Why? C.A.U.S.E. That’s Why

Awhile back the Mainstream Grand Master of Arkansas visited the Grand Session of Arizona.  However, he refused to attend any of the ceremonies or meetings of the Grand Session because there were Black PHA Masons present in a tyled Lodge.  He only attended the Grand Session dinner because it was not a tyled session.

Arkansas is Imploding

I passed on this story when it came out because I had just released the Derek Gordon story not long before and I didn’t want to just sit back and constantly nitpick by taking pot shots at Arkansas every other week.  However further developments in the whole Arkansas approach to Freemasonry compels me to once again comment on the situation in that state. At the same time nobody seems to care or think it applicable to their Freemasonry.  Consequently Arkansas Mainstream keeps on imploding while the rest of us in Freemasonry have no comment nor take any action. So once again The Beehive will report what is happening in hopes that someday, someone will think it important enough to do something.

The Arizona story was published by that fine Masonic blogger “The Burning Taper” in his piece “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?” and here is what he had to say on the subject.

It seems many rank-and-file Masons, in many locales, are becoming more and more fed up with the actions of Grand Lodge leaders.

This short article was sent to The Burning Taper recently. The author wishes to remain anonymous, for fear of retribution for reporting events and expressing his opinion.

Arizona Grand Lodge Annual Communication began with the Royal Banquet on Wednesday evening, June 2, 2010 prior to the official opening of proceedings on Thursday morning.

The Head Table consisted of Arizona Grand Lodge officers and their wives. Seated near them were the visiting dignitaries representing various Masonic grand lodge jurisdictions. There were 13 listed on the list handed out to all attending members. Most were “line” officers representing their State or jurisdiction with two currently sitting grand masters.

The two grand masters attending the Banquet were Most Worshipful Martin E. Warren, Grand Master of Masons from the Grand Lodge, F&AM of Arkansas, and Most Worshipful Lewis R. Brent, Grand Master of Masons from the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arizona. They were not seated at the same table.

When the Grand Lodge opened in Due Form in the 3rd Degree on Thursday morning the MW Lewis R. Brent from Prince Hall was present, but the MW Martin E. Warren was conspicuously absent. He was not seen in any of the subsequent tiled lodge meetings all day Friday or on Saturday.

It is the custom of the Grand Lodge that, when a pedestal officer (Grand Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden) leave their stations during the proceedings that they place the Jewel of their office on one of the brothers in the room.

Several times during the proceedings on both days, the Senior Grand Warden Brook Cunningbrook chose a highly decorated Phoenix policeman, who is a member of one of the Arizona F&AM lodges and had been shot in the line of duty, to sit high on the chair located on a pedestal in the West to replace him temporarily. He is black.

There were two other black members of Arizona F&AM lodges present and the Senior Grand Warden had them also replace him in the West. It is quite an honor to do this.

In this case, in my opinion anyway, it was kind of an “in your face” type of gesture to some of the members of the Arizona jurisdiction who have moved to Arizona from one of the 10 states that do not recognize Prince Hall and have complained about having to sit in a lodge with a black man. Whether it was directed towards the Grand Master of Arkansas, I can only speculate.

What’s interesting about this is that the Grand Master of Arkansas spent the money to fly to Arizona only to have dinner. Since it is customary for Grand Lodges to pay for the travel expenses of their grand masters, I wonder if the brethren of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas got their monies worth. Since he did not attend any of the business meetings by sitting in a tiled lodge with a black man but only attended the social functions, it seems to me that he spent a lot of money just for a free dinner and drinks, even if the cost came out of his own pocket.

This obviously was an example of the kind of “Imperial Leadership” prevalent in many jurisdictions and is not restricted to Arkansas alone.

More recently another source, who will remain nameless to protect him from expulsion, alleges that Van Buren Lodge of Mainstream Arkansas planned a visit to view The Oklahoma Native American Indian Degree Team perform in Heavener, Oklahoma. When the Worshipful Master of Van Buren Lodge found out that Black Masons would be present he canceled the trip. Furthermore it is alleged that Arkansas Mainstream Masons present at this decision repeated an Arkansas Grand Lodge directive that prohibits any Masons from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas attending any Masonic functions where Black Masons are present.

This source also contends that the Mainstream Grand Lodge of Arkansas is lying to its membership. He points out that the Grand Lodge Grand Session Minutes of 2010 show lawsuits being won by the GL when if you look for those lawsuits using legal aides, you can see that ARGL lost. Its reminiscent to me of of Orwell’s 1984.

This continuous bloodletting by Mainstream Arkansas has led to the spawning of a support group for suspended and expelled Arkansas Masons. Its name is C.A.U.S.E.


This group meets in secret as any current members of the Grand Lodge would be expelled.  It also is a service only  available to unjustly suspended and expelled Arkansas Masons and specifically excludes any so dropped for moral turpitude.

Its purposes and objectives are:

  1. Support group
  2. Networking
  3. Legal Aid
  4. Education
  5. Repatriation
  6. To get men out of Masonry thinking about Masonry again

C.A.U.S.E. is open to suspended & expelled Arkansas Masons as well as current members who wish to aid such men. While its membership and place and time of meetings cannot be shared with non members, the group will soon have a website.

This group has a start up membership of about 50 men. Currently C.A.U.S.E. leaders are helping the membership with trying to become members in other jurisdictions, lawsuits against Grand Lodge and esoteric discussions and speakers. It must be remembered in the case of civil action it has been alleged that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas has pulled the charter from some wealthy Lodges and closed them down in order to add that wealth to the Grand Lodge coffers.

Remember that when a Mason is unjustly expelled in one jurisdiction the wrong cannot be corrected in another jurisdiction (although C.A.U.S.E. is trying). All Masonic jurisdictions will mutually support one another in their suspensions or expulsions – no matter the reason. Frank Haas has been the only Mason in modern times to crash this barrier and that was just recently.

If you look at how many men are in C.A.U.S.E., which is only weeks old, and then add in former Masons in the same position from other states, you have a rather large group of disaffected Masons nationwide. These are for the most part good, honest men who have been wronged, and who sometimes seem overly angry and bitter.  They are ripe for being picked up by another Obedience, many who are classified as irregular and clandestine by Mainstream Masonry.

These are men who certain Masonic societies and forums will drop from their membership rolls once they have been suspended or expelled.  To be wronged and then to be shunted, ostracized and damned is something that only fuels the fire of bitterness and hatred.

Yet those in power who do wrong are never chastised by their peers.  They are never held accountable for their actions. There is no recourse to correct a run away, rogue Grand Lodge.

The righteous minded, ass kissing, bean counters left in Mainstream Masonry will pontificate that if there are problems in a Grand Lodge then it is only the business of that Grand Lodge and nobody else’s and all that is needed to correct matters is for the Brethren as a whole to vote to change things.

They haven’t met the Arkansas Grand Master who is alleged to have forcibly removed and expelled an 80 year old member from Grand Lodge Session who made a motion that displeased him who is the same Grand Master who is accused of having committing an immoral act that sacks every brother who attempts to bring him up on charges by expelling them without trial.

Where were all these holier than thou Masons when the Grand Master of Arkansas banned Masonic E-Mail? Where were they when Past Grand Master Frank Haas was snookered into coming to a meeting so that the Grand Master could embarrass him by expelling him in front of his father and friends without prior notice?

The other mantra used by those on the inside is, wait awhile, when all the old guys die off, things will change.  In the meantime – don’t rock the boat.  Very bad advice, indeed. There is no reforming Grand Lodges which function as bastions of the KKK who remake themselves anew with each new generation. When any thought, word or deed, and attempt at making things right is met with instant expulsion without a trial then you have a rogue Grand Lodge out of control that is governing its membership as the North Korean government governs its citizens. The only thing that is going to stop a Grand Lodge like this is action from the outside.

C.A.U.S.E. is not standing around and waiting for somebody else to do something.  It is going ahead to first take care of the hearts and souls of those men who have been so unjustly wronged, and then to mitigate some of the damage being done by a Grand Lodge who only thinks of itself and amassing more and more power.

Perhaps this movement will catch on in West Virginia and elsewhere.


“Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

“I resign.” Those were the words of Derek Gordon in a terse certified letter to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. No long drawn out accusations, no reprimands, no recrimination, just “I resign.”Faced with what he felt was a rigged kangaroo court, Gordon saw he had little other options.

Why subject himself to the humiliation his Grand Lodge was about to heap upon him. He knew in his heart that he did no wrong and remained true to the real spirit of Freemasonry. If one way or the other he was going to go then it would be on his terms not the terms of a tyrannical closed society purging its membership of any dissenters or freethinkers.

The option Gordon took was one the Grand Lodge of Arkansas said was not available.  You cannot resign, they told him, and since you are under charges we will not give you a demit.  Such were the machinations of a power thirsty Grand Lodge with an Ahmadinejad prototype as Grand Master. This Grand Lodge, like a number of others in the United States, felt that it could rule arbitrarily and make up the laws, rules and regulations on the fly to thwart every challenge to their despotic ways. They pushed through a non electronic Masonic communication law on the spur of the moment in order to have an excuse on which to hang their phony charges against Gordon. They refused to reveal specifically what he had done wrong, telling him to come enter the “Lion’s Den” and then we will tell you all about how we are going to screw, blue and tattoo you.

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas rigged the rules so that once they had you under charges there was no way for you to escape, or so they said. This enabled them to rule by fear and keep anybody not toeing the party line on the outside looking in. If you were up on charges, which were often made up bogus violations, then the Grand Lodge gave you two choices, submit to a Masonic trial (predetermined outcome) or fill out a form to self expel yourself, in the process also self blackballing yourself from every other jurisdiction in the United States. It resembles the choice of death by a firing squad or death by the electric chair. Self expulsion is also akin to “tar and feathering” yourself and if you refuse to sign the form or attend your Masonic trial they will try you in absentia. In other words if you don’t tar and feather yourself we will do it for you. This process cannot be inspired by Masonic practice; rather it seems to have been borrowed from the KKK.


Gordon’s position was that he was a volunteer not a paid member of staff and therefore he had every right to resign, especially if he felt he was not being treated well. Even President Nixon was allowed to resign under fire.

Many a fellow Mason, responding to the case of Frank Haas and the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, Gate City Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Georgia and most recently Derek Gordon and the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, has repeatedly said that whatever a Grand Lodge decides and whatever it rules it is within its rights and taking the dispute outside of Freemasonry into the civil courts is wrong. These well intentioned Brothers tell us that Freemasonry is a private organization and rules itself as a power unto itself and that bringing the profane into adjudication is both Masonically illegal and immoral.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most Grand Lodges today are public corporations.  It would be very foolish in today’s world not to be. The limited liability and the tax advantages are just too great for a multimillion dollar organization like Freemasonry to pass up. But to attain these advantages a company or organization must sign onto the articles of incorporation and the corporate and nonprofit laws,  – secular, civil rules that supersede any Masonic traditions or by-laws, rules and regulations of Grand Lodges. This was reported in an earlier Beehive column that seemed to generate little comment or attention.

Well let’s take the common practice of Grand Masters to rule and govern by edict when the Grand Lodge is not in Session.  Most Grand Lodge by-laws stipulate that the Grand Master rules in absentia. This is a Masonic tradition and how most Grand Lodges have been governed for centuries. However, in most cases, depending on the state, this is not legally correct. Most state’s corporation rules state that the corporation is governed by a Board of Directors when the Grand Lodge is not in session.  Corporate rules supersede any organization’s by-laws. This means that the Grand Master cannot decide matters at all, he must refer all business over to the Board.

Thus when a Grand Master sandbags a Brother by showing up at his Lodge under false pretenses and then expelling him by edict, that action may be blatantly illegal.  Likewise, when a Grand Master visits a Lodge and promptly pulls its charter and closes it down, that too may be illegal. In other areas of corporate law it may also be illegal to file vague charges against a volunteer or employee without specifically informing the accused of exactly the offense that was violated and in what manner. Some Grand Masters pay little or no attention to the civil laws which they are required to adhere to. If more Masons knew of this situation perhaps they would call them on it.

So when a Grand Lodge becomes a corporation it agrees to abide by the rules and regulations of incorporation and the corporate and nonprofit civil laws that accompany them, first and foremost, over ruling any previously held positions when in conflict.  Furthermore, one can no longer say that Freemasonry is a private organization or that it should not operate in the civil public domain.  By becoming a public corporation and operating under the rules of a public corporation it has the same status as General Motors and under the present administration could be deemed too big to fail and therefore, if in trouble, could be taken over by the state. Lastly as a public corporation its membership and the entire public community has the right to look at its tax, revenues and payroll records as well as its charitable contributions as filed with the government.


Let’s take a look at what Arkansas expects of its nonprofit and volunteer organizations.

The state of Arkansas has published guidelines for its nonprofit and volunteer organizations. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe explains what his state has put in place.

“I am proud to introduce this new publication, ‘Legal Guide For Arkansas Nonprofit and Volunteer Organizations,’ a resource and guide for nonprofit and volunteer management organizations.  It is the result of a collaborative effort between the UALR, Bowen School of Law, the Department of Human Services Division of Volunteerism, the Arkansas Service Commission, and Williams & Anderson PLC.  Together, their efforts are a model for public-private partnerships.  I am confident that this manual will become an indispensable tool for nonprofit and volunteer organizations as they work to improve the quality of life for all Arkansans.” – Governor Mike Beebe

You can read the entire text of this document here: http://www.law.ualr.edu/nonprofit-guide/legalguidearknonprofitbook.pdf


Legal Guide for Arkansas

Nonprofit and Volunteer





Resignation of a Volunteer

Volunteers may, of course, resign at any time. Since

volunteers are vital to the functioning of most nonprofit

organizations, they should be asked to give notice of their

resignations as soon as possible. Job descriptions should include

information about how much notice the organization requests for

that particular job, depending on the needs of the organization.

Pg. 98


Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1991 prohibits

employers of fifteen (15) employees or more, whether for-profit

or nonprofit, from discriminating on the basis of race, color,

religion, sex, or national origin.37 The Age Discrimination in

Employment Act of 196738 and the Americans with Disabilities

Act of 199039 prohibit discrimination based on age and disability.

Although state civil rights laws vary, the Arkansas Civil

Rights Act of 1993 also prohibits discrimination and applies to

employers of nine (9) or more.40

Nevertheless, a nonprofit should implement

non-discriminatory practices and procedures even if it has

few “employees” who may sue for discrimination. The most

obvious reason is that it is the right thing to do; a more practical

consideration is that the organization may eventually grow into

civil rights law coverage.

One of the most effective ways to avoid discrimination

and the appearance of discrimination is to make sure that the

organization reflects the diversity of the community served.

Directors, officers, volunteers and employees should reflect

diversity of, for example, age, race, sex, religion, national origin

and disability. Many groups also feel the need for other types of

diversity, such as geographic and socio-economic.

Pgs 94-95

According to the 2000 census Arkansas’ population is 15.7% African American. How does the Grand Lodge of Arkansas reflect this diversity?  Is 15.7 % of its membership African American?, 10%?, 5%?, 1%?, any at all? Does anyone know of at least one African American that belongs to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas?

Now let’s take a look at what the state of Arkansas demands of its nonprofit corporations.



AR LEGIS 1147 (1993)

SECTION 620. Resignation
(a) A member may resign at any time.
(b) The resignation of a member does not relieve the member from any
obligations the member may have to the corporation as a result of
obligations incurred or commitments made prior to resignation.

SECTION 621. Termination, Expulsion And Suspension
(a) No member of a public benefit or mutual benefit corporation may be
expelled or suspended, and no membership or memberships in such
corporations may be terminated or suspended except pursuant to a procedure
that is fair and reasonable and is carried out in good faith.
(b) A procedure is fair and reasonable when either:
(1) the articles or bylaws set forth a procedure that provides:
(i) not less than fifteen days prior written notice of the expulsion,
suspension or termination and the reasons therefore; and
(ii) an opportunity for the member to be heard, orally or in writing, not
less than five days before the effective date of the expulsion, suspension
or termination by a person or persons authorized to decide that the
proposed expulsion, termination or suspension not take place; or
(2) it is fair and reasonable taking into consideration all of the relevant
facts and circumstances.
(c) Any written notice given by mail must be given by first-class or
certified mail sent to the last address of the member shown on the
corporation’s records.
(d) Any proceeding challenging an expulsion, suspension or termination,
including a proceeding in which defective notice is alleged, must be
commenced within one year after the effective date of the expulsion,
suspension or termination.
(e) A member who has been expelled or suspended may be liable to the
corporation for dues, assessments or fees as a result of obligations
incurred or commitments made prior to expulsion or suspension.

There is a catch to all this:

Arkansas Nonprofit Corporation Act

There are two versions of the Arkansas Nonprofit Corporation Act, (“ANPCA”), one passed in 1963, and one passed in 1993. Corporations created prior to 1993 are subject to the 1963 Act, unless they choose to subject themselves to the 1993 Act. Any organizations incorporated after 1993 are subject to the 1993 Act. – Arkansas Attorney General’s Office

So the Grand Lodge of Arkansas may be grandfathered out of many of these requirements as it was incorporated in 1846.  Yet many Arkansas nonprofit corporations realizing that the post civil rights era of legislation has seen many changes drastically transforming society have signed onto the 1993 act voluntarily. Many also have done so because the new Act protects the interest of members and ensures against deception and mistreatment. For some it becomes not what you can get away with but rather what is the spirit of the times and how can I join in to be a part of it.  Sadly it seems that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas would rather live in the Civil War era and operate under the rules of a bygone era. How Masonic is that?

We say that Freemasonry has its own law yet we admonish all within the Craft to uphold the civil government and obey the civil statutes.  Does that mean that Freemasonry can knowingly try to operate with Masonic Law that is in direct conflict with Civil Law?

Let’s review what we have learned from this event.

1)   This is no longer your Grandfather’s Chevrolet …..er Grand Lodge. Freemasonry must stop living in the past as West Virginia and Arkansas are doing.  Instead it needs to adapt to the mores of present day society.

2)   Running a closed society that allows no freedom of expression and muzzles its members is antithetical to Freemasonry of the Enlightenment.

3)   Operating a society with laws, rules and regulations that conflict with civil law and civil rights is not only not in the spirit of Freemasonry but also blatantly immoral.

4)   An organization in this day and age, especially a nonprofit volunteer one, cannot realistically force a person against his will to remain a member. It should be the option of any Freemason to simply resign from any Grand Lodge.

5)   Making up silly and vindictive rules such as prohibiting members from using the Internet or any electronic means to discuss Freemasonry is unbecoming and un-Masonic.

6)   It’s been almost 50 years since Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement transformed America. It is past time that Grand Lodges reflected that change.

7)   It is painfully evident that Grand Lodges can no longer operate as they have done in the past.   This is the 21st century with new ways of looking at different lifestyles and morality. Grand Lodges are now in a public-private partnership yet they refuse to recognize their duty to civil law and their new commitments.  Failure of Freemasonry to operate within the framework of present day moral, societal and political civil practice could be very costly to the Craft.

Finally let us dispense with the notion that holding Freemasonry accountable in civil court is against Masonic moral law.  It is Grand Lodges who took themselves out of staying a purely private organization and into the civil world of corporate non-profits. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.  And you can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.  If you want the benefits of a nonprofit corporation than abide by the civil laws that go with it and govern your Grand Lodge in the spirit of the law as it was intended.

The Beehive urges every Freemason in the U.S.A. to investigate the process its Grand Lodge is using and to educate himself on how it operates, to use the Freedom of Information Act when needed and to hold his Grand Lodge, a nonprofit corporation, accountable in civil court when necessary.

Derek Gordon is not going to self expel himself, nor is he going to attend his Masonic trial. Attempts by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas to redefine what he has done is futile. HE HAS RESIGNED – NOT SELF EXPELLED HIMSELF. To the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, accept the resignation of Derek Gordon and put an end to your foolishness.

This is not the Civil War era, this is the Information Age and we are all watching you.


War Declared

It all started with somebody who was willing to break the code of mutual support…………no matter the deed.  Most Worshipful Terry W. Posey writes on his blog:

“Frank Haas is a Judge in West Virginia and until several years ago was Grand Master of West Virginia. The story of his being expelled from the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is well-documented in various Masonic and other publications. I have reviewed as many as were available, including West Virginia’s Proceedings, the New York Times and www.masonic-crusade.com .”

“He moved to Ohio last year. After that, he petitioned Steubenville Lodge # 45 for the degrees of Freemasonry.”

“I thoroughly researched the Code of the Grand Lodge of Ohio and there is nothing to prevent his receiving these degrees. Inasmuch as he is an Ohio resident, the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Ohio confers jurisdiction over his membership to the Grand Lodge of Ohio and the lodge’s membership.”

“He made a full disclosure of the Notice of Expulsion by the Past Grand Master of West Virginia and answered all questions presented to him by the Lodge’s Committee of Investigation. The Lodge did the necessary background work, including a home visit. They were assured that he was a good man and true, and he met all requirements, including residency for the requisite time, for membership.”

“Steubenville Lodge # 45 gave a unanimous ballot approving his membership.”

“On April 17, he received the three degrees of Freemasonry in Steubenville Lodge.”

http://gmohio.blogspot.com/2010/04/frank-haas.html – page archive

The response was for the Grand Lodge of West Virginia to withdraw recognition of Ohio.  The Grand Lodge of Ohio’s website reports it thusly:

“The Grand Master of West Virginia, Gregory A. Riley, Sr., issued an edict on April 19, 2010 withdrawing fraternal recognition from the Grand Lodge of Ohio because Steubenville Lodge No. 45 elected Frank Haas to membership and conferred the three degrees of Masonry on him on Saturday, April 17, 2010.”

http://www.freemason.com/component/content/article/1-headlines/349-grand-lodge-of-west-virginia-withdraws-fraternal-recognition-from-ohio.html – page archive

If West Virginia can withdraw recognition of Ohio so quickly and easily, why is it that some of the Grand Lodges in the United States who are really doing a wonderful job have not withdrawn recognition from West Virginia, clearly a rogue Grand Lodge, a long time ago?  It seems to me that only the bad guys have the chutzpah to take action.

And if the Conference of Grand Masters is truly our national voice in American Freemasonry why has it not voted on a proposal to withdraw recognition from those Grand Lodges who trample on the civil rights of their Brethren and who refuse to recognize Prince Hall?

Why is it that American Freemasonry refuses to police itself?  Are we waiting for the civil courts to step in?  Do we really think that the actions of one Grand Lodge has no bearing on the public’s perception of all of American Freemasonry?  Are we going to stand by and do nothing while one after another after another of these incidents of tyrannical power gone amuck , these actions of Right Wing Masonic Militia take place?

Will there be any national response to the plight of Derek Gordon?

The Beehive will wait to see further developments as this may be one of many battles to come.  Widely rumored in Prince Hall circles is the story that the UGLE is seriously considering withdrawing recognition from all American Grand Lodges who refuse to recognize Prince Hall.

Stay tuned!

Arkansas flag

Unjustly Accused

Arkansas flagThe Derek Gordon saga continues.  The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has rescheduled Gordon’s Masonic trial but demanded he bring a copy of his military orders as proof he was performing duty for his country on the originally scheduled day.  It promised Gordon that he would receive a new letter in the mail by Friday April 16, 2010, outlining charges and setting forth a new date.  Friday April 16th has come and gone and Gordon has received no correspondence from the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.  This follows a pattern set by the Grand Lodge in the proceedings against Gordon.  Gordon never received the first letter notifying him of Masonic charges.  As Secretary of the Lodge he never received any notifications of changes made at the 2010 Grand Session.  He had to go out and find brothers who had that information available because  materials were taken when the charter was arrested.  Also, the Grand Lodge of Arkansas refused to provide that information to him.  The 2010 data was sent just last week after finding someone who had a copy.

You will remember that in their first letter to Gordon, which the Grand Lodge never sent directly to him either, stating the charges against him were: –

The sole accusation poised is based upon entry 4.0.61 in the digest. That states: “The…use of cipher rituals of the three Symbolic Degrees of Masonry is forbidden; and ANY Mason who shall hereafter…use anything purporting to be a cipher ritual or written, printed or otherwise delineated ritual or exposition of Masonry shall be expelled from Masonry.”

Now Gordon cannot remember ever having knowingly violated this provision of the Grand Constitution. So he asks for an explanation of the charges. He states that:

I stand accused of “un-Masonic conduct” for reasons that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas refused to delineate. The Grand Inquisitor (Chairman, Grand Lodge Trial Commission), John Penrod, was kind enough to inform me that I must determine the causes of action the Grand Lodge of Arkansas has against me. And, the Inquisitor refused to provide materials that might shed light on such issues.

Again after many attempts to reach the Grand Master by telephone Gordon finally is successful.  He poses the same question.  Please be specific and tell me where, when and how I have violated 4.0.61.  The Grand Master refuses to answer.   The Grand Master demanded that he come to the trial and answer all of their questions.  At that time he would find out the details.

Now if you know Masonic procedure and basic legal procedure and civil rights, not to mention common decency, you know right away that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is not handling this process correctly.

For something to compare how the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is conducting itself, here is a manual from another Grand Lodge on how to run a Masonic trial: http://www.grandlodgeofvirginia.org/education/publications/Masonic_Trial.pdf

“Aside from everything else, the internal judicial process of GL of Arkansas appears to resemble more the traditions of the Soviet Union than the best principles of the Common Law and legal heritage of England, which informs all public and other judicial process in both our countries.”

An accused person must be so under a pre-existing statute or rule (That is, no law no crime.)

  1. What is not forbidden is permitted
  2. All charges shall be clearly stated and given to the accused well in advance of any further process or trial
  3. The accused is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty
  4.  In civil law on a preponderance of the evidence and in criminal law beyond a reasonable doubt
  5. The accused is entitled to full disclosure of all evidence known or collected well before a hearing or trial
  6. The accused is entitled to know all the prosecution has, whether it is to be used in court or not
  7. The accused is entitled to subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance and testimony under oath
  8. The accused has the right of appeal to a superior bench or tribunal on points of law or new evidence
  9. The accused has the right of professional or expert counsel or representation
  10. The accused has the right to know all his/her rights at the time of arrest or at the start of any proceedings

*   Evidence itself collected illegally or improperly cannot be admitted in the case against the accused

Perhaps GL of Ark. needs a course in basic civics.

Gordon thought at first that he was being charged with violation of a brand new Grand Lodge ruling made in the 2010 Grand Session because that is what Sebastian Lodge #706 was charged with.

The sequence of events and their close proximity to their execution hold the whole Grand Lodge process in suspect.  First you had webmaster Gordon posting the Grand Master’s directive prohibiting the purchase of Arkansas Masonic license plates on Sebastian Lodge’s website with provision that this was not necessarily the point of view of Sebastian Lodge.  Just a few days, literally 3 days, later Grand Session convenes and a new anti electronic law is passed followed by in just a few more weeks until the closing of Sebastian Lodge by the Grand Master and the initiation of charges against Gordon.  A good case could be made that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas instituted the new legislation for the sole purpose of expelling Derek Gordon.

The Grand Master uses this new law to pull the charter of Sebastian Lodge and close it down.

What is on Sebastian’s website has been put there by Gordon.  So it is only natural for him to initially think that the charge is related to the posting of Masonic information for public view.  But Gordon is able to demonstrate that all that he has posted on Sebastian’s website he has drawn from the Grand Lodge website and other chartered Lodges of Arkansas linked on the Grand Lodge website.

THEN THE GRAND LODGE OF ARKANSAS PROMPTLY CLOSES ITS WEBSITE.  So, there is no lasting proof that Gordon can point to. (The website has since relaunched)

And to further weaken the validity of its position the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is prosecuting, using a brand new law, before it has informed all its constituent Lodges that the new law was made.  Sebastian Lodge receives the notification of the anti electronic communication addition to Grand Lodge’s by-laws along with the letter of charges filed against Gordon and a Masonic trial date all at the same time.  That means that the Grand Lodge is proceeding against violators of its new law before anybody has been notified that the new law exists. That fact strengthens the position that the only reason they created the new law was to prosecute Gordon.

Gordon searches for another reason the Grand Lodge might be prosecuting him and remembers associating with Black Masons at Mainstream Lodges in Oklahoma and Prince Hall Masons in the military service.  Since he has so informed Grand Lodge of these activities and suggested to Grand Lodge to pursue Prince Hall recognition he wonders if this is the real reason for charges being filed against him.

When you sift through all this information you have to ask yourself if this is a normal manner for a Grand Lodge to act.  If you are a Mainstream Mason in say Vermont or Illinois or California or Iowa or Minnesota would your Grand Lodge be going through these contortions to purge members?  And I will play a little Bill O’Reilly here – “And you say?”

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas proudly announces its purge of others also.


There are other more overriding issues here. It is not just about racism, although that surely is a component. It’s just as much about the abuse of power, un-Masonic conduct by Grand Masters and Grand Lodges, in short tyrannical leadership.

From the earliest of Speculative Masonic ages the Royal Society and Freemasonry were connected.  From 1640 into its formal formation in 1660 Freemasons like Elias Ashmole, Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Robert Moray and Dr. Desaguliers brought the Royal Society and Freemasonry together in the pursuit of light.  Free thinkers, leaders in the arts and sciences, political and societal action in behalf of the worth of the individual, the philosophy of the Enlightenment all characterized what Freemasonry was all about and its unique ability to harmonize many diverse elements in one body under one roof.

But as practiced in America, many Grand Lodges are no longer receptive and accepting of different opinions, practices and lifestyles.  They are exclusionary not only purging Blacks, Jews and Catholics but casting out anybody who wishes to think for themselves.

Some Mainstream American Grand Lodges refuse to allow a Master Mason in their jurisdiction to express what Freemasonry means to them, to talk about Freemasonry or to think for themselves.  They demand that their Brethren shut up and let the Grand Lodge do their thinking for them. They squash openness and reforms at every opportunity they get.

The power that American Mainstream Grand Lodges possess today is far stronger than 50 years ago.  Before 1960 Grand Lodges were more like equal partners with their chartered local Lodges. The Local Lodge and its Worshipful Master stood supreme in the governance of its own affairs.  Oh, yes there were Grand Lodge requirements, Grand Lodge forms to fill out and send in and a Grand Constitution to uphold.  But rarely did a Grand Lodge attempt to mess in the affairs of a chartered Lodge under its jurisdiction. The Worshipful Master was supreme in his own Lodge and the Grand Lodge handled affairs on a District or state level while also offering advice and help when a local Lodge asked for it.

The 1960’s saw American Masonic membership take a nosedive.  In response to what Grand Lodges saw as the sluggishness of its constituent Lodges to take the necessary measures to boost membership, Grand Lodges jumped in and began making demands on subordinate Lodges. Grand Lodges made the case that only they could, by pooling resources, initiate large expensive programs to attract new members.  They used this excuse to then make more demands on local Lodges and take over some of their Lodge’s decision making.

The result of this power shift also had a profound influence on the financial well being of local Lodges.  As Grand Lodges assumed more and more power they not only were able to reap the rewards of giant, state-wide fundraisers which only they could afford to finance but also financial backing, donations and gifts bypassed local Lodges and went directly to the coffers of Grand Lodges. Subordinate lodges became more and more financially strapped and Grand Lodges refused to send any money back down to them. As local Lodges pleaded for financial help, Grand Lodges would only provide help with strings attached.  Those strings enabled them to make decisions in local Lodges that in days past would never have been allowed.

There is an old saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Now Grand Masters always have had supreme power, but the boundary line of their duty was always spelled out so that there were many avenues that were off limits to them.  Once any limits to Grand Lodge power were eliminated it paved the way for a small Oligarchy to control a whole jurisdiction.

There are benevolent dictators and there are oppressive dictators. The latter sitting in the Grand East act like the potentate of a Right Wing Masonic Militia. There are many examples of this abuse of power, among the most recent are:

1)   The Grand Master of West Virginia expels Past Grand Master, Frank Haas without a trial, for his reforms and policies while he was Grand Master.  The Grand Master calls Frank Haas a few days before his Lodge’s Communication and asks him if he will be attending as he is going to visit the Lodge, but he gives no hint as to the nature of his visit.  Then before Brothers and friends he blindsides Hass with an expulsion by edict. This Grand Lodge prohibits any discourse with “clandestine” Masons.  If you can’t even speak with Prince Hall Masons it makes it pretty hard to start the process of recognition.  But what is most distressing about this Grand Lodge is not just its racism but its ability to stop Master Masons from speaking out or discussing any Masonic matter.

The Millennial Mason had this to say about the situation in West Virginia at the time:

“As I am sure most of you are aware, it is a terrible, repugnant state of affairs within the borders of West Virginia for the average Mason. If he voices support for M.W.B. Frank Haas’ case, he is expelled through edict. The Grand Lodge is using hidden codes within their communications to flush out critics of their policies if that critic should give the communication to the Masonic Crusade. It is truly a story that even a fiction writer could not have invented.”

2)   The Grand Lodge of Georgia through devious means convinces two Worshipful Masters to prefer charges against Gate City Lodge and its Worshipful Master for raising a black man in direct violation of the Grand Lodge statue that says non whites cannot become members. This method demands a Grand Lodge trial and bypasses the local Lodge handling of this affair. It also shields the Grand Master from direct involvement in taking this action. Eventually the charges were dropped after Gate City Lodge sued the Grand Lodge in civil court.

This brings us to the present state of affairs in Arkansas. The Grand Lodge of Arkansas is bringing Derek Gordon to trial and possible expulsion, but they refuse to be specific about what he has done wrong. In so doing they follow a pattern illustrated by Georgia, West Virginia and a host of others before them. The pattern may involve racism and, also, cultural and religious discrimination all of which are abhorrent and un-Masonic.  Yet the overriding ability to act in such an un-Masonic manner can be laid at the bed of the enormous all-pervasive power Grand Lodges have assumed.

This absolute power has led some Grand Lodges to act in an arbitrary manner including some or all of the below:

  1. All Masonic trials are initiated by the Grand Master
  2. All Masonic trials are conducted by a Grand Lodge tribunal
  3. The Grand Master can expel by edict or on sight without a trial
  4. The Grand Master can pull the charter of a Lodge and close it down without having a reason or giving prior notification
  5. Masonic discourse outside the jurisdiction is prohibited
  6. Publicly discussing Masonic matters is prohibited
  7. Using electronic means to discuss Masonry is prohibited
  8. Disagreeing with the Grand Master is grounds for immediate expulsion
  9. Owning operating or posting on a Masonic website is prohibited
  10. Organizing and creating a group, club or organization of Masons outside of Lodge Communications for whatever purpose without the approval of the Grand Master is strictly prohibited.
  11. Writing and publishing Masonic articles, papers or books that haven’t been first approved by Grand Lodge is disallowed.
  12. Submitting to an interview by the press or going on a radio or TV show dealing with Masonic matters must have prior Grand Lodge approval.

The theme that runs through all this is fascism which is anathema to Masonic tradition. Those members of the Royal Society who were also Masons centuries ago were not stopped from speaking their mind. Freemasonry has always prided itself on being inclusive, not exclusionary, of permitting differences in all aspects of society to co-exist in a big tent philosophy. Some of the great free thinkers of the world, some of the greatest mystics, some of the greatest spiritualists, many of whom were never conformists, were Masons and were never expelled for their views.

Here is another way in which the Grand Lodge of Arkansas wants to cement its control as was passed in the 2010 session.

Again I have to ask is muzzling Masons a proper use of Masonic authority?  And you say…………………………

Is ethnic (or individual) cleansing a permissible Masonic policy?
And you say……………………..

Should any racism be tolerated in a Masonic jurisdiction?
And you say…………………..

Do we all live on a Masonic island or is American Masonry all interconnected?
And you say………………………………

American Freemasonry has failed Derek Gordon. There are too many Neros in American Freemasonry who will fiddle while Masonry burns.
And you say………………………

If you want to help Gordon don’t write to him or waste your time addressing the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.  Write, call, E-Mail your own Grand Lodge and ask them to put a stop to this kind of Freemasonry.


The Handshake of Expulsion

Derek Gordon 2Derek Gordon Continues His Story

The true story about “un-Masonic conduct*” of a respectful brother.

By: Brother Derek Gordon Last updated on: April 5, 2010.

“After much reflection, I have concluded that the true crime for which the Grand Master wishes to accuse me has come to light. And it is a violation that I take no shame in committing.”

“As my brethren around the world have now seen, I did not provide secret information on the Sebastian Lodge website but used information from other Arkansas lodges and as well as the Grand Lodge itself. The Grand Master’s claim has been defeated by the massive trove of evidence gathered by many Masonic brethren in support of me.”

“As I was denied my right to due process, I am left to my own devices to determine why on this great earth and in this great country I would considered for expulsion. And then it occurred to me…what my violation will be. In a conversation with Grand Master Warren Martin I spoke of attending lodges in the presence of Black Masons. I openly shared my reflection of the warm conversations we had. The lodges were not in Arkansas but rather in 2 other states as well as overseas. All were mainstream lodges. I have not been invited to a Prince Hall Lodge; however, because of this process I can say that I would be honored to do so.”

handshake“I realize now that I overlooked one of the most obvious arguments. I gave the Masonic handshake (and another common sign of brotherly affection) to well over twenty Black Masons. I have sat in lodge with at least thirty Black Masons. I have spoken with a Prior Grand Master of a Prince Hall jurisdiction. I have long-running Masonic relations with several Black Masons who served with me in the United States Air Force. They are some of my dearest friends and brothers.”

“The sole accusation poised is based upon entry 4.0.61 in the digest. That states: “The…use of cipher rituals of the three Symbolic Degrees of Masonry is forbidden; and ANY Mason who shall hereafter…use anything purporting to be a cipher ritual or written, printed or otherwise delineated ritual or exposition of Masonry shall be expelled from Masonry.”

“There is only one possible way to accuse me of violating the above quote from my Notice of Trial letter. Simply put, I would have to be accused of knowingly sitting in a lodge, mainstream aside, with Black Masons. And, being that the brothers were Black Masons, it is reasonable in the eyes of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas to assume those men must be Prince Hall. I must humbly point out to the Arkansas leadership that Black men can be Mainstream or Prince Hall; Arkansas tends to frown upon certain races, religions, or origins, yet this does not mean that all other Mainstream jurisdictions must act as a unified bigot. “

“These United States have stood in solidarity against tyranny for greater than nearly 250 years. The Civil War and great Abraham Lincoln brought emancipation to all nearly 150 years ago. Just over 50 years ago, Arkansas was at the epicenter of the death of segregation when “the Little Rock 9” entered a high school for white students supported by the 101st Airborne Division. How can it be that Arkansas is one of the three states that still forces segregation of the brotherhood? Why is this tolerated? Who will stand up to such hatred? “

“Let your voices be heard along with mine. Tell Grand Master Martin Warren and Grand Secretary James Weatherall what is truly “for the  good of the Masonry**.” As the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called out “Let Freedom Ring” and this time let it ring from the capital of Little Rock, Arkansas. “

“Whether the Grand Master still believes that my expulsion is “for the good of the Masonry” is for him to determine. In my heart and with a clear conscience, I can say that I will always hold the values of the Free Masons… the truly “free” Masons.”

* I stand accused of “un-Masonic conduct” for reasons that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas refused to delineate. The Grand Inquisitor (Chairmen, Grand Lodge Trial Commission), John Penrod, was kind enough to inform me that I must determine the causes of action the Grand Lodge of Arkansas has against me. And, the Inquisitor refused to provide materials that might shed light on such issues.

** The Grand Master assured the Worshipful Master and other brethren of Sebastian Lodge that revoking its charter, and my expulsion, was “for the good of Masonry.” I would disagree with that statement; but, I’m unworthy in their eyes of being a Mason.

Added note: The phone call discussing Prince Hall Masonry with the Grand Master of Arkansas took place on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 at 8:23P.M. CST.