Saturday, August 9, 2008

MW Prince Hall GL of WVA Joins in Haas Lawsuit

Grand Master Robin Griffith of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia has filed an Amicus Brief in support of Frank Haas' lawsuit against the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. Grand Griffith said in the brief that Haas was expelled for trying to initiate talks with him for recognition violating his due process. And then he said something that I have been saying all along, that the actions of one Grand Lodge reflect on all Grand Lodges and that one bad apple can spoil the whole basket of apples for everybody.

His words in the brief filed:

"The Plaintiff, former Grand Master Haas, in 2006, instituted reforms in the West Virginia Grand Lodge designated to initiate the process of recognition of the Prince Hall Lodges. Such reforms were revoked by the edict of the Grand Master who succeeded former Grand Master Haas in October 2006. Subsequently, Mr. Haas was summarily expelled from Masonry in West Virginia on Novemeber 19, 2007, by edict of the current Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia, without notice, without hearing and without an opportunity for Mr. Haas to refute the charge brought against him. Such summary expulsion is a violation of Mr. Haas' due process rights as a citizen of the United States and his rights as a Mason, pursuant to the jurisprudence of Freemasonry. The Prince Hall Grand Lodge of West Virginia stands for the proposition that all Masons subject to the authority of Regular Grand Lodges, mainstream or otherwise, are entitled to notice of charges and an opporunity to be heard prior to expulsion."

"The Defendants' position in their motion to dismiss is, in its essence, that the authority of the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is absolute and the courts of the United States and, particularly this Court, have no authority to question the Grand Masters will. If this Court were to sanction the Defendants' position by dismissing Plaintiff's Complaint, such a decision would have precedential authority in the application of the Courts to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge, as well as to Plaintiff and defendants."

The Chrleston Gazette quotes Bob Allen, Hass' attorney, thusly: "Allen said that grand masters cannot act in "an arbitrary and oppressive manner, and that's exactly what he's done."

Not only was Haas' expulsion not in comportment with current Masonic practice but the revoking of reforms by edict that were voted on in the affirmative by a majority vote of the Grand Lodge is also a violation of proper procedure and probably Grand Lodge by-laws.

But that is far from the only examples of the treachery of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia. The Charleston Gazette further reports:

"The unsubstantiated allegations against Haas include his involvement in Masonic Crusade, Allen said. Masonic Crusade is a message board Web site for West Virginia Masons."

"In their court filings, the defendants have asked Haas to identify the names, e-mail addresses, aliases and/or pen names of all individuals who contribute or comment on the Masonic Crusade site."

"The interrogatories specifically ask for information on individuals who post under the names "I.M. Hiram" and "A Mason," and ask Haas to describe his involvement in "the mass e-mailing campaign of the individual or individuals" writing as I.M. Hiram."

Now I.M. Hiram was interviewed by Masonic blogger Brother Eric Diamond for his podcast on his Masonic blog X-Oriente. You might remember the great radio podcast Brother Diamond did on "The Iceman". Well this time with I.M. Hiram he disguised his voice so his true identity would be hidden. It is a telling indictment of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia that I.M. Hiram makes and which can be heard on:

So why would the current Grand Master of West Virginia demand to know the true identity of I.M. Hiram? Does the Grand Lodge of West Virginia also feel it has the right to repeal the right of free speech guaranteed under the US Constituion?

When I asked Brother Diamond here is what he had to say:

"I'm sure the Grand Lodge would looooove to know who both I.M Hiram is and the folks behind are."

"Haas has nothing to do with either nor I.M. Hiram. I've talked to both parties and asked them directly, and I've no reason to doubt their veracity. In fact, I seriously doubt if Haas even knows who these guys are. And if I were him, and I knew who they were, I certainly wouldn't reveal their identity. He would be under obligation to protect the secrets of a Master Mason as inviolate as his own, except for murder and treason. Last I check, nobody in West Virginia has died from this ordeal (except perhaps from embarrassment), nor is this a case of treason."

"However, as Haas has nothing to do with either I.M. Hiram or neither party is germane to his lawsuit. I'm no lawyer but I would think Haas is under no obligation to answer such a question."

"And really when you get right down to it, who cares who they are? They are just some masons expressing their views. Is that against Grand Lodge code? Have they revealed any secrets of Masonry? Have they violated their obligations? What possible use could the GL have for their names? Unless they wanted to ....

...but no. They wouldn't be THAT callous and slimy, would they?"

"I noticed in the article that the Prince Hall GM come in on the side of Haas, noting that the GM has no authority to act in "an arbitrary and oppressive manner, and that's exactly what he's done."

"For any GL to speak out in support of an expelled mason in another GL takes some stones, gentlemen. Say what you will about those Prince Hall guys, one thing they do not lack is courage."

"Take notice of this. Like I said, there are implications here for the whole Craft."

Yup, us Prince Hall guys we have cahunahs and we ain't afraid to call 'em like we see 'em.


2 BOWL CAIN said...

when you stand before TGAOTU, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus or not to get involved, or that Virtue was not convenient at the time."

This will not suffice

Be without Fear in the face of your enemies

Be brave and upright that God may love thee

Speak the Truth, even if it leads to your death(expulsion/suspension)

Safeguard the Helpless
That is your oath.

wayfaring man said...

First of all, a question: does your arm hurt from patting yourself on the back so often? The blog entries I have read on your site so far have been LIBERALLY sprinkled with self-congratulatory comments on nearly every topic you have broached. Either you are trying to convince a disinterested audience or you are trying to reassure yourself of your prescience...either way, it's distracting.

Secondly:you present a truly unbalanced view of the WV situation - is it not true that Haas violated not one, but many of his obligations as a Mason and as A GM both during and after his tenure? His pursuit of "reform" in WV did not have the support of the majority of Blue Lodges in WV, so he began "visiting" Lodges around the state and campaigning for his ideas (a clear violation of his obligations) in order to secure votes in GL; his visit to MWPHA officials, while cleverly structured as an "unofficial meeting" in a hotel lobby, was so marginally ethical that only a lawyer (oops..he is a lawyer, huh? and a judge, too!) could wink at it; oh, and anyone who doesn't believe that Haas is behind the Masonic Crusader hasn't looked very deeply into the personal relationship between Haas and the site owners.

For crying out loud, you could at least try to present a balanced view of your topic.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

wayfaring chump:oh, and anyone who doesn't believe that Haas is behind the Masonic Crusader hasn't looked very deeply into the personal relationship between Haas and the site owners.


since you are a west virginia mason, and know all that PGM Haas has done, and know the WV Codes so well, you must be a witness?
You seem so confident in Your knowledge that you are doing exactly what you claim squire is doing...

pretty pompous post by you trying to tell another they are pompous

hypocracy runs wild in mainstreamers...

do as I say, not as I do...blah blah blah