Ask a Freemason Questions and Answers Find a Lodge Near You
   
1 of 2
1
Question regarding the Widows Sons MRA
Posted: 06 May 2017 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2015-11-09

Good evening brethren. I have a question. I am a motorcycle ride, belonging to my local HOG chapter (I ride a 2002 HD Road King Classic). I am also a freemason (clearly indicated below). I was recently pointed towards the Widows Sons riding club.
Now, I was ALSO told that the GL of MA essentially outlawed this association in 2013. To date, per the research I have gone through, they have not expelled a single member who belongs.
The question I have is, has that edict been lifted? I am asking here because I know that there are several prominent members here who are in MA.
There are several chapters in this state, and at least two appear active. I am just curious if anyone knows what the current state is, or whether this edict was issued snd simply not being enforced.
I am asking because I am torn. I would LOVE to ride with my brothers, but dont want to lose my fraternity.
Thank you for any information

 Signature 

Petitioned September 2015
Ballotted November 2015
Initiated January 11, 2016
Passed February 8, 2016
Raised May 9, 2016

Caleb Butler Lodge.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2017 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  41
Joined  2013-03-20

The members of the Widow’s Sons were given the choice to demit from Freemasonry if they wished to remain Widow’s Sons. They could not be members of both after MW Stewart’s edict. This edict remains in force.

 Signature 

John Ruggiero
Master, Ancient York Lodge AF&AM;, Lowell, MA, USA

“God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much.” - Mother Teresa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2017 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2015-11-09

Thank you brother for the prompt response!

 Signature 

Petitioned September 2015
Ballotted November 2015
Initiated January 11, 2016
Passed February 8, 2016
Raised May 9, 2016

Caleb Butler Lodge.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 May 2017 07:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4039
Joined  2007-09-27

Here is the exact edict:

Widow’s Sons Club
12/10/2013, on the Widow’s Sons motorcycle club.
“It is the Grand Master’s responsibility to protect and uphold the principles and prerogatives of the fraternity. Any club, association, or group that requires membership in the fraternity as a pre-requisite falls under the authority of the Grand Lodge.
“In 1931, at the March Quarterly Communication, M.W. Herbert W. Dean put it best when he said “the attitude of this Grand Lodge towards {clubs} has… been one of neutrality, as long as their {actions do} not intrude upon {the principles and} prerogatives {of our} Fraternity, or {that} their conduct in any way bring discredit to {the Fraternity.}”
“The time has now come when it is necessary to protect our fraternity’s principles and prerogatives. Recent activities in connection with the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association have underscored a divergence between the practices of their association and the principles and prerogatives of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.
“By its own rules, the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association permits no Chapter to be formed in a Masonic jurisdiction without the consent of its local Grand Lodge. The Widows Sons Massachusetts Grand Chapter never requested or received the permission of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts to operate in this jurisdiction.
“Therefore, it is my edict that no member of the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts be a member of any Chapter of the Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association. Failure to comply with this edict shall subject the offending member to the disciplinary action of suspension or expulsion.”

 Signature 

Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2017 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2015-11-25

I have no issue personally with the Lodge wanting the Widow’s Sons to request registration and recognition.

But PERSONALLY I dont see how the lodge has any say in ANY club or association that ANY Mason wants to be part of.

Widows Sons operate with no issues in CO. I guess they got Grand Lodge recognition here.

Seems like there is more to this story. LIKE MAYBE the Widow’s Sons DID something that is frowned on? Or there maybe was a verbal tussle with someone in Grand Lodge over rule and control?

Again, personally I dont see how it’s Grand lodges business or concern who I choose to ride with when I am not in Lodge.

 Signature 

Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2017 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  61
Joined  2015-11-09

I spoke at length this morning with a brother who this also affected. According to him, this edict was because motorcycle “gangs” in general have a negative connotation. And, the edict was drafted, at least in part, to prevent masonry being associated with that. Even though, to my knowledge, this has never been an issue since that RC was originally founded. There was some internal fighting, but that seems to have been resolved.
I think the idea was that, riding with colors, representing Masonry, in MA, gives the lay person the impression you are a “biker outlaw”. Thats what I took away from the conversation anyway. There were no incidents prior to the edict that I am aware of that were specific to the widows sons that prompted this and, doing some research, nothing since either.
There are several other riding clubs that ride in a positive light, here in MA, that arent specifically named. Blue Knights, Fire and Iron, Red Knights, any one of the HOG chapters, as well as the several Christian based clubs. I understand the specific freemasonry affiliation with the Widows Sons and all, but, well, I ride with the HOG chapter, and proudly display my freemasonry affiliation on my vest (I would get an MC plate like I have on my jeep if they offered it!).
End of the day, the edict was passed. I think they need to take a second look at the edict though. Just my $0.02 as a rider and a mason. SO many charitable and positive community interactions are being lost.

 Signature 

Petitioned September 2015
Ballotted November 2015
Initiated January 11, 2016
Passed February 8, 2016
Raised May 9, 2016

Caleb Butler Lodge.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 May 2017 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2015-11-25

Aside from those facts;

They are telling Masons, they cant ride together as Masons. But as far as I know, Masonry has no rules against ACTUAL outlaw clubs. So technically you could ride with the Bandidos with Masonic “light” on your vest, but not with the Widow’s Sons?

I am Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). I was for about 8 years before ever becoming a Mason. If the interview panel would have asked, I would tell em. But they didnt. The same goes if I had been a Bandido (or whatever).

As far as I am concerned my motorcycle activity (and ministry activities) have nothing to do with my conduct in Lodge nor my ability to learn and receive instruction in Masonic tools.

However an admitted 1% outlaw would be another matter. But you likely will not even get a member of a 1% club to openly admit he is actually an outlaw biker.

As for CMA, I can ride with any club I choose, or join and become a chaplain or whatever. Rider clubs, motorcycle clubs anything. CMA’s only request is that I wear their patch only.

To me telling these brothers that they can patch with non-masons but not with each other, causes more problems than it solves. That’s why the whole tings seems like there is something more to the story.

 Signature 

Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 May 2017 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  41
Joined  2013-03-20

Having been part of a conversation with MW Stewart at the time the edict was published,  I can assure you this was not done lightly. MW Stewart rides motorcycles and could have been the Widow’s Sons biggest supporter. While I am not privy to the details of Brother Stewart’s reasons, as always there was more to this than what was published.

 Signature 

John Ruggiero
Master, Ancient York Lodge AF&AM;, Lowell, MA, USA

“God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much.” - Mother Teresa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 May 2017 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  372
Joined  2012-03-05

In Massachusetts it’s almost unheard of for a Grand Master to issue an edict that contradicts a predecessor’s edict while that predecessor is still alive. The edict is still in effect.

There are other riding clubs in Massachusetts that require one to be a Mason as a condition of membership, and the edict does not apply to them. Grand Lodge did not take a stand against Masonic riding clubs in general, it specifically targeted WSMRA only. This isn’t about how the general public perceives riding clubs. It’s about bad behavior by WSMRA members, conduct that was potentially damaging to the reputation of the fraternity. I don’t know exactly what was done, or by whom, and I’m not going to ask because it’s none of my business. But I know MW Stewart personally from lodge and I know he didn’t make decisions like that lightly.

The fact that WSMRA violated its own rules when it set up a chapter in Massachusetts without seeking permission of Grand Lodge was merely a procedural thing that provided an easy way to justify the edict. But that’s not why the edict was made. It went well beyond that.

 Signature 

Dave

Master-Elect, Garden City Lodge A.F. & A.M., Newtonville, MA—Entered: 4/12/01; Passed: 5/10/01; Raised: 6/14/01
Treasurer, Boston University Lodge A.F. & A.M, Boston, MA
Mount Lebanon Lodge A.F. & A.M., Boston, MA
Boston-Lafayette Lodge of Perfection, Scottish Rite Valley of Boston
Aleppo Shrine, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Wilmington, MA

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 May 2017 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2015-11-25

These last 2 replies make a lot more sense.

However, if you dont make it known (on the level) then you leave everything wide open to rampant gossip.

 Signature 

Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 May 2017 10:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  41
Joined  2013-03-20
Brother Joseph - 09 May 2017 10:12 AM

These last 2 replies make a lot more sense.

However, if you dont make it known (on the level) then you leave everything wide open to rampant gossip.

Gossip will happen no matter what is said in public. It is a staple of small minds. I would rather believe the decision was made prayerfully and carefully for the good of the Fraternity.

 Signature 

John Ruggiero
Master, Ancient York Lodge AF&AM;, Lowell, MA, USA

“God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much.” - Mother Teresa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 May 2017 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4039
Joined  2007-09-27

Consider that divulging further information as to the motives for the edict could possibly embarrass, in a very public way, certain men who are (or were at the time) active Freemasons.

 Signature 

Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 May 2017 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2015-11-25
BrotherJohn - 09 May 2017 10:12 PM
Brother Joseph - 09 May 2017 10:12 AM

These last 2 replies make a lot more sense.

However, if you dont make it known (on the level) then you leave everything wide open to rampant gossip.

Gossip will happen no matter what is said in public. It is a staple of small minds. I would rather believe the decision was made prayerfully and carefully for the good of the Fraternity.

Rampant gossip is the byproduct of poor lines of communication from leadership down.

Truth on the level among masons is not the same as public knowledge.

Small minded masons? I prefer not to think of the brethren that way. Masonry is a huge advocate of drawing in and voting in men who are able to digest truth and decide for themselves what is right by way of rational and critical thinking. That is how we become masons in the first place.

So in the end, “you cant do THIS because I said so” or else you get this penalty. We dont care if you ride motorcycles, we dont care if you were a member of WS in your state for 20 years. It is not allowed.

Again, I cant help but point back to the fact that I am not aware of any rule prohibiting the joining of actual outlaw clubs.

 Signature 

Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 May 2017 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Moderator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2329
Joined  2011-01-20

A Grand Master has the privilege of issuing edits. We as Masons do not have the privilege of ignoring them or questioning him unless he invites us to. You can do anything you want on your last day as a Mason   %-P

 Signature 

John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 May 2017 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  90
Joined  2015-11-25

Thanks, but I never relinquish my God given right to question anything and everything, even as a Mason.

I understand that none of this ramble has anything to do with the intended function of this forum so for that reason I will let it go.

I just thought it was interesting conversation that I am qualified to speak on; being a Mason and a biker.

 Signature 

Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 May 2017 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Newcomer
Rank
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2014-12-14

I ride. In 2008, I declined them in Utah because, at the time, they used a logo on their cut that could be best described as a woman in a seductive pose. They also had in their public page a MILF section. The proposed by laws directed they wear their vest to funerals. That is a GL service/ritual in my jurisdiction.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 

© 2007 - 2011 The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

Page rendered in 0.5021 seconds.