Ever wonder about the Knights Templar, the organization that figured prominently in Dan Brown’s blockbuster, “The Da Vinci Code”?
“That was a great, suspenseful story,” says David Appleby, Grand Prior XIV of the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, or what is commonly called Knights Templar, “but it doesn’t have a lot to do with reality.”
Appleby, an attorney for more than 30 years and a municipal judge in Ozark, will discuss the historic and contemporary Order, separating myth from fact, at a program at 7 p.m. on Monday in the auditorium at the Library Center.
“The modern Order,” he says, “is a United Nations-sanctioned non-governmental organization, or NGO, and the bottom line is that the Knights Templar is a Christian charitable organization.”
The umbrella organization for Missouri is the Priory of St. Louis the Crusader. “Each Priory is allowed to select its charitable activities and we’ve chosen the Ronald McDonald House,” said Appleby.
“In very broad terms, the Order today exists to protect Christians in peril just as it did over 800 years ago. In more practical terms, Templars today engage in numerous charitable activities that result in assistance to other Christians in financial or physical need. We have assisted those in need in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Ethiopia and Afghanistan. We are now working with groups in the Holy Lands to assist Christians with needs there, too.”
Appleby knows there’s confusion about the Knights Templar, so he will be prepared to answer questions, such as:
Q: Are there hereditary restrictions to membership?
A: We do not believe being a Christian is hereditary. The Order has Christian members of all races and nationalities and both genders.
Q: Is it exclusively a military organization?
A: Although the name perpetuates the historical military aspect of the Order, military service is not required, but the organization is organized along military lines.
Q: Is the organization related to Freemasonry?
A: No, but it is our understanding that a segment of Freemasonry has adopted some Templar symbols and precepts. All of our ceremonies and activities are open to the public, have a distinct and intentional religious basis, but are never conducted behind closed doors.
Look up the Priory of the US at OSMTH
note: The Grand Priory of the United States OSMTH, under the leadership of HE Read Admiral James Carey, has no filiation with our obedience of the Order, however good relations and fraternal bonds of friendship prevail between both Templar bodies.