Alain JUILLET writes to the GLNF Brethren
and the positive reactions to his letter
In a very long letter Alain Juillet has addressed the Brethren of the GLNF, exhorting the various opposition groups to unite in a pilot committee. The proposal has met with unprecedented approval. Immediately the ULRF, FLR, Myosotis, the group of 14 PGMs, the “Ni Scission, Ni Soumission” group, Jean Murat and serge Toffolini have all heartily endorsed the concept. Alain Juillet is a man of consensus. Here’s hoping his proposal can be carried through to the end.
Dear and Beloved Brother,
During the suspension of relations with the GLNF by the United Grand Lodge of England even the most sceptical among us could see that lying was the sole means of communication used by he whose principal claim to fame is to have had us rejected by the major part of international Freemasonry. Confronted with such a shameful manner of treatment to our English Brethren I decided to remain silent in order to stand back and observe, listen to the Brethren, follow the initiatives taken and analyse the actions begun by one another via the reading of blogs and various publications. Then came the time for exchanges and sharing of what I had noted with those who are in charge of our Rites and with foreign Grand Lodges.
Contrary to what François Stifani would have us believe through the repetitive and soothing “Brèves”, in which he uses masonic language as a screen to abuse Brethren, the situation of our Obedience degrades a little more every day. On a collision course with destiny, with the sole objective of preserving power and its advantages, he who releases us from all engagement concerning himself by resigning as president of the association still considers himself Grand Master of the Obedience. It is true that we are waiting for the decision of the appeals court whose successive unjustified postponements, neither realistic nor serious, causes for some in a flagrant and crucial manner the problem of the independence of French Justice in this period running up to the national elections.
Faced with a court appointed administrator who unfortunately allows François Stifani to do what he wants, and he continues to manage the GLNF using all the procedural talents of his advisors to delay as long as possible the vote which will decide if he has won or lost. To ensure his victory he profits by eliminating in disciplinary councils with the lingering odour of revolutions all those who do not agree with him and who reclaim the respect of masonic rules and regularity. He appoints zealous men, thirsty for the non-masonic recognition they have always lacked into responsible positions, these nominations based upon criteria more linked to a community of language, rites and personal interests of those who frequent the justice halls of the republic than of proven masonic qualities. Since the beginning of the crisis ha has replaced more than half of the members of the Sovereign Grand Committee; thus he creates a “democratic” majority to ensure his re-election which soon will attain the 99.9% so dear to certain of his foreign friends.
All this is accompanied by propaganda putting one against another, Blue Lodges against side degrees, provincial France against Paris, intellectuals against club members, where lies and mixtures of all sorts sow doubt and deceive many of our Brethren. The systematic use of the scapegoat enables him to divert onto others his own errors and turpitudes. Flagrant examples are all that concerns the loss of recognition of the foreign Grand Lodges and the attacks against the principal Rites, in particular the A&ASR and the Modern Rite. Every day the secret of masonic membership is mocked and the practice of fraternity is not that for which we entered Masonry. At double quick time François Stifani has passed us from a masonic organisation to a dictatorial system where we all recognise the origin and model and where investigative journalists question the reasons for certain African relations.
At the same time the multiple tendencies of the opposition tear themselves apart with curses. Despite the good intention of the authors, petitions with no serious future when you see the number of signatures or letters of protest to various institutions which never reply in respect of a rarely benevolent neutrality get lost in the void. Organisations and legal texts conceived for today’s necessary evolution are blocked by the will of one man, entreaties to a court appointed administrator who maintains silence and hides herself behind what she believes to be a strict adherence to the law, nothing concrete comes from them. Investigations carried out by the blogs often lift the veil that hide the wayward tendencies of our Obedience, more physical actions of squatting by certain outraged Brethren, not forgetting the cries of those thrown out of the Temple so as to silence them, they all produce no tangible result. Moreover, in a perfect example of the Astérix’s Gallic village, each new initiative by one group is denounced vociferously by the others in the name of history, rules, vision of what masonry really is, or of past conflicts.
Instead of going into battle united against an adversary whose resistance is even more fearsome because he has his back to the wall and is convinced of his impunity, we are victims and spectators at a ballet of the egos of numerous pretenders, convinced they have an obvious claim to the top seat. As well, and we have to admit it, there are many Brethren who really want change but want the others to do the work, in a practical application of the principle of cautiousness that unfortunately we know characterises behaviour painfully reminiscent of some of the darkest days of our history.
Among the many recent initiatives two seem to me to be the most efficient by their capacity to assemble if we are capable of making them evolve : the ULRF and the group of 14 dissident PGMs. The problem is simple : to succeed we must assemble a maximum of identifiable and perfectly identified Brethren and Lodges for that is the principal sign of legitimacy recognisable by the United Grand Lodge of England and our public institutions. Only the two working together can succeed because within the GLNF each imprudent opponent is subject to an amazing witch hunt, the current self-proclaimed Guide claiming that all is well in the best of worlds. At the same time, no matter what their sensitivities, we must stand together with our Brothers when they are subject to the ire of the current management simply because their opinion differs. Finally, instructions adhered to by all must be given so as to retake the initiative. So, if the Grand Lodge meeting of December 3rd occurs, the policy of the empty chair is to be avoided. Your Lodge must be present without creating a scandal, and by your vote, refusing all the presented reports and, obviously, the nomination of disciplinary council members.
Today, by the blows and attacks and actions of the lowest propaganda, the dissident PGMs have burst into several parts and their leaders are accused of the worst atrocities. As well the ULRF, a fraternal association that each member of the GLNF can join without the slightest difficulty according to a decision of the Nice Court on October 2nd, 2001, has been travestied into a clique made up of members of FMR and the Myosotis blogs wishing to create an Obedience. All you have to do is read its statutes to realise François Stifani’s flagrant communication manipulation on this subject. Each of these groups, organised around certain specifics, is beyond the pale in the eyes of the others. Instead of allowing themselves to be intoxicated by these manipulations coming principally from the Obedience, everyone would be better served by taking inspiration from our good King Henri IV who felt that Paris was well worth a mass and to recall that it is in union that one gains strength.
After having consulted and worked with the founders and the willing Brethren in the ULRF, of whom I have been part right from the beginning, I spoke with most of the PGMs so as to understand the differing approaches. I discussed with the openly declared candidates like Jean Murat or Brothers of great experience like Jean-Claude Tardivat, and others less well known publicly but whose wisdom is recognised. Armed with these opinions and reflections, I propose the creation of a pilot committee covering all the opposition and I invite all the leaders and candidates to join me so that it will be as representative as possible. Since I am not a candidate for the Grand Mastership, as I wrote some time ago to François Stifani, I am prepared to be the president of this committee and its spokesman, under conditions and the guarantee of a necessary dialogue since the Brethren call for it. While it is not necessary that the participants be members, the secretarial aspect of the committee will be handled by the ULRF because it is currently the best organised structure. In the next few days it will hold the first meeting of its administration board, which will be more open to the differing sensitivities of our Obedience than the initial provisory structure, then I will organise the first meeting of the opposition pilot committee in the interval prior to December 3rd.
Within this framework, no-one will seek to impose his ideas on the others for none of the opposition possesses the absolute truth, nor does they have a monopoly on masonic virtue or the interpretation of the rule in 12 points. That is why the assembly can only occur around some common principles, defined last month in two declarations signed by almost all the opponents, the first of which is the departure of François Stifani.
If we succeed, and I have no doubt we will, a team will have to be organised to stop the wayward tendencies, put things in order and restore confidence so as to organise the election of a future Grand Master in a calmed atmosphere, far from the settling of scores already called for by some revengers who have forgotten the strength gained from tolerance and fraternity. To avoid all suspicion that is not necessary illegitimate, this will imply that all the members of the team whose task will be to get the obedience moving again during this interim period will undertake to not stand for the Grand Mastership. I am convinced that this is the only solution whereby all can federate without afterthought to find again the unity we cannot do without. Also, this is why, have succeeded in my life elsewhere and having no particular ambition I am prepared to ensure the direction in the interest of all. During this interim period, all the pretenders can also campaign with their teams, explain their ideas and the measures they wish to take so that the Brethren can calmly choose he who best represents what the majority expects, allowing us to once again take our place among the Grand Lodges of the world.
I cannot finish this letter without envisaging the possibility of failure because the adversary is tough and his hidden support is considerable since he pledged us to the power in place as recalled in a recent book on the “Friend’s Republic”. The combat we have undertaken within the GLNF to recover the light of our fundamentals is in total opposition with the approach of François Stifani and his small band that have become family. The statutory modifications, the changing of those in responsibility, the current practices of alternating promises and threats make our action very difficult. We will only succeed if the State’s Justice plays its part by respecting the rules and laws of the Republic for no-one is above the law, be he freemason, lawyer or president of an association, truth will out. No matter what the current dignitaries believe, time is on our side.
If we fail, the problem will be to decide if we remain part of a system that no longer has any masonic character or if we leave. In which case we will have to choose between abandoning masonry or labouring elsewhere in a foreign regular Grand Lodge or in France in an irregular Obedience. At this point a number of Lodges and Brethren have taken this step in Paris and elsewhere. My position is that I will continue to struggle to the end in the interests of traditional Masonry and the regularity of the GLNF, but in the case of failure I will remain in France no matter what. It is wise to know that our approach is timeless before a layman wearing an apron who is confronted with unavoidable deadlines.
May the Great Architect grant us strength and courage in this just and legitimate cause that is the duty of every recognised regular Mason, to give hope and faith to the Brethren in the future of the man that universal freemasonry characterises. All together, it is time to find again the way of this word that we have lost by the fault and obstinacy of a single man who will have to assume the entire responsibility when confronted by history and his peers.
I assure you, my Very Dear and Well –Beloved brother, of all my fraternal affection.
In the meantime the preparations for the Annual Solemn Meeting of Grand Lodge on December 3rd are in full swing in both François Stifani’s and the opposition camps. The opposition is calling on the Brethren to ensure a massive attendance, to show its disapproval of the current management team by voting against all the propositions, in particular the appointments to the National Disciplinary Council. It is certain that the arrival of the DGM and the ex-GM will be met with stony silence from their opponents, as will their allocutions. François Stifani has searched at the very back of the drawer to make up a list of foreign Grand Lodges to invite. In place of the traditional illustrious delegations (UGLE, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, etc) invitations have been sent to : (in alphabetical order)
Andorra ; Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria (recognition withdrawn, absence guaranteed); Cyprus ; Croatia ; Greece; Holland; Hungary; Israel ; Italy (but not the GL recognised by the UGLE, rather the other Obedience that Ephesse used as an excuse for his non-presence at the consecration of the Regular Grand Lodge of the Monaco Principality); Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia; Moldavia; Monaco (see Italy); Poland (their relations in Amity were suspended back in April, unlikely starters); Portugal; Roumania (relations suspended, unlikely starter); Russia; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia ; Turkey (recognition of GLNF management withdrawn since May, definite non-starter); Ukraine
Obviously far from all of these will attend. The foreign Grand Lodge element is heading for a flop. And any delegation, by its very presence, will be seen to be an active supporter of Ephesse and his regime. They are guaranteed to be greeted with stony silence. LML in English notes there are no African Grand Lodges on the list. Is there another list or have our African Brethren finally wised up to François Stifani ?