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A Proposal for Florida Free Mason Amnesty and Immunity Day

May 3, 2010

James Anderson “Jimmy” Foster joined Hillsborough Lodge No. 25 in Tampa, Florida under false pretenses; at no time during  his membership did he disclose a lengthy criminal history.   When confronted with the rap sheet in September, 2009, he initially denied the convictions yet later claimed they were disclosed on his petition. 

Truth challenged” is a phrase commonly spoken of Foster and is applicable to the assertion that he disclosed the criminal background despite previous secretaries and Past Masters decrying otherwise.

His claim sparks intrigue given the disappearance of his petition, which seemingly vanished during or within a year of the time in which he was Worshipful Master and his tenant, William P. Jones, was secretary. 

As Foster recounted in days prior to his May 1, 2010 Masonic trial:  He allegedly met with the Grand Master of Florida, begged for leniency, and sought a definite suspension in lieu of expulsion or an indefinite suspension pending restoration of civil rights. 

So what if brotherhood and truth were subjective during his tenure?  So what if questionable signatures, false charges, and harassment configured greatly in 2008? 

So what if he failed to disclose time served in prison facilities?  So what if he was sentenced to 25 years in prison with a fifteen year probationary term? 

So what if he, admittedly, ran a carload of teenagers into a ditch during (in his words) “an 85 mph car chase” because of a toilet-papered tree and allegedly used Masonic connections to avoid consequence?  

Could he possibly have purchased weapons from brothers unaware of his felonious history and lack of civil rights restoration?

So what if an unwitting and undeserving Craft was deceived for years?

If this felon was allowed to privately and beforehand plot his punishment, the May 1, 2010 Masonic trial is rendered a waste of time, resources, intelligence, and dollars. 

Further, it is a slap in the face to every Master Mason in good standing across the globe; past, present, and future.

Foster claims the Grand Master allowed him to assign himself a five year suspension in which at least two years must be served (pending restoration of civil rights which would then allow early re-entry without repetitioning/reballoting). 

Again, he spoke freely of this prior to his Masonic trial.

Additionally, said felon has-by his admission-personal identifying information, including but not limited to dates of birth, addresses, and social security numbers, of many associated with Hillsborough Lodge No. 25.  Grand Lodge and Hillsborough Lodge have failed to verify retrieval of this information, which no responsible organization would allow a convicted felon to view or possess.

Just as the felon claims to have chartered this course, those he’s harmed deserve ample time to express their thoughts, feelings, and opinions without fear of punishment, admonishment, or reprisal including but not limited to Masonic charges, suspension, or expulsion.

A Florida Free Mason Amnesty and Immunity Day would provide:

A)  a forum for those abused and used by felon Foster to freely express their opinions per his actions, pseudo-punishment, and lack of remorse.  

B)  an avenue by which Master Masons in good standing-without criminal backgrounds-could expound upon Foster’s hostility towards the Craft, humanity, and provide proof of illicit behavior.

C) opportunity to express disappointment in Grand Lodge if it indeed on May 1, 2010 allowed a thrice convicted felon to remain with those who truly embody the tenets of the fraternity.

It is only fair that the Craft be granted the same rights as the convicted felon.

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