Square & Compasses

AZ dispute, item #5

[Web-master's note: This is a summary of the events taking place over the last year or so in Arizona, between the current Grand Master of Masons and some of the Masters and Members of the constituent lodges. Although this summary has been written by one of the disputants, its seems valuable as an overview, to place in an understandable sequence a number of the previous, fragmentary messages sent in the heat of the moment over the past few months.

A Chronology of Events

There has never been a greater urgency for Masons to determine, each man for himself, what he wants Freemasonry to be, now and forevermore. One the one hand, we have the great principles of democracy, liberty and equality. On the other, we have demands that require the sacrifice of the former, which have now escalated to the point of the suspension of civil liberties, of due process of law (Arrest of Dues Card without a hearing or trial by peers), the rights of the people to call for a redress of grievances (Special Communications), and law of the vote of the people. We have unchecked power now vested solely in the hands of the executive branch.

READ THE FACTS, BRETHREN. This is not 'Bernie Durgin -vs- the Grand Master, Chapter xx.' Read your official communications from Grand Lodge. They were sent to your secretaries.

  1. In July, 1995, the Secretary of Jerusalem Daylight Lodge was contacted by the Grand Master, who demanded an apology for a trestleboard article which quoted a derogatory letter he had written to Red Rock Lodge. He stated he would suspend the Master of Jerusalem Daylight if he did not receive the demanded apology, followed by suspension of the next Master (if still not received), to culminate with the arresting of the lodge charter.
  2. In July and August, the Junior Grand Warden twice called T. Z. to demand the same apology, and told WB Tim that the threatened arresting of the lodge charter, suspension of Tim as Master, and Masonic charges against me would not be forthcoming if the demanded apology was forthcoming.
  3. In October, 1995, the demanded apology was received by all Grand Lodge Officers (via Certified Mail) and was mailed to all Arizona Lodges.
  4. As an example of the value of promises made by elected officers (item 2), T. Z. was suspended from the East and I was charged with the Masonic offense we were told would not be forthcoming. Two of the three promises were broken!
  5. On October 25 & 26, 1995, Charges against the Grand Master were received by the Board of Trustees and Grand Master, via Certified Mail, Return Receipt.
  6. The Oct/Nov issue of the Jerusalem Daylight Lodge trestleboard contained two articles regarding the upcoming trial for the Grand Master and why the charges were filed.
  7. On November 11, 1995, WM T. Z. was removed as Master of Jerusalem Daylight Lodge, by the Acting Grand Master, for permitting the Oct/Nov trestleboard to be published, and I was charged with Un-Masonic conduct for the same. WM Tim was also one of the 3 signers of the Charges against the Grand Master filed Oct. 25.
  8. On November 19, 1995, I mailed a Call for a Special Communication of Grand Lodge, seeking the required 3 signatures, to all Arizona Lodges. Included was a copy of the pending charges against the Grand Master, for which I was seeking additional signatures to the original complaint. These were sent via First Class Mail to all lodge secretaries.
  9. On December 19, 1995, the Grand Master issued two new Decisions that deny the right of 3 Sitting Masters to call for a Special Communication of Grand Lodge (Decision 5) and grant the power to the Grand Master to suspend any Mason, for virtually any reason, without a trial or hearing. (Decision 6). Read the decisions yourself.
  10. On December 20 & 22, 1995, a Call for a Special Communication of Grand Lodge was received by the Grand Lodge, via Certified Mail, Return Receipt.
  11. December 30, 1995, I was acquitted of the charges filed November 11. WM Tim has not been re-instated, nor has he received any apology.
  12. Unrefuted testimony was presented December 30 which showed the Deputy Grand Master provided "insider" information and personal financing for an expose newsletter I wrote in April, 1994 and staunchly supported voting the current Grand Master out of office. When this failed, his allegiance was changed and he personally preferred Masonic charges against me for revealing the truth about Grand Lodge activities in the November '95 trestleboard of my lodge (the same type of revelations he previously paid to have printed).
  13. On November 8, 1995, Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission for the formation of the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children. This is a privately owned foundation with no connection with the Grand Lodge whatsoever. The only mention of Grand Lodge within the Articles is that funds will be solicited from its membership, family and friends. The Board of Directors (and owners) for this foundation are: Gerald Lankin, Cecil Metcalf, William Jeffers, Larry Schafer and John Krom. The very next day, the Senior Grand Warden denied any knowledge of who the Board of Directors was for this new, privately owned foundation.
  14. On November 9, 1995, the Senior Grand Warden made his official visit to John Wayne Centennial Lodge. At that meeting, I specifically asked him who was on the Board of Directors for the new Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children recently revealed in Arizona Masonry, and what this new foundation was all about. The Senior Grand Warden claimed he knew nothing about it and could not tell me who was on the Board of Directors, by what authority this foundation was formed, etc.
  15. A closed trial for the Grand Master, at which Master Masons were denied admission (including a Past Grand Lecturer), was held on January 20, 1996. The Grand Master was not present.
  16. At the Grand Master's trial, the Presiding Trial Commissioner acted both as a judge and witness, and placed a "pinch hitter" on the bench during the time he was on the witness stand, rather than doing the ethical thing of excusing himself as a judge (despite numerous requests that he do so).
  17. The "pinch hitter" used by the Presiding Trial Commissioner is also the Statutory Agent for the new Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children.
  18. Testimony presented at the trial showed the Presiding Trial Commissioner had constitutionally prohibited pre-trial conversations with trial witnesses and advised one of them not to testify at the upcoming trial.
  19. One of the Commissioners, selected by the Presiding Trial Commissioner, was the man who appointed the Grand Master to the progressive line.
  20. Grand Master Decision #5
    As referred to in Part I, Article IV, Section 111 of the Arizona Masonic Constitution, only the Grand Master has the power to convene a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge. He must state the reason for the call, the business to be conducted therein, and have the order signed by the Masters of at least three chartered Lodges.
  21. Grand Master Decision #6
    The dues card of a member of an Arizona Lodge may be arrested in the same manner and for like reasons as a Lodge Charter under Part III, Article IV, Section 98.2.2
    No dues card shall be forfeited unless charges against the individual shall have been presented to, and investigated in the Grand Lodge, of which charges the individual accused shall have had due notice, though the same may be arrested until the next Annual Communication, either by the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master, upon satisfactory reasons therefor being shown.
    The arrest or forfeiture of the dues card involves the suspension of the member from all of the rights and privileges of Masonry. In addition, forfeiture has the same effect as expulsion.

A Private Corporation to Own/Control Grand Lodge Assets?

A new private foundation, the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children was formed on November 8, 1995, with the following owners and Directors: Gerald Lankin, C. A. Metcalf, William Jeffers, Larry Schafer, and John Krom. The Articles of Incorporation are available from the Arizona Corporation Commission for $6.00, Documents Division, 1200 W. Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007, 1-800- 345-5819, and I urge all lodges and Masons to order a copy. This foundation is a private business, totally separate from the Grand Lodge.

In 1994, a resolution policy was adopted by the Board of Trustees which grants control of our assets to 4 men, who are authorized to assign ownership of our assets to an undisclosed entity based upon an unknown agreement. Read the following very carefully:

FROM: Proceedings of Grand Lodge, 1995

Quarterly Meeting of the Board of Trustees, July 23, 1994, [Page 65]

A resolution was adopted whereby the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master,
Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary were authorized to "Transfer,
endorse, sell, assign, set over and deliver any and all shares of stock,
bonds, debentures, notes, evidence of indebtedness, or other securities
now or hereafter standing in the name of or owned by this Fraternal
Organization, and to make, execute, and deliver any and all written
instruments necessary or proper to effectuate the authority hereby
conferred."

"Transfer" to whom? This one paragraph is giving the authority to transfer every asset the Grand Lodge owns, to an unspecified entity, to be covered by some future document no one has even seen! What kind of business is that?

I asked the Grand Treasurer what the above paragraph from the report was about during his testimony at the trial for the Grand Master. His answer to me was that "we did this so the investment advisors could sell and trade our stocks, etc." This is not, however, only a resolution to permit an agent to trade our stocks on our behalf. This is a resolution that permits the Grand Lodge Officers to relinquish ownership of our stock, based upon an undisclosed agreement with an unknown party. (Transfers to foundations are traditionally gifts.)

QUESTION: Who now holds title to the assets (or previous assets?) of our Grand Lodge?

All lodges should demand a full and complete copy of all the transactions between the Grand Lodge and all organizations which have received Grand Lodge assets. We should receive records on all stock tradings and sales. We are being kept in the dark about far too much where our assets are involved, and control of these assets now rests in the hands of men who secretly form corporations capitalizing upon the Masonic name and symbol, in violation of our constitution (Reg. 29.1).

QUESTION: Since when do we allow privately owned businesses to be formed within our Grand Lodge, allow them to use the Masonic Emblem (in violation of Regulation 29.1), and authorize their Directors to take control of all charitable funds received by the Grand Lodge?

The Articles of Incorporation also stipulates moneys received may be "invested and reinvested," and that the Directors may be paid for their services (charity begins at home, right). There is no stipulation as to how much of the money received is to be distributed to charities, how much is to be paid to the "charity-minded" Directors, and there is no reporting of any of this to us (the ones whose assets they may be taking).

Article VII Nothing contained herein, however, shall prohibit
payments by the corporation to Directors or members as a reasonsable
compensation for services rendered to the corporation.

Ownership of the corporation is shown below, followed by a declaration of no other membership in the corporation:

Article IX: The control and management of the affairs of the corporation
shall be vested in a Board of Directors of not less than five (5), nor
more than seven (7), persons.  The names of those selected to serve as
Directors, who shall serve for the purposes of the formation and
qualification of the corporate by the Internal Revenue Service,
beginning with the incorporation of this corporation and until the
second annual meeting of the corporation or until their successors shall
be selected and qualified, are:

[The Grand Master]
[The Grand Master's personal traveling companion]
[The Deputy Grand Master]
[The Senior Grand Warden]
[The Junior Grand Warden]

Article X:  The corporation shall not have a membership.

QUESTION: Why wasn't our Board of Trustees named as the Directors (and owners) of this foundation? And WHO was behind all this?

New Foundation's First Official Act

An announcement from the Grand Master declares "our first of fifteen teams will be held on May 1-3, 1996" and says each team (4-members each) costs $1,200, for a total of $18,000. Since arrangements with Chapel Rock Episcopal Retreat Center in Prescott for these dates have apparently been made (according to a foundation Director's solicitation to the Masters of Arizona lodges), you have to ask, "who is going to pay the balance of this $18,000 if it's not raised by our lodges before the commencement date?" Have Grand Lodge funds already been transferred to this corporation to pay for this event? If so, which budget line item was this expense concealed under at the last Grand Lodge?

Why was all of this activity done without so much as informing the 12,000+ Masons of Arizona that such a foundation was being formed, until 3-mos. after it was done? Why was $18,000 of our money committed to this new "children at risk" program without any notice whatsoever, until after the commitment was made?

What Next?

The question for each Mason to ask himself now is, "do I want Freemasonry to be the foundation stone of democracy we so proudly proclaim to the world at large, or is it permissible to suspend these principles, to suspend the vote required to spend such sums of our money, and prohibit the masses from doing anything about it until after the perpetrator is out of office" (Decision 5 suspends the calling of a Special Communication by Arizona Lodges)?

As you deliberate on this question and talk among your brethren, note who presents facts and who attacks people. Extend the warmest of welcomes to the former, for with him you can learn; but be especially wary of the latter, who criticizes people to divert attention from the facts. This argument is not about personalities, it is about actions.

There are some very important proposals being submitted for our next Grand Lodge, including 2 to give the Blue Lodges control of the Grand Lodge during the entire year (not just each May). One places 4 Blue Lodge Masons on the Board of Trustees, and another gives Blue Lodge Masons a majority vote on all Grand Lodge committees by having the Board of Trustees select the majority membership of each committee (members who have not served as Elected Grand Lodge Officers). These are critical to returning control to the constituent lodges. If you want a voice in controlling our Grand Lodge throughout the entire year, vote "Yes" to these bills. If you want control to rest in the hands of a "good ol' boys club" (of a dozen or so men), if you favor un-checked power in the hands of a few, then vote "No."

Please read the following resolutions, discuss them at length, and come vote at the Grand Lodge. My phone number is 520-327-1656, if you have questions. The Grand Master's phone number(s), as published in his private newsletter and Grand Lodge proceedings: 602-998-2532 (Home), 800-347-5107 (Office).

RESOLUTION NO. 96-1

The proponent seeks to set a procedure for the election of Grand Lodge Officers. As an amendment to the Constitution, it requires 5/6 majority to pass

Signatures: 8
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This proposal opens the door for nominations from the floor for the Junior Grand Warden. This seems like a good idea, especially in light of recent events. In the current process for ascension to the East, one man (only) decides who shall eventually be the Grand Master over 12,000+ Masons. Somehow the numbers just don't seem fair under the current method.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-2

A proposal to terminate the "Candidate Education" program which does not comply with the vote on this program by the 112th Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge. As a Resolution, this requires only a simple majority for passage.

Signatures: 15
Rejected Signatures: 20 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This proposal will terminate the program (only) known as the "Candidate Education" program, but not the use of the materials. The program (itself) was defeated at the 112th Communication. This will allow lodges to continue using the books if they so choose.

RESOLUTION NO.96-3

A resolution to mandate that all new programs, especially those involving the expenditure of Grand Lodge funds, be submitted as a Resolution and voted upon by the constituent lodges before any funds are spent or the program is implemented. As a resolution, this requires only a simple majority for passage.

Signatures: 15 Accepted
Rejected Signatures: 20 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This proposal requires a vote by us (the ones who get to pay for it all) before any new programs are implemented and funds spent. A good example is this new "Children at Risk" program (which duplicates training many school districts already provide): There was no vote, no report to the lodges, no chance for us to decide if we want to spend that kind of money on this venture. Instead we got the formation of a privately held corporation, whose purpose is to solicit thousands of dollars from "family, friends and members" of the fraternity. Personally, I think we should be asked if we want to spend our money this way, and asked if we want to relinquish control of our funds to a private group of entrepreneurs.

RESOLUTION NO.96-4

The proponents of this Resolution seek to amend the Constitution to refine the process for the trial of the Grand Master. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 5
Rejected Signatures: 8 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This one adds a very important (currently missing element) of fairness to the selection of the Presiding Trial Commissioner in a trial for the Grand Master. This proposal will place the selection process in the hands of the Board of Trustees, rather than an associate of the Grand Master, who may lack the ability to make fair decisions. It will also prevent the Past Grand Master who appointed the accused to the progressive line from later serving as a trial commissioner. We were very pointedly shown the need for these protections this past January.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-5

A resolution to amend Section Nos. 32.2 and 120 to provide that no member shall be required to pay the Grand Lodge per capita tax to more than one lodge. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 4
Rejected Signatures: 3 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This is a good and fair proposal. Why should per capita be paid two or more times on the same man? It is a much fairer policy to have a man belonging to multiple lodges taxed only once, the same as everyone else.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-6

The proponents of this Resolution seek to make available to any and all Arizona Master Masons in good standing the full and complete records of the Grand Lodge for their review. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6th majority is required.

Signatures: 14
Rejected Signatures: 21 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This proposals mandates the records of the Grand Secretary shall be available for review by any Master Mason in good standing. All you have to do is go to the office and read whatever you would like. With the formation of private corporations within our midst, we had best have access to our records to find out what is really going on.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-7

The proponents of this Resolution seek to make available to any and all Arizona Master Masons good standing the full and complete records of the Grand Lodge for their review. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 15
Rejected Signatures: 21 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This proposals mandates the records of the Grand Treasurer shall be available for review by any Master Mason in good standing. All you have to do is go to the office and read whatever you would like. This seems necessary in view of all the "stock trading" we appear to have going on.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-8

Proponents seek to provide constituent lodges of Arizona with direct, ongoing control of their Grand Lodge. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 15
Rejected Signatures: 16 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: I believe this to be the most important proposal in recent history. It establishes a majority vote on the Board of Trustees (where "ownership of our assets" is decided) to be held by the Blue Lodges (and not the "good ol' boys" club). The Board of Trustees is the only ongoing body (throughout the entire year) that has the authority to control our assets and the actions of the Grand Lodge officers (see proposals 96-10, 96-11). It is imperative that we (the 12,000+ Masons of Arizona) have the ability to control the actions of our Grand Lodge during its recess.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-9

The proponents of this Resolution see to establish a bidding process for providing services or equipment to the Grand Lodge. As an amendment to the Constitution, requires 5/6 majority for passage

Signatures: 10
Rejected Signatures: 15 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: Our Grand Lodge pays many thousands of dollars for services it contracts for throughout the year, yet we (the ones paying for it) have no idea who gets how much and for what. This is not conducive to good business and conceals important knowledge from the Masons who pay for it all. In addition to knowing what our money is being spent for (on contractual expenses, not the ones reported at the Annual Communications), we also have the opportunity to allow all Masons (not just a chosen few) to submit proposals for providing these services. For instance, are there any other Masons who know how to make stock investments, perform computer repairs, or who sells photocopiers? I think so, but we'll never know if we don't force these issues out in the open.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-10

The proponents of this Resolution seek to define the powers of the Grand Master to fall within the guidelines of standard practices of jurisprudence and allow for due process of law in the arresting of a lodge charter, dues card, or suspension of a Master of an Arizona lodge. As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6th majority required for passage.

Signatures: 14
Rejected Signatures: 16 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This is a very critical proposal, especially in light of the revocation of our right to a trial before being suspended from Masonry (Decision 6) and right to call for a Special Communication (Decision 5). These decisions, coupled with the formation of a private business within our ranks, makes it critical for us to implement the proper "checks and balances" to curb such powers whenever and wherever assumed. The alternatives are far too devastating to allow to occur without the ability to stop them! We have seen what power can do to men this past year.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-11

Proponents seek to provide the constituent lodges of Arizona with direct, ongoing control of their Grand Lodge. As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6 majority required for passage

Signatures: 14
Rejected Signatures: 18 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: This proposal was written in conjunction with 96-8 and entails having the Board of Trustees select the majority vote on all committees, while still enabling the Grand Master to place those he has selected to represent his ideas throughout the committee processes. This fairly provides a majority control to the majority of the people, the Arizona Blue Lodge Masons. The Grand Master gets 2 out of 5 votes on committees. If what he wants to implement throughout the year is indeed good for Masonry, then only 1 of the remaining members needs to be convinced. If, however, a proposal or activity is not proper, then we (the membership) have the ability to stop it. This is a good "check and balance." If someone is against this, they are against the Blue Lodges being able to control their own destiny.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-12

Proponents of this Resolution seek to modify the "Friend to Friend" program to better apply the mandates of Regulation 37 ("Selective Invitation") and modify the tape currently distributed to exclude Section 3, "Filling out a petition," which appears contrary to Regulation 29.22. As a Resolution, this requires only a simple majority to pass

Signatures: 15
Rejected Signatures: 18 (MMs Only, etc.)

COMMENTARY: The "Friend to Friend" program has strong solicitation overtones, as does the final portion of the tape used (filling out the Petition). Since the program was never submitted to a vote, we need to vote it out now, yet permit lodges to use the tapes (if desired), minus the objectionable portion. This is a fair compromise to the two opposing views on this matter.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-13

Proponents seek to amend the duties of the Finance Committee as contained in the Constitution. As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 2
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This is a good proposal. It will allows for the reporting of misleading line items in the budget. As you may recall, we ending up giving "blanket approval" for two concealed programs within our last budget. We were later told we approved the concealed items when we voted "yes" on the budget. This proposal simply seeks an honest reporting to the voting delegates on what they are voting for or against. If anyone can think of an ethical reason for defeating this bill, I'd like to hear it.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-14

Proponents seeks to amend the Constitution regarding the calling of a Special Communication. (from 3 sitting Masters to 30% of the lodges). As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required

Signatures: 5
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This proposal provides more protection for the Grand Lodge officers from being held accountable for their actions, and virtually prohibits the rest of us from calling for a special legislative session to stop it! It's interesting to see a group advocating more insulation from his actions for the Grand Master.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-15

Proponent seeks to amend the Constituent with regard to filing charges against the Grand Master (from 3 sitting Masters to 30% of the lodges). As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 5
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: Here's another one to make it almost impossible to stop a Grand Master if he is perpetrating illegal activities. Why would anyone want to set one man above our laws?

RESOLUTION NO. 96-16

Proponent seeks to amend the Constitution concerning number of representatives necessary to transact business. (from 3 lodge to 50% of the lodges). As an amendment to the Constitution, a 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 5
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This goes along with 96-14. If you can get an impossible number of lodges to call for a Special Communication, you've got to have a ridiculous number of them represented. What more need be said?

RESOLUTION NO. 96-17

Proposed change will allow the Worshipful Master to determine if it is proper to wear Masonic clothing at a public function, without requesting a dispensation from the Grand Master. As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 7
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This is part of the "return of power" theme I have heard coming from our rulers (throwing us a bone?). It's nice that we are thought to have enough sense to know when it is proper to wear our aprons without requiring a special dispensation from the Grand Master.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-18

Proponents seek to amend the Constitution to remove the requirement to obtain a special dispensation from the Grand Master to examine an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft candidate by a committee. As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 7
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: This proposal opens the door for the "brother-in-law" system of getting candidates declared proficient. Since trial testimony showed one of the proponents of this bill regularly sat in his home lodge and watched the Worshipful Master read the ritual to the candidate and membership, I am not surprised to see this kind of motion with his name on it. All of our progressive line Grand Lodge officers signed this bill.

RESOLUTION NO. 96-19

Proponents propose a change to the Ritual to allow the Worshipful Master to close their stated meetings in Short Form. As a resolution, a simple majority is required.

Signatures: 7
Rejected Signatures: 0

COMMENTARY: The same "short form" group signed this one as 96-18. All of our progressive line Grand Lodge officers signed this bill to enable a Master to be able to close his lodge without knowing the ritual, including one who has sworn (for many years) that he stands for preserving our ritual and traditions..

RESOLUTION NO. 96-20

Proponents propose to require a contribution from each petitioner for the degrees or applicant for affiliation to be designated for the Masonic Charities of Arizona. As an amendment to the Constitution, 5/6 majority is required.

Signatures: 8
Rejected Signatures: 1 (Other Juris.)

COMMENTARY: Though I like the theme of this proposal, I think we should vote "no" until we get the mess with the Board of Trustees and charitable funding to the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children straightened out.

Dedication

To those who had the courage to stand up when called upon to "lay it on the line" for Masonry, I thank you for your support.

Masonry needs men who will stand and be counted when called upon to preserve the principles of self government, based upon a will of the people and not just a chosen few. It is wrong to stand above the law. It is wrong to change the law when not to one's liking, or suspend it altogether when all else fails. It is wrong to punish those who fight these injustices. This is what Freemasonry is about!

All things shall come to light in their appointed time. It is our duty, as men and as Masons, to do our part when the hour of appointment arrives, be it high or low twelve.

My sincere thanks for taking the time to read these words. Please tell the appropriate people what you think of them, especially the voting delegates who must choose our 1996-7 Grand Lodge officers.

In Conclusion

I have heard many Masons say the entire progressive line has declared themselves "to be of one mind," and that the brand of Masonry we have been subjected to this year is the brand they intend to provide for the next 8-years. This declaration necessitates either removing them as a whole, or resigning ourselves to dictatorial rule and entrepreneurial enterprises being the order of the day for many years to come.

Brethren, we have a situation where our elected officers firmly believe they can (and will) do whatever they desire as Grand Master, whether constitutionally permitted or not. They have demonstrated a propensity for believing only they have a divine insight into the "problems" with Masonry, and that they will force their "visions" upon us, whether we like it or not. They have made these declarations themselves in lodges throughout the state. They have demonstrated their commitment to supremacy in their many actions throughout the year, including the joint venture to remove a Master of a lodge for allowing a member to express his opinion in a trestleboard (the Deputy Grand Master, Senior & Junior Grand Wardens were all in attendance the day Tim was removed).

Reading the proposals submitted by our entire officer's line and their associates proves their commitment to the acquisition of more power for themselves, while tying our hands to combat any abuses of this power they may perpetrate.

Now, we have private enterprises being formed within our Grand Lodge, without the knowledge or approval of the membership, for the benefit of the founders.

This pattern, or "new order" of conducting Grand Lodge affairs, is what we can expect from the remainder of our Grand Lodge officers, most especially the one slated for next year. Masonry, with the inception of the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children, has now stooped to the level where we pay "homage" to our elected leaders by providing them with personal businesses, at our expense, which enable them to be paid for their "dedication to the principles of Masonry," and leave us powerless to have any control over the vast sums they expect to "solicit from the members, family, and friends" of the fraternity. We have, in one fell swoop, been turned into a "business of charity," just like the United Way and others.

As you contemplate the newly formed "business of charity", ask yourselves this question: Why wasn't the Masonic Charities of Arizona foundation used for this enterprise? I'll offer a view for your contemplation: The Masonic Charities of AZ is a legitimate group who only spent $122 in operating expenses last year (the members serve for free). They also are not under the control of "the clique," and are not paid for their services (for which the new foundation provides).

Think about these things very carefully, brethren, and vote accordingly!


Can We Change the Course of Masonry in Arizona?

Only with the vote of the brethren can we hope to stop this destructive course! It is up to us to decide, it is up to us to vote in the legislation to return control of our Grand Lodge to us (the real members), it is up to us to remove the lawless element from our midst.

In place of the status quo voting for Grand Lodge officers, I propose we vote for the following men in their place:


Grand Master: [A PGM]
Deputy Grand Master: [A PGM]
Senior Grand Warden: [A PM (1)]
Junior Grand Warden: [A PM (66)]
Grand Treasurer: [A PM (29)]
3-yr Trustee: [A PM (66)]
1-yr. Trustee: [A PM (62)]

D. C. P. stands for Blue Lodge Masonry, period. He is also the only Past Grand Master with the courage to come forward to challenge serious violations to our constitution, while others with the same knowledge remained silent.

Brethren, we need a strong man for Grand Master, and a man with no other "ties" beyond good, traditional Masonry. This man will have the most difficult task ever given to a Grand Master before, and he will have to be steadfast in his commitment to justice, a concept now barren and discarded within our highest offices.

O. L. has also served before, and has the experience we shall need in the critical rebuilding years that follow such an event.

T. S. is a man who served as our Grand Lecturer, and is also a man steadfast enough in his ethics that he resigned his position as Grand Lecturer, rather than serve a man who would not listen to reason. We need his strength of character in our Grand Lodge.

D. D. has served as an outstanding District Deputy Grand Lecturer for many years now, and well knows how to lead by example, a quality needed most desperately now.

I think we need a new man overseeing our money in Grand Lodge, someone not involved in all this Foundation business. Dick Russell will bring us a high degree of honesty and dedication.

K. W. and myself can serve you best as "watch dogs" of the most important "inner workings" of our Grand Lodge. This group is the one that passed the resolution granting "blanket coverage" for the disposal of all Grand Lodge assets to an "unknown group" and based upon an "unseen contract." We need to clean this mess up and I think K. W. and I can serve the best interests of Masonry on the Board of Trustees.


Another False Claim

The April 1996 issue of Arizona Masonry once again proves that outright lies and deception are the methods of choice in conducting Grand Lodge business. I direct your attention to page 15, paragraph 4: "The Grand Trustees have been involved in the Foundation's formation, has given permission to use the Square and Compasses, and will be responsible for the handling of all investment assets (unlike Masonic Charities who handles their own investments)."

This, my brethren, is false! I have the Articles of Incorporation, I have the By-Laws of the corporation, and nowhere does the Board of Trustees, or any other group outside the 5 Directors (chosen by the Grand Master), have any part whatsoever in the management of the Grand Master's private business! But I don't want you to believe this, not a single word of it. Instead, send $6 to the Arizona Corporation Commission and get a copy of the Articles of Incorporation for the Arizona Masonic Foundation for Children and read them yourself. Call the Grand Master at the number he listed in this issue of Arizona Masonry (800-347-5107) and demand a copy of the By-Laws of the foundation (they are not part of what the Corp. Commission has on file). Read the truth yourself!

After you learn these truths, try another batch on for size: The Grand Master is "purging" the most important committees of Grand Lodge of all opposing views and "stacking the deck" for Grand Lodge in May. He removed C. M., PGM, O. L., PGM, and K. W., PM, from the General Policy Committee (the last two following his trial in January), and removed D. P., PGM, from the Jurisprudence Committee (also following the January trial). It doesn't take a crystal ball to envision the recommendations we'll be seeing from committees. Look at the "Grand Master's Review" currently receiving wide circulation! It's a recommendation to vest unstoppable power in a single man, while stripping us of the ability to do anything about it if something goes wrong. And it comes after a major "committee purge." That just doesn't seem too bright.

The Past Masters voting block can turn the tide, but only if you come to Grand Lodge and vote the ticket herein presented. You may not like every candidate I suggest, but they are a far sight better than what we have now and they are honest (a quality devoid in our present line). Vote in the proposals that give us control of our Grand Lodge (96-1 thru 96-13 vote "YES"), vote down those that establish more power and diminish our standards of excellence (96-14 thru 96-19 vote "NO"). Vote "NO" on 96-20 until we know what assets of Grand Lodge are being funneled into this new foundation.

The issues are freedom and democracy. Are we truly a fraternity where "liberty, equality, fraternity" are the principle foundation stones of our Order, or merely hollow words echoing concepts discarded for money and power. This is the point at which we stand, and your vote shall determine which direction we shall irrevocably travel.

Some of you reading this don't like me and don't like the way I state my case. My answer is, "rise above it" and look at the facts, not the messenger who delivers them! The issues are far too important to let a personal dislike interfere with your objectivity in viewing events. I have given you facts, not my word, not the word of some secret source. Everything I have herein presented is a matter of public (Masonic) record or official State of Arizona sworn documents (period, end of subject). Put your likes and dislikes aside, put all the rhetoric and Grand Lodge campaign speeches aside and look at the facts. Then vote accordingly!


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