Keeping myself in check.

Discussion in 'Prince Hall Freemasonry' started by Mike Cameron, Aug 11, 2011.

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  1. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Prince Hall received his charter from the Grand Lodge of England in 1780s. Keep in mind, the UGLE as we know it wasn't formed until 1813 when the Ancients and Moderns united in England. The Grand Lodge of England who issued Prince Hall the charter was the older of those two.

    Also keep in mind that at the time of PH receiving the charter, exclusive territorial jurisdiction was NOT an active and recognized custom of English Freemasonry, which basically throws out the old territorial jurisdiction arguement against recognition.
     
  2. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    The Moderns, which was the older of the two.
     
  3. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow, I was always under the impression that the main argument for calling PH clandistine was because it wasn't ever chartered by any recognized authority. The fact they were chartered by the UGLE really sort of puts things in perspective though. :blink:
     
  4. Mike Cameron

    Mike Cameron Registered User

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    owls84, I did not ask the questions to cause strife between brothers. I am looking for education. I did read what you posted. However, there are many writings on this subject that contradict each other there by causing the confusion that we are faced with today. My problem is: If the Prince Hall Masons and the AF&AM were to join or communicate, how do we do that? Their work is extremely different, the bylaws are different, Etc... Please let me restate that my problem is not with the men but rather the amount of differences in the organizations. Look, we have masons all over the earth. I sas a Master Mason can visit any of these "Regular" lodges but I cant visit or hold communications with members of the PH Masons. If I cant do this how can we ever coexist as Brothers? I can however look at them as another great organization whom in their own ways search for light and respect that. Remember, I do not have a problem with any man who can meet the criteria becoming a mason, regardles of race or creed.
     
  5. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    The only issue of that I have ever heard of was back in the early 80s when a Brother was given the boot for marrying a black woman.

    As far as the entrance requirements between both jurisdictions, they are almost identical, except that PHA requires a man to be 21 as opposed to 18 as in the GLoTx. PHA does not accept felons, while there is NO LAW in the GLoTx that keeps a felon from joining. He merely has to state it on his petition, and the lodge votes on it. So if the comparison had to be made, PHA is more selective in its membership.

    As for the guys in prison giving signs and whatnot, just because you get convicted doesn't mean you forget all you have learned. Let's also keep in mind that not every black mason is PHA. There are no less than 4 predominately black 4 letter Grand Lodges operating in Texas.

    As far as the "fundamentals in work creating misalignments," this is no more true than it would be if you compared the GLoTx ritual to that of the GLoLa.

    We can stop all talk of any merger ever happening. Both organizations are too rich in their respective cultures and heritages for this to ever happen. The only issue is full recognition.
     
  6. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    The exact same way any two Grand Jurisdictions communicate and visit. How would you visit a 4 letter lodge in Oklahoma? You would go in and abide by the customs of the lodge you are visiting. PHGLoTx is just another Grand Jurisdicition.
     
  7. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I would like to first THANK YOU for this post. By doing so you have challenged me to educate myself so I can partake in this discussion and I have probably done more research today than in the past Masonic year. I love it. That being said, it would be no different than how you see the Grand Lodge of Louisiana or the United Grand Lodge of England. The work is different but you are allowed to travel. This is not a merger of systems but a form of recognition. Keep in mind if you wiki Grand Lodges in the United States you will see that there are about 12 in Texas.

    So what makes Prince Hall different one may ask. Well the difference is when Prince Hall formed there was not a way that a Black Man would be able to be a Mason as proven with previous posts. It was a Whites Only Fraternity. Plain and simple. So as an alternative and because Masonry should not see color as it has in history Prince Hall has formed. Now fast forward to modern day we have two jurisdictions in the state of Texas that are currently recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England as being regular and as of 2007 recognize each other as regular Masonic bodies that govern themselves. Last I heard there are only 7 (don't know for sure) states that do NOT recognize their Prince Hall Jurisdiction. BTW, Texas is the only one that recognizes their Prince Hall but does not allow visitation. Don't know why, personally don't like it but that is on the Grand Lodge. I do know the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas has requested visitation as of July 2, 2010. Should be voted on this year.

    In the perfect world that does not have hate and racism we would not have this problem but since there was a time in this country that GOOD black men could not sit in lodge with at GOOD white man there was a need for Prince Hall Freemasonry. Now this is "over" it would be great if Masons of all regular Lodges could come together as one but we are finding out that is not the case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  8. choppersteve03

    choppersteve03 Premium Member

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    Brother owls,thank you for that light,i must say I knew nothing of pha really until this thred. There are a lot of wise brothers here.
     
  9. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    In order to stop beating this extremely dead horse, can we move and pin this thread in the PHA section so all those who ask these same questions in the future can benefit from what has already been said?

    Bottom line for me is that the GAOTU created unity, and man created division. When it comes to my spiritual path and growth, when I find a Brother who can help me shine the light of understanding on my next step, a purely operative concept like "recognition" will not in any way deter me from satisfying myself. When we take a step back and weild our trowel and see the bigger picture, this whole "I can't play with you because my daddy doesn't approve of your daddy" nonsense holds no place in the pursuit of enlightenment.
     
  10. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    Which Prince Hall Grand Lodge are we talking about? There are so many here in Texas. Some, require the East to be "purchased", (after all it is a full time and well paid job), therefore establishing one brother who may not give up his seat for decades.

    It may be acceptable to create a set of steps that an individual PH lodge could go through to become a regular lodge under the GLoT. This would need to require a new charted from the GLoT. They would be required to adhere to the laws of grand lodge, submit to inspection, and be willing to conform to Grand Lodge ritual. We do not need any lodges that are unwilling to conform.

    African Lodge #1 was given a charter by the Modern grand lodge to hold annual communication, and bury their dead. They were not given the expressed right to Make Masons, charter any other lodges, or declare themselves a Grand Lodge outside the authority of the then provincial grand lodge located at that time in Pennsylvania. Their complete disregard for the proper descent of charter does indeed make them clandestine (as they were considered to be until 2007). It was unfortunate that the GLoT thought it ok to extend recognition in 2007 without addressing the issue of how to make them Regular enough to let Texas Masons sit in lodge with them. I suspect this was in answer to outside forces threatening to use the legal system to force the issue. The current situation of multiple Grand Lodges in the same state is not in accord with the Landmarks of freemasonry..

    The question before us now is not how to convince Grand Lodge to accept Prince Hall Masons, but how do we make Prince Hall Masonic lodges accept the authority of the M.W G.L o.T. Racism does play a role in this issue, but it is far from the only issue.

    I live in a high rise in downtown Dallas. There are several Texas Masons here in my building, but we are far out numbered by the Prince Hall brothers who live here. I see the S&C on their rings and taillights, and they see mine. They have no restrictions on what communications they can have with me and they are aware of the restrictions that I am subject to. I have even overheard one of them refer to another as clandestine, because he was of a different lodge that is under a different GL than his lodge was. If I was to see ANY brother give the sign I would indeed Fly to his relief, and am sure they would do the same for me. However, the issue at hand is one of Provincial authority. We must guard the landmarks
     
  11. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    Mike,

    I was gonna stay away from posting on this thread, but it did peak my curiosity. I think your question was legitimate and non threatening, and was based on what you were taught or heard. This is what these forums are for, to get information, network, etc.... I don't think people realize how diverse the material is on PH Masonry, and sometimes I find it hard to get a correct answer concerning it. On top of that, there are more bogus GLs, or GLs claiming to be PH in the USA, than other Legitimate GLs throughout the world. Lots of websites and books claiming different stuff, and they can be very misleading. Don't believe everything you read out there on the Internet concerning Masonry. Unfortunately, most times I ask a question concerning PH Masonry, it somehow gets twisted and distorted, and ends up being a brow beating session with caps lock and underlying accusations of racism. I just try and avoid asking on forums anymore, and do my own research on this subject.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  12. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    THE Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas.

    http://www.mwphglotx.org/

    FYI, PHA Masons in Texas have the same restrictions you have in regards to Masonic Communication per the compact both Grand Masters signed. Again, keep in mind there is a predominantly black (non-PHA) four letter Grand Lodge in Dallas.

    Which specific landmark are you referring to as having been violated? Are we going to pick and choose which we keep? GLoTx violates the 18th constantly by allowing dispensation to initiate men who are physically handicapped, but nobody protests that.

    Your issue of provincial authority has already been put to rest, so it isn't our issue at all. That is in Title I, Chapter V, Art 18 in your law book, regardless of landmarks.
     
  13. Mike Cameron

    Mike Cameron Registered User

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    Thank you very much for this post. I admit, I was very worried at first about asking thiese questions publicly. Then I thought, "Hey these are my brothers and we are all held to the same obligations." I am so glad that this post has not caused brothers to be angry with one another. We need to be objective in this discussion. Thanks again
     
  14. Mike Cameron

    Mike Cameron Registered User

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    Okay, I know nothing of the Prince Hall Masons work because I am not allowed to have masonic communications with them. Therefore, how do I know if they are a true and worthy brother if I have no clue as to what they're working? Now I understand the different states and got different work. I have work many different states and been to lodge in several. I even add my FC conferred on me and Indiana. However, none of the states I've been to have been so different in their work that I could not recognize them as a brother Mason. There may be a word here in a word there that's different but their work was pretty much all the same. Now, admittedly I have no personal experience with but with being approached by a Prince Hall Masons but a friend of mine was approached by two and they were trying him but he did not recognize it as Masonic communication he had no idea what they were talking about. Until he finally ask them what are you talking about and they said to him "what are you doing with that ring on your finger" so this tells me that the work is so different that it would not be recognized by a regular mason.
     
  15. Mike Cameron

    Mike Cameron Registered User

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    Please remember guys, the subject here is concerning why the PH Masons should be recognised as "Regular", How do we do that?, How do we communicate with them?, and if we dont know their work, how do I know that one is a true and worthy brother? REMEMBER, My issue is not with the members of the PH lodges but with the organization fundamentaly. Please also remember these questions are asked to gain knowledge and no disrespect to anyone is intended.
     
  16. Bro. David F. Hill

    Bro. David F. Hill David F. Hill Premium Member

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    It is posts like this that cause much of the strife as it has partial truths. There is only one (1) legitimate PH Grand Lodge and it is not looking to be under AF&AM jurisdiction. What is this issue of PH Masons accepting the authority of the GLofTx? Why would we need to? The only thing that is being sought is visitation!!! About your comment regarding African Lodge #1, you only told half the story. You neglected to mention the rest of the story where on March 2, 1784, African Lodge #1 petitioned the Grand Lodge of England, the Premier or Mother Grand Lodge of the world, for a warrant (or charter), to organize a regular masonic lodge, with all the rights and privileges thereunto prescribed. Or that the Grand Lodge of England issued a charter on September 29, 1784 to African Lodge #459, the first lodge of Blacks in America.

    You mention that the PHA masons in your building have no restrictions on what communications that they can have with you. There are many things that can be talked about without restriction on either side. Which Landmarks must we guard? Is it
    LANDMARK FOURTEENTH - The Right of Every Mason to Visit and Sit in Every Regular Lodge is an unquestionable Landmark of the Order." This is called "the right of visitation." This right of visitation has always been recognized as an inherent right, which inures to every Mason as he travels through the world. And this is because Lodges are justly considered as only divisions for convenience of the universal Masonic family. This right may, of course be impaired or forfeited on special occasions by various circumstances; but when admission is refused to a Mason in good standing, who knocks at the door of a Lodge as a visitor, it is to be expected that some good and sufficient reason shall be furnished for this violation, of what is in general a Masonic right, founded on the Landmarks of the Order. I have a cousin in Minnesota who is a member of both affiliations. He is a Past Master of F&AM and a Past Grand Junior Deacon of AF&AM. That is possible because they buried their issues long ago. Just two weeks ago, the two affiliations had a joint BBQ. My brother in Ohio has the right of visitation between both affiliations. See the pattern? Change is coming and both co-exist in harmony except in the few justifications where people can't let the past be the past.

    The one of them that was referred to as clandestine was PHO. PHO is not chartered by the Grand Lodge of England and is a faction that broke away from PHA. MY dream is that at some point we can truly live up to our obligation and we a fraternity of Good Men. Different Affiliations, Same Goal, not one absorbing the others into itself. By the way, for the correct history of PH Masonry, you can go to The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Massachusetts (http://www.princehall.org/).

    This post is my Opinion Only.
     
  17. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    Do what? I have had more to drink tonight than I thought!
     
  18. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I would bet you my boots that these two convicted felons you are referring to were members of one of the obscure and clandestine Grand Lodges that have been mentioned here (like PHO).
     
  19. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Even if they weren't I am willing to be there are a few people sitting in a cell that were once a part of the Grand Lodge of Texas, AF&AM. Not to mention all the politicians.
     
  20. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother Cameron, I am genuinely surprised by your ignorance with regard to Freemasonry in general. That is not an insult, but an observation.

    First: you keep referring to AF&AM vs PHA... So what should South Carolina do? They're AFM, not F&AM or AF&AM. You are making sweeping generalizations that show a lack of knowledge. The PHA ritual is different? As has been rightly pointed out, so is the ritual in every state. Look at Louisiana's red lodges for even further demonstration. The Scottish Rite blue lodge degrees are far different from our own.

    What makes them true and worthy brethren? They have a legitimate charter as their origin in Freemasonry. A Charter that had to be issued because of the racial divide of the times, that kept Prince Hall and others from joining their local lodges.

    It is good that you hope to gain knowledge, but your questions are asked with such an obvious slant, that it's plain what your pre-formed opinion is. You would do well to approach this more open-mindedly. Also, do your own research and make your own decisions.

    As far as that line about being free-born... what would you do with the indentured servants of colonial America? The white ones who came from Europe and paid their passage by giving up their autonomy for a number of years? I guess they were probably free born... but what if they had kids?

    I agree with above posters that say this is a very dead horse, and join in asking you to put down the stick. If I didn't know any better, I would say a troll is in our presence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
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