- Sir Knight
S.K. Tom Tsirimokos Targeted Specific Legislation for Withdrawal on the Eve of Triennial
It has been asserted that S.K. Tsirimokos released his Committee report, that targeted two specific items of legislation for withdrawal, well before the meeting of the Jurisprudence Committee. However, any such assertions are contradicted by the record.
Pursuant to the Notice to Conclave, sent to all voting delegates, the Jurisprudence Committee was scheduled to meet at 11:00 a.m. at the Marriott City Center Hotel on Aug. 14, 2021.
Please note, this meeting had been noticed in the Notice to Conclave that was sent to all members. Please further note that in view of the sheer volume of legislation proposed for adoption by the membership at this Triennial session, in part due to the work of the Preserving Templary 2021 Committee (who were charged with updating the Constitution after polling the membership to bring the Grand Encampment into the 21st Century), members' access to the Jurisprudence Committee's deliberations should be considered important. Members have a right to know why their proposed amendments are considered in proper form or not.
At 3:13 p.m. on Aug. 13, 2021 (less than 24 hours before the scheduled and noticed meeting), S.K. Tom sent the below email to Committee members. In the email, S.K. Tom states that he was ill and that he was not going to be able to attend in person on Saturday (the next day). He was therefore cancelling the meeting and scheduling it for a ZOOM call. He attached the final committee report to his email, a report that had, up to that point, been unseen by the Committee as a whole.
The report attached to the email is attached below as well. Please review it for yourself.
In the report, S.K. Tom clearly targets two particular pieces of legislation for withdrawal, stating that the proposed legislation was not in proper form because the Foreign Relations Committee had not made an opinion on the legislation. S.K. Tom cites section 99 of the Constitution in support of this unusual opinion. Section 99 is included in full below.
Section 99. The Committee on Foreign Relations shall consist of Three members, to be appointed at each Triennial Conclave by the newly elected Grand Master, and to serve until the close of the next Triennial Conclave. The Chairman shall be a Past Master or an Officer of the Grand Encampment. It shall report to the Grand Encampment all matters of interest connected with the doings and current history of Foreign Bodies of Knight Templar, make such suggestions as may conduce to the benefit and good of the Order of Christian Knighthood throughout the World, and consider and report upon such correspondence as may be had between this Grand Encampment and any foreign body of Knights Templar.
Nothing in the above in any manner grants the Committee on Foreign Relations (then chaired by none other than Michael B. Johnson) preemptive jurisdiction over any proposed legislation. Note the full text of section 97, which governs the Jurisprudence Committee below, which expressly requires the Jurisprudence Committee to provide opinion on all proposed amendments to the Grand Encampment law (emphasis added):
Section 97. The Committee on Templar Jurisprudence shall consist of Five members, to be appointed at each Triennial Conclave by the newly elected Grand Master, and to serve until the close of the next Triennial Conclave. It shall consider all decisions upon questions of Templar Laws and usage reported by the Grand Master and such other matters as may be referred to it by him or the Grand Encampment, and its conclusions shall be reported to the Grand Encampment. The Committee, when called upon, shall give opinions on the legislative, judicial and executive functions of the Grand Encampment, the Grand Commanderies, and the Constituent and Subordinate Commanderies, and on the prerogatives, powers and duties of the officers and members thereof. It shall advise upon all questions of Templar Law and report upon all proposed amendments of the Constitution, Statutes, Regulations and Edicts.
Conversation with S.K. Tsirimokos suggested that there was a ploy afoot to deliberately quash legislation that a small faction of Sir Knights did not want to come to the floor. The fact that the proposed legislation was submitted timely and in proper form by a member of the Grand Encampment did not present an issue, apparently.
Thus, representations that S.K. Tom offered his opinion in a reasonable time before the meeting are misguided. Representations that S.K. Tom was acting impartially and disinterestedly are contradicted by the facts. S.K. Tom Tsirimokos is in league with a small group of Sir Knights who have an agenda and want to supplant an elite rite in Freemasonry with one under their own control.
Read the email and the report below.