England's top mason says he wants the persecution of the group to end

Freemason wants to show who he is, but won't tell Mike Graham about 'funny handshake'

Members of the public can visit Freemasons' Hall

Friday, February 9, 2018

England's top freemason has said he wants his group to be more transparent - but wouldn't tell Mike Graham what his "funny handshake" is.

Dr David Staples​, the chief executive of The United Grand Lodge of England, spoke to MG and Katie Perrior after the masons put adverts in national newspapers calling for discrimination against them to end, with the headline "enough is enough."

The group is famous for its secrecy, and speculation about its members continues. Last week The Guardian claimed there are two Westminster lodges including MPs and political journalists, however The United Grand Lodge claimed no such people are part of the branches in question.

Staples told talkRADIO that, in a bid to end the innuendo, "we want to get out there we want to say who we really are and what we really do."

Mike asked whether the group have a "funny handshake," Staples admitted "there is a token of recognition, or funny handshake if you like, which is used in the ceremonies."

However when asked to reveal what it was he responded "look it up on Google" because the group has insisted it "won’t tell people what it is."

Mike argued that Dr Staples was a hypocrite, as he wants the public to understand his society yet won't reveal its innermost secrets. But the guest claimed his position was entirely consistent, as "honesty and integrity means keeping a promise."


Katie also asked whether she could join, but Dr Staples explained she couldn't as she's not male. Instead, he said, she could join the women's lodges.

Some might regard this as sexist, but Staples says society doesn't have "an issue with this" as there are football teams and "there's boy schools there’s girl schools."


Listen to the full interview above