WHO AND WHAT WE ARE ABOVE ALL ELSE:
We are not about money, but we are about a holy commitment to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with all of your heart and soul. We have five rules within our Order:
1. The Temple and Service thereof—“Remember, brothers and sisters, that we are the descendants of the ‘Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ’ who first held their meetings in the precincts of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. We must contemplate the word and meaning of the Temple. Remember also that we are but rough stones and must continuously work to build our own Temple with the smooth stones within us.”
2. The Love of Meditation—“Recognize with gladness that we are neither lost, nor strangers to God, but one of His good creatures, and in our Temple we shall meet people from many nations and religions. There is no shame in seeking God; forget not when we ponder that God’s Temple is our own being. God will not look for us, but we first must seek Him. Each day, time must be put aside for meditation and prayers for our Order and its work.”
3. Discipline—“The principles of St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s life are still valid today. We must care for body and soul. Work happily, but with humility and at all times honor your fellow man.”
4. Knightly Combat—“Our white garments decorated with the Blood Red Cross reminds each of us that we must be capable of making sacrifices. Do not strive for worldly wealth—perhaps tomorrow we might have to give account of ourselves. We shall not know, until it is too late, for excuses are not acceptable to the Greatest Being, Almighty God.”
5. Brotherhood—“Each day we must help our brethren for whom we are responsible, for one day God will say, ‘Where is thy Brother?’ Accept no reward, always be a pillar of the Temple, for all the Order holds for us is the opportunity to flee the sins of the world, to live charitably, to be penitent, and above all, to be the servant of Almighty God.”
As true Templars, we must always be prepared for battle in either the temporal or spiritual realms. Our oaths require moral courage and our way of life demands dedication to our knightly ideals. The true knight is, of course, humble before the Lord and his fellow man. If a true Templar would boast about anything, he boasts in our Lord!
You will see evidence of other "Templar" groups in the world, but we ask you to be cautious. Some are simply in the business of selling knighthoods and other titles, but in our Order they are not for sale, at any price. We bestow internationally recognized knighthoods on those who wish to dedicate themselves to serving our Lord, but we accept no payment for granting these titles. After all, what would be the value in a title you had to purchase?
In perusing this site, it might be easy for the uniformed to become slightly confused about some of the documents presented here.
Who are the Knights Templar? Who are the Scottish Knights Templar? What is the Sovereign Military Order of Christian Knights Templar (SMOCKT), and why do the documents of SMOCKT contain references to the Scottish Knights?
The answers to those questions are simple, yet convoluted. In short, most of the knights in SMOCKT were originally knighted under the auspices of the Scottish Knights Templar in Scotland. We were given autonomy to found our own Priory here in the United States, and elect our own officers. With the discovery and publication of the “Chinon Document” found in the Vatican archives several years ago, absolving the historical Templars of crimes committed against the church, a new frontier in recognition was opened. This document was basically a death-bed confession by Pope Clement, that the Templar Order was not guilty of the crimes they had been saddled with and were in fact good men, who by virtue of their beliefs and oaths, found themselves at odds with both the temporal and religious powers of the day. The Chinon document indicated that we could “come out of the cold and begin to reclaim or spiritual heritage. The Grandmaster of the Scottish order wanted to go one step further, and purge the Order of non-Catholics. The American Branch took exception to this, and refused to strip knights of their honors, or to see anyone promoted over another because they might be “Catholic.” Several Knights stayed under the Scottish rule, but the majority of the Americans chose to separate and found a knighthood Order that would concentrate of doing the works we were asked to do. The schism was not a friendly, nor a happy one. It was, however, a necessary one in order to continue the work of knighthood in the U.S. The leadership in Scotland realized they had a local problem on their hands as well, and in the year following our own Orders lead, they collectively dis-fellowshipped those knights in authority that were papacy and mercenary driven. Both Orders, The Scottish Knights, and SMOCKT now maintain equitable relations with one another. Because the history of the Scottish Order is inexplicably entwined with our own, you will find that are foundational documents invariably mention one or the other. The documents are included here, as they were written, and have not been modified to reflect SMOCKT. We have done it this way so that those exploring this Order may see the truth of where we have come from, and understand that we have nothing to hide. We still cherish our affiliation and fellowship with the Scottish Knights, and indeed, many of their values are still our own.
The following is a very brief history of our Order:
As Templars, or the “Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ” as we were originally founded, we were one of the permanent military forces in the Holy Land during the Crusades. There were never enough Templars, or Hospitallers, or Teutonic Knights to hold onto the Holy Land by themselves, however; the majority of the "secular" knights left after looting and plundering. The last major Templar garrison in the Holy Land fell during the battle of Acre in 1293; the Templars were going to surrender with a promise of safe conduct to the harbor, but when the Templar commander saw that the invading Mamluks were molesting the Christian women, he told the Mamluks that the Templars would fight to death--and that is exactly what they did, after exacting a terrible toll among the invaders.
The Order was preparing for another Crusade in 1307 when the king of France, King Philip IV, had the Templars in that country arrested on false charges of heresy. The king was virtually bankrupt and wanted to steal the Templars' treasure; the individual knights owned nothing, but the Order had acquired considerable wealth because they were acting as international bankers. Pilgrims going to the Holy Land could deposit money in a Templar treasury and receive a "chit" in exchange; as they traveled toward Jerusalem, they could stop in Templar temples and withdraw money, with their "chits" being annotated in a special Templar cipher that indicated how much money was remaining in their accounts.
The Pope at the time, Clement V, was a virtual captive of the French king, and was unable to prevent the king from obtaining false confessions through torture. Canon law, by the way, prohibited torturing members of a religious Order, but the king was not dissuaded. As soon as the torture stopped, however, the Templars recanted their false confessions, and were then burned at the stake. That was also the fate of our Grandmaster, Jacques de Molay, who was burned at the stake along with the Preceptor of Normandy. History records that the Pope died a month later, and the king of France died four months later. It is now known that Pope Clement exonerated the Templars in a secret trial held at Chinon castle; the document that records the exoneration of the Templars is now known as the “Chinon document,” and is in the Vatican archives.
The Order fled to Portugal and Scotland. Those knights who reached Portugal simply changed their names to the Knights of Christ. In Scotland they were welcomed by King Robert the Bruce, himself excommunicated by the Catholic Church, and helped to train his forces for their encounter at Bannockburn. A group of Templars led a charge into the English formations, and thus helped to win not only the Battle of Bannockburn, but also independence for Scotland. Because the Order had been suppressed by the Catholic Church, it went from a papal Order to an Order chartered by the King of Scotland. Although the Scottish Templars now served a secular ruler, they never forgot their ecclesiastical roots, and vowed to continue serving Christ and His church on earth. After his excommunication was lifted, Robert the Bruce combined the Scottish Knights Templar with the Knights Hospitaller, per the instruction of the new pope, but the Scottish Templars nevertheless retained a strong, separate identity. In fact, the only real change for the Scottish Templars, other than losing some land holdings to the Hospitallers, was that the red Cross on their mantles changed from a Latin Cross to a Maltese Cross.
Scottish history and Templarism have been intertwined since 1307 A.D. James Graham, 5th Earl of Montrose, was a Templar who was hanged because of his right for religious freedom. Viscount Bonnie Dundee was killed at the Battle of Killiecrankie while wearing the Templar Cross, and Prince Bonnie Prince Charlie was a Templar Grandmaster when he tried to restore the Stuart line in 1745.
Today, the Order has priories in Scotland, the USA, Canada, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Pakistan, and is affiliated with several other Templar Orders around the world.
We are focused on two principal goals: to perform charitable works for the poor, and to defend the persecuted church.
More Christians were martyred in the last century than in all previous centuries combined. Unless we get the Islamic and Communist countries to stop persecuting Christians, the 21st century will be a tragic repeat of the 20th. We are working very hard to focus attention on the plight of persecuted Christians in foreign lands, and are working especially hard to free one of our own brothers, Chevalier Reverend Parvez Masih, who has been in prison in Sialkot, Pakistan, for two years for "insulting the Prophet." The penalty upon conviction--the only penalty--is death. After 5 years in prison, this headmaster of a Christian school was found not guilty of blasphemy. He was released from prison and the daily torture and demands to convert to Islam.