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:
“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.