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Wednesday, August 09, 2023

Massachusetts Grand Master Warns About Bogus Masonic Recruitment

by Christopher Hodapp

Back in June, MW George Hamilton, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts AF&AM, issued a warning about the recruiting activities of a lodge claiming to be part of a bogus organization calling itself 'The Grand Lodge of the USA.' 

According to the letter, this group seems to be specifically targeting Brazilian immigrants in the U.S. and charging an exorbitant fee for joining them. (Click image above to enlarge)

From the letter:

"It is reported that these representatives are contacting local members of the community and hosting coffee gatherings and meetings at hotels or restaurants. Their pitch includes an official-looking application complete with an employer identification number to a lodge that cannot be verified.

"The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts can confirm that the Grand Lodge of the USA does not exist and is encouraging you to warn anyone who may be targeted to do their due diligence and to stay clear of this association."

I realize I'm late in discovering this letter, but it's important to alert Masons and non-Masons alike when these types of moneymaking schemes pretend to be part of the authentic world-wide fraternity. If you have an interest in joining the Freemasons in the U.S., there are only two organizations in every state that can claim legitimacy, that are male-only and generally permit inver-visitation with lodges all over the world: a state "Grand Lodge of (*your state here*) F&AM (or AF&AM)", usually founded around the time your state was admitted into the Union; and the historically black "Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of (*your state here*) F&AM" – often adding PHA (for Prince Hall Affiliated) in its documentation.

If you have a serious interest in joining, seek out the websites for those two groups in your state, or visit the website BeAMason.org, which is sponsored by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite - Northern Jurisdiction. The contact forms at that site will be forwarded to the appropriate grand lodge in your area.

For a longer explanation of bogus, illegitimate, or what we call clandestine Masonic groups, have a look at Addressing Clandestine Freemasonry: Why It's Important.


  1. There are at least a couple of regular Grand Lodges with names that don't fit the mentioned pattern, so I think they're worth mentioning. There's the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge in Mississippi - it's a regular PHA Grand Lodge - and the Grand Lodge AFM of South Carolina, also a regular Grand Lodge.

  2. Is it vital to mention going forward that a clandestine lodge can be healed, and exist no longer as such rather than be aggressive towards those in under this circumstance. The aim in any case should be to present, and represent an educated stance on Freemasonry encouraging the healing process, but in no case should a such lodge be looked down on having learned that it is the members in the lodge who are each following the way that perhaps has been misunderstood, or due to misguidance. The focus should be directly on the state of such lodges instead of the individuals in the lodge in my opinion. Thank you for sharing, and allowing me to comment on a current discussion in both sides of Freemasonry.

    Fraternally and Sincerely Yours,
    Hon., Bro. Victor Williams, MsD
    Most Worthy Grand Patron
    (850) 274- 7472

  3. What is the procedure's Join


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