by Leroy J. Delionbach, PGC, KYGCH, KCT
When a student in one of my asses begins a statement with, "Everybody knows..." I want to screw my hat down tight, back up against a wall, grab my six-gun with one hand, my Winchester with another, and hang on to my wallet! Of course, I run out of hands, so I have to simply wait for the rest of the statement. Often I point the person to a website that checks urban myths and rumors. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. An example of something widely accepted was the history of the bathtub in the United States as written by H. L. Mencken in 1917. Among other things, he stated that it was not widely accepted in this country because the medical profession believed that bathing caused illness. In 1926 he 'fessed up" and admitted that it was not true, but something he had completely made up.
An example of a piece of information that is true, but not widely known s the middle name of MW Harry S. Truman. What does the "S" represent? Actually, nothing. His parents couldn't decide which middle name to give him, and since both his grandfathers had middle names knight templar beginning with the letter "s", they simply gave him a middle initial.
What does "everybody know" about Knights Templar? They began in the Middle East during the Crusades, and were sanctioned by the Church at the Council of Troyes in 1128. Known originally as the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, they became very famous for their fighting skills. They followed a Rule, which was written for them by St. Bernard of Clairvaux They developed an international accounting system. They became immensely wealthy and powerful. They ran afoul of King Philip IV and Pope Clement V. On Friday, the 13th of October, 1307, the Paris Temple was entered by royal bailiffs. Many knights were arrested in a carefully coordinated sweep throughout France and England. Their fleet disappeared just before the authorities were to seize it, as did their treasure. After Jacques de Mo lay, the last Grand Master of the Order, was executed, the Templars as an order ceased to exist. As he burned to death, he purportedly said he would meet the king and the pope within a year.
In fact, many of the Templars survived the arrests and inquiries that led to de Molay's execution. Some apparently joined the Knights of St. John; some may have immigrated to the British Isles; many just simply faded from public view. One version of their disappearance holds that many of them fled to the isles off the west coast of Scotland, where they resided peaceably until 1324 when a squadron of heavy cavalry suddenly appeared on the field at Bannockburn and turned the tide of battle against the English. Believed by many to be the remnants of the Templars who were grateful to the Scots for granting them shelter, this unknown group of warriors would have been middle-aged men riding horses that likely had been converted to draft animals. (Incidentally, the Great Priory of Scotland disavows this legend.)
A recently discovered collection of parchments in the Vatican Secret Archive contains a document known as the "Chinon Parchment." It contains Pope Clement V's absolution of the Knights Templar from the charge of heresy that had been brought against them. He restored their Rule or guidelines for living, their distinctive white habit, or mantle, and gave them new duties that were consistent with the needs of the Church in a post-Crusade era.
Throughout the West, many organizations exist today that claim to be descended from the original Knights Templar. One such organization is the International Order of Gnostic Templars (IOGT). According to their website, this is "...a diverse group of men and women who are committed to assisting in the revival of both the Goddess Tradition (The Path of the Divine Feminine) and the Gnostic path of knowing one's Self fully by experiencing our own inner wisdom." In discussing their "authentic Templar lineage" knight tern plar they proclaim they continue the unbroken lineage of Holy Grail Masters from the East, which passed through John the Baptist, Jesus, John the Apostle, Mary Magdalene, the Templar Grand Masters while in the Middle East, and now through the Sinclair Clan of Scotland by means of the ScoLLish Knight Templars (not affiliated with the Great Priory of Scotland). The North American Grand Prior is Mark Amaru Pinkham, SE KGCTpI, a professional astrologer and writer, who has published books such as The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom, Conversations with the Goddess, The Truth Behind the Christ Myth, and Guardians of the Holy Grail: The Knights Templar, John the Baptist, and the Water of Life.
The Prince Henry St. Clair Preceptory and Commandery (sic) of Scottish Knight Templars is the parent organization of the IOGT. The Worthy Grand Prior is S.E. Chevalier Ian Sinclair KGCTpI. According to the website, it is "'...now established at Noss Head Lighthouse Estate, in Caithness to serve God and Scotland."
Apparently this organization is neither affiliated with the Great Priory of Scotland nor with the Supreme Council of Scotland. Until next time, when we will continue to highlight other organizations not affiliated with the Grand Encampment that style themselves Knights Templar...
Sir Knight Leroy J. Dehonbach is a Past Grand commander of the Grand Commandery of South Carolina. He is currently serving as criminal justice program coordinator on the faculty of Aiken Technical College. He has served in various positions of leadership in public, business, and academic environments, as a Methodist minister, an army officer, and in various law enforcement and criminal justice positions He is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Delta Kappa, and Phi Theta Kappa. Sir Knight Delionbach is also serving on the editorial review board of the Knight Temp/at magazine. He currently resides at 221 Hartwell Dr, Aiken, SC 29803