The Hour Glass

The Hour Glass

African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York 1812-2012
By Ezekiel M.Bey

A Review by:  Wor.  Bro. Frederic L. Milliken

Talented Prince Hall Masonic authors and writers are not as plentiful as grapes on the vine. So when one comes along we need to take notice and pay close attention to his works. Such a man is Ezekiel M. Bey whose latest book is “The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York 1812-2012.” The Hour Glass records the sands of time in the life of the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York, the great men therein who shaped the world to come and the part Bey has played and continues to play in the development of Prince Hall Freemasonry in New York and the nation.

Ezekiel Bey is a writer, a Historian and a poet all rolled into one. He combines that unusual dual talent of being a great researcher and historian and a great writer at the same time. Bey is no esoteric closet intellectual, however. He is a Past Master and has served on the Grand Lodge Committee on Works & Lecture, the Committee on Masonic Education where he spent some time as Secretary and the office of Grand Historian from 2006-20011. He is a Fellow of the Phylaxis Society and has spent 10 years on its Commission on Bogus Masonry much of that time as its Deputy Director. At the same time he has served as editor in chief of his Grand Lodge’s publication, The Sentinel until 2008.

One of Bey’s pride and joys is the nationwide E-Group Blue Lite which he founded. A Prince Hall discussion and educational undertaking it has blossomed into one of the most active gatherings of Masons on the Internet. Recently he has added the Prince Hall Research & Information site Blue-

Ezekiel M. Bey

Ezekiel Bey has paid his dues. Now all that blood, sweat and tears – that hard work and dedication and honing of skills – has culminated in a fascinating work of Masonic history, The Hour Glass.

The Hour Glass begins where every other Prince Hall Masonic book doesn’t, with the Haitian Revolution, the revolt of African American slaves from 1791-1804. The connection here is by way of Freemason Jean Pierre Boyer who was to become the second President of Haiti. Sometime during this conflict when the US and France were fighting the Franco-American War he, and all the others on his French vessel, was captured by the American war ship Trumball and brought back to Connecticut as a prisoner of war. Discovering him to be a Mason they gave him a modem of freedom and then sent him to Pennsylvania where he was ultimately set free. Boyer who attended some Lodges while he was in Pennsylvania seems to have had a profound effect on all he came in contact with as New York’s first African American Lodge, African Lodge #459 New York chartered by African Lodge #459 Boston in 1812 soon changed its name to Boyer Lodge #1. After assuming the Presidency of Haiti Boyer welcomed a migration of freed Black Americans to his country.

Bey then takes us through the Underground Railroad and the part that early New York African American Freemasons played in that historical time after which there is a detailed account of the false information that the first African American Grand Lodge in New York was Boyer Grand Lodge supposedly formed in 1845. Upon due research Bey confirms that the first African American Grand Lodge in New York was The United Grand Lodge of the State of New York formed in 1848 which later changed its name to The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of the State of New York.

Next comes the painful experience of the National Grand Lodge or Compact as it was called. It was extremely stressful for New York as the United Grand Lodge of the State of New York never joined the Compact and its failure to do so resulted in the Compact attempting to expel the United Grand Lodge. Within Prince Hall Freemasonry the whole National Grand Lodge episode is a sore that will not heal. Remnants of the National Compact remain today but they are clandestine as many would say they always have been. While Mainstream Masonry also flirted with a National Grand Lodge at the same time it never pulled the trigger. Bey has contended that the whole National venture was illegal and he takes the reader through the steps of how this all came about.  The documentation he provides on the history of New York African American Freemasonry at this time and New York’s involvement with the Compact is outstanding. Any historian who would like to have a better understanding of this issue should refer to The Hour Glass.

What follows is a wealth of information on clandestine African American Freemasonry in New York. Bey takes us through the Committee on Clandestine Masonry and The Legal Committee reports at Grand Lodge Sessions 1954-1969. We learn who the players are, the measures taken by the MWPHGLNY to combat bogus Freemasonry and even about a court case filed against two bogus New York Masonic Grand Lodges.

From the 1962 report of the Legal Committee to the Grand Lodge:

Litigation was commenced against two of these spurious organizations in New York State about three years ago. In November of 1961, there was a trial involving your Grand Lodge and one of these spurious organizations. In January of this year, injunctive relief was secured against this organization known as the Supreme Council of the United States of the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33rd and Last Degree A.A. Scottish Rite. This was the first case of its kind in the State of New York, in which injunctive relief was granted to a Masonic organization, giving it the right to put the spurious organization out of business. Moreover, the decision specifically stated that Prince Hall Masonry was legitimate and that it had a prior or better right to practice Masonry as against the organization which was enjoined. Your Legal Committee reports that this organization is now out of business.

Bey has continued in the footsteps of Harry A Williamson and Joseph Walkes in association with the Phylaxis Society in educating the Craft and those seeking membership about the evils of Bogus Freemasonry. This remains a continuing battle against ignorance. The Hour Glass exposes each and every one of these clandestine organizations, names names, dates and places, for all to see.

No story would be complete without heroes. Bey, in addition to his mentor Joseph Walkes, chronicles the lives and contributions to Prince Hall Freemasonry of RW Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, Harry A Williamson and S. David Bailey.

Schomburg, a native of Puerto Rico, was a promoter of Spanish speaking Lodges within Prince Hall New York. He was a researcher, historian, writer and accumulator of many Masonic books and manuscripts. In 1911 with John A. Bruce he formed the Negro Society for Research. Schomburg was elected Grand Secretary in 1918 and served in that position through 1926.

Bey tells us:

Schomburg saved every bit of information that he could get his hands on and built an archive in which he donated to public libraries. He is the reason that today Freemasonry and the black struggle in America have a huge section in the New York City Public Library in Harlem. This spirit of saving information for our future influenced his good friend and Brother, R.W. Harry A. Williamson, Grand Historian of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York. It was Arthur Schomburg who encouraged Williamson to place his collection of over 800 books, manuscripts, photographs, periodicals, pamphlets, and scrapbooks in the N.Y.C. Public Library’s Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints.

By the year 1925, Schomburg had acquired over 5,000 books, pamphlets, manuscripts, etchings and many other items. When the Division of Negro Literature opened in the New York City Public Library on 135th Street in Harlem, Schomburg sold his collection for $10,000 to the Carnegie Corporation to be placed in the new library. Schomburg later became curator for the library in 1932 in the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints. In memory of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, the New York City Public Library in Harlem was renamed in 1973, “The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture”.

Another giant of Prince Hall New York that Bey writes about was Harry A Williamson. Grand Historian from 1911 through 1924 Williamson held many Grand Lodge offices including Senior Grand Warden and Deputy Grand Master and chaired many Grand Lodge Committees. He was a prolific writer and was an early crusader against Bogus Freemasonry in the state of New York.

The third legend from Prince Hall New York was S. David Bailey an accomplished jazz percussionist. Bey tells us that he had:

collaborations with most of the Ellington Alumni, such as Mercer Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Ben Webster, “Shorty” Baker, and Al Sears. David Bailey also played with Billy Taylor, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Miles Davis, Chris Conner, Billie Holiday, Marian McPartland, Lucky Thompson, Lena Horn, Harry Bellefonte and the Gerry Mulligan Band(s) for 13 years until 1968 when he left to join the newly formed “Jazztet” featuring Art Farmer, Benny Golson,

But Bailey had another love – flying. Again we learn from Bey:

From 1968 to 1973, David worked with famed criminal attorney F. Lee Bailey as Vice President of Marshfield Aviation in Marshfield Airport, Massachusetts, 20 miles south of Boston. As Chief Pilot and flight instructor, and the attorney’s personal pilot, David flew the business Learjet in and out of Logan International Airport in Boston. Dave was also a Designated Pilot Examiner for the FAA in Boston as he was in New York. David enjoyed a good professional relationship and warm friendship with F. Lee Bailey.

But in a strange twist of career paths Bailey returned to his first love when he became Executive Director of Jazzmobile.

In Prince Hall Freemasonry Bailey became a District Deputy and his efforts in Masonic Instruction and Masonic Education became renowned. He headed up the first Grand Lodge Committee on Education and now 86 years old he can look back upon an illustrious Masonic career of 60 years.

It is difficult to know where you are going unless you know where you have been. The Hour Glass will prove to be a most valuable work for Prince Hall New York Masons to remember where they have been and to honor and treasure the memories of those who have gone before them.

It is vitally imperative that within the Craft records and archives are kept to show a clear path of what Freemasonry has stood for and what it has withstood throughout its history. Ezekiel Bey has been meticulous and detailed in his research for this book. The Hour Glass is both interesting and informative.

Not shy in expressing himself, Bey writes with a passion that jumps out at you from the pages of his book. His love for the Craft comes through loud and clear.

Moreover, Bey blazes a trail that other Prince Hall Grand Lodges should take. A chronicling of the history of any Grand Lodge casts in stone what defines that Masonic community and it is by such a work as this that a Grand Lodge can tackle the future with a mission statement in hand.

This is a monumental work that will be on every library shelf and in many a Mason’s bookcase. It should be in yours also.

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

The Flesh Dies Alone

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

The Flesh Dies Alone
By Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS

As I sat by the window looking up on high
Trying to see the figures in the darken skies
My imagination creating forms of pleasure
As the clouds moved east, geometric measures

Now the clouds got thick, heavy they became
when the winds picked up, followed heavy rains
as the waters clashed against the window ledge
the leaves off trees blew away the hedge

The scenery was furious like a hurricane
Throwing all its might like a cargo train
But in one quick second everything just stopped
Everything was calmer, not even one raindrop

From the skies above came the brighten SUN
The magnificent rays broke the clouds of heaven
I understood why darkness compliments the day
I understood why man was molded out of clay

And so I saw creation right before my eyes
How it all appeared, from within it lies
There’re no shadows cast on an opened mind
The no-limit space where there is no time

I can just recall when I joined the Lodge
Holy Book on Altar, checkered floor mirage
Remember the window I looked out to see
It was not outside but inside of me

So as we shape the ashlar , that is made of stone
A long road is traveled, pass the borne unknown
You’ll one day lay down- your flesh and your bones
Rejoicing soul ascends, the flesh dies alone.


The Hour Glass

The Hour Glass has always been one of my favorite Masonic symbols.  So much so that in my times as Master of a Lodge I often included the litany of the Hour Glass in the funeral or memorial service.

Holding the Hour glass out before me, watching the sand slowly filter down from top to bottom, these words seemed to have an eerie prognostication of life and what a fleeting moment our lives really are.

“Thus wastes man! Today, he puts forth the tender leaves of hope; tomorrow, blossoms and bears his blushing honors thick upon him; the next day comes a frost, which nips the shoot, and when he thinks his greatness is still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth.”

Brother Ezekiel M. Bey has added his poetic thoughts to the meaning of the Hour Glass in verses that should be taken to heart.

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

The Hour Glass
By Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS

I saw an hour glass with crystal sand
The grains fell through a slim sleek band
Wide at the top, wide at the bottom
Each single grain dropped through its model

Its mark was equal to minute’s lesson
To fill the bottom took sixty seconds
Equivalent to an hour I sat to look
As thoughts revealed a shape it took

Those crystal grains disciplined by law
The law of gravity defined it all
We start from top, end up below
We start from spirit, to give-up ghost

hourglassBut life is beauty and creativity
Depends on what we chose to be
Life has many choices and one is failure
Success defines a Godly Tailor

However, not all success is God divine
Not all who fails is crucified
It’s just the lessons we’re to define
It’s all what you are deep inside

So life itself is but a moment
So treasure it, solstice to solstice
There comes a time to understand
The last grained dropped in the hour glass

art, illustration, bible, square, compass

What Are The Holy Scriptures ~ How Do They Relate To Freemasonry

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

Ezekiel M. Bey,
FPS Administrator and Founder
Blue-Lite Research Discussion Group Inc.

First we must understand and define what the meaning of “Holy” means, and then what the word “Scripture” means.  According to Anthony Browder, who authored, “From The Browder File” the word “Holy” comes from the Greek word, “Helios” which means “Sun”.  In Latin it translates to Sanctus.  The word “scripture” comes from Latin, “I Write”.  The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines “scripture” that, “…most religious scriptures began as recited texts, being preserved in orally transmitted forms: the Vedas of the Hindus were written down only because the world moved into the degenerate Kali; oral law (Torah she be’al peh) was as much revealed on Sinai as was written Torah; the Quran was not written down until after the death of Muhammad; and the Pāli canon was not committed to writing until (theoretically) the First Council though in fact much later. When scriptures were eventually written down, it often remained a primary religious act to recite (rather than read) scripture.” So, scriptures are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition. They are words that are divinely inspired by ones Creator and documented in written words or recited by memory.  In fact, the bottom line as it relates to the definition of the word “Bible”, means “THE BOOK”.  However, do not lose sight that in the many Books that contain scriptures, are not but one book, but a compilation of data and documented information within the total text in a religious compiled composition or book housing.

bibleNow that we have established what those two important words mean, how do they fit in Freemasonry?  Masonry is a system that allows us to live our lives in the search for truth and awakening.  When we sincerely love what we call a craft, our very actions in this walk in light begins to play a role in what is Masonic knowledge, and the truth behind the veil of understanding.  Freemasonry in its early years as it pertained to Lodges were nominally Trinitarian Christian, but there is no indication that such was more than formal or that any religious belief was prerequisite to admittance.  Changes affected by the Grand Lodge of England between 1717 & 1723 abandoned nominal adherence to Christianity and obligated the Mason to obey the moral law, to be good men and true men of honor and honesty.  Dr. James Anderson in 1723 of Charge 1 wrote in his Constitution:

Concerning GOD and Religion

“A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine.  But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient to oblige them to that Religion which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves: that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honor and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.”

Now, in the middle portion of the above quote, he clearly removes the engagement in religious discussion, and openly states that each should keep their opinions to themselves.  In the New York ritual it reads, “…encouraging each to be steadfast in the faith of his acceptance.”

So, we have established the meaning “Holy Scriptures”, what was the common practice as it pertain to religious tolerance, and the evolution pre 1717 to 1723 and the accepted ancient constitution.  But the question is, “What Are The Holy Scripture”?  History records that in the sixth century A.D.; the Emperor Justinian issued an edict abolishing the last vestiges of the African religious systems and closed the last African Temple of Philae in Upper Egypt.  This is according to Anthony Browder, “From The Browder Files”.  However, in ancient Egypt, there is proof in several temples of inscriptions on the wall and the attempt to remove what the Madonna and Child looked like.  This was done by those who conquered different areas of ancient lands.  Over one hundred versions of the “Holy Scriptures” have been produced.  This is why scriptures are considered or referred to as “verses”, which comes from the Latin word, “vertere”, a word which mean to “turn” or “to change”.   The Holy Scriptures can help us to either turn from negative ways or change the way we live.  How does this relate to Freemasonry?

holy bible square and compassAfter the Constitution written by James Anderson under “GOD and Religion”, this actually put a renewed understanding of the purpose of Freemasonry.  Some are not aware that there was no Holy Scriptures (Holy Book) on the altar at one time.  The Holy Bible first being referred to as part of the furniture of the Lodge was in 1730.  In 1760 the Bible, Square and Compasses being referred to as the three Great Lights was not in existence until the “Ancients Grand Lodge of England” placed it on the altar and the “Moderns” began this practice in 1762.  Many of these Brothers, although used the Kings James version and some that were similar, understood the meaning of the word “Bible”, which derived from the Egyptian definition, “Papyrus”, which meant “Paper”.  Prior to any Holy Book placed on the altar, it was the (Book of Constitution) that Mason’s were obligated on.  In present day we now take our obligation on the book of our faith to bind us to our oath.  This is why our obligations are taken on the Holy Scriptures.  When we swear not to be at the int*****, pa*****, or rai**** of a clandestine Mason for example, we are swearing before GOD and man, that we will never fall victim in betraying our solemn appeal to the Creator of such a sacred promise.

Now, scripture do NOT teach doctrine, however, doctrines can develop through “scriptures”.  Let us take the word “DOCTRINE” for a moment.  The word “Doctrine” means “Something taught teaching, instruction or principles of religion.  “Theology” means “the study of God”, of religious doctrines and of matters pertaining to Divinity”.  The word Theology comes from the root word “THEO”, meaning “God” and the word “LOGOS” meaning “Word, or Discourse”.  In other words, theology is a systematic and logical arrangement of the belief in a doctrine.  Awareness is the key factor to all things.

The 6 Divisions of Theology as quoted from the book “The foundation of Christian Doctrine” “Written by Kevin J. Conner”

  1. Exegetical Theology – “Exegesis” means “to lead out, to guide out, to draw out”.  In theology it refers to analysis    and interpretation of scripture.”
  2. Historical Theology – Historical theology traces Biblical history, church history, and the history of the doctrine.
  3. Dogmatic Theology – “This branch deals with dogma as set forth and formulated in church creeds.  The difference between dogma and doctrine should be recognized.”
  4. Biblical Theology – “Biblical theology traces the progress of truth through Books of the Bible, seeing the various manners in which each of the writers presented important doctrines.”
  5. Systematic Theology – “Systematic theology concerns itself with the orderly arrangement into topics of the doctrines concerning God, Man, Angels, Sin and Salvation.  It is a systematization of the major fundamental doctrines of Biblical theology.”
  6. Pastoral or Practical Theology – “Pastoral or Practical theology deals with pastoral work, Christian education, church administration, Etc.”

The above meaning of the different definitions of theology is not limited to other faiths.  However, through all of this, scripture plays an important part as it is connected on the writing of what others saw and interpreted through what they understood of a higher inspiration that calls upon the higher faculties of ones being and spirituality.  In Albert Pike’s book Book of the Words, page 121, first paragraph, he states,

Our knowledge of the Deity, like our knowledge of the soul, is not the cognition of the Deity itself, but of its manifestations only.

We all see Deity in a different light as well as the name of Deity from our respective understanding taught by our religions and “scriptures”; and even those who do not subscribe to a particular religion but follow “spirituality” according to their understanding interpret scripture how they are inspired.  Scripture is not defined to be owned by one religion but each religion or spiritual schools have their own doctrine.  Freemasonry allows us to find that path without prejudice or judgment.

In Final, the Holy Scriptures are not only sacred text inspired by a Creator, but they are symbols that are veiled in allegory.  Harold Percival in his book, “Thinking in Destiny” describes a symbol as such: “A symbol is a visible object that represents an invisible subject which one is to think of, as itself or in relation to another subject or object”.

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

The Light of Masonry

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

by Ezekiel M. Bey

Heaven sent me here through the womb of a woman
Heaven sent me here from on high
Heaven sent me here through the force of my Creator
The one seen on Masonic aprons, the All-seeing Eye

Creations are powerful, and so Creations are Great
Creations are blessings, helping craftsmen navigate
As I see two tall pillars at the foot of a porch
The entrance of mysteries scientifically torched

Full of grandeur and strength, full of power indeed
The foundation are laid-out in our first three degrees
So the one important question, “What came I here to do”?
To improve myself in Masonry, That’s what I came to prove

Not to prove it to man, many men have been fooled
Not to prove it to woman for from her some became fools
Not to prove it to idols for they have made some lives wreck
But to prove it to ONE, The Almighty Grand Architect

So as you focus on me, don’t ignore the focus on YOU
We’ve been made in an image which make you who are you
Remember that day when the inner door flew wide open?
Remember that hand of friendship given you as a token?

It was once mouth to ear, which you kept breast to breast
I’ve kept all of the secrets in the compartments of my chest
As the two points of the compasses all stretched out to its extreme
Yes those two points of knowledge manifest in my inner being

So understand the dot that sits center in the circle
And understand the vortex where the scriptures sit to guide you
And understand the parallel lines representing two Saints
And understand they’re two Solstice guarding two inner gates

So ask yourself one more time, “What came I here to do”?
I was sent from on high, to understand GOD is TRUTH.
As the celestial skies show its beautiful canopy
Shining bright rays of light, the infinite Light of Masonry

It does not matter what you call yourself
But it does matter being yourself
And so you are, what you will always be
A manifestation of the eye that eternally sees.

Meet Ezekiel M. Bey, FPS

The Hour Glass, African American Freemasonry In The State Of New York

Ezekiel M. Bey

Perhaps you have not had the opportunity to know or read about Ezekiel M. Bey.  In that case you have missed a great man.  And if that is the case it is time for you to get acquainted with this Prince Hall Mason.

Brother Bey is Founder and Administrator of Blue Lite, a popular national Prince Hall Research Discussion Group.  He is also the RW Grand Historian of the MWPHGL of New York.

Born in Harlem, Bey attended public schools in Queens.  In his early education his passion was drawing pictures and writing stories and poems. He was an active participant in church starting at the young age of 13 where he served as a Counselor and as member of the men’s choir.

His later education concentrated on business and computer science, which has ultimately led him to the position as Operations Manager of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York and then a promotion to Director of Environmental Services.

Bey has been married for 21 years and has five beautiful children.  In 1990 he joined what proved to be a clandestine bogus Masonic Lodge.  He corrected that error in 1997 when he left clandestine Masonry for the MW Prince Hall Grand Lodge of New York.

Bey’s Masonic biography is long and well traveled.  Some of the highlights include Editor of New York’s Grand Lodge Magazine The Prince Hall Sentinel,   a Special DDGM, Grand Historian, member of Grand Lodge Committees of Masonic Education and Work & Lecture, Fellow of the Phylaxis Society, member of the Philalethes Society,  Associate Researcher for the Charles H. Wesley Society and the first Prince Hall Mason in the state of New York to be awarded the honor of the Masonic Brotherhood of The Blue Forget-Me-Not.

His personal biography has this to add:

Bey Receiving Distinguished Service Award

Bey Receiving Distinguished Service Award

“As a student of the late Joseph A. Walkes Jr., Ezekiel learned much, and today to the Masonic world Ezekiel M. Bey is an avid researcher and historian of Masonic studies. He has done extensive research in the Schomburg Library, New York City; does correspondence research with the Masonic Iowa Library, Cedar Rapid, Iowa; the Livingston Library, New York City; and has worked and collaborated with many research societies and other repositories of Masonic information.  For two consecutive Masonic administrations under M.W. Bernard L. Holley, GM, Ezekiel has been appointed in positions in which he has held four patents at one time (Grand Historian, Secretary of The Committee on Masonic Education, Member of Work & Lectures & Masonic Editor of the Prince Hall Sentinel (2006-2008).”

Brother Bey has published numerous works on Freemasonry.  He is about to release his newest book: Bogus Masonic Outfits, The Silent Killer In Prince Hall.

With the author’s permission here is a taste of that book.

Regularity for many is not a focal point due to their unawareness nor is it of any importance to them. Many have no clue what it really means.  In the search for truth, we must investigate all the parameters that make up the subject we are to discuss for consideration.  Certain standards must be used for guidelines in which to measure the legality of any organization’s regularity.  In this case it’s Freemasonry amongst African Americans in this country.   Freemasonry has been established centuries ago by the use of Ancient Landmarks, Ancient Charges, Constitutions, and many unwritten laws. Taking basic attributes that make up regularity such as establishing Lodges from a “competent jurisdiction empowering it to work”.

In this search you will find that bodies calling themselves “Masonic” are not all that they seem to be.  I have found that many are sympathetic with bogus outfits that appear genuine in appearance, and indeed many illegal Masons are innocent of the origin of the organization they have joined.  In other words, the majority does not know any better.  I have personally been a victim of this.  But you also have those Prince Hall Masons and other regular Masons who know the truth, and yet make excuses in order to personally accept fraudulent organization within their circles.  There are many reasons for this.  I have seen the politics involved for personal gains, whether it is material or merely acceptance in certain arenas.

Many excuses made by regular Masons on behave of bogus Masonic orders are, that they are “black” people like us, that they belong to our churches, that they are family members, and some have verbally shown the sad ignorance of saying, “they practice the same thing we do”.  “Common sense is not always common”, for if that statement were not true, many would simply understand that “If I were a student of medicine for 2 ½ years, and decided to drop out of medical school to start a medical practice before I have graduated and gotten my medical license, no matter how many lives I save, I would not legally be a doctor”.  “If I were a Police Officer and was suspended or thrown off the force, and decided to rent a building and called it a precinct, with squad cars, guns, badges, uniforms, and all the paraphernalia that is required for Police Officers or precinct, it would still not make me legal”.  In fact, you will be arrested for impersonating a Police Officer and Police Department.

Society from time immemorial has established a common rule for the genesis of organizations, governments, and civilizations, and that is that the founders, or originators of an organization or government, establishes the criteria and rules for those who wish to be part of it.  When one wishes to join an organization it must follow the rules of that organization in order for it to be regular.  What surprises me is the failure to preserve our dignity as Prince Hall Masons, by associating our selves with bogus Masonic organizations.  I grew up in an area in New York City that as a youth I learned very quickly the respect one must have for organizations (gangs) and the originators of these neighborhood groups.  One could not easily enter into a territory claimed originally by these crews. It was not easy for trespassers to think they can discover a land occupied by the natives of block.  If a block (street) was violated, or the name of the group was illegally used or stolen, or if certain clothes that identify the posse were worn by invaders, this was a declaration of war.

We speak and recite the legendary drama of our Ancient Grand Master H**** A****, and how he gave up his life, but refused to give up his integrity.  I feel many of us have not learned the lesson of our integrity.  Many of us are handing over our integrity, but what we must understand is that it is not only our personal integrity, but also the integrity of our Fraternity.  You cannot just set up an Elks Lodge and not be faced with resistance from legally established Elks Lodges, the same with the Loins Clubs, Rotaries, Knights of Columbus, and many other organizations.  What has happened to us?

In a soon coming compendium, I will attempt to show that we need to step back and rethink our position.  My research has been intense, with many hours of study and reading, as well as traveling to find the truth about illegal Masonic bodies.

I pray that some-day, we will all, UNIVERSALLY, understand regularity.

And I mean, regular Masons as well as those outside the circle (Bogus Outfits).

The GREAT DEBATE, will soon take place.

This is an issue that is troublesome to Prince Hall Masonry and one that it is trying to combat through education and the dissemination of correct information.

The GREAT DEBATE  was supposed to take place at the Phylaxis National Convention in Arkansas on March 6th.  Unfortunately Brother Bey has pressing family matters to take care of and that challenging discussion has been rescheduled for later in the spring in New York.

The Beehive will keep you informed of further developments.