Talk:Continental Freemasonry

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NPOV disputed[edit]

This article reads like a treatise from the catholic church against freemasonry. It needs a serious look to assert NPOV, facts need to be ascertained, and allegations and weasel words removed. I would suggest speedy deletion for a series non-NPOV writing. docboat 11:15, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Even the title is somewhat POV. There is only one scholar that calls it "Latin Freemasonry"... and the implication is that all Freemasonry in every "Latin" country is the same.
But more importantly, this article is essentially a POV fork from Catholicism and Freemasonry (which itself was originally somewhat of a POV fork from the main Freemasonry article). The material on the individual "Latin" countries (copied over into this article) is currently being challenged on that page for being a "POV and OR nightmare". Simply copying it over into a new article does not solve these problmes. I will add a OR tag for now... but I would support a speedy delete or AfD nomination. Blueboar 15:28, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Right off the bat, when it says that one author has used the term, that establishes this as a neologism.--Vidkun 18:14, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Hello Brian. To my knowledge you are one of the few Masonic editors I have not dealt with directly. Would you kindly point out which facts are not ascertained and which allegations and weasal words are present? JASpencer 20:56, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi JA! I would reply to your question, but since then so much has already been written to the topic, so I would just sit back and see how it develops. I do think that Blueboar's suggestion just now is worthy of consideration, and I do feel the article will be interesting and informative. docboat 01:50, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

The Name[edit]

I've looked a bit further. Latin Freemasonry seems to be a fairly common shorthand, but rather dispariging (all three references seem to be from different times and perspectives, but they all seem to dislike Latin Freemasonry). Irregular Freemasonry is a perjorative term from the UGLE freemasons, so while probably the most common English language term it would be equivalent to calling Protestants "schismatics". The two terms that I've found that seem to be self described are "Liberal Freemasonry" from the French and "Adogmatic Freemasonry" from the Belgians.

I prefer "liberal" to "adogmatic" for the following reasons: (1) it comes from the GOdF website; (2) it seems to be in more common currency in the English speaking world; and (3) it just trips off the tongue better.

I'll rename this article to "Liberal Freemasonry" if no-one has any objections.

JASpencer 19:18, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Eh... it's better, but I still think it is a bit POV. There are liberals and conservatives in all the different traditions of Freemasonry. The vast majority of Masonic scholars (those trying to be neutral on the topic) call it "Continental" or "Oriental" Freemasonry. However, the fact that GoDF uses it does verify the name "officially", so I suppose it is better than nothing.
That said... the name is really secondary to the greater POV and OR issues in the article. And it does not address the fact that this is in essence a POV fork. I really think you would do better by staying at the Catholicism and Freemasonry article and helping us get rid of the POV and OR that is there, rather than copying chunks of it into other articles. All you are doing is spreading the POV and OR around. Blueboar 19:34, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
This is not a POV fork, it's simply a subject that should have had an article years ago.
On the name I take it that you would prefer "Liberal" freemasonry? I wouldn't worry too much about the political connotations as outside the US there is not really the ideological connection.
JASpencer 20:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Removing the Original Research tag[edit]

Where is the original research in this article? It seems that the tag has been simply copied over from the Catholicism and Freemasonry article and in that article the tag applied specifically to a section on Mexico that was deliberately not copied over.

I'm sure that there will be some objections but there really should not be an OR tag unless its explained why in the talk pages.

That's why I'm removing it for now. Feel free to give some specific examples of Original Research on the Talk Page and to add the tag back.

JASpencer 20:49, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

And I am going to slap it back on... almost every sub-section under the "Anti-clericism" section is OR. It is filled with cherry picked statements from sources taken out of context, and it is especially is filled with WP:SYNT violations. This is all being discussed at Catholicism and Freemasonry (the article you copied the material from)... you can read the discussion there if you need further details. Perhaps, once that article is cleaned up, we can revisit what should go into this article (assuming it hasn't been deleted). Blueboar 21:01, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Per the comments above I've moved the tag from the top of the article to the Relations with the Catholic Church. JASpencer (talk) 19:53, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
So far as I can tell, that section now seems adequately referenced, and I can see no reason to keep the tag there. I am thus removing it, unless I am given reasons as to why it should remain. To say that items are "cherry-picked" is irrelevant, and actually to my eyes is a clear violation of AGF. Other verifiable information could be added by anyone who wishes to do so, but the section itself does seem to be sufficiently well sourced. John Carter (talk) 19:46, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
It isn't a matter of references, it is a matter of WP:SYNT... while each peice is sourced (often out of context), the problem is primarily lumping them together and to form a conclusion. To remove the tag, we will need a source that takes all of these disperate facts and reaches the same conclusions as are presented in the article. Otherwise it is clearly an OR violation. Blueboar (talk) 22:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Catholicism and Freemasonry[edit]

For the purposes of centralized discussion, please see Talk:Catholicism and Freemasonry#Proposed merger with Latin Freemasonry. Thank you. John Carter 21:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Let me try to explain something....[edit]

The entire Anti-clerical part of this argument is based on some serious misconceptions. At Catholicism and Freemasonry we had the situation where all of Freemasonry was being tarred with the same brush... I think (correct me if I am wrong) this article was created in part because it was understood that this was both POV and incorrect. I think the concept is that if we break off "Latin" Freemasonry into its own article, and re-frame the arguments and allegations so that they talk about only one part of Freemasonry, they will be seen as being more valid. If we use a very broad brush... this is in some ways true. Or at least it is less false than saying they are true of all Freemasonry. In general, those Grand Orients and Grand Lodges that are part of what JASpencer want to call "Latin" (or "Liberal") Freemasonry have been more involved in politics than the mainstreem Anglo branch. And because "Latin" politics is all but inseperable from religious issues (at least historically), "Latin" Freemasonry has also been more involved in religion.

HOWEVER... one can not use a broad brush. While mainstreem Anglo style Freemasonry has remained fairly unified, the same can not be said of "Continental"/"Liberal"/"Latin"/etc. style Freemasonry. That branch is extremely splintered and factionalized. There are something like 800 bodies claiming to be Masonic Grand Lodges or Grand Orients in France alone. All over Europe and Latin America (the two areas of the world where this style of Freemasonry is common) It was very common for splinter groups to break off and form a rival Grand Body (often using the same name, each claiming to be the "true" body). SOME of these bodies have taken formal political stances. But very often, this stance would cause yet another split because there would be a sub-group that would disagree with that stance.

Thus, ANY argument that Freemasonry (even narrowing it further and saying "Latin" Freemasonry) is Anti-clerical is simply incorrect. All you can say is that some Freemasons, or some Freemasonic bodies, were Anti-clerical. But then that is simply a statement that reflects the fact that Freemasons come from a broad spectrum of society. You can just as easily point to Masons and Masonic bodies that were not Anti-clerical. There have been Freemasons on just about every side of every political and religious issue since the 1600s.

Thus, the "nightmare" of the Synt and other OR problems, and the POV problems, that were noted in the original Catholicism and Freemasonry article are still present here. We still have Synt problems such as saying: famous person X was a Freemason, X was anti-Clerical, thus all (Latin) Freemasonry is anti-clerical. We still have selected quotation, cherry picked from sources and taken out of context. And we still have major POV problems.... Only ONE of which is the fact that there is a serious Undue Weight issue here. If this is supposed to be about Latin Lodges, we should not spend over two thirds of the article on allegations of "Anti-clericism". We should be discussing history, we should be discussing ritual and membership requirements, we should be discussing the host of things that make "latin" freemasonry different from other forms of Freemasonry. Blueboar 21:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I, as a practicing Roman Catholic, would have to agree completely with the above. This article is miserably incomplete on several basic issues regarding its somewhat artificially named subject. I acknowledge that there have been at least a few instances where history makes it clear that there was a significant effort within groups of Freemasons as Freemasons to add in an anti-clerical manner. However, history is rife with instances when any number of groups, as groups, misbehaved extremely badly, and it is certainly a gross violation of WP:Undue weight to try to create a separate article on a broad subject and weigh it down with all the negative content this article has.
I have proposed that the Catholicism project consider the Catholicism and Freemasonryarticle from which this content was divided as a collaboration candidate. I've also left messages on the talk pages of both the Freemasonry and Catholicism projects. I sincerely hope that we will have some attention from the members of these groups brought to that article, so that the existing problems there can be addressed. But creating a different article to duplicate the content is not even remotely the right way to go with this. John Carter 22:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
This was not created as an effort to duplicate content. It is a phenomena that needs an article. Taking content from other articles is just a way to quickly create the article. I could not believe that this did not have an article. Looks like wikipolitics will ensure that it won't any more.
As for the incomplete nature of the article, it has been created for 24 hours. To delete/merge what most people seem to acknowledge is an article worthy topic because it is unbalanced after 24 hours seems to contradict WP:AFD that "Pages that can be improved should be edited or tagged, not nominated for deletion". JASpencer 23:26, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the fact that this was created with what appears to be a bit of a cut and paste within 24 hours of the RCC position on FM article being called into question could be considered to be a little odd, I'm sure you can see why that might be said.
I'm sure there probably is justification for an article around irregular freemasonry, although I'm somewhat surprised that the article as it was created didn't actually discuss much about the philosophy, origins, organisation etc. I'm sure there would be little resistance to that, in fact it would naturally drop out of the existing articles.
I'm sure you appreciate why all that might make this creation seem somewhat odd, but if you can find reliable sources to cover the subject in its entirey, then there is little issue. Feel free to remind me of the volume of references available at present.
ALR 23:54, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
OK... let's assume good faith and agree that it was not JASpecer's intent to create a POV fork. It does not change the fact that right now, that is what this article amounts to. So how do we fix it. I can agree that an article on "continental style" freemasonry (to use my preferred terminology) might be worthwhile. But not if it contains the same OR and NPOV material currently under discussion at the Catholicism and Freemasonry article. I agree with John Carter that we should clarify and fix the POV issues on that article before copying it into any other article. So how about this... we temporarily cut all of that material. Stubify, and rebuild, focussing on all the other aspects of of Franco/Continental/Liberal/Latin/Irregular Masonry (we can probably spend several days just arguing about what to title such an article). Once the problemes at the Catholicism and Freemasonry article has been fixed to everyone's satisfaction, anything that is in the resulting article that relates to this one can then be imported. Would that be acceptable? Blueboar 01:08, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Don't put yourself under pressure to provide content for someone else's screwup. The subject of irregular freemasonry is briefly alluded to elsewhere, and off-the-cuff that is what this article could/should be redirected to.
BUT: Although I agree that an article on "irregular freemasonry" would cover what the subject of this article purports to cover, the contents of this article are not really about "irregular freemasonry" at all. The subject of the 'Latin Freemasonry' article is a) religion b) criticism of freemasonry.
As such, I consider the material of this article to be the consequence of a failure to not have properly addressed those issues in the first place: If proper "criticism of freemasonry" and "freemasonry and religion"[n1] articles existed, there would be no justification for this one, nor for a slew of others.
Instead of proper development, we have Anti-Masonry and Suppression of Freemasonry and Masonic conspiracy theories; Christianity and Freemasonry and Catholicism and Freemasonry and Mormonism and Freemasonry.
'Latin Freemasonry' is just a "natural" progression of the fragmentation. Got a favourite topic? Lets compare it to something else! "Sources, what sauces? I don' need no steeenkin' saucers!"
Yeah, yeah, the web is great. It won't be long before we have that article on 'Freemasonry and Hot Pink'. Oops! Did I give too much away? ;)
-- Fullstop 04:43, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
n1:^ also of course to include freemasonry's own take on it.

ALR - of course I appreciate that this looks like an attempt to rescue older material - but it is simply a consequence of that information being the easiest on topic information on hand. If this did not have any information on anti-clericalism then there would be a perception of bias towards the UGLE affiliated lodges. The fact is that Wikipedia is going to reflect the two things that English speakers know about the Latin Lodges - that they are not affiliated with the English speaking Freemasons and that they are or were actively anticlerical. JASpencer 09:45, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Cutting down anti-clericalism section[edit]

I have reduced the article by two thirds and sharply pruned the anti-clerical section. I do not think that removing any mention of anti-clericalism is a good idea as the relationship between freemasonry and the church was fundamental in the evolution of the "Latin" Lodges. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JASpencer (talkcontribs) 09:48, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

It is better, but still has some problems. I am willing to leave it right now so we can concentrate on the Catholicism and Freemasonry article... we can re-address the issue later. Blueboar 16:17, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Name Change[edit]

If anyone has a better suggestion than Liberal Freemasonry (the GOdF's term) then I'm all ears. JASpencer 21:27, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd suggest that it's worth considering the treatment of irregular freemasonry centrally for the moment, potentially on the project talk page, rather than here.
I do think it's worth considering irregular freemasonry, but we should seek to avoid duplication of large chunks of already existing material around principles, organisation, relationships with regular freemasonry etc.
Whilst I realise that GOdF self define as liberal, the implication is that any other form is illiberal, and all over the trivial little question of whether a candidate should be expected to have a belief in a supreme being. Can't see what the issue is myself! Starting with a POV title probably doesn't bode well for a balanced article.
At the moment I think it's more reasonable to continue the consideration of irregular traditions in the main article, and cascade out where there is anything distinctive to discuss.
ALR 21:49, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Irregular is not a NPOV term, and I would not be surprised if the "irregulars" find this pejorative. Regular masonry on your terms may be a POV term.
On self description, the Orthodox Church or the Church of Christ are rather POV terms as well.
I'd also say that the UGLE seems to regard all self described Freemasons who are not "in amity" with the UGLE as "irregular". So women's lodges in the United States who insist on the Supreme Being would be irregular. Correct me if I'm wrong.
JASpencer 21:57, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
This is why I prefer the term "Continental Style Freemasonry". For one thing, it the term most often used (well... irregular is more commonly used by "Mainstream" sources... but I would avoid that). Latin is wrong because we are talking about something that is in more that just Latin countries. Liberal is better, but still POV, because it implies that other types of Masonry are illiberal or conservative (and it has non-masonic political connotations). No... I think we should go with what the majority of scholars use and call it "Continental". Blueboar 22:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd agree that irregular is also NPOV, one of my reasons for trying to find an integrated way of considering the situation, rather than adding to the proliferation of short , decontextualised, articles that keep surfacing.
Feminine GLs are also irregular, but based on a different one of the core principles of Freemasonry. Although you'll note that there are two feminine GLs in England, as well as at least one androgynous. Both feminine GLs use exactly the same ritual that I use in one of my Lodges as well, and they use the same regalia suppliers.
In amity with and regular are broadly synonymous in this context. Being in amity allows one to visit lodges in another jurisdiction, so it is a vehicle for propagating recognition, which is based on the aims and relationships statement of the three home GLs.
That recognition is a two way relationship, rather than just a pronouncement. For UGLE, or GLoS, to be in amity with another GL, then that other GL must also be in amity with UGLE or GLoS. Part of the negotiation around that is also related to which other GLs the two parties are in amity with, and the agreement can be ceased unilaterally.

With all this in mind I'm going to copy this to the central project discussion. here

ALR 22:13, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Does the GDoF regard "irregular" as neutral and descriptive? JASpencer 22:17, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Blueboar, do you have any backing for the idea that "Continental Style Freemasonry" is the most common term? JASpencer 22:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't have a source that says explicitly "'Continental Style Freemasonry' is the most common term used by Masonic Scholars"... my statement comes more from the fact that I have read a whole lot of sources that use the term. I could probably come up with a list of a whole bunch of sources that do so (certainly more than three)... give me a few days. Blueboar 23:24, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Looking in Google and Yahoo (which is certainly not the final word, but a good start) "Continental Style Freemasonry" gets 2 hits, both from Wikipedia and one from you. MSN gets one. JASpencer 23:51, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
LOL... you are talking about Freemasonry... an institution that has a median age of membership of around 60... this new fangled computer inter-web thing confuses most of us. It tends to be more of a hard copy oriented institution. As I said, let me have a few days to do some fact gathering. Blueboar 00:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Update: Dispite my comment above, I did do some computer searching... if you drop the word "Style" and simply search "Continental Freemasonry" (linking the words) you get a LOT more hits. I would not call the majority of these hits "scholarly" sources... but they do indicate a wide usage of the term. I will continue to look for high quality (scholarly) sources that we can actually cite if needed. Blueboar 13:27, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I had thought of that when looking for the various alternatives to Latin Freemasonry but most of these hits seem to talk about Freemasonry on the continent, not about the particular Latin style of Freemasonry. Of the first three hits I get two on Freemasonry in France in 1853, a Wikipedia article and something on Freemasonry in Europe before 1723. There are some references later on but either they are refering to one book or they are from hostile sources such as or JASpencer 21:10, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Still a stub[edit]

I don't really mind if it's marked as a stub or not, but I thought that the project tags were supposed to reflect whether the article was marked as a stub, which it isn't (and really should not be for the sake of a content dispute). JASpencer 21:33, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, you were wrong on the first. Also, lack of balance, which is what I said was the problem, is not a matter of "content dispute" as you misphrase it. By the standards of the project in question, this article is still one in which, to quote the terms of Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment for "Editor's experience", "Any editing or additional material can be helpful". Right now that condition clearly still applies, in the eyes of the members of that project. Other projects may have other opinions, but those opinions do not reflect across the board. John Carter 21:40, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
As I said I don't have a problem with this, I thought that these things were a bit less subjective. However I have patience. JASpencer 21:45, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
It really isn't a matter of "subjectivity", it's a matter of "completeness". Any article which clearly presents an unbalanced perspective generally can't be seen as a "start" class, particularly for the group whose position is apparently underrepresented. Separate projects often have separate ratings, based on the relative quality of the content directly related to them. It's been "suggested" to me elsewhere that I not change existing A-Class ratings for other projects, even after the article fails A-Class review for the Biography project, because different projects deal with different content. That is also the case here. John Carter 21:51, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
That is subjective. But I'm not going to worry about this. JASpencer 21:58, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
No, actually it isn't. The content is clearly one-sided, and that is not "subjective". And if you're "not going to worry about it", please feel free to stop arguing about it as well. Thank you. Remember, I'm a practicing Roman Catholic myself, but I recognize content which does not even come close to meeting NPOV standards requires substantive content from the underrepresented POVs to even be likely to withstand a deletion discussion. Right now, this article, without such additional balancing content, very likely might not if it were proposed. John Carter 22:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
This isn't an argument, but if something is defined by the subject's point of view (in this case the Freemasonry Project) then it is subjective. That is not a pejorative term. JASpencer 22:14, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps a better way of phrasing it would be "lacks even start-grade content regarding the content with which this project specifically deals", which is an objective rating regarding the content that project would add. Anyway, if this entire argument from your side is semantic, as you seem to imply, I really question whether it belongs on this page? John Carter 22:47, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
As I said, fine. A cowan like me has no business in dealing with the project. I only thought I was helping. JASpencer 23:00, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


If we are going to add membership in CLIPSAS to the definition, then we definitely need to change the name away from "Latin" Freemasonry. That organization includes bodies that are in no way shape or form "Latin". I also would have to seriously examine how any discussion of "Anti-clericism" was presented... some of these Masonic bodies have never expressed or been accused of any anti-clerical views. Blueboar 00:34, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Have to agree. It's kind of hard to call the George Washington Union of New York "Latin". John Carter 01:09, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Or the Liberal Grand Lodge of Turkey, The Nederlandse Grootloge der Gemengde Vrijmetsalerij, or the Großorient von Österreich (although that last one is at least in a Catholic country). :>) Blueboar 02:00, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not against renaming this to either Liberal or Adogmatic (as they are self descriptions), but that said Latin Freemasonry was a fairly common term used by Freemasons, Catholics and newspapers. The French and (to a lesser extent) Italians were the motivating force behind the anti-Supreme Being groups. The George Washington Union, for example was chartered by the GOdF.
CLIPSAS was set up by the French, although they left it in 1996 (with the Belgians). I have no idea what the disagreement was. JASpencer 10:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I still think that "Continental" is the more common term, and should therefore be used (that is how the English Wikipedia works). Of the hits that I got doing a simple Google search (searching "Continental Freemasonry")... These: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], and [9]... (I stopped there... the list goes on)... all use "Continental" in discussing the GOdF style of Freemasonry we are talking about. These sources are from a wide spectrum of websites... Masonic, Catholic, scholarly and completely unscholarly... even complete loonies. I don't present them as "reliable sources" (although some might be) but simply as a demonstration of wide spread usage for a term. And this is just what can be found on the internet (which is not really the best place to look for reliable information on Freemasonry). A search on "Liberal Freemasonry" gets significantly fewer hits. Blueboar 14:01, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Continental is fine, it is more neutral than anything else (apart from perhaps "Latin"). It is a bit confusing because of the regular lodges in France and Italy and the liberal lodges on the continent - which would apply equally to Latin. I'm not sure why you are so against the usage of the self description "liberal" but I know that there are many "liberal" and "conservative" Catholics who are rather different in their political outlook. JASpencer 14:43, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I think that's probably it. Also, remember that the Liberal Party in many countries has explicitly political views, and that it might even be the case when "liberal" Freemasons active oppose the standards of their local Liberal Party. The word "democratic" might well have the same problems in several countries. John Carter 17:06, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
That is acceptable for now, but under WP:NCI we should "Use the name(s) and terminology that the individual or organization themselves use." It's not a policy that I'm going to the baricades for. JASpencer 17:20, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, if you demonstrate that many of the various groups do individually describe themselves as "liberal", I wouldn't object. Also, I have to think that at some point maybe an amity page or link should be created which could indicate which lodges are in amity with each other, as right now just italicizing a term with a specific meaning which isn't inherently obvious in the word itself can be slightly confusing to newcomers. Anyway, just a thought. John Carter 17:29, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
And just to make my position clear... I don't object to "Liberal"... I just think "Continental" is preferable. Blueboar 20:49, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
George Washington Union use the terms "progressive" and "liberal", the [GOdF use the term "Liberal", Clipsas calls it "liberal" and the Belgians call it "adogmatic". None of them call themselves "irregular", "latin" or "continental". JASpencer 21:03, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
So, presumably, there would be no objection to those words being included in those specific articles. It would be WP:SYNTH to automatically assume that they would apply to other articles as well, without individual sourcing. Use of the word "irregular" also strikes me as being inherently POV, as that seems to be determined by one particular group. I do believe that we would be best served by creating the article Amity (Freemasonry) or a similar one such I suggested above, which would be able to indicate in a NPOV way how these various bodies relate to and see each other. John Carter 21:16, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I really don't care whether this is named "continental" or "liberal". If fewer people are going to complain if we go against Wikipedia policy and ignore self-descriptions, then so be it. Liberal freemasons are rare on the English wikipedia and regular freemasons are common - so it's probably a good call as less noise will be made. Wikipedia policy is designed to settle arguments, and if there's no argument then there's no need for Wikipedia policy. If a liberal freemason (or a Scandanavian or German regular freemason) were to object to being misdescribed then things would be different, but they aren't so Continental Freemasonry is fine. JASpencer 21:31, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Pro "regular" Masonry POV?[edit]

The article as it stands seems to have a very pronounced bias toward what calls itself "regular" Freemasonry. I have to believe that all such indications of "choice" regarding this matters are very possibly violations of WP:NPOV. It is not the place of the body which continues to bear the name of an organization to say that those who separated from that body are the ones who changed. In fact, it is regularly contended that by many of these so-called "splinter" organizations that they maintain the true traditions, and that the so-called "main" body was the one that deviated from the original principles. We, as objective outsiders, really cannot take a position one way or another. I honestly believe that this content, which seems to reflect a possible inherent "regular" Freemasonry POV, should be removed as being inherently POV. John Carter 22:06, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure where you see this "bias"... the article does not really discuss the differences between "Mainstream" and "irregular" Masonry much at all. I assume that when the article is fleshed out, it will accurately and neutrally discuss these differences.
As for your arguments about "splinter" organizations... Not in this case. Since the founding of the first Grand Lodge, there was a clear requirement, in written constitutions, that members had to profess a belief in a Supreme Being (God), and that atheists could not be made Masons. In the 1870s GOdF chose to change that long standing landmark and started to admit atheists. It was this change in their constitutions that caused the majority of Masonic jurisdictions withdraw recognition and that eventually resulted in the split into two branches that we have today. The GOdF knew that it was taking Freemasonry into a new direction... I am sure they thought that this change was the right thing to do... but they knew it was a change. Blueboar 22:39, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Blueboar, while I see your point (after all these rules were made up in a fiercely Protestant country - giving the Deity His due would be necesary in ALL similar groups at that time) there is an alternative view, which may or may not be plausible. Essentially the argument seems to be that there were progressive falls (1738, 1838 and 1929) from the original perfection of Anderson's constitution. I don't know who's right, but there IS another argument. JASpencer 23:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't disagree. In fact, that is why building an article on Continental Freemasonry is a good thing. It gives us a chance to examine the issues from several prospectives. My point was simply that GOdF did indeed opt to abandon a standing landmark and change the rules for who can be admitted... I did not mean to imply whether the change was "right", "wrong", or any other value judgement. I totally agree that we can and should discuss that event in a NPOV way. Blueboar 01:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I've asked User:Liberal Freemason to comment, he used to edit these pages, and although he was rather aggressive he's the only one that I know of. JASpencer 14:19, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
The use of the word "irregular", which is seemingly only used by the so-called "regular" Freemasons, gives an inherent and explicit bias to the article, as it seems to indicate that the so-called "regular" masons are the ones whose opinion is of primary importance in such matters. As such, it is, at least to my eyes, blatant pushing of the "regular" Freemasonry POV. And, in direct response to Blueboar, such an action which took place as a result of cultural changes which could not have been anticipated in advance, specifically the anti-religious slant, could just mean that they were responding to the atheistic, but still possibly ethical, developments of the time. Again, it could be reasonably argued that they were simply adjusting the no-outdated concept that to be a "good man" one had to embrace a religious creed. For an organization which apparently opposed the overlap between church and state, embracing such individuals who rejected church, but not socially beneficial behavior, could be seen as being a natural development in changing circumstances. Several religious groups, including mainline Mormonism, have made such changes as well. John Carter 14:37, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
As far as the terms "regular" and "irregular" go... they are a terms of art used in the Masonic world. The term "regular" is not dissimilar to the term "Catholic". In general, when we say "Catholic" we mean the Roman Catholic Church, even though other denominations consider themselves to be "Catholic" (the Anglican Church for example).
Using the terms "regular" and "irregular" is not in itself an indication of bias. You just have to tell the entire story. It is true that the "Continental" lodges consider themseves to be "regular"... and this should indeed be discussed in the article. It should also be mentioned that the vast majority of Masonic Grand Bodies, representing the vast majority of Masons (over a million members) consider these lodges (with total membership only in the thousands) to be "irregular". It isn't bias to say this.
As far as your comments on the developements of the time go... you are absolutely correct. During the mid to late 1800s Continental Europe was in political turmoil... issues of nationalism were competing with religious issues. The Church was seen by many (more than just Masons) as being reactionary and anti-democratic. There was indeed a general "atheistic" societal trend that influenced GOdF. This was definitely part of the background behind GOdF's decision. And I agree that all of this needs to be discussed in the article. We also should discuss the political background that led to UGLE (and subsequently other Grand Lodges) declairing them to be "irregular" for making this descision. Blueboar 15:37, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
If you can demonstrate to me that any of the groups which are all called "irregular" ever describe themselves prominently by that term, then I will believe you. Otherwise, if the term is used almost exclusively as a descriptor by so-called "regular" freemasonry, it is very clearly an indication of a biased usage of one group's language, and thus that group's POV. John Carter 15:46, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The use of the term isn't something that is limited to UGLE and those in amity with it. The "Continental" lodges have their own list of lodges and Grand bodies they consider to be "irregular". Like the term "Catholic", "regularity" is a self-definition ("We are regular... They are irregular"). I doubt any Masonic body calls itself "irregular" (even a five person lodge with no recognition by anyone will consider themseves "regular")... What I am trying to say here is that the term itself is not bias... it just needs to be explained and put into context if you are going to use it in an article. That UGLE and the majority of Freemasonry consideres the "Continental" branch to be "irregular" because they admit atheists (and/or admit women) is a simple fact that can be verified. That GOdF and the other "Continental" bodies disagree with this, and consider themselves "regular" is also a verifiable fact. Stating these facts is not bias. Stating that one view or the other is "right" probably would be. Blueboar 16:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
If the term cannot be used without reflecting some sort of bias, however, then I clearly think you would agree that it would probably be best not to use the term at all, but rather a more neutral term. I suggested above that an article on Amity (Freemasonry) would be very useful, as it would help define the meaning of the term and could even indicate which bodies are in and not in amity with the others. I believe such a suggestion is still sensible, as that word, and its various alternate forms, does seem to be one that all the bodies in question use regarding themselves and others. Also, it could help present the specific nature of the relationship between the larger bodies which either merit or already have extant articles. John Carter 16:13, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
This would be OK, but the whole history and philosophical views of this strand would not be covered and so it could not replace this article. JASpencer 22:26, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't thinking it would. Clearly, as the French Lodge in effect established the need for such differentiation. I was honestly just thinking of the Amity page as being basically just a definition and a list of "who is" and "who is not" in amity. John Carter 22:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Losing text[edit]

Is it just me... or has this talk page been hidden in some way? Blueboar 14:25, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
I can't see it either. I thought it was just me as well. JASpencer 14:40, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Should be sorted now. I think the wikiproject tag is a problem here. JASpencer 14:43, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Yup... it's affecting all of the articles that have a Project Freemasonry template. I have asked for help. Blueboar 14:59, 11 November 2007 (UTC)
Its been fixed. Blueboar 15:25, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

What about today?[edit]

I do agree that the issue of Anti-clericism should be adressed (just make sure that it is done in with a NPOV and without slipping into OR)... but that raises another issue. In all of the other articles that touch upon this subject (Catholicism and Freemasonry, Grand Orient de France, etc.) we tend to focus on the 19th and early 20th centuries... but what about today? Are these bodies still expressing Anti-clerical sentiments? We touch upon this with GLdF's recent statement about Laicite... we should find out what the other Grand Lodges and Grand Orients have to say on the matter (if they do say anything... and if they don't say anything, that too should be mentioned... as it is something of an indication that this is no longer an issue as far as they are concerned). Just some food for thought and something for someone to research. Blueboar 01:03, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

German version[edit]

There's a German article on the subject here:


JASpencer 22:35, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Name Change again[edit]

So the name needs to be changed. That seems to be the agreement. Here are the suggestions, can people think of any more? I'm going to cover four areas - Neutrality, Inclusiveness, Clarity, Usage.

  • Latin
Neutrality - compared to some of the ones below it's rather NPOV
Inclusiveness - There are some problems with the idea that it also covers some non-Romance speaking lodges.
Clarity - Well it sounds rather romantic
Usage - used by a few sources, although does not seem to be a self description
  • Continental or Continental European Style
Neutrality - Quite NPOV
Inclusiveness - Does not seem to deal with the fact that it is very powerful in Latin America, or that exclusively Christian lodges are quite strong in Scandanavia and (possibly) Germany
Clarity - Reasonably descriptive
Usage - used quite a lot by UGLE affiliated scholars
  • Irregular
Neutrality - Very POV, implies that this strand of freemasonry is not legitimate
Inclusiveness - Seems to also allow for other fringe or occult lodges and co-freemasonry
Clarity - Masonic jargon
Usage - Quite common, but exclusively used, among UGLE lodges.
  • Liberal
Neutrality - There have been objections that this has political conotations and that UGLE freemasons are therefor not liberal
Inclusiveness - Liberal could confuse with a political stance
Clarity - Meaning is fairly clear
Usage - Self description, and used by some outside these lodges
  • Adogmatic
Neutrality - Can be objectionable to UGLE freemasons as it implies that UGLE are dogmatic
Inclusiveness - Not used by anyone else
Clarity - Very rarely used in English
Usage - Self description, but not used outside these lodges (comment: which lodges?)
  • Oriental
Neutrality - Reasonably neutral
Inclusiveness - There are a few UGLE type organisations that are Orients (eg Brazil), while there are more CLIPSAS aligned Grand Lodges(eg Austria)
Clarity - In English Oriental tends to apply to East Asia
Usage - Rarely used

This is just to kick things off. If people think that I've missed any out or that this may not be reflecting concerns, then please let me know.

JASpencer (talk) 10:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Definitely NOT Adogmatic. ALL of Freemasonry is adogmatic ... Freemasonry does not have a dogma. Even if you wanted to stretch the meaning of that term, since each GL creates its own rituals and symbology etc. it still does not apply. Of all of these choices, I would go with either Continental or Liberal... the first is the most commonly used in Masonic scholarship (admittedly, most of that scholarship is from Anglo/US sources), the second has the advantage of being a self-description. Another choice is "Oriental" (as in "Grand Orient")... but that isn't used all that much in scholarship; is misleading in that there are Grand Orients that are in Amity with UGLE and Grand Lodges that fall into the Continental/Liberal/GOdF category; and the average non-Masonic reader would think of it in Geographic terms and think that we are referring to lodges in East Asia.
Part of the problem with naming this article is that it is trying to lump together bodies that don't completely go together. Saying that there are two clear cut groups ("Anglo/Traditional/Regular style" and "Continental/Liberal/GOdF style") is a huge over simplification. Any division will end up being POV from the start... because it depends on who is doing the division... Grand Lodge A recognizes Grand Lodges B, C, and D, but not E and F. Grand Lodge B, meanwhile, recognizes A, C, D... but they disagree with A in that they recognize E (but B agrees with A that F if beyond the pale). Grand Lodge F, however, recognizes everyone (including quasi-Masonic group G, which is why none of the others recognize it) etc. etc. etc.
It also depends on when you do the division... Grand Lodge E might have recognized F at one point, but dropped recognition at a subsequent point. So do we say that they are part of a common group or not? It depends on whether we are discussing things today or things in the past.
The article assumes a "UGLE vs Other" division, with the idea that it will talk about the "other"... but in reality we should be talking about several "others"... and how you discribe and name things will depend on which of these many "others" are we talking about.
Another problem is that JAS is coming at this from a Catholic POV. That in itself is not wrong... but it does influence what is being attempted here. This article really started out as an article on "Anti-Clerical Freemasonry"... now, I do understand that the intent is to grow the article beyond that initial POV fork. But the fact that the article did start as a POV fork still influences how these Grand Lodges and Grand Orients are being lumped together. Because JAS started the article to discuss a division based on historical antagonism with the Catholic Church, we end up trying to discuss a unit that has no real unity. Each body being discussed ended up in antagonism with the Church for unique (mostly political) reasons. The article is based on an attempt to meld a Church view of Freemasonry with a Masonic view of Freemasony... and those two views just don't meld. I am not sure what the solution to that is. Blueboar (talk) 15:08, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

I think we have a misunderstanding here. This is not a question of two clear cut groups. This is an article about an identifiable strand of Freemasonry - those that remained in amity with the Grand Orient de France after its schism with the UGLE. I fully accept that although Latin Freemasonry is the largest and most important "irregular" strand, it's by no means the only one.
On the question of adogmatic - I think what they claim is that the requirement to believe in God and the sould are dogmas which they don't insist on. I didn't realise that it was such an issue, and I've changed the scoreboard accordingly. Personally I prefer liberal to adogmatic of the self-descriptions, and I don't think that the political implication are that big - but it's easy for a Catholic to say that when he's grown up with "liberal Catholics" who are politically conservative and vice versa.
I've added oriental to the scorecard as well.
As for the points on anti-Clericalism and the lack of importance it seems to look at the past with the eyes of the present. Liberal/Latin freemasonry certainly seems to be less of a force to be reckoned with than in the past. However from the 1860s (I know that's before the schism) until the 1930s it was an important factor - invariably on the liberal and anti-clerical sides - in the politics of a number of different countries.
On unity - again we are looking at the past with the eyes of the, very recent, present. Until the French and Belgians walked out of CLIPSAS (does anyone know why?) there was a reasonable degree of unity between these bodies.
Obviously I reject the idea that this is a POV fork. There was simply no article on what was a very important subject. I would suggest that this is a result of a systematic bias. As MSJapan has said there is a general lack of interest in English speaking masonic circles, thus no article.
JASpencer (talk) 18:40, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
When I can get to the Axelrod encyclopedia, I'll look for whatever name he refers to this group as, and let you know. That probably won't be till Wednesday, though. Presumably, the name used in one of the leading guides to this general subject area would be acceptable. Oh, and, for what it's worth, Axelrod specifically uses the phrase "secret society" three separate times regarding Freemasonry in the intro to his Freemasonry article on page 90, which is itself six pages of a roughly 250 page book. I tend to think that probably establishes that Freemasonry meets at least his definition of a secret society. John Carter (talk) 18:45, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
I suppose what I am getting at with my "unit that has no unity" comment is that there is no "unity" even within the bodies that the Grand Orient de France recognizes. Some have been anti-clerical at some point in their history, others have not. Some accept Atheists, others do not. Some have been heavily political, others have not. Some admit women, others do not. etc. Also, the list of who is recognized and who isn't has shifted through the years. So the time period that we are talking about impacts what we say. This is why I think it is so difficult to put a label on this "strand" of Freemasonry... it is a moving target. Even if you define it based on recongnition by UGLE (the "regular" vs "irregular" labeling), it isn't always clear which "strand" one is talking about. Again, GLs have been added or dropped from the list through the decades and centuries. You are seeing order and unity where there isn't order and unity.
Even saying that there was unity by being members of CLIPSAS is not quite right... membership in CLIPSAS does not necessarily equate to recognition and intervisitation... and it especially does not mean a similar set of landmarks and beliefs. CLIPSAS was designed to foster inter-jurisdictional cooperation at the leadership level, but the association does not equate to unity the way formal recognition and Amity does. I suppose you could equate it to being a member of the G8 as opposed to being in the European Union. In one the members agree to cooperate for a common ecconomic goal, in the other they agree to share common laws, common currency and allow free travel between states. Blueboar (talk) 20:01, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
Taking the above as given, there remains a serious problem about what to name such a group. Personally, I can't object to using the current name, and, perhaps, turning it into an expanded history/disambiguation page, detailing the history of the "separatist movement" it describes and perhaps providing links to the relevant bodies of that "movement" as they appear in the history of the subject. And, again, if there is a name given to this grouping in the Axelrod book, that might be acceptable, as it would be the name that the group is referred to in at least one of the leading sources on the subject. I wish I had access to various encyclopediae of freemasonry, but I don't that I know of right now. The titles given the relevant similar articles in those volumes would presumably be ones to be considered as well. John Carter (talk) 22:13, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Minor note: in the "Oriental" option above, I changed the example of a UGLE recognized Grand Orient... JAS had listed the Italy as the example... but UGLE doesn't recognize the Grand Orient of Italy (it recognizes the Regular Grand Lodge of Italy... see: this list from the UGLE website.) I substituted Brazil instead. Blueboar (talk) 16:17, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Addendum... actually it looks as if the Grand Orient of Brazil is the only "Orient" that UGLE recognizes... at least according to the website. I don't know if the website is all inclusive, however, so I have querried at the main Freemasonry talk page to see if someone from the UK knows of any others. Blueboar (talk) 16:22, 23 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd be cautious of attributing the absence of recognition to anything specific, other than France of course. UGLE, in common with most other regular GLs, limits recognition to one GL in any geographic area. PH GLs are really the only exception to this.
ALR (talk) 20:32, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Problems with the lead[edit]

The lead needs a major rewite... it currently states: Latin Freemasonry is a term a number of authors have given for the Masonic lodges, mainly in countries speaking Romance languages, that recognise the Grand Orient de France (GOdF) or belong to CLIPSAS. Alternative terms include Liberal Freemasonry, Adogmatic Freemasonry or Irregular Freemasonry.

The problem is that all these terms are not completely interchangable. There are "Latin" lodges that do not recognize GOdF (or are recognized by GOdF), nor belong to CLIPSAS. And the terms "Liberal Freemasonry" and "Irregular Freemasonry" include a lot more than just "Latin" lodges (I am less definite on Adogmatic, as this is the first time I have seen the term used)... they also are used for more than GOdF lodges or CLIPSAS lodges.

I think part of the problem stems from the fact that while the terms are not interchangable, they can and do overlap... you can have a Liberal lodge that also is a Latin lodge, and is considered Irregular by a third lodge (which might also be a Liberal, Latin lodge itself). But the overlap is not all encompassing... not all Irregular lodges are Liberal (some are considered Irregular for other reasons)... and not all Liberal lodges are Latin. Toss in Irregularity and we really messed things up, since irregularity is defined by individual Grand Lodges and Grand Orients and basically can be defined as "anything we don't recognize as being regular". Blueboar (talk) 18:36, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

I think Irregularity is a red herring to be honest. Latin Freemasonry is irregular, but so is (or was or sort of is) Prince Hall Freemasonry, the occult groups, co-freemasonry, the Swedish rite(?), etc. Yes Latins are irregular but that's only one part of the whole thing. They are also very political, they have had a poor relationship with the Catholic Church and they explicitly accept atheists.
That said I agree that the lead needs some sort of change.
JASpencer (talk) 19:58, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
OK... then that brings us back to whether to change the article title... are we just talking about "Latin" Freemasonry (even though I disagree with the term, I do understand what is being discussed)... are we talking "Liberal" Freemasonry (a slightly broader topic)... are we talking "Irregular" Freemasonry (an extraordinarily broad topic... and one that will take a lot of explaining and caveats, as it depends on who is doing the defining. Even UGLE is irregular to someone after all.) Given what I think the article is trying to discuss... we probably want to go with Liberal .... of course, as I have stated elsewhere, I prefer "continental tradition" but I could live with "Liberal" as it is used as a self-reference. Blueboar (talk) 21:38, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I think there is a need to first clarify which branch of Freemasonry or bodies which style themselves Freemasonry this article is discussing. It appears to me that it was first created as a reaction to criticism of another article, and the present structure reflects that basis for creation. From the abortive naming discussion above it's clear that some confusion remains about who to include. Only once scope is defined can the name and content be addressed.
That said, I object to Liberal, a result of the implications, although the self description could potentially be used in the body of the article.
ALR (talk) 22:21, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
There are people who argue that the UK Liberal Democrats are neither liberal nor democratic. And who cares, Liberal Democrats are a self description. JASpencer (talk) 23:34, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Analogy is rarely an effective approach to developing a coherent argument. Are you suggesting that the various branches of Freemasonry and organisations which style themselves Freemasonry are inherently similar to political parties?
So which particular branch ar eyou seeking to encompass in this article, once you've identified that then there should be some clarity about what direction it should go.
ALR (talk) 23:50, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I think JAS is trying to say that there is a branch of Freemasonry that calls itself "Liberal Freemasonry" ... and that because they call themselves by that name, so can we. (His reference to the Liberal Democrats is an analogy ... essentially saying that Liberal Freemasonry does not have to be liberal in politics to use the term in their name... similar comments have been made about various Christian Democratic parties in Europe... that they are neither Christian nor Democratic). I am not sure if I agree with the idea that there is a definable branch that uses the term... but I do get what he is talking about. Blueboar (talk) 00:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
The analogy is fundamentally flawed. Liberal Democrats is the name of the party, not a self description. At the risk of a significant diversion there are two major groupings within the party; social and economic liberals. Clearly the two schools of thought aren't particularly compatable. The Lib-Dems don't claim liberalism to be their sole preserve. Liberal Freemasonry is a self description, not a title and the usage has clear implications for other branches of Freemasonry, indeed the usage is quite explicit, those branches of Freemasonry which require one to have a belief in a Supreme Being are inherently illiberal.
ALR (talk) 14:01, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
We seem to be going around and a round here. NONE of the proposed titles seem to work. The problem is that we are trying to lump several seperate things under a single lable. We can discribe what we are talking about, but there is no acceptable NAME for what is being discribed. I don't know if there is a solution out of this. Blueboar (talk) 14:58, 4 January 2008 (UTC)
Well, Latin is definitely bad - the Google hits are erratic as to what it means, but generally it is limited to South America, which is not the real focus of the article. However, in other cases it refers to GODF, and it seems to be author-dependent. I haven't gone through all the discussion, but can we get away with "Continental Masonry?" MSJapan (talk) 18:24, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The VGLvD (regonized by UGLoE) is also "continental" and there are other island than England...
"Liberal Freemasonry" is a common term as Freemasonry itself. E.g. there's the Liberal Grand Lodge of Turkey and the Liberale Großloge von Österreich and they are mainly members of Clipsas. --Liberal Freemason (talk) 15:39, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Restoration of OR tag?[edit]

I believe it is somewhat required that the party who insisted restoring this tag stating clearly and explicitly what OR he sees. I also hope that he realizes the difference between OR and POV, a differentiation he has previously seemed to have difficulty making. John Carter (talk) 22:16, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Please assume good faith, as I do understand the difference (I am quite active on both policy pages) ... and the section in question has issue with both policies. As far as stating the reasons for the OR tag ... I have done so above, but I will do so again here... The biggest problem is that the entire section is a WP:SYNT violation (a sub-part of WP:NOR). It takes disperate facts and places them together in a way that forms a novel conclusion. While each seperate part is cited, when placed together they form a synthesis that is not cited (A + B = C). To solve this problem we need a single source that has taken all the parts and reached the same conclusions. A few of the individual citations also have OR issues... they constitute "cherry picking" quotes... taking statements from sources out of context and using them in a manner that goes beyond what the original source intends. Blueboar (talk) 23:44, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Name change - let's finalize this[edit]

The issue of what to title this article has fallen by the wayside for a while... It is time to settle it. Above, we list the various reasons for and against our options... but we leave out one of the most inportant. What Wikipedia policy states on the matter. Since our last discussion, I have had a chance to familiarize myself with the Wikipedia:Naming conventions... The guideline seems clear that we should use whichever name is the most commonly used by English speakers (as this is the English version of Wikipedia), with any alternate names listed in bold in the lead.

So I thought I would see what the usages on the web (as determined through a simple Google search) came out to. The breakdown is as follows:

The break down is essentially the same if you substitute the shorthand "Masonry" in place of "Freemasonry" ("Continental Masonry" gets the vast majority of hits).

While I have no handy way of compiling usage in purely print sources, I know from my own reading and experience that the breakdown is even more in favor of "Continental".

I therefor formally Propose that we change the name of this article to "Continental Freemasonry", with the others listed in bold in the lead. Are there any objections? Blueboar (talk) 18:50, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Sounds OK. Is this a self description?
You also have the Grand Lodge of Liberal Freemasons in Turkey, which seems like quite a self description. If anyone can think of other "liberal" sites with a decent sampling of English language pages it would be useful.
So I personally prefer liberal freemasonry as it seems to be the prefered self description, as continental never seems to be used by them.
JASpencer (talk) 20:53, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Again, we have the issue of "Continental = Europe, Latin = Central and/or South America", so I don't agree with either of those terms unless we are focusing specifically on Masonry in those areas. "Adogmatic" assumes the rest of Masonry is dogmatic, which I don't agree with - the WP article on dogma claims a pejorative usage outside of religious context anyhow. A lot of the hits, BTW, are because that is what is pertinent to the group. I would suggest that we use "Liberal" and see whre it goes. BTW, if we're going to go with "Liberal", a workable solution regardless of the AfD outcome is to merge SIMPA, CLIPSAS, and Catena in here as subsections. I can't really agree with enough general notability to justify the separate articles, but I wouldn't see a problem with a mention in the article here. MSJapan (talk) 21:14, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes... EACH of the possible names have good reasons to choose it ... and EACH has good reasons not to choose it. This is why I went with what is recommended at WP:NAME... and looked at raw usage numbers. To me this ends up being the most dispassionate and NPOV method of choosing between equally unacceptable names. It also has the benefit of most closly following wikipedia policy (although I do understand that we could invoke IAR if we wished to do so.) The "Continental = Europe" issue can easily be explained by including a prominent statement in the lead to the effect that the term encompasses lodges in other parts of the world. All that said... if the consensus is for "Liberal Freemasonry"... let's go with that and move on.
On the SIMPA, CLIPSAS, and Catena AfD issues... that is a debate best kept at the AfD for the moment. But I do agree with MSJapan... we should consider merging those articles into this one, whatever the result of the AfD, and however we end up naming this article. Blueboar (talk) 23:16, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

If it's in WP:NAME then I'm fine with Continental Freemasonry. I thought that the policy was towards self descriptions. As far as the merging goes, I don't think that's a very good idea. JASpencer (talk) 20:54, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought so too... but when I reviewed the guideline I found otherwise. Self-identification seems to be the choice for categorization but not for article names. Live and learn. Blueboar (talk) 21:34, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
We certainly could go with Continental Freemasonry and turn Liberal Freemasonry and any other potential names into redirects to it. Certainly, we've done the effective equivalent with any number of saints, churches, and the like. Regarding the proposed mergers, I think that we might be able to find more material to justify these articles later. So, while I am not completely opposed to such a merger, I would like to give it some time, maybe a few months?, to see what development takes place in the interim. Then we would have a better idea regarding the likely extent of the articles. John Carter (talk) 21:06, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I've renamed the article. I hope that I haven't been too hasty. JASpencer (talk) 23:12, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Splitting article[edit]

For further information on this see Talk:Grand Orient of the United States. JASpencer (talk) 19:33, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

This is discussing the idea of splitting out the regional sub-sections into their own articles. To that I say... Absolutely not. Continental Freemasonry as a concept is important... and deserves its own article, but once you start splitting it up into regional articles you start to get POV problems. If we are going to have "Freemasonry in x" articles, they discuss all branches of Freemasonry in x... Contintental, Anglo/mainstream, Prince Hall, etc. If you just discuss one branch, you are leaving out half of the picture. Blueboar (talk) 21:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely not? A bit extreme. Setting up articles, and arguing through AfDs will be the alternative, and it's not pretty. JASpencer (talk) 21:32, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Not at all extreme... Just indicating my very, very strong objection to the idea. Blueboar (talk) 12:27, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

Louisiana Issues with GODF[edit]

I think the information on the jurisdictional issue that occurred in Lousiana with GODF (which had, in part, a focus on racism), which lead to the first derecognition of GODF, should be left in. Additionally, if we're going to point out in the article that a lot of "Continental Freemasonry" is unrecognized by UGLE aligned groups, we need to show both sides of the history of recognition of GODF, which Bessel has researched.--Vidkun (talk) 14:44, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I could not agree more. The section edits that I had made were undone because the user disagreed with some of the assertions. However, if even a cursory read of the articles cited was done, he would have seen that they backed up the assertions made. In particular, the article located at [10] contains a specific section entitled "The 1960s: using God as a weapon in Masonic Politics". Ironically, the article being cited was written by a "regular" Anglo-American Mason from Arizona, not some biased Continental Mason with something to prove. However, the user that reverted the edit cited NPOV as his reason on my talk page. For some, it seems, the truth strikes a nerve...Voltairesghost (talk) 13:45, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Since when is quoting from a reputable Anglo-American source 'contentious'?Voltairesghost (talk) 15:37, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Seriously, you guys are in the majority in English speaking countries at this time. Why do you feel the need to cover up what is historically provable fact?Voltairesghost (talk) 15:38, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I explained to you quite clearly what the problems were on your talkpage. Look at it this way: "Wikipedia insists you rewrite", or "Wikipedia requires you rewrite." Which sounds more neutral? That tone is a persistent issue in the article.
Second, a series of blockquotes is not appropriate, especially when the writer is aiming at a particular audience that this article does not. What "most American Masons might be surprised to know" has no bearing when your audience is anyone worldwide who wants to read the article.
Finally, why are you taking an informational issue as an institutional bias issue? It does let you conveniently sidestep the fact that you made a mistake, because it allows you to blame others instead of fixing the issue, but unfortunately for you in this case, I personally don't care that you exist - you can basically do whatever you want in your own jurisdiction as I do in mine, and we can all go on our merry way. The issue at hand is that you're not going to write an article is such a way where you show you're "right" and everyone else is "wrong" by synthesizing and editorializing what sources actually say. An encyclopedia is not a newspaper; we do not exist to sway opinions, but to convey facts in a neutral fashion. MSJapan (talk) 17:29, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I am glad that we can agree on this one point, I could care less if you exist and I am glad that you could care less that we exist. (Although your constant involvement in the articles on us seems to speak volumes as to how true this really is. Consider that I do not touch Anglo-American articles and have no intention to do so.) However, if you believe that I am trying to show that I am "right" (not sure why you put this is in quotes as I have never said that I was "right" or that you were "wrong"), then perhaps it is time to actually do some research on the subject at hand. In this case, the subject is the supposed "landmark" of a belief that the Bible must be in the lodge and that candidates must believe in god. This is absolutely untrue and history shows it time and again, which is what I am trying to state in this article. To try to say that this is why there is a division in the two traditions of Masonry would be a violation of NPOV since there are multiple sources of contention on the issue. If you take issue with the next revision that I intend to post, I would politely suggest that you make some edits to it rather than just summarily erasing it by hitting undo. I am trying to satisfy your issues with the article, but your constant insistence that I am trying to bias the article is based on your own institutional inclinations. In my posts, I am merely trying to represent the historical truth of the matter, no matter who it supports.Voltairesghost (talk) 18:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)


This is a sore subject to many of the Anglo-American Masons that are involved in this article. However, it is worthy of being noted in consideration that there is ample evidence to show that the "1877 schism" originated in the GOdF declaration of equality among the races. It is also a matter of historic fact that the African-American counterpart (Prince Hall) to American Grand Lodges were not allowed intervisitation until at least 1989. To this day there are still numerous GLs that refuse to admit men based solely on the color of their skin. (On a personal note, I was made a Mason in one of these lodges and demitted my membership once I understood the depth of the racism that was going on in the lodge.)--Voltairesghost (talk) 21:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

The new version of the Recognition section seems to be written as if directly from the perspective of an Anglo-American Mason. The article is not about Anglo-American Masons. The previous edit that I made was specifically to remove the bias that was previously perceived, yet now it is even less NPOV than mine. Either the bias can be balanaced to find a center or I am done for good. I have wasted hours of my time on this section only to have it butchered by someone with a slanted perspective that intends to make it look like Continental Masonry is some illegitimate organization. We have as much right to exist as you do, the sooner you realize this the easier it will get. I am not saying that I am perfect, and I try to change what I write when you say that it is biased since I am still relatively new to wikipedia. However, this continual onslaught of turning the articles in favor of your tradition is not called for. I have a number of my brothers on speed dial, should I call them to start changing Anglo-American articles at random to speak from a Contiental Masonic perspective? NO, because it violates the precious NPOV. So, continually inserting how big your group of masons is in an article that has nothing to do with your group is a violation of NPOV. I'm done for now, you guys need to seriously check yourselves. You keep blowing the NPOV whistle on me, but you are constantly gearing these articles in favor of yourselves. Kinda reminds me of the saying that you should remove the mote in your own eye before trying to remove the splinter in your neighbor's eye.--Voltairesghost (talk) 21:53, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I've split the section up in to subsections which may help the debate. Please feel free to rename the subheadings. JASpencer (talk) 22:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
VG... I get what you are trying to say in this section... but the way you say it is skewed. You conflait not recognizing Prince Hall with not admitting men on the basis of race. That is not accurate. They are not the same. Even the Grand Lodges that do not recognize Prince Hall will admit blacks and other men of color. Also, even in the 1860s (when racism was rampant throughout America) there were US Grand Lodges who admitted blacks. Did racism play a part in GL Louisiana withdrawing recongintion from GOdF? Probably. Was it the only reason? No. And it was not the main reason for other US GLs following suit. The infringement of jurisdiction issue was of much greater impact. Blueboar (talk) 01:45, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
That is untrue and you know it. The GLAL has not one black member in a state that is about a quarter African-American. Racism plays a very heavy role in the non-recognition of PHA GLs and it has always done so. The jurisdictional issue is the "reason" that the GLAL gives for not recognizing PHA, but I know the truth and have audio recordings of GLAL and SRSJ officials in AL talking about the KKK members that are also in the GLAL. So, take your fabrications to someone who is willing to believe it. The truth is much worse than you will ever want to admit. I was trying to be nice about the issue, but you are pushing me over the edge. Your lack of depth on this issue is not surprising since the GLs in America have only exacerbated the issue by continuing their relationship with the GLs that still refuse to allow in African-Americans. As far as I am concerned, all the GLs that are in amity with racially motivated GLs are just as guilty. How do you like them apples? FYI, I will be happy to post the audio recordings if you want to hear them for yourself. However, I cannot promise that the media will not get wind of them once I do.--Voltairesghost (talk) 18:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
PS - I am done playing nice, you can play your little games on wikipedia for all I care. Perhaps the time for the truth to come out is at hand? Respond all you want to this message, I am done here.--Voltairesghost (talk) 18:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I absolutely challenge your statement that GLAL has not one black member. You are going to have to have a very solid source to back that assertion up. As for your audio recordings... please... DO send them to the media if you have them. Shout it from the roof tops and make a stink. I have absolutely no sympathy for the few remaining racists in my fraternity, and shining a bright light on them is the best way to get rid of them. The fraternity will survive the publicity and be better for it.Blueboar (talk) 23:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd really like to know how the current situation of 48 jurisdictions in the US (out of 50 possible - there's a PH jurisdiction in one state under the jurisdiction of another) recognizing Prince Hall indicates a general issue today of "racially motivated GLs", or what it has to do with the topic at hand (other than to say "we're right and you're wrong" again). I'd also really like to know what one expects a GL to do about something going on in another jurisdiction - for better or for worse, recognition is based on regularity, which itself is determined through adherence to the Landmarks, and there's nothing in the Landmarks about race or religion. Moreover, a GL really does not have the time to care what one or a few local lodges in another jurisdiction do or don't do. Most importantly, because of the sovereignty rules, it is up to the GL in question to deal with issues in its own jurisdiction, and it is no one else's job to do so. MSJapan (talk) 13:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
MSJapan, your post is a general indication of your lack of knowledge on this matter today. At this very moment there are still more than 10 jurisdictions in North America that do not recognize PH. Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana just to name a few. However, I find your inability to see that the racism is institutionalized in these states and your general apathy in regards to the situation appalling. It is attitudes like your's that has degraded the fraternity in those states to the last holdouts of the KKK and its backwards policies.
Blueboar, your wish is my command. Once they are available, I will post some links here for your pleasure. In regards to your challenge, there is no way to post a picture of all their members. Instead, I will just let a Past Grand Master of the GLAL answer you for me; this is from an AP article from 2006: "The head of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, Grand Master Frank W. Little, said he knows of no blacks among the 32,000 members of the state organization, which has 318 lodges and accepts new members by applications and referrals from other members." (see Chris Hoddap's blog) Also, here is a snippet of the 1876 resolution regarding this subject, which is still in active effect today (unless it was changed in the last year, which I would have to see evidence regarding).
As to Negro Masons
Whereas, the question of the recognition of Negro Masons has been made more than usually prominent during the last year; and whereas this Grand Lodge has a well-settled opinion upon this subject, which she desires most respectfully and fraternally to express to her sister Grand Lodges everywhere, and especially to those of the United States; she deems the present a fit opportunity to set forth the reasons which impel her to that opinion.
1. It is indisputable that whatever theory we adopt as to the origin of Masonry- whether that which carries it back to the original Father of mankind, and his immediate descendents;, or to Enoch and Noah; or to the building of King Solomon’s Temple; or arising from the constitutions of Pythagoras; or if we trace it back to the Eleusinain Mysteries; or to those of Ceres, and the institution of the Bacchanalia; or, what is most probable of all, the incorporation of the Roman builders under Numa Pompilius that theory carries us back to the Caucasian Race.
2. Masonry was originally, what it is mainly today, a social institution; intended for those who daily mingled in the ordinary walks of life, in business, in pleasure, and in the family circle; into which it is not credible that anyone of the Negro or any other of the inferior races, could have been admitted.
3. That Negroes have of late years been admitted into Lodges of Free Masons is due, it is believed, to the sympathy which has been excited for them by anti-slavery societies generally, and particularly by those of the United States; and that any were admitted during the revolutionary war by traveling Lodges belonging to the British Army, was due to the feeling which existed at that time against American patriots; a proceeding entirely at variance with the object of the formation of such Lodges, they having no right to confer the degrees upon any citizen or resident of the county in which they might be sojourning, but only upon members of the army to which such Lodges belonged.
4. Although it is usually said that Masonry is universal, and that in every clime Masons are to be found; yet it is only universal in so far as the Caucasian Race has carried it into every quarter of the globe; and if that race has sometimes admitted Negroes, and others of the inferior races, it has done so in violation of the original and fundamental laws of the Fraternity.
5. In view, therefore, of these facts, indisputable as they are conceived to be, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Alabama seizes the present as a fit and proper occasion, to declare its purpose, under no circumstances whatever acknowledge the legality of Negro-masons, such acknowledgement being foreign to the original purpose of the Fraternity, and introducing an element of demoralization into the society. (ref = Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Alabama 1876, Pages 23-24)
In addition, I have scans of a history book, published by the GLAL in the 1970s, that reaffirms this stance. (Above, I also added a reference to the scans of the original book that were copied by To deny the truth when it is this blatantly obvious is to err, my friend. As I said, I will post the audio files that are naming the KKK/GLAL members' names, but just look at its shameful history. Here are some of its "esteemed" members of the past: George Wallace, Bull Connor, et al. If they allow black members, why have none come forward to defend the GLAL during the bad publicity it was receiving during the last governor's election? [11] The simple answer is that there are none. Knowledge is power, I am glad you asked.Voltairesghost (talk) 22:45, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

An attempt to fix several issues[edit]

I have attempted to fix several of the issues that have been discussed above. I have attempted to discuss the history of the schism between the Anglo-American tradition and the Continental tradition in a neutral tone... explaining the rationals for each side without stating or implying that one or the other is "correct".

We still need to work on the section that traces the in and outs of the Belief in Deity requirement... I am not happy with all the quotations (it is easy to take such quotes out of context, and so much depends on what you quote and what you do not quote... for example, I note that we do not include what is said on the matter in the old charges, nor do we mention the bit in Anderson's Constitutions where he says that a Mason should not be a "stupid atheist"). I think it is worth discussing the difference of opinion between the two traditions on this matter (as it is central to the split between them), but surely we can do so without attempting to "prove" one view right or wrong. Blueboar (talk) 14:58, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Latin countries[edit]

The article states: "In most Latin countries, the GOdF-style or European Continental Freemasonry predominates"... while I think this is probably an accurate statement, I have a problem with the source that was used: a New York Times article dating from 1918. This may be enough to show that the Continental tradition predominated in 1918... but it is not enough to show that it predominates today. We need a more modern analysis. Blueboar (talk) 15:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Historically predominated? JASpencer (talk) 22:23, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I would definitely prefer a more modern source (I am not really comfortable using any source that is almost 100 years old, except in support of direct statements about the source itself) but if there is not modern source, I suppose I could grudgingly agree to rephrasing the statement along the lines you suggest. Blueboar (talk) 20:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh this is just for the moment. Hopefully VG will be back at some point (although it may be a bit of time). I think there's some stuff in the 1968 New Catholic Encyclopedia that says the same thing. JASpencer (talk) 20:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

belief in Deity[edit]

I note one serious problem with this section... according to its heading it is supposed to be discussing the history behind the different attitudes between the Continental and Anglo traditons towards the belief in Deity... but most of the quotes that VG added do not deal with this issue... instead they deal with the issue of having a Bible on the altar vs. the Book of constitutions. While these are certainly related, they are not exactly the same issue. It is concievable for a Grand Lodge to require its members to have a belief in Deity without requiring that a bible go on lodge altars.

That said, I am aware that the Continental tradition lodges say that the requirement of a belief in Deity was an innovation added by Anglo-Freemasonry around the time of the formation of UGLE, and that their removal of this requirement in 1877 was a return to ancient tradition. That is also worth mentioning.

In other words, we should be discussing the debate... not trying to prove one side or the other "correct". Blueboar (talk) 14:16, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Any reference to materials (regius in this case) before the seventeenth century is not pertaining to speculative Freemasonry, it is operative. Although the archaic history of the masons and builders of antiquity is interesting, there is no concrete evidence to link their guilds with speculative Freemasonry. You guys should stick with the real history of the craft and not its mythological origins. What next, a quote from the old testament about King Solomon? I love how this article has become a compare and contrast article for Anglo-American Freemasonry. They would never allow for this to occur on their articles, but it is okay to degenerate articles not about them in this manner. NPOV is one thing, but this is just an advertisement for Anglo-Masonry. Such a pity...diversity should be applauded in this type of online community. Where are the comparisons to Continental Freemasonry on the Freemasonry page? Curious that this article is filled with them, yet I am hard pressed to see any on the other article.Voltairesghost (talk) 21:22, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Just so I am not coming across unfairly in my claims above, here are the counts that I made on the articles. The Freemasonry article is about 16 pages and has 6 instances of 'GODF' and 4 instances of 'Continental'. On the other hand, this article is about 4 pages, 25% as large as the other, and has 7 instances of 'UGLE' and 4 instances of 'Anglo'. To put it in perspective that is 0.625 references to Continental Masonry in the Freemasonry article to 2.75 references per page for Anglo Masonry in this article. There is a 440% greater incidence of references to Anglo-Masonry in this article over references to Continental Masonry in the Freemasonry article.
To further elaborate this discrepancy, the frequency of instances of 'UGLE' in this article is 1.75 per page, whereas the frequency of 'UGLE' in Freemasonry (19 total instances) is 1.1875. Therefore, there are proportionally more mentions of the UGLE in an article that has nothing to do with UGLE Masonry. Whether the apparent bias is unconscious or deliberate, the results are statistically obvious. I used an analogy before: how can you expect a Microsoft employee to be unbiased when editing an article on Apple computers? I do not care how much you think you are being unbiased, your subconscious preference will affect not only your choice of words, but also your perception of reality.Voltairesghost (talk) 21:49, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, given the number of Masons world wide who belong to each grouping, it makes sense that Wikipedia would give proportionally more space to the Anglo/UGLE branch than the Continental branch. The Anglo/UGLE branch is significantly larger. Blueboar (talk) 12:55, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
That is the most flawed excuse for institutionalized bias I have ever heard. Let me get this straight, because your group is larger it gives you an excuse to inculcate your beliefs upon other groups' articles? I wonder what the Anglicans would think if the Catholics did this to their article. Heck, China has a larger population than the US, should they be able to include their perspective on all American articles. I mean, after all, according to your logic this sort of bias is based on the laws of mob rule. GET REAL, the other word for that is 'tyranny'. This is why your form of Masonry has been slowly dying for the last 50 years and will continue to do so. Your lack of intellectual diversity combined with your religous-like fanaticism make your group unappealing to younger generations. Take it or leave it, that is my opinion.
I will continue to speak my mind on the talk page, but I am done wasting my time in edit wars with people that believe in mob-rule. The justifications of your actions are a symptom of the imperialist attitudes of English Masonry. Freemasonry was never meant to be ruled or conquered; it has and always was meant to be liberating and free. You and your kind continue to pervert it under the banner of 'regular', but the only thing 'regular' about you is the predictibility of your actions.Voltairesghost (talk) 17:10, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Read what I said again... I did not talk about the proportionality of coverage within one specific article, I talked about the proportion of coverage Wikiepedia wide. If you feel that this specific article is skewed, we can discuss it in a civil manner. If, on the other hand, you resort to Personal Attacks, then you will be ignored. Blueboar (talk) 21:09, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

VG has a point. There is a systemic bias in all the Freemasonry articles and he's hit the nail on the head as to why. Yes the UGLE have more members but the Continental tradition were at least as (in my opinion far more) historically significant because of their role in politics. In histories of English speaking countries Freemasonry is dealt with in social history, in histories of the Latin language countries it is political history. The article should reflect that and not dwell on what the UGLE thinks of them. JASpencer (talk) 22:38, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

So fix it... citing reliable sources and avoiding OR of course. Blueboar (talk) 04:15, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Freemasonry#Schisms for an idea I have regading the schism between GodF and UGLE. Ergo-Nord (talk) 19:16, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Ergo-Nord, that would be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, when history does not suit the liking of one group, they will never agree on the contents of the article. For instance, regardless of the bias or beliefs of the "regular" guys here or myself, the historical fact remains that racial segregation was a very large reason for the schism between the American GLs and the GOdF. However, over and over again, I read or hear "regular" Masons deny this and cite the usage of belief in deity or VSL as the reason. Unfortunately, wikipedia is not equipped to handle such a mass denial in the face of historical fact and documentation. The truth just gets swept under the rug as it has in "official" publications and popular belief among Masons. This debate is much like the creationists versus the evolutionists; on the one hand is blind faith, and on the other hand is information and evidence. All that being said, I wish you good luck!Voltairesghost (talk) 14:38, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

The NOR tag[edit]

JASpencer remvoed the NOR tag from the "relationship with the Catholic Church" section. I have returned it. The issue isn't that the material lacks citation... the issue is WP:SYNT. The entire section is OR, not the individual statements within it. Blueboar (talk) 03:27, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

NPOV Dispute[edit]

Source 5 for irregular masonry is a biased source from UGLE — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:34, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Please read our WP:NPOV policy... we are required to present all significant viewpoints on a subject. The fact is, UGLE does consider the Continental branch of Freemasonry to be "Irregular"... and that determination affects the labels that are applied to Continental Freemasonry by scholars (both Masonic and non-masonic). UGLE is the elephant in the room in any Masonic topic, and we can not ignore it. Indeed, it would be non-neutral for us (as Wikipedia editors) to ignore its opinion. We don't have to agree with that opinion, but we do have to take it into account and mention it. To do anything else is to allow our own biases to affect our articles... and that is what NPOV is really all about... neutrally including the viewpoints we disagree with.
To put this another way... our sources don't have to be neutral... we do. Blueboar (talk) 15:14, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes we can ignore this is not an article of UGLE Freemasonry. You want to talk UGLE Freemasonry go to that page. No Liberal Masons terms themselves Irregular therefore is a correct assertion of NPOV. The only scholar that would call anything irregular is those held under the UGLE sway. If you want to go to great lengths on the 'regular' masonry page to painfully deliniate the two major streams of Masonry as you do on this page then be my guest. Until then you are being self serving talking out of both sides of your mouth and are quite rightly seen as hypocritical. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Again, please read our WP:NPOV policy (also read WP:POV fork)... When we write an article about a person or group, we do not limit ourselves to discussing how the subject of the article views himself/themselves ... we must include all significant viewpoints (and discuss how others view him/them).
One final note... the article does not say that Continental Freemasonry is irregular... it says that the term "Irregular Freemasonry" is frequently used as an alternative name for that branch of Freemasonry. Those who belong to lodges in the Continental form of Freemasonry may not like having that name applied to them and, yes, those who use it do reflect an Anglo-American Masonic bias... but that does not change the simple fact that the term is used (and used fairly extensively) in Masonic scholarship. Blueboar (talk) 13:27, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Again I refer you to your NPOV policy with your hypocritical stance in light of both articles. If you change the Freemasonry page to such great pains to show such delination with the two major branches of freemasonry as you did with this article I'd actually respect you. However, you hide behind NPOV policy with you non biased point of view. Do you include all forms of seemingly perjorative terms that the Continental Brand could call UGLE style Freemasonry? No, I didnt think so just like with the delination of Masonries therefore you are biased in the article, and my premise is therefore correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:09, 27 November 2012 (UTC)


The "irregular" reference was faulty, returning a 404, so I've changed it to this, which I think is the same speech (it's by the same person and mentions "irregular" lodges). The only problem is that it does not seem to actually say that Continental Freemasonry is "irregular" In both uses of the words "irregular" it refers specifically to the period after the Second World War:

At the same time, in what was becoming an increasingly politicised world, there was a growth of irregular Freemasonry with bodies springing up claiming to be Masonic.


After the Second World War there was another period of creative cartography. The suppression of Freemasonry in what was now the “Eastern Bloc” led to masonic activity going underground – though the light was never extinguished – and an increase in bodies styling themselves “masonic” though wholly irregular by the standards of the United Grand Lodge of England. The infamous Italian ‘P2’ affair is an example that many of us will recall with a shudder.

As Continental Freemasonry first split from the UGLE style Freemasonry in the late Nineteenth Century, he is clearly not saying that he thinks that Continental Freemasonry is irregular, or that it is the only type of irregular freemasonry. He may believe those two propositions, but that isn't what he's saying so I'm taking irregular freemasonry out of this as an alternate source.

JASpencer (talk) 10:01, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Disappointed, but not wholly surprised by the refusal to enter dialogue on this highly contentious description. "Irregular" is only from the Point of View of UGLE recognised lodges AND it does not seem to apply (at least in the last forty years) to the large Latin Lodges in France, Italy, Spain and other non English speaking areas. Both the examples were talking about small lodges and orients (P2, GWU and GOUSA) although all of them were plainly in the Latin orbit. Irregular seems to apply to any non UGLE jursidiction whether Prince Hall lodges in the Southern States, somewhere that claims to be a continuation of the Antients or indeed Latin Freemasonry. However Irregular is not a term that seems to be a description of Continental Masonry against other forms of non-UGLE masonry, and it doesn't seem to be a widespread term used by the UGLE. JASpencer (talk) 18:17, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes... the term IS from the POV of the Anglo-US mainstream bodies. But we don't remove alternative names just because they reflect a POV. In fact we have a policy that states we must include different POV's. The term "Irregular Freemasonry" is routinely used by Anglo-American Masons to refer to the atheistic Continental style of Freemasonry. I have added more sources to support the usage.Blueboar (talk) 18:23, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Your last source was even worse than the other two. They at least referred to Italy and France, this one was referring to breakaway lodges in the US and groups in Eastern Europe who could have been Latin influenced but they could have been occult or something else entirely - although the verbose style was rather offputting. If you are going to say that they are irregular you must state where it is coming from - which you don't. I'll change that. JASpencer (talk) 18:28, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I am not saying that they are irregular... I am saying that they are referred to as "Irregular" (there is a difference). All we are saying is that this is an alternative name for Continental Freemasonry... one used by their rivals (the "regular" "mainstream" Grand Lodges of the Anglo-American dominated branch.) it may be a biased name, it may even be an incorrect name... but it is an alternative name, routinely used in the Anglo-American Masonic world to refer to Continental Freemasonry. Blueboar (talk) 18:35, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm giving up for now, and I've reported this to WP:NPOVN to see if we can get a cool head here. Personally I think it's insulting and inaccurate but I'm not going to risk 3RR blocks over something like this. JASpencer (talk) 18:49, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

Outdenting - I'd have to agree with JASpencer on this one, for a number of reasons. First of all, Englefield'ss address uses the term irregular ONCE, and does not specify that it is continental freemasonry to which he is referring - that is an inference not specifically stated in the cited work. Additionally, Hodapp's blog is also not a direct definition of continental freemasonry as irregular, but a discussion of a spat between a number of break away bodies in the US. Finally, we could easily use the argument about presenting all of the POVs to put the word Satanic into the lede of the article about Freemasonry, after all, there is a significant chunk of believers out there who think that.--Vidkun (talk) 20:53, 12 December 2012 (UTC)

I would say there is a POV push... but it is on the other side. There is a push to omit the fact that the majority of Freemasonry uses a technical term to describe a minority. Blueboar (talk) 23:27, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I don't have time at present to cite all this, but I can give some starting points: "irregular" refers to any Masonic body not recognized by a given GL, from that GL's perspective. This is important, because going to an irregular lodge puts one at risk of losing one's membership. There are several types of things that cause irregularity. A big one was Yarker and his ilk who selling degrees. Another is politics - UGLE specifically stayed away from what many lodges did in France and elsewhere, which was become suborned by revolutionaries. Religion (or the lack thereof) is a third item, and a fourth is the admission of women. I'm frankly not even sure if Continental is unified on allowing all these things, so maybe let's just figure out what's what first by figuring out what it adheres to and what it doesn't. Also note GLNF is now irregular because it's in receivership of sorts, and has nothing to do with its Landmarks. MSJapan (talk) 23:31, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Um... I have to challenge that MSJ... I don't think any Grand Lodges have declared GLNF "irregular"... many have pulled "Recognized" (there is a difference. Recognition can be withheld or withdrawn for many reasons... "Irregularity" depends on not following the landmarks). While every irregular lodge will be unrecognized... not all unrecognized bodies are deemed irregular. Blueboar (talk) 00:08, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
That there is no single definition of the Landmarks which applies across all jurisdictions, then irregularity has no definition - consider well that no matter how much people want to cover it up, PHA was deemed irregular for many years, and was thus unrecognized; when UGLE reversed its opinion abou the regularity of origin of PHA ... you know what, here' one more reason I'm sick of this sort of research. Every GL considers itself regular, and, frankly, there is entirely too much POV pushing going on here on wikipedia, on the anglo vs continental debate. I'm going to go around to every GL wikipedia page and put the word Satanic in the lede, with reliable sources showing that there are notable groups calling them that. Maybe then you'll get the WP:POINT.--Vidkun (talk) 02:24, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
You are correct that there is no single definition of the landmarks... instead there are hundreds of separate definitions (one for each jurisdiction). However, there is one single definition of "Irregular"... which is: "not in compliance with the landmarks." Now, because each jurisdiction has its own group of landmarks, each will apply the common definition of Irregular slightly differently. Yet... dispite all the differences, there is a huge majority that agree on one of the landmarks... the need for a belief in Deity. That is the mainstream view world wide. And this mainstream agrees that jurisdictions that don't require a belief in deity are Irregular. The Majority of Freemasonry calls the lodges that do not require a belief in Deity "Irregular Freemasonry".
This is different from the the fringe of the religious world who deem freemasonry to be Satanic. It would be a different thing if the mainstream of the religious world regularly referred to Freemasonry as "Satanic"... if that were the case, I would be arguing that that "Satanic" should be included as an alternative name in the Wikipedia articles. Since, however, that term is only used by a fringe, it would be UNDUE to include it as an alternative.
Mainstream views get mentioned. That's what WP:NPOV is all about. I am sorry if people don't like the mainstream view... but it is the mainstream view never the less. Blueboar (talk) 04:42, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

This is incorrect and you again dont know what you are talking about. The GOdF merely went back to the previous language usage. It was the UGLE whom changed particularly with their Church of England Protestant Masonry. Of course too no one likes to talk about the grand lodges who recognized GOdF during WWI, so lets just stick our heads to the earth like ostriches and pretend it doesnt exist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Any sources for that? I'll add them in or help you to do that if you want to set up a user account. JASpencer (talk) 23:42, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
The bit about WWI is a red herring... it conflates masonic recognition with masonic regularity. Most of the Anglo-American grand lodges did recognize GOdF during WWI, but they did so despite the fact that they continued to consider it Irregular. (The reason why this occured was because there were a lot of Masons in the British and American Expeditionary Forces, who wanted somewhere to go and be Masonic... since there was no regular Masonic body in France at the time, the only option was to allow them to attend Lodge meetings of an Irregular one.) Once the war ended (and all those servicemen returned home) recognition was re-withdrawn (due to Irregularity). Blueboar (talk) 16:24, 23 December 2012 (UTC)
but they did so despite the fact that they continued to consider it Irregular asserting facts not entered into evidence. Please show citations from these GLs that they intentionally recognized bodies they still deemed to be irregular.--Vidkun (talk) 17:51, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

"In most Latin countries, the GODF-style or European Continental Freemasonry predominates"[edit]

I know we have a source for this statement (and I will not remove it without a good source to counter it) but looking at the (admittedly very incomplete) numbers given in our List of Masonic Grand Lodges article, I am not sure if it is correct any more. It certainly was true in the final decades of the last century, but it may be outdated information. I know that there has been a boom in American style York Rite Masonry in most South American nations since the millennium. We should look to see if there are more recent sources... they may say something different. Blueboar (talk) 00:35, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Superscript text

I think we are looking for a source that says "more prevalent," not "predominates." I think there's an error in the language otherwise. UGLE Masonry is still bigger than non- in all these countries, but there's more non-UGLE presence there than in either Europe or North America, for example. MSJapan (talk) 16:46, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
What ever the right word is... we need to research the current situation and find sources to either support or contradict what we have now. Blueboar (talk) 17:16, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Englefield Quote[edit]

Just as a note, I've removed and then restored Englefield as a citation. Although he uses the term "Irregular Freemasonry" and talks about these lodges discussing religion and politics it's by no means clear that these lodges are connected to any of the large Latin lodges such as France, Italy or Spain and neither does he make out that they are influenced by their ideas. It similarly did not mention bodies such as CLIPSAS. Many lodges are judged irregular because they are overtly religious or occult, and this seems to be likely in Eastern Europe. There may be an anti-clerical, left wing or atheist tinge to some of the lodges but then again there may not. The article is simply unclear.

This seems to simply be here to prove that the term "Irregular Freemasonry" is used, not that it is used in connection to lodges such as the Grand Orient de France or bodies such as CLIPSAS.

JASpencer (talk) 10:56, 14 December 2012 (UTC)

You are grasping at straws, and your comment demonstrates a serious lack of knowledge about the history of Freemasonry in Europe after WWII. Englefield may not explicitly mention bodies such as CLIPSAS ... but that is because he does not have to do so... he was speaking to Freemasons who already understood the context he was referring to... they understood what he meant by "Irregular Freemasonry". His audience understood that he was referring to the rise of various Continental Style Masonic bodies.
You state that ..."and this seems to be likely in Eastern Europe".... And what makes you think so? Blueboar (talk) 14:42, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
So Englefield's not supposed to be understood and only initated Freemasons can understand him? This would mean that it is not meant to be understood by outsiders. It would certainly explain why it doesn't plainly say that Liberal Freemasonry is Irregular Freemasonry, but you are also admitting that it is an unsuitable citation. Citations and quotations that are backing up conntentious points should be capable of plain understanding. 15:19, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
When you one understands the context (which anyone who knows the history of freemasonry will), the understanding becomes plain. Blueboar (talk) 15:29, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Enough with the insults, the simple fact is that it does not plainly equate Irregular Freemasonry with Liberal Freemasonry. All the other forms have plain associations, and this term does not. The other problem that you have is that the term "Irregular Freemasonry" is actually used to plainly describe other forms of Freemasonry such as the Sons of Haiti. It is not only used plainly to describe these types as "Irregular Freemasonry" (which you still have not provided for Liberal Freemasonry) it is also used more commonly to infer these types. By your own admission you have mereley brought inferences only available to those who "understand the context" and "knows the history of freemasonry". JASpencer (talk) 15:49, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Not quite... While mainstream Freemasonry does deem groups like the Sons of Haiti to be irregular, it uses a different word when talking about such groups - the word "Bogus" (as in "Bogus Freemasonry", or "Bogus Masons".) Similar to the way the occult groups like OTO and Golden Dawn would also be deemed irregular, but are referred to as "Fringe Freemasonry". No, "Irregular Freemasonry" is used almost exclusively in reference to Continental Style bodies. Blueboar (talk) 18:07, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation, but a search on Google (With the terms "irregular freemasonry" -wikipedia) shows to me the following links:
I used the search because it was the cleanest way of checking how the term "Irregular Freemasonry" was used and I guessed (correctly) that internet mentions would be predominantly from UGLE aligned Freemasons. I understand that personalisation may change the results. The last three hits were useless, but it does show that Irregular Freemasonry is not used "almost exclusively" in terms of Liberal Freemasonry.
Hopefully a data driven approach will show that I am not POV pushing.
JASpencer (talk) 18:54, 15 December 2012 (UTC)
JAS... I don't think you are intentionally pushing a POV ... I think you are intentionally excluding a POV, which is subtler but just as wrong. Blueboar (talk) 17:22, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
That may have been true if I wasn't makng edits such as this and constantly' saying that I didn't mind saying that the UGLE considered them irregular. You atill have not provided a citation that plainly equates Liberal Freemasonry with the term "Irregular Freemasonry". JASpencer (talk) 17:47, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

(outdent)(skip down for the TL;DR) The blogs are generally no good as sources, but they do give direction. Yarker, yes, as he was a huge reason for (or a big part of) the problem. Nevertheless, I think we're dancing all around the basic definition. Irregular is varied in usage because of the following: any body that does not follow the Landmarks as set down by UGLE is not recognized as "regular." Therefore, it is "irregular." (Before anyone asks, I don't know what happens when a new GL is constituted and not yet recognized, so ignore that situation). The Landmarks cover a lot of ground - needs a Volume of Sacred Law, no religion, no politics, no women (directly in Lodge meetings or as members, mind you; plenty of refs to support women at public events). The other reason a body is irregular is because it is trafficking in degrees unscrupulously such that someone receiving the degrees and thinking they are "X" won't be allowed to go to any "X" meetings, because they're really not "X" as far as everyone else is concerned that's (Yarker, UGLA/GOOFUS/GOUSA, RGLE, and any of the irregular PHA groups). I'm not sure about OTO - I know their framework comes from Masonry (as do many fraternities and other groups), but neither UGLE nor OTO considered OTO to be such as far as I am aware. I'd re-read the BC&Y item; that sounds like a mistake they wouldn't make. (TL;DR)Irregularity is mainly based on not complying with Landmarks and thereby not being recognized by a regular GL. There are a lot of Landmarks, so irregularity has a broad scope. However, we need to focus on its use as it pertains to this article, not discuss every group it might apply to even if they are not "Continental".

We take this same tack with nationality - A Scotsman is a citizen of Scotland, either by birth or naturalization. If he moves to India for a job, he is still a Scotsman - where he lives is irrelevant. Now, other people might say that that Scotsman is actually "British," and legally, they would be correct, although the Scotsman may claim otherwise (this is why we needed a policy here on WP to clarify that usage). So this is nationality vs. location.

Similarly, a Freemason (person) is irregular (or a Scotsman) because of the body where he or she belongs (their "nationality"). Where that body is (its location) is irrelevant, because they're all irregular (or Scotsmen). However, in relation to a specific type of irregular ("a particular Scotsman"), irregular Freemasonry elsewhere ("another Scotsman") is also not relevant. MSJapan (talk) 17:17, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Irregularity is a subjective term and not an objective term, and Masonic Landmarks are a subjective concept. If you want to change the WP:NPOV pillar then go ahead and suggest the change there. You still have not provided a citation where "Irregular Freemasonry" is plainly equated with Liberal Freemasonry. JASpencer (talk) 17:51, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Reliable Sources noticeboard[edit]

As we're not going to get concensus on this quote or source I've put this to the Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Irregular_Freemasonry:_Speech_to_UGLE Reliable Sources noticeboard. JASpencer (talk) 21:47, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Hodapp doesn't use the term "Irregular Freemasonry"[edit]

The Hodapp quote is clearly insufficient for the use of "Irregular Freemasonry" as an alternate term, because he doesn't use the term "Alternate Freemasonry" although in one of the three places where he uses the word "irregular" he does us it in relation to the Grand Orient de France and so it is of marginal use as a source for saying that Liberal Freemasonry is viewed as irregular by conservative lodges. I'll try to find a better source for you. JASpencer (talk) 19:13, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

It is true that Hoddap uses "world" instead of the word "Freemasonry"... but then again, I think the context is clear (he is obviously talking about the irregular masonic world, and not the world in general). What is more important - he uses "irregular" as a label for the bodies he is discussing... two Masonic bodies that are explicitly identified in our article as being part of Continental Freemasonry (both of which self-identify on their webpages as being "Liberal Freemasonry"). Blueboar (talk) 03:34, 18 December 2012 (UTC)
That's not the point. Hodapp is already cited elsewhere in this article to show that the conservative freemasons call liberal freemasons "irregular". The point is whether "Irregular Freemasonry" is a commonly used term when referring to Liberal Freemasonry. If the term "Irregular Freemasonry" is not present then the source cannot be used as a citation for that term. JASpencer (talk) 09:14, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Irregular world - really?[edit]

There only seems to be one source for this wording (I have looked for others), and that itself is imperfect in that he is referring to the GWU and the GOUSA which are as well as being in the Liberal orbit also very small and (in the case of the GOUSA) vexatious - two things which Hodapp associates with "Irregularity" and finally the only part where he definitively equates irregularity with the whole tradition of Liberal Freemasonry is:

The GOUSA signed a treaty of some kind with the Grand Orient of France in 2008 (which is also considered irregular and is unrecognized by the overwhelming number of Masons and grand lodges around the world).

There are plenty of references in Hodapp's blog to irregularity but they are in the most part to things like the Sons of Haiti. A theme of the blog is that outside the Anglo-American tradition there is no real Masonry. Clearly the article is about the GOUSA and the GWU and not about the Continental Tradition - as shown by the fact that Grand Orient of France is mentioned twice and both times deep in the body of the entry. As I've said before the blog entry clearly does show that Liberal Freemasonry is regarded as irregular by the UGLE, but that is already stated and cited in the opening paragraph. It does not show that it is called the "Irregular World" by even Hodapp. JASpencer (talk) 00:14, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

it certainly does show that Hodapp calls it the "Irregular world"... It's a direct quote from the title of his blog post for God's sake. Blueboar (talk) 02:08, 19 December 2012 (UTC)
No, it shows that he thinks that he calls the GWU and the GOUSA inhabit the "Irregular World". And it cannot be denied that this is an insult. And he uses the term once in the whole blog. As I've said this is not about irregularity, but about whether a non-neutral term is common enough to be used. This does not seem to be. JASpencer (talk) 08:28, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

How does that make sense? Anglo Masons speaking about what they dont know about again. GWU was the original English speaking Grand Orient de France in America i.e. they have a patent to make lodge via GOdF. It would blow your mind to know it was the GOUSA and not the GOdF that had beef which recinded the amity between the two bodies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Re: GOUSA and GWU... the sources show otherwise. Wikipedia follows the sources, and not the assertions of some anonymous IP. Blueboar (talk) 16:28, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

Must blow your mind that an anonymous IP knows more about the world of Cosmopolitan Freemasonry than you do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Not at all... I assume an IP does not know what he/she is talking about, while the sources do. Blueboar (talk) 20:25, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
As a Masonic scholar of the Anglo-American persuasion, Hodapp is pretty much obligated to refer to Continental masonry as Irregular. As, it will be in relationship to him. This automatically disqualifies him as a “neutral” source. Don’t get me wrong, I have huge amount of respect for him, but on this topic, Wikipedia will be best served with a more neutral source. (Don’t you love dragging the same discussion from article to article?) Btw, I don’t endorse screaming random stuff anonymouslyTruther2012 (talk) 21:12, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

Larkin, Church and State[edit]

See Talk:Louis André#Larkin, Church and State -- PBS (talk) 13:21, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

Liberal vs. Adogmatic[edit]

I came across this source maintains that "liberal" refers to membership, and "adogmatic" - to Supreme Being. The source appears to have NPOV, despite coming from Anglo-American side of masonry. If it is correct, then "liberal" does not equal "adogmatic" does not equal "Continental." From that classification point, Anglo-American masonry would be considered "conservative" and "dogmatic". Can anyone confirm or deny this? Truther2012 (talk) 13:29, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

An interesting, if novel, distinction. But beside the point... this isn't about whether various Masonic bodies are liberal, or adogmatic, or continental, etc... we are not using these terms as a description of the topic branch of Freemasonry... but as Names for it. These are the names used by multiple sources when referring to the branch of Freemasonry that is the topic of this article. "Continental Freemasonry" is the name used by Anglo-American Freemasons for them. "Liberal Freemasonry" and "Adogmatic Freemasonry" are both names the topic branch uses for itself.
This is like "Boston Massacre"... any historian will tell you that, as a description of the event, the word massacre is very inaccurate. Nevertheless, accurate or not, that is the accepted name for the event... and so we use it in Wikipedia... despite its inaccuracy. Blueboar (talk) 15:38, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
See WP:POVNAMING for more on this. Blueboar (talk) 15:38, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
If we cared about NPOV in this area, then Liberal Freemasonry would be a better name as this is the most common name outside Wikipedia, and it's how they most often refer to themselves. Continental Freemasonry is an accepted name, but it's by no means the best one - which would be Liberal Freemasonry. However it's going to stir up the hornets nest that is Project Freemasonry so it's not a fight worth having. JASpencer (talk) 20:31, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Considering that you created the redirect from Liberal Freemasonry to Continental Freemasonry in the first place, that's a very hypocritical statement. MSJapan (talk) 23:40, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
MSJapan, you really ought to check your facts as this is both wrong and misleading. Wrong - I did not create this redirect - it was created four years before, I simply put in another redirect to what I thought was a better destination. Misleading - the redirect was done in 2013 whereas on this very page I'd said that Liberal was a better term in 2007. I still don't think it's worth the candle as we get people playing dirty and throwing insults like hypocrite when I just tried to make the case for the most neutral and descriptive name. JASpencer (talk) 19:52, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
To get to Truther's question, though, maybe, maybe not. Certain Rectified Rites are not recognized by the Anglo-American branch, and they are neither adogmatic nor liberal. However, I do think there may be a way forward there; I just need to figure out how, and if we can get something sensible out of it as an end result. MSJapan (talk) 00:12, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

I am bringing this up less for the naming convention or recognition, but rather classification methodology within Continental branch. According to the above source, bodies within Continental can be classified along Liberal – Conservative / Dogmatic – Adogmatic continuums. In this sense, one dimension refers to the issue of female membership (mixed/female only = Liberal, male only = Conservative), the other to the issue of VSOL and Supreme Being (required = Dogmatic, none = Adogmatic). This wouldn’t be applicable to Anglo-Am, because by definition it is homogeneously Conservative and Adogmatic. Truther2012 (talk) 13:33, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

GOUSA - removal[edit]

I have removed our mention of the Grand Orient of the United States of America from the North America section... it seems that they may have folded. Their website has been down for over a year now. Even if there is a rump group out there, that rump is so tiny that I think we can omit them from the article based on WP:UNDUE. Blueboar (talk) 15:15, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Good call. Since this came up in List of Masonic Grand Lodges, they have stopped posting to Facebook and their Freemasonry 101 site has died. In short, they're not even pretending to function any more. Fiddlersmouth (talk) 15:51, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

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