Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) Direct Answers to Common Questions of Popular Interest

Official heraldic coat of arms of the Order of the Temple of Solomon as a chivalric historical institution

O (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgOver the centuries, the Knights Templar has been the subject of many misconceptions, especially in the modern age of mass media. Heavily popularized misunderstandings also created confusion for private researchers, and caused major determinative facts of the historical record to be wholly overlooked, even by professional academics.

As a result, many interested persons come to the Templar Order burdened by certain popular misconceptions. Specific factual clarification is thus needed on various key issues, before one can enjoy and appreciate the depth of the Order’s fully restored heritage in the modern era.

All readers are therefore encouraged to explore the following clarifications on key topics of popular interest. It is hoped that this will empower the reader to explore the rest of this website with an open mind, and with renewed interest in the reality and substance of modern Templarism.

Please click on the popular topics below, for direct answers to key questions about the Order of the Temple of Solomon, as the direct continuation of the historical institution of the original Knights Templar, and related membership topics.

Proprietary Research – This site presents new and original research, from primary sources in the historical record. The numbered source references are the verifiable evidence of all relevant facts. The Templar Order now shares this with the general public for the first time, as part of its core mission of restoring venerable traditions as the pillars of civilization.

Order & Church are Separate – The Order of the Temple of Solomon historically carries and protects the Ancient Catholic Church, which is separate and independent. The Templar Order has its own Chivalric Constitution and Grand Mastery, and is interfaith and non-denominational with its own Mystical spirituality, while separately supporting Ancient Catholicism. Templars are not required to participate in the Church. The Church has its own Ecclesiastical Charter and Pontificate, and its Faithful and Clergy are not obligated to join the Templar Order.

 

Diversity of Chivalric Legitimacy for the Modern Era

M (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgMany Chivalric Orders exist in the modern era, of varying types and degrees of legitimacy, each of which developed under unique circumstances. The basis for each Order creates a category of opinion or expectations for each approach. This has resulted in a great diversity of competing theories of legitimacy, many contradictory, and each modeled after different Orders.

 

No single Chivalric Order can possibly satisfy all of the competing theories, many of which contradict each other. For this reason, regardless of the strongest bases for legitimacy, backed by history, law, facts and evidence, there will always be challengers who insist on a different opinion, critics who allege some defect, and self-perceived competitors who claim they are the only “Real Knights”.

 

For the Order of the Temple of Solomon of 1118 AD as a historical institution, there is only one real issue for legitimacy as the direct continuation of the original Knights Templar: It must have a meaningful connection to the founding authorities of its historical Grand Mastery, as the basis for legal and canonical Magistral Succession, which also must be supported by substance and authenticity of Doctrinal Succession.

 

In other words, it must have a direct lineal, legal and canonical connection to the founding bases of the original Templar Order, and it must embody and teach the authentic Templar heritage in its spiritual and cultural fullness.

 

The original Templar Order is unique, possessing multiple and alternative sources of chivalric legitimacy. Driven by a profound sense of responsibility for preserving this historical institution, university historians backed by international law firms completed an intensive seven-year project to restore the Order. Restoration was not based on “claims” supported by mere legal “technicalities”, but rather was firmly rooted in – and made possible by – possessing the full and authentic substance and heritage of the historical institution.

 

The modern Templar Order has reassembled and restored all aspects of its original sources of legitimacy, as evidenced in the historical record, carefully balancing each basis with the others:

 

Succession was reestablished from the ancient Templar Priesthood (which the first Knights recovered by excavating the Temple of Solomon) [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], as the founding Ecclesiastical authority of the original Grand Mastery. This reconnected the Order to its Ecclesiastical Protection from the Vatican Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum (1139 AD) [6]. Succession was additionally reconnected from a legalized Royal line of King Fulk of Jerusalem which legally carries the founding Royal authority of the original Grand Mastery [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]. This achieved full Royal Protection by an official Letters Patent (2013).

 

Both forms of Magistral Succession legally establish permanent and independent sovereignty of the Order in its own right, as a Principality of statehood, thus governed by a Prince Grand Master, and inherently possessing its own independent Fons Honourum as a historical institution [14]. The Order is recognized by a licensed international Court as an official government exercising statehood. It also holds registered United Nations NGO status through its non-profit Foundation.

 

[1] Michael Lamy, Les Templiers: Ces Grand Seigneurs aux Blancs Manteaux, p.28.

 

[2] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), p.6, citing the document De Aedificiis by historian Procopius of Caesarea as “Procopius de Oedificiis Justiniani, lib. 5.”

 

[3] Josephus, Jewish War, Loeb Classical Library, translation by William Whiston (1736), 5:212 and 5:217.

 

[4] Keith Laidler, The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars, London (1998), p.177; Piers Paul Read, The Templars, Phoenix Press, London (2001), p.305.

 

[5] Henry Lincoln, Shadow of the Templars, documentary film, BBC London (1979), at 8:05 min.

 

[6] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum (29 March 1139), translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.59-65.

 

[7] Collier’s Encyclopedia (1985), “Knights Templars”.

 

[8] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[9] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”, p.493.

 

[10] William of Tyre, Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (ca. 1172 AD), XII, 7, Patrologia Latina, 201, 526-27, Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee (1962), pp.70-73.

 

[11] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[12] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[13] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.5.

 

[14] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”.

 

Nobility Titles Part of Templar Tradition of Meritocracy

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe original Templar Order was formed during a time when rules and protocols of royalty and nobility were deeply rooted cultural norms and even legal requirements. Holding nobility titles, and knowing the many rules and traditions for correct use of titles, is deeply ingrained in authentic Templar heritage. Indeed, Knighthood itself is a nobility title, and Hereditary Knight (Baronet) is a rank of nobility. However, the Knights Templar strictly rejected the use of titles for self-aggrandizement. Following the ancient tradition of the legendary Arthurian Knights of the Round Table, all Knights and Dames are Templars, and all Templars come to the table as equals.

 

The Templar Order itself was founded under Royal patronage of the Kingdom of Jerusalem (granted in 1118 AD [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6], and formalized at the Council of Nablus in 1120 AD [7]), by the first nine Knights who all held nobility titles and were all family relatives of King Baldwin II [8], backed by two Counts as nobility patrons. The 1st Grand Master Hughes de Payens was a Senior Vassal of Count Hugh de Champagnes [9], and the 2nd Grand Master was a Senior Vassal of Count Fulk d’Anjou [10]. Both Counts joined the Order, and Fulk became the successor King of Jerusalem continuing Royal patronage of the Templar Order. The majority of Templar Knights throughout the middle ages were titled nobility [11].

 

The Temple Rule of 1129 AD, which remains the primary law of the Order, clearly requires modesty and humility, and prohibits any self-glorification [12]. Templars always advocated for nobility titles to be based on meritocracy, and viewed titles only as a reminder of one’s vows and obligations to uphold the noble traditions and values which such titles should represent.

 

The modern Templar Order holds legal legitimacy to grant official knighthood in nobility, to issue other titles of nobility (in rare cases), and various traditional titles of office. However, titles of the Order are not for any artificial “hierarchy”, but rather are earned by merit with equal opportunity. Templar titles are never for sale, and are not generally offered, but may be granted based upon extraordinary roles, actions and merit of great benefit contributed by Knights and Dames of the Order. Those who appear to be “title seekers” or “title collectors” are discouraged and avoided.

 

[1] Collier’s Encyclopedia (1985), “Knights Templars”.

 

[2] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[3] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”, p.493.

 

[4] William of Tyre, Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (ca. 1172 AD), XII, 7, Patrologia Latina, 201, 526-27, Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee (1962), pp.70-73.

 

[5] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[6] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.5.

 

[7] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[8] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[9] Michael Lamy, Les Templiers: Ces Grand Seigneurs aux Blancs Manteaux, p.28.

 

[10] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.6.

 

[11] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar I: The Knights (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[12] Judith Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press (1992); Henri de Curzon, La Régle du Temple as a Military Manual (1886 AD).

 

Freemasonic Heritage Does Not Include Templar Grand Mastery

F (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgFreemasonry gives its 33rd degree the honourary title of “Knights Templar”, in tribute to the surviving Templars who inspired creation of the fraternity ca. 1446 AD. The word “Templar” is simply an adjective, meaning “related or pertaining to” the traditions of the Knights Templar. Merely using that word or phrase, which was never part of the proper official name of the Order, does not make a group part of the historical institution of the Order of the Temple of Solomon from 1118 AD.

 

The primary founder of Freemasonry, William Sinclair, was a hereditary descendant of Hughes de Payens, the 1st Grand Master of the Templar Order. However, by the rules and protocols of chivalry under customary international law, succession of the Order was vested exclusively in its Grand Mastery, under Royal patronage of the Kingdom of Jerusalem [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7], and under its own Ecclesiastical sovereignty of the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon [8] [9] [10] [11].

 

By definition, the original Grand Mastery followed succession only directly through other Grand Masters, and not by branching hereditary descendants nor external nobility patrons. During the 700 years of abeyance, legitimacy of succession could only lawfully follow the Royal line of King Fulk of Jerusalem, and the priestly initiatory succession of the surviving Templar Priesthood. The modern Order of the Temple of Solomon legally recovered, re-established and restored its original Grand Mastery, by direct succession from both the King Fulk line and also the Templar Priesthood, from 2007-2013.

 

Therefore, the heritage of Freemasonry and the Sinclair dynasty do not include actual succession of the 12th century chivalric Order of the Temple of Solomon nor its Grand Mastery. However, they do have an important cultural connection to its traditions, and have their own history of supporting the survival of the Order into the modern era, which is valued and respected. The fully restored Order of the Temple of Solomon, in its own independent sovereignty with its original Grand Mastery, is accessible to all Freemasons who desire a living connection to their authentic cultural and conceptual roots.

 

[1] Collier’s Encyclopedia (1985), “Knights Templars”.

 

[2] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[3] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”, p.493.

 

[4] William of Tyre, Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (ca. 1172 AD), XII, 7, Patrologia Latina, 201, 526-27, Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee (1962), pp.70-73.

 

[5] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[6] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[7] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.5.

 

[8] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum (29 March 1139), translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.59-65.

 

[9] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.8.

 

[10] Pope Eugenius, Militia Dei (7 April 1145), translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.65-66.

 

[11] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”.

 

'Priory of Sion' Has No Claim to the Templar Grand Mastery

V (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgVarious self-styled groups have emerged in the 20th century, claiming to be a 12th century secret society called the “Priory of Sion”, which purportedly represents “Merovingian bloodlines”. Proponents of the mythical Priory of Sion claim that it was a parallel “sister” Order to the Templars, established on Temple Mount in 1099 AD, supposedly established under Godfrey de Bouillon (1060-1100 AD) of the First Crusade, who became the first Regent of the new Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099 AD in the Holy Sepulchre, and used the title “Defender of the Holy Sepulchre”. They claim that the Priory had Grand Masters who overlapped with the Templar Grand Mastery until 1188 AD.

 

Adherents to “Priory of Sion” groups use the loose connections to Temple Mount, the First Crusade and the Holy Sepulchre, and the date 19 years before the Knights Templar were founded in 1118 AD, to claim some vague authority over the Grand Mastery of the Order of the Temple of Solomon. However, the only group established on Temple Mount in 1099 AD was the Abbey of Our Lady of Mount Zion, which was purely a Roman Catholic monastery, was not any secret society, and was wholly merged into the Vatican Jesuit Order in 1617 AD and thus extinguished [1]. Also, the Knights Templar were founded solely under King Baldwin II, who in fact immediately removed the Templar Order from the jurisdiction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre [2].

 

The claims of a secret “Priory of Sion” were conclusively disproven by authoritative 21st century historians. The British Barrister Dominic Selwood, an Oxford and Sorbonne scholar and historian for the London daily Telegraph newspaper, proved that no such secret society had any involvement in Templar roots [3]. Cambridge University historian and Professor Emeritus Johnathan Riley-Smith confirmed that there is no trace of any “Priory of Sion” ever having existed, and that its claims simply “did not happen” [4]. The French historian and Director of Police Archives at Paris headquarters, Claude Charlot, proved that the “Priory” was invented by Pierre Plantard “de Saint-Claire” in 1956, who in 1953 was convicted of criminal fraud for creating fictitious organizations.

 

French Police found that the “Priory” was not named after anything in Jerusalem, but rather a local “Mont Sion” near Plantard’s home in Annemasse, France. Police proved that all claimed historical documents were forged and planted in the Biblioteque Nationale de Paris ca. 1965 by Plantard and his cohorts [5] [6]. The French Instruction Judge Thierry Jean-Pierre ordered a raid of Plantard’s home in 1993, which uncovered a hoard of false documents, and Plantard admitted under oath that he had fabricated everything, including the involvement of claimed Grand Masters of the Priory [7].

 

[1] Memoires de la Societe Nationale des Antiquaires de France, Vol. XLVIII, French National Library in Paris, File Reference No. 8-O2F-762.

 

[2] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[3] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[4] Ed Bradley, The Priory of Sion: Is The ‘Secret Organization’ Fact or Fiction? (27 April 2006), article from “60 Minutes” journalistic exposee, CBS News.

 

[5] Jean-Luc Chaumeil, Rennes-le-Chateau – Gisors – Le Testament du Prieure de Sion: Le Crepuscule d’une Tenebreuse Affaire, Editions Pegase (2006).

 

[6] Ed Bradley, The Priory of Sion: Is The ‘Secret Organization’ Fact or Fiction? (27 April 2006), article from “60 Minutes” journalistic exposee, CBS News.

 

[7] Affaire Pelat: Le Rapport du Judge (8-14 January 1994), Le Point, No.1112, p.11; Philippe Laprevote, Note sur l’Actualite du Prieure de Sion, in Politica Hermetica (1996), No.10, pp.140-151.

 

Secret Societies and Bloodlines Have No Role in Templar Order

I (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgIn modern times, various secret societies have attempted to claim affiliation with the “Knights Templar”, whether to boost their credibility, to gain popularity, or to claim some historical basis for an otherwise fictitious group. Misappropriating the Templar name is also disinformation, to deflect blame for their own illegal and anti-humanitarian agendas, shifting blame to discredit the institution which is historically proven to be the most dedicated sworn defender against such evil groups.

 

The Templar Order has no relation to the “Bavarian Illuminati” secret society, which cannot be associated except by mistakenly confusing the Knights Templar with the completely separate fraternity of Freemasonry, which also is not the “Illuminati”, but has only sometimes been infiltrated by its followers. While the Templar Order was founded ca. 1118 AD, Freemasonry was not created until about 330 years later in 1446 AD [1], and the “Illuminati” was not created until about 660 years later in 1776 AD [2]. Historical Templarism and authentic Freemasonry are both fundamentally opposed to the anti-humanitarian beliefs and illegal agendas of the “Illuminati”.

 

The Templar Order also has no relation to any “Priory of Sion”, a fictitious claimed secret society whose existence is wholly contradicted by facts of the historical record [3]. While the Bavarian Illuminati is obsessed with elitist supremacy of Khazarian bloodlines, as a secret “black nobility” and “hidden hand” pursuing global domination, adherents of the mythical “Priory of Sion” are obsessed with promoting elitist supremacy of Merovingian and “dragon” bloodlines, associated with ancestry of the historical Jesus, also claiming a right to rule the world.

 

Both groups are characterized by utter disdain for humanity, and flagrant disregard for all human rights, believing they are “above the law”. Their modus operandi is extreme arrogance and egotism, threats and intimidation, lies and deception, dismissing or discrediting all facts and evidence of truth, false defamation, and sabotage. Their trademark is that everything they claim is always without any scrap of truth, insisting they are right only “because they say so”, only because of “who they are”.

 

The philosophy of elitist control and bloodline superiority promoted by various self-styled “secret society” groups fundamentally violates all genuine doctrines of Templarism, and finds no place nor tolerance within the Order:

 

The Temple Rule of Saint Bernard of 1129 AD strictly requires modesty, humility, and a dedication to social justice [4]. The Knights Templar established and fought for the Magna Carta in 1215 AD, imposing the first charter of civil rights and human rights on the King, insisting that royal bloodlines can never be “above the law” [5] [6] [7] [8]. The Templar Code of Chivalry also strictly required to “defend the weak against abuses by the strong”, and to always fight “against all evil and injustice” [9]. Elitist supremacy thus has no role in the world of Templarism.

 

[1] Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe, The Warriors and Bankers, Lewis Masonic, Surrey England (2006), pp.36-37, pp.78-79.

 

[2] Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Richmond VA, Macoy Publishing (1966), p.474, p.1099.

 

[3] Ed Bradley, The Priory of Sion: Is The ‘Secret Organization’ Fact or Fiction? (27 April 2006), article from “60 Minutes” journalistic exposee, CBS News.

 

[4] Judith Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press (1992); Henri de Curzon, La Régle du Temple as a Military Manual (1886 AD).

 

[5] Hugh Chisholm, “Fitzwalter, Robert” in Encyclopedia Britannica (1911), 11th Edition, Cambridge University Press, p.449.

 

[6] T.F. Tout, “Fitzwalter, Robert” in Leslie Stephen, Dictionary of National Biography (1889), London, Smith Elder & Co., p.226.

 

[7] Gabriel Ronay, The Tartar Khan’s Englishman, London, Cassel (1978), pp.38-40.

 

[8] Lord Judge Master of the Temple, The Greatest Knight, in The Inner Temple Yearbook: 2013-2014, Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, pp.14-15.

 

[9] Emile Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie (1883), 3rd Edition (1985).

 

What Templars are Expected to Do - Leaders Not Followers

S (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgSince its 12th century foundations, the Knights Templar Order has always been an institution of leaders, and not followers. Templar Knights and Dames were visible public role models of tradition, culture, spirituality, ethics and humanitarian values. Through setting an example by active leadership, all of these qualities they caused to become famously known worldwide as the character of “chivalry”. The Order has always remained a professional organization of leaders advancing civilization.

 

Therefore, Templar members should not have to “change their life”, nor be “ordered” to do anything, because members are selected and knighted based upon their own self-motivated leadership qualities and skills. Members are chosen precisely because they already have the character of chivalry, and already pursue knightly Quests, and are simply seeking to unite and join forces with like-minded top talents. The role of the Order is thus to serve as a professional organization and resource for providing wisdom, guiding direction and coordination for the collective volunteer efforts of individual members, giving them enhanced global impact.

 

Not a “Secret Society” – Public Institution Sharing Knowledge

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe original Templar Order was never intended to be a “secret society,” but rather a very public institution of popular prestige.  Even while surviving as an underground network during the 700 years of abeyance of its Grand Mastery, individual Knights and Dames of the Order were generally not “secret” about their beliefs, nor their affinity for cultural Templarism, only exercising the basic human right to privacy when necessary to avoid persecution.

 

Popularized ideas that the Templar Knighting Ceremony and Vow were “secret”, are proven false by the historical record. Even the Saracen leader Saladin himself received the Ceremony and swore the Vow ca. 1190 AD. This was also shared with enough other people, that it was eventually published by circulating manuscripts ca. 1250 AD [1]. These facts prove that the Templar initiation was not really a “secret” at all.

 

The literary genre of Arthurian Tales was created and promoted by the 12th century Knights Templar, purposely to widely share the esoteric knowledge, ancient mythology and sacred wisdom of the Templar Priesthood. The first Arthurian Grail story was written by the Templar Chretien de Troyes ca. 1188 AD. The Holy Grail themes were a metaphor for Templar Gnosticism and spiritual alchemy, given a Celtic theme to connect them to ancient priestly civilizations [2]. Proving that these Gnostic teachings were not “secret”, the Templars made these educational Arthurian Legends widely available to the general public [3].

 

The Templar Order does not believe in “secret knowledge” nor “secret agendas”.  Sacred knowledge is not sparingly trickled down from “higher” to “lower” members, but instead is actively taught to all members, as much and as fast as they desire to study and learn. All Templars should be masters of the ancient wisdom, and all Knights and Dames should share full and unlimited knowledge of the collective Templar heritage. This leaves no possibility for any “secret agenda” of the Grand Mastery that would not be fully known by all members.

 

The ancient sacred knowledge is inherently the collective heritage of humanity, and was never supposed to be “secret.” The only reason such information has been “secret,” is simply because it was suppressed or overlooked as “lost history,” and not because it was ever meant to be hidden from the shared consciousness of mankind. It is the primary mission and strict policy of the Knights Templar to ensure that all “secrets” of humanity are reassembled, restored, and published for the world, to the fullest extent of our institutional capabilities.

 

[1] Brad Miner, The Compleat Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide to Chivalry, Spence Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas (2004), pp.43-44; citing Ordene de Chevalerie, France (ca. 1250 AD).

 

[2] Alan Butler and Stephen Dafoe, The Warriors and the Bankers, Lewis Masonic, Surrey, England (2006), pp.56-57.

 

[3] Norma Lorre Goodrich, The Holy Grail, Harper Perennial (1993), p.272.

 

No Prohibition nor Penalty for “Leaving” the Order

H (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgHistorically, in the original Templar Order since 1118 AD, there has never been any prohibition against leaving the Order, and certainly not any negative consequences whatsoever for doing so. There are no cases in the historical record of any person ever wanting or needing to actually “leave” the Order, because there was never any negative aspect of its Knighthood or Priesthood which could create any need to do so.

 

The historical record evidences that Templars were allowed to leave (or retire), as proven by the original Temple Rule of 1129 AD. Under Rule 66, many Knights served for a “fixed term”, and thus were agreed and expected to leave. Under Rule 58, many Knights leaving the Order actually received “tithes” as a form of “parting bonus”, and in many cases were actually given a horse and weapons to keep. [1]  Thus, parting with the Order is something that is done very much in good standing, and with appreciation and gratitude from the Order.

 

As a result of the above history and facts, there is no known existing procedure for a member to officially “leave,” but all members of the modern Templar Order are certainly free to do so. It seems that this would be accomplished very naturally, by a person simply choosing not to tell anybody that they are a Templar, and simply becoming inactive and not requesting to participate in any new projects. The result would be an “open door” for the person to return, merely by choosing to resume using their previous status, at any time of their choosing.

 

[1] Judith Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press (1992); Henri de Curzon, La Régle du Temple as a Military Manual (1886 AD), “Rule 58”, “Rule 66”.

 

Cultural Relationship to Roman Catholic Vatican

D (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgDue to almost 200 years of historical involvement with the Vatican of the Roman Catholic Church, Knights and Dames of the Templar Order continue its culture of generally preferring Catholic expressions of faith. While the Order tends to support the Vatican, it is a separate historical institution with its own independent sovereignty, preserving the legitimacy of its own traditions.

 

The Order was founded in 1118 AD under the sovereign patronage of the Kingdom of Jerusalem [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7], and the Vatican did not give its additional sovereign patronage until 11 years later with the Temple Rule of 1129 AD [8]. When the Vatican suspended its patronage of the Templars in 1312 AD, the Order automatically legally reverted to its prior patronage from the Kings of Jerusalem, which had never been terminated. The Order re-acquired that original patronage from a legalized Royal line of King Fulk of Jerusalem in 2007, which was upgraded to Royal Protection of independent sovereignty in 2013.

 

Separate from the issue of patronage, the Vatican Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum (1139 AD) also granted the Order permanent Ecclesiastical Protection of independent sovereignty [9] [10]. The text evidences that this was based upon recognition of the Order’s own inherent ecclesiastical authority from the Templar Priesthood. It clarified that the Templars were independent, but were actually established in the role of “Defenders of the Church”. (For this reason in Vox in Excelsis (1312 AD) the Vatican merely disposed of property which it held for the Order, which in fact was not dissolved, stating it was merely politically “suppressed”, and “not by definitive sentence”, as it had already granted independence.)

 

The Templar Order reconnected to that Papal Bull granting its own authority, when it restored Magistral Succession of its original Grand Mastery in 2013, from a Royal line of King Fulk and separately through canonical succession from the Templar Priesthood. Continuing its role established in that Papal Bull, the Order faithfully continues its cherished role as Defenders of the Church in the modern era.

 

[1] Collier’s Encyclopedia (1985), “Knights Templars”.

 

[2] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[3] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”, p.493.

 

[4] William of Tyre, Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (ca. 1172 AD), XII, 7, Patrologia Latina, 201, 526-27, Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee (1962), pp.70-73.

 

[5] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[6] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[7] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.5.

 

[8] Judith Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press (1992); Henri de Curzon, La Régle du Temple as a Military Manual (1886 AD).

 

[9] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum (29 March 1139), translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.59-65.

 

[10] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”.

 

Vatican Status Replaced by Inherent Ecclesiastical Sovereignty

W (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgWhile the Templar Order willingly served the Vatican for almost 200 years with dedication, it did so voluntarily, and neither its existence nor legitimacy was dependent upon recognition nor continued patronage from the Vatican.

 

Contrary to popular misconceptions, the Order always had its own pre-existing sovereign patronage from the Templar Kings of Jerusalem [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7], and also its own ecclesiastical sovereignty from the ancient Templar Priesthood (which the first Knights recovered from the Temple of Solomon ca. 1118 AD) [8] [9] [10] [11] [12], which is the Biblical and most ancient Magi Priesthood of Melchizedek (from ca. 10,068 BC). The Templar Priesthood holds inherent legitimacy under Canon Law, by its history of initiatory and doctrinal succession from Apostolic traditions.

 

The Vatican Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum (1139 AD) also granted the Order full Ecclesiastical Protection of permanent sovereignty, making it exempt from Vatican jurisdiction, while installing the Templars as independent “Defenders of the Church” [13] [14]. The text evidences that this was based upon recognition of the Order’s own inherent ecclesiastical authority from the Temple of Solomon. By this Papal Bull, the Vatican recognized the Templar Order as having a classical Church in its own right, representing its own Templar denomination of Ancient Catholicism.

 

Nevertheless, true to the traditional Templar style of modesty and humility (“Non Nobis Domine…”), the Order never relied upon its own authorities, happy to serve other established Churches for the greater good. By not publicly asserting its own ecclesiastical sovereignty, the Templar Order lost the advantage of public political weight of its official independence, and thus was not able to assert it to stop its persecution and suppression in 1307-1312 AD. For this reason, the modern Order has fully restored, and for the first time publicly asserts, its inherent ecclesiastical sovereignty of its Templar Priesthood as the canonical denomination of Ancient Catholicism.

 

[1] Collier’s Encyclopedia (1985), “Knights Templars”.

 

[2] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), pp.4-5.

 

[3] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”, p.493.

 

[4] William of Tyre, Historia Rerum in Partibus Transmarinis Gestarum (ca. 1172 AD), XII, 7, Patrologia Latina, 201, 526-27, Translated by James Brundage, The Crusades: A Documentary History, Marquette University Press, Milwaukee (1962), pp.70-73.

 

[5] Ernoul & Bernard, Chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Tresorier (ca. 1188), Ed. L. de Mas Latrie, Paris (1871), Chapter 2, pp.7-8.

 

[6] Dominic Selwood, Knights Templar III: Birth of the Order (2013), historian for Daily Telegraph of London, article.

 

[7] Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), p.5.

 

[8] Michael Lamy, Les Templiers: Ces Grand Seigneurs aux Blancs Manteaux, p.28.

 

[9] Charles G. Addison, The History of the Knights Templar (1842), p.6, citing the document De Aedificiis by historian Procopius of Caesarea as “Procopius de Oedificiis Justiniani, lib. 5.”

 

[10] Josephus, Jewish War, Loeb Classical Library, translation by William Whiston (1736), 5:212 and 5:217.

 

[11] Keith Laidler, The Head of God: The Lost Treasure of the Templars, London (1998), p.177; Piers Paul Read, The Templars, Phoenix Press, London (2001), p.305.

 

[12] Henry Lincoln, Shadow of the Templars, documentary film, BBC London (1979), at 8:05 min.

 

[13] Pope Innocent II, Omne Datum Optimum (29 March 1139), translated in: Malcolm Barber & Keith Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources, Manchester University Press (2002), pp.59-65.

 

[14] The Vatican, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company (1907), “Knights Templars”.

 

Mandate for Non-Violence – Prohibition of Autonomous Use of Force

H (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgHistorically, the original medieval Knights of Solomon were holy “warrior monks”, highly trained skilled soldiers, who strictly followed religious and spiritual pursuits of esoteric knowledge and communion with God. The delicate balance of spirituality with warrior functions is not easily understood, and must be studied by initiates. Therefore, the famous “military” aspect is only one part of its dual nature, and must not be taken out of context.

 

Even in medieval times, the Knights Templar did not independently use autonomous military force. They did so strictly under sovereign authorization at the request and by permission of a King, Pope or leader of a country, thus serving as an official “regiment” adjunct to a government’s official army. Therefore, following that true tradition in its proper context, members of the Order who wish to explore their heritage as “warrior monks” now do so exclusively by official law enforcement, military or national security service in the official agencies or ministries of established governments.

 

In contemporary times, to the great disapproval of the authentic Order of the Temple of Solomon, various vigilantes, street gangs or infamous criminals have claimed to be “inspired” by the “Knights Templar.” This reflects a superficial misunderstanding of a very vague concept of merely “fighting” for what the person believes is a “noble cause,” out of context. Such isolated instances of violence are condemned by the Order.

 

The Order of the Temple of Solomon, by declaration of its Grand Mastery, has a strict mandate for non-violence, and a standing prohibition against any autonomous use of force. Any members or associates who independently use force to cause any harm to any person, if not in lawful self-defense, and if not in official government service with proper authorization, will be swiftly excommunicated from the Order.

 

No Interests in Modern Jerusalem

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Templar Order does not have any modern interests in the present day jurisdiction or territory of Jerusalem. All relevant knowledge, artifacts and heritage from Jerusalem were fully absorbed into the medieval Order and preserved throughout Europe for successive generations. The reacquisition of Magistral Succession of the Grand Mastery from a legalized Royal line of King Fulk of Jerusalem, which was a transitory one-time accomplishment, does not create nor leave any remaining connection to Jerusalem.

 

The core basis and ultimate root of all sacred Templar knowledge of the Solomonic tradition is concentrated in the historical record and archaeology of the Middle East, particularly centered in the country of Egypt. As a means to best continue the historical mission of continually giving “new life” to ancient esoteric knowledge in contemporary times, the Order maintains a base of operations for archaeology in Egypt, headquartered in Luxor, the “capital” of Temples associated with the Solomonic tradition, and home of the “Valley of the Kings.”  The Egyptian Temples are the true sites for authentic Templar Pilgrimage in the modern era.

 

Hereditary Templars Despite Ecclesiastical Celibacy

I (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgIt is widely known and frequently repeated that Knights Templar were considered “celibate,” following Vatican rules for Clergy under Canon law. From reference to this isolated fact, without clarification or details, the existence of many “hereditary” descendants of the original medieval Knights Templar appears confusing.

 

The Knights Templar were never prohibited from marrying and having wives, nor having offspring and descendants. Indeed, the majority of Knights joined the Templars from their dynastic families of nobility, and if not permitted to continue their family lines through heirs to preserve their heritage, most would never have joined and served in the Order.

 

In practice, by established Knights Templar traditions, most knights did have wives and raised families. They were only required to be “celibate” during periods of active service in military campaigns. According to secret archives of the Franciscan Order (under the Vatican), by Templar protocols, when a Knight was married or engaged to be married, his lady was required to wait for him while living in a Roman Catholic monastery.

 

Thus, joining the Knights Templar was a joint decision by a couple, which meant holy service of both spouses, the male in military campaigns, and the female in monastic religious service. This also ensured the safety and monastic protection of the female spouse during the Knight’s active military service, giving all knights confidence and peace of mind that their beloved ladies would be waiting when they return home.

 

In modern times, the Order of the Temple of Solomon has no requirement of “celibacy,” but has a definite requirement of loyalty and fidelity to fiancées and spouses.

 

Organizational Legal Entity & Non-Profit Foundation

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe Sovereign Magistral Order of the Temple of Solomon, as a subject of international law with full statehood, independence and governmental authority, should never be registered as a mere incorporated legal entity in any jurisdiction. It has survived as an underground network (asserting privacy rights only to avoid persecution) for over 700 years, without need for any authorization as a legal entity, and its own original sovereignty predates that of most modern governments.

 

The Order operates through its own subsidiary non-profit incorporation in the United States, the “Order of the Temple of Solomon Foundation”, which benefits from automatic statutory “501(a)” tax exemption, and all donations are tax-deductible under 170(c)(2) and 170(c)(4) of the US Tax Code. The Foundation is a United Nations registered non-governmental organization (NGO) as a Religious NGO institution.

 

The non-profit Foundation also accepts donations through other non-profit institutions acting as fiduciary trustees. This helps to protect funds from potential unlawful interference, and provides tax exemption appropriate to the state sovereignty of the Order represented by the Foundation, and tax-deductibility of donations appropriate to the charitable missions of the Order.

 

Cooperation with Independent Templar Revival Groups

T (100) Knights Templar Illuminated Letters www.knightstemplarorder.orgThe original Order of the Temple of Solomon respects various organizations of revivalist “Templars,” as enthusiasts of cultural Templarism, who have played a productive role in historical preservation efforts, and have provided networking capabilities to both hereditary and revivalist Templars of the medieval tradition. The Grand Mastery believes that all groups have a role and a place to fit in to the overall Templar movement, and that each group — and each individual — holds certain “keys” to different doors, and has their own “piece of the puzzle” contributing to the big picture. This is the philosophical basis for the modern mission of outreach and reciprocal cooperation.

 

The Templar Order endeavors to offer independent revival groups the support of contributions of infrastructure, and new infusions of ancient Templar knowledge. The Order also offers external groups a channel of participation in the larger movement of exploring and preserving the sacred ancient roots of the Order, while maintaining their own autonomy.

 

The modern Order was developed to serve as shared infrastructure, to most effectively advance the collective interests of cultural Templarism worldwide, exercising official capacities in the international arena for maximum global impact.  All Templar groups who genuinely and wholly represent goodness, lawfulness and social justice are welcome to benefit from the resources and capabilities of the Order.

 

Most revival Orders or self-styled Orders of cultural Templarism call their organization a “Grand Priory”, which is necessary in the absence of an actual Grand Mastery of chivalric legitimacy, truthfully admitting that they are not connected to a historically and legally legitimate Grand Mastery. This is not a mistake nor a defect, but rather an opportunity. The best way for such groups to fully connect to the original Order of the Temple of Solomon, while preserving their own independence and autonomy, is precisely to become an official Grand Priory of the Order, and receive the recognition, endorsement and support of its official Grand Mastery.

 

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