Thursday, September 08, 2011

Grand Orient of USA Officially Loses GOF Backing


I've heard the rumor for months, and reported it back in June, but I finally have the actual letter in hand. On August 29th, 2011, the Grand Orient of France issued the following letter concerning the fledgling Grand Orient of the United States of America:

We wanted to inform you that in its plenary session on 27 and 28 May the Council of the Order of the Grand Orient of France took the decision to terminate the agreement with the Grand Orient of the United States of America (GOUS) and the withdrawal of the licenses that had been granted.


It is signed by Jacques Sima, Grand Secretary of External Affairs.

Thus ends any serious claim of cooperation between the GOF and the GOUSA.

I have also received documentation that shows the GOUSA's claims of having a lodge in Washington, D.C.—Benjamin Franklin Lodge—are false (I have seen tax forms from its legal owner), along with their continued claims of amity with the GOF.

Perhaps at long last this distraction of deception and chaos can finally come to an end.

Stand by for the flurry of angry denials from the Halcyon boyz...

H/T to Stephen Quest.

59 comments:

Nathan said...

Finally came to their senses, did they? Good.

ptk1071 said...

I was wondering why this popped up on my news reader this morning:
http://halcyontemple.org/a-message-to-all-freemasons/

No mention of the issue with GOoF but now that I see your post it makes sense.

Cheers

Andrew Perry said...

@ptk1071 - I like that video that Halcyon put up. It's inspirational. Personally, I'm rooting for them!

Hooah!

George the 3rd said...

Trouble is, if they are given an "inch", they will call it a "mile". Football is a game. Is that what they're playing? A game?

Magus Masonica said...

Why care? GOdF are just another group of "fake" Masons right?

Hypocrites.

editor said...

This should come as a surprise to no one. Earlier this year GOUSA lost a lot of members and Lodges (including the remnants of the aforementioned Benjamin Franklin Lodge, which used to be a GOUSA Lodge but hasn't been for some time now) to the George Washington Union precisely because of this. The writing has been on the wall for MONTHS. We're finally hearing about it in an official capacity now because GOdF went dark over the summer.

Chris Hodapp said...

They've been denying this action by GOF since May. Now here's the proof.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

And this changed the price of tea in China by how much?

The GOdF means about as much to Halcyon as did the Grand Lodge of Ohio. We are an internally focused Lodge that woke-up one day and realized that no one was coming to the rescue, so we took the future into our hands.

All of you could benefit from a quick reading of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance". When your Lodge is self-reliant you are completely insulated from GL politics, fighting between the Rites, and other worthless non-sense.

Chris Hodapp said...

Funny how you've been denying it for months and goading everyone for proof. Now it doesn't matter? Got it.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Please point out where Halcyon Lodge either denied or commented on any of this. The fact is, we could have cared less. We've been busy initiating Apprentices and restoring our temple.

As Rich Graeter has stated countless times - Grand Lodges are like a "giant hairballs" that suck you into their orbits, and their problems.

If the GOdF, GOUSA, GLO, etc. ever tried to suck us into its problems we would drop them like a hot potato.

At this point (as far as we are aware) we are the last Masonically owned building in the city of Cleveland. The Scottish Rite was forced to sell their building and then rent space from the new owners. We would have lost our building if we relied on others, or continued to delude ourselves that the Grand Lodge would save us.

Wake-up Chris! Use a little common sense.

masonicinfo said...

It's SO comical! Now it's "American Freemasonry for Americans" where just a few months ago, their entire legitimacy claim was based on their having bought the right to use the GOdF rituals. Wonder what they're using now - and if they sent back the cute plate that Tom Coste bragged about so much.

Of course, now that they don't have the legitimacy claim, they don't have very much at all except their "partners" who have no clue whatsoever of who they are. Don't believe it? Call ANY of them and ask!

Good thing they've got a guy from Alabama to build them a website 'cause they ain't got nothin' much beyond that - IMO (shared by all but them and two guys from California).

Ed King

masonicinfo said...

And one other question: does Tom actually have a clue????

http://tubulcain420.blogspot.com/2011/07/status-still-same-yep.html

Just askin'....

Ed King

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Mr. King, your website claims that you state just the facts and that all you want is to disclose the truth. Of course you don't allow any to question your "truth" on your website.

In the interest of fairness and truth we invite you to a friendly debate at Halcyon that will be recorded on video and published on YouTube for all to see. We will hire a retired judge or attorney to oversee the debate. It will be held in the conference room at the temple.

Bring with you all your "proof" and "facts" and we'll have ours as well. Feel free to bring Hodapp and other "experts" if you need to.

The debate will be on Saturday, November 5, 2011. If you are so confident that you know all the facts this is your chance to prove it to the world. If you don't show up for the debate it tells everyone all they need to know about you and your "facts".

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Further, Mr. King, you may want to consider that the Grand Lodge of Ohio "knew all the facts" until they had to prove them in front of a judge. It's one thing to make a bunch of claims on your personal website, and another to prove them in front of an objective third party.

We're not afraid to tell our story on camera, are you?

email said...

Respectfully, I believe the conversation has gotten off topic.

If the conversation is to be about Halcyon Lodge, I would ask whoever is speaking on behalf of the Lodge if the Lodge is going to drop GOUSA "like a hot potato", because the Lodge now finds itself smack dab in the middle of "the problems".

If the conversation is to be about GOUSA, I would ask that an official statement be provided explaining this development and charting a course for the Grand Orient now that it is isolated from its source and will more than likely soon be isolated by the withdrawal of the Treaties of Amity and Solidarity that were signed under the labors of the former Grand Secretary of External Affairs.

Concerning a debate, I can only quote George Bernard Shaw: "I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." No offense intended against anyone, just a statement I believe relative to the situation.

I think it is a waste of time to rehash the past. Who has the plan for the future?

Stephen Quest.'.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

The "pig" is the whole Grand Lodge system. The longer you wrestle with it, the dirtier you become. The Grand Lodge of Ohio never helped Halcyon in any way, all it did was impair us from growing and restoring our temple.

Whether its the French fighting with CLIPSAS, the GOUSA fighting with the French, or the Knights Templar fighting with the Grand Lodges, it's the same giant hairball sucking the life out of your lodge.

Our advice to all Masons is to BBQ the pigs and restore the spirit of Freemasonry.

email said...

I tend to agree. So then, is Halcyon Lodge going to "drop" GOUSA?

Tom Accuosti said...

"Respectfully, I believe the conversation has gotten off topic."

It's beyond off topic. Halcyon, the GOUSA, and several other independent lodges went off on their own a few years ago to do great things - or at least, things - without any interference from the rest of us hairballs, er, mainstream guys.

And it's really unfortunate that instead of spending the time and energy to get their own house in order, they choose to waste it on arguing about, well, something, although for the life of me I can't figure out what. I mean, they are affiliated with GOdF or they aren't - and if they aren't, it's certainly not the fault of the mainstream GLs.

And certainly, complaining about Ed King or bickering on Chris Hodapp's blog is not going to resolve anything for them. In fact, all it does is to remind people why we've all enjoyed the relative peace and quiet of the last few years.

masonicinfo said...

Unsigned challenges in the comments of a blog coupled with ridiculous expectations. It's so comical. Besides, I'm having a pedicure that day - or is it a motorcycle club meeting? Whatever....

You kiddies should get Dale to help you use your website if you've got something to say about how mean I've been to you. Want to argue about "facts"? Do you have ANY legitimacy? With the French Connection you didn't but you've got even less now. (What's zero minus one?)

And if you don't like Dale (since you seem quite ready to thrown GOOFUS under the bus), perhaps you could get one of your many "partners" like Microsoft and Intuit to help you out with your great plans.

What's that quote about tangled webs and deceiving?

I've got to go 'partner' now with Kohler while I ponder more of the Halycon Hogwash. WAIT! There's a PERFECT title for a new page at www.masonicinfo.com

Coming soon to a website near you!

Kisses to all!
Ed King
(who's not afraid to sign even when everyone knows who he is)

Faith said...

I noticed the gang of 5 at Halcyon got really quiet when asked to eat their own dog food, asking lodges to become independent of Grand Lodges and Grand Orients, but not willing nor able to do the same itself from GOUSA. I am sure this is not what they preached to other lodges in GOUSA before they lost just about every member they had at the beginning of this year. The good news is I hear that just about all those who left are doing great more than doubling in size since leaving GOUSA... less toxicity in their air.
- F. Field

John Slifko said...

Dear All:

This is my first post. It is a pleasure to be here at this really remarkable blog. I am reading the different postings as a treasure house but I have taken a particular interest in this thread concerning the Grand Orient of France and the GO USA. Thanks to Brother Chris and congratulations on such a site overall. I am now a regular!

Frat. John Slifko

editor said...

Free advice: Halcyon should take heed of Bro. Quest's suggestion and drop GOUSA. You guys have property and a charity to look after. Take them seriously. I sincerely wish you all the best in both. Indeed, you shouldn't let "hairballs" get in the way.

All the other remaining Lodges in GOUSA are -- as far as I know -- one- or two-person concerns now. Please correct me if I'm mistaken. Jeff Peace was quite obviously forced out as GOUSA grand master after the debacle in January involving the loss of Praxis and Benjamin Franklin, which in turn directly contributed to the loss of amity with GOdF (something a lot of us took seriously yet saw coming a long time ago; imagine that).

Peace wanted GOUSA to be run as a "business." Well, the GOUSA brand is now tarnished beyond repair. Did GOUSA try to mend fences with GOdF even though it had ample time to do so? Has GOUSA issued any sort of statement about this development even though it's been official for a couple weeks now? I don't think so. Nothing on their web site, no tweets, no blog posts, no nothing. Obviously, GOUSA doesn't care. It should.

No established liberal Masonic order in the world will take GOUSA seriously after being unceremoniously dropped by GOdF like it was, never mind the Blue Lodge system. It's now effectively shunned by both systems. In my humble opinion Dale Brown inherited a mortally wounded group as a result of Peace's incompetence. I feel sorry for Dale ... kind of.

Do my brothers at Halcyon really want this stigma, this anchor hung around their necks? You're the ones with the assets, not GOUSA. Why don't you grow a set and make a decision for yourselves for a change, instead of acquiesce to the outside leadership of GOUSA?

As for Praxis, we're doing fine. We recently initiated three female Entered Apprentices. We're happy with our new home in the George Washington Union. GWU has very strong ties with GOdF and is run by grownups who appreciate democratic traditions. It's a refreshing change to be sure.

Lane Startin
Praxis Lodge GWU
Boise, ID

email said...

It’s good to see a couple of the key players weigh in. I want to go on record as saying that I still feel a sense of loss and grief regarding the GOUSA situation and will probably never get over it.

For those who have a somewhat intimate knowledge of the GOUSA inner workings over the past 5 years or so, this development is quite tragic in its consequences. I would hope that the conversation would focus on objective reasoning that could benefit us all in our Masonic journey. It is far too easy to criticize others negatively, and some amongst us take great relish in doing so. I wish I had that much free time.

IMHO, the founders of GOUSA succeeded in capturing “lightning in a bottle” but were not equipped, as a group, to harness and control its energy. I keep thinking of “the image in the mirror”. We are our own worst enemy.

It takes strong personalities to grow an organization and there are almost always conflicts of personality as well as voluntary and involuntary purges of leadership and membership. This last purge seems to be the “funeral toll” for what was, in my opinion, the hope of a new era in North American Freemasonry. I keep trying to imagine a path where GOUSA could recover from this somehow, but at the present time I see no way for that to happen.

In my opinion, the traditional Grand Lodge/Grand Orient system is a relic of the past. It will continue, of course, but the new paradigm I envision will involve ‘agreeing to disagree”, one group or Lodge at a time, focusing on building individual independent Lodges, free to operate according to the interests of its members, without any “Grand” interference at all. I will not live long enough to see Masonic tolerance practiced, but I had hoped to see the foundation of it.

I tried a few months ago to form a “confederation of independent Masonic Lodges”. I had great support behind the scenes, but was unable to gather together a core group who had the courage of their convictions. Everyone seems to have their own agenda or a desire to protect their own vested interests.

So, we move forward one step at a time, one day at a time, looking for the opportunity to practice in the real world what we have learned in the Lodge.

Stephen Quest.’.

John Slifko said...

Dear All:

Each post in this thread is rich. I hardly know which one to respond to first. One of the things that stands out is Brother Steve Quest's comments on a Federation, or Confederation of Lodges. I would urge you B. Steve to consider keep on thinking about this. Have you looked at the Lithos model in Belgium? You will notice that there is no "Grand Master" anything. There is only a President. This model needs to be given serious consideration in the USA. There will be dangers in this model in the USA, in my opinion, as this is not Belgium, but all of that can be discussed. On the other hand, there may be advantages to this model in the USA. That needs to be thought through. What city are you in Brother Steve?

Frat. John Slifko

John Slifko said...

Dear Brother Lane:

Greetings to Lodge Praxis from Lodge Intrepid in Los Angeles, California. You may not know but we were the first lodge to resign from GO USA for very specific ethical reasons. I wanted to offer my own view that your offer of a path to Lodge Halcyon is built on very solid thinking. The non profit in Cleveland needs to take care of its great work in the local community and look after the building. I was thinking of flying there to see the good work of Halcyon in the community. I was there once and I know of this good work. I will comment more on what I mean overall.

You have simply offered good Lodge Halcyon something to think about. You do it with good will.

Frat. John

email said...

Bro. John:

I was hoping I had gotten your attention, and would be pleased to discuss a "confederation" privately so as not to tie up this thread.

I can forward you some documents for your review and possibly we could chat by phone this weekend.

Your experience and advice would be very welcome.

email@stephenquest.com

Quest.'.

John Slifko said...

Dear All:
Dear Moderator/Editor/Owner:

I ask your patience as I think this is my first time ever participating in a blog, and so I do not know the protocols. I wanted to invite the people in this thread and all at the Freemasonry for Dummies Blog to begin thinking about attending the UCLA Conference on Freemasonry in Latin America and America on December 3rd. I think Brother Hodapp in some other part of this rather large blog probably has given announcement on that. But if you come I want to announce that before you fly out on Sunday you are all invited at 11:00 A.M. to the new civic/public Salon on Freemasonry for Women and Men immediately adjacent to UCLA. Here is the link. The Salon is on December 4. If it is more proper perhaps Brother Chris may want to post this link and invitation elsewhere in another thread. http://www.meetup.com/Salon-on-Freemasonry-for-Women-and-Men/ A wireless system is also being developed for this Salon for those outside the State of California.

There are other ways participants in this blog can participate in the growing effort at UCLA on the Study of Freemasonry and Civil Society. I will let you know about those as things come on line.

If I have violated a protocol I apologize in advance and will take my lashes!(grin) Seriously I am new at writing on a blog. Just let me know if I am doing this in the wrong way.

This message in one sense is for everybody, not just those in this very interesting and helpful thread.

Frat. John

San Diego Freemason said...

Hello BB:. John, Lane, and others. It is good to see some positive feelings and suggestions arising from this situation.

I have never had a problem with Halcyon per say, only with actions that I saw on the part of the GOUSA leadership.

I am sorry that many have taken my criticisms of the GOUSA as a personal attack on them or their lodges, but I understand why.

I truly hope that some good can come from all this. And thank you again Chris for allowing us all the privilege of posting here.

Peter Yancey

John Slifko said...

Dear Brother Peter:

It is good to see you here. >>>>> It is good to see some positive feelings and suggestions arising from this situation. <<<<< Yes, I agree. There is much additional information that might be published here as well discussion of possible ways to move forward. It is an opportunity for Masons to think about next steps. As stated for so long, the "setting up" of the Grand Lodge system for constant attack is a bad game. As all of us move forward perhaps with different pieces of the puzzle we will work with important parts of the Grand Lodge system as well each other and the learning public.

It seems this is a valid part of the thread (positive statements about what is next, or possible steps, building on specific information and context from the past), and the Editor/Moderator/Owner may agree. If so, perhaps we can continue on a bit.

Frat. John

QH:. Francisco said...

Brethren: My name is David Tamayo, former Grand Secretary of External Affairs for GOUSA until I resigned last December 2010. In that capacity and because GOUSA never really contacted anyone with whom I did treaties, today I received news from the president of CIMAS (http://www.cimas.info/) informing me that it is considering GOUSA's loss of the patent and treaty and considering a lot of other evidence of unmasonic behavior, lack of transparency, and unaccountably to repeated requests for explanation, CIMAS will revoke GOUSA's temporary membership which was granted last year. Furthermore, the Grand Orient of Uruguay is also notifying GOUSA of their withdrawal of their treaty for the same reasons. I predicted and warned GOUSA that their unmasonic behavior was going to destroy the organization and that every legitimate Grand Orient and Grand Lodge that had ties would distance themselves from them. They said it would never happen.
Second, I'd like to point out that GOUSA and Halcyon Lodge are one and the same. There are only 3 or 4 people outside Halcyon who compose the members-for-life Council of the Order. There is no GOUSA without the members of Halcyon, which is why when above Halcyon anonymous writer was asked to follow their own advice and leave the "hairball" Grand Orient - they immediately went away silent and in shame. As Bro. Quest put it above, it is a great shame that "the lightning in a bottle" was so thoroughly wasted, turning off in the process, many people who are interested in a more progressive and equitable form of Freemasonry in America.
Grand Orient of Chile, and the rest who have treaties with GOUSA have informally told me that they will be dropping their treaties and will distance themselves from GOUSA as much as possible.
One last clarification: Although GOUSA claims that Benjamin Franklin Lodge in Washington DC belongs to them http://www.gomasons.org/links/, I assure everyone that is false. Our lodge left GOUSA earlier this year by unanimous vote of all its members.
Frat. David Tamayo
Former Grand Secretary of External Affairs of GOUSA

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

It's time to get ready for the Pink Floyd show and MMA events this weekend at Halcyon. We'll be having fun, socializing with our 500 guests, and accepting a few more petitions.

Our goal is to be the largest, most fraternal, Masonic lodge in the state of Ohio by 2014. Catch us if you can!

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Mr. King, thank you for admitting that you realize your “facts” are merely contrived manipulations of the real facts, and that you dare not expose yourself and your claims to the scrutiny of live video. We realize how this would negatively impact your image as “purveyor of truth”.

A few real facts: Jeff Peace was asked to come and manage the ongoing projects at Halcyon. He was not removed as Grand Master. As a matter of fact we needed his skills. One of the first things he did was get Intuit, Microsoft and Google to donate software and services to help Halcyon Charities. He has also been instrumental in putting our lodge back together after the three year lawsuit with the Grand Lodge of Ohio which we won through a summary judgment.

It doesn’t take more than a little common sense to realize that Halcyon’s relationships with entities like Ohio City and Cleveland Clinic-Lutheran are long standing because we live and work in the same community. We’ve been working with them for years sharing space and hosting activities. The lodge has been in Ohio City since 1875. We also work closely with the Lutheran Church behind our building. Our temple has been a center for the community since 1931. Our other partners have either donated materials, money or services to Halcyon Charities. Why this should be a matter of controversy shows how little Mr. King knows about Halcyon and Ohio City. Do you really believe that publishing rubbish on a website in Maine will impact our relationships with people and businesses that have known and worked with us for years? Further, why do you feel the need to drag others down? Isn’t Freemasonry supposed to help raise people and communities up? Your whole website seems to be dedicated to bashing other people, most of whom you don’t know. There’s something really weird and disturbing about that kind of person.

We now have the money and membership necessary to restore and maintain our building. Much of this was due to the careful business and logistical planning of the brothers who had a vision for the future of our lodge. Those who criticize Peace for applying business principles to the management of the fraternity either lack insight, or are insane. Freemasonry can be fun, educational, and rewarding when the brothers don’t have to worry about worldly things. The lodge can be a refuge from the stresses of daily life. This is only possible when someone plans ahead to make it so.

email said...

Thank you Brother David for waiting the time with patience to set the record straight.

Without your personal investment of thousands of hours of time and tens of thousands of dollars for travel, there would be no Treaties of Amity and Solidarity to be withdrawn.

Thank you for all you have done and will do for Freemasonry.

Stephen Quest .'.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Just for reference here is a copy of the GOUSA Constitutions that we have at Halcyon.

http://halcyontemple.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/GOUSA-Constitutions20080320.pdf

email said...

A little late for this don't you think, "Halcyon Lodge 498"? Could you please explain the relevance?

Stephen Quest .'.

John Slifko said...

(My last email may not have gone through just a few minutes ago, and so I am writing again. The Editor will see if I have just published two emails and can delete this one if so.)

I also wanted to thank Brother David Tamayo for his work and expenditure and for setting the record straight.

I think the Editor is accepting some discussion of "next steps from here" (after the GODF letter), and also some historical clarification for example concerning Lodge Ben Franklin.

I want in some of my next emails to present some easy discussion concerning the future if it is permitted. Among the points I will make is how there will be, in my view, some small number of coordinated actions or public venues involving both the "progressives" and important parts of the Grand Lodge system, their research system, etc..

I also want to post some potentially relevant historical documents that may hold some relevance for now and the future. For example I will publish, with the permission of the Editor, in a single short blog in this thread, the much shorter statement signed by the Grand Masters/Grand Mistresses of the Grand Orient of France, Feminine Grand Lodge of Belgium, GWU, Feminine Grand Lodge of France present,.. The text is one paragraph or so. It is the so-called "Los Angeles Declaration" from 2003. It is some of the past that is likely good history for some things that might take place, or not take place, in this post GODF letter environment.

That is the salience of that document. It offers some history perhaps relevant to the present moment.

Very Best, John

email said...

I really do not desire to get into a pig wrestle, but I am obligated to point out some things about the document that was just posted by "Halcyon 498", whoever that is.

I can state from personal experience that I believe the following questions need to be asked / points need to be made. Hey, you posted the document!

1. The URL appears to show posting to the website in September of 2011, but the document name alludes to the fact that it was created March of 08.

2. I know that the GOUSA Constitutions were under revision several times in the last 3 years. So, which version is this? Nowhere in the document does it state a date of adoption.

3. Who adopted this?

4. When did they adopt it?

5. Has it been revised since it was created?

SO, does the GOUSA have a current Constitution that it is willing to publish stating the details listed above in the document itself?

I realize that these may seem like minor things, but they are not. These type of details are at the core of transparency and credibility. ANYONE can throw up a document that appears very well written, but is it the "real deal"?

And when one, even members of GOUSA, would start to ask such questions such as "Exactly who is on the Executive Committee?" or "Exactly who comprises the Council of the Order?", very important questions indeed, what kind of an answer would they get?

Just asking.

Stephen Quest.'.

(BTW - with whom do I have the pleasure of conversing, "Halcyon 498"?)

editor said...

Ah yes, would that be the same constitution that was drafted behind closed doors by Jeff Peace and his unelected "Council of the Order," with no one else allowed to provide input or even see the drafts, even to the exclusion of several Grand Lodge officers? The same constitution that relegated every then-active GOUSA Lodge and their members to non-voting "probationary" status except (surprise!) Halcyon?

Did Peace and his council really think no one was going to complain publicly and to GOdF about this? But when they did, no matter, Peace simply "applied business principles" by throwing them out of GOUSA and revoking their Lodge charters without trial. Now there's no one left on the inside to complain. Brilliant strategy except for that loss of amity bit. But who cares about that, right?

Lane Startin

John Slifko said...

Dear All:

I think readers and researchers may also want to dig up a copy of the original Constitutions that were accepted by the GODF as a starting point. This occurred in the the first phase with GODF's reps in Washington DC in meeting with the Americans. This Constitution needed to be examined by the French establishment at GODF in France, and their reps in America, before anything could precede. There would have been no Patent given in Paris at that very grand ceremony without the initial close scrutiny of the original Constitution by very capable players.

Perhaps the current members of GWU, or the lodges of GODF North America, might ask the Foreign Secretary of the GODF for the original Constitution of which the full Council of Order of the Grand Orient of France in Paris, was aware when the Patent was presented. You can then date forward from there.

And copies of the original Constitution exist in America, at more than one site.

The notion of the timeline is a good one. Good history.

Very Fraternally,
John

editor said...

On a more positive line, I think it's very important to note that GOUSA is not (and never was) the only game in town when it comes to liberal, adogmatic, co-gender Freemasonry in the United States. Because of that I find proclamations that liberal Freemasonry is dead because of GOUSA's implosion premature at best. Indeed a good many ex-GOUSA members, including yours truly and my Praxis sisters and brothers, became members of the George Washington Union of Freemasons (GWU). It's also my understanding at least one other former GOUSA Lodge is now affiliated with the International Masonic Order Delphi. By and large ex-GOUSA Lodges aren't dying off at all; instead they're moving on to greener pastures.

I happen to think that affiliations and amity are just as important in liberal Freemasonry as they are in traditional Blue Lodge Freemasonry. A major reason Praxis joined GOUSA in the first place was because of their then-recognition by GOdF. We made it very clear to GOUSA some time ago that loss of amity with GOdF was a dealbreaker for us. Yes, we've known all along that there were other options out there for us.

If you're starting a liberal Masonic Lodge, or looking to join one, make sure the Lodge is formally in league with CLIPSAS or GOdF, preferably both. GWU, Delphi Order and Le Droit Humain Lodges all fit the bill. CLIPSAS and GOdF not only afford a worldwide system of amity, but also insist their affiliates are democratically run (which GOUSA is most decidedly not, hence their GOdF de-recognition).

Regardless of what you think about liberal Freemasonry, I think we can all agree that serious Masonic organizations take their amity seriously, be they liberal or Blue Lodge. One really has to question an organization that thinks revocation of amity -- a pretty drastic step regardless of who does it -- is no big deal.

Lane Startin

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
editor said...

Nice rebuttal. I'm just reeling right now. ;-)

You do realize GOdF specifically gave constituent Lodges the right to remain all-male if they so chose, right?

Lane

San Diego Freemason said...

So much for "forever changing the face of Freemasonry in America"

Faith said...

This whole conversation is NOT about Halcyon (as much as their anonymous writer tries to steer the conversation away from GOUSA). It is about GOUSA's self-destructive and unmasonic behavior and the lies and denials about their loss of the GOdF Patent. It is a fine example of why big egos don't mix well with Masonic ideals.
- F. Field

editor said...

Some takeaways from all this:

If you're male, of age, a believer in GAOTU and unconcerned by the fact Blue Lodge Freemasons don't admit women, atheists or in several states still don't recognize Prince Hall (read: African-American) Freemasons, by all means contact Bro. Ed King at www.masonicinfo.com (breathless hyperbole aside) or Bro. Chris Hodapp (a much more tolerant and erudite soul) at this site. I'm sure either one will be more than happy to hook you up with your local "regular" Grand Lodge. Do so with my sincere best wishes. Yes, really.

If you're male, in Cleveland and more impressed by kick-ass MMA fights than with democracy, contact Halcyon Lodge. If you're outside Cleveland but still interested in GOUSA's slick sales pitch, get ready to be treated as a second-class citizen for at least the next five years by the ruling cabal. Indentured servitude is awesome and so Masonic, isn't it? From personal experience, despite their shortcomings I can tell you Blue Lodges give much more of a damn about democracy than the GOUSA syndicate. Frankly you're much better off joining a Blue Lodge and biting your tongue with them than dealing with Halcyon's GOUSA clowns.

Listen up Boise, Seattle and elsewhere. 2B1ASK1, right? Praxis Lodge is proudly liberal with a membership of both atheists and those who believe in GAOTU, co-gender and with a nationwide network of like-minded Freemasons. My e-mail is lane at lanestartin.org. Glean from that what you will.

Bro. Lane

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

"But when they did, no matter, Peace simply "applied business principles" by throwing them out of GOUSA and revoking their Lodge charters without trial." - Lane Startin

What's wrong with the statement above? According to Kris Hartung (Praxis Lodge) and David Tamayao (Benjamin Franklin Lodge) these lodges "withdrew" from the GOUSA, but Startin now says they had their Charters pulled.

I wonder what they did to get their Charters pulled?

Did you know that David Tamayo flew all the way to Paris to beg for more Patents so that he could setup his own GOUSA and be Grand Master? That's what the GOdF told us.

And, while I'm thinking about it, wasn't it you (Lane Startin) that sent out that email voicing your opinion to pull the Treaty of Amity with the GWU stating "I want nothing more to do with them!" It sure is funny that you thought the GWU was a bunch of un-American tyrants for expelling J.T. without the benefit of trial on trumped-up charges, but now the GWU is a virtual utopia. Which is it? Are they unjust tyrants or the harbingers of a new golden era?

If Peace was such a tyrant then why was it that he allowed Praxis Lodge to bend the rules, and then took the heat from the GOdF and GWU for allowing you to do so? And, why was it that the Past Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Idaho filed charges of un-Masonic conduct against you and Kris Hartung, and then dimited to Sirius Lodge in Atlanta?

Please clarify all this. We're getting confused.

email said...

Most everyone here has identified themselves personally except "Halcyon 498". I respectful suggest that person be ignored until they are willing to let us know exactly who they are and by what authority they speak. Agreed?

masonicinfo said...

To our poor, nameless Halycon Lodge poseur: just because YOU declare a challenge doesn't mean that your subject loses if he ignores your stupidity. If that were the case, I'd say that if you want to show that you're right, you should meet me at the corner of Hollywood and Vine next Thursday night at 11:30pm and we'll be able to truly determine if you're for real. No? Well then: all of your anonymous bravado must be simply chicken-poo-poo. See how easy that was?

Now on to reality: if Jeff's unemployed (as reports have it), I wonder why he hasn't taken you up on your generous offer. Oh, and as to the donations from Microsoft and Intuit: WOW! That's really a big thing - but you don't have to hire Jeff to get such stuff. Just sign on to www.techsoup.com and ANY 501(c)3 can get donations from them. That doesn't mean you're partners.

And I do know a tad about Cleveland and your other 'partners' as well. I flew back and forth spending a week at home and a week there for the better part of 2 years. My consulting group was one of the two who set up Innova Medical Services back in the 1990s. You've got no more 'partnership' with any of those people than I've got a 'partnership' with Hannaford Supermarkets and Eastern Maine Medical Center just because I'm 'in the neighborhood'.

You see, this is why everyone finds your 'in the face' stupidity so abhorrent. It's not about whether you're a lodge or not - or whether GOOFUS is a Grand Lodge. Neither are nor were. You hated the kind of Freemasonry that you found, had never learned the lessons of temperance and fortitude (nor prudence nor justice for that matter) and we regular/recognized Freemasons started talking about you using the standard nomenclature for Masonry. We were wrong. You were a joke - and we should have called you such. From the very beginnings when your organization was soliciting for members on anti-Semitic newsgroups on up through your puerile challenges and declarations of superiority today, you have NOTHING to offer but a website and a few people there in Cleveland with a couple of fawning sycophants at different ends of the country. All told, you MUST admit: there aren't more than a dozen of you so why do you think you're such a big deal? You're not the future of Freemasonry or of anything else. Ten years from now your building will be in foreclosure and you'll all be lamenting how much time and energy you put into creating facilities for having kids subjected to head injuries. (Read the recent report about boxing from the American Academy of Pediatric Medicine? I have....)

But that's ok. Have your fun. Hook up with groups like the Gnostic Church (a/k/a esoteric Freemasons), pander your imaginary relationships with every organization you wish (I just LOVED that claim about supporting DeMolay that GOOFUS used to make!), and color me your enemy if it makes you feel better.

At the end of the day, I get to enjoy all of the things that you and your other nameless/faceless buddies don't: a great lodge, a bunch of super Masonic Brothers who care about each other, membership in groups like Masonic motorcycle clubs recognized by my Grand Lodge, participation in Masonic research organizations accepted by all of regular & recognized Freemasonry, and SO much more. Things you wouldn't know how to appreciate even if they were handed to you.

So: no lies from me but a LOT of Halycon Hogwash from you Mr. .... Mr. .... Gosh: it must be SO tough to not even want to sign your name but that's something anyone who's dealt with your ilk has known for some time.

Bye, bye!
Ed King
www.masonicinfo.com/goofus.htm

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Just more name calling and gutter nonsense from Ed King. (yawn)

Are you ready to prove your "facts" on live video in front of those you accuse, or does it frighten you to think about your lies and half-truths being exposed before your peers?

An honest man is always willing to state his case against others publicly, in an open forum with those he opposes. Abraham Lincoln was famous for his willing to confront his opponents in an open forum.

It's easy to hide behind a computer screen with a keyboard and make claims but another to face-up to what you type.

Our offer remains open because we have no hesitation whatsoever to state our case openly and in public.

The Grand Lodge of Ohio talked the same BIG talk you do, until they had to prove their ridiculous claims in court. That's when it all fell apart for them, and will for you too.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Just for the sake of fun debate, let's imagine that Halcyon offered up the services of its programmers and web developers to someone like "Freemasonry Watch". They clean-up the site, organize it, tag it properly, provide some "spin" and build auto collectors so that every mistake or crime committed by a Freemason or Freemasonry got instantly populated to the site.

Not that it would take much to make your organization look any worse, but let's just say we did it for giggles.

Would it be true and factual? Yes, there would be plenty of facts but the "spin" would render most of it untrue.

This is the same thing you do at masonicinfo. You toss out a few facts and then "spin" it, hoping no one will be smart enough to ask the hard questions.

We don't engage in this type of silliness and childishness because we're too busy having fun, and sharing ideas about what the future of Freemasonry could be, with a little time and effort.

And, we may lose our temple in ten years as you predict, but no one will ever be able to accuse us of being quitters and running away in fear of the challenge, like the guys from the Grand Lodge of Ohio did.

editor said...

Well, I should say Peace attempted to pull Praxis' charter, but by the time he did so we had already made the decision to move on. That didn't stop him from sending us a nice little letter though, which I still happen to have. It really became a "you can't fire me, I quit" sort of scenario.

What did we do to get our charter pulled? Well, according to the letter in question the charter was pulled and Bro. Kris Hartung and I were expelled because we "decided to issue a call for rebellion against the Grand Orient of the United States." Rebellion? For publicly questioning GOUSA policy? What kind of Masonic organization kicks out its members and revokes charters for "rebellion?" I have to say I laughed so hard when I got that letter I almost gave myself an aneurysm.

I know Bro. Tamayo was in Europe a few months back attending a CLIPSAS conference where he met with several GOdF officials, but he was on board with our migration to GWU from day one. Besides, even if it were true why would GOdF share information like that with GOUSA only to bounce them out several weeks later? Sorry, I ain't buying it.

While admittedly I've been annoyed with GWU in the past, my concerns were ultimately never strong enough to oppose joining up with them. No organization is perfect, but I have to say my opinion of them has warmed considerably since Praxis joined their fold. I now believe I was overly harsh with them; if anyone else with GWU is reading this, please accept my apologies. Besides, GWU pulled their treaty with GOUSA after Peace's "Grand Orient of California" misadventure (which incidentally I only became fully aware of the details of some time after the fact), not the other way around. Who's J.T. anyway?

If you're referring to our now-defunct Syringa Lodge which we created to give females the chance to become Freemasons before GOdF officially went co-gender, why would GWU give anyone a hard time over that? It was THEIR LODGE.

Our erstwhile remote member in Tennessee filed charges against us, eh? How come this is the first time I've heard that little tidbit? You're about nine months late.

Lane Startin

San Diego Freemason said...

The GOUSA will end up where it belongs, on the ash heap of history, an interesting (though not significant),foot note in books about American Freemasonry in the late 20th, and early 21st century.

The GWU, the Delphi Order, The Women's Grand Lodge of Belgium, LDH, and other masonic bodies should move on and get back to work, building Freemasonry in this country.

The reality is that the "Liberal" obediences have never had any difficulties with the mainstream Grand Lodges; we have always respected them and treated them as fellow masons.

The GOUSA was an experiment that failed. Since most of us won't have Alzheimer's for awhile, we should be gracious and help ourselves to forget this fiasco as quickly as possible.

There is a bright future for Freemasonry in the United States. The sooner we can say "GOUSA who?" the sooner it will arrive.

Tom Accuosti said...

It's easy to hide behind a computer screen with a keyboard and pingpingpingpingping *BANG*


Dammit. Broke another irony meter.

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

We posted the Al Pacino video to our website because it reflects the problem pretty well while also pointing the way to a solution. (http://halcyontemple.org/a-message-to-all-freemasons/)

The brothers at Halcyon really don't care whether we work with the liberal or mainstream Freemasons. Our primary aim and objective has always been to preserve the West Side Masonic Temple for future generations to enjoy. We believe that if we can find a way to save this temple, then maybe, the same ideas could be implemented to save others. These buildings are a part of the legacy of American Freemasonry, and we owe it to future generations to save as many of them as is reasonably possible.

The reason why we are quick to challenge people like Ed King is because their views are counter-productive. Instead of building up, all they do is tare down. Sure, boxing can cause head injuries, but would you prefer these kids be out on the streets in roaming gangs killing each other with uzis? These kids grew up on the streets and know nothing of sportsmanship, self-discipline, or how to become good members of the community. At least with the boxing program they have a chance to learn that there's a better way to live than selling drugs and killing one another.

It seems to us that the Grand Lodges/Orients/Unions are the source of division among Masons. Maybe Freemasonry needs to start over by first trying to understand the meaning of "fraternity." Once we master that we can worry about bigger things. If Masons can't or won't be a fraternity, then what's the point of keeping Freemasonry around for future generations?

masonicinfo said...

Halcyon Lodge 498 (that nameless & faceless never want to be identified entity) said... "Just for the sake of fun debate, let's imagine that Halcyon offered up the services of its programmers and web developers to someone like "Freemasonry Watch"."

Well, just for the sake of reality, the question would be whether Dale has any spare time. Based on the way things look, he must not have a job either or is planning on unemployment very soon because he's not doing much more than surfing the net and playing with websites.

We should review: your former website design was done by Jeff. Why isn't HE redoing it? Oh, yeah: he's totally out of the picture - notwithstanding your claims above.

And it's only been within the last 60 days or so that your old JP site has been updated using the same template stuff that Dale put on the GOOFUS site and subsequently on his total farce Regulus site (2008 - and 'the light is shining bright in Birmingham - even though we're still a Triangle!' WHEE!!!)

So now you're 'threatening' to have your "programmers and web developers" as if it were multiple people. Damn: EVERYONE'S irony meter must be smashed at this point!

Heck: one person posted a question to your site and it took seven weeks to answer it. Pretty good job on them-thar web developers people. If it takes them as long to help out Watchy, guess we won't need to worry for a LONG, LONG time! ...chortle...

You just don't realize how totally stupid this all looks. I point out facts and you just ignore all of them in your reply. Pretty soon you'll do the Andrew Perry dance to pick up your ball and bat and leave.

"It seems to us that the Grand Lodges/Orients/Unions are the source of division among Masons. Maybe Freemasonry needs to start over by first trying to understand the meaning of "fraternity."

And yet, you're (ostensibly) part of a self-styled "Grand Orient" (even though it's less than 10 people and has no more connection to Freemasonry than my fireplace which holds a couple of Masonic trophies). You're afraid to identify yourself and you know that everyone thinks you're a total farce.

"Once we master that we can worry about bigger things. If Masons can't or won't be a fraternity, then what's the point of keeping Freemasonry around for future generations?"

Or, more to the point, why do you want to pretend that you are one?

Keep obfuscating!
Ed King
www.masonicinfo.com/goofus.htm

masonicinfo said...

Boy, that crack team of web designers there at Halcyon has really been hard at work. (Poor Dale: no other life than being the leader of a group, the vast majority of whom think it's superfluous and unnecessary!)

Why they've (he has) just done a make-over to the hapless Tom Coste's blog and - how very conveniently - took down Tommy's "I know about these things and we've still got the Treaty" blatherings well after the world knew that you didn't. That's OK: the screen captures I've got will live on in some other place!

You can redesign the website but you can't redact history, kiddies!

Try as you might, dressing up a pig doesn't make the rest of us want to dance....

Another day, another fiasco in the land of bogus Masonry!

Ed King
www.masonicinfo.com/goofus.htm

Halcyon Lodge 498 said...

Hi Mr. King,

I just read your post with astonishment. It's amazing to watch you in action.

Can you you report on the prostitution of under age girls by mainstream Masons like yourself? The Jesters are mainstream Masons.

Can you fill us in on the millions of dollars embezzled by mainstream Masons from their lodges and other Masonic bodies in New York, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and other states?

Can you give us some more details about the Shriners being arrested for running prostitutes in Canada?

We're also curious about those RICO violations committed by mainstream Masons. You know the enquiring world wants to know all the facts, not just a few here and there.

Then there's... oh, the list is too long for a post to a blog. Time for a new improved website that details everything.

email said...

Dear "Halcyon Lodge 498".

This thread is about GOUSA and its loss of the Patent from GOdf.

Why do you insist on arguing with Ed King?

Why do you insist on not answering some very pertinent questions?

Exactly who are you and by what authority do you speak?

GOUSA needs to offer an official statement regarding the loss of the Patent.

Halcyon Lodge needs to offer an official statement regarding its relationship with GOUSA.

Until that happens we would all make better use of our time playing FarmVille.

Stephen Quest .'.

Chris Hodapp said...

I think this thread has lost any informative or entertainment value. I've been more than fair in keeping it open to posters, even anonymous ones in violation of my own policy, but everyone needs to move on.

Thread closed.