Monday, September 08, 2008

The 'Three Stooges Degree': Pickens Star Lodge No. 220

I've been doing other things besides blogging lately, so I'm kinda late in chiming in on a recent post and its subsequent comments on Bro. Chris Hodapp's blog.

When I first came on the Masonic blog scene with The Burning Taper three years ago, writing about my experiences in my local lodge, many — perhaps most — of my Masonic readers couldn't or wouldn't believe the strange state of Freemasonry in Georgia.

Countless readers have written to me over the years, publicly or privately, saying "that's not my Freemasonry," or saying I must be making stuff up, because "Masonry is not like that." When I made blanket statements about Freemasonry, I was speaking of what I had personally experienced. Now someone else has verified some of the things I've been saying all along.

Brethren from my home lodge, Pickens Star Lodge No. 220, F&AM, of Jasper, Georgia "performed" their version of the Master Mason ritual at a "cave degree" in Tennessee recently. Over 250 Masons from 14 states, Canada and England were in attendance for a show that is sure to be talked about for years: The Three Stooges Degree.

Here's what a visiting brother from Indiana emailed to Bro. Chris Hodapp after witnessing Pickens Star's Master Mason ritual:
Hi, Chris,

Back from the Cave Degree in TN... this was my third year, and it's generally been a wonderful time. This year left me with a really bad taste in my mouth.

In short, the Degree Team from Georgia put on the most banal, disgusting parody of the MM that I've seen in all my 26 years as a Mason. If I had been Raised with such tomfoolery, I'd never have set foot in a lodge again. Period.

If I were their GM, I'd jerk their Charter so fast, they'd find their butts spin-driven into the ground. But apparently, GA is a very different place than Indiana.... If (as it's reasonable to assume) a Degree Team invited to another Jurisdiction is putting on their most solemn, refined Work, GA insulted every Brother in attendance. I'd heard that GA was "a little rough" on their Candidates. I don't even want to think about how bad it would get, if they weren't on their "best behavior".

The Three Ruffians were literally transformed into the Three Stooges. "Nyuk, Nyuks,", noogies, head-slapping, eye-poking, pratfalling fools. (Jubelum was actually wearing a black, bowl-cut Moe wig, to make the slapstick all the clearer.)

If that wasn't bad enough, the Graveside Prayer turned into a 25-minute Sermon, calling Jesus down to Bless us, our Children, our Grandchildren... and damn the Unbelievers into the Fiery Pit for Eternity if they don't see Jesus (mentioned at least 25 times) as Lord and Master of all. I was half-expecting the guy to pull out a basket of snakes from under his Apron, and start handing them around.

It was so bad, that most of us who hadn't escaped beforehand were in slack-jawed shock by the end, and the cave emptied in record time.... I haven't begun to chip at the iceberg. IN and TN are fairly distinct in our Working... yet our Bro. down there was just as appalled as I was. Rewording the Obligation (to explain that "Clandestine" means "Prince Hall" in modern English) really riled me.

I'm sorry to have bothered you with this... but I don't know anyone who's Travelled as you have. Their disgusting, juvenile performance has left me a little wounded.... I've never seen anything so utterly Unmasonic as what was pulled on us last Saturday. I know it's not the norm... but have you ever seen anything similar?
I've seen the performance several times — once as the Center of Attention — and each time I've thought to myself, "This can't be the way it's supposed to be!"

Once, a month or two after I was Raised, I was even drafted into a minor role as a spear-carrier. I donned a shiny robe made of Halloween-costume material and a matching bellboy/flying monkey cap, and was roughly pushed to the appropriate mark at the head of the soon-to-be-raised brother.

I've seen the silly wigs and the tattered and frayed "Hulk" pants the Indiana brother mentioned, and grimaced at the nyuks and giggles from cast and sideliners. I always thought the costumes, wigs and beards looked like props from B-grade monster and Flash Gordon movies of the 1930s.

Especially disturbing are the laughs and catcalls as the man becoming a Master Mason meets the Three Ruffians and his fate. Giggles galore. For some reason, the larger the man, the funnier the crowd thinks it is.

The "loud and long" prayers to Jee-zus! have been discussed before.

I've also written before about how, at the end of the show, one of the brothers takes it upon himself to remind the New Brother what he has just learned. Indeed, he is told that he cannot sit in lodge or discuss Masonry with anyone from a "clandestine lodge, and the only clandestine lodges we know of are the black lodges."

Forget for a moment the oxymoron of "knowing of a clandestine ('unknown,' 'hidden') lodge." Instead, focus on what the New Brother, eager to take his place in a fraternity dedicated to the universal brotherhood of all mankind, is told: "You're not a brother to black Freemasons, and they are not brothers to you."

As I've said before, my first thought upon hearing this was, "Oh, shit! I've just joined the KKK!"

I've had other moments of wondering how many of my local brethren were Ku Klux Klan members, but that's fodder for another article, another time.

Here's the saddest part of all: My brothers at Pickens Star Lodge actually think the chuckles and Jesus-prayers are proper, that the ritual should be enacted exactly the way they do it, that this is the way Masonry is supposed to be. As odd as they act, they are sincere in their belief that Freemasonry the way they interpret it is what Freemasonry is and should be.

As I was told many times back when I was an active member of my lodge, "that's the way we do it!"

If you have not yet read about my adventures at Pickens Star Lodge, click on "Small Town Freemasonry 1: A Bucket of Rattlesnakes" (under "The Burning Taper Backstory" in the right-hand navbar) and read through Part 4 and beyond.

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133 comments:

  1. Yes I was also a candidate in Georgia. And I had to perfect the two finger eye poke defense that Moe so often used. This is fun at a BBQ, but bad tidings for a solemn masonic ritual.

    I'm sure Ed blames this on Brother Peace. It was all sock puppets gone awry.

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  3. L tzu,

    Why are you such a self righteous dong?

    Your first paragraph is fine but the second is just duh. Shut up already because people are tired of the constant yammering.

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  4. I've been trying to tell you guys for years that Georgia Masonry wasn't Masonry at all, but no one would listen. What kind of Masonry expels Master Masons without charges or trial?

    I'm glad that other Masons are finally being able to witness what we had to put up with for years.

    If you want to experience the full picture of Masonry in Georgia you need to visit some of the rural north Georgia lodges where you can also pick-up a free KKK t-shirt out of the truck of someone's car.

    I hate to to say it but I told you so all along. Ed King's MasonicInfo.com is just a cover-up for this type of behavior by Masons in Georgia. King is a liar, a racist and a fraud.

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  5. Bro. Ed King was not mentioned in this article. Please use the Masonic Corral for name-calling.

    Thanks.

    — The Mgt.

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  6. I do not have direct experience with the ritual process in MS masonry. I doubt that it is as bad as this in most most jurisdictions. That being said, it still baffles me that such behavior is tolerated by the various Grand Lodges in the US. I would assume that that some standards were ageed upon at the Baltimore Convention or at some time since. Recognition, I think, would imply not just lip service to the agreed upon landmarks but also to certain standards of behavior. Is there a body in MS masonry that addresses such issues? From my own perspective, clowning around during the Master Mason degree, not to mention racist behavior, would be just as serious as letting an atheist join a lodge or discussing politics. I see a double standard, in that cetain groups are considered outside of Freemasonry because of their stated postions when the groups that are accepted don't practice what they preach. Others see this as well but there doesn't seem to be any mechanism to address these problems

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  7. Peter,

    In my state, the Grand Lodge normally stays out of the affairs of the Blue lodges unless someone complains to them. Even then, they are pretty much hands off. They do, however, insist that ritual be performed by the book.

    As far as Degree work, I always volunteer for the Senior Deacon roles, as I want to make sure that the candidate gets exactly what the initiation was supposed to impart.

    What WS writes about is not indicative of the state of Mainstream masonry, but it is certainly indicative of the mindset of a certain type of mason who joined the fraternity for all of the wrong reasons. As time moves forward, you will see those people being slowly replaced in the lodges by younger brethren who are in it for the right reasons.

    The way I see it, every organization has cycles of rest and activity. Freemasonry is not immune to this. I consider many of the "social club" Freemasons as being a part of the rest cycle, where the focus was more on fraternity. Now the focus seems to be trending back towards to the metaphysical and spiritual, consequently, their numbers recede as the cycle of activity begins anew.

    I can't speak for MS Freemasonry, but I am personally working towards the day where every candidate walks away from each initiation feeling as if they experienced something very profound.

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  9. Well, did they use Curly, Curly Joe, or Shemp? On a more serious note, there is no excuse for bigotry and racism in Masonic affairs. Whether those involved know it or not, there are regular and recognized African-American Freemasons who populate jurisdictions recognized by the GL of GA. This just reeks of ignorance.

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  10. And this is why when I travel people find out I'm from Tennessee and ask if we have running water. Glad I missed out on that attempt at high comedy at the expense of our rich Masonic legacy.

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  11. "Whether those involved know it or not, there are regular and recognized African-American Freemasons who populate jurisdictions recognized by the GL of GA. This just reeks of ignorance." - Stoic

    That's true but you don't see any of them in Georgia Lodges. ;-)

    A good example of this is a discussion between a couple of Past Grand Masters of Georgia at a Scottish Rite meeting in Atlanta. This was just after Katrina when the government was housing people on cruise ships. One Past Grand Master sitting at the table announced "Now is the perfect time to ship them back to Africa!" and everyone at the table started laughing.

    Of course you can deny that the remark was racist but I think most would agree it illustrates quite clearly how the Grand Line of Georgia thinks.

    Now when you consider that the Grand Lodge of Georgia is recognized as a "regular" Grand Lodge by the other state Grand Lodges, it also illustrates the type of Masonry they support.

    Then there is the double standards within Anglo-American Masonry. For instance when Master Masons were expelled without charges or trial in Virginia, Kentucky, and Arkansas no one even raised an eyebrow. However, when Frank Haas PGM was expelled without trial in West Virginia everyone bemoaned it as "un-Masonic".

    As far as I'm concerned way too many Anglo-American Masons are hypocrites. They talk a good game but can't seem to apply justice or ethics equally.

    One Day Classes are an example of what Anglo-American Masonry has devolved into. All they want is your money and could care less about the individual brother. It's a degree mill where any man can become a "Mason" in day while knowing nothing about Freemasonry.

    Perhaps this is why membership in Anglo-American Masonry has dropped from 5 million to less than 1.5 million?

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  12. Howard,

    Why do you take specific examples of poor conduct by bigoted individuals in Georgia and impute them globally to create a generalization to what you label as Anglo-American Masonry? This is unfair.

    Every organization in society contains a cross-section of the attitudes seen in the communities were the organization exists. I've seen bigots and racists in my jurisdiction just like I've seen them in other organizations in my community and in the public forum. However, on the other hand, I've also seen enlightened individuals in Freemasonry and in other groups in my community and in public--all of whom would denounce bigotry and racism.

    Moreover, I'm not sure that I see your point that "Anglo-American Masonry" is entirely bigoted since Freemasonry, just like any other organization, contains all of the warts and flaws of any group composed of a community containing a cross section of men. Should we be better than that? Sure, but human nature is what it is. But, there are many good men, as you know, in Masonry.

    You imply and have implied that the SR as a whole is universally bigoted and racist as an institution. I don't know anything about the SR in GA. However, this isn't true in New Orleans and attitudes are changing just as they have changed in society. For example, the Valley of New Orleans hosted a Joint Reunion in April of 2008 and we had many regular African-American Masons from the GL of IL in attendance to receive the SR degrees. I personally headed the tyler's credential committee and all who possessed the credentials entered without objection. In fact, on the first day of the proceedings, the GM of the GL of LA was present and we opened a SR symbolic lodge whereby the SR EA degree was conferred upon a candidate. African- American brothers were present and welcomed. Does this mean that the GL of LA can't improve in this area or that we don't have problems? No, but, it also shows the danger of hasty generalizations about what you label as Anglo-American Masonry. Of course, New Orleans is really Franco-American Masonry, as you well know. ;)

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  14. I doubt our French brothers at the Grand Orient of France would consider your Masonry "Franco-Masonry", as a matter of fact they were de-recognized by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana for recognizing the Supreme Council of Louisiana because it admitted African Americans. How do I know this? Because they told me.

    How's that for a history lesson? ;-)

    I love how Anglo-Americans rush to defend their immoral actions when they are pointed-out in public. Yet, you have no problem with Ed King publishing lies about the Grand Orient.

    Soon there will be a new MasonicInfo site and it will tell everything anyone ever wanted to know about Anglo-American Masonry. I'm sure you will enjoy learning more about the published history of Anglo-American Masonry. Tit for tat Bro.

    You and your kind have hurt way too many people to walk away unscathed.

    NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT!

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  15. I love how Anglo-Americans rush to defend their immoral actions when they are pointed-out in public.

    And once again, Howard, just how is this helping your cause? Actually, I've sort of lost track of what your cause is; this month it seems to be Ed King bashing.

    Stoic wasn't defending any immoral actions - he was pointing out what many of us have said for years: Freemasons are a cross-section of the community in which the members are drawn. While we would like to think that they represent the better parts of that community, we know that it doesn't always happen.

    It's unfortunate, and it's changing slowly, but it's changing. What are you doing to help that along?


    Yet, you have no problem with Ed King publishing lies about the Grand Orient.

    Since when did masonicinfo.com become the Ahiman Rezon? You've been complaining about Ed King for several weeks now, just when one would think that you'd be excited to have gotten the GOUSA off the ground.

    If you have proof that Ed King is publishing lies, wouldn't you be better served by working to present a better face to the public? Perhaps even launching your own site with point-by-point explanation of where he's wrong?

    I really had hoped that we could move past all this.

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  16. Howard,

    Since we're talking about ancient history, my lodge was created and chartered by the Grand Orient in 1794. From 1794 up until the 1870's, my lodge had a mixed French Creole membership which included prominent African-Americans in the New Orleans community.

    Our Grand Orient charter still hangs on our wall and has never been removed. Our lodge worked and spoke in French up until the 1960's. I have all of our original rituals which are hand-written French manuscripts.

    I am sure the Grand Orient might be interested in reviewing our Charter as a matter of Masonic history since it is written as an irrevocable charter granted forever to the lodge. We also have sovereign French Rite charters as well. We also have some archives containing a sizable French collection from the period which we are taking steps to preserve.

    At various times, my lodge fell under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana Supreme Council. The Louisiana Supreme Council was disbanded and dissolved in 1855. However, it reformed several times thereafter whereupon my lodge fell within its jurisdiction again at various times.

    We still have French speaking brothers who received their 1st through 30th SR degrees within its halls since my lodge possessed SR charters for a lodge of perfection, council of princes of jerusalem, and a chapter of rose croix.

    My lodge is fashioned and laid out as a French Rite and Scottish Rite Lodge as you would see in Paris. It's architecture hasn't changed since it was built. We still have the original carbide brass gas lamps adorning the hall.

    Louisiana Freemasonry started relations with France and the Grand Orient as early as 1754 continued these relations for over a hundred or more years until the 1870's when the Grand Orient abandoned a belief in the GAOTU for its candidates. There are historical references that say race may also have been a factor. Even despite this fact, relations continued in Louisiana Masonry on an off with the last period being just after WWI--after all, Louisiana has always had cultural and family ties with France.

    As for your stray comments about my defending immoral actions, who is doing that again? It isn't me. Please provide specific examples where I have defended immoral conduct. There aren't any.

    I don't know much about Bro. Ed King's site within which you have a dispute since I haven't read it in depth and I have no idea what your objections are. It's his site though so take up any objections with him.

    As you your implication that "you and your kind have hurt too many people to walk away unscathed", please provide specific examples where I personally have hurt anyone including you. This borders on defamation and the implication of the word "unscathed" sounds like a threat.

    Howard, do you really have to resort to these type of statements? After all, you don't know me or know what I believe.

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  17. stoic:

    You wouldn't happen to know if your GL and Connecticut are in amity would you?

    I'd love to see the builing you describe, and if our GLs are in amity, would love to see a Degree.

    You could even work it in French and I would be right at home. My Mother was French Canadian, and while there are different idioms and colloquialisms, I'm pretty sure I could understand what was being said.

    Thanks for the glimpse into New Orleans Masonry.

    Be Well,

    Traveling Man

    P.S. Sorry if this was too off topic.

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  18. Howard,

    Nice to see that you're really taking your "Grand Secretary of External Relations" job seriously. Your GO would be proud. Good job, I think.

    Thanks also for your history lesson. It proves more than you intended.

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  19. Stic,
    I would be curious to know why your lodge abandoned it's heritage. I mean if you where to stand at the alter of the lodge that chartered your own you would be kicked out of Masonry. Your own lodge considers it's own parents as "quasi Masons." Kind of terrible, don't you think?
    S&F,
    BC

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  20. Stoic, as observers we have noticed much hate and animosity among Masons. Can you tell us why this is so? What is the root of the ill will among brothers?

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  21. Eye -

    Like any large groups, over the centuries Freemasonry has small, subgroups of people who interpret meanings differently, who want change, who don't want change, who agree on some points but not others. There are schisms and splits which leave hard feelings on both sides.

    And it's an odd perversity of human nature that we tend to be more at odds with those who are of similar beliefs than we are with those who are of vastly different beliefs.

    Most of the time Masons of different obediences never come into contact with each other, anyway, and in fact, I'd wager that most Masons aren't even aware that any others really exist. It's really only on the internet that they come in contact with each other, and it's really just a very small group that tends to go after each other.

    I'm beginning to think that they enjoy it, actually, because they rarely pass up an opportunity for a scuffle.

    Also, are you using the royal "we"?

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  22. Tom, we have read many of the things that you have written on your blog and find that we agree with you in many ways.

    We have also read much from both sides of this conflict. The present schism in Masonry is the result of a failure in your brotherhood as Masons. There was a violation of the obligation to brotherhood and justice.

    As observers we see all perspectives equally. The slow loss of brotherly love through injustice is at the heart of the downfall of Masonry. It is a cancer that eats away at its victims until they are blind to the truth.

    We have remained silent until now because this battle is both physical and spiritual. There is a darkness enveloping the world. It is a time when Masons need to be united.

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  25. eob,

    We will deal with our own 3 stooges in ohio on Friday......

    SK
    KM
    CK
    Thanks for the heads up!

    The Cement Truck
    filled with 9 yards Brotherly Love

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  26. Eye of the Blind,

    I don't know what causes ill-will and hatred among the Craft or among mankind. I chalk it up to the universal defects in human nature that we as Masons are attempting to improve. The Scottish Rite's Three Ruffians would have much to say about the lessons of human nature. I have no hatred in my heart for anyone--I don't have the time to fill my heart with such nonsense.

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  27. It is a cancer that eats away at its victims until they are blind to the truth.

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  28. Schisms will develop. However, that does mean that the surviving groups must constantly snipe at each. Please, both sides quit. It is not healthy for anyone.

    As one that was thrown out with Bro Peace, I can attest that this foolishness did exist in GA. I took a stand and they threw me out.
    Reasonable people will draw different opinions as to whether that was the proper course of action. I considered staying and renouncing my position as not being true to myself. I chose a different path.

    However, this article should cause some to maybe open their eyes to the fact that just because a GL says it is true doesn't necessarily mean that it is. They are human and very far from infallible. And yes, this applies to the GO as well.

    S&F

    Brian
    Sirius Lodge #7 GO

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  29. Magus,

    My lodge received and obtained multiple Charters at its creation. It also practiced the York, Scottish, and French Rites at the same time (we currently practice a ritual that contains both SR and French Rite elements). Multiple chartering was the fashion of Freemasonry at the time in a French colony. For example, my lodge received an organic charter from the GL of PA at the same time it obtained a charter from the Grand Orient so that it could engage in relations with the Masonic community at large in the United States.

    In 1812, my lodge joined in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana after Louisiana was admitted as a State in the Union. It received, yet, another charter at this time. We also have charters from the Louisiana Supreme Council and other entities. All of our charters have been continuously displayed in our lodge hall. They are the organs and limbs of our Masonic body and congregation.

    I will say that during this organic period of origination and formation, Freemasons didn't pay much attention to the hegemony of governing organizations or the actual ritual used by a symbolic lodge--all rituals were recognized in Louisiana by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and quasi-independent symbolic chambers were created within its bosom to govern each of these rites. At this time, brothers spent more time focusing upon the principles of the Craft. In fact, this is my focus. I am part of the legacy of this unique past, present, and future.

    I'm not sure who abandoned who at the altar. I think this is the wrong way to look at these issues. Louisiana Masonic history is rich and complex--it has many twists and turns that are too lengthy to discuss here in this type of forum. Reverence for the GAOTU was practiced in French and SR Freemasonry in Louisiana from its beginning and it has never been abandoned. However, the Grand Orient could be construed as having abandoned its Louisiana Masonic progeny in the 1860's-1870's (and even the Masonic community at large) when political events in France forced it to abandon reverence for the GAOTU by removing the requirement of a belief in the GAOTU for its candidates. Its Louisiana Masonic progeny, though strongly tied to French culture, did not join them in this folly. Elements of Nationalism also enter the picture when you consider the fact that Louisiana transitioned from a French Colony, a United States Territory, and, finally, a State admitted into the Union. The Grand Orient also changed its position several times with regard to Louisiana Freemasonry as the political winds changed within its own ranks and in Louisiana.

    I would certainly welcome academic interaction with the Grand Orient of France if only to exchange information about our shared Masonic heritage. As you know, my obligation would prevent me from engaging in Masonic Communications in an open lodge with brothers from a Masonic organization with whom the GL of LA does not have formal relations. But, I'd personally enjoy showing the Grand Orient what remains of its progeny in Louisiana. I am sure that they would be interested to see what influences of French Origin Freemasonry still remain in New Orleans.

    You're right that the Grand Orient is my lodge's great great grand parent and you have to respect that historical fact even though we are now separated in Masonic philosophy.

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  30. Does God desire to be the source of division among men?

    Are you not all Masons?

    Pride
    Ego
    Injustice
    Denial

    The roots of darkness in the brotherhood of Masons.

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  31. I would like to make one comment. I don't think that the debate between the MS and GO is necessarily unhealthy, as long as civility is maintained. If there were a blog that was Christian, in a general sense, where Catholics, Anglicans, Southern Baptists, etc. posted, I think much of the same would transpire. I can only imagine the heated discussions that would occur on such a blog over theological issues. Justification by Faith, No salvation outside of the Church, Homosexuality, Abortion, Purgatory, the Nature of the Eucharist. In the end tolerance would be necessary or another "Corral" would be required.

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  32. Jeff Peace writes:

    NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT!

    Spoken from someone who truly took the degrees to heart.

    Then there is the double standards within Anglo-American Masonry. For instance when Master Masons were expelled without charges or trial in Virginia, Kentucky, and Arkansas no one even raised an eyebrow. However, when Frank Haas PGM was expelled without trial in West Virginia everyone bemoaned it as "un-Masonic".

    Interesting thought. Sometimes it's all about the person, not the Freemason. Perhaps if you demonstrated a fraction of the intelligence or class that PGM Haas has showed, you might also have "everyone" willing to fight for you.

    Jeff, seriously dude, you found your spiritual home in the Grand Orient. No one is ripping on you for that (Ed King excepted). Why do you still continue to flog a dead horse?

    A month ago, you were all about moving forward as masons. What happened with that?

    Most psychologists would look at the body of your comments and conclude that the real problem is that you want to be a part of MS Masonry again. You are spoiling for a vindication that will never come, while doing your best to burn every bridge in sight.

    So if it makes you feel better: Your masonry is superior to mine. I am just another puppet for the Grand Lodge. I am a liar. I am immoral. I am a fraud.

    You win!

    Now what?

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  33. Is Jeff Peace the problem or is he symbolic of deeper issues?

    The fabric of your brotherhood is woven out of mutual respect and trust. When these are removed what is left?

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  34. EOB states: "The fabric of your brotherhood is woven out of mutual respect and trust. When these are removed what is left?"

    A fraternity that has crept along, trading mutual respect and Trust for Titles and Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction. Dividing themselves into 50+ Independant Fiefdoms that do not want interference, err, the whispering of good council, and will cling to individuality over a Unified Brotherhood of Mutual Respect and Trust.

    The west gate had been left wide open and too many cling to the days of old and refuse to move forward..IMHO

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  35. Each individual brother is a unique human being. Their life and thoughts are entirely their own.

    The brotherhood created by Masonry recognizes these differences and is accepting of them.

    When one or more brothers are condemned for expressing their thoughts and ideas, the bonds of brotherhood become fractured and weak.

    Masonry is expanded and extended from one brother to another. It is a society of individuals cemented together by respect and trust.

    If the organization demands the sacrifice of the few in the name of brotherhood, then all is lost.

    The enemies of the Masonic brotherhood are Ego, Pride, Injustice and Denial.

    There are no winners in such a struggle, only losers.

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  36. lvx,

    I've already been vindicated. All of the corruption I pointed out and warned all of you about is now being proved true: prostitution, misappropriation of funds, embezzlement, fraud, etc. Now you can read about all of these things in the papers. ;-)

    Don't kid yourself lvx. I have no desire to ever be a part of Anglo-Freemasonry ever again. I just get a certain level of satisfaction from being able to point out how right I was all along.

    It was impossible for me to burn the bridges because the wood from which they were made was wet and rotten from the start.

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  37. EOB,

    Good ideas and a beautiful outlook but you're wasting your time on fools without ears.

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  38. Is Jeff Peace the problem or is he symbolic of deeper issues?

    To be honest, I don't see him as a problem. He does not impact my life one iota. Deeper issues? I'm not sure that one embittered person (justified or not) is indicative of the "deeper issues" of a collective.

    The fabric of your brotherhood is woven out of mutual respect and trust. When these are removed what is left?

    The fabric of brotherhood is prone to wear and tear by the multitude of forces that reside within it. These forces can be conflicting interests as well as systematic failures.

    It is not how the fabric of brotherhood is woven or even the materials used to create it. It is how the entities who inhabit it bolster it's stress points and overcome the wear and tear that naturally occur over time.

    Nothing is perfect. We strive to reach perfection, but there are very few who ever achieve it. Therefore, the fabric of brotherhood is only as perfect as the collective who inhabits it.

    Make no mistake, the fabric of brotherhood will always exist for those who seek it.

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  39. Don't kid yourself lvx. I have no desire to ever be a part of Anglo-Freemasonry ever again.

    Great. Just know that every time you rejoice in the shortcomings and pitfalls of Anglo masonry, you indeed become intertwined with it. It will hold onto you as long as you hold onto it.

    That's just how the universe works.

    I just get a certain level of satisfaction from being able to point out how right I was all along.

    Not a very masonic attitude to have, Jeff, regardless of obedience.

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  41. I will be happy to let go as soon as you and your cronies stop pulling me back into the fray. If you and Ed will let go of my shirt sleeve I can be on my merry way. Until that time I'm being held against my wishes.

    It's not very Masonic of you and your dying brotherhood to hold a person captive against their wishes.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I will be happy to let go as soon as you and your cronies stop pulling me back into the fray.

    Cronies, Jeff?

    You must certainly realize that you are painting with a very broad brush. I am not Ed King, I do not know Ed King, I don't even share his obvious loathing towards you.

    For what it's worth, I believe that his site does a lot of good in some respects, but is an absolute embarrassment in other respects. I am fully aware that he has wielded it against you and your organization. I will go even further and say that his attacks on you are unmasonic.

    Unfortunately, Jeff, what you don't see is that you embody those negative attributes every time you announce to the world just how corrupt, evil and insidious "Anglo" freemasons are. You and Ed King are in a mutual headlock and until one or both of you grow the hell up, you will both continue to cast a pall on what masonry is really all about.

    It's not very Masonic of you and your dying brotherhood to hold a person captive against their wishes.

    I see 5 million going to 1.5 million as a great thing. I don't sweat the load about the numbers. In my book, its quality, not quantity.

    You are free, Jeff. I am not now, nor was I ever, holding you back. Don't blame me because you are still holding on to the past. Let go of it and move on.

    You are only a victim as long as you believe it.

    ReplyDelete
  43. If you and Ed will let go of my shirt sleeve I can be on my merry way.

    ::sighs::

    Bro. Roark, one of you is going to need to get out of the back seat of the family station wagon, and stop with the "But he did it first" excuses. Ed - or anybody - could write a 50 page blog about you or the GO - but how does that actually affect you?

    It doesn't.

    You can't control somebody else's actions. You can, however, control your own responses to them.

    ReplyDelete
  44. More lame excuses...

    Maybe you should call you club "Excuse Masonry"?

    ReplyDelete
  45. If anyone out there is not a Mason and they're reading this blog, there are a few things that you should know about Anglo-American Masonry.

    Even though Masons swear at the altar before God to help, aid and assist one another, don't count on it. They are all lying through their teeth. When you really need the help of your so-called "brothers" they will abandon you and leave you standing all by yourself.

    Their brotherhood is about as valuable as their oath before God. If they're willing to lie to God then what can you expect?

    Of course they will offer a hundred and one excuses as to why they can't honor their obligation, and why it is impossible for them to keep their oaths before God. They are adept professionals at making excuses for themselves and the immoral actions of Anglo-American Freemasonry. (Prostitution, embezzlement, fraud, etc.)

    You need to ask yourself "what kind of 'Light' they can bring into your life?" Consider that about 90% of the people who join their organization leave within 24 months. That should give you an idea of the value of what they have to offer. It may also help to explain why their membership has dropped from 5 million to 1.5 million.

    If you're expecting to meet men of the calibre of George Washington, you need to think again. You're more likely to meet the reincarnation of Rodney Dangerfield.

    If you ever disagree with the status quo then you will simply be expelled. Yes, they're supposed to provide you with a dur process, but they dispense with that, and then make excuses as to why they did it.

    If they really dislike you they will post your name on web sites and make-up lies about you and your family.

    Anglo-American Masonry is an ugly affair. Once you join, you may or may not be able to leave when you are sick of it.

    Do yourself a favor. Google the criminal actions of the Anglo-American Masonic organizations. There are several of their leaders spending time in prison. Also, be sure to check out their record regarding racism and sexism. Did you know that the fire hosing of the African Americans in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960's was planned at a meeting of the Scottish Rite? How would you feel if that was one of your children being hosed down with high pressure water? It's something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
    Daughter of Elysium,
    Exhilarated with your fire,
    Heavenly being, we enter Thy sanctuary!

    Thy magic power reunites,
    All that was strictly divided by custom;
    All men are becoming brothers,
    Where your gentle wing may rest.

    sounds simple? huh

    all that was strictly divided by custom...Exclusive Territiorial Jurisdiction and recognition garbage?

    ReplyDelete
  47. There's more...

    If you decide to leave their organization and join another Masonic organization then you will be publically humiliated and threatened.

    If one of their lodges wants to leave and join another Maosnic organization they will be threatened with all sorts of heavy-handed measures.

    In the real world this is known as "Racketeering" but in the Masonic world it is referred to as "loyalty".

    ReplyDelete
  48. Nice diatribe there Jeff.

    I am betting that you still feel pretty miserable, though.

    I this how you really want the world to see your masonic obedience? Would the GOUSA stand behind this statement? Would the Grand Orient of France be pleased to know that this is what they have allied themselves with?

    If you are so consumed with anger that you cannot see the disservice that you are doing to yourself, then you should at least consider the disservice that you are doing to the GOUSA and the Grand Orient of France.

    Let it go dude and move on.

    ReplyDelete
  49. The Frederick the Great Association

    One of the more twisted myths being propagated by 'Regular' Anglo-American Freemasonry of late is that the Nazi's persecuted 'regular' Freemasonry in Germany during it's reign.

    'Regular' Freemasonry plays the recognition game if it wants to deny that a particular infamous individual was a Freemason. Usually this is carried out in regard to Grand Orient Freemasons, which it does not recognize as being legitimate Masons because it has it's own operation called 'Grand Lodges' set up in their countries, France being the largest instance.

    Thus it is with a particular sense of accomplishment that we have uncovered one of 'regular' American and British Grand Lodge Freemasonry's most noxious official lies; it's record and actions in Nazi Germany. A lie that their favorite recognition game dodge won't work on.

    In Germany at the time the Nazi's came to power(with the aid of numerous Freemason High Financiers like Henry Ford) there existed nine Grand Lodges and Orients.

    Three Grand Lodges were were known as 'Old Prussian Grand Lodges', which were large, well organized, and contained the bulk of all Freemasons in Germany. Six were called 'Modern Grand Lodges', which were small, isolated, with only a few thousand members each.

    One of the groupings had always banned Jews from joining and was fiercely nationalistic and reactionary in it's politics. One of the groupings had always allowed Jews to join and was international and liberal in it's politics.

    Guess which Grand Lodge group American and British Freemasonry recognized as being 'regular' Freemasonry and which group it branded as 'irregular' and 'clandestine' Freemasonry?

    You guessed right. It was the 'Old Prussian Grand Lodges', which contained the High Command Officers, Industrialists, and Royal Houses who had always banned Jews from joining and which was fiercely nationalistic and reactionary in it's politics that the American and British Grand Lodges recognized as being 'regular'. The 'Moderns', the ones that allowed Jews to join? 'Regular' Freemasonry said they were 'irregular' and 'clandestine'. In other words they did not recognize the Grand Lodges that allowed Jews to join as being Freemasons or Freemasonry what so ever. 'Regular' Freemasonry is trying to hoodwink their recognition of the anti-semitic National Grand Lodges and their non recognition of the non anti-semitic International Grand Lodges.

    The Nazi's shut down the 'Modern' Grand Lodges whose membership was heavily jewish, liberal, and 'international', but allowed the 'national' Old Prussian Grand Lodges to carry on after their Grand Master's sent formal written oaths of alliegence to 'Mein Furher', changed their name to 'The Frederick the Great Association'(Frederick the Great being German 'regular' Freemasonry's founder and principal patron.), and removed any obvious Hebraic wording from it's rituals. When the war was over 'regular' Freemasonry operating under the guise of 'The Frederick the Great Association' changed their name back to what it was before Crystal Nacht. You won't see any of this mentioned on any of those 'Is it true what they say about Freemasonry?' or 'Difficult Questions about Freemasonry' web sites that 'regular' Freemasonry has mirrored all over the net.

    The Scottish Rite had its beginning in France, when in 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established in Paris, a chapter of twenty-five so-called High Degrees which, including the three symbolic Degrees, these High Degrees were called the Rite of Perfection. In 1758 these Degrees were taken to Berlin and placed under a body called the Council of Emperors of the East and West, and in 1762 Frederick the Great of Prussia became the head of the Rite and promulgated what is known as the Constitution of 1762. In 1786 a reorganization took place in which eight Degrees were added to the twenty-five, and the name changed to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. By this Constitution, Frederick resigned his authority as Grand Commander and provided that the government of the new system of Degrees should rest with a Council of each Nation, to be composed of nine Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-Third and last Degree of Freemasonry. Source: AASR, Orient of Texas.

    There was absolutely no persecution of 'regular' Freemasonry in Germany. How could there have been? The Old Prussian 'regular' National Grand Lodges were filled with Officers of the High Command, Captains of Industry, Commerce, Finance, Leading Citizens, and Royalty, most of whom were loyal Nazi Party members themselves. The very men who brought Hitler to power. All with the knowledge of American and British 'regular' Grand Lodge Freemasonry and it's hereditary pro-nazi Grand Master the Duke of Kent.

    There are lies and then there are damnable lies.

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  50. And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.

    Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the colour of amber.

    And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

    And, behold, the glory of the God of Isreal was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.

    Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the alter this image of jealousy in the entry.

    And he said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Isreal committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

    And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

    Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.

    And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

    So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Isreal, portrayed upon the walls round about.

    And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Isreal, and in the midst of them stood Japazanniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

    Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Isreal do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

    He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.

    Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

    Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

    And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

    Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? For they filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

    Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

    Ezekial 8

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  51. Is it me, or does all this noise remind you of the knights who say NI?

    Knights of Ni: Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni!
    Arthur: Who are you?
    Knight of Ni: We are the Knights who say….. “Ni”!
    Arthur: (horrified) No! Not the Knights who say “Ni”!
    Knight of Ni: The same.
    Other Knight of Ni: Who are we?
    Knight of Ni: We are the keepers of the sacred words: Ni, Ping, and Nee-womm!
    Other Knight of Ni: Nee-womm!
    Arthur: (to Bedevere) Those who hear them seldom live to tell the tale!
    Knight of Ni: The knights who say “Ni” demand….. a sacrifice!
    Arthur: Knights of Ni, we are but simple travelers who seek the enchanter who
    lives beyond these woods.
    Knights of Ni: Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni! Ni!
    Bedevere: No! Noooo! Aaaugh! No!
    Knight of Ni: We shall say “Ni” to you… if you do not appease us.
    Arthur: Well what is it you want?
    Knight of Ni: We want…..

    (pregnant pause)

    A SHRUBBERY!!!!

    Oh so fitting....

    ReplyDelete
  52. All discussions on this site eventually evolve into loony ramblings, defamatory remarks, and name calling.

    ReplyDelete
  53. lvx

    The truth will set you free.

    I feel better than ever.

    How about you?

    The more truth the less people you will be able to dupe in the future.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  54. I really do believe that all of us need to go abour the work of Masons. Let's build our temples and get our aprons dirty.

    If someone else decides not to help you build your temple. Respect their decision and be their to assist them should they ask. If they do not want to visit your temple do not shut the door to them, but leave an open invitation. If one deny's that you are a Mason, let your architecture speak for itself.
    S&F,
    BC

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  55. I this how you really want the world to see your masonic obedience? Would the GOUSA stand behind this statement? Would the Grand Orient of France be pleased to know that this is what they have allied themselves with?


    Good question, LVX.

    Bro. Howard, somebody once told me that Ed King was inciting the newer members of the GO to post inflammatory articles.

    Seems to me that it's the older, more established guys who are doing the most of that lately. It's a shame that the newer, younger members are learning the lessons that some of the more experienced brothers seem to have forgotten.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Howard Roark writes:

    "Even though Masons swear at the altar before God to help, aid and assist one another, don't count on it. They are all lying through their teeth. When you really need the help of your so-called 'brothers' they will abandon you and leave you standing all by yourself."


    That's true of about 99.9% of Masons I've known; perhaps 1 in 1,000 can really be counted upon when the chips are down.

    If anyone is contemplating Masonry, and a little voice in the back of their minds keeps telling them that all the talk about "friendship, morality, and brotherly love" sounds too good to be true, just remember the old cliche.

    Will the GOUSA be any different? I don't know, but if it isn't, it won't survive, just as its "mainstream" counterpart is actively engaged in the process of not surviving.

    Life in today's world is harder than it's been in a long time, and no one is seeking additional ways to get screwed. Instead, most people are looking for ways to avoid getting screwed, which is one of the traditional appeals of Masonry.

    When that element goes away, there isn't much left that's of any practical value.

    -- Diogenes

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  57. Bro. Diogenes,

    I know that you and your brothers have been through hell. Please know that we support you and your efforts to restore Free-Masonry in your neck of the woods.

    If there is anything that we can do to assist you just let us know.

    ReplyDelete
  58. just as its "mainstream" counterpart is actively engaged in the process of not surviving.

    ::looks around and does a head count::

    ::takes pulse::

    ::shrugs::

    ReplyDelete
  59. Good Lord. So I made fun of my situation and the situation of many of the brethren in this state and every one goes crazy. Rex, sorry that people are tired of it. What people exactly?

    The rituals were not taken seriously. BBQ, paying the bills, sexism, and racism were common place.

    Ed called every one that talked about the same sort of problems a socket puppet of Jeff's. I was one of them, so I had first hand knowledge. These are all facts whether they are agreeable or not.

    For bringing these problems to light, under the proper Masonic protocol, we were ostracized from blue lodge Freemasonry without due process.

    I do not begrudge anyone for hard feels when so much was invested with blue lodge Freemasonry. People had family lineages in Freemasonry invested and considerable amounts of money invested.

    For me I really don't care, but I would like to see all my brethren, blue lodge or not, at rest.

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  60. Howard Roark writes:

    "Please know that we support you and your efforts to restore Free-Masonry in your neck of the woods."


    I truly appreciate your sentiments, but in my neck of the woods, there aren't enough Masons of honor and integrity left to sustain a viable lodge. I hate to have to say that, but it's true.

    The last count of "regular" Masons I knew of in my state, was about 16k. When only about 1 out of 1,000 takes it seriously enough to really uphold his obligations, that leaves about 16 men who embody the true spirit of Masonry (and that isn't far off the actual mark, in my experiences).

    If all of those men lived in the same general area, it might be enough to sustain a small lodge, but they're spread out over an area of more than 50,000 square miles, thereby essentially making it a logistical impossibility.



    I tzu said:

    "For me I really don't care..."


    Perhaps sadly, that's predominantly the way I feel too.

    There was a time in my life when I thought Masonry was a lot more worthwhile and important than it actually turned out to be.

    I spent thousands of hours memorizing, conducting, and teaching lectures and rituals. It's probably fair to say that in terms of sheer knowledge, I was in the top 200 in my state, at a time when the total Masonic population was about 20,000.

    Today, I doubt if I could pass an examination, and what difference does it make? Is my family any worse off because of it? Is the world at large any worse off, or is the greater truth that it really doesn't make any practical difference to anyone, myself included?


    In a way, I think it's sad that so many erstwhile intelligent and talented men, waste so much time and effort in Masonry. At best, they spend their lives the way I did, trying to learn and teach things that no one cares about, and at worst, they become embroiled in and embittered by quarrels with others, who are equally as embroiled in and embittered by their own positions.

    And for what? What difference does any of it make?

    If a man becomes a Worshipful Master, a Grand Master, or a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, there are 1.3 billion people in China who aren't impressed in the slightest, and 300 million people in the US who feel exactly the same way. It only means something to the other members of the fraternity, and when the majority of those are the way they are today, isn't it a bit like being the King of Fools?


    I've said it before, and I think it's worth saying again: Masonry isn't life. I know a lot of Masons think it is, but it isn't.

    Ask a man what he is, and see how he replies. Most policemen will reply: "I'm a cop," while most physicians will reply: "I'm a doctor," and most active Masons will reply: "I'm a Mason." Are any of those things really important enough, however, that they should define a person's existence? Are they more important than being a father, a son, a husband, a friend, or even just a good and decent human being?


    I won't presume to suggest exactly where Masonry should "rank" in life, but if anyone thinks it's more important than family, friends, career, health, personal integrity, or a host of other similarly important things, I think they should seriously re-evaluate their priorities.

    -- Diogenes

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  61. Jeez louise another hot fired thread on the most infamous blog of Freemasonry.

    Lets see what we have here. A Georgia lodge put on a degree that wasn't up to the standards of several commentators here. Some Brethren at said Georgia degree made comments which several commentators here found to be objectionable.

    Some how this whole debacle was the result of Bro. Ed King and some how the Grand Orient of the US is the sloution to all of the problems.

    Additionally, this whole affair is being watched by a mysterious entity known as "We". "We" is apparently in collaboration with biblical prophets. The biblical prophesies fortell the demise of Freemasonry also known in Germany as the nazi party and the rise of the world dominating force known as GOOFUS. If this correlates with previous Masonic Prophesies, a great hermes portal will open up on the fifth note of the second section of Beethoven's Ode to Joy (provided everyone in the world plays the song simultaneously), and usher forth a new era of peace and prosperity under the careful rule of those who watch, "We".


    Whew! Talk about your wandering conversations!

    On the only serious part of this thread worth commenting to, the Georgia cave degree:

    Sounds pretty bad to me, but I am not a Georgia Mason. While such a performance would warrant me bringing the matter up in my Grand Lodge for action, things are different in Georgia. If Georgia Masons feel this matter is a bad reflection, it is up to them to handle it. Perhaps Freemasonry isn't as solemn in Georgia. Perhaps these Brothers were simply trying something "new". How many times have I heard the members of this forum bemoan the lack of trying "new" things in the craft. Now someone has and you shoot barbs at them. What the real issue is then is that they didn't do it the way that YOU want it to be done. Funny really.


    As to racism being in Georgia Masonry, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I know that their are racists in my jurisdiction. I also know that there are racists or people with other prejudices in every other jurisdiction in the world. Who am I to tell someone who they must like and dislike. While I am not a racist myself, I do not like anyone who wears their pants below their boxer shorts. If a candidate showed up with pants below his boxer shorts, I would black ball him. At Masonic functions, I may even tell jokes about people who wear their pants below their boxer shorts. What I would not do is let my prejudice against people who wear their pants below their boxer shorts interfere with me honoring my obligation to a known Brother.

    Nothing has been said in the article that would indicate any Brother allowed his prejudice to interfere with his keeping of his obligation to a known Brother. Therefore, I think it isn't worthy of discussion unless we assume that Freemasonry is in place to strip a man of his own thoughts and freedom of speech.

    Who here can say they are so perfected that they are completely devoid of any form of prejudice?

    Certainly not the GOOFUS nor Fremasonry as I know it.

    ReplyDelete
  62. Petey states:"Therefore, I think it isn't worthy of discussion unless we assume that Freemasonry is in place to strip a man of his own thoughts and freedom of speech."

    That is exactly what the fraternity is doing and that is why some of us are over vocal, GL's tried to strip myself, and my brothers, and apparently many others of having their own thoughts and freedom of speech.
    It was independant men that would not allow any man or organization to stifle thought and free speech.
    thanks for pointing out exactly what we claim anglo freemasonry is today.
    Devoid of all individual thought and free speech, unless getting expelled or suspended without due process is what one is looking for by exercising their freedoms of thought and speech!..


    great quote Petey, thanks for agreeing with all of us!

    ReplyDelete
  63. I am not a MS mason and I am awaiting my initiation into the GOUSA which will occur very soon. As such, I feel that I am limited as to what I can say about what is going on in the masonic community, however I follow developments closely and try to expand my knowledge of Freemasonry daily. What I find hard to understand is the attitude that some, not all, have towards incidents such as the "Stooges". Some seem to feel that such behavior is none of their business or that any criticism of another Grand Lodge is out of line. If, in the future as a GOUSA member I were to hear of such behavior in one of our lodges regardless of which state it was in I would be upset and complain about it. When problems in certain MS jurisdictions are pointed out here on the Taper, as well as other masonic blogs, many feel that is airing dirty laundry or that it doesn't pertain to them if it is not happening in their jurisdiction. I simply can't agree with that. Any misbehaviour in any jurisdiction effects all of masonry and should be denounced and the appropriate actions taken.I don't understand the lack of concern that many, though not all, display towards problems in the masonic community. The GL's should have taken some action regarding the Haas affair, not to mention the situation regarding PH in the South. I am sure that many will say none of that is my business particularly regarding my current status but that is my opinion. Freemasonry of any jurisdiction has written standards of behavior and due processes. These standards and procedures must be adhered to. No exception.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Maybe Ed King should worry more about Anglo-American Masonry...

    For years there have been unsubstantiated rumors of sexual misconduct within
    the Royal Order of Jesters.

    First --- was an e-mail in Texas, which was investigated by the Grand Lodge
    of Texas, who could find no one to substantiate the unsigned email.

    Second --- Court Documents filed in The United States District Court for the
    Southern District of Florida Miami Division, Case Number
    07-21228-CIV-Martinez-Bandstra, dated December 20, 2007. List 57 witnesses,
    of which 19 are believed to be members of the Jesters. They are to testify
    about illegal drugs and child prostitution.

    Statements from the children can be found at
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/d5a381fe-7710-4e80-8af4-7dd7eec6a43e/statements-fr
    om-girls

    The original complaint can be found at
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/c0f0f1e6-040e-467d-9b07-0a8a928d7679/original-comp
    laint

    The witness list can be found at
    http://www.esnips.com/doc/78b2bc6c-3de6-4aba-bd4e-124ab530045e/witness-list-
    roj

    Third --- March 9, 2008 --- A retired State Supreme Court justice resigned
    his post as a hearing officer as federal agents investigate his alleged role
    in taking a local massage parlor worker across state lines for purposes of
    prostitution.

    FBI and U.S. Border Patrol agents are investigating allegations that retired
    Judge Ronald H. Tills, his former law clerk and a retired police captain
    took the female massage parlor employee in a motor home to a gathering of
    members of a nationwide group called the Royal Order of Jesters.

    At the Jesters event, law enforcement officials said, the woman allegedly
    was paid to perform sexual favors. Police said the men who took her to the
    event could face federal criminal charges for transporting her over state
    lines for the purposes of prostitution. The probe recently led to the
    resignations of Tills, a retired state judge who had been working as a
    judicial hearing officer, and Michael Stebick, a part-time law clerk in the
    state courts in Buffalo... Six sources who are familiar with the
    investigation said Stebick, the owner of the motor home used on the trip;
    Tills and retired Lockport Police Capt. John Trowbridge went on the road
    trip, accompanied by the woman from the massage parlor and as many as nine
    other local men associated with the Jesters. The News has made repeated
    efforts to reach Trowbridge, 60, for comment, but has been unable to contact
    him.Since learning about the alleged road trip; agents from the FBI and U.S.
    Border Patrol have been investigating the local Jesters chapter, which is
    known as the Jesters Buffalo Court No. 22. Police also are investigating
    whether there were other incidents of prostitutes transported across state
    lines so they could attend Jesters conventions in other cities.

    [c] The Buffalo News.

    See http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/294809.html

    On March 20, 2008 Capt. John Trowbridge pleaded guilty to violating the US
    Mann Act. By transporting prostitutes to Jesters' Meeting in Kentucky and
    Pennsylvania.

    A continuing investigation into alleged prostitution at Jesters events is
    being conducted by a human-trafficking task force, including members of the
    FBI, U.S. Border Patrol, Erie County Sheriff's Office, and U.S. Immigration
    & Customs Enforcement.

    On August 8, 2008 a former state court law clerk admitted Thursday that he
    drove a prostitute to Ashland, Ky., in his motor home in 2005, and agreed to
    cooperate with an ongoing federal investigation of the nationwide fraternal
    order that was meeting there at the time.

    Michael R. Stebick, 60, pleaded guilty to a felony conspiracy count alleging
    he transported the unnamed woman across state lines for prostitution, a
    violation of the Mann Act. During the appearance in U. S. District Court,
    Stebick said he will cooperate with the probe of the Royal Order of Jesters,
    of which he is a member. Sentencing will be on September 9, 2008.

    On September 5, 2008 former Judge Ronald H. Tills who had the reputation as
    one of the toughest sentencing judges in Western New York during his 10
    years as a State Supreme Court Judge admitted that he recruited prostitutes
    for events sponsored by a nationwide fraternal men's club called the Royal
    Order of Jesters. At least some of Tills' illegal activities took place
    during his tenure as a state judge, which ended at the conclusion of 2005,
    according to court papers filed by the U. S. Attorney's office. He further
    admitted Tills admitted the following:

    . He was responsible for recruiting out-of-state prostitutes to work a
    Jesters meeting in Dunkirk "in or about September 2001," while serving as
    director of the Buffalo chapter of the Jesters.

    . He recruited an illegal alien prostitute from a North Tonawanda massage
    parlor to service men at a Jesters event in Kentucky in October 2005.


    . He arranged for transporting prostitutes from Buffalo Niagara
    International Airport to a national Jesters meeting in Niagara Falls, Ont.,
    in the spring of 2006.

    . He recruited a woman from the same massage parlor to work as a prostitute
    at a Jesters gathering in Pennsylvania sometime in the fall of 2006. He also
    arranged for a Buffalo-area prostitute to travel to Florida for a Jesters
    event.

    . He arranged for prostitutes from three different states to service a
    Jesters meeting in Brantford, Ont., in October 2007.

    Federal agents believe that Buffalo was not the only Jesters chapter
    involved in transporting prostitutes across state lines, according to court
    papers filed by Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert C. Moscati.

    "This organization maintained chapters throughout the United States,
    including in Western New York, and it was the custom of these chapters to
    host periodic meetings, usually on weekends, for their members," Moscati
    stated.

    "At most of these meetings, some members of the organization would be
    tasked to arrange the presence of women at the meeting, for the specific
    purpose of utilizing the women to engage in sexual intercourse and other
    sexual activity with the organization's members in exchange for money."

    Alex Rogers, national business manager of the Jesters, said he was unaware
    of Tills' plea agreement and could not comment on it. But Rogers said the
    Jesters as an organization do not condone or authorize the hiring of
    prostitutes at events.

    "There may be certain individuals out there doing that, but not as an
    organization," Rogers said.

    [c] The Buffalo News.

    See http://www.buffalonews.com/home/story/431240.html


    What in the world is going on? Is no one guarding the Anglo-American Masonic West Gate?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Howard,

    What specific Masonic Jurisdictions in the United States, which you label as "Anglo-American Freemasonry", have granted any official approval of the poor judgement and criminal conduct exercised by the individual members of the invitational only Shrine group called the Royal Order of Jesters? I can answer this for you: NONE.

    Freemasons of good character would not approve of that type of behavior and it is officially censored in every jurisdiction's handbook of Masonic Law. The individual masons who are making these poor decisions and participating in these types of acts are subject to censor, trial and expulsion from the Fraternity.

    The acts that you describe represent isolated cases representing the individual choices of a very small group of men in the fraternity and not the Institution of Freemasonry as a whole as you would imply. Moreover, the Royal Order of Jesters is a very small group within the Shrine which is a much larger body. It is an entirely separate entity existing outside of the Masonic Fraternity. Its only connection to the Fraternity is the fact that its members are also masons. Furthermore, not every mason is a member of the Shrine. Further than that, the Royal Order of Jesters has nothing to do with Freemasonry and it doesn't practice Masonic ritual--it is a small social club within the Shrine and not every Shriner is a member of the Royal Order of Jesters. In fact, according to its own literature, the Royal Order of Jesters only admits less than 13 men per year in each of its Chapters. By the way, I'm not a Jester and I never even heard of this club until it started to receive the focus of the media due to the rogue acts of a few of its members. You could travel in Masonry for a long time without encountering any of its members too as you well know.

    These events are sad and are denounced by the Fraternity. If you have a problem with the Royal Order of Jesters, then why don't you write to the Imperial Shrine and ask it to police this club which exists under its authority? Don't try to confuse the issues. All men of good character in the Fraternity would denounce these rogue acts by these few men in the Royal Order of Jesters.

    The real shame in this whole affair is that certain individuals are using these isolated events to paint the entire Fraternity with the same brush. Nice try, but, it doesn't work and anyone can see right through it.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Stoic,
    I am afriad that those Jester events aren't being widely dennouced. If they where, Masons would be putting pressure on the Shrine to either disband or disown the R.O.J. I am not aware of any push by any GL to make this happen. It is the right thing to do after all at least three GL's went after the Snakes and as far as I am aware no Snake has been caught with his hands down the pants of any 11 year old girl.

    When it come so the R.O.J. mums the word.

    S&F,
    BC

    ReplyDelete
  67. BC wrote:
    _________________________
    Stoic,
    I am afriad that those Jester events aren't being widely dennouced. If they where, Masons would be putting pressure on the Shrine to either disband or disown the R.O.J. I am not aware of any push by any GL to make this happen. It is the right thing to do after all at least three GL's went after the Snakes and as far as I am aware no Snake has been caught with his hands down the pants of any 11 year old girl.

    When it come so the R.O.J. mums the word.

    S&F,
    BC
    ____________________

    BC,

    We must not travel in the same Masonic circles because I have heard nothing but denouncement for these sad affairs by fellow masons hailing from many different jurisdictions. The individuals in the press articles involved in the now proven and confessed criminal conduct (as opposed to allegations in other instances) are now suspended or in the process of being expelled from the Fraternity.

    I think you have missed the point. You say that masons should encourage their GL to disband the Shrine and the ROJ. Why? These acts by these few depraved individuals aren't officially sanctioned by the Shrine or the ROJ. At the moment, only a few rogue individuals and at the very least only a few ROJ chapters appear to be involved in this type of conduct. I think Masons should be asking the Shrine what steps it is taking to make sure that this type of conduct isn't repeated. I do think that GL's should also be seeking an assurance from the Shrine that an atmosphere of amoral license isn't allowed to flourish unchecked in the ROJ or other Shrine bodies.

    In the last year, I am aware that a GL challenged the Shrine on this type of issue. In the past, several GL's issued edicts prohibiting the Shrine over jurisdictional issues. Hence, GL jurisdictions do address these issues if they arise. Obviously, much occurs behind the scenes to resolve problems.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Stoic.
    Just to be clear I did not state that the state GL's should call for the Shrine to be disbanded. They should however call on the Shrine to disband the R.O.J. Those members who have commited terrible crimminal acts are not just lowley bottom feeders within the R.O.J. They are prominant Shrine and R.O.J. members.

    Just as with the Snakes, the R.O.J. should be shown the door. After all with the R.O.J. there is a reason that they are a threat to society.

    I have not heard of one GL coming out of the closet on this issue. Not one. Indidvidual Masons expressing disgust is good, but not enough. Let us not forget that nothing matters in Mainstream Masonry unless a GL does it.
    S&F,
    BC

    ReplyDelete
  69. BC said
    Just to be clear I did not state that the state GL's should call for the Shrine to be disbanded. They should however call on the Shrine to disband the R.O.J. Those members who have commited terrible crimminal acts are not just lowley bottom feeders within the R.O.J. They are prominant Shrine and R.O.J. members.

    Just as with the Snakes, the R.O.J. should be shown the door. After all with the R.O.J. there is a reason that they are a threat to society.

    I have not heard of one GL coming out of the closet on this issue. Not one. Indidvidual Masons expressing disgust is good, but not enough. Let us not forget that nothing matters in Mainstream Masonry unless a GL does it.
    ----------

    I really don't want to do this but this is a material fallacy, in fact it is accurately called a Converse Fallacy of Accident. This fallacy occurs when a special instance or case is used to create a general rule. The famous example is the black swan case: "All swans I have seen have been white, therefore all swans are white." However, in Australia, the black swan was discovered and destroyed the supposed general rule that all swans are white. Although a few members of ROJ have been convicted or plead guilty, one cannot assume that all ROJ members in the USA are somehow implicit in a conspiracy. All one needs to find is one good member of the ROJ, which is possible, and the idea of disbanding the whole ROJ becomes illogical. Sorry that I pointed this out.

    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  70. Stoic writes:

    "Freemasons of good character would not approve of that type of behavior and it is officially censored in every jurisdiction's handbook of Masonic Law. The individual masons who are making these poor decisions and participating in these types of acts are subject to censor, trial and expulsion from the Fraternity."


    I believe the word you're attempting to employ is: "censure."

    ReplyDelete
  71. Nick,
    If you yourself go ahead and do some research on the R.O.J. it will become crystal clear that this group does not abide by Masonic morality. Pins that display cock and calls, a Jester whos head is buried between the breasts of a buxom woman while humping her leg and so forth. This group in no way exhibits what is called for in the first 3 degrees but they defile it. They should be shown the curb.

    INHO.
    S&F,
    BC

    ReplyDelete
  72. "What specific Masonic Jurisdictions in the United States, which you label as "Anglo-American Freemasonry", have granted any official approval of the poor judgement and criminal conduct exercised by the individual members of the invitational only Shrine group called the Royal Order of Jesters? I can answer this for you: NONE." - Stoic

    LOL :)

    Most Grand Masters of those state Grand Lodges are Jesters. They attend Jester meetings. I wonder what they do at those meetings?

    I'm sure they condemn this behavior in public but that doesn't explain why they continued to attend the meetings.

    I'm sure we will learn more as the FBI and DOJ continue their investigations. Morgan Affair Part II.

    Lets face it. This type of behavior is widespread and anyone who's been a Mason for more than five years has either heard about it or knows about it.

    Quit trying ti white-wash this Stoic. It makes you look almost as bad as the Jesters.

    ReplyDelete
  73. BC said:
    If you yourself go ahead and do some research on the R.O.J. it will become crystal clear that this group does not abide by Masonic morality. Pins that display cock and calls, a Jester whos head is buried between the breasts of a buxom woman while humping her leg and so forth. This group in no way exhibits what is called for in the first 3 degrees but they defile it. They should be shown the curb.
    ---------------------------------

    Again, the fact that there exists some risque pins worn by some Jesters does not necessarily prove that all of the Jesters believe that it is okay to act illegally. Also, the judicial system is doing its job as well as the Jesters themselves by expelling those members that have violated the law. How many have been arrested out of the 24000 Jesters in the country?

    I am not trying to sound Pollyannaish but to make a blanket statement about all members of a group is wrong. It always concerns me when someone paints an entire group with a the same brush. Remember the black swan.

    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  74. Howard,

    I wouldn't white-wash anything.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum!

    However, it is unfair to denounce an entire Fraternity over the isolated acts of a few depraved individuals.

    You always see conspiracies and plots behind every corner whereas I see poor judgment exercised by a few flawed men. They are the bad apples that taint the entire bunch for those quick to judge.

    Some of the finest men I have ever met have been introduced to me in the Fraternity. The vast majority of the men that I have encountered in Freemasonry are kind, decent, charitable, giving, and dedicated to their families and churches.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Diogenes,

    Thanks for the correction. ;-)

    As to your namesake, I have a small statue of Diogenes on my desk in marble. He has the traditional lantern in his hand and a dog following him. One of my clients gave it to me because of my dedication to ethics and honesty and the sacrifices that I have made to always follow that path.

    ReplyDelete
  76. My Brother,

    I believe that I commented on the Blue Lodge site without the benefit of reading all of the comments on the Burning Taper. Certainly, when all of these are taken as a single thread, the light is different and casts other shadows.

    I have found that what a few men do in the name of freemasonry sometimes falls outside what I can accept, or would accept in my lodge, but I hesitate to paint the entire fraternity with that paint. I don't know how things are done in GA, but I know in VA and CA things are not done in this manner. Surely, the largest share of masons are true to the ritual and to the tenets of our orgaization. I have never experienced goings on like this, or for that matter like those of the Jesters. They sadden me and they hurt our brotherhood. They are the things that get into the news media and they are the things that feed the Anti-masons point of view.

    I would offer that we as brother should try to help the group that performed the ill considered ritual to learn the real way it should be done. I will be happy to spend a couple of days working with the guys.

    S&F

    Cliff Gregory, 32

    ReplyDelete
  77. Stoic,

    It's not just the Jesters. It's a series of immoral actions one after another.

    1. Brothers expelled without dues process (VA, KY, AK, GA, PN, etc.)

    2. Real estate transactions created through racketeering.

    3. Prostitution

    4. Drunken orgies

    5. The Grand Lodges attempting to restrict the freedom of speech of their members (FL, GA, OH, etc.)

    The list goes on and on. Anyone with a brain can see that a pattern of injustice and immoral actions can be seen here.

    You may be the most moral Mason on the planet but the organization to which you belong is one of the most corrupt.

    ReplyDelete
  78. There in lies the problem, there is no inherent "organization". Existing as independent bodies without oversight allows for these things to occur and serve as benefit to or detriment towards the body. Typically though, any detriment is localized, and not linked to the corpus.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Howard,

    If I felt that my own Masonic Jurisdiction was amoral and corrupt as a Masonic Institution, then I'd depart very quickly from its company by asking for a demit. My Jurisdiction isn't perfect, but we do have an enlightened approach to Freemasonry which is influenced by our French Masonic tradition and roots. I wouldn't trade our Scottish Rite symbolic lodges in New Orleans for anything.

    Right now, this doesn't mean that there aren't any bad apples in the bunch-- all groups contain a few here and there. However, when I encounter bad apples or bad practices, I try to make changes. I attempt to show them the error of their ways through brotherly love, a helping hand of support, kind counsel, and through education. If they can't be reformed then they should be culled from the basket. And, you should know that I have personally assisted in the prosecution and removal of brothers who have engaged in acts unbecoming a mason.

    I call many Masons friends in the Fraternity, but none of those with whom I associate would support or be involved in the activities listed in your allegations 1-5.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Stoic,

    As a Grand Orient Mason I would like to visit your Grand Orient lodge in New Orleans. I look forward to meeting with all my brothers. I will be bringing some brothers from the GOdF with me.

    When and where does your lodge meet?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Howard wrote:

    ---------------
    Stoic,

    As a Grand Orient Mason I would like to visit your Grand Orient lodge in New Orleans. I look forward to meeting with all my brothers. I will be bringing some brothers from the GOdF with me.

    When and where does your lodge meet?

    -----------------

    Howard,

    My lodge was created by the Grand Orient and the GL of PA. It also received sovereign charters from Scottish Rite and French Rite bodies. It presently rests under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana. We proudly carry on the Scottish Rite symbolic lodge tradition in the 16th District of New Orleans along with ten other Scottish Rite lodges. Our Scottish Rite ritual contains elements unique to the New Orleans' Scottish Rite tradition. Our lodge's Scottish Rite and French Rite architecture is priceless and unique in the United States. Our French archives and rituals are fascinating as a matter of Masonic history as are other elements of Louisiana Masonic history.

    As you are aware, the Grand Lodge of Louisiana is not in amity with the Grand Orient of France so any visit could not take place in a tyled lodge setting.

    If brothers from the Grand Orient of France would be interested in sharing academic information about our shared Masonic history and origins, then I'd be interested in corresponding with them for that purpose. I respect my lodge's French heritage, culture, and pedigree even though we are now separated in Masonic philosophy with the Grand Orient of France over the issue of requiring reverence of candidates for the GAOTU.

    Any Mason who hails from a jurisdiction recognized by the GL of LA is certainly welcome to visit us. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays.

    Here is a beautiful picture of our historic lodge building in New Orleans. It was taken by a photographer from Australia with whom I have corresponded and complimented. Our lodge room, its layout, its furniture, its ritual implements, and its architecture have stayed the same since it was built and I don't believe that there is anything like it elsewhere in the United States. It's almost like a snapshot from the past. The interior is even more impressive.

    http://tinyurl.com/5tq5jd

    ReplyDelete
  82. Failure to admit and recognize officers of the Grand Orient is gross un-Masonic conduct, and grounds for having your Charter rendered null and void.

    By Grand Orient standards your lodge is irregular and clandestine.

    We have no interest in visiting such a lodge.

    ReplyDelete
  83. You may be the most moral Mason on the planet but the organization to which you belong is one of the most corrupt.

    Howard -
    Good thing that you got out when you did, huh?

    I seem to be having a deja vu. I wonder why...

    Anyway, now that the concerns of our corrupt and immoral organization are no longer your concern, how about showing the rest of us - by precept or example - how well things could be going? Surely, the "Old Webmaster" can't be holding you back from describing some of the positive things that you've been doing.

    Why not show us some of that, instead of continuing to carp at the system which you left?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Howard Roark said:
    __________________

    Failure to admit and recognize officers of the Grand Orient is gross un-Masonic conduct, and grounds for having your Charter rendered null and void.

    By Grand Orient standards your lodge is irregular and clandestine.

    We have no interest in visiting such a lodge.

    ___________________

    Howard,

    Are you going to present charges? This is truly laughable. My lodge was (and has continously been) regular for 214 years. It has survived many schisms, coups, and even multiple jurisdictions. I just suppose that it will hang on a bit longer. ;-)

    On the other hand, your self-created Masonic entity is less than a year old; time will tell whether it lasts. I have no stake in whether it does or doesn't. In any event, I wish you well since I am willing to ignore you constant divisive and unbrotherly statements in the hope that you will learn to subdue your passions. I bid you peace and fruitful travels on your Masonic journey.

    Howard, I am interested in knowing whether you are you speaking now as an official representative of the Grand Orient of France or as just an officer of the freshly minted and self-created Grand Orient of the United States which entered into an agreement of amity with the Grand Orient of France? I wasn't aware that you had been elevated to speak for the Grand Orient of France; that's interesting to know. I look forward to proof of this statement.

    If the Grand Orient of France desires to interact with our jurisdiction then I'm sure that they'd follow Masonic protocol by sending official correspondence through our GL. On the other hand, if their archivist or historian would like to chat informally with me or a few other Louisiana Masonic historians in the area about our shared history, then I'm all ears and would welcome a visit or correspondence to further academic knowledge. I think that we have much to share.

    Interesting bit of history though, the charters hanging on our walls originating from the Grand Orient (our great great grand parent), are "sovereign" and autonomous charters granted "forever". They are irrevocable according to their language. This is why I am so interested in corresponding with them to discover more about how and what types of charters were granted by the Grand Orient from 1754-1794. Our lodge's Grand Orient charter (and French Rite Charters) seem to be unique. You should see the signatures and seals. Some of them are sterling silver and have gold leaf. Silk Ribbons are woven through one side. The etchings, which are beautiful as a work of art, also contain a Masonic cypher on some of them. It certainly bears further study from a historical perspective for anyone who has an interest in such things.

    From your website regarding the Grand Orient of the United States, I note that our historical charters and your freshly inked document from the Grand Orient are extremely different in nature and scope. Your documents appear to be very limited in scope. This difference bears more study.

    I'd also be interested to know how the Grand Orient of France feels about its historical relationship with the Louisiana Supreme Council. A version of this entity apparently still exists on St. Bernard Avenue in New Orleans and it is in the Yellow Pages. It is my understanding that it has a bit of my lodge's history in its archives since my lodge once fell under its jurisdiction from time to time in the past. I look forward to studying this history further.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Stoic,

    These same questions were asked by Michael Poll a few months ago. The official response from the GOdF (from their representative) was that they did not recognize any Masonic bodies in Louisiana. Any Charters/Patents that were issued in the past were now null and void.

    They went further by stating that the GOUSA is the only Masculine Masonic obedience with authority over North America.

    Both your and Michael Poll's interpretations are irrelevant because neither you nor your Grand Lodges have any standing in the Grand Orients.

    Technically speaking, all of you are irregular and clandestine in the eyes of the Grand Orients.

    ReplyDelete
  86. In case you're wondering about the standards of regularity established by the Grand Orient. Here are the one's you failed to pass:

    1. Must declare absolute freedom of conscience regarding belief in deity.

    2. Must openly stand for human rights.

    3. Must openly stand for separation of church and state.

    4. Must be completely democratic in GL and lodge operations with no positions elected or appointed for life. (Your AASR violates this).

    5. Must provide guaranteed due process for both lodges and Masons with a method of appeal.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Stoic,

    One more thing.

    Our new organization (as you call it) is growing while yours is dying. We double our size every six months.

    Of course the GOdF continues to grow as well. They're up by about 2,000 new members.

    Your Grand Lodges have dropped from a grand total of 5 million down to less than 1.5 million. That's all of your Grand Lodges combined.

    Statistically, at the present rate of decline Anglo-American Masonry will pretty much be finished sometime between 2025 and 2040.

    Enjoy those years Stoic and make the best of them.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Howard,
    You are missing a requirement for candidates that concerns me from one of the GLs in the Grand Orient of USA. According to George Washington Union of Freemasons (which is affiliated with GOUSA), a candidate must have NO criminal record. This rule disproportionately restricts minorities from petitioning a Lodge. This rule is known in discrimination law as disparate impact. Although the rule is non-discriminatory on its face, it is the effect of the rule that is the problem. According to prison statistics in 2002, 10.4% of all black males between 25-29 were either sentenced or incarcerated as compared to 1.3% of white males. The EEOC has taken the formal position that the failure to hire a person solely because of arrest records is a violation of Federal Law. Now, I know, I know that Freemasonry is not held to EEOC standards but doesn't this strike you as a problem? It does to me. In most GLs including some in the Grand Orient, a felony conviction is one part of an investigation and does not necessarily bar your admission. So if you had a naughty youth, if you cleaned up your act, you are allowed to receive the degrees. So please, let's not fight and be angry because we all are complicit, no matter what tent we currently reside.
    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  89. Nick,
    I agree. The M.E.A.P.R.M.M. has no such restriction. We take each applicant as an individual. If they made mistake in their past we must listen as to why, and now why they would indentify with being a child of light. Of course that does not excuse every action, but we do believe in the right of innocent until proven guilty for sure.

    We also reject any station of elitism. We want to make it clear that even the smoothest of ashlars probably puts on their pants one leg at a time. Masonic equality may be one of the most important Masonic teachings. This is why the M.E.A.P.R.M.M. is made up of 95% working class worldwide.

    We are a movement of magus from the street. Thus we keep our finger on the pulse of the heartbeat of humanity.

    Power to the people my friend.
    S&F,
    BC

    ReplyDelete
  90. The George Washington Union is not part of the Grand Orient of the United States. The GWU is a sovereign body in their own right. Regarding qualifications for membership in a Grand Orient lodge. Yes, a criminal record could disqualify a petitioner. Please note that I said could. Each individual case will be viewed under the totality of circumstances, the person in question, and other such matters related to the investigation of a petitioner.

    Frat.·.
    Brandt

    ReplyDelete
  91. Howard Roark seems to be very bitter toward Mainstream Masonry. This Blog is nothing more then a campaign for the group he represents which is UGLA/GOUSA. People are directed to a site in which they can vent but Howard Roark is allowed to post his unfounded attacks against Mainstream Masonry and good men such as Bro. Ed King. Bro. King's (Masonicinfo.com)site tells it like it is and he stands behind what he writes with fact and not fiction and hatred as does Mr. Roark. Bro. King is a dedicated Mason. Freemasonry and the Mainstream Grand Lodge system have been around for hundreds of years. Masonry is in a man's heart and in all he does. These "hate blogs" put up by the members of GOUSA do not represent Freemasonry. It is a club that represents one man's dream to be important and his influence on a very small group of puppets to do his bidding. These false and distorted attacks on Mainstream Masonry and Bro. Ed King are outrageous. Their (GOUSA)post make them appear to be more of a hate group then anything Masonic. If the GOUSA or J.P. group need members this is not the way to go about it. A home built on a weak foundation will always fall. Mr. Roark, what exactly is your position with this GOUSA group? What Mainstream Lodge were you originally a member of and what prompted your seperation from your MS Home Lodge? Were you expelled or did you Demit voluntarily? The truth makes a difference and generally will tell the story of why there is so much hatred for MS Masonry in your posts. I hope that your answers reflect truth and honesty unlike the posts you and your cronies have submitted thus far. Masonry is built on Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth which is not reflected by the members of GOUSA or those attacking Mainstream Masonry in poor efforts to sell themselves as Masonic. Like everything a person seeking Masonic information should visit a Lodge and speak to it's members before joining a Lodge.

    Sincerely,
    Manny Blanco,PM
    Moreno Valley Masonic Lodge # 804
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Grand Lodge of California
    masontruth@aol/com

    ReplyDelete
  92. John Galt said:
    The George Washington Union is not part of the Grand Orient of the United States. The GWU is a sovereign body in their own right. Regarding qualifications for membership in a Grand Orient lodge. Yes, a criminal record could disqualify a petitioner. Please note that I said could. Each individual case will be viewed under the totality of circumstances, the person in question, and other such matters related to the investigation of a petitioner.
    ----------------------------
    You are correct on one point and I apologize, George Washing Union is in amity with GOUSA. However, a criminal record according to the GWU site is a complete ban. Here is what the site says:
    Who can become a member?
    - To have a no criminal record.
    Sorry, that is a pretty strict condition precedent. I am surprised GOUSA would recognize a Grand Lodge with such a problematic stance on criminal records.
    Nick

    ReplyDelete
  93. Dear The Millennial Freemason,

    I believe that your attempt to imply some sort of malevolence of the GOUSA towards minorities is rather weak. We have never and will never espouse such a doctrine of exclusivity and have actually worked actively to oppose such in Freemasonry. On the other hand, you belong to a "regular" jurisdiction, no doubt in amity with the GLAL and all its counterparts, which do not acknowledge black Freemasons. I choose not to use the word "recognize" here because it is much worse than that. They will not acknowledge a black man who greets them as a brother, no matter the circumstances. I should know as I left the GLAL for this reason, among many others. Please note that this does not mean that all of the members participate in this conduct, but there are enough to constitute a majority.

    As has already been stated, the GWU may choose to follow the criminal record rule strictly as it is not an exclusionary action against any given race. The arguement of statistical anomoly as exclusionary evidence is unfounded (and in my opinion a bit of a stretch). However, the GOUSA does not follow this and attempts to consider each candidate on an individual basis. On the other hand, you have attempted here to sidestep the fact that you are complicit in the institutionalized segregation of the organizations that your GL supports, while you have tried to smear the GWU. What does this make you?

    Not being Christian, I am not usually one for quoting Jesus, but he said:
    "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?" Self-inspection should always precede judgement.

    Frat.,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
  94. "...Howard Roark is allowed to post his unfounded attacks against Mainstream Masonry and good men such as Bro. Ed King." Manny Blanco

    Unfounded? I guess all those Jesters going to jail for PROSTITUTION and violation of the federal Mann act is completely unwarranted according to your and Ed King's system of morality.

    It illustrates exactly what type of person both of you are by trying to cover-up the wrong doings of your organization.

    I suppose the several millions of dollars embezzled from Ed King's Grand Lodges (Main and Massachusetts) is also unfounded, yet the police seemed to think it was illegal.

    All unfounded? LOL

    Manny Blanco is lying and covering-up for the immoral actions of Anglo-American Freemasonry.

    Do your research. In a matter of minutes Google will reveal just how corrupt Anglo-American Masonry is.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Once again Howard/Jeff you show us how utterly unqualified you are to be in your position--so much that it is truly an irony that you are the "Grand Secretary of External Relations".

    Just stop it already ok? Go do something real and worthwhile *offline* that is not twisted to support your fantastical "battles" and then maybe others will start to take you seriously.

    Until that time, adieu...

    Rex Summus

    ReplyDelete
  96. Rex,

    Are you denying that there have been immoral actions committed by your brothers?

    What exactly did I say that is inaccurate or untrue?

    I've been personally attacked by men like you so many times that I've become immune to it.

    You don't like it when I stick your nose in the dirt do you? So long as you and your brothers continue to publish lies about me and my brothers then you can expect the same in return.

    I'm willing to go my merry way any time you decide to cut the crap and start practicing what you preach.

    The choice is entirely yours. Until that time there will be no backing down or turning the other cheek.

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  99. What exactly did I say that is inaccurate or untrue?

    Oh, come off it, Howard. For starters, you've painted 1.5 million Mainstream bros with the same brush - knowing full well that the Jesters are a small minority of the membership.

    You know, there's a certain irony in that you've chosen the nym of somebody who was known - in literature - to have espoused the ideals of taking responsibilities for one's own actions. Indeed, the author made a career out of portraying characters who went on for pages and pages about this very same ideal. Yet for the last year (at least) you have made a point of claiming that the reason that you won't shut up about (fill in the blank) is because somebody else makes you do it.

    You are one of the reasons for the bad feelings between the GO and the MS, simply because you respond so easily to the least provocation. Ed King writes a page that most people don't even know about and you give him free advertising by having a tantrum.

    And look, if it lowers you blood pressure, then go ahead - have a tantrum. Alone. Or on your own blog. But please not in public. The problem is that your tantrums make the rest of your GO officers look bad; even the most unbiased, MS supporters of the GO are becoming hesitant to mention it because nobody wants to be associated with someone who has a tantrum when some people exercise their right to disagree with you.

    You've got your patents and charters. You've got people. You need to leave the past in the past, and get on with the work in front of you.

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  100. Tom,

    How does Ed King make you guys look?

    Just curious.

    If one guy is indicative of the whole then I guess all of you guys are ass holes. That's using your own logic.

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  101. • "You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred."

    abe lincoln


    Hello Ed King

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  104. Tom States:"The problem is that your tantrums make the rest of your GO officers look bad;"


    Really?
    Howard is his own man, why do YOU want to project his "tantrums" onto the other GO Officers?
    I did not know howard represented ALL the officers?

    Oh, you want to paint the other GO Officers with the broad brush, indicative of one, I see, it is ok for you to point out how one or two GO people apparently represent the whole group, while certain individuals within your org act like asses, but we should not paint the whole frat one way because of them?


    ok, you say howard makes GO Officers look bad..

    WV, Oh, Ga, Al, Jesters, shriners, masonic racists and bigots make your whole group seem bad!


    ok now what tom...
    One or two men who were definately wronged by a righteous organization, speak out about it, and a whole bunch of illreputes representing your holy order are making the whole group seem bad..

    yeah, so......

    I'll get in a fox hole with howard over jester's, GLoO males and wv masons any day!
    Plus I will never stop the racists outlook towards your southern white supremists masons.

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  107. If one guy is indicative of the whole then I guess all of you guys are ass holes. That's using your own logic.

    Howard, do you work at missing the point, or do you just have a knack?

    I ask merely for information.

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  108. I see, it is ok for you to point out how one or two GO people apparently represent the whole group, while certain individuals within your org act like asses, but we should not paint the whole frat one way because of them?

    T Ron, did you go to the same "miss the point" classes as Howard?

    Y'all left the MS fraternity, and went off on your own. For the last few years we've all heard about what better men, better Masonry was waiting just over the horizon. Well, you finally got over the horizon, but the only evidence that most of us can see is Howard still carping about the fraternity that he left behind.

    And yes, I'm telling you that despite the fact that Howard, you, and a couple of others are not the entire GO (gosh, I hope not!), the fact is that our situations are entirely different. We have an old organization that needs some overhauling. It happens, and most of us understand that, and we try to work within the system.

    You - the GO - are brand spanking new. What kind of example are the several of you setting for the new members that you hope to attract?

    The fact that one of you may actually be a GO officer simply makes the rest of you look like a bunch of malcontents who left the MS better off by your having left.

    What you may not realize is that the little support and sympathy that you've had from your MS bros is rapidly dwindling because of your constant prattling about things that some of us are still working to change. You chose to leave. Some of us choose to stay and work within the system, knowing that it will take a long time. But note that we are not blaming the problems on the bete noir du jour; instead, we try to work by promoting education and harmony, instead of haranguing others to come around to our way of thinking. Which do you think will have the better effect?

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  109. Brothers,
    I am the Grand Secretary of the Grand Orient of the United States of America. I am one of those Grand Officers (that has been accused of some fraudulent activities in some places). Some of you know me, some don't. At this time I can only offer my word that the Grand Orient is definitely on the level.

    In my opinion there has been far too much venom spewed across the internet for anyone's benefit. What is the purpose of this. (Even Arthur Peterson and I found a way to be civil with each other - he considers me clandestine to his Grand Lodge which is accurate as far as he is concerned and I feel the same)

    This is something important that needs to be clarified when speaking of the Grand Orient. Though we recognize all Masons that have been properly initiated, passed and raised in a just and perfect lodge to be Masons we may not view their Grand Lodge as a proper Masonic organization. This is not meant to demean the integrity or character of any Mason. More to the fact. It is meant to describe the manner in which I (we) view Masonry. We are all in this together and though we may have chosen different means on getting their we all ultimately have the same goals in mind - the betterment of our society.

    I ask for a cessation of hostilities here. If necessary I will throw together a forum in which everyone can go for blood, we can call it Thunderdome. The Burning Taper is meant as a news source, a source of commentary on current events from a wise Brother (that is you Widow's Son) and place to discuss that commentary.

    I have to say that this discussion has run its course and has degenerated far enough from the point in question from the original blog entry.

    A couple of comments regarding the Grand Orient since there seems to be misunderstandings.

    First, Jeff Peace does not now nor has he ever controlled the Grand Orient.

    Second, the George Washington Union is a sovereign Masonic body, which is not part of the Grand Orient of the United States. We do have close relations with the GWU but they are, as I mentioned entirely sovereign in their own business, that has chosen to view with suspician apparently those with a criminal record. BTW, I would like to discuss sometime the inherent and possibly institutionalized rascism of the US justice system but that is another subject entirely.

    Third, yes - by the rules of many Grand Lodges in the United States we are considered irregular because of our particular stance regarding territorial exclusivity, women as Masons, atheists etc. That is okay, I understand those rules and would not ask them to change them.

    Fourth, we don't exist to damage any Grand Lodge. We exist to provide a service to our lodges that wish to practice Masonry in a certain manner. That is not wrong, it just is.

    Fifth and finally, we are all in this together. No one gets out of here alive. We all have work to do. Attend to your station and be in active discharge of your duties.

    Frat.·.
    Brandt Smith

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  110. Tom: Don't waste your time trying to come to a consensus with these people. They're not Masons and only seek to destroy Masonry while calling themselves the same.

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  111. Bro. Brandt - I think that most of us are in total agreement with you.

    Bro. Bug - Some of our brothers can not keep their passions within due bounds. That doesn't make everyone associated with them bad.

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  112. A final word before I go...

    Halcyon is still the No. 1 Masonic Lodge in America. It has always been No. 1 and will always be No. 1.

    There you have it... truth in advertising. :)

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  113. This is like those message board threads to see who can get the postings to 1000.

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  114. Dear Bro. Brandt,
    You bring out very good points in principle. They certainly read well and I believe you mean them from your heart. It is very hard even for me with my to put you in the same boat with Howard or Jeff (Some people think they are one and the same.) I hvae never read a mean or attacking post from you. That written I would like to make a few comments in response to your post if I may? Your posts anywhere have shown that you are on the level. The same cannot be said of members of your group. Howard's attacks are an example of what most of your group posts on the Internet. GOUSA should stand on it's own merit and accomplishmensts and not the bad choices of a few isolated cases. These men if at all true were not Masons in the first place nor do they respresent all of Freemasonry. Bro. Brandt, how could a Mason read these posts and not defend what they know to be good, pure and honest? The manner in which the Howards and the Jeffs attempt to smear MS Masonry has been typical from day one. Is Howard part of your Grand Line? How can you ask others to not respond when one of your own posts are always filled with venom and hatred? I have always found this hard to understand. Everything on any board was always okay as long os one agreed with Jeff. I don't think thaty is your Masonry. I have seen members of GOUSA removed from boards, not because they are members of Gousa but because they go there wanting to argue and disrupt. These blogs belong to W.S. who I also feel is a very sincere person but has allowed his sites to become a vehicle for GOUSA and their attacks against Mainstream Masonry. He has the right to do so. There is much good that Masonry does yet these things are never posted here. While Jeff does not control the Grand Orient can you say that he has no part, lead or control in GOUSA and the groups that lead you to this place? Thank you for your thoughts and for reading mine. I also thank you for signing your name to your posts. That in itself shows sincerity.

    Sincerely & Respectfully,
    Manny Blanco,PM
    Moreno Valley Masonic Lodge # 804
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Grand Lodge of California

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  115. Dear Howard,
    You use the same pain brush for anyone that is not a member of your group. The loss is yours.
    Please explain to me what exactly is "Anglo-American Freemasonry? Are you trying to say that if one is an Anglo-American and is a Freemason he is part of "Anglo-American Freemasonry?" Wouldn't that describe the members of GOUSA? Are there any members of GOUSA that are not "Anglo-Americans"? If you were to go to jail for hate crimes would it not be wrong for me to judge the entire Masonic world by your wrong doing? Howard, (btw is that your real name and what is your position with GOUSA?) I have to say that I have never quite dound anyone on the Internet that knows more about the business of othes then you do. Is there a point to all your posts? Are you trying to say that your Masonry is better then that of others? Is GOUSA & it's Affiliates the only way to fly in Masonry? How many hours a day do you spend digging up dirt? Most of your posts are unfounded and simply attacks. They certainly are full of hate and venom. Is that your idea of Masonic? I have no idea who or what you are Howard but I can tell you that it takes more then "research" to make a man a Mason. What Masonstream Masons think or write about your group shouldn't bother you in the least. You are not part of Mainstream Masonry. I do not know your Masonic history but one can tell that you are bitter. Have a good night.

    Sincerely,
    Manny Blanco,PM
    Moreno Valley Masonic Lodge # 804
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Grand Lodge of California
    masontruth@aol/com



    Do your research. In a matter of minutes Google will reveal just how corrupt Anglo-American Masonry is.

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  116. Howars Roark wrote:
    "How does Ed King make you guys look?"

    "If one guy is indicative of the whole then I guess all of you guys are ass holes. That's using your own logic."

    Monday, September 15, 2008 6:38:00 PM

    Howard, I am honored to call Broher Ed King "Brother."

    Regarding the 2nd part of your statement I am going to have to do just what you suggest. I am going to have to take you as an indication of the group you represent...

    Sincerely,

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  117. Well said Brandt and Bro. Blanco!

    A miserable person seeks to make other people miserable. Then, he is happy!

    The differences between Brandt and the rabble rousers is that he made a choice that was agreeable to his consience and is happy for it, they made a choice without any conscience and were made miserable by it. Why you chose this motley crue to affiliate with Brandt, I will never ever know.

    Regardless, this particular blog is of very little masonic value in its current state of decay. Personally, I am content to leave it as a soap box for GOUSA. As has been stated, most of their members are not allowed to post anywhere else on the internet except their own forums. The main blog entries here consist of denouncing Freemasonry or promoting clandestine lodges. So why bother arguing here?

    It is like going to a nudist colony to sell coveralls.

    My Brothers you can continue to argue back and forth with these guys if you'd like. I have better things to do and better places to be on the internet.

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  118. Greetings Brethren,

    Gentlemen: I believe John Galt/Brandt Smith asked for a ceasefire. Can you
    please respect that?

    John Galt/Brandt Smith: Very well spoken indeed. I want to take this opportunity to say a few things myself in response:
    1. I am a recently raised MS Freemason.
    2. I have been most impressed by the few writings I have encountered on the Net by author Jeff Peace.
    3. I have been, by and large, rather less than impressed by the hostile and combative tone of the posts in this forum authored by one Howard Roark (yes I understand the identity issues here; I also understand that he is not the only one guilty of the same tone).
    4. Given this, I would humbly suggest that Howard please avoid the broad brushstrokes, and attempt to take the high road in the future. I sympathize with all that you have been through Howard, truly I do; but I believe it is important for you to realize that if you genuinely wish to grow a Freemasonic alternative at this time in history, then you will need to better understand your role as a diplomat, and the effect that your behaviour has on influencing the opinions of prospective Freemasons everywhere online. If I were a prospective Mason searching for Masonic affiliation, as I was only a short time ago, I would have been mightily impressed by your writings, and then rather aghast at your remarks in this forum. I trust that you will understand I do not make these statements in order to condemn or embarrass, but rather simply to offer my honest and hopefully helpful opinion and feedback.
    5. In closing, let me go out on a limb and say this: this is the 21st century folks. Remember the "war to end all wars" ? Well, it didn't happen :-( There is more war now than ever, and real peace and true brotherhood will simply not be achieved by the path reflected in this thread. As freemasons we need to relax our defensive postures, and realize with trust that there is enough room for us all. We need to let go of the territoriality, and the racism; we need to understand that it makes no sense to, for example, admit a Satanist and his "Supreme Being", while rejecting the Atheist or Agnostic for not declaring a belief in one; and we need to accept at least that it is simply not fairplay to exclude 50% of the planet's population from Masonic wisdom and participation (although I might personally prefer participating in a male-only lodge, why should women not have the opportunity to experience and participate in these most excellent rites?) These are a few of the significant challenges, I believe, of Freemasonry's future, and we can now either adapt towards continuing relevance in the new millennium, or we can gradually fossilize and eventually whither. The choice is ours, every one of us.

    Thanks for listening,
    With respect,
    ~ Vitruvius ~

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  120. Unless your comment specifically addresses the topic of this post — badly done ritual — it doesn't belong here.

    Take your anger and self-righteous "I'm better than you" posts to the Corral.

    — W.S.

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  121. Well at least this ritual isn't all bad. It would be neat if the cave was the chamber of reflection.

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  122. Brothers,
    (Widow's Son - I am sorry but there are some issues that I must address)

    I know what Brother Howard is bothered about. In some instances the Grand Orient of the United States has been accused of fraud or theft. I find this to be a personal accusation as well as I am one of the administrative officers of the Grand Orient. That being the case a charge such as that leveled against the Grand Orient directly implicates me in a crime.

    This is a great deal different than referring to me as clandestine or irregular. Those are Masonic terms that hold little meaning to me in this context. On the other hand, being accused of a crime is a matter that I take a great deal of notice of.

    What spurred some of this was a certain Grand Lodge's website made mention of being careful of organizations that just take one's money and disappear and then linking to Ed King's webpage about the Grand Orient. Well, the implications are clear. The Grand Orient and me as an administrative officer and the Grand Treasurer are accused of a crime. There is no evidence of course. I really wish that the Grand Orient had a bit more money, it would make it easier to run - c'est la vie.

    I have had Brothers such as Manny and Arthur speak to me quite frankly about their feelings regarding my lodge and the Grand Orient of the United States but we have remained civil with each other. A Grand Lodge, by association, making a claim that I am a criminal upsets me as a man that has served this country with honor in the United States Air Force and as a corrections officer. The Grand Orient itself has given no reason for another organization to make such a claim and it is wrong and immoral to do so.

    This being said, I willing to discuss our regularity within our own system with any Brother that wishes to do so. I am upset to be called a criminal, publically, with no shame shown by the offending party. It is reprehensible to the extreme. I have left our the name of the organization as I am sure that they are currently unaware of the material on their site. Frankly, I am not always sure what is on my company's website. I will be contacting them directly and requesting that the incorrect and offending material be removed or at least modified to reflect the truth.

    We don't have to do this Brothers. We exist in different spheres.

    If the Grand Orient of the United States are thieves or exist to scam money from anyone I would like to see the proof and I will promise that there will be both civil and Masonic charges brought upon the parties that have engaged in that behavior. I want nothing to do with them. I will let the courts take it to them and let justice prevail.

    I am not bothered that men that I consider friends (Manny, Arther etc) consider me or the Grand Orient to be clandestine or irregular. I am a small bit outraged that I would be called a crook and no one has stepped to the front to say "no." Well I am saying it now. Debate the regularity of my organization but do not attacked my integrity or dedication as a law abiding citizen.

    Frat.·.
    Brandt Smith
    Grand Secretary
    Grand Orient of the United States
    Euclid Lodge #3

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  124. I would like to illustrate a point. Has anyone noticed how that stoic, lvx, and Manny Blanco are quick to rush to the defense of Jesters and their crimes, but failed to even acknowledge that other Masons were being wrongfully accused?

    Double-Standard?
    Cover-up?

    You decide.

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  125. but failed to even acknowledge that other Masons were being wrongfully accused?

    Perhaps it's because none of them - or anyone else - has seen the evidence, or even reasoning by the GLs.

    The Shrine is a national organization, and if you can talk to somebody high enough, you can get information, or at least find somebody that knows most of the story. But the GLs are all independent entities, and so nobody ever gets to see both sides of the issue.

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  126. ______________________

    Howard Roark said:

    I would like to illustrate a point. Has anyone noticed how that stoic, lvx, and Manny Blanco are quick to rush to the defense of Jesters and their crimes, but failed to even acknowledge that other Masons were being wrongfully accused?

    Double-Standard?
    Cover-up?

    You decide.
    _________________________

    Howard,

    No one has offered any defense of the conduct regarding the three Jesters involved in the few ROJ chapters implicated. Please provide specific quotes from any such instances by the posters indicated. You can't because they don't exist. I don't defend this conduct.

    Rather, the posters, which you list above, are simply unwilling to stretch the truth to its farthest extremes in order engage in a propaganda war against MS Freemasonry.

    It is apparent that you engage in this type of boorish sullying in order to further your agenda of bolstering your newly inked Grand Orient of the USA at the expense of the truth and upon the backs of Masons of good character in MS Freemasonry. This is unfair and intellectually dishonest.

    You should spend more time focusing upon the principles and practice of Freemasonry on your chosen path instead of constantly engaging in an orchestrated plan to defame all of MS Freemasonry and the good brothers who reside therein.

    If the principles of the Freemasonry, of which we still share some elements in common, still mean anything to you, then you'd quickly cease and desist. Masons build, they don't destroy. I for one would encourage you to use your talents to build your own Masonic organization.

    If Masons are being wrongfully accused in other instances, please feel free to provide any actual evidence of those wrongful accusations. Innuendo and hearsay do not constitute evidence.

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  127. Dear Howard,
    I do not know the details nor if anything you have written has validity. You cannot be objective because you appear to have an agenda which involves plain hate of Mainstream Masonry. How can I cover up something I have no facts or details? I am simply saying that even if a few Jesters/Masons committed a crime or did something immoral they do not reflect the whole of Masonry which includes our Appendant Bodies. I have shared the many good things the Shrine is involved with and help others on an every day basis. It is what Masons do and should do. This is no brag but a fact. I find it a shame that you spend time searching for something terrible to write about Masons. I have asked you many questions regarding your own situation in Mainstream Masonry. Never have they been answered but sidestepped with posts such as this. It is not important at this time. Two recent posts condemning Masonry in my eyes were fraudulent and had no substance whatsoever. If a man wants to make a point then he have the back bone to sign his name to it and give the facts. I have been to many Shrine functions and never have I seen anything done that would be considered immoral or illegal. Let's for a moment Howard, take away the Shrine and remove it from the picture entirely? How many families would lose the opportunity to be helped? If you want to look under rocks for things to make Freemasonry look bad, evil or wrong you are entitled to do so. It just doesn't make sense to me when you can be doing things in your life ands community to help others. You represent an organization that is attempting to get a foothold in Masonry. When people come across UGLA/GOUSA, right away it is associated with attacking and negative posts by you, Jeff and others. A simple Internet search provides one with this information. Howard, I wish you all the luck in the world but will always disagree with the tactics used by you and others who have represented your group in past and present. (Not all mind you but a number of them)

    Sincerely & Respectfully,
    Manny Blanco, Life Member
    El Bekal Shrine.
    "Proud to be a Mason and a Shriner"

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  128. "If Masons are being wrongfully accused in other instances, please feel free to provide any actual evidence of those wrongful accusations. Innuendo and hearsay do not constitute evidence." Stoic

    Bro. Brandt posted that GO brothers are being accused of being criminals without so much as a shred of evidence by Anglo-American Masons.

    Did you read what he posted?

    My problem with your ethics is that they are not equally applied. This is what I experienced while in Anglo-American Masonry so I shouldn't be surprised by your double-standards and pretentious high sentenced BS.

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  129. Howard/Jeff wrote:
    "My problem with your ethics is that they are not equally applied. This is what I experienced while in Anglo-American Masonry so I shouldn't be surprised by your double-standards and pretentious high sentenced BS."

    Howard/Jeff, here we go again. A good Brother disagrees with you or yours and he is attacked. Can others have an opinion or must everything be as Jeff/GOUSA, says it has to be?
    A few questions please: I am confused and would like clarification if Howard/Jeff is one and the same person? If so why the Charade?

    Lastly I have asked numerous time "What is Anglo-American Masonry? If it is what it sounds like you too would be a member, would you not?

    Sincerely,
    Manny Blanco,PM
    Moreno Valley Masonic Lodge # 804
    Moreno Valley, CA
    Grand Lodge of Ca

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