First, they sent a letter to every lodge that contained hidden numeric codes in the seal, so that if a version of the letter ended up on the website, they could identify which lodge it came from, he said. A second letter contained a different number of spaces for different lodges, again allowing Coleman and Montgomery to identify the offending lodge.
The letters contained specific instructions that they were not to be shared, he said.
"It was an effort to figure out who the rule breakers were. It wasn't an improper trap," he said.
Coleman did not say which, if any, lodges or individuals were implicated when the letters were posted online.
Eventually, Montgomery asked Coleman to prepare edicts expelling Haas and Richard Bosely, a Mason who had repeatedly confronted Coleman over why formal charges had not been brought against the Mason who voted five times, Coleman said.
Montgomery hoped that discipline wouldn't be necessary, but wanted the edicts in case he had to use them when he confronted them at a meeting in Wellsburg on Nov. 19, 2007, Coleman said.
Coleman recalled the meeting differently than Haas and Bosely, who testified Tuesday that an angry Montgomery berated them and accused them of lying about their involvement with the Masonic Crusade before expelling them.
Coleman said that Montgomery gave them a chance to come clean, and persisted when Haas initially said he'd never heard of the Masonic Crusade. After Haas ultimately admitted that he had participated in the website and would continue to support its positions, Montgomery expelled them, Coleman said.
Haas eventually established residency in Ohio and joined the Ohio Masons, which resulted in the West Virginia branch severing ties with it.
Coleman testified that the West Virginia Masons have two black members, but acknowledged that both had joined since Haas filed his lawsuit in 2008.
Haas took preliminary steps to initiate formal relations with the local branch of the Prince Hall Lodge by meeting with his counterpart, but an official relationship was never formalized, Coleman said.
Prince Hall lodges -- named after Prince Hall, an African-American man who fought in the Revolutionary War and founded a lodge in Massachusetts in 1784 -- accept black members, who are traditionally not welcome in mainstream Masonic lodges, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed in this case in support of Haas by the West Virginia branch.
West Virginia is one of only 10 states where the Grand Lodge does not recognize the state's Prince Hall lodges, according to the brief.
On Wednesday, defense lawyers asked Judge Carrie Webster to dismiss Haas' lawsuit based on the state Supreme Court's recent ruling that the state Secondary School Activities Commission, as a private, voluntary organization, had the right to enforce its own rules as it sees fit.
The Supreme Court's decision Tuesday reversed Webster, who had granted a temporary restraining order and injunction against the SSAC to prevent it from enforcing suspensions against four South Charleston football players.
The Masons, similar to the SSAC, are a private organization, and with no public policy at issue, how they enforce their own laws should not be up to a court to decide, the motion argues.
Reach Andrew Clevenger at acleven...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.