My name is Raymond Sean Walters, a member of Internet Lodge No. 9659 in Manchester, United Kingdom, part of the Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire and warranted under The United Grand Lodge of England.
I currently reside in West Virginia, a GL territory that is openly hostile to Africans, African-Americans and other non-Caucasian ethnicities, even when these persons hold Masonic membership in regular, recognized lodges and grand lodges that Grand Lodge of West Virginia is in amity and fraternal recognition with.
I myself have been and am still denied ability to visit (and have been for 10 years). While Masonic visit is a privilege, not a right; denying visit for un-masonic reasons, then being vocally belligerent about it while trying to start a fight with the potential visitor is equally abhorrent in my personal opinion.
It was such an event that caused me to file a formal complaint with Grand Lodge of West Virignia in 2005, which is what caused MWBro. Frank Haas to become involved as the sitting Grand Master of Grand Lodge of West Virignia at that time.
West Virginia is the Grand Lodge that expelled a Past Grand Master without Masonic trial or charges of any kind filed, and other GL's have sat back and allowed this to happen. In fact, PGM Frank Haas was just denied his third appeal for restoration of his Masonic rights and privileges despite it being 8+ years since he was improperly expelled, and 5 years since winning a judgement against GL of WV in a civil court that ruled GL of WV had violated it own regulations regarding expulsion of PGM Haas.
The purpose of my post today is to inform you all that this foolishness surrounding this Grand Lodge of West Virignia has been and continues to affect and impact young children - boys who have interest in joining the DeMolay program in West Virginia.
These boys were first directed to the Knights of Pythagoras program, a program which is sponsored by Prince Hall Grand Lodges, but the last functioning chapter of KOP in Weirton, West Virginia no longer exists due to the members having "aged out". With the demise of that program, DeMolay is a parallel program these parents and boys were encouraged to look into.
Just today, I filed a formal letter of complaint with the Executive Director of DeMolay International, a Mr. Michael Russell at the Kansas office.
Though I have no children of eligible age to be part of DeMolay, I refuse to stand by and watch young boys be denied an opportunity based on nothing more than physical appearance.
My parents raised and taught me better than that. As a MAN I have enough sense to stand for myself, and for those who can't stand or defend themselves. As a Freemason, my obligations dictate that I take action and stand on basic moral principles of fairness and equality.
I AM including the body of the letter I sent today