Cryptic Masonry consists of two degrees, the Royal Master Degree and the Select Master. In the Royal Master Degree Hiram Abiff discusses a premonition of his death with a candidate who represents a workman at King Solomon's Temple. The workman expresses his concerns about being able to receive Master Mason wages after the completion of the Temple.
The Select Master degree describes King Solomon's vision that his Temple would be destroyed and all the sacred furniture would be lost. Prior to the building of King Solomon's Temple the top of Mount Mariah was leveled by stone work so the temple could be on a level foundation. As a result a series of crypts existed underneath King Solomon’s Temple. In one of these crypts, according to legend, King Solomon, Hiram King of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff hid sacred treasures that included copies of the Holy Writings up to that point. Although neither one of the Cryptic degrees are very long, they are very moving and teach lessons about the spirit within mankind that caused the preservation of the Holy Writings to modern times.
The philanthropy of Cryptic Masons is the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation. Donations go for research at the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine located at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Richard Roudebush Veteran's Administration Medical Center located at Indianapolis, Indiana (www.cmmrf.org).