Special Order No. 3
PO Box 31356
Tampa, FL 33631-3356
January 17, 2012
the Officers and Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners,
matter of the edict issued by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of
Arkansas in his letter dated December 8, 2011 addressed to Shriners
International, All Subordinate Lodges in Arkansas, All Master Masons
of Arkansas, All Grand Jurisdictions and All Appendant Bodies in
Arkansas, is well known by each of you.
After careful review and consideration, and in consequence of the
gravity of the effect of the aforesaid edict, I issue the following
findings, conclusions and order.
Findings And Conclusions
Pertaining to the document titled A Response dated January 13, 2012
that I sent to the Grand Lodges of the Conference of Grand Masters for
North America and to the subordinate temples of Shriners International
and others. By reference thereto, I incorporate all of its
International, with very few exceptions, has enjoyed a fraternal and
harmonious relationship with all Grand Lodges since it came into
existence in 1872. The very few exceptions that did occur were
approached by Shriners International and the affected Grand Lodge with
the utmost respect for each other and their charitable and fraternal
missions. With an abundance of good will toward each other, every
difference was resolved and we maintained the integrity of our
existing relationship for the good of Freemasonry, the good of
Shriners International, and for the greater good of humanity.
Conference of Grand Masters for North America consists of 65 or more
diverse and distinctive Grand Lodges. Shriners International
consists of one entity. Shriners International acknowledges that
no Grand Lodge can cede its sovereignty, power and authority to
another Grand Lodge. Each Grand Lodge has its own governance.
When a divisive issue exists between two Grand Lodges, there is no
claim of sovereignty of one over the other. Instead, with
brotherhood, and an abundance of good will, the Grand Lodges resolve
the divisive issue and continue operating their respective bodies
independently yet in harmony and amity with each other.
Likewise, while cherishing its Masonic background, Shriners
International is an independent and distinctive fraternal
organization. It cannot cede its sovereignty, power and
authority to any other fraternal body - be it a Grand Lodge or
otherwise. If it did, it would be governed, controlled and
operated by 65 or more independent Grand Lodges - each with
differing landmarks, constitutions, bylaws, rules and regulations.
Shriners International would no longer exist as an independent
fraternal organization as it has since 1872.
is abundantly evident that the action taken by the Grand Lodge of
Arkansas in issuing its edict is designed to suppress or proscribe
Shriners International, its members, and its two Shrine temples in the
state of Arkansas.
Articles of incorporation.
§4.1 This nonprofit corporation, organized and existing
under the laws of the state of Iowa, assuming all the powers and
obligations granted to bodies corporate under such laws, is to exist
perpetually, unless sooner dissolved in the manner provided by law, or
as prescribed by the bylaws of this corporation.
§5.1 The objects and purposes of this corporation, and
business to be transacted by it are:
(b) To be the irrevocable common agent, representative and
supreme authority in all matters appertaining to the government of the
system of the subordinate fraternal lodges or temples known in the
aggregate as Shriners International, located in states around the
world and, as such, shall have supreme and complete original
jurisdiction and essential powers necessary to such control and
Enact and enforce bylaws and regulations for the government of itself
and subordinate lodges or temples and members of the Order known in
the aggregate as Shriners International, and to alter, amend and
repeal the same at its pleasure.
(10) Hear and decide all charges and complaints against any
officer of Shriners International, or of any subordinate lodge or
temple, and to inflict such punishment as may seem just and proper.
(12) Exercise such power and control, and perform such acts, as
may seem proper and necessary to carry out the full purpose and intent
of this corporation.
§202.4 The powers, objects and purposes of Shriners
International are those set forth in the articles of incorporation, as
amended from time to time.
§207.8 Except as specifically provided by the articles of
incorporation or bylaws of this corporation, or resolution of the
board of directors, no temple, unit Shrine club, group or person:
Has the authority, express or implied, to act as the agent of,
to act on behalf of, or to bind Shriners International.
(b) Can by its act or omission obligate or bind Shriners
all the foregoing reasons, and many more, and by the authority in me
vested by virtue of §206.5(a)(5) and §323.8(d) of the
international bylaws, I hereby CERTIFY that the Grand Lodge of Masons
of Arkansas has taken action which is designed to suppress or
proscribe Shriners International, its members and its two temples in
the state of Arkansas (Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners).
Now, for so long as such threat of suppression or proscription
continues, Shriners International, its members, and its temples in the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, retain all their rights,
responsibilities and authority, notwithstanding any provision of the
bylaws to the contrary.
This special order shall be read by the Recorders of Sahara Shriners
and Scimitar Shriners in the presence of all of the Nobility at their
next stated meetings and it shall be made a part of the permanent
record and archives of the
I am confident that the full import, significance and authority of
this special order is self-evident and that it will be understood by
the Nobles of Sahara Shriners and Scimitar Shriners, and such others
Michael G. Severe - Imperial Potentate
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Special Order Issued by Shriners in Arkansas Battle
Michael G. Severe, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, has issued a Special Order dated today concerning the situation in Arkansas: