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Revealed: Protests at Masonic World Conference Paid for by the Grand Lodge of California

Is the California Grand Lodge using tactics from the CMC(California Masonic Code) or the DNC(Democratic National Committee)? The answer may(or may not) surprise you. These past few years we have seen the Grand Lodge of California make some drastic changes in the name of “progress,” but what are their real motives? This article will reveal a small part of the corruption that is going on within our own Grand Lodge. These discoveries are both shocking and disturbing. Some may even find it hard to believe, but the pieces will be laid right before your eyes.

 

As many of you know, during the XIV World Conference of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges, we were subjected to protestors outside of our Grand Lodge in San Francisco. As quoted from the WCRMGL.com website it states “The XIV World Conference of Regular Masonic Grand Lodges is a rare opportunity for Masonic leaders from all parts of the globe to exchange ideas, build relationships with fraternal families, and unite the fraternity. For California Masons, it offers the privilege of representing Golden State Masonry as we welcome brothers from other jurisdictions.” So what was our Grand Lodges take on “representing our Golden State?” Well it turns out their idea of representing our state was to PAY protestors to “ruin their vacations” as reported by reporter Davy Rothbart here: https://story.californiasunday.com/crowds-on-demand

When the protests first happened, several of us attempted to find out which “organization” orchestrated this protest. However, we came to a dead end. A few months ago we came across the answer we were looking for, but it was not what we expected. It was much worse than we could have imagined. It turns out this was an inside job executed by one of our Grand Lodge Officers(or multiple Grand Lodge Officers). In the videos shared by MasonBigotry.org, we saw a few faces we couldn’t recognize. As it turns out, two of those faces were Adam Swart the owner of Crowds on Demand and the other was Davy Rothbart. It turns out Adam Swart and his company were hired by our Grand Lodge to help push their agenda of drastically changing Freemasonry in California. As many of you know, our Grand Lodge has created a divide between various Grand Lodges in the US. They used this protest to raise awareness for their agenda by hiring protests to interrupt our World Conference in San Francisco.

Here is the direct passage from his article that explains in detail exactly what took place on the day of our Masonic World Conference in San Francisco:

Here is the except directly from Davy Rothbarts article:

THE TEXT SAYS to arrive at an address on California Street in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood at 5 p.m. on a Thursday. Like my previous Crowds on Demand gig, I have no idea what my work is going to entail. All I’m told is to wear a suit.

Again, I’m running late. As I crest the hill at California and Taylor, I see elegantly dressed older couples streaming into a palatial white building. Photographers and TV news cameramen swarm around each pair, while a reporter blocks their path, bombarding them with questions. Getting closer, I realize that this isn’t a TV reporter — it’s Adam wielding a reporter’s hand-held mic.

“What’s your opinion on the Georgia edict?” he shouts at a couple in their 70s who veer around him, making a beeline for the front door.

“No comment,” the guy says. “We’re from Greece.”

“No comment?” Adam shrieks, as they duck into the building. “What are you saying? Greek people can’t stand up against bigotry?”

He spots me and comes over to say hi, making note of my lateness. Breathlessly, he gives me a hurried orientation. This is the California Memorial Masonic Temple, where Masons have gathered for their annual world conference. Recently, the Georgia grand lodge passed a bylaw — known as the Georgia edict — prohibiting homosexuality among its members. Our job? To pose as a TV news crew, confront Masons as they arrive for the opening gala, and challenge them to take a stand. “Just watch me for a few minutes,” Adam says. “You’ll figure it out.”

Sprawling camera crew in tow, Adam intercepts the Masons and interrogates them as they struggle to rush past him. Most ignore his questions, but now and then a couple stops to talk. “It’s a state’s rights issue,” a courtly, silver-haired man from Florida tells him. “Do I agree with what they’re doing in Georgia? No way. But one of the main things about Masons is, we don’t interfere with other chapters.”

Adam inches closer to the guy, raising his voice. “If you don’t agree with it, isn’t it your duty to stand up and say so?”

The guy shrugs. “I’m not a lodge master.”

Adam goes berserk or, as I observe him more closely, puts on a controlled show of going berserk. “What an embarrassment!” he shouts. “Listen, I go to the Equinox gym in Santa Monica. If the Equinox in Boston bans gays, I’m damn sure going to do something about it!”

Two cops barrel over, a burly male and a spike-haired female. The male cop says, “Hey! You guys can do whatever it is you’re doing. That’s your right. But knock off the swearing! There are kids around.”

Adam wasn’t really swearing, and there are no kids in sight. Left momentarily speechless, Adam allows the Florida Mason to hurry up the temple’s front steps.

Adam turns to me. “All right,” he says. “You got the idea?”

Actually, I don’t, but Adam deputizes me on the spot, passing me a mic. He assigns a ragtag band to shadow me — six altogether, ranging from 20 to 60 years old. We’ve got two photographers, two videographers, a soundperson with a mic on an extendable boom pole, and a young woman balancing the brightest floodlight I’ve ever seen in my life on a rickety monopod. We don’t look like any kind of TV news crew that I’ve ever seen — more like students in a community college filmmaking class — but for Masons visiting San Francisco from Arkansas, Oregon, Portugal, and Uganda, unfamiliar with the local media, maybe we’ll pass.

What brought my fake camera crew here tonight was a Craigslist ad Adam posted earlier in the week: “Adventurous videographers wanted,” with few other details. Emily Ivker is the person wielding the boom pole. She’s a recent college graduate from Wayland, Massachusetts, who just landed in San Francisco the previous week with dreams of becoming a travel blogger. “Twenty bucks an hour,” she says. “I couldn’t pass it up.” (Crowds on Demand wages vary depending on the type of job and the local cost of living: $10 an hour in New Orleans, double in the Bay Area.)

Over the past half hour, the group has done its best to improvise. Now everyone huddles around me, waiting for me to do my Adam impersonation. Taxis keep pulling up to the curb, disbursing Masons, but it’s hard to blast from zero to 60, especially when I have such a flimsy grasp on the issues. I know next to nothing about Freemasonry: Don’t Masons have something to do with that pyramid with the giant eyeball on the back of a dollar bill? Are they connected to the Illuminati? Wasn’t Tupac a Mason? I know even less about the Georgia edict.

Adam, who’s continued working with his own crew down the block, sees me floundering. He makes his way back over. “Look,” he says. “It’s all about building awareness.” Some Masons, he tells me, don’t even know about the Georgia edict. For those who do and oppose it, our job is to motivate them to take action, however we see fit. “There’s no wrong way to do this,” he reassures me.

That’s a nice sentiment, but over the next 45 minutes, I find some impressive ways to prove him wrong. The gala has already started, and Masons are in a hurry to get inside. When I bark questions about the Georgia edict, they give me the same look they might give a homeless guy screaming about aliens. Others poke me menacingly, slap my shoulder, or shove me away. Many are from Europe, South America, and Africa and don’t have a great command of English — or claim not to. It’s almost impossible to start a conversation with anyone in the few seconds it takes them to cross the sidewalk.

Finally, I try a new tactic, and instead of confronting them when they step from their cabs, I offer a cheery welcome instead. This changes everything. Rather than hurry to get inside, they pause to talk to me. I introduce myself, shake their hands, and ask their names and where they’re from. While they’re still bewildered by all the cameras and lights, they seem to think that I’m associated with the Masons, maybe a curbside greeter. Quickly, I pivot to the question at hand. Are they aware of the Georgia edict? What do they think of it? Some know about the edict and profess disapproval, but all say they’re powerless.

“Don’t you feel that this kind of ugly discrimination stains the entire organization?” I ask a couple from France. “People may think that all Masons are bigots.”

“Yes. Perhaps,” the man says.

I borrow a line from Adam: “Why don’t you pressure the Masons to withdraw recognition of the Georgia chapter?”

“Is not so simple,” says the man. “We have to go.”

The work is exhausting, and after another hour, Adam and I take a short break. The client who hired him, he says, is extremely well-known, and he has promised not to reveal his identity. Afterward, though, I traded emails with the client, who tells me that he’s a senior Bay Area Mason appalled not only by the Georgia chapter’s openly anti-gay discrimination but also by instances of what he views as anti-black, anti-Jewish, and anti-female discrimination in chapters around the world. He and a group of like-minded Masons believe this kind of intolerance is dooming an organization they’ve come to care so much about, and they decided they couldn’t let Masons from all over the world congregate in San Francisco and just party it up. So they hired Adam’s company to make sure that the topic of discrimination within the Masonry was unavoidable. “Ruin their vacations,” the client ordered Adam. “I want everyone talking about this.”

Adam could have staged a more standard protest, but the decision to create fake news crews instead was canny. “It’s easier to ignore protesters than a reporter,” Adam says. He turns to face the Masonic Temple. In the lobby, Masons clink their glasses, sipping wine and Champagne. “Look,” he says, “there’s 15 of us and a thousand of them, but we changed the conversation tonight.” As though to affirm his claim, several of the Masons seem to be pointing out the front windows at us, watching in silence while the rest of Adam’s crew continues to stalk the sidewalk out front, flashbulbs popping, accosting latecomers as they arrive.

During our break, Emily Ivker, the woman holding the boom pole, has picked up my mic and taken on the role of truth-hunting TV reporter while the others film the action and offer questions of their own. As Adam and I have been talking, my fake camera crew has morphed from a group of strangers looking to make a buck off a Craigslist gig into a team of passionate activists. Fantasy has become reality.

An hour later, the gala starts to wind down, and Masons stream out of the building. Many now seem more interested in talking. Maybe it’s because they have time on their hands, or maybe our initial conversations have had a chance to sink in.

A young guy from Brazil whom I chatted with briefly on his way in pulls me aside. “The Georgia chapter,” he says. “That stupid ban. Everyone in there was talking about it. They added it to the topics for us all to discuss this weekend.” My camera team appears, and the spotlight’s glare sizzles to life, but rather than shrink away, the man seems to bloom. He leans in over my microphone, picks out the video camera, and stares directly into it. “Georgia chapter does not represent us,” he says gravely, as though he’s being broadcast in Times Square and splashed on airport monitors. “We are Masons. We include all.”

So now we are left with the question of “who was the mastermind behind this stunt?” We believe there are several members of the Grand Lodge who were in on this. Here is our list of suspects and our reasons why.

 

Allan Casalou and David Perry: A letter was sent out on March 31st, 2016 referencing the protests at our World Conference. “Within weeks of the actions by these grand lodges, the Grand Lodge of California was the focus of protests and our community partners began to question their association with Freemasonry. Protests took place in front of our Grand Lodge building during the World Conference, at public facilities where we were conducting ceremonies, and at schools and universities where we have established important programs. Our grand lodge was disinvited to public activities as a result”. On the same day, Davy Rothbart also published his article outing who it was that plotted the entire event. Due to the fact both Allan Casalou and David Perry used this to push their edicts against the Grand Lodge of Georgia and Tennessee. The fact that they used the protests as ammunition to push their edicts shows intent for paying the protestors.

Also, when we look back at the recent history of our Grand Lodge, there are a few people that have attempted to make changes in Freemasonry based upon their own opinions and views. Since the contact email at MasonBigotry.org was john@Masonbigotry.org, we can focus on those in the Grand Lodge named John.
John Cooper - Past Grand Master and a proponent of women in Freemasonry.
John Heisner - Current Grand Master

John Trauner

Stephen R. Doan -

Margaret C. Jacob - UCLA. Teaches at the same college Adam Swart attended. Also a proponent of the UGLE standards. https://www.sageusa.org/give/council.cfm

Finally, Russ Charvonia, Past Grand Master. He has demonstrated this behavior and sneakiness before, so it wouldn’t be out of character for him to do.

In conclusion, we are not here to comment on whether or not those edicts themselves were right or wrong. However, we can say with absolute certainty that the tactics used were 100% wrong. This topic could have been raised and discussed in a Masonic manner, but instead, deceitful methods were used. These are the same methods employed in the most recent presidential campaign that intimately cost the DNC both their reputation and the Presidency, House, and Senate.

These acts directly violate our California Masonic Code:

§811.030. FRAUDULENT OR ILLEGAL VENTURES.
Neither a Lodge nor a Mason thereof shall, directly or indirectly, engage in or give any aid or support to any business, project, venture, promotion, scheme or plan which is unethical, fraudulent, misleading or illegal.
Neither a Lodge nor a Mason thereof shall engage in or give any aid or support to any business, project, scheme, plan, individual or concern asserted to be Masonic in character or using any term, name or words implying a connection with Masonry, whenever facts presented to the Grand Master prove to his satisfaction that:
A. Any such business, project, scheme or plan is unmasonic, unethical, fraudulent, or misleading; or
B. The individual, group or concern in charge of or employed in the prosecution, promotion, operation or product of any such business, project, scheme or plan has indulged in unmasonic, unethical, fraudulent, misleading acts or practices in connection therewith.
§1401.010. UNMASONIC CONDUCT.
B. Any action or failure to act in violation of the requirements of this Code, the General Regulations of Masonry, the Ritual or the laws, rules or regulations of the United States or of any other governmental entity which involves the breaking of a promise, trust or confidence or which involves moral turpitude; G1: Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury or humiliation on a candidate, preliminary to, during or following a degree; G2-A: Use of defamatory, vile, indecent, profane, abusive or threatening language, G2-D: Falsehood, treachery and deceit, or G2-E: Actions similar to those offenses listed herein;

Truth is one of our most important virtues as Masons. One cannot argue that our Grand Lodge was not “truthful” when it came to the protests outside of our building. We are taught that sincerity, and plain dealings distinguish us. However, our Grand Lodge proved otherwise.

This topic has been noticed by a few different Masons in California. Below are some links to the conversations:

Another interesting aspect is the site MasonBigotry.org itself. They have a list of “demands.” Since when does Freemasonry submit to demands of outsiders? The answer is we don’t….or at least we haven’t up to this point in history. Here is their list of “demands”:

 

One of the biggest bonds we have as Masons is because of the trust in one another. Now that we know the Grand Lodge of California orchestrated this fiasco, how are we to trust them? How can we trust a leadership who pays protestors to lie and deceive? With the reach of the Grand Lodge, it is impossible they were unaware of what was going on in their inner circles. This revelation is an example of the absolute corruption in our Grand Lodge. They have gone so far as to create rifts in Freemasonry between the different grand lodge in the US. This topic should have been brought up in private, instead of going about things this way. Apparently, the California Grand Lodge does not follow the fundamental virtues of our beloved craft, hypocrisy, and deceit is known among them.
 

Let’s also take a minute to contemplate the severity of what the Grand Lodge of California has done. They have singlehandedly harassed Brother Masons from all over the world to change Freemasonry to fit their ideals. This is by far one of the worst displays of Masonry in History. Our grand lodge speaks of “civility”, yet they purposely embarrass our brethren and call them out as bigots.
If anyone has additional information about this situation, you can submit it to us below. We will update this post accordingly as new data comes in. Rest assured; we will not stop until we cleanse our Grand Lodge of the cowards who are attempting to destroy our ancient craft.

Things we know for sure.
 

1. Adam Swart, the CEO of Crowds On Demand, was personally there doing the interviews. These clips were uploaded directly from his cameras to the MasonBigotry.org website. So, this proves that MasonBigotry and Crowds On Demand are one in the same, or at the very least have the same people behind the scenes.
2. Adam Swart and Crowds On Demand were paid by the Grand Lodge of California to promote this theme.
3. All of the videos on MasonBigotry were uploaded to one YouTube channel by a person named GloriousPerson. This includes content from the UCLA protest as well, which links those two protests to the same root source. The same video footage was obtained by the same source. This YouTube channel has also been updated with the UCLA footage 8 months after the initial postings. This brings up two questions. Was this website created and ran by Crowds On Demand? Or was this too created and maintained by those in the California Grand Lodge? https://web.archive.org/web/20161129175744/https://www.youtube.com/user/gloriousperson/videos?shelf_id=0&view=0&sort=dd
4. The Grand Master David Perry who issued the Edict against the Grand Lodge of Georgia and Tennessee referenced the protests in their emails to California Masons. This was used as a motive to make “quick action” and suspend recognition to those Grand Lodges.

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