Friday, September 12, 2008

Third Jester pleads guilty to transporting hooker to Jester party

Following in the footsteps of his mirthful pals former state prosecutor Bro. Michael Stebick and former police captain Bro. John Trowbridge, former New York State Supreme Court judge Bro. Ronald Tills pleaded guilty last week to violations of the federal Mann Act, for transporting a prostitute across state lines to provide sexual services to fellow members of the Masons-only Royal Order of Jesters, the Department of Justice reported in a press release on September 4.

Bro. Tills further admitted to five additional instances of hiring and transporting prostitutes to Royal Order of Jesters parties in other states and to Ontario, Canada.

According to the DOJ press release, the "men's organization... held weekend meetings where it was their custom to make women available to the members for sexual activities in exchange for money."

Investigative reporter Sandy Frost has been covering this story for months. You can read her latest article and a recap of previous articles about this issue on her news site.

It is unknown at this time whether the Grand Lodge of New York or the local lodge(s) of these brothers have taken any steps toward bringing charges of unmasonic conduct against these or other brothers who may have been involved.

Bro. Tills, 73, who was one of the toughest sentencing judges ever in western New York during his ten years on the bench, will be sentenced on January 21, 2009. He could face up to 21 months in prison, the Buffalo News reported.

As the story of these three former public servants has unfolded, many Masonic commentators on this blog and elsewhere have continually insisted this was an "isolated" case involving "individual Masons who are making these poor decisions." The latest such comment attempting to whitewash Jester activities was posted here just hours ago.

That the former judge admitted to at least six instances of impropriety in several different locales pretty much discredits the idea that Jesters enjoying the services of prostitutes is an "isolated" event. To the contrary, there is every indication that the primary nature and reason for existence of Royal Order of Jesters events is that of a sexual festival.

Even dismissing for the moment the moral implications of married Masons f***ing hookers in front of each other, one must ask a simple question: Are these three men, all trained in law and/or law enforcement, so ignorant of the law that they'd violate a federal statute just to get laid? I mean, c'mon, there are whores everywhere! Why hire one in New York and take her to Kentucky, when I'm sure there were hookers available in Kentucky that weekend? Were the Kentucky brothers tired of the local girls, and in need of some fresh poontang? Or was there some sort of Jester tradition where out-of-state visitors (such as Bros. Stebick, Trowbridge and Tills) earn "points" or "bragging rights" for bringing with them a "gift" or "the best lay of the weekend"? The mind boggles....

The FBI investigation is continuing into the Jesters' involvement in human trafficking and prostitution. Bro. Tills has agreed to provide "proactive cooperation" in the ongoing probe, and the length and nature of his sentence may depend on how helpful he is in the ongoing investigation.

Image: Former state Supreme Court judge and Freemason/Jester Ronald H. Tills arriving at federal court in Buffalo, NY on Thursday, Sept. 4

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  1. pathetic, pathos, that which is diseased

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  3. WS,
    Thanks for your great coverage of this developing story!
    What jumped out at me was that Tills and the U.S. Attorney both agreed to this fact, that Judge Tills worked with representatives of the Jesters National court to coordinate the prostitutes who would be working the Jesters national meeting in Canada.
    This appears to shoot down the "isolated incident" defense.
    Like I asked at the end of my article:
    "Did Officers of the Royal Order of Jesters hustle the IRS and manipulate the non profit system so they could party with prostitutes at tax payer expense?"
    I suspect that the long arm of this international investigation is going to reach out and touch those Boys in Brazil who may have gone fishing for more than bass on their exotic fishing trip.
    Thanks again for your great coverage,
    Sandy Frost

  4. It remains to be seen whether the ROJ issues are localized or globally endemic to the entire organization.

    The true indicator will be whether the U.S. Attorney actually asks for a Grand Jury Investigation and indictments are issued for any others allegedly involved with any depraved events involving the ROJ. Until then, it is an isolated incident that should prompt Masons to question the Shrine and the GL's about what steps will be taken in the future to prevent this type of conduct from occurring in the future.

  5. If anyone wants to know where the real Masons are going visit

    You won't find any prostitutes, or One Day classes, just great fellowship and true Traditional Observance Freemasonry.

    So WS - would this qualify as a my masonry is better than your masonry statement or does Most Superior and More Righteous Than Everyone Else Brother Peace get a free pass, as per usual?

    I am curious though Jeff, since you brought your masonry's superiority for the 900th time now, in what degree of Traditional Observance Freemasonry do we learn that intolerance, dischord and sniping at fellow masons is not only acceptable but encouraged?

    Oh - I am not talking about the ROJ, who should be disbanded or disowned as an organization and its guilty members expelled from masonry. I am talking about the rank and file blue lodge guys like me throughout the USA who have failed your sniff test by their masonic association.

    Is this what the GOUSA and the Grand Orient are all about? I mean you are a Grand Lodge Officer for that organization, are you not? So if this is what we can expect in terms of behavior from a Grand Lodge Officer? If so, tell me how does your intolerance and negativity -- which rejects at the core the main teachings of freemasonry -- differ from the mainstream intolerance and negativity that you bring up every chance you get?

  6. How shameful it must be to have such people call themselves Masons! I am a Mason and the more i hear and read about these things I believe we aren't to careful who we let enter through the west gate. I hope the Grand Lodge of N.Y. throws these bums out!

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  9. Jeff
    Again, this is a material fallacy in argumentation. It is called converse fallacy of accident. Even though some problems have existed in some Grand Lodges does not mean that all Grand Lodges commit malfeasance. I agree that specific problems should be brought to light but all those that paint all people or Grand Lodges as one color are wrong, no matter where they call home. Please do not take specific examples and assume your hypothesis is necessarily true in all cases.

  10. If you are so interested in tolerance, peace, and harmony, then why aren't you raging against the intolerance and lies posted by your brother Ed King on MasonicInfo. Could it be that you have double-standards. In other words, it's okay for Anglo-American Masons to attack other Masons, but not okay for them to return the same to you.

    I believe in another thread I did speak out against Bro Ed King's handling of the GOUSA. I could certainly lodge a complaint with the Grand Lodge of Maine about his witch hunt of you and others in your situation. Here is the kicker though; The Grand Lodge takes me seriously, they go to Ed King, Ed King presents them with a multitude of comments, taken from a multitude of web sites of you tearing down "Anglo" Masonry every chance you get.

    What do you think the outcome will be?

    I have a better solution. I suggest that you request the Grand Master's of both the GOUSA and GOdF to send official correspondence to the Grand Lodge of Maine stating that your obedience would like to be treated fairly. As a sign of good faith, you stop your attacks.

    Maybe, just maybe, the combined efforts of these bodies can bring this ridiculous sniping to an end - ON BOTH SIDES.

    Look Jeff, I applaud your desire to continue forward as a mason. I, as a mainstream mason, certainly agree that you and your organization have every right to exist. Unfortunately, you make it impossible to intercede on your behalf with your unmasonic attacks on my masonic affiliation. The world of "Anglo" freemasonry encompasses much more than you have experienced.

    I believe that Ed King has every right to point out that his brand of masonry is not the same as your brand. However, he fails as a brother and a human being when he engages in personal attacks. All he really needs is a page clarifying the differences that is devoid of opinion, arrogance and ill will.

    I wish you both would just stop and let us all focus our energies on being the better people we aspire to be.

    It sounds like you would prefer to brush all of this under the rug.

    Only by proper application of the science of ethics and strict observance of the rules of conduct can we reach that perfection which is the objective...

    As masons, we aspire to reach that "perfection" in our lives. We cannot collectively reach that place if we have criminals, pimps, racists and con men in our midst.

    I have no problem with the Widows Son publishing our dirty laundry. I believe that MS masonry, like any other large entity, has it's issues that need to be dealt with.

    Yes, we all make mistakes from time to time and yes we do shameful things from time to time. That however is light years removed from morally bankrupt individuals who only use this organization for their own material gain. I want them out of masonry, because they do not belong in it. So I am not trying to brush anything under the rug.

    Yea, this douche-bag is one arrogant bastard alright - just like his fellow Anglo-American Masons.

    This is exactly what I mean. This does not help you. This only reinforces Ed King's rantings.

    If you really want peace and mutual respect then you will have to do better than statements like this.

  11. lvx,

    We will be having open house at both Halcyon and Sirus lodge in October. These gatherings are not tyled Masonic events but celebrations of the new Grand Orient. I believe Halcyon is planning a few boxing events in the evening.

    We welcome all our Anglo-America brothers, as well as our Sisters to these events. It would be a good opportunity for Masons from all obediences to get together and have a beer.

    I encourage you and your brothers to attend one of these celebrations.

    We are not your enemy but you can make us one, if you allow your hate-filled brothers to continue to harass us.

    As Bro. Bill McElligott is fond of saying, "the proof is in the pudding." I will wait to see how the pudding turns out.

    I'll do my part. Let's see if you can do yours.

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  14. Hey Howard. I'm confused.

    Yes, Burning Temper, you truly appear confused.

    As you can see, Howard has removed all negative posts from this thread. He also extended an invitation to meet on the level. You have taken that gesture and pissed all over it, obviously hoping for a negative reaction. Are you so lacking of honor and character that you would continue to stoke the flames of dischord between fellow masons? For what purpose? Is your life that devoid of meaning?

    As a mainstream mason, I would like you to know that your actions violate everything that you should have taken to heart in the degrees. If you cannot see just how unmasonic your words and actions are, then you should demit at your earliest opportunity.

    Hopefully this will clear up any lingering confusion.

  15. Well, I do apologize. It's certainly hard to keep up around here without checking in every 10 minutes to see what foul remark has been revised and removed, almost as though it was never said. Almost, that is.

    However, some of have been through all of this before. Again and again. How many times must we all stand by and watch "Howard" have his meltdowns and start sniping at whomever his latest boogeyman may be without calling him on it?

    Nevertheless I will delete my rejoinder (if I can figure out how) and wait until the next eruption.

  16. Dear Howard,
    The Shriners are doing some great things out there. Most have no idea that these kind of blogs exist. They are far too busy helping others. Here are some facts about Shriners:


    In 2006, Shriners Hospitals approved 38,984 new patient applications,
    attended to the needs of 128,578 patients and provided the following:

    · 251,461 radiology procedures
    · 296,859 outpatient, outreach and telemedicine visits
    · 61,103 orthotic and prosthetic devices
    · 24,609 surgical procedures
    · 412,387 physical therapy treatments
    · 181,174 occupational therapy treatments


    Shriners Hospitals' total budget for 2007 is $721 million, of which
    $655 million is targeted for operating expenses (including $37 million
    for research) and $66 million for buildings and equipment

    During the nearly 85-year history of the Shriners Hospitals, it has
    cost approximately $8.2 billion to operate Shriners Hospitals, and
    over $1.76 billion has been spent on construction and renovation.

    Orthopaedic Hospitals

    The 18 orthopaedic Shiners Hospitals are dedicated to providing
    specialized medical and rehabilitative services to children with
    congenital deformities, problems resulting from orthopaedic injuries
    and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Some of the most commonly
    treated disorders include clubfoot, limb deficiencies and
    discrepancies, scoliosis, osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone
    disease), juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and problems related to spina
    bifida, cerebral palsy, dwarfism and muscular dystrophy.

    Burn Care

    Located in Galveston, Boston, Cincinnati and Sacramento, the Shriners
    burn hospitals have been leaders in burn research since opening in the
    mid-1960s. Treatment is provided for severe burn injuries and related
    scarring, along with physical and emotional rehabilitation. This vast
    experience and knowledge has had far-reaching affects on burn
    treatment techniques worldwide.

    Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

    In the 1980s, Shriners Hospitals established a spinal cord injury
    rehabilitation program for children. These programs, at the Chicago,
    Northern California and Philadelphia hospitals, are among the few in
    the United States specifically designed to treat children and
    teenagers with spinal cord injuries.

    Cleft Lip and Palate Repair

    In 2005, the Joint Boards of Shriners Hospitals officially added cleft
    lip and palate repair to the mission. The program is expanding, based
    on the model of Shriners Hospital-Chicago, which has been treating
    children with cleft lip and palate for more than 35 years.

    ================================================== ===============

    Please feel free to "research" this information.

  17. Manny,

    I actually like the Shrine and have been working with some of the local Shriners. They do have some organizational problems that have been created by bad members.

    The Jesters are an example of bad Shriners. It's been known for a long time. The Shrine needs to dump these guys and move on.

    The Shrine was always kind to the RRCG and has been good to the GOUSA.

    Hopefully, they can get things turned around and once again rise to the level of excellence they once knew.

  18. Dear Howard, thank you for the kind words abour our Shriners. The few men who are involved in this situation do not represent all Jesters nor is this type of thing common to Masons. the right You have to exploit individual, isolated cases as you wish. The Jesters are made up of many good men. Mason or not if a person commits a crime they should suffer the consequences.

    Manny Blanco,PM

  19. Dear Stoic:

    This ROJ incident is endemic. It is NOT reserved to just NY.

    I used to work at a hotel in San Antonio, TX that - to this day - still hosts ROJ "meetings" and closes off that floor to other guests so that the prostitutes can run freely from room to room.

    It's about time this all came to light. The whole group should be disbanded and criminally charged.

  20. I'll actually take the 5th on this one.................

  21. I do not put much faith in either of these posts. It is easy to say one is a Shriner or anything for that matter and another to sign your name with your affiliation. I have never seen such things happening in either of the Shrines where I have been a member. The Shriners I know while having fun at our events (legally and in good taste) are true Masons and very honorable men. I am a Life Member of El Bekal Shrine and recently took a Demit from Al Malikah because it is just too far for us to visit. What I fail to understand is what you folks plan to gain by these derogatory statements? Please show us where you are members of Shrine in order that readers can view you as credible. Shriners do have good,clean fun and do not break the law.

    S & F,
    Manny Blanco,PM
    El Bekal Shrine

  22. Anonymous,

    Of course, since you were aware of alleged crimes taking place in your community for which you had personal knowledge, you informed local law enforcement, right?

    In my opinion, your post reeks of fabrication and it has an agenda of sullying the reputation of good men without evidence. Are you another sock-puppet that is known to frequent this blog?

    But, on the other hand, you might just want to take the 5th yourself for Misprision of a Felony for failing to report this matter to your local authorities if it actually occurred since you had personal knowledge and not just suspicions.

  23. Dear Stoic,

    I did have personal knowledge since I worked at the hotel in question. I did not want to lose my job at the time, so I kept my mouth shut. Only the Sales Staff was privy to this information, so as far as housekeepers, front desk, etc... they were ignorant.

    I wish I had the balls to report these incidents. I am a female, non-Shriner nor a Mason... and frankly I do know that THE MAJORITY of you do not participate in this behavior.

    THIS IS NOT TO SMUDGE THE NAME OF ZOR SHRINE NOR THE MASONS!! It is a SECRET society of these members that CAREFULLY screen who should be included into the Royal Order of Jesters... based on income level and discretionary level. If the Royal Order of Jesters do not think that YOU can keep their activities private, YOU will be black balled and unable to join. One must be nominated by a Jester to become a Jester... and then only the current Jesters vote on that person's inclusiveness.

    Would you like more details?! I can list the hotel name and dates of these functions if you'd like proof.

    I simply value my job and do not want to lose my place in my upstanding society.

    Peace to you Masons and Shriners that are law-abiding and respectful. I have nothing against you OR your organization. I merely want to see the Royal Order of Jesters disbanded.

    Thank you.

  24. Anonymous,

    IF you have personal knowledge of any wrongdoings then I would encourage you report it to local law enforcement and to the to U.S. Attorney involved in the current investigation referenced in this blog article. Federal law enforcement allows for anonymous tipsters. I further suggest that you report the misconduct to the Grand Lodge of Texas for further investigation so that any bad apples in the bunch, if any in your situation, can be handled according to Masonic law and ejected from the fraternity if they are proven to have engaged in wrongful conduct. If your story has merit and you have actual evidence of your allegations, rather than just suspicions, then appropriate action will be taken.

    Posting unsubstantiated allegations about vague wrongdoings about the ROJ on the Internet and on a forum such as this one just sullies the reputation good men in the Masonic Community and the good men in the ROJ who wouldn't be involved in such conduct. It also suggests that you are a sock-puppet with an agenda given the reputation of this blog site which seeks to defame the reputation of the Main Stream Masonic community regardless of the truth.

    If you aren't a sock-puppet, then you have my sincerest apologies and my sound advice as to the appropriate course of action in which to take to address your concerns.

    No Mason of good character would defend the type of isolated criminal conduct occurring in the few ROJ chapters involving three Jesters who pleaded guilty to misconduct. I don't defend this conduct, I denounce it. However, there is no evidence that this type of conduct is widespread. If it were widespread and I was presented with actual evidence, then I'd be the first to put a stop to it in my jurisdiction or resign. I am not a Jester and I have no stake in the future of their club.

  25. Anonymous,

    First off, I am no apologist, nor am I a member or the shrine, so what happens to them has no bearing on my life. I believe that if your allegations are true, then these men should be thrown out of masonry on their ears.

    The problem is that I don't believe you. Not that I don't think that a bunch of oversexed, sad old men committed crimes and engaged in the worst kind of hypocrisy. I don't believe you because of the logical flaws in your argument.

    In my opinion, you have zero credibility when you withhold information from law enforcement, yet offer it up on a masonic blog. You have zero credibility when you use words like "SECRET SOCIETY" yet tell us inside information of said secret society, such as membership criteria, selection protocol.

    If you are not a mason, why would you even read this blog?

    So if you are on the level and truly want to do the masonic world some good, may I suggest that you start by contacting the police the moment you see a crime take place. I am sure that an anonymous tip from a pay phone won't result in the Illuminati boogie-men destroying your career and standing in the community.

    If you are not on the level, then may I suggest that you seek professional help.

  26. If you are not a mason, why would you even read this blog?

    Surely you're not suggesting that this blog is not entertaining, even to the layperson?

  27. I agree with the good Brethren who either do not believe what this person has written or if it has she should contact the Police and Grand Lodge. "Anonymous" most likely is just one of the Gofer guys making false accusations to show that their group is the right way t go and wht GOfer is so wonderful. It is a shame that anyone could call themselves Masonic and stoop to such low levels. Time and time again this group has proven to all that what they are selling is not worth buying. "Anonymous" your job is not in jeopardy now nor it was then as the events you reported most likely never happened. To report a crime is our duty as citizens. No one would fire you for doing your duty. To give dates that the Shrine has a funtion at a hotel will not be enough as we have many events that rooms and meeting rooms are rented for the event. This applies to thousands of groups. Show proof please if you want to be believed. If you cannot you will probably just fade into cyberspace where J.P and the group have so many different screen names to use in their quest. What I get in reading these posts is that the same people behind these fabricated posts have been expelled, exposed, rejected, from Mainstream Freemasonry and they are eating their hearts out just wanting to be members. This is all terrible. Gentleman, one does not have to be a genuis to see why you have been removed from Masonstream Masonry. Your posts and sneaky manner of doing things tell the entire story?

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