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


Sunday, March 10, 2024

My Deepest Apologies: Is Red or White Wine Best with a Plate of Crow?

by Christopher Hodapp

What is the proper bit of cutlery you’re supposed to use when eating crow – a fork, or a crow bar?

There are plenty of times when life would be better if we didn’t express our own badly informed opinions out loud. Well, every once in a while, I’m as guilty as the next guy of shooting off my big mouth, flapping my gums, or furiously pounding on the keys of my tripe-writer, before knowing all sides of an issue.

The difference with me is that I’m NOT the next guy — I’m a Freemason with the unimaginably good fortune of having a website that lots of Masons and non-Masons look to for valuable, truthful news and information. And that’s why I need to apologize to all of you, and especially to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite - Northern Masonic Jurisdiction; to Sovereign Grand Commander, Illus. Walter Wheeler, 33°, to the Actives of the Supreme Council, and to its membership as a whole.

On Friday, the AASR-NMJ released a public statement concerning the conclusions of investigations regarding the actions of David Glattly, the former Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite-NMJ between 2016-2021. I posted a summary on Friday after its public release (see: Statement of Facts: David A. Glattly; and AASR-NMJ Releases Results of Investigations Over Former SGC David A. Glattly). It turns out that the accusations leveled by a whistleblower at the NMJ's Lexington headquarters against Glattly turned out to have been true and backed up by verified evidence.

Those of you who understand ecclesiastical Latin will know what I mean when I say Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. That’s my brief TLDR explanation for those frightened by long stories.

Back in December, I was contacted by David Glattly, the former Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite-NMJ, who asked me to post a letter publicly that explained his sudden resignation from his position in 2021. I agreed to do that at the time because the rumor mill had been churning for 18 months, and almost all of it seemed to be one-sided, painting Glattly as a profligate-spending office tyrant, firing staff left and right and replacing them with his overpaid buddies, while taking deep bows for programs he had nothing to do with. I felt at the time that he at least deserved to have his version of the story aired, especially since he had been in charge when the unforeseen disasters of the COVID years wreaked havoc on every social and business organization on Earth. Maybe he should have been cut some slack if he did something wrong, I thought. So, with nothing else to go on at that time, I posted the letter. And before the letter itself, I also posted a long preamble of my own (as is my usual habit of writing meandering masterpieces that end 20 or 30-thousand words later in another zip code).

The AASR-NMJ at that time was still undergoing long and detailed independent audits of its finances, and both internal and outside investigations of the many accusations leveled against Glattly. Those initial allegations had been laid out by a whistleblower within the Supreme Council, and because those investigations were still underway, neither the Supreme Council nor the Sovereign Grand Commanders who followed Glattly could, would, or should have answered any questions publicly at the time.

In the wake of that post and his letter going as viral as Masonic scuttlebutt ever goes, he was subsequently expelled from the Scottish Rite for airing the soiled sheets and private business of the Supreme Council. (No one has said so, but I suspect there was a strong sentiment around Lexington for giving me the order of the boot as well, for giving Glattly the chance to post his letter here.) Plenty of Masons (myself included) flew to the understandable conclusion that Glattly’s actions had been unfairly mis-conscrewed as wrongdoing, and that he had been muscled out by Masonic nepotism and the hurt feelings of former employees. That was the reason Glattly wanted me to get his side of the story out first — so that all of us would view his actions sympathetically long before the NMJ ever revealed their findings publicly — if they ever did. Frankly, no corporate attorney in his right mind would let their clients blurt out information that could affect or interfere with these kinds of deep-dive investigations, and the NMJ simply had to wait until they could release their final findings.

That happened Friday.

Since confession is thought to be good for the soul, I will freely admit that I have a personal animus, borne of my own past experiences, concerning Masonic firings, expulsions and suspensions, along with opaque decisions that look, smell and feel like “star chamber” dealings. Very few brethren who ascend to positions of leadership in our fraternity misuse or misapply their superpowers, but it does happen every now and then. Rising generations of younger Masons these days have a generational dislike and distrust of institutions that are not transparent in their dealings with their own members and the outside world. That being said, I allowed my own biases to prevail in this matter, and that hasn’t served anyone well. After almost 20 years of writing thousands of articles here, I have never knowingly posted anything that was deliberately incorrect; and when I’ve posted something that DID turn out to be wrong, I quickly and quite openly have apologized and corrected the record, while emphatically shouldering all blame for errors. But in this case, it’s obvious that a man desiring public opinion to be firmly on his side before the truth was revealed sent me a letter apparently filled with falsehoods and deflections, and I went right for the topwater bait.

Twenty-five years ago last November, I was standing in a darkened hallway, wearing an ill-fitting garment and a blindfold for the first time, while some guy next to me pounded on a door I couldn’t see for myself. The voice of another fellow on the other side of that door gave me the very first nugget of Masonic wisdom we all receive as Entered Apprentices: “Wait with patience.” Unfortunately, I just turned 65, and I occasionally suffer from memory lapses — I obviously forgot that lesson.

I am not going to engage in selective deleting or rewriting the past to assuage my own guilty conscience — all of the original stories and links will remain in place. If you are now just so intrigued that you want to go back and sift through the old antique dirt just to satisfy your own inner gossip-mongering fishwife, these are the stories about this episode:


I HAVE added updates and links to all of these old stories pointing to the Supreme Council’s investigation results, just to clearly show future readers that Glattly’s denials have turned out to be lopsided fiction. I hope this posting gets just as widely shared across the Interwebz as Glattly’s original story did.

Now, I’ve gotta go – I’ve got a big, fat, stuffed pan of Crow Almondine sizzling in the oven. I’ll get back to you guys after I’m done eating the damned thing.

I understand the beak and tail are the toughest to chew.


  1. Well done, sir. We all have personal biases, we all tend to jump to conclusions, and many of us, myself included, walked the same path of assumptions in this matter. Thank you for showing us how to admit we were wrong, how to do better when we know better, and what honesty and integrity look like.

  2. Dont beat your self up, life happens. You did an OPPSIE, and have attempted to correct it. Those that understand, and have done the same thing, will say OK ya screwed up and move forward. Those that have a problem have not screwed up,,,,,, YET ,,, Keep the faith, say your sorry, and move forward.

  3. I congratulate you on your admission and further say it takes a larger man to admit his wrong doings. All is forgiven as far as I am concerned . Add a little Texas Pete to the crow….it helps!

  4. As a life member for many years of the jurisdiction, one thing I find hard to understand is how the problems could go on for so long. They seem to have been on a large scale and for years.

  5. Brother, you continue to be an excellent source of Masonic light. Thank you for all you do and for being an upright Mason.

  6. “So may the Light of Truth illumine our world.”
    - Feast of the Paschal Lamb

  7. Bro. Chris, Thank you for having the intestinal fortitude to set the record straight.

  8. Bro Chris,
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. We still don’t know all of the facts. Knowing Glantly and his accusers, I’ll take Dave

  9. "The point that the council members failed in their resoisibilities and should step aside, They have lost credibility.

  10. Thank you for all you do!!! Hindsight is always 20/20. Please don't beat yourself up and I continue to applaud you for keeping us all properly infirm

  11. Brother Chris, you passed along what info was available and, IMHO, in not such a biased manner as you may suppose. The questions legitimately raised were not (and, to some degree, still have not been) addressed until this last from the NMJ. The entire matter stood to be much worse if left entirely to unfettered speculation, and (with reference to your criticizing yourself about impatience) your coverage helped to mitigate that. I rather doubt that we'll be privy to much more on the issue; so a degree of speculation will likely remain.

  12. Chris, I have always respected the frank and unvarnished information and opinions you put forth here, and this posting follows suit.

    That said, I really have to wonder who to believe in this. Sure we have heard "both sides" and at least one side is not telling the truth, but how do we KNOW which side that is? Do we believe the SC just because they are the SC, or because their are more of them, or because they hired an "independent" investigation? Are we naive enough to believe that "independent" investigators always act independently and do not come to the conclusions that those who hired them want? I honestly don't know who to trust.

    Perhaps you have some additional "inside" information you are not able to share if you were, I am confident that you would have done so). Like you, I know some Active Members. I count one of them as a friend and I trust his judgement, which makes me lean more toward the SC's side. BUT, I don't think he is infallible either, and it is possible that one or more dishonest members of the SC have duped other members with sham evidence. Does that sound far fetched -- I would have said the same about American politics prior to a few years ago, and yet...

    Any way I look a it, it's a mess and I'm not sure I want anything to do with the Scottish Rite any longer. But then again, like the rest of the Fraternity, it is made up of humans, and only one of those as ever been perfect.

  13. I’m really grateful for all this journey about the NJS past commander that have served me to better understand what it means the true patience, power of words and even more the importance of silence.
    As a person who’s about to be initiated I’ve enjoyed all of your post and now in your hard to chew moment, I’m being instructed by your humility and wisdom. Thank you very much and my sincere respect.

  14. Who said that there were no politics in Freemasonry? Whoever did say that was living in a dream world. As long as there is power to be had, there will be politics (whatever definition one applies to that word)

  15. Thank you for your honesty and transparency, you do us all a great service with this site and by showing us what being responsible Brother looks like.


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