Why not visitation?

Discussion in 'Building Fraternal Relations' started by Roach, May 12, 2013.

  1. Roach

    Roach Registered User

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    Gentlemen I ask this as a non mason looking to join. I have read many threads on recognition and visitation between Mainstream and PHA. I would think that if both GL's gives recognition to each other as regular then visitation would be a given. I truly don't understand how it can be that two men can call each other brother but yet can not sit together. The answer may be deeper the what my status may allow but I look forward to your replies.
     
  2. Michael Neumann

    Michael Neumann Premium Member

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    http://www.masonsoftexas.com/showthread.php?17631-Petition-for-Joint-Recognition-and-Visitation

    There are issues on both sides. When I was preparing the petition I read many many sites, quotes from GMs, and arguments both for and against visitation. In West Virginia recognition was granted then withdraw and then offered again (there was some nonsense going on), but when it was offered the second time PHA brethren declined. Rumor has it that in Texas when we granted recognition we also offer visitation and PHA declined. Also PHA seems to be concerned about sovereignty, it was mentioned on a FB post when I first started promoting the petition.

    Like I have said previously, BOTH sides have to get over themselves in order to move forward.

    Here is a list of recognized lodges we should be able to freely walk between http://www.ugle.org.uk/about-ugle/recognised-foreign-grand-lodges/grand-lodges-in-north-america/
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Everywhere in the world except Texas, recognition comes with visitation. Often there's a delay between the votes for recognition and the start of visitation but that's a paperwork matter everywhere I've encountered other than Texas. I was in line in California when recognition was voted in. It took a bit over a year for the paperwork to settle and visitation to begin. As soon as visitation began my lodge even took in a PHA lodge as a tenant in our building. It sure made visitation easy walking down the hallway to the next door!

    I am a California and Illinois Mason residing in Texas. In the last couple of weeks I've attended lodge in both of the local jurisdictions. If I affiliate I can no longer do that. It makes me in no hurry so I'll delaying as long as I can. On the other hand if I don't affiliate I can't go through the line, become a warden, master or past master, so I don't have a vote at Grand Lodge meetings.

    Why Texas does not have visitation is not publicly known even among the membership. Sigh. What each side can do is present a motion to add visitation and offer it to the other jurisdiction. Take the moral high ground. My conundrum of delaying affiliation so I can still visit both is that it means I can not start earning my way to have a grand lodge vote on a grand lodge motion like that.
     
  4. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean to say that you have visited lodges of the MWPHGL of Texas?
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  5. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    ...because I have never heard that the MWPHGLoT recognizes the "mainstream" grand lodges of California or Illinois. Or vice-versa.
     
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I know that as a California and Illinois Mason I can and have visited PHA lodges in those jurisdictions. As far as the details of visitation goes there's the "when in Rome act like the Romans" rule in both of my jurisdictions so if they are locally recognized I'm okay. The recognition between the two Texas GLs may be fake because of the visitation issue between them but it does have the word recognition. So I presented myself for visitation at a local PHA lodge and joined a crowd of the brothers talking before the opening. Now I'm just another regular when I show up to their meetings.

    Recognition route one. Illinois and California to Illinois and California PHA with real recognition (real meaning it includes visitation). California and Illinois PHA to Texas PHA with real recognition. Conclusion let me in. Recognition route two. Illinois and California to Texas with real recognition. Texas to Texas with fake recognition (fake meaning it does not include visitation). Conclusion don't let me in. It's up to me to decide if I want to present myself given the situation. The word recognition is there so I presented myself. It's up to the lodge to decide if they will let me in. They did. I have no idea if they thought through the two routes or if they figured I'd considered the technicalities in advance. The first question I'd gotten in the parking lot was "You know this is a Prince Hall lodge, right?" My answer was "Absolutely. I deliberately looked you brothers up on line so I could find your street address and when you open."
     
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  7. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Unless you are also a member of a PHA lodge somewhere, I can't see how your reasoning works...

    Perhaps one of our PH brothers can offer an opinion here.
     
  8. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    In truth, unless the MWPHGLoTX has specific recognition and visitation, specifically, with either your California or Illinois GL then, well. Every PH jurisdiction is a different jurisdiction, just as every "mainstream" jurisdiction is different. So its like saying France has a treaty with Denmark, Japan has a treaty with France, ergo Japan has a treaty with Denmark...if you follow me. I'm loathe to point it out though since we need Brothers to cross over, and since I'm no lawyur I'm probably wrong anyway :)

    The reason we don't have visitation in Texas is known. MWPHGLoT, when they petitioned for recognition from the GLoTX, specifically omitted visitation - and their reason for petitioning for recognition was so that they could gain recognition from the UGLE, and they needed GLoTX's recognition to do so.

    Thats anyway what has been relayed - but we're working third hand here. I don't see that there is anything preventing GLoTX petitioning MWPHGLoTX for visitation or vice versa, but that will take an order from the sitting Grand Master of one jurisdiction or the other to their respective Fraternal Relations Committee, as I understand it, and at least in GLoTX, I'm pretty sure it would require a majority floor vote at yearly communication - which would require a majority of sitting Masters, Wardens, and Past Masters to pass.

    And so at least in GLoTX, again if I understand the procedure, it will require a Grand Master to make the executive order to this Committee and then, likely, to stand and convince the room. And on that day, I'm pretty sure any Master Mason can speak in support (or against) the measure.

    And all that sort of stuff would need to be mirrored at MWPHGLoTX according to their bylaws, rules, and regulations - which I expect is different than GLoTX (particularly in regard to the floor vote electorate being composed largely of Past Masters).

    Perhaps Brother Lins or another versed person on the procedure could clarify the hows and whatfors. Understanding how MWPHGLoTX is set up "legislatively" would probably be a help too...
     
  9. AdQuadratum

    AdQuadratum Registered User

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    In my Jurisdiction we can as PHA can sit with AF&AM
     
  10. AdQuadratum

    AdQuadratum Registered User

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    Are you from the south ?
     
  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Put yourself in a parallel situation. You just moved to Gotham City or Metropolis or whereever. It's been months since you attended lodge and you're itching to hang out with the brethren. You come from a state with recognition. You live in a state with recognition. There are lodges of both jurisdictions near you. What do you do? Are you looking for a reason to not visit or are you looking for a reason to visit?

    I found multiple lodges nearby and started showing up dues cards in my hand, apron and gloves in my briefcase and Masonic Education talks ready to go. Either they let me in or they don't. We're a world wide fraternity. What happens at the door is where the rubber meeting the road on how we each view our principles. What happens in my head deciding whether I knock on that particular door is every bit as much about whether I live by our principles.
     
  12. AdQuadratum

    AdQuadratum Registered User

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    smib
     
  13. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Umm. As far as I can tell, you're a California and Illinois Mason sitting in lodges your Grand Lodges do not approve of visiting. It sounds like the individual lodges might be violating their own laws in that case as well, but I have less insight into that.

    If I was in a parallel situation, I would check with my Grand Lodges and make sure I wasn't violating my obligations to abide by their rules. I would never show up at any lodge and ask for admission without first assuring myself that I was operating within the constitution, resolutions and edicts of my own Grand Lodge. You seem to define "state with recognition" as a carte blanche to visit any Prince Hall lodge in the world, and that is definitely not the case.
     
  14. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    My understanding is that I, under the GLoTX, cannot visit PHA in any other state because MY GL does not permit it as well as a member of another state GLo* cannot visit PHA here (if they recognize GLoTX) because, by visiting here, you violate a GLoTX obl and you swore to abide by rules in any jurisdiction you may be in, thus violating the obl in your own jurisdiction. Right? (Geez what a mouthful!)


    Freemason Connect Mobile
     
  15. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Add to that that even if there was no Grand Lodge of Texas, a Mason from another Grand Lodge could not legally visit a lodge of the PH Grand Lodge of Texas unless their Grand Lodge was "in amity" with the MWPHGLOT.
     
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    If I don't see a list of recognized GLs on the GLs' web sites I go with the list on UGLE. I don't see a list of recognized GLs on any of the 6 recognized jurisdictions in CA, IL or TX. That tells me I can go by the best world wide authoritative list, the one from the UGLE. I do see all 6 in the UGLE's list. I have no idea why you think there's supposed to be an issue. Something I posted in already - Are you looking for a reason to visit or a reason to not visit? Everywhere in the world except between the two Texas GLs recognition equals visitation.

    Because everywhere in the world except between the two Texas GLs recognition equals visitation it is indeed a carte blanche to visit. Do not let the local nonsense confuse you about that.
     
  17. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    1st: That would be valid if you were a member of a UGLE lodge
    2nd: The MWGLoT does not allow masons from the UGLE to visit their lodges.
    3rd: There's a very helpful book put out by Pantograph press that lists all the details of who recognizes who. There's a copy in every mainstream lodge in Texas. According to the one in my library, California recognizes only the PH Grand Lodges of California, Oregon, and Hawaii. May be outdated...perhaps someone here has access to the latest one.
     
  18. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    There are several states that have recognition without visitation, Texas is not the only one. Oklahoma, Kentucky and a couple of others that I can't recall offhand. And a bunch of states have no recognition at all.

    See the attached image for the ones that don't have recognition at all yet.

    phamap7.gif

    Illinois reportedly has a "blanket" recognition of Prince Hall Grand Lodges, insofar as they are recognized by the "mainstream" GL within their jurisdiction. I can't find an official document, but see these links:

    http://bessel.org/masrec/phachart.htm
    http://bessel.org/masrec/phablanket.htm

    But this is not the case for the vast majority of states. Most recognize the PH GL in their respective state and a couple of neighboring states. Each one of those PH GL's are a different entity. So they either have to create a resolution to blanket recognize them (which is not reciprocated), or go through the negotiation between each and every one of the individual PH GL's to gain said recognition+visitation.

    Note - this seems to be a big part of the hold up.

    The same goes for many, many foreign countries. Check this link:

    http://bessel.org/masrec/phanonus.htm

    I have a very good friend and Brother from Victoria, Australia. He goes out of his way to mention a fair bit how they recognize PH Masons, but in reality, they only recognize Connecticut and Indiana.

    Would an Australian man from Victoria be turned away from lets say a MWPHGL affiliated lodge in lets say California? I doubt it. And would a PH mason from Georgia be turned away from a lodge in Victoria, Australia? I also doubt it.

    But would an Aboriginal from Victoria be black balled in a Melbourne lodge? I'll just say, do some google searches and check out how white their photos are, and I'll leave it at that. What I'm getting at with this is that this, when you get right down to it, is not just a southern US problem.

    I'm not in any way saying that this means we don't have work to do or that we can't change things. I just think the idea that we are the only unenlightened neanderthals in the US, let alone the world has a way of making it seem like the issue is only about race. It isn't. That is a part of it at the lodge level for some of the older folks, but as I've mentioned in other threads, gravity is going to work against that.

    Rather, a big, big part of this issue is administrative and political. Grand Lodge officers, who have budgets for expensive GL buildings and a legacy to build have a way of becoming insular, protective, and so forth. In many states the respective GL's fear that through recognition or visitation they will bleed members to the other GL. And now think on it - which GL in Texas would fear that most? GLoTX, or MWPHGLoTX? Consider it.

    Keeping in mind that the GLoTX voted first to give recognition. MWPHGLoTX petitioned for recognition after, not before going to the UGLE for recognition - and because in order to gather that recognition they had to have recognition from the presently recognized GL within the same geographic area.

    Now I'm not at all saying the burden lies with MWPHGLoTX. But here is a straight truth - we need to know where their Grand Lodge officers stand on the matter. We need to understand why they haven't petitioned for visitation in Texas, and why they omitted it from their petition for recognition back several years ago. These are important things.

    Getting a resolution for visitation through GLoTX can get done. That is just my opinion but I think I'm right about it. If it was asked for by MWPHGLoTX, I think it would make it through without too much of a problem. A blanket recognition of all PH Grand Lodges, no - I don't believe so. Reason being this is a rule oriented sort of jurisdiction - people believe and follow the law in Texas. We aren't going to grant recognition to Grand Lodges who don't return the favor, either because they can't be bothered or they are reticent to do so. And that view of the way to do things is by no means rare, as you can see by the lack of blanket recognition in almost all other states.

    Some of our MWPHGLoTX brethren need to do what folks in the GLoTX are doing - asking questions of their Grand Lodge officers. And report it back here. The most important is "What are we waiting for?"

    The answer on both sides, I reckon, is "The other side". And it will be a whole heck of a lot easier I expect to move MWPHGLoTX to take the first step than it will be GLoTX, thats just the truth of the matter. And so, knowing that, the path ought to be clearer to a way to get the ball moving in a real way.

    /ramble
     
  19. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

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    I actually agree with a lot of this. For the sake of argument would GLoTX consider making the first move? Why or why not?
     
  20. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    I have heard there is a principle that the younger body makes a request to the older body to change the status of their relationship. I am sure I could not produce any documentation to support that, but I am certain it has been said somewhere. I would point out that the GLoT had agreed to a meeting with the MWPHGLoT to discuss visitation, but the latter body cancelled the meeting. The GLoT stated position is that they're ready to talk about visitation whenever the PH Grand Lodge wants to. So, essentially, the MWPHGLoT has already made the first move, the GLoT has already made the second move, and we're all waiting for the MWPHGLoT to make the next one.

    So, for the sake of argument, what next move would you like the GLoT to take?
     

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