Texas Mutual Recognition and Visitation and the Clandestine GL Epidemic

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by bupton52, May 14, 2012.

  1. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

    562
    187
    63
    With new talks of visitation in Texas, how will the overwhelming number of clandestine lodges/GLs in our state affect future conversations you may have with men who may be PH masons? Even though it's unfair, there are many GL of Texas members that assume that a Black man is affiliated with PH. Because 98% of the membership in the clandestine GLs is black, how will this be an issue/non-issue for you? Lastly, do you think that recognition and visitation between the two regular GLs in the state will discourage a growing membership for the clandestine population? Sorry for so many questions.
     
  2. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    1,215
    45
    68
    One can only hope it would discourage participation in clandestine lodges. I hate to say it but your point of assuming a Black man is PH is a true stereotype many people hold. I think that there might be an issue in the beginning but as with so much other stuff time will smooth it out.

    I think that the key will be education. The more people learn about the two bodies and the clandestine lodges the fewer the problems there will be. We know that to be regular and not clandestine what GL they have to belong to. Anything other than those they are clandestine.
     
  3. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

    562
    187
    63
    Not my personal experience, but I can say that the some of the stories that have been told by PH masons about their interactions with Texas brothers are along those lines. Even heard of a member completely discouraging a candidate from petitioning a GL of TX lodge for the sake of feeling "more comfortable" in a PHA lodge. It is unfortunate if that is the case.
     
  4. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    1,215
    45
    68
    I guess many wasn't the best word. I just know that the stereotype is out there and shouldn't be. Wouldn't it be nice that no matter what the person looked like people would just simply ask PHA or Mainstream without a thought about color?

    We have a situation similar to that where I live. There is a Brother here in my town that has been a PHA Mason for a good number of years and will do the same type of thing. The bad thing is there isn't a PHA Lodge here. The closest one is just over 35 miles away. My Lodge is the only one in town and if he hears that someone petitioned us and not the PHA Lodge not only will the prospective candidate hear from him we will also. It has gotten to the point over the years that no Black man will petition our Lodge. It is the ethnicity that is not represented in our membership. I hate that this is the case but it is what it is. I don't like nor do I agree with it, but it is the sad fact. I wish that relations were better with the PHA Lodge close to us I would love to visit. I have had the opportunity to visit one PHA Lodge and it was a great experience. It is a shame that there are Brothers out there on both sides that do not want the fellowship.
     
  5. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

    789
    4
    38
    I have been out of the loop a little bit from the forums lately, but is there some NEW talks going on between the GLs?

    I hope that all of this stuff comes to a rest sometime soon and that it doesn't take waiting several years for the younger cats like myself to be the old men running the show and making the changes before something does change.

     
  6. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

    2,443
    463
    103
    Little by little the barriers are comming down, it has just taken time. We are beginning to see brave young men break down the barriers, and join. My sister lodge has two bright and tallented black Brothers working their ways through the degrees in what was once a white or hispanic based membership. I can only imagine how hard it was to be the "first", but at the same time, what an honor. I personally would not have it any other way, Freemasonry should and aught to exhibit NO racial barriers, period.

    I think that once intervisitation and recognition is finalized, we will have to "join forces" to insure that we keep each other away from those other clandestined lodges. I think that we will find out that what one group does not know, the other will.

    Just the thought of intervisitation aught to send shivers down the spines of the rouge clandestined lodges on both sides. Together and combined, we would be setting not only the example for, but also the new "standard" of Masonry. Bring it On!!
     
  7. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

    28
    0
    0
    I have two quick questions, what is the overall relationship between the Texas PH Grand Lodge and the Grand Lodge Of Texas? I've been several different stories since I was raised. Also what would need to happen in order to ease the relationship and allow plural membership?
     
  8. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

    562
    187
    63
    As far as I know everything is cool. Both GLs recognize each other, but currently there is no visitation. Plural membership would be great, but I'm fine with the baby steps right now! lol. I have personally met two members of the GL of TX. One of them was very friendly and told me about his membership, the other won't say a single word and even though I've asked him about his membership (I saw a shriner ring) he refuses to speak on it.
     
  9. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

    439
    16
    18
    To be honest about it a lot of jurisdictions (wait for people chiming in that it isn't that way for them) most of the inter-visitation between GLs and PHA is regulated to once in a while, and brothers joining each others lodges are sometimes done as a political statement or a novelty, vice sharing any light (I know, I am a cynical jerk). Also sometimes the burden of visiting a lodge isn't worth the effort, because of the red tape one has to go through.

    I think that if it happens it will be interesting to see the reactions on each side, and whether it would be embraced, or would it be business as usual. The sarcastic side of me says that little will change until more time passes.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  10. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

    28
    0
    0
    See, I've been told different. The Worshipful Master at my lodge told me that I can 1) Visit PH lodges, 2) Sit in on meetings, 3) watch degree work. However, I can't talk about Work or hold plural membership.
     
  11. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

    789
    4
    38
    What state and under what jurisdiction are you located? That might be one of the determining factors of why your WM said that.

     
  12. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

    28
    0
    0
    We're under The Grand Lodge of Texas in Waco. The reason I say I've been told different is because some brother's at my lodge gave me different answers. One officer said I could take a tour of a PH Lodge and that's it, a Past Master told me "No" indirectly, and another Officer told me that it would be not to go in order to avoid confusion. That's when I went to the WM of our Lodge and he gave me that infomation. The reason I posted that is because shortly after he and I talked, my brother and I went and visited the PH Grand Lodge in Ft. Worth. It's important to me because I'm still confused. Also it's important because we have five EAs, one FC, and a newly raised Master and if a question about the status of PH comes up, maybe I can shed somelight on subject; because when I was raised I was told "we reconized them but we don't 'reconize' them."
     
  13. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

    562
    187
    63
    I think that technically, it is possible to another lodge, but I hear that there is a long process to make it happen including approval from the Grand Master. I may be wrong though.
     
  14. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

    28
    0
    0
    To hold plural membership? Or to sit in on meetings and watch degrees?
     
  15. Bro. David F. Hill

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

    253
    223
    63
    Let me shed a little light on this issue;

    1. Plural membership is not allowed in Texas. Could possibly happen down the line but we have to allow visitation first.
    2. A Mason under the authority of the Grand Lodge of Texas can not sit in a tiled meeting of a Prince Hall Lodge under the authority of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas as we have to allow visitation first.
    3. We can meet at public events but we can not conduct masonic intercourse (can't talk business).

    Some states do allow these but Texas is not one. There is much mis- (or) dis-information being put out by people that either are not excited about the progress or just not knowledgeable. Much of this information can be found in your constitution.
     
  16. anthonywilson

    anthonywilson Registered User

    28
    0
    0
    Thank you for clearing that up. If plural membership is ever allowed, I'll be one first people to get one.
     
  17. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

    542
    25
    18
    Seems like the kind of thing a good FAQ on either Grand Lodge's website would fix. ;)
     
  18. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,678
    986
    113
    I wouldn't take that as being defensive as many Brethren on "both sides" still have no idea that we recognize each other as Regular Masons who happen to share the same Jurisdiction. I'll talk Masonry all day with a PHA Brother as long as we keep each other's esoteric work out of the discussion (for now).
     
  19. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

    251
    22
    0
    Bro Wilson, What subordinate Lodge and Grand Lodge are you a member of? I'm just curious.....and, I would strongly encourage you to educate YOURSELF on your rights as a member of a Masonic Lodge, via your Consitution/By Laws of the Jurisdiction to which you belong. With respect to your WM, once you become a brother who is well versed on his Const./By Laws, you won't have to depend on anyone else's word for interpretation of Masonic guidelines, regarding what you can do, who you can visit, and what your rights are as a member........that is, if you are a member of either a Mainstream or Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodge in your area........

    And, my two cents and change on Bro B Upton's questions......Brother Upton, my personal feeling is that the more educated we become about one another as Masonic Grand Lodge bodies, the less we will have to worry about clandestine Masonry. They will continue to exist, as they always have, but if our names (GLoTx and MWPHGLoTX) are put together in a positive way in our communities, Men seeking positive LIGHT will always be pointed in the right direction. And yes, I think Mutual Visitation along with Recognition will go a long way toward curbing the membership in clandestine Lodges. Once a Man learns that he is LIMITED in his "travels" as a member of that clandestine Lodge, and is unable to visit or affiliate with any PHA or Mainstream Lodge, a red flag SHOULD be raised in the mind of a thinking Man, like it did in mine.

    Once he discovers that the ONLY affiliation and recognition he will EVER have is within his own "Grand Lodge", he should WANT to reaffiliate in order to be able to enjoy the "rights, lights, and benefits" that come along with being a member of a REGULAR AND RECOGNIZED Lodge. Sadly though, some Men are content with JUST being a "Mason", and being a part of something, without REALIZING the importance of regularity and recognition. They are also content with the friendships and camaraderie in that particular Lodge, and to THEM, THAT is more important that recognition, lineage, and regularity. Trust me, once I made my decision to leave and get Square, I learned from different Brothers in my Old Lodge that was their reasoning behind being hesitant about leaving and petitioning to be "healed", like I chose to do.

    Men wishing to be Masons usually join where they know someone, and that is true for clandestine Lodges as well. Once they get in, if they are self motivated to read and research TRUE lineage and regularity/recognition for themselves, the TRUTH and the LIGHT will become apparent, and they will realize that they will have to reaffiliate in order to find it, just as I did. EDUCATION is the key, Brother Upton.......As Masons, living Square and upright lives, we are all very good at attracting members, but how good are all of our Lodges at educating and KEEPING our Brothers, and sharing FURTHER Light with them, beyond the Degree Work, once that is completed? A good parallel is the old adage that in order to make a good marriage BETTER over time, you must continue to do the SAME things it took to get your Wife, in order to keep her happy.....Masonry is the same way. Continue to give a Man the education we stress during his Degree Work, and once he's done, and he will continue to attend, if he joined for the right reasons.


    With respect and exception to active Brothers' work schedules and family obligations, the attrition rate among others can sometimes be connected to one of a few main reasons---inability of effective communication between generations of Brethren, disharmony within the Lodge, lack of continuing education and lecture/discussion/study groups, and too much emphasis on fundraisers and bills. Business is a very important component of a functional Lodge, but Brothers will sacrifice the time to meet at the Lodge, if they realize they will always leave having learned something which they didn't know upon arrival. There is too much knowledge and wisdom within Masonic Ritual, History, and Philosophy, for a Man to leave a meeting with an empty mind and a full stomach.


    My hope is that as BOTH Grand Lodges move in a more progressive direction, our positive community exposure (joint fellowship and community projects) will also increase, and attract quality Men who desire to become BETTER Men, because of the role models they see representing our Lodges............hope that my two cents and change helped you, Brother Upton........

    Bro. Vincent C. Jones, Sr., Bayou City Lodge #228, PHA, F&AM, Houston, Texas
     
  20. David Hill

    David Hill Registered User

    70
    1
    6
    Brother Vincent: Thank you for your post. It was well said, and I can't agree more!
     

Share My Freemasonry