My Brother’s Keeper – Open Racism in Georgia Freemasonry

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

Genesis 4: 8-12 N.I.V.

Georgia Flag

The Grand Lodge of Georgia has openly documented its policy of racial exclusion of “non-white men”.

In a court filing to the Superior Court of Dekalb county – civil action 09CV7552-8, are documents (attached below) which include the charges brought against the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge No. 2.

The charges as filled were quantified as a Violation of the Moral Law.

Specification 1 in this – That said worshipful master xx xx did in fact raise or allow to be raised in and about February 2009 in the lodge that he is the Worshipful Master, a non-white man, xx xx.

Specification 2 – This said worshipful master xx xx did commit overt act or acts against moral laws of Free and Accepted Masons and the moral duties as the Worshipful Master of Gate City lodge no 2 as follows:

  • Violation of moral law from word of mouth
  • Violation of moral obligation to the ancient landmarks, ancient customs, ancient traditions, ancient usages, constitution, laws and edicts working under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.
  • Violation of moral official obligation was taken at the time of installation of officers.
  • Violation of moral obligations of not upholding the charter of Gate City Lodge #2
  • Violation of moral obligation of keeping peace and harmony in the craft by allowing the operation of a Cabal in Gate City Lodge #2
  • Violation of moral obligation as pursuant to Masonic Code 1-104 without having obtained the sanction of the grand Lodge are hereby declared spurious and clandestine and of no Masonic authority whatsoever.

The Master of gate City Lodge, proclaiming his innocence, was then charged in the following manner.

Violation of the Laws of Masonry

Specification 1 In This: That said Worshipful Master xx xx did in fact embrace a formed Cabal to secretly unite to bring about and overturn with usurpation of the constitution, laws, ancient landmarks, customs and traditions of Free and Accepted Masons working under the jurisdiction of ancient landmarks, customs and traditions of Free & Accepted Masons working under the jurisdiction of the grand Lodge of the state of Georgia, when he was elected Worshipful Master in December 2008.

Specification 2 in this – The worshipful master xx xx knowingly and willfully did in fact allow a raising of a non-white man in February 2009, which has never been done working under the jurisdiction of Grand Lodge of the state of Georgia. According to the old customs of the Grand Lodge of the state of Georgia which has existed continuously since February 21, 1734. After the fact, xx xx did allow parading xx xx to other Masonic Lodges, presenting him as a Master Mason accompanied by a letter dated February 25, 2008 on gate city Lodge#2 letterhead with the typed from xx xx xx, Grand Master.

Specification 3 In this: That the said worshipful Master xx xx did commit act or acts of destroying peace and harmony throughout the craft of Masonry in the state of Georgia.

Specification 4 in this: that said worshipful master xx xx of Gate City Lodge #2 did in fact knowingly and willfully commit this act or acts which is in conflict with the ancient landmarks and Masonic code sections 71-101, 4-101#6, 1-101, 1-201, 1-202, 1-205. Worshipful Master xx xx committed act or acts knowingly and willfully that conflicts with the ancient customs and traditions which are the immemorial usages and fundamentals of the craft which have existed from time immemorial and are unchangeable.

Specification 5 in this: That said worshipful Master xx xx of gate city lodge #2 must be tried by a trial of present and or past masters pursuant to Masonic code 83-401 and when found guilty of this charge of violation of the laws of Masonry as he would be under no less penalty than that established by Masonic code 21.106 and 21.107.

Masonic Law speak, the charges are based on committing act or acts of destroying peace and harmony, but involving the moral law as to the cabal behind the making of an “non-white” man a Mason. The disharmony seems to have stemmed from the “parading” of an African American Georgia Freemason, which is apparently now, a violation of their moral law. Never mind that the brother was made and recognized by the state, and never mind that he was acknowledged in a tiled lodge as such

Some speculation suggests that rather than drop the proceedings, the Grand Master will hold the trial to quell the misconception of racism and set the record straight, but this remains to be seen.

In the mean time, a civil filing by the Worshipful Master turned Plaintiff suggests that the Grand Lodge is in violation of its Non-Profit Status as it is now openly admitting that it discriminates based on race, which is against the public policy of the State. In the filing, it is also points out in several sections where the Grand Lodge is …an enemy of bigotry or intolerance… and also states the the Grand Lodge in leveling the charges is in violation of its contract with the member(s) when facing revocation of charters and membership privileges as members have a value property investment (contract) from their dues. Interesting to point out, the filing also says openly that “Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs show that there are currently in Georgia active, regular Master Masons of at least the following extractions in whole or in part: American Indians, East Indian, Arab/Lebanese/Egyptian, Persian/Iranian, Vietnamese, Chinese, non white Mexican/Hispanic, African-American, and Filipino, in addition to those of white/Caucasian ancestry.” So, now there seems to be a provision of the fraternity being not strictly white, which seems to countermand the white only exclusion.

The long and short of this convoluted tale comes squarely to rest on the odious claim that a “non-white man” can not be a Freemason.

I affirm, that racism is not tolerable, and bigotry, open or otherwise, is not included in our Moral Law. The brothers of Georgia are sorely mistaken in this assertion.

As I AM my brother’s keeper my “…brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground“. To let this go will put the fraternity under a curse that will send us “…driven from the ground”.

If not addressed this open proclamation could destroy the fraternity.

This is not Freemasonry in the 21st Century. This is not tolerable, on a personal level or from a Grand Lodge level, especially our Grand Lodges are an electable body from the craft lodge. Recognition of Georgian Freemasonry must be held in questioned especially if they are so ignorant to hold these ideas to be Moral Laws.  If in fact they do then Recognition must be terminated.

We are our brother’s keepers and only have the Great Architect to answer to. How will we respond when he asks us how we addressed this?

More on the Gate City Lodge.

Posted in Masonic Traveler and tagged , , , .

A devoted student of the Western Mystery Traditions, Greg is a firm believer in the Masonic connections to the Hermetic traditions of antiquity, its evolution through the ages and into its present configuration as the antecedent to all contemporary esoteric and occult traditions. He is a self-called searcher for that which was lost, a Hermetic Hermit and a believer in “that which is above is so too below.” Read more about Greg Stewart.


  1. And that’s the kind of comment that is the reason we are not getting anywhere in eliminating injustice from Freemasonry. Using this line of reasoning if a Worshipful Master raised a Jew and he knew the Lodge had a by-law prohibiting Jews and he knew that the Lodge would not like having a Jew as a member, then he should have known better then to let one in – disrupting the harmony of the Lodge and all that.

    Freemasons are supposed to obey the civil as well as the moral law. Neither our government nor any religious institution that I know of condones racism or the exclusion of certain races. Saying that the harmony of a racist Lodge is more important than being lawful and moral is just to me a position that is not only harmful but counter productive.

    Unfortunately it is an argument I hear too often from those who think that whatever a group does is sacrosanct.

  2. Esoties,

    There is too much dissention among the Craft, Peace and Harmony does not prevail. I for one am not ashamed or embarrassed of being a Master Mason in the State of Georgia. If we as Master Masons do not abide by our obligations and uphold the Master’s oath of office, then why don’t we just do away with the degrees and obligations all together? You cannot belittle obligations for the sake of your argument and blame it on shame and embarrassment.

    I will say it again, charges should be brought against the WM of Gate City and the Lodge for taking this to court before due Masonic process has had time to take place. There is a pretrial hearing, a trial, then you can appeal. Even after all of that takes place, nothing is final until the Grand Lodge convenes at the end of October. Gate City and their WM showed utter disregard for the Constitution, Laws, and Edicts of the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

    As for Fergus Lodge No. 135, they are dead wrong for putting anything like that on their website. I sent an e-mail to the Lodge telling them that it was inappropriate and they should remove it. You act as if every Mason in Georgia is a racist. That is absolutely not the case. Racism exists in every part of our great country. Racism has existed since time immemorial and will always exist to an extent. If you do not agree with that, then you are in a fairy tale world.

    As Masons we should all meet on the Level, act upon the Plumb and part upon the Square.

  3. I’m trying hard, but can’t come up with the part of the obligation you think he violated here. I’m also pretty sure that the GM already confirmed that he wasn’t in violation of his obligation as either a MM or a WM, even if he was a bit tepid in handling it.

    Seems to me that peace and harmony were disrupted by those bringing the charges. Perhaps you know more than what is stated in the papers, but as-is it seems you’re a touch off base.

    Greg Aksdal says:

    My only thoughtrs are that the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge knew he was in violation of not only his obligation as a Master Mason but also as a Worshipful Master, and should be man and mason enough to suffer the consequences. Surely he knew he would be disrupting the peace and harmony of the craft.

  4. Greg Says:

    What exactly is that violation? I have seen no reference to race exclusion in Georgia Code. What part of the obligation–certainly not anything in the obligation I took.

  5. Sorry , the quote from Greg Aksdal did not attach to my question.

    Greg said “Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge knew he was in violation of not only his obligation as a Master Mason but also as a Worshipful Master”

    What exactly is that violation? I have seen no reference to race exclusion in Georgia Code. What part of the obligation–certainly not anything in the obligation I took.

  6. Greg Aksdal wrote: “My only thoughtrs are that the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge knew he was in violation of not only his obligation as a Master Mason but also as a Worshipful Master”

    Please enlighten us. What part of his obligation did he violate? To what specific thing do you refer?

  7. I would like to know what obligations he violated. I am not a Master or Past Master. When you say that he violated his Masters Oath, does that mean there is something specific about not initiating/passing/raising black people in it?

    I only ask because I know my obligations, and I know the ancient landmarks, and I can’t think of anything that was violated.

  8. The only Masonic Code reference listed in the compliaint that even remotely applies to this is 71-101: Landmarks and UNWRITTEN LAW not repealed. How many of us know enough about the ancient landmarks? More to the point how many know about the unwritten laws? The list of charges against the Worshipful Master of Gate City #2 remind me of article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which states: “This article covers all offenses not specifically covered under any other article.”
    Basically they have thrown all them code on him they could to cloud the issue and hope something sticks. This is NOT the Grand Lodge of Georgia I am familiar with!

  9. It’s pretty clear cut to me. The Impostor Masons who brought these frivolous charges against this brave Worshipful Master should be the ones on the fast track to a Masonic trial, not him.

    It’s true bringing this to a civilian trial will cause another black eye on the fraternity as a whole and sad because there are so many good upstanding Masons in every obedience. I do agree though that I don’t see another option, given the past history of how progressive Masons in Georgia have been treated by the the Grand Lodge of Georgia.

  10. To those that do not understand my position get a copy of installation of officers and read the Master’s oath. I have already stated they did nothing wrong in regards to raising a black man. I am disappointed that so many do not take their obligations to heart and think Gate City is right by going to court.

  11. I don’t think it’s your point people are objecting to, Brandon (that GC shouldn’t have filed in court). Greg’s accusation that the WM violated his obligation seems to point to the original “offense” – that’s the clarity we’re looking for.

  12. Those of you asking questions about the Obligation obviously didn’t read my article – so I will quote myself:

    Second of all it seems that in Georgia when a candidate takes his obligation to not be at the making of a Mason of ……………………………..Georgia adds into the mix the word slave. Now, according to my source, many Georgia Lodges have changed that word slave to the word Nigger. Whatever the custom may be when the charges refer to a violation of a moral obligation this is what is being referred to.

  13. I didn’t read your article, no. Regardless, while slave is included, the other word has not been substituted in the GC lodge nor in mine. By that reasoning, the WM violated someone else’s obligation, not the one we took and not the one prescribed by GL.

    Frederic L. Milliken says:
    June 26, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Those of you asking questions about the Obligation obviously didn’t read my article – so I will quote myself:

    Second of all it seems that in Georgia when a candidate takes his obligation to not be at the making of a Mason of ……………………………..Georgia adds into the mix the word slave. Now, according to my source, many Georgia Lodges have changed that word slave to the word Nigger. Whatever the custom may be when the charges refer to a violation of a moral obligation this is what is being referred to.

  14. I am amazed at the lack of brotherly love present in most of the discussion of this issue. Perhaps both sides should stop and reflect on their own failures. Why do you speak ill of brother masons behind their backs and/or before their faces? Why do you not whisper words of comfort and warn of coming dangers. Instead, I hear all Gerogia masons painted as racists with a broad, unbrotherly stroke.

    I assure you that the word, “nigger” is not in any obligation in Georgia. Your accusations have degraded your argument and lowered your moral position. In making broad generalizations about all masons in Georgia being racist, you have yourselves violated your obligations and made yourselves look foolish.

    Gate City’s WM should never have filed in open court, especially before exhausting all other masonic remedies, and the brothers who charged him should not have done so. Now, who is right? How is the fraternity served?

    As a mason, I implore you brothers who so easily lambast thousands of good, upstanding and open minded masons in Georgia whom you do not know to pause before you join you own lynch mobs and ask yourself if you are indeed without failures of your own. Is their bigotry in Georgia? yes. Is there bigotry in Illinois and Indiana? I assue you there is.

    Neither racism nor bigotry are codified in Georgia freemasonry, so please, as a brother and dedicated traveling man, I implore you not to be so quick as to engage in your own subtle bigotry toward brothers. Perhaps we should all harken to our Brother Robt. Burns again:

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a’ that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    It’s coming yet for a’ that,
    That Man to Man, the world o’er,
    Shall brothers be for a’ that.

  15. Freemasonry at it’s core is a pure and noble organization comprised of men from all different back rounds. One of the things that makes the fraternity of Freemasons so great is it’s ability for it’s members to all meet together “on the level” free from the normal influences and constraints of society in general. Congressmen and enlisted men, musicians and movie stars, teachers and garbage men, postal workers and even members of the clergy all meet together with the single idea of becoming better men.

    The idea that all men were created equal was not just a notion thought up by the founders of the United States, but it was the core principal which made the Craft such a success in it’s modern form. Free from the bonds of religion, politics, and social status Masons were able to concentrate on becoming better men, better husbands, better fathers, and better citizens. That core ideal was the building block and foundation which our great fraternity has been built and is what aided in it’s spread though out the world making Freemasonry the largest fraternal organization in the world.

    This is a noble principal indeed but unfortunately it has been corrupted by individuals who seem to have forgotten that first lesson which was taught to us in Freemasonry as an Entered Apprentice. The creation and continued sustainment of the Prince Hall lodges is the prime example to which I allude. Prince Hall was essentially forced into creating his own lodge because of racist beliefs held by Freemasons in his area. In this I will be abundantly clear and let no mistake be made on my position, racism is a complete contradiction of Masonic principals and it has no place in the Craft.

    Dr. Martin Luther King in his “I Have a Dream” speech gave perhaps one of the most meaningful and pertinent statements ever made and it pertains directly to the first lesson taught to the new initiates into the lodge. He said “that a man should be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin.” The word “skin” can be taken out of that statement and replaced by a variety of different terms and still be applied into the same contextual meaning.

    Men of character can come from all different places. You may find them covered in tattoos and riding motorcycles, you may find them working as a dishwasher or chef in a local restaurant, they might be a politician, or a teacher, or a carpenter. They are black, white, Asian, Indian, or Hispanic. They are Christian, they are Catholic, they are Muslim, they are Jewish, maybe even Buddhist or Wiccan.

    Some Grand Lodge jurisdictions are working to resolve some of these issues while some still are holding firm in their position of a segregated Masonry. Some Grand Lodges pretend to acknowledge the problem while individual lodges precipitate the same acts of discrimination harbored by the older generation.

    As 21st century Masons we must work to not only solve this problem but eliminate it entirely. We must lead by example and make our voices heard in our lodges and in our communities that if you are a man of character that you are welcome to petition any lodge you want. We not only dishonor our selves by inaction, but we do the Craft a dis-service by perpetuating the cycle of discrimination that can deprive the Fraternity of worthy and well qualified men.

  16. Freemasoney is also a fraternity. But in fraternities, the brothers decide who is in the fraternity. And I am amazed that so many are so willing to disenfranchise an entire grand lodge with little show of brotherly love, calling for disenfranchisement based on the actions of two brothers in the state. There are other situations which are similar.

    For example, in my own lodge, we rarely dress more formally than khakis and polo shirts. However, there are lodges that I know of in the northeast that require suits for lodge attendance. I would not be allowed to sit in that lodge based on my appearance–my clothes.

    Now, brother from that lodge in a suit would be readily admitted to my lodge or a lodge in a very rural area where overalls might be the uniform of the day. Who is calling for disenfranchisement because of this “unbrotherly” behavior? How can we defend a practice that judges people based on their skin, uh, clothes? Would Martin Luther King approve of that?

    I am not intending to absolutely equate the two situations,nor do I say this glidbly, but I do say that we should be a bit more masonic inbefore jumping on a bandwagon. What I also say is that intolerance of others who are intolerant of those things of which I approve is still intolerance.

    I have not seen one call for prayer for misguided brothers or support for brothers who are not in agreement with the actions of two brothers. I have not seen one hand wield a master’s trowel smearing the cement of brotherly love. Self-righteousness and lack of understanding are not particularly masonic either.

    So now I ask you, my brothers, cease this constant barage of attacks on brothers whom you do not know. Use the tools of a mason to work on your own temple, and await to see how the Grand Lodge of Georgia handles the whole situation before you speak out.

    It’s coming yet for a’ that.
    So mote it be.

  17. I would say there is relatively very little action or attacks. Freemasonry has been quietly not dealing with this issue since Prince Hall himself was refused acknowledgement as a brother.

    Two hundred years of freemasons quietly nodding and acknowledging there’s a problem and asking for patience.

    That said, there have always been these divisions in US culture in the most progressive and racist arenas about the method forward. The US settled on slavery in the beginning to keep harmony. Many famous US abolitionists believed in abolition of slavery, but not the equality of races. Many believed in equality, but not intermarriage. Bob Jones University let in Black students, but forbid interracial student *dating* until about 8 years ago. This was the stopping place for presidential hopefuls even then – until it finally became painfully obvious.

    As an American institution, freemasonry is bound to the vagaries of the culture at large, even as it teaches betterment.

    America is the root of on the the great schisms of Freemasonry and it was based on the color of skin.

    The office of the president has changed once. Bob Jones University has changed verbally and written (not necessarily at heart).

    For all that masonry says about itself – is it in front of or behind other institutions on explicitly and strongly stating its intolerance of racism in its ranks? And that’s just words. Statements. I’m not even talking of the action of reacting to racist masons, lodges and grand lodges.

    So far it seems like addressing the old uncle, “He’s just from a different time, you have to be patient. Sure he called you that, but it means something different to him..”

    I wonder if I’ll stop hearing that before I die (I’m fairly young).

    I suspect and hope that all of the people defending Georgia will be right – and that the number of masonic complaints against those who made the racist complaints will escalate so quickly – that racists will be driven from the lodges.

    After all – all of you with anecdotes about racists in lodges have been filing complaints all of these years and they’re almost out, right?

  18. My Brothers,

    This issue although long overdue, will decide the course and future of Freemasonry in our State.

    Vol 1 of the Masonic Manual. Third section lecture on the Entered Apprentice degree:
    ” By the exercise of brotherly love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family; the high and the low, the rich and the poor; who as created by one almighty parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are taught to aid, support and portect each other. On this pricipal, Masonry unites men of EVERY COUNTRY,SECT AND OPINION, and conciliiates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.”

    As part of my lecture,I say these words to each and every Entered Apprentice sitting in the Northeast Corner.I say them in the hope they guide our new Mason in his dealings with both his Brothers and the profane. All the while knowing he will soon be wonder at the disregard of this tenent in Georgia Lodge practice.

    What part of those words spoken to each of you do you not understand? Hipocrasy and intolerance cannot co-exist with the principals of our order.

  19. “After all – all of you with anecdotes about racists in lodges have been filing complaints all of these years and they’re almost out, right?”

    It’s really unfortunate that so much that HAS been done has to take a back seat like this comment. To those that have upset preogession lines in lodge because of racists and bigots congratulations, to those that think they need a court to resolve these kinds of issues, there will be some collateral damage you may not want to deal with…


  20. I find it sad that Gate City Lodge has taken the Grand Lodge of GA to court. I also find it VERY UNMASONIC.

    As for the WM of the lodge, when he was installed as master of the lodge he should have taken an obligation that stated “You admit that it is not in the power of any person or body of men to make any alteration or innovation in the body of Masonry without the consent first obtained of the annual Grand Lodge?” In which his answer should have been “I do”. Masonry has been in the state of Georgia since 1735 and has never raised a black man until now. I find this as an alteration and innovation.

    It is not about race, never has been for MOST OF MASONS IN GEORGIA, but about the traditions that we as Georgia Masons have kept for years. I being a fairly young mason (age wise) have talked to many older masons, and they say the same thing. If we start doing this, then we might as well start doing one day classes, not making the up and coming brethren learn the catechisms, or even do the degree work. Granted this maybe a stretch, however they have make a point. That Masonry should never change.

  21. In July 2003, I penned an unsolicited article for the Masonic Messenger, the official publication of the Grand Lodge of Georgia. It was entitled, “What Will Freemasonry Offer My Son?”

    Basically, it was about a half- page article filled with my own personal ruminations about whether the organization (will survive long enough for my now-six-year-old son to join and enjoy.

    Here are some of the questions I asked:

    “Will we ever welcome men of color into our lodge rooms, or will we hold true to ancient prejudices, bigotries and intolerances that have no room in the Masonic conscience whatsoever?;

    “Will we at last choose forward, progressive thinking Grand Lodge officers, or will this line of dedicated and selfless Masonic devotees continue adhering to cobwebbed philosophies of the past that would crack and fracture into dust if shown the light of day?;”

    And, “In a fraternity so obsessed with antiquated rituals of the past and so intolerant of the future, who will ensure that our lodges survive for our sons? Or will anyone even care to do so?”

    I’ve been in journalism for more than 20 years, and I’ve lost count of the numbers of articles I’ve written and where they’ve appeared. But I can say no sense of uncertainty that nothing I’ve ever written or had published generated such an overwhelming response.

    Numerous letters to the editor were published in the Masonic Messenger, with statements such as “[The author] is not considered a Brother by our Brethren and would never be allowed to sit in our Lodge…”

    “If it is left up to people like [the author] then Freemasonry will have NOTHING to offer the next generation.”

    And “The MAJORITY of Masons in Georgia do not live in Atlanta, DC, and one thing is for certain, if the DEMENTED views of this individual were ever put in place in the Grand Lodge of Georgia, many, many Lodges will CLOSE!”

    As a writer, you always want to hit a nerve, and it seems I certainly did so with this piece that appeared in the July 2003 edition of the Messenger. Today, one of the issues I raised back then has come to a head, and the financial future of our organization rests in the balance.

    I’ve met the brother at the center of this issue; indeed, I’ve sat in lodge with him, and am proud to have him join our organization. I also respect our own W. Bro. David Herman, who resigned his position as district deputy to the Grand Master in order to lend his support to Gate City Lodge’s brethren in their effort to revitalize their lodge, and our fraternity as a whole.

    But now the courts – and the media – is involved in this issue, we have allowed our own institutional racism to seriously jeopardize our survival. Every political scientist and researcher, with any reputation for inpartiality whatsoever, will tell you that the current electoral majority which elected this administration into power, isn’t going to fade away. Indeed, this demographic may likely rule the nation’s political scene for countless generations to come. If that’s true, our organization is facing a national government that will remain desperate for funds to enable more and more social programs, entitlements and reparations.

    In 1314, the Knights Templars were destroyed by a national government similarly desperate for money in order to finance its own goals and aspirations. Unless we, as Masons, make this issue right and proper, history is bound to repeat itself.

    Tim Darnell
    Past Master, Chamblee Lodge # 444 F&AM
    32nd degree Scottish Rite
    DeMolay Legion of Honor

  22. Joey,

    Any in-depth look at the history of Freemasonry shows that the craft has undergone change many times. Here is just one example:

    How else would you account for the differences in the ritual from state to state? Men of color are raised in just about every jurisdiction in the world. Many of which, were established long before the GL of Georgia .

    That being said I agree with the point raised by several brothers that it is unmasonic to paint all Georgia masons as racists or to call for repealing recognition on the basis of the objectionable few that are racists.

    If there are men in Georgia or anywhere else for that matter that refuse to recognize a man as a brother or sit in lodge with him for no other reason than the color of his skin, so be it; I don’t see how you can force enlightenment upon people.

    But make no mistake brothers, we are most definately at a crossroad here. I would strongly urge those betheren in Georgia who so rightfully pointed out that they are not themselves racists and that it would be entirely unmasonic to condemn them and their Grand Lodge as such for the actions of a few, take action to seperate themselves from those few before it is too late.

  23. I have real problems with Masons filing suit against a grand lodge. I think it seriously challenges one’s obligations.
    There is a clearly defined system of jurisprudence in most grand lodges. This should be the method for dealing with disagreements.
    However, what do you do if one side will not play by the rules?
    It is my understanding that Gate City 2 has been subjected to bullying by bigots for some years now. The threats from these racists often included allusions and references to using grand lodge authority and influence to close the lodge.
    Now come not only the Masonic charges, but rumors come, lots of rumors about what is happening behind the scenes. Then you get indications that everything is being fast tracked. As has been said here, two very different things could be afoot – the grand lodge wants to settle this thing quickly and clear the lodge OR the grand lodge wants to railroad the lodge to quick extinction. If the grand lodge gives you no clear sign of their intentions, you worry that the worst may happen, especially if this scenario fits previous threats. It fits if you find that the man appointed to run the trial is a member of the complaining lodges.
    It is my understanding that Gate City carefully considered their future and were convinced that they were risking their Masonic future by not doing everything they could to defend themselves.
    The question is not wether Gate City Lodge is above the rules, but whether the grand lodge is playing by the rules of their own Code. The suit asks that the courts to make sure the lodge is not railroaded.
    If you are kicked out of Masonry, you may have no standing to bring suit about the expulsion since you are no longer a Mason.
    Should they bring suit? I cannot comfortably say, “Yes.” But, should they have been shoved in that corner that made them have to make that decision? No.
    And, be not fooled. The cause of the problem here is not tradition, history, law, unwritten law, harmony, or any of the other red herrings you see tossed around – it is bigotry, plain, simple, ignorant, and flagrant.

  24. Both J Luis and Ric Carter make very good points and show deep thought.

    It occured to me that the argument made by some that those who are not enlightened and don’t want to be part of the system envisioned by some, is exactly the argument made against the members of Gate City Lodge by the brothers filing charges, i.e., that anyone who doesn’t like the program should get out.

    I DO NOT CALL FOR ANYONE TO GET OUT. There is room in freemasonry for all men, even if not in every lodge. I am simply pointing out what I consider a failure in logic that some brothers have not considered. If we call for one group to resign because they don’t like the situation, e.g., bigots out of freemasonry, then the same logical argument and call can be made on the other side, i.e., why are you in a program you don’t like?

    Neither is, to my thinking, masonic.

    Let me tell you: cooler and better heads are raising themselves in Georgia. Remember that the Grand Master has already ruled the brother a master mason in Georgia. At least one brother has withdrawn the charges (I hear), and many–young and old–are moving to address the situation, not just sweep it under the carpet. I think this may well work out fine, and I hope==and pray–that it will.

    Are all other grand lodges doing the same? Haven’t heard about it. And since no one has addressed my previous questions, let me end by saying that I think brother who don’t dress like me are fine and should be recognized as brothers even if they won’t allow me to sit in their lodges.

    I don’t think I have anything else to contribute to this discussion, so I probably won’t write anything else. I just want to call, once again, for a liberal application of brotherly love and real tolerance for everyone, not just those masons who are like me, think like me, and agree with me. To do anything less is to be intollerent and unloving. At least in the

  25. Sorry, hit the wrong button. Let me finish.

    At least in the speculative craft that I try to practice. We can all still meet on the level, act by the plumb, and part upon the square, circumscribing our desires and keeping our passions within due bounds.

  26. “If we call for one group to resign because they don’t like the situation, e.g., bigots out of freemasonry, then the same logical argument and call can be made on the other side, i.e., why are you in a program you don’t like?”

    Bigotry is a moral failing – expressed and acted upon bigotry is an immoral act. “The other side” is believing in the brotherhood of man.

    If a man’s bigotry comes up during investigation, should be be welcomed as a just and upright man? What other immoral acts and expressions should be tolerated as much?

  27. Jim,

    Your point is well taken. I appreciate your willingness to apply logic to the situation. I feel that bretheren on both sides of this issue are failing to subdue their passions.

    In response to your question:
    Speaking for myself I am operating under the assumption that Freemasonry is not institutionally racist. What I would like is for everyone to be true to their convictions. If a GL decided that it is openly racist, good for them. I would be in favor of my GL taking some sort of action to dissasociate ourselves from that GL. If my GL didn’t take action that was to my satisfaction and I felt that it was compromising my integrity to remain on its rolls, I would, as you suggested, demit.

    When I signed up for the program,as you put it, I thought it was about brotherly love towards your fellow man. I guess the distinction is whether or not one considers men of color to be men at all. If I wanted to practice racism I would have joined th Klan (not that they would accept me, I am Cuban).

    I guess what is confusing the issue is that many brothers, including myself believe that masonry is opposed to racism. If that true, then the racists within our ranks should be expelled for their unmasonic conduct. If it turns out that my GL tolerates racism then I would have no other option than to demit.
    Either way my answer to the question “Where were you first prepared to be a mason? will forever remain the same, regardless of affiliation.


  28. Blacks do not belong in GA Lodges. Kick the guy out! Remove the WM of gate City, and pull the charter on Gate City.

    Stand up for your rights. If you don’t like it, join a Prince Hall Lodge.

    Have some balls people and say what you really feel.

  29. Hey if the Grand Lodge is going to let blacks in Lodges now, why stop there? Why not have women in Lodges?

    What?! No women in Lodges?! How dare you Sir! I guess that would make you a male &^%$# PIG!!!!! Like me of course.

    Grand Lodge does whatever they want, always have, always will.

    Ever goto the meeting in October? You know the one where we vote on new by-laws, etc? How many times does something get voted on until it passes the way Grand Lodge wants it to? Like 10 times? Ok not that many but I have seen a vote 6 times before they get what they want.

    Bet yo last nickel this issue will come up in October and will be voted on until GL gets what they want.

    Prince Hall Masons, they don’t accept whites in there GA Lodges, they racist bastards!!!!!!!

  30. Larry, as a man in the process of petitioning you leave me shaking my head. A fraternity: A fraternity (Latin frater : “brother”) is a brotherhood, though the term usually connotes a distinct or formal organization. The only true distinction between a fraternity and any other form of social organization is the implication that the members freely associate as equals for a mutually beneficial purpose, rather than because of a religious, governmental, commercial, or familial bond, although there are fraternities dedicated to each of these topics.

    No where does it mention race or creed, and by simple definition exclude women- see sorority! And PH only exists because of the bigotry you are choosing to perpetuate? Way to go, you are a shining example of what needs to be changed!

  31. What kind of Mason calls another Mason, regardless of how much they might disagree, an idiot? My answer is no Mason at all.

  32. So sad; so very sad.
    You join the gentle Craft and begin to understand the term and concept Brother. And you think to yourself “I am now a Brother but analysing the world around me I arrive at the inescapable conclusion that there are different degrees of Brother. I am a Brother 1 but he is a Brother 2 and they are Brother 3s. OK, I will apply my new-found fraternity to Brother 1s but not to Brother 2s and 3s. After all, with a bit of twisted logic I can convince myself, if my parents hadn’t already done it for me, that the term Brother has different meanings according to which side of the tracks I or they were born.”
    “And now I start equating the term Brother and Man. I already have the logical argument that justifies to me that Brothers come in different flavours and this new term can easily be interposed with Brother, so therefore there must be Men 1, 2 and 3.”
    “Er, did I get the argument round the wrong way??”
    Brotherhood of Man? It sure as hell isn’t the Manhood of Brethren. When, oh when, will we see past skin, language, creed, disability, infirmity or any other damned barrier to the light shining in the essential human?
    The trolls’ days are numbered but what is the number of the beast?

  33. There is no argument about what should happen in this situation. The Grand Lodge of Georgia must throw the charges out immediately. For those of you who say “They have to follow protocol” then they should be filing charges of un-Masonic conduct against the Brothers that are calling for a Masonic trial. Those that don’t believe men of a different skin color can be made Masons and those that prefer to refer to black men in lodge be thrown out. Its time to stand up for what is right. This issue isn’t only in Georgia, it is everywhere. Let us make stand up and say: RACISTS AND BIGOTS OUT OF FREEMASONRY.

    Forget the loopholes, throw out what any fabricated lists of Landmarks say about interfering in other Grand Lodges, ignore any immoral and unethical laws, rules and regulations. They, the Grand Lodges must do what is ethical and fight for what is right.

    Rev. Dr. Luther King, Jr. said it best when he said the following quote:

    “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  34. lightseeker: don’t worry about “Larry” or whoever he is. Most Freemasons do not hold these beliefs. I would say that the concept of progressive science is applicable here. Masonry will continue to move forward as the rough pieces are broken from the stones. I continue to see a bright future for Masonry. There will be bumps on the road but we will overcome all obstacles.

  35. Bro Esoties, it appears that you did not read the statment from MW Bro Jennnings. That’s not what he said at all. He said that his deputy had not kept him informed; he did not say is was because he was present at Victor Marshall’s raising. I wonder whether you are genuinely mistaken or attempting to keep trouble going by continuing to misrepreset the facts.

    Bro. J Luis, I certainly appreciate all that you have written. Thank you for bringing a voice of reason to the discussion. I also do not believe that even in Georgia, freemasonry promotes racism, but there certainly are some who are bigoted if not actually racist. (There is a big difference.)

    I would also suggest that freemasonry also doesn’t promote stinginess (lack of charity), lack of brotherly love, dishonety, or class distinctions.Ii would be willing to bet that there are men in your own lodge–and every lodge represented in this discussion–who are guilty of all those. Are you asking them to leave? I dare say not.

    As masons, I believe we all meet on the level with our many imperfections, short comings, and personal demons. We are, none of us, perfect ashlars, we are only working on the temples that we hope to perfect by using the tools of a master mason.

    So, again, I would ask the man who is without sin to cast the first stone. I reiterate, that since “racism” (which is sometimes a catch-all phrase for politically incorrect thoughts or statements which are not racist at all) is a hot button, many are ready to jump on the bandwagon to attack Georgia, and yet I hear that racism is tolerated in other lodges, the “wink and nod” variety. While I disagree with the brothers who filed the misguided charges, at least they weren’t simply winking and nodding like your brothers who do.

    I am convinced that inconsistent applications of rules and intolerance is itself as wrong and duplicitous as bigotry or racism. All are less than masonic behavior. If you choose not to recognize someone from Gerogia as a brother, so be it.

  36. Bro Jim,

    I am not persuaded by Ed Jennings statement. I suppose as an attorney I am wary ot testimony that doesn’t match up with the facts as I know them.

    First there is what I know about John.John Holt has won nearly every award in every appendant body and the blue lodge. He is not only an amazing mason, but an amazing man. Even at 82 I know for a fact he visited other lodges regularly and spent most of his week with his masonic family doing his job.

    Second is the timing of Jennings move for John to resign. He says it wasn’t the Gate City incident, but it happened only days after that hit the press. The timing doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Third, Ed has taken an amazing amount of timing in responding to these events, and from what I have seen could have avoided much of the controversy if he had acted more quickly and ended this more cleanly.

    I appreciate that we should take each other at our word, but surely that must be measured against reason. If a mason showed up to lodge dressed in a bear costume and told me it was a tuxedo, I wouldn’t say, well he is a brother and he says its a tuxedo, it must be one. I would weigh my trust in the brother against the abilities of reason I possess.

    I’m not sure what people thought Ed would say, “You caught me red handed, I am a racist and I forced John to resign for pay back.” ?

    He learned a lesson form Starling Hicks and Douglas Ethridge, don;t write down your bad deeds for everyone to see.

    I think maybe everyone is just a little to ready for this to be over, and they are willing to sacrifice good masons to not have to read anymore negative press.

  37. I think some tend to gloss over illogical moves made by a person who claims to be trying to bring everything out into the open. First I think if you investigate the situation deep enough I think you will find that the Worshipful Masters who filed the charges had no intimate knowledge of Gate City 2 Lodge and what was transpiring there. Close scrutiny will reveal that they were put up to it, that they were recruited to make the charges. Further those that recruited them were Bothers of high position within Georgia Freemasonry and well known by the Grand Master. Furthermore I think good research will show that the Grand Master knew that these two prominent Masons had recruited two Blue Lodge Masters and that they did it for the purpose of having the trial removed from the local Lodge where they could not count on a conviction to the Grand Lodge where they would be in a better position to get a favorable ruling.

    If the Grand Master was so intent on just settling the matter by bringing everything out in the open, then why did he schedule the trial for a tiny weeny conference room that could hold only 8 people? If he really wanted to be the peace maker here why has he not come out with any healing proclamations? Why has he not drafted a resolution to all Lodges that this will never happen again? Why is he not making it plain that the Grand Lodge stands 100% behind racial integration of Georgia Mainstream Masonic Lodges?

    In fact if he really was against this trial and those who were bringing charges, why did he allow it to go on in the first place? Why not rule right away that the charges and trial were illegal and that the raising of the Black man was legal and was going to stay that way? Only after intense public and private pressure was brought to bear on the Grand Lodge of Georgia were the charges dropped. Yet we still do not know the fate of Gate City 2 Lodge. Will its charter be pulled and the Lodge closed?

    Gate City 2 Lodge is the Lodge that brought us the great testimony of its guest speaker, a Catholic Priest, on the Catholic Church and Freemasonry. I have been told that this foray into that subject was not well received by the Grand Lodge and that Gate City 2 received many criticisms that they were not conducting Freemasonry as it should be done, that they were veering off into subjects of controversy better left alone.

    Finally my source inside has dried up which can only mean that a gag order has been installed by the Grand Master with severe consequences if violated. From now on we are only going to hear official pronouncements and only after all the dust has settled and this crisis is old news.

    Let’s just see if heads are going to roll or if there will be an attempt here to make Georgia law explicitly clear without repercussion to those who acted as Freemasons should.

  38. WASHINGTON WROTE TO CAST OUT BLACKS IN HIS ARMY, WHY?.HISTORY IS OUR GUIDE NONE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF GA. THIS IS A SAD DAY,WE THAT DONT AGREE NEED TO START LOOKING FOR A NEW GRAND LODGE,LIKE IN THE 1700 IN SAVANNAH.A group of dissident Freemasons in Savannah, disapproving the workings of Solomon’s Lodge, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1784 for a charter to organize a Lodge. Their petition was granted by Pennsylvania on March 31, 1785, the Lodge being listed on Pennsylvania’s register as no. 42, to be known as Hiram Lodge, Savannah, Georgia.

  39. Get this, there is more fall out over this bruhaha. There is double talk, back stabbings, resignations etc. It is total chaos and confusion in the temple. It must be like a shark feeding frenzie with cover ups and retaliation galore. Can’t wait for the next racial bruhaha in the fraternity. I bet the racist will run for cover like the cockroaches they are over this scandal. Let the righteousness prevail over this sad event. Amazing stuff going on over a non-issue of equality in the fraternity.

  40. The bottom line here is that there is no place for “Racism” in Freemasonry, period, end of discussion. Some say that the WM of Gates lodge violated his Masonic oath and obligation when he raised a “Black Man.” First, for this to occur, there must be a race “Prohibition” in the Grand Lodge of Georgia’s laws, rules and regulations. If so, then the WM is in violation of such laws, rules and regulation. However, if there is such a law, rule and regulation in the Grand Lodge of Georgia’s bylaws, then it is “Racist” and not only immoral, but unethical and illegal. However, it such a law, rule or regulation does not exist, then the WM of Gates lodge did nothing wrong whatsoever. If so, then those who pressed Masonic charges against the WM are “Racist” and they should be brought under Masonic charges. The bottom line is that the WM of Gate Lodge did nothing wrong, therefore, there exist either both a racist code in the Grand Lodge of Georgia’s laws, rules or regulations, and/or racist that are protecting the status quo in that state. Eitherway, the Masonic charges were dropped by the Grand Master of Georgia and rightfully so, because he knows what occurred was wrong both morally, ethically and legally. End of discussion.

  41. White Freemasonry is a joke and a sham that professes to believe in Universal BH and discriminates! Hypocritical! Besides that, the origin of Freemasonry prior to England is in the Mystery Systems of Egypt (Africa) and in teMen Houses of Africa. Ever wonder why Shriners make themselves darker by donning make-up! Come on, enough already!

    However I really dont expect white masons to accept this. Light? Please. They couldnt recognize the TRUE LIGHT if it suddenly appeared in a dark, pitch Black room.

    As a matter of fact, most of the Southern racist Masons imposter Masons cant even read their rituals, due to illteracy, let alone comprehend the true “mysteries” of the Craft….A joke.

    Your time is up……

  42. Facts should be checked throughly before reporting. In this case, the writer of this article has wrongly labled Georgia masons. It is just as wrong to falsely accuse a group as racist. It stands to the credit of the Grand Lodge of Georgia that the Grand master has declared that the black man is a Georgia mason. Clearly one of the best move made by the Georgia Grand Lodge. The writer of this article and other writers around the country have seized up the opportunity to further the hatred by accusing Georgia masons of beinig racist. No doubt that there are some Georgia masons that can be considered racist just as there are in every Grand Lodge around the world. We do not live in a perfect world. Every one of us has predjudices against something.
    Those who clamour for recognition seldom deserve it, while those who work diligently and quietly to promote the well being of all men seldom get recognized.
    Georgia is not a racist state. It has like all states, some racist thinking people. Let he who is without blame cast the first stone. Honest reportinig should include the whole story.

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