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bsidepro465 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: "Irregular" Freemasonry
    Posted: October/17/2011 at 7:54am
It is quite obvious in the United States that "regular" Masonry may be the "majority", however in the United states, as well as the world, there are quite a few "irregular" Masons. We do know of Continental Freemasonry which is an "irregular" brand of Freemasonry apart from the Anglo "regular" Freemasonry of the British Isles, which is more aligned with the Grand Orient of France. In the United States we are aware of the National Grand Lodge (also referred to as Prince Hall Origin-National Compact), which is deemed "irregular" due to the structure of a National Grand Master over State subordinate Grand Lodges. We also know of Grand Lodges deemed as "Clandestine" or "Bogus", which are Grand Lodges created by assumption and not by Masonic Authority.

With all of that said, what can be said of the membership trends when all of these Grand Lodge Bodies exist? is the worldwide membership of all of these "irregular" increasing? Is the trend that "regular" Freemasonry is in decline or is "regular" Freemasonry membership increasing and "irregular" Freemasonry is decreasing?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 10:14am

I dont have a good answer for that, but I do have a question. You by your own words above are apart of an "Irregular" body (In the United States we are aware of the National Grand Lodge also referred to as Prince Hall Origin-National Compact), which is deemed "irregular" due to the structure of a National Grand Master over State subordinate Grand Lodges) why are you still apart. Instead of joining a Regular Grand Lodge

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 10:37am
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

It is quite obvious in the United States that "regular" Masonry may be the "majority", however in the United states, as well as the world, there are quite a few "irregular" Masons. We do know of Continental Freemasonry which is an "irregular" brand of Freemasonry apart from the Anglo "regular" Freemasonry of the British Isles, which is more aligned with the Grand Orient of France. In the United States we are aware of the National Grand Lodge (also referred to as Prince Hall Origin-National Compact), which is deemed "irregular" due to the structure of a National Grand Master over State subordinate Grand Lodges. We also know of Grand Lodges deemed as "Clandestine" or "Bogus", which are Grand Lodges created by assumption and not by Masonic Authority.

With all of that said, what can be said of the membership trends when all of these Grand Lodge Bodies exist? is the worldwide membership of all of these "irregular" increasing? Is the trend that "regular" Freemasonry is in decline or is "regular" Freemasonry membership increasing and "irregular" Freemasonry is decreasing?

Could you please clarify the first part of your post. It's unclear whether your claim is that the Continental Freemasonry in Europe is irregular or just the one under the Grand Orient of France...?!

Well... what can be said of the membership trends... it can be said that people read data the way it fits their causes, as usual. The actual number of members of irregular lodges is very small, so percentage wise, they have a very high increase in membership. If you look at the numbers though - they are completely insignificant.
I never agree with people who say that regular Freemasonry is in decline. That is not true. We don't have the numbers that existed in the 50's, but that's due to the sociological error that happened in those days, not because the lodges today are not progressing. The whole talk about regular Freemasonry dying off - is just non-sense. It's strong as it was before, it's relevant as it was before. It can have 7 million, or just 7 members - it will still be strong and relevant. All the other groups - they are too small to matter, even though - noisier than everyone else, so they leave an impression that they are meaningful in any way. I have nothing against the existence of those groups - but they are not masons, they are simply social groups.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 11:31am
Originally posted by canuck canuck wrote:

  All the other groups - they are too small to matter, even though - noisier than everyone else, so they leave an impression that they are meaningful in any way. I have nothing against the existence of those groups - but they are not masons, they are simply social groups.
 
It is very true that smaller groups often are louder that the large groups, in that they need to be heard, to even be recognized.  Consider this.. A 100lb boxer would generally be louder and more feisty than the 225lb one.. He needs to compensate to find equality through some attainable measure, to feel confident in his abilities. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 1:24pm
Originally posted by Jedi Stranger Jedi Stranger wrote:

I dont have a good answer for that, but I do have a question. You by your own words above are apart of an "Irregular" body (In the United States we are aware of the National Grand Lodge also referred to as Prince Hall Origin-National Compact), which is deemed "irregular" due to the structure of a National Grand Master over State subordinate Grand Lodges) why are you still apart. Instead of joining a Regular Grand Lodge

I try to make a point of using quotation marks whenever I mention "regularity" because I believe it to be false doctrine by which one jurisdiction excludes. GLs have been deemed "irregular" and whenever they fall in favor. Then they become regular. There is no governing body of Freemasons that makes the designation of who is or not "regular" . I am happy in my jurisdiction and are not apt to follow that "regualrity" doctrine.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 1:27pm



"Could you please clarify the first part of your post. It's unclear whether your claim is that the Continental Freemasonry in Europe is irregular or just the one under the Grand Orient of France...?!"

Grand Lodges that practice adogmatic Freemasonry aligned with the principles of the Grand Orient of France


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 3:56pm
I'd have to agree w/ canuck.  My lodge has IPR 6 members in the last year who regularly come and contribute and now have two or three more to IP before the close of the year. A long as that "tend" continues then I really don't care what the national or state numbers show. 

Without getting into a discussion about irregularity, I don't see how they would change the numbers. They aren't factored into any of the current models/projections by the MSA and since PHA  doesn't generally post their membership numbers, the only "accurate" numbers we have are from MSA. 

As to your question on whether or not membership in irregular/clandestine bodies is increasing, I don't see how this can even be legitimately tracked. Any wacko with a computer and a lot of free time can set up his own GL (which has been done quite a few times).    
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 6:11pm
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:




"Could you please clarify the first part of your post. It's unclear whether your claim is that the Continental Freemasonry in Europe is irregular or just the one under the Grand Orient of France...?!"

Grand Lodges that practice adogmatic Freemasonry aligned with the principles of the Grand Orient of France



They are irrelevant, since there are very few of them and usually they don't have much members (except the GOdF).

As BigBob mentioned - many lodges are growing in members. Our lodge accepts on average 5-6 people every year. We don't accept more, because that is the number that we can work with perfectly, without having to organize additional degree nights or have several candidates at once (even though sometimes we do have 2 at a time, but only if we think that the candidates may be compatible and create a bond between them).
However - the numbers are not the main point. The irregular lodges are just that - irregular. They will never be true masons, because they have abandoned the principles inculcated in our rituals.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 6:59pm
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

Originally posted by Jedi Stranger Jedi Stranger wrote:

I dont have a good answer for that, but I do have a question. You by your own words above are apart of an "Irregular" body (In the United States we are aware of the National Grand Lodge also referred to as Prince Hall Origin-National Compact), which is deemed "irregular" due to the structure of a National Grand Master over State subordinate Grand Lodges) why are you still apart. Instead of joining a Regular Grand Lodge

I try to make a point of using quotation marks whenever I mention "regularity" because I believe it to be false doctrine by which one jurisdiction excludes. GLs have been deemed "irregular" and whenever they fall in favor. Then they become regular. There is no governing body of Freemasons that makes the designation of who is or not "regular" . I am happy in my jurisdiction and are not apt to follow that "regualrity" doctrine.


 
While you are right, there is no governing body that decides regularity for all Masonic jurisdictions and it is up to every Grand Lodge decides for itself who is or isn't regular. There is the Conference of Grand Master's of Masons of North America and the Conference of Grand Master's Prince Hall Affiliated Masons.  Grand Master's representing every state gather and share ideas for the state of Freemasonry.  Out of these conferences, they do make suggestions as to the regularity of different Masonic Bodies. 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/17/2011 at 8:57pm
It is up to each jurisdiction to decide what is regular and what is not. Does PHO consider EVERY GL in the world to be regular or does it consider some to be irregular?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 6:45am
Originally posted by canuck canuck wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:




"Could you please clarify the first part of your post. It's unclear whether your claim is that the Continental Freemasonry in Europe is irregular or just the one under the Grand Orient of France...?!"

Grand Lodges that practice adogmatic Freemasonry aligned with the principles of the Grand Orient of France



They are irrelevant, since there are very few of them and usually they don't have much members (except the GOdF).

As BigBob mentioned - many lodges are growing in members. Our lodge accepts on average 5-6 people every year. We don't accept more, because that is the number that we can work with perfectly, without having to organize additional degree nights or have several candidates at once (even though sometimes we do have 2 at a time, but only if we think that the candidates may be compatible and create a bond between them).
However - the numbers are not the main point. The irregular lodges are just that - irregular. They will never be true masons, because they have abandoned the principles inculcated in our rituals.
If we take France, there are 4 'main' Masonic bodies and quite a few more along with them;
 
The Grand Orient is the largest group holding about 28% of the membership, GLNF (now irregular!) about 25% GLF 20% LDH 18% with the recent expulsion of GLNF into The Masonic wilderness of irregularity there is now no 'regular' Masonic GL in France, with or without GLNF I would not call grouping of between 20,000 members and 30,000 irrelevant!
 
In Italy there are over 10 Grand Lodges with over 1,000 members in each, only one is considered regular although some US Grand Lodges do recognise more than one, again I do not think the irregualr Masons are irrelevant.
 
Please remember there is a lot of criteria for calling a GL Irregular, one is simply that there can only be one recognized GL in any one given juristiction, the only way another GL can be deem regular is if the recognised one says they themselves recognise the legitimacy of the other, So in Italy the only thing that stops the majority of the irregualr ones becoming regular is the right of the 'Officially recognised' G L to say they are not to be recognised!
 
Recognition is a very complicated issue and I do not agree with the remark 'They are irrelevant because they are so few'
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 7:45am
Originally posted by 150man 150man wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

[QUOTE=Jedi Stranger]




 
While you are right, there is no governing body that decides regularity for all Masonic jurisdictions and it is up to every Grand Lodge decides for itself who is or isn't regular. There is the Conference of Grand Master's of Masons of North America and the Conference of Grand Master's Prince Hall Affiliated Masons.  Grand Master's representing every state gather and share ideas for the state of Freemasonry.  Out of these conferences, they do make suggestions as to the regularity of different Masonic Bodies. 

TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 10:13am
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:



TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?


Asking questions that you already know the answer to are we?  You know the PHA Conf of GM and the MS Conf of GM are two separate groups. 

You never fail to amaze me.....

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 10:41am
People seem to be using the terms "regular" and "recognized" interchangeably.  They are not the same, and in fact have distinct meanings.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 10:53am
Originally posted by CanuckMason CanuckMason wrote:

People seem to be using the terms "regular" and "recognized" interchangeably.  They are not the same, and in fact have distinct meanings.


I am pretty comfortable in saying the original poster knows that there is a difference. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 11:19am
Originally posted by Flotown79 Flotown79 wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:



TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?


Asking questions that you already know the answer to are we?  You know the PHA Conf of GM and the MS Conf of GM are two separate groups. 

You never fail to amaze me.....

Why the need for the two separate groups?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 11:26am
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

Originally posted by Flotown79 Flotown79 wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:



TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?


Asking questions that you already know the answer to are we?  You know the PHA Conf of GM and the MS Conf of GM are two separate groups. 

You never fail to amaze me.....

Why the need for the two separate groups?
Because not all MS GL's recgonize PHA lodges. For those states that do not, they could not be a member of the COGMNA because it would violate their jurisdictions rules. You know that answer well and good. You are just trying to stir the pot now.
 
Bside, will you please answer my question I posted earlier? Does PHO consider EVERY GL in the world to be regular or does it consider some to be irregular or clandestine?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 11:38am
Originally posted by ChrisH1 ChrisH1 wrote:

Recognition is a very complicated issue and I do not agree with the remark 'They are irrelevant because they are so few'

No one is talking about recognition, but about regularity here. Regularity and recognition are two completely different things.
Irregular lodges - are irrelevant, no matter how many members they have. There is a relatively new irregular Grand Lodge on the Balkans (originating in Serbia), that is literally selling master mason certificates to it's members. They gained more than 200 members in Macedonia alone in less than two years, while the regular Grand Lodge has just over a 100 (and is out there for more than 6 years). Does that make the irregular one relevant? No - and it doesn't make them masons!
GLNF is a regular lodge and it's still widely recognized. The fact that UGLE suspended recognition, doesn't mean that everyone else did so too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 11:41am
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

Originally posted by 150man 150man wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

[QUOTE=Jedi Stranger]




 
While you are right, there is no governing body that decides regularity for all Masonic jurisdictions and it is up to every Grand Lodge decides for itself who is or isn't regular. There is the Conference of Grand Master's of Masons of North America and the Conference of Grand Master's Prince Hall Affiliated Masons.  Grand Master's representing every state gather and share ideas for the state of Freemasonry.  Out of these conferences, they do make suggestions as to the regularity of different Masonic Bodies. 

TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?
 
To me its a very simple concept, If you want to be a "regular" lodge, you must follow what "regular" lodges do.  Its like this.. Say there is a team in the NFL, that wants to change the size of the ball, or the number of players on the field, or the amount of downs.. Should the NFL be accepting of this and allow them to play by their own rules, which contradict and are different from everyone else.. Of course not, that would go against their system.  If however this team wanted to leave the NFL and form their own league with their own rules, it would be their own prerogative, but would make them separate.  It is really the same thing here, you can't make the rules up as you go along and expect traditionalists, with normal  "regularity"  to be accepting.  It really makes no sense at all.  If lodges are not "regular", then they are not masons, in my opinion.
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 11:43am
Y'all are being suckered in......

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 12:06pm
Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:

Originally posted by Flotown79 Flotown79 wrote:

Originally posted by bsidepro465 bsidepro465 wrote:



TRUE!! But those organizations constitutes a "Psuedo- Government". No disrespect is intended, but it is more like a cartel. Who is ever in favor with those groups (kiss the ring idea) will be "blessed" with regularity. On that line why are there two separate Conferences of Grand Masters of North America? Are the Prince Hall Grand Masters members of the COGMNA? If , not why?


Asking questions that you already know the answer to are we?  You know the PHA Conf of GM and the MS Conf of GM are two separate groups. 

You never fail to amaze me.....

Why the need for the two separate groups?


Why the need for PHO?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by Flotown79 Flotown79 wrote:

Y'all are being suckered in......

The same dance, different tune.

That's why I've stayed out of this discourse. It's just going to go around in circles

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 1:53pm
In an honest attempt to answer the question posed in the OP, I would have to say it's impossible to answer. We don't have the Membership numbers for every GL. without them it is not possible to make an accurate statement one way or the other.

With tha being said what happens in France stay in France and in no way impacts what happens in the UGLE or any other regular and recognized GL around the world. This is a jurisdictional phenomenon and to try and apply what happens in one jurisdiction to another is illogical.

To call the Confrence of GMs a cartel is a rather confrontational statement to say the least.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/18/2011 at 2:47pm
This conversation is going nowhere.  The OP is a known PHO-NC (Clandestine) and is just trying to stir the pot and create havoc where there need not be any.  This topic is now locked. 
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