Re: [Masons] Message about Shrine Recognition in
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:27:19 -0400
From: "William F. Hendricks" firstname.lastname@example.org
To: "G. C. 'Jack' Canard, Jr." jcanard(at)cox.net
RW Brother Canard, I have attempted to send a copy of the referenced GM's letter to the Masonic discussion listserv without success, the attachment is too long. Is it possible to somehow make the letter available for the interested brethren?
Sincerely and fraternally, Bill Hendricks
July 5, 2000
To All Master Masons of
To All Grand Jurisdictions,
To All Appendant Bodies in
This letter is to inform you of the actions of the Shrine of North America pertaining to the Grand Lodge of Arkansas. As many of you are aware, Past Imperial Potentate Ralph Semb indicated in several of his writings that he believes the laws of the Shrine supercede Grand Lodge Law and the authority of a Grand Lodge to govern the Master Masons within their Grand Jurisdiction.
The first instance of this
was during M:.W:. Kevin Hatfield’s term as Grand Master. You will recall that Grand Master Hatfield
was faced with a situation where members of the
In response to Grand Master Hatfield’s letter, Scimitar Potentate Ray Pearce correctly issued a statement that the illegal activity must stop immediately. In response to his statement, the Imperial Potentate wrote a letter to Brother Pearce reprimanding him for his statement and informing him that his understanding of the law was incorrect. Further, the Imperial Potentate ordered Brother Pearce to issue a statement that he was in error in his earlier advice and that a Shriner can legally engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages, despite Grand Lodge Law.
Shortly after Grand Lodge, I was provided
significant evidence that Brother Sam Archer, a Master Mason and member of
England Lodge #507, was engaged in the operation of a liquor store located in
On Saturday, May 6, 2000, in England Lodge #507,
July 5, 2000
After reviewing the information, on May 8, 2000, I sent a letter to Mr. Archer informing him that he was expelled from the Fraternity. In accordance with our historical practice, a copy of this letter was issued to the Appendant Bodies, including the Shrine. According to my information, and in accordance with our historical practice, the Scottish Rite followed suit and informed the Shrine of its action.
On Tuesday, May 23, 2000, I
was made aware of a letter issued by the Imperial Council of the Shrine of
North America informing Mr. Archer that he was being reinstated to membership
in the Shrine. This is a direct
contradiction of historical Masonic practice and customs, and places the
relationship of this Grand Lodge with the Shrine in jeopardy. According to the letter, the reinstatement
was subject to review by the representatives attending the Imperial Session
held during this past week in
In an attempt to be fair, I allowed these representatives an opportunity to set the Shrine back on the appropriate course of interaction with this Grand Lodge. Instead, during this meeting, these representatives voted to allow Mr. Archer to remain a member of the Shrine. This, in effect, creates a situation whereby the Shrine now has a non-Mason participating as a member of the Shrine in this Grand Jurisdiction. This is clearly inconsistent with past Masonic customs and changes the relationship between the Grand Lodge and the Shrine, which can no longer be considered an appendant body of this Fraternity.
Therefore, it is my order that Master Masons within this Grand Jurisdiction shall not participate in any Shrine activity that in any way presents itself as being a part of the Masonic Fraternity. Further, Master Masons within this Grand Jurisdiction are not permitted to display any Masonic emblem on a Shrine Fez or as a part of a Shrine uniform. The Worshipful Masters are ordered to remove from their lodges any and all references, pictures, articles, or other paraphernalia, that display the Shrine emblem, or indicate any connection between the Shrine and Freemasonry. This does not include photographs of Past Masters or publications solely referencing our historical relationship to the Shrine. Shrine Clubs, and other related organizations and units, are not permitted to utilize Masonic properties for any purpose. No Master Mason is to promote or indicate the existence of any form of relationship between this Fraternity and the Shrine. No Master Mason shall engage in the solicitation of, or permit a Shriner to solicit, any member of this Fraternity for membership in the Shrine while in attendance at a Masonic function. The provisions of this order apply to all Master Masons residing within this Grand Jurisdiction and to Master Masons who are members of subordinate lodges within this Grand Jurisdiction, while visiting or in residence of another Grand Jurisdiction.
From this point forward, the Shrine is to be treated as any other non-Masonic organization functioning as a civic club, such as the Rotary or Lions clubs. Nothing in this order is intended to require Master Masons to discontinue their membership in the Shrine.
Violations of any part of this order will be deemed punishable by a penalty of expulsion from the Fraternity. Such penalty will be administered without the benefit of a trial.
Worshipful Masters will direct the Secretary to read this at the next three consecutive stated lodge meetings, and are expected to fully cooperate in the enforcement of these provisions.
Dickey J. Fortner