Codebooks and Secrets in Texas

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Michaelstedman81, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Regading the question that was brought up by Vinny, I decided to ask a question that I have had for quite some time about the codebooks (or cypherbooks, or whatever everyone calls them).

    Is being in possession of (because of the content itself and the obligations we take), sharing with others (initiated or not), or even the writing of the codebook a violation of an obligation (I'm sure you all know which part I'm talking about)? I mean, it is not all that hard to decode the book characters, even to the unititated, so would that be a violation in typing it up? And if typing it up was a violation, would those who have it or pass it on to others be committing an offense? Does it all boil down to what each person's definition of "secrets" is?

    And to satisfy further curiousity, what is the exact law from the GL about the codebooks? What I was told after I was raised was that we can have it, but can't bring it onto lodge property. I have also heard that you can bring it on lodge property but not into an open lodge, and also heard that they are just not allowed on GL property. Everyone knows how word of mouth is and sometimes lines can be accidentally blurred, so can someone shed some specific light on this?
     
  2. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    Art. 505. Certain Other Masonic Disciplinary Violations. It shall be a Masonic disciplinary violation for a Lodge, a commit-tee or any combination of Masons, or an individual Mason to:

    20. Possess, or use a cipher/code book anywhere on a Lodge premises, and to use a cipher/code book in the presence of a candidate when instructing the candidate in the esoteric work of a Masonic Degree. (Revised 2007)
     
  3. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Ahh! That is something that I didn't actually hear from anyone that was part of Masonic Law! Thanks for posting that. I wouldn't be using it in front of a candidate anyhow, but I'm glad to know that information.
     
  4. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    I think a majority of jurisdictions have some type of book. There is a thread on here somewhere that stated exactly how many copies of the TX one was sold. I think more people own one than we realize. I personally don't see an issue with it as long as it stays home. If I'm not mistaken, TX recently changed the wording on the law. It used to be a Masonic offense to own one.
     
  5. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I know in Oklahoma we can have one on Lodge property but it can't be in the Lodge room during any tiled meeting. As long as it is being used for what it's intended purpose is for instruction then it's okay. For the most part we have it around when we are practicing for a degree or as a refresher when trying to recite the cat lecture. It would be bad for it to be a Masonic offense for us since our Secretary keeps a couple of spares for Brothers who wish to purchase one in his office.
     
  6. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Yes. A several years ago at Grand Lodge.
     
  7. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    A few years back the Grand Master of Oklahoma mentioned the topic when addressing the Texas Grand Lodge. If I'm not mistaken, he said $600K worth of Oklahoma code books had been purchased. I took it from the statement, that Oklahoma sanctions the use of and correctness of those books. Can you verify this? Many other jurisdictions both sanction and verify the correctness of code books for their jurisdictions.
     
  8. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Also, can anyone out there verify that California masons are taught how to decipher the code book. If so, is this sanctiondeed by Grand Lodge, or just something that is customary among the brethren?
     
  9. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    Yes they do that. The can be purchased from the GL for $50. They also do revisions as they see need. The GLoO intends it to be used for learning and refreshing what you already know. I know that they do make a decent amount of money off of them. It just seems to me that it would be better for the GL to be the one to print and sell these and not some outside source. This way the info contained in it can't really be disputed.
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    That and we'd probably see a damn sight less junk mail asking us to donate money to the Grand Lodge. ;)

    Between that and raising the per capita, we'd probably be afloat again.
     

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