Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani
The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in Scotland










•  F.A.Q.









During the 1990s and 2000s the world saw a huge explosion in “half fact – have fiction” publications. Writers from all around the globe joined the gravy train in publicising books that tied a number of Templar Traditions to Historical people and events.
This is best illustrated by the Dan Brown novels and the following counter stream of documentaries in trying to prove what was the facts of the matter.

During the middle of the 2000s, our Order in Scotland decided to put aside the Historical Objectives of the Order and concentrate successfully on our Humanitarian and Christian ones. Our Order continues to grow and there is now a resurgence of growth in the historical side of the Order.

A number of synergies were happening as we saw (inter and exter – Order) the requirement for an universal archive of Templar knowledge and traditions that was based on hard facts and that could substantiate the hardest of Academic review. The OSMTH History and Traditions Committee, chaired by Chev Leo Thys, agreed the International Approach and requested involvement from each of the Members States to execute a number of International led Objectives.

The Commandery of St Clair, Scotland, No S1 (A Commandery of OSMTH Knights Templar International under mentorship of the Grand Priory of France, OSMTH) agreed at its Strategic Planning Meeting, held earlier this year, to re-activate the search for credible historical references to the Order in Scotland, its locations and its members.

As part of this re-activation, the St Clair Commandery is seeking interested parties (Authors and Knight Templar enthusiasts) that can bring light and knowledge (within the strict Academic Level rules that we will be applying) to the Order in Scotland. Ideally those requesting membership or involvement should be concentrating on the lifecycle of the traditional Order from circa 1118AD to 1307AD or the Modern Order from circa 1800AD to the present.

Papers written for the period of “Continuance” (1307AD-1804AD) will be looked at, but only if the authors have conducted 100% provable research. As an indication of the level of research we are looking for, we are extremely pleased to present an article written by Jeff Nisbet as a Review of “The Rosslyn Templar” (Ashley Cowie, 2009). (attached here).

The Order in Scotland will start to collate a list of accredited authors which will include Leo Thys, Dr Karen Ralls, Malcolm Barber, Stephen Dafoe and Jeff Nisbet.

In the hope that we can encourage others down the more 'factual' route and at the same time realising the true potential of the Order in Scotland, initial contact can be made to the St Clair Commandery Secretary, Chev Paul McGowan GCTJ at: paulmagoo@btinternet.com


The DaVinci Code” and The Real Knights Templar of Today.

By Chev Paul McGowan GOTJ, Grand Secretary General of OSMTH, International Knights Templar.   Fall 2004.

Edinburgh, Scotland: The bestselling book “The DaVinci Code” paints a picture of intrigue and major international financial power resting in the 900 year old Military Knighthood Order of The Knights Templar dating back to the Crusades, but in the real world of 2004, The Knights Templar Order is recognized in “special consultative status” by the United Nations and is run by a retired American Navy Rear Admiral and a retired British Army Major General who holds the title “Knight of the British Empire”. Rear Admiral James Carey of Alexandria, VA, the Grand Commander of the Order and Major General Sir Roy Redgrave of London, England, the Grand Master of the Order, hardly consider themselves wealthy and now both spend their time in leading the Templar Order throughout the world “to aid the needy, lame, blind, and afflicted”. In just this past year The Knights Templar, more formally known as The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem and even more formally by their Latin name of Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani [OSMTH], has provided tens of tons of humanitarian aid in the form of food, clothing, and medical supplies to Ethiopia, the Philippines, Russia, Afghanistan, the Ukraine, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Romania. The Order’s Latin Motto is Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam, which comes from the Bible and in English means Not Unto Us, Oh Lord, Not Unto Us, But To Thy Name Give Glory, under which the Templars operate to provide their humanitarian aid and good works around the world with no compensation and no recognition, instead doing so anonymously “in the Name of GOD and for the good of all mankind”.

Asked if he had read “The DaVinci Code”, Carey replied “Yes. Very good book. Very exciting. But I had to chuckle at some of the suggestions that we in The Knights Templar have all this treasure, and that we somehow hid it centuries ago in Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. If that’s true, the “keys to the vault” were somehow not included when I became Grand Commander of the Order”. In fact, Carey pointed out that all the costs for managing and administering the Order come from their annual dues, which they call oblations, and thus 100 cents of every dollar donated by their members for charity and humanitarian aid goes totally for that aid. This has included hospital supplies to the Philippines, the rebuilding of a 4 car train in Russia to provide medical service to remote areas with no other medical service, blankets and food and medicine to Afghanistan, Templar medical doctors traveling to nations needing medical assistance, aid to a hospital in Jerusalem that provides medical service to all without regard to their religion, medical and surgical supplies to Ethiopia, and two large containers of medical supplies which Carey indicated they hope to deliver in Iraq in early 2004, once they raise the necessary funds to ship the containers. When asked why these Templar good works aren’t mentioned in the book “The DaVinci Code”, Carey replied “You’ll have to ask the author about that. I do have to say that he did get many of the Templar historical facts and Templar history right, but I’m guessing there’s not much sales appeal for a book that talks about us helping the poor when you’re interested in Templar intrigue and adventure and vast fortunes and world power. While the early Templars were involved in the Crusades in the Holy Land, those of us in this modern day timeframe are focused on bringing help and aid to the less fortunate there. That’s probably not going to sell any books. And besides, since we do all of our good works anonymously; almost no one knows that it’s the Knights Templar that provides this humanitarian aid”.

Carey went on to say “while there have been literally hundreds of books written on the history and intrigue of The Knights Templar, we do not seek publicity. We recruit new members, Knights and Dames, primarily through word of mouth around the world, and since we have 5,000 members from some 40 different nations, we have no trouble in attracting new members. Rather, the fact that we are doing much good around the world and that we seek no publicity for it seems to attract many who want to help and who wish to bear the title “Knight Templar”. Here in the USA, for example, we have Templar Knights who are Members of Congress, City Mayors, federal officials, leaders in academia and the Clergy and all the professions, and of course since the original Knights Templar were warriors, we have a particularly large number of members from the military. We’re an Ecumenical Christian Chivalric Order and accept members from any Christian Church, yet we are not affiliated with any single church denomination. We also have members in our Order of Merit who, in addition to Christians, also includes Muslims and Jews. The one thing I would agree with from “The DaVinci Code” is that we are a large and complex and truly international Order that is very involved in our communities and churches and cities and organizations in each of the nations where we have an established presence. All of that and more is covered on our web site at www.OSMTH.org which, contrary to the book, will show that we are a totally open and most surely not some ancient secret society. We publicly post our meeting minutes, the identity of all our national organizations and our entire international leadership, and any and everything else that one might want to know about us.”

Asked if the Templars do all this “all on their own”, Carey said “Heavens no. We work closely with numerous other organizations and groups. As an example, we’re recognized by the United Nations as “a Non-Governmental Organization [NGO] in Special Consultative Status” and we use that linkage to the U.N. to help focus our humanitarian aid efforts in nations where the U.N. advises it is most needed. We work closely with an organization called Knightsbridge International [ www.kbi.org ] which is run by several of our Order’s Knights and which provides our “boots on the ground” presence when we deliver aid to Afghanistan or the Philippines and hopefully soon to the Iraq. We also work closely with and support the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy [ www.icrd.org ] which is also run by one of our Order’s Knights and which is doing outstanding work trying to prevent war in such places as The Sudan and bordering nations. Another of our Knights who is an active duty Army Colonel has written a book called “SILENT KNIGHT” and we work closely with him and the individual anonymous good works program he has developed that is based on the theme of his book which is also called SILENT KNIGHT [ www.thesilentknight .com ]. Through the SILENT KNIGHT program alone we are providing hundreds of anonymous individually initiated good works in scores of nations all over the world every day. So YES, absolutely, we work closely and regularly with others to make all this happen. None of this could be accomplished by just one man or woman”.

So let’s go back to “The DaVinci Code”. How about the Rosslyn Chapel connection to the Knights Templar? “Well, there’s surely a historical legitimacy to that linkage. We do know that there was a significant Templar presence in Scotland, including the Scottish Knights Templar headquarters which was about 4 miles away from Rosslyn at Ballantradoc [whose modern day name is now “Temple”]. And we’ve maintained a good relationship with the current leadership of the Rosslyn Chapel, where we have held Templar Investitures of new members and where Templars from all around the world have traveled to experience the unique Templar history there. This has been aided by all sorts of books written about the Templars and their special relationship with the builders of Rosslyn Chapel----- some quite accurate and others bordering more on fantasy and intrigue and supposition, but all of which lead Templars all around the world to travel to Rosslyn to visit Rosslyn Chapel and look into the Templar history there. This is not totally unique, in that many Templars also travel to England and Ireland and France and Jerusalem and The Holy Land and Cyprus for the same Templar historical reasons. The Templars built a tremendous Order in the 1100’s and 1200’s that had an extensive network of banking and diplomacy and churches and fortresses all over Europe and the Middle East, and their substantial history and influence and involvement over the centuries is very much factual and thus many of the historical references in “The DaVinci Code” are quite accurate. We know all that with certainty from our Templar Historians, several of who are Professors of Medieval History at prestigious universities around the world and others who are published authors on Templar history. And while the author of “The DaVinci Code” didn’t contact us in his research, we’re contacted all the time by producers doing Templar TV Documentaries and academics doing medieval Templar research and authors of Templar Books “in the works”------ indeed, after 900 years, the interest in the Knights Templar seems to be rapidly growing as more and more books and television documentaries are available to the public. So in that regard, I guess you could call us the Guardians of Templar History since we strive to ensure that what gets printed is as accurate as possible. You must admit, we have had an incredibly intriguing and exciting history for many, many centuries”.


[1] Paul McGowan may be reached for comment in Scotland at HERE.  Rear Admiral Carey may be reached in the USA HERE. Full details on the Knights Templar Order are available at their web site HERE. Information on Sir Roy Redgrave is available in his recently published autobiography “Balkan Blue”.

[2] Since the original preparation of this document, the Order has held its annual meetings in Monchengladbach, Germany, which included its Triennial Election of International Officers. MG Sir Roy Redgrave of London, England was elevated to Grand Master Emeritus, Rear Admiral Carey of Alexandria, VA USA was elected to an eight year term as Grand Master of the Order [Chairman], and BG Patrick Rea of Chicago, IL USA was elected to a three year term as Grand Commander [C.E.O.]. Admiral Carey is the first American to have served as both the Grand Commander and the Grand Master of the Order in it’s 900 year history.


Leonardo daVinci
Leonardo daVinci

Apprentice pillar, Rosslyn Chapel
Apprentice pillar
Rosslyn Chapel
Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani - The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in Scotland - Reg No: SC314552