The Call to Conclave Is Adopted!
Updated: Nov 12
As of Nov 9, 2021, eleven Grand Commanderies have adopted the Call to Conclave.
Section 4(b) of the Constitution of the Grand Encampment states that when nine or more Grand Commanderies call for a special Conclave, the Grand Master “shall call such Conclave.”
Thus, in a little more than two months since the 68th Triennial Session, the Sir Knights of the Grand Encampment have shown overwhelming support for convening a special Conclave of the “supreme legislative, judicial and executive power” of the Grand Encampment; that is, the membership in Conclave assembled.
The movement began when, in just two weeks after attaining the highest office in Templary, S.K. Michael B. Johnson, Grand Master, unilaterally removed the Deputy Grand Master, S.K. David Kussman, without cause. Attempts to justify the removal after the fact by citing some nebulous “malfeasance” and “disloyalty” have resulted in widespread defamation of S.K. David Kussman and raised grounds for additional concern.
The Grand Encampment will now be convened in Special Conclave to consider the items adopted by each of the eleven Grand Commanderies to date.
Additional Grand Commanderies are convening in the weeks ahead to join the Call to Conclave.
The Constitution provides that the Grand Encampment in Conclave is the supreme governing authority of the Grand Encampment. The Grand Master simply serves as the representative of the Grand Encampment when not in Conclave assembled. Thus, when assembled – in either Stated or Special Conclave – the Grand Encampment has all powers available to any self-governing institution.
Clearly, where nine or more Grand Commanderies issue a Call to Conclave the business cited must be deemed important enough for the plenary powers to be assumed.
According to Section 4 of the Constitution, the only limitation on a Special Conclave is that the business transacted should be restricted to such business as adopted in the call and noticed to the membership. Other than that, the assembly is of the “Grand Encampment”; that is the “supreme legislative, judicial and executive power” of the institution.
As adopted, the Call sets forth a particular agenda of items of business. Note, as with any agenda, each item is a separate item – independent and severable from the whole, enumerable for consideration. The items of business, as currently called, are:
1. Considering all edicts and decisions issued by the Grand Master in the 69th Triennium for immediate adoption or repeal. (See, e.g., Norris Decision No. 35 (1940) (“[d]ecisions, opinions and rulings made by the Grand Master are binding until overruled by the Grand Encampment”).
2. Considering mootness of Koon Decision No. 2, 24 May 2010, in light of the passage of Resolution 2021-23 on 17 Aug 2021 and, in the alternative, affirming or repealing Koon Decision No. 2. (Koon Decision No. 2 (2010) was codified as Resolution 2012-1, which was repealed with a 77% vote at the 68th Triennial Conclave. Where a law that implements a Decision is overturned, the Decision necessarily is overturned as well, in the doctrine of in pari materia; that is, “of the same material.”)
3. Considering adoption of Section ___ of the Constitution, statutes, Rules and Regulations of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States providing for the removal of any elected officer of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America. (This particular item was provided to ensure that arbitrary removal of an elected officer does not happen again. It provides a means to remove an elected officer without cause stated, where two-thirds of the members of the Grand Encampment vote to remove the officer. (An officer may still be removed by the Grand Master for cause, pursuant to Crofts Decision No. 4 (1970).) This item has received criticism from the Grand Master as conflicting with Section 85 of the Constitution. Section 85 of the Constitution states that Amendments to the Constitution may be made by two-thirds vote at a Stated Conclave. However, the Constitution does not restrict Amendments to the Stated Conclave. According to Section 3 of the Constitution, the Grand Encampment in Conclave assembled is the “supreme legislative, judicial, and executive power.” Thus, when assembled, the Grand Encampment has all the powers of a self-governing body. Since Section 4 provides that the “Grand Encampment” may be convened by either a Stated or a Special Conclave, the Grand Master’s restrictive reading of Section 85 appears in conflict with the Constitution. However, even if the Constitution cannot be amended except at a Stated Conclave, the ability to try a Grand Master for unknightly conduct (abuses of office) at a Special Conclave is not prohibited by the Constitution. See Item 4, below)
4. Considering removal of the Grand Master from office. (This item is a separate item than item 3 (it is not “3(b)”, for example), and is enforceable whether or not item 3 is adopted by the Grand Encampment. The Grand Master may be removed by the Grand Encampment in Conclave assembled. See, e.g., Proceedings from 1844 and Resolution to by S.K. Ellis to “censure” S.K. James M. Allen “late an officer [Grand Master] in this…Grand Encampment… appear at that time and show cause why he should not be expelled.”)
5. Considering breach of duty of care and breach of the fiduciary duties of honesty and plain dealing that govern appointed committee members. (Appointment to the Jurisprudence Committee, and other committees, unequivocally incurs a fiduciary duty to the membership. Recent actions taken by at least one member of the Jurisprudence Committee call into question that committeman’s impartiality and disinterestedness. Rather, the constructions of the Constitution forwarded by this particular individual appear unreasonable and manufactured to excuse deliberate action and ulterior motives.)
6. Holding a special election for the Officers of the Grand Encampment. (This item is separate from items 3 and 4. Thus, whether or not item 3 is adopted, or the Grand Master removed, a Special Election is still an item of business that the Grand Encampment may undertake at this Special Conclave.)
7. Opening a special meeting for the Knight Templar Eye Foundation for the purposes of a special election for the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. (Since the Board of the Eye Foundation comprises, among other members, the elected officers of the Grand Encampment, a special election for the Board is warranted as well.)
The Grand Master has already stated in his General Order No. 3, issued Nov. 1, 2021, that, should nine or more Grand Commanderies adopt the call, he would schedule the Special Conclave to coincide with the East Central Department Conference, to be held in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on March 12, 2022. We look forward to seeing you there.
Note, it has been heard roundabout from some officers of the Grand Encampment that now the Call has been adopted, there is no need for other Grand Commanderies to join the Call. This is disingenuous – the more Grand Commanderies that adopt the Call the better. Such shows resolution across our membership, evinces support for S.K. David Kussman, and sends a clear signal that such overreaches as occasioned the office of Grand Master during the 69th Triennium shall not be countenanced, neither now nor in the future.
If your Grand Commandery would like to adopt the call, please visit our home page for information.
Grand Commanderies that have adopted the Call:
Grand Commandery of Brasil
Grand Commandery of Colorado
Grand Commandery of Kentucky
Grand Commandery of North Dakota
Grand Commandery of Washington
Grand Commandery of Minnesota
Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Grand Commandery of Texas
Grand Commandery of Arizona
Grand Commandery of Nebraska
Grand Commandery of California