The “Fake” Masons

Radio station WGPR-FM has been in a bit of turmoil lately.   It’s an “urban” radio station in Detroit with a very peculiar story.   Currently, the station has been LMA’ed (leased) out to Radio One, the national “Black Radio” network based in Washington DC.   If you read the account on Wikipedia, local listeners are outraged that the programming is now just canned music with no local announcers or community involvement – that’s not unique to this station as radio withers away.

Back in the mid 1980s (pre-internet) I got into an extended conversation on a BBS (Bulletin Board Service) with a black doctor close to Coleman Young, the mayor of the Black Nation of Detroit.  The discussion started with his reaction to something I posted about affirmative action that he took offense with – over about a six month period, we had a wide ranging (but civil) discussion about the purpose of affirmative action and whether it would actually achieve its goals.    Eventually, I put him on the defensive about the lack of women doctors in medicine, and wanted to know why that statistical difference didn’t prove deliberate sex discrimination and proposed that affirmative action should be used to solve the obvious discrimination that was oppressing women perpetrated by hateful men like him – and how the medical profession should end this violation of women’s civil rights and needed to adopt “goals and timetables” to resolve this denial of civil rights.  

I went so far as to create the timetable and spreadsheet showing how it would still take decades to achieve balance if every single medical school was forced by the EEOC to require every student to be a female to correct the injustice.  Suddenly, he decided that maybe affirmative action wasn’t such a good idea after all unless it only benefited him – and feebly asserted that maybe the reason there were so few women doctors was they didn’t really want to be doctors or didn’t want to work hard. 🙂

During that discussion, the subject of Masons came up – I’m a bit fuzzy on how – probably me wondering if he would agree that the FreeMasons / Shriners were part of a global conspiracy to oppress black people….  that’s the connection – I had brought up the “Shrine of the Black Madonna” (the church in Detroit at the heard of the Black Nationalist movement) and asked him if the Masonic Shriners that build hospitals to give free care to children were part of the conspiracy to oppress black people and had stolen the name Shriners.

I was more than a little surprised that he quickly agreed with that statement – that those white (arab?  Scottish?)  guys who ride around on little toy cars in parades wearing red fez hats are really the white racists running the world, and “stole” Masonry from Blacks (just as Jesus was really a black man and the “so called European Jews” had created a fake religion called Christianity to hide the truth and control black people).   Okay….    We moved on from there, and I didn’t pursue it one way or the other.    This bitter hatred runs very deep in the Black Communisty, and some people very close to the current President believe all of this nonsense as well and more.

The Wikipedia article mentions that the radio station is owned by International Free and Accepted Modern Masons.   It turns out that in the City of Detroit, there was a group founded on exactly that idea in 1950, writing their own Charter and creating an entirely new organization. This is all tied in with the Black Nationalist movement that was emerging at the time primarily in Detroit and Chicago.   I can accept that in 1950, the Masons didn’t allow black members, and maybe that’s still true today.

If you poke around the Internet (which didn’t exist when I had that conversation), it turns out this group is a “fake” mason organization that adopted the trappings of Masonry, but has no connection with the actual organizations.    The self-description is a “new fraternal order founded upon those Christian principles that denied no person the right to fraternalize regardless of race, color, or creed. “, however you’ll be shocked to learn that all of its members are black – there is no exclusion based on race, of course..

2101 Gratiot Avenue is the world headquarters of the group.

The original Detroit Masonic Temple was built in 1926 and is a huge building.   In this article, you can read the story of  “From Grandeur to Ghetto” about how the Moslem Shriners finally gave up on paying rent and left  the city leaving the building to its ultimate fate – it sits right next to the long ago abandoned Hotel Fort Wayne.

Google Street View

Both  are within walking distance of the Michigan Central Train Station, another remnant of past civilization

Detroit’s Train Station

The city where I grew up (Pittsburgh) had a similar Masonic Temple in Oakland that I remember being in at least twice

It was sold in 1993 to the nearby ever growing University of Pittsburgh for $8 million.  For being the secret society that rules the world, the Masons sure don’t seem to be doing very well.

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5 Responses to The “Fake” Masons

  1. Parrott says:

    So Detroit was really a vibrant city with a huge working class of people but they all just moved away?
    I have seen many history books with pics of named passenger trains full of people headed to Detroit. But its a shadow of its self now?

    • Art Stone says:

      Different people have different versions of what happened.

      The most credible is that Detroit was killed by the automobile 😉 As was the case elsewhere, the 1950s and 1960s saw a huge increase of the number of people owning a car and commuting to work. Being able to commute (using cheap gasoline) meant people no longer had to live in the big city, close to work (or public transit) – but commuters demanded freeways and Michigan built them – the Chrysler, the Jeffries Freeway, the Ford freeway replaced Grand River, Woodward, Jefferson Ave, Michigan Avenue and other main thoroughfares with huge impenetrable ditches or raised roads that took stable neighborhoods and turned them into disconnected islands with 24 hour a day freeway noise.

      When the city erupted in racial violence in 1967, the city was already in decline. A stiff City income tax and government hostile to business was chasing employers and retail shopping out to the suburbs.

      The Rise of Coleman Young was not just “black power” and the black nationalist movement, but the middle class non-Black citizens leaving and creating a vacuum that was filled by people dependent on social welfare programs for their survival.

      From there, the spiral into decay and abandonment was inevitable. The big Hudson’s downtown closed (this is about when I arrive in the mid 1980s). GM felt an obligation to stick it out in its historic headquarters and Ford backed the “rebirth” of downtown as the main tenant at the RenCen – but the people working there had no desire to live in Detroit, especially if they had school age children. They didn’t live in the city, they didn’t shop in the city, they didn’t use the hospitals or schools in the city – at 5 o’clock they got in their cars and headed North past 8 mile road or West past Telegraph Road and left the city and it’s problems in the rear view mirror. When the RenCen failed to turn things around, and the Ambassador Hotel folded and few people other than the Democrat party had Detroit on their short list for holding a convention, the People Mover was built to give people a way to pay to ride for 20 minutes to avoid a 3 minute walk, Formula One Racing would create a New Image…. Ford finally gave up and left the RenCen, GM moved in and sold their historic building to the State of Michigan to create a huge facility for overseeing all the people getting their welfare and food stamps.

  2. 3tooz says:

    There is nothing secrete about Masonry. If you want to be one you just ask one, Its the media that makes it all a secrete.

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