Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bogus D.C. Lodge Draws Attention of Authorities


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.

4 comments:

Christine said...

To be fair and objective about it, this has nothing to do with the regularity of this group as Masons. It has to do with the culture of street violence, hip hop machismo and the insular nature of ignorance and the element of poverty that plagues the urban black community in America. There are regular mainstream and prince hall lodges in black communities that have this same sort of thing happen all the time, because they rent out one of the social halls to groups in the area who do everything from babyshowers to reggae and hip hop club events. If you lived in the NYC or NJ area, you would see this in the news on the regular. Shootings and violence come with the youth and street culture in black urban enclaves in America.

Don said...

As a PHA, although I'd say that I do not stand or support the practice of clandestine masonry, I would disagree that the events/police calls have anything to do with the actual "lodge". It may just have something to do with a social gathering in high-crime areas where co-incidentally the "lodge" may be located.

Not going to paint it up as a grotesque racial issue like the previous commenter did, but I'd say this: those areas are poor areas. Those areas are coincidentally mostly populated by african americans. Poverty and crime usually go together. Hip hop culture/reggae culture has nothing to do with crime.

Chris Hodapp said...

Not making a judgement one way or the other, but clearly, both the city and the neighbors are connecting the high crime rate with the rental policies of the lodge.

SPHINX524 said...

Regardless of the Color of the event goers and neighborhood that the lodge is located in, the general public don't distinguish between whos "regular" and who's "bogus". They see the name Freemason and its assumed that its any and everyone who calls himself a MASON, WHITE or BLACK!!

It should have been noted in reporting the story to the public that this lodge is not considered a "regular" Prince Hall or Mainstream lodge, as it would have given more credence to the problems of this lodge.

The PHA Grand Lodge of DC (Masonic Temple)has hosted many events in the past that have not resulted in this kind of behavior and it should be noted. Although the lodge rented out its hall, its still the Lodge's responsiblity to govern itself accordingly not only internally, but outwardly to the public as well. If they are holding events that disturb the peace of its neighborhood, then they should cease holding events or cease to exist. Legally, they can't be responsible for what happens outside of its doors as its an individual responsibility to obey the law and you cant determine who was actually there (in the lodge) or who is just a trouble make to begin with as that neighboorhood has always been a high crime area before the lodge, BUT if the lodge is attracting the violence due to its patrons, they should be held responsible.

In closing to the readers are NOT Masons. This lodge is not recgonized as a "REGULAR" lodge by an agreed upon Masonic precendence and jurisdictional law. Please do not judge lawful masons by the actions of this "GROUP" as they are not lawful Masons at all, they are simply a group who calls themselves Masons. I live in the DC area (Born and Raised in DC) and this is one lodge that all "REGULAR" Masons are directed to stay away from.

Bro. Lanford
Metropolitan Lodge#161
MWPHGL VA
Leesburg VA