In a complete surprise to most of us, Santa Clarita, CA was recently discovered to be the home of the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department,” descending from the Knights Templar of the early Middle Ages.
Despite the arrests of 3 Masonic cops, including an aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department” claims authority as the world’s first police department. The group’s web site claims that the difference between the Masonic Police Department and other police departments is that the Masonic cops “were here first!” Their web site, on which most information is password protected, can be accessed here: http://masonicfraternalpolicedepartment.org
Their odd claim to fame is deepened when considering their alleged ancestors, The Knights Templar. Around 1100ADish, religious pilgrims journeyed to Jerusalem at their peril due to outlaws and thugs and other mean people. In 1119, a French knight established an order of fighting monks, so to speak, to protect the pilgrims on their journey. The order was
“The Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon” (a/k/a The Knights Templar).
The Knights Templar grew in stature and wealth, acquiring land and other businesses across all territories devoted to Christendom. They also distinguished themselves during the Crusades as a special group of noble, able defenders of the Faith.
Long story short from grade school World History, the Christians initially won but eventually lost. In the early 14th Century, King Phillip IV of France began arresting, torturing and otherwise abusing Knights Templar, possibly because he owed a lot of money to some of them. The Pope joined the torture-fest, issuing an edict instructing all Christian rulers to arrest the Knights Templar and seize their assets.
By 1312, the Knights Templar were pretty well kaput…or so many of us thought. Flash forward to the 18th Century: a number of groups, including the Freemasons, claimed association with the Knights Templar because it enhanced their own image. Flash further forward to 2015: it appears that the “Masonic Fraternal Police Department” has continued the tradition of association with the Knights Templar.
So, another group of grown men have secret handshakes, hush-hush rites and ornate uniforms. What’s the problem? The problem is that the Masonic cops look like real cops. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated 2 locations in Santa Clarita and found “badges, weapons, uniforms and law enforcement paraphernalia.” Also, neighbors who saw them in uniform thought they belonged to a bona fide law enforcement agency.
Now the Masonic Fraternal Police Department is under scrutiny and at least 3 members are under arrest. Their web site claims they have a “sworn obligation to protect Sovereign Grand Masters and their jurisdictions.” At least one issue will be whether they are glorified security guards or a rogue police force.
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