Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Were The Masonic Police Up To?

In my comments last week on attempts to revive the "Satanic panic" and other conspiracies, when people go to great lengths to do something their motivations usually make sense. Part of the reason that the Satanism scare of the 1980's and 1990's was so unconvincing is that the allegations would have required everyone involved to be expending a great deal of effort for basically nothing. The practices ascribed to those folks had little to do with real occultism, and a lot to do with made-up nonsense from the Malleus Maleficarum. That is, they were things that competent occultists would never bother with, because there's no evidence that they work or even that they were ever applied by anyone in a coherent manner.

But sometimes the actions of a handful of crazy people can fly in the face of that principle. And as more information comes to light about California's phony "Masonic Police," the more it's starting to look like the people involved might fall into that category. Nothing they did makes any sense - did they really think that they were going to be accepted as a legitimate police agency? And if so, what did they hope to accomplish? They weren't police officers themselves, and it's not even clear what they intended to police. I'd say Masonry based on the group's name, but if that's true why would they bother trying to set themselves up to work with other law enforcement agencies?

While the lore surrounding Freemasonry is deep and full of conspiracy theories, experts say that there have never been any rumors of a police force existing within it. “I can’t imagine there is anything of the sort,” said Steve Bolluck, a professor of history at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and the author of Revolutionary Brotherhood, a history of early Free Masons in America. “It’s really bizarre. Badges, ID cards, weapons, uniforms…"

Prior to their arrests, none of the three had had run-ins with the law in Los Angeles, other than a drunk driving conviction for Kiel in 2007. In late January, the trio began sending letters to heads of local law enforcement agencies in southern California, announcing that Henry had been elected as Chief of the MFPD. Soon after, Kiel began follow-up calls to those agencies, identifying himself as “chief deputy director” of the department and requesting meetings to offer information on how the agencies could potentially work together.

So I want to know if I'm missing something, or if there really was some sort of endgame these folks were working towards. I suppose it could have something to do with with generating notoriety, as they probably could have guessed something that weird would get a lot of exposure on the Internet. But is that really all it was? Or were they really too dumb and/or deluded to realize that they would outed as fakes the minute they talked to real police agencies? On the one hand, human stupidity is far more powerful than most smart people realize. But on the other, I still feel like something is missing from the story. Maybe those details will emerge when these folks go to trial. At the very least, it will be interesting to hear what they put forth as a defense, and maybe that will fill in what look like holes in the story to any rational, reasonable person.

I'll be following the story as it continues to unfold, and I'll keep you all posted as I find out more.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble


SeekInfinity-ICTX said...

This actually sounds like the kind of stunt anarcho-capitalist 'activists' might do... challenging and calling into question the states monopoly on force by independently coming up with their own 'police force'.

Scott Stenwick said...

Sure, I could see that happening. It would also be an interesting direction to take the case. But my sense of it is that these folks are nowhere near that sophisticated in their motivations.