This article originally appeared on VICE US
In what is either the exposing of a secret, shadowy cabal that has governed the planet for 3,000 years or a simple case of a few weirdos, three alleged members of a bizarre organisation known as the Masonic Fraternal Police Department were arrested last week in Los Angeles.
According to an LA Times story published on Wednesday, Brandon Kiel, a member of California Attorney General Kamala Harris's staff, was among the trio locked up under suspicion of impersonating cops. The other arrestees were Tonette Hayes and "Chief" David Henry, and all three were released later that day, the paper reported.
So, what exactly is the Masonic Fraternal Police Department? That's a tricky question. The group's website claims that it was created by the Knights Templar in 1100 BC, and that they are "the oldest and most respected organization in the 'World.'" It also says the group has jurisdiction over 33 states and Mexico.
The homepage features pronouncements apparently written by Chief David Henry, such as the following, which appears to have been pulled straight from a bottle of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap:
I Most Solemnly & Sincerely Promise & Swear to Protect & Serve & Uphold The Constitution & By-Laws of That Grandmaster & That Sovereign Jurisdiction So Help Me God Amen, Amen, Amen Fraternally Faithful, Absolute Supreme Sovereign Grandmaster Henry 32° 33° X°
Accounts that appear to be linked to Henry on Google+ and YouTube refer to him as "Illuminati Grandmaster Henry X," a mystical eccentric who poses for photos looking like someone who might guard the Tower of London in the year 3000.
Other posts feature masonic-themed jewellery and a photo of Jay-Z and Denzel Washington doing the the "Merkel Diamond" hand gesture. Then there are pictures of "officers" in Henry's "police force" posing in real-looking police uniforms.
And that part seems to be the problem: In addition to playing adult dress-up and probably having a great time, the group is alleged to have broken the law by mailing letters to police chiefs all over Southern California back in January declaring Henry their chief. Afterward, Kiel—who works for the California Attorney General—called around and tried to schedule meetings with law enforcement officials. That triggered an investigation into whether their activities constituted an impersonation of police officers, which is a no-no and can result in six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Related: For more on the Illuminati, watch our documentary about David Icke.
Not only are they not real police, the Masonic Police don't appear to be actual Masons. Chris Hodapp, a Freemason and avid writer about all things Freemasonry, told VICE in an email, "Obviously, legitimate Freemasons are shocked and appalled by these impostors. They don't even belong to a regular, recognised lodge. They seem to be more of an internet figment of their own feverish imagination."
In response to an inquiry about Kiel, California Attorney General Kamala Harris's press secretary told VICE, "He works at the Department of Justice but is on administrative leave. We cannot comment on the ongoing personnel matter or criminal investigation."
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