The city authorities in Washington D.C. have refused to renew a permit for a local Masonic lodge that would allow the owners to rent their temple to outside organizations, citing several recent incidents of violent crimes involving young people on the premises. The story is in today's Washington Examiner, and paints a less than flattering picture of the lodge.
There's just one problem.
It's a bogus "masonic" group that has precisely nothing to do with regular, recognized Freemasonry.
The Most Worshipful King Solomon Grand Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons Inc. refers to its D.C. location at 2245 Rhode Island Avenue as the "Holy See." Unfortunately, readers see the term "Masonic lodge" and figure it's "those Freemasons."
They have nothing to do with either the Grand Lodge of Free And Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia, or the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons, Prince Hall Affiliation, of the District of Columbia, Inc, the only two regular and widely recognized grand lodges in the District.
From "D.C. cracks down on Masonic Lodge in NE" by Ben Giles:
D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on Thursday said the city has not renewed a license that would allow a Masonic lodge in Northeast to continue renting out space to host public events, citing a recent string of violent crimes linked to youth activities held at the building.
Although Masons can still meet as an organization at the King Solomon Grand Lodge on Rhode Island Avenue and hold free events, lodge members objected to the city's action. They said officials had not properly notified them to public concerns of violence in the vicinity of the lodge.
"While the good members that run this lodge wanted to help the community and help kids, it was the license on weekends that was causing serious concerns in the community," Attorney General Peter Nickles said.
Records showed that 114 calls for a police response within 1,000 feet of the lodge were made in the past six months.
Those calls included one for a teenager being shot in the leg, and another for a teenager being severely beaten.
And the volume of calls for service in the area hurt police's ability to respond to other 5th District calls, Chief Cathy Lanier said.
Residents also began an online petition urging the city to close the lodge.
Seriously, 114 police calls within the last 6 months?
According to the Phylaxis Society's Commission on Bogus Masonic practices, "There are more African American bogus Grand Lodges in the United States than there are legitimate Grand Lodges around the world." The "Most Worshipful King Solomon Grand Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons Inc" is one of at least four such bogus grand lodges currently at work in Washington, D.C.
For an eye opener, check out the website and look up your state.