Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
In the early 1970’s, Sovereign Grand Lodge commissioned an independent consultant – DPR Associates – to do a thorough study of the state of our Order. DPR Associates issued that report in 1972, presenting a number of findings about IOOF in that year. That was 43 years ago. In 1993, Sovereign Grand Lodge appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to, once again, look at the state of the Order. Our Brother Louie Sarmiento did some research and found the 1972 DPR Associates study included in that 1993 report. The full report can be found in the Tuesday Journal of Proceedings for 1993.
It is vitally important that now, in 2015, we look at those findings issued in 1972. How far has our Order improved on this Continent in those 43 years? You be the judge.
Here are some of the key 1972 DPR Associates
- The Philosophy and commands of Odd Fellowship must be modernized and revitalized.
- The Order is lacking in social conscience and direction, needs re-dedication to the ideals of Odd Fellowship.
- The Order suffers from indifference and complacency.
- It is interpreted by outsiders as archaic, old-fashioned, primarily senior-citizens and self-centered.
- The Order must establish a unified set of major objectives. It needs a national program on a national scale.
- The Order must re-evaluate the Code and re-construct it in terms of today’s realities.
- The Order must re-evaluate its organizational structure so that it will have the necessary machinery to accomplish its objectives.
- The Order is woefully lacking in educational development. Leadership at the grass-roots level (lodge level) must be developed.
- The Order is literally growing old and is lacking sufficient young adults with leadership capabilities necessary to perpetuate the Order. It is not contemporary and attractive to young adults.
- The expansion and development effort does not have a mandated percent of gain in membership, or an annual unified retention and recruitment program.
- The public relations and community relations activities must be more socially-oriented to the needs of our times, requiring broad-based programs on a national scale.
Seems to me that these issues, raised in 1972, still haunt us today. The only difference is that our membership numbers are now just one-third of what they were in 1972. Not only have we diminished in numbers, but we have aged as an organization. We have become stodgy and cumbersome, and have allowed a structure to continue at the national level which is resistant to, and an actual impediment to change. The “Code” has become a Rube Goldberg document that few have really read, that is confusing to many, and that some use as a weapon to resist any progressive movement in our Order.
When will the representatives at SGL get serious about the problems identified in 1972, and the changes that need to happen in 2015, to save our Order from further decline?
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master