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Do the Knights Templar still exist?
Knights Templar

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Do the Knights Templar still exist? How to become one?

Many people would like to know if the Templars still exist and if it is possible to join them. Just two groups dating from the Middle Ages still exist today. Other organizations are officially younger, but they are (more or less) founded on the principles of the Knights Templar. Some of them are open to new members.  

Do the Knights Templar still exist?

The Knights Templar ceased to exist in 1312 when they were formally disbanded at the Vienna Council. The dissolution of the order was a papal order by Clemens V.

However, some researchers (for instance, Graham Hancock and Laurence Gardner) believe the Knights Templar went underground and still exist as a secret order.

Since a secret society is distinguished by the fact that no one is aware of its existence, the statements of these authors are difficult to prove. 

On the other hand, there are groups and societies that claim they are associated with the Templars. It is even possible to become a member of some of these organizations. 

Nine Organizations that (claim to) derive from the Knights Templar

This is not a complete list of organizations that are based on the Knights Templar. If you do your own search on the internet, you might find more groups. This list is an interesting start for further investigation. 

NameFoundedMissionMembership
Sovereign Order of Malta1113CharitableInvitation Only
Military Order of Christ1317Giving awards
The Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary’s Hospital in Jerusalem1190CharitableApplication possible
Order of the Temple of Solomon(Restored) in 2013Diplomatic interventionOpen for application
The Knight Templars Order2015?Open for application
OSMTH1804Aiding HumanityOpen for application
OSMYJ1804Aiding HumanityOpen for application
Ordo Templi Orientis1895Self-developmentOpen for application
Freemasons 1717 (?)Self-development, brotherhood, and charity Open for application

1. Sovereign Order of Malta

Sovereign order of Malta
Sovereign order of Malta (Wikipedia)

The Knights of Malta, also known as the “Knights Hospitaller,” founded a hospital in Jerusalem in the eleventh century to provide treatment for travelers of all religious backgrounds. As the hospitallers’ efforts gained notoriety, Pope Paschal II recognized the monastic community as a lay religious order in 1113. They were the official successors of the Knights Templar after their abolition in 1312.

Today, the Order of Malta is still active in 120 countries, caring for people in need through its medical, social, and humanitarian work. Its wide range of social projects helps people who have been forgotten or left out of society.

 

Members of the Order of Malta are admitted by invitation only. They are made up of people with undoubted Catholic morality and practice who have acquired merit over the years about the Order of Malta, its institutions, and its humanitarian works. The relevant Grand Priory or National Association is responsible for proposals of admission.

 

Website: https://www.orderofmalta.int/

2. The Military Order of Christ (Portugal)

While all the Knights Templar in Europe were found guilty of heresy, the Templars of Portugal were found innocent by the court of the Bishop of Lisbon. This made King Diniz, who ruled Portugal at the time, feel even worse about the loss of these important allies.

To replace them, the monarch established a new organization known as Christi Militia (1317). He then got Pope John XXII’s approval for this order. In 1319, the Pope gave these knights the rule of the Knights of Calatrava and put them under the care of the Cistercian Abbot of Alcobaca.

Further, by another Bull (1323), the same pope authorized King Diniz to turn over the Portuguese estates of the suppressed Templars to this order. As most of the Portugese Knights Templar became Knights of Christ, it can be said that the Knights of Christ were a continuation of the Order of the Knights Templar in Portugal.

At first, they lived in Castro Marino, but in 1357, they moved to the monastery of Tomar.

Tomar
Tomar

In 1910, with the end of the Portuguese monarchy, the order was extinguished. However, in 1917, the order was revived, with its Grand Master to be the President of Portugal. It consists of a small group of 8 honorable members. Today the Order can be conferred for outstanding services to the Republic 

Ordem Chriisto

3. The Order of the Teutonic Knights of St. Mary's Hospital in Jerusalem

The Teutonic Order was also formed at the end of the 12th century to aid Catholics on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land and to establish hospitals to care for the sick and injured. 

The Teutonic Order kept its considerable holdings in Catholic areas of Germany until 1809 when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered its dissolution and the Order lost its last secular holdings. They continued to exist as a charitable and ceremonial body. 

Teutonic cross
Teutonic Cross (Wikipedia)

It was outlawed by Hitler in 1938 but re-established in 1945. Today, the Order operates with two separate arms, a Chivalric Teutonic Order and a Clerical Teutonic Order which is run primarily with charitable aims in Central Europe.

You can check out their website where you can also apply for membership. http://www.imperialteutonicorder.com/index.html

4. Order of the Temple of Solomon

The Order of the Temple of Solomon was founded in 1118 AD and restored as a non-territorial State in 2013. General membership is open to everybody, but one has to earn official titles by completing the Templar Skills Training.

The Order is not a “secret society” and thus does not artificially withhold any “higher” levels of “secret” knowledge from its general membership.

It is a founding principle of the Order that Templars are Guardians of the Sacred Knowledge, which was given by God as the collective heritage of humanity. All supposed Templar “secrets” were never intended to be hidden, but only appeared to be “secret” because they were suppressed and forgotten.

The website of this organization is full of information about the Knights Templar and the values associated with them. On their website, they do not take a political stand other than to condemn defamation in the strongest terms.

Their website is definitely interesting: https://knightstemplarorder.org/

5. The Knight Templars Order

This group is a Christian Organization and, as such, they reject all forms of racism as anti-Biblical and reject all forms of political hatred no matter from which end of the political spectrum it comes from. They are not a secret society, but they call themselves discreet. Also, they are not masonic. 

For a non-political organization, they are right-winged. They are pro-Trump, pro-Brexit, and since the corona crisis, they resist the Great Reset. 

They are very open about their membership fees. The annual membership fee £59/$89 is payable from the time you become an Affiliate and must be paid every year to retain membership. This fee includes an official framed certificate, an official ‘Militia Templi’ cross, an Ancient Oath parchment, a membership card with a fob, an Ancient Templar Battle flag ‘The Beauseant,’ an official CRUSADER magazine, and an annual report. Everything is nicely wrapped and shipped and tracked to members all over the world. You can also choose a ONE-OFF payment. 

All FULL qualified members wearing regalia are invited to participate in the holy oath ceremony in front of their peers, where you will be knighted with full military honors in an ancient and Holy tradition dating back 1,000 years to the Temple of Jerusalem.

This organization seems to be very money-centered. Their website is https://www.knightstemplarorder.com/ almost the same name as the website of the Order of the Temple of Salomon (https://knightstemplarorder.org/).

6. OSMTH

OSMTH logo (Wikipedia)

OSMTH (Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem) is a successor organization to the nineteenth-century Order of the Temple. This Order was established in Paris in 1804 under the patronage of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Like its nineteenth-century predecessor, OSMTH takes inspiration from the traditions and highest ideals of the medieval Knights Templar.

OSMTH does not, however, claim any direct organizational descent from the medieval Templars; nor is OSMTH part of Freemasonry. The OSMTH is a United Nations Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) registered in Geneva, Switzerland. 

The OSMTH is

  • international in nature, with members in Grand Priories and Mentored Entities in some 40 nations;
  • ecumenical Christian in our religious outlook, welcoming members from all Christian denominations; and
  • focused, in their charitable activities and international advocacy, on matters of human rights, religious freedom, cultural conservation, sustainable development, and humanitarian aid to the world’s less fortunate citizens.

If you would like to apply for membership, you can visit their website: https://www.osmth.org/

7. OSMTJ

The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem has the same name as ODMTH and has the same origin. The two organizations split over the question of the succession of Grand Masters in the seventies of the last century.

It is a pity the website of the OSMTJ focuses on this conflict and less on their goals. Yet, if you live in Europe you may want to check this organization out. https://osmtj.net/

8. Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O)

Ordo Templi Orientis is an occult initiatory organization founded at the end of the nineteenth century. The origins of the O.T.O. can be traced back to the German-speaking occultists Carl Kellner, Heinrich Klein, Franz Hartmann, and Theodor Reuss. Later, the O.T.O. was significantly shaped by the English author and occultist Aleister Crowley.

Aleister Crowley

The structure of O.T.O., like that of Freemasonry and the ancient mystery schools, is based on a series of initiations or degrees, most of which are conferred ceremonially. In the Rituals of these degrees, O.T.O. seeks to instruct the individual by allegory and symbol in the profound mysteries of Nature, and thereby to assist each to discover his or her own true Identity.

The Ordo Templi Orientis is not really related to the Knight Templar, but if you would like to apply for membership, you can visit their website: https://oto-usa.org/

 

9. Freemasons

The Freemasons are the largest worldwide secret society. They are oath bound, devoted to fellowship and mutual assistance, and conceal some of their rituals from the public. 

The first Grand Lodge was founded in 1717 in England, but it is widely accepted that the organization developed from the guilds of stonemasons and cathedral builders of the Middle Ages. Since the Knights Templar are connected to building the gothic Cathedrals in Europe, the relation is evident. Freemasonry is not a Christian institution.

Most traditions say that the candidate must be an adult male and that he must believe in a Supreme Being and the idea that the soul lives on after death. Some lodges accept women, but there are also special lodges for women.

Organizations around the world practice slightly different forms of freemasonry. If you would like to join, google for a lodge in your area and apply for membership. 

So, do the Knights Templar still exist?

The Knights Templar were officially dissolved in 1312, but there are a lot of groups that claim they have restored the original Templars. They are usually not very old and their goals differ. The only two societies that have their roots in the 12th century and are still active today are the SOVEREIGN ORDER OF MALTA and The Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Freemasons might be an official spinoff of the Knights Templar, but nobody knows this for sure. 

That said, anybody can start an organization claiming to be an offshoot of the Knights Templar. One can buy all sorts of regalia, even on Amazon. Make your family and friends members and rent a chapel somewhere for the ceremonies. Make yourself known on the Internet, and who knows what will happen. But then, maybe it is better to try to become a member of one of the existing groups. There might be one that appeals to you. 

If you are interested in the Knights Templar, please read my blog about them. 

Do the Knights Templar still exist?
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