Information

The Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Virginia

Social Media, Public Relations and Information Technology Policy

Additional Information To Provide Some Clarification About The Policy.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

DRAFT

Masons Are Held To A Higher Standard

The Ancient Landmarks of Masonry, the Constitutions of Masonry, and the Methodical Digest, Masons are held to a higher standard.

Freemasons should conduct their lives in a way that reflects membership in the Craft, acting in a way that presents a positive image of the fraternity; avoiding private piques and quarrels; being cautious in behavior; courteous to all and promote the general good and to preserve the reputation of the fraternity.

Postings should not bring discredit to Freemasonry nor should they fit within the definition of being un-Masonic. Conduct contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty of Freemason’s, or to society in general is improper.

Masonic principles, and responsibility goes beyond the Lodge room, and extent to our everyday lives.

Masons owing allegiance to the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M., of Virginia, and sojourning Masons while in the state of Virginia, must obey the civil laws, support the establishment of government, keep inviolable the mysteries of the Order, preserve and obey the laws and resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, observe the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry and discharge their duties and obligations to their families, to each other and to mankind in general.

Minutes Of A Tiled Communication Are Confidential

In sort, what happens in Lodge, stays in Lodge.

Here are a few examples as to why Lodge minutes are confidential, and cannot be made public, or provided to the general membership.

  • Conversations and Business of a tiled Lodge are CONFIDENTIAL
  • Members names, who may not want their membership known
  • Petitioners names are listed
  • Members names that have been suspended or expelled
  • Private matters, i.e. financial assistance to a Brother or Widow, Disciplinary actions, etc.
  • Lodge assets and/or debts

The Master can refuse request of member of his Lodge to complete minutes, i.e. expenditures for relief of widow.

The saying if it is written then it is not a secret, is in reference to the ritual, what is printed in the Presentation Volume, Manual of Work, etc., not the minutes. Unwritten ritual, cannot even be written in the Lodge minutes.

Exceptions

  • Award presentations
  • Fundraiser announcement
  • Death notices
  • Event information
  • Veterans Awards

Email Group Lists

Lodge's email group lists do have some (not all) of their members on it, but they also have Masons who are not members of that Lodge, non-Masons, and wife's, etc. And a lot of these group lists messages are saved, and publicly accessible. Thus most of the discussions and business that takes place in a tiled communication of the Lodge should not be sent to email group lists. Except for common sense exceptions, that are not prohibited by the Methodical Digest, Constitutions of Masonry, or this Policy.

General

With mass electric communication, Lodge notices, and information contained within Lodge notices beyond the time and place of meetings, should not be discussed. There should never be discussion related to petitions, applications, background checks or investigation of an applicant. There should never be a discussion regarding balloting on an applicant. There should never be discussion related to the business of a Lodge and what is discussed within our tiled doors.

Master can refuse request of member of his Lodge for detailed report of expenditures for relief of widow of member. Member has right to ask for information concerning Lodge business and to have access to books of Lodge without removing them from custody of proper officer. (W. L. Davis) 1929 D-12, §-2.48

Do not identify any Freemason as a member of the Craft unless he has provided his consent, or has already identified himself as such.

A Mason shall not use social media to contact other Grand Jurisdictions unless he is a member of that jurisdiction. Remember that all official intra-jurisdictional communication is, by Masonic protocol, conducted by and between Grand Lodge offices.

Criticisms, Animadversions or Reflections on the Acts of Any Officer May Not be Published in Any Journal

There shall be no publication by any Mason in any printed or public journal or through public electronic communication of any animadversion or reflection upon the official acts of any officer in Grand Lodge or in subordinate Lodge in this jurisdiction, or any criticism of such acts, either while said officer is in office or after his term has expired. The publishing of such criticisms, animadversions or reflections in the public press, or public electronic communication, whether in a journal professing to be Masonic or otherwise, is un-Masonic conduct, and shall be so treated by the Lodge to which the Brother so publishing belongs. Any just cause of complaint by any Brother against the acts of any officer in Grand Lodge or a subordinate Lodge, shall be made in accordance with Masonic usage and custom, and not in any public journal or other public communication media, including e-mail, list serves, news groups, etc. (1999) Sec. 3.06

Responsibilities

NEED TO EDIT

Every Masons has the duty of, and the responsibility is placed upon to..

The Worshipful Master rules and governs his Lodge, and is responsible for every single thing within his Lodge, he has the duty to know what the members of his Lodge are posting in the name of the Lodge, and how they conduct themselves as Freemasons, and is responsible.

As to all publications which have been made and issued by any Constituent Lodge, it shall be the duty of, and the responsibility is placed upon, the Master of the Lodge granted such authority, to supervise and control the conduct of such publication and all matters of every kind and nature therein published.


Chosen Master of this Lodge, you cannot be insensible of the obligations which devolve on you as their head; nor of your responsibility for the faithful discharge of the important duties annexed to your appointment. The honor, reputation, and usefulness of your Lodge will materially depend on the skill and assiduity with which you manage its concerns, while the happiness of its members will be materially promoted in proportion to the zeal and ability with which you propagate the genuine principles of our Institution. For a pattern of imitation, consider the Great Luminary of Nature, which rising in the east, regularly diffuses light and luster to all within its circle. In like manner, it is your province to spread and communicate light and instruction to the Brethren of your Lodge. Forcibly impress upon them the dignity and high importance of Masonry, and seriously admonish them never to disgrace it. Charge them to practice out of the Lodge those duties which are inculcated in it; and by amiable, discreet, and virtuous conduct to convince mankind of the goodness of the Institution so that when anyone is said to be a member of it, the world may know that he is one to whom the burdened heart may pour out its sorrows; to whom distress may prefer its suit; whose hand is guided by justice, and whose heart is expanded by benevolence.

Violations

Violations of this policy shall be referred to the Chairmen of either the committee of Information Technology or Public Relations, who will communicate such violation to the Grand Secretary Office for the determination of appropriate action.

Typically the Grand Master or Grand Secretary will have the District Deputy Grand Master contact the Worshipful Master of the Brothers Lodge, the Master would Typically be responsible to address the violation. Depending on the violation, the Grand Master or Grand Secretary my contact the Brother directly.

Notes consider adding to 2019 Policy

A Mason shall not use social media to obtain personal advantage in promoting political, religious or business activities by targeting other Masons.

A Mason shall not use social media to contact other Grand Jurisdictions unless he is a member of that jurisdiction. Remember that all official intra-jurisdictional communication is, by Masonic protocol, conducted by and between Grand Lodge offices.

Masons shall advise a Brother if something he has posted is improper within the framework of our Constitution, Rules and Regulations, etc.

Ultimately, the actions of a Mason online should promote the highest standards of morality and integrity. He should always be mindful of the penalties as described in the Hawaii Masonic Code relating to trial, suspension, and/or expulsion for any un-Masonic behavior. Posting a comment related to the fraternity and then posting a disparaging comment about a social or political stance can easily be misconstrued by readers that your stance is representative of Masonry and all Masons. Remember that the public and members of the Masonic Fraternity are reading your posts online. Masons are encouraged to be a positive and proactive force for projecting Freemasonry in the world!

Content pertaining to the business of the Grand Lodge, Local Lodge, or any of the committees of those bodies should not be shared with the general public. Divulging information about the business of a tiled lodge is considered a violation of the sacred trust each Mason is charged with.

No campaigning for station will be allowed in social media.

Any existing or proposed Virginia Masonic Lodge website utilizing any form of a Square & Compass (S&C), the term “Lodge” or other identifying marks indicating linkage between the website and the Fraternity of Freemasonry must be reviewed by the GLCIT or GLCPR and approved.

Lodges are prohibited from entering into commerce.