The present situation of the GLNF is, to say the least, unheard of! Since it was founded in 1913, it has never known so shattering or long lasting a crisis
Unlike previous crises, it is not, as the “spiritual guide” (GM Stifani and his various underlings), would opportunistically have us believe, an essentially “Parisian” struggle for power, but a deep and genuine challenge and doubt at national level as to the GLNF’s drift away from regular Masonic practices into a now downwards vortex governed only by brute force and the blindest and most non-masonic of attitudes
The brutality expressed for over a year now in the arbitrary decisions made by F.Stifani claims to be based on Statutes and Constitutions interpreted in a light we are beginning to discover, but beknown to a silent few since 1997, conferring on him powers absolute and autocratic such as characterize any dictatorial regime.
Appeals to honour and masonic dignity have been in vain and F.Stifani has gone unceasingly over the last few months about consolidating his position, banishing even those of his entourage reputed to be amongst the most faithful, to replace them by an even tighter-knit and very reduced guard.
When the lodges were able to express their legal vote, he hijacked the results that clearly cast him out, and organised in defiance of our Statutes, a pseudo consultation which gave him the result he needed.
The autocratic system he runs allows for no contestation, any which is instantly labelled ”behaviour contrary to masonic ethics” This organised form of unworkability without opportunity to challenge him, has brought LML to put his irregularities and manipulations of whatever sort to the test of common law (which every mason has sworn to respect).
His reaction to our legitimate action is violent. Total hypocrisy, complaining that civil law should not intervene in Masonic affairs, thereby showing forgetfulness that it was the law that first decided to look at a shady business of misappropriation of a person’s will. Then he himself decided very unfoundedly to take FMR to court for “unfair competition”.
The Courts first gave him short shrift, even ruling, ultra petita, that he did not have any, monopoly of masonic ideas and that criticism was “free”. (They could have added “and of good repute”).
He has now been firmly reminded what, by legal definition, is a General Assembly. All decisions made on October 16th have been annulled and he is ordered to convene a new regular General Assembly, with his own revocation to be balloted for and announced on the Order of Business.
Faced within the Jurisdiction by a majority of opponents, and twice condemned by the Courts, called to order by the national masonic Orders and now international, it might have been thought that he would comply. For reasons we do not well understand, and which cause us all to have legitimate doubts, he has decided to do nothing other than counter attack.
Today, on him lies the heavy responsibility of protracting the split within the Jurisdiction created by his doings It is obvious that all he enacts is of a dilatory nature conceived to discourage and deter sincere brethren from their proper fight to bring the GLNF into the ways of Tradition.
He will use every means available to him, as he has already done, attacking brethren, Rites and Provinces, to cause discord and division.. Soon he will be found to be using their own arguments against those who, in their anxiety to see him vanish from the memory of all masons, are already actively committed to the work of re-founding the GLNF, whilst the first prerequisite for that, his departure, has not yet been obtained.
Today, we are in an unheard of, complex, situation. The actors in this real life modern masonic drama have not all yet spoken their parts, the alternatives that many of our brethren are waiting to know have not yet all been expounded.
Many have set themselves the end of this year as the last limit: some, over-wearied by this conflict (which, in less than a year, will have enabled us to reveal the sneaking trickery and brutal irregularities enacted over the last thirteen years); others, reluctant to go on financing a system in which they no longer have the slightest confidence, but who would like to go back to having calm within their lodges, even if it means closing their eyes on the irregularities that the present leadership will not cease to implement, brethren numbed and bewildered to state that the victory announced has not yet been achieved. For all these reasons, they see December 31st as the last possible date they will put up with it all.
With the GLNF in the heart of the conflict, it, the GLNF, is in the same position as the other antagonists, none being more than just one of those acting out their destiny. If there is to be, as there must be, a way or ways out of the crisis, we have not so far pin-pointed it.
It is particularly difficult to have to write that we must continue to nourish the hope that has kept us going for nearly a year without being immediately able to propose a lasting solution that will bring the GLNF back to regularity.
Confronted by a system that runs around hurdles, don’t forget the distance we have come in less than a year. Could we have thought at the beginning of the year that today so many would have rallied to us and that, I sincerely believe, we would be so close to attaining our goal?
To quit tomorrow would be tantamount to giving F. Stifani a victory of which he is not worthy.
To quit tomorrow would be to renounce the efforts made by a majority, and legitimize the unjust sanctions leveled against a number of the brethren.
To quit tomorrow would be tantamount to giving Stifani the message: “Now you can get back on with what you were doing”.
Nothing forces us to quit, not even material considerations. Dues can normally be paid up to June , but in any case, they cannot be called for at the moment as a result of the Court ruling against the GLNF.
Nothing forces us to quit, other than possibly wanting to satisfy the “spiritual guide” (Stifani) in his desire to get rid of ten thousand or more brethren whom he considers, according to his criteria, “undesirable in the GLNF”.
Nothing forces us to quit, because the “house” is ours!