Sunday, April 24, 2016

Grand Orient of the Netherlands Suspends With Tennessee & Georgia


The Grand Orient of the Netherlands, the governing Masonic body in the country that is largely recognized by the majority of regular grand lodges around the world, has announced on their official Facebook page that they have suspended fraternal relations with the Grand Lodge of Georgia and the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. They are the second grand lodge outside of the U.S. to do so, after the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium.

The original message can be seen HERE in Dutch, for those with a Facebook account. 

From a combination of Google's and Facebook's translator programs (anyone who speaks the language please notify me if I have mis-translated the message in any way):


Executive order of Masons: 
Freemasonry and homosexuality can go together
At the beginning of March there appeared social media internet reports about the official and ongoing exclusion of homosexual candidates by the Grand Lodge of Georgia and the [expulsion] from the membership among the active members who turn out to be homosexual. The National Executive Committee of the order of Masons is of the opinion that this is contrary to the fundamental values of Freemasonry and approved a study at the beginning of March to ensure the accuracy of these messages.
During this investigation the committee found messages that the Grand Lodge of Tennessee [does this, as well]. Unfortunately, this appears with both grand lodges to be true. During the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee's [there was] recently introduced a resolution to remove the line [specifying this from their] "Code of Regulations", but this was rejected. The Grand Lodge of Georgia made a public edict with a clear anti-gay application in September 2015.
The National Executive Committee has therefore decided to immediately suspend relations with the two Grand Lodges  on April 16. Both grand lodges shall be informed of this. Visiting with  lodges connected with these jurisdictions is therefore no longer [permitted] for members of our order. Also, receiving members of these organizations in Dutch Lodges is no longer permitted.
The final [severing] of the relationship with the two Grand Lodges belongs to the jurisdiction of the Grand Orient, the annual meeting of the affiliated Lodges, which must decide on this issue in June 2016.

25 comments:

  1. Though rudimentary, the translation is correct.

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  2. Just how long will grand lodges recognize grand lodges that exclude people of color, gays, Jews. What does that recognition say about claiming to be a universal brotherhood. We are less brotherly than Starbucks, which in many cases is friendlier than our lodges and has abetter atmosphere. We are the largest society of bigots in America, The Dutch and Belgians are teaching New York and Pennsylvania about what freemasonry is.

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  3. Glad to see that there are Lodges in the World of Freemasonry that hold to the highest standards of Freemasonry as taught by our forerunners and Forefathers.

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  4. Glad to see International Grand Lodges are holding true to the fundamental precepts of Freemasonry as taught pre 20th Century. It's a shame when such proceedings occour in this Brotherhood.

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  5. Paul Rich in Palatka Florida a white mason greeted me and spoke to me and gave me his name and number. I said I will come visit, he immediately said no and stated his Lodge is not accepting of Black people its obvious he did not agree with and I did not question it or whether or not why is he affiliated with it. Bottom line is that there are lodges that will not accept people because of a certain race or culture and you can not even visit. I see we taking a stance on homosexuality but not race....Yes I understand there are many obstacles we must overcome, one at time...

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  6. You are not alone: I have taken a stand against the widespread masonic bigotry, particularly in the south, that includes race, gender and gay bashing, anti-semitism, and support of grand lodges that are lifetime sinecures for African dictators. I agree with you that the longtime discrimination against people of color has seemingly been ignored in the present chaos over sexual discrimination. We should not have to overcome obstacles to decency in 21st century America.. One example is the stupidity of grand masters in condemning such behavior but doing nothing about it. If that continues, all participation by masonry in civic affairs will cease and all tax concessions be removed, and those privileges will once lost not be recovered even if there is an about face. You were initiated into a universal brotherhood which daily practices bigotry and humiliates some of its members. While this continues wearing the square and and compass is like wearing the swastika -- it says one is willing to recognize racists, to recognize exclusion of Jews, to recognize Jim Crow, to recognize gay bashers. It is entirely indefensible. Anyone who defends the situation has lost all sense of morality and ethics. To repeat, they are turning the square and compass into a swastika.

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  8. Sorry, my brethren, but I call this poor judgment on all these Grand Masters who are ending these relationships. How can you expect "tolerance" from a Grand Lodge when you cannot even show tolerance yourself? Here are the facts: You cannot fix this problem if you choose to severing communications with them, you have to be in the mix. It is a lot easier to be inside the tent pissing out then outside trying to piss in.

    I call it poor leadership because they could not even find a work around; they went straight to the "Nuclear Option". Ask yourself this; how many Grand Lodges severed communications and ended relationships during the American Civil War? Answer: None, because those were real leaders and understood that someone has to be there to heal the wounds and aid a reformation. Those ancient brethren were out killing each other and they still took the time to show brotherly love throughout the conflict and offer fellowship and openness despite being mortal enemies.

    Nowadays, Grand Lodges are suspending ties at a drop of the hat, and they are dropping the hat. They are not willing to remain in the struggle to work out their differences and it’s shameful. Yes, I know that some of you will say that they tried talking but it did not work, yet I will tell you that they used poor judgment in giving up, if they even tried. If Freemasonry is going to be a brotherhood then they better learn to stick it out.

    Some Grand Lodges are political, yet we keep relationships. Some Grand Lodges remains closely tied to one religion, such as Sweden, yet we keep relationships. But because this is an opportunity to show one's moral superiority, we have Grand Lodge suspending ties with their brethren; be careful with taking the moral high ground, all that heavenly backlighting will also make you an easier target. (S. Short)

    I not talking for one side or the other; I am talking about a bad habit that this, our gentle Craft have taken on. The core problem is that before Grand Lodges begun to weigh in and drop the nuclear option, members of the local lodges could work to fix these things internally and this worked for the first few centuries. The discussion of Gays and Freemasonry is not a new one, both has been around for many ages; do you think our generation is the first to work on this problem?

    Support Tennessee and Georgia or reject them. But nothing will be resolved if you choose kill all options for communications. In fact, true leadership is to weigh into the relationship and inspire change from within by helping them see the rightness of your action if you really believe you are right. Take the time to review your obligations and you will know that I am right. Peace to all my brethren; find a way to keep all your fraternal relationships and grow together; it is who we are supposed to be.


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    1. This is a thoughtful reply and the points made are good, but the fact is that the chances of change on the part of the segregated grand lodges are remote. They will continue to exclude on the basis of race or gender. More promising is to recognize alternative grand lodge, either Prince Hall or small new grand lodges, or to let grand lodges like the District of Columbia create lodges in the offending jurisdictions.

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    2. Warbard-

      In all reality, suspending recognition among GLs is nothing new. I have seen many, many folks proclaiming that doing so in an effort to nudge GA and TN into changing their codes is a violation of their sovereignty. But sovereignty works both ways. CA, DC, Belgium and the Netherlands are exercising their own sovereignty by publicly and Masonically declaring that they are diametrically opposed to those two states' actions. Nobody else has to follow them. In fact, it's highly likely that not many more will do so. Stern letters seem to be the preferred way to handle it by most GMs. And you certainly can't be naive enough to think such letters will have any effect on GA and TN. The 9 GLs in the old Confederate states have failed to recognize their PHA counterparts almost 20 years after the rest of the US GLs embarked on that mission, and they still don't seem to mind the criticism from the rest of us over it. So does the "struggle to work out their differences" work well when it comes to issues like this?

      It can be convincingly argued that GA and TN have made an innovation in the body of Masonry by erecting barriers to membership that have not previously existed. CA and DC have taken public heat over it, and have been disinvited from public cornerstone ceremonies because of what GA and TN have done. Discussions were held at the COGMNA, to no avail. So, while the "nuclear option" is not the preferred method of dealing with such issues, it can be argued that it is the only one they had at their immediate disposal.

      But all of these discussions bring up an interesting point. What if there are enough Masons in those two jurisdictions who disagree strongly enough with the official gay ban (and the un-official racial one) that they convince DC or CA to charter new provincial lodges there? That's certainly how the GLNF came to be born in France in 1913, as a child of the UGLE. It could happen in GA and TN. Since they are not in amity with those states, DC and CA could conceivably do that. It would certainly force the hand of the other 49 US GLs into making a choice.

      (BTW, the REAL nuclear option is for the AASR-SJ to go into these two states and and exercise their ability to charter new SR "red lodges" in defiance of their agreement not to confer the first three degrees in US GL jurisdictions. But that's another story...)

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    3. Thank you for the response Brother Chris Hodapp, I did acknowledge that it is a GL practice but sad enough, I also stated that this is done as an abuse of power.

      When we sit in the East, we are given a great deal of authority (translated: power), but we were also trained and admonish to measure its usage and not become imperious.

      Like Brother Washington, who gave up all power and authority when he handed his sword to Congress, this very Masonic lesson has taught us; "Just because you have the power to do something, does not mean you should use it." It's not about sovereignty, its about the greater good over the long haul.

      You brought up the point that today, 9 Confederate states has failed to recognized their PHA counterparts. Two points to this:

      1. During the Civil War all Union and Confederate States and Territories did not recognize Prince Hall Masonry and it has been a slow arduous 200 year process that we are only now seeing the daylight of acceptance, and yet those continuing 9 states did not sever relationships when the others states accepted their Prince Hall counterpart, so from another point of view, who holds the Masonic highground when it comes to brotherly love? What's 20 years in a +200 year process and how is it that we have become so impatient with our own brethren? We must acknowledge that some things take time.

      2. GM Frank Haas of WV and his "Wheeling Reforms" worked to bring West Virginia into the 21st Century during its GAC. All changes were approved by vote and killed two weeks later by proclamation, thus an edict trumped an approved vote of the Grand Lodge (see: http://phoenixmasonry.org/lest_we_forget.htm).

      He even initiated relations with WV PHA and was charged for making the attempt. Furthermore, instead of being given the right to a Masonic Trial, he was kicked out of the Fraternity by an edict stating that he was never a Mason.

      Where was the outrage and the suspensions back then of the other Grand Lodges? I find it hypocritical that our Masonic leaders would choose their battles instead of handing out suspensions upon every wrong; you simply cannot have it both ways and hold the moral high ground.

      The problem here is that you cannot justify whether GA or TN is being innovative if it is one man sitting as GM making a ruling while most other do nothing, it is impotent. If you want to justify your position and cannot get satisfaction with GA or TN and feel that they have been innovative (As UGLE initiated with the world when dealing with the original French Grand Lodge), then the powers that be should come together at COGMNA and together vote to rid themselves of these Grand Lodges.

      Using the "nuclear option" should be an all or nothing and only as a last resort and if you truly believe you are right then you should have such consensus, otherwise you have used an ineffective tactic, as you already acknowledged. Never use a weapon if it yields you little to no results.

      As for your what if question regarding a new grand lodge in the state, once again, recognition should be an agreement by a super majority of Grand Lodges at COGMA in order to legitimize it. Once again, UGLE did the work for making the universal change against France.

      You said: "(BTW, the REAL nuclear option is for the AASR-SJ to go into these two states and and exercise their ability to charter new SR "red lodges" in defiance of their agreement not to confer the first three degrees in US GL jurisdictions. But that's another story...)"

      This is true and I do acknowledge such. However, I find that to be an empty threat as the Supreme Council would never do such without first finding out of all Grand Lodges would be in consensus with a Grand Lodge's removal. Thanks again for the reply.

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    4. Simply put, without a super-majority consensus of all Grand Lodges, suspension of recognition is a senseless and impotent gesture because there are still numerous Grand Lodges that still will recognize a GL in question. I am not supporting or rejecting one side or another on this, I am saying that this middle ground is deadly and damaging to our gentle Craft, unless we start learning to resolve things among a united front of Grand Lodges.

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    5. Actually, the PHA recognition question dates back to 1948, when the GL of Washington (State) briefly recognized their counterpart, which was followed by a barrage of other GLs suspending relations with them until they changed their mind. So, it's actually been an issue for almost 70 years.

      The Haas issue is a little different. It is generally agreed that Frank passed his reforms in a manner that violated their GL rules of order, proposing them all in one resolution, instead of having them voted on one at a time. After he was expelled by WV, he went over to Ohio and joined a lodge in Steubenville. At that point, WV suspended relations with Ohio until OH was forced to finally expel him.

      So, I'm not sure what either of these incidents proves, other than suspension of relations works. it did in favor of WV. And against Washington. And it did when Minnesota recognized a second GL in France, and got suspended by 15 states, and was subsequently forced to drop the second French GL.

      So I'd say yanking recognition can be an effective strategy.

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    6. I also question your assertion that a GM suspending relations with another GL is somehow "abuse of power." it's nothing of the sort. It is an exercise of his lawful authority in his jurisdiction, and it may be overturned at the next annual meeting.

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    7. Brother Chris, it may be "lawful authority", but it is still considered "abuse of power" if you apply a high yield weapon upon an opponent while knowing that you will only get little to no results in doing such. If that is the case, then maybe you are using the wrong weapon. Also, the more you use that weapon, the less impact it will have when you truly need it. I know you think that this is the little firecracker applied to the right place on the dam in order to break it, but I do not believe such is the case. But I guess only time will tell, but if I am right, the only people who will be impacted are those brethren who are beholden to the whim of a couple of men who hold the title of GM. There is a better way, but it may take longer. All the best to you my Brother.

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    8. Well if I find myself persecuted by a tyrannical and bigoted Grand Master, I know I can't count on you to stick up for me.

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    9. gotham77, that is your opinion and a very flawed and false one at that. Why do people think because someone don't agree with them that they are the enemy? Let's just say that if you are being persecuted and I choose to assist you, I will actually use a tool or tactic that will actually work as I have done for others on various occasions. But I will leave it at that because I am sure that my point was made already.

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  9. Those grand lodges that wish to enter into brotherhood will likely be able to petition for recognition in a few years when they rescind their statements. Masonry is changing, and those lodges can't put it off forever. Wait and see what their position on these issues is after a few Masonic funerals.

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    1. Unfortunately, those Masonic funerals we sometimes pine away about don't yield the results we hope for. Sadly, some attitudes seem to be passed from one generation to the next.

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  10. in some states the Hiram or other largely African American grand lodges are more substantial than the various Prince Hall jurisdictions. Prince Hall, as a sort of separate but equal approach, is not the same as the white grand lodges becoming integrated -- just as the notion of separate but equal schools and libraries was invalid. That is 2016 we should be debating this puts us way behind the Bd enough if we were making pots or candy bars and we would quickly be called to account. But our product is diversity and brotherhood and we are bigots big time.rest of the country and when we talk about our contribution to America, we look evil,mendacious, and ridiculous. Imagine if the NFL said some teams couldnt cope with integration and needed time to think about it. We dont belong in Memorial Day services, patriotic parades, school prize giving, or other civic ceremonies because you dont invite the klan to those events. We have become by dint of recognition an awful, awful group of racists and gay bashers, out of tune with the country and a refuge for scoundrels like the Tennessee and Georgia filth That is what they are, filth. Using the flag and cross as protection for their pathetic hatreds.

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    1. Your are right Paul. I have taken a demit from my home lodge. Have not heard from them as of yet. But being a PM and 70years old I will probably not get a chance to rejoin the Lodge. Being from Tennessee and the other states around me I have no choice at the moment. Maybe some day the Grand Lodge of Tennessee will stop their stupidity and understand times are changing. Being Jewish and my mother barely it out of Germany with her life. I fully under stand that history repeats itself. Nazi's came for the Jew,Blacks, Gays etc. This is what TN & GA looks like with their decision. It is a sad day. Hope the other Grand Lodges fine a way to appease good brothers from TN and GA who want to continue to receive more light and brotherhood from this great fraternity.

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    2. As a professor I signed for students but now am ashamed I did. One is gay and another is latino but dark hued and has run into visiting trouble in Nashville. I have no respect for people who talk about things working out in time. Not only are the southern masons who perpetuate bigotry redneck trash, the grand masters and grand lines of the lodges and groups like the Shrine and Scottish Rite everywhere that are willing to recognize gay bashing, racist grand lodges are morally bankrupt. They need to be hit where it hurts by alerting their communities. Anyone in 2016 who thinks that we need more time to think about bigotry should be challenged aggressively and in a number of states things are building to give them an interesting coming year. But on being destroyed, and this is the tragedy, those years of Masonic reputation are gone forever. With work, being a grand master can acquire the same reputation as being a gas chamber volunteer,which is what some of them are, They won't listen, but let us keep hoping. Racism, gay bashing, anti semitism, recognition of African dictators -- meet the masons.

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  11. Recognition of grand lodges in Africa headed by African despots is endemic with American grand lodges. Ditto both recognition of blue lodge and higher degrees in a number of countries that will not initiate Jews, including amazingly one German grand lodge. Then we have recognition of lodges that are racists, applying a skin color test to Latinos and African-Americans, and of course the gay bashing. If you are an ambitious young man, would you tarnish your cv by affiliating with any of our grand lodges? It is my understanding that judicial nominees or prospective nominees in California have for years and years resigned from the Craft to avoid trouble. We do not tell prospective candidates about all of this, and that itself is dishonest whether in New York or California or Michigan or anywhere. If they knew all of this, would they buy in. Everyone on this list is involved in supporting racial discrimination, gay bashing, murderous despots, and anti semitism. Each of these situations has developed excuses -- it needs time to change, grand lodges are sovereign, recognition is misunderstood, the country has a lot of Lutherans who don't want Jews, African leaders are different. What happens is that people walk away. The responsible thing is rather than leave to insist, to insist, that masonry be the inclusive fellowship that earned it respect in the 18th century and attracted men like Dr. Anderson and Ben Franklin and such geniuses as they. We don't get top men because we are way behind rather than way ahead of the attitudes in America. We are dying because we have been becoming the home of the prejudiced, the mediocre, the unaccomplished. When you get to the point that the President cannot be a member because of his race, where are you. What has happened in Georgia and Tennessee is simply disgusting, and look how little has been done about it. The Belgians have to teach us about brotherhood and what masonry is. We are watching the fraternity be destroyed. Meet by its actions the most bigoted group in America, the masons.

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  12. As for Africa, what have the grand representatives of American grand lodges been doing while the years have passed with grand masters for life using masonry: "Just like in Gabon, Freemasonry is very present at the very top in many African states. Denis Sassou Nguesso, the Congolese president, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Congo – Brazzaville is linked to the National Grand Lodge of France; President Mamadou Tanja of Niger; Chad’s Idriss Deby and François Bozizé of the Central African Republic are among at least twelve African presidents linked to the “trois points” (three points) brothers.

    Their adherence to this society is more often than not the cause of misfortune for their various countries. Their western counterparts on the other hand act differently. As their western counterparts do all in their power to consolidate democracy in their countries to enhance development, Freemasons within the African political circles mostly rule their countries with iron fists, while robbing the “widow and orphan”, contrary to the main objective of the Lodge, which seeks to protect the “widow and the orphan”.

    After a 42 year rule in a country naturally blessed with oil resources, like one of the prosperous Gulf states, Omar Bongo left Gabon in economic shambles and among the very poor countries category (HIPC). His former father-in-law, Sassou Nguesso has also been accused of the same corrupt practices. Both appeared on a recent list which denounced African leaders with ill-gotten wealth.

    Their godfathers from the French lodge, by virtue of their silence, have condoned these practices. The Nouvel Observateur article mentions how Omar Bongo, known for his generosity towards his friends showered his French "brethren" with gifts. Only a few years ago, a huge financial gift from Denis Sassou Nguesso to the GLNF was widely criticized. Equally linked to Masonic networks, although nothing is known of his adhesion to the Freemasons, Paul Biya of Cameroon recently donated a large sum of money to l’Ordre Souverain du Temple Initiatique, in a backdrop of poverty in his own backyard. Mr. Biya is known for his expansive generosity towards gurus and esoteric groups. Largesse made possible by Cameroonian taxpayers’ money

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  13. Here is more on the recognition of African dictators who use their grand lodges to sustain their power:

    http://masonictimesafrica.blogspot.com/search/label/Congo%20%40%20Brazzaville

    This recognition is another reason that masonry has become one of the most hypocritical organizations in America, along with its racism, gender discrimination,and anti semitism. The recognition of the dictators is bought with hospitality and gifts.

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