Once again West Virginia is in the spotlight of Masonic news and as usual it’s all bad. This Grand Lodge is the only US GL to expel a Junior Past Master for his policies while in office. That foolish act has resulted in a civil court case that will start on 12/6/2010.
In the meantime West Virginia has pulled recognition from Ohio because it gave the expelled Frank Haas a new Masonic home. Because of that withdrawal of recognition West Virginia has refused to perform a Masonic funeral for an Ohio Brother who died in their state.
The West Virginia website, Masonic Crusade (archive page), reports:
Masonic Brother denied WV Funeral
Brethren a most tragic event has happened. A brother who resided and passed in West Virginia but a member of an Ohio lodge was denied a Masonic funeral by Randy Martin. It was all done in the name of the edict passed by Greg Riley. The unnamed brother (out of respect for the family) was a well respected and accomplished mason. Irregardless of that fact, even had he been a simple member of the craft he deserved better. We have we sank to a level lower than I expected of Grand Lodge.
I am told the brother’s family had a team of brethren travel from Ohio to respect his last wishes, but no West Virginia masons were allowed to participate. This barring of West Virginia participants was apparently done by order of the Grand Master of West Virginia. The Grand Lodge of Ohio would have allowed West Virginia participants, in much the same way that the edict severing relations was not reciprocated by Ohio. West Virginia masons are still quite welcome in Ohio lodges as long as they don’t mind risking their membership….
Lastly, lest the fanboys of Grand Lodge point out that there was a masonic funeral held, understand that if there had been some sort of “Masonic Police” the Grand Lodge of West Virginia would not have allowed the funeral to happen here.
The Judge in the Haas case has already made preliminary rulings that indicate West Virginia is in for a hard time and that this trial may lead to precedents being established that drastically change Fremasonry’s methods of governance. Knowing all that the Grand Lodge of West Virginia just one week before the trial has decided to play hard ball in what has to be one of the worst examples of public relations in the history of American Freemasonry.
When will this insanity stop?