Florida Masonic Scandal

The Other Half Of The Florida Masonic Scandal Tells All

The Beehive presents an interview with Duke Bass Fortesque. This is being presented as opinions of Fortesque and The Beehive, not as fact. Names of the Lodge and any other Florida Masons have been deliberately omitted. Freemason Information welcomes a rebuttal from either the Master of the Lodge or the Grand Master or both and will publish them if submitted.


Florida Masonic ScandalThose who have been following the Florida Masonic story have read the problem through the eyes of Corey Bryson. But Bryson was only coming to the aid of his friend going through the degrees with him, Duke Bass Fortesque. Bryson kept a low profile and nobody really knew what his faith was until he spoke up in Lodge to correct misinformation in an interrogation of Fortesque. It was then that Bryson revealed that he was a Pagan/Deist and therefore could speak with authority on the subject that he got into trouble.

Fortesque, meanwhile was in trouble already. Fortesque had already come out as an Odinist and he had gone through lengthy questioning of his religious beliefs by the Investigating Committee and others in the Lodge.

The whole religious turmoil was set off by Fortesque’s first degree instructor. He had a problem with Fortesque because he had a personal problem with Pagan religions. “The instructor screamed at me,” said Fortesque. “He disparaged my religion and my wife and her religion (Wiccan).”

“It’s people like you that are responsible for the breakup of my marriage,” yelled the instructor pointing his finger in Fortesque’s face. “Good luck becoming a Master Mason.”

“He was like a Rottweiler who broke his chain,” noted Fortesque.

Fortesque reported the incident up the chain of command leading to a number of phone conversations with the Master of the Lodge, some of them lasting from midnight to 3:00 AM. Fortesque kept asking for a solution to the outburst, while the Master kept grilling him on his beliefs.

“I just asked for an apology,” he said. That’s all he wanted, nothing more, nothing less. To think this whole mess could have been solved by a timely, simple apology from the instructor.

Meanwhile the instructor did call Fortesque and apologize personally but not publicly.

Finally in one of the last marathon phone calls with the Master, the Master offered to bring Fortesque into open Lodge to explain that the whole situation had been resolved, that he was mistaken and it never really happened.

“You want me to diminish my reputation to save this instructor,” asked Fortesque?

“Yes,” replied the Master

That was not unheard of in the Masonic world. When an old timer steps out of line with a brand new Mason, the Lodge will often support the seasoned Masonic veteran. Not that it is right, but it’s done. But Fortesque was not going to knuckle under.

A friend connected him to the Grand Master via the Grand Secretary.

Fortesque explained to the Grand Master the situation that had occurred. The Grand Master, acting as if he already knew the whole story, told Fortesque – OK complaint lodged. But then he said something very bizarre.

“You have a comic book religion,” the Grand Master told Fortesque. “You don’t have to get there (Master Mason).  Masonry is a Slurpee, you can get it at 7-11, “ continued the Grand Master.

The Grand Master then proceeded to interrogate Fortesque. He asked him where his soul goes. Then he told him, “You don’t have a Holy Book. The Great Light is the Holy Bible, that’s why we are Christian only.”We just try, he said, “to be tolerant of other faiths.”

Fortesque retorted, “Why do you have to ask me about my religion. I have survived the petition process, multiple interviews, five background checks, home studies and a ton of questions. I’m not here to change anybody. I’m here to be one of you.”

The Grand Master flatly said “We don’t allow comic book religions. Technically you qualify for Masonry but you should consider resigning and finding another place to get your fraternal kicks, somewhere else better suiting your kind of people.”

Now here is demonstrated for all to see the little mind of the Christian Fundamentalist Freemason. The Brother has a COMIC BOOK RELIGION says the little mind. GET YOUR FRATERNAL KICKS SOMEWHERE ELSE BETTER SUITING YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE.  Now isn’t that the embodiment of Masonic tolerance? Doesn’t that just demonstrate how universal Freemasonry is?

MASONRY IS A SLURPEE says the little mind again. Now how’s that for the essence of Masonic knowledge and esoteric thought?

But that’s not all folks! Here comes the kicker.

That religious edict released by the Grand Master of Florida was not the only edict to come from him. Some months back he issued an edict that stated that if you associated with Prince Hall Masons, if you had a picnic or BBQ with them or attended any function outside the Lodge with them, if you even talked to them, then you would be automatically expelled. This goes way beyond Masonic Communication and Masonic Discourse which is already prohibited. Already on the books in Florida, says Fortesque, is the ruling that if you attend a Lodge out of state where they recognize Prince Hall and if there is a Prince Hall Mason in attendance you must get up and leave immediately or be expelled. And if there is a Prince Hall Mason there and you don’t know it you also will be expelled.

This comes on the heels of information from Georgia where four Mainstream Masons were secretly expelled for talking to Prince Hall Masons – talking like, “How’s the weather?” See the source here.

Fortesque was going to go ahead and remain anyway but somewhere between “technically you qualify” and a couple of days afterwards the Grand Master decided to rule  that all Pagan religions were banned.

The Junior Warden, a lawyer, drew up an official letter of resignation where it was stated that he did not meet one of the perquisites to be a Freemason. Yet the Lodge refused to give Fortesque his money back.

Fortesque was only 5 days away from a Master Mason. He pleaded with the Lodge to let him be raised as a Master Mason and that if he did he would resign right afterward. But the answer was no, resign now or be expelled automatically.

Fortesque had a dream, a dream where he was going through the steps of his Grandfather’s rise to 32nd degree Freemason and that along each step of the way he connected to his beloved Grandfather. If he could be raised to the degree of Master Mason and be allowed to resign perhaps he could apply to another state for acceptance and thus continue his dream.

“The Grand Master prejudicated my expulsion, “says Fortesque. “He wanted to be sure I could not petition elsewhere in Freemasonry.”

And here we have the essence of the little minded Fundamentalist Freemason. For you see its one thing to prohibit a certain belief system in your Grand Lodge but it’s another to stick it to the one you do not want to make sure he cannot apply anywhere else. It’s one thing not to recognize another Grand Lodge and prohibit your members to sit in a tyled Communication with them. It’s another to expel them for saying hello in the grocery store.

This vindictiveness, this thought that I have to bury you, shun you, spit on you, curse you and hurt you because you do not agree with me is something that is tearing this country apart. And it is something that not only doesn’t belong in Freemasonry, it is something that Freemasonry is supposed to be above, to have solved, to have created a society where men of different religions, politics, creeds, cultures and economic status can coexist peacefully in a Lodge under the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

Fortesque, an admitted Odinist & Tribalist, is now getting linked to White Supremacy. That’s a way for his detractors to spread hurtful rumors about him.  “I am about family and community,” answers Fortesque as he rejects any connection with any kind of discrimination, especially White Supremacy.  Anybody that knows him realizes that this is just a cheap shot.

VENGENCE IS MINE says the Grand Master. And vengeance he got for Corey Bryson and Duke Fortesque resigned from Freemasonry together.

After resigning they held court on the front steps of their Lodge for 3 ½ hours. “No one could refute what we had to say,” reports Fortesque. “We made our case every time.”

But none would stand up for them, either. “I have to believe what I am told,” said many a Brother of the Lodge. “I have to follow my Grand Master.”

Fortesques says of that, “They are all in self preservation.” And he doesn’t feel any anger towards the Brothers who are staying and knuckling under. He just wishes another jurisdiction would offer to take him in. He just longs to continue his dream.

There remains but a couple of observations to be made about this whole nasty business.

First, those who filled the comments section on the previous articles with tsk, tsk corrections that the Grand Master of Florida had nothing racial to say so how dare I attribute such characteristics to him, I don’t want to hear it. As I have reported previously in Confederate Masonry anti Black and Christian only go hand in hand. The Grand Master of Florida demonstrates this quite readily. But he is not the only one. Talk to the Mainstream Grand Masters of Georgia, West Virginia and Arkansas among others and you will get the same spiel. Yet doesn’t it seem very incongruous that the Black Christian God and the White Christian God aren’t the same in the eyes of these Grand Masters?

Too many Brothers have been armchair quarterbacks, interpreting each individual incident rather than connecting the dots of all the developments. As The Beehive has said before, we need to learn the lessons of Mike McCabe, Gate City Lodge No 2, Frank Haas and Derek Gordon. We need to see the big picture and stop running around with blinders on.

Secondly we need to reiterate once more that Grand Lodges are out of control and that Masons caught in the throes of rogue regimes are powerless to halt the tyrannical use of Grand Lodge power. Grand Lodges today are no longer even bothering to obey their Constitutions and By-Laws.

American Mainstream Masonry must find a way to discipline itself or wither and die on the vine because today’s younger generation and today’s seekers looking for peace and harmony in a righteous setting, a purpose for living and a way to look at life that is uplifting and meaningful, will not join an organization with racial and religious discrimination. It’s as simple as that. Think about it.

More Masonic Purging Florida Style

We are told as Masons to avoid all sectarian religious discussion yet that is exactly what the Mainstream Grand Master of Florida Has done. In one written decision he has embroiled not only Florida Masonry, but Masons from all over the nation in a sectarian argument over religion, an argument that never should have come about.

Here are Mackey’s 19th, 20th and 21st Landmarks.

19. A belief in the existence of God.
20. Subsidiary to this belief in God, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life.
21.  A “Book of the Law” shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge.

And here is how this all came about resulting in the resignation of Brother Corey Bryson of Florida.

My (short) Masonic Career
by Corey Bryson

I had considered for years becoming a Mason before ever taking the first step. I felt I was too busy, didn’t have the extra money, or otherwise just couldn’t commit wholeheartedly to the fraternity. I finally came to the decision in early 2012 that I wanted to pursue becoming a Mason. My life had finally leveled out and normalized. My kids were grown and had lives of their own. I also realized that I was losing my faith in humanity, and becoming jaded and cynical. I was hoping that Freemasonry would restore that faith and help me move along my path towards enlightenment.

PentacleSymbolI contacted my local lodge, filled out my petition and waited for the news. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a fellow Mason and co-religionist had casually mentioned to the Jr. Steward at my lodge that I was a Pagan. I’ve come to learn that there were numerous discussions among the officers of the lodge prior to my initiation as to my suitability for Masonry. They finally agreed to proceed. A home investigation committee came and visited my wife and I at our house. I was asked if I believed in “a God.” I said that I did. I was asked if I believed in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection to a future life. I said that I did. The lodge voted and scheduled my Entered Apprentice degree for May 17, 2012. I was then passed to Fellowcraft on August 2, 2012 (my birthday) and raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason on September 6, 2012.

During this time, another non-Christian was initiated into my lodge. He is an Odinist (and Tribalist) and has no hesitation mentioning his beliefs to anyone. At some point, his catechism instructor had a disagreement with him and allegedly criticized his religion. Tensions flared, the instructor was relieved of his EA class, but no further action was taken. The situation came to the attention of a DDGM, who proceeded to file charges against the instructor.

Ankh SymbolOn the night the charges were to be heard in lodge, the Grand Master of the State of Florida came to the lodge. The charges were read, and discussion commenced. Several brothers stood to defend the accused instructor and cast aspersions on the Entered Apprentice who was at the center of the issue. One brother stood and began stating that some of the verbiage used in the charges (and attributed to the instructor) were commonly used in Paganism, and therefore couldn’t have come from the instructor. Having a fairly deep knowledge base in Pagan religions and practices, I recognized this statement as false. I stood and made this known to the Brothers, admitting that I was a Pagan to lend validity to my statement. After the vote was tallied, the Grand Master stood and began to criticize the lodge for their practices, and proceeded to state that “Paganism is in direct conflict with Freemasonry. No Pagan should ever be initiated into the Craft.”

After the lodge was called to refreshment, I approached the Grand Master and stated that I must respectfully disagree with his statement. I proceeded to tell him that nothing in my religious beliefs were in any way contrary to Masonic Law. He proceeded to ask me if I believed in a monotheistic God. I stated that I did. He then asked if I believed in the immortality of the soul with the resurrection to a future life. I concurred. He then proclaimed that I had no Volume of Sacred Law upon which to take my obligation. I stated that I recognized the “truth” in all VSL’s, and have no issue obligating myself on any. We parted, still not seeing eye to eye.

A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I was to appear before the vigilance committee of my lodge by order of the Grand Master. I appeared before the committee with the assistance of a PM of my lodge who volunteered to assist me. I was asked again the questions relating to 32:16 of the Florida Masonic Digest, and again honestly answered the questions, in agreement with the Digest. I was asked if I was a Pagan, and explained that I used that term to describe my religious practices, but not my belief. Paganism is not Orthodox, and has no set doctrines. It is merely a blanket term for non-Abrahamic faiths. In definition of my beliefs, I stated that I was primarily a Deist. I was further asked if I could uphold Masonic Morality, as exemplified by the Golden Rule and the 10 commandments. I explained that the Golden Rule was a value to aspire to. Concerning the 10 Commandments, I had to educate the committee on the fact that the first 5 commandments were religious commandments that only really apply to Jews, but that the second 5 were values to aspire to as well.

The Committee concluded that there was no reason for further action in my case. Apparently the Grand Master was not satisfied with this decision, and proceeded to issue his Ruling.

After reading the ruling, I felt that I had no choice per my Master Mason Obligation other than to resign as a Mason. This morning, I went to my lodge and submitted my letter of resignation to the Secretary, along with my dues card.

I cannot express how disillusioned I am with Masonry in Florida. I have had communication with Masons around the country who are just as shocked and appalled as I am. I spoke with the Sr. Warden of the Lodge after submitting my resignation, and he repeatedly said that he wanted me to understand that the officers of the lodge did what they thought was the correct thing in accepting me for initiation. He refused to make any definitive statement as to his own feelings. He said that he understood why I was upset, and asked me if I understood where they were coming from. All I could say was that I did. I understood that they were coming from a position of Self-preservation instead of their Masonic Obligations. The amazing part is this man, the Sr. Warden, was so impressed with me as a man and Mason that he was talking with me about serving in the line as recently as a month ago!

Is this really what Masonry is about today? Have we slid so far from the ideals of our Masonic Ancestors that we now require petitioners to define their beliefs, making sure that they use the politically correct terminology? What happened to masonry helping to make good men better? My wife saw it in me in the past seven months. Unfortunately it seems that political infighting and wrestling for power supersedes the search for Further Light, at least in the Grand Lodge of Florida.

Once again we see White Anglo Saxon Protestant only Freemasonry rear its ugly head, a story that The Beehive has been repeating over and over again to the disbelief of many. There is a certain segment of American Freemasonry that wants it to be White only and Christian only. In so doing they have let into their ranks those who practice Christianity in white robes holding burning crosses.

The Mainstream Grand Lodges who look aghast at such practices refuse to do anything about it. They have allowed Freemasonry to be corrupted. They are responsible for the decline in Mainstream membership. All they need to do is declare such Grand Lodges as rogue Grand Lodges practicing bogus Freemasonry and pull recognition from them. The dirty laundry of these rogue Grand Lodges rubs off on the good ones and all of Freemasonry is poised to be flushed down the toilet.

We prefer to lend a blind eye to the lessons of PGM Frank Haas, Derek Gordon, Mike McCabe, Gate City Lodge No 2 of Georgia and others. If we just ignore all this and pretend it doesn’t go on, that it is really none of our business, then we can delude ourselves that everything is right within the world of Freemasonry.

But everything isn’t right and it won’t be until we are determined to make it so.

Freemasonry is supposed to be universal. It crosses across all economic. political, cultural and RELIGIOUS lines. All that most Grand Lodges require is a belief in Deity or a Supreme Being.

I am no authority on the Wiccan religion but friends who are of that persuasion tell me that while Wiccans can call on other spirits, there is only one Supreme Deity. They usually refer to this Supreme Beings as “The One” or “The All.”

Brother Corey Bryson answered all the questions his Lodge had about his religion twice. He said that he believes in one Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul and that he had no issues with any Volume of the Sacred Law. That should have been enough. But not for this Grand Master.

The Grand Master quoted only a small part of the ancient charge he refers to in his edict. Here is the complete text.

“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 charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour 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.”

What happened to “leaving their particular Opinions to themselves?”

The Grand Lodge of Florida F & AM has this to say on its website:

Do you believe in God?

No atheist can be a Mason. Masons do not care what your individual faith is — that is a question between you and your God — but we do require that a man believe in a Supreme Being.

Are you willing to allow others the same right to their own beliefs that you insist on yourself?

Masonry insists on toleration — on the right of each person to think for himself in religious, social and political matters.

“The fact that the builders of King Solomon’s Temple were of differing religions demonstrates that the exclusion of a man from the order due to a difference in opinion in his religious persuasion is certainly prohibited.”
Bro. Terence Satchell, Pietre-Stones

Paganism is not a formal religion but is a generalized term used to describe all non-Abrahamic beliefs. The Grand Master of Florida is saying that only Jews, Christians and Muslims can become Freemasons. That’s absurd and is a corruption of the traditions and long held beliefs of toleration and non conformity to any doctrine that Freemasons have held for Centuries. What about Deists who were Masons and who were instrumental in drafting the Constitution of this great nation? What about Buddhists and Hindus? If you go to India you will see five different Volumes of the Sacred Law on their altars. That is a testament to the universality of Freemasonry.

This Grand Master is codifying his own personal religious beliefs into Freemasonry thereby making the practice of Freemasonry in Florida no longer Freemasonry at all.

“It is impossible to make sense of this edict. The GM in Florida, clearly speaking from the kind of ignorance that should not exist at the highest level of any Masonic Order, seems to think that Pagan, Wiccans, Odinists, Agnostics and Gnostics all do not believe in a supreme being; which no doubt comes as a shock to a good many of those faiths. My guess is this GM is a hardline Christian who believes the definition of “supreme being” must always be the Abrahamic God. The fess-up-and-resign-or-face-a-Masonic-trial bit clearly indicates a witch hunt. Nice.”

“This ranks right down there with the Australian edict against esoterica study in Masonic Lodges.”
Brother and author Karen Kidd

Manly P. Hall summed it up this way:

“The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen who, having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in diverse ways for peoples whose ideals differ but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals. North, east, south and west stretch the diversities of human thought, and while the ideals of man apparently differ, when all is said and the crystallization of form with its false concepts is swept away, one basic truth remains: all existing things are Temple Builders, laboring for a single end. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness. There is no place for little minds in a great work.”
― Manly P. Hall

Soon we will celebrate Christmas, a holiday with Pagan roots, incorporating pre Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice, why don’t we all send Grand Master Jorge L. Aladro, a little mind and a happy Pagan day card?

You can send him one, care of the Grand Lodge at 220 North Ocean Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Mainstream Grand Master Of Florida Expels Wiccans And Others

The Grand Master of Florida’s decision number 3 can be found on the Grand Lodge of Florida website.  The text of the document appears, as transcribed, below.

The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of
Free and Accepted Masons of Florida

Jorge L. Aladro
Grand Master

 Contact info omitted

November 28, 2012


The  question  has  arisen  if  certain  religious  practices  are  compatible  with  Freemasonry,  primarily Paganism, Wiccan and Odinism, and secondarily Agnosticism and Gnosticism.


Section 2. The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida hereby recognizes, as being Landmarks of Freemasonry, the following:

(a)  A belief in the existence of one ever living and true God.
(b) A belief in the immortality of the human soul and a resurrection thereof to a Future Life.
(c)  The Volume of the Sacred Law, open upon the altar, is an indispensable furnishing of every regular Lodge while at labor.

Regulation 1.02 Masonic Law is a rule of fraternal conduct, and applies only to the moral and fraternal rectitude of its members. It is based upon the law of Divine Revelation, therefore, any covenant, affirmation, declaration, assumption, prescription, or requirement derogatory thereto, or in conflict therewith, is void. Hence the precept, “a Mason is bound by his tenure to obey the moral law.”………….




“A Mason is obliged, 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.”……….

Therefore, as Grand Master, it is my Ruling and Decision that none of the above mentioned beliefs and/or practices are compatible with Freemasonry since they do not believe or practice one or more of the prerequisites to be a candidate for Masonry listed above.

Further, any member of the Craft that professes to be a member of one of the groups mentioned above shall  tender his  resignation or  suffer himself to  a  Trial  Commission whose final  outcome will  be expulsion since there is no provision to allow anything contrary to the Ancient Landmarks.

Furthermore, Freemasonry prohibits the change of any of the Ancient Landmarks, and its members admit that it is not in power of any man, or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry.

Your Humble Servant and Brother,

Jorge L. Aladro, Grand Master

                                                    ”Be A Leader; Make It Happen”                                                  

This edict applies to a particular Brother. Full story to follow.

The original document from the website:

Or, you can download the original PDF document as published on the site.