December 13, 2010
From Templar revivals to private intelligence services…
Force of Habit
Your curators have noticed that habits, uniforms and ceremonial dress never go out of fashion. Have you come across the Militia Templi, a Templar revival that actually has ecclesiastical approval? Or perhaps the recently-founded Evangelii Praecones (Heralds of the Gospel), created in Brazil and also enjoying an official status with the Church? Above is a shot of lay members of the latter fraternity (or rather confraternity?), in their cowls and cavalry boots. (Readers may recall that Brazil is also the centre of the not infrequently controversial worldwide TFP movement – Tradition / Family / Property.)
In a different, yet similar vein are the much more ancient surviving European marksmen’s guilds, brotherhoods and militias — some dating back to the middle ages in Austria, Bavaria and the Low Countries. They are grouped together in a federation called EGS (European Community of Historic Guilds), with members of the Habsburg family as patrons.
The fate of the “Special Office Brief”?
If you’ve never picked up the memoirs of the late Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, we can only recommend them. He ran his own private intelligence service out of his grand bachelor flat at Albany in Piccadilly, and managed to interview just about every world leader of the 1930s.
On that note, we recently came across a file on the “Special Office Brief” published in Dublin as late as 1990. Described as “an early warning intelligence system – originated 1935,” this curious publication has presumably ceased to exist. Does anyone know what it really was or what became of it? To quote from the last issue we’ve seen, the annual subscription price was listed as $10,000: “Special Office Briefs are assisted by the second Marquis of Verneuil Trust as a duty. But even so expenses cannot wholly be so provided.” The unnamed Trustee was shown with a Gloucestershire address, but the publisher was Kilbrittain Newspapers Ltd, 52 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Odd.