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Masonic Regularity. What is Masonic Regularity?.
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What is Masonic Regularity? • Recognition is a word used in many acknowledgements in life, and is defined to recognize or accept its existence. The root word of recognition is “recognize”. Most often times the word Recognition is used in the Masonic world to acknowledge the authenticity of a regular constituted Lodge recognized by some Grand Body of a regular status in origin. • Recognition between Grand Lodges has been a struggle on both sides for centuries because the different aspect of what one sees as “regular”. The lineage of Lodges which ties regularity to a Grand Lodge is the issuance of charters by a legal Masonic authority. The Grand Lodge of England of 1717, issued charters to many European Lodges and many American Lodges across the world. It was/is consider the premier Grand Lodge to many Grand Lodges and Lodges alike that was birthed by it.
What is Masonic Regularity? • One charter in particular that was issued by the Grand Lodge of England on September 20, 1784 was to a Lodge numbered 459. This Lodge which is the lineage of all Prince Hall affiliated Grand Lodges have through out the last past 222, and 231 years if we count the initiation of Prince Hall, has been placed under scrutiny of its regularity when all proof of its regular status is available to anyone of interest. • Many think because they claim the same passwords, grips, signs and even words, it makes them a Mason.
Regularity Test! • The regularity and recognition of Grand Lodges are separate but allied subjects. Unless a Grand Lodge is regular, it cannot be recognized. Unless a Grand Lodge is recognized, its Brethren cannot (or should not) be met as Freemasons by Brethren of regular and recognized Grand Lodges.
Regularity Test BASIC PRINCIPLES Grand Lodges are the superior body of their jurisdiction. They - and they alone - constitute the authority which can form (in current times) or recognize (in times past - because sometimes there were already lodges working within their jurisdiction) a local lodge as being 'Masonic'. The largest association of these Grand Lodges has no formal designation but are derived from the three Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland. To be eligible for recognition, a Grand Lodge must a. be regular in its origin b. be truly independent and self-governing c. adhere to 'landmarks' (a landmark is an essential characteristic of regular Freemasonry), viz: (I) Its Brethren must believe in a Supreme Being (the GAOTU); (ii) Obligations must be taken on or in full view of the VSL; (iii) It must display the three Great Lights of Freemasonry when it or its Lodges are open; (iv) Discussion of religion and politics in its Lodges must be prohibited, and (v) Its membership must be male, and it must have nothing to do with mixed or women's Lodges.
Regularity Test REGULARITY OF ORIGIN Between themselves, in the main, a senior Masonic organization (Grand Lodge) would receive a request from another more junior Grand Lodge that it be recognized as well - and that Masonic courtesies be extended so that brethren might visit between their respective lodges. Sometimes extensive scrutiny into the junior Grand Lodge's history, method of formation, or whatever, would occur and sometimes such recognition would be granted based on already held knowledge of the petitioning body or based on the preponderance of recognition by other Masonic Grand Lodges. Of course, the request for recognition did not of necessity start with the most junior Grand Lodge and proceed to the most senior nor was there sometimes any rationale into why a request was delayed or ignored. And thus, while most recognition is straightforward, there still remains a small patchwork quilt which causes confusion, particularly for non-Masons, new Masons, and Masons who travel extensively.
Regularity Test REGULARITY OF ORIGIN A Grand Lodge must have been established by: a) a recognized Grand Lodge, or b) three (nowadays) or more regularly constituted private Lodges, formed in accordance within the rules and customs of a regular Grand Lodge. A Grand Lodge must have undisputed authority over Craft (or basic) Freemasonry within its jurisdiction, and not be subject in any way to or share power with any other Masonic body.
Regularity Test RECOGNITION Recognition is a series of bi-lateral relationships between Grand Lodges. If a Grand Lodge seeks recognition from England, and in due course is recognized, the mutual recognition between it and England cannot bind a third Grand Lodge. England's recent policy on recognition has been described as needing to be convinced that it should be granted, rather than noting an absence of reasons why it should not.
Regularity Test RECOGNITION Suffice it to say that there is a generally recognized world-wide body of Freemasonry which - on an on-going basis - considers and acts upon recognition of those within and without its folds. Outside of this body, there are other organizations styling themselves as Masonic which will never be recognized by the majority of Freemasonry's Grand Lodges as such but might, by accident, incompetence, or chicanery, be recognized by one or two. And finally, there are those organizations which have not been recognized by accidents of history or circumstances within their own organization, now resolved and which will likely rejoin them someday to the vast tapestry of Freemasonry.
Why is a lodge (or Grand Lodge) not recognized by the greater body of Freemasonry? • The organization may have been formed by someone who simply decided to start their own organization (and over the past 300 years, a few folks have done this including some Masons). • The organization, although properly formed, might have changed their goals, outlook and/or rules making their behavior incompatible with its original purpose. • The organization might disregard the generally accepted 'landmarks' of Freemasonry (and although many Grand Lodges don't agree on all of the 'landmarks' or whether they're the same ones, the do agree that there are some inviolable concepts which define Freemasonry). • The organization specifies certain religious beliefs or tenets and/or ignores the need for a Volume of the Sacred Law to be present at all times in the lodge. • The organization attempts to derive its legitimacy from a government body rather than other Masonic entities. (If you see a group online attempting to 'prove' their legitimacy by a state incorporation form, it's a bogus group without question!)
Clandestine, Irregular, Unrecognized • Clandestine • A body of Freemasons or of those improperly claiming to be Freemasons, uniting in a Lodge without the consent of a Grand Lodge, or, although originally legally constituted, continuing to work after its Charter has been revoked, is styled a Clandestine Lodge. Neither Anderson nor Entick employ the word. It was first used in the Book of Constitutions in a note by Noorthouck, on page 239 of his edition (see the Constitutions of 1784).Regular Lodge would be the better term. • Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry • Irregular • There are many reasons why organizations are considered irregular to mainstream Freemasonry. Some of these organizations violate our ancient landmarks, constitutions, codes of conduct and other elements that make up the foundation of Freemasonry. Some do it strictly for profit and through deception to generate income from unsuspecting people and yet some seem to do it simply out of spite. • -Source: http://acacia42.com/page.aspx?pageid=Irregular Freemasonry
Clandestine, Irregular, Unrecognized Unrecognized A regularly constituted Grand Lodge of Freemasons that are not recognized by your Masonic jurisdiction.
John G. Jones – The Father of Bogus Masonry • John G. Jones was born on September 18, 1849 in Ithaca, New York • On March 24, 1881, the Supreme Court of Illinois admitted Jones to the Illinois Bar. He was later elected State Representative of the 5th District of Cook County Illinois. • John G. Jones was a member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge, F. & A.M., of the State of Illinois. He was initiated, passed, and raised in John Jones Lodge No. 7. This lodge was named after his uncle, John Jones. • In 1887 he was suspended by Grand Master J. W. Moore for contumacy until Grand Lodge Session in October, and reinstated by that body after many denials. • He was retried in 1903 by a Grand Lodge Commission for fraudulently conferring the degrees of Masonry without authority upon persons who had not petitioned any lodge in the Jurisdiction of the MWPHGL of Illinois. • He was found guilty, and suspended indefinitely by Grand Lodge, and in 1904 expelled by Grand Lodge. Since that date he proceeded to set up clandestine lodges, and his organization under new leaders continues to do so.
Oddities • INTERNATIONAL F. & A.M. MASONS AND OES • Organized in 1950 by Dr. William V. Banks • This fraternal organization was incorporated and chartered in August of 1950 in Detroit, Michigan by the UNITED STATES CHARTER AUTHORITY, DOVER, DELAWARE. • (Per their website) This Charter empowered International Masons to practice Freemasonry, and operate as a Masonic Order, throughout the United States, its possessions and territories. This American issued charter empowers, International Masons to the same rights as those charters issued directly from the Grand Lodge of England or the Grand Orient of France. • INTERNATIONAL MASONS WAS ISSUED AN AMERICAN CHARTER. ITS COST WAS $50,000.00. • Research has proven that there is no such entity entitled “ United States Charter Authority. What they use as a charter is incorporation papers from the State of Delaware. As was stated before, a State cannot create a Masonic organization.
Oddities • INTERNATIONAL F. & A.M. MASONS AND OES
Oddities • INTERNATIONAL F. & A.M. MASONS AND OES
Oddities Rev. Dr. Malachi K. York(e) 33°/ 720° THE MOST WORSHIPFUL NUWAUBIAN GRAND LODGE of FREEMASONRY WORLDWIDE, INC Bogus
The Race Issue There are currently 9 States in the U.S. who do not recognize Prince Hall Freemasonry
The Race Issue In comparing the two charts, you can decide the reason.
Sources • The Joseph A. Walkes, Jr.Commission on Bogus Masonic Practices • Paul M. Bessel’s Website