Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Patent and questions

Brothers,
There have been many questions and rumbling about the patents granted to the Grand Orient of the United States and the Treaty of Amity with the Grand Orient of France. I hope that the following information is of some use to those that are interested.

http://www.grandorientusa.org/news/20080604GOdFPatent.asp

At this page you will see a photo of a dinner with the Brothers, including the Grand Master (now Past Grand Master) of the Grand Orient of France. Below that photo is a scan of the patent granting rights to the symbolic grades of the Scottish Rite and the Modern Rite. Also there is a copy of the Treaty of Amity.

Some noise, and very little Light, has been made about these documents. I have heard people say that the documents must be fake. I have also seen that there seems to be a problem with my signature not being on the document. I was unable, for personal reasons, to make the trip to France. Other Brothers of the Grand Orient were empowered to sign in my place. So that is settled now. I can promise you that it is not fake.

http://82.229.184.120/~adminspip/

Here you will see an article from the General Grand Chapter (Grand Orient of France) Modern Rite discussing the Treaty and Patent as well as the patent for the Order of Wisdom (high grades of the Modern Rite) to the Grand Orient of the United States. For those that don't read French or would just rather read it in English go here.

http://82.229.184.120/~adminspip/spip.php?article296

I hope that this puts to rest any theories of items being fake. If there are any other concerns contact your Grand Secretary and have him contact the Grand Orient of France directly. Or just take it as it is.

Frat.·.
Brandt

37 comments:

Tom Accuosti said...

Dude - did they spell John Slifko's name wrong on the patent, or am I not remembering it correctly?

It struck me just now that some of the people who are complaining about the patent are from mainstream jurisdictions, who can't visit (officially) either your or any other GO anyway. So, from that perspective, isn't arguing about the patent a bit academic? It doesn't make any difference - to them - anyway.

John Galt said...

It makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. We are working in one paradigm and they are working in another. That is all that it is.

I really hope that this BS comes to an abrupt halt as it is helping nobody but a few.

Media black outs are just plain stupid.

btw, nice to see you around here. How have you been? It has been awhile since you and I last spoke.

Frat.·.
Brandt

Anonymous said...

Clearly these are not the droids we are looking for.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

correct, they cannot intervisit, and a shame too!

Think of the enlightenment and potential masonic Light that could be had by mainstreamers if they could intervisit.

I know Temple walls won't crumble and masons souls won't be damned either.....

THe problem eventually will be that the petty recognition rules will not sit well with intelligent, free thinking humans.

It ultimately does not make much sense except to blind loyalists who hate what is different than them. my way or highway mentality. A shame we all can't get along to spread Universal Brotherhood to make a difference.

Howard Roark said...

The Grand Orient of the United States: Facts & Fictions

There are many facts and fictions floating around the Internet regarding the new Grand Orient of the United States. Unfortunately, some brothers are simply striking out in fear against the new Masonic body because of what they read somewhere on the Internet. Others are simply speculating and drawing wild conclusions based on bits and pieces of information. I thought it would be helpful to provide some factual answers to the many questions being asked.

The Grand Orient of the United States is a part of the Traditional Cosmopolitan Masonic movement that began in Europe in the eighteenth century. It shares many things in common with Anglo-American Freemasonry but there are also significant differences between the two. Both forms of Freemasonry evolved out of the speculative Masonic movement that began in London, England in 1717.

Many Masons want to argue over which system mostly closely represents the original Freemasonry established in 1717. The answer to this question has eluded historians for almost two centuries because there is so little evidence available. Good arguments can be made for both sides but neither possesses enough evidence to convince modern university historians.

Others want to argue about whose Masonry is best. I think a better question to ask might be “which Masonry is best for whom?” It’s a similar case with Democrats and Republicans; people tend to side with the party that bests reflects their own ideas of what’s best. Unfortunately, American Masons haven’t had an alternative masculine Masonic obedience up until now.

The primary differences between Traditional Cosmopolitan and Anglo-American Freemasonry can best be summed-up in their perspective of the institution of Freemasonry itself. The Anglo-American Masons view Freemasonry as a religiously oriented fraternity dedicated to brotherly love, relief and truth. The Anglo-American Mason Albert Pike once stated that it was “the handmaid of religion.” The Traditional Cosmopolitan Masons perceive Freemasonry as a secular but spiritual fraternity dedicated to the Enlightenment principles of human liberty and equality resulting in the universal brotherhood of all mankind. This is expressed in their motto: “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.”

The oaths and obligation of the two groups are quite different as well. The Anglo-American tradition is to swear allegiance to the Grand Lodge and agree to its various rules. The Traditional Cosmopolitans are obligated to preserve human liberty and equality while striving for the universal brotherhood of mankind.

There are organizational differences between the two groups as well. The Anglo-American system is based on the election of a benevolent dictator (the Grand Master) who oversees the Craft for a specific term. The Lodges are represented at the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge and pass laws for the benefit of the Craft.

The Traditional Cosmopolitan system is governed by an Executive Board consisting of the Grand Officers. The Grand Master is the Chairman of the Board but cannot act without consensus of the Board. The Executive Board is elected by the Lodges to serve for specific terms (usually 1 or 2 years). The Lodges convene once a year to pass laws for the benefit of the Craft. There is also a “Supreme Court” in the Traditional Cosmopolitan system that has the power to pass judgments on Constitutional issues and to hear appeals related to Masonic trials.

Ritual-wise the Anglo-American system in America primarily utilizes various forms of the Preston-Webb ritual with a small number of lodges (less than 20) that utilize various forms of the Scottish Rite. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system practices a wide variety of rituals including the Modern Rite, Scottish Rite, and Emulation, just to name a few. All are held to together by an agreed upon universal recognition system.

The Anglo-American Masonic system is engaged in various charities and community projects. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system is engaged in human rights, environmental sustainability, scientific advancement, and issues that relate to freedom of speech and the press.

In regards to Masonic education the Anglo-American system utilizes a system of Research Lodges and their publications. In the Traditional Cosmopolitan system each lodge is a “research lodge” and all members are required to write both proficiency and research papers as a condition of membership.

The Anglo-American system does not recognize women as legitimate Freemasons. The Traditional Cosmopolitan system recognizes women as legitimate Freemasons and is divided into three distinct groupings: Masculine, Mixed-Gender, and Feminine. Each group is represented by its own Grand body and all are recognized and in amity with one another.

Thus far I have tried to cover the differences between the two systems to foster a better understanding of the differences between the two systems. Now, I would like to focus specifically on the Grand Orient of the United States.

The Grand Orient of the United States was started by progressive Anglo-American Masons that had many ideological and moral objections to the Anglo-American Masonic institution. They found themselves more ideologically and philosophically aligned with the Traditional Cosmopolitan system of the Grand Orient of France. After forming a new Grand Orient they approached the Grand Orient of France for recognition and a treaty of amity. This was granted on June 27, 2008, and the Grand Orient of France gave them Patents for the various Rites and degrees of Traditional Cosmopolitan Freemasonry.

The Grand Orients of France and the United States are masculine Masonic obediences that initiate men into Freemasonry, but their lodges are open to both men and women from both mixed-gender and feminine lodges. This is a reflection not only of their progressive nature, but of their commitment to equality among all human beings. It also recognizes the need for people to be able to form groups (lodges) based on their own social needs.

The Grand Orient of the United States is still in its infancy and is a small organization when compared with its Anglo-American counterparts, but it is becoming actively engaged in the community and the world. Its members are discovering ways by which they can contribute to the betterment of humanity around the globe. Some examples of this include participating in the BOINC computer sharing project sponsored by the university at Berkeley and the National Science Foundation, along with support for NOVA, Amnesty International, the Nature Conservancy, and LinkTV. These organizations reflect the ideology and philosophy of the Grand Orient, and were selected by its lodges.

Obviously the new organization won’t be contributing a million dollars to any of these organizations this year, but these organizations need the help and support of people who believe in what they are trying to accomplish. By helping them the Grand Orient furthers the cause of Universal Masonry.

Some have accused the Grand Orient of being overly secular or atheistic. This simply isn’t true. While every member is afforded absolute freedom of conscience as it relates to religious and spiritual matters, this is not indicative of the promotion of atheism. The Grand Orient is open to men regardless of their beliefs about god and religion so long as they are good moral men. It focuses on the character of the man, not his personal beliefs. The vast majority of Grand Orient Masons are religious men but they exercise tolerance in not judging the beliefs of others.

In conclusion, American Masons now have the ability to choose a form of Freemasonry that most closely identifies with their own personal values. Both systems were born out of the same speculative Freemasonry than began in 1717, and both seek to better the individual as well as society. Neither system is perfect nor will it ever be, but both strive for perfection. The future of American Masonry will be built through diversity, tolerance and understanding. It is much like America itself with a growing diversity of cultures and people all working together to form one great union.

Magus Masonica said...

Well, I can't visit either group :) But I support them all. The very best of wishes to all of you.
S&F,
BC

Anonymous said...

All Fake

John Galt said...

Based upon what? How have you determined them to be "fake?"

Please take your concerns to the parties involved. Or sit there and scream against the wall. In either case it has very little to do with you.

What do you lose or gain by these documents being fake or legitimate?

Brandt

Tony said...

For a while, I allowed myself to become concerned with other people's misinformed opinions of Euclid, the Grand Orient, and the situation as a whole. As much as I would like to be able to work beside the "mainstream" Masons, I am content to have the two systems work separately, each pursuing their own goals and building their own temples.

"Mainstream" Brothers, I am not an official representative of either Euclid or the Grand Orient, but I can say with certainty that it is not our intention to disturb your peace and harmony. I would ask that you no disturb ours. Further, I am not aware of and Grand Orient Mason spreading false information about the Grand Lodges or Grand Lodge Masons, please do not spread false information about us. We are all more than willing to talk to you and share information, so if you have any questions, please ask us and if someone asks you a question that you don't know the answer to, please, ask us or have them ask us.

Non-"Mainstream" Brothers, please remember to extend to our Grand Lodge Brothers the same treatment that we would like out of them. I have failed in this task a number of times, and I know that some of you have also. We are humans, we make mistakes. Lets learn from them and move on. Let civility be our watchword and truth be our message.

I doubt that we will be in amenity with each other any time soon, but let us at least conduct our interactions with civility.

I look forward to the day when both sides are able to recognize the differences between the two systems and the value in both. Let us all be leaders and help usher in that day, for the sake of Universal Freemasonry and the brotherhood of all mankind.

Tony Melton
Euclid Lodge #3

Anonymous said...

In the first blog you said that you are the Sr. Deacon of Euclid. Does this not make you an official representative of Euclid?

Tony said...

I am the Sr. Deacon, but that position does not entitle me to speak on behalf of the lodge or the Grand Orient.

Aethelweald said...

WM. Brandt and his fellows make some valid points. It is a shame that his requests for calm seem to fall on deaf ears.
I do not agree with some of the views of the Grand Orient but that does not mean it should not exist nor its members be treated with respect.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you couldn't honor his request either since you had to throw in your two cents.

John Galt said...

I don't think that anyone has violated or ignored my request. We can talk, even if it is candid and direct. My skin is plenty thick enough to handle direct talk.

If there are questions please do ask. One matter though. I will not answer questions that have to do with an organization that I am no longer a part of. That would be inappropriate and outside of my responsibilites. I think that everyone can respect that.

Aethelweald, I appreciate your participation here. You seem to be a reasonable person. I see that you don't necessarily agree with some of the positions of the Grand Orient. That is fine and good. There are options and opinions. I respect your stance as you seem to respect our's.

Brother Tony speaks for himself. I speak for myself as well. On occasion I may put something out in which I am speaking in an official capacity. If so I will make it clear that I am speaking in an official capacity. Brother Tony from time to time may also speak in an official capacity. He will make it clear when he does so.

As to those that can't take clear proofs. Have your grand secretary contact the Grand Orient of France directly. I would recommend that you first take a look at the GOdF's website in this blog post that has our Grand Master with the General Grand Chapter of the Grand Orient of France awarding the patent for the high grades/Orders of Wisdom of the Restored Modern Rite.

Is this really that important to you?

Brandt

Anonymous said...

Brandt,

It seems that the Grand Orient USA consists of entire lodges that have left their respective Grand Lodge and joined the Grand Orient. Whereas Euclid seems to only consist of members from various lodges and creating their own respective lodge of the Grand Orient from the ground up. How do you feel you will be able to compensate for this obstacle?

John Galt said...

Good question.

Building Euclid from the ground up did provide some interesting obstacles. The largest obstacle that we had was that there was no lodge. We had to develop by-laws and start putting out some cash for needed items.

There is something to be said for starting from the ground up. There is nothing brought over. No politics and we were free to try ideas. It wasn't easy. It was something like herding cats. It worked though. It just took some time.

Other lodges of the Grand Orient also built from the ground up.

Brandt

Anonymous said...

And the BS continues.

Anonymous said...

anonymous:"And the BS continues."


who should know BS but a mainstreamer hiding behind a monitor?

Tony said...

"And the BS continues."
You do nothing to prove your point or even explain your point. If you would like to discuss the merits of our system or its lack of merits, feel free to present a logical argument or at least state what you disagree with. Make your case and I'll present my counterargument, which you are free to agree with. But presenting each side of the argument is constructive; vague comments such as that, however, do not. They are not productive for anyone and do not harm us in the least. They only thing they do are make you, and by association, your system look bad. On the other hand, if you were to present a thought out and logical argument, you would garner respect, not only from us, but from outsiders who may happen across our little corner of the internet.
Tony

Anonymous said...

Do you guys offer a reach around?

Anonymous said...

Arguement, disagreement, counterarguement....blah...blahh..blahh. Nothing has changed on this site but continued bickering. You remind me of a group of spoiled kids sitting in a treehouse thinking they have an impact on the world, when in fact the world is moving on without them. Climb out of your tree and do something to help make this world a better place. When is the last time any of you volunteered for a non-profit, or church? Probably never or seldom. You prefer to sit in a circle, stare at your navel and think you are improving yourself and others. BS!!

Anonymous said...

anonymous: when in fact the world is moving on without them.

you have the nail on the head.
that is what is happening to the mainstream anglo masonic system, it stands still as the world passes by!
the only change or progression was a one day class or a dummies and idiots book for the quality petitioners!

Anonymous said...

I happen to belong to a lodge that is growing, has an educational program, provides scholarships, gives something back to the community through volunteerism, etc. Masonry has made me a better person. I work on three programs through my church affiliation. I give back and am proud of it. If your lodge doesn't do something simular,volunteer to head up these projects. If you aren't given any support, find another lodge. This group reminds me of York Rite. They may have great Degrees and Orders, and then do nothing. Which is why I left along with several others. Someone once told me that York Rite was a sick horse that should be shot and put out of its misery. I now understand that statement and agree. Knights Templar do alot of sabre rattling and not much more. Why support something that isn't growing and contributing to society? We don't need another group such as GO , we need Masons who will get off their butts and start doing something worthwhile!! This constant BS about freedom, liberty....blah..blahh...blahhhh. We are free!! DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE!!!

Tony said...

I am glad to hear that your lodge is enjoying success. Congratulations.

The fact that your lodge fits what some men want in a lodge doesn't mean that it is a fit for every man or every Mason. There are a number of organizations out there that are as capable, if not more capable, than Masonry to facilitate charitable giving and volunteer work. I don't need a lodge to help me be charitable, I do that on my own. In my understanding, Masons are called to be charitable, not Masonry.

You are correct, in the United States, we do enjoy a great deal of freedom. Weather or not this level of freedom is high enough or not is a different discussion all together. That said, we are doing something with our freedom. We started our own organization that will meet a need that we do not feel is being met anywhere else. The need for a place for men to come together and discuss and debate issues relating to liberty and equality in a rational, productive way in a harmonious manner on the backdrop of fraternal love and support. We are working towards something - the universal brotherhood of humankind (equality) and the advance of the cause of liberty. We are a small group of men, but we are making our advances a little at a time, no matter how small they are.

This is the beauty of liberty, you are free to peruse your goals and practice Masonry as you see fit. But in order to enjoy liberty, you must allow others to do so as well. Good luck with your pursuits, I wish you success. We do not seek to disrupt your harmony, please do not try to disrupt ours.

As always, if you want to engage in a rational discussion of the merits of our systems, we would be happy to oblige you. It would, however, be nice to know who we were having a discussion with.

Tony

John Galt said...

There isn't anything that I can add to this at all. The original post was the proofs that some were crying for. Of course this has veered off track as the commentary has decided upon a different road.

Okay, please feel free to continue.

Brandt

Anonymous said...

Brandt,

Do you guys plan on using the preston-webb or a different rite?

If a different rite then how do you anticipate to provide the true meaning and intention behind the alternate rite when most (if not all) of the members of Euclid seem to have no formal experience (since they came from the Grand Lodge system) of the other rites?

Anonymous said...

is vm a lot like vd?

John Galt said...

Euclid Lodge uses the Scottish Rite and luckily we are connected with those are thoroughly versed in this rite of Masonry. Some of the Grand Orient lodges use the Modern Rite, one uses Emulation, and one uses Preston-Webb.
We had to go through a learning curve but it was well worth it.

To the other anonymous participant. VM is an abbreviation for Venerable Master. VD is veneral disease.

Brandt

Anonymous said...

I am thinking about leaving the GL and petitioning Euclid. What is the process?

John Galt said...

The process would begin with contacting us directly. If you already know me personally you already have my contact information. You can also contact us through the Grand Orient website
www.grandorientusa.org and we will be in touch soon after.

I would like to mention that joining Euclid does involve some time and discussions.

Frat.·.
Brandt

Anonymous said...

What exactly are your reasons for wanting to leaving GL?

John Galt said...

We would be interested to hear the reasons as well. Of course, as a matter of personal privacy the Brother may wish to contact us back channel so that he can be assured his privacy. admin@grandorientusa.org

Brandt

Anonymous said...

"What exactly are your reasons for wanting to leaving GL?"

Unless you're the GM my exact reasons are not your concern.

Brandt,

Thank you for your responses. I have not made my decision yet but will contact you through the email you have provided if I decide to begin the process.

Anonymous said...

Well excuse me!! Enjoy your "back channel" experience. Geez, when will these guys grow up?

Tony said...

"Well excuse me!! Enjoy your "back channel" experience. Geez, when will these guys grow up?"

How would you rather have us deal with it? Have him post his contact information on the web? How would you deal with it if someone asked about your lodge online?

Anonymous said...

"Well excuse me!! Enjoy your "back channel" experience. Geez, when will these guys grow up?"

It seems that you are the one who needs to grow up (in more ways than one).

It's no wonder that people are leaving our GL with the behavior that you have displayed.

To the individual that is considering leaving the GL. I am not the GM but I hope that you take the time to speak with the GM or someone in the GL that you feel can give you the direction you seek. Don't cast the GL to the side yet.

John Galt said...

....and so it goes.

It is important to note at this point that some of more colorful anonymous posters are not indicative of the Grand Lodge of Michigan. Unfortunately they do seem to be members of that Grand Lodge. If anyone is comparing the Grand Orient to the Grand Lodge please take into consideration that the low brow, junior high commentary is par for the course in only some places.

Brandt