Thursday, March 15, 2012

Templar History & Renaissance

Templarism, its Modern History, and a Call for its


    There is much talk in today’s time about Orders, maybe not so much when compared with all the worlds concerns, but with the advent of the internet and globalization there is more talk than ever before on the subject. With all of this talk comes arguments regarding legitimacy, who is self-styled and who is not, who is older and who is not.  Naturally this would eventually spill over into Templarism. The Order of Knights Templar today is so divided by schisms and a questionable history that it is at times hard to determine who is who and what is what, it should be noted however that all current Templar Orders are currently considered to be self-styled. What makes them self-styled is that they lack a fons honorum; a chivalric order must have a fount of honour (or fons honorum) as either its founder or its principal patron in order to be considered a chivalric order; what is and is not self-styled is discussed in further detail here REGISTER OF ORDERS OF CHIVALRY .
Kadosch Degree & the Rite of Strict Observances
Templar cross. Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

    With that said the first Templar Order to rise from the Ashes of DeMolay was the French Lyons Kadosch degree in 1743, comprising the vengeance of the Templars, and thus laid the foundation for all the Templar rites. Of them all, Von Hund, and his Rite of Strict Observance, had the greatest influence on the Freemasonry of his time, and on the additional Orders to the present day.
     The Rite of Strict Observance was a Rite of Freemasonry, a series of progressive degrees that were conferred by the Order of Strict Observance, a Masonic body of the 18th century.
Baron Karl Gotthelf von Hund (1722–1776) introduced a new Scottish Rite to Germany, which he renamed "Rectified Masonry" and, after 1764, the "Strict Observance", while referring to the English system of Freemasonry as the "Late Observance."
Baron Von Hund
     The Rite appealed to German national pride, attracted the non-nobility, and was allegedly directed by "Unknown Superiors". The Strict Observance was particularly devoted to the reform of Masonry, with special reference to the elimination of the occult sciences which at the time were widely practiced in many lodges, and the establishment of cohesion and homogeneity in Masonry through the enforcement of strict discipline, the regulation of functions, etc.
     Despite its initial popularity, growing dissatisfaction among members over the failure to being initiated into the mysteries of the Unknown Superiors ("ascended masters" which were later claimed to be clerics of the Knights Templars) led to the Strict Observance being dissolved in 1782. (Link to Source)
    Karl Gotthelf Hund, Baron von Hund und Alten-Grotkau founded the Rite of Strict Observance in 1751, and promoted the idea of a Knights Templar lineage for Freemasonry. At the age of twenty he was chamberlain to the Elector of Cologne, and subsequently chamberlain to the Elector of Saxony, a Councillor of State and an adviser to the Habsburg Emperor.
Charles Edward Stuart
Baron von Hund was linked with the exiled Scottish 'court' surrounding Charles Edward Stuart, through which, he claimed, he had been initiated into a Templar Masonic Order in 1742. The French writer Jean Ursin writes in Création et histoire du Rite Écossais Rectifié (1993): "There is a debate over whether or not he made a voyage to England, or if it was in Paris that he was received into a Templar Chapter, in the presence of Lord Kilmarnock, by a mysterious knight of the red feather, Eques a Penna Rubra; he had the intimate conviction that it was the Stuart Pretender, Charles Edward, and that he had received from Unknown Superiors the mission to reform, to Rectify, Freemasonry."

Knights Beneficent of the Holy City (CBCS) or (RER)
Knights Beneficent of the Holy City (CBCS)

The Rectified Rite or CBCS (Knights Beneficent of the Holy City) is a Templar Order which has existed since 1782 having developed out of Von Hund’s Rite of Strict Observance. It began in France, but following Napoleon, the records were moved to Switzerland where it developed under the banner of the Grand Priory of Helvetia (Switzerland). The Rectified Scottish Rite (R.E.R.) is composed of a total of 6 Degrees including the first 3 Degrees of Symbolic Freemasonry which has caused some consternation in its development. The R.E.R. traces its ancestry to the ancient Order of Knights Templar and Grand Priories of the Rectified Rite are recognized as Templary by every Knights Templar Order in the world including the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. In fact, the R.E.R. operates in England under the auspices of the Great Priory of England and Wales with whom we have been in fraternal accord since the early 1900’s. (Link to Source)
The Birth of the RER and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz
Jean-Baptiste Willermoz was admitted to first grade in the Order of the Eleus Cohens at Versailles in 1767 on the recommendation of Bacon of Chivalerie and the Marquis de Lusignan. After the death of Martinez de Pasqually in September 1774, he engaged his friend and Choen-brother Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin to write a comprehensive review of the doctrine of the elect Coens, in the form of lessons, called "the Lessons of Lyon" to be held from January 7, 1774 to October 23, 1776. He said in a letter of 1780 to the Prince of Hesse that he was given the rank of Reau-Croix of the Order of Martinez Pasqually
In the 1770s, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz comes into contact with Baron von Hund and the German Order of the Strict Templar Observance (SOT) which he joined with the chevalric name Eques ab Eremo and Chancellor of the Chapter of Lyons. It was under his leadership that the "Convent of Gaul, Lyon was held in 1778 that recognized the degrees of Profess and Grand Profess of the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City (CBCS).
Due to disagreements within the SOT, Jean-Baptiste Willermoz organized in July 1782 the convent of Wilhelmsbad where 33 delegates attended in Europe and saw to the creation of the Rectified Scottish Rite There he defended the Martinesism currents place in the rite, through the delegacy of Joseph de Maistre who sent his famous Memorandum to the Duke of Brunswick, though this was not supported by the other delegates. (Link to Source)

Modern CBCS/RER Templars in America

This branch of the Order is now disbanded in America


Sometime between 1740 and 1770 the Rite of Strict Observances spread throughout freemasonry and made its way to Scotland, Ireland, England, and the Americas through the new degree of Knights Templar.
The history of the Order of the Temple, by Sir Patrick Colquhoun of London, England, published in 1878, is authority for the statement that in 1769 the Mother Kilwinning Lodge of Scotland issued a charter to Kilwinning Masonic Lodge of Dublin, which authorized the conferring of the degree of Knight Templar therein, but it would appear that the Order was found in Dublin prior to that date in the possession of military organizations composed of the soldiers of Scotland and Ireland. It is probably by this same military source that the Order was introduced into this country in Boston about the same period. Hughan, the great English Masonic authority, makes the positive statement that the first authentic record of the conferring of the Order is found in the minutes of St. Andrews Royal Arch Lodge in Boston under date August 28, 1769, where we read that "the petition of Bro. William Davis coming before the lodge begging to have and receive the parts belonging to a Royal Arch Mason, which being read, was received and he unanimously voted in, and was accordingly made by receiving the four steps, that of Excellent, Super-Excellent, Royal Arch, and Knight Templar." (Link to Source)
Like the history of Masonry prior to 1717, the early history of Masonic Templarism consists of the record of the meetings of Knights of the Order in various places for the purpose of conferring the same, without any constituted authority, by inherent right only, acting sometimes with and sometimes without the sanction of regular Masonic lodges. (Link to Source)
The records of this same St Andrews Royal Arch Chapter show that in December, 1769, "the petition of Bro. Paul Revere coming before the lodge begging to become an Arch Mason, it was received and he was unanimously accepted and accordingly made." He subsequently became in the same body a Knight Templar. In 1770 it was voted "that the M. M. Joseph Warren, Esq., should be made a Royal Arch Mason this evening, and he was accordingly made, gratis." The minutes of this body show the conferring of the order or degree of Knight Templar on about 50 candidates between the years 1769 and 1794. (Link to Source)
In the last decade of the eighteenth century encampments were formed by prominent Craftsmen in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, at Boston, Providence, Newburyport, and Portland (now in Maine), at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; at Wilmington, Delaware; at Albany and New York City; at Baltimore, Maryland; and at Charleston, South Carolina, in all of which encampments the Order of the Temple was conferred. (Link to Source)
The Grand Encampment of New York was organized in 1814; and was in a great measure an outgrowth from the "Sovereign Grand Consistory" organized by the well-known Masonic charlatan, Joseph Cerneau. (Link to Source)
Current Grandmaster

There were in existence in 1816 three sovereign grand bodies of the Order - Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and New York, in addition to which there were isolated encampments working in Connecticut, Maryland and South Carolina. The great organizers Webb and Fowle, having about twenty years previously launched the General Grand Chapter of the United States, endowed by their state Grand Encampment with more or less authority, along with some Templers from New York, held a convention in Philadelphia on June 11, 1816, where they met with delegates from Pennsylvania and endeavored to organize a United States Grand Encampment. Opposition developed thereto on the part of the delegates from Pennsylvania, who refused to concur in the adoption of a proposed constitution, preferring rather their own ritual, their own customs, and their own powers of government, being influenced largely by their connection with the Mother Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, to which they were then and until 1857 subject. Unsuccessful in their efforts, but still undaunted, Webb and Fowle stopped over in New York City on their way home and there, within ten days, organized what is today the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America; adopted a constitution, carefully prepared by Webb, which remained essentially unchanged until 1856; prepared a roster of officers substantially the same as at present prevailing; and named candidates for those offices from their two state jurisdictions, Webb and Fowle wisely subordinating themselves to Governor Clinton, whose civil position, along with his Masonic record and his powerful influence rendered him eminently fit to act as Grand Master of the organization. It remained only for the Knights of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and New York to ratify this action and make such changes in the constitution of their different bodies as were thereby necessary. (Link to Source)
During the thirty-six years following the formation of the Grand Encampment but six additional Grand Commanderies were added to its roster, a slow growth due solely to the persecution of the members of the Order for a score of years following the Morgan Excitement. During the fifties, ten Grand Commanderies were added to the list, when our great Civil War, along with its disturbance of the general affairs of the nation, for many years delayed the spread of the Order over the United States. Since that war its growth has been healthy and normal, and today we have forty-seven Grand Commanderies in the United States, with a total membership of over 368,000. (Link to Source)
Outside of the United States, the activities of modern Templarism are confined to the British nation, with whose Great Priories of England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada, we are, by the Concordat of 1910, in fraternal relationship. (Link to Source)

    Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat (29 May, 1773 – 18 February, 1838), founded a self-styled neo-Templar order called l'Ordre du Temple in 1804 and the Johannite Church in 1812 and proclaimed himself Grand Master of the Templars and Sovereign Pontiff of the Primitive Christian Catholic religion, opposing the Church of Saint Peter.
Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat
    Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat was the son of a surgeon and nephew of a priest in the diocese of Cahors. He studied at the diocesian seminary and was ordained a priest. Leaving the priesthood, he studied medicine in Montpellier and Caen, where he received his medical degree in April 1798. Moving to Paris the same year, he obtained another medical degree in September 1803, and became the director general of the Société médico-philanthropy.
    On 4 November 1804 Fabré-Palaprat founded the Order of the Temple and revealed the existence of the Larmenius Charter (or "Charter of Transmission"). Knights of the Order were always addressed as "Sir Knights". The Grand Master of the Order was addressed as "Most Eminent Highness, Very Great, Powerful, and Excellent Prince, and Most Serene Lord."
    The Larmenius Charter, allegedly written in Latin in 1324, listed 22 successive Grand Masters of the Knights Templar from 1324 to 1804, Fabré-Palaprat's name appearing last on the list. The Charter is named after Johannes Marcus Larmenius, who allegedly wrote the document and was allegedly appointed Grand Master by Jacques de Molay while imprisoned, also having the power to appoint his successor (Thomas Theobaldus Alexandrinus in 1324; the first name on the list). The list of Grand Masters in the Larmenius Charter differs from the list of 'Scottish' Grand Masters given by the German Strict Observance, and the Larmenius Charter also anathematized the 'Scottish' Templars, who were excommunicated by Johannes Marcus Larmenius in 1324, who declared them "Deserters of The Temple".

The Ordre Souverain du Temple Initiatique®

Joséphin Péladan
     The Regency of the Order of the Temple was at one stage passed on to Joséphin Péladan, later becoming amalgamated among other occult groups headed by Papus, finally becoming legally incorporated by a Belgian group known as the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), as well as the Sovereign Order of the Initiatory Temple (OSTI), and its outer order known as International Circle for Cultural and Scientific Research (CIRCES International), with CIRCES being created by Raymond Bernard in 1988. Raymond Bernard describes his initiation into the OSTI in 1955, and the mission he was charged with for bringing OSTI public, in his 1966 book entitled A Secret Meeting In Rome. Raymond Bernard created CIRCES International as an outward Templar vehicle to eventually prepare people for initiation into the inner Order of the OSTI. CIRCES International also continues to protect and perpetuate L'Ordre Martiniste of Papus, which Joseph Péladan had been initiated into. CIRCES International® is dedicated to the transmission of Spiritual Chivalry in modern times. True, Spiritual Chivalry is tolerant of all esoteric traditions because each tradition is but a different Path to the ONE SOURCE. CIRCES is an organization of inclusion - not exclusion. We do not hold to distinctions based on gender, ethnicity, religion or political persuasion. (Link to Source)

Current Grandmaster

Animated by the same compassion which compelled the Nine Original Templars to dedicate themselves to the Divine and ''to protecting the pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land", CIRCES International® is an outer Templar vehicle for the expression of Spiritual Chivalry in today's world. As an International Circle of Seekers and Doers, CIRCES is open to all sincere aspiring initiates, without regard to language, ethnic origins, religion, gender, or political persuasion. Though we largely recruit initiates from other spiritual traditions and esoteric Orders, we are also open to considering sincere spiritual aspirants who have not received prior initiation in a formal esoteric Order or school, but who have demonstrated that they are spiritual workers in the world. (Linkto Source)
     Gerard Encausse (July 13, 1865, Corunna - 25 October 1916, Paris), whose esoteric pseudonym was Papus, was the Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of occultism, who founded the modern Martinist Order.
     Martinism is a form of mystical and esoteric Christianity concerned with the fall of the first man, his state of material privation from his divine source, and the process of his return, called 'Reintegration' or illumination.
     As a mystical tradition, it was first transmitted through a masonic high-degree system established around 1740 in France by Martinez de Pasqually, and later propagated in different forms by his two students Louis Claude de Saint-Martin and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz.    Louis Claude de Saint-Martin was initiated into a Rosicrucian order of Unknown Superiors (also known as unknown philosophers or in French S::I::/Supèrieur Inconnu) around 1770 which can bring the lineage full circle and reconciles it with Baron Von Hund’s Rite of Strict observances. (Link to source)

A Magisterial Council was formed with Theodore Covias as Regent.
Emile-Isaac Vandenberg became Regent and Guardian of the Order. He devoted his energy and talent to revitalising the Templars across Europe. This was to include the Grand Priory of Switzerland.
Baron Anton Leuprecht of Switzerland was admitted a member and given permission to establish Autonomous Grand Priories throughout the world to form an International Federation of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.
During the German occupation of Belgium in the Second World War, Vandenberg transferred the Belgian Minutes Book (dating from 17th September 1934) and a copy of the 1705 Statutes, to the care of the Portuguese Grand Prior, Antonio Campello de Sousa Fontes for safekeeping. The Minutes make clear that the Order was continuing to function in France and Belgium.
After the War’s end the Regent, Vandenberg, requested the return of the Archives, but de Sousa Fontes ignored all requests that quickly became demands. When Vandenberg died suddenly from an accident, de Sousa Fontes assumed the title of Regent. The result was a divided International Order. (link to source)
     Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes (right) in 1945 claimed that the OSMTH was the continuation of the neo-Templar order founded by Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat in 1804, using the Larmenius Charter as evidence of its pedigree.
     While OSMTH-KTI's rituals and traditions are currently based upon those of the historical Knights Templar, according to its website and their present leaser, Grand Master Patrick Rea, there is no direct historical lineage between the two groups.
     In 2001, the Order was accredited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organisation, one of over 2,000 organizations to hold this status. The Order is an associate member of the International Peace Bureau and an affiliate of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy, which was founded by one of OSMTH's members.

In the late 1980′s the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem was divided in many small groups most of them under no international leadership. After more than 20 years of division, after many “grand-masters” claimed power based on either questionable lineages, forged documents or rigged elections, the movement started in the 30′s with the Autonomous Priories gained strength. In 1988 the International Federative Alliance (IFA) was created and for the most part of the following decade promoted meetings and discussions, worked together with different factions of the Order trying to create the conditions to hold universal elections for a Master and a governing Magisterial Council.
Interim GrandMaster
Finally in 1997 elections were first organized, candidatures and voting took place along 1998 and for the first time since the 19th century a new Master – freely elected by international vote in a ballot certified by an independent auditor – was invested in Santiago de Compostella in the Holy Year of 1999. The first Master of this new era was Fr. Fernando de Toro-Garland. The Magisterial Council, governing body of the Order, that attends to all the daily work of reform that immediately was started, comprises 9 Knights and is presided by the Master with the Chancellor as head executive officer. The Mastership has a term of 5 years during which the Magisterial Council is the only legitimately elected ruling international body.
The Order is presently governed by the Magisterial Council , presided by Fr. Luis de Matos as Interim Master until a new Master is Installed in office in July 2009. (Link to Source)
Link to source

Fernando  Pereira
Current Grandmaster 
    In 1970, a split occurred within the OSMTH and Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira created the The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), having previously succeeded his father as the head of the OSMTH in 1960. This was caused when Antoine Zdrojewski was unexpectedly elected as the new head of the OSMTH at the Convent of Paris. Zdrojewski became the head of the SMOTJ until his death in 1989, and was succeeded by George Lamirand as the head of the SMOTJ until his death in 1994.
     The SMOTJ has an American autonomous branch of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani. The ecumenical organization operates as a modern day network of educated professionals. As of August 2007, the organization had approximately 5,200 members.

To sum up the history of some of the major Templar Orders and their inceptions  

  1. The Kadosch degree (Masonic) in 1743 claims 1118 (extinct)
  2. Right of Strict Observances (Masonic) in 1750 claims 1118 (extinct)
  3. Knights Beneficent of the Holy City (Masonic) 1770, from Strict Observances 1750s, claims 1118 to present
  4. Order of the Temple (non-Masonic) 1804 to present through OSTI and supposedly through OSMTH and SMOTJ
  5. The Ordre Souverain du Temple Initiatique® (quasi-Masonic?) ????, claims 1804, CBCS’s 1770s, and 1118 to present.
  6. OSMTH (non-Masonic) founded in 1945 claims 1804 and 1118 to present
  7. SMOTJ (non-Masonic) founded in 1970 claims 1945, 1804, and 1118 to present
    Well, it looks like Templarism is not as glorious as many would have us think, so what? How were Orders originally founded? They were founded by  a group of men coming together and saying “ we are going to fight for what is right, “We are going to be a group of people that constantly strive to bring the codes of chivalry into our everyday lives, and the world. We are men of honor and we are going to live with honor.” And that is what happened again in the 1740’s early 1800’s and the 20th century.
Where do we go from here?

    This article is a calling for a Masonic Templar renaissance, we are the oldest Modern Templar Order, we have possession of the Larmenius Charter (or "Charter of Transmission"), and we have a lineage that dates back to Baron Von Hund and King Charles Edward Stuart the Pretender. Why are we not leading the Templar movement, why are we so divided and so profane? The other Non-Masonic Orders do great good, and their deeds are truly laudable (this is not a presentation of who is better than who) why are we not the avant-garde of chivalry in the modern world?
    This is a call to arms to do just that it is time that Masonic Templary stands up and asserts itself in the movement and in the world at large. Your humble scribe has a few suggestions to do just that.
Some of these ideas my seem impossible but while we are dreaming we might as well dream big.


  1. You are so right! Please review the Church of Damcar website. I would like to speak to you regarding this and other ideas of (hopefully) mutual interests.

    1. this one?
      very interesting!

  2. Yes, those, too! Please contact at your leisure

  3. I am. A descendant of Osiris to Cyrus of Mary Magdalene, (Magdala) as well as a descendant of the second manifestaition, through blood spirit and genetic mystic clairvoience. I member the void as a timeless sea only broken by my own manifestaition of unconditional selfless love with created a light so bright from a frequency so pure it litterly transformed our virtuousness into fragments of matter and form so dynamic in balance it is the construct of all facets of the crystalline perception of material creation fueled by our own love in all its unveiled dimentional potential, I am eternal I am alpha I am omega a fragment and conduit of the image of creation as one. I say this with no pride no ego and no wisdom only in truth of light love and relaxation in true eternal faith in the spirit of which I am. The void as our womb and the senses as our falecy truth is in the realization of reaching beyond logic and emotion into the pure being of which is beyond self, desire and passion. It is strictly being reborn in spirit cleaned by the etherical potential of knowing your crown and throne and humbly awaiting the spiritual growth of self to be meek and waited. Love is all perception, my will is the will of God (Will erm oz) 333° let the love of creation bring out your realization of your role in all that is, as you are too. The space between Atom and Eve-nt is an eternity apart in true dynamics of our Genes-is also my ansestors Enoch and Melchizedek would say, let peace open your soul. Bless the world by being real to your presence and there is no perception of suffering, only stubborn adaptivity to your unique point of harmonic balance and form.

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