Chris Hodapp at the blog Freemason for Dummies has posted up a pretty revealing (and scathing in its own way) analysis of the story that appeared in the Buffalo News.
You can find the ongoing news saga here:
- Human trafficking close to home – Sheriff’s deputy plays lead role as she works to help victims of all ages in local battle against atrocious crimes ranging from prostitution to slavery
- Ex-deputy admits hiding crime
- Ex-deputy charged in Jesters case
- Probe of Jesters’ carousing goes national Case against 3 men from area wraps up
- Lawyer in Jesters case pleads guilty to transporting prostitute illegally
- Plea deal expected for lawyer in vice case Probe focuses on transporting prostitutes to Jesters event
- Deputies eyed in Jesters investigation Pair added to group suspected of patronizing prostitutes
The story is the further sentencing of brothers, who were also members of the Shrine’s Royal Order of Jesters (their website is gone, but version exists in the wayback machine from 2011), who committed felony violation of the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.
In this story, it details the expansion of the federal investigation where now other states are becoming involved as more allegations of bizarre actions of members are coming into question. And, consequently, a 2nd group in Big Sandy, Kentucky has been suspended pending investigation.
Truth be told, this has some very dark tones to what it portends, and if true, it will denigrate the fraternity more than one isolated situation.
What is being reported in the story are:
- Prostitutes walking around parties, wearing only panties, soliciting Jesters to meet them later in their hotel rooms.
- “Sex contests” involving prostitutes and Jesters members, performing in front of large groups of Jesters.
- Off-duty cops in uniform, making sure that no non-Jesters entered the rooms where activities were going on.
Brother Gary N. Martin, who is the president of the 22,000-member Royal Order of Jesters, says that he is “disturbed about the allegations”. But that, to his knowledge, such conduct is extremely isolated and never condoned by the organization.
As a brother, the allegations disturb me too, and so to does the possibility of what this will say about the moral and upright fraternity of men.
Proudly, the Royal Order of Jesters say on their home page “The Royal Order of Jesters proudly believe and participate in Masonry“.
Is this really so “extremely isolated”? And does the activity warrant instructive tongues to correct?
Read Br. Hodapp’s piece on the article, then read the articles above.
In my opinion, I think its time for the Masonic Billiken to go, before its mirth making takes the fraternity down the drain.
For a full investigation, see Sandy Frost’s series on the Royal Order of Jesters.