The seemingly prejudicial Grand Lodge of Arkansas is at it again.
Once again a Grand Lodge, this time the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, has taken steps to make Freemasonry exclusive rather than inclusive; parochial instead of universal.
In past moves around the Masonic spectrum we have seen African Americans blocked, Pagans and non Christians ejected, those employed in the liquor industry removed, women obviously barred, Democrats and Liberals prohibited access, Catholics and Jews prohibited. Now it seems members of Shrine International are out. Pretty soon, if you stand there and let them get away with this nonsense, you will be out.
This is the Grand Lodge that declared a generic Prince Hall produced Masonic license plate clandestine. This is the Grand Lodge that prohibited its members from E-Mailing or communicating with one another electronically with one another. This is the Grand Lodge that deliberately shut down its own website (you can see a review of the original site here).
Notice once again that if you violate the Grand Lodge you must SELF EXPEL yourself.
If you choose not to then they will expel you WITHOUT A MASONIC TRIAL . That’s the same choice they offered Derek Gordon.
Do northern Grand Lodges not see the light after Florida? And now this? What will it take to create some kind of mutuality of purpose and means?
These rouge Grand Lodges are practicing a kind of bogus Freemasonry AND MAINSTREAM MASONRY NEEDS TO PULL RECOGNITION FROM THEM!
The letter from the Arkansas reads:
The M. W. Grand Lodge of Arkansas
Free and Accepted Masons
November 1, 2012
M:.W:. Robert L. Jackson
700 Scott Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
To: All Master Masons of Arkansas
To: All Subordinate Lodges in Arkansas
To: All Appendant Masonic Bodies in Arkansas
To: All grand Jurisdictions
To: Shrine International
After carefully considering the facts, I have made the determination that the Imperial Shrine has essentially engaged in the creation of clandestine masons. The reasoning is that the Imperial Shrine requires as a prerequisite to membership that the person be a Master Mason. When this Grand Lodge, and others, has taken action to expel a man from the Fraternity, the Imperial Shrine has made provision to keep him as a member. Essentially, they create the expelled person a Master Mason. This very action is in conflict with the Ancient Landmarks, and the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. As a mason creating organization, the Imperial Shrine is not a setting member, or recognized by the Conference of Grand masters of North America, and is therefore itself clandestine.
Given our long-established prohibition against clandestinely made masons, it is my decision, and I so order that no member of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas may fraternally associate or communicate with, or be a member of any club, temple, center, or subordinate body of the Imperial Shrine. Further, according to past affirmed decisions of the Grand Lodge, to do so constitutes the penalty of immediate expulsion from our Fraternity. I remind you that each Master Mason is charged by his Obligation to safeguard the Fraternity.
Further, I order all Grand Lodge Arkansas negotiations and communications cease with the Imperial Shrine until such future time as the delegates of an Imperial Session may vote to correct the actions of the Imperial Shrine and seek recognition of this Grand Lodge. Let me make this position very clear, this is not an issue that can be negotiated to make allowances for the Imperial Shrine to continue the actions that led to this end. Correction of this situation will require the legates of an Imperial Shrine Session to restructure their laws to align with principles of the Masonic Fraternity, particularly relating to the sovereignty of the individual Grand Lodges within their respective jurisdictions.
A copy of the Masonic agreement with the Imperial Potentate Al Madsen, Shriners International and the Grand Master of Arkansas is being sent to each Lodge Secretary in this Grand jurisdiction for your reading. It s a document we had agreed to, but Shriners International would not allow him to sign the agreement.
Therefore, Master Masons of this Grand Jurisdiction must make a choice to either be a Master Mason or Shriner by December 15, 2012. If you choose to be a Shriner, and you are a Master mason of only the Grand Jurisdiction of Arkansas you will be required to Self-Expel to avoid violating Masonic Law and being Expelled from the Fraternity. If you are a Master Mason who holds dual masonic Membership with another Grand jurisdiction as well as your Arkansas membership and you want to remain a shriner in another jurisdiction, then you will be required to withdraw membership from the Arkansas lodge or Lodges. Thus no Arkansas Mason will be a member of the shrine. This must be done to safeguard our membership from violating our Masonic Law.
Robert L. Jackson
Grand Master of Masons in Arkansas
The Shrine International made their case in a video published on December 11th, 2012, on the matter, which is no longer on the web.
You can find the full report of the Shrines reaction in a report published on the Shriners Hospital website.