Thursday, September 18, 2014
For those of you who follow me & my blog, I finally landed on my feet several months ago after several years of adversity (in West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas) that can only be described as just foolishness.
In my last post on this topic in January 2014, I had mentioned petitioning to affiliate with a subordinate lodge of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, a Grand Lodge with leadership that has made it un-equivocally clear that Black men will NOT be accepted as members (even though I have heard scuttlebutt that there is at least one Black member in this territory, there has been no verification provided). I simultaneously had submitted petition to affiliate with another West Virginia lodge, a lodge in Pennsylvania, and the United Grand Lodge of England.
The second West Virginia petition was never turned over to the lodge secretary by the Brother that was entrusted to deliver it to said Secretary at their next stated meeting... we later found out that that Brother is questionable, and he is now kept at considerable length. What this aspiring Grand Lodge of West Virginia ass-kisser did NOT know is that I AM personally acquainted with a number of members of that lodge he now belongs to who were expecting the petition for affiliation I sought to submit. What he also did/ does NOT know is that I have previously been examined and sat in that particular lodge in West Virginia long before he ever became a member of it... go ahead and chuckle, I did!!!
I had also attempted to petition to affiliate with a subordinate lodge of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and was given some malarkey about needing a waiver of jurisdiction from Grand Lodge of West Virginia (a rule that only applies to a petitioner, not someone who is already a Master Mason). This information was provided by someone claiming to be a DDGM for the 29th Masonic District in PA who clearly doesn't know as much Masonic Law as he purports to know. Had he checked, his own Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania had already cleared me to be able to petition for affiliation in their territory. This is why I always question so-called experts, who clearly need to be up on their facts or they wouldn't mind being asked an honest question.
I have previously held membership in the Grand Lodge of North Carolina & the Grand Lodge of Texas, having left both for nothing that amounts to more than Masonic politics that I chose to have NO part of.
My current Grand Lodge that I hold membership in is the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England.
As to be expected, this move comes with controversy from both Prince Hall Affiliated & Mainstream members here in the United States of America. This is the first time I have come under criticism by members of both bodies simultaneously. All I can do is shake my head... clearly, ignorance knows no bounds and ignorant describes a large number of persons (not all) that seek and are rewarded with positions in Grand Lodge officer lines.
While I have been no stranger to controversy in the past, the fact that anyone has an opinion or seeks to dictate where I should hold membership is the piece of this puzzle that never makes any sense for me on a personal level.
I will part for now so that I can get back to my genealogical research that relates to formation of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia, formed by lodges originally chartered and warranted by the MW National Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Ancient York Masons National Compact (a fact that MWPHGL of WV openly denies, which proves they don't even know their own history) and other work on the Grand Lodge of West Virginia.
Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man
Monday, September 15, 2014
As an update, on April 24, 2014 I resigned as a Regional Representative for the Phylaxis Society. I had served in this capacity to several jurisdictions over 19 1/2 years.
My most recent appointment in 2011 was representative to West Virginia, and was expanded to include eastern Ohio & western Pennsylvania since I lived in a tri-state area encompassing all 3 states. This seemed to be a good fit for myself & the Phylaxis Society as this is the region I grew up in most of my formative years. I was from the region, and my paternal ancestors were partially responsible for the expansion of Prince Hall Freemasonry in the Northern Panhandle region of West Virginia in the mid to late 1800's and early 1900's.
Though I AM no stranger to adversity and dealing with difficult people, West Virginia appears to be filled with some of the most difficult and obstinate people I have ever had the displeasure of meeting and dealing with.
The leadership of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia not only disliked the Phylaxis Society, they showed themselves to be anti-education, and demanded to have appointment power over the Phylaxis Society, a historical research & education organization that in no way interferes with Grand Lodges. That is expressly forbidden in the by-laws of the Phylaxis Society.
There was additionally a verbal directive issued that PHGL of WV members were NOT to join or even accept reading material from the Phylaxis Society or it's regional representatives... which just really made me shake my head in puzzlement. It got even worse when PHA members in West Virginia were even directed not to have social conversation with me. WOW! was all I could say on that.
In truth, I AM more bothered that individuals were more concerned with titles and positions that many of them were NOT qualified for than in thinking for themselves. What came to mind more than once were papers written by Hon. Joseph Walkes, FPS founder of the Phylaxis Society regarding the limits of a Grand Master's power and authority.
As it finally became clear that I was no longer effective in my appointed role as Regional Representative, I decided it would be best to resign in the best interest of the Phylaxis Society.
I share these words to simply point out that though most Grand Lodges talk a good game, masonic education is an unwanted step-child by most Grand Lodge leadership, leadership that serves at the behest of the members of the Grand Lodge.
24 1/2 years has shown me on too many occasions that there are some issues still needing dealt with.
Raymond Sean Walters a/k/a Renaissance Man