The Masonic Fraternal Police Department is some kind of Los Angeles–based club that loves Freemasons, the Illuminati, and dressing up like the police. Its members do not appear to be actual police, or actual Freemasons—but despite facing criminal charges for impersonating police, as well as individual charges of perjury and illegal use of a state ID, it's also not obvious that they are any kind of rogue criminals either.
Their leader, "Police Chief" David Henry, appeared in court on Thursday for an arraignment, and issued no plea. He's due in court again on June 30, and his alleged accomplices, Brandon Kiel and Tonnette Hayes, are also due to appear that day. But with none of them opening up about what their police club is—and why they've been setting up meetings with law enforcement agencies around California—details are scarce.
VICE has reached out to all three known members of the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, but so far, none have returned our requests for comment. Henry's lawyer just said he was "unable to provide any statements at this time." Even the LA Times, who tracked down Henry at the courthouse Thursday, was only able to get three words out of him: "I can't talk."
But if we could get them on the record, here's what we would ask:
Where do you buy your fashion accessories?
In court, Henry wore a suit and bow tie. On top of that, as in his now-notorious "Illuminati Grandmaster" photo, he wore what can only be described as a giant, golden chain of masonic symbols around his shoulders. CBS News called it a " traditional freemason chain collar."
I called a local Masonic shop to find out more about Henry's style piece, but the woman who picked up couldn't explain where he might have gotten his hands on his masonic gear. "We do sell chain collars, but we only sell those to members of fraternities," she said. "I do not sell those to the general public."
When I asked how much it would cost to acquire such a necklace, she declined to give me a price. "If you were to come in, I wouldn't sell it to you," she said. She also wouldn't tell me what it is for, telling me "I don't want to get involved in this David Henry thing."
What authority do you have in Mexico?
When the group's website was still up, it stated that the Masonic Fraternal Police Department was founded by the Knights Templar in 1100 BC, and was also "the oldest and most respected organization in the 'World.'" Obviously, those claims are hard to disprove.
But then there was the part about the Masonic Fraternal Police Department having jurisdiction in 33 US states, and Mexico. It's a detail that can really capture the imagination of the news-reading public, evoking images of Henry, Hayes and Kiel patrolling drug war-ravaged Mexico in full Masonic gear.
But back in reality, there must be some sort of explanation for that claim.
Why the hell were you (allegedly) going into police stations while impersonating police officers?
The Masonic Fraternal Police Department reportedly barged into police stations all over Southern California, in order to have some kind of meeting of the minds with their nominal colleagues. But while this might technically be illegal, it also flies in the face of all common sense about what impersonating a police officer means.
By which I mean, most people impersonate police officers so they can get away with something else, like robbing old ladies or making fake traffic stops. Telling the police you're also the police, but you're actually the 3,000-year-old Illuminati police with jurisdiction in Mexico isn't any more diabolical than calling up NASA to say you're from Venus and you need to be sent home.
While we're on the subject…
What was the purpose of your "elaborate ruse"?
This is one I'm pretty sure they'll want to answer.
Employees at the Backwoods Restaurant in Santa Clarita, California told the LA Times that Henry used to go in all the time wearing a full police uniform, and pass out business cards, apparently spreading the word about his organization's presence. "He was very big on saying 'I'm the chief, I'm the chief," a server told the newspaper. But why?
Local media has called it an "elaborate ruse," but I'd love to hear the Masonic Fraternal Police officers explain what exactly their end game was. Assuming there was an end game.
What does this have to do with Kamala Harris?
This is where things get weird. Kiel, one of the members of the MFPD, is an aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is also a frontrunner in the state's 2016 US Senate race. Harris's press secretary told us at the time of his arrest that Kiel "works at the Department of Justice but is on administrative leave." According to the LA Times, he's been on leave since April 30, but the Department of Justice still hasn't announced that he's been fired, only that Harris receives "regular briefings" about his case.
Given Harris's profile—and that the case revolves around Masonic jewelry and people claiming to work for the Illuminati—it seems like this response should raise some eyebrows. If all that's happening is that Harris's office is just waiting for the court to rule on Kiel's case before they decide whether to fire an otherwise good employee, then it might be a good idea to just come out and say that.
What's with the pictures of you with Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown?
Chief Henry is an avid user of Google+ (they exist, apparently), and he uses it to brag about himself. His boasts include posting photos of himself posing in various Hawaiian shirts with such distinguished politicians as former US President Bill Clinton and California Governor Jerry Brown, although there are more politicians, and more Hawaiian shirts.
I would love to hear the story behind these.
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