Friends, Brothers, Companions, Sir Knights Nobles and Fraters, welcome to the official website of the General Conference of Grand Councils Royal and Select Masters PHA, U.S.A. and the Bahamas Inc. The General Conference of Grand Councils Royal and Select Masters PHA, U.S.A. and the Bahamas Inc. is made up of 21 Grand Councils and 17 Ladies of the Circle of Perfection Grand Courts from across the continental United States and the Bahamas.The Grand Jurisdictions which currently make up the General Conference include: : Alabama, Bahamas, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington State. All have faithfully served communities across our country for more than a century and continue to diligently work to ensure our time honored organization flourishes far into the future and have a direct impact on social matters across the nation.
Some of the activities our Grand Councils are involved in at the state level include youth mentoring, supplying food to shelters, family adoptions during Thanksgivings and Christmas seasons, toy give-a-ways, etc. In some of our cities, we have collaborated with other charitable organizations such as the local NAACP chapter, Churches, Safe Houses, and Schools to provide assistance. . These collaborations have greatly enhanced the delivery of benevolence to needy families and at risk youths.
The Cryptic Rite is a part of the York Rite branch of Freemasonry is “one of the smallest but one of the most important and certainly one of the most curious of all the rites,” according to Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia. “Crypt” comes from a Greek word meaning “hide, conceal, or secret,” and thus has come to mean a vault, cave, or other place of underground concealment. The Cryptic degrees consist of Royal Master Degree, Select Master Degree and are centered on stories involving a vault or crypt where certain treasures were hidden beneath King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem for very specific purposes. A third degree or ceremony known as the Super Excellent Masters completes the set of degrees conferred in Cryptic Rite Councils. Although the Cryptic degrees were slower to take root in the Prince Hall Fraternity, they are said to complete the “Circle of Perfection” in a Mason’s understanding. You began that circle when you received the Symbolic Degrees in your lodge. You continued it when you received the Capitular Degrees in your chapter. The Cryptic Degrees are where you complete that Circle of Perfection and with it, gain a new and fuller appreciation of those preceding degrees. We hope our website will give you a better insight into Cryptic Masonry and our place in Prince Hall Masonry For further information concerning Cryptic Masonry in your state, please contact us via the Contacts Page or contact a Local Council. We look forward to your interest in the Cryptic Rite and hope that you will be contacting us soon to learn of how you can be a part of Prince Hall Masonry and more especially the Cryptic Rite.
Fraternally and Respectfully,
Most Illustrious Companion William A. Cooke, KYGCH
General Conference Thrice Illustrious Grand Master
General Conference of Grand Councils Royal & Select Masters, PHA, USA