True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What's Wrong with this Picture??

So, what is wrong with this picture. Its a white and blue map of the United States. It’s not a Democrat/Republican white state blue state map. No, this map shows a deeper divide, one that should not exist among Masons. The blue states in this map represent states where the Mainstream Grand Lodges have at least recognized that Prince Hall Masonry is regular masonry. Most of these states have also instituted some kind of mutual intervisitation.

The ritual of the Grand Lodge of California, in the first degree, speaking of Brotherly Love states:
By the exercise of brotherly love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and low, the rich and the poor, who, as created by one almighty parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and causes true friendship to exist among those who might otherwise remain at a perpetual distance.
This is pretty typical of the teaching in all grand lodges, and that is what makes the map above so wrong. You see, the states in red are those states that do not recognized that Prince Hall Masonry is FULLY REGULAR MASONRY. In some cases, for instance North Carolina, the issue has come up at their Grand Communication and received a majority vote, but has yet to receive the supermajority that Masonic tradition requires for changes to be implemented.

It is not the intention of the author to hold any one Grand Lodge, any brother, or any group of men up to ridicule, but to question a status that is simply unmasonic and untenable in this day and age. One of the Grand Lodges that, as of this writing, December 10, 2006, still do not recognize the legitimacy of Prince Hall Masonry stated, as recently as 1990 and upheld this in 1991:
… Grand Lodge adopted a resolution that included: "...the Grand Lodge of xxx ... has always considered ... Prince Hall affiliate, to be totally irregular and clandestine, having absolutely no Masonic authority, and the members thereof not to be Masons ... the Grand Lodge of xxx ... most strongly disapprove and condemn in the strongest terms available that action of any other Grand Lodge that may hereafter extend fraternal recognition to any Prince Hall affiliate organization at any time and anywhere located ... any contact or communication whatsoever between a xxx Mason ... and any Lodge under the jurisdiction of any Grand Lodge that does now or may hereafter make any fraternal recognition of any Prince Hall affiliate organization, or between a member of any Lodge under the jurisdiction of such a Grand Lodge ... shall be cleared through the ... Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of xxx ... and approved by the Grand Master of Masons in xxx, on a case-by-case basis."
So, you are a Mason as long as you are white… according to this Grand Lodge. Some of these Grand Lodges make the, weak, argument that Prince Hall is not regular Masonry because of its provenance. However, a cursory, or in-depth review of the facts of the matter show the Prince Hall Grand Lodges to predate the antecedents of most existing grand lodges today, AND their original charter was issued by the Grand Lodge of England, a charter still on display at the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts once per year.

Then, as we look at the map, we see among the states that do not recognize the legitimacy of the Prince Hall Masonry to be many of those that were members of the Confederacy, where a war was fought, in part, to end slavery. Is this a coincidence? This author will not go so far as to stipulate cause and effect, but a brother has to wonder why all the Grand Lodges of those states, including most recently (this year) the Grand Lodge of Texas, recognize the legitimacy of Prince Hall Masonry, and only the southern states, do not.

This situation needs to be remedied, but how can it be fixed from outside, and more importantly, should it? Each grand lodge is sovereign unto itself. This was settled in the late 1700’s when Wr. George Washington was offered the position of Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of the United States, and rejected the idea. The whole concept of a single, overarching United Grand Lodge of the United States died, though it is occasionally revisited, never very seriously. As American’s, we value our independence.

The whole idea of territorial sovereignty is a new one, created, it seems, out of whole cloth. The rationale for it was to deal with Prince Hall Lodges. It gave the “Mainstream” grand lodge a way to consider a Prince Hall Lodge as clandestine and irregular for violating its territorial sovereignty. This left African American men on the horns of a dilemma: They could not join a mainstream lodge because of racism, but if they joined a “black” lodge, they would be treated as clandestine and irregular, that is, not recognized as regular Masons, by their brother Masons. Their choice was one of: Give up Freemasonry or be an “irregular” Mason. Tough choice. Thankfully, many men chose to be considered irregular and to pursue Freemasonry anyway.

Territorial Sovereignty is ingrained in freemasonry today, at least in the United States, and it is unlikely that it can be addressed simply or easily. There is, however, a recent example of other grand lodges influencing the behavior of another grand lodge using recognition.

Strangely enough, this issue comes from the recognition of the Regularity of the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF) by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota. The GLdF is considered clandestine because they have mixed member lodges, women’s lodges, and do not require a profession of a belief in a deity to become a Mason. Almost immediately upon recognizing the regularity of the GLdF, United States Grand Lodges began withdrawing their recognition of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota.

As Wr. Tim Bryce notes in Recognizing Prince Hall Masonry: To Be or Not To Be?:
…A few years ago the Grand Lodge of Minnesota created a stir in the fraternity when it recognized the GLdF which was considered clandestine by many grand jurisdictions. Consequently, many jurisdictions rescinded their recognition of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota until they finally revoked recognition of France. Using this same logic, if the Dixie jurisdictions truly consider Prince Hall Masonry as clandestine, they should revoke recognition of all grand jurisdictions who recognize Prince Hall (including the UGLE). Failure to do so is hypocrisy. This of course won't happen as the Dixie jurisdictions would face isolation in a remarkably similar fashion as the southern states did in the American Civil War.
If any grand lodge in the United States were to remove its requirement that a candidate acknowledge a faith in god, or allow women as members, the other 50 grand lodges in the United States (AT LEAST) would withdraw their recognition and declare them to be clandestine and irregular in their practice before the ink on the declaration had time to dry. That being the case, and seeing as the use of recognition DOES work, and keeping in mind that we are to WHISPER good counsel and thereby seek to bring about a reformation, perhaps something along the following lines might be offered:

At the Grand Master’s Conference on Regularity, the following resolution might be offered:
Resolved: That Prince Hall Masonry is regular Masonry in all respects, and Resolved: That the exercise of brotherly love requires that we extend the Masonic hand of friendship to all regular brothers;

Be it resolved that all Grand Lodges, whithersoever dispersed around the globe that two years from the date of this resolution that any grand lodge that has not extended and amended their constitutions, codes and rules as necessary to recognize Prince Hall Masonry as regular in ALL respects shall have its intervisitation rights withdrawn.

Be it further resolved that all Grand Lodges, whithersoever
dispersed around the globe that three years from the date of this resolution that any grand lodge that has not extended and amended their constitutions, codes and rules as necessary to recognize Prince Hall Masonry as regular in ALL respects shall have their recognition withdrawn entirely and that/those grand lodges deemed clandestine and irregular.

Be if further resolved that all Grand Lodges, whithersoever dispersed around the globe that four years from the date of this resolution that any grand lodge that has not extended and amended their constitutions, codes and rules as necessary to recognize Prince Hall Masonry as regular in ALL respects will have its lodges offered a new charter under this grand lodge and all members healed and action taken to ensure that good men of color are offered the ability to join the lodge by vacating the use of the SECRET ballot for a period of five years.
This resolution and practice would give the brothers of a grand lodge that does not recognize the regularity of Prince Hall Masonry four years to make the necessary changes so they can be considered regular. As has been noted before: “All it takes for evil to succeed is for men of good will to do NOTHING.” It is time Freemasons stood up and said in a loud and clear voice, NO MORE.

There may be brothers in these grand lodges that have not taken a stand against this practice of ignoring our Prince Hall brothers because they do not know about it, or because there are other issues before them, or because it does not affect them. Its time that we let them know about the issue, that we made it an issue before them, and that we make it affect them. If a man rejects a brother Mason because of the color of his skin, we must take the time to whisper good counsel in his ear.

Its time we stopped waiting on each other. Some GLs have stated they wanted to wait for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge to ASK for recognition. That should not be a condition, as brothers, we should extend unilaterally the hand of friendship. The whole map should be blue, for we are either all brothers before god, or none of us.

By the exercise of brotherly love, the very least we can do is extend our hand to our brothers.

By an extreme coincidence, the Burning Taper published a similar comment today. Please take a moment to read my brother's comment at the Burning Taper.

May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons, may brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us.

35 comments:

Tom Accuosti said...

I'm going to use some of my New England Yankee economy and repost here something I just wrote on Burning Taper:

And once again I'm going to toss out my two cents by saying that recognition - or lack thereof - may not be attributed simply to race. There are political considerations between Grand Lodges that make some recognition problematic.

For example, in Conn there is only one Prince Hall GL. However, some states seem to have two or more. PHA, which seems to be the one recognized by more of the mainstream GLs; and PHO, which claims to be the legitimate PH in several states. Furthermore, some states have other orders that have split off from the original PH GLs, making recognition a bit messy.

Another point is that we - mainstreamers - act as if all of the PH GLs are waiting in the lobby, just begging to be recognized. This is most assuredly not the case; recognition, especially in the early stages, involves a lot of diplomacy, and back-and -forth visits and negotiations. Some PH GLs have not applied for recognition status to the AF&AM GLs.

Some PH GLS have concerns that AF&AM lodges will swallow up the small population of PH Masons - or possibly attract those who might otherwise apply to a PH lodge. In many states (I believe that Conn is one) PH lodges do not allow affiliation outside the jurisdiction, i.e., a PH Mason can not join an AF&AM lodge as an affiliate member.

Here's another consideration: Generally, the newer GL applies to the older one for recognition. The GL of Grand Fenwick (for example) would apply to the UGLE, not the other way around. Don't ask me, it's just the way it's done. However, some PH GLS claim to be older than the GL of the US state in which they're located, by virtue of the fact that PH predates most of the states, having been chartered in the 1700s. AF&AM GLs, however, won't apply to a PH because they see the PH as being "newer".

Yes, it's stupid, but that's diplomacy for you.

I'm also going to add that in Conn, last year we approved a motion that would grant automatic recognition to any PH body in the US what was also recognized by the AF&AM GL in that state. That is, when North Carolina votes to recognize the PH GL in NC, then we, the GL of Conn, will automatically grant amity without having to vote on it during a GL session.

Yes, we are pretty awesome up here, thanks for noticing.

ICHermes said...

We work in stone and change is slow, but I do see changes and I, for one, will be glad when the men in these states voting down such efforts can start acting like Masons and we can knock of the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

This is just a showcase of the hypocrisy of the "mainstream" system. A Man can be a Mason in California but not in Tennessee? It is just plain stupid and blatently unMasonic. BUT the fault of this aberation does not all to be found in the racist GL's of the south hands. IT is also with the others for continuing to recognise racist GL's.

But what should we expect? This is as old as the hills. Going back to 1868 when the racist GL of Lousiana was responsible for getting the GOdF derecognised for the GOdF's "mistake" of actually praticing equality amongst men.

BC2006

Theron Dunn said...

Well, BC, that is certainly one way of viewing things. Thanks for sharing everyone!

For issues of recognition among PH Grand Lodges, take a look at the Phylaxis Society website at http://www.phylaxis.org and their section on Bogus Freemasonry at: http://www.phylaxis.org/bogusmasonry/front.htm

The Grand Lodge of California addressed the issue of recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges by voting in 2006 to recognize as regular ANY Prince Hall Grand Lodge that the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California, Inc. recognizes.

This relieved the GLoCA of having to wade through the issue that the MWPHGLOCAI had already addressed.

My brothers, if your grand lodge does not recognize Prince Hall, you should ask yourself why not. If it does, excellent!

Anonymous said...

Why would a GL that recognizes PH in their own jurisdiction have to wait for a racist GL to come around before recognizing all PH GLs?

Theron Dunn said...

I have to say I am not sure what you mean about waiting for "racist" GLs to come around. No one has suggested that anyone wait for anyone on this issue.

Recognizing PH grand lodges is not just a simple matters. What do you do when there are two, three, five, fifteen "Grand Lodges" claiming to be "Prince Hall"... have a read of the Phylaxis.org website to see how tangled a web it can be.

Anonymous said...

This is all just another example of how out dated the pratice of "recognition" really is.

This is my opinion of course.

BC 2006

Prexy said...

Brother Dunn,
Great post. Just a quick question though. Could you point me to where I can find the vote you mention that recognized all PH GL's recognized by PH of California? Try as I might, I cannot find this in the results of any annual communication, and I have looked several years back. Thank you.

Theron Dunn said...

Prexy;

The vote was at the October 2004 Grand Communication in San Francisco. As it was three years ago, I do not recall the legislation number, but if you are curious, please contact the Grand Secretary, VW John Cooper, III.

He will have the details. I was fortunate enough to be there at the vote for that legislation.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with this map. In fact, everything is right with it!

It clearly shows the democratic nature of Freemasonry. Grand Lodges who have a majority of members who do not want to recognise PH, don't. Whether right or wrong that is the power of democracy.

It also shows that each Grand Lodge is autonomous. Another worthy tradition. This prevents one Grand Lodge from forcing its views on another completely seperate Grand Lodge. Of course they could always revoke recognition. Then it is still up to the offending GL and therefore its members to change or not.

So, whats wrong with this picture? The fact that it is being used to represent an evil when it is actually representitive of some of the greatest good in Freemasonry.

Unless of course you believe a society is better off having views that one group perceive as good FORCED on everyone whether they agree or not that is.

Br. Arthur Peterson

Theron Dunn said...

Br. Petersen;

I'm not at all interested in forcing any brother or grand lodge to do anything. Quite the opposite. However, if the majority of the members of your grand lode decided to allow atheists to join and /or dropped the requirement for a VSL to be open while at labor, the rest or the regular grand lodges would drop amity and recognition of your grand lodge immediately.

That is not interfering, its just a matter of recognition by the rest of masonry that your practice is not regular. I am suggesting, no, I am calling for all regular grand lodges to treat any grand lodge that will not allow blacks as members and/or refuses to extend regularity to Prince Hall Grand Lodges in exactly the same manner as we would any grand lodge that allows atheists.

No interference at all. You could continue to operate as you want, as the majority of your brethren want, but you would do it WITHOUT the recognition of the rest of regular grand lodges.

There are always consequences to decisions, and I would never consider interfering in your grand lodge's affairs. However, I cannot, in good conscience, sit back and countenance that behavior by tacitly accepting it and continuing regularity and amity.

There is ample precedent for this. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota extended amity to the GOdF, which the rest of regular masonry considers clandestine. MY Grand Lodge withdrew amity and recognition immediately, until they changed their minds and withdrew the amity.

It is my intention to try to get my grand lodge to present the suggested legislation I noted at the Grand Masters Convention as soon as possible, to put an end to this practice.

It may not be racist, but it sure looks like it, and operates like, and several grand lodges, perhaps not yours, but we could all name a few of them, actively prevent or discourage men of color from joining their lodges. THAT is racist, and in my opinion, unmasonic.

Anonymous said...

Racism is not a Masonic landmark. In fact, it is against everything Freemasonry stands for. It is impossible to be a racist and a Freemason. Freemasons where slaughtered under various regimes for thier resitance to racism. These GL's racist pratices is like pissing on the grave of those Brothers who's lives where given in the fight against such tyranny.

Racist GL's should be stripped of thier "regular" status. That is, if that actually means anything other than the economic.And I strongly doubt that it does.

BC 2006

Anonymous said...

BC2006,

You say "you can not be a Freemason and be a racist".

Perhaps you may have forgotten famous masons such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, Albert Pike, Leadbeater, etc.

It is perfectly possible to be a racist and be a Freemason.

It is only recently that it has been frowned upon. In fact as recently as the 80's the vast majority of the country did not recognise Prince Hall.

Was not the KKK founded by masons? Absolutely.

So tell me wise one, who's graves are we pissing on?

The fact is that the morality of the nation is changing. In many places Racism is unacceptable. In others it is still the norm.

Freemasonry to a very large degree lets each man decide for himself what is acceptable and what isn't. That is the tolerance we so often hear talked about and speak about.

If you can not accept that some Brothers hold a view that is diametrically opposed to your own, and still desire to call them Brother, you have missed a great lesson in Masonry IMO. In fact I would say you are a Masonic hypocrite.

It is ok to expect a Brother who is Christian to fraternise with one who is Muslim, or a liberal to fraternise with a conservative, yet we condemn one who is racist simply because we are not. Hypocracy!

Every state has Brothers who are racist. They may be the minority in most states, but they are there and Brothers just the same.

The South will change. That is inevitable, and good.
Until it happens, get off your high horses and remember that it wasn't that long ago you were here too!

Unmasonic my butt!

Inappropriate by todays standards, in most places, absolutely.

"It's not about me changing them..."

Br. Arthur Peterson

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? Do you really believe what you wrote, or are you just standing up for your racist GL? Please, show me evidence of the KKK being founded by Freemasons. Also, I would like to see evidence of Brother Franklin's and Washington's racism. And Pike, did you get that from Freemasonry watch?

Religion is one thing, Freemasonry does not itself conflict with any religion, it enhances them all. The principals of Freemasonry are not compatible with bigotry. Bigotry is the in direct oppesition to enlightenment.

God Bless,
BC 2006

Anonymous said...

BC 2006,

Would you not consider slavery the greatest form of racism?

Every man I named owned slaves.

As to the KKK, do your own research. Nothing I said was pulled from any source other than history.

Educate yourself before you cast the stone of judgement.

"The principals of Freemasonry are not compatible with bigotry."

From what I have seen you post on forums and blogs, you are far from an expert on its principles.

Tell me one lesson in Freemasonry that tells a man how he must think.

Br. Arthur Peterson

Anonymous said...

Seriously Arthur I have nothing to say to you. I will leave it at that.

God Bless,
BC 2006

Anonymous said...

"There is ample precedent for this. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota extended amity to the GOdF,"

Actually, Bro. Theron, it was the GLdF, and NOT the GOdF. This is documented. Those two are very different.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the vicious fight above, let me point out inherent ironies and strangeness in reality:

In my EA ritual it is stated that all men are created from one God and from one source. This would seem to me that a statement that we indeed have no place to be racist or have bigoted attitudes toward other ethnicities, etc.

I think that this is the spirit of the letter of what the degree is intended to convey and I will say, IMHO, racism has no place in the Craft.

HOWEVER, the racist may hear the same thing I heard and agree to the extent that he will consider such a truth to be shared amongst those he actually considers worthy of humanity. That is, if the racist does not even consider a black man a human being or worthy of humanity, then the statement about men being derived from one source does not extend the feelings of this racist to a black man.

Sad, but true in most hardcore cases. But, racism is very diverse and we can see it in many forms. Bigotry the same.

Anonymous said...

Br. Arthur,
Although you cite Ben Franklin as having owned slaves, by his own pen he writes later in life that he had come to believe that slavery was wrong. Even founding fathers must grow as individuals, even more so for Masons. Try to get your facts straight...
Also, not only do I have proof that in some states it is just for racism sake, I will be sharing it with the world soon. It is hard to debunk audio tapes of prominent Masonic leaders bragging about how they influenced votes to keep the south white only.

Masked Mason

Myers3507 said...

I'm amazed by the squabbling & misunderstanding I find on this page. We must make sure that we can discern the significant difference between a Grand Lodge & an individual Mason. An individual Mason has the luxury of being able to make decisions for himself - and to change his mind in a single moment of deep, spiritual reflection. Grand Lodges, on the other hand, change slowly, upon deliberation of its constituents. I assure you that there are many fine Brothers in Old Dixie who have waited eagerly for this day to come.

Do not forget that a man becomes a Mason through the actions of a constituent Lodge, which Lodge is under no obligation to admit anyone at the prompting of any external power - not even a Grand Lodge. A Grand Lodge may vote for mutual recognition & inter-visitation, but any individual Lodge may still deny the Petition of any particular applicant without having to state a reason for such. Is your Lodge willing to give up its sovereignty? Can entire Grand Lodges debate & pass amendments & regulations due to the will of a few mavericks who believe they are inspired - with only a sense of Justice on their side?

The truth is that - for centuries - the Brothers Who Came Before Us admitted the Masons they wished to make & our Rolls became full of many Masons of minimal qualifications (to put it kindly). This is no fault of any Grand Lodge, nor is it necessarily due to the untoward actions of any individual Mason on this side of the grave - and each Mason then learned & grew according to his own ability to understand the Principles of Freemasonry. Please Wait a While in Patience until each Grand Lodge, Lodge, and Mason can come to terms with these issues. It will be a glorious day - and well worth the wait - when we can Enjoy Masonic Communication with Our Brethren!

I wish we had had this forum 15 years ago when I was a young Louisiana Mason trying to come to terms with my realization that there was segregation in my beloved Freemasonry. I did find a way to keep myself obedient to my Grand Lodge while at the same time working to bring change. I realized that leaving the Craft - or changing Jurisdictions - would only help support the status quo. Of course I was met with resistance - even accusations of disobedience from my older Brethren - but it was worthwhile. Oh, the stories I can tell!

I was there when the Connecticut Grand Lodge recognized the PHA Grand Lodge operating in its Jurisdiction & the Louisiana Grand Lodge was the only one to withdraw Fraternal Relations. I was a Delegate to Grand Lodge at about that time & many of us did disagree with the withdrawal - but we were not the majority. It was hard to take at the time, but Peace & Harmony had to Prevail if we were to bring change. Louisiana soon reinstated Relations & instead issued some kind of a letter advising Connecticut of its err. This was progress, Brothers - remember when - around 1900 - the State of Washington Grand Lodge recognized PHA? A bunch of Grand Lodges withdrew Fraternal Relations - and many of them were not in the Land of Dixie! GLSW soon withdrew its recognition from the PHA & regained its Fraternal Relations. That's the way things are done, Brothers!

Get your hands on a recent copy of the Louisiana Scottish Rite Trestleboard & take a look - there's an article by Ill. William Mollere, S.G.C. in Louisiana. In the article, he makes it clear - to my understanding - that racial prejudice has no place in Masonry! Things are definitely changing, Brothers - why do you all seem to have such a hard time accepting the normal pace of Grand Lodge action?

Please don't gripe any more about the Rules & Regulations of a Grand Lodge of which you are not a member. Let our Brothers - Wheresoever Dispersed - learn & grow through correct education at their own pace. Or you might quicken the pace by having your Grand Lodge withdraw Fraternal Relations!

As for me, I am proud to be able to present my point-of-view above my actual name - in the light of day - leaving no doubt among anyone as to my identity. I wish you all the greatest of experiences & growth as Masons!
I remain Duly & Truly your Brother,
Kyle Wayne Myers, P.M.
Rudolph Krause Lodge #433, Lake Charles, Louisiana
32o, A.A.S.R., Orient of Louisiana

Anonymous said...

Well said! WBr. Myers. Well said indeed.

Myers3507 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Myers3507 said...

Thanks, Anonymous, whoever you are. By the way, I apologize for the silly mistake I made due to my late-night fatigue. Ill. William Mollere, as fine of a Man & Mason as can be found anywhere, is nonetheless not S.G.C. in Louisiana (there is no such title), but is rather S.G.I.G. for the Orient of Louisiana. He was only recently elevated from Deputy in Louisiana to his new position as Sovereign Grand Inspector General. I regret my error.

Anonymous said...

My appologies WBr. Myers...

I usually sign my postings but was in a hurry the day I posted the "Well said!" comment.

Just so you know who admired your post!

Br. Arthur Peterson
New River Lodge #736
Jacksonville, NC

P.S. Anyone care to explain how one gets one of these official posting names?

Tom Accuosti said...

Bro. Arthur -

Sign up for a Google Blog. If you have a gmail account it's easy, if not, go to gmail.com and sign up. Then, use that account to open a blog by going to blogger.com. In the settings it allows you to have a "private" blog, or alternately, you can start one and just give it any name and a single post - like "Hello World". Afterwards, simply log into your Google gamil or blogger account and when you visit any Blogger (i.e., xxx.blogspot.com) blog, you'll be logged in and your identity will be automatic.

Myers3507 said...

Thanks, Bro. Peterson,
I totally agree with what you've stated in your posts. Freemsonry is a fine model for democratic principles & action. History shows that Ill. Bro. Pike not only helped found the KKK in Pulaski, Tenn., but also that he wrote at least a substantial portion of the rituals. This is not to say, however, that he was any more of a racist than most other men of his time - whether in the North or South. We tend to judge these matters in OUR context, which was not the context at that time. I assure you that I'm no friend of Klansmen, but I cannot deny the facts of history. Politicians & arm-chair sociologists often have a funny way of interpreting events & sentiments in ways that skew them according to some contemporary agenda. As someone with a strong desire for comprehensive, responsible interpretations of history, I always "consider the source" when I read "anonymous" comments. I meant no offense to you, of course - one "anonymous" looks to me the same as any other! I suspect that some writers leave out their names on purpose - for obvious reasons. I look forward to further discourse on this & other interesting topics.
Kyle Wayne Myers, P.M.
Krause Lodge No. 433, F.& A.M.
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Anonymous said...

WBr. Myers,

I'd love to see your thoughts on the discussion forums. We cover many topics of interest to Masonry.
Here are my two favorites. If you post on others let me know.

http://www.lodgeroomuk.net/bb/index.php

http://novusordosaeculorum.com/


See ya around the net.

Br. Arthur Peterson

P.S. My sentiments exactlly in regards to Anonymous postings!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch Tom! I will do that right after this post.

Br. Arthur Peterson

Arthur Peterson said...

Just a test!

Myers3507 said...

Regarding comments by BC2006:

I'm curious about your meaning when you write "Louisiana was responsible for getting the GOdF derecognized for...actually practicing equality amongst men." My first impression is that your comment is vague - I simply find nothing in your comment that describes any particular action by the GL of the State of Louisiana. Secondly, I find that many U.S. Grand Lodges withdrew Fraternal Relations from the GOdF because in 1868 it recognized an allegedly irregular Supreme Council operating in Louisiana.

While I cannot at this moment make any judgement regarding the regularity of said Supreme Council, it seems these acts of Severance were at the option of Grand Lodges outside of Louisiana. Whether or not I agree with the American principle of Territorial Jurisdiction, those Grand Lodges did withdraw relations from the Grand Orient de France by 1878.

The GOdF did not help matters at all when - in 1877 - it removed belief in God & immortality of the soul as Qualifications for Initiation. At that, most Grand Lodges of the world viewed this as a departure from Masonic tradition and, along with the remaining 9 American Grand Lodges, withdrew Fraternal Relations.

Due to my strong sense of fairness & desire for Temperence, I will assume that you are not putting an axe to grind, but that you did not have - or simply misunderstood - the facts. Otherwise, I welcome any further Light you can shed on your comments.

K W Myers, P.M.
Krause Lodge #433, F.& A.M.
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Anonymous said...

Bro. Myers,

I am glad that you are so proud of your GL jurisdiction, unfortuneatly, there are malevolent forces in mine that have openly threatened me and other brothers concerning the racial issue. Keep towing the line and eventually it will pull you down with it. I do not say that because I feel ill will toward you, but you speak as if your experience is the same as everyone else's. Yes, change is coming, but for those with a strong conscience and the need for progress as promoted by the very teachings of Masonry, I can not and will not ever step foot in a lodge in my jurisdiction again that practices racial predjudice.

Masked Mason

Myers3507 said...

Regarding the foregoing statement by an Anonymous Masked Mason:

Because I have struggled with these same issues & have faced similar malevolent forces within my own Grand Lodge, I cannot criticize your position of absent protest - I believe it's called "voting with your feet." There was a time when I was ready to make a similar choice - and, sadly, some of my dearest Brothers made the same choice you made - I miss them, but I can certainly appreciate that point-of-view.

In the end, however, some of us chose to remain on the rolls, active & involved - to be a constant reminder of the change we craved. We refused to be intimidated by Brothers whose socialization and/or ignorance kept them from embracing Universal Brotherhood. I conceived my strategy as one of "In Your Face": once, while I was W.M., I brought a Prince Hall Brother to our meal hour & enjoyed his company right there in front of my fellow Lodge members - and there was nothing they could do about it! He was very personable & gracious - he enjoyed our company as well & left in time for me to open the Lodge.

"Voting with your feet" - as you did - was equally as valuable as was working for change from within - as many of us have done. Each of us - yourself included - has helped bring change in our own way - be glad in it!

Remember that it is individual Brothers & perhaps constituent Lodges which practice racial prejudice. Our Grand Lodges are not prejudiced, per se - it is the Past Masters & other representatives who serve as proxies of their constituent Lodges who can be racially prejudiced.

I once told my Louisiana Brothers that, though I may disagree with certain Grand Lodge Regulations, I nonetheless Agree to remain loyal to the Law that makes me a Mason. I have & will continue to do so, however, I much anticipate the moment when I can visit my Prince Hall Brothers without violating my Obligation - and my Brothers know it!

By the way, though my home Lodge is in Louisiana, I now live in Texas, whose Grand Lodge last year recognized the Regularity of the PHA Grand Lodge operating in its Jurisdiction. I have met many fine, Texas Brothers, who, like me, are eager to Enjoy Masonic Communication with PHA Brethren. It's a pleasant change to meet with so many Brothers who do understand the facts & are so happy to cast aside the old ways, inhibitions, even prejudices (if these Brothers ever held any).

Rather than being pulled down, I have become stronger in knowledge, understanding, and spirit, while at the same time maintaining my status as a Past Master of a Louisiana Lodge & as a member of the A.A.S.R. Change is inevitable & we have contributed to it. So Mote It Be!
K. W. Myers, P.M.
Louisiana

Anonymous said...

Bro. Myers,
I can not disagree with your logic and hope that you are right. I see some progress and I am glad for it.

Frat.,
Masked Mason

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon because I do not speak English in a real proper way but it seems to me that Prince Hall Lodges should never be recognized as Regular because such an act violates Masonic Principles.

Black and white stones in the floor of a Lodge are placed together. You never see white stones on one side and black stones on the other side.

I am a Past Grand Master in Colombia, South America, and in all Central and South American Lodges, black, whites, chinesses, whatsoever race members may be, they all dwell together in the same lodge.

To recognize Prince Hall is to accept that we do not want to have people of a different race in our Temples.

Therefore, this Prince Hall members should be all members of the same Grand Logde. And white Freemasons should accept the Idea of having a Negro Race Grand Master, and, in turn, black race Freemasons should accept a Caucasian Grand Master.

Recognizion of Prince Hall seems to me a subtle form of racism. And as I said before, that is NOT adecuate to Masonic Principles.

Kyle Myers said...

While I do appreciate & agree with the beautiful idealism of our Brother from Columbia, we are nonetheless faced with the fact that we have two seperate-but-equally-valid Fraternities that should no longer fail to Communicate. Of course we hope for the day when white & black candidates can join either Fraternity without impediment - and this might alleviate the concerns of our Columbian Brother & others who share his view. To be sure, this is the case in some locations - we are already aware of Prince Hall Masons who are white & UGLE Masons who are black. Eventually, we hope that every Jurisdiction will simply govern their own members - of whatever race - and share territory happily with other Grand Lodges who are in Amity - as has been done in Europe from Time Immemorial.
Kyle W. Myers, P.M., Krause Lodge #433, Lake Charles, Louisiana
member, San Gabriel Lodge #89, Georgetown, Texas

 
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