A Position on National Grand Lodge History was posted on a Facebook Group by an unknown Author. It is suspected that the author is John Hairston whom has been mentioned before. The opinion was forwarded to Alton Roundtree, author of “The National Grand Lodge and Prince Hall Freemasonry: The Untold Truth”.
The Anonymous Post is as follows:
THESE ARE THE BEST ARGUMENTS FOR WHY THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF 1847 IS NOT THE NATIONAL GRAND LODGE OF 2015 AND IS THUS BOGUS:
Fact 1) John Hairston said on another thread: Frank Howard read this and then understand that Grand Lodge by their very existence are independent…
I believe the foundation of the issue regarding the National Compact is understanding the National Grand Lodge and its authority was vested in the “National Compact”.
We hear the name National Grand Lodge so much that we dismiss that its life stemmed from a Compact (Agreement) between Grand Lodges.
Without the Compact, you have no National Grand Lodge. And it doesn’t matter what is placed in the Preamble of a Constitution, the National Grand Lodge had jurisdiction over Grand Lodges that agreed to countenance its existence and authority. A Grand Lodge had to petition for a Warrant. Three Lodges had to FIRST organize and constitute a Grand Lodge before they became a part of the Compact.
This is important. A Grand Lodge exercised their right to exist without any instrument originating from the National Grand Lodge.
If a Grand Lodge had the power to form without the National Grand Lodge, and had to petition them for recognition among that Compact of Grand Lodges, by what authority did the NGL have to suspend, expel or declare clandestine, any Grand Lodge exercising the same power to exist WITHOUT the NGL?
This is where PHO member get mixes up, they misplace the power of the National Grand Lodge. Is it born from within itself or is it vested in the AGREEMENT OF THE GRAND LODGES THAT GIVE ALLEGIANCE TO IT?
What is a National Grand Lodge with no Grand Lodges?
Even the leadership are members of the Grand Lodges in Compact, if the Grand Lodge decides that they no longer will give allegiance to the NGL, then those members who remain operative within that entity are in direct violation of the Grand Lodge Constitution, and will be without a Grand Lodge.
Individual masons were not members of the National Grand Lodge, it was the Grand Lodges who were members of the NGL. The individuals were REPRESENTATIVES of the Grand Lodges.
When this concept of the Compact (Agreement) is placed in its proper relation to the NGL, then PHO members will understand why their group is an aberration of true masonic principles of jurisprudence….more on this later, just wanted to express this thought.
Alton Roundtree’s Response is as follows:
Good opinion, thought, or perspective. Sounds good, but where are the sources and documentation that shows that this is more than a perspective?
The Prince Hall Conference of Grand Masters would not agree with the statement that the National Grand Lodge is BOGUS.
The National Grand Lodge of 2015 is the same NGL as that of 1847. The NGL has had continuous operation and never had fewer than 13 state Grand Lodges [since1865]. The National Grand Lodge has always (from its inception) operated under a Constitution. Like any Grand Lodge, the Constitution defines the authority of the Grand Lodge and the relationship of subordinate organizations. The sentiments at the formation of the NGL clearly state the establishment of a National Grand Lodge and that the state Grand Lodges is not sovereign. The sentiments also show that the National Grand Lodge was operating under a Constitution from the inception of the organization in 1847. The National Grand Lodge was operating under Ahiman Rezon, pending development of a constitution. (The Freemason’s Library and General Ahiman Rezon; containing a delineation of the true principles of Freemasonry, etc.; by Samuel Cole. Baltimore, 1817. 8vo, 332 + 92 pages. There was a second edition in 1826.)
What Compact Agreement? The NGL does not operate under a “Compact Agreement.” The NGL Constitution states the relationship between the NGL and the state Grand Lodges. Grand Lodges under the NGL fully understand that they are subordinate and their position is stated in the NGL Constitution. State Grand Lodges under the NGL has no power beyond what is stated in the NGL Constitution that they helped write, update, and approve at a Triennial Session.