Stephen A. Balke
Grand Master of Royal and Select Masters of New Mexico
Technology Committee Chair, GGCCMI

In May and June, the Technology Committee worked with leadership to put out a survey on GGCCMI Objectives and Improvements. The survey was short but was designed to provide the opportunity to open a channel of communication, and two of the questions were short answer. We used the Weekly Decryption email list and Facebook as our main advertisements to get participation, but only had 125 responses. We hope that we will see a continued growth in participation in future efforts. Following are the results:


Question 1: How are you getting updates from the General Grand Council? (Multiple answer multiple choice).  Answered by 124 of 125 respondents.

  • 65.32% Email Updates
  • 19.35%  No Info
  • 32.26% Personal Contact
  • 30.65% Social Media

For future updates, please use the following links to keep up with GGC activities:

Question 2: What are your favorite initiatives of the General Grand Council? (Multiple answer multiple choice). Answered by 116 of 125 respondents.

  • Cryptic Masonry Worldwide – 41.38%
  • Website Modernization – 18.97%
  • Online Learning System – 65.52%
  • Continuing the Newsletter – 60.34%
  • Sell (Again) the History Set – 17.24%
GGC Communications

Please see the General Grand Master’s Cryptic New Year article for updates on these and more programs. The Technology Committee is currently working on the “inner workings” of the website, we have just acquired new talent and a plan for the newsletter, and the online learning system is planned to be fully functional by the end of the year (or sooner).

Question 3: What initiatives or programs would you like to see? (Short answer). Answered by 82 of the 125 respondents. Of the 82, eight provided no or ambiguous answers, and four provided two each, leaving 78 contributions. The following is a synopsis:

  • 33 responses regarding education – 42.31%. Ten were general with no specifics, seven were requesting more Cryptic Education, six the implementation of curriculums such as other bodies have or leveraging theirs, three requested leadership courses, two reaffirmed online education, two wanted programs for local Councils, and one each wanted to publish papers, esoteric information, and history.
  • 15 of the responses referenced Communication – 19.23%. Eight of these were general, two described better outreach by GGC to local Companions, and one each for better presentations at the Regional Conferences, contributions from local companions, one encouragement regarding the Weekly Decryption, outreach to Grand Councils, and one suggested we highlight achievements of Companions locally who accomplish things for Cryptic Masonry.
  • 14 of the responses referenced Membership – 17.95%. Seven were general, three suggested marketing materials, two mentioned the implementation of a membership database such as MMS or California's system, and one each mentioned proactive support and expansion to Poland.
  • 8 of the responses were for Ritual – 10.26%. Four were general, two cited local translations of our ritual, one mentioned making a digital copy available, and one making DVDs of performances for education sake.
  • Of the eight remaining responses, more info on CMMRF was two, and one each for more awards, creating a custom App, one for a history, one for enhancing the website, one for Youth Groups, and one suggested we evaluate our programs.

Many of these are being addressed as outlined by the General Grand Master, but what is important is to keep the conversation going through your Ambassador and Regional Deputy.

Question 4: Please share your most effective fundraiser for CMMRF. (Short answer). Answered by 79 of the 125 respondents. Of the 79, 18 were questions in return or not a suggestion, leaving 61. The following is an overview:

  • 18 responses described events – 29.51%. Table Councils, dinners, white elephant auctions, fundraising trips, and rummage or bake sales were suggested.
  • Seven responses alluded to getting contributions from members.
  • Three suggested adding to member dues.
  • Two retailer programs were suggested –, and Facebook birthday contributions.
  • One suggested targeted coin (or other trinkets) sales.

For more information on CMMRF, please visit the following websites:

Royal Master Samples for Blue Lodge

Question 5: Would you like to see demonstrations of a portion of the Royal Master degree available for Master Masons? (Yes/No/Comment). Answered by 122 of 125 respondents. 70 responses were “Yes”, 38 were “No”.

Within the comments, four were Positive citing the benefit of a better system of expounding esoterica, one is already doing it, one said to keep it very brief, and one said it would be much like MMM for Chapter. Five were negative, stating that we should not have it be “free”, one stated that the MMM isn’t working, one said MMM is enough, one wanted further definition, and one said it should stay in York Rite. Five were neutral because of not enough information, they were unsure, they wanted further explanation, the link to York Rite is ignored, and one had never heard of the Royal Master.

Question 6: If you would like, please share your contact info, jurisdiction, etc. (Fill in the blanks). Answered by 63 of 125 respondents. Most gave their full contact info.

We hope the above information is useful and shows the varying perspective of our path forward. We encourage everyone to share ideas and help us to keep the communication lines open and active for the betterment of Cryptic Masonry.


Decryption - All Articles

  • General Grand Recorder's Update January 2020
  • From the Cryptic Masons International Education Committee
  • Donald S. Thoen, PMIGM Idaho, 1939-2019
  • 2019 Southwest Regional Conference Recap
  • General Grand Master's Update: November 2019
  • G. Thomas Taylor, Candidate for General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work
  • 2019 Northeast Conference Recap
  • Passing of MI Silas Wilson, PMIGM of Arkansas and Ambassador to Arkansas
  • Some Aspects of the Theories in the Development of the Cryptic Degrees
  • Ebenezer: Stone of Help
  • Velox Annos (Fast Year) – GGR September 2019
  • South Central Conference Recap
  • The Mercy Seat
  • The First First Responder's Award Presentation
  • What are your regular hours?
  • Aaron's Rod and It's Message
  • Grand Cryptic Council of DC Centenary: November 8-9, 2019
  • Manna: What is it?
  • The Importance of Improvising
  • Guardians of the Sacred Treasures
  • Consejo Internacional 2019
  • Passing of MI Don Himes, PMIGM of Michigan
  • South Central Regional Conference: September 20-21, 2019
  • The 200th Anniversary of the Grand Council of Connecticut
  • Jurisdiction Jewels: Arizona Ish Sodi
  • General Grand Recorder's Update: August 2019
  • Passing of MI Bill Price, PMIGM of California and Ambassador to California-North
  • Arizona, the 48th State, the Wild West
  • I find our number to be 3 times 9 plus 1: The 25th GP Rendezvous
  • The Significance of the Silver Trumpet
  • Introducing the First Responders Award
  • Cryptic Masons International: Enhancing Our Awards Presentation
  • Summary Assembly 2019: Reaffirmation of Your Masonic Lessons
  • The Revitalization of Rathdrum Lodge #41
  • Discharge Your Duty to the Craft
  • General Grand Master's Update: Happy Cryptic New Year!
  • Portugal's Upcoming 22nd Annual Assembly
  • A Challenge to Become an Individual Giver
  • A Review, A Call, and A Need for the General Grand Council's History
  • General Grand Recorder's Update: July 2019
  • Snyder's Synopsis of three of the Thirteen Degrees in the American York Rite
  • A Message from the Decryption Staff
  • The Beginnings of the Thrice Illustrious Master's Degree
  • Arizona: Order of Ish Sodi and Super Excellent Master Degree
  • Passing of Betty J. VanEtten, Widow of Charles VanEtten GGM 2002-2005
  • Deputy General Grand Master: Travels in April (Austria, GEKT Easter Observance, Maine, GGC-PHA,...
  • Educational Article: The Regular Alarm of the Mysterious Nine
  • General Grand Master: More on types of Masonic Members and recent activities
  • General Grand Chaplain's Message: Our Family, Gifts from God, and Masonry's Place in Life
  • Right Puissant Companion Gerald L. "Jerry" Ogle, PGM, has been called to work on the second temple...
  • Right Puissant Companion Carle L. Jackson has been called to work on the second temple above.
  • Update on the Recorders office - a lot done, A LOT left to do!
  • Ritual demand and some changes that will ensure continued availability.
  • The General Grand Master's announcement regarding the next Triennial.
  • ADVANCE AND BE RECOGNIZED! - Being A Cryptic Freemason in an Ever-Changing World.
  • The key to Freemasonry; that each of us – and the Fraternity – grows by mutual admiration and...
  • Technology Update as We Approach the Mid-term of the Triennium.
  • 2018 Provisional Royal & Select Master Ritual - Printed and Available
  • Strategically Approaching the New Year and Beyond
  • From One Member of a GREAT Team
  • Some very significant Grand Council activities in Maryland over the past six months
  • Progress is being made in regards to Cryptic Masonry in the Hawaiian Archipelago
  • Happy New Year, Companions! It's been quite the start.
  • Looking to the future, our faith being in God, we will surely prevail!
  • 2018 European Cryptic Masonry - A year filled with travel for the Cryptic Rite
  • Daniel's Gloves - 'If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'
  • From the Editor - TWO IN TWO DAYS!! THAT’S TOO MUCH… Or is it enough?
  • 70 Companions gather in France to create 25 new Super Excellent Masters in 2018
  • 2018 Provisional Royal & Select Master Ritual - Announcing the availability of the provisional...
  • General Grand Council Service - Monty Glover and continued service.
  • The General Grand Treasurer, duties and great experiences!
  • GG Chaplain - Christmas at the Gas Station - Carry this warm story through the New Year!
  • From the Editor - Projects, processes and fruition - Catching up with communication.
  • Cooperative work within the Ninth Arch recently resulted in an historic moment for our Craft.
  • Here is an outline of the living plan for a path forward for the General Grand Council.
  • Let’s give you an update on some of the opportunities that I have been given to promote the cause...
  • The Board of Trustees met October 12, 2018 with Dr. Michael Murphy
  • Preserving Traditions, Enabling Masonic Unity, and Creating Conduits for Effective Masonic...
  • We as Masons are generally becoming busier because we are picking up the work that we have laid...
  • Does Character reflect your true self and your true relationship with your God?
  • York Rite Masonry is beginning to spread its wings here in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • Grand Orient of Brazil – about Freemasonry today and the perspectives to it in the rest of the...
  • Such an honor being included on one of the most effective and communicative leadership teams!
  • We in the Southwest still have two major events coming up - Colorado River Fall Festival and the...
  • Nuggets from the North Central Region
  • This is one of the smallest but one of the most important and certainly one of the most curious of...
  • Please anticipate much more on ritualistic teachings like this in future issues.
  • The General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International has made a major commitment to Masonic...
  • There are (at least) two reasons for having this conference every year...
  • The 2018 Colorado River Fall Festival is being held on October 21st, 22nd, and 23rd.
  • Just a few examples of how the Brothers, Companions, Sir Knights, and Families can be involved in...
  • Freemasonry is 300 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress.
  • Strategic Planning consists of a systematic process that the organization agrees on...
  • Out of the mouth of babes, so they say, comes a saying we can all learn from.
  • Please consider this your invitation to join us at the 61st Annual South-Central Regional York...
  • General Grand Recorder Reassigned, Stephen Balke, GGR and Bryan Bechler, RDGGM for Canada - both...
  • Regional York Rite Conferences: Traditions and the Way Forward as True Partners
  • Kentucky is close to wrapping up Cryptic year 2017-2018, but we’re not done yet!
  • You are cordially invited to the South Dakota Grand York Rite Sessions will occur on September...
  • August, Arizona and Ascending the Cliffs Together
  • Introducing the Cryptic Mason Service Medal
  • You are cordially invited to attend our Grand session in Casper Wyoming in September!
  • The Grand York Rite Session of Colorado for 2018 will be in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • This month sees the General Grand Officers becoming very busy after a short lull...
  • Results of the survey on GGCCMI Objectives and Improvements.
  • New York State is proud to have one of the founding Grand Councils.
  • First Year Triennium Reflections
  • Ego autem in nobis Nobis
  • I keep finding evidence of great cooperation between the York Rite bodies from Grand Lodge to...
  • Busy of late, visiting Asia, and Hawaii updates.
  • We just finished our Florida Grand York Rite and all went well with Peace & Harmony Prevailing.
  • A Seat of Power or a Place at the Father's Table?
  • Your General Grand Council officers continue to represent you and share information across several...
  • So, what does this phrase in our ritual signify or reference?
  • Learning to allow the Craft to grow will have its own reward.
  • Regalia, Symbols, and keeping our history alive for future generations.
  • Share your Masonic experience and become a part of others' journey!
  • Masons Operative Masonry English Freemasonry
  • The study of the Evolution of the Three Great Lights
  • When you first joined your Craft Lodge
  • With this issue of the Weekly Decryption, I wanted to briefly report to you about the emerging and...
  • The Education Manual Course that was discussed at our 193rd NY Grand Assembly when I was GPCW and...
  • Last week, MP Grindle mentioned that the General Grand Council is investigating the concept of...
  • The East Central Region consists of the states of Michigan, Indiana and the Commonwealth of...
  • In Delaware, we are proud of the fact that we are the first state. We are also the second...
  • Update including the progress on our Weekly Decryption newsletter, traveling officers, and...
  • Something I've seen over the past few months is how the General Grand Council team is working...
  • It has been truthfully proclaimed that to preserve and transmit our principles to those who...
  • Greetings to my Royal and Select Companions throughout worldwide Cryptic Freemasonry!
  • The Ritual Committee this Triennium is making a concerted effort to correct the many mistakes that...
  • The Cryptic Degrees are a set of three degrees controlled by the Council of Cryptic Masons: Royal...
  • Welcome to a New Year with new beginnings. It’s an exciting time with exciting challenges ahead of...
  • Welcome to the new technology applications of the General Grand Council - We Want YOU! Help us...
  • Greetings from the Southwestern States of the US!
  • Life Membership Listings for the Each of the Grand Councils.
  • Happy New Year, Companions, and welcome to the first issue of our on-line and email newsletter.
  • Despite its antiquity, the York Rite still has a lot of untold histories, unclear symbols and...