At least once a week I am asked this exact question by various people: “How do I join the Knights Templar”? This is not at all an uncomplicated issue, so I decided to write a special article about it.
First of all, it is not immediately obvious to some people that the Order of the Knights Templar, strictly speaking, was a medieval Order with a very illustrious history, as well as amazing and mystifying lore. It was officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church in the early 12th century and after almost two hundred years of existence was dissolved by the authority of the Pope in 1312. The precise papal decrees that abolished the Order contained strict prohibitions: nobody was supposed to call himself a Templar or even dress as one, under penalty of excommunication. It can be argued that the Knights Templar existed for at least one decade prior to being recognized by the Church, therefore the Church did not really have any right to dissolve the Order. One must remember, however, that the Knights Templar were able to gain their fame and power because of the many privileges that were granted to them by a number of popes. Even the iconic Templar uniform, featuring a red cross, was assigned to them by a papal decree. After the support of the Church was lost the Knights Templar simply could not operate in their original capacity of warrior monks who defended Christendom. It is therefore important to respect the opinion of those who believe that joining the Knights Templar is a complete impossibility, because the Order no longer exist.
Of course, there is a wide-spread belief that the Order of the Knights Templar was not completely destroyed in the 14th century, but rather went into hiding. As a result, some branches of the Order would have survived and, at least theoretically, one could join an organization that can demonstrate direct lineage back to the medieval Knights Templar. There is no shortage of groups that claim or imply their connection to the original Order. Unfortunately, no organization thus far, to the best of my knowledge, was able to prove such a lineage beyond a reasonable doubt. If any such proof exists it remains hidden from the uninitiated. It is certain, however, that many groups have demonstrated a desire to adhere to the principles and ideals (variously understood) of the original Knights Templar. If any individual feels drawn to a particular modern Templar organization then becoming a member is in many cases quite possible. There is no doubt that the original Knights Templar would have approved many objectives and the overall disposition of many modern Templars. One should be advised, of course, to examine specific goals of any such organization, its claims, its legitimacy and the level of commitment involved. I only provide links to the most established groups, so you will have to do more research online if that’s not enough for you. Beware of scams and shady enterprises!
There are two distinct trends in contemporary Templarism: Masonic and non-Masonic. Both have a rather long history, but Masonic Templarism is probably more popular and widely publicized. Freemasonry is an international fraternal movement that traditionally adheres to monotheistic philosophy and certain ideals of the Enlightenment era. In the US, Masonic Templarism is primarily represented by the York Rite Masons. This branch of Freemasonry has a high level of initiations associated with the Knights Templar, resulting in the use of Templar symbolism and general interest in the history of the Order. The York rite is mostly represented in English-speaking countries. The Scottish Rite, another major branch of Freemasonry, also has degrees of initiation that evoke the Knights Templar. Apart from that, there are many other smaller Masonic organizations that use Templar themes and symbolism. It is important to remember that Masonic Templar degrees typically represent a very high level of Masonic initiation, which is caused by the fact that Freemasonry (although somewhat unofficially) claims to have its roots within the historic Order of the Knights Templar. So, a Templar degree represents a high honor, but becoming a Masonic Knight Templar is a rather long journey.
Non-Masonic Neo-Templar organizations often trace their heritage (albeit not directly) to the Templar revival movement in early 19th century France, headed by Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat. The most popular international group of this kind is the OSMTH (Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani). The English translation of this Latin name also happens to be the name of the autonomous US branch of this organization: Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem. Another organization definitely worth mentioning is the OSMTJ ( Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem). With over 3,000 members worldwide, this group is fairly inexpensive to join, compared to OSMTH, and it is somewhat more diverse. A Templar organization known as OSMTH-Porto (sometimes also called the OSMTH-Regency), of no less than 2,000 members, is particularly well represented in France and Portugal. Open to Christians of all denominations these non-Masonic bodies are involved in charitable work and preservation of the Knights Templar heritage.
Apart from that, there are numerous groups of reenactors who are especially interested in recreating combat traditions of the Knights Templar, as well as their uniforms and weapons. Although these groups offer valuable experiences and contribute to the spread of knowledge about the Order and medieval history in general, their members cannot be properly identified as Knights Templar according to most standards.
See also: 10 things you’d have to give up to become a Knight Templar
28 comments… add one
Excellent posting. Very interesting. So please disregard my previous posting asking what you thought of the Masonic link to Templars etc.
Well written, informative, and most entertaining. I love everything about all of the Militant Orders of the Medieval period. Please continue to post such wonderful articles
I would love more information on how to join
In Hoc Signo Vinces !
I am a huge fan of the Medieval Templars and was raised Catholic but no longer claim a deenomination other than Christian. The papacy is a mockery and the pope is nothing but a misguided, political ass-kisser. The disbanding of the Templars is evidence of the idiocy of popes. Freemasonry also seems to be a cult. I told allow stand with the ideals of the original Templars and there are those of us today who have that loyalty and are dedicated to defending the faith. Templars in heart and Spirit. Recognition from my rganized religion or not.
I not not sure what is wrong with your judgment of the PoP. But your not the judge and need you sure need to do more praying and lot of studying of the frist. On this rock I built my church! You should right Him!
He loves you and peace be with you!
Mr. Cook, you claim you stand with the ideals of the original Templar. Yet, you chastise the Pope and fail to direct your words toward the Author’s Masonic brethren in a gentlemanly manner. Observing this, it is rather apparent you were not taught what these true tenets are. Knights Templar were accepting of all forms of worship and would defend any denomination whom worshiped our one God. Regardless of religion, defending the faith is our purpose, and requires us to be understanding as well as humble in doing so-being a warrior monk is only a small facet of what we vow to defend.
We may be Masons, however, Masonic Knights Templars know that being of a noble bloodline, or dubbed a Knight means nothing if we do not conduct ourselves as such. Even if you are not an official Templar, remember, true Christian Nobility is obtained by acting noble, not merely by holding a Templar title.
Bryant A. Scott
USMC Machine Gunner
& Masonic Templar Knight
Pasco Commandery #21
Agreed Brother!!! /G\ 32nd Degree Valley of Corinth,Ms
Dear Bryant Scott,
About the Author of this article, A.A. Grishin, when addressing Jeff, you state:
“Yet, you fail to direct your words toward the Author’s Masonic brethren in a gentlemanly manner.”
How can you be so sure that the site Author, A.A. Grishen, is a Mason? It’s my understanding that he’s not currently in any of the above Templar Orders.
Chev. Bryant Jones
Please don’t forget that applicants can become Knights Templar by joining the OSMTJ.
Internationally found at: http://www.OSMTJ.net
In the Untied States, found at: http://www.TheKnightsTemplar.org – (Membership costs is only a $50 suggested annual donation)
i wanted to join the knights templer and i dont haf a website but we still love god and jesus christ
Very interesting reading, which I very much enjoyed.
May I impose further by requesting permissin to use you Timeline history in part of our website.
I am the editor of our Newsletter “Templar News” and a member of this fratenity.
I look forward to your response and guidance.
I thank you in advance.
Sure, as long as you properly indicate the source and link to this site.
Very interested in Knights Templars I’ve always been fascinated with them like to know more or join
I think we need to fight against the muslims take over of the USA.
Help me how can I be a member 07034274304
Good views from all. There are still many battles to be fought for our Christian values and our country needs. I’ve read so much history on the Knights Templars and the honor they stood for. Please continue to post more information and views from all of you. Everyone has some good input and thanks. Be Bless!
Sirs I was a knight templar in Tyler Texas and I was sponsored by John Barksdale. It has been many years now. I have life endowments with the Shriners in Kilgore (????), also in Scottish Rites Houston Valley, and my Blue Lodge is Big Sandy. I have been working many years over the past. I would like to get reinstated into your vallley. So is it possible and what moneys must I pay. At present I live 6 mo.s in Minnesota and 6 months in Mesa Arizona. HELP me pleas
Please I need your help I want to be a member of this great Knight hood help me
I agree with Mr Cooke, the Catholic church has been a sham for a while (since ‘they’ killed the last good pope on his 33rd day in office, I’m sure the 33rd isn’t numeroligically linked to 33rd priory of sion illuminati initiate degree). But yes Masonry is like a cult but for rich womanizing alcoholics, I’ve known 8 masons (3 different lodges) none of them even close to being morally good men let alone Christ-like. So that combined with a little bit of research is what turned me away from their KT, having to pay your way in and constantly paying to play. Plus they have a pro Muslim order within masons KT, and a little bit of research on Prince Hall, shows that Freemasons are money hungry. By masons standards the disciples nor Christ himself would have been wealthy enough to join ‘their’ KT. Do I believe that the masons chevelair sp? Ramsey who made it to the top of Scottish Templars stole artifacts and took books and knowledge to the US to blend this info in with masonry so they could charge lots Of money (throughout the amount of time it takes) for this ‘poor knights of christ’ noble order? Absolutely… But Masonic KT do not defend the faith against persecution or any Christian country from Islamic invasion, there are 1 or 2 other orders that actually do follow the militant mentality and actually do something to help stop the invasion against Christianity, but masons are not…
I love to join l won’t to be came someone
Another Templar Lineage should be noted and that is the O.T.S.I
I been involved with but is not same
Is not the oath the most important thing to do to join? The oath is everything. What is the oath of the true Templar?
Very nice article! I am a Masonic York Rite Knight Templar.
Quite an interesting read. Will like more promotional and didactic material on the Templars. I am particular humbled by the actions of Godfrey de Buillion.
having been involved with the Knights Templar here in the states, I found there are a few things you need to look at before joining. One is the cost. Some ask ridiculous fees to join, forgetting the Templars were also known as the “Poor Christians knights”. Avoid them, they are in it for money not helping. Second Involvement. To many people join for a title, not helping others. Ask what they’ve done in the community and check it out. Third , how much money collected actually goes to charity. Some have nationals or Internationals that seem to spend most of their funds on trips and other perks for the big wigs. Stay away from these.
Great article. I am a proud York Rite Knight Templar!