Cops generally don’t look too kindly on vigilantes, but they apparently hate rogue, Masonic police forces that claim a 3,000 year-old-legacy and jurisdiction in 33 states. Which is why, last week, the LAPD arrested three California residents allegedly behind the Masonic Fraternal Police Department.
The Freemason task force members—identified by the LA Times as David Henry, Tonette Hayes, and Brandon Kiel, who works as an aide to state Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris—were arrested last Thursday on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and released later that day.
The group seems to have made its first mistake when it sent various Southern California police chiefs press releases announcing a change in leadership. Their second was asking for a tête-à-tête—you know, cop to cop. From the LA Times:
After the letters were mailed, a man claiming to be Kiel and describing himself as the police force’s “chief deputy director” called various law enforcement agencies to schedule in-person meetings, sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s Capt. Roosevelt Johnson, who heads the department’s Santa Clarita Valley station, met with members of the group and became wary after they could not provide rudimentary information about the group’s aims, the officials said.
Now, being one of the most secretive, controversial, and thus conspiracy-theory-friendly groups in the world—of course the Freemasons’ sworn enforcers didn’t tell the (other) cops anything. Similarly, the Masonic Fraternal Police Department’s website, while incredible, doesn’t reveal much.
There is, however, an exclamation-point-addled About page that is delightful if not exactly informative. Though you do get a peek at its origins:
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar’s!
As well as a sound self-defense:
When asked what is the difference between The Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other Police Departments the answer is simple for us. We were here first!
And, of course, where its loyalties lie:
God Bless the United States of America!!!!!
We’ve reached out to the Freemasons for comment, but it seems that Kiel is at least affiliated with the group in some way, since he attended a Freemason event just last year, during which he held the title “R.W. Grand High Priest.”
The rogue force was also apparently well-supplied. Officials found “badges, weapons, uniforms and law enforcement paraphernalia” after searching two unnamed locations.