Disharmony in the Craft
When I was installed as Grand Master, I made the statement that I would provide a very high level of transparency into the workings of the Grand Lodge and make every effort to restore peace in the Craft. Unfortunately, there is a small number of individuals who continue to spread false information and are perpetuating disharmony. It disgusts me to have to deal with this, but as I made a commitment of transparency, whenever a situation in which false information is being spread I will openly share the facts.
I was informed that those individuals were calling Brothers across the state and spreading inaccurate information and blatant falsehoods as to the election of officers and handling of legislation at this past Grand Lodge Communication. Additionally, I received two letters from Lodges asking that I convene a Special Communication to resolve those matters. One of those Lodges, Resurgam, included what I consider a threat in their request. That Lodge is now hosting the Masonic “ informational ” gathering that their leaders mentioned in the attached communication. Most Lodges have by now received an invitation to that event. Additionally, they are attempting to use the Scottish Rite via Valley Secretaries to further spread their event information. As this event came about by way of a threat and is being perpetuated based upon inaccurate information and falsehoods, I can only ascertain that the intent is seditious. I have included the Lodge request and threat for open review.
Prior to this past Annual Communication, I spoke to all of the elected officers and then to the new Junior Grand Warden following his installation. Every one of the Grand Lodge officers agreed to pursue peace and that all grievances and events of the past would be behind us. Following Grand Lodge, I spoke with the incoming leadership of Resurgam Lodge and he agreed that he and the entire Lodge were willing to do the same and that we could all move forward together to restore peace. Roughly three weeks after that phone conversation, I received the threatening request for a Special Communication from the Lodge that had previously agreed to peace.
I continue to pursue resolution and although it is within the power of the Grand Master to issue an edict of cease and desist on their Masonic Chautauqua, I will not be doing so at this time. It should be noted that in their event flyer it states that this is not a tyled Lodge and Masonic formalities will not be followed. However, this will be a gathering of Masons and potentially discussing Grand Lodge business that occurred while the Grand Lodge was tyled. Thus, there is the potential for their gathering to be considered clandestine. Presented with the information in this mailing and attached documents, I will leave the choice up to each Mason whether he intends to support their behavior through attendance or not.
I want to make it very clear that everything done at the past Annual Communication was supported by the Constitution and Code of South Dakota. In particular, I’d like to point out that once elected to the position of Junior Grand Warden, the line in South Dakota is progressive. This means that advancing to the next position does not require nomination. Upon reviewing Grand Lodge proceedings going back for a number of years — including those years that some of the above-mentioned individuals were in the progressive line — nominations were not made beyond Junior Grand Warden. I have verified this through research of past Masonic Messengers and the printed proceedings of the Grand Lodge Communications, and through the actions of the Jurisprudence Committee through their final report.
In reference to the advancement of officers and all matters of legislation, I have also attached the complete report of the Jurisprudence Committee which I have accepted and has been placed into the official record.
Brothers, it is still my sincere hope to restore peace and harmony to our beloved Craft. I have offered an olive branch of forgive-and-forget on all transgressions, no matter which side they may have come from, and that offer still stands. But, as long as there are individuals who seem intent on spreading disharmony, I will unequivocally confront each and every falsehood with transparency and openness to the Craft as a whole. If and when such a time comes that this behavior ceases, my olive branch peace offering will remain. For the sake of all Masonry in South Dakota, the perpetuation of falsehoods and misinformation must come to a stop, and this must be put behind us.
May peace within the Craft prevail, and Brotherly love unite and cement us.
DaNiel D. Wood, Grand Master
Jurisprudence Final Report
Grand Lodge Leadership Training
Learn to be a better leader! Join us at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, 920 W. Siouix Avenue, Pierre, September 7 and 8, for the Grand Lodge of South Dakota Leadership Training. MWB Bob Conley will again be our keynote presenter and will cover ␄Six Steps to Initiation,” candidate mentoring, and much more.
The cost of this fantastic training is only $45.00, which covers registration, all training materials, and lunch on Saturday.
The registration form is here (print the form and mail it in):
A block of rooms has been reserved at Ramkota for $99.00 plus tax. Be sure to mention the Grand Masons Leader Training to get this rate. Rooms will be held until August 8. Make your reservations by calling (605) 224-6877 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s training promises to be great. We will be done in time Friday night to socialize, and we will have you done in time on Saturday to get home that night.
Join us for fun, a chance to make new friends and to see old ones and maybe, just maybe, leave with a plan to make your Lodge a cut above the ordinary.