Grand Lodge of Arkansas dictates upon Shrinedom

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by DWSCHULZ, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. DWSCHULZ

    DWSCHULZ Premium Member

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    Did anyone else see this?
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...88733403.85393.376535619078950&type=1&theater

    Does the national jurisdiction of Shrinedom require other Grand Lodges to take the same stance as the Grand Lodge of Arkansas?
    Some brothers in my jurisdiction feel I should leave this issue to Grand Lodge officers to decide how we should proceed, but I feel as though every Master Mason should make up his own mind.

    Thoughts?

    S&F,
    Dan Schulz
     
  2. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    I think this is a case that is going back quote a while. Chris Hodapp covered it on his freemasonry for dummies blog.
    Essentially as I remember it, the GL of Arkansas expelled a brother for something, but the Shrine disagreed with the reasoning and continued to allow him to stay a member, essentially telling the GL that they didn't care about the decision and that they were their own body and could do what they wanted.
    From there it has just escalated and this letter seems to be the latest part of it.

    All in all, not a good situation though.
     
  3. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    So the shrine of Arkansas which is a regular and recognized body is now considered clandestine?
     
  4. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

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    Interesting indeed.

    Be more interesting to find out how the Arkansas brethren think about it.
     
  5. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    This has been coming for about the past two years, and I am not at all surprised to see this decision. Basically, a handful of nobles from Scimitar Temple in Little Rock placed their own egos above those of their brethren, and the folks down at Sahara thought they wouldn't get caught up in the backlash. The details are out there on Brother Hodapp's site. At the Grand Lodge meeting last February, an edict was issued declaring the Shrine in Arkansas clandestine and prohibiting Arkansas masons from sitting in tyled Shrine meetings. Several dozen folks left the GL meeting that same Friday evening and went straight over to the Shrine temple for their Friday evening party. This group has carried on in the same manner since then, so now the edict that you need to decide if you want to be a Shriner or a Mason.

    Our Lodge is in the same neighborhood as the Scimitar Temple, and quite a few brothers are former Shriners who took heed of the Grand Master's order. There have been a numer of meetings between Imperial Shrine and the GLoAR, none have come to any sort of amiable conclusion because of the Shrine's internal policy of not expeilling a noble until he has been through the Shrine's lengthy appeal process, regardless of what GL law says about expulsions. Shrine membership in Arkansas over the past three years has declined from a little more than 6000 to around 800, most of those the rebels or perpetual members... as al those who have been withholding their dues will be NPD with the Shrine come the first of January.

    It's not a good thing, but then these peckerheads have not yet figured out that it's not nice to mess around with the local Grand Master.

    On the other hand, we've seen a lot of these folks come back and spend their energies for the blue lodge, Scottish, and York rites. And our local Grotto is doing very well, too.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  6. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    There was a small sideshow to this, as I recall...the man in question had dual membership in Iowa, but the GL of Iowa didn't expell him. Or do I have the story wrong?
     
  7. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    The Grand Master in completely right in his decision as far as I a concerned. We can’t have appendant bodies trying to ignore the sovereign jurisdiction of the Grand Lodges. And to expel a member from being able to have any Masonic communications with any of the bodies in Masonry is completely within the scope of the Grand Lodges. This is extremely bad for Masonry at this time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  8. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    Regular, Irregular, it's all in the stroke of a pen.
     
  9. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    This is nuts. The appendant bodies need to remember that craft lodge is the basic unit of freemasonry, and without that, there would be no shrine, or YR, or AASR.
     
  10. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I couldn't remember if this was the situation where the guy was going up on Masonic charges but had not yet been expelled and the Shrine didn't expel him. From the Shrines point of view was until such time as he was expelled he was still eligible. I don't recall if this is that same one or not. Since this happened somewhere else I could be confusing it with something else. Either way it is not a pretty situation. If he did hold membership in the GLoIowa then that makes this even murkier. Can an Arkansas Brother clarify if I am confused or not on this?
     
  11. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    I believe that your thinking of Michigan.
     
  12. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I could certainly have been. Too much of this stuff going on to keep straight.
     
  13. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    It is considered clandestine within Arkansas. Since each Grand Lodge is sovereign, this applies only to masons under the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.
     
  14. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    Gotcha. So if they comply with the GL, then all is good and dandy?
     
  15. CajunTinMan

    CajunTinMan Registered User

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    It should be all good then.
     
  16. daddyrich

    daddyrich Registered User

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    Wow, that just paints us all with such a bad brush. You are so right, they all need to remember the Blue Lodge is/was, and will be the flundation upon which all appendant bodies are built.
     
  17. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    The potentate of Scimitar Shrine was suspended in 2011 for unmasonic conduct. Under the Grand Lodge rules, that severs you from all rights and benefits of Masonry, right there and then. Imperial Shrine implemented a rule several years ago which under the Shrine's jurisdiction, allows for a lengthy appeals process, and any discipinary action under the Shrine takes effect only after the end of the appeals. So, Imperial Shrine let this fellow carry on as Potentate. A similar issue arose in Michigan where a noble (again, a potentate, no less) pleaded guilty to felony charges and was expelled by the Michigan grand lodge. Again Imperial Shrine said, in effect, "to us he's still a mason, and we'll let him serve until he finishes his appeals." Both Michigan and Arkansas suspended relations with the Shrine. Michigan resolved their issue with the one guy early this summer, but a group of about 30 or 40 of the Arkansas Shriners raised their hackles up, and decided to defy the Arkansas Grand Lodge. The previous Grand Master in AR issued an edict in November 2011 declaring the Shrine clandestine in Arkansas, and this decision was approved at the 2012 Grand Lodge meeting and incorporated into the current Arkansas Masonic Digest. Scimitar Shrine responded by introducing a resolution at the 2012 Imperial Shrine convention which would remove the requirement for Arkansas Shriners to be master masons. That resolution was tabled and not voted on. Several meetings between the Imperial Potentate and the GLoAR have occurred, with neither side budging from their position. The GLoAR has a clause in the Masonic Digest which requires the Shrine, in order to be recognized as a Masonic organiztion, to abide by the rules of the Grand Lodge with respect to membership in the fraternity. And we take a certain promise about hanging out with suspended or expelled Masons, as well as conforming to the rules of our Grand Lodge. A couple dozen of the rebelling Shriners have been brought up on charges, found guilty, and received lengthy definite suspensions... 40 year in the case of the Scimitar potentate, who can apply for reinstatement when he's 107. Some of the others can reapply in their 80s or 90s... but then the Grand Lodge has a long memory ;-)


    From the 2012 Arkansas Masonic Digest:

    "
    2.1.42 .
    This Grand Lodge acknowledges no degree of Masonry or Order of Knighthood to be legitimate and genuine except those conferred by or under authority of the following regularly constituted Masonic Bodies of the United States of America, and those of corresponding rank in foreign countries, with whom we have fraternal relations. It is improper for The Grand Lodge of Arkansas to grant recognition to another organization without said organization first asking for recognition, Pro. 2005, p. 71.

    ...
    Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North America (Shrine International) Repealed Pro. 2012, p. 50

    As a result of writings from Imperial Shrine which allowed an expelled Master Mason to remain a Shriner and Potentate of his Temple, which is in direct violation of agreement that was provided in our Digest of Laws. On December 8, 2011, I accordingly ordered recognition of the Shrine within this Jurisdiction removed, therefore making all of Arkansas Shrine Clandestine and Illegitimate. Violations of any part of this order will be deemed punishable by a penalty of expulsion from the Fraternity. Such penalty will be administered without benefit of a trial. Pro. 2012 p. 50
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  18. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    I wholly agree with the GLoAR in their decision, hopefully these guys swallow their pride and smarten up.
     
  19. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    Harmony...May Brotherly love prevail. May the spirit of Freemasonry soften the hearts of those who pride has become so sharp that it would cut them from ear to ear.
     
  20. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    Got my copy of the letter in the mail yesterday... There's a second page attached with the proposed settlement between the GL and Imperial, which the Illustrious Potentate was apparently agreeable to, but the full Imperial line wouldn't let him sign. So here we are...
     

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