The merger is off!
News item: Grand Lodge merger talks stalled over minor details
The early morning joint announcement by the Grand Lodges indicated that both logistic and legal considerations became a stumbling block during the finalization of the process, and that a Grand Lodge existing acros state borders would cause it to have a different tax status in each state, and neither state wanted to claim responsibility.
However, anonymous high-level sources have suggested that the cause of the disruption was actually last minute disagreements over whether to use the designation F. & A.M. (Free & Accepted Masons), which is the designation used by Rhode Island, or to continue with A.F. & A.M. (Ancient Free & Accepted Masons), which is in use by Connecticut. While A.F. & A.M. was originally picked, grassroots opposition from Rhode Island Freemasons caused their Grand Lodge officers to revisit the issue, resulting in arguments and rumors of several Grand Lodge officers nearly coming to blows.
Unsubstantiated by either Grand Lodge, the rumors have been picked up by Freemasons of both states and have created cause for conern. The early morning press conference was short and spokespersons for both Grand Lodges have denied the allegations.
There is no word on how either Grand Lodge will dispose of several hours worth of the online instructional videos.