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


Saturday, December 16, 2023

UPDATE: Texas GM Smith Ignores Trustees and Removes Grand Secretary From Office

by Christopher Hodapp

Just a few days after The Texas Masons For Truth website reported on a failed attempt to remove Grand Secretary Justin Duty (photo above) from office at a called meeting of the Grand Lodge Trustees, Texas Grand Master G. Clay Smith apparently has now decided to ignore that Trustee vote and just go it alone.

Information is fluid, but it is currently our understanding that Grand Master G. Clay Smith has removed Grand Secretary Justin Duty from office and instructed him to turn over his keys and passwords. A Form 1 has been filed and the Grand Master is expected to accept the charges. 
G:M: G. Clay Smith is taking these actions supposedly based on the issue of payroll deductions. The payroll company forgot to deduct for benefits in [Duty's paycheck], which was resolved and paid for last February.

We expect to hear about Grand Treasurer Rick Townsend’s removal in the coming days.

One source tells me that Townsend's office may have missed a due date for some sort of payment earlier in the year, and that this will be the justification for bringing Masonic charges against him.

Back in March, Smith had ordered an extensive audit of the Grand Secretary and Grand Treasurer, zeroing in on a fundraising event from 2022: proceeds came from the sale of a special limited batch of whisky that had been donated to the Grand Lodge for this purpose. According to the information surrounding the event, all sales were conducted outside of the purview of the Grand Lodge and were not held on Masonic property. It was conducted in strict compliance with Grand Lodge law and the laws of the State of Texas. GM Smith's investigation (conducted by just two members of the Finance Committee) found no errors or impropriety on the part of either office.

It's looking more and more certain that the 2024 annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Texas is going to be a grotesque bloodbath come January. None of this will be any good for Texas Freemasonry. A faction in the Grand Lodge regards Immediate Past Grand Master Brad Billings and the brethren who supported him last year as nothing but a noisy group of "frat boys" whose influence on the membership must be rubbed out at any cost. Billings has made his intentions of running for Grand Secretary this year known, and Justin Duty had intended to run for Grand Junior Warden. 

The trouble is that Billings and his team successfully brought new enthusiasm and positivism to Texas Masonry in 2022 that few others have in recent years, and their supporters aren't likely to just fade away. Removal from office, suspensions, expulsions – these types of actions frequently backfire when they're attempted, and martyrs have a funny way of outlasting their tormentors.


  1. I visit Texas Regularly because of work. After Grand Session in January G Clay Smith and his cronies of Masons will be lucky any of them are members. The same attacks are going to be turned on him. Brad Billings was a good GM and not different from those in my own jurisdiction only he’s young and they hate that. They’ve created a Masonic bloodbath and he is going to pay the consequences of throwing stones at a PGM instead of running a good year and focusing on the craft and how he can make Masonry better.. But no instead he’s taken an entire year and focused on petty arguments and threatening members who disagree with his pettiness. I’ve met the man he belittles everyone in speeches and is arrogant and thinks he’s better than everyone else. It’s gotten so bad there you can hardly visit in some places. You don’t want to get involved the GM may come after you like he has to anyone who disagrees. Can’t wait till he’s gone and normal returns to the craft down there or at least as normal as Texas can get lol!

  2. This is untrue. The Trustees did not refuse to “remove” the Grand Secretary prior to this. The Grand Secretary has so not been removed from the office. This is just false information given by Justin Duty to the ones behind the Texas masons for truth website.

    1. They are more than welcome to publish their information instead of staying silent to counter this. They have chosen not to do so.

    2. Well, "this is untrue" didn't age well, did it?

    3. I was trying to put my name because I want you to know its me but I had a tough time logging in.
      This is DENNIS YATES a Past Master and member of the Grand Lodge of Texas. Not hiding behind an anonymous post.
      The 2nd post on this thread is an attempt to confuse readers with misinformation. There was a vote of the trustees in regard to Justin Duty that resulted in a 3-2 result against the removal of RW Duty. THEN, the next week there was a summons sent to RW Duty and RW Townsend by the GM without notice to all of the other trustees. Justin went to the meeting but RW Townsend could not because of proximity and short notice provided. When he went to the meeting he found the only trustee present was the GM who relieved him of his duties. RW Duty requested this in writing prior to turning over his keys and passwords. After that, the GM received a form 1 from one of the other people in the room. A form one is form to file charges. The GM would not tell him what the accusations were.
      Interestingly, Texas Grand Lodge law does not allow charges to be accepted against any of the elected officers of the Grand Lodge OR sitting Worshipful Masters in a subordinate lodge. So if he retained his title as Grand Secretary, it should not be allowed to actually accept the charges. If any of my words are false I will retract them and write a formal apology. But you know who I am and I take responsibility for my statements.

    4. No problem, WB Yates. Blogger's comment forms can be frustrating and error-prone.

    5. Thank you Brother Hodapp for keeping an eye on us. We need light brought to the darkness that sets over us. It is amazing the lengths that are being taken to manipulate our elections.
      ~ Dennis Yates


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