This action taken by Shrine International was not made in a vacuum. You will remember that The Grand Master of Arkansas, as the result of a petty squabble, banned all Masons from being Shrine members.
“As a result of all of the foregoing the Grand Master adopted his “scorched earth” policy against Shriners in Arkansas by issuing an edict that anyone who remained a Shriner in Arkansas had to self-expel himself from Masonry by December 15, 2012 or he, without any trial, would expel them from Masonry. Further he would not allow any Masonic lodge to issue a demit from Masonry to any Shriner (rightly fearing that such Masons would join Masonic lodges in other states). This is Masonry as it is presently practiced in the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.” – Theodore Corsones
In order to survive the two Shrine Temples in Arkansas had to take on additional members and they, by virtue of the Grand Master’s edict, could not be Masons. Now this ruling by the Shrine only applies to Arkansas, no other states, and is the direct result of the actions of a rogue Grand Lodge purging its jurisdiction from all who will not submit to tyrannical rule.
The following is a letter issued by Imperial Potentate Alan Madsen
Imperial representatives of Shriners International voted to make a change to its articles of incorporation regarding membership at the 139th Imperial Session. The prerequisite requiring that members of Shriners International are first members of Freemasonry (Masons) in good standing has been amended to exclude the requirement for the state of Arkansas.
This legislation was brought forth by the two Shrine temples in Arkansas following the Arkansas Grand Lodge edict last November that would no longer allow anyone to remain an Arkansas Mason AND an Arkansas Shriner. Shriners International has always had a Masonic prerequisite and regrets that the actions of the Arkansas Grand Lodge made the passage of this legislation necessary to preserve the existence of the two Shrine temples in Arkansas.
Shriners International is committed to maintaining open lines of communication with the Grand Lodge of Arkansas to encourage amicable relationships for current and future Masons and Shriners. This change does not affect other Shriners across the country, and the organization remains a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. Shriners International’s primary focus continues to be its philanthropic mission to support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a world-renowned health care system with 22 facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Yours in the Faith,
Alan “Al” W. Madsen