Tuesday, November 20, 2007

West Virginia Past Grand Master Expelled

Effective Monday, November 19th, Charles L. Montgomery, Grand Master of Masons in West Virginia, has expelled Most Worshipful Brother Frank Haas, Past Grand Master 2005-6, from Freemasonry, by edict, at a meeting of Wellsburg Lodge No. 2. Wellsburg Lodge’s charter was placed on probation for failing to hold a trial of MWBro. Haas for his "activities" of the last 14 months.

Wbro. Richard Bosely, Deputy Grand Lecturer, was also expelled. Two weeks ago in a stated meeting, Wbro. Bosley brought up questions about votes taken in Grand Lodge's session in October, and was subsequently stripped of his grand officer status in the parking lot by Grand Master Montgomery after the meeting.

I met PGM Haas in Pennsylvania at the first speech I gave after Freemasons For Dummies was released, and I have admired him ever since. He has always seemed to me boundlessly cheerful, with a bright vision for the future of Freemasonry. He has especially been dedicated to assisting Demolay, which the Grand Lodge of West Virginia does not support. He had as his goal during his tenure as Grand Master the hope of bringing West Virginia's Masons forward in time. Apparently, there are those who disagreed with that vision, and have taken issue with him now that he is not Grand Master.

And now he has been silenced.

19 comments:

Chris Hodapp said...

Anonymous comment (and what would have then been a meaningless post after it) removed.

Anonymous said...

I have a question that concerns my education. If the now expelled Brother was a Past Grand Master, wouldn't his title be Most Worshipful instead of Right Worshipful?

That's how it is in my jurisdiction but isn't that standard?

Also, I thought that a title or a member couldn't be taken away from a Brother without a Masonic trial. Is that not the case everywhere?

Elim

Chris Hodapp said...

Brother Elim,

Right Worshipful, Most Worshipful and Very Worshipful are titles that vary from one jurisdiction to another. I took a guess at Right Worshipful for a PGM and Most Worshipful for a sitting GM. A WVa Mason may wish to correct me.

In most jurisdictions, a Grand Master may suspend or expel a Mason without a trial being called. It can be for a fixed period, or an indeterminate one. The GM's actions are then reviewed by a grievances and appeals committee just prior to Grand Lodge which determines whether the GM's actions broke any Grand Lodge rules. Then the assembled Grand lodge next october votes as to whether or not to uphold the GM's suspension order. But the upshot, in WVa anyway, is that the brothers in question are suspended until next October when Grand Lodge convenes. Not all Grand Lodges require a trial in the case of a GM's order of suspension or expulsion.

In some states, like Indiana, there is precedent for the next Grand Master to reverse the suspension or expulsion ordered by his predecessor by his own edict, and restore membership. What one GM can taketh, another can giveth back. Again, GLs have very different rules. Even if GL rules in WVa require a trial, it is also possible for the GM to expel them, not call for a trial, not allow their lodges to hold trials either, and go ahead and let the convened Grand Lodge next October rule his actions improper. By doing that, he might break some rules, but succeed in ridding himself of men he perceives to be a problem.

I leave it to you to determine motive in such a case.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Brother Hodapp! I did not know this.

I do not want to comment on this incident because I do not have all the facts on hand.

I appreciate the hard work you've put in this blog!

Elim

Errol said...

Excuse me saying so Chris, but this seems absolutely retarded. An outsider looking in does not get a good feeling on the universality of Masonry. My heart goes out to your friends in WVA.

Anonymous said...

Brother Chris... it is Most Woshipful here in WV. It is a sad day for us. There is literally a feeling of mourning. Right now the best place for information on what is going on here is www.masonic-crusade.com

A Mason

Anonymous said...

MWB Haas will always be welcomed at Halcyon Lodge.

-Halcyon Lodge Free Mason

John Galt said...

It is just sick that this has happened. I understand anyone coming down on me. Coming down on these Brothers is just reprehensible.

Brandt

Anonymous said...

Brother Chris,

I sincerely apologize for posting the comment regarding WV and the website masonic-crusade as anonymous. I assure you it would be my sincere desire to post as myself. The situation here is desperate and I cannot take the chance that my name is discovered. This is no way for Masons to meet!

A Mason

Chris Hodapp said...

I made the "Most" Worshipful edit in the original post. I learn something new every day.

Meanwhile, West Virginia Masons are in dire straits these days, and no one understands your need for protecting your identity better than me.

Anonymous said...

My Brothers!
Stay Vigilant to your cause and give my love to the expelled Brothers.
Keep your head down and thoughts high!

may Light shine on your endeavors
Brother Tom Coste
Halcyon

Anonymous said...

Wellsburg Lodge No. 7

-Halcyon Lodge Member

You may LOL or ROFLOL but without question if Freemasonry is having major issue from coast-to-coast.

The new Freed Masons" with all due respect to your fine work do not need a Dummies book.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god the sky is falling!

H. Rubelo

The Relevant Mason said...

I will offer prayer for these Brothers in WV that are obviously have a turbulant time. Times of transition are tough.

Joseph Gollie said...

Mr. Mongomery appears to have a personal vendetta with Mr. Haas and other WV masons, who want to move WV masonry into the realm of 21st century thinking. Leadership like Mr. Mongomery has displayed can only lead to a deeper divide between WV masons. It's time for WV masonry to move forward. Leaders like Mr. Montgomery must either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Chris Hodapp said...

A good friend of mine these days sadly refers to West Virginia as the North Korea of Freemasonry.

Like North Korea, the outside world cannot force them to have a revolution. It is only when the brethren of WVa decide for themselves to reject the leadership and the regulations that bind them that they will be able to chart a new direction. Unfortunately, it is now a race - will Freemasonry wither on the vine there before those changes can be made?

One thing is certain: the instantaneous nature of the Internet makes it impossible for a Grand Master to engage in activities that remain a secret anymore. Lodges all across his state can find out about actions in the blink of an eye.

daring said...

While everyone understands that anonymous comments have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers on Masonic sites, I believe anyone involved or even peering in the window at WV Grand Lodge and it's current "leader" can understand the need of anonynimity right now. However, I would like to say that in view of all the 'expelling' Charlie (not worthy of anything imho) is doing, how is he serving Grand Lodge in any positive manner? Ohio Masons are refused entrance to lodge rooms out of fear of repercussion from Charlie, he has expelled to date 3 very worthy Masons that I have knowledge of at this time. This man serves no one but himself and his 'cacklers'. I am NOT a Mason Charlie, so do not go on a head hunt for the person writing this. You've done enough damage, your son would be ashamed of you if he were still alive. You should think of your honor and your name. Is this what you want it to become? Your legacy as the worst GM ...a sneak, a liar, and worst of all an immoral Mason? I'm ashamed, and my Grandfather would haunt you if he had any idea of what you do to Masonry, as would many other of the "old" Masons.

daring said...

I apologize for getting off track on my last post. I really wanted to state that Past Grand Master Most Worshipful Frank Haas is a fine man, honest and worthy of title and respect.

Buck Hill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.