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Re: Real Templars
So, the perrennial question did the Templars survive the suppression? rears
its head again. I suppose, from time to time, it always will. Let us try and
get some agreement on basic truth and then look carefully at what really
happened after the suppresion and then assess the various claims to
continuity made by several organisations that exist today.
Firstly the original order with its rule, structure and objectives was
suppressed by the pope and, in its original form, ceased to exist. Following
the supression, one order arose which was truly and unarguably neo-Templar
in that it took over Templar knights, changed its allegaince from the pope
to the King of Portugal and fairly rapidly developed new rules of entry and
membership and completely different objectives - namely the Knights of
Christ. This can quite properly be described as neo-Templar, but not as a
Templar continuation. It had changed too much for that..
The Knights of Calatrava, the Knights of Alcantara and the Knights of
Santiago took in as members many ex-Templars, but as their rules,
obligations and objectives were very different indeed form the original
order, they can porperly be considered as havens for ex-Templars but do not
fall into either the category of Templar or neo-Templar survivals.
Templar tradition was kept alive in one form or another, especially in
Scotland, by various failies who had been involved in the inner circles of
the original Templar order. However, while this factor is important and
richly desreves deeper study, particularly as it pertains to the Seatons, St
Clairs and Dalhousies among others, the preservation of Templar tradition
and its celebration in Rosslyn Chapel cannot be claimed as a route of direct
continuation of the original order - despite the often vociferous claims
made in that direction by Bob Brydon and other mebers of the modern
so-called 'Templar Orders' who claim continuity with the original order.
As to those modern revivals claiming continuity, be they in Europe, England,
Scotland or the Americas, mostly base their claim to continuity on 'Charter
of Transmission of Larmenius'. To those who blindly accept the validity of
this charter - one of the most controversial documents studied by historians
from the time of its supposed discovery to the present day - I urge caution.
I challenge them in precisely the same way I challenged Sinclair of
labehotierre some time ago. Go and se the original. If you do not speak
french, take anexpert linguist with a knowledge of French semantics and
lingusitic development with you. You will find that this allegedly
fourteenth century document, written in cipher, translated into Latin and
then French is composed in a style with distinct and incontroveribly
diagnostic eighteeth century idiom, uses terms and phraseology which are
indubitably of Masonic usage and origin of the same period. Rather odd for a
pice of paper claiming ostensibly to be of early fourteenth century origin.
Opinion about the autheniticity of this pivotal piece of evidence in support
of Templar survival (which includes a list of alleged Grand-Masters of the
order following Jaques de Molay) has always been shaply divided. Most
independant analysts, using its own internal linguistic content as a basis,
denounce it as a fraudulent creation probably confected by the alleged
finder, Dr. Beranrd Raymond Fabre-Papaprat or one of his associates. Those
who, with equal force, stridently support its authenticity, are either
members of supposed modern Templar orders of one sort or another, or authors
for whom it provides a convenient support for one of their pet themes or
another. No independant historian that I have met has, as yet, come out in
favour of its authenticity. However, as many members of modern revived
Templar orders are people of some influence, I have no doubt that this
particular hare will run and run.
Do not take my word for this - go and see for yourself.
Irrespective of the above, let me conclude by saying that the original
Templar order was suppressed by papal decree and ceased to exist as an
ongoing, cohesive, recognisable, corporate entity. Yet, Templar tradition
did survive, although its form was undoubtedly subject to a process of
change as the generations passed, and that, furthermore that this is a
profitable area of study. Secondly, some orders can quite accurately be
described as neo-Templar, such as the Knights of Christ and probably the
Order of the Fleur de-Lys. It may well be appropriate to describe the orders
of Lazarus or the order of St Anthony in a similar vein, although that
subject too deserves further investigation.
The claim made by Prince Michael, that King James of Scotland authorised
various grants or charters in favour of late sixteenth or early seventeeth
century neo-Templar revivals, will almost certainly stand up as his
scholarship in that area is meticulous. Any claims made by Chris Knight and
Bob Lomas, lovely people though they are, should, in this field at least, be
regarded with considerable scepticisim.Their undoubted expertise lies in the
field of internal Masonic research where their knowledge and experience far
exceeds my own - althout it must be said that their accuracy in that area
has been questiomed on more than one occaision by other scholars in that
Let us therefore quite properly investigate the following:
What happened to surviving members of the Templar order?.
What happened to the property and wealth of the original order?
Who kept Templar tradtion alive - and how?
Which orders may be accurately described as neo-Templar?
But please I beg of you all - do not waste your time going down the blind
alleys of alleged Templar survival or the many fascinating but completely
spurious trails laid down in 'The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail'.
Lets have some real history and debate on your findings and opinions.
Debate is heathy and productive.