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

BE A FREEMASON

Sunday, December 31, 2023

AASR NMJ Past Commander David Glattly Speaks Out


by Christopher Hodapp


When Illus. David Glattly 33° was elected as Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction back in 2017, it was expected that he would serve what has traditionally been a long term of office. He succeeded Illus. John McNaughton in the position, who had just kicked off what was to be "a new path" for the NMJ. That path began with an extensive demographic survey of American men to discover the public's awareness of Freemasonry, and that led to the creation of a unique advertising campaign to stir new interest in the entire Masonic fraternity.

Commander Glattly's first year in office introduced the "Not just a man. A Mason" ad campaign, and it has since been widely adopted by numerous grand lodge jurisdictions throughout North America, as well as by individual local lodges. Under his leadership, the NMJ assembled its own in-house video production unit, and in 2020 when the COVID pandemic suddenly shut down most large, public gatherings of any kind (like lodge or AASR Valley meetings and degree work), the NMJ went to work shooting high-quality video versions several of the Rite's degrees.

A new wave of excitement and enthusiasm swept across the AASR-NMJ. The advertising campaign succeeded at increasing membership at both the grand lodge and the AASR levels, while the Hautes Grades education program and the Rite's increased book publishing initiatives were all helping to retain – and even increase – membership for the first time in decades. The online streaming program, "Thursdays at the Rite", and the presentation of some degrees on video during online reunions kept members engaged throughout the COVID shutdowns. The NMJ's social media presence was extremely active all through the COVID mess, and the Glattlys were excited to start traveling again once restrictions were dropped.

But suddenly, at the August 2021 semi-annual meeting of the NMJ in Cleveland, Ohio, something surprising happened. After just four years in office, SGC David Glattly, suddenly and without warning, announced his retirement. (His brief farewell message was reprinted in the Northern Light magazine.) 

In his message, he explained that he and his wife Monica had both been hit with medical issues that would be problematic for his many duties and extensive travel schedule for the Rite. They decided they needed "a slower pace in life." 
He was succeeded in office by Illus. Pete Samiec 33°, who was, in turn, succeeded in August 2023 at the NMJ's meeting in Louisville by Illus. Walter F. Wheeler 33°. Meanwhile, the Glattlys retired to Florida, years before they had anticipated doing so. 

Monica Glattly tragically passed away last fall.

So what happened? Why did SGC Glattly suddenly leave office in 2022 with very little explanation, apart from his farewell message?

The short answer is that David was driven out of the office, despite his dedicated and visionary leadership and the successes it brought to the Rite. After two years of silence, he finally felt he needed to explain his version of what went on, unbeknownst to the membership and the Masonic world. The result is a ten-page document explaining his side of the story and his view of what really happened behind the scenes. It shouldn't be surprising that the accusations made and actions taken by several of the NMJ's trustees may very well have taken a serious toll on Monica's emotions and health and contributed to her premature death.

Glattly originally drafted his letter to be read at last August’s Supreme Council meeting in Louisville, but decided to hold it back until that meeting ended. He forwarded it to me several weeks ago, but our annual California RV excursion kept me busy and distracted, resulting in my tardiness in posting it.

Freemasonry, like so many volunteer groups, must rely on men who are either saints, or martyrs, or both — preferably both. The final lines of David's message are some of the saddest words I've ever encountered when it comes to Freemasonry, or ANY organization or company that requires extreme dedication and enormous amounts of time:

"Never push a loyal person to the point where they no longer care."

I wish this phrase appeared in every Masonic officer installation ceremony just to remind our own leadership of just who keeps this fraternity alive from year to year, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health. So often we push men to the breaking point, and we throw them away at our own peril.

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42 comments:

  1. Chris, Thanks so much for providing, "The Rest of the Story", a line made famous by Paul Harvey. Over the years that I have known you, you've always tried to report the truth about events within our fraternity, and I thank you for that. I have been troubled by the accusations that were made about both Dave and Monica having known both of them for over 25 years. I've always known them to be honest and hardworking people. I learned long ago that there are always two sides to every story, and I thank you for allowing Dave Glattly to provide his input. Thank you. Bill Koon

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  2. On top of our problems because of waning interest in joining, we clearly have leadership challenges.

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  3. We have a severe crisis because of waning interest in joining, with a very real prospect of the former 4 plus million members that is now at 1 million falling to 500,000 or less in the future. So the continued animosities and disputes among leaders compound the problems.

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    1. It sounds like our government

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  4. What the hell is going on with this fraternity. It’s an absolute embarrassment that “men” in “positions of power” would harm and diminish a brother and the fraternity as a whole, for what, their selfish ego?

    Unbelievable. NMJ Active members need to step the fuck up and do something if not every NMJ member should.

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    1. Swearing does not ever improve the likelihood of making what is considered a valid point..Very bad taste.

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    2. I know nothing of the particulars but I will say this much. In my time in the Northern Valley and a line officer, I have met few men like then "Deputy Dave". My thoughts and feelings towards this brother are unchanged. Dave, thank you for your past service and guidance.

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  5. Any chance we can get to see the rest of the documents?

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  6. Do you have access to the Hecht letter or Anonymous Letter referenced?

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  7. This is what we thought was the case. While we have some great leaders at the top of our fraternity there are always a few bad apples. Should I name names?

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  8. Jerry J. Hamilton, PMWM 33Fri Jan 05, 04:37:00 PM 2024

    Every branch of the fraternity seems to have a few bad apples. I'm with David.

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    1. Bro. Jim Pruitt- Being only 2 years entered into S.R.V of Allentown I have not much knowledge of the situation other than what I read in the letter. However it sounds like typical petty style nonsense to which we are abundantly gifted by our government. Let me know if I am mistaken! Sounds like he was run out for no appropriate reason.

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  9. Just sad. But then again, who has not encountered politics at the SR yet has not been involved enough.
    Never push a loyal person....I second that.
    Lastly, a small errata. The campaign name is "Not just a man. A Mason."

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  10. Just sad. But then again, no surprise about politics at play also at the AASR leadership level.
    Never push a loyal person to...I second that.
    Lastly, a small errata regarding the name of the campaign. It's "Not just a man. A Mason."

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  11. This reminds me of an active past grand master from Ohio who left Supreme Council under the most unusual circumstances with a bag of our money.

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  12. Did Hodapp reach out to anyone on the other side of this coin? Any quality journalist would.

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    1. You should do it and share your results here.

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    2. This space is always open to anyone who wishes to come forth with their side of the story - not anonymously, and not just with their own version of a rumor.

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  13. It's a mighty thin pancake which doesn't have two sides.

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    1. Quite possibly the funniest, and most on point, comment I have ever read on a Masonic forum!

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  14. Connecticut's freemasonry is full of back stabbing brothers that will do anything and say anything to have a little bit of masonic glory over a brother. Every Freemason in the state should be ashamed of the way they act to one another or allow these so called brothers to treat one another.

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    1. Every Mason in state is a pretty bold statement.

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  15. your words below have been ignored concerning Anonymous postings

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  16. The SC just announced the unanimous vote to expel Glattly from AASR NMJ.

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  17. And today NMJ expelled him.

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  18. Just received a communication in the email. Expulsion letter came out today. The story had this continuation. Is this the beginning oan end or the end of the beginning?

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  19. Sadly, as an unwelcome punctuation to this evening's Thursday Night at the Right, we received an email saying nothing more than Brother Glattly has been expelled. I don't know anything about the accusations or findings, but...I am sad to see that even in our fraternity, we can't find peace from political intrigue.

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  20. Well, now he's been expelled. No context in the announcement, but it's not surprising things led to this.

    Brothers,

    The Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ), this evening voted to expel past Sovereign Grand Commander David A. Glattly from membership in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, NMJ, effective immediately.

    We are resolute in our commitment to the integrity of our Fraternity and to Freemasonry's timeless and immutable values.

    Sincerely and Fraternally,

    The Active Members of the Supreme Council, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

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  21. I am truly disheartened to read this.

    My great grandfather was a Scottish Rite Mason, as was my grandfather, my father, and as am I.

    As a younger member of only a few years, I look at the idea that I could devote my life to this for 48 years, and do all of that work in my community with genuinely benevolent intent -- that I could maybe even earn a white cap -- and then continue on to serve as the purple of my fraternity before having it all destroyed like this, and I have to admit that it fills me with great concern.

    Is this what I signed up for? What am I missing?

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    1. The Masonic fraternity of your father are gone. Masonry is dying. 2 great brothers that I look up to are currently suspended and may be expelled for calling out a grand lodge officer for his complete neglect during his time as lodge secretary and temple board president. They were trying to save the lodge many thousands of dollars due to his negligence. He lied in open lodge, and was called out by the temple board secretary. But, he is a grand lodge officer and told the grand master, who knows what and got these 2 Brothers suspended. They have a whole folder of evidence that could likely bring charges to the grand lodge itself from the attorney general and the IRS. I’ve told them to pursue it! It this is what masonry has become I don’t want any part of it. It’s corrupt at the highest levels and have forgotten/ ignored their obligations that we all took. It’s a shame and embarrassing.

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  22. I have just read that David A. Glattly has been expelled from the NMJ. If his letter is accurate, whynwas he expelled? Thanks for any information that would help to answer my question.

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  23. The values of freemasonry is very important. I hope that honesty and truth win in the end.

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  24. I would hope that there would be some housecleaning in the actives in NMJ. Some who caused this should be replaced. I am very sad at the whole affair and it causes me to be inclined to not work as hard due to fear of unfounded charges being leveled against me or someone i care about. This isn't the first time I have seen this and each time it has hurt me a bit more. And dampened my enthusiasm in those bodies that caused it.

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  25. Denn8s R. Winter, PDDGMFri Feb 16, 10:07:00 AM 2024

    I, to are at that point with Freemasonry. I was that loyal Freemasonry that was pushed to the point I don't care. Freemasonry is dying and there is no return to what it was. The West Gate has not been guarded and unfortunately some of those thst were allowed in, who never shoukd have been allowed to enter ended up in "leadership" postions. Thus the decline of what was a great Institution. My opinion,my experience.

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  26. Great line "Never push a loyal person to the point where they don't care anymore" I think a lot of loyal members, including myself are there!

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  27. To all those lamenting about how poorly these antics at the highest levels of our leadership reflect on Freemasonry--and it does reflect very poorly--this is nothing new or surprising. I have seen this before in many organizations, not just Freemasonry. The rot that is the cause is always the same: an unaccountable and inflexible leadership hierarchy. I have seen this in companies, charities, non-profits, churches, civic groups, neighborhood committees, HOAs, youth groups, fraternities, and sadly yes, in Freemasonry. We are not immune. In fact, we are uniquely susceptible to the leadership rot paradigm as the Masonic hierarchy is hand-picked via opaque processes. We talk a good game about fair play and integrity, but we rarely walk our walk within our own corridors of power. The system is rigged to protect and preserve the existing hierarchy. Hence, we deserve exactly what we got and get. The only path to reforming our Craft is transparency and accountability. Our MEMBERS should be the ones who select our leadership, not the existing hierarchy. Grand Lodge IS the constituent lodges duly assembled, not the hierarchy of individuals. Sadly, it doesn't even end with any one leader's term of office, as "past" leaders continue to exert an outsize influence on the affairs of the Craft. Rank-and-file members are reminded that it is their Masonic obligation to simply submit and obey. And we wonder why we struggle to attract and retain members of the next generation. Brethren, it is no mystery. Yet we stagger on, slaves to our past and those who chain us to it. That is the true Masonic tragedy. When I was installed as Master Councilor of my DeMolay chapter, I was admonished that I had only emerged for a brief time from the ranks and to the ranks I would soon return. Our hierarchy needs to learn the same lesson.

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  28. Further proof that "No good deed goes unpunished". We are all our own biggest enemies and we are destroying ourselves from within. Right or Wrong these things need to remain silent. God please help us!

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  29. Steven L. Christian 32° Valley of DaytonFri Feb 16, 03:01:00 PM 2024

    I am sadden at this whole mess. As a 56 year member it seems that this could have been handled in a far better manner. I wishe all the documents could be made public as only complete transparency will clear the air. I also have no respect for Anonymous people who do not have the integrity to stand publicly behind their accusations.

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  30. In the absence of a clear, cogent, and compelling explanation for why David Glattly was summarily expelled from Scottish Rite, I have to conclude that this action is little more than the non-profit version of a vendetta-driven mob hit.

    This is “Justice”? “Tolerance”? “Integrity”? “Caring for our Brothers? Ha, I don’t think so! This is “making good men better”? No; this is not what good men do. This is not how good men treat each other.

    This incident has cured me of ever wanting to move up into Scottish Rite leadership, at the Valley level or beyond. Why risk it, if this kind of treatment that potentially awaits? It’s not worth it.

    For now, I plan to finish my Gold Passport, claim my S.P.R.S. Recognition jewel, and then decide of my level of future involvement. Is an organization with this kind of leadership really worth my time, attention, and effort?

    And when the time comes to return that Blue Envelope, is the leadership of this Fraternity really worthy of my charitable support? I have my doubts.

    What do you have to say for yourselves, Active Members of the Supreme Council? Why was this expulsion justified and necessary for the good of the Order?

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    1. Great point Rick. Your thinking is pretty much exactly mine.

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