In a statement released to the media, the sheriff’s department of Santa Clarita, Calif.—where the MFPD had its headquarters—explained some of their claims:
The group claimed that they were descendants of the “Knights Templar” and that their police agency had been in existence for 3000 years. Additionally, they claimed that MFPD had sovereign jurisdiction in 33 states and across the border in Mexico.
According to Hibler, the three suspects were all related. He said Henry is married to the second suspect, Tonette Hayes, 59, while the third suspect, California Department of Justice employee Brandon Kiel, 31, is the husband of Hayes’s daughter. Both Henry and Hayes had now-suspended private investigator licenses, and both had trained as security guards and had gun licenses in that capacity, accounting for some of the police paraphernalia found at their Santa Clarita headquarters.
LA Weekly reports that California has a number of predominately African American Masonic lodges, and that is an interesting story all its own—but sadly one that is a bit beyond my scope.
These additional details add context to the story and suggest that it is a bit less bizarre than it initially seemed, in that the people involved are apparently related and Henry had been a longtime Mason who seemed to genuinely believe he was doing something good for the Masons. The strangest part is how the three succumbed to fringe history ideas about the Masons and the Templars to the point that they seemed to believe that fringe history could justify their actions and grant them police powers, if we take them at their word.