Don't know if you've ever checked the blog "The Burning Taper" from a Masons known as The Widow's Son, but he has a lot of information on them
(as well as a really great blog in general):
The Burning Taper
The Grand Orient of the USA was formed by seceding brothers who became disillusioned with the current Grand Lodge system. For example, they are
opposed to Grand Masters acting as dictators, as is happening in some jurisdictions. The fiasco that is happening in West Virginia is a perfect
They are opposed to institutionalized racism, and racism in general. All men of good character are welcome in Grand Orient Lodges, regardless of race,
color, or creed.
They are opposed to Masonic Lodges being usurped to promote conservative political agendas. The Grand Orient recognizes that Freemasonry in fact has a
liberal heritage, not a conservative one.
They are opposed to one day classes, and require that candidates who advance actually earn the right to such advancement.
They are opposed to Masons engaging in criminal activities, and are more selective than mainstream Lodges in membership.
They reject the innovation that politics cannot be discussed in Lodge. This innovation was developed by English Masons who wanted to preserve the
throne against the Stuarts. The Grand Orient recognizes that this innovation was not used by our own forefathers, and that Masonic Lodges in the
colonies were originally hotbeds of liberal and revolutionary thought.
The Grand Orient, like traditional Continental Masonry, allows complete freedom of thought on religious matters. According to their theory, we can
never have a "brotherhood of man" unless all men can be in the same brotherhood, including atheists and other religious skeptics. Most mainstream
Masons claim that atheists cannot be made Masons because they can't be trusted to abide by an oath. Personally, I find that argument silly beyond
belief, especially considering how many "God-believing" Masons I've seen break their obligations.
I'm a mainstream Mason, not a Grand Orient one. But I know some of the leaders of the GO, and have known and respected them when they were
"mainstream" too. They have valid criticisms, and it's true that mainstream Masonry is currently on a path to extinction whereas GO Masonry is
actually growing, here and otherwise.
I don't know what the future holds, but I strongly respect the GO, and am carefully watching their progress.
[edit on 21-8-2008 by Masonic Light]