On Thu, 15 May 2008 07:24:13 -0700 (PDT), Ben Scaro
Post by Ben Scaro Post by gls
incorrect. At the time the procedure and initial document was written,
there was no such thing as a "hierarchy" member as such a distinction
didn't come into being until the 12th degree was introduced in the
1930's. The imperator removal procedures and tribunal references were
first introduced circa 1918 when the Saunders/Sykes problem arose.
And, in fact, the tribunal procedures initially called for the
inclusion of non-amorc members, preferably masonic members, in an
attempt to counter Saunders successful campaign to get hsl blackballed
from the blue lodge of masonry, 2nd degree -- which is quite odd in
and of itself.
Conversations with researcher David Lindez, who is examining Masonic
Rosicrucian history in the US, reveal that part of the
reason HSL never went further in Blue Masonry was that SRICF's GM had
sufficient pull with NY GL to ensure that he couldn't.
I disagree and don't think the SRICF had any involvement whatsoever. I
have quite a bit of correspondance between hsl, normal lodge and the
NYGL regarding the issue and everything points to Saunders as being
the cause of the blackball.
I'll recap the story from the correspondance and then include a couple
In a nutshell, hsl joined Normal Lodge No. 523 F. & A. M. in 1917 and
received the first two degrees. He was blackballed by one person prior
to being raised as a Master Mason. The reason why he is blackballed is
unclear, but there are references to hsl's wife as somehow being
involved bby being of low and questionable birth, but I'm not sure if
there was anything else about her. All correspondance over the course
of the next 17 years refers to Saunders as being the one behind hsl's
blackball. Never is the SRICF mentioned even once, and there is only
one reference to the SRIA in 1935 by a Frank E. Stromberg who mentions
them in passing. From what I gather, Stromberg may have been a member
of the SRIA, joined AMORC, found out that hsl was blackballed from
masonry, and then proceeded to discover why. At the end, he accepts
hsl's version of events.
Anyway, according to the secretary of Normal Lodge in the 1920's and
30's but master in 1917, Dr. H.E. Tompkins, (a lawyer but never a
member of amorc, by the way) hsl found himself in a catch 22 that he
couldn't get out of which was prompted by saunders (Saunders was in
good standing in a masonic lodge in Birmingham, England). Saunders had
a friend who was a member of Normal Lodge blackball hsl prior to the
3rd degree. In so doing, under NY rules, hsl couldn't demand a trial
as he was not a master mason, nor could he make application in another
city as being blackballed inbetween the process would always keep him
in the NY jurisdiction -- i.e., New York GL would'nt issue a demit
because he wasn't a master mason and without a demit, he couldn't
affiliate anywhere else.
Throughout the years, Tompkins attempted to help hsl get initiated,
but to do so, they had to get clearance from the GL. The GL wouldn't
help and they always refered the case back to the local lodge.
Tompkins advised hsl to forget ever having been involved in New York
and giive application as a newcomer. HSL refused to withhold his
previous involvement and when he applied in Florida first, and then
california, he would always mention his 2nd degree standing in New
York and couldn't get a demit.
1. Letter on Normal Lodge stationary dated 2/16/1934 by Dr. H.E.
Tompkins, secretary: "It may intererst you to know that this Lodge had
the honor of conferring the First and Second Degrees in Masonry upon
Harvey Spencer Lewis and Alfred R. Brassard -- both members of the
same club -- and both subject to restraints entered by the Saunders
mentioned ..." In the same letter about Saunders: "... It appears that
Saunders was the stronger man ... but his efforts were misdirected. He
failed in his ambition. When he realized this, his true nature began
to assert itself. He sought and found 'dumbells' whom he could and did
use as 'tools'. They did the real dirty work (at his behest) while he
sat back and grinned ... Its [sic] just too bad that Saunders was not
the one on trial on criminal charges."
2. Letter on Normal Lodge stationary again by Tompkins dated April
2nd, 1934: "Speaking of your kind lady [hsl's wife];- She might have
been what Saunders said - she might have been almost anything, but
whatever she was or is, you are the one with whom she had to live with
and if you could stand her, why should outsiders bother. We know she
made a good wife ... if her background was lowly, she deserves the
more credit. ... as for Saunders - BLAH."
3. From Tompkins to Frank Stromberg dated Sept. 26, 1935: "Harvey
Spencer Lewis was accepted in this Lodge in 1917. He received his
first and second degrees. Thereupon, a lying, sneaking, seducing,
proffessor [sic] (of bastardy) - one Alfred E. Saunders - laid implied
charges against Brother Lewis and his comapnion - Brother Brassard -.
These charges were extremely hazy. ... I, as Master started an
investigation and found that all charges would have been baseless. ...
This Lodge has invited Bro. Lewis to attend and to receive his Third
Degree whenever he is in NYC on our meeting nights. We are proud to
add his name to our membership."
Needless to say, hsl never took the initiation.
4. From secretary Tompkins to HSL on June 27, 1927 after hsl wrote
requesting a demit after having been blackballed 10 years before so he
could join a lodge in Florida. This is the letter that started the
involvement of tompkins to assist hsl: "With reference to your request
of the 14th, that this Lodge release it's jurisdiction over your case.
Unfortunately, the Lodge cannot do this for the reason that the matter
is not within its power. The matter must be straightened out with the
N.Y. Grand Lodge before we can take any action ..."
Post by Ben Scaro
I am not sure how that ties in with the Alfred Saunders angle, it may
be a distinct and separate issue.
Personally, I think it's the only issue. If there was something else
going on, I have no references to it.
Post by Ben Scaro
This was because of his promotion of AMORC as the only true R+C
among other things.
no doubt this was a bone of contention with the SRICF, but it had no
bearing on the masonic lodge hsl joined or the NY Grand Lodge who
simply saw blackball before initiation, therefore catch 22 ...
Post by Ben Scaro
I believe a deal of confusion ensued as Masons who'd joined
AMORC would turn up at SRICF colleges expecting to gain admittance,
similar farcical events. Apparently such things happened a lot, and
SRICF, a very private and discreet body, was mightily annoyed at
thrust into the limelight and having to deal with it all.
I've not heard of any of this either. It's not to say it didn't
happen, just that I never heard about it. But, I personally know of
amorc members (as well as others) who would go out and do silly things
like that all on their own accord because they *think* they have the
right and no prompting was necessary.
Post by Ben Scaro
This early period rather interests me because Clymer in his
to Thor Kiimalehto c.1915 informing him that the Rose Cross had
existed for sixty years in the US (he was referring to the Randolph
Foundation) and that he Clymer, had the charter in my hands since
This I dont understand at all as FRC itself claims Clymer was GM of
FRC from 1905 he celebrated fifty years in the role in 1955 so it
seems it was long understood that hed been GM since that date. I
guess the holder of the charter need not be the GM, but youd expect
it . . .
when it comes to the dispute between lewis and clymer, I suggest
taking either's comments and arguments with a grain of salt. There was
a lot of mistatements on both sides which I'm sure both cringed after
reading what they wrote ...