In June, MW George Hamilton, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts AF&AM, issued a stern warning about a fraudulent organization claiming to be ‘The Grand Lodge of the USA.’ This group has been specifically targeting Brazilian immigrants in the U.S., charging them an exorbitant fee to join.
The Deceptive Scheme
According to the letter from the Grand Master, representatives of this fake organization have been contacting local community members and hosting gatherings at hotels and restaurants. They present an official-looking application with an employer identification number to a lodge that cannot be verified. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has confirmed that the so-called “Grand Lodge of the USA” does not exist and urges the public to be cautious and stay clear of this association.
The Importance of Authenticity
The warning serves as a reminder to both Masons and non-Masons to be vigilant against such money-making schemes that pretend to be part of the authentic worldwide fraternity. For those interested in joining the Freemasons in the U.S., only two organizations in every state can claim legitimacy: a state “Grand Lodge of (your state here) F&AM (or AF&AM)” and the historically black “Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of (your state here) F&AM.”
How to Join Legitimately
If you are seriously considering joining, you should seek out the websites for these two groups in your state or visit BeAMason.org, sponsored by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite – Northern Jurisdiction. The contact forms on that site will be forwarded to the appropriate grand lodge in your area.
For a more detailed explanation of bogus, illegitimate, or what is referred to as clandestine Masonic groups, you can refer to the article titled “Addressing Clandestine Freemasonry: Why It’s Important.”
A Note from the Community
A comment from a reader named Stephen adds that there are at least a couple of regular Grand Lodges with names that don’t fit the mentioned pattern, such as the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge in Mississippi and the Grand Lodge AFM of South Carolina, both of which are regular Grand Lodges.
The warning from the Grand Master of Massachusetts serves as a crucial reminder to be cautious and do due diligence when considering joining Masonic organizations. The existence of fraudulent groups exploiting the reputation of Freemasonry emphasizes the importance of seeking legitimate channels and being aware of the authentic organizations within the Masonic fraternity