Yes, yes, yes Freemasons do have secrets. Like most other fraternal organizations they have many secrets and rituals. Rituals and ceremonies that many people might find a bit strange; but does that make them an evil society of men trying to take over world order; quite frankly, I don’t think so. Many times we fear the unknown and for the most part the Masonic organization has managed to keep most of their secrets well guarded.
A while back an Italian group of Freemasons was infiltrated by outsiders and because of this it was discovered that indeed many influential men were using the organization to promote thier own into various government offices in order to put into place a ” new democracy.” This coupled with Dan Brown’s book, The DaVinci Code had people second guessing as to what Freemasonry was all about. Think Orson Welles and War of the Worlds.
In order to become a member of the Masonic organization men are required to set a certain standard in their home and community life. They take oaths and memorize catachisms to display their desire to become a member. There are secret handshakes at each of the three levels that a man must pass before he is considered a true Mason. The Entered Apprentice Degree requires that the prospective member learn the Boaz grip. Next is the Fellow Craft Degree and the Shibboleth handshake. There is also Jachin which is another type of grip or handshake used by Fellow Craft members. The third degree handshake or grip is called Tubalcain and finally the handshake of a Master Mason is known as Mah-Hah-Bone. Admittedly, these handshake names conjure up weird images, but they are still no proof that the Masonic organization is satanic or trying to take over the world political arena.
Symbols are also used to denote Masonic membership and degrees. The level and the trowel are two that relate directly back to the origins of Freemasonry. Both tools are used in building trades, in particularly the trade of masonry. Stone and brick masons were held in high regard in some ancient societies. This was because only the best material was used for the important buildings in a community or settlement. Therefore, stonemason’s were responsible for abbeys, cathedrals, castles, and other buildings deemed important by the ruling class. Often times these groups of masons would congregate, maybe raise a glass and swap secrets of their trade. Very humble beginnings for an organization that has grown so controversial.
I have only scratched the surface regarding the rituals and secrets of Freemasonry. There are so many other avenues to explore. For every negative article on Freemasons, there is yet another positive article describing the good works of Masons and the charities they support. My advice to you if you want to pursue this area of study is to research, research, research. Don’t be misled by the first article you read; I guarantee there will be another article with a completely different slant. Arm yourself with information and the next time you encounter someone who is a member of the Masons, offer them the handshake of friendship.