Dear Brother, I am writing to disagree with RW:. R.J.’s comment that GL of NY suspending amity with GL of Scotland was “petty”. I found RW:. R.J.’s comment to be both inappropriate and imprudent. As such, I wanted to point out several things the District Deputy Grand Master may not have considered. Firstly, the greatest punishment the GL of NY can levy on an errant Brother is expulsion. This being the case, the expulsion of 3 former Brothers under the Syria-Lebanon jurisdiction must have been relatively serious and not a “petty” infraction. Secondly, in NY, as it is in many jurisdictions, it is a violation of one’s Obligation to hold Masonic intercourse with a Clandestine Mason or one who has been expelled or suspended. For this reason, I once again submit that meeting masonically with expelled Brothers is not a “petty” infraction. Thirdly, Freemasonry has relatively little power to protect itself against pretenders, conspiracy theorists, clandestine Lodges, and former Brothers who have been expelled who might sully our good reputation. In the guarding against these threats to our Fraternity, perhaps the most effective tool we have as whole is the cooperative recognition and denial of recognition between Grand Lodges. A report that a Lodge under a Grand Lodge’s jurisdiction has accepted a Brother (or 3) who has/have been expelled from another Grand Lodge’s jurisdiction is a serious charge which should be acted upon quickly and decisively as a matter of mutual respect between jurisdictions and as a matter of concern for the sanctity of the entire Craft. I would respectfully submit that the failure of any Masonic body, including a Grand Lodge, to take timely and appropriate action in the face of such a circumstance not only undermines the two Grand Lodges concerned, but the world-wide Masonic community. On this basis, I submit that not only was the suspension of amity by the GL of NY NOT “petty”, but was in fact, warranted and highly appropriate. I sincerely hope, for the sakes of both Grand jurisdictions, the Brothers of these jurisdictions, and Masonry as a whole, that the Grand Lodge of Scotland sees the actions of the Grand Lodge of NY as a plea for them to take appropriate action so that peace and harmony between NY and our respected Brethren across the pond can be quickly restored and once again prevail.
While our esteemed Brother, RW:. R.J. seems rather quick to criticize the actions of the Grand Lodge of NY, yet did little to propose to the listener an alternative that would have highlighted the gravity of the situation with the respected GL of Scotland and encouraged the jurisdiction’s appropriate and timely action. This causes me to ask, what measure or measures above and beyond the repeated requests NY made of Scotland for action, would RW:. R.J. have taken short of the suspension of amity between the Grand Lodges?
Respectfully and fraternally submitted for your consideration,
W:. Damien J. King,
Hudson Valley, NY