For the record, before I start this article, I have never been, nor was I ever approached to be a member of the Scottish Rectified and Reformed Rite. As I posted in my blog a few months ago, the Rite was forbidden by our then Grand Master to take part of the degrees, even before that I was never contacted. So I want to make it clear that I am on the outside looking in on this situation, and am confident that I don't know the facts as they are, but are my simple observations.
Those who have not read on Chris Hodapp's Blog the Grand Encampment is disbanding the Scottish Rectified and Reformed Rite in America. While Most Eminent Grand Master Goodwin said that in his mind The Grand Priory of Occitania is a regular body, the questioning from Grand Lodges and aggressive actions taken that puts at risk the regularity of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar could no longer be ignored.
The start of the Rectified Rite was always on shaky ground from controversy as to why Sir Knight William H Koon II attempted to bring the Priory to the United States. Some claimed that Sir Knight Koon, brought the Priory to America because he was denied admission into the super exclusive CBCS, as to what he and others called a glorified supper club. The Rite was brought over by Koon attempting to swoon high ranking national Masons to join his new camp, upset the established CBCS in America. This started a turf war that has lasted for about 5 years regarding the regularity, including a recommendation from the COGMNA not to recognize the Rite. It seemed to be somewhat put at rest when the Grand Encampment recognized the Scottish Rectified and Reformed Rite. This only seemed to fuel some fires, caused threats of no longer recognizing the Grand Encampment in some jurisdictions, the tug of war continued until yesterday, when the Grand Encampment put out General Order No 4, folding the Scottish Rectified and Reformed Rite.
The bitterness over this aside, attempting to bring The Grand Priory of Occitania to America seemed to spark a small fire of interest in esoteric Christianity within Freemasonry. Men who seemed to shirk the problematic identity of the Grand Encampment seemingly had a new interest in how masonic esoteric traditions in the 1800s can bring them to a closer to our Father and His son Jesus Christ. Suddenly the posts of how the perception of Christian Orders within Freemasonry are not inherently unmasonic, but a new interest in the Martinist Orders sparked further interest in esoteric, and Rosicrucian ideals within the family of Freemasonry. For this fact alone, I don't see the introduction of these orders to America while problematic, not completely in vein.
The spreading of light is never a bad thing, even though this time it came with some bigger than life drama. I hope that the men who had an interest or were apart of this order continue on their path. I hope that men like myself that have never touched the order continue our independent pursuits of esoteric Christian ideals within the body of Freemasonry.
To quote the old saying "You win some, you lose some".