Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bro. Jeff Peace responds to Bro. Theron Dunn's 'Masonic Malcontents?' article

"Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content." — Louis L'Amour

Bro. Theron Dunn recently posted to his blog a piece called Masonic Malcontents?.

Below is Bro. Jeff Peace's response to Bro. Dunn's article.

Masonic Malcontents: Another Perspective

Bro. Theron Dunn has such a wonderful way of bending both reality and the truth to meet his own needs. After reading his essay Masonic Malcontents? I felt compelled to respond with a more realistic perspective.

Let's take a look at what he says in light of reality and the facts. Theron begins by saying "These brothers seem to feel that if only freemasonry would change, lock, stock and barrel to THEIR vision, that everything would be cool beans and freemasonry would grow."

I have to question this statement in relationship to the reality unfolding in American Freemasonry. The "malcontents" have not asked for any changes. They simply quit American Freemasonry to pursue their own interests. Based on the actual events that have taken place they would appear to have little, if any, concern with the old system. The argument that they are demanding change is simply without merit.

In his second paragraph he states: "The Problem is, their 'suggestions' for change
involve throwing away pretty much everything that makes Freemasonry, well, Masonic. This includes the Grand Lodge system, the lodges, the ritual, the tenets, how we meet, who we recognize... if all their plans were implemented, we would be something else, but not freemasonry."

While many of the "malcontents" have complained about the heavy handedness of the grand lodges, nowhere have I seen them call for an overall change to Freemasonry. Since each jurisdiction has its own unique rituals, and they change these from time to time (many were drastically changed in the 1920's and the Scottish Rite just re-wrote all of its rituals), the idea that the "malcontents" are calling for changes to the rituals is ridiculous. Nowhere have they said anything about changing the "tenets," or how lodges meet. They have, however, openly complained about the use of recognition to further racism in the southern United States. I feel this is justifiable on moral grounds, and that most of the modern world would agree with the "malcontents" on this issue.
They go on constantly about Grand Lodges being "monolithic" and "unresponsive." One of these brothers even recently wrote: "Monolithic systems such as Grand Lodges are well suited for mass production operations where everything is the same, but poorly suited to address individual needs. This, I believe, is the true nature of the problem. It's not about the needs of the ego but the spirit of the human being."

The problem is, this is incorrect, a sand foundation for all proceeding arguments, and in itself an ego driven position. These few brothers, and by few I mean less than a hundred (though they are quite vocal) out of, what, 4 million plus Freemasons worldwide, seem to hold the position that they are not bound by their obligation to Freemasonry, that they do not have to work within the system to effect change.
Theron shames himself in the above paragraphs by not revealing the whole truth, and only the part he wants his reader to believe. He claims that it's just a few brothers when he has no idea how many have been alienated by the existing system. He also twists the numerical statistics to meet the needs of his straw argument. The present situation is isolated to American Masonry and not the global fraternity of four million. Therefore, we are speaking of about two million Masons. Of these two million American Masons about 98% have not set foot in a lodge in the past twenty years and have no idea what's taking place in their lodges or Grand Lodge. To claim that two million American Masons agree that the present status quo represents their views is a rhetorical fabrication. Of the forty thousand that are actively involved in the fraternity about 30% of those are unsatisfied with the present system. This represents about twelve thousand dissatisfied active Masons.
Ego is the prime cause of this problem, and others like it. In masonic ritual, we are taught that we were first PREPARED to be made a mason in our hearts, then taught to circumscribe our desires, and "wait a time with patience." A lack of patience, and an over riding ego are the prime cause of these types of actions.
Is "ego" the real driving force in these events? Yes, but not in the way Theron would have us believe. When a Grand Master issues an edict or demand is it by its very nature unquestionable. Is it unreasonable for those affected by such edicts and demands to ask for the reasons and justifications behind them? Should Freemasons, as enlightened men, blindly follow the dictates of one man without reasonable justification? Past precedence has shown that asking for reasonable justifications is met with a heavy handedness by Grand Masters that includes threats and actions of suspension, expulsion, etc. designed to compel a blind submission to his whims and desires. So whose ego is truly driving the problem: that of the common blue lodge Mason or the Grand Master?

Theron even agrees on this point when he says: "If one cannot convince the majority of the correctness of his belief, then it strikes me as the height of chutzpah, ego and hubris...." The same applies to the actions of the Grand Master in regards to lodges and individual brothers. In the case of the Grand Masters they don’t even bother to try and convince anyone of the rightness of their actions or demands. They offer no reasonable justification at all, just "do what I say or else!" Again, I have to ask where is the real source of the ego problem: the Grand Master or the common brother?
With the RARE exceptions noted above, the universal experience has been one of friendship, support, study, contemplation, charity and brotherhood.
I would have to disagree with this statement based on the statistical data. If American Freemasonry were truly dedicated to "Friendship, support, study, contemplation, charity, and brotherhood." its lodges would be filled to overflowing at each meeting. Since 98% of the brethren haven’t attended in over twenty years it follows that it must not be the Utopia Theron would have us believe.

While Theron focuses on arguments of ego and malcontents American Freemasonry
continues its downward spiral into oblivion. Perhaps men like Theron could accomplish more if they focused on solving the problems that breed malcontent such as the egos of Grand Masters and other Masonic leaders.

— Jeff Peace

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  1. could the ???% of brothers who pay their dues, but have not been in a lodge for years, be considered "a passive malcontent",
    while those who work in another direction than the leaders and the stalwarts of traditions,be "active malcontents", and together they are both malconents, brothers, united in showing their displeasure with management?
    one chooses to not participate at all,
    while the other participates in an opposite direction than the establishment.

    Could the active malcontents really represent the majority this gentleman spoke of?
    The ones who disappeared!
    they are the majority of the freemasonic body and seem to have spoken through their feet! By choosing to not attend Lodge.

  2. I think it's clear that the majority of Masons who refuse to attend their own lodges don't attend because their lodge simply isn't offering anything they care to consume.

    There has been many issues I have disagreed with Brother Peace over for many years, but one thing that is undeniable is that the changes many of us have asked for would not affect the vast majority of lodges in any way. The right to work other rituals. The right to open on the correct degree. The right to establish our own requirements for membership and advancement (i.e., prerequisite readings and so forth).

    If our lodges were succeeding beyond anyone's wildest dreams, it would be logical to not mess with success. As that is hardly the case, asking Grand Lodges and Grand Masters to set aside their egos and, frankly, to get out of our way doesn't seem too much to ask.

  3. I don't like fish. In fact, I hate fish. But it doesn't bother me at all that some people love it, and really it's none of my business what other people eat anyway.

    If Masons who are so upset by the "Masonic Malcontents" followed that policy there wouldn't be much of a problem here. These are guys who want something different to eat. They're not asking me to eat it and their diet is none of my business.

  4. Active members vs inactive are not necessarily malcontents...

    I don't know about your lodges but in mine, we currently have 25 active members out of a total of 88. Most of the ones who are not active are elderly and cannot come to lodge because we finish our meetings too late.

    They either cannot stay awake that long or drive in the dark.

    However, I do remember 4 years ago when we only had 6-7 active members out of a total of 90. What changed? A lot of older members died and we initiated a lot of new guys.


  5. Dammit Jeff get a new picture taken already :^)


  6. This whole debate is about defending the indefensible on both sides of the equation. It might be amusing if anyone really cared about freemasonry in the 21st Century. Gentlemen: no one cares!

  7. I never considered myself a malcontent. I am quite content.


  8. were Franklin and Washington malcontents?

  9. I think you should give Catholicsm a try, I think you'll find what you are seeking.

  10. I think it would be great for an official source to bring to light the course of actions that led up to Halcyon turning in its charter. The truth should be made public, and I believe the Masonic community has a right to know.

    LOOK AT THE MOUTH PIECE THERON TRYING TO DISCREDIT THE YOUNG BRAVE MASONS and blur the truth since he has none truth to put forth, speculation is not truth no matter how long you scream it..



    Well, good thing I'm only asking for the truth as far as the Halcyon issue is concerned. I'd like to know the truth, and as a Mason -- never mind that fact that I'm a Mason in Ohio -- I believe I deserve it.

  13. Bravo to the Halcyon Lodge!!

    You brave bunch of Malcontents!!!


  14. Malcontents never consider themselves malcontents, regardless of the issue.

  15. Brother Bob, you've stumbled across a bit of truth there in the midst of your sarcasm. It really isn't anyone's business, and unless they elect to share something with us it's really not information any of us have a right to.

    I'm curious and I'd like to know more, but it's really not my business.

  16. Halcyon just updated their news page.

  17. it seems as if theron, ichermes and and prometheus have taken over Novus Ordo Saeculorum, I see the same threads started by same guys with the same MO. LRUS is not special anymore, it has merged with Novus Ordo Saeculorum to promote therons blog and the two forums mirror each other in content, mods and issues. Is there not enough places for th eaprrots the retell and rehash the same material?

    same things over and over over again?

    must be slow in their physical masonic worlds to have to post the same things all over the net.

  18. This is like Giuliani and Hillary arguing about the fate of the nation. They both stand for the same thing under different auspices. The Southern Jurisdiction is the last stronghold before we have Universal Masonry. It is a shame that southern white racist protestants are the last hope for Independent American Masonic Sovereignty and therefor keeping the globalists agenda on track. They spent decades keeping the occult attributes of Masonry out of the limelight and now the backlash is pushing them out. Sad ;( old men keeping America intact, for now...but the winds of change are stirring and those who are driving them may not know the true Masters behind the changes which they are initiating.

  19. Oh great! Now the conspiracy theorists enter the stage. lol

    This is all a global conspiracy initiated by the Illuminati who are controlling the minds of everyone but the racist old men down south.


    Please go and take your medication. You'll feel much better.

  20. Conspiracy:
    # a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act
    # a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
    # a group of conspirators banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose

    Does this not happen? It is documented as happening. My meds don't cancel out lies and deceit.

    "Now the first thing that Bob Jones University did was to deny that Thurmond was a Mason. But Thurmond wouldn’t go along with it. He knew he was too well known as being a Mason. So he came out and tried to defend Masonic beliefs that Christians can be that. It blew up on him."


  21. Anonymous...

    Well, good on ya. If you are discontented, work to change it. If you can't change it and can't stand it, vote with your feet.

    But like the fist analogy, just because you want lobster when its steak being served, and if you can't get lobster, don't take the tables away from everyone ELSE because you can't get your way.

    More, I have no problem with people who have complaints that try to effect change, but I DO have a problem with folks that try to destroy what they cannot change.

    THAT's ego. Like trying to equate the brothers who don't come with objectors... sheesh. MANY of the brothers who do not come are older, can't see at night, can't remember how to get to the lodge, or have other issues that prevent them from attending... like distance.

    In my lodge, almost 180 of the 330 members live in other states... where they retired, and are, many of them, active in local lodges while maintaining their mother lodge membership.

    Its intellectually dishonest to make your case that way... as Br. Samuel Clemons wrote: There are liars, damned liars, and statisticians.

  22. It's too bad the Fundamentalist Christians can't keep their occult practices out of the limelight. They are far too obvious.

  23. It should be mentioned that those malcontents raised the dues on their older membership to drive them out. It is not Masonic, it is extortion. To call them Masonic Malcontents is too much credit that Theron gives them if this is true. Those older brothers deserve respect, not to be tried without trial as it sounds was done. This is at least as bad as the Grand Lodge demanding compliance.

  24. As was pointed out elsewhere the dues of a lodge have match its expenses. Freemasonry is a volunteer organization. If you can't afford to be a member then what right do you have to demand that your lodge and brethren suffer just so you can continue paying $35 a year?

    If you are a true brother you would recognize that your fraternity needs a better cash flow to survive and would act accordingly.

    Freemasonry cannot survive in the 21st century on the same dues it did in the 1950's. You may not like to hear this but it is non-the-less a fact. Of course I guess we could abandon our lodge buildings and start meeting in brothers basements and garages if we had to keep the dues at $35.

    At $35 the members are paying $2.92 a month to be a Mason. If Masonry is only worth $2.92 then it must not be very important.

    The new Traditional Observance lodges are charging much more. I guess you think they are evil guys too.

  25. "The new Traditional Observance lodges are charging much more. I guess you think they are evil guys too."

    It's not what is being charged. But if the dues were raised with the primary purpose of driving out the older members, it is not Masonic. I am entirely willing to pay much more, but not at the cost of lost brethren in Masonry. That price is TOO high by anyone's standard that can honestly call themselves a Mason.

  26. The brethren who have taken over Halycon 498 and have now formed their own lodge seem to have forgotten the Ancient Landmarks of our Order, namely, the following landmarks:

    ~ 4 ~
    THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRATERNITY, by a presiding officer called a Grand Master, who is elected from the body of the craft, is a fourth Landmark of the Order. Many persons ignorantly suppose that the election of the Grand Master is held in consequence of a law or regulation of the Grand Lodge. Such, however, is not the case. The office is indebted for its existence to a Landmark of the Order. Grand Masters are to be found in the records of the institution long before Grand Lodges were established; and if the present system of legislative government by Grand Lodges were to be abolished, a Grand Master would still be necessary. In fact, although there has been a period within the records of history, and indeed of very recent date, when a Grand Lodge was unknown, there never has been a time when the craft did not have their Grand Master.

    ~ 5 ~
    THE PREROGATIVE OF THE GRAND MASTER TO PRESIDE over every assembly of the craft, wheresoever and whensoever held, is a fifth Landmark. It is in consequence of this law, derived from ancient usage, and not from any special enactment, that the Grand Master assumes the chair, or as it is called in England, "the throne," at every communication of the Grand Lodge; and that he is also entitled to preside at the communication of every Subordinate Lodge, where he may happen to be present.

    ~ 6 ~
    THE PREROGATIVE OF THE GRAND MASTER TO GRANT DISPENSATIONS for conferring degrees at irregular times, is another and a very important Landmark. The statutory law of Masonry requires a month, or other determinate period, to elapse between the presentation of a petition and the election of a candidate. But the Grand Master has the power to set aside or dispense with this probation, and to allow a candidate to be initiated at once. This prerogative he possessed in common with all Masters, before the enactment of the law requiring a probation, and as no statute can impair his prerogative, he still retains the power, although the Masters of Lodges no longer possess it.

    ~ 7 ~
    THE PREROGATIVE OF THE GRAND MASTER TO GIVE DISPENSATIONS for opening and holding Lodges is another Landmark. He may grant, in virtue of this, to a sufficient number of Masons, the privilege of meeting together and conferring degrees. The Lodges thus established are called "Lodges under Dispensation." They are strictly creatures of the Grand Master, created by his authority, existing only during his will and pleasure, and liable at any moment to be dissolved at his command. They may be continued for a day, a month, or six months; but whatever be the period of their existence, they are indebted for that existence solely to the grace of the Grand Master.

    ~ 8 ~
    THE PREROGATIVE OF THE GRAND MASTER TO MAKE MASONS AT SIGHT, is a Landmark which is closely connected with the preceding one. There has been much misapprehension in relation to this Landmark, which misapprehension has sometimes led to a denial of its existence in jurisdictions where the Grand Master was perhaps at the very time substantially exercising the prerogative, without the slightest remark or opposition. It is not to be supposed that the Grand Master can retire with a profane into a private room, and there, without assistance, confer the degrees of Freemasonry upon him. No such prerogative exists, and yet many believe that this is the so much talked of right of "making Masons at sight." The real mode and the only mode of exercising the prerogative is this : The Grand Master summons to his assistance not less than six other Masons, convenes a Lodge, and with out any previous probation, but on sight of the candidate, confers the degrees upon him, after which he dissolves the Lodge, and dismisses the brethren. Lodges thus convened for special purposes are called "occasional lodges." This is the only way in which any Grand Master within the records of the institution has ever been known to "make a Mason at sight." The prerogative is dependent upon that of granting dispensations to open and hold Lodges. If the Grand Master has the power of granting to any other Mason the privilege of presiding over Lodges working by his dispensation, he may assume this privilege of presiding to himself; and as no one can deny his right to revoke his dispensation granted to a number of brethren at a distance, and to dissolve the Lodge at his pleasure, it will scarcely be contended that he may not revoke his dispensation for a Lodge over which he himself has been presiding, within a day, and dissolve the Lodge as soon as the business for which he had assembled it is accomplished. The making of Masons at sight is only the conferring of the degrees by the Grand Master, at once, in an occasional Lodge, constituted by his dispensing power for the purpose, and over which he presides in person.

    ~ 25 ~
    The last and crowning Landmark of all is, that THESE LANDMARKS CAN NEVER BE CHANGED. Nothing can be subtracted from them-nothing can be added to them-not the slightest modification can be made in them. As they were received from our predecessors, we are bound by the most solemn obligations of duty to transmit them to our successors. Not one jot or one tittle of these unwritten laws can be repealed; for in respect to them, we are not only willing, but compelled to adopt the language of the sturdy old barons of England-"Nolumus leges mutari."

    Forget not the Ancient Landmarks, and you cannot go wrong. Forget them, and you'll find yourself in the position that this new lodge called Halycon now finds itself.

    My prayers go out to all involved, and more especially to the renegade brethren as I would hope to aid in a reformation, and a return of them to the leadership of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.

  27. "My prayers go out to all involved, and more especially to the renegade brethren as I would hope to aid in a reformation, and a return of them to the leadership of the Grand Lodge of Ohio."

    Your council is wise and good, brother. So mote it be.

  28. To my dear Brother from Virgina,
    Landmarks a funny things. Denpending on which GL you ask, there might be 3 (Michgan) or their might be 54 (Kentucky). None of the Landmarks you listed are considered Landmarks by the GL of Michigan. As far as I can tell Ohio does not have any specifically approved landmarks.
    Tony Melton

    Source -


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