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


Friday, November 16, 2007

Euclid Lodge No. 3 appears in Grand Rapids

It now appears that Cleveland's Halcyon Lodge No. 2 has company in their revolution. Euclid Lodge No. 3 has been announced in Grand Rapids, Michigan by Brandt Smith, its new Worshipful Master.

No. 2 and No. 3 of what, neither lodge has publicly stated yet. Nor has Euclid made it known what about the Grand Lodge of Michigan was keeping them from their goals of creating a lodge of high standards, education and visionary leadership. perhaps that will be forthcoming.

Smith was once a member of Doric Lodge #342, which seemed from its website to have an active and excited young membership that was accomplishing good things.


  1. I'm a Michigan Mason in a lodge about 50 miles from Grand Rapids.

    I am familiar with some of the brothers from Doric lodge; they hosted my raising, I was at their recent all degree day, and I'm in the Valley of Grand Rapids for Scottish Rites. I haven't heard any complaints about Grand Lodge from any one. In fact, when we discuss the GL of Michigan, it's how much better our GL is than, well, other states we've heard about.

    My experience with the Michigan Grand Lodge -- while limited -- has been extremely positive. I've had the opportunity to meet and chat with several past Grand Masters, and have met several officers in the current line.

    That said, I would be fascinated to know:
    A - Why did they sever ties to the Grand Lodge?
    B - How could they build ties with a lodge from Ohio THIS week, of all weeks? (a small battle is scheduled between our states at noon eastern today. I know masonic brotherhood transcends war and stuff... but football???)

  2. Apparently, from reading some on the internet, Euclid Lodge #3 is intent on the admission of atheists into their Lodge as members.

    There is even a recent post on the Euclid blog alluding the validity of why atheists should be Masons.

    I suppose the TO Lodges are a different brand of believers than the rest of Masons.

    Somehow the seem to be less the future of Freemason, but more of a radical splinter group.


  3. That we may be Brother. You make a true statement in all regards. We may fissle out and not exist in a year or ten years. What man knows what the future may bring.
    Let it be know though that regardless of what anyone feels about our motives, we labor under the most pure intentions that we can muster.
    Can we agree that we are doing what our conscience guides us to do. If it turns out to be wrong (or right) in the long run. We do not intend any ill to you or any Brother.
    We are not starting a fight, we just want to practice Masonry as our hearts have guided us.
    Anything that is good that comes of this is due to the Supreme Architect of the Universe. Not to us. Only the mistakes are ours.

    may the God of Peace and Love reside with you always.


  4. I wish them luck. I frankly agree with their statement on different ritualistic workings and on the admission of atheists. It sounds as if they simply wish to practice a European type of Freemasonry not permitted by the GL of Michigan, and I have great sympathy for their feelings. If my travels find me near Grand Rapids I hope they'll admit a tired old PM from afar as a visitor.

  5. Brother,
    If you do ever make it out this way, drop us a line. We always have room for a travelling brother.


  6. Brother Royce,

    You told a story in your blog that illustrates beautifully our reasons for separation from the Grand Lodge of Michigan. You told of how you wanted to do you proficiency long form, the old way. The Grand Secretary told you that this was no longer an option. What right does the Grand Lodge have to tell you that you can't do more than what is required? Why shouldn't an individual lodge have the right to require or allow their candidates to do as much as they please, as long as it is as least as much as the Grand Lodge's minimum standards?

    In short, what I'm trying to say is that we are all grown men. As a lodge, we are capable of making our own decisions on how we want to operate as long as those decisions live up to the minimums set by the Grand Lodge. Yet the Grand Lodge won't give us the power to make those decisions. They treat us like children.

    The Grand Lodge exists because of the lodges. It exists to serve the lodges. Not the other way around.

    Tony Melton
    Euclid Lodge #3

  7. Tony,

    Thanks for your response. The Grand Lodge can't stop me from demonstrating proficiency the old way; the Grand Lodge can only define how that box gets checked on my dues card. There's no reason that ritual can't be done in lodge; and in fact, I will do it. Before I do that, though, I'll first show my proficiency the way the Grand Lodge wants me to. The Grand Lodge may exist to serve the lodges; however, maintaining consistency among the lodges IS one of the things I want it to do. When I go from South Haven to Grand Rapids or Detroit I want things to be as consistent as possible.

    Do you have any other examples of things you feel the Grand Lodge is too intrusive?

    I hope you, Brandt and others find what you are seeking and I wish you only the best.

  8. What I find really sad is that some modern GL seem to manage from the lowest common denominator instead of the highest one. Yes, it is easier but it just means that we've been lowering our standards for many years now...


  9. Brother Royce,
    I have no issue with the GL at all. I think quite highly of a number of the Brethren there.
    There are other issues: ritual, education, the question of atheists, and the idea that my freetime and what I do with it is simply that, my freetime.

    This is not a strike against the GL at all. It is a realization that the differences in philosophy that we hold interferes. I would be problematic and unfulfilled in a GL lodge (as would the rest of the Euclid Brothers). I feel that we made a decision that was good for us and them.
    Brother Royce, though you may not feel comfortable with the idea of visiting Euclid (though you would be welcome) you are still welcome to have a beer with us if you are ever in town. Brothers are Brothers.

  10. Mr. Brandt

    Without a dues card from a recognized Lodge, you are no longer considered a Masonic brother under my obligation.

    That doesn't mean I don't wish you the best of luck, but it does mean that you are classified as a non-Mason. The classification that would apply to women, children, and other non-Masons.


  11. Now there is more than Euclid No. 3.


  12. I feel sorry for the folks who Jeff Peace has L. Ron Hubbarded into following him out of Masonry.

    Perhaps someday you'll see the light. Till then, farewell.

  13. Brethren,
    I do consider you Brothers. Regardless of what you may think of my Masonic standing. Would you actively resist a free Guiness?
    I do know Brother Jeff Peace. Euclid is an independent entity that is responsible to itself and its Brothers.


  14. Brethren, I don't disagree with your sentiments, especially as they concern being told that reduced proficiency is the only way you would be allowed to test candidates. If that is true in Michigan, I understand your frustration.

    The only issue I would argue is the atheism topic. When you tinker with one of the seven most commonly accepted landmarks, you erode the basis of the superstructure of the fraternity. That's not a Grand Lodge issue or some petty requirement erected by a transient grand master on a whim.

    Still, there is much difference between the situation of Euclid Lodge and what happened at Halcyon. The men of Euclid have started from scratch. They've stuck their own officer's pikes into the ground and declared themselves a new and independent lodge with a new set of rules. I hope it satisfies the kind of Masonry they seek.

    Halcyon, on the other hand, has taken an existing lodge, transferred its assets, and told its older members and the Grand Lodge of Ohio to pound sand. As personally satisfying as that might be to their collective sense of rebellion, I don't believe they'll succeed at the mission they set out to accomplish, which was to save their building. Maybe I'm wrong, and no, I'm not an attorney. But their methods of moving the ownership of the building and the lodge's assets, along with the manner in which they voted to turn in their charter, just doesn't pass the smell test, and I believe the Grand Lodge of Ohio will prevail against them.

    An alliance between these now three new lodges brings up the question of the formation of a new Grand Lodge, since they are numbering themselves consecutively. None have proclaimed such a thing yet, but now with the addition of Sirius Lodge to this sequential alliance, I suspect the UGLA will show up soon, or some other similarly named umbrella group. And with a new Grand Lodge will come new rules, a new constitution, new GL officers, and the substitution of a new set of egos to deal with. I wish all of you luck. I've never been one who wanted to be part of a splinter group, with ten guys circumabulating in our socks around somebody's living room, insisting ours was the right way, and everybody else was wrong. I believe the fraternity is worth fighting for.

    Where there is lack of leadership, it is because new men with vision aren't fighting to be heard, or because they get too impatient and walk away. And yes, in some cases, an entrenched group of stubborn men simply refuse to see any other direction and retaliate with all of the powers that our organization gives them. Grand Masters need to understand that a whispered word of counsel, or a private airing of opinions does a hundred times more to advance the fraternity forward than a fistful of suspensions and expulsions that do nothing but further divide us and create angry revolutionaries. That's not what this fraternity was ever supposed to be about.

    No grand officer sets out to destroy the fraternity. But I have never believed the way to fix the troubles we have by getting tossed out, or starting something new outside of the mainstream system. That's my opinion. The Patrick Henry's and Guy Fawkes's out there throwing down the gauntlet obviously disagree. Let's all have a beer in five years and see which approach worked.

  15. And I will reiterate my warning about anonymous posters here. If you have information that comes from one of these lodges being discussed, stand up and sign your posting. We're brethren here. The very least we can expect is to know who's talking to us.

  16. I dunno Chris, admitting atheists has worked out well enough for the Grand Orient of France and other bodies with which they are associated.

    I, for one, have had just about enough of your anti-sock rhetoric however. I own and enjoy a number of very high quality socks from such makers as Pantherella and Marcoliani, and your continued slanders against sock wearers are beginning to wear quite thin. One could do quite a bit worse than to perambulate your living room in a fine pair of cashmere Pantherellas.

  17. Look, you sock-poseur. I'm only keeping your pro-sock screed here because I know who you are. And I have blackmail photos of you in your hat-measuring device.

  18. BTW, the Grand Orient of France's policies about atheism have translated into an organization that issues public statements on religious and government policies, like some UN NGO. Grand Orient officers marched in the streets in their regalia to protest Muslim girls wearing headscarves and Christian girls wearing crosses in school. Thanks, but no thanks. I don't want my Grand Lodge participating in those kinds of activities.

  19. In the context of French society and its commitment to laïcité I'm not sure that the GO officers were completely out of bounds. There's no such corresponding concept in American society and I'm not terribly concerned about American Freemasons taking similar positions, I'm not sure it's a parallel you can draw.

    And then there's the simple fact that people pay attention to what the Grand Orient thinks because it is a relevant organization in France. American Freemasons do not enjoy a similar level of exposure or importance.

    As you know, I've always maintained that even asking the question about whether a man has religious convictions violates our own contention that a man's religious beliefs are not important to us and that requiring the Bible to be open on the altar is a de facto statement of religious preference. I also believe it's a subject upon which good men can have an honest difference of opinion. That's why I hope for the best for this new lodge. Options are good.

  20. Brother Chris,
    You and I don't live too far apart and I at times have reason to be in your area. We can have a beer anytime and discuss it.
    Please keep up the good work that you are doing, don't stop no matter what comes up. I think that you have a great deal to offer the greater fraternity. Keep doing what you do best.
    As to the Euclid - Halcyon issue. I think highly of the Brethren of Halcyon that I have had the opportunity to speak to. They treated as a Brother. The issues between the GL of OH and Halcyon will be worked out one way or the other. Euclid is a different issue all together. We just struck out on our own. I won't say pioneer as I am sitting in my nice warm office right now with a full stomach and nice red. Regardless, we did strike out on our own.
    We have no stupid notions that our separation has any effect on the GL. They are just fine without us and we are just not that important.
    We have not initiated an atheists. We have made it clear that the term "atheist" is slippery. We will address that on a case by case basis if and when it comes up. It may never and then we will never have to address. If it does Euclid will do what is best for us.

    Brother Chris, you are about as cool as they come. As I said keep doing what you do Brother and I will keep buying your books.

    There have been a lot of questions of which jurisdiction we are laboring under. At this time, none really. We are entertaining some options. When the lodge makes its decision we will announce it. We do have to ensure that whatever jurisdiction we end up under protects our particular needs and outlook.


  21. Mr. Hodapp...

    Nah... I'm just kidding! lol

    Bro. Chris,

    I think this will be the first peaceful "revolution" in the history of man. No one wants to fight or argue anymore. In a way it's a "white flag" surrender. We're just walking away from the field and leaving it to others to do with it what they will.

    If you think Halcyon kicked the GL out, you'd be wrong. The GL held a Masters Installation at the temple on Friday with 135 Masons and their guests attending. Masons, Eastern Stars, District Deputies, etc. were given tours of the historic building and welcomed with open arms by the brethren at Halcyon.

    This isn't a war - it's a surrender. You do things your way and we'll support your efforts. We'll do things our way and we hope you'll support us too.

    All the bitterness, stone throwing, and arguing are over. Don't you think it's time to give it a rest?

    While we may not be able to work together as closely as we could under one system, perhaps we can discover new ways to work together in a more productive manner. The choice is up to you mainstream brothers. We're out of the fight and willing to stand beside you as brothers. Can you meet us in the middle and make Masonry truly work?



  22. This isn't a war - it's a surrender. You do things your way and we'll support your efforts. We'll do things our way and we hope you'll support us too.

    All the bitterness, stone throwing, and arguing are over. Don't you think it's time to give it a rest?

    I'll believe all of that when I see it. Based on your behavior over the last several years, I think there is good reason to be skeptical. Perhaps if you had adopted that tone from the very beginning, you and your movement would have some credibility and might have been a positive force instead of the divisive force you've been up to this point. I hope you mean what you say.

  23. On other forums and lists, this whole topic is generating far more heat than light. I have my own opinions about what has happened in Ohio, Michigan and now Georgia, but they are just that — opinions.

    I wish these brethren had found a way to operate within the mainstream system without leaving.

    I wish they had channeled their enthusiasm towards helping the rest of us build towards a new future instead of creating fringe movements within an organization that already has visibility and directional problems as it is.

    I wish these brethren had more concrete reasons as to why they left than is being expressed online (Brother Brandt gave as one objection on another posting, "Preston-Webb just doesn't cut it").

    I wish Halcyon had found a better way to save their building than by actions that I believe will be found improper and hurt everyone involved.

    I wish, in the hopes of creating something new, the men involved in these new lodges would come to the conclusion that transparency and honesty is the way to demonstrate the ups and downs of their new group — meaning, if you want to prove to the rest of us that you really have a better way, like your old math teacher said, show your work. Don't engage in puffery by claiming "we have doz...hundr...THOUSANDS of members, and they are all PhD's, and we're chartering new lodges every dang day in all the countries of the globe!" (I'm not saying all of you have done this in the past, but some of you have, and it destroys what credibility you may have had, and has caused years of distrust in the bargain.)

    But these men have no requirement to justify to the rest of us why they felt the need to break away. If the lodges they create suit their needs, more power to them. If they create something better, I'm a firm believer in stealing ideas that work, and I freely give credit where credit is due. Only time will tell if they have made something good, or just a marginal splinter group that withers and dies in a short time, Or one that doesn't survive the ugly pains of creation.

    Finally, Jim and Nathan in particular, we know brethren among us who have come close to this kind of action. Had they done what these others have, I would feel the same way — understanding their frustration, sympathizing with their view, disagreeing with their actions, and hoping they find what they didn't find in our lodges. In the end, I personally don't believe they will when all of the dust settles and they have to get around to the boring business of starting an all-new organization and dealing with the dull crap of taxes and record-keeping and paperwork and government regulations and all of the rest of the junk that Grand Lodges do behind the scenes that the rest of us never see. And once they get bogged down in picking new leaders, there is no getting around the influences of egos and personalities, once somebody has to be the boss. Anarchy has never worked, and revolutionary dreamers generally make lousy kings. Not always. Just generally. The idealistic dreams of a carefree Masonic Valhalla frankly have a great likelihood of ending in flames — just like starting any new business.

    So I wish them well. I hope they keep us updated with both their successes and failures, so everybody learns in the end. And maybe they'll prove that the rest of us are all wet. If they are a success, they're buying the drinks.

  24. Brethren,
    We have tried to no end to work in the system. The same old story,"It's not how we do things here,or it's always been this way."
    Another quote when I tried to spruce up the lodge a little bit, I got this, Mike Ciceretti says to me " Every nail and every hook has it's purpose, You are not to touch anything unless I tell you to do it." and this was just because I changed a couple of chairs around in our lounge area. lol

    We have always tried to take the high road and it never got us anything but aggravation.

    Yes I admit we have been close to crossing the line and have made a few mistakes, but in the best intrest of everybody involved we did what we did.

    I have been a member for about ten years now and have sat in the east so I know what has transpired.

    I can not go into details and all of which will come out as the Master sees fit. I recall hearing something like this " This is not the time nor place".

    Yes some members teased people which I do not agree with but I feel like it still should not be speculated on by anyone outside the know.

    Time ,patience, and percerverance will get you what you desire.

    I also find it disturbing that people want to call us unmasonic and cast judgement.

    People seem to always bring up the oath and forget about the charges which in my opinion are just as important if not more.

    "You are not to palliate or aggravate the offenses of your Brethren, but in the decision of every tresspass against our rules you are to judge with candor, admonish with friendship and reprehend with justice."

    If things work out great if not so be it. We had to do what we had to do. It was not just a handful of guys that did this and it did not happen over night.

    People seem to think Br. Peace was the big instagator here and thats not the case. This has been coming to this for the last seven years, so I wish that people would stop saying he started this whole mess. We did not know Bro. Peace until about a year and half ago give or take.

    If people would just give it some time we will all see where this is going and stop the speculating and causing a huge rumor mill.

    C.P. Snow P.M. Halcyon, Cunningham R.A.M.

  25. Bro. Chris,

    I'm sad to see that you refused to even acknowledge our kind and brotherly offer. Instead you chose to pontificate on issues which require more than idle talk to resolve.

    We truly hope that this can end in a peaceful way, but your rhetoric lacks the sincerity of someone truly seeking to mend the issues that have led to this separation.

    All we can do is offer the hand of brotherly love and friendship. The choice is yours of whether to accept or reject it.

    Isn't it time you quit talking about Masonry and start living up to the high ideals it expresses? I am not innocent of being un-brotherly either, but I now see a better way for things to end. I hope you can as well.



  26. I certainly didn't see anything un-Masonic in Chris's post. True to form, you just can't disagree with someone without resorting to ad hominem. You've confirmed my earlier suspicions.

  27. My great-grandfather was a mason. He was raised in the early 20th century. I do not know much about him, besides the fact that he was a mason, but also an atheist. Maybe he simply lied about believing the the Supreme Architect...maybe he was raised in a lodge where it did not matter...I do know that I believe, and that is what matters to me.

  28. Jeff Peace said:
    I'm sad to see that you refused to even acknowledge our kind and brotherly offer. Instead you chose to pontificate on issues which require more than idle talk to resolve.

    My blog. My house. I can pontificate all I like in here.

    And you know better than to accuse me of "idle talk." I have no "issues to mend" in this episode. If this was an Indiana lodge, I might, but I have no part in this situation, other than as an interested bystander.

    In almost all of my posts I've wished everyone involved in these adventures well. I haven't accused anyone of breaking their obligation. I haven't stalked off in a "they're no brethren of mine" manner. I have frankly taken the stance that the lodges in question might even have a better way of doing things.

    I'm not certain of just what "kind and brotherly" offer you're speaking of. But it sure didn't take long for you to lash out in a manner characteristic of your past online behavior, for which you have become notorious. You're barking up a dead horse by coming at me.

    Jeff Peace said:
    Isn't it time you quit talking about Masonry and start living up to the high ideals it expresses?

    Since you don't know me, and since you don't know what I do, or how I live, or what ideals I may or may not be living up to, let's just agree to pursue our Masonry as we both see fit. If what you and your like-minded brethren is truly a better way, there is only one way to prove the rest of us wrong.

    Show us.