Some new wrinkles have appeared in the ongoing troubles in West Virginia.
First, the Grand Lodge of West Virginia's website is apparently engaging in the rewriting of history by removing MWBro. Frank Hass from its list of Past Grand Masters. While it is one thing for a Grand Master to expel a Mason from the fraternity (and sources conflict over whether the GM in WVa has the power to do that legally without a trial), it is quite another to then erase him from the published history of the fraternity.
Apparently, Haas is doubleplus ungood and a potential Goldstein. So he has been made an un-person. Can the two-minute hate be far behind?
Second, the Philalethes Society has announced that PGM Haas will be the keynote speaker at the Society's annual Feast and Forum in Washington DC on February 8th, 2008.
Backchannel, I have received messages that the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is the only mainstream U.S. Grand Lodge that does not participate in the George Washington Masonic National Memorial; the Masonic Service Association; or the North American Conference of Grand Masters. It does not recognize its Prince Hall counterpart, nor does it consider the Scottish Rite, York Rite, or Eastern Star to be appendant Masonic organizations. And it does not support the Masonic youth groups in any way. WVa Masons must join the closest geographical lodge to their residence, may not be plural members, and if they move out of state, they must relinquish their WVa membership if they wish to join a lodge in their new home state.
West Virginia continues to isolate itself from the rest of the Masonic world, and its leadership seems to be committed to that path of isolation for the foreseeable future.