"FIASCO",the only word to describe last Saturday’s AGM. How else can you qualify an assembly where 70% of the voters approved the accounts of the past 12 months and the coming year’s budget and then rejected the proposed president by 60%, he having been in the top seat for the period just approved. Logic appears to be lacking among the Lodge delegates ?
The GLNF has descended to an all time low, 80 plus Grand Lodges have suspended relations with the Obedience (the latest being the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania last week) and 6 have withdrawn Recognition definitively. The Brethren are seeking other horizons in droves.
And Ephesse is the one who has achieved this ignominious result. On Saturday he got his fourth pie in the face in a row. The 1708 Lodge delegates and members of the SGC voted 674 for his ratification as Grand Master, 1025 against with 9 abstentions, a 60.3% disapproval rating. Hoorah, whoopee, champagne for one and all !!! On paper is would appear as a massive victory for the opposition. But NO !!!
In fact, what happened on Saturday added yet another layer to the sad story of the past 30 months. The texts of the GLNF statutes and by-laws state clearly that the ratification of the Grand Master candidate occurs at the AGM of the association on the first Saturday in December. Why did Miss Monique insist upon placing it on the agenda on Saturday ? Ask the Great Architect ! Or maybe Miss Monique knew that whatever the result it would solve nothing and she’s be in the very well paid chair for a few more months. One way or the other the decision is likely to be contested by Ephesse in his favourite bearpit, the courtroom.
And let us not forget that the appeal dating from December 2010 has not yet been brought down. In fact, the next appearance in court on that subject is this coming Thursday. And as has been the case so often in the past, the session is purely procedural, the judges meeting to decide the date of the next meeting !
No matter what, Miss Monique has to kick start the machine again : call for candidates, summons of the SGC, vote, summons of a new AGM, determination of the electoral college, vote (and still no certainty of achieving an acceptable result). All that takes weeks and weeks.
And at what cost ? The February 4th AGM cost more than 700 000 €, last Saturday’s, somewhere between 800 000 € and 900 000 € (not counting a possible 500 000 € in reimbursement of travel expenses for those delegates outside the Paris area). That’s a tidy sum for a meeting that lasted less than two hours !
We are just days away from the summer holidays. It is physically impossible to do anything until September at the very earliest. Which means a new GLNF financial year and therefore a new round of annual dues by the entire Lodge if the delegates are to have the right to vote. You can bet that Miss Monique, Ephesse and Henry the Beancounter have thought about that one ! The requirement to pay another year’s fees is an additional means for Ephesse to thin the ranks of his opponents and possible ensure his re-election. Despite 4 losses in a row there is nothing in the texts stopping him standing for election again. And he has the hide of a rhinoceros. As well, Ephesse is in no hurry for the election result to be definitive.After all, a judge has already ruled that since his successor has not been named, Ephesse still gets to wear the biggest blue apron.
And if you can tell me where the GLNF stands in its plethora of courtcases, writs, appeals, contradictory judgements, etc, you’re a better man than I am.
In the meantime money is going down the gurgler like it was going out of fashion. The only way the books came sort of close to being balanced is the sale of Palace Wagram, for something like 2.8 million €. But that only happens once. The Brethren are voting with their feet. An analysis of the budget puts the departing figure at more than 17000 ! With several million less in dues this year (5.7 million € less, in fact) perhaps the only viable solution is what a judge suggested recently (I forget which one, there have been so many !), why not wind up the whole shebang and place the GLNF in liquidation. That would certainly be a first on the international masonic scene. For sale to the highest bidder, one slightly used Grand Lodge as well as a string of columns, gavels and other masonic paraphernalia. What’s the going rate for second hand temples ?
Meanwhile, I return to the headline. On Saturday the GLNF definitely lost. Ephesse got his 4th kick in the teeth (or elsewhere !) in as many jousts, the opposition didn’t advance even a micro-millimetre, Murat, Servel, Toffolini and Co got no closer to the biggest blue apron, Big Moustache continued to pull strings in the wings, making those on stage jig up and down like Punch and Judy.
Last Saturday’s fiasco can only decide further Grand Lodges to join the six who have already placed the GLNF in the deep freeze.
The only winners were Miss Monique and her coterie of advisors. She’s still administrator, she daren’t put pen to paper without having her words prepared by her personal legal eagle, she daren’t call an assembly without engaging sumptuous fees for Gorillas Incorporated and she daren’t add up a column of figures without her personal beancounter checking the result and giving a timid conclusion. The clock is ticking at the same expensive hourly rate. The books, documents, methods and explanations remain as obscure as ever. The clearly stated questions remain unanswered for 30 months now and the end of Dallas sur Seine seems as far away as ever.
And the winner is … TEAM MONIQUE !!!