Other Taft Articles:
ELKS LODGE TUCKS TAIL ON DISCRIMINATION CHARGE
December 5, 2004
Grants Pass, OR. - Discrimination is an ugly word and even more shocking when it's tied to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (BPOE). The Elks has been a respected national organization for many years, and has over 1.1 million members and 2,100 local lodges across the United States.
Contrary to their fine reputation, something seems to have gone very wrong within the Elks. The Grants Pass Oregon Elks Lodge #1584 and the Elks National Headquarters have apparently been sitting on a charge of discrimination rather than taking remedial action, perhaps in the vain hope this embarrassing problem will fade away in time. Several months have elapsed with no attempt to publicly deny or address the following shameful events that took place at a Grants Pass, Oregon, Elk's Lodge in March of 2004.
Mr. Edward Snook, Publisher of a national newspaper the US Observer, after applying for Elks membership received a letter from the organization's secretary telling him he was denied membership.
The fact is Josephine County Sheriff David H. Daniel (pictured) and his deputies blackballed Snook from becoming a member of the local Elks Lodge 1584. A third party informed Snook of Daniel's actions. Snook called Daniel to confirm or deny this information. Daniel readily admitted to Snook that he indeed did blackball him.
Now, it certainly appears that Sheriff Daniel, a public employee, has used the Elks to further his political goals. Daniel' s personal vengeance does not follow the Elks creed, hence is not in the best interest of the Elks organization.
The reason for Daniel's aggressive behavior is that he's angry with the Observer. The Observer has consistently printed factual articles critical of him. One of Daniel's deputies, Richard L. McMillen, was allegedly the man who contacted other deputies to get them to the lodge to vote against Snook. Deputy McMillen was contacted about this but did not return the call. Deputies from the sheriff's office are reported to have a monthly luncheon at the Elks. This action by the sheriff and his deputies reeks of smelly politics.
Unfortunately, the sheriff is using the Elks for his personal retribution against Snook. This shows a blatant disrespect by the sheriff and deputies toward the BPOE and for what it stands. Denying membership to an applicant under these conditions would be in violation of the Elks' bylaws and code of conduct. So far Lodge 1584 hasn't cried foul.
Is it ethical for the Grants Pass Elks Lodge to blackball a businessman because he publishes a newspaper the sheriff doesn't like? Is it right for the Grants Pass Elks Lodge to sweep the nasty word discrimination under the rug and does not act to protect its reputation? The former Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge Dennis Smith resigned after the discrimination issue became public. The discrimination issue has been discussed at Elks meetings but no public information has been released as of this time. The new Exalted Ruler Ed Dickinson needs to quickly resolve this charge of discrimination.
When I asked Snook how he felt about the sheriff blackballing his membership in the Elks he replied, "I am better off not belonging to an organization that allows this type of behavior, and takes no action when a valid charge of discrimination is brought to their attention. Though I would like to see the Elks hold Daniel accountable for what he has done. This would help restore my faith in the BPOE."
The Elks National Headquarters was contacted several months ago, but there has been no response. Is there a Grand Cover-up in the Grand Order of the Elks?
Those readers interested in fair
play may wish to express their opinion to the National Order of the
Elks by calling (773) 755-4708 or emailing grandlodgeI@elks.org
The BPOE's address is Elks USA Grand Lodge, 2750 N. Lakeview Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60614-1889.
© 2004 John Taft - All
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John Taft former president of Josephine County, OR. Taxpayers Association is presently an investigative reporter for the US-Oregon Observer and NewsWithViews.com. He has had many years of broadcasting, news writing and reporting experience. He also has written a popular conservative newsletter for a taxpayers organization to inform the public on taxing issues. John can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org John's Web site: www.Strobezone.homestead.com