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Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association, All rights reserved




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Autonomous does NOT mean you can do anything you desire because you are autonomous and don't have to listen to any rules. Autonomous means your grand chapter will never be ruled by someone who is an outsider of your jurisdiction.

Any national, international or regional committee, representative or coordinator will take away your grand chapter's autonomy, and give your authority to operate your jurisdiction to someone from outside y
our jurisdiction. Even when it's promoters claim it will be a body with no ruling authority. The regional or national body will begin its advancement to authority by aligning a group of states into a region into a regional majority. They then have power.  If you keep your autonomy, you will never lose it.  Do not support anything other than Grand Chapters governing their jurisdiction. No body from outside your jurisdiction should ever make the decisions you should be making from inside your jurisdiction.  

Below are letters about autonomy pertaining to Freemasonry and the Widows Sons


May 7, 2012


It seems to me that with every different Grand Lodge, having sometimes slightly different bylaws, and often having bylaws that are completely 180 degrees from another state, on certain matters, that the only way to have autonomy is the way it was designed; autonomy state by state. It doesn't mean "we answer to no one". It never did. It means we answer to our Grand Lodges. It is designed to work this way, and the bumps in that road have been gone for a long time ( regarding autonomy anyway ). If not,  there would be a National Grand Lodge, to whom we would all owe allegiance. There would be one set of by bylaws for the entire country. But brothers, there isn't. Although I never say never, I would bet there never will be.

Since we all take an oath to obey the edicts and bylaws of the Grand Lodge of our State, WSMRA leadership on a national level would be a tough road. I travel, and state to state, country to country, rules and regs can vary, on many different issues. So having regional or national leadership positions across state lines, is really impossible.

Don't forget, all of us are brothers, and most of the great ideas we have for improvements in Masonry, have come and gone a dozen times, long before we were born.

The Widows Sons were formed on those exact principles. Its our obligations that bind us, and should be enough to cement us together. Time arguing over leadership positions that don't and can't, by our Masonic bylaws, exist, is kind of a waste.

All Past Masters have had to sit through meetings where well intentioned brothers, have come up with some way they think can improve Masonry, and our brothers roll in their graves. But being the ever enlightened bunch we are, we keep at it, We form sides, then committees, endlessly discuss improvements,and then the bitterness starts to raise its head. Men who have been friends for years, can stop talking to each other. Any PM out there ever have to close a Lodge with the very very short closing ceremony, because of bickering? I have. The truth is as Masons, we were set up to govern ourselves, lodge by lodge, within the boundaries of the rules and regs of our states Grand Lodge. The Widows Sons formed on those same principals. So please put all the nastiness aside, it has never accomplished one positive thing, already it is hurting our ability to form in some states. Just remember your obligations, and Masonry and the Widows Sons will be just fine. We don't need more leadership, we just need to be good and true Masons. 

May 9, 2012

I used to be asked in my younger days, to give presentations to
 Lodges and Brothers about both the esoteric and exoteric parts of our lessons. Most of you should remember in your first degree lecture, a certain point within a circle, embordered by two parallel perpendicular lines, and atop the circle sat the book of knowledge.  It is explained, that the point is you, the circle, the boundaries beyond which you should never let your passions lead you, the book of law sitting on top the circle, the two lines beside the circle. Explained at the time, the book is the holy scriptures ( the book of law) and the lines are symbolic of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist. Also explained at the time, is you should conduct yourself within those boundaries. That is the esoteric explanation. An exoteric look at it teaches another lesson, it shows how we Lodges and Widows Sons's Chapters are set up.
Remember that in any talk or letter about the Widows Sons, the word Lodge should be able to be exchanged for Widows Sons, as we have exactly the same foundation. All laws, bylaws, edicts bind you in both organizations. 
Anyway, back to the practical lesson, it turns out to he an historic one as well. 
The point in the circle is you. 
The circle is the place you live and practice masonry on a local level. 
The book of law, is just that, the book of laws by which you are governed. 
The two parallel perpendicular lines, are your borders, your state lines, your chapter lines. The book of laws, is your bylaws, your Grand Lodge bylaws, your oath to honor Masonic principles you signed when forming your Grand Chapter. 
So when you are at home, at your Lodge, out in your local habitat. You are asked to conduct yourselves as Masons/Widows Sons, (as again those words are interchangeable) within those boundaries. 
Each different jurisdiction has a slightly different set of laws, in some cases, big differences are set in Grand Lodge stone. 
So let's look at this idea of setting up regions or having a national leadership committee. What would you lose? What would you gain? 
You would lose your much misunderstood autonomy. Which BTW, does not mean you answer to no one, it means you can conduct your business for your chapter, as you see fit, as long as you honour the laws of your state, your obligations, and your Grand Lodges bylaws and restrictions. Let's look at this regional or national leadership movement, under that microscope. 
You could be asked by a regional or national leader to go against your Grand Lodges traditions, bylaws, etc. so you might very easily find yourself at odds with the leadership of your Widows Sons Grand Chapter and / or the Grand Lodge of your state, at the same time, since you are bound by your states Grand Lodge, you cannot be directed to do anything against those bylaws, edicts etc. , as a practical matter, you will have given up what autonomy you did have. 
So what do you gain? The burden of having to make your own choices is lifted, your Grand Chapter having to put in time to keep their chapters in line. It sometimes seems easier to let someone else can make your rules. Leave the hard choice to someone else, but such is the burden and price of autonomy. You really want to let your fate be decided by some guy who doesn't understand your local problems? 
This United States, Masonry and the Widows Sons were all set up on the same basic concept. Self governance. The Federal Government was allowed to do only the things that the individual states could not do by themselves. But in our modern society, we have mistakenly looked to blame someone or something for every thing that goes wrong. So we gave the federal government more and more power over us, gave up our autonomy sliver by sliver, until now, people my age don't even recognize the country, even though we were warned, never to give up our sovereignty, never allow a man or a group to amass so much power, that he or they could take control, to make it smoother for us all. Because take control is exactly what they do. I warn you, it never makes it better, it only creates a group of ruling class people that think they know better than you, how to run your business, even if they have to break a few laws to do it. You see it every night on the news. WS's don't have that problem yet, but our U.S. government is on the verge of collapse, because we gave up more and more of our autonomy. There were no taxes before, our leadership gave us those. There were no ridiculous laws limiting our freedoms, our leadership gave us those as well.  It has been bred into the last couple of generations, that life should be easy, if it's not, make a law to fix it. 
I speak only for myself here, but every Mason I know over 50 is horrified at how much we have lost. Those who are much younger, don't remember how it was before, but I do, and so do a lot of you.  I remember that strange man who would come over and sit with my father, knee to knee, every night for weeks. I later learned he was learning his proficiency.  I remember the pride in my fathers voice when people asked him about masonry, and what is the Widows Sons, but a group of Masons who ride scooters? I have watched the world I know disappear over the last 30 years, but I have been proud that my brother Masons, did everything they could to keep the lodges on the proper track. 
How many of you have sat a the dinner table or over a beer and wished we could get rid of all the corrupted government leadership and politicians? 
So why in the world is there even discussion to create more of it for the Widows Sons? Why would we even consider giving power to a few?
I don't know any of the people who advocate this, I am sure they think it is the right thing, that it would solve problems. I assure you, it will create 10 times the problems it solves. Maybe not today, but in the future. 
 A long life has taught me that those who lust for power are exactly the ones who should never have it. 
Widows Sons are totally capable of governing each of their own Chapters and Grand Chapters, without the help of some committee or a person living two states away. Although at first glance, it could disguise itself as unity, it's not, it's loss of autonomy. 

May 8, 2012
That was kind of my point, we survive under the bylaws of our individual states. It has worked for Freemasonry for a lot longer than any of us will be around. To push for a governing body, regionally or nationally, will never work. I got caught in the middle of one of those cross state things 15 years ago, at that moment I realized that no one set of standards will cover the country or a region. It has to be on a state to state basis. as I understand WS bylaws, that's what it says. I won't insult people I don't know, as they are all my brothers. But it's my experience that if it ain't broke don't fix it, or if you break it on purpose to get your way, it's just a way to gain power. I don't know you, my brother, nor you me, but I have the feeling that most all widows sons, who have lived masonry for a few years, couldn't possibly disagree. So Mote It Be. 




Copyright 2003-2007 Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association, All rights reserved