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


Sunday, August 13, 2023

Oklahoma Grand Master Issues Warning About Anti-Masonic Activity

MW Glen A. Chaney, Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge AF&AM of Oklahoma

by Christopher Hodapp

MW Glen A. Chaney, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Oklahoma, has issued a letter of warning to his jurisdictions' lodges concerning recent threats, acts of vandalism, and violence against Freemasons. This warning comes in the wake of the recent increase in Anti-Masonic behavior in the U.S. and Canada. 

In his letter, he provides a list of recommendations to help heighten security in and around Masonic halls. (Click image below to enlarge.)

It reads, in part:

As so many of you are aware, reports of crimes against members of our fraternity in various jurisdictions have been received. Also, persons desiring to take some action against our members and damage to buildings, temples and other structures associated with our Fraternity have been reported.

These reports remain fluid. Some initial reports and motives of the offenders cannot yet be verified. The images of structural damages due to fire and other vandalism are very disturbing. The level of concern that I have for the safety of our members and families in Oklahoma and around the world, is immeasurable and foremost in my mind.

Additionally, there are a number of lodges in our jurisdiction which have reported Anti-masonic literature that has been distributed to them or placed on surrounding vehicles. These incidents have not been determined to be related to one another, however, any lodge or member receiving such material should disregard its anti-masonic rhetoric but may desire to report their findings to their law enforcement in the event of any escalation or future incidents.

While the facts of each individual case are still being investigated. I caution all Masons and their families to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Please do not place yourself in any unsafe situations or locations and always remain cognizant of your immediate areas. Good safety practices include, but is not limited to:

• Speak with all members about safe behaviors and decisions.

• Increase and maintain all exterior lighting.

• After Masonic events, make all attempts to exit with someone else or in a group.

• Secure all Lodge doors, buildings and structures when meeting and departing.

• Use camera surveillance, if available, with recording features.

• Post signs or other indicators announcing the use of recording equipment.

• Report issues and any suspicious actions or behaviors of unknown persons.

• Check the exterior of your lodge regularly to identify any vandalism.

• Use chaperone to and from the door for our elder members.

Our responsibility is to remain aware and to take great care of our Brothers and Families. Please contact the Grand Secretary with any additional questions.

Attacks Against Masons Increasing

In the last couple of years, there appears to have been an alarming increase in the number of attacks against Masonic buildings over the last couple of years, and against Freemasons themselves. A Mason in McAllen, Texas was shot and killed outside of the local lodge by a man who believed the Masons had "put a curse on him." Recent arson fires and other serious vandalism have damaged or destroyed Masonic halls in Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vancouver in British Columbia, and elsewhere. The Vancouver arsonist set fire to three Masonic halls in that city in a single morning, causing CA$2.5 million in damages, and was sentenced to 40 months in prison. His attorney claimed he "struggled with mental health issues and just wanted to draw attention to what he described as dark souls and CSIS tracking devices."

An arson fire in July at the Scottish Rite building in El Paso, Texas and the defacing of a Masonic mural in Naperville, Illinois have been the most recent incidents.  In the wake of these rising reports of incidents, the Grand Master of Washington (state) issued a letter earlier this month, warning members in his jurisdiction about a man who has issued numerous hate-filled, anti-Masonic threats about the fraternity.

Overseas, Masonic halls in Ireland and Greece have also been recently attacked by anti-Masons. There also seems to have been a major increase in anti-Masonic social media posts and videos.

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