Aide to Kamala Harris arrested for pretending to run 3,000-year-old rogue police force (seriously)

Brandon Kiel claimed to have jurisdiction in 33 states and Mexico


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 6, 2015 4:52PM (UTC)

An aide to current California Attorney General and likely United States Senate candidate Kamala Harris was arrested last week for impersonating a police officer after he claimed that he belonged to a secret police force that has existed for over 3,000 years and has jurisdiction over 33 states and Mexico City, the Los Angeles Times' Matt Hamilton reports.

Brandon Kiel, the deputy director of communication affairs at the California Department of Justice, claimed to belong to the Masonic Fraternal Police Department, an organization which, according to its website, "is the oldest and most respected organization in the 'World.'" It traces its lineage back to the 1100 B.C., when it was founded by "the 'Knights Templar's" -- or, as the website would have it, "The Masonic Fraternal Police Department, (M.F.P.D.) is the Knights Templar's!"

Advertisement:

The website insists that members of the "M.F.P.D." are "not 'Sovereign Citizens' nor do we condone terrorist activity, sovereign citizens or clandestine!" Most of the website is password protected, so it is impossible to know exactly what the members of these 6,887 Grand Lodges actually mean when they claim to "provide services" to local law enforcement, outside of having an obligation to "report a crime."

Actual police officers in California became aware of Kiel and the Masonic Fraternal Police Department in January, when they received a letter announcing that the organization had elected new leadership. Shortly thereafter, Kiel allegedly called these departments in order to schedule a meeting with them.

Sheriff’s Captain Roosevelt Johnson of the Los Angeles Police Department's Santa Clarita Valley station accepted the invitation, but was put off by the vague nature of the group's goals -- as well as its claims that members "are born into this Organization" and that "our bloodlines go deeper than an application." A brief investigation in Santa Clarita turned up a weapons cache, police uniforms, and other law enforcement paraphernalia.

Kiel was arrested along with two other members of the organization, David Henry and Tonette Hayes.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

MORE FROM Scott Eric KaufmanFOLLOW scottekaufmanLIKE Scott Eric Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

California Kamala Harris Lapd Masonic Fraternal Police Department Sovereign Citizen Movement




Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •