"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Brooklyn Murder With Masonic References

After conflicting reports on Tuesday, details of a bizarre and tragic murder in New York are coming forth with some strange Masonic references. The suspect, Michael Brea (photo) is referred to as a "low-level Freemason," and he is accused of murdering his own mother with a Masonic sword.

From a story in the New York Post that was revised several times throughout the day:

A hardworking Brooklyn mother was hacked to death early this morning allegedly by her sword-wielding, bit-actor son during a bizarre religious meltdown in which he screamed Bible passages and made obscure references to Freemasonry, police and witnesses said.

Greg Clare, who lives downstairs from victim Yannick Brea, 55, shared with her son Michael Brea, a 31-year-old actor and low-level Freemason who had roles in "Ugly Betty" and the movie "Step Up 3D," said he first heard screams about 1 a.m.

"He kept chanting: ‘Repent! Repent! Repent!’" Clare said, referring to Brea. "He kept asking her if she believed in Jesus Christ, if she believed in God. She was yelling ‘Help me! Help me!’"

Another neighbor said Brea kept calling for the "architect of the universe," a term used by Freemasons to refer to a supreme being. And a police source said the murder weapon was a three-foot ceremonial Masonic sword.

ABC and some other news outlets first reported the sword was a "samurai" sword, and there was no reference to the "architect of the universe." No word yet where Brea was supposedly a member, and the phrase in the article, "low level Freemason," is a curious one. While some reports said the victim suffered head injuries, earlier in the day officers on the scene described an "extremely bloody" situation and said she had been decapitated.

Police tasered Brea and transported him to a nearby hospital for a psychological exam. Brea had no previous arrests, police said. According to his online bio at BelFilm.com, Brea's parents were Haitian, and he enthusiastically adopted Haitian culture. He opened a Subway restaurant in NYC in 2007, and seemed to have a strong public sense of charity. He also has a background in martial arts.

It should be noted that, despite the phrases in the press (and a scene in Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol"), mainstream U.S. Freemasons don't as a rule use a "ceremonial sword" in lodge. The officer who sits outside of the lodge door, known as the Tyler (or Tiler), does guard the entrance with a sword, but general members do not usually own them, or use them in Masonic lodge rituals and ceremonies. However, some appendant organizations, like the Masonic Knights Templar, do use them in their ceremonies, though not in anything that could be remotely considered violent or menacing.

Frankly, anyone can buy a sword with Masonic symbols on it, and they are commonly available all over eBay and the Internet.

It should also be cautiously pointed out that Brooklyn has several irregular, "clandestine" Masonic organizations, including one that purchased the popular, high-profile concert venue, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. (The group is called The Empire State Grand Council A&A.S.R.M., a predominantly black group with no ties to Prince Hall Freemasonry). The Phylaxis Society's Commission on Bogus Masonry lists no fewer than eleven clandestine "grand lodges," plus a couple of OES "grand chapters," at work in Brooklyn alone.

No one has publicly claimed Brea as a member at this point.


From the New York Daily News on 11/24/2010:

Yannick Brea, 55, was found kneeling - as if offering a final prayer - after she was butchered during her son's demented diatribe about repentance, police said.

"Sinner! Sinner!" howled Michael Brea, a bit-part actor who once appeared on "Ugly Betty," neighbors and police sources said. "You never accepted Jesus!"

The suspect, still in full "fire and brimstone" babble when carried out on a stretcher, was clutching his Bible and a Masonic ceremonial sword when cops busted into a bedroom, police sources said.

"He yelled, 'The greatest architect in the universe!' " - a term sometimes used by Masons for God - while he was being taken away, said neighbor Sydney Clare, 15. "He looked crazy."


Brea's uncle said his nephew, 31, apparently took the ceremonial sword with him while leaving a Masons meeting late Monday night. A rattled Martial Brea said his nephew was typically a smart, quiet man.

"Something happened that made him do it," the uncle told The News. "The Devil entered him."

The swords - typically stainless steel blades with short, black grips - sell online for about $280.


  1. Wow. I'm sure this will be fodder for the anti-Masonic zealots for some time.

    It'll be interesting to see what the truth is in this situation.

    At the Brooklyn Masonic Temple site you linked, I couldn't help but notice the itinerary for their 'National Convention'. It includes a Pajama Party with 'Exotic Adult Games'... While I don't know more about this particular group, things like this are what give some of my fundamentalist Christian family members fuel for their anti-Masonic fire, even without news stories like this.

    Anyway, as always, interesting catch Chris. I hope some light is shed on this situation.

  2. This moring there were several lines in my news reader about this.
    of course the consirisy crowd was quick on the scene and began flooding some of the online posts with the usual fodder.

    If it tuns out he was a member, even of a unrecognized clandestine Lodge, this will play out much like the shooting on Long Island.

  3. Chris

    The Brooklyn Masonic Temple is owned by a New York based irregular and clandestine group not a Detroit based group

    In 1943, 19 men created Williamsburg Masonic Circle No. 1. They then went on and organized with other lodges to be known as Mecca Grand Lodge, now called to the Empire State Grand Council.
    They purchased the Brooklyn Masonic Temple in 1977

    Ironically the Temple was originally built in 1909 and was home to up to 35 GLNY regular lodges in 1912
    It is a historic building and is home to a bunch of other clandestine lodges who rent and hold meetings there. They also rent out the venue for parties and other entertainment events anyone that has money.

    This is yet another example of how the actions of folks associated with irregular, clandestine and bogus Freemasonry taints and has a negative impact on regular masons. There are systemic ways we as regular masons can educate ourselves and our communities on the benefits of regularity so that they know of the distinct differences that exist, otherwise we will continue to have to answer to crazy stories like this one.

  4. Also Chris
    Many of the irregular, clandestine and bogus groups that have Scottish Rite in their name, use and give their members swords as part of joining their version of the consistory.

  5. Thanks for the clarification. The Empire State Grand Council does appear to be its own organization, although in some references, they claim further affiliation with the "National Supreme Council AA&SRM" in Detroit. In the land of bogus Masonry, that's not surprising. Making such a claim puts their theoretical founding back in the 1860s.

    The Phylaxis Society's Commission on Bogus Masonry lists no fewer than eleven grand lodges, plus a couple of OES chapters, at work in Brooklyn alone.

    And again, no word on where Brea might have been a member has surfaced yet.

  6. There are more than 67 Grand Lodges that are irregular or unrecognized Masonic organizations in NY vs the 2 regular and recognized Grand Lodges.

    The vast majority of them are registered with the NYS Division of Corporations as being headquartered in one of the 5 boroughs of NYC alone.

    One group just formed in 2010 so as you can see any online list will be incomplete because it keeps growing...

  7. The 31-year-old Brea said he told no one about the dream, but the following afternoon, he said he received another sign while at the Prince Hall Masonic Temple in Harlem, which he'd joined a week earlier.

    There, he said, a man approached and tried to put a curse on him.

    "[He] kept trying to put something in my hand but wouldn't show it to me. I kept opening my hand. It was a Freemason pin. I wouldn't touch it," Brea said.

    Felt like Neo from 'The Matrix'

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/11/26/2010-11-26_i_didnt_kill_her_i_killed_the_demon_inside_her_psycho_tells_news_in_chilling_det.html#ixzz16PYnl6If


Comments will not appear immediately, so be patient. I am forced to laboriously screen every post because I am constantly bombarded with spam. Anonymous postings on Masonic topics have the same status as cowans and eavesdroppers as far as I am concerned. If you post with an unknown or anonymous account, do not expect to see your comment appear.