Saturday, October 27, 2007

Widow's Son attends Grand Lodge

Earlier this week I attended the 221st Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Georgia in Macon, Georgia. I had business in Macon, so my primary purpose there wasn't to attend Grand Lodge, but I did schedule my business appointment so I could be in town during the annual Masonic meeting.

The Grand Lodge met on Tuesday and Wednesday. I "dropped by" a bit late on Tuesday morning, arriving around 10:45 a.m. or so. I registered, got my name tag and a book of proceedings, picked up a paper-like Masonic apron at the front door, and made my way to the balcony of the Macon City Auditorium, a beautiful old domed marble and stone structure built in 1925. [Click here for a 360-degree panorama of the inside of the building.]

I grew up in Macon, and fondly remember attending many concerts and college basketball games in the building. I even met a then-famous female TV-star there when I was a child. I was about eight or nine, and we were going through a meet-and-greet line of celebrities. I must have been starstruck by her blonde hair and big boobs, or something, because I remember her saying to me, "Don't be shy, little boy," and then I shook her hand.

Last time I was there, in 2003, it was to attend the opening night of The Gregg Allman Band Tour, having been given backstage passes by one of the band members I had recently met.

So, with all these happy memories of being in the Auditorium, I was jazzed, and ready to forget my "troubles" with Georgia Masonry and feel a part of it again.

The meeting was underway as I took a seat in the back row of the balcony. I peeked over the shoulder of a brother in front of me to see what page he was looking at in his book, and then settled in to listen to what was going on. I'd walked in as they were going through, one by one, a list of brothers who had been tried and "convicted" of various (but unspecified) charges of unmasonic conduct. They were voting to approve the Trial Commissioners' suspensions and expulsions from the fraternity. There were probably 15 or 20 names listed. I was curious about these trials that had been held, and what these men had done to incur the ire of their lodge brothers. No explanations were given in the book or from the podium; the speaker just read the names and the meaningless words in the book, and asked for a vote for approval. Each vote was cast by current and past masters raising red cards. All the votes appeared to be unanimous, and there was no discussion of anything from the floor.

After about 20 minutes, my cell phone rang. I had just purchased a new phone the day before, and had forgotten to turn it off, and didn't know how to silence it, so I scooted out the back door.

I took the call and headed outside. As I was finishing up the call, brothers began pouring out the doors for the lunch break. A brother and friend from a lodge near my own, of which I'm an honorary member, walked by, and we greeted each other warmly. That was pretty much the brotherly highlight of my two days around hundreds of Masons. Earlier, as I'd registered and mingled in the hall before going in, I'd been upbeat and greeted several men with "Hi, brother," but most wouldn't make eye contact or acknowledge me; I might as well have been meandering a hotel lobby in a foreign country.

I don't know why I keep expecting Masons to be different. Perhaps I still think that as Masons we have some cosmic enlightenment the rest of the world doesn't have, that we're all friendly and outgoing and full of brotherly love. I'm no longer that shy little kid; I'm usually pretty outgoing and congenial in person. Maybe it's just that many people become withdrawn and shy when they're in a crowd; I don't know. I just know that being there, seeing the long faces, could have made me withdraw into myself, too, had I stayed too long.

Since I had business to attend to that afternoon, I didn't go back for the afternoon session.

But I did make a point to attend the Masonic Family Night dinner that evening, held at the Farmers' Market.

It was there I realized just how much I don't fit in with the majority of Georgia Masons. It's not that there is anything wrong, per se, with Georgia Masons, I've come to realize. They are what they are. But to me, generally speaking, they are Masons in name only. At least, they're not what I thought Masons were when I joined. I expected enlightenment, tolerance, a brotherly spirit, a zeal for learning and maybe some cosmic understanding.

Hundreds of vehicles were arriving at the market as I pulled up. I parked, and as I was getting out of my car (a low-end C-class, used when I bought it, eight-year old Mercedes), I caught the eye of a brother getting out of his vehicle with his wife.

"Hi, brother. How ya doing?" I said.

His reply: "I'm fine, Mercedes-Benz man...."

I didn't have a comeback for that, but it was just as well, because he wasn't finished.

"...but I'm still driving a Tahoe."

He wasn't done yet. He continued, "...but it is the Cadillac of Chevrolets."

What could I say to that? I just thought to myself, "What the...?" and headed over to the line forming at the entrance to the the huge shed where the dinner was being held.

There I was, among "brothers," and the first one I speak to is judging me by the kind of car I drive and defending his own choice of automobile.

As I walked to the pavilion, I found myself thinking, "Hmm... isn't Cadillac actually the Cadillac of Chevrolets?"

With cars on my mind, I noticed as I walked that at least 75% of the vehicles in the parking lot were pickup trucks. And while some of the trucks had Masonic emblems on them, far more common were American and Confederate flag stickers, "Proud to be an American" stickers, and quite a few "Proud to be a member of the National Rifle Association" stickers. I even saw one "America: Love It or Leave It" sticker.

"Mercedes-Benz Man" walked into a redneck hoedown. I don't think I've ever seen such a sea of white faces topped by ball caps in my life (no, I've never been to a NASCAR race). There must have been 1,200 or more people, Masons and their families, lined up under that huge roof, waiting to eat brunswick stew, grits, fried catfish, grilled hot dogs and sausages and corn bread. Though it was at a farmers' market, the only vegetables I saw were french fries and cole slaw. Unless you count grits.

I had paid my five dollars, so I put cholesterol out of my mind and lined up to get something to eat. Talking to anyone else in line was difficult; a nine-piece Masonic band's renditions of Hank Williams (Senior and Junior) songs were blasting out from the center of the shed, reverberating and distorting off the huge metal roof. Later I heard the band's version of the classic Buck Owens tune I've Got a Tiger by the Tail, and noticed a few older women shimmying to the music of their childhood.

After I ate, sitting on a curb (there were no tables, just folding chairs, and not nearly enough), I struck up a hard-to-hear conversation with an elderly brother from Columbus, Ga., who entertained me with a long story about how unclean his motel room was, it being owned by a "sand n*****."

From time to time I noticed, outside the pavilion, black people, probably employees of the market, gawking at the crowd of white people inside, then stepping back to look up at the sign to see who the heck we were. Occasionally, a black man could be seen, emptying the trash barrels, full of greasy paper plates and Coke cans, that lined the curbs. In a town 63% black, the employees had probably never seen that many white people together, either, doing southern white people things.

When the band struck up the Elvis Presley version of American Trilogy, I decided it was time to leave.

I headed over to a sports bar and sipped on a scotch for the next hour, immediately striking up conversations with some of the patrons, mostly college kids, offering sometimes wrong answers to the questions in the trivia contest that was going on. Odd, I felt more "at home" there than at the Masonic functions, though I haven't hung out with college kids since I was a college kid, and I can't remember the last time I was in a bar, and had never been in that one.

The next morning found me back at the Grand Lodge session. I noticed that only about half as many men were there as the day before. Wednesday's session was primarily to install the new 2008 grand lodge officers. I arrived before the session got underway. A man at a piano was playing a medley of upbeat Christian hymns, including Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I Know.

The meeting opened with a prayer, and then the Grand Master led the crowd in singing the first and last verse of Amazing Grace.

The installation of officers was as predictably un-inspiring as any other installation of officers you've ever seen. There was the pretend-solemnity of the obligations followed by joking banter. Every man had to stop to hug and kiss his wife as he was paraded to his new station. Speeches were given by the incoming and outgoing Grand Masters, with both of them gushing about how wonderful the subordinate officers, their Masonic "sons" and "grandsons," were. Each new officer spoke, pledging their obedience and fidelity to the new Grand Master and his programs. (Heads up to Georgia Masons: You're about to be bombarded with the new GM's program, the Masonic CHIP program for children's fingerprinting and identification cards, already supported by 22 or so grand lodges across the U.S., as well as increased appeals for money for the Masonic Children's Home Endowment Fund and a push for greater participation in "perpetual membership.") Tired old jokes about how a grand lodge officer has to buy his wife a new dress if he forgets to introduce her abounded, and then, of course, the wife had to stand to be introduced.

The piano player played little ditties as each new officer was led around the basketball-floor makeshift lodge. Hail to the Chief was played when the new Grand Master was escorted to the East. For the Senior Grand Warden, he played Onward Christian Soldiers. I cracked up when he played the tune for the two Grand Deacons: Bicycle Built for Two. That bit of mental mirth led me to wonder what he'd play for the three Grand Stewards. I was hoping for Three Blind Mice; instead, he played We Three Kings of Orient Are.

After the installations and speeches, a break was taken to allow the women and non-Masons to leave the arena so we could "get back to business." The women, of course, all stood and chatted with each other and their men for at least 15 minutes, during which time someone took the microphone to tell us in the balcony that the Grand Master wanted everyone to come to the main floor, "to make it easier to count votes." Though I wasn't allowed a vote, never having served as Worshipful Master of my lodge, I obliged and went downstairs. I noted with a certain interest that several brethren ignored the "request" and remained seated in the balcony. Ah, youthful rebellion. My kind of people.

When the session began, they read off a few bills that had been presented as potential changes to the Masonic Code. Most of them were ruled "out of order," and thrown out by the outgoing Grand Master, for not being submitted in "proper form." After a while, I got bored, and left.

And now, like Jerry Springer would do at the end of one of his ridiculous redneck free-for-all television shows, I'm going to get all serious and tell you what I learned.

I learned that what I thought Freemasonry was and what it actually is in Georgia are two different things. I learned that I don't like the same kind of music as most of my Georgia brethren. I learned that I don't especially like the same kinds of foods. And I learned that I don't drive the right kind of car to be "one of them." Despite having grown up in Macon, and having lived in Georgia all my life, I find that I don't fit the mold of a stereotypical Georgia Freemason. I learned that I can find more camaraderie in a sports bar full of 20-somethings than I can in a lodge meeting.

And that's fine. They are what they are. I don't seek to change them; I couldn't if I tried (and once I tried). I think it's sad that Georgia (and elsewhere) Freemasonry has been "taken over" by a certain type of individual — the good ol' boy — but it is what it is.

It's time for me to focus my energies elsewhere.

Image: Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia

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  1. I cannot share my answers - as I don't have them - but I'll be glad to contribute with some questions.

    As far as I know, in order to be recognized, a Lodge or a Grand Lodge must "abide by the rules" (whichever they are). What happens if a Lodge deviates from those rules over time? Are there some "inspections" to make sure that the rules are followed?

    What if a Grand Lodge doesn't follow some important rules anymore - as seems to be described by the Widow's Son - and doesn't make the Lodges under it follow them? Could such Lodges and Grand Lodges be "un-recognized" by other Garnd Lodges - at least until they correct what is to be corrected?

    The question that Widow's Son seems to suggests without ever saying it is: "If Masonry deviates from the Landmarks, is that still Masonry?" If it is not Masonry (or if it is imperfect Masonry), who should correct it? Is there anything to be done? Or is it more important to be tolerant towards those who break the rules than to make sure that the rules are followed?

    Pardon my questions if inappropriate, but they're genuine questions from someone who is looking from the outside, and not intended to be a provocation to anyone. Maybe you, or some of the the other readers, could enlighten me.

    Simple Aureole

  2. I feel for you Brother. I have witnessed the same "good ole' boy" mentality in my adopted Lodge here in Georgia. While I am not saying that my home Lodge in California is perfect, it's like night and day. Sometimes it seems like the true spirit of Freemasonry is all but lost here in Georgia. Still, I hesitate to "throw out the baby with the bathwater." It's true that the forces for change in this jurisdiction are fighting what may now seem a losing battle, but who knows what the future may bring?Besides, isn't it said that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing?
    There are others like you in this state. Don't give up the good fight, Brother!

  3. Ditto Bro WS.
    Bro Tom Coste

    P.S. Simple.....Masonry in America is what you are told it is by the Elders. Very simple.

  4. It's time for me to focus my energies elsewhere.

    I hear you, brother. As you said, it is what it is. I'm not going to change it, but I have no desire to be one of what it is either.


  5. Well, at least you still have Discordianism and Digitarianism to fill your time.

    Hail Eris! Hail 01! Dig it!

    Time for a Conclave!

  6. Brother WS,
    I feel you pain Brother and you are right, it is time to focus energies elsewhere. You can't change them as they don't want to change. They are happy just as things are.
    Musashi said "do nothing that is of no use." Perhaps we should take that to heart and just leave them to the destiny that they have chosen.

    Patrick Henry

  7. Give Catholicism a try, I think you'll find what you are looking for.

  8. I have had precisely the same experience, and disappointment, as WS. Since I am next door in Alabama, that's no surprise to me. I have learned that there are other things to devote my time to (i.e., my family) that actually do make me a better man. I will miss what I hoped Masonry would be, but I don't miss what it actually is here -- a social club for people I have nothing in common with.

  9. Brother,

    I think this was an excellent post; mostly because I think it demonstrates finally what your issues have been.

    It is not that you are uncomfortable with Freemasonry in Georgia so much as you are uncomfortable with the good-old-white-boy culture of this Southern state.

    And, that is not to say I disagree with you.

    I just came back from a trip to Georgia. My son, who had been there for about nine months was so glad to leave. He made an observation that he thought that the people were mean assholes and jerks in general. After he said this he paused for a moment and said, except for the black people. They are mostly pretty nice.

    He was sick and tired of what he perceived as redneck assholes and was ready to come back home to Missouri where people are generally friendly on the face of things.

    I, personally, had just one Masonic encounter while I was in Georgia, and it wasn't from the kind of person you would expect.

    I was waiting inside the country court building and there was a middled aged black lady sitting near by. She noticed my watch (which is really quite something to notice) and asked to take a look at it.

    I showed it to her and she complemented me on it. She turned it a bit, pointed to the square and compass, and said "I really like this symbol here."

    I replied, "Yeah, that's a Freemason symbol." She smiled broadly and said, "I know dear," and then gave my hand a very warm squeeze with a knowing smile.

    I found it to be a touching moment.

    Look, you need to just get out of the South and come to Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, or one of the other states with a long and proud tradition of supporting Freemason ideals and ritual without elitism.

    Brother John

  10. It is no different north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    IMHO, the simple truth is that US grand lodges are no longer representative of Freemasonry.

    I tried to encourage change at my grand lodge, and was reviled for the attempt (literally). As I looked around the room full of sneering old men, I realized that I had been a fool to try.

    It was at this moment that I came to realize that Freemasonry needs to find a new avenue for growth in the 21st century.

    The existing "grand" organizations can whither and die. Freemasonry and its ideals, however, are eternal.

  11. John,

    NOT all Southerners are rednecks, oh and rednecks aren't just living in Dixie either.

    So your intolerant slant on all Southerners is no better than some of the members of the GL's in the South.

    The Blue Grand Lodges (in general) are nothing more than intolerant social clubs. Meaning Masonic education, free thinking are not welcome and questioning a GL is intolerant. Its shut drink the kool-aid.

    The arrogance of the majority of Freemasons and GL's boasting their false authority of the craft is laughable. GL's of America claim they are the only true Masons. The UGLE claim they are the only true Masons,the RGLE claim they are the true Masons, the Grand Lodge of All England claim they are the true Masons.

    Children in a playground boasting my Masonry is better than yours. The Grand Lodge of France is the ONLY Masonic body who does NOT boast that their Masonry is the only true Masonry.

    Until ALL Freemasons can accept each other as MASONS the current system will dies I don't care how many new members you are bring in this year.

  12. I'm a Georgian and take umbrage at the general characterization of Georgians by Bro. John.

    The fact is, outside of Atlanta, the less populated areas of the state hold on to idiotic Confederate ways. Many would love to see slavery back. Many rural Georgians are as stupid as the day is long. Then again, a few like WS, are just the opposite. Jasper (home of WS) is a backwater rural area that is now feeling the onslaught of metropolitan ATL.

    Most in Atlanta--my hometown--these days are from other areas. Atlanta is a smaller version of New York.

    We have good people who have evolved over time and kept pace with the rest of the nation. The country hicks are slowly dying out just as the corrupt leadership of our lodges is.

    A NEW AGE is coming. Be a part of it.

    Fraternally yours,
    The Libertarian

  13. Brethren all,

    There is so much pain evident in the original posting and the comments. I thoroughly sympathize with these concerns; I understand the sense of disappointment, and worse. However, perhaps I have something worthwhile to add in terms of addressing these issues, in a different way than has been mentioned so far.

    It would be nice if a Grand Lodge's Grand Communication were an occasion where the philosopher-alchemists-in-training gathered for enlightenment. It is not--at least not in this generation. If we want Freemasonry to live up to its heritage--if we want to associate with Masons who wish to pursue enlightenment--if we want Freemasonry to be the vehicle to pursue real Masonic light--then we have to go ahead and make it that.

    There are two facts that we need to keep in mind:

    (A) Freemasonry is a legitimate source of esoteric enlightenment. It is heir to the interests in Hermetic philosophy and Kabbalistic wisdom that were held by the first non-operative Freemasons. There is much in Freemasonry's ritual that reflects this. There is much in Freemasonry that can operate to bring one to esoteric enlightenment.

    (B) As a group, Freemasons have neglected the entire area of esoteric development. This neglect started at least as early as the Great Depression, which caused many Masonic intellectual publications to fold. Certainly the revival of the Craft after WWII, founded as it was on a desire for cameraderie rather than enlightenment, did nothing to help. The interest in the esoteric that arose during the 1960s and thereafter occurred outside of Freemasonry.

    All of this suggests, in turn, at least two avenues of activity:

    (1) Masons interested in the esoteric must band together outside the traditional lodge structure. The Internet can make this happen in a way that was never possible before. In addition, it may be possible to put together regional conferences that allow face-to-face encounters. (I have seen this work in, for example, a church I know of; the more philosophically inclined gather in regional meetings, have a magazine, etc.) This kind of outside-the-lodge-structure community provides fellowship and enlightenment, and thus provides perhaps the primary Masonic community for the esoterically inclined.

    (2) It is important for the esoterically inclined Mason to be a force within his regular Masonic community. That may mean volunteering to provide Masonic education in the local lodge. For some, it may mean creating a new lodge, much like Esoterika Lodge in Seattle, or Vitruvian Lodge in Indiana.

    Each man must choose his own way through life. I hope that the Widow's Son will choose to continue involved with Masonry, rather than leave it. I would be glad to be of what assistance I can to help create the kind of outside-the-lodge community that I have mentioned here.

  14. Bro. John,

    While I respect you as a Brother I can assure you that you are welcome to stay north of the Mason Dixon line for as long as you choose. On you next visit try not to carry your carpet bag, it is a dead give away.


  15. I have long admired your thoughts, as expressed on your blog. As a positive approach, please consider continuing to further the revolution that Freemasonry so very much needs. I invite you and your readers to visit my blog: "21st Century Freemasonry"; URL:

  16. many racists have moved North during the 50's and 60's and inhabitied freemasonry up here.
    Even in Cleveland, which borders the lake, can't really go further North in ohio, is filed with southern racists.
    Every officer in the shrine has a southern accent!
    A majority of KYCH's and 33rd's have southern accents.
    Freemasonry in hio is run by the southern half of the state, big time southern christians who still live in prohabition days and pre women and blacks voting. They have yet to progress out of that era. The greatest when white men ruled everything.

    Our masonic elders despise enlightenmnet and freethinkers Our DDGM has never heard of Dr. Margret Jacobs, a writer trying to awaken masons to their real history. She is trying to make freemasonry a university level course on its effect of the 17th and 18th century. You GL will give you any education on the early formative of freemasonry. When it was free to gro and teach. Now it is controlled and if a mason shows too much intellect or enlightenment, the jack booted thugs come and tell you what to think, what to read and who to assacoiate with!
    That my brothers is ohio masonry at its best!
    Dr. Clark Savage

  17. I attended my Grand Lodge here in North Carolina fro the first time as well this year. I attended as a voting member as Junior Warden of my lodge.

    I am pleased to say that my experiences are night and day from yours. Brotherhood was abundant. Everywhere I went I met a smiling face, a warm handshake, and conversation. I spoke with the Grand Master of my jurisdiction and the Grand Master of Tenessee. Both were Masons to emulate!

    I witnessed the Freemasonry in action. We voted on the issues that were presented this year. Some passed, some failed, but it was the membership of Freemasonry who decided. We too, had members expelled. Enough information was read to let the Brothers know what the jurisprudence committee had found and what their recommendation was, but enough information was withheld to not unnecessarily bring dishonor or embarrassment to the Brother in question.

    I went to Breakfast one morning at a small dinner near our hotel. After my meal I went to pay. When I pulled out my visa card I was told by the owner that their machine was down. I checked my wallet and found I had no cash in it. I began checking my pockets, but before I could conduct a thorough inspection there were three hands offering money to the owner for my meal. Hands of men I didn't even know though they were my Brothers. I eventually found my cash stash even the the owner told me I could just pay for my meal the next time I came in, but the sentiment of all the assistance was most sublime.

    I don't know what is going on in other Grand Lodges. Quite frankly, it is none of my business. I can speak for the experiences of this Mason and his Grand Lodge, and all I can say is, it is a beautiful thing.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  18. I apologize if my post came off as a bit too stereotypical. It is always dangerous to speak of things in generalities.

    My personal experiences in Georgia have been positive. Of course, my experience has been limited to gas station attendants, wait staff, and hotel services.

    My son said what he said, and I related that anecdote.

    My main point is that it sounds to me that Widow's Son is complaining less about Freemasonry and more about the stereotypical 'good-old-boy-redneck' experience he has observed.

    Let's be frank. There is still racism in Georgia and there is no recognition of Prince Hall.

    Obviously some of these stereotypes have a grain of truth to them.


  19. Those paper aprons you wore are used toilet covers from the GA. truck stop.

  20. Simple -
    Grand Lodges make some agreements with each other, and any changes happen with glacial speed as even the most minor changes have trial balloons, are discussed, rediscussed, and dropped for another year.

    Lodges in other countries are recognized only after several years of discussion with major Grand Lodges, and ultimately, the UGLE. Jurisdictions that are markedly different have little chance of being recognized. Likewise, recognized jurisdictions understand that any major changes will result in them being un-recognized in a New York minute.

  21. "Those paper aprons you wore are used toilet covers from the GA. truck stop"


  22. bro aurthur peterson,
    at this love fest of a GL communication, did PHA recognition pass this year?
    Or was everyone too busy glad handing it to vote PHA as equals in your state?

    Recognition would be th eultimate display of brotherhood, not glad handing brothers who perpetuate racism, making believe all is well in NC masonry.

  23. There is a tremendous gulf between the ideals expressed in our ritual work and the real practices of Freemasonry as an institution, at least in my state. For example, the last time I attended a meeting of my blue lodge, the lodge was opened and the blessing of Deity invoked. During the meeting, some moronic redneck made a racist remark and, almost in unison, the rest of the members present laughed and participated in the crude comments. I have since dropped out of the line and have no intention of returning. This wasn't the only incident like this I experienced, but it was the last straw for me. As WS said, these are not necessarily all bad people. They aren't all this way, and many members are very fine men whom I am proud to know. But the majority are as WS describes in his post. They can't help being who they are, and I can't change them. But I'm not going to waste my time hanging out with them. I'm also not going to waste my time trying to attract intelligent and educated men to join a social club for good old boys.

    I have vented about this issue on the comments pages of this blog for months, and it's been a big help to me in getting over my disappointment with Masonry in my state. Thanks WS for creating this blog, and thanks everyone for your patience with my comments.

  24. Mr. Anonymous,

    You asked a lot of question, none of which appear to be sincere curiosity.

    As you are anonymous I do not see a need for you to know. I assume you to be a profane who has no business knowing what we as Masons do.

    So, if I am wrong, tell me who you are and what lodge you belong to. Only then will I entertain any further discussion on the issue with you.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  25. In other words, no they didn't. :-D

  26. "jack booted thugs..."

    Give me a break!

  27. @ Tom Accuosti

    Thank you for your answer. I understand that recognition is a slow process; what I was looking for was your last sentence: "recognized jurisdictions understand that any major changes will result in them being un-recognized in a New York minute"

    Aren't many of the the facts described by WS and others serious enough to threaten these lodges' recognition status? I believe there are other "softer" ways to straighten them up, but ultimately they might be made aware that, if they don't, they could be thrown out.

    @ be. arthur peterson

    "I assume you to be a profane who has no business knowing what we as Masons do."

    These weren't directed at me but I'm no longer sure if, as a profane, I'm welcome here. If I am not, I'm sorry, and I will promptly leave.

  28. Simple:

    All are welcome here, Mason or not, of whatever sex, race, religion, creed, tribe or neck-color, whether they use their legal name, a screen name, or prefer to remain anonymous.

    — W.S.

  29. Also, the answer to your (anonymous's) question is: no, North Carolina did not vote to recognize Prince Hall at their love fest. My state (Alabama) has no black members and will not recognize Prince Hall. These two facts are not a coincidence. Nor is it any surprise that NC does not recognize Prince Hall.

  30. Br. Arthur Peterson said... "Mr. Anonymous, You asked a lot of question, none of which appear to be sincere curiosity. As you are anonymous I do not see a need for you to know. I assume you to be a profane who has no business knowing what we as Masons do. So, if I am wrong, tell me who you are and what lodge you belong to. Only then will I entertain any further discussion on the issue with you."

    It's interesting how whenever someone starts to ask difficult questions here, some grand lodge lackey like Art Peterson or Theron Dunn immediately wants to know the person's name and lodge affiliation. Has anyone ever wondered why that is?

    I'll tell you why: it's intimidation, pure and simple. Most Masons today are AFRAID to ask hard questions, because they KNOW that their grand lodge will immediately crack down on them, just like they've cracked down on hundreds of good and faithful brothers in the last few years. That isn't the way Masonry was intended to be, but it's the way it's turned out today in MANY places in the US.

    Any time you see people here "answer" questions with demands for personal information and lodge affiliations, you can be certain of one thing: they're asking those questions solely to intimidate their brothers, quite possibly with the real intention of trying to get them threatened and/or expelled from their lodge.

    Keep that in mind the next time you read a comment here from some JACKA$$ like Art Peterson and his ilk.

    Those people are sadly representative of Masonry in MANY places today, but they represent the true ideals of Masonry about as well as Charles Manson represents the true ideals of humanity.

  31. What about this as a thought?

    What if every Grand Lodge that allowed Black brothers took it upon themselves to withhold fraternal recognition from Grand Lodges that did not?

    I really mean it: introduce legislation in places like the Grand Lodges of New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, California, and wherever else African American men are welcome as Masons, to withhold fraternal recognition from places like the Grand Lodges of Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina?

    Whether or not the legislative effort were successful at any given Grand Lodge really doesn't matter that much. First, it starts the ball rolling, and with enough momentum, it might actually pass. Second, and perhaps more important, the effort--especially a coordinated effort, a national effort--puts attention on the matter. We could use attention on this ugly racist matter: in the local lodges, in the hallways at Grand Communications, and on the cover of USAToday. Let's shine a light on this ugly little corner of the Masonic world, a bright, bright light that might just cause some change.

    I would be delighted to help coordinate that effort. And I'm not hard to reach: just click on the name above.

    To The Widow's Son: Are you with me?

  32. the pussies will respond that they do not get involved in other states business.

    cop out for allowing disgusting behavior.

    so NC is not the love fest bro petersons spews, unless you're white ofcourse.
    Good job NC, way to move forward.

    So NCGL is a hoot for white noys, but keep PHA out as a recognised body....

    dixie will rise again, huh, peterson?

  33. Brother WS,
    Keep up the labours you have undertaken. This type of mentality has permeated our society for too long, a light needs to shone on all manners of racism, bigotry and religious zealotry. I will always be turning to yur blog for insightful perceptions that are effecting our masonic world and the real world.
    Thanks alot brother!

  34. Simple,

    "I assume you to be a profane who has no business knowing what we as Masons do."

    If you read carefully this quote you will see that I said that particular anonymous poster was a profane who has no business knowing what we as Masons do.

    I am not saying that all profanes should not ask questions. Simply that I will not entertain his.

    If you have a sincere desire to know about our order, can ask questions without the immature derogatives you see so often on this blog, and are willing to at least here someone out, then by all means ask away and I will answer.

    This particular blog is a magnet for Anti-Masons, Expelled Masons, and trouble makers in general. Asking someone to use their name is not an itimidation attempt. A man should have the integrity to stand behind his words. That is what Masonry is all about, being your word.

    Recognition is a very long and drawn out process. It is a democratic process. Each lodge in every state votes on this issue. Change on anything is very slow in Masonry. It does happen, but not because of outside force. It is up to the Brothers in each respective jurisdiction to change at a pace determined by their conscience.

    It is called Democracy, and as an American (I am assuming) I imagine you can understand the value of democracy.

    So, a very few would rather impose their will on their Brothers like a tyrant. They try to throw racism out there to obfuscate this fact. Regardless the truth remains that they think Masonry should be something that the majority doesn't and they want to force their views on their Brothers. This is not tolerated in Masonry.

    Democracy is what it is all about.

    Did PH pass in NC? No.
    Is it because of Racism? No.

    In North Carolina we have black, white, brown, red, and yellow Brothers in our regular lodges. We have Jews, Christians, Mohamedans, Hindus, Paleros (at least one), etc. in our lodges.

    The Majority of Brothers in North Carolina just don't see a reason to have two Grand Lodge systems in one jurisdiction.

    That is all their is to it.

    Now the nay sayers will continue to say nay. That is fine, but they will never own their words. So understand most of this negative press you see about Freemasonry is not even written by true Freemasons.

    Take it how you will.

    If you want to learn more about the way things are in Masonry, I invite you to come to the forum I post on and discuss any issue as freely as you want.

    Here is the link:


    Br. Arthur Peterson

  35. quote"It is called Democracy, and as an American (I am assuming) I imagine you can understand the value of democracy."

    Is that what a bunch of like minded racists call voting the same way?

    Democracy is no different than mob rules type mentality, the mob(not mafia, the masses) rules is different than a Republic, what our masonic forefathers founded, not a democracy, because they were intelligent enough to know a democracy is an unequal way of doing things, why, the unintelligent herd of the people can be easily manipulated, like believeing it is about having two GL's instead of it being about race....
    keeping spinning and believing the big lie........
    racism, not democracy and not wanting two GL's... selfish and unmasonic not recognising a UGLE recognised GL.
    Shame on you and your spin methods

  36. TC,

    You have much to learn about Freemasonry in my opinion. Anyone who can talk so venemously about their fellow Brethren is NOT a Brother in his heart, nor my eyes.

    You sir are an imposter to yourself.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  37. Simple - I believe there are other "softer" ways to straighten them up, but ultimately they might be made aware that, if they don't, they could be thrown out.

    Yes, threatening other Grand Lodges to fall into line would be one way of doing things. It is, however, not the Masonic way.

    Freemasons are admonished to remember that we should be willing to "whisper good counsel" in the ear of a brother, and "in the most tender manner, remind him of his faults." We are also charged with leading by example, and by the regularity of our own conduct and behavior.

    Something that some of my brothers, presumably in their zeal, sometimes overlook.

  38. Freemasonry is not democracy, no matter what Bro. Carl Claudy wrote over 80 years ago. A Worshipful Master has, on the surface, free reign over his lodge, which is hardly democratic. But there are in some lodge powerful cliques of Past Masters pulling the strings. Yet unless the "word goes out," succeeding Masters just fall into the Chair at next mock "election." I've never attended an election where the name of the "proper" candidate for each office wasn't whispered down the sidelines, for the benefit of the majority of brethren who only show up a couple of times a year.

    In Georgia, Grand Masters aren't truly elected. No one runs against anyone. Being appointed Junior Grand Steward by the sitting Grand Master pretty much guarantees you'll be Grand Master in a certain number of years, and in most cases, the appointee is from the same lodge as the appointer.

    But let's call it democracy anyway. It was Bro. Benjamin Franklin who first said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

    It's interesting that it's a North Carolina Mason, Bro. Peterson, who is claiming Masonry is a democracy. Isn't North Carolina the grand lodge that voted to increase what percentage it takes to pass a bill when it appeared that PHA recognition would pass? In 2006, well over 50% of the brothers voted for PHA recognition, but oops, the percentage needed to pass it had been raised to 2/3. See Burning Taper article from Sept. 2006.

    — W.S.

  39. "It's interesting that it's a North Carolina Mason, Bro. Peterson, who is claiming Masonry is a democracy. Isn't North Carolina the grand lodge that voted to increase what percentage it takes to pass a bill when it appeared that PHA recognition would pass? In 2006"

    In true democratic form, yes they did increase the percentage.

    This year, however, WE voted to change the requirement back to a simple majority or 51%.

    Such is the way it goes when every man has an equal voice. Perhaps you think it would be better if we changed to a monarchy and appointed you our lord?

    The beautiful thing about Freemasonry is that it is voluntary. We don't ask you to join and we don't ask you to stay.

    If you really hate it because it is not what you thought it was, you are welcome to leave.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  40. Thank you for validating all I feel about southern masonry Petey!
    You are welcome to stay in with racists as we are able to stay in to point out your racist behavior.

    what measures can one take when whispering good counsel goes un listened to?
    Outright embarassment can work.

  41. Bro. Arthur - Sometimes I think our brothers miss the concept that if you leave an organization, then you no longer have the power to lend any influence at all, no matter how slight.

    I, for one, applaud the spirit of the brothers who voted for the procedural change that will undoubtedly make it possible for the GLNC to recognize PH in the near future.

  42. Br. Tom,

    Thanks for the sentiment. It is greatly appreciated.

    Br. Arthur Peterson

  43. Brother Traveler to the East,
    The biggest issue your plan would run into is, I doubt that any of the jurisdictions have, in legislation, the rule that there can be no black members in their lodges. If asked, they are free to respond, "We read the petition, took a vote, and the ballot was cloudy. We can't tell you why the candidate was blackballed. Some members must know something about the candidate that would disqualify him from being a mason."


  44. This is a good discussion, but I think it has become focused on the race issue, which was not the main focus of the original post. Take a second look at WS's original post. Racism is a manifestation of who the majority of the members are. It's a symptom (and to be sure an ugly one) of the underlying issue he refers to. Even changing the rules and PH recognition don't address that underlying issue.

  45. Will you ever be happy with your fraternity?

  46. after sitting on the side and reading several of the blogs and heretical tendencies that you so eloquently profess - I find your attendance at Grand Lodge full of the same dislike and biase as you profess that GA masons are - especially to you. Each comment that you have stated since the beginning of your heretical tyrade has been how much you dislike or hate the fraternity that you petitioned of your own free will. Freemasonry - as a whole, both US, Prince Hall or other - are imperfect and controlled by the elite. The only way to change is to become a part of the orginization and do what you feel is correct. The same is true in any organization, church, or for that matter - profession. The only way to make a change is to continuously to fight what you beleive in. Change cannot happen overnight. We are not here to cause a revolution. I believe in several points that you have made in the past but you have reverted back to what this blog was before the death of the one person you stated that caused your frustration. Go back and read your own comments after the untimely death of GB. I leave three words for you to think about - determination, perseverance and humility.

  47. Widow's Son:
    I am indeed not a mason - at least not yet - but I'm definitely not here to be unrespectful to anyone. Thanks for welcoming me here.

    Br. Arthur Peterson:
    That sentence can have several interpretations, one being a conjunction of "I assume you to be a profane" and "a profane has no business knowing what we as Masons do". I took the worst case (for me, that is), and I'm glad I was wrong.

    I'm not american - I'm portuguese (for those who don't know where Portugal is, it's a small European country next to Spain) and so I may have a slightly different view of Democracy from yours. However, I do absolutely understand your arguments.

    "Democracy" is about power, about "who is in charge"; it's not supposed to be about "who is right". If the majority is wrong about something - and, unfortunately, it often is - the majority's support doesn't make it right.

    Although I know a bit about Regular Masonry in Europe, it seems to be quite different from Regular Masonry in the USA, so please bear with me as I only know about what I read.

    However, it does indeed bug me that a Mason can be expelled if he does something wrong, but a whole Grand Lodge of Masons doing something wrong are, somehow, exempt from penalty...

    As I see it - and my view is not restricted to Masonry - if someone joins an organization but shouldn't have joined in the first place (because they don't share the organization's values), and then doesn't follow the rules, he should be asked to leave, not to change. After all, people join an organization because of what they have in common with other members; if that assumption fails, people should quit and join some other organization in line with their values. I don't believe grown men change essencial things like racism and prejudice, so any attempt to bring them "back in track" is doomed. But please, prove me wrong - I wish I was...

    Simple Aureole

  48. I think that as an organization grows it becomes less personal, thats why English lodges are limited to 40 or so brothers, after that it all gets too anonymous. Sounds like a tough crowd though.

  49. That is a good question: how can a brother be held accountable, but not a group of brothers(GL)?

    Second: If GL's lined up to go against the Grand Lodge of Minnesota for its free choice of recognition of the Grand Orient of France, why will they not stand up to these last few hold out GL's and this PHA issue?

  50. broter ptersons democracy:
    Here's a paragraph from Bernays' Propaganda:

    "Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our lives whether in the sphere of politics or business in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind."

    A tad different from Thomas Jefferson's view on the subject:

    "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise that control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not take it from them, but to inform their discretion."

  51. Peterson and his peers who drink the kool aid fed them and then vote


    There's no question that as a nation(fraternity in the south and north), we're getting dumber year by year. Look at the presidents we've been choosing lately. Ever notice the blatant grammar mistakes so ubiquitous in today's advertising and billboards? Literacy is marginal in most American secondary schools. Three-fourths of California high school seniors can't read well enough to pass their exit exams. ( SJ Mercury ) If you think other parts of the country are smarter, try this one: hand any high school senior a book by Dumas or Jane Austen, and ask them to open to any random page and just read one paragraph out loud. Go ahead, do it. SAT scales are arbitrarily shifted lower and lower to disguise how dumb kids are getting year by year. (ADD: A Designer Disease) At least 1 in 6 have documented "learning disabilities," which are reinforced and rewarded by special treatment and special drugs. Ever hear of anyone failing a grade any more?

    Or observe the intellectual level of the average movie which these days may only last one or two weeks in the theatres, especially if it has insufficient explosions, chase scenes, silicone, fake martial arts, and cretinesque dialogue. Doesn't anyone else notice how badly these 30 or 40 "movie stars" we keep seeing over and over in variations of the same few plots must now overact to get their point across to an ever-dimming audience? How they must say their lines louder and slower as time goes by?

    Radio? Consider the low mental qualifications of the falsely animated corporate simians they hire as DJs - seems like they're only allowed to have 50 thoughts, which they just repeat at random. The less their education, the better. And at what point did popular music cease to require the study of any musical instrument or theory whatsoever, not to mention lyric? Perhaps we just don't understand this emerging art form, right? The Darwinism of MTV - apes descended from man.

    Ever notice how most articles in any of the glossy magazines sound like they were all written by the same guy? And this writer just graduated from junior college? And yet he has all today's correct opinions on social issues, no original ideas, and that shallow, smug, homogenized corporate omniscience, which enables him to assure us that everything is fine(GL mouth pieces)

    All this is great news for the PR industry - makes their job that much easier. Not only are very few paying attention to the process of conditioning; fewer are capable of understanding it even if somebody explained it to them.


    Let's say you're in a crowded cafeteria, and you buy a cup of tea. And as you're about to sit down you see your friend way across the room. So you put the tea down and walk across the room and talk to your friend for a few minutes. Now, coming back to your tea, are you just going to pick it up and drink it? Remember, this is a crowded place and you've just left your tea unattended for several minutes. You've given anybody in that room access to your tea.

    Why should your mind be any different? Turning on the TV, or uncritically absorbing mass publications every day - these activities allow access to our minds by "just anyone" - anyone who has an agenda, anyone with the resources to create a public image via popular media. As we've seen above, just because we read something or see something on TV doesn't mean it's true or worth knowing. So the idea here is, like the tea, perhaps the mind is also worth guarding(west gate as well?), worth limiting access to it.

    This is the only life we get. Time is our total capital. Why waste it allowing our potential, our scope of awareness, our personality, our values to be shaped, crafted, and boxed up according to the whims of the mass panderers(democracy? GL Elders or "so called masonic authorities?)? There are many important issues that are crucial to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being which require time and study(one day classes). If it's an issue where money is involved, objective data won't be so easy to obtain. Remember, if everybody knows something, that image has been bought and paid for.(that freemasonry is a charitable institution, not a rebellious one of freethinkers)

    Real knowledge takes a little effort, a little excavation down at least one level below what "everybody knows."(GL refuse recognition based on only 1 GL allowed in a state instead of race)

    It's the land of the brave and the home of the free /
    Where the less you know the better off you'll be.
    Warren Zevon
    Disorder in the House

  52. Bro. Arthur: Did the 2007 Grand Lodge of North Carolina, with its now-lowered required percentage for passing a bill, recognize PHA Masonry this year? What was the vote count?

    Wayfaring Man: No, I won't be happy with my fraternity as long as it is run by good ol' boy cliques that think Christian hymns and gospel music are appropriate Masonic entertainment, and think Masonic education is knowing the score of the most recent University of Georgia football game.

    Anonymous: I didn't say that one person, now deceased, caused my frustration. I said he led the charge, since he was also a member of my lodge. I've since found that the rest of the Grand Lodge, of which he was an officer, aren't much different.

    All: The article that started this threat wasn't a complaint. It was a narration of events, followed by my statement of finally understanding that I just don't fit in. I said more than once in the article that I accept that Georgia Freemasonry "is what it is." It just isn't what, traditionally and historically, it is supposed to be, and certainly not what I expected it to be.

    — W.S.

  53. I would venture to say, suspecting that you will think me unkind, that the fraternity didn't suddenly change 10 minutes after you were raised. I don't say this to antagonize you.

    Surely must agree that for most of the latter half of the last century, we've had those very men within our Order. So you've tried to change things a bit - that's good for the fraternity, in my humble opinion. And, so, it appears you've been stung by criticism that has been occasioned (rightly or wrongly) by your desire for change. But these things, as far as I can tell, have always been a part of Masonic life, and in fact, a part of all human society if one wishes to paint the issue with a broad brush. I'm sure the old guard were rolling their eyes at Ben Franklin's "new fangled changes," too.

    So your answer to all of this is, if I understand you properly, to just pack it in?

    'Runs kinda contrary to the lessons we've learned in stages 1-3, but it's your decision, clearly.

    But me? I think you're nuts. Did you honestly believe that Masonry was a utopian Disneyworld that would never suffer one unhappy thing? Judging from what I've read on these pages, I have some trouble believing that, but perhaps it is so. So, then, did you enter into this thing under the impression that all Masons acted, thought, and lived their lives just as you do? No room for difference, no room for rudeness, never an unkind word, a louder-than-polite belch, or a bad Hank Williams Jr. cover? That every human frailty would be covered by the lambskin?

    Tell me it ain’t so.

    I didn’t sign up for those spurious reasons, and I’m willing to bet YOU one BEER that you didn’t either.

    I’m not writing to you now to preach to you; I don’t have the answers to the difficult questions that your most reason post presents. What I would say is this: First, Masonry is big enough to allow Christian Rednecks to sit side by side with Pagan Freaks. Second, I think you will agree with me that it is an individual journey. It doesn’t matter who you sit next to on the train, it’s just cool that everyone is headed to the same station.

    I wish you the very best.
    Should you wish to correspond further about this subject in a less public forum, please feel at liberty to email me. I think you still have my address.

  54. Well, as I've been kindly given some serious answers, I'll ask a couple more questions.

    It's been said that there are black masons in regular lodges. Are there white masons in Prince Hall lodges? If not, why?

    If, genuinely, the "Prince Hall problem" is a question of territorial jurisdiction, couldn't overlapping Grand Lodges just merge? What (or who) is preventing that?

    Regards to all,

    Simple Aureole

  55. I would never be a friggin Freemason because they're just a bunch of self righteous racist snobs. A country boy like me just don't have time for all that foolishness. I'd rather just live life and have fun.

    You fellas are too full of s#1t to be taken seriously.


  56. Wayfaring Man:

    I did not say I was "packing it in," by which I assume you meant quitting.

    I simply said "It's time for me to focus my energies elsewhere."

    I'll not be focusing on going to local lodge meetings, fish frys, barbecues, title-chasing, or turning out for work day at the Masonic Home.

    I will continue to act according to what I believe Masonic principles to be, but then, I was being a good friend to my brothers, helping others, and speaking truth long before I thought about becoming a Mason.

    — W.S.

  57. Finally, we get the chance to see the kind of men who expelled the brothers from the RRCG. It turns out Jeff Peace was right all along. They were just a bunch of ignorant racists that feared the ideas of educated and enlightened men.

    I had a feeling that before too long these brothers would be vindicated, and so it has come to pass.

  58. Bro. John,

    While I respect you as a Brother I can assure you that you are welcome to stay north of the Mason Dixon line for as long as you choose. On you next visit try not to carry your carpet bag, it is a dead give away.



    What a nice man.

    If the Brothers he encountered are as ready to put a good foot forward as you it's no wonder his commentary sounds as it does. How disappointing.


  59. Simple Writes
    Well, as I've been kindly given some serious answers, I'll ask a couple more questions.

    It's been said that there are black masons in regular lodges. Are there white masons in Prince Hall lodges? If not, why?

    If, genuinely, the "Prince Hall problem" is a question of territorial jurisdiction, couldn't overlapping Grand Lodges just merge? What (or who) is preventing that?

    Regards to all,

    To answer your question, I have been a long time member of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Georgia. There are several "more then 100" white brothers in our Lodges. The WM in Warner Robins Georgia is white. We welcome ANY MAN that wants to join our Lodges as long as he is a legal age law abiding citizen and well recommended.

    I was told by Brothers from the Grand Lodge of Georgia that they are not to give a petition to a black men.


  60. I know a white gentleman who joined a Prince Hall Lodge in Virginia, because his neighbor was a military PHA, this white gentleman was also in the military, and approached the only mason he knew, a black gentleman. This white man was brought into a PHA Lodge and was accepted as an equal.

    When we brought in one of the first black man into our LLodge, and any Lodge in the state, the negative commentary that was gossiped around the district was inhumane, let alone unmasonic. This brother was called boy by a KYCH at a Temple Board disagreement. This same KYCH has a reputation of knocking brothers down with chest bumps if one disagrees with this elder!

    As you said Brother WS, we do not fit in. We are being chastised for offering up a wide variety of reading materials for zealous masons. So, a group of masons wanting to offer as much Light as possible, are considered black sheep masons who need supervision, all over the attempt to enlighten men seeking enlightenment?

  61. Br. Tubal Cain,
    As usual it is a pleasure to read your comments when you are not off on a rant.
    You have many good thoughts, whether I agree with all of them or not, until you start painting all southern Brothers with a very "broad brush". When that happens, I leave.

  62. Brother Semanticdm said...

    "The biggest issue your plan would run into is, I doubt that any of the jurisdictions have, in legislation, the rule that there can be no black members in their lodges."

    I appreciate your concern here. However: Oh, not so, my brother. The Grand Lodge of Alabama has never formally rejected or disowned a resolution proposed in their 1876 Annual Communication that is the clearest bit of Masonic racism you could ever hope to see.

    After reciting various racist formulas at some length, the proposed Resolution states that "the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama seizes the present as a fit and proper occasion, to declare its purpose, under no circumstances whatever, to acknowledge the legality of negro-masons, such acknowledgement being foreign to the original purpose of the Fraternity, and introducing an element of demoralization into the society." (See pages 24-25 of the 1876 Proceedings. These pages are reproduced at the following blog:

    The resolution, contrary to what the blog "Alabama Grand Lodge Facts" says, was not adopted at that time. (If you look closely, on page 25 it says that they passed a resolution to appoint a committee to consider the anti-Black resolution. However, there has been no convincing evidence shown to me that this committee recommended otherwise. (Anyone with access to the following year's Proceedings: was there ever a report from this committee? Did they ever vote on the Resolution?) In addition, the Grand Lodge of Alabama has not availed itself of the ample opportunity to formally disown this resolution.

    Particularly damning, the 1970 history of the Grand Lodge, prepared by the Grand Historian himself, stated that the Resolution reflected the will of the Alabama Masons, implying that this was indeed Grand Lodge policy. (See the pertinent pages reproduced on the blog I mentioned above.)

    Are there other Grand Lodges that I consider racist? Sure. But, until I get a better test case, I'll just single out Alabama.

    (Incidentally, although I do appreciate the effort that the brother who signs himself Truth put into devising the "Facts" website I reference above, I am not endorsing his general point of view. That is a whole 'nother story, as they say.)

    The currently most recent entry (Friday Nov. 2, 8:47 p.m.) on my blog, "21st Century Freemasonry" (just click on my name above to ge there), is in the form of a proposed GL resolution, to withdraw fraternal recognition from Alabama. You are all welcome to tell me what you think. Earlier posts address the rationale for this suggestions--including some responses to very reasonable concerns raised by Brother Tom Accuosti. In brief: the withdrawal of fraternal recognition is not "forcing" anyone to do anything; it just says that the continuation of racism is not okay with us.

  63. Thank you, square man, for your answer. So PHA accepts whites, which is great. I'm glad to know that masons like WS have somewhere to go if they chose to.

    I understand and agree with the proposition described by "a traveller to the east" about the withdrawal of fraternal recognition of these people, if they give Masonry a bad name.

    What I still don't get is why it's "unmasonic" to do so.

    Simple Aureole

  64. To Simple Aureole,

    In actuality, the withdrawal of fraternal recognition is not inherently unmasonic. Some brethren hold the opinion that it is unmasonic because it is supposedly 'forcing' people to do something they don't want to do; we should be gently correcting brethren. Here's what I have to say to that.

    Sure, it is a fine Masonic ethic to gently and privately correct an erring brother by whispering in his ear. However, people have been whispering in the ear of the Grand Lodge of Alabama for over 140 years, since the end of the War Between the States. Sorry to break the bad news, people, but they're not listening! So, what now?

    In addition, Masonic practice has long recognized that there are procedures that are appropriate to follow when people don't listen, and persist in behavior that is inherently and seriously unmasonic. (Racism certainly qualifies in that respect.) If an individual is involved, one brings him up on Masonic charges. If a Grand Lodge is involved, one withdraws fraternal recognition.

    Withdrawal of fraternal recognition does not 'force' anyone to do anything. The racist Grand Lodges will be free to continue to practice racism, as they have been doing for generations--centuries, in some cases. The withdrawal of fraternal recognition communicates that we do not support what they are doing; it does not compel them to take any action at all.

    (It does give them something to think about, though--and that might even provoke change. It's been known to happen; that's what convinced the Grand Lodge of Utah to cease their practice of religious discrimination, in which they would not initiate Mormons, and would not permit Mormon Masons from other jurisdictions the right of visitation.)

    In many lodges, they'll drop a brother for not paying dues for a year or two. Here we have a Grand Lodge that publicly glories (in its 1970 history) that it has maintained a White-only policy in Masonry for well over a century. Is not the withdrawal of fraternal recognition justified in such a situation?

  65. remember the GL of Minn.?
    Recognition withdrawal was threatened because they wanted to recognize The Grand Orient Of France, but since the GOdF allows educated Atheists to join, we as whole do not recognize the GOdF, so the GL's of USA came together to threaten recognition withdrawal.

    So, American Grand Lodges prefer Racists over Atheists?

    Go figure..........

  66. Actually Brother, you have the facts slightly wrong in the Minnesota example. In 2002 Minnesota voted to recognize the Grand Lodge of France, not the GODF. This makes the situation even worse, since by all measures, the Grand Lodge of France is perfectly regular.

  67. my blow.....
    still the jist is the same...
    many GL's banded together to stop a "rogue"? GL when it comes to recognizing a GL, but not when it comes to racial non recognition?

    thanks for the correction.

  68. So what do you people want?
    Masonry destroyed completely?
    What have you done to make Masonry Better, except screaming and complaining?

  69. "Recognition withdrawal was threatened because they wanted to recognize The Grand Orient Of France, but since the GOdF allows educated Atheists to join, we as whole do not recognize the GOdF, so the GL's of USA came together to threaten recognition withdrawal."

    A little clarification for the love of God, since this information is posted elsewhere: The recognition issues of GOdF was not involved in that situation with MN--it was the GLdF, which is a different organization.

    Your point, therefore, can be surmised as formulated solely in your own mind.

    Please check facts before attempting to prove a point; it makes you look smarter. However, you will no longer impress the impressionable.

  70. So Masonry would be completely destroyed if the GL of Alabama, CSA were forced to recognize blacks as human?

    As long as that miserable state of affairs exists, Masonry doesn't really exist except as a concept anyway. Not here, anyway.

  71. I'm trying to find a good masonic blog that hasn't been hijacked by screaming zealots who have been kicked off of almost every masonic forum for playing their broken record that involves nothing new, inspirational, revolutionary or logical in the message.

    This behavior reminds me of an out of control 10 year old who needs his ass whipped and a dose of Ritalin.

    Can someone help me? Can you all shut up long enough to do even that?


    God, let it rest already.

  72. tomayto

    The message is still the same

    USA GL's banded together to right a wrong by another GL......

    Why in the instance of "race" or non recognition by southern states only towards their PHA counter parts not be enough of a wrong to make the other GL's band together to make it right?

  73. "I'm trying to find a good masonic blog that hasn't been hijacked by screaming zealots who have been kicked off of almost every masonic forum for playing their broken record that involves nothing new, inspirational, revolutionary or logical in the message.

    This behavior reminds me of an out of control 10 year old who needs his ass whipped and a dose of Ritalin.

    Can someone help me? Can you all shut up long enough to do even that?


    God, let it rest already."

    there is one where everyone agrees with each other and really lather it up towards boosting each others ego's. You might do alright there with that bunch of masonic lemmings.

    Just different types zealots, probably your kind, and thanks for sharing your interests in blogs with us!

  74. Thank you for that most intelligent assessment. It is testimony to your measure of character.

  75. By the way, egos is plural, not "ego's", which is a singular possessive.

  76. Feel free to start a rah rah cheerleading "Yay Masonry!" blog if you like.

    Inspire me, ass whipper.

  77. I hope you come down off of Mount Olympus long enough to observe that you've added precisely zero to the conversation.

    You're as much a part of the problem as anyone. What are you adding? What are you doing? Who are you? And who are you to question what any of the rest of us have done? So far we've heard you bitch about the conversation the rest of us are having. What's your answer? What is your contribution?

    When I suggested that you start the blog you want to read, I was serious. This fraternity has problems. Serious problems. If you have solutions we all want to hear them. A snarky "I rest my case" just makes you one of us, pal.

  78. Such angry criticisms...

    Truth hurts.

    You're as much a part of the problem as anyone. What are you adding?

    --What are you adding?

    What are you doing?

    --what are *you* doing?

    Who are you?

    --Well, who are *you*?

    And who are you to question what any of the rest of us have done?

    Who are you to question what others have done and then be a baby about it?

    So far we've heard you bitch about the conversation the rest of us are having. What's your answer?

    --That most of us who enjoy reading BT are tired of it being hijacked by those who obviously have no other place to go and no other way to voice themselves. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    What is your contribution?

    To tell you just that.

    Again, I rest my case. Keep digging, friend.

  79. Anonymous said...
    "So what do you people want?
    Masonry destroyed completely?
    What have you done to make Masonry Better, except screaming and complaining?"

    To my Anonymous brother, and those others who have the same question:

    Speaking as the fellow who suggested that other Grand Lodges withdraw fraternal recognition from the Grand Lodge of Alabama (see the sample resolution on my blog; click on my name, above), I'd like to address these points directly.

    I'm certainly not trying to destroy Masonry. I'm trying to build it up. Suggesting a corrective action like the proposed resolution is productive activity. Let us reason together:

    o The racism that eats like a cancer at the heart of Freemasonry in some jurisdictions is one force that hurts the entire Fraternity. It makes us look like we are hypocrites all, spouting high-sounding rhetoric about the brotherhood of man, and yet being willing to tolerate racist Jurisdictions. We need to show our standards by withdrawing fraternal recognition from Alabama, just to be true to our ideals.

    o We need to act because of our ideals, in part, to preserve the idea that Freemasonry is about ideals, rather than about socializing. Sometimes you show what you believe in by turning your back on something you vigorously reject.

    o The generation of people in their 20s and 30s are among the least racist people I have ever met, as a demographic group. What are they going to find in Freemasonry if it tolerates racism?

    No, we're not trying to tear Masonry down. We're trying to build it up.

    Let me return your question back to you: how does fighting racism in Masonry tear it down?

    Another thought, for all: Has anyone else noticed how much these questions--"So what do you people want? Masonry destroyed completely?"--resembles the sort of rhetoric used to defend segregation back in the Sixties?

    I'm sure that the Anonymous brother is simply trying to come to grips with what is, after all, a proposal with serious consequences. However, we need to realize that by our inaction, we are sending a message, as well. As the English common law put it:

    "Silence is assent."

  80. In other words, you haven't done a damn thing to improve Freemasonry other than criticize me.

    Well, at least you owned up to it.

    Now, where are you going from here? What are you going to do to make your lodge better? Your Grand Lodge? Anything? Or are you just going to criticize me.

    I'm serious. Start that blog. Start anything.

  81. I do not need to glorify my deeds or accomplishments for the betterment of Freemasonry to you, nor anybody. I believe actions speak louder than words and they do indeed.

    Neither do I need to call your actions into question--it's already very apparent what you do. Sad, too, because for all the good you may do, your rants diminish it.

    I'll start that blog so you can complain about it on this blog.

    Give it a rest and count the straws you've been grasping.

    Anything else oh wise one?

  82. Brother Widow's Son,
    I hope you will still continue to write your blog.

  83. I have a solution for the GLs who do not recognize PHA. Why force them to do this or face de-recognition when the majority of GLs who do recognize PHA can announce that they will recognize any PHA jurisdiction that is recognized by the PHA jurisdiction sharing their state's territory.

    In this way, the PHA jurisdiction in, say, Alabama, ends up being recognized and if the GL of AL has a problem, then the ball is in their court when they realize how isolated they just got and how it's sure going to be a lot of work de-recognizing the majority of the U.S. lodges.


    --Queensland did it recently. Ok, that's in Oz but imagine when the U.S. GLs in amity with PHA in their states start doing it!

    And this will happen much faster than a move to just de-recognize any GL that doesn't recognize PHA. It's less messy and much more of a wise show of force. Perhaps then real change can happen within their ranks.

  84. Anonymous Writes:

    I have a solution for the GLs who do not recognize PHA. Why force them to do this or face de-recognition when the majority of GLs who do recognize PHA can announce that they will recognize any PHA jurisdiction that is recognized by the PHA jurisdiction sharing their state's territory.

    In this way, the PHA jurisdiction in, say, Alabama, ends up being recognized and if the GL of AL has a problem, then the ball is in their court when they realize how isolated they just got and how it's sure going to be a lot of work de-recognizing the majority of the U.S. lodges.


    --Queensland did it recently. Ok, that's in Oz but imagine when the U.S. GLs in amity with PHA in their states start doing it!

    And this will happen much faster than a move to just de-recognize any GL that doesn't recognize PHA. It's less messy and much more of a wise show of force. Perhaps then real change can happen within their ranks.


  85. Wow I can’t believe that in the year 2007, some are still arguing against recognition for Prince Hall Freemasonry. I can tell that many of us need to travel outside of the US to get proper perspective.

    I am a Prince Hall Mason from Southern California. I have traveled to Africa and Europe and met Brothers White, Black, and Indian. Sat in lodge with Hispanic Brothers and at home with Asian Brothers.

    Seriously, there only seems to be a problem here at home and only with the southern states in particular. Brothers believe me; the craft is alive and well around the world. Only here in the country that I love, “my country” is there still this pre civil war mentality held by SOME.(not all)

    It’s a shame that I can go half way around the world and meet someone that can barley(and I mean barley) speak my language, and be greeted as a true and lawful Brother; and I cant even drive through the state of Alabama and be greeted as such. It’s laughable!

    Memo to my Alabama MS Brothers:

    If you’re ever in a jam in CA. you’ve got a friend…..and a Brother.
    Prince Hall Brother in CA

  86. A lot of things are different in Freemasonry around the globe, brother. There are a lot of things we could learn.

  87. I must say, Mr. Zevon, that your assessment of the current state of intellectual affairs is on the mark. Unfortunately, I came to that realization shortly after becoming a Mason--probably like WS and many others though I've gone over the edge by becoming a misanthrope.

    As Warren Zevon points out, the current intellectual state of mankind is abysmal. Nobody wants to criticize, yet everyone wants to trust what they are being fed, whether by their GL, their Blue Lodge, the media, politicians, teachers, financial advisors, etc., ad absurdem, ad nauseam.

    The one truth that even Masonry denies is that mankind is collectively devolving into a Planet of the Apes. Blind acceptance of the rules is just one example of how we are heading down that slippery slope. Far be it from me to stop the march. To paraphrase (possibly) Marie Antoinette: Let them fall off the cliff. I would rather wipe the slate clean that be living among idiots.

    It is a sorry state of affairs, one which neither religion nor Masonry is capable of solving. In fact, they both contribute to it.

    Fraternally yours,
    The Libertarian

  88. ... recognize any PHA jurisdiction that is recognized by the PHA jurisdiction sharing their state's territory.

    The problem is that pesky agreement to honor the territorial jurisdictions that most of the US states have with other. We sort of agree not to recognize other jurisdictions that are located within those states, although nothing saying that we can't rescind those agreements.

    A side issues is that many southern states have retirees from northern states living down there. To rescind the territorial agreement would probably mean that those states would withdraw their recognition with the northern states, leaving the retirees without a familiar lodge to attend, or, if they are plural members, needing to give up the membership to the northern lodge. I can't imagine the northern Grand Lodges would be too willing to give up dues.

  89. This is called the "Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction," but it does not prevent Grand Lodges from recognizing the Prince Hall Grand Lodge.

    There can be, and often are, two or more regular and recognized Grand Lodges in the same State or country. Experts on the subject of Masonic recognitions are unanimous in saying that the "doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction" is not, and never has been, violated when Grand Lodges operating in the same State or country mutually agree to recognize each other, as has now happened in most of the States of our country with Prince Hall recognitions.

    The Methodical Digest says that the Grand Lodge of Virginia already shares concurrent jurisdiction with other Grand Lodges, and COULD add the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia to that list.

    – Paul Bessel: Fellow of the Scottish Rite Research Society, and Philalethes Society. Past District Deputy Grand Master for research lodges in Virginia.

    Prince Hall Brother in CA.

  90. Exclusive Jurisdiction has been the major objection and the one that some Grand Lodges still stand on.

    Exclusive Jurisdiction is an American invention that was violated when the Grand Lodge of Alaska was formed in 1981 and several subordinate Lodges chose to remain within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Washington. Also in reverse, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has ‘invaded’ other jurisdictions with Lodges in Panama, Chile, China, and Japan. The Grand Lodge of New York has several Lodges in Lebanon. The American Doctrine of Grand Lodge jurisdiction has grown up since then (meaning the establishment of African Lodge), and is not elsewhere fully received.

    The concept of there being only one Grand Lodge permitted in any geographical area is so much an American one, not accepted by Masons any where else, that it is called the “American Doctrine.” But even here, it has been ignored.

    Prince Hall Bro in CA.

  91. Brother OTS,

    The Prince Halls Brethren of Cleveland Ohio are the sharpest, most sincere group of men I have had the priveledge to have masonic fellowship with.

    The are well educated in the ways of masonry and it would do all of masonry to follow their example of discipline, knowledge and brotherly love.

    I charish the times we spend together!
    Travel to cleveland sometime and meet these great brothers when the opportunity arises, my brother!
    Tom Coste

  92. Traveler -
    Suggesting a corrective action like the proposed resolution is productive activity.

    I think that demanding a bunch of GL officers to recognize PH is bound to lead to the opposite of what you are looking for, human nature being what it is. Consider, at any time you can get a good discussion going about things that the GL "forced" lodges to do.

    Why not approach it from the opposite direction? What if the individual AF&AM lodges held joint events with the local PH lodges? A picnic, or barbecue as something small to start with, then maybe some community service event; blood drives, coat drives, toy drives come to mind. None of those require brothers to sit in lodge together, but all certainly offer opportunities for building friendships through trust and socializing.

    GL officers don't have much motivation to change, unless they get the idea that the members, themselves are interested in changing. I posted some of my own thoughts about this at the Tao of Masonry (WS, I'm not trying to hijack your readers), and I think that the best way to get the GL to change is from the members themselves.

    If the GL doesn't see the lodges doing anything that shows an interest in recognizing the PH GL, then why would they even suggest the legislation? But if a number of lodges around the state held joint events, then those people clamoring for recognition would have some validation that the desire is real, and not just the rantings of a few dissatisfied sideliners.

  93. Any info on an alleged embelzement of over $250,000 by a Past Grand Master from the Masonic Bodies that he is secretary of? The rumor is that the Past Grand Masters and Grand Lodge officers are covering it up. Sounds like a real life conspiracy instead of a make believe one.

  94. Brother Tom:

    Nothing in the proposed resolution "demands" anything of the racist GLs. Rather, those who pass such a resolution are saying that those who pass the resolution reject the racism of those lodges.

    This is a very important point to understand. People have spoken of the proposed resolution as a strong-arm tactic, but that is not an accurate characterization. The resolution is a way for the resolvers to stand up for racial inclusion, not a way to force others to do so.

    Incidentally, sure, I'm all for sponsoring joint AF&AM/F&AM + PHA activities. You can bet, though, that there will be little enthusiasm for such an idea within the racist GLs.

    Sometimes, things get so bad that you have to vote with your back.

  95. Incidentally, sure, I'm all for sponsoring joint AF&AM/F&AM + PHA activities. You can bet, though, that there will be little enthusiasm for such an idea within the racist GLs.

    But I'm not talking about Grand Lodge activities, I'm talking about get-togethers and events at the blue lodge level. Even if some of the GL officers complain about inviting PH Masons to a lodge for a dinner, there's nothing stopping a bunch of brothers from meeting at a neutral area for a picnic or a barn raising or a blood drive.

    And I think that your characterization of the other GLs as "racist" is unfair. Do you know for a fact that the AF&AM GL officers refuse to do so only because of racism? I don't have any insight as to what they're thinking or doing, and I'm reasonably sure that the rest of us don't, either.

    And here's an interesting point: Have the PH GLs of those states "recognized" the AF&AM GLs? What about drafting a similar resolution to withdraw recognition form the PH GLs that don't recognize the AF&AM GLs?

  96. Brother Tom,

    You mentioned in your post:

    I think that your characterization of the other GLs as "racist" is unfair. Do you know for a fact that the AF&AM GL officers refuse to do so only because of racism? I don't have any insight as to what they're thinking or doing, and I'm reasonably sure that the rest of us don't, either.

    First and foremost, it is behavior that makes someone racist. Excluding men on the basis of race is racism--pure and simple. We don't need to discuss matters of motivation.

    One day, long ago, a man harmed my daughter. I didn't need to get to his motivation. I had to deal with the behavior.

    If we accept racist behavior, what are we saying about ourselves?

    I'm not being fair to the racist GLs? Can I actually be reading this?

    As far as the PHA lodges are concerned, I would note two things. First of all, as I mentioned: one Grand Lodge at a time. Second: the PHA guys have had to put up with over a century of racism, exclusion, and segregation from the F&AM lodges. As far as I'm concerned, let's get the F&AM lodges in order first, then we can chat with the PHA lodges.

  97. TE - First, I don't think that we can agree that a person harming your daughter is the moral equivalent of a GL not recognizing a PH GL. I'm not sure whey you even brought that up.

    Second, you might determine the actions of those GLs to be "racist," but we have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. Perhaps some of them already have plans in the works, and are making what slow progress they may. That is the reason why I believe it's unfair to characterize an entire GL as "racist." After all, the process started back in the 80s, it would seem on the surface that all of the AF&AM GLs were racist.

    Third, if we're going to be allowing slack to the PH GLs because of history, then why aren't we allowing slack to the AF&AM GLs because of history? Are we saying that it's okay to allow the PH GLs to be racist (or discriminatory) for some reasons?

    Fourth, I've said any number of times that it's very easy for me to have my opinions from the comfort of my butt in this chair 1,200 miles away. I have no idea what the culture in GA or AL or LA is really like, nor do I know what any of those GLs are up to. It's possible that they really are run by a bunch of old-fashioned rednecks who want no part of associating with anyone outside of their race. But it's also possible that there are a handful of decent, progressive-minded Masons who are doing their best to bring about change without freaking everyone out - and that goes for both the AF&AM and the PH members.

    I'm willing to bet on the latter case, which is why I believe that de-recognizing a GL is going to cause more, not less divisiveness. Human nature being what it is, I think that most people, when they believe they're being forced into a corner (or in this case, an unpopular decision) will get defensive rather than more open-minded.

  98. Bro WS,
    At some point masons are supposed to act on "right". Right actions are not that difficult to follow.
    Laws of the country supercede masonic racist laws, why those few rogue GLs refuse to evolve higher with the rest of us, is the secret of their masonry.

  99. Brother Tom,

    It seems that you have seriously misunderstood me, in at least four ways.

    First: I have not been discussing the recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges at all in any of my posts here. I have been discussing the situation wherein certain Grand Lodges--most notably Alabama--do not permit Black men to be initiated Masons. (For documentation, see my website.) This is racist exclusion, pure and simple.

    Second: The point I was making in the comparison to the man harming my daughter was not to say that this was morally equivalent to racism. Rather, I was making the point that, on some issues, behavior itself is the problem. That is certainly the case with racist exclusion; motivation is not the issue.

    Third: When I say that a Grand Lodge is racist, I am not saying or implying that every single individual Mason within the jurisdiction of that Grand Lodge is racist. What I am saying is that the administrative body that rules that Jurisdiction--the Grand Lodge--as a body, is racist (not necessarily as individuals there, either).

    Fourth: Again, withdrawing recognition does not force anyone to do anything. It is simply a statement that that GL's behavior is unacceptable--and, by the Square and Compasses, we ought to consider racism unacceptable within Freemasonry.

    The matter of recognition of PHA GLs is a worthy topic for discussion--but I do not happen to be discussing it. The same holds for the matter of PHA GLs recognizing AF&AM GLs--good issue, but not mine at the moment.

    You are concerned that withdrawing recognition from the GL of Alabama will cause more divisiveness. At some point, you have to stand up for what you believe, and I do not believe that racism has any place in Freemasonry. Freemasonry has a long history of using the withdrawal of recognition as a way to register that some practice or another is completely unacceptable. If racism is not in that category, what is?

  100. It seems that you have seriously misunderstood me,

    Ah, well, it wouldn't be my first time.

    I now understand that you're not talking about the non-recognition issue.

    The allegation that certain GLs will not allow blacks or other minorities to join the fraternity has come up in the past. This, of course, does reflect blatant discrimination, and is reprehensible, especially for an order that purports to believe in the "brotherhood of man, under the fatherhood of God."

    Could you provide some kind of proof or documentation of this behavior for those of us who come from more progressive states? While this may be "common knowledge" down south, I expect that many brethren in my area might have a hard time believing it. Personally, I wonder how any GL could presume to get away with this.

  101. Brother Tom,

    Three things: (1) documentation; (2) response to 'how could they get away with this'; (3) what is to be done.

    Regarding documentation: See my website (click on my name above), specifically my comment on my own post regarding a "Rationale" for withdrawal of fellowship, dated Nov. 2.

    Regarding your question about how a GL could get away with racism: Oh, Brother Tom--if only you visited in the South for awhile. Allow me to point two things out: (a) Racism is extremely alive and well in the South, moreso the older the generation (although you could sit down and chat with some young Aryan Nation kids who would turn your hair absolutely white with shock); (b) people get to rise in the Grand Line by not rocking the boat, and by appealing to popular prejudices; and, (c) other than withdrawal of fraternal recognition, there is nothing that a Grand Lodge has to fear from other Grand Lodges. What are they worried about? That we'll talk them to death?

    (The Masonic press is very weak these days, and is always subject to the vagaries of a Grand Master. I know of two Grand Lodges who threatened the membership of Masons in their jurisdictions who even read The Philalethes magazine--one, in a GL quite close to you, my friend. With a weak press, there is little the racist GLs have to fear.)

    Regarding what is to be done: Introduce legislation in every non-racist GL in the nation (even in the world) that withdraws fraternal recognition from the racist GLs. (I have a sample resolution on my website.) Start with Alabama (for reasons I mention on the website). Potential benefits:

    (a) it might get them to reflect and change;

    (b) at the very least, it keeps our own honor that much cleaner;

    (c) if we have the guts to go for it, it clears the way for non-racist GLs to 'colonize' the area, ultimately leading to the establishment of a non-racist GL in, for example, Alabama.

  102. I will explain at least one way it works. Despite the new "rule," I am not going to identify myself in this comment, because I do not want to identify the people I spoke with about this. I made a previous grand master of a southern state aware that I planned to propose a change to the state's masonic code from the floor. Before the meeting convened, I was approached by an emissary and asked not to present the proposal. The principal basis was that the proposal would be voted down and could make the grand lodge look bad if it got out to the public that this happened. Of course, the emissary was right. I did not present the proposal. POOF! Like magic, this grand lodge made itself the scum of the earth and dragged me down with them. I'll never forget or forgive.

  103. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot -- the proposal I referred to in my previous comment was to amend the state's masonic code to state that race was not a proper basis exclude a candidate from membership.

  104. I have just come across the anonymous comment that The Grand Lodge of All England claims itself to be the only true Masonry. This could not be further from the truth. The Grand Lodge at York does not make ANY comment about the internal affairs of ANY other Grand Lodge and that includes any statement as to their regularity or the truth or otherwise of their outlook or philosophy which is entirely a matter for them and their members. A reference to our website will confirm this beyond all doubt and this policy is strictly adhered to in our Lodges in the United States of America as elsewhere.


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