Process & Policies of Templar Membership Full Information on Joining the 12th Century Order

This page features the Process and Policies for joining the Order of the Temple of Solomon, beginning as a Templar Sergeant (men) or Templar Adjutante (women), or as a Temple Guardian.  These are the primary forms of general membership in the Order, intended to facilitate earning the official chivalric status of a Knight or Dame in nobility.

 

Removing Artificial Economic Barriers to Membership

 

'Raymond of Poitiers Welcoming Louis VII in Antioch' by Jean Colombe and Sebastien Marmerot (15th century), in Passages d'Outremer

‘Raymond of Poitiers Welcoming Louis VII in Antioch’ by Jean Colombe and Sebastien Marmerot (15th century), in Passages d’Outremer

M (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgMembership in the Templar Order must emphasize a meritocracy of substance and quality of the individual’s potential to meaningfully contribute to the chivalric missions. Artificial economic barriers only undermine the development and mobilization of a powerful membership force. In contrast, lifting such obstacles better motivates all members, as they learn the importance of the humanitarian missions through participation.

Just as the medieval Knights Templar were always pioneers of progressive innovations, so the modern Order brings a new advancement in membership practices:

The Grand Mastery has removed the customary requirement of a “Passage Fee” (common to other legitimate chivalric Orders), and has also replaced the historical practice of “Tithing”. Instead, membership participation is facilitated by small fixed monthly donations, in an unimposing amount which should be accessible even to those in economic hardship. (Indeed, as the original Knights Templar were famously known as the “Poor Knights of the Temple”, this policy maintains historical authenticity.)

Accordingly, authentic membership in the original Templar Order is granted solely based on merit, is not for any “fee”, and is not devalued to any mere “price”. Meanwhile, the separate matter of practical interaction with the Order is treated as a modest “subscription” to the Templar Network multimedia communications system for ongoing active membership participation.

Subscription Separate from Membership – Joining the legendary Templar Order is not based upon the mere payment of the minimalist monthly donations, which are only a subscription to the Templar Network for communications.  While economic barriers have been removed to make joining more accessible, the standards of membership remain extremely high, to uphold the Templar name.  While being a paid subscriber is a basic requirement of membership, it does not create entitlement to any official status, and the Order reserves the right to decline membership for failure to meet its standards of conduct.

 

Classical “Tithing” Replaced by New Tradition of “Portioning”

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.org

'Abbess Umilta Arrives at the Gates of Florence', panel of 'Humility Polyptych' (1340 AD) by Pietro Lorenzetti, in Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (Detail)

‘Abbess Umilta Arrives at the Gates of Florence’, panel of ‘Humility Polyptych’ (1340 AD) by Pietro Lorenzetti, in Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (Detail)

The classical tradition of “Tithing” (defined as donating a “tithe” of 10%) to a Church or monastic Order, comes from times past, when governments were not yet seizing up to 50% or more of family incomes. In the modern era of unprecedented governmental interference in our daily lives, with the continuous imposition of increasing economic hardships, the practice of Tithing has literally become “history”.

Adapting authentic traditional values to the limitations of modern realities, the Templar Order has established a new tradition, called “Portioning”, from the Latin word ‘portionis’ meaning a “part”, “portion” or “share” of resources, usually in the context of periodic sharing by incremental portions. This is also related to the Latin phrase ‘pro portione’ meaning “proportionally”, indicating that the sharing is in proportion to one’s ability to share.

Accordingly, all Templar Brothers and Sisters make ongoing contributions of a modest monthly donation, for as long as they wish to maintain active participation in the Order. This approach empowers a larger collective membership to fund a strong level of operations and missions through smaller individual donations. This also multiplies the collective volunteer work provided by a larger membership base, combining the diverse efforts and skills for more effective non-profit activities and operations of the Order.

This new tradition of Portioning gives the Order the benefit of “strength in numbers”, in its finest tradition as the proverbial “Army of God”:

Just as religious men and women of times past could be proud of “Tithing” to their Church, modern Templars can now be proud of “Portioning” to the Order.

 

Purpose and Use of Portioning Donations

 

A (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgAll payments of Portioning and other donations to the Order, regardless of whether they are in connection with a “subscription” type package, constitute non-profit donations to the cultural and humanitarian missions of the Order. Such donations cover operating costs which benefit all non-profit missions of the Order. All donations also cover expenses of ongoing restoration and processing of historical materials of cultural Templarism and Chivalry as the collective heritage of humanity, and as the pillars which uphold and advance civilization.

This non-profit use of Portioning and other donations is essential to providing a meaningful membership experience, and empowering the Order to achieve real-world impact of its humanitarian missions. As a result, all members of the Order and its Network can receive updates and new discoveries as and when additional materials are restored and thus become available.

 

Traditional Policy on Admitting Young Members

 

'Willem II Prince of Orange and Princess Mary Stuart' (Detail)

‘Willem II Prince of Orange and Princess Mary Stuart’ (Detail)

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Temple Rule of 1129 AD established guidelines restricting how to “receive children” into the Templar Order. First, “he must nourish until such time as he can carry arms vigorously… Then the mother and father may lead him to the Order… and it is much better if he does not make the Vow [of Chivalry] when he is a child but when he is of age” (Rule 14). [1]

The Chinon Parchment of 1308 AD, the Pontifical decree recording the Vatican’s examination of the major Templar leaders of France, evidences the general age of admission into the Templar Order: When asked at which age each one was admitted to the Order, Raymbaud de Caron, Grand Prior of Outremer, testified “that he was 17 years of age or thereabouts”, Geoffroy of Charny, Grand Prior of Normandy, testified that his age was “17 or thereabouts”, Hugo de Pérraud, Grand Prior of France, “answered that he heard his mother say that he was 18”. [2]

The historical figure later popularized as “King Arthur” of literary Arthurian legends [3] [4], who was actually Prince Arthur Aidan (559-589 AD) [5] [6] [7] [8], began active battles as a Commander at the age of 17 (in 576 AD) [9]. Saint Joan of Arc (1412-1431 AD) led the French army against invading British forces, and secured King Charles VIII to his rightful place on the French throne, at the age of 17 (in 1429 AD) [10].

In the modern era, being “of age” to pursue Templar projects “vigorously” (fulfilling the Temple Rule, Rule 14) translates as (A) having sufficient basic education and study skills for higher learning within the Order, (B) being capable of strong social interaction and communication skills, including effective writing abilities, and (C) having legal rights and capacity for independent transportation and travel.

In modern Western education, the age of a High School (Secondary School) “Senior” or graduate is typically 17, which is the average “age of consent”, of “legal capacity”, and of obtaining a driver’s license in many jurisdictions; The age of a College (University) “Senior” or graduate is typically 21, which is the average age of legal alcohol consumption in many jurisdictions.

Therefore, authentic to the history of the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple of Solomon practices the following policy for young members: Persons under the age of 17 can be admitted as a Squire or Lady in Waiting only with parental consent, with at least one parent joining the Order; Persons age 17 and above can be admitted as a Sergeant or Adjutante; Persons age 21 and above can be elevated to Knight or Dame.

 

Policy on Membership in Other Organizations

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Code of Chivalry of 1066 AD commands all Templars to “Perform all secular duties under the higher laws of God” (7th Pillar), and to “Always uphold right and good, against all evil and injustice” (10th Pillar) [11]. This would prohibit being a member of any organization which seeks to subvert or undermine the principles of religion or any God-given human rights, or which is inconsistent or incompatible with fighting for good against wrongdoing or injustice.

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD commands all Templars to “take your rights [only] as it is specifically established”, thus requiring adherence to the principle of legitimacy of proven rights under Public Law (Rule 57) [12]. This would prohibit being a member of any organization which does not possess verifiable legitimacy for the status which it claims, or which asserts authorities in reliance upon disregard for established doctrines of jurisprudence or pseudo-history contrary to proven facts of the historical record.

Any allegiance given to another organization is generally presumed to have no conflict with the Templar Order, as long as such does not conflict with allegiance to the principles of goodness for the benefit of humanity.

Members of an organization having verifiable legitimacy approved by experts of the Templar Order, with verifiably lawful purposes which respect rights under the rule of law, are welcome to join the Order.  Members of any unapproved organization may be required to renounce any title or office granted from them, as determined by Templar experts on a case by case basis.

(Note – This policy is primarily to exclude any association or involvement with any organization advancing any anti-humanitarian or anti-religious agenda. Note that religious societies or fraternities such as Opus Dei, Rosicrucians or authentic Freemasonry are generally accepted.)

Acceptance is Not “Recognition” – Acceptance or approval of a person’s membership in any other organization, in connection with granting membership in the Order of the Temple of Solomon, shall not be construed and may not be claimed as any type of “recognition” of such other organization.

 

Policy on Existing Knighthood in Other Chivalric Orders

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Temple Rule of 1129 AD authorizes to recruit new members “where you know to be gathered Knights who are not excommunicated… if there is anyone who wishes to serve and join” the Templar Order (Rule 12). The requirement of legitimacy of proven rights under Public Law must also apply (Rule 57). [13] This evidences a historical policy of accepting those who are already Knights or Dames of another legitimate Order of Chivalry, who remain in good standing in such Order.

Any allegiance given to another legitimate Order of Chivalry is generally presumed to have no conflict with the Templar Order, as long as such adheres to and does not conflict with the Code of Chivalry of 1066 AD.

Members of another Order of Chivalry having verifiable legitimacy approved by experts of the Templar Order are welcome to join the Order.  Members of any unapproved Order may be required to renounce any title or office granted from them, as determined by Templar experts on a case by case basis.

(Note – This policy is primarily to avoid association with “fantasy orders” of illegitimate self-styled “knighthood”. Note that SMOM is pre-approved for proven juridical and chivalric legitimacy. Note that as exceptions, OSMTH and SMOTJ are considered pre-approved for demonstrated merit, as acceptable “other organizations”.)

Acceptance is Not “Recognition” – Acceptance or approval of a person’s membership in any other organization, in connection with granting membership in the Order of the Temple of Solomon, shall not be construed and may not be claimed as any type of “recognition” of such other organization.

 

The Path of Membership & Progression in the Templar Order

 

1. Registration & Subscription – Use the Membership Registration system to subscribe to the Templar Network, and set up the monthly Portioning donations.  (If a subscriber has no access to a credit card or alternative online payment method, the subscription can be pre-paid annually by a bank wire transfer.)

2. Templar Skills Training – After registration, the new member now receives training materials in essential Templar knowledge and skills, and can already participate in general membership activities of the Order.  Upon completing studies of the Templar Skills Training Program, one can simply notify the Order to move on to the next stage.

3. Induction into General Membership – After completing the skills training, the member will be requested to declare and sign a traditional Commitment of Service document, and to provide a copy of a valid photo identification (to ensure that the official Letters Patent of lifetime status as a Sergeant or Adjutante, or as a Temple Guardian, will be correctly issued and valid under customary international law). The Order will then provide the Letters Patent, as well as the Induction Package of supplementary multimedia materials.

4. Purchase of Official Regalia – After the Induction, members have the option to purchase their official Templar Regalia (as and when available), which is necessary only for attendance at official events or formal gatherings of the Order, or to properly represent the Order in official relations or professional cooperation with other institutions.

5. Elevation to Knighthood or Damehood – When the participation and contributions of a Sergeant, Adjutante or Temple Guardian have come to the attention of the Grand Mastery, and are recognized as significantly supporting or advancing missions of the Order, the Office of the Crown Registrar will issue an invitation to receive elevation to knighthood or damehood.

6. Titles of Nobility for Earned Merit – The Order holds the official capacity under customary international law to grant genuine Titles of Nobility. Nobility can be granted on rare occasions by the Prince Grand Master, in recognition of especially meritorious service to the missions of the Order. Such titles come with the expectation that the holder is prepared to rise to a greater level of commitment and service, in accordance with the ancient doctrine of “noblesse oblige”. While in rare cases some Titles of Nobility can be issued as “hereditary” (while most are issued “for life”), such titles do not mean that one is noble by any bloodline, but rather that one is publicly acknowledged as a person committed to a life of “noble” service.

 

Registration for Membership in the Templar Order

 

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Temple Rule of 1129 AD mandates active recruitment of new members, and instructs that “where you know to be gathered [potential] Knights… there we command you to go”, to reach out to “anyone who wishes to serve and join the Order” (Rule 12). [14] It is thus authentic for the Order to make available a Registration Form, even online where people “gather” seeking Templarism.

However, the Temple Rule also requires to “not consent immediately to receive” one requesting knighthood or damehood, and to “Test the soul whether it comes from God” (Rule 11), that “first he shall be put to the test… [of] honesty” (Rule 14). [15] Therefore, such Registration can only be used to join as a Sergeant or Adjutante or Temple Guardian. Elevation to Knight or Dame is traditionally only by invitation of the Grand Mastery, based upon meaningful interaction and demonstrated merit.

Joining the general membership is accomplished simply by using the Membership Registration system to subscribe to the Templar Network.

 

Importance of Detailed Registration – When subscribing, it is extremely important to answer all of the Registration questions as completely and with as much detail as possible:  The online Registration process creates your database file as a Member of the Templar Order.  The information from your online Registration Form is also the primary way for the Order to place you with Templar members, projects and opportunities related to your skills and interests.

Disqualification for Abuses – The Order reserves the right to cancel any membership if contrary to its Policies of Membership, or for any unlawful or unethical misconduct.  A title of Sergeant or Adjutante, Temple Guardian, Knight or Dame is not official unless and until a formal Letters Patent is issued by the Order.  Any misrepresentation of one’s Registration subscription alone as holding any official title, or of one’s general membership status as holding a higher title of Knight or Dame, may result in disqualification or expulsion.

 

Suggested Topics Related to this Information

 

Click to access the Membership Registration to Join the Templar Order.

Click for information on Joining in Primary Membership in the Templar Order.

Click to learn about primary Activities of Participation in the Templar Order.

Click to learn about receiving VIP “Donat” patron sponsor status without formalities.

Click to learn about elevation to Knight or Dame in nobility in the original 12th century Order.

 

Academic Source References for this Topic

 

[1] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rule 14.

[2] Pope Clement V, Chinon Parchment (1308), Vatican Secret Archives, “Archivum Arcis Armarium” D 217-218; Replica Parchments, Processus Contra Templarios, Scrinium, Venice, Italy (2008).

[3] Nennius (Welsh ecclesiast), Historia Brittonum, 9th century Latin text (820 AD).

[4] The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee, 8th century manuscript.

[5] Adomnan (Scottish monk), Vita Columba, 7th century manuscript, Town Library Archives, Schauffhausen, Switzerland.

[6] Annals of Ulster, Ireland, 6th century manuscripts.

[7] Tighernac (Irish monk), Annals of Tighernac, Ireland, 11th century manuscript.

[8] Annales Cambriae, 10th century manuscripts, preserved in 12th century copies.

[9] Norma Lorre Goodrich, King Arthur, Harper & Row (1989).

[10] Malcolm G.A. Vale, Charles VII, Methuen Publishing (1974), pp.55-56.

[11] Emile Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie (1883), translated in Henry Frith, Chivalry, George Routledge & Sons, London (1891).

[12] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rule 57.

[13] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rules 12, 57.

[14] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rule 12.

[15] Henri de Curzon, La Règle du Temple, La Société de L’Histoire de France, Paris (1886), in Librairie Renouard, Rules 11, 14.