One of my ‘moles’ in the higher echelons of West Midlands Police, a Freemason, insisted, however, that the masonic link between judges and police officers was ‘most damaging to society and to Masonry’. He added, ‘The connection between us – the police – and the judiciary is very wrong. I’m not against judges being Masons. It’s this unseen intimacy between the groups that is bad.
‘I really don’t like the way the organization [Freemasonry] is going, particularly with the judges and an overwhelming majority of the magistracy being Freemasons. I have seen policemen indicate to judges that they are Masons. They usually do it by making a deliberate mistake when taking the oath – “I swear by the Great Archit— oh, I’m sorry, I swear by Almighty God Every Freemason in court then knows he’s a Brother.’
I asked him what a police officer could possibly hope to achieve by this.
‘Oh, I’ve seen it so often,’ he said. ‘If the policeman has a sticky case where he’s been under heavy pressure, it certainly won’t do him any harm for the judge to know he’s a fellow Mason. He will hold back on the criticism he might have of the officer’s handling of the case, for instance. He will also take the word of the police officer as gospel, where he would not necessarily do so if neither of them were Masons.’