Sunday, June 05, 2011

Grand Orient of US Loses French Endorsement


My email inbox has been inundated today with messages saying that the Grand Orient de France has voted this weekend to withdraw its treaty of amity with the Grand Orient of the United States. I have no real independent verification of this today, but if true, it's not a good development for the GOUSA, as the GOdF was about the only Masonic jurisdiction of any size or reputation that recognized them.

The Grand Orient of the USA was formed in 2005, and received a patent from the GOdF in 2008. In spite of wildly shifting claims over the last five and a half years, it is unclear how many lodges are really at work under the GOUSA, and how many members it has, outside of Halcyon Lodge in Cleveland, Ohio. Needless to say, it is considered stunningly irregular by mainstream Masonry.

The Grand Orient de France is the largest Masonic obedience in that country with approximately 50,000 members, and is not recognized as regular by the vast majority of mainstream Masonic grand lodges around the world, primarily for its policy of not requiring members to have a belief in a Supreme Being, and more recently for allowing lodges to accept women as members.

If you are not a Mason, and are looking to join the Freemasonry that is recognized the world over as regular and the legitimate heir to the traditions of the lodges that formed the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717, click here to find the regular, recognized grand lodge for your state or region, as well as links to the historically African-American grand lodges of Prince Hall Freemasonry. Be aware that membership in groups like the GOUSA does not allow you to travel and visit more than a tiny handful of their own new lodges, and that the overwhelming majority of the world's Masons will not regard you as a legitimately recognized member. Only you can answer for yourself how important that is to you.

39 comments:

DarthCalvin said...

IS this really a problem?

Chris Hodapp said...

Nope. Just an observation.

Matt Johnson said...

I really can't understand how anyone could call themselves a Freemason and not believe in God. Freemasonry does not make sense without God. Plus, it just ain't a fraternity if women can join. It's political correctness run amok. If women knew what being a Mason does to improve a man, they would force their men to join. IMHO.

Wayfaring Man said...

The Goofus website "Not Your Grandfather's Masonry," lists their contact address as Halcyon, which begs the question of whether there even are any other physical premises at all.

Adieu, Grand-père.

San Diego Freemason said...

Perhaps they can sign a treaty of amity with the 1613 Nation? A whole lot of "lodges" to work with there.

John Galt said...

It really is too bad. The original idea was useful but it got bent out of shape. Such is life.

Brandt

Ambitious said...

I admit, the fact that women are not admitted did give me pause before joining. Historically I get along better with women than men, and I've come to value input from all kinds of folks, regardless of gender, race, or economic situation.

It also makes it harder to defend Freemasonry against charges that it's a "good-ol'-boys" club where only men have access to the various members of the Craft who are in positions of power.

In the end I chalked it up to "separate sacred space". I know some Wiccan groups that don't admit men, and I figure men and women are different enough to require different approaches to studying the Mysteries.

As far as believing in a Supreme Being, a lot depends on your definition. I strongly suspect you could come up with a definition that would satisfy the most ardent atheist, and yet that definition would be so different from that of, say, a Christian or Sikh that they might not recognize it as being belief in a Supreme Being at all.

I'm reluctantly posting this anonymously, because given what I've been hearing from such jurisdictions as Arkansas and West Virginia, I'm concerned that if I signed this comment I'd be expelled. I consider myself a Mason, and do believe in a Supreme Being by my definition, but frankly, Freemasonry hasn't turned out to be the open-minded fraternity I was hoping for.

Grand Consistory Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite said...

If we could get passed who came first the chicken or the egg would it matter?
Question; Who chartered the four Lodges that met over bars and saloons? Why is alcohol forbidden by American Grand Lodges, but the root of Masonry they all claim lineage from met over places that served it?
My point? Too many holes exist in who is or isn't legitimate and kicking our fellow man to the dust is not and never has been a part of any Fremasonry.

Brian said...

To quote Nelson Muntz... HA-HA!

Seamus Stimpson said...

Glad to hear it. I've met many GOF members who are cordial, understanding and, not for nothing, cooperative and acknowledge our boundaries.

With the GOOFUS members (as with many La Droit Humane oddly enough), I've seen, sometimes encountered, a lot of antagonism. They often utilize the antiquities of the french tradition to strive for legitimacy (sadly, the good intentioned person seeking membership may stumble to their liberal leanings. I, as a regular/liberal mason (GL F&AM PA, AF&AM CT), understand how young/liberal members see their tenants as attractive in the face of an old guard that comes off as conservative (often, sadly in my opinion, vague patriotism comes off as a reflection of the right tin america).

What I'm trying to say, in a nutshell, is that I hope this dissolves their spurious order for the sake of interested potential brethren not being confused or led astray.

-Seamus
(Madison Lodge 87, CT, Columbia 91, PA)


p.s.
Chris, I saw that you visited what will soon be my new lodge (I'll hold Dual membership once I give our Secretary the check), Columbia 91, this time last year.

I wish I had swung by or known! I'm happy to know that you came out for the sake of my brethren. You're often the first on my list when recommending modern masonic writers (not counting out ones that tackle the more cerebral end, like De La Hoyes).

I should mention, since this is my first post, that Freemasonry For Dummies is the first thing I recommend to anyone who is learning about us for the first time. Its especially helped in soothing the fears/misunderstandings of many Brethren's spouses. (or future brethren)

Chris Hodapp said...

Many thanks, Seamus. I appreciate it.

masonicinfo said...

Apparently now, instead of saying "Our Masonic lineage can be traced back through the Grand Orient of France to the Grand Lodge of England that was first established in 1717." they'll have to be content to say "Our Masonic lineage can be traced back through a kitchen table in a house near Atlanta, Georgia to several other aborted and grossly misrepresented groups to the removal of membership from regular and recognized Freemasonry by a person who owned that table almost ten years ago."

Of course, there's always the gadfly who rants (often with inappropriate misspellings) about how everybody should be getting along - something we haven't missed here from the so-called Supreme Grand Commander of Another Cooksey Rite of Clermont (A CROC), one of whose blogsites incongruously has the title of edkingmainefreemason.blogspot.com

What a weird world all of these dilettantes live in....

Ed King
www.masonicinfo.com
Who is NOT starting his own Supreme Council, thankyouverymuch!

Faith said...

The original idea was noble, but what a fiasco. GOUSA tried to avoid losing the GOdF patent (which they already suspected were going to lose when 95% of their membership (about 100) resigned in mass last February and March leaving less than a dozen founders. Jeff Peace then "resigned" as GM (replaced by Dale Brown) taking a bullet for the organization, but it was too little too late. GOdF probably noticed that he still "owns" GOUSA (http://corp.sos.state.ga.us/corp/soskb/Corp.asp?1391704). This is a great move on behalf of GOdF.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

MMMMM.... news to me....
can it be true? to be finally Masonic Free?

Not sure as Chris states:" no independant source"......

Thanks and keep up the good work!

editor said...

My understanding is the vote in question actually took place during a GOdF Council of Order meeting in Paris last weekend (28-29 May) after several months of complaints about GOUSA leadership by disgruntled members and ex-members. Apparently GOdF now looks to its own North American Lodges (the "Grand Orient de France en Amérique du Nord") and the George Washington Union (GWU) as its representatives in the US. Several ex-GOUSA members and Lodges have since joined the GWU as well. For its part GWU de-recognized GOUSA earlier this year after an unrelated incident involving GOUSA leadership. In short, 2011 hasn't been a good year for Jeff Peace and company.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

"complaints about GOUSA leadership by disgruntled members and ex-members".......

Disgruntled members= I did not get my way so I will complain very loudly?

a familiar act....... in masonry.

I hope it is true, Masonic Free seems to be the sane way to go... Brotherhood without a tag and titles........ Brotherhood is easy outside the Masonic Fraternity..
Nothing to piss and moan about!

Again, if I hear anything Chris, I will pass it on... Halcyon still has its Temple, we still have great brothers around the country, and all without "disgruntled members"......
take care

WBS said...

When 95% of an organization is disgruntled it should send up warning flags. A mason with out any affiliation whatsoever is usually referred to as a non mason[or former mason]. I had some phone contact with Dale Brown some months ago. He basically outright lied to me. Thus, I for one am happy to see them go.

email said...

This is an interesting, and if true, sad development. Interesting because those at the heart of the news are not able to provide their direct source, and those in leadership at the organization state that there is a lengthy process involved for this action to take place and GOdF has had no communication with GOUSA. Could anyone who is in a position to know the facts, please provide them? I would be pleased to see this rumor proven one way or the other.

San Diego Freemason said...

I was informed by someone who shall have to remain nameless, that the GOdF's Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Alain Fumaz, sent an email stating that at a meeting which took place on the weekend of the 4th,the GOdF voted to terminate the treaty with the GOUSA and revoke the patents that had been issued.

Of course this process could take some time, including the return of the patents to Paris.

email said...

Who were the email(s) sent to? I have not studied the Treaty, but am told there is a process in place within the treaty that calls for a dialog to be initiated in the event of "disputes". I would think that GOUSA would be the first or one of the first to know of any such vote. Is it possible for the text of the said email to be released without a direct reference to the receiver? If any reference to "secrecy" is made, I find it interesting that news has been released without a source. Whether the news is true or not, the situation at the moment is but a rumor. Lets get to the bottom of the rumor, eh? Either way, this is too important to be left in a fog. Stephen Quest

San Diego Freemason said...

Stephen,

I was informed of this by three individuals whom I have no reason to doubt. I have not seen or heard anything official either, and I am not aware that the GOdF has issued any official statement yet (of course such a statement would be relayed to the various obediences, not to the general public).

All I know is what I have been told by people that are/have been in contact with GOdF representatives.

Possibly the Council of the GOdF voted to terminate the treaty and that was passed on to certain people without any formal action yet taken on the part of GOdF.

As far as I know,the vote occurred. I guess we will have to wait and see what transpires.

email said...

For the record, I have just been contacted by a source that I trust implicitly, my first contact with GOUSA several years ago. I now believe the story to be true. It's a sad day for Feeemasonry.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

My Brothers…… Is it the True Masonic Spirit to deal in rumors and speculation when dealing with another human?

Do not let your zeal for the institution….. etc.

Just like throughout history: Cain and Abel, and Remus and Romulus are just a couple of examples of sibling rivalry, rivalries that led to death and destruction of their Brother!

The Brothers of the GOUSA have not attacked any Brothers on any public forum and are just trying to move along their original path. Now, just because a few brothers wanted to change that course, or have agenda’s of their own implemented, and were stopped, the results now have the ed kings and peter yancey’s enjoying the attempt at the destruction of brothers? How that is Masonic I am not sure, but I was one those who voluntarily left the mainstream system, and those negative ways of behavior.

My personal journey via the blogosphere was to try and bring Light to our situation at Halcyon and a tyrannical GL. No Masonic trial was ever held to see if we did anything unmasonic, and an American court of law found us not to have broken any rules or laws.
So, we do not have a History of lying, or acting improper within the Masonic Community. We have been truthful about the Halcyon situation from day one. Why we would start lying now about the GWU split, who did what first and this supposed GodF rumor?

Just like Hypatia and Copernicus, we understand that “Beacons of Light” are always attacked when in the midst of Darkness; and that brothers will fight and hate with a zealousness that is easily fomented by rumor mongers, people with hatred, and by those with a lack of understanding of how a minority could stand tall in the face of tyranny and inside attempts at takeovers. We are different and like it. I have learned that a mason is a mason is a mason; whether they believe in God or not, they are still a mason and act as such!

So, ed king: no we won’t be meeting at a dinner table in Atlanta. Instead we meet at a conference table in the heart of Halcyon Temple. Not only that, we also open in one of the nicest Lodge Rooms still left in the country. Peter, I am sure who ever is feeding info, specifically so you will go public with it, would never lie, lead astray or have an agenda? (Truth bearers do not need to remain nameless) Uh, ok? Believe what you will, that is true Liberty.

Thank you Bro Quest for showing a Level approach that exemplifies what a mason should be in their actions or reactions. Search for Truth before casting Judgements! A Novel approach, and a Nobel Trait.

C'est la vie
Tom

masonicinfo said...

What we DO know, of course, is that the Founder and Grand Master for 5 years (I said "life" - and apparently I was wrong.... but maybe not!), has been removed from office after only 2 or so years.

When that happened, suddenly Sirius Lodge, which had morphed through all of their name changes, suddenly went off the web. How odd is that?

And at the same time, tracingboard.com (once promised to ME! ) disappeared as well.

Both of these occurred without notice and yet, Mr. Brown claims new lodges are forming and to prove it, creates a blogsite for a lodge ostensibly in Los Angeles - no further address given. Yeah, right!

And it seems awfully curious that you, Mr. Quest, claim to not know what's going on. Aren't you part of that canoe club?

I'm just wondering if the new GM will offer me money from the Halcyon coffers to take down all the things I've written about their group. Hey, it wouldn't be the first time!

Ed King
Owner/Webmaster, www.masonicinfo.com Anti-Masonry: Points of View

2 BOWL CAIN said...

ed king states:"I'm just wondering if the new GM will offer me money from the Halcyon coffers to take down all the things I've written about their group. Hey, it wouldn't be the first time!"

Someone offered you money out of the Halcyon coffers?

What the heck are you smoking now?

I'm calling you out on this one! name names! I know all who would have access to our coffers, and not one of them cares about your website or anything you have to say about us.
FACT!
so, lay it out with facts eddie, no more BS statements just thrown around with no proof.

You really do live in a fantasy world, and hodapp is no better for allowing you to run BS like this!

This is the best you can resort to now? what does sirius and tracingboard have to do with GOdF?
What makes you think any GOUSA member cares about you and your lies?

we don't, so keep fabricating stuff along with peter and have hodapp run it for you..

Integrity?
Thanks for the laugh eddie and chris...too funny now........

John Galt said...

So, is it true or not?

I have never heard of, nor seen, any effort of the Grand Orient of the United States making an offer to Ed King to take down any material for money or not. I was Grand Secretary for a while, until the accusations of wanting to start a Christian only fraternity or wanting high degrees came about. I would have heard about, or should have heard about any offers of money.

Seamus Stimpson said...

Wasn't going to jump in, but I'm going to have to.
Brother King has to have one of the most patient minds out there. WIth the amount of psychotic anti-masons and frustrating irregular lodges out there without loosing it is truly an admirable example of patience.

Also, A rivalry between the Recognized GLs and GOUSA? Really? Most masons don't know that the GOUSA exists (existed?).

A fantasy world is a small ohio lodge and a bunch of unverified internet lodges which claim some kind of a rivalry between millions of regular masons and one tiny fake grand lodge.

masonicinfo said...

Come on, Tommy: be creative. Think really hard. I'm sure you can figure this one out if you just try. (Brandt: you were gone long before April 24, 2011 so you wouldn't have been consulted - not that you were regularly consulted anyway but that's another matter.)

Do you REALLY think that I'd make a claim without having facts in hand? PROVABLE facts?

It's so laughable for somebody from GOOFUS to be demanding proof when your group NEVER provides anything but obfuscation and verbal dancing. Ask a direct question and there's either a rant or a lecture on inappropriateness. We're not entitled to facts - but you think you can bluster and demand them?

Suffice it to say, Chris has had a copy of the e-mail in question for a few weeks now, complete with headers. He knows...

Look for the rocketmail and you'll have your answer. But heck, it was only a measley $10,000. I was insulted frankly. If there had been a couple of more zeros on the end, I might not have laughed so hard. Still, I'm not about to give up my integrity as you boys didn't mind doing at all, it seems.

You know if I wrote it, it's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me.... Oh, wait: can't say that with all the atheistic dancing going on over there now, eh? Shucks.

Nighty-night!

Ed King
Webmaster Factualiare
http://www.masonicinfo.com/goofus.htm

OH, WOW: the challenge word for tonight is "FECES". How appropriate for a discussion about GOOFUS, huh? - Oh, and I have a screen capture to prove it. Just like I keep proof of EVERYTHING I write. Got it, Tommy?

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Nope Eddie, I still do not get it.

All alledged funds are in the charity. Halcyon Lodge 2 does not have nor have access to those funds.

The GOUSA does not have nor have access to those funds.

I assure you I know exactly who has access to the funds, and none of them know who you are, visit masonic web blogs or forums.

So again, I ask a simple question: Name?

Without name, you are the making baseless claims and distractions, not me.

Now, you ask me do really think you, a mason, would make baseless claims?

yes.

From my experience from first getting engaged in the Halcyon situation years ago, long before it became "public", that was all I ran into. Males who had no problem, nor hesitation to spread garbage without any basis at all. Never fact checking on what was truth first, before spreading what was just whispered to them....

All the way to the county courts, mason's stuck to their guns about our wrong doings. Never checking facts or caring if the facts that they checked were truths or lies.

I also learned that if a "fact" fits ones ideals and agenda's, there is less a chance that the human will remain silent till truth checked 3 times before repeating it.

Eddie, I do not doubt you may have recieved an email, alledging to be from "Halcyon", with the alledged ability to "cut a check"..... you may have.. but until the identity and ip address our confirmed: brad colfield or a disgruntled ex GOUSA person who felt the need to stir stuff up on their way out.

So, until we all know who made the "alledged" offer: just you, chris and "the halcyon turncoat" are the only ones in the know, and still remains a baseless allegation and a lie until proven otherwise.

Dealing in rumors and baseless claims seems to be a common theme again whenever I interact with "recognized, regular masons"?

The courts speak for Halcyon and whether or not I speak the Truth.

You are still in question.

Happy Fathers Day all!

email said...

My Brothers and Sisters all:

I wish to take the opportunity this situation presents and to use this respected forum to bid a fond farewell to all my friends and to the Fraternity of Freemasonry.

After 30 years a Mason, I am just too old to endure a continuation of all the petty BS. A dear friend and Brother of mine has told me "All organizations are great until you get people involved." How true that is.

Not that I expect to be missed, I am taking down the website and Yahoo Groups that have been formed for The Foundation of Universal Freemasonry, and will no longer be actively involved in the promotion of Freemasonry. I will check in online every now and then to see how things are going and I wish everyone nothing but the best in their personal and Masonic endeavors.

"Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit"

Deepest Fraternal Love,

Stephen Quest

San Diego Freemason said...

Stephen,

I wish you the best in your future journey, wherever that takes you.

Two hours ago my obedience, the GWU posted the following on their Facebook page:

"GWU-George Washington Union of Freemasons:

GODF, GOUSA, GWU
The Grand Orient of France has taken the patent away from the Grand Orient of the USA. From then on, the Council of the Order of the Grand Orient de France confirms its full support to George Washington Union and its Executive Board to advocate, in North America, the absolute freedom of conscience, and develop a renewed mixed-gender Freemasonry."

I have not heard anything formally yet via my lodge, but it is more information other than from private sources.

Praxis Lodge said...

Just an FYI, many of the lodges and/or members (disgruntled or not) that left GOUSA are now affiliated with George Washington Union. In fact, the affiliation of Praxis Lodge (Boise, ID) with GWU occurred yesterday (June 19) at a very significant lodge meeting, attended by key members of GWU, which also followed the first initiation of a woman in the State of Idaho. So, despite the news, a lot of very positive things are still happening.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Did not know the GWU were the official spokesmen for the GOdF?

Still nothing from the GOdF, though?

Despite the facts presented by the GWU,the patents are still in our possession?

No communication has been had about the return of the patents, nor our ties being severed?

So, the GOUSA and the GOdF, whose treaty's and patents with each other, which have nothing to do with the GWU, but somehow they are the only ones with this information?

Again, I am patient and can wait till it comes from the source, the GOdF, not a group who felt threatened when the GOdF allowed women to join,and then so did the GOUSA, which would infringe on their co-masonic arena. Their are American men and women who want an American Orient masonry, one not ran and controlled by French ex pat's.

Thanks for posting what your order is claiming, peter, but until the GOdF make's an official statement, or informs us personally, its no more than a rumor, again.

Just because the GWU claims it, does make it true? But as we have seen, no too many are worried about fact checking before throwing stuff out there.

Just like the split between GWU and GOUSA, chris received dated material showing when things really did happen, we did not feel it needed to be public, but the GWU wanted it to be public and make it seem like it happened in a different manner than it really did.

So, as an Orient mason, I will wait again till they deal with us, why the GOdF would use the GWU as there spokesmen does not fit logic. They are an old institution that can handle their affairs, why would they need the GWU for press releases?

take care all, and it was a pleasure breaking bread with you steve.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

still same status......
patents still in possession?
hope the GWU will have more official news soon since the GOdF has yet to announce anything....

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Dear Chris and Peter,
any more substantial proof about your claims? I am still waiting for viable proof.....

Eddie,
Still waiting on name and ip address of the alleged Halcyon member who offered a bribe!

Something must be good about the GOUSA; since our inception there has been multiple attempts of wresting control and changing original agenda's from the founders, as well as this latest attempt of rumor mongering? Not one shred of any real evidence to back any of these "claims" have been produced?
Not one?

But the established organization that stands for Truth does not really seem to care about Truth at all? apparently digging for Truth is too much Labor, and we know masons really despise Labor for Truth.

I patiently await......

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Anything factual yet? Chris? Peter? You two got this ball rolling without facts!
So glad to see regular, recognized masons dealing in Truth! Lmao. Sorry I find it humorous that since a GOUSA mason, and a Grand officer (whatever that's worth) , dispelled rumor's and all quiet now?
Pete, anything. Don't you think you should out the liars that had you spewing garbage and untruths? Or is lying and spreading lies normal MASONIC behavior that goes in punished. In GWU or Grand Lodge masonry?
Thanks again fellas!
Didier is not a what he seems. I've broke bread with him!

email said...

Brother Tom:

I have been meaning to ask you for quite some time, could you please tell me what the the "2 Bowl" refers to in your screen name?

2 BOWL CAIN said...

When I was first raised, the elders in my Lodge roped me into a Masonic Bowling League.
It stemmed from there.......

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Also, you would not believe the amount of masons who felt the name spelled out was a crime. So, changing the spelling, but keeping the sound (tubul) was the another reason.
People take that stuff serious!