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Has anyone heard about this?


Premium Member
To: Shrine International
To: All Subordinate Lodges in Arkansas
To: All Master Masons of Arkansas
To: All Grand Jurisdictions
To: All Appendant Bodies in Arkansas

This letter is to inform you of the actions of Shriners International as it pertains to the M:. W:. Grand Lodge of Arkansas. Shriners International has in their writings at the very least indicated that they believe that the laws of Shrine supersede that of Arkansas Grand Lodge, along with the authority to govern Master Masons within its

Shortly after the Grand Lodge Session in February, 2011,1 was presented with significant evidence that a Master Mason in this Grand Jurisdiction had acted in an un-masonic manner. On June 1, 2011, I appointed a Grand Lodge Investigation Committee to look into the above allegations. On July 5. 2011, after receiving the report from the Grand Lodge investigation Committee, as Grand Master of Masons in Arkansas, I charged the above Arkansas Master Mason with Un-masonic Conduct. His general behavior was unbecoming of a Master Mason, in violation of Section 2.1.46 of the Arkansas Masonic Digest of Laws. He was informed of these charges and that he was suspended from all rights of a Master Mason in this Grand Jurisdiction pending outcome of a Grand Lodge Trial Commission.

Following a Grand Lodge Trial, the above Master Mason's charges of Un-masonic Conduct were upheld and a penalty of Expulsion was assessed.

After reviewing the report sent to me from the Grand Lodge Trial Commission, a letter was sent to him on August 31, 2011, informing him of his immediate expulsion from the Fraternity. In accordance with historical practice a copy of the above referenced letter was sent to the Appendant Bodies of Arkansas. The Grand Lodge of Iowa, and Shriners International.

On October 25, 2011, I was made aware of a letter from Shriners International approving this individuals request for a stay, and a letter from the Imperial Potentate, informing him that he was to remain a member and continue as Potentate of Scimitar Shrine Temple.

As Grand Master of Masons in Arkansas, I therefore order: All reference to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North America hereby be removed and declared clandestine and illegitimate.

As Grand Master of Masons in Arkansas, I further order that Master Masons within this Grand Jurisdiction shall not participate in any Shrine activity that in any way presents itself as being part of the Masonic Fraternity. Further, Master Masons within this Grand Jurisdiction are not permitted to display any Masonic emblem on a Shrine Fez or as a part of a Shrine uniform. The Worshipful Masters and all Appendant or recognized bodies are ordered to immediately remove, from their Lodges, and/or meeting facilities, any and all references, pictures, articles, or other paraphernalia, that contain any Shrine emblem, or any connection between the Shrine and Freemasonry. All Shrine Clubs within this Grand Jurisdiction, and other related organizations and units, are not permitted to utilize Masonic
properties for any purpose. No Master Mason within this Grand Jurisdiction is to promote or indicate the existence of any form of relationship between this Grand Jurisdiction and the Shrine. No Master Mason within this Grand
Jurisdiction shall engage in the solicitation of, or permit a Shriner to solicit, any member of the Fraternity for membership in the Shrine while in attendance at any Masonic Function The provisions of this order apply to all Master Masons residing within this Grand Jurisdiction and to Master Masons who are members of Subordinate Lodges within this Grand Jurisdiction while visiting or residence of another Grand Jurisdiction.

Violations of any part of this order will be deemed punishable by a penalty of expulsion from the Fraternity. Such penalty will be administered without the benefit of a trial.

Myles A. Oliver, Grand Master


Premium Member
If memory serves me correctly this has happened in Arkansas before, and is similar to the situation in Michigan. Where the blue lodge has suspended/expelled a member and the Shrine is waiting to see what will happen in the profane justice system.

I would suspect that it will calm down in a while.

-Bro Vick


Premium Member
Yes I did. And I heard by word of mouth that a similar situation happened in one of the neighboring states to Wisconsin.

Raymond Walters

Premium Member
Strangely, this is reminiscent of the PGM Frank Haas vs. Grand Lodge of West Virginia situation all over again... meaning a member is expelled without a trial or regard for Masonic rules & regulations on the books.

A Grand Master cannot and should not violate the rules of the Grand Lodge jurisdiction he presides over. A Grand Master certainly shouldn't allow himself to be colored by political influence of persons holding grudges and making false accusations. Those who leveled the inflated charges should have done to them what they sought to have done to the accused brother (my opinion only)

Personally, I AM sick of these mediocre, half-hearted individuals that the craft keep electing to positions of leadership. They often have NO talent and are often seriously lacking in people skills, yet they are permitted to advance in Grand Lodge line as if moving up to the next officer position is guaranteed when it should not be.

Just SMH...... again!


Premium Member
I have heard through the proverbial grapevine that the Shrine would like to drop the requirement of Masonic affiliation for membership in order to increase their numbers. While I have not been able to confirm that, perhaps the Shrines actions in Arkansas and Michigan are indicative of that rumor?

Raymond Walters

Premium Member
Yes my brother, Shrine has tried to drop the Masonic requirement for membership. It hasn't passed yet but I do understand that Shrine HQ would like to sever their connection if possible. I have heard this come up multiple times since 2005.

Though I could see numbers rising in Shrine if they remove the Masonic requirement, the caliber of their membership may take a nosedive, rendering them on the same category as "animal" lodges, i.e. Moose, Elk, Eagle, which are drastically different than Shrine presently is.

Time will tell, won't it?



Premium Member
The first I heard of this was here. I am in Canada and when I mentioned it many of the Masons I mentioned it to were not happy. When I mentioned it to a member of oit Divan at out local Shrone Center they had never heard of Shriners wanting to drop the Masonic member requirement. I would be very surprised that Shriners who are Masons would want to drop the Masonic requirement. From a copy of a letter the Imperial Potentate wrote concerning Michigan the matter is under appeal in the Grand Lodge of Michigan. Would it not make sense to have the appeal heard first? Isn't the matter in Arkansas also in some form of dispute or appeal? If so would it not make sense to have the appeal heard prior to expulsion? Just my two cents and I am only picking up bits and pieces as many are. Hopefully men of good report on all sides will take action to make sure two great organizations are not harmed.

Brent Heilman

Premium Member
Some of the rules of Arkansas are a little strange anyway. In Arkansas the Shrine is not considered an appendant body, subject to it's own rules, but instead an affiliation (I guess this is the right word), and therefore subject to first the GL of Arkansas then to itself. It has been asked many times to change the recognition in AR to appendant like the SR or YR, but has failed repeatedly. Also interesting to note that if you are a MM in the state of AR participating in this forum is not allowed and will get you expelled if it is discovered.

Raymond Walters

Premium Member
My greatest concern of all of these issues that I read about is the outright violation of longstanding Masonic regulations by men who have been elected Grand Master.

A GM has a lot of responsibility, to the Grand Lodge and to the membership that make up that Grand Lodge. If a GM violates, then the members of the Grand Lodge should hold him accountable (which he is by the way).

I will personally agree that Arkansas (mainstream) has some strange rules, just as I will mention the West Virginia (mainstream) and South Carolina (mainstream) are equally strange to me. They can do whatever they choose to, they just simply need to follow the rules of Freemasonry and their own Grand Lodge code/constitution. In fact, it seems to me personally that a person elected Grand Master has an obligation to do just that... follow the rules!

I have been seeing too many instances of GM's making the rules up as they go, or just doing what they want. I will reference my own membership in the Grand Lodge of Texas in 2004, when everyone was walking on egg shells because of MW Br. Reese Harrison and his eccentric, and at times egotistical ways. The example he set was bothersome to me then, and I AM unable to understand much of what I see in the world of Freemasonry in this day and age we are presently in.

So that no one gets their feathers ruffled about my comment, I not only know MW Br. Reese Harrison personally, I lived in San Antonio, Texas at the time he was GM (so I speak and comment from first-hand experience). I also have shared my views with him personally, so nothing I say will come as a shock to him either.

What I can do and will do is continue to pray for all of those in Freemasonry.
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Registered User
from listening to all the imperial shrine line up speak they have no intentions of dropping masonic membership. they are smart enough to realize that they would loose a huge percent of their members instantly. they have the goal of wanting 25% of all masons to become shriners. they feel that if they reach this number that their membership will stay strong.
things like this have happened before. not just in the shrine but other bodies. it is sad that egos and behaviors of a few affect so many.


Premium Member
I received some additional information about the situations in Arkansas and Michigan. Send me a PM, and I can forward the information to you .

George Coombs

Registered User
On the Freemasons For Dummies blog it had a letter from the Imperial Potentate that was sent to the Grand Master of Arkansas that at the masonic trial for the brother that he was found not guilty. That was the reason the Imperial Potentate didn't expel him.

Brent Heilman

Premium Member
Under Arkansas Masonic Law it is stated "Any form of electronic communication pertaining to matters of Masonic business is prohibited when used as a forum to debate Masonic Law or issues and will subject the member(s) to a charge of unmasonic [sic] conduct." This was passed some time back. If I am not mistaken this is also the reason that the GL of Arkansas has no real website. The site says it is under construction. From what I gathered from a Brother from Arkansas this also includes any form of electronic communication concerning Masonry as a whole. Which is why the GL website now is the way it is. I am not real sure how all this came about. I will look into it further and see what I can find.

My apologies for taking so long to respond.


Registered User
Arkansas Grand Lodge law forbids ownership of liquor stores or even working an occupation selling it (ie: Beer distributorships etc).
The local Potentate was violating this masonic law and was expelled from Masonry as a result (after a trial). All appendant bodies were notified and each in turn removed the errant (now former) brother from their roles. Not the Shrine for their own reasons. As a result the shrine was removed from the list of approved appendant bodies in Arkansas. This not new...the Scottish Rite had a recalcitrant leader back in the '90's who also ran afoul of the Grand Master and discovered to his dismay that the Grand Master of any Grand Jurisdiction is SOVEREIGN. If fault is to be found in any of these cases mentioned previously, underestimating the authority held by a Grand Master is probably most common.