Freemasonry conflict with British Police (1996 - 2007)

This post examines the effect of membership in secret societies (or societies with secrets as the Freemasons prefer to be described) on law enforcement agencies.

The concern is that police who take “blood-curdling oaths” and “indulge in strange rituals” may diminish public confidence in the force. There is concern about oaths of loyalty affecting the ability of an officer to act impartially. Our previous post examines these gruesome oaths.

The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry has 33 degrees, including 6th Degree - Intimate Secretary and 31st Degree - Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander. If an Intimate Secretary goes to arrest a Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, will these “blood curdling oaths of loyalty” affect the Secretary’s handling of his Commander?

While loyalty was an issue in the references below, I did not see concern that Freemasonry would corrupt the morality of its members in the police force.

The Secret Societies Bill is weak, and it appears that Freemasonry has scoffed at it. One thing is certain. This matter is not closed. As Islam is a strong critic of Masonry, the rising number of Muslims in Great Britain will ensure that this issue will again be raised in the House of Commons.

I would be interested to learn if the Royal Barbados Police Force has many Masons in its ranks. Is Freemasonry seen as a problem in the force?

July 1, 1992 link to bill proposed by Mr. Chris Mullin (Sunderland, South) in the House of Commons, UK

Secret Societies (Declaration)

“Leading masons have been at pains to emphasise that freemasonry is a bit of harmless fun and that its objectives are mainly sociable and charitable. It would be easier to convince non-masons of that were it not for the secrecy- - reinforced by blood-curdling oaths–to which all masons are sworn.I want to stress that the Bill makes no objection to the practice of freemasonry. If grown men want to wear aprons, bare their breasts, and indulge in strange rituals, that is entirely a matter for them. I object to the secrecy, and to the corrosive effect that it has on public confidence in many of our most respected institutions.”
Oct 25, 1996 link to the full article by Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent on The Independent, UK

New rules will force policemen to quit freemasons

“Police officers were all but banned from membership of the freemasons and other secret societies in a landmark decision by chief constables yesterday. In future, all police officers and support staff in England and Wales’s 43 forces will be asked to reveal whether they belong to a secret organisation or club.The ruling body for chief constables said yesterday that existing freemasons should consider resigning from the society. The Association of Chief Police Officers called on the Government to introduce a new law to make registration of masonic membership compulsory. The police chiefs believe the register should be publicly available.”
(Undated but apparently late 1996) link to the full article on Freemasonry Watch (Scroll down there to see story)

Boyz in the Hood

“The recent Home Office recommendation that all members of the criminal justice system should declare masonic affiliations opened a can of worms in public. Peter Panatone reviews the evidence and the significant rift the issue has caused amongst the British police force.Weird isn’t it? To think that policemen, judges, MPs, council officers and a multitude of other public servants go through such bizarre rituals.Wearing a shoe on one foot and a slipper on the other, they roll up their trouser leg, bear their chest, are blindfolded and tied with a hangman’s noose and, whilst standing on a marble chess board with a dagger pressed to their heart, swear oaths of secrecy, allegiance and mutual aid. And yet this ritual is performed by every one of the 350,000 masons in England and Wales, the 30,000 in Scotland and the estimated six million world-wide.”
June 28, 2000 link to the full article by Paul Lashmar or link directly to Independent

Police defy force with Masonic Lodge

“Senior police officers have defied official disapproval and established
a new Masonic lodge despite widespread public fears about the influence of the secret society on the criminal justice system.”
21 May 2007 : link to Police: Freemasonry Column 1061W - Questions in House of Commons, UK

Police: Freemasonry

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces keep a register of declarations of freemasonry membership; and whether such declarations are required by (a) police officers, (b) prison officers, (c) probation officers and (d) other staff on appointment. [133307]
Mr. McNulty: Voluntary arrangements for the declaration of freemasonry membership were established for the police service in 1999. There is no statutory basis for the registers which are held internally by forces. We do not monitor centrally which forces continue to administer such registers. All recruits to the prison service are required, after the selection decision and before appointment is confirmed, to declare whether they belong to the freemasons. There is no national policy requiring probation officers to declare freemasonry membership.

Additional reading:’Presiding in the East’, ‘Worshipful Master’ Kenny Noye… link to full story (Scroll down there to see story)
“The life of Kenneth Noye has been one of malevolence and corruption. It is an example of how someone eagerly embracing crime as a profession can accumulate enormous wealth and frightening power.Detectives untangling his network of corruption now believe that at least one prominent MP was in his pay.Such was the apprehension and nervousness created by the extent of Noye’s corruption of the police that during the investigation into Stephen Cameron’s murder officers were given around-the-clock protection from their colleagues. Others changed their telephone numbers. The Noye file on the case was restricted to less than a dozen senior officers.”