News From The Ninth Arch

Cryptic Education Course

Cryptic Education Course

by Curtis Alan Banks
NYS Grand Master Cryptic Masons



Greetings and Salutations from the current wintry temperature State of New York!

The Education Manual Course that was discussed at our 193rd NY Grand Assembly when I was GPCW and then fast forward two years after discussed again at the NERC in Albany, NY at the Desmond Hotel in 2017 [the home of our 195th Annual Assembly in 2018 (08/16-08/18)—…shameless plug] had taken a few set-backs due to a few factors and hurdles that included:

a) manual /hard-copy reproduction
b) website set-up
c) copyright clearance

I include these factors, especially item c) because while my content was actually ready to blast out as early as 1st quarter 2017 I wanted to make sure that I was putting out content that was not only worthy of a product that had the NYS Grand Council Seal attached as its author, but to be sure that we didn’t put out a sub-par product without doing some basic fundamentals that are often overlooked when “rushing” to put out a product by a self-imposed timeline which includes:

a) proofreading
b) testing of website domain usage
c) giving credit where credit is due

“Clearance” proved to be a major factor because while I was able to get releases from 2 of the 3 that I needed- one publication was noted as OUT OF PRINT which ensued a bit of a battle with the family of the last known author and a Masonic “depot” of out of print esoteric books & eBooks called Kessinger.

However, with all said and done, we are still on course with the 2018 promised release (..I actually had the foresight back then to plan out far in advance) to be distributed within the next 30-60 days— looking at the launch to be April 1st (no pun intended) but to beta test launch it March 1st within the NYS Grand Line.

The tentative release title will be called:

\”Adoniram\’s Crypt: Lessons in Council Masonry\”.

It will be comprised of 9 chapters as in our arches… Of which three will concentrate on basic entry level (per say) Cryptic information on both the Royal, Select and a touch into the SEM DEGREES. The next three chapters will educate on tips to good council growth, Understanding Grand Council and its function, and finally Grand Council International and its role.

The final three chapters will concentrate on the esoteric nature of one of the most prominent characters in our Order that most do or may know little of and/or about: Adoniram. These three chapters are used in conjunction with copyrighted reading material from some excellent Masonic scholars such as Brent Morris.

Good ideas are often borrowed. I must thank R:.I:. (Past Grand High Priest) Piers Vaughan for introducing an education piece in Royal Arch which inspired me to create one for the council. It is my intention to make Adoniram to the Council as relevant as Zerubabel is to the Chapter!

We need to be sure our companions, New and Seasoned, are equipped with a knowledge base of our Rite that has been missing in some councils and districts.

M:.I:. Curtis Alan Banks (
NYS Grand Master Cryptic Masons (2017-2018)

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