What obligation does masonry have to Masons in Arkansas?

Discussion in 'Shrine' started by sands67, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    Brother...it isnt even the Shrine decision, but how it treated masons who werent even in strick compliance with seemingly harsh judgements of the grand master. Expulsions without trial. How long can that be able to go on. What do you feel should happen. From what i hear the grand line in arkansas has a group of similarly minded masons to cover the next 10 years. Should regular masons be subjected to this? Your input is most certainly appreciated.

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  2. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    Do you honestly believe that this is the only time this has happened, even in the last ten years? Arizona was burning down last year, the Grand Master fired his deputy, indef suspended a rival of his, and fired his legal council, (I will copy and paste the letter from the legal council below for your review). In March when this was all coming ahead, not once did someone call for removal of recognition, you know why? Bad leadership while potentially is a Masonic offence, isn't a cause for irregularity, or removal of recognition, unless said bad leadership leads to irregularity (ala GLNF). It is up to the constituency of said Grand Lodge to invoke, change, which later did happen in Arizona, lodges brought charges up against their Grand Master. Threatening the removal of recognition is usually counterproductive in getting any type of change out of a body. Embargo's that the US has enacted has shown (according to researchers from Yale), actually fortifiy a group, and cause moderates to go extreme.

    Read if you wish:

    Dear Grand Master,

    Because you have relieved me of my duties on the Grand Lodge
    Jurisprudence Committee, I can now freely express what my judgments
    are regarding your actions of late. My obligations as a Grand Lodge
    Committeeman, including my obligation to act in the best interest of
    the Grand Lodge – at your service – ahead of the interests and
    information of my Brothers, have ceased.

    In case, however, you have forgotten who I am, let me remind you that
    you appointed me to the Jurisprudence Committee this year after I
    successfully re-organized the entire Arizona Masonic Code, a two-year
    long project almost unanimously approved by the Grand Lodge. I have
    taught countless classes on Arizona Jurisprudence and I am one of
    about three men in this State who can be counted as an expert in this
    area. I have advised you and several Grand Masters on issues regarding
    Arizona Jurisprudence and will do so as long as there is breath in my
    body. I continue to practice law and teach US Constitution classes. I
    was instrumental in forming a Lodge recently, and currently serve as a
    Warden in two Lodges while personally coaching candidates in the
    old-fashioned mouth-to-ear form. I am frequently invited to speak to
    Lodges on these types of issues, and I am, usually, an all-around nice
    guy.

    First, your decision to arrest the Charter of Hiram Daylight was
    technically justified. The Master failed to hold the June 2011
    meeting, which was a technical violation of the Code and Lodge
    By-Laws. The problem I had with this action is that this particular
    Lodge traditionally failed to meet in June as their meetings are on
    the first Saturday of the Month. Sometimes they got dispensations to
    miss a meeting, and sometimes they did not. So, while numerous Past
    Grand Masters simply turned the other cheek on this merely technical
    violation (because the Lodge Officers were usually at the Grand
    Communication on the first Saturday in June), you chose to lower the
    boom. This was an excessively harsh exercise of your power, but
    nothing technically wrong here.

    Second, I address your suspension of Lodge membership on the
    arrestment of that Charter. While I must concede that this is the
    technically appropriate thing to do (which is also harsh, but within
    the four corners of the Code), it is highly unusual for any
    suspensions to accompany the arrestment of a charter. As I understand
    from a review of the Grand Lodge Proceedings, since the year 2000
    about five or six charters have been arrested…but in none of those
    other cases did any suspensions occur. Additionally, the arrestments
    usually happened very near the end of the Grand Lodge year. So your
    suspension of some members was unusual, but not, in my mind, illegal
    (you actually should have suspended the entire membership…if you were
    going to follow the Code to the letter for consistency). But again, I
    saw no technical violation, even in the targeted suspension of a few
    members. (I could, however, pretty easily be swayed otherwise.)

    Third, I find your suspension of the Secretary of that Lodge
    particularly troubling. It is no secret that you have “had it in†for
    W:.Bro:. John Ruth for a long time. But not only was he NOT
    responsible for calling Hiram Daylight’s Lodge meetings (which was the
    reason for the arrestment and suspension), but his net worth to the
    Lodge and the Fraternity is far higher than most knew. By suspending
    him, two other Lodges (where he was the Secretary) and the Brothers in
    those Lodges lost a significant human resource. So, your decision was
    rash and particularly sinister (he suffered a stroke as a result of
    the suspension, a loss of income and other significant problems that
    your decision put on his household), it remains, technically legal.

    Fourth, the return of the Charter to Hiram Daylight was clearly
    illegal (but from a warm-and-fuzzy point of view, it was the right
    thing to do). Regardless of the tortured reading your hired lawyer put
    forth, his argument is without merit. In his mind, and presumably
    yours, the Grand Master has some mysterious mythical power to do
    whatever he wants whenever he wants to whomever he wants in any way he
    feels is ok. This is the attitude that has, very wrongly, laid under
    foot the powers of the Sovereign and Constituent Lodges of this Grand
    Jurisdiction. The only way your authority to return the Charter to
    Hiram Daylight after arrestment would exist is if we ignore two
    clearly written sections of the Constitution. These sections, which
    you and your lawyer seems to omit when reading the Code, explicitly
    forbid the return of an arrested Charter prior to the next Annual
    Communication. In a vote of the Jurisprudence Committee taken on
    January 26, 2012, your action was determined to be illegal and a
    violation of the Constitution. I cast a vote agreeing with that
    outcome.

    So the score so far is Grand Master 3, his Detractors (including me) 1.

    Fifth, reasonable minds can differ on what makes a good subordinate
    officer. You, apparently, cannot tolerate even a slight deviation in
    neckwear. It is then time to put to the test your three letters
    regarding the Deputy Grand Master (I omit the details here because
    most of the readers of this letter are tired of the details). To begin
    with, the Jurisprudence Committee couldn’t exactly figure-out if you
    had fired the DGM or not. This is what led the committee to ask the
    critical question: “If the Grand Master dies, who becomes the Grand
    Master?â€

    Sometime after that January 26, 2012 meeting (where the above question
    was formulated by the committee and directed to you) I called you
    because you had avoided answering the committee’s question for three
    weeks. (Which I found very interesting, since you were the one to call
    that meeting in the first place, specifically intending to get an
    answer from us about your actions.) You told me during that call that
    Michael A. Meier was still the Deputy Grand Master, and if you died he
    would ascend to the Grand East.

    My problem is (as I told you) and still remains; you have never
    communicated this clearly in writing to the Craft! Most of the Men
    that I know think you fired the Deputy Grand Master, Michael A. Meier.
    In support of this assertion, the evidence is clear…you have been
    charged by at least three Lodges with un-Masonic Conduct and at least
    eight Lodges are demanding a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge
    because of this intentional misunderstanding.

    You are clearly not communicating well with the Craft, and it looks
    like you want the confusion to continue.

    The legal analysis becomes quite simple on these facts: a) you have
    the power to manage and administer the Craft, b) you have removed the
    DGM’s duties and responsibilities, including his ceremonial duties,
    and c) Michael Meier remains the Deputy Grand Master…first in line to
    the Grand East when you die.

    It is, therefore, my reasoned judgment that you are acting and have
    acted within your technical power to manage the Craft and its
    Officers. Michael A. Meier will succeed to the Grand East if you die
    and/or when he gets elected in June. Of course, had you not fired me
    from my post on the Jurisprudence Committee, I would have had no
    choice but to make the same argument I make here, and submit, that you
    have made technically legal decisions in this case (as I understand
    the facts in my description above).

    Grand Master 4, Detractors 1.

    So why are you making no effort to clarify to the Craft the correct
    state of affairs? Why are you continuing (see the latest issue of
    Arizona Masonry) to perpetuate the damage you are doing to the DGM by
    republishing your January 2, 2012 letter in our statewide publication
    that goes all around the World? …and this after you and your allies
    have quashed all discussion of these same issues at Lodge Meetings all
    around the State? Oh hypocrisy!

    I’ll make my argument to answer these questions below, but I must
    mention a few things first…in fairness…

    I am writing this as an open letter to you because you removed my gag.
    When you appointed me to the Jurisprudence Committee, I felt that my
    first responsibility was to maintain the integrity of the process and
    make certain that the Grand Lodge was well represented and well
    served. I maintained relatively quiet and conversed only with a few
    Brothers in confidence. This I did at the expense of being able to
    defend a friend who was under attack. However, you have now released
    me from that responsibility and as all true men of character should
    do, I am speaking-up for my friend and brother in a sincere effort to
    right what I consider the great wrong you continue to do to him.
    Michael Meier deserves much more than I have been able to give.

    God forbid that I should ever feel as abandoned as he has probably
    felt these last few weeks.

    Like I told you in the February 27, 2012 Jurisprudence Committee
    meeting – when you demanded my resignation and I refused to resign – I
    will not be intimidated by you.

    So here is the argument I promised above...I have reasoned that you
    now find yourself between a political rock and a political hard-place.
    By not outwardly firing the DGM and replacing him (or bringing charges
    against him for his “outrageous†conduct), you have acknowledged quite
    clearly that none of his acts were truly bad enough to actually
    warrant his removal from office. You have not installed a replacement,
    because you know you simply cannot legally do so, nor is there any
    evidence that would support such an action. So Michael, for all
    intents and purposes, outside of his duties, remains the DGM and will
    likely be elected as the Grand Master this June. That is your rock.

    I further reason that your unwillingness to acknowledge this clear
    fact (above) in writing is also incredibly problematic from a
    political standpoint...for if you do write it down and clarify the
    confusion, you would undermine the damage your January 2, 2012 letter
    is intended to inflict upon Michael and his reputation. You cannot
    sign a statement that clarifies what needs clarification because you
    must continue to make Michael's behavior look worse than it actually
    is. This is your hard place.

    So, instead of making the clarification and bringing peace and harmony
    to your Brothers, you have chosen to perpetuate the misunderstanding
    in order to make Michael look bad in your cynical attempt to
    manipulate the Grand Lodge into not advancing the Grand Line’s normal
    course. Nice work.

    You have injured my friend and my fraternity, you perpetuate the
    damage caused in an attempt to manipulate an election in June...and as
    explained above, the truth is now crystal clear…the Emperor has no
    clothes.

    I truly love this Craft and I only want the best for our Brotherhood.
    While I have remained relatively quiet, I now choose to make my voice
    heard because you have seriously injured a good friend of mine, and
    you fired one of the most qualified guys in the State from a job he
    should be executing (and you will probably make-up some bull-$#!t
    excuse for that also). I take that personally, and I don’t give a hoot
    if you’re the Grand Master or the President of the United States. I
    won’t let you treat my friend and Brother that way without standing
    up.

    You, Grand Master, cannot handle dissent or disagreement. You cannot
    fathom that any Man can think for himself if that thought is different
    from yours. You have proven yourself unworthy of your Office.

    But, let me be clear…I don’t think you have violated the Code
    regarding Michael's legal standing as the DGM. I also have indicated
    above why many of your Detractors are mostly wrong in their several
    LEGAL (from a Masonic perspective) accusations against you.

    You were just too afraid of me and my judgment to let me explain my
    position to you in person. You just can’t handle differing
    points-of-view. And while I am no longer in your direct service, the
    chair you occupy, temporarily, still deserves and has my continuing
    respect.

    To that end, I must close on this positive note; that, if called-upon
    to serve my Brothers, I will serve. If asked for advice or counsel,
    where my experience and know-how have value, I will give it honestly
    and openly. However, if you feel that this is far too harsh of a
    criticism of your actions, if you feel that I have insulted you and
    caused you some injury because I am telling you what my reasoned
    judgment happens to be, then I suggest you treat this forthright
    criticism with the same value you have treated my continuing
    dedication and service to the Craft…you can just throw it away.

    Fraternally, Sincerely, with just a few sour grapes and All Due Respect...

    Adrian P. Fontes, PM
     
  3. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    Thank you Brother Vic. You have opened my eyes on this and I appreciate it.

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  4. Rauchbier1987

    Rauchbier1987 Registered User

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    My brothers, who can understand the hearts of men. None are perfect though we strive to be so. I am as appalled by all the things I am hearing as any and incidents like this where there is mud slinging and we as a whole allow ourselves to be overcome with emotion are a true stain on that symbol of purity we try to be worthy to wear. I think all of us no matter how high up the metaphorical chain to the newly initiated need to keep in mind our oaths and all we stand for. Brothers, take up your working tools and all they mean to us! pray that the divine architect will aid our leaders and help them do likewise.

    Brother Morris


    Brother Morris
     
  5. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    Re: What obligation does masonry have to Masons in

    Well put brother! I am an Arkansas Mason, granted I was initiated, passed and raised in Oklahoma. But I would like to point out that the number of masons of whom are causing the problems, are fewer than you think. My lodge is small, but we all disagree with what is going on in our own GL. Please do not condemn the whole state because of the few.

    Like my brother (biological AND fraternal) just stated, sometimes people tend to lose sight of their working tools. Each tool has an important lesson that seems to be forgotten.

    Rather than criticize the brothers, pray that the great architect will help us to find a solution and return peace to our fraternity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

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