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When is information irrelevant?

square_compassWhen is information irrelevant?  If we are not to associate with clandestine Masons, but find they have something we need and are offering freely, should we take it?

These are some odd questions, I know, but they are important.  I bring this up because of what seems like a harmless and endless source of information is coming from a source that most “regular” Freemasons are not suppose to be associating with.

If you are a Freemason, have googled anything on Freemasonry, or have otherwise sought information on Freemasonry, then the odds are you have come across the website Phoenix Masonry.

What is Phoenix Masonry?  We can start with what we clearly know.  They are an online web based Masonic information resource.  They act as an online Museum, library, and repository for Masonic artifacts and regalia.  They host hundreds of Masonic resources free for the viewing.

Why is this a bad thing and why should we be concerned?

To cut right to the chase, it is not my intention to pass judgment on another man who I do not know and have never met.  My intention is to post simple facts and sources for you all to do more in depth study if you chose.   I will use the terms “regular”, “irregular”, and “mainstream” in this report as my Grand Jurisdiction and recognized lodges of my Grand Jurisdiction label them.  They are not meant to be used as terms of degradation or defamation to another individual.

Phoenix Masonry is owned and hosted by what can be considered an “irregular” Mason.  His name is David Lettelier.  He is currently based out of Salt Lake City Utah and is associated with Athena Lodge No 2009.  Athena Lodge operates under the Juridiction of the International Order of Delphia.  Delphia lodges are mixed gender and operate under the Scottish Rite Symbolic degrees.  They are a mixed gender organization and are considered irregular by mainstream Freemasonry.

(As a side note that some of you may know, currently in America, only a handful of recognized lodges in Louisiana operate the three degrees of the Scottish rite, rather than the Preston-Webb /York Rite degrees most mainstream Grand Lodges follow as Craft Masonry.  More info on this can be found here.)

Mr. Lettelier was not always an “irregular” Mason.  He was a member and former Worshipful Master of Northside Lodge No. 283, in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was expelled from his lodge and the fraternity in 1998.  In his own words, you can read his side of his expulsion here and form your own opinion on the matter.

Given anything you may have learned about his expulsion, I will not ask you to disregard, but to recognize it.  Focus on the bylaws, rules, regulation, and edicts of your Grand Lodge.  There was a member who used to be regular, is now irregular, and runs one of the largest free sources of Masonic information online.  Does this make this man a bad guy?  No.  Does this make this man or his site somehow sinister?  No.  Does this make this man a brother?  No.   In our oath not only do we promise to not be present at, help aid or assist in the making of a Mason clandestinely, nor of a woman a Mason, but in our charges we are also told not to associate Masonically or communicate Masonically with clandestine organizations either.   Any organization claiming to be Masonic, but not recognized by your Grand Jurisdiction is forbidden from you associating with.  Go talk to any Mason or Shriner in Arkansas if you want to learn more about this.

How does this apply to using this site?  I guess I don’t know.  Perhaps I am seeking others opinions.  For starters, if we are not to be associating with this fella, does that mean we are not to take his free information?  I mean, facts are facts, so should it matter where we get these facts?  My opinion is that knowledge can be gained from any source.  After all, I think you would be hard pressed to find a Mason who has not at least seen or read an unauthorized version of the Masonic ritual in some form.  The point being, if the information is there, it can be used. Why not use it?

I guess the largest problem I have with Phoenix Masonry is not that he is irregular, but that it is not very clearly stated on his site what his association is.   With a little time bouncing around the internet, all this information can be found; however, it is absent, or at least not easily accessible from the site.

Because of this, I feel, is why I see so many regular Masons promoting his site and referring to him as a brother.   As a Freemason you should be aware that even if you sympathize with Mr. Lettelier, you cannot refer to him as a brother unless your Grand Jurisdiction recognizes his lodge.  You also cannot communicate Masonically with unrecognized or so called “clandestine” lodges.   Just something to keep in mind in order to stay out of trouble with your Grand Lodge.

I don’t ask anyone to agree or disagree with me, just to be aware.

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