Thursday, May 01, 2014
Thoughts on Masonic Regularity by Br. Thomas C. Brooks
SOME THOUGHTS ON MASONIC REGULARITY BY BROTHER THOMAS C. BROOKS OF THE GRAND LODGE OF NEW YORK...
THESE THOUGHTS WERE EXPRESSED ON A FACEBOOK GROUP CALLED MASONS WORLD WIDE, WHERE THE ADMINS OF THE GROUP ARE ALLOWING CLANDESTINE PERSONS TO PARTICIPATE AND INSINUATING THAT THEY SHOULD BE ACCEPTED AS "REGULAR" & LEGITIMATE, WHICH AMERICAN FREEMASONS WILL NOT ACCEPT.
Br. Thomas C. Brooks
I suppose that it is much easier for those of you who reside outside of the United States to coddle the clandestine groups that exist within the U.S., because they simply are not your problem. You probably have not had any of them “sneak” into your Lodge meetings, and if they did … you were none the wiser. For those of us who live here, where there are more clandestine groups among African Americans than there are regular groups in the entire world, we are charged to me more diligent.
I recall how a Mr. Rick Wells, of one of the “John G. Jones Grand Lodges” lied to Internet Lodge No. 9659 (UGLE), that he was a member of a Prince Hall Lodge in Texas, in order to secure dual membership in Internet Lodge. They took him at his word, pending final investigation and verification, and in the meantime issued him sufficient credentials to “sneak” his way into several U.S. Lodges, including the “Harvard Lodge” of Boston, as a UGLE Mason.
Although the rouse was finally discovered, and although his fraudulently obtained membership was rescinded, it was not before he was able to obtain nice photos of himself standing in a Lodge of regular Masons wearing his UGLE regalia. That is more than enough to encourage the rest of his clandestine buddies and prospective dupes that “John G. Jones Masons,” are regular and recognized.
Another John G. Jones PAST GRAND MASTER, by the name of Tony Muhammad (formerly Tony Hawkins), is good at “friending” Caucasian Masons and getting them to invite him to their tyled meetings. Many “mainstream” Masons are as confused as many are in this group regarding the dichotomy between Prince Hall Masons and the 50-100+ irregular black groups that exist in every U.S. city. They mistake that every black Mason is a “Prince Hall Mason,” and since many of them are actually eager to admit “Prince Hall Masons” to their Lodges, it is easy for a “John G. Jones Mason” to sneak in, under the guise of his being a Prince Hall Mason. Although Mr. Muhammad knows very well that his Grand Lodge is not recognized, he takes advantage of the ignorance of the mainstream brothers, and has collected quite a portfolio of “photo ops” in regular Lodges. These Lodges are always quite embarrassed IF they ever find out what has happened, but Mr. Muhammad relies on the excuse that he was “invited.” Maybe some of you would agree that it was the fault of the Lodges who admitted him, while continuing to excuse his clandestine behavior.
The International Group (IFAMM) like all of the other bogus groups here in the U.S. has their own “Shriners group.” Since they are called the “International Shriners,” it is easy for the public to mistake them with “ for “Shriners International.” The entire world knows that Shriners International is responsible for a network of Shriners Hospitals, where children of all backgrounds can go to and get treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. IFAMM’s website carries the history of “Shriners International,” and represents to the public that THEY administer the Shriners Hospitals, in order to coerce “donations.” We will probably never learn how much money has been donated to IFAMM, with the intention of it reaching the Shriners Hospital, or how many members have joined IFAMM, under the belief that they were joining the same group which runs these hospitals.
Here in New York, there are only two Grand Lodges that are considered “regular,” namely GLNY and the MWPHGLNY. Besides these, there are over 100 irregular groups. Most guys that join these irregular groups have no idea that they are not joining the real thing. If their kids get burned or otherwise sick, they are able to take advantage of Shriners Hospitals just like anyone else, yet in their clandestine groups, they tell their members that GLNY does not serve the black communities. I could give 100 more individual examples of how these groups defraud the public and usurp the honor of the regular Grand Lodges, but I am sure that it would not matter much in this group. Those of you who reside outside of the U.S. think that you can compare IFAMM, JGJ, etc., with the “Grand Orient of France” or even “Le Droit Humane” … you are making fools of yourselves. You are being used by these groups … Now you have given them the idea of branding the regular craft as a “regularity Taliban,” or some kind of “zealots” or “fanatics” regarding our intent to maintain the integrity of our brotherhood.
I am intently waiting to see what value or learning you are able to glean from clandestine Masons, particularly to the extent that you are willing to allow regular Masons who contribute to the benefits that this craft provides to society to leave this group. Thus far, all I have gleaned from them … after dealing with them intently for over three years … is that it does not matter to them how you obtain the ritual … that a brother is a brother, no matter what … but those of us who are in the thick of it know better. Most if not all of these groups have been established by Masons who were EXPELLED from the regular craft, and via the internet and groups like this, they have managed to “back door” their way back into where they are not wanted. They use this group, and take screen shots of the comments you make in support of clandestiny to support their cause.
I will certainly follow the rules of this group regarding these men … but it is a TASK for us regular Masons in the U.S. I will attempt to remain silent until I just HAVE TO speak, for example like when last night, a member of IFAMM stated how his group is recognized all over the world. This is a lie being absorbed by non-members who do not know any better. Via this group, some profane is going to be duped into joining an irregular Lodge, after falling for your suggestion that “there are no clandestine Masons.”
They may avoid the regular craft, under the confusion that we are “elitist.” I can see some profane gravitating to these groups, under the belief that they are some kind of “under dog” group that is being assailed unreasonably. I can see them thinking that the regular groups are too extreme … a Taliban trying to enforce rules … How terrible is that? No, this is not a tyled group, but we are still Masons. Those of you who do not understand us “overly zealous” American Masons will have to bear with us while we adjust to this paradigm where the clandestine are welcome to Masonic conversations. Some of us are trying to respect your wishes and play nice, even though our “way of life” is being disregarded. To us … these men are the thieves of our little sub-society, stealing the honors that the rest of us have rightfully earned. We have to adjust to their being welcomed by our international brethren, which gives them hope and an incentive to continue to “balkanize” our gentle craft.