Grand Lodge Policies concerning Masonic Organizations
The information on this chart comes from various sources, mostly email messages from several brethren. If anyone has definite information for additions or changes on this chart, please send email to Paul M. Bessel at paulb’at’bessel.org so I can update this chart.
|State||Masonic Rules, Policies, and Practices concerning Masonic Organizations|
|Alabama||Alabama Grand Lodge Code, Section 350
Use of Word “Masonic” — Unless recognized and approved by resolution of the Grand Lodge, the use of the word “Masonic” in connection with any club, organization, business, or publication constitutes a Masonic offense.
|Arizona||The policy in Arizona about affiliated organizations is that they have to have the approval of the Grand Master to be originally chartered; for instance, some years ago the Grand Master blocked the establishment of York Rite Sovereign Colleges on the basis that there were already enough affiliated organizations in Arizona (the ruling was reversed by a subsequent Grand Master). After they are set up, the Grand Master has no authority over them, although he probably could intervene if he thought it necessary.|
|California||California Grand Lodge Code, Section 15130
A Mason residing in this Jurisdiction shall not become a member of any Masonic Organization unless:
A. The Masonic Organization existed in this Jurisdiction on September 27, 1957; or
B. The Constitution and By-laws of the Masonic Organization have first been submitted to Grand Lodge for approval at a subsequent Annual Communication. Any organization so approved shall conduct its business and activities in conformance with the laws of Grand Lodge.
This section shall not be construed as a recognition of any organization whether or not in existence on September 27, 1957; nor shall it be construed as prohibiting clubs organized for the purpose of instituting a new Lodge or organization or associations of Past Masters or Masters and Wardens of a Lodge or Lodges of this Jurisdiction or organizations or association of Masons which do not confer degrees, and except for ceremonies of installation, do not have a ritual other than the established ritual of Grand Lodge.
|Connecticut||Section 8000. Masonic Advertising Prohibited. Any Mason exhibiting Masonic emblems upon signs, place of business, advertisements, business cards, flags or banners, other than Masonic processions, or using the words Brother, Worshipful Brother, Right Worshipful Brother, Most Worshipful Brother, or any variation, and/or reference thereto, for commercial or other business enterprises where personal gain is involved, shall be guilty of un-masonic conduct.
Section 6206. Extract From General Statutes of State Re: Unlawful Wearing of Insignia. By statute law of Connecticut (Section 53-377, General Statutes, 1958, as amended), it is a penal offense, punishable with a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), to willfully wear the insignia, rosette or badge of any fraternal order, or use the same to obtain aid or assistance, or to use the name of any such society, organization or order, or the titles of its officers, or its ritual or ceremonies, unless entitled to do so under the Constitution, By-laws or Rules and Regulations of such order or society, or to claim to be a member thereof, with intent to deceive or defraud. This applies to clandestine lodges, clandestinely made Masons or imposters whose acts come within the statute adopted.
|Delaware||Delaware Grand Lodge Code, Section 17-1, Section 1
No Lodge or individual mason shall hold communication or fellowship with any society or body professing or claiming as such to be Masonic except such as are recognized and acknowledged by this Grand Lodge. Any disregard, violation or infraction of this regulation will subject the party or parties to expulsion.
The restrictions shall not apply to members of subordinate Lodges who may become members of Chapters of Royal Arch Mason, Councils of Royal and Select Master, Commaneries of Knights Templars, or members of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and no Mason in the Jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Delaware shall promote, organize, or become a member of any club, order or fraternal society in the State of Delaware whose qualifications for membership include that of being a Mason, unless such club, order, or fraternal society shall have received the sanction and approval of the Grand Lodge. Violation of this resolution shall subject the offender to Masonic trial and punishment.
In addition to those societies or bodies set forth in the above paragraph, this Grand Lodge recognizes and acknowledges the following: Nur Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S.; Amaranth; Order of Eastern Star; Royal Order of Scotland; S.R.I.C.F. (Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis); M.O.V.P.E.R. Grotto (Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm); White Shrine of Jerusalem; Tall Cedars of Lebanon; Royal Order of Jesters; Order of DeMolay; Grand Guardian Council Order of Job’s Daughters; Masonic Order of the Bath; National Sojourners; Knight Masons; Philalethes Society; York Cross of Honour; Allied Masonic Degrees; Grand College of Rites; Society of Blue Friars; H.R.A.K.T.P. (Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest); Delaware Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine and appendant orders, First State York Rite College No. 45.
|District of Columbia||District of Columbia Grand Lodge Standing Resolutions
8.—Resolved, That hereafter no Mason within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge shall engage in the formation or become a member of any organization basing its eligibility to membership therein upon Blue Lodge membership unless such organization shall have received the formal approval of this Grand Lodge; provided, that this prohibition shall not apply to bodies subordinate to those allied or Grand Bodies already existing or recognized as Masonic by the Grand Lodge, nor to organizations, composed wholly of non-Masons, membership in which is predicated upon blood or family relationship to our members.—Proc. 1930, p. 89.
Request for the approval of the Grand Lodge contemplated in the above quoted resolution having been submitted to the Grand Master, said requests were referred by him to the Committee on Jurisprudence for report and recommendation.— Proc. 1934, pp. 82-85.
Masons of this jurisdiction who reside outside of the District of Columbia may become a member of any organization basing its eligibility to membership therein upon Blue Lodge membership if that organization has been approved by the Grand Lodge of the Jurisdiction in which the District of Columbia Mason resides and with whom this Grand Lodge maintains fraternal recognition.—Proc. 1975, p. 102.
|Florida||Florida Digest of Masonic Law
Powers Relating to Other Orders and Organizations – Section 4.06
The Grand Lodge of Florida claims and assets jurisdiction of all Masonic affairs in Florida, including all organizations whose fundamental or principal predicate for membership is Masonic affiliation for the members of such organizations. Such organizations may not be formed or used for any purpose in violation of any of the laws, principles or tenets of Freemasonry . . . .
Section 4.08 Every assembly, Lodge or organization or person claiming to be Masonic, and is not under the charge, control and protection or recognition of regular and competent Masonic authority, is clandestine.
Section 4.10 No Mason shall be a member or a stockholder of a corporation hereafter formed which predicates its membership therein on Masonic affiliation, unless such corporation is expressly authorized or approved by the Grand Lodge.
Section 4.111 Members of the Particular Lodges of Florida, in good standing, when temporarily residing outside the Grand Jurisdiction of Florida, may affiliate with or become members of any Masonic Club, or other organization sponsored, approved or Chartered by any other Grand Jurisdiction of Masonry recognized by the Grand Jurisdiction of Florida.
Rulings and Decisions
Order of the Eastern Star is not an appendant order of Masonry.
The White Shrine of Jerusalem is not an appendant order of Masonry.
Section 47.01 All Masonic affiliated clubs, societies or similar organizations, including Masters and Wardens Association, formed, organized and operating within the Grand Jurisdiction of Florida shall be subject to the jurisdiction and approval of the Grand Lodge of Florida and subject to the direction and control of a central or general authority recognized by the Grand Lodge. Any Mason joining, having membership in or affiliated with any club, society, or similar organizations, including Masters and Wardens Association, not recognized or approved in accordance with this Regulation, who, upon order or directive from the Grand Master fails or refuses to withdraw therefrom shall be subject to Masonic discipline. (1991)
Section 47.02 A Uniform Code of By-Laws for clubs and similar organizations is adopted as follows:
Uniform Code of By-Laws
Clubs and Similar Organizations
Name and Location
[There then follows 8 pages, describing in detail how the organization or club is to operate, including details about how officers are elected, who can become a member, etc.]
|Kansas|| Kansas Grand Lodge Constitution, Article VI, Section 5
Duties and Powers of Grand Master
. . . He shall have power:
(k) To require all Masons who are members of any organization which predicates its membership upon Masonic affiliation to conform to all rules of conduct required of Masons by this Grand Lodge and by the Usages of the Fraternity;
Kansas Grand Lodge By-Laws, Section 1-110
Duties of Members of Organizations Predicated upon Masonic Affiliation —
Every Mason who is a member of any organization which predicates its membership upon Masonic affiliation is bound by the same standards of conduct while present at any meeting or function held or sponsored by such organization as he would be if such meeting or function were held or sponsored by his Lodge.
|Kentucky|| Kentucky Grand Lodge Constitution, Section 216
Legitimate Masonic Bodies Enumerated. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky does not acknowledge any degree of Masonry or Order of Knighthood to be regular or legitimate, except those conferred under the authority of the following Masonic bodies of the United States or America, and those or corresponding rank in foreign countries, recognized by or in fraternal correspondence with this Grand Lodge, to wit:
(1) Symbolic Masonry. The Grand Lodges of Free and Accepted Masons of the several States and Territories.
(2) Capitular Masonry. The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the United States of America, and the Grand Chapters of Royal Arch Masons of the States and Territories.
(3) Cryptic Masonry. The General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States, and the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the States and Territories.
(4) Chivalric Masonry. The Grand Encampment of knights Templar of the United States of America, and the Grand Commanderies of the States and Territories.
(5) Scottish Rite. The Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction and the Northern Jurisdiction and the several bodies under their obedience.
(6) Mark Masters of England. Foreign Bodies not specifically referred to and not included in the foregoing, but deemed Masonic and legitimate by this Grand Lodge.
(7) Royal Order of Scotland. The Royal Order of Scotland and the provincial Grand Body of that order in the United States.
(8) Penalty. Any Mason under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky who shall recognize as Masonic, take or receive, or communicate, or confer, or sell, or be present at, or assist in communicating, or conferring, or selling, or solicit anyone to take, or receive, or apply for any alleged Masonic degree, or order of Knighthood, from or by any person, or in any assemblage or persons, no matter by whatsoever name it or they may be called, except it be held and done under the authority of one of the bodies herein before recognized and acknowledged to be regular and legitimate, shall be expelled from the rights and privileges of Masonry.
(9) Conditions of the Foregoing. Before the privileges granted to the several bodies enumerated in Section 216 shall become operative, their respective Grand Bodies shall first amend their laws so as to require that each member of their subordinate bodies shall hereafter be in affiliation with some subordinate lodge.
Hereafter no Mason within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge shall engage in the formation or become a member of any organization basing its eligibility to membership therein upon symbolic lodge membership unless such organization shall have received the formal approval of this Grand Lodge.
|Montana||Montana Grand Lodge Constitution and Statutes
DEFINED TERMS: The following definitions are a part of the Constitution and Statutes of the Grand Lodge of Montana and shall constitute the meaning of such terms wherever used therein.
70 MASONIC ORGANIZATION: Any group, chapter, order, club, association or organization requiring Masonic affiliation as a prerequisite to membership, except Masonic Lodges.Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Montana, A.F.&A.M.
Section 220. SOVEREIGNTY.
The Grand Lodge of Montana recognizes as concordant bodies other bodies within its jurisdiction claiming Masonic affiliation which are in agreement with the general principles of Freemasonry as set forth elsewhere in this Code.Statutes of the Grand Lodge of Montana
Article I – Powers and Duties of the Grand Master
1050. POWERS. The Grand Master may:
D. Issue edicts requiring:
2. Masonic Organizations requiring Masonic affiliation or sponsorship to cease and desist any business or entertainment schemes which reflect on Masonry or violate the laws of Grand Lodge. The Grand Master may order trials of any Masons engaging in such enterprises
|New York||New York Masonic Law, Section 91
Grand Lodge recognizes the following named organizations or bodies to be Masonic: The General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the United States, The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of New York, and the Royal Arch Chapter of the State of New York, and the Royal Arch Chapters and other bodies under their jurisdiction; The General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States, The Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the State of New York and the Councils under their jurisdiction; The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States, the Grand Commandery of the State of New York and the Commanderies under their jurisdiction; The Supreme Councils of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Free Masonry for the Northern and Southern Masonic Jurisdictions of the United States and the various bodies under their jurisdiction.
|North Carolina||North Carolina Code, Section 6-02
The Grand Lodge, while acknowledging no degrees of Masonry except those conferred under its authority or under the authority of a Grand Lodge or a Grant Orient which has been, or may hereafter be, recognized by it as a regular and legitimate Masonic organization, nevertheless, recognizes the following named organizations or bodies to be Masonic:
1. The General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of North Carolina, and the Royal Arch Chapters under their jurisdiction.
2. The General Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of the United States of America, the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters in North Carolina, and the Councils of Royal and Select Masons under their jurisdiction.
3. The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the State of North Carolina, and the Commanderies of Knights Templar under their jurisdiction.
4. The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, and the various bodies under its jurisdiction.
5. The Supreme Council, Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, and the various bodies under its jurisdiction.
6. The recognition of any rite, body, or organization named in this section shall not be prejudicial to the rights of any other legitimate Masonic organization.Section 6-03 It shall be a Masonic offense for any Mason within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge to visit, or to affiliate with, or to become a member of, or be a promoter of, any organization, body, or group claiming to be Masonic, or representing itself in the name of Masonry, which has been refused recognition, or declared illegitimate by this Grand Lodge; and upon conviction for a violation of this section, he shall be liable to be expelled; and while he continues to be such a member or promoter, he shall be ineligible to membership or office in any subordinate lodge, or to membership in this Grand Lodge. [2-06(11); 94-01; 97-02(3)]. (This section amended, effective 4-17-57)
|Ohio||From an email message:
In Ohio, we have no written laws over any of the “Appendant Bodies.” Our laws and edicts control our “members,” who may often be members of Appendant Bodies as well. The Grand Lodge of Ohio specifically lists certain related organizations that are permitted to meet in local Lodge rooms and buildings and these include the York Rite and Scottish Rite. Another section permits organizations, “whose membership is predicated upon Masonic affiliation or up the Masonic affiliation” of another family member, to meet in Lodge rooms. The Shrine is never specifically mentioned and the Grand Lodge has never claimed control of Shrine activities, although it maintains authority over its members, as Masons, if they violate Masonic law.
|Virginia||Virginia Grand Lodge Methodical Digest, Section 101
1961 D-9, §1.011968 D-3, §1.01; 1962 D-4, §1.011968 D-25, §1.01
The Grand Lodge of Virginia has never extended recognition to any organization requiring membership in a regular Lodge under its jurisdictions as a prerequisite for membership. To grant permission for the formation of a club would be contrary to our long precedent to regulate Masons rather than organizations, except our own Lodges. (C. M. Flintoff, E. C. Glover, Jr., and H. B. Green)