Before you read this, I want you to know I am writing this not as a staff member of MasonsofTexas but as a Master Mason under the Grand Lodge of Texas, AF&AM. Some people may get their feelings hurt and that may not be my intent, but I hope this opens people’s eyes to a flawed system that only THEY can change. I for one and tired of going at it alone or with a select few of real Brothers. You know who you are. The question was asked by Bro. JJones and I feel he is deserving of a REAL answer. Keep in mind this is MY opinion and does not reflect that of MOT.what would draw a member of the GLOTX to the PHGL?
For me it is the focus on MASONRY. I walked into Pride of the South No. 324 during a visit we made jointly to a nursing home and they had 3M jumbo note pad and easel set up and they had been teaching the lessons of the 47th problem of Euclid to the new members. They get the importance of Brotherhood, family, and it is just so much more to them. Being a Mason means so much and then I sit in my lodge room and see the brethren bickering and arguing over EVERYTHING from which garbage service to if we want to control our scholarship more. I see people sign petitions because we need members only for the new members that no one knew came in and be trouble makers.
I see a vicious circle at the Grand Lodge level. I have personally been lied to time and time again by GL officers. I was actually told, and I have email, by the now Grand Senior Warden that he would make sure that ALL program is revamped if he is elected in the South; this all while he is serving on the education committee. I have had the law book slammed down in my face by the soon to be Grand Master because at a Secretary's school I asked why he kept calling Masonry a charitable organization and by doing so he is correctly stating our IRS status and giving people an illusion that we are a "charitable organization" like Red Cross or the Goodwill and not an fraternal organization set up with a system of Lodges for the purpose of education, religion, or charity, thus making us an organization that does charity as defined for all of our legal items. I have repeatedly received phone calls from men I have got to know because our Grand Lodge was attempting to shut down or attempt to get control of this site not because of what we do but because knowledge is spreading faster than many can control and "the questions are becoming too hard for GL officers to answer." This at the same time that during last year elections we (MOT) have requested information for all of the Grand South candidates so we could send out a questionnaire so we could publish on this site to educate our members and Masons in Texas of who they are electing. Our request was refused but If I was an MWSA or MSB I could have got it no problem.
I can go on and on and on with stories that I have personally lived. Stories like when we attempted to get a copy of the 2007 compact that was signed by PH and the GLoTX. We were told that they did not have a copy. When we had a friend from PHA request it not only did we get the compact we were told that on July 2, 2010 they requested full visitation. GLoTX would never confirm it. They reported on it during the 2010 annual communication but you never heard it referred to as Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas during the 2010 Fraternal Relations Committee report. It was "the other grand jurisdiction who we share territorial jurisdiction with that was chartered in 1871."
Does this seem like an organization that is honest with the members? It is a "good ole boy" system that is causing Masonry in Texas to suffer. Smaller lodges are being choked out and no one seems to bat an eye. We have been spitting out ideas on this site alone and just because it comes from here it won't happen. Look at how long we have been lobbying to get license plates on here. We have posted the budget on here for discussion and then when an attempt to amend was made at last year's communications it was told that they work a year in advance and amendments can't be made to the upcoming year. Committees have become a joke and ineffective to the tune if you are elected you are not tasked with anything but you get to wear a different color tie and have a name badge made up.
We will soon be paying as much as Grand Lodge Jurisdictions like Massachusetts and California yet our level or Masonic education is NO WHERE near the level of theirs. Yet this increase of annual returns was sold to the membership as “a need to continue the level of Masonry needed to maintain membership in Texas.” Really? Is it at a high level? Is it at a medium level? What kind of education are we publishing? The Texas Mason Magazine? The ALL Program that has not been updated in over 10 years but is mandatory for all new Masons under the Grand Lodge of Texas to learn? It’s embarrassing when I would try and teach this to my new members. The response from the committee when contacted? “If elected to the Grand South I’ll be sure it is done.” That is YOUR Grand Lodge. Many people don’t deal with the administration side of Masonry because a lot of people want to carry a card and put a shiny emblem on their vehicles.
So you ask why? Because I am so MAD at our Grand Lodge that they can’t drop the egos and they don’t want to look past their noses to ask the members what they want. They are no different than the politicians in Washington. When the system in Washington fails we are so quick to blame the president why are we not screaming at the GM or other officers when the system is Waco fails too? It kills me that I have to go to another organization and leave the one that I joined because my Grandfather thought the world of this very organization. It kills me that I am the one that has to leave, not because I am leaving Masonry but because I LOVE MASONRY so much I want to feel what it really is. Not watered down, not ego driven, but REAL MASONRY. REAL BROTHERHOOD. That is why I am leaving the Grand Lodge of Texas for the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas. Because I WANT MASONRY.
One thing I have learned by making this decision is that the dues card does not make the man a Mason but it is what is in his heart. There are many men that do not posses a dues card but they are in possession of the secrets of a Master Mason. Likewise, there are many men that have a dues card that don’t have a clue. Some sitting in the south, west, and east but the fact is, no matter where they sit they are truly symbolic north.