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    Posted: August/08/2013 at 9:47pm
I'm new to masonryand it's a lot I have to learn what is a international free mason what's the difference from us PHA and. those four letters
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2013 at 8:34am

The difference between the collection of USA based Masons known as "Prince Hall" and those known among Prince Hall masons as "four letter"* are historical. 

Not ritualistic, not procedural, not lineage, but historical.

*On this forum we tend to refer to the larger group as "MS" or "Mainstream", but in normal discussions among Prince Hall Masons, we tend to refer to the Brothers in that collection of Masons as 'Four Letter', referring to the AF&AM lettering that typically accompany most of those Jurisdictions.  When in conversation that refers to both bodies, it is common to hear the difference referred to as 'Three Letter' (meaning Prince Hall A&FM) and 'Four Letter' (meaning AF&AM).  IMO, this neutral language is the best discriptor to use in conversation, since there are now people of color in the MS, and numerous Caucasians in PHA.
Please do not attempt to read any more into this lettering difference than what is mentioned here.

As far as the 'Internationals' - based on their own account, the group below was self-chartered in 1950, which makes them clandestine.

Quote
Source: http://ncifamm.tripod.com/
History of Internation F&AM Masons & OES

International Free & Accepted Modern Masons, Inc. and Order of Eastern Star, is a world-wide fraternity.  Organized in 1950 by the late Dr. William V. Banks; a very prominent Attorney and a Mason with very high ideals.  His dream became a reality at the birth of this new Masonic Organization.

ITS PURPOSE-to provide moral, financial benevolent and charitable leadership to serve this present age.

This fraternal organization was incorporated and chartered in August of 1950 in Detroit, Michigan.  This Charter empowered International Masons to practice Freemasonry, and operate as a Masonic Order, throughout the United States, its possessions and territories.  This American issued charter empowers, International Masons to the same rights as those charters issued directly from the Grand Lodge of England or the Grand Orient of France.  Dr. Banks and his host of friends established a National Jurisdiction.

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DISCLAIMER: These are my comments, and mine alone - they do not necessarily apply to any group to which I belong!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2013 at 9:39am
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

...

*On this forum we tend to refer to the larger group as "MS" or "Mainstream", but in normal discussions among Prince Hall Masons, we tend to refer to the Brothers in that collection of Masons as 'Four Letter', referring to the AF&AM lettering that typically accompany most of those Jurisdictions.   ...



Then the implication of the statement is wrong since there is a near 50/50 split.   Unless a GL has changed their letters, there is more F&AM than AF&AM of the 'mainstream' GLs.   ref: http://www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com/af-and-am-vs-f-and-am-states.html

While all MWPHA GLs are F&AM, they rarely use the letters except for letter heads or such. In conversations, the Lodges or members generally referred to themselves as PHA.   ... For a Mason to state he is PH and his Lodge is '4 letter' or Af&AM, then this is a clue he is Clandestine.

"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BroScubaSteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2013 at 12:36pm
I've seen the term "washington masonry" thrown out to be less offensive to PHA members.

My home state is F&AM
Initiated 4-22-13
Passed 5-29-13
Raised 6-27-13

F&AM GLNJ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hyksos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2013 at 4:10pm
Florida is also 3 letters...F&AM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David N. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/09/2013 at 7:35pm
My state (South Carolina) is also 3...AFM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2013 at 3:10pm
well there goes my attempt at making this simple.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merv S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2013 at 1:38am
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2013 at 6:18am
Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2013 at 8:21am
Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
S&F
Merv


Who said it is a problem.  It is usually a misconception by some Masons (clandestine) that 3 letter & 4 letter signifies regular or clandestine/Un-recognized Masonry.     ... Mainstream Freemasonry does not make any such distinction and recognizes regular Masons of both F&AM, AF&FM, AFM, and a few others.  
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Merv S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2013 at 2:33am
Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
S&F
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Who said it is a problem.  It is usually a misconception by some Masons (clandestine) that 3 letter & 4 letter signifies regular or clandestine/Un-recognized Masonry.     ... Mainstream Freemasonry does not make any such distinction and recognizes regular Masons of both F&AM, AF&FM, AFM, and a few others.  

To make matters clearer, Ed, I'll rephrase  the word 'problem'. Let's say merely less complicated in Australia. OK?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/14/2013 at 11:40am
Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
S&F
Merv


Who said it is a problem.  It is usually a misconception by some Masons (clandestine) that 3 letter & 4 letter signifies regular or clandestine/Un-recognized Masonry.     ... Mainstream Freemasonry does not make any such distinction and recognizes regular Masons of both F&AM, AF&FM, AFM, and a few others.  

To make matters clearer, Ed, I'll rephrase  the word 'problem'. Let's say merely less complicated in Australia. OK?


It's not a problem or complicated here either.    The 3 letter vs 4 letter conception is merely a misconception by uninformed persons and/or Clandestine  masons.
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2013 at 6:23am
Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

Originally posted by Merv S Merv S wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

well there goes my attempt at making this simple.

Always tricky on this forum, Bro Shabba!come to Australia where we have no such problems.
S&F
Merv


Who said it is a problem.  It is usually a misconception by some Masons (clandestine) that 3 letter & 4 letter signifies regular or clandestine/Un-recognized Masonry.     ... Mainstream Freemasonry does not make any such distinction and recognizes regular Masons of both F&AM, AF&FM, AFM, and a few others.  

To make matters clearer, Ed, I'll rephrase  the word 'problem'. Let's say merely less complicated in Australia. OK?


It's not a problem or complicated here either.    The 3 letter vs 4 letter conception is merely a misconception by uninformed persons and/or Clandestine  masons.
wow...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hyksos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2013 at 6:51am
Ed is kinda right. Referring to a GL as either 3 letter or 4 letter has no meaning and is 100% ineffective to determine a GL's legitimacy in America. It may have developed as slang, but it's not helpful because here a GL can be either F&AM or AF&AM and still be legitimate. It depends on the state. For example in Florida the only AF&AM GL I know of is the clandestine "Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Florida AF&AM."

We also have a clandestine 3 letter GL..."International F&AM."

And there's one without any letters..."Masones Cubanos" they are rampant in Miami. Look how many lodges they have in Hialeah...

http://m.masones-cubanos.com/#!Logias|gallery

It is my opinion that referring to GLs as "3 letter or 4 letter" is an immaterial distinction that means nothing.

EDIT: I am also willing to say that the whole clandestine masonry problem in America, coupled with co-existing recognized lodges in a majority of the states (PHA/MS), could seem confusing to someone from outside America who is used to dealing with a single Grand Lodge and no clandestine organizations.


Edited by Hyksos - August/15/2013 at 6:55am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2013 at 7:05am
The use of the term '3 letter or 4 letter' in reference to Lodges, I never even heard of until joining this forum.   It is a term sometimes used by a particular group of Masons and more so by those clandestine Masons trying to imitate that group. ... This is not an issue among mainstream Freemasonry and US Lodges.


Edited by edwmax - August/15/2013 at 7:06am
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BigBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2013 at 9:26am
Merv, regardless of the reason I'd love to come to Australia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CanadianPaul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/15/2013 at 12:39pm
Multiple Regular Grand Lodges all recognising each other are common in Commonwealth countries such as South Africa, India and Australia. In Canada, in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, 11 Lodges holding of the GL of Scotland work (as a District Grand Lodge) in complete harmony with the 30 or so holding of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It seems to me that only in the United States was there ever an assumption of 'exclusive masonic jurisdiction' meaning ALL lodges in a State, Province or Country MUST belong to a single Grand Jurisdiction
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/17/2013 at 5:26am
ET is a deep subject than this.   Some countries (areas) are deemed to be open, others as ET of a particular GL.    ET is agreed to by mutual agreements of recognition between GLs.   I believe even the GLs you stated have areas of ET.
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Martin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2013 at 7:21am
Originally posted by CanadianPaul CanadianPaul wrote:

Multiple Regular Grand Lodges all recognising each other are common in Commonwealth countries such as South Africa, India and Australia. In Canada, in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, 11 Lodges holding of the GL of Scotland work (as a District Grand Lodge) in complete harmony with the 30 or so holding of the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It seems to me that only in the United States was there ever an assumption of 'exclusive masonic jurisdiction' meaning ALL lodges in a State, Province or Country MUST belong to a single Grand Jurisdiction

The difference is due to how thees Grand Lodges stopped being under the Home Grand Lodges. In the case of the US, they were cut loose following the War of Independence and so there was no evolution of the situation there was just no more involvement from Britain. In other Commonwealth countries such as Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia, the Masons that were there were given the choice between a new National Grand Lodge or remaining under a District of one of the Home Grand Lodges (which automatically recognise each other's Lodges).

I am always surprised by how many Districts still run (in perfect harmony) alongside new National Grand Lodges. Some UGLE Lodges in Canada only went over to National Grand Lodges in the 1990s and we still have some Lodges in South America too. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/18/2013 at 8:33am
  ... Thumbs Up... 

ET usually proclaim or not, at the formation of new Grand Lodge.   It is more easily done when all the Lodges of the area are part of the forming of the GL or some after join the new GL.  

In the case of the Americas, with the new national pride & patriotism after the Revolutionary War,  ET was easily achieved by the new American GLs.   ... Whether the New America GLs exerted their new 'independence' as new GLs or the 'rebellious American Masons, who dumped the King's rotten tea into the Bay (by the way, Lloyds of London paid for the tea & the East Indian Co. rotten tea problem was solved) 'were cut loose' depends on if your view is American or British.  

At the end of the Revolution more than 250,000 Masons and their families who remained loyal to the Crown moved to Canada.

... ET is not an American innovation as some believe and was practiced/is in other areas of the world.
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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