Friday, May 2, 2008
More on the KGC and their Codes
Some of you are obviously unhappy that I pointed out the fact the Knights of the Golden Circle could have been involved in something that caused the South to loose the war, much less loosing millions of dollars. I guess that would have left them a lot less to bury in those elaborate “depositories”. The big believers in the KGC are all too happy to bend the facts around their own theories with no actual proof of what they are saying; except for the “secret documents” everybody seems to have but won’t show to anybody.
The last article I posted about the currency, plates and presses being identified and seized by the North due to the less than stellar performance by the South during the war is a true story, based entirely on fact. The South was very careless in how they sent their “secret” messages back and forth and chose to use at least two codes that were very old and known to several people, especially anyone who studied cryptography. Of course it wasn’t called cryptography during the Civil War but you get the idea.
The Rosicrucian cipher, also known as the Pigpen cipher was considered to be an “ancient cipher”, with its first use occurring before the 1700s. Besides the generals of the southern army using this ancient cipher it was also found to be in use by the Knights of the Golden Circle (actual fact). Several correspondences by the KGC were intercepted and decoded using the pigpen cipher. I have included a photo of the pigpen cipher at the top of the article so you can see what it looks like. In general, you substitute the shape around the letter you want to use for the actual letter. That would mean > would be a T and [ would be an F and < would be a U, etc.
Now for the fun part. It is a well-known fact that the Freemasons had been using the Pigpen cipher for a very long time. They used it so much that it was often referred to as the “Freemason’s Cipher”. I know, I know. The Freemasons you say? Yes, the Freemasons, but this doesn’t mean the KGC was part of, or an offshoot of the Masons. If you take the time to read a book written in 1864 by Felix Stidger entitled “Treason History of the Order of Sons of Liberty formerly Circle of Honor succeeded by Knights of the Golden Circle afterward Order of American Knights” you will see that the KGC had secret handshakes and greetings that they used, all of which were directly ripped off from the Masons. It would be my opinion that more than one of the forming members of the KGC were at one time Masons and decided they needed some secret stuff for their group so they took what they knew and used it. I do not think that the KGC is related to the masons or the Templars as some people think and there is no proof that they were. This is more supposition based on picking and choosing the facts to fit a theory instead of developing a theory based on the known facts.
The other widely used code by the South was known as the Vigenere cipher. This cipher has been around since at least the 1500s and requires a key word or key phrase to be used to decipher an encrypted message. It is said the South had four such key words/phrases. I have been able to verify three of those four key phrases and have been given a fifth key word that was just identified in the 1990s. In my next article I will endeavor to explain the Vigenere cipher and give all of the key word/phrases the South was known to use and the one they may have used.
If you are wondering why we would even discuss ciphers such as these you need to keep in mind that there was a lot of information moved around during the Civil War, including that of hidden items, most of this information was in code. These hidden items, no matter what they are, could be worth a lot of money today and you never know when you might run across an old book or letter with one of these codes in it.