Why It Doesn’t Matter If CBCS is a Templar Order
Updated: Sep 20
The argument that the CBCS is somehow an irregular Templar order simply because it relies on Chivalric themes is, in a word, facile.
Our Constitution is clear, the jurisdiction of the Grand Encampment is over the Order of the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple. See Const. § 3. Further, “Knight Templar” is expressly defined by our Constitution as someone upon whom the Orders of Red Cross, Malta, and the Temple have been conferred. Const. § 57. If you are not knighted under those orders - which are our proprietary material - then, by definition, you are not a “Templar” and our jurisdiction does not attain to you. We can prevent unauthorized use of our rituals, titles, insignias, signs, and symbols. But we do not own a trademark on the term “Templar."
Thus, the CBCS are no more a “Templar” order than the Knights Kadosh, the Knight Masons (which do confer a substantially similar ritual to the Red Cross), the Order of Demolay, the Red Branch of Erie, the Royal Order of Scotland,the Knights of St Andrew, or any other appendant body that involves “Templar” and/or chivalric themes. The assertion that the CBCS infringe our sovereignty is partial and deliberate. Further, it bears noting, that PHA Templary does confer the same Orders and does knight “Templars” in like capacity as the Grand Encampment, yet we share our “exclusive” jurisdiction with them….
Nonetheless, even if the assertions made were somehow correct, and the CBCS is a Templar Order coextensive with the Grand Encampment, the fact that the Great Priory of America was founded in 1934 and enjoyed cross membership with the Grand Encampment since then (including at least 5 Grand Masters who were also Great Priors of the GPA) bars action now. The time to have raised all these arguments, whether valid or not, was in 1934 or sometime reasonably thereafter. We can’t wait 80+ years to raise the complaint after impliedly recognizing them for decades.... In essence, by enjoying cross-membership and shared officers in both bodies for decades, the GE has impliedly consented to the GPA’s existence. We can’t now all of a sudden declare them irregular simply because a particular faction of our Order has changed its mind or is motivated to color them a certain way for their own purposes.
By way of analogy, if I showed up with a load of paint and said, “I have a special today and will paint your whole house for $10,000” and you sort of nodded, but didn’t actually say “go for it” or shake my hand, you can’t sit there and watch me paint the whole house and then refuse payment on grounds that you never assented to the contract. You didn’t try to stop me. You watched me do it. You impliedly consented. I relied on your non-action. The paint has dried. And the contract is enforceable by conduct. There is really no difference in this situation.
Additionally arguments that Willermoz specifically de-Templarized the Rectified Rite and that the entire international community views the GPA as a regular body operating a regular Rite (the Rectified Rite) at least since 1782 are nonetheless valid but, ultimately, moot.
The time for this dispute (if it were to be properly considered) was in 1934.
What remains is a small and motivated faction seeking to expel rivals and position a clandestine version of the same order - but under their own control - for their own purposes.