The Freemasons handshake has been the stuff of rumour for many years. Many see it as the silent key to landing employment, business contracts and other forms of benefit. Is this handshake as secret or sinister as many people think?
- Contrary to popular belief, there is not the one single universal handshake that signifies that a man is a Freemason. Each of the three general degrees of masonry has its own handshake or grip as it is widely known. These grips identify the level of Masonry that the Mason has attained to the receiver of the grip. These three levels are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
- Masons should never discuss the grips. Although many publications show the different forms that the grips take, Masons are more concerned with keeping their oath to the Brotherhood that they never personally discuss the subject. Many of the widely available illustrations of the various grips allegedly do not show the nuance of the grips, or indeed the real grips.
- Many years ago the original Freemasons were stonemasons, and in the absence of business cards, a Masons handshake was a simple way of identifying yourself and your level of skill (dependent on your grip) to other Masons when looking for employment.
- Whilst it has been known for people outside of the Brotherhood to try to pass themselves off as Masons by emulating a grip, this is considered very impolite.
- This internet age has seen the emergence of many videos and widely available photographs that profess to show many well-known faces in the celebrity arena giving and receiving a form of Freemasonry handshake. Famous musicians, movie stars and politicians are often the subject of speculation as to whether they are Freemasons or not. What is known, is that there is a very long and distinguished list of famous people today,and in days gone by, who are, or were, known to belong to the order. This fact helps to constantly fuel the fire of controversy that asks the question whether these men did well because they were Freemasons and enjoyed the benefits of the network.