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re: Re-recognition of

The Grand Lodge of France

  • Does the Grand lodge of France place the Bible on their altar?....Yes.

  • Do they believe in the GAOTU?...Yes

  • Who formed them?... the Grand Lodge of England in 1728.

  • Do they hold communion with the Grand Orient of France?....No.

  • Do they hold communion with female Masons?...No.

  • Have they ever be recognized before?...Yes [prior to WWII]

  • Are they the senior G.L. of France?...Yes.

  • Then, is the G. L. National of France in violation of the American Doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction?...Yes.

  • When did they recognize Afro-American Prince Hall Masons?...1952.

  • Do other Countries have multiple Grand Lodges?...Yes.

  • Who are they?  Naming only a few, they include: Mexico, Brazil, and Germany.

  • Do all USA Grand Lodge recognize the same Foreign Lodges?...No.

  • Can you be regular but unrecognized?...Yes

  • Do Foreign Grand Lodges operate on US soil?...Yes

For a more documented and in-depth report, The Grand Lodge of France –White Paper is reprinted below.


Grand Lodge of France - White Paper

Masonic Recognition and The Grand Lodge of France

A Report to the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

Abstract:   The purpose of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota in producing this position paper is to state in a brief and easy to read form, the most pertinent reasons why the Grand Lodge of Minnesota chose to and stands by its decision to recognize the Grand Lodge of France as a regular and recognizable grand lodge.   With the exception of eyewitness verification, the foundation listed is concurrent with the time we achieved amity with the Grand Lodge of France on March 30, 2001.  Because reliable researchers have assembled so much good and up to date data, the purpose of this paper will not be to restate everything in its entirety that prompted our convictions.  Each statement herein is referenced to a resource that the reader can access to satisfy his need for greater detail, and in most cases for further resource links.

As the term grand lodge or grand lodges are frequently used, we ask the readers' forbearance by shortening this to GL or GLs.  Other frequently used terms will likewise be shortened once explained.  Recognition of The Grand Lodge of France.

At the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota on March 30, 2001, the standing committee on External Relations gave its annual report and recommended that two foreign grand lodges had applied in the
usual manner to the GL of MN within that past year for recognition; the Grand Lodge of Morocco for first time recognition and the Grand Lodge of France for recognition and restoration of Masonic relations.   The Committee had researched both, found that they met the requirements of the GL of MN, and recommended recognition; both passed the ballot nearly unanimously.[1] 

Synopsis of this White Paper Report:

Of first and foremost importance, it must be emphasized that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is a sovereign, regular and independent grand lodge, and as such reserves its right to act in its own best interests and on the principles it considers important.  The ability to recognize another grand lodge that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is satisfied as having met all questions of regularity is one of those rights, and to defend that action against boycott and politics is another. We expect no more or less respect in this situation than should be afforded one Mason to another, or one Masonic grand lodge to another. 

This brief paper addresses the issues involved in the Grand Lodge of Minnesota's (re-) recognition of the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF). Reading through it will acquaint the reader with the basic issues faced in determining the regularity of this or any Masonic grand lodge.  Great vigilance was exercised in the search for Masonic `light' - `truth' and reliable information.  Briefly, the procedure was as follows. 

Standards of regularity, as outlined by reliable sources were reviewed and conformity of the applicant grand lodge was compared.  Of the three standards, only two of them invited serious question - these were Territorial Exclusivity and adherence to the Ancient Landmarks. 

  • As the GL of Minnesota and the GLdF had not formally severed relations that had existed since at least 1919, the issue of recognizing another grand lodge in a country was moot.  However, the fact remains that the GLdF was the `senior' GL in France and recognized by at least 23 US GLs before the Grande Loge Nationale Française  (GLNF), which came much later, sought recognition from these US GLs.  That the GLNF had not
    sought permission from GLdF to be recognized by US GLs sets a precedent if one needed to be established.  (See Appendix A for brief discussion of territorial inconsistencies)

  • Careful inspection of the Constitutions of the GLdF reveal that they meet each requirement as detailed by The Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America, a standard generally accepted by most grand lodges. Eyewitnesses from Minnesota and Prince Hall Masonry have confirmed conformity.

End of synopsis - please read on for more detailed report.


Recognition Standards of Grand Lodges

Although most grand lodges and advisory bodies have somewhat different standards, they all agree on several crucial points.  The following are the Standards adopted for use by The Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in  North America  (or Conference of Grand Masters of North America -  COGMNA). This commission was established in 1952 to provide information to
constituent GLs as to whether or not it considers that the GL in question meets the requirements of regularity, but it has no authority to recommend or advise.  The Commission consists of six members who each serve six years; one new member, usually a DGM, is elected each year. Their list of standards includes most of those generally considered important to regulating the Craft:[2] 

I. Legitimacy of Origin:

That the Grand Lodge requesting recognition has been lawfully formed by at least three just and duly constituted Lodges, or that it has been legally recognized by a Grand Lodge in fraternal relation with the Grand Lodge from whom recognition has been requested.

That such Grand Lodge must be "under the tongue of good repute" for an adequate number of years before such fraternal recognition is extended.  An existence for such a period as satisfies the Grand Lodge whose recognition is sought, during which time the highest standards of the Craft have been practiced [sic] by the applicant Grand Lodge, may cure what would otherwise be considered illegitimacy of origin.

II. Territorial Sovereignty

That it is an independent, self-governing organization, having Masonic authority within the governmental territory over which it assumes jurisdiction -- whether Country, Province, State or other political subdivision; or else shares such exclusive territorial jurisdiction with another Grand Lodge by mutual consent and/or treaty.

III. Ancient Landmarks (as listed in annual proceedings)

That it subscribes fundamentally, ritualistically and in all its relations to the Ancient Landmarks, Customs and Usages of the Craft. This requires adherence to the following:

  1. Monotheism -- An unalterable and continuing belief in God.

  2. The Volume of The Sacred Law -- an essential part of the furniture of the Lodge. 

  3. Prohibition of the discussion of Religion and Politics.

In addition to the standards on the Commission's list, most grand lodges also insist:

  • That its membership is composed of men only.

  • That lodge communications be opened to the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe

  • That women or any members of co-masonic organizations may not visit tiled communications.

  • That it requires the presence of the Three Great Lights of Masonry in the lodges while at work, and that obligations are taken on the VSL

  • That the Grand Lodge shall have sovereign jurisdiction over the Lodges under its control and have undisputed authority over the Craft of Symbolic Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason) within its jurisdiction; and shall not in any way be subject to or divide such authority with any other power claiming any control or supervision over those degrees.[3]

COGMNA Standards of Regularity As Applied to the Grand Lodge Of France

I. Legitimacy of Origin

The Grand Lodge of France was chartered by the Grand Lodge of England in 1728 in full accord with the latter's requirements[4] <#_ftn4>.  French Freemasonry, like that of  England, underwent splits and mergers during the 18th & 19th centuries, but to our knowledge, no question has ever been raised about the GLdF's legitimacy of origin.

II. Territorial Sovereignty

The GL of MN officially recognized the Grand Lodge of France at its  January 21-22, 1919 Grand Communication.  It is unclear if relations existed prior to WWI.  Annual proceedings indicate that amity continued and representatives were appointed until the 1940 Grand Communication of the GL of MN, when there was no mention of any French GL  and GM Nordby's address contains the ominous statement, ". . .in view of the banishment of Masonic Lodges in certain parts of Europe . . ." .  All disciplines of Freemasonry were outlawed and virtually ceased to exist in areas controlled by the Axis powers until 1945-46.

From a review of all subsequent Annual Proceedings it appears that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota was not in communication with any French GL during the time of restoration of Freemasonry in post WWII France.  In other words, the GL of MN had never officially severed relations with the Grand Lodge of France when French Freemasonry was devastated by the Germans in WWII, and it simply did not pick up relations at the
conclusion of hostilities.  This was apparently not uncommon as other  USGrand Lodges seem to have behaved similarly[5] <#_ftn5>.

Based on recommendation of the Commission for Information of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America[6] <#_ftn6>, the GL of MN officially recognized the National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) in 1954, as did many other US jurisdictions.   This was at a time when many  US GLs also were simultaneously in amity with the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF)[7] <#_ftn7>.  When action to discontinue relations with the GLdF was recommended by COGMNA in 1964-65, all US jurisdictions then in active amity with GLdF did so.  There were, however, a few US GLs who had lost touch with GLdF in 1940-41 and had neither restored nor broken relations with them at the end of hostilities, and which took no action of any kind - Minnesota among them.

This is not to say that the GL of MN relies on this technicality to rationalize its position.  The decision, based on careful research, to recommend recognition of GLdF would have been affirmative in any event.   Nor does the GL of MN have any interest in choosing one grand lodge over another - it merely exerts its right, in this case, to
recognize two legitimate GLs that happen to be in the same country.  The recognition of only one GL in a country being the exception, not the rule in global Freemasonry (see Appendix B)

III. Conformity with Ancient Landmarks (see also Appendix C)

To address most of the issues involved with established conditions of regularity, it may be enlightening for the reader to compare the list of Ancient Landmarks set down by the COGMNA and other GLs with the exact wording of the "Declaration of Principles" as stated in the constitution of the Grand Lodge of France:

DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES (December 5, 1955)[8] 

  1. The Grand Lodge of France works to the Glory 0f The Grand Architect Of The Universe.[9]

  2. In conformity with the traditions of the Order, three Great Lights are placed on the altar of the Lodges: the Square, the Compass and a Volume of the Sacred Law.[10]  Masons take their Obligations on these three Lights

  3. The Grand Lodge of France proclaims its unfailing loyalty and total devotion to our Country.

  4. Neither the Grand Lodge of France nor its constituent Lodges shall meddle in matters of political or religious controversy[11].

  5. Concerning principles other than those defined above, the Grand Lodge of France refers to the Old Charges, especially with regard to the respect of the traditions of Freemasonry and to the scrupulous and strict practice of Ritual and Symbolism as means of access to the initiatic content of the Order.

One condition not specifically addressed in the "Principles" is that membership is composed of men only, and that is specified in Article I of the Constitution:

"It is an alliance of free men of good repute, of any race, nationality and creed."

The reader will also note in V (above) that principles not specifically defined are covered in "The Old Charges", which emphatically states that Freemasonry is an organization of men only.  All of the Constitutions and referenced materials can be read and verified in French or English language on the Grand Lodge of France website at 

Additionally, strict adherence to the above listed landmarks has been verified by at least one member of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota who attended a number of lodge communications[12] <#_ftn12>, and also by a large number of North American Prince Hall Affiliated Masons, including at least 3 Grand Masters.  It should be noted that in 1952 the Grand Lodge of France declared unilateral recognition of all Prince Hall Affiliated Brethren, largely based on relations established with PHA lodges of black US servicemen stationed in post WWII France[13].

A lot of misinformation exists on this subject.  There are allegations of irregularity (see Appendix D).  How do you know if the information being distributed by the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is accurate, when others are saying different things?  The answer is this: The Grand Lodge of Minnesota has evidence to prove every statement in this paper. We would be delighted to provide detailed, precise citations to prove all our statements, and encourage everyone who hears anything different to ask for similar citations and proof of any contrary allegations they might hear.

Respectfully & Fraternally Submitted

MW Bro. The Honorable David Bouschor

MW Bro. Ralph Hultquist

MW Bro. Rodney Larson

Bro. Anthony Cicchese

Bro. Dexter Pehle

Bro. John Worlein, Chairman

End of Position Paper


Appendices & References Follow

Appendix A - A Brief Overview of Some Inconsistencies in Masonic Recognition[14]

The only rule that seemingly exists in international Masonic recognition is that there is no universal rule. If one Grand Lodge (US or international) could only be in amity with other Grand Lodges which recognized the exact same list of GLs, there virtually would be no recognition factor whatsoever.  Every Grand Lodge in the world, and in the U.S., recognizes Grand Lodges that in turn recognize other Grand Lodges that are not recognized by the first one.  

To belabor this point, the following inconsistencies between US Grand Lodges are noted, but be aware that these are by no means all differences, only a small sampling:

Mexico has at least 26 Grand Lodges with no uniformity of recognition whatsoever; 23 of them are recognized by at least one US GL, but only one of them is recognized by all US GLs (York Grand Lodge - which claims all of Mexico as its jurisdiction).  While four US GLs recognize 23 or more Mexican GLs, four other US GLs recognize only 4 or 5 of the Mexican GLs and Puebla Grand Lodge is recognized only by one (GL of Michigan). 

We do not even agree on the grand lodges of our Canadian neighbors, of the 10 provincial Grand Lodges, US grand Lodges agree on recognition of only 9 of them.   At this time, 28 US GLs believe that the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland & Labrador is recognizable, while 23 do not.

In the Caribbean, all US GLs agree on only one - the GL of Puerto Rico.  Central and South American countries have multiple grand lodges, such as Brazil which has 29 Grand Lodges, 28 of them recognized to one extent or another by US GLs, and only two of these by all US jurisdictions.  The GL of Vermont is alone in recognizing 27 of the 28.  The `territories' of these may overlap extensively and they may not necessarily be in accord with each other either.  Central and South America GLs seem quite different from other jurisdictions in that territory is not as defined and disputed as it is in US, Canadian and European Grand Lodges' jurisdictions.

Of the 31 European Grand Lodges that are recognized by any US GL, amazingly only 10 are recognized by all 51 US GLs.

Of 12 African GLs only one is recognized by all 51 US GLs - South Africa - and no US GL recognizes them all.  The remaining 11 are all in amity with some US GLs, but this may be as few as only 2 or 3.  The Grand lodge of Michigan has taken the chance and has recognized most African grand lodges, sometimes alone in that opinion.

In one of the most interesting examples of international Masonic recognition, you will find that every U.S. Grand Lodge recognizes the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), even though the UGLE recognizes "The Regular Grand Lodge of Italy", a grand lodge that every U.S. Grand Lodge considers clandestine and irregular. Still, no one accuses the UGLE of being irregular for doing this.[15]

Conditions in a jurisdiction may change as well.  A dozen US GLs recognized the GL of Morocco in 2000 & 2001, which had been recently formed by the requisite three lodges.  At least one of these lodges has reportedly withdrawn to join another grand lodge being chartered in Morocco by a third party, thereby leaving only two very small lodges remaining in this GL.  Nonetheless, this `Grand Lodge' of Morocco will continue to be the only one to `officially' exist in that country.

There are, of course, many, many more world wide grand lodges that are not recognized by any US jurisdiction - and a sizeable portion of these may be found `regular' in practice (see Appendix D for discussion on regularity), but would never be recognized if a policy of exclusive territorial jurisdiction is applied. 

In almost all Eastern European countries, there has been almost a `gold rush' to charter new Grand Lodges, some of which had existing and very probably regular Grand Lodges or Grand Lodges in "exile".  Some Western Grand Lodges may even be seen to be in the Masonic charter "franchise" business.  At the most recent meeting of the Conference of Grand Masters Commission on Recognition Information, almost all of the lodges which had been approved as "regular" had been chartered very recently by one Western European grand lodge.[16] 

If the policy of exclusive jurisdiction is applied, these new `franchise' grand lodges will be the only recognizable one in that region or country - older established grand lodges or "grand lodges in exile" will not even be considered on their merits or on precedent.

In summary (Doctrine in North America)

Exclusive jurisdiction seems to be a doctrine that has been developed and best applied in North America, where a small unit such as a state or province makes up the jurisdiction.  The doctrine may even have served a useful purpose in the earliest stages of Masonic expansion, but in the 20th & 21st centuries has only contributed to discrimination, isolation and political dilemma.  Some of this has only recently been addressed by the co-recognition of several Prince Hall Affiliated Grand Lodges with their `mainstream' counterpart grand lodges.  This, of course, results
in multiple grand lodges existing in the same jurisdiction - effectively negating the thrust of the doctrine.

The doctrine of exclusive jurisdiction may even have had a very adverse consequence on North American Grand Lodges over the last 50 or more years.  Many Masons believe that in the wake of the meteoric increase of Masonic membership during the period 1940 to 1962, and subsequent `glide slope' decline, that the distinction of fraternity and exercise of the qualities & tenets of The Craft have ceased to be fundamental in the philosophy of many grand lodges - that Masonic obligation & integrity have been replaced by mediocrity and that the pursuit of `light' has been replaced by politics & personality.

The theory further broadens to speculate that isolation from diverse Masonic philosophy and the richness of international fraternalism has resulted in US Masonry operating "in a vacuum".   The richness and depth that attracted the great men of history to Masonry still exist in our time - often in Lodges we "cannot" visit - but the boundaries we erect may well prevent us from again discovering them.

Appendix B.  The American Doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction

In 1969 in its report on Brazil the Commission on Information for Recognition stated:

"Perhaps it is well to face the fact right here that exclusive jurisdiction does not mean absolutely exclusive territorial jurisdiction. That more than one Grand Lodge may have jurisdiction within a political domain is not intrinsically repugnant to Freemasonry, for there are too many places on the globe where such a condition exists, and with complete harmony. Exclusive jurisdiction as an absolute condition applies only to the exclusive role of a Grand Lodge over its members and Lodges and does not share that authority with any other Masonic authority."

In 1979 in its report on the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Wisconsin the Commission stated:

"3. The doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction should not be used to challenge the legitimacy of Masonic establishments which were in existence long before the doctrine obtained respectable sanction."[17]

In the 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777; Stewart W. Miner, Past Grand Master of Virginia described thirteen instances when American Grand Lodges ignored the doctrine of Exclusive Territorial Jurisdiction.  He made the following observations about the doctrine of exclusive territorial jurisdiction: "(a) that the Doctrine, as originally conceived, no longer exists; (b) that the historic application of the Doctrine, especially in the 19th Century, has been selective; (c) that inconsistent applications of the Doctrine have encouraged challenge, and (d) that when it has seemed prudent, American grand lodges have modified their interpretations of the Doctrine to satisfy challenges at hand. This process, I believe, is irreversible, and despite the attempts of a few grand lodges to stem the tide by punitive action, their efforts will fail, in the long run, and change will unquestionably prevail."[18]

In its definition of Exclusive Jurisdiction, the Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters states "It is a basic principle that a Grand Lodge must be autonomous and have sole and undisputed authority over its constituent lodges.  This cannot be shared with any other Masonic council or power."  This must be interpreted as saying that the American Doctrine can only be applied to those Grand Lodges that have chosen it as a ruling principle and that it cannot be applied to Grand Lodges in other parts of the world where custom and usage differs. 

At the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America in 1961 Past Grand Master N. Dean Rowe of Vermont said, "We should yield to many of the customs and usages of the country where each [Grand Lodge] is located. We base our decisions on legitimacy rather than injecting our own theories of 'exclusive jurisdiction' into the picture, which we feel is of minor importance." [19]

The American Doctrine of Exclusive Jurisdiction is not an Ancient Landmark. It is a widely misunderstood, often ignored North American rule that repeatedly has been used to simply justify a position.  Many U.S. Grand Lodges recognized both the GLdF and the GLNF for decades. However, when this policy became politically advantageous, several of these Grand Lodges suddenly reversed their position, using the same policy to insist that only one Grand Lodge could be recognized in a political subdivision. This policy was ignored when the GLNF was formed in 1913 in the territory occupied by the GLdF. Such inconsistencies certainly challenge the validity of such a rule.

Appendix C - Elaboration of Regularity Issues Regarding Ancient Landmarks

Very much confusion (accidental and intentional) seems to exist regarding French Freemasonry.  Henderson & Pope in Freemasonry Universal state, "France has possibly the most complex & diverse Masonic history of any country in the world".  Language and French political/religious history have undoubtedly had considerable impact on this, as likely has centuries-long adversity with neighbor England.

The most common accusations regarding irregularity that are leveled at the Grand Lodge of France are that they are atheists, have no bible on the altar, allow women to sit in tiled sessions and that another grand lodge is already recognized in France (the last issue of Exclusive Jurisdiction has already been discussed elsewhere in this paper).   The other allegations are entirely a case of mistaken identity, and to adequately explain how that happened requires a brief discussion of French Masonry and history.  

French Masonry consists of a number of Grand Lodges: men's, women's and co-Masonic.   The three largest GLs are all male only, they are The National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF) with 15-20,000 members, the Grand Lodge of France (GLdF) with 28,000 members, and the Grand Orient of France (GOF or GOdF) with 35-45,000 members [20] 

All three came from the same source (the Grand Lodge of England) but took very different directions.  Much like what resulted in the United Grand Lodges of England (UGLE), French Masonry also had splits and consolidations in the 18th & 19th centuries, but the biggest departure
came in 1877 when the Grand Orient rewrote its constitution to allow "each man to exercise his own conscience" with regard to belief in a supreme being and whether the VSL would be on the altar of his lodge. In the context of the time and situation of a church/state, with church usually siding with the oppressor of private citizens, this may actually have been the correct Masonic response - many North American GLs continued to recognize GOF for many years after this event; even UGLE Lodges admitted GOF brethren conditionally.  To this day, possibly 1/3 of GOF lodges require a belief in GAOTU and a Bible on their altars, even if their Grand Lodge doesn't.   To most world Masons, however,  GOF is labeled an "atheist" GL and seemingly has no interest in associations with `regular' Freemasonry inside or outside of France.  Indeed, in recent years, GOF has begun to allow women masons from other obediences to visit tiled communications, although it does not confer degrees on women.

This GL is the source of much confusion.  Get the initials straight: the Grand Orient of France (GOF) is sometimes confused with the other French GLs but is the only French GL of consequence to have abandoned the Old Charges and thus its regularity.

The Grand Lodge of France made no such changes to its constitutions.  It reorganized in 1894 and continued to practice the Craft degrees as it had done previously.  It does not permit women or men from mixed gender lodges to visit, it requires a belief in the GAOTU of all members, the Holy Bible (specifically) on the altar and obligations to be taken on that Bible.  It is also alleged that these conditions are not enforced - they are.  In one instance a lodge found with no Bible on its altar had its charter revoked.

Appendix D - 1

Regular, Irregular, Clandestine, and Recognized

First, there are questions about definitions. What is regular versus irregular? What does clandestine mean, and who does the recognizing? 

[p. 226] Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia [21] <#_ftn21>defines a regular lodge as one that has been legally constituted and conforms to the laws of "a recognized" grand lodge. Every grand lodge is recognized by some grand lodges, so does this mean every lodge that complies with the rules of any grand lodge is "regular?" Almost every attempt to find a clear definition of a "regular" lodge or grand lodge leads to such complexity that the word confuses rather than clarifies discussions.

"Regular" might mean a grand lodge follows the ancient landmarks of freemasonry, the ones said to be unchangeable. But what are those ancient landmarks? Every grand lodge has a different answer. Some list dozens of landmarks ( Kentucky has fifty-four, Nevada thirty-nine, Minnesota twenty-six, Connecticut nineteen), some list just a few (Vermont has seven), and some do not have any list but say that masons should observe the landmarks without saying what they are (sometimes adding that they are unchangeable, while at the same time considering and sometimes adopting changes in them). In some grand lodges it is simply unclear, even to Grand Secretaries, what the policy of that grand lodge is concerning the ancient landmarks.[22]

If there is no agreement on what are the ancient landmarks of freemasonry, and if "regular" means grand lodges that follow the landmarks, there cannot be universal, or even close to universal agreement on what constitutes regular masonry.

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia defines "clandestine" as a body that does not hold a charter from a superior body having power to grant it, but makes it clear that this word is often misleading and certainly unclear.  The Freemasons' Guide and Compendium says a clandestine lodge is one that has not been properly warranted or chartered by any grand lodge.  Thus, a lodge could be regular in its workings, but clandestine because it was not chartered properly. Or, it could be irregular because in someone's eyes it does not follow "proper" Masonic practices, although it is not clandestine because it was properly chartered by a grand lodge, even if it is a grand lodge that a particular other grand lodge does not recognize.

There are no clear rules that allow anyone to decide which grand lodges are regular or irregular, or clandestine, and use of these words simply confuses reasonable discussions. Each grand lodge makes its own decisions about which grand lodges it will recognize, based on various considerations. The only useful terms are "grand lodges that are recognized by a particular grand lodge at a particular time" and those which are not.

Appendix D - 2

Landmarks: [23] "What are landmarks?" is a question often asked, but never determinately answered.  In ancient times, boundary stones were used as landmarks before title-deeds were known, the removal of which was strictly forbidden by law. With respect to the landmarks of Masonry, some restrict them to the O.B. signs, tokens and words.  Others include the ceremonies of initiation, passing and raising; and the form dimensions and support; the ground, situation and covering; the ornaments, furniture and jewels of a lodge, or their characteristic symbols.  Some think that the Order has no landmarks beyond its peculiar secrets. It is quite clear, however, that the order against removing or altering the landmarks was universally observed in all ages of the Craft.


Bede, Elbert. The Landmarks of Freemasonry. New York: Macoy Publishingand Masonic Supply Company, 1954.

Bessel, Paul M.,  "U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s", HEREDOM, Vol. 5, 1996

Coil, Henry Wilson, et al. Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia. Rev. ed. Revised by Allen E. Roberts. Richmond, Va.: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1996.

Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. Grand Lodge Recognition: A Symposium on the Conditions of Grand Lodge Recognition. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company, 1956.

Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. "Reports of the Commission on Information for Recognition." Annual report.

Henderson, Kent & Pope, Tony,  Freemasonry Universal - Volume 2 Williamstwon Victoria Australia, Global Masonic Publications  2000

Jaunaux, Bro. Laurent, "A Concise History of the French Regular Freemasonry" Harmonia Lodge No. 1282, Versailles, France, posted to Philalethes Society Email List

Kesteloot, Bro. Andre V. , "A Short Introduction to French Free?Masonry."   Address given March 1996.

List of Lodges Masonic  - 2001 Edition  Bloomington IL, Pantagraph Printing & Stationery Co. 2001

Macoy, Robert, General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry (1873), Reprinted, Montana USA, Kessinger Publishing Co

Mackey, Albert G. Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. 3 vols.Rev. and enlrg. Revised by Robert I. Clegg, with supp. vol. by H.L. Haywood. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Co., Inc., 1946.

Masonic Service Association. Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry: As Adopted, Followed or Undecided by the Fifty Grand Lodges of the United States. 6th ed. Silver Spring,Md: Masonic Service Association, Sept.1983.

Miner, Stewart W., "The American Doctrine: A Concept Under Siege," 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777, pp. 11-25 (paper delivered at that lodge on March 28, 1992

Parker, William E. "French Freemasonry, 1913, and the Future," The Philalethes, Jun. 1996, pp. 57-59, 67.

Worlein, John W., "A Visit to the Grand Lodge of France", The Philalethes, April 2002, vol. LV, no. 2 pp. 28-29, 44-46


Recognition of foreign jurisdictions -

Grand Lodge of France -


[1] Grand Lodge of Minnesota Proceedings - 2001

[2] Commission on Information for Recognition of the Conference of Grand Masters of North America: A Symposium on the Conditions of Grand Lodge Recognition

[3] Example of well stated requirement used: Grand Lodge of Texas Code

[4] Henderson & Pope, Freemasonry Universal, p. 190.   Also see Kesteloot, Andre V.,  A Short Introduction to French FreeMasonry.

[5] Conversation with librarian of George Washington Masonic National Memorial, which maintains one of the largest and most complete collections of US GL annual proceedings

[6] Minnesota Proceedings 1954

[7] Bessel,, Paul M.,  U.S. Recognition of French Grand Lodges in the 1900s,  chart Pp.12-13


[9] At the Grand Lodge of France, the Great Architect Of The Universe is seen as a Creator Principle.

[10] At the Grand Lodge of France, the Volume of the Sacred Law is the Holy Bible.

[11] See also in that regard, Art. 23 of the Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of France 23 - It is strictly forbidden to provoke or start political or
religious discussions in Lodge.

[12]  Worlein, John, "A Visit to the Grand Lodge of France", The Philalethes, April 2002, vol. LV, no. 2, p. 28

[13] Henderson & Pope, Freemasonry Universal Pp 191

[14] Source of data:  List of Lodges Masonic - 2001 and

[15] & communications with the webmaster

[16] Agenda of The Commission for Information for Recognition, COGMNA, Milwaukee WI, February 17, 2002

[17]  Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America. "Reports of the Commission on Information for Recognition." 1979 Annual report.

[18] Stewart W. Miner, "The American Doctrine: A Concept Under Siege," 1992 Transactions of the Virginia Research Lodge No. 1777, pp. 11-25

[19] Transactions of the Conference of Grand Masters of Masons of North America 1961, pp. 43-44.

[20] A range of membership numbers is used because there is considerable controversy about exactly how many members actually belong in each of these bodies.  Multiple memberships, dates used and several other factors are the cause of this confusion.

[21] Coil, Henry Wilson, et al.  Coils Masonic Encyclopedia.  Rev. Ed. By Allen Roberts 1996

[22]  MSA, Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. Also see Elbert Bede, Landmarks of Freemasonry.

[23] Macoy, Robert, General History, Cyclopedia and Dictionary of Freemasonry (1873), Reprinted, Montaana USA, Kessinger Publishing Co

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