he Official


A Free Leadership Training Course
by Phillip J. Budo



Always remember,
A Mason First, Then a Widows Son




Does being a Grand Chapter or grand council give the chapter the right to just pull charters on a whim without investigation, trial, or proof of any wrong doing? Does being a Grand Chapter or Grand Council exempt the Grand Chapter or Grand Council from following GL law because it is the Grand Chapter or Grand Council?

How does a Grand Chapter become a grand council? Let me give you my thought as an example. If anyone is offended, take a look at why you are offended rather than going on the offensive yourself. My intention is to understand a situation rather than judge between 2 groups of Masons. We should be Masons first, then Widows Sons.

The state has a Grand Chapter and, letís say, 10 affiliate chapters. One day, the President of the Grand Chapter decides he wants to spread a little of the authority around the state without losing his control of the state. So he discusses it privately with the affiliate chapter Presidents to decide who best serves his interest of staying in power. He then lines up the affiliate chapters who support his goals, and a state governing board is in the making.

Meanwhile, there are only seven Officer titles, but there are 10 chapters. So, three chapters will not be fully represented with officers on this governing board. They will have a representative, but their representation will not be as officers. It will be claimed each chapter has an equal voice on this governing council. If this is so,  why are some chapters represented by officers on the council and the rest are only represented by representatives on the council?

Say a vote is taken, and the seven out of the 10 affiliate chapters ratify the change. In some cases, the seven chapters who support the grand council just make the decision and itís called a democracy. Again, they may have a vote to give a warm fuzzy feeling that everything was done above board.

Anyway, after the board is ratified, several other changes are made by a majority vote. Soon, the state is set up for the Councilís agenda rather than the agenda of Freemasonry and the Widows Sons. All of the changes made do not stay within the boundaries of the GL and a few chapters will not follow those against the GL. A problem with unity develops inside the state.

Will the affiliate chapter be the cause of the disharmony, even though the council has changed the state law and their changes do not coincide with their GLís law? Does this council still have the authority of autonomy when operating outside the Grand Lodge laws? What happens when an affiliate chapter does not want to go outside the GL laws? Are the affiliate chapters forced to go along, or get out?

It then becomes a ďwe are pulling your charterĒ issue because you are not following the rulings of the council, and the charter is pulled without due examination, trial, or proof of any wrong doing of the affiliate chapter. It is fictitiously called using the rule of autonomy to run the state. The affiliate chapter goes away. It happens to another affiliate chapter. There is no investigation again, other than an opinion of the governing board. There is no investigation because the conduct which is not in line with the GL law of the council will also come out in the investigation.

The affiliate chapter just didnít go along with a set of principles set up by the council that are not in line with the GL laws, and when push came to shove, they stood up against the wrong of the council. Does that make them a clandestine chapter, or does that make them honest masons?

Now, there are two chapters with their charters revoked because they did not go along with a council who is not in line with the GL law. When the council eliminates all chapters that do not think as they do they will have their own agenda solidly enforced.

Thus democracy becomes what ever the council decides democracy is in that state because the council was set up as a majority driven council, rather than a democracy driven council. The democracy is on paper, but the majority is behind the scenes making the councilís wishes become law, whether the rest of the chapters like it or not. If they donít go along with a council that has become corrupt, (corrupt because they operate outside their GL law), the affiliate chapter becomes clandestine.

I would suggest anyone look at the entire picture before deciding to call a group of mason brothers clandestine.  We are predicated on being Masons first, then Widows Sons.

Autonomy and its authority only prevails when all GL laws are incorporated into the Grand Chapter or Grand Councilís bylaws and those bylaws are followed as masons to the letter, and are not used as a weapon or tool against affiliate chapters who do not agree with operating outside GL law zone.

Before you call anyone clandestine, ask yourself one question: As a mason, can you support a Grand Chapter or Grand Council, who is NOT in line with the tenets of its Grand Lodge, just because itís the Grand Chapter or Grand Council of that state? OrÖdo you govern yourself as a Mason and find who is really at fault before calling anyone clandestine?


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