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


Monday, January 07, 2013

Showdown With The Shrine In South Carolina

Below is a very respectful and detailed (and widely circulated) letter from Jay Adam Pearson, Grand Master of South Carolina to Alan Madsen, Imperial Potentate of Shriners International, requesting Madsen to either remove all suspended South Carolina Masons from the Shrine's rolls or to sever the Masonic connection as an appendant body. The letter speaks for itself. This, in conjunction with the very public mess in Arkansas, could spell the beginning of the separation of the Shrine from Freemasonry. We shall see. (Click each page to enlarge.)


  1. Disclaimer: I am not a member of the Shrine.

    Rules are rules, and should be followed unless they violate a parent rule (i.e. a law being ruled unconstitutional), so I see nothing wrong with the Grand Lodge's request.

    The bigger issue, however, is whether the Shrine should, or wants to, change their rules to remove the masonic prerequisite. Frankly, I'm surprised they haven't already. 20th century masonic membership went from 5% of US men down to less than 1% of US men (yes, I did the analysis, based on MSA data). Given that reality, if I were the leader of an organization whose pool of potential members fell from 5% to 1% of the (male) population, I would be asking some very hard questions. Granted, they might lose a lot of members in protest, but they would open their market from 1% to 100% of the population. I couldn't blame them if they made that choice.

    Jeff Stallard
    PM, Neoacacia Masonic Lodge #595

  2. Well stated. I hope this approach bears fruit.

    Nathan Brindle, PM

  3. If Shriners International does not like any of the proposed exit strategies, they will definetly go independent.

    This idea of Shrine independence will bother some Masonic Leadership more than others, at first, but over time they will all get used to the idea and so will the general populace of Masonic Brethren.

    Change is rarely easy and takes time. I still remember, years ago, how tough it was for some Brethren when Shrine International dropped it's 32nd Degree and Knights Templar requirement for Shrine membership. But over time, we all got used to it.

    Shrine International has had it's share of luminaries who have lefted them with much to build upon. And they will continue to build, with Time, Talents, and Means. But as you say, ILL. Bro. Hodapp, "We shall see."-smile-

  4. I can't read this scan. If I enlarge the webpage to make the letters bigger, they become blurred.
    Can a word-for-word posting be made of the letter?

    bob franks
    Wayne Lodge 112, AF&AM of NC
    District Deputy Grand Lecturer

  5. M.W. Bro. Pearson,

    Thank you for a very well reasoned and documented letter. I hope that your letter will keep things from getting further out of hand.

    One thing that has always puzzled me, about the Shrine and all of the other bodies, is why I am not required to send a copy of my current dues card along with my dues to that body, proving that I still have maintained my Blue Lodge membership. It makes me wonder how many non-Masons are currently in the Shrine.



  6. In response to Frank's comment. The secretary of the blue lodge if he is doing his job contact the Shrine that the brother was neither suspended for NPD and ect. That is of course he knows that the brothers is a member of the Shrien

  7. I am sad to see these developments (Ark and SC). I hope that men of good will,can work together to a mutually satisfactory solution. May peace and harmony prevail. I cherish the Shrine, I cherish my Craft lodge membership as well.

  8. Brother Charles please understand; the only satisfactory solution is for Shriners International to remove expelled masons from their rolls. Shriners International has maintained expelled masons for over one year. I do not know of a single jurisdiction that allows their membership to have fraternal relations with expelled masons. I could not help notice you mentioned you cherish the Shrine then you mentioned your Blue Lodge. I do not want to offend my Brother so please forgive my mentioning your wording. I believe that the bond that unites our Great Fraternity was formed in the Blue Lodge, not when we journeyed across the hot sands. I am a member of two Temples and it breaks my heart to see our beloved Shrine covet expelled masons on the rolls.

    Your friend and Brother from Inman South Carolina
    Jay Adam Pearson
    Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina

  9. In response to mountainmason, I'm a newly-elected secretary. I checked my By Laws and Constitution, but couldn't find where it is my job to notify anyone, other than my Grand Lodge, what transpires in my lodge. Please cite your source. Is it also my job to notify the Scottish Rite, Royal Arch Masons, Cryptic Masons, Knights Templar, Grotto, Tall Cedars, High 12 Club, Eastern Star, Amaranth, Allied Masonic Degrees, Royal Order of Scotland, Order of the Bath, Widows Sons, White Shrine, Jesters, Job's Daughters, Daughters of the Nile, Heroines of Jericho, Past Master Societies, Shrine Clubs and Units and Knight Masons, just to name a few?

    Matt Lewis, PM, Secretary
    Morrison Lodge No. 76, F&AM
    Elizabethtown, KY

  10. Well said Right Worshipful.
    Your brother from Conway 65

  11. Well said Right Worshipful.
    Your brother from Conway 65

  12. Brother Lewis,each Grand Jurisdiction has different rules, laws and edicts that a secretary needs to be familiar with. In my Grand Jurisdiction it just states that the secretary needs to notify the Shrine. I not aware of what Ky. Grand Lodge are. But if you would use common sense it would make sense to notify the other Masonic bodies that require their members be in good standing in a Blue Lodge to still be a member in their Masonic body. If I person is suspend for NPD he is not in good standing.

  13. Arkansas's GM needs to go back and review his 3rd degree obligation. His friend was not elected potentate and the result is something I would expect from a grade school child, not a Master Mason. Given the logic that the Imperial Shrine should be subservient to every Grand Lodge is asking for nothing but a nightmare of personal vendettas as is evident by the Arkansas fiasco. I do not see Grand Lodges forbidding their members from attending lodges in states that recognize Prince Hall lodges when their own Grand Lodge does not. Talk about a double standard. If all parties involved would follow their obligations I am sure that a resolution can be reached. Secret trials should not be part of Masonry.


Comments will not appear immediately, so be patient. I am forced to laboriously screen every post because I am constantly bombarded with spam. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not expect to see your comment appear.