A Little Masonic History to explain why a Lodge or Grand Lodge is considered Clandestine….
ANDERSON’S CONSTITUTIONS – 1723
The Charges of a Freemason –
VI Of Behaviour, Viz.
Behaviour towards a strange Brother. You are cautiously to examine him, in such a Method as Prudence shall direct you, that you may not be impos'd upon by an ignorant, false Pretender, whom you are to reject with Contempt and Derision, and beware of giving him any Hints of Knowledge.
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may be reliev'd: you must employ him some days, or else recommend him to be employ'd. But you are not charged to do beyond your Ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good Man and true before any other poor People in the same Circumstance.
General Regulations –
VIII. No set or Number of Brethren shall withdraw or separate themselves from the Lodge in which they were made Brethren, or were afterwards admitted Members, unless the Lodge becomes too numerous; nor even then, without a Dispensation from the Grand Master or his Deputy; and when they are thus separated, they must either immediately join themselves to such other Lodge as they shall like best, with the unanimous Consent of that other Lodge to which they go (as above regulated), or else they must obtain the Grand Master’s Warrant to join in forming a new Lodge.
If any set or Number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a Lodge without the Grand Master’s Warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them, or own them as fair brethren and duly form'd, nor approve of their Acts and Deeds; but must treat them as Rebels, until they humble themselves, as the Grand Master, shall, in his Prudence, direct, and until he approve of them by his Warrant, which must be signified to the other Lodges, as the Custom is when a new Lodge is to be registered in the List of Lodges.
These were the first constitutions of the first Grand Lodge of Masons. It is on this that all Grand Lodges formed after 1717 have been based.
The GLs of Ireland (1725) and Scotland (1736) followed shortly after.
Those Lodges that existed before the creation of the GL system are called Time Immemorial Lodges and have existed since as early as the 1100s in Scotland with continuous records from as early as 1599.
Many of the first GLs in the US were formed as Provincial GLs of one of these UK GLs. Following the Revolutionary War and the US becoming its own country, these GLs proclaimed independence from the GLs in the UK and became GLs in their own right.
These constitutions and a very brief history of the GLs in the US to explain where Masonic Lodges receive their authority to meet as Masons. Before the creation of the GL system, a Regular Lodge could grant a Charter to a number of members to form a new Lodge. Since the creation of the GL system, that power has been reserved for the GL alone.
An example of this is Mother Kilwinning Lodge in Scotland. They are considered the oldest Lodge in the world, claiming to have been formed at the building of the Abbey at Kilwinning in 1140. This Time Immemorial Lodge granted Charters to new Lodges from 1728 until 1807. At that point, they joined the GL of Scotland and gave up the right to issue Charters.
Since the early 1800s, is has been the custom among Masons that to form a Grand Lodge, three or more Lodges holding charters from a recognized Grand Lodge come together to form their own Grand Lodge. Every Masonic Lodge in the world can trace its lineage to one of the UK Grand Lodges or one of the Time Immemorial Lodges, without exception.
This includes every GL of State in the US and their Prince Hall counterparts.
PRINCIPLES OF RECOGNITION
The Principles of Recognition adopted by the Conference of Grand Masters of North America include three basic criteria that a Grand Lodge must meet before recognition can be extended.
1. Regularity of Origin – This is first and foremost. The GL must be authorized by a Recognized Grand Lodge OR must be formed by three or more regularly constituted Lodges holding Charters from Recognized Grand Lodges. This is where a GL receives its Masonic Authority. A Grand Lodge that lacks Regularity of Origin is considered CLANDESTINE. The RGLE, IFAMM, Modern Free and John G. Jones GLs are examples of CLANDESTINE.
2. Regularity of Practice – This means that the GL adheres to the Ancient Landmarks of the Craft. Basic requirements being – Belief in a Supreme Being; Volume of Sacred Law a required part of the furniture of the Lodge; Men Only; GL is Sovereign over the three Craft degrees and there is no higher authority to which they must adhere in the workings of the Craft. If a Grand Lodge meets the Regularity of Origin test, but fails to meet Regularity of Practice, they are considered IRREGULAR. The Grand Orient de France and LeDroit Humain are two examples.
3. Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction – This is a primarily (although not exclusively) American doctrine where a GL must be Sovereign over Masonry in its Territory OR the GL must have an agreement of Amity with other Recognized GLs in the same Territory. A GL that has Regularity of Origin and Regularity of Practice, but lacks amity with other GLs in its territory is called UNRECOGNIZED. Examples of this group are the nine PH GLs in the south, that are perfectly regular, but not yet recognized.
The principles of recognition, as you can see, are consistent with the first written rules and regulations of Grand Lodges. A Mason is not to countenance any Clandestinely created Lodge or Grand Lodge. Since Mr. Banks organization was not formed in accordance with the usages and customs of Masonry, it is not a Masonic body. The same can be said of the RGLE, MFAM and JGJ. None of their founders possessed Masonic authority to create a Lodge or make men Masons.
For more Mason Tshirts order here at https://masontshirts.threadless.com/