The knights templars

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A couple of hundred people cheer. The crowd is mostly dressed in business attire, but Auteri is wearing medieval-style armor: a shirt of steel-link mail, a mail coif on his head, plate armor on his shoulders and white linen robes emblazoned with a red cross. The outfit weighs 65 pounds and can cause problems for airline baggage handlers. His sword, modeled on one from the Ridley Scott movie Kingdom of Heaven, is not battle sharp, but it cuts sponge cake easily enough. By day Joe Auteri, 49, is a partner in a financial planning company based in Pennsylvania.

This evening, though, he is Hugh de Payns, a French knight who died in after establishing a military order known as the Knights Templar. It is Memorial Day weekend and we are in a hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, where about members of the autonomous Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem have gathered to mark the th birthday of the Knights Templar. Members of the charitable organization, known by the unwieldy abbreviation SMOTJ, regard themselves as spiritual descendants of the original Templars.

No matter.

The Future Lies In The Past

The original Knights Templar—shorthand for the Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem—were founded to protect Christian pilgrims on the roads of Palestine following the First Crusade; the group was named for its original headquarters on the Temple Mount. In their day, though, the Templar organization was rich. It owned property stretching from Britain to Syria, profits from which were used to fund military expeditions in the Holy Land and charitable deeds across the West.

The order boasted considerable financial acumen, providing international banking and credit-transfer services. It counted the pope and kings of France among its clients. Templar brothers across Europe were arrested, charged with crimes including sodomy, blasphemy and worshiping false idols; they were imprisoned, tortured and forced to make false confessions. In March a church council formally abolished the order.

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Its property was confiscated and its members stripped of their rank. In the last Master, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake in Paris. That grisly demise has lent the Templars lasting notoriety and a thick shrouding of myth. The Templars have also been widely revived and imitated for purposes both benign and sinister since at least , when the Scottish Freemason Andrew Michael Ramsey wrote a pseudo-history of Masonry that claimed ties to the medieval Templars.

Mystery of the Knights Templars: Protectors or Treasure Hunters on a Secret Mission?

Today Templar revivalism remains strong. Templar iconography is popular with European neo-fascists: The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik claimed to be a Templar, and Knights Templar International is an online network that connects far-right activists, particularly in Britain. In Mexico, a drug cartel called Los Caballeros Templarios has borrowed from Templar symbolism to create its own brand and code of honor. Templar imitation is enduringly popular but seldom historically literate.

Yet the Templars I meet in Nashville are mostly fascinated by the history, at times exhaustingly so. They have recently self-published a long, painstakingly footnoted book about Templarism over the centuries. Their internal literature liberally cites medieval texts such as those of St. For the men and women I encounter, being a 21st-century Templar is about far more than medieval cosplay with a donation cup: It is participation in a living metaphor for evangelical Christian advocacy, financial expertise, internationalism and a militaristic ethos of duty and service to the cause.

SMOTJ was founded in the s under the umbrella of an older, international network of Templar revivalists called Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, which was itself formally recognized by Napoleon Bonaparte in They are attached to 33 priories from Arizona to Wisconsin, and many stay in touch via a closed-membership smartphone app. To try to combat confusion, SMOTJ has a legal officer called the Grand Avocat who works on registering trademarks to guard its brand identity. A faltering war in the middle east. A global financial network unaccountable to any government.

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  • A sinister plot founded on a web of lies. The main function of the tax-exempt SMOTJ is raising money for Christian causes in the Holy Land: funding schools and scholarships in places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bethany and Ramleh, and sponsoring children through Christian schools. But members also sit in an advisory capacity on committees in the United Nations, and claim informal involvement in international diplomacy. Some dream of one day having the order restored to papal favor with recognition by the Vatican.

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    There are also perks of membership. Auteri maintains that there is a seriousness to the dress-up. The knights and dames who join them wear white mantles with red crosses. Many men wear military formalwear underneath. The modern order recruits strongly from the officer classes of the U.

    In Nashville I meet several one- and two-star generals and many colonels, majors and captains. A 2-year-old Rottweiler service dog named Tique wears a Templar-themed doggy jacket. She has dressed for the occasion in a red business suit and high heels.

    Four days ago, Barbara and Joe Auteri got married; between preparing for her own investiture Barbara has been helping Joe in and out of his Hugh de Payns outfit. The service takes three hours. When the postulants are dubbed, they kneel and Carney taps them on the shoulders with a sword. Another official touches a riding spur to their heels.

    The night before the ceremony there had been some discussion as to whether the tradition of kneeling is vital. A couple of the postulants are older: One is an elderly ex-Marine who fought in the Korean War and no longer gets up and down easily. After the dubbings come many awards. I count 27, mostly promotions to various quasi-military orders of merit.

    There is a ceremonial changing of Grand Prior. The Grand Webmaster is given a meritorious service award. The Grand Archivist gets a medal.

    Knights Templar origins

    A Muslim data analyst and faith leader from New York is inducted into the order of merit and given white robes presented without a red cross ; he is lauded for bringing faith groups together. I wonder if everyone is pleased. Although it is all plainly nonsensical, ambivalence toward Muslims is in tune with Templar history; many of the original order died fighting Islamic armies, yet the 12th-century Syrian writer Usama ibn Munqidh praised the Templars for clearing a space in their chapel in Jerusalem so he could pray toward Mecca.

    Once the service is complete, the Templars shuffle out of church and return to their hotel for a cocktail reception and dinner.

    Knights Templar win heresy reprieve after years - Reuters

    The Catholic Church has acknowledged that the persecution of the Knights Templar was unjustified. The church claims that Pope Clement was pressured by secular rulers to destroy the order. While most historians agree that the Knights Templar fully disbanded years ago, there are some people who believe the order went underground and remains in existence in some form to this day.

    Currently, there are several international organizations styled after the Knights Templar that the public can join. These groups have representatives around the world and aim to uphold the values and traditions of the original medieval order. More recently, stories about the legendary Templars have found their way into popular books and movies. The popular novel and film The Da Vinci Code presents a theory that the Templars were involved in a conspiracy to preserve the bloodline of Jesus Christ. Who were the Knights Templar? Templar History: TemplarHistory. The Knights Templar: Slate.

    The Knights Templars: New Advent. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. This strategic Holy Land port came under Western control during the First Crusade—but changed hands several times after. In it was the last Christian-held fortress in the Holy Land when it fell to the Mamluks—one of the most devastating events in Templar, and Western, The Knights Templar were revered throughout medieval Europe as the fiercest, wealthiest and most powerful military order of the era. So how were they obliterated with such devastating swiftness?

    Lies, spies and torture—lots of torture—masterminded by a power-hungry, money-mad Others claim that the ancient Sumerians, who The medieval crusading period threw up literally dozens of military orders—knights sworn to lead religious lives as well as fighting the enemies of Christ.

    We never hear about the mysteries of the Hospitallers. Or the secret bloodline of Jesus guarded by the Teutonic Order. Many were killed while crossing through Muslim-controlled territory during their journey.

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