International Registration of OTJ, Ordre du Temple de Jerusalem in Belgium

2023.5.8 International Order Registration of OTJ, Ordre du Temple de Jerusalem in Belgium

 Brothers and Sisters of our noble Order. 

The Order of the Temple was founded in Jerusalem in A.D. 1118 by 9 French knights under the mastership of Hugues de Payens. It has been known by a variety of names over the centuries, but it has, since its founding, been usually known as the Order of the Temple. To my knowledge, the Order has never been “registered” as an international order in any country.[i] 

After the supposed suppression of the Order by Pope Clement V in 1314[1], and the execution of Grand Master Jacques de Molay, the leadership of the Order was by tradition transmitted from de Molay’s successor, Jean L’Armenius on his death in 1327, by an encoded document known as the L’Armenius Charter of Transmission.  

That Charter was generally kept secret until around 1804 when it was publicly announced by then Grand Master Dr. Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat. Many claim that Fabre-Palaprat created the revealed Charter, but research by our Grand Historian Daniel Clausen, has conclusively demonstrated that the Charter was in existence as early as 1681[2]. Consequently, while we cannot prove unbroken line of succession since 1327, the Charter may in fact be an accurate transmission of leadership of the Order from the ancient Templars to the present. 

To give the international Order a ‘legal’ home, we have registered it in the country of Belgium[3] under the historical name (in French) of “L’Ordre du Temple”, with for clarification, the addition of “de Jerusalem”. The legal name of the Order is L’Ordre du Temple de Jerusalem. Grand Priories may continue to use the OSMTJ name in their national registrations, but we will begin to use the OTJ name in international documents.  

May God bless our Noble Order, Deus Vult! 

[1] The Order was created or recognized by King Baldwin of Jerusalem, which leads some to claim that since the Order was not created by a Pope, it could not be dissolved by a Pope. 

[2] Which is also about 50 years before the creation of the first Freemason groups. Therefore, the Freemason claim of creating the Templar Order is false. 

[3] Under Fabre-Palaprat, a Grand Priory of the Order was created in Belgium in 1827, and in 1932 the Orrdre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jerusalem (OSMTJ), was registered in Belgium, but that registration only encompassed Belgium, not as an international entity.