If Brandon Kiel was trying to fool police chiefs in Southern California when he presented himself as chief deputy director of the Masonic Fraternal Police Department (MFPD), he didn’t go to very great lengths.
Kiel left his calling card at the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station (in northern Los Angeles County), which correctly identified him as an aide to California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Googling his name turns up the same information, but he doesn’t surface as an official with the Masons until after he was arrested with two other people on charges of impersonating a police officer.
That might be because there is no Masonic Fraternal Police Department, despite the website’s claims. There are not a half million members, at 6,887 Grand Lodges, in 33 states. Chief Henry, aka David Henry, is not a real police chief or the “Absolute Supreme Sovereign Grandmaster.” The real Masons disavow any connection to them.
Kiel, 36-year-old deputy director of community affairs in the AG’s office, was put on administrative leave after he was arrested April 30. He was also charged with improper use of a government ID and Henry was charged with multiple misdemeanors and one count of felony perjury. All three, including the woman, Tonette Hayes, were released on bail.
Kiel, Henry and Hayes have been into the Masons for awhile. They were photographed giving an award to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California) in 2012 “at the ‘3rd Annual Award Ceremony’ conducted by the M.W. Illustrious Scottish Knight Grand Supreme Council under the leadership of the Honorable Grand Master David Henry, Deputy Grand Master Ill. Kevin Briley, and Grand High Priest Ill. Brandon Kiel.”
According to Wikipedia, “The Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, USA (commonly known as the Mother Supreme Council of the World) was the first Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.”
The website says the MFPD was created in 1100 B.C. by the Knights Templar, an order that fought in the Crusades. It is headquartered in Santa Clarita, and the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Chief” Henry proudly wore his police uniform, festooned with badges and insignia, to the Backwoods Inn restaurant there, where he was a regular.
Some people thought he was a cop. Others who saw him driving around town in a Lincoln Town Car, sans plates, with men in suits, thought they ran a security company.
Folks weren’t sure what to make of Kiel, Henry and Hayes when they showed up at the Santa Clarita police station in February. They met with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Roosevelt Johnson for 45 minutes as a courtesy call introducing their agency to his agency. Two of them wore uniforms.
Johnson was suspicious. He pulled surveillance video and put a couple of detectives on them. It was apparently not their first visit to a police station, but little seems initially known about the nature of the deception—Guerrilla theater? Delusional disorder? Scam?
They sent letters to a number of police stations in January, announcing Henry’s election as chief of the MFPD, and followed up with requests for a personal meeting. Searches of some locations linked to them turned up “badges, identification cards, weapons, uniforms, police type vehicles and other law enforcement equipment,” according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.