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Any group formed after the suppression of the KnightTemplars aiming to recreate them or falsely claiming descent from them (making attribution of the term sometimes difficult).

The earliest form of Neo-Templarism was probably within Freemasonry where Masonic Templars exploited speculation the Freemasonry had evolved from a Templar tradition and openly practiced ‘Templar rites’ consciously identifying with the Order. Their ethos was typically one of aristocratic elitism. Their middle class descendents being the ancestors of today’s libertarian right.

Later non-masonic Templar organizations emerged, some religious others secular. Many of these were linked to Templar Masonry and shared their ethos. A general theme in these organizations was a return to a golden age, which tended to make them conservative.

By the 19th century the image of the Templars had changed (particularly in France) and some saw them as Revolutionary Socialists. This was encouraged by negative accounts following the French Revolution denouncing contemporary Templar groups as subversive. A smear that was enthusiastically taken up by Romantic socialists and radical artists, such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti who dreamt of a golden age of communism. However this phase appears in the main to have been short lived.

Socialistic Templar groups existed in the early 20th Century but tended to also preserve the elitist tendencies of the earlier Neo-Templars, thus becoming advocates of Technocracy. The original Templars had been keen promoters of advanced technology.

Neo-Templar politics seems to have been unified in the 20th century by the adoption of Synarchy, which in its earliest form was a combination of Technocracy, Socialist Unionism, Corporate Capitalism and Rosicrucian elitism. Extreme forms of which became allied with esoteric Fascism.

The most well known Neo-Templar group today is arguably the Priory of Sion famed from books such as the Holy Blood and Holy Grail and in fictional form in novels like Foucault’s Pendulum. Their cultural and political agenda remains largely unknown.

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