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


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Arizona Update

The following letter is now being circulated by the Grand Master of Arizona as further explanation of his removal of the Deputy GM from office.


  1. That should just about cover it......It is a shame that a Brother could not subdue his passions after putting in those years and being one step away from MWGM of the state of AZ.

  2. If two previous Grand Masters had problems with the Brother, how did he ever get placed in a position of Deputy Grand Master? Seems like someone was asleep at the wheel.

    J Heimensen

  3. Not asleep at the wheel--there was two previous attempts to show mercy and to modify the behavior for the good of the Brother and the good of the Craft. Apparently, this was not sufficient.

  4. There is so very much more to the story than appears in this letter. Hopefully the "fat lady will sing".

  5. Arizona Freemasonry is alive and well. We are raising new Masons and we even have a new TO lodge that started recently. We are about as perfect as any other group of Masons today.

    Right now we are burying a brother on Friday and would appreciate all of you coming if you can. The info is posted of the Freemasons for Dummies facebook page.

  6. What the GM did was beyond his authority under the PRESENT Arizona Masonic Code. If anyone is interested in researching this, please contact me by email.





    I have come across the musings of an experienced Arizona Freemason concerning the situation at hand. These comments are so very vital to understanding why there is such a controversy that I feel it necessary to share them.

    "Who governs whom?"

    During my time in the Fraternity I have noticed an attitude within our Jurisdiction which causes me great concern. It is the presumption by some that all Masonic power and authority resides in the person of the Grand Master and that he can govern the Grand Lodge as he sees fit. The reason I am so concerned with this is because this is blatantly untrue. The Arizona Masonic Constitution states very clearly the following.

    Section 14-201.1 Grand Master Powers. The Grand Master possesses no powers except those contained in the Constitutions of Masonry and those clearly and expressly delegated to him by his brethren.

    The words clearly and expressly refer to the written Arizona Masonic Constitution (AMC) which confers only specific powers and they are clearly and expressly outlined in the Constitution as follows.

    §3-1.1 Grand Master Executive Powers. The Grand Master, during the interval between the Communications of the Grand Lodge, may exercise all its executive powers except the granting of charters.

    This means the only people who can grant a Charter is the Grand Lodge when convened at its communication.
    Now the Grand Master can arrest the charter of any Lodge as he did last year at Hiram Daylight lodge, see below:

    §3-1.1.3 Grand Master Powers: Convene, Arrest, Suspend, Appoint. The Grand Master has the executive power to:
    (a) Convene any Lodge, preside therein, inspect its proceedings and compel its conformity to Masonic usage;
    (b) Arrest the charter or dispensation of any Lodge, for good reasons shown, and suspend the operations thereof until the next Annual Communication;
    (c) Suspend the Master of any Lodge from the exercise of the powers and duties of his office, for good reasons shown, until the next Annual Communication;
    (d) Require the attendance of and information from any Grand officer respecting matters appertaining to the duties of his office.
    (e) Appoint Representatives near other recognized Grand Lodges, and to receive and accredit Representatives from them.
    Section 14-201.2 – Limitation on Grand Master Power. The Grand Master has no power to authorize a lodge to violate its own by-laws, the lodge’s correct course of action being to amend its by-laws.

  8. In The Grand Masters letter of January 1, 2012 he lists as one of the 3 reasons that he fired the Deputy Grand Master the following: “The first incident occurred on July 2, 201 I, when the Grand Master directed Brother Michael to get a set of keys from the then-secretary of Hiram Daylight Lodge No. 73. Upon return to the Grand Lodge Conference Room, Brother Michael threw the keys on the table and stated, ‘The next time you have some dirty work to be done, do it yourself.’” That begs the question why did the DGM believe the arrest of the Charter as “dirty work”? The answer became clear a few months later when instead of allowing the Grand Lodge to vote on the charter the Grand Master violated the AMC by chartering the a new Charter to a different set of Officers for the same Lodge. The only logical reason for such an act is to get rid of the original officers of the Lodge. This act is not only a clear and blatant violation of the AMC, it is a violation of the Lodge’s By-Laws, and an abuse of power and un-Masonic behavior on the part of the holder of our Highest office, which brings us to the replacing of the DGM by the GM.
    The AMC does not grant the Grand Master the right to remove an Elected Grand Lodge officer and may only fill such an office in the event of a vacancy as specified clearly and expressly below.

    Section 14-102.3 Vacancy in Elective Office. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in any elective office of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Master shall have power to fill the same by appointment, which appointment shall be valid until the succeeding annual election and installation, and the officer so appointed shall be charged with all the duties and responsibilities of one regularly elected.

    Section 14-201 - Elected Grand Officer Powers. The Elected Grand Officers shall possess all powers and responsibilities as indicated in the Constitution.
    Section 14-102.1 – Election of Officers. The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer, Grand Secretary and two of the four elective Trustees of this Grand Lodge shall be elected at each Annual Communication thereof.
    (a) Voting shall be by paper ballot, show of hands or voice vote, to be determined by a majority vote of the brethren registered and present.
    (b) Those elected shall be installed before its close, and shall hold their respective offices until their successors shall have been elected and installed.
    (c) A majority of all votes cast shall be necessary for an election.

    Referring to the sections reference above, in removing the Deputy Grand Master, the Grand Master knowingly, willfully and illegally acted to violate the AMC and subvert the authority of the Grand Lodge. Not content with this violation he violated Section 14-102.3 a second time by appointing one Brother Jim May, as Deputy Grand Master pro-tem by gave the duties and responsibilities to another Brother Jeff Carlton, who had only been appointed to his present position as Senior Grand Warden six months ago. Section 14-102.3 stipulates than any time the Grand Master legally fills a vacant elected position by appointment, which appointment shall be valid until the succeeding annual election and installation, and the officer so appointed shall be charged with all the duties and responsibilities of one regularly elected.

    With six months to go the pattern of behavior has been one of total disregard for the Masonic Constitution hiding behind the office he holds and the reluctance of any Freemason to take action against a serving Grand Master. However, the legacy he is creating will surely haunt all of us."

  9. Can't read the letter. Is there a more clear copy?

  10. Brother Hiram,
    Those musings are mine and I only sent them to a few people and they were not ready for prime time.

    However, since they have been published I will send a pdf of the final more balanced version once I publish it on Arizona Masonry Faceboook page.

    Jack Buta
    P.M. PVST#29
    Phoenix, AZ

  11. Deepest gratitude Brother Buta for your bravery and steadfast devotion to true Masonic principles.

  12. Failed to wear the appropriate necktie...hmm.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. I must say I am shocked at the whole situation. None of the events and reactions sounded like Harmony or rise to the aspirations of Masonic Brotherhood that I have learned in our Lodge. They say man is not perfect, but we aspire to be. Not being in the room, I wouldn't speculate on who's version is right, but it all could have been handled better by all involved. I sincerely hope that they can work things through and pull together and heal the wounds. Brother Noble Steinhour in Virginia.


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