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The ONLY lodge in the GOOFUS universe - or maybe not: who can tell?
The story of Halcyon Lodge in Cleveland, Ohio is one of a Pied Piper, sycophantic and egotistic followers, and - probably - a desire to do far more with Freemasonry in an undesirable part of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Sadly, it's also (at least to this observer and many others) a tale of lies, deceit, unrealistic expectations merged with idealism, egotism, and hope. It was - from our perspective, the story of big plans, some readily available cash, and a group of impetuous 20 to nearly-40 year olds who never learned the Masonic lessons of temperance and justice pitted against "a bunch of 'old fogies'" who were seen to be standing in the way of the youngsters' great plans and dreams. From one angle, it was high-minded ideals battling against the atrophy and stupidity which had allowed a cherished monument to decay - but the rest of the Masonic world didn't seem to see it that way, particularly with the already tainted activities of the person who came to be their spiritual mentor.
OH - and as of mid-2012, it was impossible to tell just whether this group is part of the GOOFUS universe, just a star that flits through its galaxy when it feels like it, or 'totally independent'. The so-called Grand Orient doesn't seen to be an organization much any more so they seem to be part of it when they want to and to claim independence when it's more convenient.
In May, 2013, they were again able to host one major event - and beyond that, as you can see from their website calendar - there's little else. (Look closely at that calendar: you can only see the current month - and in December, 2013, there was NOTHING going on. Pretty odd, in the month when every organization and business is scrambling for places to hold their Christmas parties, don't you think?) Even the story in a local free newspaper would lead you to wonder what's going on there. And, giving "credit" where it's due, one sycophant rails against those who speak the truth about things using truly juvenile name-calling as if it were his badge of honor. (Oh, but wait: that rant was from 2012 and nothing at all during 2013 or 2014 so far. And now we see their Facebook page is gone also so is it *really* going great guns???)
It all began with a fabrication
Halcyon Lodge BLAZED (and that's no exaggeration!) onto the Masonic Internet scene with their announcement that the founder of the then-embryonic United Grand Lodge of America would be coming to Cleveland (Ohio, USA) to present a program where remarkable new material related to the history of Freemasonry would be revealed. Like everything else concerning that organization, its predecessors and its successors, this was soon recognized by all but the unknowledgeable sycophants as pure hype/tripe. Reading between the lines subsequently, it would appear that the presentation was probably little more than ONE (a little-used one) of the theories conjectured over the years and presented by the speaker's darling, author Margaret C. Jacob. Although Professor Jacob's material about French Freemasonry has been intriguing for most, it seems to have been truly awe-inspiring for the less-than-knowledgeable. When Mr. Peace "quit Freemasonry" (one of the couple of times....), a fawning Toronto gadfly (generally ignored for his pomposity by the rest of the Masonic online world) wrote "Jeff Peace has been described as one of the brightest living masonic scholars." In truth, NO ONE who is recognized as a Masonic scholar, researcher or educator has ever made such a preposterous and exaggerated claim. (No longer true: see below for a belly laugh!) As far as we know, Mr. Peace had never written more than (a large volume of) internet posts, a few un-sourced opinion essays and, of course, parts/pieces of the ritual for the various groups he's formed. As far as we know, he had/has NO credentials as a Masonic historian, scholar or educator and has certainly never received any recognition as such that anyone we know is aware of. (If we're wrong on this, please do let us know and we'll issue an immediate correction!)
But that's where the Halcyon beginnings of 'revolution' began to finally erupt.
Break-away and the Lawsuit
Jeff apparently had such a good time with those at Halcyon who were in the process of fermenting revolution within the moribund lodge that his message of 'join with me' resonated and next we heard, they were about to make Jeff - who had by then been expelled by regular/recognized Freemasonry in Georgia - an Honorary Member of their lodge, asserting that the Code of the Grand Lodge of Ohio permitted such actions.
Questions raised by regular/recognized Freemasons online were met with various degrees of avoidance or belligerence and while many sought to fully understand things in which they were not involved and had no specific stake, the heat increased. Those staging the revolution at Halcyon seemed to be emboldened by what they apparently saw as a challenge to their sovereignty and those questioning felt they somehow had a right to a full explanation since they were - with those at Halcyon at that time - Freemasons.
The bitterness began to grow, fueled by pseudonym-postings (typical for all of Jeff's prior pseudo-Masonic activities) and claims of activities which, although seen in Freemasonry (particularly Prince Hall Freemasonry) over the history of the organization, were thought to be new, radical and treasonous by those getting into the online discussion. Breaking away from a Grand Lodge had happened hundreds of times in the past: many never realized that - and most never expected such a thing would happen with a lodge under the aegis of the staid and stable Grand Lodge of Ohio.
And then, the members who were interested and taking part decided that they should take over. They did, declaring themselves independent from the Grand Lodge and associating themselves with the Grand Orient of the United States, certainly a coup for the latter. The bragging began as the lawsuit sought to shut things down. The charity fund of the lodge was taken by the defectors and they began the hard work of renovating a building that was suffering from decades of neglect according to all reports.
The Grand Lodge surely must have thought that their 'proprietary' ownership of lodges would have caused this aberration to be quickly ended but the actual paper on which the court would decide matters was created in a time long ago and far removed from the present situation. Who would have, in 1875, thought that a group would even consider 'taking ownership' of a lodge? Who could have imagined it even a few years earlier without the internet providing fuel, an opportunity to brag unceasingly, the Pied Piper ready to make it seem like there'd be a path to national - nay, INTERNATIONAL - adulation for righting all the wrongs of Freemasonry in one fell swoop and more besides? It was, simply, unimaginable!
But reality set in...
Slogging through court proceedings for more than a year seemed to have left everyone at a disadvantage. What seems to be left, though, is a VERY small group of young men whose idealism was outstripped by their immaturity. They hold (very) occasional events at the building they've commandeered (the former large and ornate lodge hall of the REAL Halcyon Lodge) and tout them as somehow being related to events that their lodge is involved with. Whether it's a charity event or a luncheon of some kind, they hook their name to the good name of the renter. It is, probably, the only way they can show activity....
Here's an example: they claim on their website that this activity is somehow theirs. Note: "...our celebration...."
And yet, if you follow the link to the Facebook Page, you'll find the following:
Ingenuity is channeling the spirits of the Kokoon Arts Club with its first annual Bal Ingenieux. This one night only event takes the audience through an amazing journey of food, drink, performances, and interactive installations.
The event itself never mentions the Halcyon kiddies and is, obviously, the Kokoon Arts Club who simply rented the venue for their event: nothing more, nothing less. Were those at Halcyon so stupid as to think that no one would check this? Apparently so. It's not unlike all of the rest of their 'shuck and jive' however. Constant obfuscation.
Oh, and we've seen past due tax bills so reality is creeping closer and this farce may soon strip them all bare!
SOME TOTAL TRIPE!
Living off of the history of a Masonic lodge founded in the late 1800's, the current 'owners' of this organization consistently pretend that they and their predecessors are one and the same. Simply put, they're NOT. It's a bald-faced lie to claim that they are! The original lodge was under the Grand Lodge of Ohio. This group belongs to an entirely different organization which has no connection with (not now nor ever) that Grand Lodge. While the current handful of members which remain joined when the lodge was under that jurisdiction, they severed all ties with them and even engaged in a lawsuit to separate themselves.
That they now wrap themselves in the history of the lodge they destroyed is, at best, shameful.
Here's a recent example:
ASK THEM: how many of your members are currently serving and/or veterans of the Armed Forces? (Not just "many" as an answer is appropriate. Count them. Give us the breakdown. SURELY with the small membership you can figure this out, can't you?) You'll find, we suspect, only one: a Past Grand Master du jour - but NONE of those in Cleveland! So what would you call this type of tripe? Pandering? Perhaps....
Of course, that's if you can find anyone left to ask! But SOMEONE will benefit from that charity fund and from the ultimate sale of the building, won't they?
Begun December 23, 2011. Updated March 10, 2012, December 27, 2013 and May 20, 2014.
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