Take Back Your Grand Lodge
PETITION OF GRIEVANCE
This Petition of Grievance is dated December 28, 2021 and is intended to be circulated to all Masons within the State of New Jersey for their consideration.
WHEREAS on December 2, 2021, Robert V. Monacelli, as Grand Master of Masons for the State of New Jersey, suspended Right Worshipful Gary J. Olsen, from his elected position of Senior Grand Warden of Masons for the State of New Jersey (the “Edict”);
WHEREAS, the Edict further ordered that R.W. Gary J. Olsen’s pending nomination for Deputy Grand Master in 2022 is forbidden;
WHEREAS, the Edict further ordered that R.W. Gary J. Olsen is barred from making any further submission for an Elected Grand Lodge Office;
WHEREAS, Landmark 3 states “The Grand Master is elected by the Craft”;
WHEREAS, Landmark 6 declares that Masons are equal and have the right to “appeal to the General Assembly of Masons…whenever aggrieved by any act of a lodge”;
NOW THEREFORE, we the petitioners hereto, on behalf of ourselves and on behalf of every Mason who exercised his right to vote for R.W. Gary J. Olsen for the office of Senior Grand Warden, and further on behalf of every Mason in this Grand Jurisdiction who has been denied his right to nominate, vote and elect R.W. Gary J. Olsen for a future Grand Lodge Office in the coming Masonic year; hereby state and demand the following:
1. We have been denied of our choice of R.W. Gary J. Olsen as Senior Grand Warden who was duly elected, unopposed, to that office, and removed without due process, fair hearing or cause consistent with the laws of Masonry.
2. We have been further disenfranchised and deprived of our right to nominate and vote for R.W. Gary J. Olsen for the office of Deputy Grand Master, or any other office, including, without limitation, Grand Master, for which he may choose to run.
3. The reasons enumerated in the Edict for his suspension, i.e., lack of sufficient attendance and an alleged unwillingness to attend certain functions, including functions outside of our jurisdiction are insufficient to overturn an election by the General Assembly of Masons of an Officer to the Grand Lodge, and are cover for the actual reason for the Edict.
4. There has been disharmony in the Grand Lodge with respect to certain allegations of grave public concern regarding the un-Masonic conduct of a member of the Grand Staff involving another brother’s wife, the investigation thereof, lack of action in connection therewith, and the inconsistent application of the laws of Freemasonry with respect thereto, the same potentially resulting in serious financial loss and irreparable damage to the reputation of our gentle Craft.
5. R.W. Gary J. Olsen and others have spoken out and disagreed with the actions and inaction of the Grand Lodge and the Grand Master. The Edict and other subsequent edicts are in retaliation for such disagreements.
6. The Grand Master has lost the confidence of a large part of the body of Freemasons in this Grand Jurisdiction by violating our Landmarks and abusing the powers vested in him to silence his opposition and grab power from the brethren.
7. The Edict is in direct violation of Landmark 3, which states that the Grand Master is elected by the Craft. The Grand Master has denied the Craft the opportunity to nominate and elect R.W. Gary J. Olsen as Grand Master by forbidding his nomination for any office, including that of Grand Master, and further by effectively barring him from serving as Grand Master in the 2023-2024 year in contravention to the will expressed by an overwhelming majority of the General Assembly of Masons who elected him to the Office of Junior Grand Warden and who elected him unanimously to the Office of Senior Grand Warden.
8. The Grand Master has abused his power by suspending other brother Masons for airing their grievances. This action is directly in violation of Landmark 6. These brothers voiced their support of the Senior Grand Warden and disseminated materials that in part exposed the cover up which the Grand Master has orchestrated and hinted at other misdeeds that must be investigated. Landmark 6 gives aggrieved Masons the right to appeal directly to the body of Masons with their grievances. Landmark 6 is intended to protect Freemasonry from dictators and give a voice to all aggrieved Masons as equals, without regard to rank or status. The Grand Master has chosen to suspend and silence his opposition in violation of this Landmark.
9. The Grand Master further violated Landmark 3 by unilaterally declaring himself Grand Master for another year by edict dated January 29, 2021, without an election. Landmark 3 is clear that the Grand Master is elected by the Craft. Under the guise of not being able to travel and spend your dues money on unnecessary junkets to other jurisdictions, and to “coalesce as a staff, and obtain the enhancement of Masonic light and knowledge customarily received” the Grand Master selfishly declared he would remain Grand Master for another year, denying the members their right to vote and elect the Grand Master as required under Landmark 3.
10. In a free society, including organizations of free men and especially Freemasons, elected officials serve solely with the consent of the governed, and when those elected officials take actions destructive to the free election of those chosen by the governed it is the natural right of the governed to abolish the government and remove those officials who are repugnant to it harmonious operation.
11. We hereby demand: (i) the immediate rescission of the Edict and a declaration that the Edict is void ab initio, with no effect past, present or future; (ii) the immediate reinstatement of R.W. Gary J. Olsen as Senior Grand Warden along with all the rights and privileges of such office, including the board position on the Masonic Charity Foundation; (iii) reinstatement of our right as Freemasons to nominate and vote for R.W. Gary J. Olsen for any Grand Lodge Office, including, without limitation, Deputy Grand Master; (iv) the rescission of all other edicts and reinstatement of all other brothers who have aired their grievances and were illegally suspended by the Grand Master; (v) a vote for the immediate removal of the Grand Master from office for his violations of the Landmarks, for his abuse of power and position, for unnecessarily putting the craft in financial danger and causing irreparable harm to its reputation by mishandling and covering up the conduct of his crony; (vi) the immediate expulsion of the brother guilty of the un-Masonic offenses enumerated above to which he has admitted; and (vii) a thorough investigation of the actions of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Master and the rest of the elected line in connection with this incident.
12. Until such time as our rights are duly restored and these demands unequivocally met, we, as aggrieved Masons under Landmark 6, reserve all rights ordinarily reserved to free and equal men, including, without limitation the right to call for a new election of members to govern the General Assembly of Freemasons; the right to remove from office those repugnant to the operation of a democratic organization governed by free men; the right to meet, assemble, and chose our leaders consistent with the laws of Masonry; the right to decide all financial matters that affect the General Assembly of Masons, including, without limitation, assessments, taxes and financial support; the right to call for and conduct investigations of un-Masonic conduct and the right to discuss openly and without the threat of retaliation, suspension or expulsion, all matters of public policy and concern that affect, impact or otherwise concern our gentle Craft or have the potential to do the same; and all other rights, privileges and immunities, whether or not stated herein, granted by the Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe to the brotherhood of mankind.
13. We agree that this petition may be signed by hand, posted on iPetition.com, or by electronic means, including return email, or by a statement such as “I adopt the petition” or #supportthepetition on social media, or by other indication of assent.