Talk:Copiale cipher

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Hello. The manuscript has recently been decoded: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:20, October 26, 2011‎

Thanks for the tip. The article said that yesterday when it was created. Edison (talk) 14:32, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

The decoding[edit]

The article says "Treating almost all the Roman letters as standing for spaces, and transcribing and decoding only the abstract symbols, they found that the initial portion of 16 pages describes an initiation ceremony for an unidentified secret society related to Freemasonry." This is misleading to untrue. Take a look at the research paper by the 3 scientists: [1]. The encoded message uses some Latin (Roman) letters, with additional markings such as circumflexes (hats) or dots to encode letters of the message, and it also uses some Greek letters. Please do not assume that Greek letters are "abstract symbols" like arrows. Page 7 of the research paper gives the actual plaintext and cipher for each letter. The plaintext E is ciphered by 7 cipher symbols. 5 of these are the letters a, e, i, o, and u with a "hat" or circomflex. The Greek letter lambda encodes the plaintext T. Looking over the list of cipher symbols, I see about 17 Latin letters, some with hats, underlines, or dots as well as some Greek letters. The article should not say "and transcribing and decoding only the abstract symbols." They certainly "transcribed" every single letter, and it is incorrect to say they only transcribed the nonRoman letters. It is only true that "the unaccented Roman letters served as spaces.'," a quote from the paper (page 6). Therefore I am removing the entire section "Treating almost all the Roman letters as standing for spaces, and transcribing and decoding only the abstract symbols.." I will add: "The plaintext letters of the message were found to be encoded by accented Roman letters, Greek letters and symbols, with unaccented Roman letters serving only to represent spaces." Edison (talk) 14:49, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Quite right, sorry Edison. (For mistaking the Greek for abstract symbols.)  Card Zero  (talk) 15:52, 27 October 2011 (UTC)


Just for the record, I am one of the authorities being contacted for information about the Copiale cipher. I also maintain a website on the Kryptos ciphers. I don't believe this gives me any serious conflict of interest where the Copiale cipher is concerned, but I did want to declare the relationship. --Elonka 16:50, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Seriously dude? No one cares. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:20, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Says you; . . . I care. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 03:56, 3 December 2011 (UTC). . . Let's work on the article.

Additional decoding info[edit] This article says the researchers suggested that the eye-cult thing may have been ANOTHER cover as part of another cypher. Probably should be included in the article somehow. (talk) 21:12, 26 October 2011 (UTC)


Other editors have added and removed remarks about a connection to freemasonry. I notice the text contains several mentions of "Hiram of Tyre, master supervisor of the construction site of the Temple of Jerusalem", who was "beaten to death". This is surely the story of Hiram Abiff, a masonic character. Just saying. I guess this is WP:OR and can't go in.  Card Zero  (talk) 18:28, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes... it is Original Research to claim a Masonic connection (at this point). The ritual in the cipher does contain elements of Masonic ritual, but it also includes things that are clearly not Masonic. My personal guess is that it represents a pseudo-masonic ritual. However, in order for us to say that there is any sort of connection (whether that connection be pseudo-Masonic, quasi-masonic, imitative of Masonic, or actual Masonic) we need a source that actually says what the connection is (or might be). Without such a source it is indeed original research for us to make the connection.
Given that the cipher was just decrypted, we should not be surprised that idea that there is a the potential of connection to the Freemasons has not yet been made by sources. Please be patient. I suspect the connection will be made soon. There are enough similarities that serious masonic historians are getting excited by it. Good quality sources will be written about this... eventually. For now, however, we can only say what the sources say... it seems to be the ritual for "an unknown secret society". Blueboar (talk) 20:54, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
This page I just found seems relevant: [2] - shame I can't read German, but I'm pretty sure it's about "Freemasonry and Ophthalmology" and the Hocherleuchteten Oculisten-Gesellschaft, which might be the "oculist order".  Card Zero  (talk) 22:14, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Let's not guess. If you can not read the language, don't add the source. As I said... be patient. I am sure there will be sources on this in due course. There is no deadline. Blueboar (talk) 22:25, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Or you could take the sensible approach; don't tell anyone you can't read the language and go ahead and add the source. At least you don't have a huge stick up your ass. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I wasn't about to add it. I was just hoping somebody might explain it to me. I also found this on google books: [3] ... from what I can pick up, it's a professional society motivated by the existence, at the time, of many quack eye-doctors (like the awful John Taylor (oculist)).  Card Zero  (talk) 22:28, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
Explanation: looks as if the book printed in 1745 is the public part of the oculist bylaws and the manuscript text the secret part (logograms *o* society, *star* secret/knowledge?, *nee* master, *tri* lodge, *bigx* freemason, *gate* table shaped as U, *lip* oculist (eye), *bigl* shape L, *tribig* great lodge, *sci*, *toe* great). --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 01:34, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
The English translation of the German decipherment, of the Copiale Cipher, as linked to in the article, includes the following 15 references to masonic ritual, masonic lodges, Freemasons, Master Masons, etc:

Page 20-21: "Only one did not appear at this appointment and after he arrived a while later, he

found the *bigx* already all set, so that a great part of these masons couldn't even know, and the others could not remember that the newly come would understand something about their engineering.." Pages 34-35 "This happens in the fourth room after the *tri* to the body, so that the conducting *nee* asks the older supervisor several questions from the Catechism of Masonry, thereupon he commends to ensure the security of the *tri*, thereupon he performs three strokes on the table in front of him and ## PAGE 35 declares that the *tree* is opened namely that the work should start, the closure of the same takes place in the same manner but only in the mentioned fourth room." Page 41: "The younger provost claps the older provost three times on the shoulder and announces that a good friend, who desires to become amason is here." Page 42: "Upon the order of the conducting *nee* he places the right hand on the opened bible, with his left hand he places the two tips of the compass, which is handed to him by the *nee*, on his bare left chest and pledges the *nee* that responsibility, which is told to him and he repeats word by word as it is stated in the broken down Freemason." Pages 43-44: " enter now in an order which is far older than the waistband ## PAGE 44 and the golden effort which does not argue with the religion, with the authority, and not with the respectability and explains the drawing on the carpet to him, lets him get next to the conducting *nee* and kisses and greets him according to those characteristics, particularities and words of a mason and apprentice and lets him repeat these one after the other on the left hand of the *nee*" Page 56: "through three times three you are a mason, all righteous brothers recognize me for it..." Pages 60-61: " will want to drink to their health with the next opportunity "with all compliments of the ## PAGE 61 noble free masonry." Page 66: "Therefore, as a caution, if one is in an *o*, and one doesn't know if everyone is a mason or not, one asks what kind of a weather is outside."..."The invitation to *tri* happens either by means of an express invitation, engraved on half of copper sheet upon which many mason decorations can be found, as well as the blazon of the *tri*, or also on a triangular map sheet where, for example, the following is written: "extraordinary master mason's lodge". Page 76: "...he has conducted himself as an honest true mason and therefore as a civil servant." Page 88:"I come together with my brothers, those knights of St. Andrew, to revitalize myself, and to take advantage of the knowledge of the Scottish masonry." Pages 89-90:"The younger supervisor answered that I am a *nee* mason and I ardently wanted to be included into the Scottish ## PAGE 90 *nee*." Page 91:"I promise not to reveal anything, whatever this may be, so little to a stranger as a common mason, which does not have the honor to be a

Scottish *nee*." Page 97:"Did the knights of the Scottish masons made no other discovery?"

The primary text shows a relationship to Freemasonry, which no original research is required to perceive. One or more direct quotes from the Copiale Cipher would not be original research. (Plucking out an eyebrow hair may make the text more obvious.) Edison (talk) 03:19, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Don't confuse the text with author intent - just because something says "Mason" in it doesn't mean it is (as most anti-Masonic conspiracy theorists would tell you, they aren't Masons). You're judging from an excerpt - the previous page might say "here's some stuff we made up to make everyone think we're Masonic". At this point, it is OR to use the primary source to support any position whatsoever. MSJapan (talk) 04:30, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Actually no previous page says any such thing as you theorize, because I included ALL the references to "mason". Thus the "previous page" would be cited here. It says "the conducting *nee* asks the older supervisor several questions from the Catechism of Masonry," establishing that questions from said masonic catechism were part of the ritual. That observation is hardly "original research." But we are "not on deadline," so there is no need to be out in front of major newspapers, magazones, and journals in analyzing the nature and origins of this manuscript. So far the secondary sources noting the linkage with Masons are not the most reliable ones. Edison (talk) 18:25, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps it is helpful to note, at this point, that the Masons believe it to be an "irregular" German masonic document. They quote one of a Masonic grand commander (Arturo de Hoyos) who argues that some mistranslations of terms (e.g., "thieves" are really "Mopsen," a pseudo-Catholic fraternity). The reference would be: Hodgkins, J.D. (2012). "The Copiale cipher." The Scottish Rite Journal, 120(2), 4-8. Phillipkwood (talk) 17:31, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Would like to read that. The German sentence "das entdeckte *star* der *bigx* und mopsen *o*" refers to the title of a booklet printed in Berlin in 1745: "Das entdeckte Geheimnis der Frey-Mäurer und Mops-Gesellschaft" and yields three of the logograms: *star* = Geheimnis/secret, *bigx* = Frey-Mäurer/free-masons, *o* = Gesellschaft/society. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 20:02, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Months later, I think the connection is obvious, which is why I linked the Wired article, which postulates just that connection. I also updated the date from the USC YouTube video where the decoder talked about the decoding that he'd done. Banaticus (talk) 08:25, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

The only connection to Freemasonry, is that they got the idea for their ritual from Masonic rituals, but this ritual is not Masonic. In order for the ritual to be legally considered Masonic, it would have to be the same as one of the Masonic rites or degrees, which is overseen by the United Grand Lodge of England. Anyone can start a fraternity, and many did, who copied and changed Masonic rituals, but if the new fraternity was not chartered by the UGLoE, then they are not Masonic. If not, the UGLoE declares them irregular, and clandestine, and the use of the term Mason nor Freemasonry can be used. There has been legal suits brought over this, and each time, Freemasonry's side has been upheld in court. Even on here, to say this is Masonic is wrong, and any mention that this is Masonic should be stricken.--Craxd (talk) 22:37, 22 November 2014 (UTC)