Landmarks and Maxims of Cryptic Masonry
The essential Degrees of Cryptic Masonry in the Universal or American York Rite are the degrees of Royal Master, Select Master, Super Excellent Master, along with the invitational Orders of the Silver Trowel or Thrice Illustrious Master and the Order of the Secret Vault.
All Degrees of Cryptic Masonry are held in trust by any chartered Council or Grand Council.
Concomitantly, any Council or Grand Council chartered by the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, International, is issued that charter as a trustee of the Universal or American Cryptic Rite and, as such, must conform to these Landmarks and Maxims to retain recognition by the GGC and the issued charter.
All of the Degrees of Cryptic Masonry may only be conferred by a chartered Council or Grand Council.
No Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, Grand Commandery, Scottish Rite or other Appendant Body of Freemasonry of any jurisdiction may control, supervise or confer the Degrees of Cryptic Masonry.
No Grand Lodge, Grand Chapter, Grand Commandery, Scottish Rite or other Appendant Body of Freemasonry of any jurisdiction may control, supervise or dictate the governance of a chartered Council or Grand Council.
The governance of a chartered Council or Grand Council includes the maintenance and determination of membership data, financial revenues and obligations, conduct of elections and installations, and all regalia of the Cryptic Rite.
By affirmative vote of its voting membership, a Chartered Grand Council may enter into cooperative trust arrangements with either or both the Grand Chapter or Grand Commandery of its jurisdiction for joint administration of clerical services, accountable transfers of payments for necessary expenses including per capita due and owing to the chartering authorities of the General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council or Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America, provision of expenses for physical locations for use records storage or meeting sites, and membership database software systems, provided that the governance of that trust arrangement includes representation of the Chartered Grand Council selected solely by the Chartered Grand Council.
A chartered Council or Grand Council is required to hold elections to fill the offices from qualified individuals as specified in a Constitution and Bylaws that has been approved and accepted by its chartering authority.
All chartered councils or Grand Councils must be governed by the Solomonic Rule of Three, being the elected Cryptic Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Grand Principal Conductor of the Work and any action by its governing board must include the affirmative vote of two of those three officers.
Beyond these Landmarks and Maxims, a chartered Council or Grand Council is to follow the customs and usages of the recognized Grand Lodge or recognized Grand Lodges of with joint authority by recognized treaties over its territorial jurisdiction.