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

Welcome * Blog * Books * Calendar * Chris Hodapp * Alice Von Kannon * Photos * Contact


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Grand Master of Oklahoma Suspends Recognition of GL of Arkansas

The Grand Master of the MW Grand Lodge of AF&AM of Oklahoma, MW Dudley R. Smith, has issued an edict dated October 31st, Decision No. 3, officially suspending recognition of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. (Click the image above to enlarge it.)

It reads, in part:
"The conventions whereby one Grand Lodge recognizes another evolved from principles promulgated by the United Grand Lodge of England in 1929 to define the relationships between Masonic jurisdictions... 
The Grand Lodge of Arkansas has diverged from these principles on more than one occasion, especially in the areas of the right to transfer membership and the right to due process in the administration of Masonic discipline."
The annual communication for the GL of Oklahoma will take place November 11th, at which time the voting members will decide whether to affirm the GM's edict or not.

The problem has been brewing since around 2012, when the Grand Secretary's office in the GL of Arkansas began an unofficial policy of failing to issue letters of good standing for Arkansas Masons who wished to transfer their membership out of state - reportedly to those jurisdictions that recognize their Prince Hall counterparts, but to Oklahoma especially. That said, the Grand Master's edict does not provide the details behind his reasons. He will apparently present them with more specificity at the annual communication next week.

For background on this situation:

3/13/10: Grand Lodge of Arkansas Pulls Charter, Files Charges Over Website
12/16/10: News From Arkansas
2/17/11: A Gathering Storm In Arkansas
2/18/11: More Sad News From Arkansas
11/9/12: Shrine Declared Clandestine in Arkansas
1/31/13: South Carolina Suspends Relations With Shriners Internationa
6/19/16: Arkansas Rumblings
6/26/16: Reprehend With Justice
8/23/16: GL of Arkansas Suspends Grand Senior Warden
8/28/16: Grand Lodge of Arkansas' Yezhovshchina: Grand Line Officers Purged
9/3/16: More Antics Out Of Arkansas
9/11/16: Arkansas: Floggings Continue, Yet Morale Doesn't Improve
10/10/16: New Allegations in Arkansas

12 comments:

  1. Wow... As an oklahoma mason, i am surprised, but not surprised. I have a huge amount of respect for our grand master (he goes by "Ridge"), and as well as the last 2 recent GMs (ive only been a mason since 2014, so i dont want it to be taken the others werent as great). In fact last years GM is a member of my lodge (as well as several others). They all represent with great integrity masonry in oklahoma (and i say that as someone speaking anonomously with no ambition but to be a good member of my lodge... Im not trying to kiss anyone's butt to get a spot in the good ol boy system). But unfortunately i feel for the brothers of arkansas who have been cut off from masonic fellowship through no fault of their own. In the end, may brotherly love prevail.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Proud of Oklahoma. Wish more GL'S would follow this example. Arkansas is not the greatest example of The Craft. Actually they are opposite of it

    ReplyDelete
  3. A good example of maintaining integrity and standards that other grand masters and grand lodges should heed. Congratulations to Oklahoma -- you understand what Masonry is about.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The number of expulsions from Arkansas is troubling. From everything we've seen coming out of their Grand Lodge though, I can't say I'm surprised. It probably won't be long before the brothers themselves in Arkansas force a change - either by calling for a special meeting of the grand lodge or through the courts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't count on that. This has been going on for many years through many Grand Masters' administrations. And honestly I think members are scared to speak up, they'll be targeted next.

      Dave Brown
      GL of Mass

      Delete
  5. Congratulations, MW Brother Smith, on having the courage and conviction to put the principles of Freemasonry first. The Brethren of OK should be proud. I hope others follow your example.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Congratulations, MW Brother Smith, on having the courage and conviction to put the principles of Freemasonry first. The Brethren of OK should be proud, and I hope others follow your great example of leadership.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everyone that has spoke out or that has moved to help make things right has become a target. I fear for the fate of Masonry in Arkansas if our members as a whole don't stand up and make things right in February!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Billy Joe is a sensitive man. He has overlooked previous affronts by the Oklahoma Grand Lodge, but I feel sure this latest uncharitable act has wounded him deeply. He may feel he has no recourse other than filing charges of unmasonic conduct against MWGM Smith and trying him for his many crimes. It will be for the good of the fraternity, of course.

    Remember brothers, Billy Joe loves you! If my word is not good enough, check with the members of Green Grove #107 in Conway Arkansas. Billy Joe took time out from his busy schedule to pay them a recent fraternal visit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Serious question... but seems like a brilliant move for arkansas masons... Leave and go join an arkansas prince hall lodge, or get a dispensation to form their own if they dont have one in their area. Could you imagine?!?

    ReplyDelete

ATTENTION!
Kindly sign your comment posts. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers, as far as I am concerned, and may be deleted if I don't recognize you or if I'm in a grumpy mood.