[Square & Compasses]

A Bogus Knights Templar Organization?

A member of my lodge recently received this and forwarded it to me. I don't know if they are targeting Freemasons with this scam. Have you received it? Are other members of your lodge getting it? If they are, please notify your lodge and your Grand Lodge, and ask them to put out an alert. I hope that you won't fall for this, and that you'll help protect any of your brothers who might be more susceptible to it.

Have you received this "invitation" to join the "Knights Templar Organization"? Clearly it has no relation to the Knights Templar bodies within Scottish Rite Masonry.

In fact, the whole thing looks awfully fishy. There's a lot of tricky and fake-fancy language throughout the whole mailing, starting with a note on the envelope itself, of an "Interactive Transmission — Live Document Enclosed," which turns out to mean it contains a reply form (shown here). Why not just say so? Perhaps because that wouldn't sound as impressive to the gullible?

The invitational letter makes a great deal out of the legendary historical wealth of the Templars, and then advises the reader that "Your most important immediate benefit is... A VALUABLE AWARD." After dangling the "Valuable Award" in front of the reader for awhile, without ever specifying what it might be, then comes the assurance that

"Your Award is known only to you through private registration. Its contents are strictly for your knowledge only — much as the internationally famous Swiss Bank Accounts protect the identity and privacy of the assets they contain."
What a strange comparison! Is there any reason for it, except to drag the phrase "Swiss Bank Accounts" into things, and maybe confuse a sloppy reader into thinking that the "Valuable Award" would have something to do with a Swiss Bank Account?

Comes next a lot of pseudo-historical nonsense. You have to look closely at the "Live Interactive Document" (you know, the reply form, remember?) to see the point of this whole mailing:

Well look at that! A "nominal $25 registration fee to cover Administrative costs of notification and preparing your Award Program." How about that? Some total strangers given you the privilege of sending them $25! To a Post Office box in Las Vegas, Nevada! And in return, they will (perhaps) send you an unspecified "Award Program" of unknown value. Or maybe they won't. What an opportunity!

The letter and the reply form are both signed by one "Count Cristian d'Espery Grand Scion" of the "Knights Templar Organization." As you might have guessed, a search for "Christian d'Espery", with or without "Knights Templar Organization" returned no results. How nice.

Take due notice thereof, and govern yourselves accordingly.

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