Special Order Issued by Shriners in Arkansas Battle

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Michael G. Severe, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, has issued a Special Order dated today concerning the situation in Arkansas:


    Special Order No. 3

    PO Box 31356

    Tampa, FL 33631-3356
    Series 2011-2012

    January 17, 2012

    the Officers and Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners,
    Fraternal Greetings:

    matter of the edict issued by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
    Arkansas in his letter dated December 8, 2011 addressed to Shriners
    International, All Subordinate Lodges in Arkansas, All Master Masons
    of Arkansas, All Grand Jurisdictions and All Appendant Bodies in
    Arkansas, is well known by each of you.

    After careful review and consideration, and in consequence of the
    gravity of the effect of the aforesaid edict, I issue the following
    findings, conclusions and order.

    Findings And Conclusions

    Pertaining to the document titled A Response dated January 13, 2012
    that I sent to the Grand Lodges of the Conference of Grand Masters for
    North America and to the subordinate temples of Shriners International
    and others. By reference thereto, I incorporate all of its
    provisions herein.

    International, with very few exceptions, has enjoyed a fraternal and
    harmonious relationship with all Grand Lodges since it came into
    existence in 1872. The very few exceptions that did occur were
    approached by Shriners International and the affected Grand Lodge with
    the utmost respect for each other and their charitable and fraternal
    missions. With an abundance of good will toward each other, every
    difference was resolved and we maintained the integrity of our
    existing relationship for the good of Freemasonry, the good of
    Shriners International, and for the greater good of humanity.

    Conference of Grand Masters for North America consists of 65 or more
    diverse and distinctive Grand Lodges. Shriners International
    consists of one entity. Shriners International acknowledges that
    no Grand Lodge can cede its sovereignty, power and authority to
    another Grand Lodge. Each Grand Lodge has its own governance.
    When a divisive issue exists between two Grand Lodges, there is no
    claim of sovereignty of one over the other. Instead, with
    brotherhood, and an abundance of good will, the Grand Lodges resolve
    the divisive issue and continue operating their respective bodies
    independently yet in harmony and amity with each other.

    Likewise, while cherishing its Masonic background, Shriners
    International is an independent and distinctive fraternal
    organization. It cannot cede its sovereignty, power and
    authority to any other fraternal body - be it a Grand Lodge or
    otherwise. If it did, it would be governed, controlled and
    operated by 65 or more independent Grand Lodges - each with
    differing landmarks, constitutions, bylaws, rules and regulations.
    Shriners International would no longer exist as an independent
    fraternal organization as it has since 1872.

    is abundantly evident that the action taken by the Grand Lodge of
    Arkansas in issuing its edict is designed to suppress or proscribe
    Shriners International, its members, and its two Shrine temples in the
    state of Arkansas.

    Shrine Law

    Articles of incorporation.

    §4.1 This nonprofit corporation, organized and existing
    under the laws of the state of Iowa, assuming all the powers and
    obligations granted to bodies corporate under such laws, is to exist
    perpetually, unless sooner dissolved in the manner provided by law, or
    as prescribed by the bylaws of this corporation.

    §5.1 The objects and purposes of this corporation, and
    business to be transacted by it are:

    (b) To be the irrevocable common agent, representative and
    supreme authority in all matters appertaining to the government of the
    system of the subordinate fraternal lodges or temples known in the
    aggregate as Shriners International, located in states around the
    world and, as such, shall have supreme and complete original
    jurisdiction and essential powers necessary to such control and
    government to:
    Enact and enforce bylaws and regulations for the government of itself
    and subordinate lodges or temples and members of the Order known in
    the aggregate as Shriners International, and to alter, amend and
    repeal the same at its pleasure.

    (10) Hear and decide all charges and complaints against any
    officer of Shriners International, or of any subordinate lodge or
    temple, and to inflict such punishment as may seem just and proper.

    (12) Exercise such power and control, and perform such acts, as
    may seem proper and necessary to carry out the full purpose and intent
    of this corporation.


    §202.4 The powers, objects and purposes of Shriners
    International are those set forth in the articles of incorporation, as
    amended from time to time.

    §207.8 Except as specifically provided by the articles of
    incorporation or bylaws of this corporation, or resolution of the
    board of directors, no temple, unit Shrine club, group or person:
    Has the authority, express or implied, to act as the agent of,
    to act on behalf of, or to bind Shriners International.

    (b) Can by its act or omission obligate or bind Shriners


    all the foregoing reasons, and many more, and by the authority in me
    vested by virtue of §206.5(a)(5) and §323.8(d) of the
    international bylaws, I hereby CERTIFY that the Grand Lodge of Masons
    of Arkansas has taken action which is designed to suppress or
    proscribe Shriners International, its members and its two temples in
    the state of Arkansas (Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners).

    Now, for so long as such threat of suppression or proscription
    continues, Shriners International, its members, and its temples in the
    jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, retain all their rights,
    responsibilities and authority, notwithstanding any provision of the
    bylaws to the contrary.

    This special order shall be read by the Recorders of Sahara Shriners
    and Scimitar Shriners in the presence of all of the Nobility at their
    next stated meetings and it shall be made a part of the permanent
    record and archives of the

    I am confident that the full import, significance and authority of
    this special order is self-evident and that it will be understood by
    the Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners, and such others
    as appropriate.


    Michael G. Severe - Imperial Potentate[

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2012

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