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


Friday, November 03, 2023

Accused Chattanooga Masonic Hall Attacker Faces Federal Charges

by Christopher Hodapp

Kadum Harwood (photo above), the suspected arsonist who attacked the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Masonic Center in September has now been indicted on two federal felony counts by a U.S. grand jury. This is in addition to charges filed by Hamilton County, Tennessee of harassment, burglary, vandalism/malicious mischief, arson and reckless endangerment.

The Chattanooga Masonic Center before the attack

"The indictment says Harwood 'maliciously damaged and destroyed… by means of fire and explosive materials, the Chattanooga Masonic Center.' 
The second count of the indictment was for traveling from Georgia to Tennessee to commit arson."

Prior to the attack on the center, the 29-year-old Harwood had posted messages on his Facebook page threatening to burn down the Masonic hall. One read, "I think I'm going to burn the one downtown. I am going to make an example of all FMs (Free Masons)."

At about 2:00 am on September 4th, surveillance cameras showed a man who resembles Harwood breaking into the center, setting a fire outside of the door, taking a sledgehammer to interior walls, and firing off a 'large caliber' rifle. After the fire, Harwood fled south across the state line to Graysville, Georgia and was arrested after posting the location of a motel in which he was staying. Bomb making equipment and explosives were reportedly found in his home by police.

Before the fire, the Masonic Center was shared by Temple Lodge 430, Chattanooga Lodge 199, John Bailey Nicklin Chapter RAM 49, and Lookout Commandery 14. I haven't seen any recent online postings of the center's rebuilding status.

Brethren, be vigilant!

Attacks against Masonic buildings and Freemasons themselves have been increasing in the U.S. and all over the world over the last 18 months. Conspiracists, anti-Masonic, anti-Jewish, and anti-Israel radicals frequently link Freemasonry with Judaism, often because of our symbolism regarding Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. With the current war raging (and doubtless escalating) in the Middle East, Masons need to be aware worldwide. Anti-Masonic rhetoric has been showing up in pro-Palestinian demonstrations. 

If your Masonic hall doesn't have cameras and a monitored alarm system, it needs to be considered right now, whether you are in a downtown area, a quiet suburb, or even in an isolated rural lodge. Exterior doors need to be locked once meetings start, parking lots need to be lit up like the face of the sun, and any online threats or paper flyers found threatening your lodge or local Masons need to be reported to law enforcement immediately. Do NOT shrug them off as simply crazy.

Yes, it's that serious.

1 comment:

  1. It seems like anti-Masonic rhetoric at a protest pales in comparison to the normalized anti-Masonic attitudes and actions from the far right Qanon crowd. There have been maybe a dozen or even dozens of documented attacks on masons from people who follow Qanon. - bro. Steven Mingus


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