The Brotherhood: The Secret World of Freemasons

by Stephen Knight




The City of London

As darkness closed in on the City of London in the late afternoon of 16 February 1982, a number of influential men converged on the ancient Guildhall, seat of the City's medieval-style government. They came in taxis, in chauffeur-driven limousines, and on foot. They came from all parts of the City - and beyond. Between them they represented a wide spectrum of wealth and power. Their decisions, in the worlds of high finance, the law, industry, international trade and commerce and politics, affected the lives of thousands.

Each of the men, beneath his outer garments, wore a dark lounge suit, and most of them carried small oblong cases, some inscribed in gold leaf with the owner's initials. These cases contained the regalia the men would put on when they reached their destination. The men came from different directions and entered the Guildhall by various entrances. Some came across Guildhall Yard, some along Aldermanbury, some by way of Masons Avenue. Once inside the Hall, each turned his steps towards the Crypt, which was cordoned off so that no intruder could make his way down the stair and report the goings-on to any 'Gentile'. A Tyler, or Outer Guard, was posted at the door to block the path of any stranger who might slip past the Guildhall commissionaire.

At precisely 5.15 P.M. the participants in the drama which was to be acted out had gathered in the Crypt, which had been transformed into a Masonic Temple. The brethren of Guildhall Lodge No 3116 took their places. Outgoing Worshipful Master Brother Frank Nathaniel Steiner, MA, knocked once with his gavel. The sound echoed around the East Crypt with its low vaulted ceiling and clustered pillars of Purbeck marble. The coat of arms of Sir Bernard Waley-Cohen, a member and former Worshipful Master of the Lodge, had pride of place at one of the six intersections of the vaulting, because he had been Lord Mayor when the Crypt was restored in 1961. Other coats of arms included those of Edward the Confessor, Henry IV, in whose reign the Crypt was built, and Queen Elizabeth II [1].

The Guildhall Lodge was consecrated at the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London, on Tuesday, 14 November 1905. Since then, no fewer than sixty-two Lord Mayors have been Masters of the Lodge, whose membership comprises both elected members of the Corporation of London and its salaried officers. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge both in 1981-2 and 1982-3 was not the Lord Mayor, because neither was a Freemason. So Steiner, Common Councilman for Bread Street Ward and Deputy Grand Registrar of the United Grand Lodge, was elected in place of Col Sir Ronald Gardner-Thorpe, in what would have been the natural place of the Lord Mayor, the Rt Hon Sir Christopher Leaver, had he been of the Brotherhood. The Lodge was opened in the First Degree. The ritual dismissal of the Entered Apprentices was intoned. The Lodge was opened in the Second Degree.

Among the brethren in the temple were Anthony Stuart Joliffe, Alderman and Sheriff of the City of London, director of numerous companies including SAS Catering Ltd, Nikko Hillier International Trading Co Ltd, Capital for Industry Ltd, Marlborough Property Holdings (Developments) Ltd, and Albany Commercial and Industrial Developments Ltd. Joliffe, Senior Warden of the Lodge for the current year, has been vice president of the European League for Economic Co-operation, Hon Treasurer of Britain in Europe Residual Fund, and a trustee of the Police Foundation, and he has held many other influential positions. Also in the Crypt that night was the Lodge Chaplain, Christopher Selwyn Priestley Rawson, chairman and managing director of Christopher Rawson Ltd, an underwriting Member of Lloyd's, and an honorary member of the Metal Exchange. As a Freemason of London Grand Rank, he wore a collar of garter-blue ribbon with narrow edging.

Ancient institutions survive and hold sway in the City of London more than anywhere else in Britain. Although the City is one of the most important financial and business centres in the world, medieval custom and tradition are apparent everywhere. Even the Bank of England, the nationalized central bank which holds our gold reserves, conducts the government's monetary policy, regulates lending and finances the national debt, retains its 'Old Lady of Threadneedle Street' image, its messengers or waiters wearing pink waistcoats and top hats as they go about their time-honoured business. Once a year the Worshipful Company of Butchers presents the Lord Mayor with a boar's head on a silver platter, exactly as it did in the fourteenth century. The Port of London Authority's garden in Seething Lane is leased to the Corporation as a public amenity for an annual rent of a nosegay. Every October at the Royal Courts of Justice the Corporation's legal officer - the Comptroller and City Solicitor - pays the Queen's Remembrancer a hatchet, a bill hook, six horses and sixty-one nails - the so-called Quit Rents for two of the City's holdings, the Forge in St Clement Danes and the Moors in Shropshire. 'The City's institutions are as varied as they are ancient,' wrote the late Blake Ehrlich.

Five 'wise men' set the world price of bullion in the opulent Gold Room of N. M. Rothschild and Sons,* St Swithin's Lane, at 10.30 each morning, but, before these gentlemen are out of bed, the gentlemen from the Fishmongers Guild, their boots silvered with fish scales, are exercising their immemorial functions down by the river at Billingsgate, London's fish market. On the other side of the City, predawn buyers eye hook-hung carcasses at Smithfield, the world's largest dressed-meat market. Nearby nurses begin to prepare patients for surgery at St Bartholomew's ('Bart's), London's first hospital (founded 1123) and the place where, in the 17th century, William Harvey first demonstrated the circulation of the blood. Closer to St Paul's Cathedral, the vans begin to deliver prisoners whose cases will be heard that day at Old Bailey, as the Central Criminal Court is known, where most of Britain's sensational murder trials have been held.

These daily occurrences, the mundane modern mingled inextricably with the flavour of the Middle Ages, are what lend the City its unique life. Only the sovereign takes precedence over the Lord Mayor within the City's square mile. The Rothschilds have been Freemasons for generations. Even the Prime Minister - even Margaret Thatcher - will walk behind the Mayor in official processions through the City. The City is not entirely an island in the river of time. It is rather a place where two historical clocks are running: one which for the past thousand years has been going so slowly that its hands have picked up the ceremonial dust of the centuries, of which very little has been lost; the other which operates with the impeccable efficiency of quartz crystal. It is the continuing belief in the importance of ancient tradition which is largely responsible for the undying strength of Freemasonry: for Freemasonry underpins all the great and influential institutions of the Square Mile. According to confidential statistics from Great Queen Street, there are 1,677 Lodges in London. Hundreds of these are in the City. Between the hours of eight in the morning and six at night when the City's residential population of about 4,000 swells to 345,000 with the influx of commuters, the Square Mile has the highest density of Freemasons anywhere in Britain.

The Royal Exchange, the Corn Exchange, the Baltic Exchange, the Metal Exchange, the Bank of England, the merchant banks, the insurance companies, the mercantile houses, the Old Bailey, the Inns of Court, the Guildhall, the schools and colleges, the ancient markets, all of them have Freemasons in significant positions. Among the institutions with their own Lodges are the Baltic Exchange (Baltic Lodge No 3006 which has its own temple actually in the Exchange in St Mary Axe); the Bank of England (Bank of England Lodge No 263); and Lloyd's (Black Horse of Lombard Street Lodge No 4155). Like any local authority - and like central government itself - the City Corporation is formed of a council of elected representatives (the Aldermen, Deputies and Common Council) and of salaried permanent officers whose job it is to advise the council and execute its decisions. For administrative purposes the City is divided into twenty-five wards. Ten of these wards have their own Lodges.* Five of the six Common Councilmen representing Aldersgate Ward - Arthur Brian Wilson (Deputy), Hyman Liss, Edwin Stephen Wilson, and Peter George Robert Sayles are Freemasons.

All the main salaried officers of the Corporation are Masons. Indeed, it is virtually impossible to reach a high position in Guildhall without being an active Brother, as three senior officers currently serving and two past officers have informed me. The subject of Masonry is spoken about openly in interviews for high posts. At the time of writing, the Town Clerk, the Chamberlain, the City Marshal, the Hall Keeper, the City Solicitor, the City Architect and the City Engineer are all members of the Brotherhood. The influential Livery Companies are almost entirely peopled by Freemasons. Like the Brotherhood, the Livery Companies - the name derives from the ceremonial dress of members - have developed from the medieval craftsmen's guilds and from religious or social fraternities. Some companies are involved in education and some are influential in the operation of their trade. There are close links between the guilds and livery companies and the Corporation: the City and Guilds of London Institute, set up in 1878 to promote education in technical subjects and set examinations, is a joint venture.

And the Lord Mayor of London is selected each year from two of the city's twenty-six aldermen who are nominated by the 15,000 liverymen. To qualify for membership of one of the livery companies, a man must be a Freeman of the City, an honour generally awarded by Freemasons to Freemasons. The Corporation of the City of London is so strongly Masonic that many connected with it, some Masons included, think of it as virtually an arm of Grand Lodge. But it must not be forgotten that the City is first and foremost a financial centre. And money to a successful financier - Freemason or not - speaks louder than anything. Mammon and serving the Brotherhood, all but a few Freemasons in the City act upon the masonic principle enshrined in the fifth paragraph of The Universal Book of Craft Masonry, which declares, 'Freemasonry distinctly teaches that a man's first duty is to himself. . .'



The Police: The Great Debate

"The insidious effect of Freemasonry among the police has to be experienced to be believed." With these words, David Thomas, a former head of Monmouthshire CID, created a storm of protest in 1969 and reopened a debate that had started nearly a century before, when a conspiracy involving masonic police and masonic criminals brought about the destruction of the original Detective Department in Scotland Yard. Since then allegations of masonic corruption within the police have been rife. The Jack the Ripper murders in the East End of London in 1888 were perpetrated according to masonic ritual and a subsequent police cover-up was led by the Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, both Freemasons. There have been allegations of charges being dropped against criminal Masons by police Masons; of unfair promotions on the basis of masonic membership and not merit; of non-Masons being hounded out of the service; of livelihoods ruined; of blackmail and violence; of discipline eroded by a system in which a Chief Superintendent, Commander or even on occasion an Assistant Chief Constable or Chief Constable can be made to kneel in submission before one of his own constables; and, in recent times, of robbery and murder planned between police and criminals at Lodge meetings.

It is almost certainly true that the corruption which led to Operation Countryman, the biggest investigation of police malpractice ever mounted in Britain, would never have arisen had a masonic City of London Police commissioner in the 1970s not turned a blind eye to the activities of several desperately corrupt Freemasons under his command. And in the purges that took place at New Scotland Yard in the early 1970s, masonic police up to the rank of Commander were found to be involved in corrupt dealings with masonic criminals. The debate about Freemasonry in the police began in 1877 with the sensational discovery that virtually every member of the Detective Department at Scotland Yard, up to and including the second-in-command, was in the pay of a gang of vicious swindlers. The corruption had started in 1872 when Inspector John Meiklejohn, a Freemason, was introduced at a Lodge meeting in Islington to a criminal called William Kurr. Kurr had then been a Freemason for some years. One night at the Angel, Islington, the two masonic brothers exchanged intimacies. Kurr was operating a bogus 'betting agency' swindle and was sorely in need of an accomplice within the force to warn him as and when the Detective Department had sufficient information against him to move in. Meiklejohn agreed to accept 」100, nearly half his annual salary, to supply information.

The Detective Department at Scotland Yard had been set up in 1842. In the 1870s there were only fifteen detectives to cover the entire capital. These were under the command of the legendary Superintendent Frederick Williamson, described by one writer as a man of 'the strictest probity, and of great experience and shrewdness'. Under Williamson, the most senior detectives in London were Chief Inspector George Clarke, Chief Inspector William Palmer and Chief Detective Inspector Nathaniel Druscovitch - all Freemasons. The criminal partnership of Inspector Meiklejohn, who, interestingly, was 'Countryman' in various coded messages which passed between the criminals, and William Kurr continued. Eventually Kurr teamed up with Harry Benson, a psychopathic confidence trickster who had scarred and crippled himself for life by setting himself on fire in his bed at Newgate Prison. One by one, Meiklejohn corrupted nearly all the junior officers in the Detective Department, and introduced several of his most senior masonic colleagues in the department to Benson and Kurr, and they too began to accept bribes for information and services rendered.

The enterprises of Kurr and Benson came to the attention of Superintendent Williamson after they had successfully swindled the Comtesse de Goncourt of 」10,000. Williamson placed the enquiry in the hands of one of his most respected men, Chief Detective Inspector Nathaniel Druscovitch. But Druscovitch was one of those who had allowed himself to be tempted into the masonic-criminal circle, and was in the pay of the very men he was now detailed to investigate. Clarke, the sixty-year-old senior officer of the department; Palmer; and a masonic solicitor named Edward Frogatt were all drawn into the conspiracy. From there the corruption spread, its full extent lost in the tangled web of deceit woven by those involved. When the men were eventually brought to justice, the Detective Department lay in ruins and the following year, 1878, saw the complete reorganization of plain clothes investigation in the Metropolitan Police with the setting up of the modern Criminal Investigation Department.

By coincidence, it was exactly one hundred years after the arrest of Meiklejohn and his brethren in July 1877 that Scotland Yard detectives were again in the dock on serious corruption charges, when once again an Old Bailey jury heard of collusion between detectives and criminals who belonged to the same masonic Lodges. But before going on to see how history repeated itself at the Yard (see Chapter 8, below) and the startling events that affected the unique City of London Police, taking it into its darkest period, it is important to take a look at certain episodes in the years between the imprisonment of Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Meiklejohn (Freemason) in 1877 and the imprisonment of Scotland Yard Detective Chief Superintendent Moody (Freemason) in 1977. In my book Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution I demonstrate how the murders of five prostitutes in the East End of London in the late summer and autumn of 1888 were perpetrated not by one person working alone but by three men operating together for a specific purpose. Four of the five women - the man in charge of the operation had been deliberately misled about the identity of the fourth victim - shared, it was later revealed by one of the killers, a dangerous secret. They had to be silenced. It was a period when England was perilously unstable. Many believed that revolution was just beyond the horizon. The prostitutes had learned first-hand of a secret the most potent forces in the British government had been striving to maintain for nearly four years.

The Prime Minister himself believed that if the secret got out, the throne itself would be in peril. In an age of fierce anti-Catholic feeling, Prince Albert Victor Christian Edward, grandson of Queen Victoria and Heir Presumptive to the throne, had illegally married and fathered a child by a Roman Catholic commoner. In the early part of the operation, the wife of the Prince had been bundled off to a lunatic asylum by no less a personage than Sir William Gull, Physician in Ordinary to the Queen. All this, I hasten to add, without the Queen's knowledge. When it was realized that others had to be silenced, Prime Minister Lord Salisbury turned again to Gull, never imagining that the good doctor, who was more than a little unstable, would go to the lengths he did. Gull was a Freemason. He decided that the penal oaths he had taken as a Freemason were more than mere symbolism. Gull concluded that the only safe way to silence the women was to eliminate them. And the proper way to execute them was as traitors to the nation, in which, according to one masonic writer of the period, ironically noted 'true Freemasonry is about to be more powerful than Royalty' [ironic because 'true Freemasonry' is directly connected to Royalty]. In other words, they would be mutilated according to the penalties laid out in masonic ritual. That his intention was carried to its conclusion is borne out by the ritualized and specifically masonic nature of the injuries inflicted on the Ripper victims. Contemporary descriptions of the mutilations contained in The Times and the secret Home Office file on the case, to which I had full access during my investigations, compare with the mimed murders in masonic rituals and with an illustration by Hogarth of an actual masonic murder, showing startling parallels.

The importance of the Ripper murders was not so much in the individual tragedies of the five women who died at the hands of a demented Freemason and his two toadies, although those were disturbing enough, but in the national tragedy of what followed: an official cover-up of immense proportions that confirmed that Freemasonry really was the unseen power behind the throne and government alike. The man actively responsible for concealing the truth behind the Ripper murders was Sir Charles Warren, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and one of the country's most eminent Freemasons. Warren impeded the investigation of the murders at every turn, caused endless confusion and delays, and personally destroyed the only clue the Ripper ever left. This was a scrawled chalk message on a wall inside a tenement block near the site of the fourth murder. Beneath the message was a blood-soaked piece of cloth which Jack the Ripper had recently cut from the apron of his latest victim. The message itself, according to a careful copy made by a conscientious PC who was at the scene early - which had been concealed in the Scotland Yard files on the case for nearly ninety years before I gained access to them - read:

"The Juwes are The Men That will not be blamed for nothing."

The moment he was told of this, Warren, who had not previously ventured near the East End, rushed to the place before the message could be photographed and washed it away. This has never been explained. The truth was that Warren, who had been exalted to the Royal Arch in 1861, had realized that the writing on the wall was a masonic message. Much of masonic ritual centres on murder. At the 3rd Degree, the victim is Hiram Abiff, mythical architect in charge of the building of Solomon's temple. The ceremony involves the mimed murder of Hiram by three Apprentice Masons, and his subsequent resurrection. The three Apprentices are named Jubela, Jubelo and Jubelum -known collectively as the Juwes. In masonic lore, the Juwes are hunted down and executed, 'by the breast being torn open and the heart and vitals taken out and thrown over the left shoulder', which closely parallels the details of Jack the Ripper's modus operandi. Warren, a founder of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Masonic Research and by the time of the Ripper murders a Past Grand Sojourner of the Supreme Grand Chapter, knew only too well that the writing on the wall was telling the world, 'The Freemasons are the men that will not be blamed for nothing.'

The City of London Police is unique. Descended from the Watch and Ward which manned the City's walls in case of attack in the thirteenth century, the force belongs to the City and is financed largely by the City. It is controlled by a Commissioner who is equal in rank and standing with the Commissioner of the thirty-times-bigger Metropolitan Police. The Commissioner of the City of London Police is appointed by the Court of Common Council of the City Corporation and he and his force are overseen by a police committee of selected Common Councilmen (elected councillors) and Aldermen. The City of London is steeped in tradition, and it is possibly the ever-present awareness of ancient customs, of the perpetual intrusion by the past into the present, that explains why Freemasonry has been so prevalent among officers in the City of London Police. Cecil Rolph Hewitt, criminologist, author, journalist and Vice-President of the Howard League for Penal Reform, joined the City of London Police in 1921. Writing as C. H. Rolph in the weekly news magazine Police Review in September 1981, he said: I saw enough chicanery and favouritism fostering Freemasonry in the police service to satisfy me that it ought to be barred. It wasn't so much that the Masons got actual preferment (though I'm sure some of them did); they believed they would, and the belief devalued their characters in a way that was as odd as it was disturbing.

Hewitt told me later, 選 was instructing City of London Police recruits from 1931 to about 1940, holding during that time the dizzily rising ranks of Sub-Inspector, Inspector and Chief Inspector. We had a school room at Snow Hill police station, opposite Holborn Viaduct railway terminus. I had to teach them rudimentary criminal law, police practice, and, I suppose, some kind of social ethics - of the kind now greeted as innovatory in the Scarman Report. The recruits often seemed to believe that if in due course they could join a Lodge their careers would be assured. I sometimes found it difficult to disabuse them, and the result was that when their time came to study for promotion, which involves a lot of hard work and is specially hard, in my opinion, on the relatively unlettered types who usually join the police, they just didn't work hard enough and they failed their exams time after time. These pre-conceived notions about the value of Freemasonry as a means to advancement had been inherited, as a rule, from parents or uncles, often policemen themselves.'

Hewitt left the City Police in 1946 and joined the New Statesman as a staff writer the following year. He was the editor of the Society of Authors' journal The Author for four years and between 1947 and 1978 produced nineteen books, mostly on the police, law and crime. The evidence of one of his contemporaries in the City of London Police is particularly valuable in building up a picture of the degree to which the high incidence of Masonry within the force influenced it between the 1920s and the late 1950s. Gilbert Stone, who joined the force in 1927, was a much-respected officer. Although a non-Mason, he is not anti-Mason, and gave a considered and self-evidently balanced account. 選 retired from the City Police early in 1959 as a 1st Class Superintendent,"* he told me. 選 served under two Commissioners, Sir Hugh Turnbull and Sir Arthur Young, and I am sure that neither of them were Masons. The Assistant. This rank has since been upgraded to Chief Superintendent. The Commissioner in my early days was, I am pretty certain, a Mason. Quite a number of senior officers were Masons and only some were not.

'I would imagine that there was a greater proportion of CID officers of all ranks in Masonry than uniformed officers, and I got the general impression without any evidence to substantiate it that Masons had a better chance of getting into the CID than non-Masons. I must say, however, that in my early days or years in the force in the late twenties I did for about a year or so work in the CID at my Divisional Station, doing clerical and admin work, and on several occasions I was invited by several CID men, including a Detective Inspector and several Detective Sergeants who were Masons, to enter the CID, which invitations I always declined. I mention this to show that the CID was not the exclusive preserve of the Masons, but I must add that I often wondered whether, if I did accept the invitations and enter the CID, I would then have been invited to become a Mason. 'A lot of constables were in Masonry, although I would not like to hazard a guess on what proportion. Some belonged when they joined the force. I think it reasonable to assume that quite a lot of them were, or became, Masons because it would confer some advantages, whether by giving them an easier "ride" in the force, or because they thought it would help them with promotion, or perhaps both.

'There is only one case, as far as I can recollect, where a Mason did reap an advantage by being one. He was a man who occasionally got drunk and in that condition often turned violent and assaulted people, including senior officers. On more than one occasion his conduct resulted in a disciplinary charge against him, and on each occasion he virtually got away with it. A small fine, 19s 6d if I remember aright, was imposed and that was that. Often he was not charged. The general view of his colleagues, which included me, was that had he not been a Mason he would have been sacked long ago. 'On one occasion a colleague invited me to think about becoming a Mason and said that if I was interested he would be pleased to propose me, but, as you can gather, I was not interested, and no pressure was brought to bear on me. I personally was not affected, so far as I am aware, by not being a Mason. I met and served with some Masons who were delightful colleagues and real gentlemen. I met some Masons who were quite the opposite. And that applies equally to colleagues who were not Masons.' Ex-Superintendent Stone introduced me to Albert Treves, 'an old colleague and friend who retired as an Inspector in the City, who was a very active Mason and was also a very charming and gentlemanly person'.

I have spoken to nearly seventy former and currently serving officers of the City force, about a third of them Masons. There can be no doubt that whatever part Freemasonry played in the distant past, by the late 1960s it was very hard for non-Masons to obtain promotion above Superintendent in the uniformed branch, and above Sergeant in the CID - even under the non-masonic Commissioner Sir Arthur Young. A masonic sub-structure had grown up, which enabled Freemasons in every department and every division to come together in secret and influence decisions in the force to a remarkable degree. But more of that later. David Gillespie (a pseudonym) joined Essex Police in 1937 as a PC and retired as Acting Detective Chief Inspector of the same force in 1963. According to several independent statements I have received from men in this force, it has been dominated by Freemasons for generations.

'The application form didn't list Freemasonry under Special Qualifications,' Gillespie told me, 'but in fact from Inspector up to and including Assistant Chief Constable, four out of every five were practising Freemasons, all promoted by one man.' During his career, Gillespie served at Clacton-on-Sea and the adjoining area around Holland-on-Sea, in the Staff Division CID, at Tilbury Docks, Braintree, and Rochford near Southend-on-Sea. His penultimate job was a 」30,000 smuggling run, and he rounded off his career with a successful investigation into murder on the high seas. The Chief Constable of Essex for much of Gillespie's service was Sir Francis Richard Jonathan Peel, who died in 1979. A direct descendant of Sir Robert Peel, he is remembered in the force as a remote figure who would simply rubber-stamp the decisions of his most senior men. Gillespie liked Peel and reveres his memory, but says that 'he was so intent on creating a vast gulf betwixt his ivory tower and the untouchables that he left promotion to one man'. That man, Assistant Chief Constable John Crockford, was a Freemason.

'Crockford ran the promotion field for twenty years until he retired about 1953. He was a likeable man in many ways who conferred many kindnesses, although many men in the force hated him. Despite his unchallenged power in the service, he saw himself primarily as a Freemason, and one of extremely high rank. 'Of course, not all promotions of Freemasons in my force were disreputable, but many were. The most awful in my time were Walter Stephen Pope, a ridiculous little squirt, to Super, and that of James Peters. Words fail me. They were derided even by their own kidney. 'Both these men were Masons. By police standards Pope was a little man with an inverted inferiority complex, possibly for that reason. He had a high IQ in my opinion, but he was just a police clerk who climbed. He never to my knowledge caught a crook, never saw a blow struck in anger, and never looked in at Tilbury Docks on the night of the sainted Patrick when we were struggling with the Micks and the Molls outside the Presbytery or at the Sign of the Anchor Inn.

'Pope had a hectoring voice and a pompous manner, which in all charity he probably couldn't help. He was a ridiculous figure who upset the troops in every branch he entered. I had him, for my sins, in four divisions. His leadership, of how to get the best out of his men, was pathetic. I sometimes wondered if he were quite sane. Now and then men approached me for a written application in extremis to get them away from him. I complied. Such reports fetched up on ACC Crockford's desk and proved successful. None of this prevented them making Pope a Divisional Superintendent. 'But the case of James Peters is if anything worse, if such were possible. Peters was an amiable half-wit. He was simply one of nature's dunderheads, a twit in any company who made one cringe. And he was a congenital liar. But he had become a Freemason at twenty-one and never missed a Lodge meeting. When he was promoted to station clerk, the resultant shock waves startled even the serried ranks of the Magic Circle, which is saying something. When the promotion was published, a certain high-ranker, another Freemason, threw the relevant Force Order B across the room in a fury. He knew Peters.

'Later, on our sergeants' training course, he confided in me that during a heart-to-heart talk, Crockford had told him his future was assured. It was. His rate of promotion after that was astonishing, and he retired at a rank very very few policemen achieve.' Detective Superintendent David Thomas, former head of Monmouthshire CID, devoted four pages of his memoirs, Seek Out The Guilty, to an examination of Freemasonry in the police. Before this, criticism of alleged masonic influence in the police forces of Britain had usually come from the lower ranks. Such men as did raise the question were almost invariably dismissed by their masonic colleagues as embittered failures who used Freemasonry as a scapegoat. This was not wholly unfair. Freemasons, like Communists, Jews, Gipsies and Negroes, have frequently been used as scapegoats by those simplistic souls who like to believe all society's ills have one source: a conspiracy of aliens and subversives dedicated to the overturning of the status quo. Hitler spoke of falling into a 'nest of Freemasons', and seems to have loathed them as much as he did the Jews - certainly he persecuted them as ruthlessly.

Mussolini, too, hated Freemasons and during his dictatorship many were executed. On a more moderate level, the belief that no one is promoted in the police unless he is a Freemason is frequently held by non-masonic officers who would be unsuitable for promotion anyway. Unable to accept their own failings, they all too easily subscribe to the conspiracy theory and latch on to Freemasonry as a convenient scapegoat. On the other hand, the belief that Freemasonry often exerts an improper influence is also held by many police officers who are Freemasons - because there is no doubt at all that many Freemasons have been promoted by other Freemasons for no other reason than that they are members of the same secret Brotherhood. The blanket denial that this happens, or that it can happen, issued by the United Grand Lodge, is untruthful. The significance of David Thomas's words was that they came from a man of unimpeachable integrity and of high standing in the police and the community. Here was no hot-headed PC, freshly rejected for promotion, flinging wild allegations round the 'nick' canteen, but a successful senior officer in retirement making a reasoned statement and calling for a Royal Commission to investigate a situation he regarded as sinister and dangerous.

During my thirty-two years' police service I saw a great deal of this secret society in action, not only in my own force but also in the many others I visited as honorary secretary of the detective conferences of No 8 Police District, which comprises the whole of Wales, Monmouthshire and Herefordshire. Sometimes my visits took me to other areas, but wherever I went the story was the same. 'Are you on the Square?' or 'Are you on the Level?' are all naive enquiries as to whether or not one is a Mason. Thomas thought that of the total number of policemen in 1969, probably only a small percentage were Freemasons. 'But that small percentage forms an important and all-powerful group, the majority of whom are senior officers of the rank of Inspector, or above. Their influence on the service is incalculable.' He assured readers that Masonry often did affect promotion, and that many sergeants and PCs became Masons for this reason. In this way, the system became self-perpetuating. Without implying that Masons will ensure the promotion of their brethren in the service, Thomas was certain that when two men of equal ability came before a promotion board, the dice would be loaded in favour of Masons because of the masonic composition of many boards.

The official response to Thomas's call for a Royal Commission was predictable: like the United Grand Lodge, successive governments have adopted an ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away policy on calls to investigate any state of affairs in which Freemasonry is alleged to be playing a questionable role. An unnamed writer in the Sunday Telegraph said this: 'I can confirm that many detectives believe Freemasons exercise an insidious secret influence inside Scotland Yard. But it seems now the suggestion has come into the open the lie may be given to this well-entrenched belief.' A spokesman for the Police Federation, the police 'trade union' representing all ranks up to Inspector, was quoted as saying that the Federation had never received a complaint from anyone losing promotion or being victimized for not being a Freemason. This was untrue. I have seen copies of statements of just such a nature submitted to the Federation both before and after the date of the Federation's pronouncement. Indeed, only eleven months before the publication of Thomas's book, a Northampton police Sergeant submitted a three-page typed report, every page signed by himself at the bottom and every surname typed in capitals as if it were a formal witness's statement. In it he complained of two incidents:

In March of last year I was told in no uncertain terms by Det Insp Brian JENKINS [pseudonym] that if I did not join the lodge he would personally see to it that I was never promoted above my present rank . . . On December 24 last, just before the Christmas Party, I was called in to see Chief Insp Howard FIELD [pseudonym]. He said that life could be made very uncomfortable for officers who tried to buck the system. I asked him what he meant. He said, 'You are not on the square, are you. I won't say any more than that.' The complainant told me the Federation never replied. He said, 'Life became intolerable after that. They treated me like a leper. I was either ignored completely by most of them or they kept picking arguments with me. Complaint after complaint was made against me. It was ridiculous. I stuck it for about a year but then I just got out.' Now a Superintendent in the North East of England, my informant achieved very rapid promotion without joining the Brotherhood.

The Federation spokesman who told the Sunday Telegraph that complaints of this nature had never been received, went on to say: 'Under modern promotion procedures it is difficult to see how it could happen. We have national promotion exams. In London, promotion up to station sergeant is decided by exams. Boards decide other promotions. It would be gross exaggeration to say Freemason members had any undue influence.' What the spokesman did not point out was that passing a promotion examination did not mean automatic promotion. There are many PCs and Sergeants in the country who have qualified as Inspectors, but because of a dearth of vacancies at the higher ranks, they remain at the bottom. In the 26,000-strong Metropolitan Police there is a much greater chance of early promotion, as there is for an officer prepared to move from force to force; but in country forces it is often a case of dead men's shoes. And even when a vacancy arises, applicants go before promotion boards.

In suggesting that examinations eliminated favouritism the Federation was therefore being less than truthful, and the reason is perhaps not hard to find. Until very recently the majority of regional representatives of the Police Federation were Freemasons. Even today, a large proportion of its civilian staff are ardent members of the Brotherhood. There are two other allegations which have been made so frequently, and by such well-respected officers, two Assistant Chief Constables (one a Mason) included, that they should be mentioned, although it must be said that I have yet to see undeniable evidence. One claim is that masonic officers taking exams will make some kind of mark on their paper to indicate their affiliation to the Brotherhood. The most common, it is alleged, is the age-old masonic code of writing a capital 'A' in the form of the Brotherhood's Square and Compasses symbol, thus:



This will be meaningless to a non-masonic examiner but will be immediately recognized by a fellow Mason. The other allegation, made by scores of officers of all ranks, is that masonic promotion boards sometimes slip masonic references into their conversation when interviewing. If the candidate for promotion responds correctly, it is said, his chances are immediately elevated. The row about Freemasonry in the police blew up again in May 1972 when Police Review published an article by a thirty-five-year-old Sergeant of Nottinghamshire Combined Constabulary, Peter J. Welling. The article captured the feeling of many non-masonic police officers and provoked fierce opposition and loud agreement which were publicized in the daily press and on television. Welling said that from the beginning of his police career he had been made aware by members of the general public which of his police colleagues were Freemasons. In his early years in the police he thought most masonic officers were in the higher ranks.

This manifested itself in the instructions one would sometimes receive regarding one's attitude to certain members of the public who held prominent positions in public life and who committed infringements, if only minor infringements, of the law. I took this to be a legacy from the old watch committee and standing joint committee days when those governing bodies virtually held the efficiency of the Service by its purse strings. It was therefore extremely important for members of the senior ranks in the Service to have close contact, not only in committee, but also socially, with such persons who were no doubt closely aligned to the Freemasonry movement.

However, with the progress of time, the conduct and structure of the Police Service has changed, and is continuing to change at a rapid pace. But there is an increasing awareness among junior members of the Service that, after passing the appropriate examinations, a sure way to promotion is through the Freemasonry movement. Thus there is a considerable amount of canvassing to be done which appears to be creating a split in the Service itself. Sergeant Welling was concerned with the possible long-term effects of this. He thought that if increasing numbers of serving police officers were to join the Brotherhood, 'then a saturation point will be reached when the majority, if not all police officers, will be members'. What consequences might this have? Welling thought the best way of finding an answer was to examine 'the terms of reference and ethics behind both the Police Service and the Freemasonry movement'. He went on:

It is a fact that when a Police Officer is appointed he takes an oath of allegiance to the Queen and the community to carry out his duties 'without fear or favour, malice or ill will'. It is not commonly known that on enrolment to a Freemasonry Lodge a Freemason also takes an oath. I do not profess to know what form this oath takes or how it is administered, but it is most certainly an oath of allegiance not only to members of his own Lodge but to all members of the Freemasonry movement. Men are either Freemasons or not Freemasons. No 'close alignment' without membership is possible. To assist him to recognize other Freemasons he is taught secret handshakes and other secret signs. This type of association taken throughout the country forms a formidable chain of contact and associates from all walks of life. It was in this 'formidable chain of contact' that Welling felt the danger of Freemasonry in the police lay. 'When this country has a national police service* criticism may well be levelled by minority groups against the police that the service is not impartial. The question I ask is - how can a Freemasonry Police officer be impartial? No man can serve two masters.' [How ironic it's referenced that no one can serve both God and Satan.]

The Sergeant's suggestion was for the Police Federation and the Home Office to 'join hands' on the subject of Freemasonry and press for legislation to prohibit serving policemen from taking any oath in any secret society, and to compel new recruits to renounce affiliation to any such society 'in the same manner as he would if he was an active member of a political party'. Two days after the publication of Welling's article, the Sunday Telegraph ran a long story which claimed that the Sergeant's call for a ban on Masonry in the police was 'supported by thousands of policemen'. The reporter, Peter Gladstone Smith, wrote: Sgt Welling said to me yesterday he had very good friends who were Freemasons and he had nothing against Freemasonry outside the police. He was concerned about disciplinary proceedings when it came to complaints. 'If a person who is a Freemason complains against a police officer and that complaint is investigated by a senior officer who is a Freemason, then that cannot be an impartial enquiry.'

The Daily Telegraph's crime correspondent, 選. A. Sandrock, wrote a similar story the following day, which ended with this observation: I have discussed this subject myself during many years' association with policemen, asking on hundreds of occasions if they would be restricted as Freemasons in investigations into a criminal act if the suspect was also a Freemason. Invariably their answer has been that they would continue to do their duty as police officers. Can this distinguished journalist have imagined that if any masonic officers did feel restricted in this way, they would openly have admitted it? It was nonsense to intimate such a thing. On the next day, Tuesday 9 May, Welling was interviewed on BBC Television's Nationwide programme. Also in the studio was Brian Bailey, a local government officer and former Freemason. Presenter Michael Barratt asked Bailey, 'What do you say to these charges that a sure way to promotion in the police force is through the Freemasonry movement?'

The ex-Mason replied, 'I don't think there's any substance in this. I lapsed my membership of the masonic movement for various reasons, but it seems to me that you might as well say that if the Chief Constable is a keen Rugby enthusiast and you play a good game of Rugby, you are on the inside track.' And then he added a comment which seems to run counter to his main argument. 'I think one gets all sorts of ideas that there are ways of getting preferment. I think that Freemasonry is just one of them. I doubt very much these days if there is any real substance in it.' The admission that Freemasonry did have an undesirable influence 'up to about ten years ago', 'until only recently', 'not since the last war', 'up until a year or so ago', 'around five years back' has been made to me by scores of Freemasons and former Freemasons. Most are prepared to say it had an influence 'then' - never now. It is interesting to note that in a period when, according to many of my masonic informants, Masonry was exercising undue influence in the police, there were those who even then were denying its existence except in the past.

The 'Rugby enthusiast' point of view was taken up by Welling, who replied: 'If Freemasons were as open as a member of a Rugby club would be, then I would have no objections. It's the secrecy that surrounds the whole movement which I object to.' Bailey did not like the secrecy either. 'One of the things I disliked in the Craft was its secrecy. I think it's bound to give rise to suspicion. It doesn't follow that this suspicion is well founded, however.' The controversy arising from Welling's article continued in the correspondence columns of Police Review for the next three months. Chief Superintendent 選. W. A. Lucas, who became a Freemason after achieving senior rank in the police, said that nothing would influence him to show favour to anyone. 'Neither do I hope to seek such favour, and, while obviously I cannot speak for all, those of senior rank whom I know in many forces hold the same views.'

He said: Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset, strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; he must pay due obedience to the law of any state in which he resides or which may afford him protection, and he must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign of his native land. At no time in his capacity as a Freemason is he permitted to discuss or to advance views on theological or political questions.

It is perfectly true that the Brotherhood forbids its members to discuss business, politics or religion, but there is ample evidence from present and past Masons that this is rarely obeyed. Influence reared its head in a letter from C. P. Cheshire. This time it was: 'Since Edwardian days Freemasonry has not had the influence ascribed to it.' The majority of Freemasons who know anything about the police admit that the Brotherhood has until some point in the past - remote or recent, depending on the individuals -exerted influence within the police forces of this country. None of them has been able to answer satisfactorily why, at the particular moment in history they have chosen, the Brotherhood's influence either dwindled appreciably or ceased altogether.

In this connection the view of Police Review, or at least its then editor Brian Clark, is worthy of note: In pre-war days [my italics] it was a power to be reckoned with in the Police Service and in many Forces, membership of the 'square' was virtually a qualification for promotion. The falling off of the influence of the movement is related to the 'liberalization' of the Police Service and the Freemasons who remain tend to be found in the senior ranks of the Service - particularly those with pre-war service. Young men are not interested in the pseudo religiosity of Freemasonry and all its secret ritual. Even if this decline in interest among young policemen was apparent in 1972, and I have found no evidence of it, it is most certainly untrue today. Freemasonry in the police is as high today as ever. And while a great number of senior officers are members of the Brotherhood, so too are many Constables and Sergeants.

Back to Clark's assessment of the situation a decade ago: Nepotism, through Freemasonry, may still be a factor in promotion, albeit to a decreasing degree, but what is still a serious matter is that Freemasons (and come to that Rotarians, Lions, Roundtablers) tend to expect favours from fellow members who are police officers. A former Sergeant of the City of London Police, Frederick E. Moore, a non-Mason, had this to say: As a young Constable, despite my keeping an open mind on the subject, it became increasingly evident that the suspicion, not without foundation, was right: membership of one of these fraternities [i.e. secret societies] was an advantage especially for those seeking promotion, for defaulters in disciplinary cases, and when top brass belonged to your Lodge, who could go wrong? Freemason PC Robert Glencross of Fife replied thus to Sergeant Welling's criticisms: There are Freemasons in every trade and not only the Police and there could be those who have reached high ranks in those fields. If junior members of the service feel that the road to success is paved with handshakes they are in for a big disappointment. Among any group of people some will take advantage of whatever benefits are going but there are others who further the aim of the group itself, and one seldom hears from them.

While I am not at liberty to divulge the form of oath taken by Freemasons it in no way conflicts with an officer's duty . . . Freemasonry is not so secret that it is impossible to find out who its members are. Its secrets are there for anyone to learn who wants to join. This last comment holds true for the Mafia and the Ku Klux Klan, of course, so does not answer Welling's point about the secrecy of Masonry breeding suspicion among the uninitiated. And as for finding out who its members are, a non-Mason has only to ask for help at United Grand Lodge to be told, 'It is not our policy to make membership lists of our Lodges available to enquirers.' But one point made by PC Glencross, and by a multitude of Masons before and since, is true up to a point: the oaths, or obligations to use the masonic term, if properly interpreted, should not create the kind of dual allegiance most 'profane' policemen are concerned about. Eight weeks after the publication of the original article, a letter appeared from a former police officer, a non-Mason of Malvern Link, Worcestershire. 'The letters on Freemasonry in the service filled me with remorse,' began ex-Detective Chief Inspector Ralph Jones ironically.

The fact that the Police Federation was dominated by Freemasons did not inhibit the editor of the Federation's journal Police from publishing this complaint from Metropolitan Police Sergeant Robin Kirby in 1977: All my service, I have been aware that it is a distinct advantage to be a Freemason. Doors are opened, rank structures are broken down and men normally destined to perform shiftwork all their service are spirited on to 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. jobs, often never to return to the mundane vulgarity of early, late and nights. The following issue of Police contained one of the most serious allegations about Freemasonry in the police to have appeared in print up to that time. Blair Watt, a Thames Valley PC for sixteen years, wrote: I speak from personal experience of no less than three occasions on which I have been approached, and even threatened, by more senior officers who sought to influence my dealing with fellow Freemasons and relatives of fellow Freemasons, with regard to offences committed by them.

Watt said later, Tm either very brave or an idiot. I was approached by senior officers on quite serious offences. But it must be said that nothing came of their pressure.' He was not prepared to name the individuals involved, he said, for fear of repercussions. Depending chiefly on whether they are Masons or non-Masons, people have said that Watt's reluctance to give full details was quite understandable, given the power of Masonry in the police, or that it indicated he was inventing the story. Watt himself died shortly afterwards, of natural causes, so a conclusive investigation of his claim is impossible.



The Men at the Top

There are fifty-two police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These comprise ten combined forces in England and Wales, two combined forces in Scotland, thirty-one county forces in England and Wales, six Scottish regional forces, the two London forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. I wrote in 1981 to every one of the fifty Chief Constables and both London Commissioners. From this survey, and from private enquiries involving more than 200 informants between the ranks of Chief Inspector and Chief Constable in forces all over the UK, I have been able to identify with certainty only fourteen as non-Masons. The consensus among my most reliable, high-ranking informants is that of the remaining thirty-eight Chief Constables, no fewer than thirty-three members are of the Brotherhood. If this is correct, more than sixty per cent of all police chiefs in the UK are Freemasons. According to sources within the Police Federation, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Scottish Police Federation, the Police Superintendents' Association, police forces all over the country and also within the Police Authority for Northern Ireland as well as retired senior police officers and former Chief Constables, this figure is about ten or twelve per cent lower than it was before the amalgamation of police forces.

Police chiefs who replied to my enquiry but refused to answer the question 'Are you a Freemason?' included C. F. Payne (Cleveland) and Alex Campbell (Dumfries and Galloway). Campbell told me, 'I consider that whether or not a man is a Freemason or for that matter whether he is an Orangeman, a member of the Black Preceptory or a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is a matter for him alone. Likewise his religious persuasion, be he Protestant, Roman Catholic, atheist or agnostic is a matter for him. I would point out, however, that in my police experience extending over forty-three years, irrespective of the persuasion of senior officers I have found them performing their duties and accepting their responsibilities with complete impartiality.' Another Chief Constable told me, 'I am well aware of the traditions of Freemasonry and I agree with you there is much misunderstanding, and yet it is not always what exists that is important but other people's perception of what exists. For professional reasons I have never thought it right for a senior police officer in particular to be associated with any political, religious, social or cultural group to the extent where decisions may be seen to be biased or actually to be biased, even if subconsciously.

'I can say that from time to time decisions which have been made concerning advancement or discipline have often been perceived, however rightly or wrongly, as having been influenced by the bonds of Freemasonry. I do believe that sometimes the "reds under the beds" theory can apply to Freemasonry as it can to politics and religion ... It is my impression that the proportion of police officers who belong to the movement becomes higher as you reach the higher echelons of the service. I am not however suggesting that this is cause and effect, but merely noting the phenomenon. 'I think my own views could be summed up by saying that what a man does with his private life in these matters of religion, politics or culture is part of the freedom of our society, but where such beliefs manifest themselves as influencing decisions against people who are outsiders or are perceived to do so this can cause problems for those concerned.' Another Chief Constable, a non-Mason, said, 'Freemasonry is not so much a problem today in the police service as it was twenty years ago. Even so, it is still a problem. It certainly still has some controlling influence, and any amount of influence is wrong.

Over the years a lot of policemen have been Masons. 'Its influence in the police was strongest in the days pre-amalgamation of forces when the promotion stakes relied on this kind of thing in the days of Watch Committees and local political influence on the police. This is what I am very fearful of today - that we don't move back into the era of Watch Committees in spite of the fact that some elements of society are calling for a greater accountability of the police. Accountability is OK but if it's going to be accountability with too much political influence then it will lead us back into worse problems with Freemasonry than we have now. If it's bad now, you should have seen Masonry at work pre-1964 and pre-1947.' One Chief Constable was particularly frank. His reputation, record and standing in the police service lend particular weight to his testimony. He told me, 'I went to London as a Chief Inspector and it was at that stage that I became a Mason, for no real reason other than the people who invited me to join were friends who I respected very very much.

I joined a very small, friendly Lodge in London, and eventually within a period of about eight years I became Master of that Lodge, which was a tremendous thing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then when I left London and moved to B [a provincial city force], because of the sheer logistics involved, I dropped off. I was three years in B and gradually my attendances were declining until I got the Deputy Chief Constable's job in this force. My predecessor here was also a Mason and was very heavily involved locally. In fact he subsequently became Master of a Lodge not far from where we're sitting now. But I thought as Deputy Chief when I came here, I would not - certainly for the first year - take part in it at all. I received countless invitations to go out - genuine invitations, for no underhand motives but people genuinely wanted me to go out and visit various Lodges. But I declined this for a year. The year became two years, the two years became four years and so I've never ever set foot in a Lodge in the area covered by this police force.

'I've also ceased to be a full member in London; although I'm still a member it's on what we call a Country List. That means if ever I do go back I pay for my meal on the night as opposed to paying a large annual subscription. 'I've not stood back because I've got any guilt complex or conscience at all about Masonry, but because of what people think of Masonry. If one is in the position to (a) influence promotions and (b) take decisions on discipline, then quite obviously one is open to the allegation that Masonry is a factor in one's decisions - although I can assure you that I've locked up Masons in my time and sent police officers and others to prison, and been very pleased to have done it. Masonry is fairly strong in the police service.

'In my service, which will be twenty-five years next year, therefore relatively modern, I can honestly say that I don't know of any occasion when Masonry has been a fundamental issue in promotion or any other aspect for that matter. I think it's not wholly to be unexpected that police are quite heavily involved because we are very conservative by nature. Like attracts like. Freemasonry is a very conservative organization, all about the Establishment, all about the maintenance of the status quo, which is bound to attract a certain sympathy with police officers. I wrote to every senior officer at New Scotland Yard in 1981 when Sir David McNee was Commissioner. With the exception of two Deputy Assistant Commissioners, Sir David and all his men ignored my letters to them about Freemasonry.

One of the DACs wrote: 'I understand that several of my colleagues have not answered your letter of 21st August. Lest you get the wrong impression that this relates to Freemasonry I am replying just to state that I am not, never have been or ever will be, a Free Mason.' His colleague told me, 'I am not a Mason, so it is possible to get promotion right up to Commissioner without being one. But it is unlikely. Nearly all of my colleagues and seniors are Masons. It's not enough to say that senior police officers are the kind of men who like Freemasonry, or that the sort of men who join Freemasonry are senior officer material. A lot of people at Scotland Yard have got into the highest positions they shouldn't be in, purely and simply because they've got Masonry behind them. But if you think anything can be done about it, you're wasting your time.'



Worshipful Masters of Conspiracy

Corruption among Scotland Yard detectives, always a problem, grew enormously during the 1960s. One cause of the trouble was that conventional methods of detection were becoming less and less effective in the face of the burgeoning crime rate. Many policemen believed in a surer way of securing convictions that necessitated a blurring of the 'them and us' divide between the law enforcers and the law breakers. The belief was that to combat crime adequately, the police had to be intimately acquainted with the ways of individual criminals and the day-to-day workings of the underworld. This meant cultivating certain smaller villains, who in return for favours could be counted upon to 'grass' on the bigger men the Yard regarded as its prime quarry. The idea was not new. London police for generations had known that brilliant detective minds which required only sketchy clues and a warm fireside to solve the most bizarre crimes were fine for 221b Baker Street and 10a Piccadilly - but in the cold reality of life at Scotland Yard, things did not work out so neatly. Real-life detectives had to some extent to depend on informers; and informers were usually criminals. For the first time, uniformed officers were to be empowered to investigate allegations of misconduct - whether disciplinary or criminal - not just against their uniformed colleagues but also against the CID.

This was a complete reversal of the status quo, where only CID officers had been able to investigate complaints against the uniformed branch and their own tight fraternity. In the past it had been an unpalatable necessity, never officially recognized. By the 1960s it was the norm. The system inevitably brought temptation to many police officers, who would be offered money to keep quiet about so-and-so's activities, or a cut in the takings if they made sure the regular police patrol was diverted or unavoidably delayed on a particular night when a job was planned. The question to be asked is: were there any masonic elements in this corruption, and but for Freemasonry would the corruption have been less likely to have occurred or more easily discovered? In forces all over England, Freemasonry is strongest in the CID. This had been particularly noticeable at Scotland Yard, and the situation remains the same today. Between 1969 and the setting-up of the famous Operation Countryman in 1978 there were three big investigations into corruption in the Metropolitan Police. These were:

1. An enquiry into allegations of corruption and extortion by police, first published in The Times. This resulted in the arrest, trial and imprisonment of two London detectives in 1972.

2. An enquiry by Lancashire Police into members of the Metropolitan Police Drug Squad. This led to the trial of six detectives, and the imprisonment in 1973 of three of them.

3. An enquiry into allegations of corruption among CID officers responsible for coping with vice and pornography in London's West End. Over twenty detectives were sacked from the force during the three-year investigation in the early 1970s, which led eventually to the notorious Porn Squad trials.

There were corrupt masonic policemen involved in all these cases, but this report is not concerned with corrupt policemen who just happen to be Freemasons any more than it is with corrupt policemen who happen to be Roman Catholics, Rotarians or members of their local lawn tennis club. Many people see the discovery of a corrupt Freemason as proof of the corrupting influence of Masonry. This is about as sensible as condemning Christianity because a murderer is found to be a regular churchgoer. There might well be grounds for criticism of Freemasonry in the police, but where Freemasonry has clearly played no part in the corruption of an officer, where his membership of the Brotherhood is incidental, it must not be brought as evidence. Only one of the three major cases of corruption investigated in the seventies can be said to have had any serious masonic elements - the activities of the Porn Squad. This section of the Metropolitan Police was, in the words of the present Lord Chief Justice, 'involved in wholesale corruption. The very men employed to bring the corrupt to book were thriving on the proceeds of corruption.'

The worst of these men was Detective Chief Superintendent William 'Bill' Moody, former head of the Obscene Publications Squad. Moody, an exceedingly corrupt policeman, was an active Freemason. He was gaoled for twelve years, the heaviest sentence meted out to the 'bent' members of the Porn Squad. Moody and ten others, who had received sentences ranging from three years upwards, were told when their appeals were dismissed that 'the individual sentences properly reflected the degree [of responsibility] and complicity and wickedness'. Moody still protests his innocence from behind bars. Ironically, it had been Moody who in 1969 had been placed in charge of the first of the major enquiries into corruption while himself extorting vast sums of 'protection money' from Soho pornography racketeers. In one transaction alone Moody received 」14,000. Almost the entire Porn Squad was in on the racket, openly collecting huge bribes -at one stage estimated at 」100,000 a year - from porn shop proprietors in return for the freedom to flout the law unmolested.

Moody lived at Weybridge in Surrey. He and several other Freemason members of the Porn Squad who lived in the area were members of the same Lodge. So, incidentally, were a number of pornographers
. These included a smalltime pornographer who used to work in the nearby village of Cobham; another whose home was at Walton-on-Thames; and others who lived or worked at Hampton Wick, Weybridge and Hersham. John Shirley, co-author of The Fall of Scotland Yard, who gave oral evidence before the Royal Commission on Standards of Conduct in Public Life, chaired by Lord Salmon, told me, 'It's fairly certain that the basis of a corrupt network, of the corrupt relationship between that particular group of police officers and those particular pornographers, was either formed or developed within that masonic Lodge. 'The point I was trying to make to the Salmon Commission was that, yes, police officers had private lives but in the nature of it the privacy of their lives needed to be more clearly known to their superiors. If it had been spotted that Moody was a member of the same Freemasonry Lodge as a number of well-known pornographers, on whom the police would have had files, then I think the link between them would have been established much earlier than it was.'

The major breakthrough in stamping out corruption on a grand scale within the Metropolitan Police was the, appointment of Robert Mark as Commissioner in 1972. As Chief Constable of Leicester until 1967 he was unhampered by long-standing personal loyalties, untainted by the years-old corruption at the Yard, and a man who loathed nothing so much as a bent copper. Within a very short time, Mark, a non-Mason, had turned Scotland Yard on its head. One of his first reforms was to set up the 'ruthlessly efficient' department A10 to investigate complaints against police officers. In The Fall of Scotland Yard, the authors explain: The setting-up of A10 broke the absolute control of the CID over the investigation of all major crime, whether it occurred inside or outside the Metropolitan Police.

For the first time, uniformed officers were to be empowered to investigate allegations of misconduct - whether disciplinary or criminal - not just against their uniformed colleagues but also against the CID. This was a complete reversal of the status quo, where only CID officers had been able to investigate complaints against the uniformed branch and their own tight fraternity. That tight fraternity, as has been mentioned, was and is heavily masonic. And despite A10's success in ridding the Yard of suspect detectives - nearly 300 had been forced to resign by spring 1975 - it was constantly obstructed in its attempts to obtain evidence solid enough to make charges stick. Even in cases of obvious criminality, fellow officers whose evidence was vital clammed up and obstinately refused to make statements, or co-operate in any other way.

Some would not speak at all. It rapidly became clear why. The 'honest' men needed as witnesses were members of the same Brotherhood as the 'bent' officers. Many shared the same Lodges. We do not know how able the individuals were and how well or ill they suited the posts for which they were provided. What is certain is that the Civil Service and Police have real and continuing power in the administration of this country, in that it remains while governments come and go; and that power is largely in the hands of members of the Brotherhood. This area of masonic influence warrants a book in itself, and will, I hope, command an entire section in future editions, when more detailed research is completed.



The Thirty-Third Degree

There is an elite group of Freemasons in England over whom the United Grand Lodge has no jurisdiction. These are the brethren of the so-called Higher Degrees, and even the majority of Freemasons have no idea of their existence. Most Freemasons who have been raised to the 3rd Degree to become Master Masons believe they are the top of the masonic ladder. As novices they were Entered Apprentices. They were then 'passed' as Fellow Craft Masons and finally 'raised' as Masters. The very name Master has connotations of supremity. If Master Masons have ambition it will usually be to achieve office within their Lodge - eventually, with good fortune and the passing of years, to become Worshipful Master of their mother Lodge (the Lodge to which they were first initiated into Masonry). Those who have their eyes fixed on higher office will aim for rank in their Provincial Grand Lodge or in the United Grand Lodge itself. But even the Grand Master of all England is only a Freemason of the 3rd Degree. The three Craft degrees form the entire picture of Masonry for most of the 600,000 'uninitiated initiates' of the Brotherhood in England and Wales. The 'Masters', who form the largest proportion of Freemasons, are in most cases quite unaware of the thirty superior degrees to which they will never be admitted, nor even hear mentioned. This is the real picture, with the three lowly degrees governed by Grand Lodge and the thirty higher degrees governed by a Supreme Council.

These thirty degrees, beginning with the 4th (that of Secret Master) and culminating in the 33rd (Grand Inspector General), are controlled by a Supreme Council whose headquarters are at 10 Duke Street, St James's, London SW1. Nobody walking down Duke Street from Piccadilly is likely to suspect the true nature of what goes on inside the building, even if he or she happens to notice the small plate to the right of the entrance which says, 'The Supreme Council. Ring once'. Built in 1910-11, this imposing Edwardian mansion with fine neo-classical features might easily be taken for a consulate or the headquarters of some private institute. Nor do people thumbing through the S-Z section of the London Telephone Directory get any clue from the entry sandwiched between Supreme Cleaners and Supreme Die Cutters: 'Supreme Council 33rd Degree . . . 01-930 1606'. Nobody looking at that fine but anonymous house from outside could suspect that behind its pleasing facade, beyond the two sets of sturdy double doors and up the stairs there is a Black Room, a Red Room and a Chamber of Death. To high Masons, the house in Duke Street is known as the Grand East. Members of Craft Freemasonry - that is, all but a few thousand of England's Masons - often argue that Free-masonry is not a secret society but 'a society with secrets' though the argument is in the end unconvincing, it has its merits. But no such case can be made out for the wealthy society-within-a-society based at 10 Duke Street.

The Thirty-three Degrees of Freemasonry

33ー Grand Inspector General

32 ー Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

31ー Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander

30 0 Grand Elected Knight Kadosh, Knight of the Black and White Eagle

29ー Knight of St Andrew

28ー Knight of the Sun

27ー Commander of the Temple

26ー Prince of Mercy

25ー Knight of the Brazen Serpent

24 ー Prince of the Tabernacle

23 ー Chief of the Tabernacle

22ー Prince of Libanus

21ー Patriarch Noachite

200 Venerable Grand Master

19ー Grand Pontiff

18ー Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom

17ー Knight of the East and West

16ー Prince of Jerusalem

15 0 Knight of the Sword, or of the East

14ー Scottish Knight of Perfection

13ー Royal Arch (of Enoch)

12ー Grand Master Architect

11ー Sublime Elect ?

10ー Elect of Fifteen

9ー Elect of Nine I

8ー Intendant of the Building

7ー Provost and Judge

6ー Intimate Secretary

5ー Perfect Master

4ー Secret Master

3ー Master Mason

2ー Fellow Craft

1ー Entered Apprentice

One of the regulations of ordinary Craft Freemasonry is that no Mason may invite an outsider to join. Anyone wishing to become a Freemason must take the initiative and seek two sponsors from within the Brotherhood. The position is reversed for Freemasons of the 3rd Degree who wish to be elevated to the Higher Degrees. Initiation is open only to those Master Masons who are selected by the Supreme Council. If a representative of the Supreme Council establishes a contact with a Master Mason and concludes that he is suitable, the Candidate will be offered the chance of being 'perfected' and setting the first foot on the ladder to the 33rd Degree. But only a small proportion, even of the limited number of Freemasons who take the first step, progress beyond the 18th Degree, that of Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom. With each Degree, the number of initiates diminishes. The 31st Degree (Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander) is restricted to 400 members; the 32nd (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret) to 180; and the 33rd - the pre-eminent Grand Inspectors General - to only 75 members.

While the Armed Forces are strongly represented in ordinary Freemasonry, the 'Antient and Accepted Rite of the Thirty-Third Degree' is particularly attractive to military men. Grand Inspectors General (i.e. members of the Supreme Council) have included Field Marshal Earl Alexander of Tunis, successively Commander-in-Chief in the Middle East and Allied Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean in the Second World War; Major-General Sir Leonard Henry Atkinson; Brigadier E. W. C. Flavell; Lieutenant-General Sir Harold Williams; Brigadier General. This, at least, is the theory - and United Grand Lodge staunchly maintains that it is the practice. In reality most Entered Apprentices are recruited by existing Masons they know personally. Edward Charles Walthall Delves Walthall; and scores more in the last two decades. Before his retirement in 1982 the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander (the most senior Freemason of the 33rd Degree in England and Wales and Head of the Supreme Council) was Major-General Sir (Herbert) Ralph Hone, KCMG, KBE, MC, TD, and so on. There is no mention of Freemasonry in his entry in Who's Who, which lists every other decoration, award and distinction he has earned in his eighty-seven years, although becoming Britain's highest Freemason can have been of no little consequence to him. In masonic matters he would dispense with all the other abbreviations and simply sign himself, Ralph Hone, 33ー. Born in 1896, he is also a Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

He was wounded during the First World War while serving with the British Expeditionary Force, went on to practise as a barrister-at-law in Uganda and Zanzibar in the 1920s, becoming Resident Magistrate in Zanzibar in 1928 and Crown Counsel of Tanganyika Territory two years later. In the thirties he was Attorney-General and Acting Chief Justice of Gibraltar, and Attorney-General of Uganda between 1937 and 1943. After serving as Chief Legal Adviser, Political Branch, and then Chief Political Officer, GHQ Middle East, he was appointed to the General Staff of the War Office in 1943. After the war he was Chief Civil Affairs Officer in Malaya for a year before becoming Secretary-General to the Governor-General of Malaya and then Deputy Commissioner-General in South-East Asia. In 1949 he was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of North Borneo. At the end of five years there he spent seven years as Head of the Legal Division of the Commonwealth Relations Office. This took him into 1961 when he returned to the Bar. Among other posts at home and abroad in the next fourteen years he was a Constitutional Adviser to R. A. Butler's Advisers on Central Africa, to the South Arabian Government and the Bermuda Government. He was Standing Counsel to the Grand Bahama Port Authority until his retirement in 1975 at the age of seventy-nine. He succeeded Most Puissant Brother Sir Eric Studd, Bt, OBE, 33ー, as Sovereign Grand Commander.

This, then, was the man who - at the time The Brotherhood was completed for New English Library - was truly Britain's highest Freemason, whatever might be said of the Duke of Kent, the current Grand Master of Craft Masonry. Page 40 shows the hierarchy over which the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander presides, with the Duke of Kent's sub-hierarchy way down low. Although in 1936, 1947 and 1967 Major-General Sir Ralph Hone held grand rank in the United Grand Lodge, and has achieved distinction in many fields, he is one of that brand of men who attain power without notoriety or fame. Few of the many hundreds of Freemasons I have interviewed had even heard of him, and of those few only five knew of him in his secret role as the highest Mason of the highest Degree. These five were all initiates of the Ancient and Accepted Rite: two Sovereign Princes Rose Croix of Heredom (18th Degree); one of the 180 Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret (32nd Degree); a 33rd Degree Grand Inspector General; and a former Grand Inspector Inquisitor of the 31st Degree who had renounced Freemasonry, in order, he said, to become 'a true and living Christian'. But beyond the fact that Major-General Sir Ralph was the pre-eminent member of the Supreme Council, none of them would say any more either about the man himself or about the rituals, the degrees or the administration of the Rite.

Sir Ralph's successor is Harold Devereux Still, former Grand Treasurer and Junior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England, and Grand Treasurer and Grand Scribe Nehemiah of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England. He also attained the rank of Grand Master of the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta. The Brotherhood attracts men of distinction in the judiciary and legal profession, as will be seen later. One such man is His Honour Judge Alan Stewart Trapnell, who was appointed to the Circuit Bench in 1972. He is a Craft Freemason of grand rank, having been Assistant Grand Registrar in 1963, Junior Grand Deacon in 1971 and Senior Grand Deacon in 1979. In 1969 he became Assistant Grand Sojourner of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Freemasons. All these details are listed in the Masonic Year Book, which is now very difficult for non-Masons to come by. What is not mentioned is that he is a Freemason of the 33rd Degree and Grand Inspector General for Middlesex.

Although Craft Freemasonry is worldwide in the sense that it exists in most parts of the non-Communist world, and even underground in parts of the eastern bloc, it has no international organization. The Ancient and Accepted Rite of the Thirty-Third Degree is the only cohesive masonic group run on truly international lines. The Supreme Council in London is one of many Supreme Councils in various parts of the globe, of which the senior is the Supreme Council of Charleston, USA, which effectively operates a worldwide network of Freemasons in the most powerful positions in the executive, legislature, judiciary and armed forces as well as the industry, commerce and professions of many nations.

The English working of the Rite - sometimes known by the code name Rose Croix from the title of the initiate to the 18th Degree - differs from the American in one basic respect. In England and Wales only a few of the 33 degrees are conferred by special ritual, while in the USA each degree has its own initiation ceremony. In this country, the 4th to 17th Degrees are conferred at once and in name only during initiation of the selected Freemason to the 18th Degree. To the few who rise higher than the 18th Degree, the 19th to 29th are conferred nominally during the ritual of initiation to the 30th Degree -that of Grand Elected Knight Kadosh or Knight of the Black and White Eagle. Degrees above the 30th are conferred singly. No initiate can rise higher than the 18th Degree without the unanimous agreement of the entire Supreme Council.

A large number of people who have contacted me in the past seven years have been concerned that Freemasons in the judiciary and legal profession exercise a pernicious influence over the administration of justice. Allegations of collusion between judges and lawyers, on behalf of their brethren in the dock, have been rife. The impartiality of Freemason judges has been called into question. There have been claims of huge masonic conspiracies between rival firms of solicitors and suggestions that Freemasonry is such a Grey Eminence that proceedings in open court are merely outward show, while everything is decided in advance, long before cases involving Masons reach court. I have heard many claims of civil battles lost and won on the basis of masonic signs made in court. Even the odd murderer is said to have got himself off by pulling the trick at an opportune moment.



The Highest in the Land: Royalty

On 5 December 1952 His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, consort of the new Queen Elizabeth II, as yet uncrowned, was initiated into the secrets of Freemasonry by the Worshipful Master of Navy Lodge #2612. He joined against his will. His uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, was - in the words of an impeccable source close to the Royal Family - 'fiercely opposed' to Freemasonry, and had strongly advised Philip to have nothing to do with it. But in 1947 when Philip became engaged to Princess Elizabeth, his future father-in-law King George VI had made it plain that he expected any husband of his daughter to maintain the tradition of royal patronage of Freemasonry. George was an ardent Mason and finally extracted a promise from Philip to join the Brotherhood. George died before Philip was able to fulfil the promise, but despite his own reservations and his uncle's hostility, he felt bound to honour his promise to the dead King.

Finally, in 1966, after much speculation both within Masonry and outside, the new Grand Master was named -in the William Hickey column of the Daily Express. He was to be the thirty-year-old Duke of Kent, the Queen's cousin, who was a major in the Royal Scots Greys stationed at Hounslow. The Duke, who was initiated into Masonry in 1964, would be following in the footsteps of his father who had been Grand Master between 1939 and 1942, when he was killed in action. Hickey's prediction came to pass and the Duke was installed as Grand Master by the Earl of Scarborough at the greatest masonic spectacular of all time - the 250th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall in June 1967 when Masons from all over the world attended in full regalia and Arab Mason walked with Israeli Mason only ten days after the Six Day War [which speaks volumes as to Britain and America's own "War of Independence" two centuries earlier].

Philip's apathy and Mountbatten's antipathy have had their effect on Prince Charles, the heir to the throne. Mountbatten, as Charles' favourite uncle, made a lasting impression on the future King and Charles remains adamant, despite rumours to the contrary, that he does not wish to become a Freemason. A greater influence in this direction than either his father or his uncle, however, has been his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who had much of the responsibility for Charles' upbringing when his parents were travelling. Great pressure was brought to bear on Charles when he was in his early and mid-twenties to follow family tradition and become a Freemason. It was assumed by high Masons that when Charles reached his twenty-first birthday in 1969, he would be initiated and take over from the Duke of Kent. It is an interesting anomaly that the Queen, as a woman, is banned from entering a [male] masonic temple, yet she is Grand Patroness of the movement itself [2]. Her two younger sons are already marked down by the elders of Great Queen Street as possible future Grand Masters, should they not go the way of their brother Charles. Prince Michael of Kent is already a Brother of Grand Rank, having been Senior Grand Warden in 1979.

In the end is the beginning. Although this first edition of The Brotherhood has reached its final paragraph, it represents barely a glimpse beneath the surface of Freemasonry in modern society[3]. I am still at the start of my investigation, which will continue, and future editions will not only look at the Brotherhood's influence in fields hardly touched on here, like the press, education, science, civil service, agriculture, and many others but will include further case histories, and any arguments either in favour of or against Masonry which readers of this edition think relevant and cannot find here.








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Notes: [1] The author isn't aware that the British Queen is called 'The Queen of Babalon' by British Freemasons to reflect her symbolic position of Revelation's 'Scarlet Beast'.

[2] Just as the Knights Templar before them, Freemasons are following a much older tradition circa the Dark Ages era where white-robed Celtic Druids created a male-only sorcerer priesthood by which, despite following a pantheon of demonic gods and goddesses, women weren't allowed into ceremonies. This is not to say that the female arm of Celtic Druidry hadn't developed into their own black-robed priestesshood (known Baduri) that became the original 'Witches' from which the stereotype was later based. The Roman Tacitus himself observed that there was no distinction between the male and female ruling priesthood of ancient Britain, and that the female Celts specifically were very powerful in both "black magic" and war. The most famous descendant of the Baduri was Queen Boudicca, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led an uprising against the Romans in the first century AD. Researchers still argue whether the Queen was herself a member of Baduri. These are the kinds of 'pagan traditions' that Britain's royal families have drawn upon thru the ages to empower an ongoing monarchy.

[3] Despite the author putting much forward in the way of what is known fact via his limited investigation, he has not, as yet, arrived at the no-less factual conclusion that Freemasonry holds at least two levels of membership. There's the far older membership of those who created the Brotherhood, being born into one of its various occult bloodlines from which The Order was manufactured to empower their collective control, and those who merely join at their "local Lodge" to vainly be called "Freemasons," albeit in name only. One serves as the front for the other, while that other can work its trade to great efficiency from behind a hidden veil. This is precisely why localized members never, or very seldom, become aware of they who influence not only their local Lodge from afar, but much of their nation's government from within.