Thursday, December 15, 2016

MASONIC HAND SIGNS AND GESTURES













The Scottish Rite Freemasons, on the cover of the September 2000 issue of their official journal, recognized "Brother Michael A. Richards" as a "Renaissance Man, Not Kramer." Richards, a Jew, is the well known comic actor who won raves for his role as "Kramer" in the long-running #1 hit TV show, Seinfeld. Inside the Masonic Lodge magazine, it was noted that Richards holds the 32nd degree of Freemasonry and has received the red cap.

Richards says he is a keen student of Masonry and its symbolism and has over 1,000 masonic books in his home in California. Observe Michael Richards' clearly Masonic handsign, which presents the V and is the "due-guard" sign of initiation in the Order of Knights Templar which relates to the penalty of the obligation—the oath agreeing that one's head will be impaled on the highest spire in Christendom as a penalty for revealing secrets. The sign is also similar to the sign for the "due-guard" of the Past Master, 5th degree in the Scottish Rite.

The Neck Ritual

The neck, being the bridge to the head and brain (intellect) and the point at which the jugular vein can be ruptured by a knife or stone thrust, does seem to be an appropriate place to physically focus this sign. Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor summarizes the "Penal" code of Freemasonry. That reference book says the various penal signs are designed so that each "intimates that the stiff neck of the disobedient shall be cut off from the head of the living..."3

The ritual for the Grand Master Elect Degree, according to Richardson's Monitor of Freemasonry, has the candidate either placing the point of a knife under the chin, or alternatively clenching the fingers of the right hand, extending the thumb, placing it on the abdomen, and moving it upwards to the chin, as if ripping the body open with a knife.

In the York Rite, the Past Master, or Fifth Degree, the candidate places the thumb of his right hand (fingers clinched) upon his lips. This, says Duncan's, "alludes to the penalty of having his tongue split from tip to root."4