Mainstream Masonry Shooting Itself In The Foot

Derek GordonThere are many aspects of the Derek Gordon story that deserve to be exposed and laid out on the table for all to see.  There are also far reaching ramifications as to what the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is doing to American Freemasonry.

As to the former, the failure of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas to state specifically to Gordon how he violated Grand Lodge statues, to leave it as an enigma that he is supposed to figure out is far from playing a straight hand. The fact that they would much rather spring it on him at the time of trial means they revel in toying with their accused.  Is this the high moral standard that is supposed to guide Freemasonry?

And shouldn’t the punishment fit the crime?  It is not glaringly obvious what Gordon even did.  It sounds as if it could be some minor infraction. To not only expel Gordon but to come in and pull the charter of his Lodge and close it down is over kill. Doesn’t Arkansas ever use suspension or other forms of discipline?

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has a despicable track record of expelling Brothers and closing Lodges. It has done this many times over.  Gordon won’t be the first nor the last. And the sad part of it all is that Good American Freemasons and good American Grand Lodges have done absolutely nothing to put an end to such shenanigans.

Oh no, say all the Good Masons, we can’t interfere in the workings of another Grand Lodge.  That’s their business. So we let Arkansas do whatever it wants.  We let Ohio do whatever it wants. We let New Jersey do whatever it wants.  We let Alabama do whatever it wants.  We let Georgia do whatever it wants.  We let West Virginia do whatever it wants. No matter how grave the injustice we turn a blind’s eye.

While all of Mainstream Masonry supports the absolute right of any other Grand Lodge in the U.S.A. to have absolute power to do anything within its jurisdiction, it even goes so far as to enforce the decisions of one Grand Lodge in all the other Grand Lodges.  This is what is known as the Good Old Boys Network. So if Gordon is expelled from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, no matter how odious and wrongful the process and the final decision, all the Grand Lodges across the entire country are going to also join in and support that ruling.  Not only will Gordon be expelled from Arkansas but he will be blackballed from joining any other Grand Lodge jurisdiction.

This policy can, as it may in this case, sanctify injustice and it does nothing to dissuade rogue Grand Lodges from operating in the same evil manner over and over again. There is no mechanism in place to discipline a rogue Grand Lodge.  No matter what it does it will be blessed by the rest of the Grand Lodges across the country. This drives a lot of good men into clandestine Masonry.

American Mainstream Freemasonry is out of control and the lack of any common standards agreed upon across the board only emboldens those who abuse power to do so repeatedly with impunity. This leads some Grand Lodges to make up crazy rules and regulations precisely because there is no one who will tell them they cannot nor anyone who will even comment on what is obviously wrong never mind take any action like withdrawing recognition. So you have Grand Lodges limiting Masonic discourse (especially with Prince Hall Masons) or prohibiting the use of electronic media in their jurisdiction, even E-Mail, shaking hands with other obediences, visiting Lodges out of state who permit other visitors who are not recognized by that Grand Lodge, admitting any person with an unapproved religion like Wicca, allowing Rainbow and DeMolay to meet at Masonic buildings, openly disagreeing with the policies of a Grand Master whether verbally or in print, joining an internet Masonic forum and a whole host of other regulations that should be no part of Freemasonry.

The sad part of all this is that what one jurisdiction does has a bearing on all jurisdictions.  The American public and the non Mason do not distinguish between California Freemasons and Arkansas Freemasons.  To them Freemasons are Freemasons no matter from what state they hail.  So in essence a few un-Masonic Grand Lodges can give the whole fraternity a black eye.

That being said it would seem that it would behoove all Grand Lodges to come together with some sort of agreement as to proper conduct and certain standards.  This would have no bearing on ritual or any ceremonial practice. Neither would it involve a National Grand Lodge but rather a written compact of common principles and methods of operations. However, somewhere along the line in order for the agreement to work there has to be some teeth in it.  United States Grand Lodges would have to agree to pull recognition from those who don’t want to go along or those who operate in an un-Masonic manner.

This is not without precedent for when Minnesota decided to recognize the Grand Lodge of France it was met with other Grand Lodges who pulled recognition.  If any United States Grand Lodge were to pull the requirement for a belief in deity I dare say you would see a host of American Grand Lodges pulling recognition.  While God is important race and civil rights doesn’t seem to count for much. But if American Freemasonry hopes to flourish it needs to pay more attention to how Black men are treated and how to fairly mettle out justice.

If American Mainstream Masonry fails to police itself then it will severely stunt its growth. Gen X and the Millenials are color blind and they will not join an organization which is discriminatory nor one that is a hiding place for KKK who have gone underground nor one that fails to protect them from the abuses of tyrannical power and the absence of common decency.

Lastly it is high time that American Freemasonry took on an American identity. Few Americans are born and die in the same town in the same state anymore.  We are a highly mobile society and state distinctions are increasingly of diminishing importance.  American Freemasonry grew with the formation of this country. Its method of government followed the civil model of strong states rights but stopped there, where the civil government proceeded to a stronger national federal presence. Without that strong federal presence those school doors in Little Rock would never have been opened to Black children to this day. The progress that the United States has made in the field of civil rights, gender rights, sexual rights, rights of the handicapped have come from the insistence of federally mandated across the board uniform codes of conduct and human rights. The fact that Freemasonry does not have the same accomplishment in those fields that are applicable is its failure to operate in some fashion in a manner that seeks common compliance in basic codes of conduct and methods of governance in all jurisdictions. That is the challenge which awaits 21st century Mainstream Freemasonry. Meeting that challenge may well decided whether it lives or dies.

Posted in The Bee Hive.

Fred is a Past Master of Plymouth Lodge, Plymouth Massachusetts, and Past Master of Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton, Massachusetts. Presently, he is a member of Pride of Mt. Pisgah No. 135, Prince Hall Texas, where is he is also a Prince Hall Knight Templar . Fred is a Fellow of the Phylaxis Society and Executive Director of the Phoenix Masonry website and museum.


  1. Fred,

    I wonder if rouge GL’s is accurate, as much as it is just leadership bodies going it alone (less about being controversial and more about not re-evaluating the way things have been done before).

    The problem is that situations like this are mired in proofs, he saids/she saids, and a mix of facts and fictions, and none of which with sufficient and concrete facts to pull the jurisprudence triggers to the nuclear option of dropping recognitions.

    As for the rest of the body, the proofs of its relevancy are in the numbers, measured in lodge attendance, returning members, or lodge suspense for NPS.

    The change is more effort than the value of the outcome. Perhaps, the UGLE should, given its preeminence of Grand Lodges, make recognizing Prince Hall a mandate to the use of its original chartering.

    I dunno. This is all a big bloody mess.

  2. I wanted to move over a comment posted by Bro Wilson Curtis that has in it some question I and some other Brothers would like to see Bro. Derek address. I will continue to move this until Bro. Derek addresses them. I moved it over to Bro. Derek’s page where he has a place to put comments however he never posted them nor answered them. He wants everyone to feel sorry for him and he is letting The Most Honorable Frederic Milliken fight his battles on this website. Bro. Derek you have taken our Lodge away and I will have to go to Lodge with the other Lodge in our building but I want back MY LODGE 706. You have always had a great amout of fight in you, like when you had us move out of the temple. Get out from behind others and address the questions!! Tell all Masons what is really going on here!

    Bro. Wilson Curtis says:
    April 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm
    Bro Derek there are some questions I would like to ask you:

    1.Are we talking about the same MWGM or are there two different ones? Who has done what?

    2.Where there any meetings with the MWGM held at Lodge 706 about this matter? How many? Were you asked to attend? Did you?

    3.How can the “Mainstream” Masons have a race issue when there are black members in their lodges?

    4.Jaye says, Rumor has it, and this has been mentioned to me by many many Arkansas and Oklahoma Masons, that a PGM of ARGL walked out of a meeting with the GM in OKGL because the meeting included “black masons.” I was at that meeting and it DID NOT HAPPEN. Were you there Jaye?

    5.Bro. Derek has the MWGM expelled you from the Masons (which he has the right to do) or are you going on Masonic Trial to answer the charge against you?

    6.Bro Derek why are you still pushing the license plate debate when those are not the charge against you?

    7.Bro. Derek it is plain you are being charged with posting cipher ritual from the letter above. Bro Derek are you using the defense “I did it because others were doing it so it must be OK?”(Sorry Officer, I was just going with the traffic.)

    8.Were the other lodges not punished because they removed anything they were asked to remove in a timely manner?

    9.Bro. Derek when were you asked to pull down Lodge 706’s website by the ARGL?

    10.Bro Derek you said you feel that your trial was deliberately set on a day you have maneuvers. Isn’t that speculation on your part?

    11.Lastly Bro. Derek do you fell as though you have broken any other Masonic Rules? Look at the above letter; are you following the Rule voted on by your Manson Brothers at GL banning any and all Masonic electronic transmissions? You are not being brought to trial on those charges but you have most defiantly violated that rule now.

    Inquiring Minds Want to Know!!!

    Bro Wilson

    It seems Bro. Derek has spent alot of time he says talking to the Grand Master (though he stated before The Grand Master had not spoken to him)though how can he not even know his name?? Bro. Derek you have an ax to grind and you believe that if you are going down you are going to take the GL of AR with you as well as Grand Master “Warren Martin.” The Masons have been around for thousands of years. You have tried to lead the good Brothers on this site to accept the false claims you are making. I am upset that I now belong to a Lodge without a charter because of YOU. You are trying to try your case here on the web but it is not these good Brothers who will set in judgement of you but your AR brothren at the GL. You might have gotten off with a slap on the hand but you have gone too far with these desortations. My wish is that the GL AR remove anyone who does harm to our craft and MY LODGE!

    Bro. John

  3. When any argument arises based upon biased opinions, No amount of debate will resolve the issue.
    When one accuses Freemasonry of wrong doing, One must look at who is really doing what.
    Freemasonry is not in error, Men who belong to the fraternity are the culprits.
    For if we all lived by the tenets of Brotherly Love, Morality, and Truth, There would be no contentions. What we have amongst our midst is Brethren who have not been taught to study and reflect on the lessons Masonry has to teach.
    We require the examination to pass from one degree to another but fail to instill the need for further knowledge. In other words we graduate our brethren with out a full education. Is it any wonder that we have raised folks who are intolerant and biased.
    When the men of mainstream masonry revert back to the lesson Masonry has to teach and they study to understand the hidden meanings.Masonry will become again what it has the right to be, A benevolent society of friends and brothers who practices being on the square with all mankind.
    Yet the war within masonry rages on. Grand Lodges feel the need to Govern the craft and that is done by making rules and edicts. None of which are a part of the lessons we are suppose to employ in our daily lives.
    That is the real reason we find situations like the one in Arkansas, Georgia and Virginia.
    Maybe if the Grand Master’s decisions were based on our masonic lessons instead of our biases, we would not find our business being open to the public. There would be no disagreements.
    ole Blake

  4. Bro. Blake

    I have been watching this site on and off today and I really need to tell Bro. Derek I’m sorry about doubting him about his trip to Peru. So now I know is watches this site too maybe he will address my other questions. I am a little confused about his “Masonic Blog” on his webpage It has a place to post but he don’t post stuff so it isn’t really a blog or is it?

    Bro. John Said:

    Politically Correct! Bro. Derek is a conservative through and through. Did you every wonder about what he has said about OUR President? I am a DEM and have defended President Obama in Arkansas where there are too many conservatives. Don’t believe me. Go to his webpage pull up his related websites and look at the first link of organizations he has been linked to. AreYouLiberal.Com (Conservative Thought Engine {a database of Conservatism})But he is playing out this drama on Bro. Milliken’s web site (who is a Very Honorable Bro.). Just sayin!

    So I went and looked. It’s there!
    I do believe the GM is not using a biase but that Br0. Derek is trying to start up his own little race war in the Masons. He is using Bro. Milliken a man who has true convection about the issue of race and he is correct it does need to be corrected. But Bro Derek is using good people who feel deeply about a subject and trying to turn them away from the his “crimes” against the GL. He knows what he is being charged with and he is pulling chains that are attached to the heart. Shame on you Bro. Derek.

  5. I agree. Go to the websites and look at pictue of our President as octobama at AreYouLiberal.Com. I’m sorry Brothers but this makes me angry. If I knew how to put a picture on here I would have posted it for you all to see. Shame on you Bro. Derek!

  6. Bro John said:

    Go to the websites and look at picture of our President as octobama at AreYouLiberal.Com.

    Bro. Derek has removed the picture. He is the only one who could have removed it as he is the administrator. Why remove it completely? Why is it not in the past posts like every thing else? Bro Derek I know you were planning to go into politics. I understand being removed from the Masons would not have looked very good on your record, but dude you really blew it here, trying to make your misconduct into a racial issue. You see Nothing placed on the internet Every really goes away. The truth always comes out. You never invite someone to find dirt on you like you did Bro. John ,when it’s out there, just ask Gary Hart!

    Bro. Derek why the change to a different website to answer SOME of my questions? Why the Burningtaper?

    How did you do all that degree work in such a short amount of time? There have to be meeting between these things you know. I guess you were a special case. Guess you didn’t have to follow the rules like everyone else. Bro. Derek it is plain you are being charged with posting cipher ritual. Now you are on the Buringtaper tell more non-truths. Bro Derek are you Still using the defense “I did it because others were doing it so it must be OK?”(Sorry Officer, I was just going with the traffic.)
    Bro. Derek Said:In MY OPINION gave acceptance via precedent.
    ( Office! IN MY OPINION I should be able to speed because the other drivers have set a precedent!)RIGHT!
    Bro. Derek your were the Secretary of the Lodge you had the rule book, my guess is that you still do, it was there in black and white for you. Plagiarizing someone else’s work by coping into other website can also get you in trouble! Ask some ex- politicians. Using the Masons to build your portfolio is not a bad thing. It has helped many respectable and honest men make a different in our country. But those men followed the Masonic Rules and learned from the elders and moved up in there GL and didn’t air Masonic problems in public with a twist. You might could have been one of those Masons but you would not bend when ask to do simple things like remove cipher ritual or take down your website.

    Brother Fred I know what kind of guy the GM Gene Warren is and I think he would agree to meet with you about getting the two Mason groups together. I understand he is an ex-Marine who served our country during Vietnam. He is now retired and loves this country and the Masons. By all I’ve heard and know Bro. Warren is most certainly not a “racist”. I think he would invite you into the GL for a talk just call or e-mail him and open the door. It would be a great accomplishment for you both. God is NEVER wrong often good comes from bad.

  7. When an org is not ever held responsible, they do what they want.
    When young men join believing that masonry is about “Universal Brotherhood”, and find out about irregular, clandestine, bodus and female masons, and that their leaders forbid them to converse, recognise or meet with other “masons”, how can we be about “Universal Brotherhood”? Young, educated men see the hypocracy….. they know that the few southern states do what they do out of racism, not territorial garbage.

    the only people interested in division, clandestine or recognition garbage were Crowns and religious leaders. They were fighting over control of Lands and the Masses minds and hearts.

    American freemason used to stand up to tyranny, now they defend it by hiding behind “obligations” put in place by the Crowned heads of Europe to try and stem the tide of Revolutions that were happening all over. Who were at the wrong end of masonic revolutions? Royalty and Religious Power Monger’s.

    Since when do Americans sit by and watch injustices done to Brothers?
    Since 1813…
    People think masonry is about Truth and Liberty? Not in America because we swore to an obligation in masonry to not have the Liberty to Asssociate with those deemed not “regular” or the Freedom to discuss certain things with them.

    how has America allowed its masonic institution to make slaves of its members and not Free thinking, independant progressive men, who would come to the aid of those being abused by a tyrannical system?

    lets usher in the era of British Colonial Freemasonry on the soil of America!

  8. I will just say you never cease to amaze. So Bro. Derek now has the power to hack into other peoples content and remove images? ARGL has outdone itself with their research staffers yet again.

    The image you are talking about is found on page but I guess you don’t know enough about research to look into an archive. Assuming a website gets 100 posts a day to assume 5 or so days later that the same post will be the front page is ignorant beyond repair.

    Bro. Derek mentioned this “A post on a new article by Bro. Frederic states that I’m deleting images off a website that I do not control. I’m flattered that someone would think I have the time and skill to modify other peoples content. Alas, I just don’t care. But, doing a time-stamp comparison, I have found the so-called deleted information in the archive of”

  9. bro Beehive states:”Lastly it is high time that American Freemasonry took on an American identity”

    that is what the GOUSA is doing. bringing Freedom and Enlightenment back to Lodge, as it was in the 1700’s. We, Americans, should not be practicing “English Masonry” because we do not have kings, dukes, earls etc.. to have to bend knee to.

    American Freemasonry should be the Beacon of Light for the rest of the world, as to how Universal Brotherhood can be had. But no. terms like Clandie, or bogus or irregular etc…….. will never allow small minded masons to shed their slave obligations to be loyal servants of the ?????????

  10. Widows Son your latest article was a great incite into the ARGL issue. Correct it answers many of the “Inquiring Minds” questions outlined above and on so many posts.

    But I do find it fascinating that the ARGL pushed this information on its own website and I do wonder if the ARGL will be issuing trials and expulsions or suspensions of its leadership. One cannot say that ARGL did not have the ability to know what it provided or what it linked to. In fact I want to see the arrest of the charter for the ARGL. Or at least the 2009 ARGL officers should be held accountable and be expelled for having given approval to the website. Their personal information and images were on website. I would doubt any logical conclusion that none of them saw the website.

    This is in discussion of the above article in light of the “Searching for light in the Arkansas night” post at Burning Taper.

    Mainstream Masonry seems to be unraveling as this PGM of ARGL “Bro. John” continues to go on and on. It just is a case in point I think. I would say he must be a PGM or someone of importance since he was in the meeting with OKGL a couple years back.

  11. Angry, Derek? How interesting Bro. Derek is gone for the weekend and we don’t hear from Jaye??????????????

    The website donesn’t seem very supportive of the government of the United States of American. Aren’t you as a Mason suppose to support your government??? You are the administrator of the website according to the site search. Are you going to throw that origination under the bus too??? Just anything to get you out of responsibility! Even calling the past secretary at your Lodge a thief, that isn’t very Mason like, now is it? Ignorance of the law is not an excuse!
    Law school student you should now that!

  12. You are getting closer. We had a great couples weekend I can assure you of that. I would say maybe Bro. Derek should post photos of our Salsa dancing and gas receipts to prove we were all out, but we know you have before accused him of doctoring the data so no point.

    Being that Bro. Derek controls the server that a number of websites are operated on it would not be surprising that his name shows up for administrative purposes. Research into nameservers and domain control. You might find it easier to be the administrator of many domains in case that data has to be changed to match server configurations.

    We are getting so technical here. It is great amusement for the masses I have no doubt. Read on the boring internet workings are no more.

    Regarding responsibility I would refer you again to the posting that the Widows Son mentioned because it discusses his actions and roles taken to live up to those responsibilities. In fact a newsletter I received today explained it a little more.

    The attempt to undermine the true issue is invigorating. I appreciate Bro. restating the crux of the matter last night or this morning depending on where you read the following.

    He wrote the following:
    Someone asked how this whole mess began. So, I thought it would be best to remind people. The issue began with the ARGL barring Masons from purchasing Arkansas license plates because of Prince Hall being involved in their creation. I posted a note on Sebastian Lodge’s website to spread the word as the Letter required; I added a note that we did not condone the Letter because it stunk with racial undertones.

    Many writers and bloggers saw this and copied our text in their articles. This sent the ARGL into a major defensive posture, something the ARGL can never be forced to take because it is too righteous. In retaliation, the whole issue with me started. Their latest and greatest charge is that I posted secret Masonic ciphers on the Sebastian Lodge website. In fact, should that have occurred, all data on the website came from the ARGL website and websites it linked to. By the way, they removed their website because so many bloggers mentioned this obvious connection.

    But one thing is for certain: ARGL and Grand Master Warren will continue to deny that race has any part in their actions. BUT, this problem came from a racial letter sent out by ARGL. If it was not for that, there would be no action against me.

    The website was known to ARGL prior to the RACIAL incident. I spoke with Grand Secretary James Weatherall requesting a link to be made to the site. I wanted him to let me know if content wasn’t acceptable. This of course was in the summer of 2009. Other comments were made throughout the rest of that calendar year. No problems, no complaints. But, amazingly enough the ARGL now has a cause of action against me AFTER the RACIAL incident.

    I wonder, did they want to hold onto a cause of action in case it was ever needed? Is this how a Grand Lodge operates to make sure it can remove its dissidents? The ARGL has had its opportunity to make peace with the matter, but there is no desire on their part to resolve this matter in an ethical and moral fashion.

    He included links showing the progression across the internet mediums up to this point. I removed those for space sake. But to think that ARGL knew of the website and didn’t disapprove of its nature for almost a year? But what happened next was a crux regarding license plates? ARGL had egg on its face and sought to punish someone. At least admit that the “cipher” accusation is blown up if you want us to continue to believe there is a legitimate side to ARGL claims.

    As on a previous post, it is pointless to debate you because its not helping. I wish I could say I was Bro. Derek. But the Lord saw that I was not to be him so I continue to appreciate his efforts as a free man like myself may do.

  13. Maybe the PGM was not as up on Masonic Law as the new ARGM. Less affect easier to slide under the radar with. Maybe when complaints came into the GL about cipher on your website this new GM wanted to deal with it according to the laws that govern the ARGL. You’re once again trying to make it about race and you know it is not. Why debate the truth?

    Wilson Says to Bro. Derek:

    “Just anything to get you out of responsibility! Even calling the past secretary at your Lodge a thief, that isn’t very Mason like, now is it? Ignorance of the law is not an excuse!
    As a Law school student you should now that!”

    Guy you just put down one of our Lodge Brothers Why would you do that? If it were true why did you bring him up on charges. Why slander him on line? You just won’t stop will you? Well alot of people have seen through you except your friends. Keep on spreading “HATE” and “LIES” is is very becoming the a Mason!

  14. Maybe the PGM was not as up on Masonic Law as the new ARGM. Less affect easier to slide under the radar with. Maybe when complaints came into the GL about cipher on your website this new GM wanted to deal with it according to the laws that govern the ARGL. You’re once again trying to make it about race and you know it is not. Why debate the truth?

    Wilson Says to Bro. Derek:

    “Just anything to get you out of responsibility! Even calling the past secretary at your Lodge a thief, that isn’t very Mason like, now is it? Ignorance of the law is not an excuse!
    As a Law school student you should now that!”

    Guy you just put down one of our Lodge Brothers Why would you do that? If it were true why did you bring him up on charges. Why slander him on line? You just won’t stop will you? Well alot of people have seen through you except your friends. Keep on spreading “HATE” and “LIES” is is very becoming the a Mason!

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