"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


“The Masonic system represents a stupendous and beautiful fabric, founded on universal purity, to rule and direct our passions, to have faith and love in God, and charity toward man.”
— William Howard Taft

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Immediate MEPGM of Grand Encampment Responds To Louisiana Edict

On Monday of this week I reported that MW Martin J. Reinschmidt, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana F&AM, had issued an Edict withdrawing recognition of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States. (See GM of Louisiana Withdraws Recognition of Knights Templars).

To my knowledge, as of 5PM on Saturday the Edict remains in force. I will update if that situation changes.

I have just received the following response and documents from MEPGM Duane L. Vaught, now the immediate Most Eminent Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, regarding the situation with Louisiana.

His message and all documents are presented below in their entirety, per his permission:




Brothers, Sir Knights and others:

Freemasonry offers many wonderful experiences to the loyal mason. On Monday of our Grand Encampment Triennial we were off to a good start. During the public session on that morning we recognized guests from around the world. A senior Pediatric Ophthalmic surgeon and official of the American Association of Ophthalmology literally cried tears of joy over our agreement to provide two million dollars of support to a project to help save the sight of children, we were on track to recognize Prince Hall Templary and provide a fun and meaningful experience for our members.

I was greatly distressed therefore to learn later that same day of this blog presenting a false impression regarding our relationship with the Grand lodge of Louisiana. I certainly understand the legitimate interest by our members to become aware of the actions of the Grand Master of Louisiana. I regret that the commentary failed to make any effort to contact us or to obtain complete information about the nature of these unfortunate circumstances. It appears that Mr. Hodapp has been provided some incomplete information that he regretfully used for the basis of his analysis rather than simply presenting the Grand Master’s edict which would have been unquestionably reasonable.

We were informed of the expulsion of Mr. du Treil. We are required to suspend his membership and will do so. The many accusations that we do not recognize the Grand Lodge expulsion are wholly false. We do not for a moment question their actions.

Every action against a member must comply with some process. Failure to do so is not simply unfair but illegal under the laws of every state. In some cases the process is to issue an order. I am told that the process in Louisiana Grand Lodge was a vote of the members. If so it would have been illegal for them to do so except by this process. Our process is through a trial in Mr. du Treil’s local Commandery. It is not an order by me, which would have been illegal. It is not by simply changing the membership records to show expulsion. It is not a vote of the members of the Grand Encampment. It is not the waiving of a wand or the casting of the spell expecto patronum. It is a trial which much like suspension for nonpayment of dues requires charges (notice) and approximately a month later a 2 minute trial with an automatic guilty verdict unless one can prove that the expulsion did not occur. Only evidence that the expulsion does not exist would be a valid defense. Claims that an expulsion should not exist is not a valid defense.

This process should have been commenced immediately by the Knights Templar of Louisiana. If it had the suspension would have already occurred. The Grand Commander should have seen that the trial occurred and he has repeatedly informed me that he knows of this requirement. Many interesting questions surround the actions of Grand Commander Gates since he is also an attorney for the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and represented the Grand Lodge when they lost a court hearing resulting in a court order to enjoin or bar the Grand Lodge from suspending Mr. du Treil.

It is the Grand Commander of Louisiana, and not me that has failed to comply with the duties of his office and he has been removed from office for his conduct in this matter. The new Acting Grand Commander, former Deputy Grand Commander, has been ordered by me to repair the deficiencies of his predecessor by seeing to it that charges are promptly filed in Louisiana over the Masonic membership matter so that trial may proceed.

We have been accused of allowing a suspended mason to attend a tiled Templar meeting. We are innocent. First, although he is expelled from Freemasonry, he is not suspended from Templary yet. Second, Mr. du Treil did not sit in a tiled Templar meeting this week and to my knowledge not since his expulsion.

The Grand Master of Louisiana sent me a letter by internet on August 15 (first seen by me during the Knight Templar Eye Foundation Trustees meeting the next day) That “If you do not accept my request, and allow Frank Du Treil Jr. to be present at the formal business conclaves during your Triennial Conclave ...” The letter also stated “I am instructing all Knights Templar who hold masonic membership in a lodge under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana not to be present at any formal and tyled conclave of Knights Templar with Frank N Du Treil Jr.”

Simply put, The Grand Master of Louisiana did not want Frank du Treil to attend a tiled conclave and he did not do so. The Edict was issued on the basis of the false claim that he did.

I have here provided a copy of the August 15 letter from the Grand Master of Louisiana, the letter to the Grand Master of Louisiana relative to his edict which was based on incorrect information, and the order of removal of Grand Commander Gates from office for failure to fulfill the duties of his office. I would beg an interested person to read the documents himself as well as the previously posted Edict. A wise person should judge for himself based on all the facts. “Clearly seen as an affront”, “which is certainly his right” and “pretty cut and dried decision” are easy opinions to throw out when a question is simplified by the omission of most of the data.

In summary

  1. Mr. Frank du Treil is an expelled mason.
  2. He is not yet suspended by Templary because of the failure to fulfil the duties of his office by a Grand Commander who is an attorney for the Grand Lodge. That Grand Commander has been removed from office.
  3. The matter is subject to litigation between the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and several others which is none of our business as Templars
  4. The Grand Master of Louisiana’s edict punishes the members of his state and all of Freemasonry for a violation that did not occur.
But read the documents and see for yourself. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on the internet.


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE






Edict (for Reference)






Text of message to Chris Hodapp








13 comments:

  1. How do I sit in a tyled commandery meeting for a trial for someone I cannot sit in a tyled lodge with?

    ReplyDelete
  2. To start, I love the intent and purpose of being a Knight Templar and believe this institution to be a force for good and have nothing but the best regards and intentions towards it. That being said, in my humble opinion, the actions of the Grand Encampment was wrong.

    From everything I know about Freemasonry, when a Mason is expelled and such is officially reported by a Grand Lodge, that Mason automatically loses membership and any office held in all other Masonic bodies - period. If there is a question in the manner in which that Mason was expelled, it is in the best interest of that Masonic body to follow through with the expulsion, then work with that specific Grand Lodge to resolve any differences in order for both organization to come to a concensus.

    I read the MEPGM's report and documentation and I found in serious question the need for the Grand Commandery of Louisiana to ensure that the local Commandery prefer charges on a Knight Templar who has already been expelled from Freemasonry. The need for a templaric trial would be moot in this scenario.

    It does not matter that the expelled Mason did not attend any meetings at the Grand Encampment during the Triennial; the fact that the Grand Commandery and Grand Encampment did not immediately expel this non-Mason is the reason and justification for the edict ending relations with the Knights Templar. To say "It is the Grand Commander of Louisiana, and not me that has failed to comply with the duties of his office" is not an accurate assessment in such a case.


    The following was reported and here is my assessment of the matter:

    1. Mr. Frank du Treil is an expelled mason.

    Response:
    No arguments here.

    2. He is not yet suspended by Templary because of the failure to fulfil the duties of his office by a Grand Commander who is an attorney for the Grand Lodge. That Grand Commander has been removed from office.

    Response:
    Suspension should be automatic upon receipt of official dispatch from the Grand Lodge following the trial. No justification to have a Templaric trial on this matter. If Grand Encampment has such a rule (Section 204), they would do well to get rid of it, less future issues do further damage.

    3. The matter is subject to litigation between the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and several others which is none of our business as Templars.

    Response:
    Litigation has no place in this. Regardless of litigation, Grand Lodge trial ruled that Mason was expelled. Had any further litigation changed this in the future, then restoration of knighthood and officer position could be regained at that point.

    4. The Grand Master of Louisiana’s edict punishes the members of his state and all of Freemasonry for a violation that did not occur.

    Response:
    The lack of action by the Grand Encampment is punishing the Knight Templars of that state. Course of action to be taken should have been expulsion of Department Commander, then discussion with Grand Lodge if change of such position was desired.

    Furthermore, Worshipful Brother Hodapp did nothing more than disseminate information being passed to him with the purpose of informing the Craft of what was transforming at that time and what was affecting numerous Masons; there was no lie or error in that the Louisiana signed an edict ending the relationship. His information was accurate, no falsehood or lies on his part.

    If section 204 prevented the MEPGM from acting quickly, then Grand Encampment should deal with such but there should had been no need for political brinkmanship on this issue just to justify one's postion. Wishing all parties all the best for a quick resolution to this matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well stated. However, the section you reference (204) says nothing removes the right of a Commandery to have a trial. To me that says the Commandery CAN try him but does not HAVE to try him as Section 202 states revocation of lodge membership removes Templar membership; no trial needed. FYI those sections can be found in the Constitution here https://goo.gl/cQcPsC. Trying to scapegoat the GC of LA is not the right thing to do when the GE failed to uphold their own law. Section 202 allows for continuance of Templar membership under capricious chapter or council suspensions only. It is also VERY clear the intent of section 202 is to remove Templar membership upon suspension or expulsion from Lodge membership. If you can't see that you are choosing not to.

      Delete
  3. “First, although he is expelled from Freemasonry, he is not suspended from Templary yet.”
    Uh, he’s expelled, therefore unable/unfit/ineligible to retain membership in Templary....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Grand officers spend many years going up the line, usually making many friendships on the way and knowing, more than the average member, those working both at a local and state level. So the lasting consequences of removals and animosities are inevitably substantial.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bottom line and forever stated; if you loose your Blue Lodge membership you automatically loose all other memberships and titles no further action is required.

    ReplyDelete
  6. if the former brothe in one jurisdicito is a member of blue lodges in other jurisdictions, which he probably is in this case given his numerous past various grand ranks, or even a member of recognized overseas jurisdicition lodges, then it is a question of how the other jursidicitons treat his expulsion in Louisiana and what the situation in Templarism is for a Mason ousted from one blue lodge but still a member of others. As has been commented, how would the situation be with brethren were who ousted from Florida lodges for their religious views, or brethren ousted form Georgia and Tennessee lodges because of their gay preferences, or from Arkansas lodges for a bewildering number of unresolved situations. As for the initial news on the blog, it was quite straightforward and certainly didn't merit the criticism that it got. Brother Hodapp simply reported on a situation that is newsworthy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Brother Rich is correct. We may have a unique situation here if the former brother belongs to more than one Blue Lodge of separate sovereign U.S. jurisdictions.

    We are dealing with a National Masonic Body (Grand Encampment) so it is possible to retain membership as a Templar if you if you are a dual member of Lodges with separate sovereign jurisdictions. I wish it was always a simple process, but if the above applies, maybe not.

    In the above case, the two or more Grand Master Masons, Grand Commanders, and the Grand Encampment Grand Master, would all have to be on the same sheet of music.

    And who said being a grand officer was supposed to be easy?

    ReplyDelete
  8. The sticking point is that of process.
    1. A Brother is expelled/suspended from his Blue Lodge.
    2. Notice of this is given to GL
    3. "Somebody" notifies the various appendant bodies (Lodge to subordinate bodies?? GL to state bodies??)
    4. Notice reaches subordinate bodies and FOLLOWING THEIR ESTABLISHED PROCESS membership is ended.

    All of this takes time. Our masonic lessons include the value of being patience.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Because I am a life member of lodges in different jurisdictions, including ones abroad, I have sometimes been unable to sit with myself when they were at war. There is also the problem of a jurisdiction I belong to insisting that I
    not sit in lodge with a brother from an unrecognized jurisdiction. In some jurisdictions only the American is unaware of the fact that the various lodges have intercourse regardless of the American grand lodges not recognizing some of the lodges represented. in Latin America some of the recognized jurisdictions have women members whom they conceal when an American appears. it is unfortunate that Brother George Washington refused to be a grand master for the country, because the present system is helping drag us to extinction.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Howdy, Chris!

    Do you have any updates planned with the response from Grand Commander Gates?

    ReplyDelete

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