Grand Master Issues Directives to Special Conclave
The Grand Master has issued directives for the Special Conclave. See below. There are a few issues with these directives that deserve mention.
1. The GM cannot compel a show of hands vote at the Special conclave. The right to vote by secret ballot is a landmark of the Fraternity. Any attempt to position the contrary is a base attempt to intimidate the voters toward a particular outcome and is a clear abuse of office. You have the right to vote by secret ballot. A paper ballot should be used, and the tellers' count is subject to observation by any member at will.
2. The Special Conclave need not cost $100,000 to $150,000(!). This "estimate" is based on Triennial sessions, which last more than a week, require a block of rooms, catering, food and beverage minimums, and expenses for many Grand Encampment officers. (Yes, the GM and all his officers (Department Commanders, committeemen, etc.) get free rooms and food and beverages at the Triennial sessions paid for from your per capita.) The Special Conclave should take no more than a day. A large masonic venue could be used for less than $500. Claims that it will cost $150,000 are hyperbolic. Such claims are probably made to intimidate the Knights Templar into not calling for a Special Conclave for fear of exorbitant expense....
Also, the Grand Encampment budget has a line item for Conclaves. While a Special Conclave may not be specifically enumerated, a mindful Grand Master would undertake to host a Special Conclave in a reasonable capacity without demanding payment from the Grand Commanderies in advance. Any such attempt to inflate costs and prevent participation should be viewed as another attempt to prevent the Sir Knights from convening in Conclave assembled to address clear abuses of office. This would constitute a breach of the duty of care owed to the membership of any organization, fraternal or not.
3. Section 26 discusses the filling of vacancies of the elected officers, but it does not address the Grand Master's removal. It merely states that upon the death, advancement, disability, or permanent removal outside the United States the officer immediately beneath the vacant office moves up. The GM then appoints the new RE Grand Captain General. However, the Call to Conclave has as an item of the Conclave the amendment to the Constitution to allow for the removal of an elected officer by two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a Conclave of the Grand Encampment. Thus adoption of this amendment provides the mechanism for removing any Grand Encampment officer, including the Grand Master, the removal of whom would then be in order.