French “Dummies” Author Phillipe Benhamou in Paris 2/25/17January 23, 2017
Jan 23, FREEMASON BOOKS – Masonic books to Read Online, Download or BuyJanuary 24, 2017
As mentioned here back in October, the Grand Lodge of Arkansas lost $500,000 in a failed real estate investment scheme dating back to 2008. They subsequently attempted to recover their losses by suing various parties involved in the fund in federal court in April 2015. But by last October, the judge in the Arkansas Eastern District court, Hon. J. Leon Holmes, had already thrown out all charges against four of the six defendants in the case.
Well, last Wednesday, January 18th, Holmes tossed out the case against the last two remaining defendants and dismissed the case “with prejudice.” The documents are available online HERE (Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Arkansas v. DCG/UGOC Equity Fund LLC et al) if you have a PacerMonitor subscription (they offer a free trial for 14 days, but be careful, as you could get charged $49 for the next month if you miss the email). Noteworthy across all of the judge’s decisions is the repeated use of the phrase, “the Lodge has failed to carry its burden to show…”
(UPDATED LINKS to the pertinent documents: October 19, 2016 decision; and the January 2017 Decision)
Arkansas Masons have been asking whether the complete legal costs accrued by this Quixotic quest through the court system will be duly reported at next month’s Annual Communication.
Large institutional organizations have problems from time to time. Any well-meaning one can make a poor investment through no fault of its own, and there’s often nothing more damning about such an error or stroke of bad timing than, at most, maybe credulousness or bad judgement by an officer or two, who simply were out of their depth in the matter. The best of organizations are up front with their stockholders or members, promise to do better or change leadership, and get back to work. But Arkansas continues to rack up problem after problem, and they can’t be hidden from their own members any longer. The practice of ejecting every single member who makes a critical observation out loud has taken on epidemic proportions: 23 expelled so far this year, and it’s not quite the end of the term yet.
The question now arising is, will February’s gathering in Little Rock erupt in a massive outburst of revolutionary anger, disgust, and exasperation? Or will some calming PGM or other admired Arkansas Mason emerge who rallies members to some noble cause and gathers their immediate approbation? Or will the assembled brethren simply sit quietly and watch it all unfold in emotional resignation – only to stop themselves at years’ end when it comes time to write their dues check, and consign their notices to their shredders?
According to court documents filed by the Grand Lodge in the lawsuit against the Equity Fund investment company, half of their $500,000 loss came out of their Perpetual Membership investment fund. As a result, the loss of investment income will be felt by every lodge under the Grand Lodge of Arkansas in the reduction of payouts from lifetime memberships.
To recap the entire Arkansas saga, here are the pertinent links: