Sunday, December 28, 2008

Michael Spradlin's "The Youngest Templar"

Check out Michael Spradlin's website for his new book, The Youngest Templar: Keeper of the Grail.

I endorse his book even if his website bio claims he has an irrational fear of Hoosiers (both Indiana and the Gene Hackman movie).

NBC's "The Last Templar" Website and Preview

The website for NBC's miniseries, "The Last Templar," based on Raymond Khoury's novel, is up and running, with a new preview. Premieres January 25th.

The new and Improved Knight Templar Magazine

Chapeaux off and huzzahs to the Knight Templar Magazine and its editor Sir Knight John Palmer. Over the last few months, with the strong encouragement of Most Eminant Grand Master Koon, the monthly magazine has shed its dated, black and white skin, cut back on grip-n-grin (GAG) photos, and been reborn. It now hits mailboxes in full color, with limited advertising, color photos, an increase in pages, and honest-to-goodness articles about Templarism (both medieval and modern), chivalry, Christian history, archeology, and symbolism. And SK Palmer has assembled a prestigious lineup for the mag's editorial board: Rex Hutchens, Stephen Dafoe, Aaron Shoemaker, Leroy Delionbach, Terry Plemons, and Sid Dorris.

In addition to going out to 130,000 Templars every month, it is also available online at

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dafoe's Templar Comic "Outremer" No. 1 Now Available

Back in the days when I was a much smaller Hodapp, I engaged in that time-honored practice of kiddom: reading under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to be doing something more useful, like sleeping. Even at that age, I reckoned, there’ll be plenty of time for sleep when you die. Mad Magazine, comics from Stan Lee or the DC guys would always land me in the preadolescent version of the slammer, but there was always one line of comics sure to save me from a late-night bawling out: Classics Illustrated. This line of comics did just what it sounds like. They took classic stories (The Three Musketeers, House of the Seven Gables, War of the Worlds, and more than a hundred others), splashed them in full color across kid-friendly pages, and kept me far more interested than any of that malarky about some self-appointed do-gooder in tights from Krypton.

Author Stephen Dafoe has written about the Knights Templar from almost every conceivable angle over the years—as straight history (Nobly Born), as speculation (The Warriors and the Bankers), and most recently, the origins and growth of the Masonic Knights Templar Order (The Compasses and the Cross). Now, he and artist Bob Prodor’s new comic book treatment of the medieval Knight Templar, Outremer, presents the Order in a way no one has done before, and it brings back my fond memories of those Classics Illustrated of my youth, for all of the same reasons. It tells the legendary story of the origin, rise and fall of the Templars in the Holy Land, and it does it with action-packed style. Issue One: Origins introduces Hughes de Payens and Geoffroi de St. Omer in the hills outside of Jerusalem, protecting pilgrims from attacks by Arab bandits. Through their eyes, the history of Jerusalem and the First Crusade to capture the Holy Land from the Infidel unfolds.

Outremer effectively illustrates the historic troubles of Jerusalem and the religious multi-culturalism that came and went over the centuries before the arrival of European pilgrims and knights. And it weaves the most famous  “must-haves” of the Templar tales into the story, like the iconic image of two Templar knights sharing a horse, and the crowds whipped into a crusading frenzy, shouting Deus le volt! (“God Wills It!”). But best of all, it achieves that delicate balancing act of education and entertainment. Outremer is just plain fun to read. It puts forth the true story of the Crusades and the beginnings of the Order in a compact and exciting way, and is over much too quickly. Dafoe and Prodor have a real winner with Outremer. Four issues are planned in the series, and I’m already impatient for Issue 2, even if I know how the story turns out in the end. 

I even got bawled out by the missus for reading by flashlight under the covers.

The first issue is available at as a stand alone book, electronic download or in a limited edition collector's set that contains a few extra goodies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Spanish Knights Templar Sue Pope

The is reporting today that the Knights Templar in Spain have decided to sue the Vatican to get their stuff back:

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth €100 billion (US$150 billion).

They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church.

But their motive is not to reclaim damages only to restore the "good name" of the Knights Templar.

"We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church, but to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order," said a statement issued by the self-proclaimed modern day knights.

And I am the real Anastasia.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stephen Dafoe's Outremer

Friend and Brother Stephen Dafoe is seemingly indefatigable. In the last year he has published Nobly Born: An Illustrated History of the Knights Templar, one of the best introductory works to the history and legends of the medieval Knights Templar, combined with beautiful illustrations and maps.

This year, he follows it up with The Compasses and the Cross, a unique book that traces the origins and development of the Masonic Knights Templar, and separates fact from Masonic myth-making. There is literally no other work like it, and Stephen has created a book of tremendous worth to the fraternity and to others who seek to study it.

With Comic-Con going on in San Diego this week, it's appropriate to announce Stephen's latest project. It combines his love of the Knights Templar with comic books. He and Edmonton artist Bob Prodor have joined forces to create Outremer: The Saga of the Knights Templar. According to his website, Outremer's pen and ink work is complete, and is in the final stages of coloring. he is predicting a fall 2008 release date for the first of four issues.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mice Templar Animated Film

Kidvid network Nickelodeon is producing a new cartoon movie, The Mice Templar, written by Mike Avon Oeming and Bryan Glass. According to a Hollywood Reporter story,

"Mice" is an epic about a young mouse named Karic and the prophecy that leads him to reunite the long-disbanded order of the Mice Templar, a group of mice knights.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Templar Treasure Hunters Dig In Bornholm Island Church

As we discussed in The Templar Code For Dummies, Denmark's Bornholm Island is the hot new spot for Templar treasure seekers. And apparently, some would-be Holy Grail hunters decided o dig some exploratory holes in the largest round church on Bornholm Island. As reported in the Copenhagen Post:

Stories of hidden treasures and connections to the Knights Templar inspired unknown vandals early Tuesday morning to drill two holes into the floor of Østerlars Church on the island of Bornholm, reported TV2 News.

The structure is a well-visited 12th century 'round church', of which there are four on Bornholm. But the church is especially popular among fans of conspiracy stories surrounding the Holy Grail and a possible union between Jesus and Mary Magdalen - a tale most recently made famous by Dan Brown's 'The DaVinci Code'.

Danish author Erling Haagensen's books readily connect the island's round churches to the crusading knights. He claims that the churches' symmetrical placement is part of the ongoing mystery surrounding the knights, who he claims settled on the island.

Haagensen also wrote that there was a secret chamber under the floor of the church. Geo-radar studies have confirmed that the room does actually exist, and Haagensen has suggested drilling holes in the floor to send a micro camera down to view the room.

The would-be thieves attempted to take that message to heart Tuesday morning, but it is not known whether they managed to sneak a peak at the secret room's contents.

In a recent Danish children's film, 'The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar', it is suggested that a valuable treasure is hidden in the room - possibly the Holy Grail.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Universal to make new 'Knights Templar' movie

From May 5th's Hollywood Reporter.

Universal has picked up the mantle of "The Knights Templar," acquiring a spec script by Adam Torchia and Justin Stanley, for filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov and Marc Platt to produce.

Platt will produce via his Universal-based Marc Platt Prods. while Bekmambetov, the Russian director of the "Night Watch" movies and Universal's upcoming comic-book actioner "Wanted," is producing with Jim Lemley, his partner at Bazelevs Prods.

The script, a period actioner, revolves around the Knights Templar, who fresh from the Crusades fend off an invading vampire army seeking to destroy the Holy Grail.

Vampires. And Templars. And the Holy Grail.

And vampires.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Erotic Templar Tales?!

Well, now I've seen everything.

Erotic Tales of the Knights Templar in the Holy Land, labeled as gay left-handed "literature."

Maybe the Inquisition was right.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Khoury's "The Last Templar" To Be NBC Mini-Series

TV Guide reports that NBC is making its first mini-series in many years: "The Last Templar," based on Raymond Khoury's bestselling novel. The miniseries centers on New York archaeologist Tess Chaykin (Mira Sorvino), who investigates the Knights Templar after a group of masked horsemen steal an artifact from the Metropolitan Museum. Victor Garber will play Monsignor De Angelis, a priest who helps with the investigation.

Shooting begins next month in Montreal and Morocco for an airdate later in the year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Indiana Medieval Group To Confer Templar Orders April 12

From the Indiana supplement to the March 2008 Knight Templar Magazine:

Fourteenth-century Europe comes to Indiana Orders in period costume at Indiana Masonic Home
by Ed Sebring

All Sir Knights are invited to see the Orders of Knights Templary conferred “in the fullest possible form” by members of Levant Preceptory dressed in the arms and armor of the 13th and 14th centuries.

The “Knight Templar Festival” will begin with the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross at 10 a.m. EST on Satur-day, April 12, in back by the barn at the Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin. Lunch will be served at noon at the shelter house with grills, followed by the Order of Malta and the Mediterranean Pass at 1 p.m. The Order of the Temple is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.

Finally, a “medieval feast” will be served at 6 p.m. Total cost for both meals is $25, a portion of which will go toward a project for Masonic Home residents. Reservations should be made through SK Mike Ritter, Deputy Battalion Commander,, or 4504 N. Ball Ave, Muncie, IN 47304

So why is the Grand Commandery of Indiana sponsoring such a conferral?

“Last year the York Rite did a one-day class in April and it was a success,” said Grand Commander Andrew R. Jackson. “I wanted something special for this year and we have the Levant folks up to speed and they wished to confer the Order of the Temple.

“I’ve served on the IMH Board for many years and my wife works there, and I thought it only fitting to bring Templary to our Home. I have the petition from the IMH Chaplain and have been promised one from the new IMH CEO, John Rose.

“Indiana Templary can grow with fine events such as this one. Keeping the interest of the times and changing ages of our current and new members should be at the forefront of our Grand Commandery leadership. The York Rite is on the move with the many programs and members working to increase our member-ship This event has good basic entertainment for all who will attend.”

The “Levant folks” are the members of Levant Preceptory, a group of Hoo-sier Sir Knights who haves invested hundreds of dollars of their own money to acquire Norman-style helmets, chain mail, swords and clothing as the crusading Knights Templar would have worn 700 years ago. The Levant is the crescent of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, and “preceptory” is the name our Canadian brethren use for their local units instead of “commandery.” The reenactors adopted that name to indicate the time and place they are trying to re-enact, and to indicate they are an organized group but not a separate commandery.

Members of Levant Preceptory marched in costume during this past IMH pilgrimage. Their first performance was Oct. 13 in Shelbyville, a day that was precisely 700 years after the arrest of the crusading Knights Templar on trumped- up charges of heresy. In a darkened room, the Levantines spoke as our spiritual Knight Templar ancestors might have spoken, about their fears for their future and how they would react personally to the news of the arrests. But in previous interviews, officials of Levant Preceptory said it was their dearest wish to get to portray the Orders on candidates in period costume. Now they have that chance.

"We're very excited about finally having a firm date to confer the Order of the Temple for the first time as a group,” said SK James Dillman, director of work for Levant Preceptory. “I wouldn't describe what I'm feeling as pressure and we're certainly not scared; responsibility is probably a better word. We owe it to the candidates to properly convey the lessons of the Order of the Temple and I'm confident that we'll do just that. We're taking our work very seriously. Our experience in Shelbyville taught
us that people are very excited about seeing us in the period costumes, so that adds an element of fun for us as well.” At this point, Dillman expects 17 Sir Knights to appear in period costume to confer the Orders on April 12.

“We're going to have to make a few very minor adjustments because of the broadswords and the equipment we'll be wearing,” Dillman said. “We'll be rehearsing a couple of times in March and will do a full dress rehearsal on Friday night before the festival.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The 'X' Zone Radio Show, Monday Night 3/17

Tuesday, March 18th will be the anniversary of the burning of Jacques de Molay at the stake in Paris in 1314, and the end of the medieval Order.

Brother Stephen Dafoe ("Nobly Born") and I will be joining host Rob McConnell on the 'X' Zone Radio Show, Monday March 17th, between 10PM and 2AM, EST (not certain yet which segment - I'll update when I know), talking Templars.

The show is heard on the TalkStar Radio Network throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The 'X' Zone is also available via TalkStar Radio streaming audio at and then clicking on the red flashing "ON AIR."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Chinon Parchment Reproduction Going Like Hotcakes - Not!

As reported in this space, the Vatican has printed a mere 799 reproductions of the Chinon Parchment, a document issued by Pope Clement V that absolved the captive Templar Knights at Chinon of heresy and wrongdoing. Collectors around the world, it was thought, would snap up these hot knock-offs like hotcakes. And they have indeed sold about as well as you'd expect $8,400 hotcakes would sell - there are still 300 of the Processus Contra Templarios available.

Sure, the leather binding and the reproduction of the Pope's was seals are cool and all, but I suspect most of us are waiting for the paperback edition.

How's your Italian? Here's the publisher's website.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Not Your Usual Templar Chapeau Use

The new Sports Illustrated Swim Suit issue hit newsstands today. Indy driver Danica Patrick will undoubtedly get all of the big, noisy flacking from the press, but Masons can hold their heads up proudly as well - especially members of the Knights Templar. According to friend and brother Russ Spice in Detroit, who keeps his finger on the pulse of such things, on page 180, Brazilian model Daniella Sarahyba is wearing a topless swimsuit, posing coyly with a Knights Templar Chapeau.

Grand Commandery recruiting poster on its way...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

History Channel Tonight: Underground Apocalypse

Thursday Night 1/31/08, the History Channel will run Cities Of The Underworld: Underground Apocalypse.

For billions of people across the globe, Jerusalem is considered ground zero for Armageddon. And while most of the world's population considers it a holy land, it's also one of the bloodiest cities the world has ever known. From a hidden occult city built by the Knights Templar to the hiding place for the Dead Sea Scrolls, the evidence of the apocalypse is buried all over the holy city. Host Don Wildman has special access to a sacred stone said to keep the world from ultimate chaos, and finds evidence of John the Baptist's apocalyptic sermons... he's heading into a vast underground that ignited the violent visions of the end of the world.

Color me skeptical on the "occult city" of the Templars, but we'll see. It reruns Friday, February 1st at 2:00 AM, and Saturday, February 16th at 4:00 PM

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Da Vinci Code Movie Props Auction at Lincoln Cathedral

From the Press Association today:

Lincoln Cathedral said it plans to sell 43 wall hangings that were used to turn it into Westminster Abbey for the Hollywood film.
The cathedral said it is also selling five statues that it put on display with the 8ft hangings after filming finished.
Westminster Abbey controversially refused to allow stars Tom Hanks and Sir Ian McKellen the chance to act out the final scenes from the adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling novel. At the time it claimed the book was "theologically unsound".
The proceeds from the latest sale will add to Lincoln Cathedral's coffers. It was reportedly paid £100,000 when it was used as a location for the film in August 2005.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Templars in Hellgate London

A longtime (I'll say - since high school!) buddy called tonight and mentioned that he's lately been playing a PC game, Hellgate London, which has as part of its central story line a post-apocalyptic group of Templar warriors:

A post-apocalyptic London has been overrun by hordes of terrifying demons, leaving the city desolate and scorched by hellfire. Those who were unlucky enough to survive now gather in the only sanctuary left, the Underground, banding together in order to gain a foothold against the minions of darkness and ultimately save the bloodline of humanity.

It is no surprise that these sole survivors come from three of society’s most elite factions, each of whom are masters of a robust number of skills and weapons essential to demon-thrashing.

The Templar, a secret society preserving the rites of the original Knights Templar, mix futuristic technology with ancient artifacts to create powerful weapons and armor perfect for short-ranged and melee attacks.

Apparently, those "ancient artifacts" include lots of all-seeing eyes and Masonic squares and compasses.

And for the esoterics in the audience:

The Cabalists are students of the dark arts and edges of science which often leaves them standing right on the line between good and evil. Their mystifying spells make them suited for mid-range combat.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Da Vinci and the Holy Grail in Iceland!

The Iceland Review Online is reporting that the Holy Grail might just be lurking in a subterranean dome under the ice of an Icelandic mountain pass.

Architect Thórarinn Thórarinsson and Italian "cryptographer" Italian cryptographer Giancarlo Gianazza believe the Holy Grail and other lost objects may be located in the Hrunamannahreppur district in southwest Iceland.

Gianazza believes to have found important clues to where the Holy Grail is hidden in poems by Dante and artwork by Leonardo da Vinci and other Renaissance painters. His research has led him to conclude that the treasure is located in a five-meter-large secret underground dome by Skipholtskrókar near the Kjölur mountain pass.

Their theory is that the Knights Templar (naturally) came to Iceland in 1217 to find a hiding place for the Grail and other great gobs of loot. Medieval Icelandic scribbler Snorri Sturluson supposedly helped the knights dig this elusive underground dome in Iceland’s rugged mountains.

The clinching evidence appears when you superimpose a small section of Da Vinci's The Last Supper over a map of the area, and voila! They sort of, kind of match up, maybe, if you click your heels together and make a wish three times.

Something tells me they are riding on the wings of a grant, or looking for investors. Just a guess.