WV GL withdraws recognition of OH GL

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by TexMass, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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  2. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Not sure... ! ? don't think this tells the whole story.. ! the problem with being a FREEmason is the fact that we are free to do things that may be considered wrong by others... ? Think the brethren have spoken and if they don't want whatever went on in their lodge... ? sometime its hard to force politically correctness on free people.. !
     
  3. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    OK- who is Frank Haas & why is this a problem?
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    "Frank Haas is a Judge in West Virginia and until several years ago was Grand Master of West Virginia. The story of his being expelled from the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is well-documented in various Masonic and other publications. I have reviewed as many as were available, including West Virginia's Proceedings, the New York Times and www.masonic-crusade.com .

    He moved to Ohio last year. After that, he petitioned Steubenville Lodge # 45 for the degrees of Freemasonry.

    I thoroughly researched the Code of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and there is nothing to prevent his receiving these degrees. Inasmuch as he is an Ohio resident, the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ohio confers jurisdiction over his membership to the Grand Lodge of Ohio and the lodge's membership.

    He made a full disclosure of the Notice of Expulsion by the Past Grand Master of West Virginia and answered all questions presented to him by the Lodge's Committee of Investigation. The Lodge did the necessary background work, including a home visit. They were assured that he was a good man and true, and he met all requirements, including residency for the requisite time, for membership.

    Steubenville Lodge # 45 gave a unanimous ballot approving his membership.

    On April 17, he received the three degrees of Freemasonry in Steubenville Lodge.

    Terry W. Posey
    Grand Master
    Grand Lodge of Ohio


    Meanwhile, Hass' lawsuit against the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is still going forward, and is scheduled for July. I have been told by more than one West Virginia Mason that the grand lodge has spent nearly $100,000 in its court battle to keep their Past Grand Master out of the fraternity. That may or may not be an exaggeration, but it seems like an awfully big price tag for the brethren of WV to shoulder. Now that Ohio has taken Haas in, my personal hope is that West Virginia will not try to retaliate against them, and that surrounding states will simply remain neutral.

    Recaps of the expulsion of Past Grand Master Haas in 2007 and the subsequent actions can be found here.

    __


    A former Freemason grand master is suing the West Virginia branch of the centuries-old fraternal organization and two members, alleging they defamed him after he pushed through less discriminatory and racist policies.

    "These reforms and proposals were intended to rid Masonry in West Virginia of Orwellian, repressive, regressive and unconstitutional practices,'' Frank Joseph Haas alleges in his lawsuit, filed May 30 in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

    Named as defendants are the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of West Virginia Inc., Masons Charles F. Coleman II and Charlie L. Montgomery, and several John Does.

    Haas says Coleman, who succeeded him as grand master, voided policy changes adopted in 2006, saying the vote to approve them was flawed.

    Haas also accuses Montgomery of spearheading his expulsion from the organization in November.

    Montgomery did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment, and no telephone listing could be found for Coleman.

    The Masons is an international secret society that promotes brotherliness, charity and mutual aid.

    Haas, an administrative law judge from Brooke County, alleges the defendants insinuated he was a liar, and by doing so harmed his standing in the community and hurt his reputation.

    Haas, a Mason since 1986 who became grand master in October 2005, also alleges he was not given an opportunity to defend himself against the charges.

    As a result of his expulsion, Haas cannot retire to the West Virginia Masonic Home nor have a Masonic funeral with other Masons serving as pallbearers, the lawsuit alleges.

    Haas is seeking reinstatement as a Mason and to have any record of his expulsion expunged. His lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages.


    More info http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/search?q=haas
     
  5. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    So, in many places when potential future de recognition is discussed over moral issues, people shut it down quickly.

    The funny thing is what we actually tend to pull recognition over is either someone's mood at the time or something extremely bureaucratic.
     
  6. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Extraordinary. Of course it's up to GLoWV to make their own decisions about who they recognise or don't recognise, but it looks like they're really determined to "go nuclear" over this issue and I reckon they're risking being cast into the outer darkness by the other regular GLs.

    Bill, I'm amazed that you hadn't heard of the Haas case. I've been hearing about it even over here in England, and it's been a bizarre situation from the start - whoever heard (as is alleged to have occurred in this case) of any GM anywhere accosting his own immediate predecessor (in a car-park, not even a Lodge!) and declaring him expelled from freemasonry there and then with immediate effect and no due process? I would have thought it would be a hot topic in Lodges all over the US. It has huge implications, if Haas wins - and so far as I can tell from here, he appears to have a credible case, although obviously I'm not in a position to know all the facts. If he wins, pretty much the entire leadership of GLoWV for the last few years will be in an untenable position, exposed as liars and conspirators and rule-breakers, so the whole lot of them would have to go. And what appears to have triggered all this trouble was a series of reforms proposed by Haas when he was GM - these covered various matters, but one can't help wondering if it may be no coincidence that his reforms included a proposal to open negotiations for recognising PHA.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    oh lord.

    i'm with drape on this one.
     
  8. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Yep this is what Masonry is all about right here.
     
  9. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    I have determined that there are a few states that I will (currently) have no desire to go and visit masonically.
     
  10. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Well, I would bet they are saying that since Bro Haas is an expelled Mason any GL that holds masonic communication with him is violating the obligations and therefor not following the ancient landmarks. Wasnt it a lodge in OH that recognized an expelled mason from GA which later lead to the a lodge turning in their Charter and the members keeping the building and other items and started or joined a 'irregular' GL?
     
  11. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Hi Wingnut.

    Oh? Is there something special about expelled Masons in your Obligations over there? Here in UGLE, the Obligations don't mention expelled Masons, and neither do our Landmarks (so far as we have codified them). An expelled Mason is simply not a Brother, in the same way as someone who has never been a member, except that if he wants to re-join then special permission is required from GL (which of course won't be given unless they're satisfied that he's now acceptable, which is rare).

    You're probably talking about Halcyon Lodge in Cleveland, formerly #498 of GLoOH. It was a very different type of case, not about expulsions, but instead about a Lodge which for reasons of its own deliberately chose to leave GLoOH and instead get involved with an unrecognised organisation run by an expelled Mason from GLoGA.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  12. TexasCop

    TexasCop Registered User

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    I'm a born and raised Virginian, actually spending the last several years of my life on the WV border, so I can safely say this.............WV is a whole different world. They do things quite differently than the rest of the nation. This story doesn't shock me at all.
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    What a crock!
     
  14. Raymond Walters

    Raymond Walters Premium Member

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    Hello Brethren,
    My name is Raymond Walters. I live in the Ohio Valley area that covers the Ohio- West Virginia border along the Ohio River. I am going to put my two cents in simply because many of you may not be fully aware of events that led to PGM Haas' expulsion. Cutting to the chase, he was too progressive for many WV masons that think it is still ok to enslave certain people and that the Civil War is still being fought.

    As goes for Masonic Code in any jurisdiction, if one chooses not to follow rules in their own jurisdiction, one certainly will not follow long-standing rules that are so old they do not need to be written down. It should be well known by any mason conversant in old charges of the fraternity that NO mason can be expelled without charges being preferred, and a hearing held so that the accused brother can present a case to explain his actions. PGM Haas was not given that opportunity at all.

    As for Grand Lodge WV, they were in such a hurry to violate his Masonic rights and his civil rights that they lost sight of couple of things; 1) Their GL cannot impose or force others to do their dirty work, 2) If they wanted to keep him in limbo and punish him they should have suspended him indefinitely, not expel him, which would have placed a greater stranglehold on Bro. Haas and his ability to rejoin Freemasonry.

    I will remind you brothers that this is the same Grand Lodge[GM's after PGM Haas] that refused to allow me the ability to visit lodges in their jurisdiction simply because of my physical appearance(racism) which itself is a viloation of one's Masonic obligations and violates the spirit of Freemasonry and it's regulations.

    PGM Haas simply stood for what was morally correct, something we a Freemasons are obliged to do, and he stood for and defended me personally while he was Grand Master of West Virginia, but more importantly as a brother mason.

    He will always have the utmost of my respect and admiration.


    RW Bro. Raymond Sean Walters, PM
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  15. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Thank you Bro. Raymond Sean Walters for that information. I had the feeling after all "the guilding the lily" that somehow the truth would come out.
     
  16. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Sounds to me like there are a bunch of very big ego's ... ! like Bill I have never heard of this.. ! still don't understand all of it... ! sounds to me like he just went shopping for some lodge to re-do his degree's to stub his nose at those who suspended him...? wonder why he was suspended.. ? he sounds like a troublemaker to me.. !
     
  17. flttrainer

    flttrainer Premium Member

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  18. Ronald D. Martin

    Ronald D. Martin Registered User

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    Bro Raymond,

    Since you live there can you tell us why he had to retake his three degrees? Also, I am not sure which "ancient charges" you are referring to but many GLs have the ability to not just suspend but expel members (for certain things) without trial. I understand Bro Haas's case, so I am not trying to question the underlying issue <s> I am asking about the technicality of why he had to retake the degrees. I have my own ideas, but as you point out you live there so please let us know. Thanks!
     
  19. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Apparently so. Im not saying who is right and who is wrong, Im just point out that some jurisdictions do state things about expelled masons, I do believe even the tilers oath that was recently discussed here in detail has a statement about expelled mason... Ive been reading the stories about Frank Haas since its been going around and was (until recently) following the court fillings.

    Same with Halycon. For the most part you only see Halycon and Jeff Peace side of this discussion also. I dont pretend to know the rules of other jurisdictions and can only look at things from the rules I do know, which is the GLoTX. By our rules a lodge has to have the approval of the GL to sell or mortgaged etc the building/property. Further, GL law defines a lodge that voluntarily surrenders their charter as a suspended lodge. (art 257). Since I dont know the obligation taken in OH and I can only reference the ones I do know that make a reference to cheat, wrong and defraud.
     
  20. Squire Bentley

    Squire Bentley Premium Member

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