centuries because there is so little evidence available. Good arguments can be made for both sides but neither possesses enough evidence to convince modern university historians.

Others want to argue about whose Masonry is best. I think a better question to ask might be “which Masonry is best for whom?” It’s a similar case with Democrats and Republicans; people tend to side with the party that bests reflects their own ideas of what’s best. Unfortunately, American Masons haven’t had an alternative masculine Masonic obedience up until now.

The primary differences between Traditional Cosmopolitan and Anglo-American Freemasonry can best be summed-up in their perspective of the institution of Freemasonry itself. The Anglo-American Masons view Freemasonry as a religiously oriented fraternity dedicated to brotherly love, relief and truth. The Anglo-American Mason Albert Pike once stated that it was “the handmaid of religion.” The Traditional Cosmopolitan Masons perceive Freemasonry as a secular but spiritual fraternity dedicated to the Enlightenment principles of human liberty and equality resulting in the universal brotherhood of all mankind. This is expressed in their motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”

The oaths and obligation of the two groups are quite different as well. The Anglo-American tradition is to swear allegiance to the Grand Lodge and agree to its various rules. The Traditional Cosmopolitans are obligated to preserve human liberty and equality while striving for the universal brotherhood of mankind.

There are organizational differences between the two groups as well. The Anglo-American system is based on the election of a benevolent dictator (the Grand Master) who oversees the Craft for a specific term. The Lodges are represented at the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge and pass laws for the benefit of the Craft.

The Traditional Cosmopolitan system is governed by an Executive Board consisting of the Grand Officers. The Grand Master is the Chairman of the Board but cannot act without consensus of the Board. The Executive Board is elected by the Lodges to serve for specific terms (usually 1 or 2 years). The Lodges convene once a year to pass laws for the benefit of the Craft. There is also a “Supreme Court” in the Traditional Cosmopolitan system that has the power to pass judgments on Constitutional issues and to hear appeals related to Masonic trials.

Ritual-wise the Anglo-American system in America primarily utilizes various forms of the Preston-Webb ritual with a small number of lodges (less than 20) that utilize various forms of the Scottish Rite. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system practices a wide variety of rituals including the Modern Rite, Scottish Rite, and Emulation, just to name a few. All are held to together by an agreed upon universal recognition system.

The Anglo-American Masonic system is engaged in various charities and community projects. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system is engaged in human rights, environmental sustainability, scientific advancement, and issues that relate to freedom of speech and the press.

In regards to Masonic education the Anglo-American system utilizes a system of Research Lodges and their publications. In the Traditional Cosmopolitan system each lodge is a “research lodge” and all members are required to write both proficiency and research papers as a condition of membership.

The Anglo-American system does not recognize women as legitimate Freemasons. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system recognizes women as legitimate Freemasons and is divided into three distinct groupings: Masculine, Mixed-Gender, and Feminine. Each group is represented by its own Grand body and all are recognized and in amity with one another.

Thus far I have tried to cover the differences between the two systems to foster a better understanding of the differences between the two systems. Now, I would like to focus specifically on the Grand Orient of the United States.

The Grand Orient of the United States was started by progressive Anglo-American Masons that had many ideological and moral objections to the Anglo-American Masonic institution. They found themselves more ideologically and philosophically aligned with the Traditional Cosmopolitan system of the Grand Orient of France. After forming a new Grand Orient they approached the Grand Orient of France for recognition and a treaty of amity. This was granted on June 27, 2008, and the Grand Orient of France gave them Patents for the various Rites and degrees of Traditional Cosmopolitan Freemasonry.

The Grand Orients of France and the United States are masculine Masonic obediences that initiate men into Freemasonry, but their lodges are open to both men and women from both mixed-gender and feminine lodges. This is a reflection not only of their progressive nature, but of their commitment to equality among all human beings. It also recognizes the need for people to be able to form groups (lodges) based on their own social needs.

The Grand Orient of the United States is still in its infancy and is a small organization when compared with its Anglo-American counterparts, but it is becoming actively engaged in the community and the world. Its members are discovering ways by which they can contribute to the betterment of humanity around the globe. Some examples of this include participating in the BOINC computer sharing project sponsored by the university at Berkeley and the National Science Foundation, along with support for NOVA, Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, and LinkTV. These organizations reflect the ideology and philosophy of the Grand Orient, and were selected by its lodges.

Obviously the new organization won’t be contributing a million dollars to any of these organizations this year, but these organizations need the help and support of people who believe in what they are trying to accomplish. By helping them the Grand Orient furthers the cause of Universal Masonry.

Some have accused the Grand Orient of being overly secular or atheistic. This simply isn’t true. While every member is afforded absolute freedom of conscience as it relates to religious and spiritual matters, this is not indicative of the promotion of atheism. The Grand Orient is open to men regardless of their beliefs about god and religion so long as they are good moral men. It focuses on the character of the man, not his personal beliefs. The vast majority of Grand Orient Masons are religious men but they exercise tolerance in not judging the beliefs of others.

In conclusion, American Masons now have the ability to choose a form of Freemasonry that most closely indentifies with their own personal values. Both systems were born out of the same speculative Freemasonry than began in 1717, and both seek to better the individual as well as society. Neither system is perfect nor will it ever be, but both strive for perfection. The future of American Masonry will be built through diversity, tolerance and understanding. It is much like America itself with a growing diversity of cultures and people all working together to form one great union.

— Jeff Peace

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  1. This excellent article deserves to be in pamphlet form and should be posted on several websites. Thank you Jeff!

  2. This is a good article. IMHO the seal of the GOUSA is crappy and generic, but that is just me :) I am actually really happy to hear that they are building new lodges/triangles. That is a good thing IMHO.


  3. Rite of Memphis, Collegium Fabrorum, Rite of the Red Cross of Gold, GOUSA, what will be next in the chain of failed ventures?


  4. Just one more insignificant clot of self-congratulatory puffery, cranked out by the same PR factory. Every development gets flacked all over the net like it was the announcement of an Elvis sighting. Please do call back when you've achieved something more than a fun trip to Paris and yet another website.

  5. Living in denial has lost the Anglo-American Masons over half of their members since 1963. I guess they think if they deny reality long enough the universe will just magically change for them.

    Edison failed many times before discovering how to make a viable light bulb. Perseverance and the ability to be receptive to new ideas has always been the key to success. This is another lesson of history to which the Anglo-American Masons are oblivious.

    The Anglo-America Masons, in their delusions of grandeur, consider evolution failure. I guess they didn't realize how successful it's been for billions of years in the natural world.

  6. mainsream Masons are more about personal attacks, name calling, lyinmg, and protecting un-Masonic conduct of their cult followers.

    Let them talk and blather until they turn Blue Lodge Blue.

    They aren't worth the effort.

  7. from howard roark: "Edison failed many times before discovering how to make a viable light bulb."

    True, but Freemasonry - what you call "Anglo-American" Masonry - got it right the first time.

    amfm: If you want to talk about name-calling and personal attacks, then I'll go back and post your comments to my blog that I have, so far, rejected. All will then see who engagages in such things.

  8. Masonry has taught me to control my passions, not eliminate them.

    I'm only going to write this once:

    If anyone is going to get into a "My Masonry is better than your Masonry" dung flinging contest, TAKE IT TO THE CORRAL!!"

    I'm am sick and bloody tired of reading such back and forth in the posts here - to the point where I'm considering avoiding this blog.

    Substantive debate uplifts and is grist for the mental mill. Sniping belongs elsewhere.

    Take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly.

    Traveling Man

  9. All -

    Interestingly, the article by Jeff Peace (which has been posted in several other venues) took pains not to emphasize one side at the expense of the other. It was one of the more temperate pieces of information on the new GO that I've seen in months; Bro. Peace is to be commended for both subduing his passions on the subject, and for being as fair and objective as possible.

    With that in mind, I can't understand why any of you choose to turn one of the few moderate and non-inflammatory posts on this topic into a flame-fest.

    To the Mainstream Masons: you really should know better than to take potshots at the GO. Unrecognized lodges have been around since long before 1717. If you don't like them, just ignore them like we've been doing for 300 years. Look, I'm glad that you're proud of your membership in the Craft. But we're what, 80% of the Masonic population? Why taunt them?

    To the supporters of the new GO: Come on, bros, what kind of example are you setting? People have worked so hard to make this happen; if you're tired of the Mainstream, this is the perfect opportunity to leave it behind. For years you've been carping about the MS guys; this is your chance to prove what you can do.

    Antics like this sometimes make me ashamed that any of you wear the S&C.

  10. Good post (some of the comments less impresseive, to say the least ...)

    Good luck with your endeavour.


  11. whats funny is no GO men have said anything derogatory here..
    dcharles figures he a masonic comedian, along with burning temper, topped off with the bugman chimming in.
    roark, stated facts,,,,,

    it has been nice just only seeing sophmoric responses from whom?

    thanks tom for claiming 80% of all masons. britian had their flag on about 80 % of earth at one time and it did not make it right, or last!

    as rulers changed, so does masonry.
    it does not remain the same nor will it.

    The change now available, is here and viable...

    no more hot dogs and worrying about waistlines as the results of joining the craft!
    thank you very much for pointing these out

  12. Tom, the Grand Lodge dupe chimes with his own TAUNT:"But we're what, 80% of the Masonic population? Why taunt them?"

    Nice taunt of your own TA! =[

    80% of masons belong to YOUR obedience, and in America, you have about only 10% of those 80% attending meetings, where, those other 20% masons have an 80% attendance record...

    The communist party has many members too, does that make it special, Tom?

    Way to compliment brother Peace's piece, then try a snide left handed comment with the 80% smack!

    Typical GL Lackey....way to stay true, Tom!
    "I must always sneak a negative, pompous comment in at all costs!"
    "I must always sneak a negative comment in at all costs."

    Your bigger and better than that Tom!

    Why not take your own advice and IGNORE?
    Nope, instead you'll try your luck at a smart ass, snide comment, that does not work, and drops you down to the like of Ed "Burger" King!

    Foot in Mouth Syndrome... at initiations for mainstreamers, you guys should start giving vaccinations for foot in mouth disease which seems to be spreading again......

    Stay relevant tom, and do your different colored apron some justice!

    80% smack...really Tom.....

  13. ::sighs::

    2B & AC -

    Are you trying to prove my point by way of example?

    The MS, UGLE recognized GLs make up most of the Masonic membership in the US & UK. It's not a dig, it's numbers. You can work them anyway you want - age, activity, dues, hot dog consumption, whatever. But the fact is that MS membership far exceeds non-UGLE membership.

    The message to my MS brothers is this: Stop taking potshots at the unrecognized GLs; it's unbecoming and it serves no purpose except for chest thumping. Freemasonry is on the verge of being rediscovered, let's focus our energies on what we do best: making good men better.

    The message to you is this: Stop carping and taking potshots at the MS GLs - it only shows you up as being bitter and (deservedly or not) unable to play well with others. You're obviously aware of the problems MS Masonry faces, but they are no no longer your concern. Focus on building your own temples. Your antics make the rest of your brethren - the ones who have worked so hard to accomplish this - look bad by association.

  14. Thank you Bro. Accuosti. :-)

    Did you know that the GOUSA lodges have non-tyled "Open Table Lodges" on a regular basis. Since they are un-tyled meetings (not officially Masonic) anyone can attend.

    Perhaps both sides would benefit from meeting in a non-Tyled setting and getting to know one another face to face?

    We are ALL Masons - even if we disagree on a few things. Let's try our best to treat each other with respect and act like brothers.

  15. Thank you Tom and Howard for your efforts to bring civility and common sense to this discussion. I am afraid that it will be awhile before the GOUSA can be mentioned on any blog without some people making derogatory comments. Hopefully this will lessen over time. There is a need for peacemakers such as yourselves to intervene on such occasions.

  16. Thank you Tom and Howard for your efforts to bring civility and common sense to this discussion. I am afraid that it will be awhile before the GOUSA can be mentioned on any blog without some people making derogatory comments. Hopefully this will lessen over time. There is a need for peacemakers such as yourselves to intervene on such occasions.

  17. Frankly everything is going quite well for the Grand Orient. There are a few Anglo-Saxon Grand Lodges that are doing very well also. Mostly due to the work of Brethren such as Brother Tom.

    Everyone should lay off of him. There was nothing derogatory in his comments at all. He has on occasion obviously had a lapse of judgement and said something decent about me publically mind you. He is a good Brother and attends to his duties.

    Is there anyone that wishes to dispute the issues posted by Brother Jeff?


  18. Brother Peace states: "The primary differences between Traditional Cosmopolitan and Anglo-American Freemasonry can best be summed-up in their perspective of the institution of Freemasonry itself. The Anglo-American Masons view Freemasonry as a religiously oriented fraternity dedicated to brotherly love, relief and truth. The Anglo-American Mason Albert Pike once stated that it was “the handmaid of religion.” The Traditional Cosmopolitan Masons perceive Freemasonry as a secular but spiritual fraternity dedicated to the Enlightenment principles of human liberty and equality resulting in the universal brotherhood of all mankind. This is expressed in their motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”

    Was not the Mantra of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity the cry of early Americans and French?

    Why would Americans stray from that masonic creed to just practice Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth? Do not these three tenets fall under just "fraternity"?

    I never understood why anyone would want to divorce themselves from that movement that Liberated many from the despotism of church and crown.

    It does make much more sense why governments and churches were afraid of the masonry of old, compared to the 80% ers of today..

    I cannot argue with this point brought up by Brother Peace...

    A Brotherhood who wants to practice Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, compared to one that only wants Fraternity......
    Easy enough Brother Peace...

    Not saying one is better than another, just clarifying one of the many differences within these two org's.

  19. The War of 1812 was fought between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and its colonies, including Upper Canada (Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Bermuda.

    The war lasted from 1812 to 1815, although a peace treaty was signed in 1814. By the end of the war, 1,600 British and 2,260 American soldiers had died.[2] In addition, tens of thousands of slaves escaped to British lines because of their offer of freedom, or they just fled in the chaos of war. The British settled a few thousand of the newly freed Americans in Nova Scotia.[4]

    Great Britain had been at war with France since 1793 and in order to impede neutral trade with France in response to the Continental Blockade, Britain imposed a series of trade restrictions that the U.S. contested as illegal under international law.[5] The United States declared war on Britain on June 18, 1812 for a combination of reasons, including outrage at the impressment (conscription) of American sailors into the British navy, frustration at British restraints on neutral trade, and anger at alleged British military support for American Indians who were hostile to the United States.

    why then in 1813 would any intelligent, free thinking american bend knee to the UGLE while we were at war with them?

    Why and how did Americans lose their true masonic way?

  20. "The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism."

    john calhoun

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  22. @ 2 bowl cain,

    Not trying to be a comedian, just pointing out the truth. In spirit I agree with what you claim your outer purpose to be. MS FM is absolutely broken, the baby was thrown out with the bathwater well over a century ago. Many new Masons are very disappointed with their experiences.

    What you are hoping to achieve however already exists in multiple iterations; Co-Masonry, Memphis-Misriam, etc. Why add yet another body to further dilute the already shallow pool of Masons seeking something more than a mediocre meal and a night out of the house a few times a month?

    RoM was a great concept, IMO it failed because it became too political and too much about money. CF was also, IMO about the money. I did not follow the RRCG much, but am aware that it ruffled some GL feathers in Georgia.

    The knowledge some of us seek is beyond value, and should be passed down without material costs. You don't need fellowship in front of a Lodge plasma, fancy websites, or high dues.

    In all seriousness, I would like to see a post that explains how the GOUSA is different than Memphis Misriam and Co-Masonry?

  23. I am no expert but as I understand it, Memphis-Mizraim is a rite, not a different branch of Freemasonry. There are some fringe groups though that have adopted the MM rite. These groups tend to be esoteric/occult in orientation. Regarding Co-masonry, the GOUSA, like the Grand Orient of France, recognizes Feminine Masonry, however both groups only initiate men into their lodges. GOUSA and GOdF are masculine jurisdictions.

  24. Memphis-Misraim is a Rite (as are Memphis and Misraim by themselves) but there is also a Grand Lodge of Memphis-Misraim USA.

    Now those are both speculative Freemasonry. My Memphis-Misraim order the M.E.A.P.R.M.M. is a speculative and seperate order.

    I hope that this helps to clarify.


  25. I meant to state that the M.E.A.P.R.M.M. is operative not speculative. That is what I get for late night blogging :)

  26. Very nice article brother Peace. And I'm happy to be witness to things going well in the organization.

  27. I am well aware of what LeDroit Humane (co-masonry) and Memphis Misriam are, (I may even belong to one or both ;) ) What I am looking for is an explanation from someone affiliated with RoM/CF/RRCG/UGLA/GOUSA to tell me how your organization(s) differ from them.

    As for magnus, an operative mason is one who builds things . . .

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Yep Dcharles, and I do just that :) Thanks for clearing
    that up for me.

  30. That's simple. We're more interested in helping people than studying Freemasonry for the sake of Freemasonry.

    In Freemasonry we find the brotherhood and solidarity to be able to reach out and help others, and to produce positive changes in society.

    I think many Masons are so used to thinking of Freemasonry within the limits of a certain defined box. They categorize it with terms like esoteric, Theosophical, social, charitable, Mixed-Gender, Masculine, Feminine.

    We do not view Freemasonry as an exercise done solely for the purpose of being a Freemason, or personal growth. We view it as a portal to something much bigger than itself.

    The degrees are a period of learning. Afterwards we expand and act upon what we have learned. Freemasonry is then no longer the object of understanding but the means.

  31. dcharles18,

    As former treasurer of RoM, I can tell you it was never about money. In fact, we had very little money. It was envisioned that there would be high dues in order for people to have "skin in the game" and not treat lodge as a dinner club or mere social gathering. It was supposed to be very serious and thus was not going to come cheap. Sadly, it never got off the ground. CF never had any money so that it is a red herring. I was the last head of the RRCG and can attest that what little money we had went to props for the degrees and much of that was financed by Jeff and myself. Not sure where you got your information, but I'm happy to discuss it here in a civil manner.


    Brian Roper
    Sirius Lodge #7

  32. dcharles18,

    On a related note, RoM and RRCG, which were the same organization with different names after it was realized that RoM was getting confused with Memphis-Mizraim, didn't work because they were an attempt to work from the inside. We did try to get it recognized but it was a mess trying to navigate through all of the masonic politics and we proved that we weren't the best politicians. Water under the bridge.

    CF was a study group that was non-masonic and always stated so. It was created so that those who could not join masonry or did not want to join masonry to come together for intellectual pursuits. In fact, the leader of the CF at the time was not a mason.
    It never had rituals, signs, grips or passwords, just meetings in Atlanta and a forum that was pretty wide open. It died from lack of interest after a while.

    Not trying to be an apologist because you are in correct in sense that they failed. However, the people involved perservered and with the help from brothers in MI, OH and CA were able to form the GO and obtain a patent from a very formidable organization in the GOdF. A feat we didn't even think we could pull off. Future success will depend on brothers who accentuate the positive and put their energys in building our fraternity, not trying to tear down yours.

    One day, I hope, we'll be able to meet as brothers, but until then, I will at least treat you as such.


    Brian Roper
    Sirius #7
    GO USA

    (sorry to be so long-winded, haven't posted in a while)

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  34. on September 14th, 1877, the
    Grand Orient of France voted to eliminate from its ancient
    constitution the following article: "Freemasonry has for its
    principles the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and
    the solidarity of mankind." It adopted in lieu thereof, the
    "Whereas Freemasonry is not a religion and has therefore no
    doctrine or dogma to affirm in its constitution, this Assembly has
    decided and decreed that the second paragraph of Article 1, of the
    Constitution (above quoted) shall be erased, and that for the words
    of the said article the following shall be substituted:
    1. Being an Institution essentially philanthropic, philosophic, and
    progressive, Freemasonry has for its object, search after truth,
    study of universal morality, science and arts, and the practice of
    benevolence. It has for its principles absolute liberty of
    conscience and human solidarity. It excludes no person on account
    of his belief, and its motto is 'Liberty, Equality and

    With both friends and enemies of Masonry unreservedly condemning
    the action of the French Brethren it would seem that there must be
    little justification or defense. But as is usually the case there
    were two sides to the issue. There were some peculiar circumstances
    including such a radical departure, and the most interesting part
    of this discussion will be to learn the motives and objects which
    actuated those responsible for it. Do not forget, that if allowed
    to exist at all in Catholic countries, as frequently they could
    not, Masonic Lodges necessarily had to he much different in
    character than are ours in this "land of the free and home of the
    brave." France and the French people had been under the dominion of
    the Catholic Church from time immemorial and at that period a large
    majority of the population were its members. The Church controlled
    all affairs of the State. Of course Masons were struggling for
    liberty, justice and equality in order to accomplish the separation
    of the Church and State and to loosen the hold of the Church on the
    school system and public affairs, it was essential that the
    reformers should be united and that none should be excluded by
    reason of his belief. Thus the Grand Orient stood as the logical
    nucleus around which an organization might be effected. They needed
    the support of all men of every shade of religious belief, hence
    the declaration of absolute freedom of thought and the elimination
    of all dogma, always,--as they expressed it--"the starting point of
    narrowness and persecution." This was in 1877. In 1907--thirty
    years later--France accomplished the division of the Church and
    State and Catholicism no longer remained "The Religion of France."

  35. "The Grand Orient of France, while it respects all philosophical
    beliefs, insists upon absolute liberty of belief. This does not
    mean that we banish from our lodges the belief in God. The United
    Grand Lodge of England on the contrary desires to make a belief in
    God in some manner compulsory. The Grand Orient of France is much
    more liberal, since in proclaiming the absolute liberty of belief
    it permits to each one of its members the liberty to believe or not
    to believe in God, and by so doing desires to respect its members
    in their convictions, their doctrines and their beliefs.

    Logic and Reason can progress humankind

  36. Brother J. G. Findel, the well known scholar, historian and
    journalist, in writing to the London Freemason in 1878, ably stated
    the contentions of the French body in these words:
    "But it is not my intention to give such general declarations on
    the true meaning of the Royal Art, as it seems more necessary to
    help to a right understanding of the resolution of the Grand Orient
    of France. Our French brethren have not deserted the belief in the
    existence of God and immortality of the human soul, in striking out
    the discussed words of the first article of the constitutions, but
    they have only declared that such a profession of faith does not
    belong to Masonic law. The Grand Orient has only voted for liberty
    of conscience, not against any religious faith. Therefore, the true
    meaning of the French constitution is now only, that each brother
    Mason may believe in God or not, and that each French Lodge may
    judge for itself which candidate shall be initiated or not. The
    French vote is only an affirmative of liberty of conscience, and
    not a negation of faith.
    "The excommunication of the Grand Orient of France by the Masonic
    Grand Lodges, is therefore an intolerant act of Popery, the
    negation of the true principles of the Craft, the beginning of the
    end of cosmopolitan Freemasonry. The excommunication of the Grand
    Orient of France only proves the sectarian mind of the
    excommunicating Grand Lodges, which have forgotten that Masonry has
    for its purpose to unite all good men of all denominations and
    professions: they profess the separating element, and destroy the
    Craft, and waste the heritage of our more liberal and more tolerant
    forefathers. The Masonic union will in future be a mere illusion,
    if the AngloSaxon Masons condemn the French, German, Italian
    Masons, &c., and vice versa."

    Intolerable act:de-recognition

  37. Anderson's Masonic Constitution,
    promulgated in 1723, said the following:--"Ye shall cultivate
    brotherly love, which is the foundation and the master stone, the
    cement and the glory of this ancient confraternity, for we as
    Masons are of all races, nations and languages." An eminent
    present-day writer on Freemasonry has said of it: "High above all
    dogmas that bind, all bigotries that blind, all bitterness that
    divides, it will write the eternal verities of the Fatherhood of
    God, and the brotherhood of man." Its origin, past history,
    organization and philosophy all lead in that direction, and have no
    other goal than universal brotherhood.

  38. French Masons seem to regard the institution as still in its
    infancy, not yet definitely formed, a progressive institution. They
    are not averse to trying out-reforms. They do not consider the
    institution is such as they should be satisfied with and refuse to
    change in any respect. They believe it should be changed, in
    anything but principle, if it will help to realize the dream of a
    world at peace and civilized in a truly Masonic sense. Their
    programme is entirely philosophical. Their Lodges are schools,
    existing to mould independent thinkers, free from prejudice and
    intolerance to take their part in the citizenship of the nation.
    Stated briefly, their principles, etc., as set forth in their
    official pamphlet, "The Freemasonry of the Grand Orient of France,"
    are somewhat as follows:
    They recognise no truths save those based on reason and science,
    and combat particularly the "superstitions and presumptions" of
    French Clericalism. Their primordial law is Toleration, respect for
    all creeds, all ideas, and all opinions. They impose no dogma on
    their adherents. They encourage free research for truths--
    scientific, moral, political and social. Their work among members
    is to develop their faculties and to augment their knowledge by
    study and discussion. Men of all classes are taken into their
    Lodges to work in common "for the emancipation of the human spirit,
    for the independence of the people, and for the social welfare of
    Their system of morality is based on the teaching that to be
    happier one has to be better. The scientific study of the human
    heart establishes for them the fact that social life is the most
    indispensable weapon in the struggle for existence. Those who live
    a common life and band themselves together endure, while those who
    isolate themselves succumb. The association of individuals develops
    love and expands in the heart desire for the welfare of all. They
    particularly point out that morality can be attained outside of
    religious superstitions or philosophical theories.
    French Freemasonry, in addition to striving to emancipate its
    members and separate morality from religious superstition and
    theory, recognises its mission to make citizens free and equal
    before the law--to develop the idea of brotherhood and equality.
    She enunciates the principle that it is the primitive heritage of
    man, his individual right, to enjoy fully the fruit of his work; to
    say and to write that which he thinks; to join himself to his
    fellows when he sees fit; to make that which seems good to him; to
    associate for common purposes of any kind, material or
    intellectual; to put into practice, his ideas and his opinions; to
    teach that which he learns in the course of experience and study,
    and to demand from society respect for the liberties for each and

    P. E. KELLETT,
    "President Past Masters' Association, A. F. and A. M., Winnipeg

  39. One day, I hope, we'll be able to meet as brothers, but until then, I will at least treat you as such.

    Well spoken, Bro. Roper. We appreciate the clarification, and I'm sure that the sentiments are returned.

  40. New GOUSA web site.

  41. Since this is not fitting a topic for the Masonic Corral, I present it here as related to the G.O.


    I have now discovered the single word in the English language that is a direct definition to the French 'Laïcité', claimed to "Even the word is often used in its French version, as in many languages no litteral (sic) translation is possible."

    Actually, from this description given on the G.O. of France's website, the EXACT translation for the word is 'conscienceless' used as noun instead of an adjective.

    ""Laïcité" aims to liberate children and adults from everything which alienates or corrupts their minds, particularly atavistic beliefs, prejudices, preconceived ideas, dogmas, oppressive ideology and cultural, economical, social, political or religious pressure. "Laïcité" aims to develop in human nature, within th framework of a permanent intellectual, moral and civic formation, a critical mind along with a feeling of solidarity and brotherhood."

    We see here that the word, far from 'liberating' anyone, uses everything that 'alienates or corrupts their minds'. It is an oppressive ideology itself, and cannot escape its own claimed desires, because it creates the same pressures it attempts to eliminte. It add 'a feeling of solidarity and brotherhood', which in itself places pressures on the individual. We see here the failure again,

    "within th (sic) framework of a permanent intellectual, moral and civic formation"

    Here are additional pressures on the individual to 'perform to expectations'. Of course, pressures put on oneself willingly are still pressures.

    Only through the word 'conscienceless' as a noun can it be understood in the English language. Even the individual's own conscience is an outside source to judge 'conscience' and puts pressure upon the person's 'freedom of conscience'.

    Only the "absolute freedom of and FROM conscience" is the proper definition of "Laïcité" in the English language. If not, it was not properly explained on the website. This is possible only through a lack of communicative abilities of the G.O., and seems a frank possibility (pun intended).

    We also recognize the possibility that the G.O. of U.S. might not possibly understand the word itself as they are Americans and have not the background in French history and possibly many of them do not even know the French language adequately enough to make errors of interpretation (as the G.O. of France made errors into their explanation in English). All-in-all, if the explanation is to be believed, it seems another incident of the G.O. bowing to the whims and pressures put on it by the Catholic church and have no interest in growing a spine against political and religious pressures.

  42. Thanks for the Light Brother.
    Note taken

  43. Your welcome. There are things I like about the idea, and even bits I take into my own philosophy. I always wondered about if Kant could actually start a philosophy from scratch, as it were. Far too much to remove from the human experience to make it very possible, imho.

  44. Dear Bro:. Jeff Peace or somebody else. How can I can get the information(address, phone number) of the La Fayette Lodge n.89 of the Grand Orient of France in Bethesgda, MD??.
    I would like so much to visit them
    thank you for the info.


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