Controversial Kentucky Man Arrested for Lodge Theft

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]Readers from last year may recall the story of WBro. John D. Wright of Kentucky, who announced to his lodge that he was openly gay and attempted to get anti-discrimmination legislation passed at Grand Lodge in 2010. Wright went on to blog about his situation and kept the gay issue at the forefront of his posts. At one point charges were filed against him by members of his lodge, who privately told me that homosexuality was not the only reason for the charges, without elaborating at that time. He was subsequently suspended.

    Well, it seems that Wright was just arrested for stealing $10,000 from his lodge between 2009 and 2011.

    From the Richmond Register:

    John D. Wright, 27, of Radcliff, was arrested Saturday morning by the Kentucky State Police, according to the Hardin County Detention Center’s website. An arrest warrant for Wright had been issued after a Madison grand jury indicted him last month on a felony charge of theft by failure to make required disposition of property.

    Wright is being held without bond and will be transported to Madison County Detention Center. Court records show the case has been assigned to Madison Circuit Court Judge Jean C. Logue.

    The charge against Wright was a direct submission to the grand jury, meaning the case had not proceeded through Madison District Court first. Most criminal cases begin with arrest and proceed in district court. Felony cases typically are referred by the judge to the grand jury. If a person is indicted on one felony charge or more by the grand jury, the case will continue in circuit court.

    Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith said the KSP and Richmond Masonic Lodge 25 had requested the case be directly submitted to the grand jury. KSP Detective Monte Owens testified at the closed hearing about the “lengthy investigation†conducted by the agency into Wright’s handling of the lodge’s funds from July 2009 to April 2011, according to KSP Post 7 Public Affairs Officer Paul Blanton. Blanton said an investigative audit was conducted of the lodge’s records.

    Other than the indictment, Wright’s case file did not contain any additional information about the alleged crime. The indictment states he “obtained company funds ... and then dealt with the funds as his own and thereby obtained property from the company of the value of more than $10,000.â€

    In 2010, Wright told a Winchester Masonic lodge, at which he was the Master, that he was gay, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader story. He had been with the organization since 2007.

    Wright told the newspaper that lodge members asked for his resignation, which he refused to give. Later that year, a proposed change to the Masonic state constitution to bar openly homosexual members was voted down at the group’s state gathering.

    However, organizational charges were brought against Wright for going public with private Masonic information and forsaking God by declaring his homosexuality. A Masonic trial found Wright guilty of “un-Masonic conduct†on April 8, and he was indefinitely suspended, according to the Lexington newspaper.
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  2. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    How does one "forsake God" by being homosexual? Is Freemasonry explicitly only Christian/Jewish/Muslim, now? Is it impossible to believe in a Supreme Being if one is homosexual?

    Just wondering.
     
  3. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Apparently in KY, the answer to your question is yes.

    However, I think that's a side issue in relation to the article. The real issue is, did he or did he not embezzle money. His sexual orientation shouldn't even be relevant. But its going to get dragged into the matter one way or another, it seems.

    EDIT: I have seen it (cynically) noted in other conversations on the topic that his sexual orientation didn't become an issue until around the time that he supposedly embezzled money or whatnot. I don't know the man, and don't presume to know that the two are or aren't related. Hopefully he'll receive a fair trial and the truth will be known.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  4. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

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    Yes, this is the same person whom we have discussed previously. I have not spoken to John in quite some time, and he has been unusually quiet as of recent. However, this is America and we are indeed Innocent until proven Guilty....

    On a side note, the whole thing smells funny to me. Interestingly it has been almost 1 year since the whole saga began, and if memory serves me correctly John was Suspended with a chance to appeal one year after his suspension.... Smell something??

    The Brethren of his jurisdiction seem to believe that one "forsakes God" by being homosexual. BTW, John is an ordained minister...
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
  5. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Does Freemasonry even require belief in "God" as such? I had thought that Regular Freemasonry only requires belief in "A Supreme Being", not necessarily "God" as understood by those of Abrahamic religions. If a GL starts adding additional requirements and qualifications, can that cause problems with UGLE?
     
  6. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

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    Masonry does not require a belief in a specific diety. One can not be an athiest.
     
  7. kyfreemason357

    kyfreemason357 Registered User

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    We here in KY have the same rules of believing in a Supreme Being. I believe homosexuality is against god in all religions. Now so are many things men and Masons do. I personally could careless if a Mason was or is. Issue here is the other things he did.
     
  8. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Does Kentucky insist that belief in a Supreme Being only be possible within a large religion? Even if that is the case, there are branches of Christianity that do not automatically reject homosexuality as such, including Quakerism--or does Kentucky deny that Quakers believe in a Supreme Being?
     
  9. kyfreemason357

    kyfreemason357 Registered User

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    I was saying we accept all religions but thier must be a belief in God or Supreme being. The Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't count.
     
  10. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Do you claim that Quakers espouse the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
     
  11. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Some Grand Lodges are in amity with UGLE while holding additional restrictions. I believe a good example is the Swedish Rite of Freemasonry that is a bit different from our own, but still regular. They have 10 degrees rather than 3, and require a belief in Christianity for membership.

    Excellent conversation, and part of the reason we must do considerable research before forming our thoughts and opinions.

    :laugh:
     

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