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Executioner from Norway member of Greek "Order of the Templar Knights"

01 August 2011 / 20:08:41  GRReporter
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Findings about the personality and interests of Norwegian Anders Breivik, who killed 76 fellow countrymen and regarded his stay in prison as a fulfillment of duty, gave the forefront not only to his Islamophobic sentiments, but also his interest in Masonic organizations and knightly orders. In one photograph, which was uploaded in a social media, Anders is wearing a uniform of the Order of the Templar Knights. His announcement that he is a member of the Order, and that he has participated in a meeting with representatives of the Order from other countries, including a Greek in London in 2002 showed that in Greece there are dozens of contemporary "knights" who continue to struggle for their "ideals". Yet all of them refuse in the most categorical way that they have any connection with the 32-year-old Norwegian. 

Still, what is the Order of the Knights Templar, for which many people believe it can be found only in the high-profile fiction literature with a hint of historical events? The initial order of knights was founded in 1118 in Jerusalem after the First Crusade. Knights in it were called Knights of the Temple or Templars and their order - the Order of the Temple, because they were deployed around the temple of Solomon. But because the Templars quickly gained economic strength and even created their own banking system, the Order was disbanded in 1207 by order of the French King Philip IV. It is believed that the new Order of Knights was founded in 1804 by a French physician with the support of Napoleon. 

One of the modern knights is considered to be Belgian Clement Vandenberg, who possessed the archives of the Order of Knights from the Middle Ages and in 1942 passed it to his friend Don Antonio Pereira Sousa Fontes from Portugal. In 1960 he, in turn, passed it to his son Don Fernando, who acquired the title of Grand Master. The Order has followers in 48 countries and involved in local are over 7,000 members. The Order of the Knights can even be found in Peru, Mexico and Congo, and there is great interest in it in the former socialist countries as well. 

In 1995 occurred one of the most important schism in the circles of modern knights. Back then a new world organization was established and its Grand Master was American James Kerry. 

This new "schismatic" Order of the Knights also has 7,500 followers in 48 countries. In Greece, the modern Order has 107 members who remain to be loyal to the Grand Master of Portugal. Founder of the Greek organization is Roula Rogan, who for years was working in the public television as a translator. "In Paris, I graduated in French literature and medieval history. When in 1999 I was in Italy I met with local knights who started to bring me into the secrets of the Order. But back then I was a mere "Lady." When I arrived in Greece I searched among my friends and acquaintances to try and find people with which to found our organization of the Knights Templar and we did it in 2001. Among our members there are engineers, architects, doctors and other respectable persons." 

The website of the Greek Order of the Knights mentions that "Our logo is discipline, and we inspired by the spiritual power of our members, we expect to show respect, dignity and pride." Roula Rogan now bears the heavy title "Grand Commander of the Grand Cross" and says that "our members often gather at a hotel on Kalirois Street. They wear special cloaks with the cross of the Knights, which are supplied by a store on a Greek island. We follow a solemn ceremony with Knight welcome. The new members also join after a special ceremony and pass through a six month trial period. At these meetings all have to move and behave decently. For example, we cannot let a knight to sit cross-legged." 

Within this order there are commissions dealing with charity work of the Knights. They help children with mental disabilities, organize free lunches to needy citizens, provide free legal assistance to people with financial problems and others. 

In Greece there is also another "Order of Knights Templar", which was founded in 1995 after the great schism in the world, which estranged followers worldwide. Its leader is senior manager of an insurance company Pavlos Tsolakian, who has the long title "Grand National Commander of the Grand Priory Greece - Brother Knight of the Grand Cross." Pavlos Tsolakian founded the Order in 2003 with another insurer from Larissa. According to him, "Our organization has 220 members and its goals are purely charitable. We have nothing to do with violence. It is important to clarify that our organization is recognized by the UN." 

According to the website of the Order "among our most revered members are different members of the US Congress, former advisers of the US President, members of the European high aristocracy, Christian Catholics, Orthodox Christians, members of the Anglican and Lutheran churches, diplomats and senior officials from various countries, UN and intergovernmental organizations and over a hundred admirals and generals from various countries." A group of Knights Templar exists even in NATO. Two years ago it became known that a senior functionary of the far-right party LAOS is a member of the Greek Order. 

Tags: Order Knights Templar Anders Breivik
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