Knights Templar today

Do The Knights Templar Exist Today

The Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order, was founded in 1119 and disbanded by Pope Clement V in 1312. This secretive and enigmatic group has become a subject of immense fascination and speculation throughout history, from conspiracy theories to their portrayal in popular culture. As the Knights Templar have remained a compelling topic for centuries, many have wondered: does the Knights Templar exist today? Are the Knights Templar still active in modern society? Who are the Templars today, and what is their significance as a modern day Knight Templar organization? This article will explore the legends, conspiracies, and realities surrounding the modern Knights Templar and their alleged present-day counterparts.

When Was the Last Knights Templar?

The original Knights Templar, a medieval Christian military order, was officially disbanded by the Catholic Church in the early 14th century. Pope Clement V issued the papal bull “Vox in Excelso” in 1312, dissolving the order and confiscating its assets. The Templars’ leaders were arrested and put on trial on various charges, including heresy and idolatry. Many of them were tortured and forced to confess under duress, leading to the execution of some of the order’s top members, including its last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, who was burned at the stake in 1314.

After the dissolution of the original order, there were no more Knights Templar in the formal sense of a military, religious order. While various groups and organizations have since adopted the name and symbols of the Templars, there is no direct continuation of the original medieval order. Therefore, the last Knights Templar was a formal organization in the early 14th century.

Knights Templar Today: Secret Societies and Conspiracies

Various secret societies and fraternal organizations claim to have direct ties to the original Knights Templar, often asserting a continuation of their noble mission. Some groups, like the Order of the Temple, the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), and the Ancient and Noble Order of Knights Templar, claim to have legitimate lineage in the medieval order. They often emphasize the Templar tradition’s chivalric, charitable, and Christian aspects. Yet, these claims remain highly debated and have yet to be conclusively proven.

In addition to these organizations, conspiracy theories abound regarding the Knights Templar’s continued existence and involvement in modern political, economic, and religious affairs. These theories often posit that the Knights Templar secretly survived their dissolution and manipulated world events behind the scenes for centuries. Theories linking the Knights Templar to the Illuminati, Freemasonry, and other clandestine organizations further fuel these speculations. While captivating and entertaining, little to no credible evidence supports these claims.

Modern Day Knight Templar: Fact and Fiction

The modern Knights Templar are typically members of various fraternal organizations that have adopted the Templar name and ethos. These groups often engage in charitable and humanitarian work, seeking to exemplify the noble and chivalrous ideals of the original order. Although they may use the Templar name and imagery, they do not possess any definitive historical ties to the original order.

Some organizations, such as the mentioned SMOTJ, have received recognition from governments and religious institutions as legitimate and honorable groups, highlighting their dedication to charity and humanitarian work. However, this recognition does not validate any claimed lineage to the original Knights Templar.

In contrast to these well-meaning organizations, some groups claiming to be modern Knights Templar have been involved in far-right extremism and violent acts, invoking the Templar name and symbolism to justify their actions. These fringe groups are not representative of the majority of modern day Knight Templar organizations, nor are they in line with the original order’s principles.

Who are the Templars Today: Preserving History and Ideals

The Templars today primarily consist of people interested in preserving the history and ideals of the medieval Knights Templar. These individuals often belong to fraternal organizations, historical societies, and academic institutions focusing on researching and commemorating the order’s fascinating and complex past.

The modern Templar movement also includes a growing number of reenactment groups, such as the Knights Templar International (KTI), which seek to recreate the life and times of the original order through historical reenactments, events, and educational programs. These groups help to keep the Templar legacy alive by sharing their knowledge and passion for the order’s history with the public.

What Are the Knights Templar Called Today?

Today, the Knights Templar are referenced by various organizations and groups that have adopted their name and ethos. Yet, there is no direct continuation of the original medieval order. Some groups claiming to be successors or to have ties to the original Knights Templar include:

  1. Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ): Also known as the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), this international Christian chivalric organization aims to promote Christian values, charity, and humanitarian work. While it uses the Templar name and symbols, there is no proven connection to the original order.
  2. The Masonic Knights Templar: A branch of the Freemasons, this organization has adopted the Templar name and imagery, creating a chivalric degree within Freemasonry. Although no verified historical link exists between the original Knights Templar and the Freemasons, the latter organization often pays tribute to the former in their rituals and symbols.
  3. The Ancient and Noble Order of Knights Templar: Another group claiming to be a modern incarnation of the original order, they focus on charitable works and promoting the chivalric principles of the medieval Templars. Like other organizations mentioned here, they have no proven historical ties to the original Knights Templar.
  4. Knights Templar International (KTI): This organization is primarily a historical reenactment group that aims to educate and promote the history and ideals of the original order. They do not claim any direct lineage to the medieval Knights Templar but rather work to preserve their legacy through reenactments and educational programs.

Numerous other groups and organizations often use the Knights Templar name, symbols, and ethos to promote chivalric values, charitable works, or historic preservation. It is essential to note that while the original order may inspire these organizations, they are not direct successors or have verified historical connections to the medieval Knights Templar.

Can You Join the Knights Templar Today?

Joining the Knights Templar today can be a complex and confusing process, given the variety of organizations and groups that use the Templar name and imagery. It is important to note that there is no direct continuation of the original medieval order, and the groups that use the name may not have any historical connection to the Templars.

If you want to join a modern-day Knights Templar organization, thoroughly research the various groups and their claims. Look for reputable sources and credible historical documentation to verify any claims of lineage or legitimacy.

Many organizations that use the Templar name have strict membership requirements, including being of a certain age, having a clean criminal record, and undergoing a rigorous application process. Some groups may require you to be of a specific religious denomination or undergo training in chivalric principles or martial arts.

It is also crucial to consider the values and beliefs of the organization you are considering joining. Some modern-day Templar groups have been linked to far-right extremism, white supremacy, and violent actions, while others focus on charitable work, humanitarian aid, and historic preservation. Make sure that the organization’s values align with your own and that you feel comfortable with their beliefs and practices.

Even though it is possible to join a modern-day Knights Templar organization, it is essential to research and be aware of the varying claims and beliefs of the groups that use the Templar name. Always verify the legitimacy of an organization and its claims before considering membership, and make sure that their values align with your own.

Are the Knights Templar Still Active: A Final Verdict

In conclusion, while the original Knights Templar ceased to exist as an order in 1312, their memory and legacy have lived on throughout history. Does the Knights Templar exist today in the same way they did during the medieval period? No. Still, the name and ideals of the original order have been adopted and adapted by various modern organizations, some of which pursue noble and charitable endeavors. In contrast, others may be involved in more controversial activities.

To answer the question, “are the Knights Templar still active?” in the literal sense, the original order no longer operates as a military, religious, or political organization. However, multiple groups, societies, and individuals identify with the Templar name and carry on their legacy, albeit without any verified historical connections to the original order.

The Knights Templar today can be found in a variety of forms, from well-intentioned fraternal organizations to historical reenactment groups dedicated to preserving the order’s memory. Unfortunately, some extremist factions have also misappropriated the Templar name and legacy for nefarious purposes, giving rise to the perception of a darker, clandestine existence. While these cases can be alarming, they do not represent the majority of modern Knights Templar organizations and enthusiasts, who instead honor the order’s rich history and uphold its chivalric and charitable principles.


In the end, the Templar legacy has been kept alive through numerous interpretations, adaptations, and imitations, resulting in a diverse and fascinating assortment of modern Knights Templar. Although the original order may no longer exist, their influence on history and continued relevance in popular culture, conspiracy theories, and various organizations ensure that the Knights Templar will not be forgotten anytime soon. The lasting impact of this enigmatic order and the many questions surrounding them are a testament to their enduring allure and the fascination they continue to inspire in people worldwide.