What is today the Grand Orient of the United States of America began on December 27th, 2005 when several lodges declared their independence from the Anglo-American Masonic system and formed a confederation of lodges under the banner “United Grand Lodge of America”. They sought to restore the original Freemasonry practiced by America’s Founding Fathers, and return to the philosophical ideals of the Age of Enlightenment that had existed in the early Masonic lodges of England and France. This event allowed the original streams of Masonic thought, still existing in Europe, to once again flow freely into American lodges.
The first Grand Master was M∴W∴ Bro. Samuel Aaron Peavy who served from May 2006 – May 2008. Under his administration the first Constitutions were ratified creating a Confederation of Sovereign Masonic lodges, and formal relations with the Grand Orient of France were discussed. During this period M∴W∴ Bro. Jeffrey Peace (Junior Grand Warden at the time) became the official liaison between Paris and Cleveland. His efforts would later result in the Grand Orient of France granting official Patents to the Grand Orient USA, and its recognition as a sovereign Masonic power per the treaty of 2008.
In November of 2007, more lodges declared their independence from the Anglo-American Masonic system and the Council of the Order was convened to formalize our relationship with our brethren in Europe, Central and South America. The Council voted unanimously to change the name of the United Grand Lodge of America to the Grand Orient of the United States of America in order to better, and more precisely, identify it with the existing currents of ‘Modern’ Freemasonry throughout the world.
In May of 2008 John P. Slifko of the George Washington Union of Freemasons was elected Grand Master. His administration ended abruptly when he authorized the creation of a new Co-Masonic lodge in France in direct violation of the treaty he had signed in June of 2008. He was formally suspended in December of 2008, and later expelled.
The Grand Orient of France is the oldest continuously operating Grand Lodge in the world. It was created in 1728 by brothers from the original Grand Lodge of England (now defunct) that had been established in London in 1717. Benjamin Franklin worked closely with both of these Grand bodies and served as Grand Master of the original Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania (now defunct) and as Worshipful Master of the Lodge of the Nine Muses under the Grand Orient of France. The original Enlightenment form of Freemasonry that began in London and Paris has been the victim of much misinformation, especially in the United States, where there exists another version of the fraternity that was started in 1755.
In December of 2008 M∴W∴ Bro. Jeffrey Peace was elected to serve out the remainder of Slifko’s term. He was then elected to two additional terms May 2009 – May 2011. Under the leadership of M∴W∴ Bro. Peace the Grand Orient grew and expanded its recognition world-wide. Halcyon Charities became a professionally administered charity that began restoring the historic West Side Masonic Temple and engaging directly with the community in Ohio City. The Internet presence of the Grand Orient USA was markedly improved and extended into social networking and video. The rituals of the Grand Orient were formalized, and the Modern Rite became the official ritual utilized at all meetings of the Grand Officers.
M∴W∴ Bro. Peace also secured the sovereignty of the Grand Orient USA during a take-over attempt orchestrated by Alain Fumaz, Grand Secretary of External Relations, Grand Orient of France. During this time Fumaz attempted to force the Grand Orient USA under French control, as he had successfully done to many other Masonic organizations. He planned to use the French voting block within the Grand Orient USA to cede control in the spirit of loyalty to France. This failed miserably when Peace expelled everyone involved in the cabal, and pulled the Charters of two lodges. Thus, making the Grand Orient USA a truly American Masonic body devoid of all foreign interests.
Peace also advanced the cause of equal rights during his third term by gaining a majority vote in the Council of the Order allowing for the creation of mixed-gender and female only lodges under the Grand Orient USA. He pointed to the fact that women were now soldiers in the armed forces of the United States, and if they were willing to sacrifice themselves in the cause of liberty, they were now a natural part of Freemasonry.
Towards the end of the his final term in office Peace began working with Bro. Richard Graeter on modernizing the Constitutions of the Grand Orient USA. This project continued through the administration of M∴W∴ Bro. Dale Brown.
M∴W∴ Bro. Dale Brown was elected to the office of Grand Master in May of 2011. He focused on digital Freemasonry, and oversaw the creation of Atlantis Lodge. Under his administration the first mixed-gender and all female lodges were created. He was also central in the creation of the modernized Constitutions, and the further enhancement of the Grand Orient’s Internet presence.
In May of 2012 M∴W∴ Bro. Richard Ehrlcih was elected as Grand Master.
Sirius Lodge was founded in 2005 as a traditional continental style lodge that practices the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite. It meets in Roswell, Georgia, just north of the perimeter.
Halcyon Lodge has been keeping the spirit of Freemasonry alive since 1875. It was at this time that Worshipful Brother Frederick Pelton declared that Halcyon would be “the most progressive lodge in the country,” and we remain so to this day. While other lodges are fading away, we’re growing, expanding and investing in the future of the Craft. An essential element of our recipe for success is our dedication to brotherhood and community action. We work in and for the local Cleveland community making it a better place for all. Halcyon Lodge practices the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, and operates under the authority of the Grand Orient of the United States of America. The Grand Orient promotes freedom of conscience, the republic form of government, individual rights, and civic virtue as expressed by the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Atlantis Lodge was created in 2011 to serve our members from across the country. While other lodges have monthly meetings at a temple, Atlantis instead meets quarterly in a different location. As such, it enables members who are too far away for monthly lodge attendance to participate. All other Atlantis meetings for lodge education and social interaction are held online.
This lodge was formed in 2005 as a part of the movement to bring Continental Freemasonry to the USA. Regulus is located in Mobile, AL.
Spinoza is a Masonic Lodge operating under the authority of the Grand Orient USA in the Orient of Florida, Valley of Fort Lauderdale. We are dedicated to the betterment of humanity through the preservation of both individual and human rights, constitutional democracy, and the natural environment. Spinoza Lodge was founded in 2011.
Triangles are formed when three Grand Orient Masons who live close to each other are in the process of forming a lodge. A lodge consists of seven Master Masons. The Triangles listed below are those in the process of formation, although they are not representative of all masons nationwide.
"Not your Grandfather's Masonry"
Yep, that's their current/occasional tagline/slogan heading their now little-used website (see comment at the end of this section)
– and, in fact, it pretty well explains everything you might want to know. Looking for the traditional organization that has weathered three centuries and will be around for another three and more? Want to be part of that group your grandfather or favorite uncle might have belonged to – to take the same obligations surrounded by men both old and young who will be your Brothers forever and will be there at your funeral and beyond? Want to join the group that makes up the Shriners and their Hospitals or those guys who collect toys and serve holiday meals or donate equipment to schools and civic groups? Don't look to the Grand Orient of the United States because they aren't it – and like all other groups formed for the sole purpose of being 'hip' or 'modern' or for the purpose of spite, they will likely fall by the wayside as they continue to flail through organizational changes and lack of direction. GOOFUS is not your grandfather's Masonry for sure; in fact, we believe (along with the rest of the regular / recognized Masonic world) that it's not ANYONE'S Masonry AT ALL!
Sure, it's easy to scorn the 'old fashioned' Freemasonry which, on the web, sometimes makes it look so very anachronistic and fuddy-duddy-ish. And it's easy to point out a couple of high profile incidents in regular / recognized Freemasonry that make it look like something to be wary of but remember: this group has their warts too and one need only to point to the 'removal' of their first two Grand Masters (see here
) to know that all's not right here either and it might be a case of going from the frying pan into the fire!
Many people confuse Grand Orient Freemasonry with that practiced by the American Grand Lodges. The Grand Orient is a secular organization like the Rotary and Lions clubs, whereas the Grand Lodges are religious-like organizations.
There are several distinguishing characteristics that differentiate them.
Grand Orient Freemasonry is:
||A secular civic organization
||Open to both men and women of all races who are of high moral character
||Dedicated to building strength of charcter and moral integrity in its members
||Actively promoting liberty, equality and individual rights in America and around the globe
"I…………………………, now in the presence of Almighty God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Blessed Michael the Archangel, The Blessed St. John the Baptist, the Holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, sacred hosts of Heaven, and to you, my ghostly Father, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius Loyaola, in the Ponification of Paul the Third, and continued to the present, do by the womb of the virgin, the matrix of God, and the rod of Jesus Christ, declare and swear that his holiness, the Pope, is Christ's Vice-regent, and is the true and only head of the Catholic or Universal Church throughout the earth; and that by the virtue of the keys of binding and loosing, given to his Holiness by my Savior, Jesus Christ, he hath power to depose heretical kings, princes, states, commonwealths and governments, all being illegal without his sacred confirmation, and that they may be safely destroyed. "Therefore, to the utmost of my power, I shall and will defend this doctrine and his Holiness' right and customs against all usurpers of the heretical or Protestant authority, whatever especially the Lutheran Church of Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and the now pretended authority of the Church of England and Scotland, the branches of the same, now established in Ireland, and on the continent of America and elsewhere….I so now renounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or state named Protestant or Liberals, or obedience to any of their laws, magistrates or officers.
"I do further declare, that I will help and assist and advise all or any of his Holiness' agents in any place wherever I shall be, and do my utmost to extirpate the heretical Protestant of Liberal doctrines and to destroy all their pretended powers, legal or otherwise.
"I do further promise and declare, that notwithstanding I am dispensed with to assume any religion heretical, for the propagating of the Mother Church's interest, to keep secret and private all her agents' counsels, from time to tome as they may instruct me, and not to divulge directly or indirectly, by word, writing, or circumstances whatever; but to execute all that shall be proposed given in charge or discovered unto me, by you, my ghostly father…..
"I do further promise and declare, that I will have no opinion or will of my own, or any mental reservation whatever, even as a corpse or cadaver (perinde ac cadaver) but unhesitatingly obey each and every command that I may receive from my superiors in the Militia of the Pope and Jesus Christ.
"That I will go to any part of the world, whatsoever, without murmuring and will be submissive in all things whatsoever communicated to me…..I do further promise and declare, that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth, and that I will spare neither sex, age no condition, and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the wall, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race.
That when the same cannot be done openly, I will secretly use the poison cup, the strangulation cord, the steel of the poinard, or the leaden bullet, regardless of honor, rank, dignity or authority of the person or persons whatsoever may be their condition in life, either public or private, as I at any time may be directed so to do by any agent of the Pope or superior of the brotherhood of the holy faith of the Society of Jesus." Congressional Record, House Bill 1523, Contested election case of Eugene C. Bonniwell, against Thos. S. Butler, Feb. 15, 1913, pages 3215-16, sited: The Suppressed Truth About The Assassination Of Abraham Lincoln
"I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery!"
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In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,
two is a law firm and three or more is a congress.–John Adams
Psalm 94:20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
Beside the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the
maintenance of liberty, freedom and the rights of man. – John Taylor JD 23:63
“Democracy is the road to Socialism.” Said Karl Marx. Authored The Communist Manifesto. —
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'In God I Trust'
This will be on every e-mail
that I send out from now on
because I don't want our right
to say it to go away!