Part 3 – The Rule of Law Is Missing From Mainstream Masonry

popeReviewing the manner in which Mike McCabe was treated and his Lodge was treated, it is quite evident that U.S. Mainstream Masonry has decided to rule and govern itself using a model which is a cross between the U.S. Army and the Vatican.

Read part 1 and part 2

The Pope, or General or Grand Master of New Jersey pulled the charter of Trimble Lodge for no apparent reason other than greed. But first it asked the Lodge to vote on its fate. When 95% of the Lodge voted to remain as they were, the Grand Master said, well you didn’t vote the way I wanted you to so I am over ruling your election and taking your charter.  You are no longer a Lodge in this jurisdiction. Silly us, we thought that the process as laid out by the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey should be binding.

Then when another Pope of New Jersey Masonry goes after McCabe he does so on trumped up charges reminiscent of Derek Gordon’s fate in Arkansas and in one of the charges uses surrogates to file a fake, false charge reminiscent of Gate City Lodge No. 2’s fate in Georgia. All along the way the Grand Master violates the tenants of his Constitution and the spirit of due process. He does so by wanton disregard of his jurisdiction’s most sacred document. Now it no longer becomes the importance of the process but the importance of the leader.


The Grand Lodge Oligarchy in New Jersey outlawed its Constitution. You can’t insert a clause in a Constitution that says the leader can ignore any and all statues that he wants to.  By doing so you have dispensed with the necessity of having a Constitution. This seems to be the trend in modern Mainstream Masonry. The rule of law has been replaced with the cult of the leader.

But it wasn’t always this way.  In fact that is far from the tradition of Masonry. For centuries a Grand Master’s power was delineated in the Constitution which spelled out exactly when and how he could interfere in the affairs of a local Lodge.  Under the Constitution local Lodges as well as individual Brothers had rights too and spheres of influence that a Grand Lodge could not violate without permission. Just as in the civil separation of church and state we had separation of Grand Lodge and local Lodges. And Grand Masters adhered to the letter of the law.

But that has gone by the boards in today’s Masonry. And that is precisely the problem that has infected Mainstream Masonry today. Grand Lodges have become like civil governments, jealous of their power and taking extraordinary measures to keep, preserve and protect that power while constantly adding to it. In the process Grand Lodge’s have trampled on the civil rights of its members and overridden their own Constitutions which were written to limit their powers.

Instant Suspensions and Instant Expulsions without a Masonic trial by Grand Masters are not in the tradition of Masonic jurisprudence. Neither is pulling charters and closing down Lodges that are vibrant and healthy for purely political reasons. There has to be some recourse to the Brotherhood for relief from out of control Grand Masters who have eliminated all limits on their power. And that recourse has to be something beyond dumping the problem back on the individual members to correct.  If a Grand Master can over ride and negate any vote taken by the Grand Lodge acting as a body then he is as entrenched in power as Castro is in Cuba.

Here are four suggestions. Pick one, or suggest another.

  1. A National Grand Lodge
  2. A National Masonic Constitution and Bill of rights
  3. A Congress of elected Masons in every Grand Lodge who write and interpret Masonic law
  4. Abolish the Grand Lodge system altogether

The sad fact is that that the Frank Haas story in West Virginia, the story of Halcyon Lodge in Ohio, the Gate City Lodge No.2 story in Georgia, the Derek Gordon story in Arkansas and the Mike McCabe story in New Jersey are all the same peas in a pod. And tomorrow there will be another story somewhere else, and another and another and another until American Masonry decides to reform and police itself deciding that it is an American institution not just a state body with a states rights attitude and a Confederate mindset.

Posted in The Bee Hive and tagged , .

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. This gentleman and his fellow brothers need to contact Halcyon and our attorney’s, we may have case law that shows the Grand Lodge otherwise! I believe these type of actions might fall under “racketeering”? When are mainstream masons going to stop the bullies? Is not masonry the Org that first stood up to tyranny? I thank no God that I am no longer in that system. Wow! What is going on here in the land of the free and home of the slave, err brave?

  2. I wonder what is not said here.

    True story, some years back one of the guys who seems to be in this circle of guys who always bashes “main stream masonry” called, he is a KY Mason, and facing a trial. He ask me to be his defense.

    He is apparently being prosecuted for unknowingly entering a PH Lodge. He was in Iraq, all he saw was the S&C, he walked in, saw it was PH, and walked out….. OH MY THE HORROR!!!! Ummmm… I am thinking…. wait a moment…. Our obligation is pretty clear that is not a problem. The whole uproar ensued, everyone angry over this individual getting “sacrificed to the bigots in KY”. The newsletters were written, the blogs were blogging, the chat rooms were bursting at the seams with the horrors of this terrible injustice…..

    So I go ask the GM what this is all about….. here is the real story….

    He not only went into the lodge, he sat through the MM degree, and DOCUMENTED THE DEGREE IN DETAIL ON HIS WEBSITE.
    He was under THREE different cease and desist orders from THREE different states to stop soliciting money in the name of that states GL (money he apparently kept for himself).

    I learned, he is a well known cyst on Masonry… and some of the same people promoting this story are the ones who promoted the earlier one. They knew the truth, this individual knew the truth, they just lied about it. Tell 20% of one story that makes them seem all innocent, then ignore the 80% of the story that tells the truth. Ignore the other stories that explain how these men are putting the lives, integrity, and families of real Brothers at risk.

    In the end I supported his trial, and think the fraternity did not go anywhere near far enough to get rid of him. He was, and still is today, putting the very lives of real Brothers at risk, all because he needs an emotional experience. HE is getting it from the gullible and dishonest people who write half truths such as this.

    So now we got yet another story about some poor little innocent guy who is persecuted by hundreds (of not thousands) of men we should trust as Bothers, and this site is squarely gonna assault the character and integrity of one set of Brothers (main stream masonry). In my state, this kind of assault is call “unMasonic conduct”.

    There is another side to this story, I do not know it. But the GL is busy wanting to promote Masonry in a positive way. The men who reach levels of authority in our GL’s are men of the highest character. They have the support of TENS OF THOUSANDS of the men this author should call Brothers…..

    You guys need to be reminded, the men in our GL’s are Brothers, who went through years of training and a multi year process of meeting lodges from across the state, meeting Brothers, hearing them, proving their character, and tens of thousands of Brothers gave them their support. To impune their character is to impune the character of Masonry. And if that is your goal, get out of this fraternity and join the Mason bashers that are external to the fraternity. At least those idiots are honest enough to be outside the organization they seek to attack. No traitor can be called Brother by men of character.

    It is obvious, these authors, the folks who engage in this mega hate drama, who tell half truths (which are lies) to get attention deserve to be rejected from this fraternity. Integrity matters, and over and over again I see a complete lack of it from the men who write and promote such crap as this.

    Half truths are as much a lie as an untruth. And until these guys rise to accept that standard, and then become honest, nothing you read from them can be considered anything more than wasted electronic ink. Our Brothers who founded this nation found those who would betray their own so detestable they put into law they can be executed, and forever removed from the face of the earth. Considering their crime, it is rather light punishment.

  3. The KY Brother you refer to is well-known by me and I have refused to have anything to do with him. You are right, some men are out to get well known and receive their thrill by deliberately grandstanding and violating what they know to be wrong and then screaming discrimination and vile treatment at the top of their lungs.

    That being said, the stories I have written are real life true stories by Brothers who were not seeking any limelight or notoriety. Surely the story of Frank Haas, past Grand Master of West Virginia, is not some cock-a-mamey scheme dreamed up by a man who wanted his day in the sun. Neither were the Brothers at Halcyon Lodge in Ohio or of Gate City Lodge in Georgia some dreamed up fantasy. The Derek Gordon case is a well documented example, with proof that would hold up in a court of law, of Grand Lodge tyranny.

    It’s easy to generalize and make charges, the accuser then employing the tactics that he accuses the accused of using. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. The merits of each case must be decided on an individual basis by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Most of the stories I write are quite uplifting and have nothing to do with the goings on at any Grand Lodge. But when I come across injustice in the Masonic system it is actually a dis-service to ignore or hide it. The Catholic church tried that with pedophile priests and it proved to be a disastrous choice of dealing with a problem deeply embedded within.

  4. A bit of an aside, if you don’t mind. Considering that Masonry is supposed to be a model of tolerance even in the face of intolerance, I find it somewhat discouraging to find here the title of “Pope” used as a derogatory epithet for an overbearing leader; and in the preceding post, that no other covered-up scandal can be brought to mind for a bad example than that of ordained homosexual paederests who should never been graced with the dignity of holy orders in the first place.

    The Church of Rome has been consistent over two centuries now in condemning Freemasonry as anti-Catholic, only to be reassured over and over that it certainly is not, that Masonry is not “anti” anything. And then to find this…

  5. From one Catholic Mason to another…………………the Pope was not used in a derogatory sense but as an example of the leader of a society that has an all-powerful leader. Also cited with the Pope were military Generals and there was no derogatory reference there either. Their use was to paint the picture that Freemasonry in some jurisdictions is being ruled and governed by an all-powerful leader. Some all- powerful leaders are very good and kind. That doesn’t change the fact that they are all-powerful.

    If that is how Freemasonry wants to be governed or more accurately ruled, then that is a choice that should be widely visible and known to all the Brethren in that jurisdiction. On the other hand is the time-honored, tried and true tradition whereby Freemasonry is governed by the vote of its Grand Session and the Grand Master is the leader that implements the wishes of that Grand Session.

    The problem I have with your comment is that you are reading into my message a tone of voice that is not there.

  6. same in Italy. GOI’s GM Bro. Raffi was nicknamed “Raffinger”.
    A trouble shared, is a trouble halved

  7. I am the Kentucky Mason, the cyst, Charles E. Martin. I have been maligned, and bashed, in the blogosphere. Rumors and stories get started, they get all out of proportion. I have been trying to get a Mainstream Masonic lodge underway in Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2005. No USA Grand Lodge (other than Prince Hall), is interested. Fortunately, here at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan, there is a Canadian lodge. My home Grand Lodge has full fraternal relations, with the Grand Lodge of Ontario, so there is no problem with me having Masonic intercourse, with the brothers here. (There is a PH lodge on Kandahar field, but I am not permitted to visit).

    I have never solicited one cent, from any individual, ever. I have never used the name of any Grand Lodge to solicit funds. No individual or organization has ever sent me any cash donations, or funds of any kind. I have never kept one cent for myself, there was nothing to keep! I have, asked various individuals to donate toothpaste, and snacks for the troops here, and I have passed the items along, to the troops and civilians here. I have never been presented with a “cease and desist” order, from any USA Grand Lodge, asking me to stop collecting morale items for the troops.

    Once, in Iraq, I went to a dinner meeting, hosted by the PH lodge there. I had a meal. I was never asked to show a dues card, I was never examined, I was never given an apron. I did not witness degree work, nor any individuals taking Masonic oaths. I mentioned that I went to a Masonic “meeting” on my blog, and it all hit the fan.


    He was, and still is today, putting the very lives of real Brothers at risk, all because he needs an emotional experience

    end quote.

    How am I putting anyone’s life at risk? I am at Kandahar Base, Afghanistan. I work 12 hour night shifts, 7 days a week. I analyze electronic circuits, used by terrorists, to blow up and kill US Soldiers. I am working as part of a team, to stop the biggest killer of US troops in Afghanistan. Some people think that I have passed myself off as a soldier, but that is not true. I was in the Air Force, thirty years ago, but I am a civilian now, and I have always made it quite clear, that I am a civilian.

    When I was in Iraq, and we could not start a Masonic lodge, some of us decided to start a “Square and Compasses” club, and have an informal, social organization. We needed to buy snacks and sodas, and supplies for the club. I telephoned a brother Mason in New Jersey, and asked his advice, about opening up a bank account, and getting a debit card, so that our club could order items from the USA. He gave me guidance, and advice.

    Somehow, it got back to the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, that I was soliciting money donations! I received a letter from the Grand Secretary of the GL of NJ, informing me, not to solicit funds. I just laughed, because I never asked anyone for one cent. Just goes to show you, rumors get started, and take on a life of their own.

    I believe sincerely, that Grand Lodges are not infallible. No organization is above criticism. I am deeply saddened by the whole situation in West Virginia, with P.G.M. Haas. I ain’t got a dog in that fight, personally, but it does not reflect well on Masonry. The Grand Lodge of WV spent $400,000 in legal fees on that case. That would have provided for several college scholarships, for deserving young people.

    Charles E. Martin
    Saving lives in Afghanistan

  8. Once, in Iraq, a young Marine asked me, if he could get his MM degree in Iraq. (He was a Fellow Craft, and belonged to a lodge in Walla Walla, Washington. I agreed to help him find out. I sent an email to the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Washington (state), and asked what is the procedure for getting courtesy work approved.

    When the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and the Grand Lodge of New York found out that I had, HORRORS! contacted a Grand Lodge officer in a Grand Lodge that I was not a member of, it all hit the fan.

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