Grand Lodge of Texas Codebook

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Aug 9, 2009.

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Should the Grand Lodge of Texas publish an "Official" Codebook?

  1. Yes

    98 vote(s)
    53.3%
  2. No

    69 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Undecided

    17 vote(s)
    9.2%
  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Totally disagree. Instead of informing us that it is against the law and we should study the constitutions please quote exactly where it is that it would be in violation those are written and can be quoted. I agree with Rhit, if the Grand West voted to allow the use then why not legislate a correct verson and make money on it. It is so ironic that we allow the use but do not make sure they are correct or get money from it. Here is what I like. Not too long ago a CoW member came to a floor school and was instructing us on the work in a MM degree. This individual was corrected at least 3 times by an elderly member. Now if there was a book that was "Correct" then nothing could be changed without approval. Masonry to me has nothing to do with the questions and answers but the lessons taught in them. So I vote legislate a code book, make money on it, and focus on degree work for the new members instead of putting on half @$$ degrees. Just my $0.02
     
  2. RAY

    RAY Registered User

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    Owls84 I wasn't aware it was my duty to inform this site as to Masonic Law. However it seems many are incapable of looking things up in the GL book so I will give you that information. First I said Masonic offence which is a little out dated so I will be politically correct about it. We now refer to it as a "Masonic Disciplinary Violation" The Grand West had nothing to do with the code book as it was presented to GL for a vote by a Brother and it was the Grand East that gaveled the vote of the attending Past Masters. The Vote was to make possession of the cipher by a Master Mason a non Masonic offence. In the past you could have been brought up on Masonic charges for possession period. The rules were well defined after passing of this resolution. If you have a GL Constitution book you can go to article 505 line 20 and it will give you what you seek. Spending a little extra time to study your Masonry would be very beneficial in the long run. I hope this has shed a little light your way.
     
  3. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Bro. Ray- back in the early days of this website's existence, we agreed, since many of our Brethren do not have ready access to a law book, that rather than just saying "It's the Law", we would post not just the cite, but the entire text of the Law for the edification of the Brethren here. It is a much more productive method of education than is sarcasm.
     
  4. RAY

    RAY Registered User

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  5. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Unlike GLoTX, UGLE doesn't enforce the use of one particular version of ritual. There's one Working which is predominant (called Emulation), used by around two-thirds of UGLE Lodges, and the remaining one-third of Lodges use a wide variety of different Workings (although only about half a dozen Workings are widely used).

    Almost all of these Workings have now been officially published for decades, some for over a century.

    The decisive reason for publishing was similar to one of the reasons mentioned in this debate: unofficial sources were publishing them anyway, and they were getting them wrong, and some Brethren were following the errors without realising they were wrong. The only way to counteract that was to publish versions which were correct.

    However, since our GL doesn't lay down the ritual, it's not GL which publishes the books. Instead, each of the main Workings here has its own (voluntary) Committee, and each Committee takes responsibility for its own Working. This is why different ones took the decision to publish their official versions at different times. Another key difference between our system and GLoTX is that, since these Committees are not official bodies of the GL, they don't have authority to tell anyone what to do: they can say what their Working is, and demonstrate it, but they can't require anyone to follow it. This is why it is only by issuing correct books that we can limit the spread of errors.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  6. mcdeli515

    mcdeli515 Registered User

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    Since there is already a code book, "King Solomon and his Followers", why not let the Grand Lodge create one in like format and allow us to use it in the privacy of our own homes. Strictly as a study guide and teaching tool. It should never be admitted into the lodge. Just my opinion...
     
  7. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    In the past Masonry was so secretive that almost nothing could be talked about. I don't know if that was LAW or just the way it was done in Texas. I was raised in 2005 so I am new to Masonry, but I do have opinions. I was told by my mentors that if it is written anywhere in plain English from the GLOT, is is OK to share or talk about with non-Masons. The problem, as I see it is, everyone has their own opinion and they think they are right. King Solomon and his followers was published in 1907 and has been used by Texas Masons secretly for years. I know it is incorrect in many places but that was all they had. Maybe it is time for the GLoT to publish a ritual book. They would have to come up with their own code rather than plagiarizing King Solomon and his followers. Some say they would be violating the obligation, but it would only be for the one time and I think they could leave the obligation alone. Do as we say, not as we did. At least the code book would be official and would eliminate many arguments.
     
  8. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    You will find that most Non-mason are not very interested and some who are just want stuff to add to their anti-mason stuff... ! found it best just not bring it up and answer only questions... ! Never answer a what if question.. its only a trap... !
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The problem with that is that some things that weren't esoteric in the past are now considered to be esoteric. You'll find a plain English explanation of the working tools of each Degree in our Monitor. Apparently, at one time they were not considered to be esoteric, but things have changed.
     
  10. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    That's very interesting indeed, Bill.

    Do you have any idea why something came to be treated as a secret which wasn't before? It seems an odd decision.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  11. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I neither know when nor why.
     
  12. appzdude

    appzdude Registered User

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    I just turned in my EA work and it was very rewarding to learn it with a brother and not a code book. I think it should stay the same - no code book.
     
  13. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    So we learn that the trowel unites us to emulate who can best work and best agree.

    Where do we learn and practice that working and agreeing? Through the ritual and the learning of that ritual; lodges of instruction. Take away that mouth to ear and the brethren are left to learn on their own.

    I learned the ritual from a most excellent instructor but importantly, I learned how to work with his instruction and he learned to instruct to my ability. Master and Apprentice. A written code doesn't provide that sort of interaction but would leave a student to his own devices.

    Without leadership and training we cease to be a cohesive organization.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  14. MedMan7

    MedMan7 Registered User

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    I am really with you on this Blake! They are out there and they are going to be used by many whether we want them to be or not. As a traditionalist I would love to see it be kept in the old ways but I know that this will not be possible forever. Most people that have children now days absolutly do not have the time if their children are involved in extracurricular activities. I do not know if most have noticed but school and summer sports are being played 7 days a week now. Sundays and Wednesdays are no longer sacred for even for church. They even play tournaments that run from dark to 3 A.M. I know that I find myself chasing my tail end and never catching it and my children are not nearly involved as many of our friends children are. I know many good men out there that are already good masons but they have not been able to petition because they would not be able to dedicate the time needed to study.

    With money getting shorter for Grand Lodge and local lodges and with over all membership being down it would be a great way to possible earn some more revenue for GL and possible help those brothers that cannto dedicate the needed time to their lodge for practice to be able to retain enough knowledge until they are able to get mor involved once again.
     
  15. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I know I am talking to a brick wall when I post this but hopefully by doing so others may learn something. This site is not and probably will not ever be governed by the Grand Lodge of Texas. It was made by Bro. Blake and several of us have been here since the first week you are correct. However, there are plenty that have come along the way that have help shape it into what it is today. This site was never intended to take place of the Law book and we do have disclaimers stating such all over our site. However, it is a DISCUSSION forum. it is intended to create discussion. Seems by my count you have helped with 40 posts and they are greatly appreciated. When we were asking you to cite your sources a page number article number or any reference would work. To just post something and call it fact, especially the Law Book, is a very dangerous thing for a younger Mason. We are all here to learn something and if you are not willing to help fine. If you feel something posted is in violation of a Masonic Offense please bring it to our attention and we will deal with it properly. Although you may not like some of the open posts on here belong, we are doing something that has never been done in Texas. The internet is the future of our Fraternity and you can see that with the new Grand Lodge website, The Grand Master now on Facebook, and The Grand Lodge having a Facebook page. Soon, real soon, Grand Lodge will have an online store for members to purchase things.

    Again thank you for your contributions to the site and regardless of your point of view you have helped Masons of Texas thrive as the leading Masonic Forum in the great state of Texas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  16. MedMan7

    MedMan7 Registered User

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    I would add only one thing Owls. Everything that is printed is accessable to the public in some shape, form, or fashion. Books wind up in the wrong hands all of the time.
     
  17. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    The GLoTx, through its annual processes has decided those things that should be regarded as secret. Those secrets have evolved over the years leaving us, principally, with the ritual as the secrets of Freemasonry in Texas. Yes, there are books published with the ritual. Yes, some jurisdictions use variations in the ritual. Some jurisdictions publish code books to assist participants in those degrees. Good for them, I suppose.

    So, is the information in the Monitor of the Lodge secret? Is the Book of Laws secret? Are the minutes of he Lodge secret? Would a code book be secret? No, no, no and no. After completing the Master's exam I began learning the big secrets, openings and closings, the degrees, the lectures. My instructor, having previously parted those secrets to 70 other Master Masons, explains to others that I was the dumb one, his most difficult student... taking 3 weeks and 4 days before taking my first exam... and passing. Mouth to ear, no cheat sheets. Being active within the Grand Lodge my instructor was fairly knowledgeable in GLlaw. He explained the secret thing to me in simple terms...

    If it's written down - it's not a secret.


    I can only opine that for those who would prefer to have a code book then perhaps GL should devise an Associate Mason category of some sort. When a member is ready to pursue full fledged commitment then petition for the real secrets.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  18. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    Indulge a newbie's take on this subject...I ran across this site when investigating Masonry. This is one of the threads that came up in my search. Someone had posted the name of a book and I consequently went to Barnes & Nobles. I asked a worker about it. The worker looked it up and said "we don't have any on stock, it looks like a couple were just sold. Which one are you interested in?" I asked for an explanation for the differences. The worker didn't know, and only stated there was a Lone Star Edition, New York, CA, and in the midst of his telling me this another worker happened by. This new worker said "Are you looking for the little blue book only Masons can read?" I ,starting to get a bit apprehensive, said, "sure." He said, you will need the Lone Star edition. I was floored. I don't believe, looking back, this man was a Mason. But there had been enough people in that store ordering this book that he knew which one I would want.

    I don't see why the GLoT doesn't control this book and make it available only to FC's and MM's. As an FC, I would like to start teaching EAs. I would like to ensure I get the language right. From what I gather on this thread, there is not any official guide to ensure language is being followed. Is there?
     
  19. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Actually there is an official guide to the work, they are called certificate holders.

    Anyway, the Code Book is to be used by MM's only for them to be able to check themselves. The book really isn't for teaching oneself and by Grand Lodge Law, it is not to be used as a teaching method for an EA, FC, or MM. They are not allowed on Lodge property and especially inside a Lodge. They are also not supposed to be in the possession of an EA or FC.

    I do applaud you for wanting to help teach EA's, but the code book is not the way to do it. Tell your instructor that you would like to help teach, and I'm sure he would be happy to help you achieve your goal.
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The Committee on Work is the "official guide" to the memory work. They are the ultimate authority on what is & isn't correct. Under them are the District Instructors. There are also Brethren who have earned certificates of competence to teach the work. I'd suggest that you ask a certificate holder to let you assist in teaching candidates- I expect he'd be glad for you to help teach while he supervises & corrects mistakes. I assure you that, by teaching others, you will greatly improve your own proficiency in the work. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010

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