GL of Louisiana withdraws recognition of GEKT

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by texanmason, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Same here.
    Interesting observation. I hadn't looked at it this way before. Thinking on it I believe that I have to agree.
     
  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It's a major difference in Texas. GL reserves the right to approve or deny Texas Masons' belonging to organizations which require their members to be Master Masons. It has NO authority to approve or deny membership in any organization which does NOT have such a requirement.
     
  3. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I’m unaware of any US GL which does not reserve the right to regulate their Masons’ membership in organizations with a Masonic requisite.
     
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  5. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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  6. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    That may very well be the case here, too, and I'm sure it probably is, but to me, it's a pretty weak argument to claim that authority. I'm not in the Shrine and don't have any interest in joining, so it's really academic on my part.

    I sort of see it like this: Let's say someone opened a private restaurant that limited its members to only Master Masons and their families simply as a way to know who you were letting in. There were no Masonic signs or imagery anywhere in the place. There were no tiled Masonic meetings. If two people wanted to discuss Masonic business or degree work, that would be a simple conversation between two people, not official policy of the restaurant. The restaurant doesn't pay any kind of affiliation fee to the state GL. ..... To me you'd have a tough time trying to say a GL could tell people they can't eat there.

    Again, none of it really affects me. I just like stirring the pot when it comes to authoritarian overreach :D.
     
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  7. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    From reading PGM Vaught's response, this whole deal seems to me to be just like I said ... I peeing contest that negatively impacts a bunch of people who have nothing to do with it, and it resulted in the Grand Commander of Louisiana getting removed. It looks to me like La.'s GM sent out the word to coincide with the Triennial, a time which the Grand Encampment had bigger things on its mind than petty matters and checking email. Vaught said the man in question would be expelled, but the Grand Encampment has rules, and those rules will be followed.

    That's what happens when you have one organization that abides by the rule of law and another person who wants to be a dictator. There is collateral damage.
     
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  8. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    How can an organization have a rule that if a man is no longer a Mason, he can still be a Templar? Even for the time it takes to do the internal paperwork. If membership relies on being a Mason, once that stops, so should the membership?

    And as for PGM's response, it to me seems like a classic example of pointing the blame anywhere else than at himself. He should know that as a top of the order, he is ALWAYS responsabile ultimately. This does not seem like great leadership to me, and probably speaks to why this situation started initially.
     
  9. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Considering that the MWGLoTX chartered out of Louisiana, there is much we have in common with them.

    In this case it’s a singular issue within the larger organizations. Unfortunately at this point I’ve heard more details than what is shown in the public documentation.

    Sadly, because the GEKT is refusing to expel a now “non Mason”, the MWGLoLA felt no other option than to pull their own recognition of the GEKT.

    Hopefully a bit of peer pressure will help expedite the removal of the individual and the repair of the whole.
     
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  10. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    A weak authority to claim to regulate whether a Mason can join a body with a Masonic prerequisite? I assure you, Masonic jurisprudence indicates otherwise. Multiple GLs, including UGLE, have exercised that authority.
     
  11. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    One of my favorite quotes: "...I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Thomas Jefferson.

    Sometimes, jurisprudence and popular sovereignty - government only by consent of the governed - bump heads.

    Again, I just like being contrarian and a sea lawyer. You would have had a time with me as a young sailor 30 years ago! ;)
     
  12. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    The way I read it was they don't have a rule that you can be a Templar and no longer be a Mason. They have a rule that someone doesn't get kicked out without due process (that whole 5th amendment thing). Vaught said it required a trial, and the trial would be quick, cut and dry, but there has to be a trial conducted by his local Commandery.

    Maybe the Grand Encampment prefers to follow the rule of law and due process rather than govern by arbitrary whim and edict.
     
  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I see no conflict between jurisprudence and “popular sovereignty “, as it is the populace (in this case the Craft), who develop the jurisprudence.

    In 25 years as a Naval officer, I only had difficulty with one subordinate for about three minutes, that much time being the limit of my patience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
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  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I can see points scored on both sides of this argument. It will be interesting to see how things work out.
     
  15. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    Brother Glen, what's your take on MEPGM Vaught's response? To me it seems like he is very much just shifting the blame to the (former) GC of the GCKTLA.
     
  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    If you look at his finding regarding the CBCS and the requirement for a KT trial—that people did not forfeit membership without such—it is a consistent theme in requiring the process to occur. I fully accept his recitation of GEKT law and that the individual attended no Tyled meetings.

    I did not clearly understand whether he was aware the particular individual was an expelled Mason. That isn’t really a legal requirement, but surely this kerfufel could have been headed off as an informal matter.
     
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  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
    Also agree.
     
  18. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    The response is terrible, and clearly not an apology in any sense. Firstly there is no way that he didn't know what was going on. It's a PGM that is one of his District officers, and it's a trial that's been going on for a while. And if he didn't know he surely should have.

    As I see it, he wanted to flip the middle finger to the GLoLA for some reason, but now that it has backfired, he's backtracking by blaming the local Commander, and attacking Chris Hodapp's reporting. Not very Masonic. If he want's to be the big boss and pick a fight, it would respect it more if he didn't throw others under the bus later. Not really think that is what the Templars used to do...
     
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  19. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    So, I've been mulling this over in my head, and it's been bothering me. There is something to be said for due process, yes, but I feel like in this case, it's got some troubling implications.

    It's absolutely needed to have Templar trials and whatnot - but only for conduct related within the Commandery system. GEKT's requirement for KTs to be expelled by KT trial after being expelled from Masonry says two things:

    1) The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar sees the authority of sovereign Grand Lodges to be insufficient, requiring decisions to have GEKT's "last say."

    2) Under the Grand Encampment, one is not required to be a Mason to be a Templar.

    Expulsion from appendant bodies when one has been expelled from Masonry should be automatic and without question if we want to uphold the standard that Grand Lodges are sovereign. There is no need for a trial if loss of membership is a result of judgement.

    Example: a gun store owner (or employee) commits a felony outside of work and is convicted. He loses his business/job, and all his firearms, as convicted felons cannot own firearms or hold a Federal Firearms License. There's no need for an individual trial for him to lose his business/job/guns, as it is a direct result of him being convicted of a felony.

    Likewise, while Grand Encampment Law may say otherwise, there is no justification to require a Templar trial for expelled Masons. Loss of Templar membership is part of the cascading results of expulsion, not a separate punishment.
     
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  20. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    But as I understand the PGMGEKT statement, the only issue at a KT trial is if there was an expulsion. There is no other defense. Thus, KT does recognise the GL sovereignty. It is simply a matter of proving the GL action occurred. I view it akin to the civil process of registering a foreign judgement in some civil jurisdictions: the issue is the validity of the foreign judgment, not the underlying facts.
    If my understanding of KT law is correct (noting I’m a Past Chair of G&A of a grand commandery), then I’m not really troubled by the GEKT position.
     
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