Arizona Continued: Will I See You At Grand Lodge
The following comes from a private forum of Arizona Masons.
Will I see you at Grand Lodge?
I will be carrying four votes to Grand Lodge so I am committed to being there, but I do not know if I can actually cast the votes for the good of my Lodge and the Order. Let me explain.
What is considered good for both my lodge and the Order? To me every Lodge should have the ability to teach the values of Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, and to inspire their members to discover the secrets of the “hidden” mysteries. If I vote for Grand Line Officers whose candidacy is a result of an illegal act, am I not aiding and abetting a violation of the Masonic Constitution I swore to uphold in my Master Mason oath? How do I reconcile this, and still claim to be acting for the good of the order?
One year ago I went to Grand lodge full of hope and expectations for a great year. Today, I am full of doubts and a sense that I have been betrayed and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. A year ago I expected the new Grand Master to walk in the steps of those excellent Grand Masters whichArizonahas been blessed to have in years gone by. These were men who introduced many excellent programs which benefited the Fraternity and made me proud to be an Arizona Mason.
Unfortunately, this Masonic year fell far short of my expectations. It began with the arresting the Charter of Hiram Daylight 73 for what looked to me as superfluous and nonsensical reasons. This was a violation of the Masonic Constitution, and was followed by another such violation by returning the Lodge Charter instead of allowing the Grand Lodge to vote on the issue. The entire situation looked like a personal vendetta. When the Jurisprudence Committee looked like it would take rule against the Grand Master’s action, he replaced key members to ensure the committee would not act.
This was also the year we witnessed the Character Assassination of a duly elected Deputy Grand Master, Brother Mike Meier in order that the Grand Master circumvent the vote of the Grand Lodge and move his appointees into the top positions. By his own authority he illegally suspended the deputy Grand Master and with the help of the most recent PGM, illegally installed his new line, which brings me back to my dilemma. How do I vote at Grand Lodge for the good of the Order?
One Past Master Jack Buta, and one Past Grand master Jerry Lankin, had the courage to propose charges against the Grand Master or at least call for a special session, either of which would have prevented this latest violation of our constitution the illegal suspension of Bro. Mike Meier without a trial. Unfortunately only 8 Lodges passed resolutions falling 10 short of the number needed to force the issue. Most Lodges decided they did not wish to incur the ire of the Grand Master or considered him infallible and he knew best. Whatever the reason his illegal and unmasonic actions went unchallenged. Obviously, this lack of concern on behalf of the majority did not go unnoticed by the Grand Master. With no opposition to his actions he and his chosen men have successfully hi-jacked the Grand Lodge.
So I ask you once again, how do I go to Grand Lodge and vote for the good of the Order?
Each year I have sat in Grand Lodge and listened to the wise council of the Great Committees of our Jurisdiction render their findings on everything which affects the Grand Lodge. This year they have been conspicuous by their silence. One thing is certain, unless something changes, this is the year we, the voting members, will lose any semblance of being active participants and the year the Fraternity inArizonabecomes a Dictatorship by the sitting Grand Master instead of by our Constitutional Rules and Regulations. The precedent has been set. The AMC has been rendered meaningless, which any Grand Master in the future can choose to disregard or manipulate in any way he sees fit.
One solution would be for the voting members, Masters, Wardens and Past Masters to take back their Constitution is to stand up and refuse to accept the current proposed line of Grand Officers that has been shoved down their throats by this current Grand Master.
What would happen I wonder, if all the Voting members of our Grand Lodge remained standing and refused to take their seats choosing rather to stand in silent protest? Yes, that sounds nice, but I believe the chances of it happening are somewhere between slim and none considering the track record of the lodges so far this year, just as it is to expect any Grand Lodge Officer or PGM to display any leadership or integrity by objecting to this farce. So, at the risk of being annoying, how do I go to Grand lodge and vote for the good of the Order?
We need a Grand Lodge Officer Line with elected and appointed Officers who will serve the constituent lodges, preserve our Constitutional Rules and Regulations, and obey the solemn vows they took. We do NOT need a Dictatorship, but in a few weeks that is exactly what we will have unless a true leader emerges with the integrity to stand up for our beloved Craft and say NO!
To all of you who will be carrying votes to the Grand Lodge please tell me, how will you solve this moral dilemma? Will you stand up in silent protest, or will you do as so many have done in past years and follow the lead of the Judas goat like good little lambs to the slaughter?
Richard G.J. Skoglund
PM 63(14) & 70