S.K. Tom Tsirimokos’s Argument That the CBCS Is an Irregular Templar Body
Here is S.K. Tsirimokos’s argument that the CBCS is an irregular Templar body which, even existing in the US for more than 87 years with common membership with the Grand Encampment, he says should not exist unless under the Grand Encampment’s authority. As S.K. Tsirimokos has it, only the Grand Encampment has the rite to be a masonic Templar organization in the United States.
S.K. Tom's main point in the below seems to be that the CBCS is recognized as a Templar order historically the world over. It is, therefore, one with whom the Grand Encampment exchanged representatives in the past. If so, it appears, then, that the CBCS was recognized by the Grand Encampment. As such, what is wrong with them sharing the jurisdiction of the United States in working a different set of degrees? After all, the Scottish Rite and the York Rite both confer a set of high degrees independently - both rites have common moral lessons and historical portrayals, and yet they are not mutually exclusive - rather they complement each other.
According to our Constitution, the Grand Encampment maintains jurisdiction over the Orders of the Red Cross, Malta, and the Temple. See Const. § 3. We do not control all Templar themes and Templar mythos; Templar mythos informs many haute grades of the Masonic family of organizations. In fact, an argument could be made that all high degree masonic systems are "Templar" in some capacity.
Further, and of note, the Grand Encampment shares its jurisdiction with Prince Hall Affiliate Templary. It is therefore incorrect for S.K. Tom to assert that "all Grand Masters have affirmed the existence of one Masonic, Templar Order in the United States, which is under the command of the Grand Encampment" (emphasis added). Clearly PHA Templary is an autonomous sovereign body coextensive in jurisdiction with the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America. And PHA Templary works the exact same Orders. Somehow, though, the CBCS infringes on the sovereignty of the Grand Encampment more and, even though 87+ years of common membership exist between the Grand Encampment and the Great Priory of America, all of a sudden, the Great Priory of America is to be held irregular (despite what everyone else in the world says) and you cannot be a member of the Grand Encampment and a member of the Great Priory of America - in fact, according to the S.K. Tsirimokos, if you are a member of the Great Priory of America, you should be expelled from Templary without a trial!
S.K. Tom also states that the CBCS denies that it is "Templary." This is correct; under the definition of "Templar" according to our own Constitution, a "Templar" is a master mason upon whom have been conferred the Orders of the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple. See Const. § 57. The CBCS denies that it is a Templar according to this definition. The CBCS works entirely different degres.
The Red Cross, Malta, Temple: those are our Orders - our system of degrees by which a Templar is knighted - and that body of work constitutes our proprietary material over which we exert exclusive jurisdiction, with the exception of those other "Templar" bodies with whom we exist in amity (s.a. the Grand Encampment PHA). The CBCS is not the same rite, irrespective of whether it confers degrees that approach, adopt, or even embody Templar themes and historicity.
In fact, why does it matter if the CBCS is a "Templar" body? Objectively, it doesn't. They remain a separate, independent, distinct rite working a separate, independent, and distinct system of degrees not at all connected with, or in any way infringing upon, the Orders of the Red Cross, Malta, or Temple. The whole argument is inventive.
The truth is, the CBCS is an elite organization. There is a particular pedigree of transmission that confers something like a priestly consecration alongside the degrees. This "lineage," then, is coveted by some who feel they must be a member of every masonic "high grade" system. Thus, the desire to possess the CBCS, and an emergent jealously against those that are members, seems to persist in some quarters. This in and of itself is unmasonic.
Consider further that the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America is the largest "Templar" jurisdiction in the world, counting more than 60,000 members. The Great Priory of America has less than 100 members. Why is this even an issue? What harm are these men doing to the Grand Encampment? Most, if not all of them, were members of the Grand Encampment. That they count distinguished masonic leaders among their membership only compounds the question: why is this even an issue?
Please read S.K. Tom Tsirimokos's arguments in the document attached. Please also review other articles on this blog.
The facts speak for themselves.