The most troubling of the self-styled Orders are those which assume the name and badge and adopt the history of an internationally recognized Order of Chivalry. The SMHOM and the four members of the Alliance of Orders of Saint John are among the most prestigious of all Knightly Orders. Since they are engaged in important charitable work and humanitarian activities, it is particularly unfortunate that there are a number of extant organizations which have assumed the name and style of "Order of Saint John". When the machinations of one of the self-styled "orders" are exposed, sometimes following criminal activities by one of their sponsors, there is an inevitable reflection on the name of Saint John which may injure the recognized Orders. The latter have made a concerted effort to publicly disassociate themselves from these organizations and, to this end, have formed a False Orders Committee which constantly updates the shifting allegiances between the different groups and attempts to warn the general public against them. They have been aided in this by the Holy See which, on 28 November 1976 and 1 December 1976, published statements in the Osservatore Romano, making it clear that the so-called "Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem" was nothing to do with the Sovereign Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. [2]


Chaffanjon and Galimard Flavigny devoted an entire chapter to the self-styled Orders of Malta, listing sixteen organizations claiming to be Orders of Malta or Orders of Saint John. Many of these bodies were somehow connected with an institution purportedly "re-founded" in 1908 and professing to be the successor of the Russian Grand Priory, although some have adopted new designations which are not now connected directly with Russia. Almost without exception, these enterprises are riven by factionalism and, as one individual began to resent the leadership position assumed by another (particularly when the claim to such position was so often based on a dubious claim to a high ranking noble title), schisms would occur and rival groups reform around another "Grand Master".

Despite the fact that generations of impoverished Europeans bearing both genuine and false titles have come to the United States and Canada to improve their fortunes with nothing other than their social pretensions to assist them, Americans seem peculiarly susceptible to accepting the most bizarre and unfounded claims by pseudo-princes and dukes whose claims to such titles could be verified in most major reference libraries. The three American Associations of the Sovereign Military Order, the Priory in the United States of the Most Venerable Order, and the American branch of the Johanniter Order are all administered by Americans, not by European nobles, and the personal qualities required for membership do not include a claim to a European noble title. Membership in the Sovereign or Alliance Orders of Saint John is given primarily on the basis of individual distinction and imposes an obligation to serve the humanitarian aims of the Order. It is unfortunate that those whose qualities may not commend them to the legitimate Orders should seek to establish or join groups whose principle activity is arranging exotic ceremonies when the participants can dress up in uniforms and medals.

Fortunately, in two recent cases brought against self-styled Saint John Orders in US Federal Courts, the American Judiciary has shown itself willing to penalize these groups financially and use very explicit language in condemning their activities. In the first of these cases, Alhadeff v. Georg, [3] 30 November 1983, the Court decided in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant (Robert M.N.G. Bassaraba von Brancovan-Prince Khimchiachvili) [4] who had supplied the plaintiff with a "passport" and made him a "knight of Malta" for which he had charged $20,000. The Court in its judgment determined that, despite the variants in the name, there was an intention to make the plaintiff (who was Jewish) believe that the defendant's "Order" was somehow a secular branch of the genuine Catholic Order; evidence such as the similarity of the name, the coat of arms utilized on stationery, the decoration awarded, references to the alleged support of various public persons, [5] all served to support the plaintiff's case. Furthermore the defendant was found to have encouraged the belief that the "passport" issued by him could be used for international travel with the words "sovereign", and "sovereign territory" "reigning Sovereign" (evidence that these passports had been accepted by careless or ill-informed passport officers or immigration personnel actually supports the argument that the vendors of these instruments intend their purchasers to believe this).

In the second case, W.D. X. et ux. v. Markovics, [6] 27/28 February 1989, the Court gave judgment in favor of the plaintiffs against the principal defendant, Dr Ivan Markovics and his "Order", finding as a fact that the defendant had deliberately defrauded the plaintiffs by leading them to believe they were joining the genuine Catholic Order. While the plaintiffs did not succeed in their action against "prince Robert", who had been joined as a defendant because he had taken over the Markovics "Order", the Court explicitly stated that this was "not because this Court approves the actions or conduct of the defendants Robert Khimchiachvili and his organization, The Sovereign Military and Hospitaler (sic) Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Ecumenical; to the contrary, judgment is entered in favor of Khimchiachvili and his organization only because the plaintiffs did not deal with them". In fact the Judge stated in this case that if the plaintiffs had dealt with "prince Robert" and his associate Victor Rees instead of Markovics "I would be making the finding of fraud against that group and imposing damages and injunctive relief". He went on to say that "I am serious that there is a criminal threat that could be brought against organizations like this. Even if there was no criminal action, Plaintiffs ... could go to the Texas Attorney-General, or to the Attorney-General of New York and suggest action or attempt to get it through the SMHOM".

Since the decision in this case, then serving President of the United States Ronald Reagan was invested with the Collar of Merit of the Ordine al Merito Melitense of the SMHOM by the Grand Master himself at a dinner in New York, providing added evidence of the recognition accorded to the SMHOM by the United States of America. In 1994 the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Odder of Malta was admitted to Observer status at the United Nations among the "intergovernmental" organizations, which include the International Committee of the Red Cross. This may entitle the SMHOM to demand protection from the state authorities in the various countries where self-styled "Orders of St John" are flourishing. The Court in the Markovics Case specifically recognized the legitimacy of the SMHOM and the Alliance Orders as the true historic successors of the crusader Order of Saint John. The self-styled Saint John "orders" will no longer get away with pretending that they are historically connected with the crusader Order; furthermore they and their officers now run the risk of criminal prosecution. [7]

It is the deliberate intention of the organizers of most of the self-styled Saint John or Malta Orders to confuse their organizations with the name and work of the genuine, recognized Orders. An article in the New York Observer (October 1993) entitled "Dungeons and Dragons for Grown-ups: Knights of Malta Joust with 'Impostor'" by Robin Pogrebin muddled the name and activities of a completely spurious body headed by a self-proclaimed "bishop", Lorenzo Michel de Valitch and the SMHOM The farcical activities of Valitch's "Order" (see 8A below) were used to mock the genuine Order because the assumption made by the journalist was that Valitch was or had been the senior officer in the US of the SMHOM Among those named as having been recruited into Valitch's group was the late J. Seward Johnson, describing the ridiculous ceremony and remarking that Mr Johnson's daughter depicted the organization her father had joined as "a glorified Elk's Club", a comment at which the Elk's might justifiably have protested.

The origins and ultimate abolition and suppression of the Catholic Grand Priory of Russia and the (non-Catholic) Grand Priory of Russia have been discussed earlier and examined in detail by the late Frà Cyril Toumanoff, [8] whose work was cited by the Court as an authoritative source in the Markovics Case. The so-called "hereditary commanderies" of the Russian Grand Priories, held by proponents of the modern "revivals" as evidence of their continued existence, were no more hereditary than the other still extant jus patronatus commanderies of the Order, which can only by invested in an heir who has already been received as a member of the Sovereign Military Order. The descendants of the founders of Russian (or any other) commanderies, all of which had been legally suppressed, cannot claim to be the successors to such commanderies, even had they been admitted to membership of the SMHOM, since a commandery of the Order of Malta exists as real property and not as an honorific title. If the properties of the commandery have disappeared or been confiscated, the commandery itself ceases to subsist.

The self-styled Orders since 1960

This study of self-styled "orders" was included here in the hope that those who have been persuaded to join such organizations, perhaps unwittingly, will be made aware of their history and the real identities of the persons behind them. Neither the organizations themselves nor their sponsors would otherwise be included in a work which tells a glorious history of devotion and sacrifice to a spiritual ideal; indeed the petty quarrels and grandiose pretensions of these groups may be seen as a dramatic contrast to the lives of those who serve in the ranks of the legitimate Orders of Saint John. In outlining the histories of these "orders", I have followed the enumeration established by Fra' Norbert Kinsky when, in 1982, he charted the complex connections between these various groups, some of which are bitter rivals while others have combined to form an Anti-Alliance, the counterpart of the Alliance of the recognized Orders. Since the publication of The Orders of Saint John, [9] there have been several changes in the management of these bodies and several have disappeared; these developments have been noted later.

Two works, both produced by the partisans of self-styled "Orders of Saint John", have been particularly useful in studying the various rumps and schisms among them: The Order of St John of Jerusalem of Malta: A study of its relations and developments from the fall of Hompesch; its revival in various forms in our times, by Harrison Smith, PhD, published in Malta by the "Progress Press" in 1964; and White Cross: Story of the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, by Robert W.Y. Formhals, published in 1978. These and other such publications have attempted to buttress their own pretensions to legitimacy by stating that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a recent Papal invention founded in 1802/3. The pseudo-historical claim that the Russian Grand Priories survived their legal suppression by Czar Alexander I and the refusal to recognize that the Council of the Russian Orders explicitly acknowledged the legitimate succession of Grand Master Tommasi is the fatal flaw which entirely discredits their assertion to legitimacy. [10] The early history of the Most Venerable Order is compared by these authors to that of the modern so-called "Russian" revivals although, unlike the former, the first members of these 20th century inventions were not admitted by legitimate members of the Catholic Order but simply assumed the style of knight. It has frequently been mis-stated that the British Monarch is merely "protector" of the Most Venerable Order, in an attempt to parallel the British Royal Charter with that purportedly issued by the late King Peter of Yugoslavia. Since the reign of Queen Victoria the Monarch has enjoyed the title Sovereign Head, the title now held by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, while her title of "patron" merely applies to her separate role in the Saint John Ambulance Association.

The self-styled Orders may be enumerated as follows: (1) (The Shickshinny Order) The proponents of the survival of the "Russian" Grand Priories have claimed that, on 10 January 1908, a certain William Lamb, sometime Colonel and purported descendent of a General Ivan Lamb (the exact spelling of the name of the member of the Russian Chapter of 1800 identified by William Lamb as his purported ancestor is unclear), who had been apparently received into the original Russian Grand Priory by Czar Paul, held a meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, to form the "Grand Priory of America of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem". The claim is made that eight Russian noblemen, purported descendants of so-called "hereditary commanders", were present at this occasion. Minutes of this meeting have been produced but the only record of such a group having met at the Waldorf Astoria is a meeting of an "Order of Knights Hospitaller" organized by a certain Charles Hayward. [11] Minutes have been produced of further meetings which supposedly took place on 8 August 1908 and 12 November 1909 (when another Hayward group meeting was held), and on various dates between 1911 (on which occasion a certain William Sohier Bryant was described as Chairman) and 1913. [12] The first secession from this group appears to have taken place as early as 1910, incorporating in New Jersey in 1911 but collapsing in 1912. The pretense that the Czar approved either of these organizations is completely false. No contemporary evidence, other than the minutes of these meetings which were probably written much later, has been produced to support these claims and it is difficult to imagine what these Russian noblemen were doing in New York at that date. If any descendants of members of the Russian Grand Priory had wanted to revive it, why they would they choose to do so in New York? Even had they actually so met they had no valid authority, in any case, to form such an "Order".

At a meeting held on 30 December 1910 an "Association of the knights of Malta" was allegedly constituted, [13] with the record thereof being recorded by the State of New Jersey on 3 January 1911; this was supposedly to become the "Association of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem". It was claimed that the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia (both cousin and brother-in-law of Czar Nicholas II) accepted the Grand Magistery in person in either 1913 [14] or on 1 September 1914. [15] The Grand Duke Alexander was a serving rear-admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy and, as war broke out with Germany on 1 August 1914, he was unlikely to have been involved in such an irrelevant charade at this time. It appears, however, that he did accept such a position in about 1920 (three years after the overthrow of the Russian Monarchy) in association with some Paris based Russian noblemen, but without the approval of the Head of the Imperial House of Russia and two of his sons have purportedly denied that he was ever Grand Master. Since the Grand Duke's death in 1933, two other members of the Romanov dynasty, it is claimed, have been associated with so-called Russian Orders of Saint John; the late Grand Duke Andrew Wladimirovich (uncle of the present Head of the Romanov Dynasty) and the most junior member of the dynasty, the late Prince Vassili Alexandrovich. [16]

The Grand Duke Alexander's purported successors as head of the American continuation of this group, calling themselves "Lieutenants of the Grand Master", were (possibly, although this has not been proved by any contemporary document) William Sohier Bryant (1933-1951), Scipio Engelhardt alias baron von Engelhardt-Schnellenstein (1951-1955), Frederick, Count von Zeppelin (1956-1960), and Paul de Granier de Cassagnac (1960-1962). In 1953 the name was changed to the "Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Inc" [17] and the headquarters transferred to Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, the residence of its "Grand Chancellor" and general factotum, Charles Louis Thourot-Pichel, in 1956. [18] Pichel was not only an adherent of the Old Catholic Church but a fanatical anti-Communist who apparently actually came to believe that the SMHOM was a nineteenth century Papal foundation and that his organization alone represented the true continuation of the ancient crusader Order. He became increasingly eccentric (forming the Galactic Powers Task Force described above) and, in 1969, announced that he was forming the "Maltese Cross Legionaries" to combat a secret alliance between the Holy See and the government of Malta to hand the island over to the Soviets. [19] In 1967 Pichel became allied with a group of Catholic traditionalists who denied the authority of the US bishops and, in 1969, accused the Jesuits of manipulating the Papacy for their own ends. He also became associated with the "alternative medicine" movement, sponsoring nature cures and promoting what he described as "Cosmic Energy". After the numerous divisions and quarrels among his adherents, his group ultimately fragmented and he died in very distressing circumstances in 1982 aged ninety-two.

In 1962 Granier had attempted to depose Pichel from his executive role but this backfired and Granier was himself overthrown, setting up his own "Order" (see below, 3). Granier's successor, effectively controlled by Pichel, was a certain Count Felix von Luckner (1962-1966). The next defection from this group occurred in the same year, when one of its officers, Crolian Edelen "de Burgh", [20] proclaimed himself "Grand Master" and managed to gain control of the Shickshinny organization following a further schism in its ranks. Edelen became associated with the King Peter group and, in 1965, participated in various ceremonies with King Peter. Somehow Edelen and Pichel were reconciled, with the latter retaining his executive power but, in 1976, Edelen and Pichel fell out once again. On 1 March 1977 Pichel resigned, along with Bernard B. Blayes and Don Roberto Paternò (see below, 11), becoming "grand chancellor emeritus", and transferred his authority to Frank A. Capell, "grand prior of the United States" (an act declared void by the corporation board on 26 November 1977, when the new officers disassociated themselves from "any actions or activities taken by" Pichel and appointed James A. Jacobs his successor). Edelen was apparently deposed as "grand master" in 1979 and has since died. It is unclear which of the various groups now owns or controls the Shickshinny foundation and in 1981 the president of the corporation was a certain Salvatore T. Messineo (sometime "prior of Pennsylvania-Ohio", while his brother (?) Leonard Messineo was "prior of New-York-New Jersey"). [21] The "grand prior" of Europe of this group was a self-styled "count" Thorbjorn Wiklund, from Sweden, and other officers included Per-Axel Atterbom (Secretary-General, Europe), Major John F. Graham (Secretary), Colonel Benjamin von Stahl, [22] and some twenty-one "priors of priories". [23] Another purported continuation of the Pichel Order can be found in Benton, Tennessee, run by two schismatic Catholic priests, one of whom was ordained by the late Archbishop Lefebvre and who maintain the Tridentine rite. Unfortunately these two have somehow claimed that they are Pichel's heirs of what they claim to be the legitimate Order (see below and also their web site).

New evidence that has come into this author's hands indicates that the entire history of the so-called Russian Grand Priory from its purported inception in 1908 until 1933 when Bryant took over, was in fact the invention of C. T. Pichel. In a letter addressed to Harrison Smith, Mr Edelen, Pichel's closest associate for many years, wrote (on January 22, 1980: "My problem with the history is that all seems to be false from 1908 to 1932 as published by Pichel. I know his Minutes are false. Dr Bulloch was never Grand Chancellor of the Order. He was the Archivist of the old Scottish-American Order of St John [24] and kept these records at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When he was old and blind, in the early 1950's, Pichel went to him with a story that he was writing a history of the Knights of Malta and needed some records from the Archives. Dr Bulloch let him borrow whatever he fancied and then obligingly died while Pichel had the most important records. We took the material, twisted it around, took names of noblemen from the Times Index and created an Order stemming from the Grand Priory of Russia, all a hoax.

The Scottish-American Order went out of business in New York about 1909 following a suicide of the Grand Chancellor, as well as a scandal involving payment (or non-payment) of life insurance policies on the lives of members. Some members in New Jersey tried to save the situation by securing a charter as the "knights of Malta" in Trenton in 1911. Their effort failed and by 1912 was abandoned. Then Pichel came along in the 1950's and claimed to be the duly elected officer of that Corporation to give his Order some evidence of antiquity and to substantiate the false Minutes (from 1908-1932)".

Smith replied, February 20, 1980: "I am somewhat puzzled by the information about Pichel. I remember his ways well and you will note a sense of caution in my using his sources, but I think the question you raise is: Is everything he writes and cites about the foundation in America, the role of Grand Duke Alexander, and the role of his successors down to the arrival of Pichel on the scene - is all that a total fabrication? I can conceive of distortion, twisting and mis-use of facts, but are we to conclude there is no foundation whatsoever to an American Grand Priory or Order coming out of the successors to Czar Paul in the time of Nicholas II? If this is true then the revived modern Order has no descent to fall back on in historical evolution other than to cling to, to merge with, etc, the Hereditary Knights [25] in Paris after the fall of the Czar. Surely this Scottish Canadian Masonic thesis does not support our foundation, for it only enters our picture in the 1960s. If then we turn back to the Paris movement, which certainly can be proven to have existed, this leads us into both Prince Troubetzkoy and then Prince Andrew of Yugoslavia, as successors to King Peter. [26] The first ties us up with 'hereditary commanders' out of the Paris group, and the latter gives us 'royal foundation'. It seems to me that this route would eventually lead to a reconciliation, although there are many, many problems between the fragments of our Order - no doubt you know much more about this than I do. It will be a long up-hill road to reunite what has been shattered; it may come after my life time - but surely it must be the ultimate goal of all of us who come out of the Russian branch of the old (sic) original Order". 

The apparent closest successor of the Shickshinny fantasy today is a body now particularly active in Canada, see under 11A, although several others among the self-styled Saint John Orders were formed from schisms within this and other groups.

(1A) A group still awarding the cross of Saint John was purportedly formed in Paris on June 24, 1928 by a group of Russian exiles in Paris as the "Union of Hereditary Commanders and Knights of the Grand Priory of Russia of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem" and looked to the Grand Duke Alexander as "Grand Prior". The Grand Duke unsuccessfully sought recognition from the SMHOM in 1929 but the requirement that membership should be limited to Roman Catholics and that it should be put under the authority of the Grand Master proved unacceptable. Following the Grand Duke's death in 1933 the members of the Union elected the Grand Duke Andrew Wladimirovich to be the new Grand Prior. Both the Grand Duke Kyrill Wladimirovich and later the Grand Duke Wladimir Kyrillovich, his son and successor, agreed to put this body under their protection but not as an Order of Chivalry, purely as a group descended from the members of the former Grand Priory. With the Grand Duke Andrew's death in 1956, direction was taken over by the Secretary-General Georges de Ritcheff as the Grand Duke Wladimir was no longer associated with it. In 1972 this group, already marginalized by the lack of interest on the part of much of the old Russian nobility, renamed itself "The Most Sacred Order of the Orthodox Hospitallers", abandoning the name and cross of Saint John but this dissatisfied some of the members who established a rump group.

(1C) In 1977 Count Nicholas A. Bobrinskoy, who had already been involved with another self-styled Saint John Order, the Tonna-Barthet group (see below), to which he had apparently donated several hundred US dollars in the mid-1970's, [27] established himself as Grand Prior of "The Sovereign Order of the Orthodox Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem - Former Russian Grand Priory of the Order of Malta in Saint Petersburg" which he stated to be under the "High Protection" of the late Prince Vassili of Russia. [28] Count Bobrinskoy, then living in New York, listed a number of "hereditary commanders" on his stationary and even attempted to be accredited to the United Nations but this came to nothing. [29] Among the "hereditary commanders" of this body are several Russian nobleman who apparently credit the claims to historical continuity of the "Russian Grand Priories" despite the expert analysis of Fra' Cyril Toumanoff (Op. cit. supra). The opposition of the Union of the Russian Nobility and the exchange of reciprocal diplomatic relations between the Russian Republic and the SMHOM in 1993, may serve to further erode support for this body. Most of the other self-styled "Orders of Saint John" claim this same Russian origin but, fortunately, the Russian government seems unlikely to give them any credence. A nephew, Count Nicholas Bobrinskoy, was until recently Prior of Russia and since his death has been succeeded by his son, Count Alexei; Prince Michael Romanov (alias Prince Michael of Russia, morganatic son of trhe late Prince Andrew of Russia) is protector of the Order. This body also claims the protection of the Patriarch of Moscow, who has conferred his patronage as this Order has done some charitable work in Russia, but His Holiness does not claim that this patronage gives any legal validity to the body's claims to be an "Order of Knighthood". This is the most "respectable" of the self-styled Saint John Orders. 

(2) Independent of the Russian foundation is the "Sovereign Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem of Denmark" or "Ordo Domus Hospitalis Sancti Joannis Hyerosolomitani", founded on 31 August 1934 on the basis that the Order had never been abolished in Denmark. [30] Its promoters do not pretend that it is other than a modern foundation but, by constantly referring to pre-reformation priory in their literature, imply that it is the successor of the ancient priory of Dacia. However, to be so it would have to be Roman Catholic (it is non-denominational), and have the recognition of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order (which it does not), to whom it would of course be subject, and of the Holy See. Without the recognition or patronage of the Danish Crown or Government either, it cannot be considered to be a Danish Order, merely a private association which has adopted the name of a genuine Order of Chivalry. This group apparently denies that it is an "Order of Chivalry", stating that it needs neither the recognition of the SMHOM, because it is ecumenical, nor the Danish Crown and explains its use of the name "Sovereign" because "it is not directly subordinated to any ecclesiastical or temporal authority". It claims to be registered as a charity [31] and that its insignia were "announced" (registered and published) by the Danish College of Heralds on 5 February 1969. It apparently acquired Sostrup Castle in 1954 (it is not known whether it still owns this), which was converted into a Convent in 1955, and claims to have "commanderies" and associated groups in Sweden (a "Priory" of Saint Erik established in 1974), Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, USA, Costa Rica (this group has set itself up independently as the "Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in the Americas") and Venezuela. The Danish "Order" does not claim to have a Grand Master, being regulated by a "High Council", and it apparently acknowledged the late Fra' Angelo de Mojana as Grand Master of the SMHOM (a recognition which was not reciprocated).

The late Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark (who died in 1981) was associated with this group as "Prior of the Metropolitan Priory of Saint Ansgarius" (and also sometime "Grand Chancellor") and it claims to have made some contributions to worthy causes; most recently it was closely associated with the purchase and renovation of a hospital in Gram. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the legitimate Johanniter Order in Sweden, nor the commandery of the Johanniter Order in Finland. The organizers continue to maintain that it is merely a private association using the name "Order of Saint John" but do not explain why it is necessary to adopt this name in order to carry out humanitarian tasks, nor award Crosses of Saint John to its members or titles of Knight, Dame and Commander, etc.

(2A) Deriving indirectly from (2) is a "Grand Priory of Dacia or Denmark", otherwise called the "Ecclesiastical Knightly Order of Malta of Saint John of Jerusalem, Priory of Saint Andrew, as it was first styled when formed on April 10, 1939. The first "prior" was a certain Prebend Wenck von Wenckheim (1939-1957), who loosely associated his group with the Union of Russian Commanders. [32] On 22 June 1985 this group signed an agreement of association with the Tonna-Barthet group (see below). It has apparently entered into some form of mutual recognition with the "prince Robert", or Ecumenical, group (see below). [33]


(2B) Another Danish "Order" was set up on 24 June 1946 by a certain "count" Paul Mikhailovich Bermondt, who also assumed the title "prince Avaloff-Bermondt". This organization had originated in 1920 as the "Sovereign Imperial Russian Chivalric Order of Malta" (Souveraner kaiserliche-russischer Malteser-ritter-orden) with a black Maltese cross as its badge (Bermondt had acquired these as military surplus). Bermondt and his associates (former Russian or Baltic officers who had fought the Soviets in the 1919-1920 civil war) first placed themselves under the authority of the Grand Duke Alexander (see 1 above) and, following the Grand Duke's death in 1933, elected the new Head of the Imperial Dynasty, the Grand Duke Cyril, to be his successor - unfortunately for them Grand Duke Cyril declined this dubious honor. In 1951 Bermondt formed an association with another self-styled Danish Priory formed by a Danish architect named Carl Christensen who succeeded him as Prior. The more recent survivors of this body were for a while in partnership with Pierre du Chelas (see 3) and Christensen's successor was a Mr Carl Wilhelm Lehman until 1975 and then Mr Ove Petersen. In 1984 a substantial group of the members joined 2 above.

(2C) A break away group from one of the above was incorporated on 12 March 1954 by Jens Ole Rostock, alias "Count of Hermosa", as the "Sovereign Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem in Denmark", and Rostock, a well-regarded biologist, became "Grand Prior" with "Episcopal and princely" rank. [34] According to Chairoff, priories were established in Oslo (Saint Hallvard), Barcelona (Saint George) and Caracas (Saint Barjal) and an investiture was held in Geneva on 28 January 1982 when twenty-seven would-be knights were admitted after payment of a fee. [35] Mr Erick af Lindenstjerna (actually Matthiesen) was at one time head of a Danish Saint John Order of which Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark was briefly associated; this group may have been connected with (2B).

(2D) Separated from (2) in 1993 is the "Autonoma Prioratet Sancti Iohannis Baptistae, Riddarbröder af St Johannes af Jerusalems Hospital", a Swedish "Johanniter Order" unrecognized by the Alliance. Its Prior is the Rev Ulf Berwill and the Secretary Thor, Baron von Rahden. [36]

(3) In 1962 Paul de Granier de Cassagnac formed an important new connection with the unfortunate exiled King Peter II of Yugoslavia, then living in reduced circumstances in the United States. Despite the fact that the Order of Saint John had never had a Yugoslavian membership and that the Karageorgevich dynasty had no historic connections with the Order of Saint John, King Peter was persuaded in 1962 to declare this "Order" to be under his "High Hereditary Protection". Granier formed a French branch of this group, the "Ordre Souverain de St-Jean de Jerusalem, chevaliers de Malte" or "Chevaliers hospitaliers O.S.J." which had little success, however, since France has very strict laws regarding Orders of Chivalry, and King Peter detached himself from Granier to set up his own group. In 1965 Granier resigned the "Grand Magistery" to King Peter as a gesture of reconciliation, but the two soon fell out and King Peter took his organization under his own control (see below), with a Mr Otto Schobert. Granier now resumed the title of "grand master" once again, retaining it until his death in 1967. With Granier's death the "Grand Magistery" of his group was assumed by Mr Carol Hohenzollern, ex-Lambrino, son of King Carol II of Roumania by his unrecognized wife (the marriage was invalid in Romanian law), Zizi Lambrino, who styled himself "Prince Carol of Roumania". Prince Carol fell out with some of Granier's associates and set up his own group (see 3A). Following Prince Carol's defection in 1968 the "Grand Magistery" was assumed by a certain Pierre de Remond du Chelas, whose subsequent history is unknown.

3A) In 1968 Prince Carol set himself up independently as head of a separate "Order". The organizers behind this group were Robert Baden von Badische (see 8 below), Eimi Eisenstatter styled "Henry Erdesz", Sidney Garber and Frary (von) Blomberg. [37] The headquarters were established in UN Plaza and they admitted many non-Christians and appointed women members both knights and dames. According to Formhals candidates were paying as much as $5000 for membership and $25,000 for the grand cross (in 1969!). It is claimed that they received a charter from King Peter II of Yugoslavia in 1969 and a renewal of this in 1970, purportedly signed by the King when he was in extremis in hospital in Chicago. Prince Carol broke with this group fairly soon and apparently began to award this "Order" from a base in Europe, retaining the title of "grand master" until his death.

(4) Otto Adrian Schobert (or Schubert), alias "Baron de Choibert" had been associated with Pichel and, in 1961, was appointed the latter's "Observer" at the United Nations. Energetic protests by the SMHOM led to this gentleman's name being withdrawn from the list of representatives of unofficial organizations to which the UN issued entry passes and news bulletins and Schobert soon fell out with Pichel. Eisenstatter, Ernst Jochen and Michael Gordon, on 18 May 1964 incorporated the "Sovereign Order of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem - knights of Malta - O.S.J. Inc" in New York, "to solicit, collect and otherwise raise funds in order that Society may make grants of money and/or equipment to duly authorized hospitals and other agencies of charitable endeavor in any part of the world ... in furtherance of the humanitarian tasks and endeavors of the Ancient Knightly military religious Order of the Hospitallers of Saint John the Baptist, founded in 1048 in Jerusalem". While not directly associated with this incorporation, King Peter was apparently persuaded to give it his patronage as "Protector" (although he was at the same time giving his protection to another, rival group), and it had widespread success in recruiting members in the late 1960's, since King Peter had considerable personal prestige as a formerly reigning Monarch. This corporation was continued under different management (see 10 below) and in 1989 the plaintiff in the Markovics case obtained a $40,000 judgment against it.

(4A) Directly connected with the above was the now independent "King Peter" group, combining rumps of 1, 3 and 4, of which King Peter appointed Edelen "Grand Chancellor" and, on 13 March 1965, himself became "Grand Master". [38] The bulk of the membership came from a group based in Pittsburgh (under Franklin West) which was the successor of an earlier Masonic organization. The Formhals group (see below) now united itself under King Peter, briefly creating the largest of the self-styled Saint John Orders. On 15 February 1967 the King himself broke with the parent group and dismissed West (who died the following October), changing the name of his organization to the "Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers, Knights of Malta". Within months there was a further schism with a rump branch setting itself up under Prince Belosselsky-Belozersky as "Lieutenant-grand Master" on 9 January 1968 but this problem was settled the following September and the King recognized as "Grand Master" by the rebels.

Shortly afterwards, following an awkward meeting between the King and the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, the King ordered that the word "Sovereign" be dropped from the name and his own title was changed from "Grand Master" to "Royal Head", as he wished to distance himself from the increasingly embarrassing feuds between members of his "Saint John Order". Prince Serge Troubetzkoy now became "Lieutenant Grand Master" in succession to Prince Belosselsky-Belozersky and a new dispute emerged over the use of the word "Sovereign", leading ultimately to a major breach between various factions. In an attempt to settle this it was proposed that the name be changed to the "Royal Yugoslavian Order of St John" (a move approved by the King in mid-1969) but this merely led to further division, as Prince Troubetzkoy refused to accept the name change, resigning and ultimately setting up his own group (now apparently represented by 1A above). Since the Yugoslav Monarchy was bound by the pre-war constitution which required any act of the King to be signed by the "responsible Minister", King Peter did not have the legal power (meaningless since he was permanently exiled) to unilaterally give his protection to an "Order of Chivalry" or assume its "Grand Magistery". In June 1970 King Peter's principal aide-de-camp, General Melitchovitch, stated that the King had completely broken all connection with every so-called "Order of Saint John" and confirmed that any "protection" that he may have extended to such organizations was permanently revoked. In a letter from G. Markovitch (ADC to Crown Prince Alexander) to Dr Giles Lamoureux-Gadoury, dated 14 October 1985, the former specifically denounced the so-called Yugoslavian Orders, affirming that the late King had broken all association with these groups before his death. [39] The unfortunate King having contracted a serious kidney ailment then spent two months in hospital, leading ultimately to his death on 3 November, during which period he was frequently visited by the representatives of various rumps of his "Order", several of whom were later to claim that they alone represented the legitimate continuation of the group he had founded. [40]

Following King Peter's death, his youngest brother, the late Prince Andrew, assumed the status of Protector of one successor of this group (see below) before himself falling out with them and forming an association with Tonna-Barthet. A confusing and semi-literate "notice" by the "Order of Saint John of Jerusalem + Knights Hospitaller+ Under Royal Charter of H.M. King Peter II of Yugoslavia/ Patron: H.R.H. Prince Karl-Vladimir Karageorgevich", dated April 12th, 1995 apparently heralded yet another breach in the organization. [41] Any Yugoslavian connection with these groups purportedly under the protection of the late King Peter has been once again disavowed and condemned by the present Head of the Karageorgevich family, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia, in a February 1992 letter addressed to the Episcopalian Bishop of San Francisco. This reads (in part) "....As the only son and heir of His Majesty the late King Peter II .... I can state categorically that none of the various bodies claiming to function under a "Charter" purportedly granted by my late father have any validity. I have repeatedly made it clear that I do not recognize them and , as Head of the Royal House, I alone have the authority to grant such recognition. ....... I do not recognize the validity of any "Charter" purportedly issued to organizations misusing the name "Order of Saint John". Furthermore, junior members of the Royal House of Yugoslavia do not have any legal right to act in the name of the Royal House". Copies of this letter were sent to H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, Grand Prior of Saint John, His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Most Rev Bishop Edmond Browning, Presiding Episcopalian Bishop. In a letter to this author dated January 27th, 1992, Crown Prince Alexander wrote "the whole affair was a sad period in my late father's life ..... unfortunately my late uncle, Prince Andrej,, picked up the pieces upon my father's death and got deeply involved. In the end, the false orders ... probably contributed to his most untimely death ..... Out of respect to Prince Andrej, I recognize the title of his wife as Princess Eva Marie. As head of the Serb and Yugoslav Royal Family and future King, I do not recognize or authorize the use of any connections to my dynasty by these orders set up in the United States and Belgium. .... Prince Andrej's son is acting without my permission and I am not pleased".

Prince Vladimir of Yugoslavia's [42] connection with this body is unfortunate and he is apparently assisted by Prince Serge Troubetzkoy who, once again, has hoisted his banner to the Saint John masthead. The chancellor of the British based part of this group is a Mr Anthony Sheill. [43] There is also a Grand Priory of Malta headed by Anthony Zammet, [44] a Grand Priory of Australia and a "Prieuré Orthdoxe Russe Saint-Alexandre Nevski". [45]

The publication of The Orders of Saint John by this author, named a number of those associated with the San Francisco commandery. It was apparent to the author that this group sincerely believed in the worth of their charitable efforts but did not want to face the true facts about the origins of the body with which they had become associated. The author received a letter dated January 21st, 1992, from a Mr Richard D. Murray, "Regent O.S.J.", written from his home, the "Palais de Medart, [46] of which he enclosed a photograph revealing it to be a grandiose classical style house situated in a prosperous Ohio suburb. The letter paper, bearing the logo "H.R.H. Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia, Grand Master O.S.J." (without mentioning that he had died) politely suggested I obtain an apologia for the "Order" by a Michael Richard Brett-Crowther, MSc, PhD, DIC, dated December 1st, 1990. [47] In response to this author's reply to Dr Murray, a vitriolic attack followed in which the latter insulted Crown Prince Alexander, stating that "God is now not looking favorably on Alexander's action" (one may legitimately question by what authority he was able to know the mind of the Almighty), and continued by stating that Czar Paul created hereditary commanderies "and their descendants are listed in the Almanacs of the Imperial Court throughout the 19th century until the Zionist (sic) controlled Russian Revolution. It may interest you to know that out of the present situation in Russia there is to be a military coup from which a new ruler of Russia is to emerge..... watch for that coup this summer" (he was right about the coup, although it failed and led to the new Russia under President Yeltsin). He enclosed a copy of a bizarre book entitled "The Harlot and the Scarlet Beast" an anti-Semitic diatribe which repeated the La Rouche allegations of an international conspiracy of which former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was a part, along with Queen Elizabeth II, to hand over the island of Malta to the Soviets. One cannot help but question why these ravings did not arouse the suspicions of the respectable Californians seduced into believing the fantasy history claimed by this "Order". The Secretary-General of the Grand Priory of the Americas of this body was named as being Klaus H. E. Priebe, of Vancouver, BC, Canada.

In recognition of his determination to disassociate himself from these self-styled "orders", Crown Prince Alexander has received the grand cross with gilt star of the Order Pro Merito Melitense of the SMHOM (his uncle, Prince Tomislav, is a member of the Most Venerable Order) and, mroe recently, the dignity of Bailiff Grand cross of Honor and Devotio "ad honorem". Crown Prince Alexander, in a letter addressed to Grand Master de Mojana dated 14 August 1979, has stated that "the pretension to be under the protection of the Royal House of Yugoslavia .... is totally false" and appointed a personal representative to ensure that in the future all such organizations "usurping the name pertaining to the Sovereign Order, and pretending to be under the protection of the Royal House of Yugoslavia" would be branded as false. Both personally and through his representative and aides, Crown Prince Alexander has written to every group that has been identified as usurping a purported association or connection with the Royal House of Yugoslavia, or the Arms thereof, to request that they cease such pretension immediately or face the consequences in the law courts. [48]

(4B) In 1970 two members of (4), James A. Jacobs and Robert Baden von Badische (alias Isaac Wolff, then styled "Prince von Brancovan", see below) set up their own "Order", claiming a charter of King Peter II as their authority to do so. Jacobs was styled "sovereign grand commander", Baden became "grand chancellor" and George Ritchie Englert "chief of protocol". According to Formhals their organization was registered as a non-profit corporation in Maryland and then as a religious order. On 3 July 1972 Baden (Brancovan) left to start his own organization (see 8 below) while Jacobs continued to expand, moving his headquarters from Washington D.C. to Murphysboro, Illinois. In 1977 Jacobs was appointed "grand chancellor" of the Shickshinny group by Edelen (after deposing Pichel), but after Pichel regained control of his group in 1979 Edelen and Jacobs apparently set up a separate organization which seems to have ceased to exist following Edelen's death. [49]

(4C) A "commandery of San Francisco" of the "Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller" was established "under the personal direction of the late Grand Master H.R.H. Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia"  on 15 April 1988. This group revived the style of "Sovereign" dropped by the Tonna-Barthet group. They claim that "under international law the Order belongs to a sovereign house and is a princely dynastic family or house Order", which is nonsense as not even the recognized Orders are such. They also claimed that "our sister Order of St John descends from the Russian Priories under Tsar Paul I of Russia. The members of the Royal Family of Yugoslavia are direct descendants of Tsar Paul I of Russia and of Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Our sister Order of St. John is under Royal Charter of H.M. King Peter II of Yugoslavia". It has been made very clear that any Yugoslavian connection was severed by King Peter before his death and that the Head of the House, who alone has the authority to confer or withdraw recognition of any such Order, has specifically denounced claims to such connection (see under 4A). This is just one of many groups which have claimed to operate under this alleged Charter.

The Priory of the Western USA,was restructured in 1992 and they continued to hold well attended "Knights of St. John Galas" each December at the Bohemian Club to benefit the California Foundation for the Retarded in Support of Clausen House, for which over the years they have raised close to $200,000. The members suspended their Saint John cross from a red ribbon instead of a black one. The leaders of this group in 1999 resigned as a block from the Yugoslavian "Order" after examining the historical and legal claims made by the organizers.

A Canadian group associated with this so-called Yugoslavian Order, based in the Toronto area, has recently approached the Canadian Association of the SMHOM wishing to join them as a group. It was politely pointed out that membership in the SMHOM was a personal honor and that each candidate would have to fulfill a number of pre-conditions, not the least of which was a prior breach with any self-styled "Order".

(4D) The "Order of St John of Jerusalem "Knights Hospitaller", Russian Grand Priory (under the Constitution and Royal Charter of his late Majesty King Peter II of Yugoslavia)" is based on Malta [51] and may have been connected with the Tonna-Barthet group (see 9 below). The Grand Magistery (as of 1992) was vacant, "the former Grand Master having been Prince Andrej of Yugoslavia (recently deceased)". [52]

(5) A group which was peripherally connected with (4) was the "Fraternité française de l'ordre de St-Jean de Jerusalem" which established its seat at the ancient abbey of Vaucelles, in the north of France. Its "spiritual head" was a "Father" Delacambre and a certain Henri van dem Akker associated with it was (in autumn 1977) styled "bailiff" and "ambassador" by the Tonna-Barthet group (see below, 9). This does not seem to function any more.

(6) There is no discernible connection with any of the above and the "Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Byzantine Protectorate" but it emerged shortly after the death of Granier in 1967. Originally based at the chateau of Valouze, near Roche-Chalais, it may be associated with a certain Jan Nico Blom "van Assendelft d'Attland d'Andain", otherwise "Johannes Maria I, Patriarch of the Catholic Apostolic Primitive Church of Antioch, Orthodox of Syro-Byzantine Tradition, Prince of Theoupolis, etc". This appears to have ceased to function as an "Order of Saint John" following its condemnation in 1974 by a French court. [53]

(7) The self-styled "Prince Carol of Roumania" (Mr Carol Hohenzollern), after breaking with his associates, founded his own "Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta", in Rome in 1968/69 but was unable to have significant success recruiting members


[1]The definition of "self-styled" is here taken to describe those organizations founded by private individuals which were not legally constituted or confirmed at the time of their most recent foundation or subsequently to that foundation by a reigning Sovereign or by the Head of an independent State. They are unrecognized as Orders of Chivalry by the governments of the states where they claim their Order originated or where they are based and by the other recognized Orders of Saint John.

[2]A similar statement regarding the "Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem" was published by the Holy See in the Osservatore Romano on 24 July 1970; on this occasion the Holy See was even more forthright in its condemnation, stating that the behavior of certain "Emissaries" of this so-called "Order" "compels us to put on their guard all the members of the Hierarchy in Italy and in other countries .....[and that] it is hence obvious that its contemporary revival, aggravated by the pretended appellation of Sovereign, appears to be an evident abuse and is therefore illegitimate". See Bander van Duren, Op.cit., 1986, pp.231-237.

[3] The Alhadeff Case (82.Civ.5965 U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York).

[4] For a history of this gentleman and his "Order" see (8) below.

[5] Such as statements he published that "Pope John XXIII with diligence and the fortitude that will permit centuries to magnify his glorious works and by wish of Pope John, by regulation laid down in a royal decree of Juliana, Queen of the Netherlands" etc. "Prince Robert" was here referring to a few words of a general nature spoken by Pope John XXIII at an audience at which he was present and to the fact that his group was incorporated in the Netherlands; the Courts in both cases found these words were intended to convey an impression of support which was inaccurate.

[6] The Markovics Case (CA-3-87-0388-R, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division).

[7] The plaintiffs in this case donated and assigned the $40,000 judgment against Markovics and the 1964 New York Corporation to the American Association of the SMHOM This will enable the latter to proceed effectively against any further attempts to resurrect the 1964 Corporation and strengthens the SMHOM's position in future proceedings against self-styled "orders".

[8] Fra' Cyril Toumanoff, L'Ordre de Malte et l'Empire de Russie, Rome 1979.

[9] Guy Stair Sainty, New York, 1991.

[10] This claim is detailed in the "History of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem + Knights of Malta+", by Colonel Thourot Pichel, published at Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, in 1957, pp.36-43.

[11] See Formhals, Op.cit., pp.193-194.

[12] See Formhals, Op.cit., p.193. Lamb himself died on 22 March 1909 so these later meetings were presumably presided over by one of his associates.

[13] Allegedly by H.C. Kinckle, John J. Sheridan, Harry J. Bowen, Arthur T. Lamson, Alexander MacLennan and Wm. B. Sites

[14] See Formhals, Op.cit., p.198.

[15] See Smith, Op.cit.., p.75.

[16] The late Head of the Imperial House, the Grand Duke Wladimir Kyrillovich, emphatically condemned all those Orders of Saint John pretending to a Russian origin and accepted the dignity of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order.

[17] This group registered their trade mark as "Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem + Knights of Malta+".

[18] For one version of this history see Thourot-Pichel, Op.cit.

[19] I am grateful to Prof. Jonathan Riley-Smith for this interesting information.

[20] Crolian William Edelen was born 8 September 1920, the son of Crolian Wendeline Edelen and Mary Regina Garrity. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, served with Signal-Intelligence in the India-Burma theater during World War II, was vice-president of the New Jersey chapter of Society of Sons of the American revolution and the secretary-general of the Jersey Blues.

[21] Thourot-Pichel, Op.cit., pp.75-86 lists many distinguished persons whom he alleged were members of his Order, despite the fact that many of them were members of the SMHOM and the Johanniter Order.

[22] A Knight Grand Cross of the Holy Sepulcher living in Nebraska.

[23] Formhals Op.cit., p.199, lists the members of the board of directors of this corporation between 1959 and 1967; in addition to Pichel and the various sometime "grand masters" these included a Franklin A. West and Paul M. Winter as Presidents, and Brig-Gen Arthur B. Carey, Dr Burleigh Cushing Rodick, Prince Vladimir D-Eletsky, Prince Serge Troubetzkopy, Hon. Clarence Hewes, Dr Charles Habib Malik, Maj-Gen Charles A. Willoughby, Rt Rev. Gerard G. Shelley, Prince Michael Sturdza, Kyril Shishmarieff (Rohan-Chandor), Dr J. Robert Carroll, and Brig-Gen J. Harry Labrun, among others.

[24] A quasi Masonic body.

[25] There were no "hereditary" knights in actuality; this is a misunderstanding made by many twentieth century historians supporting the self-styled survival of the Russian Grand Priories.

[26] The only possible "successor" to King Peter is his only son and heir, Crown Prince Alexander, a God-Son of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II who has denounced all these bodies.

[27] For a list of the donors to the Tonna-Barthet group see his quarterly bulletin produced in Malta from the early 1970's to the mid-1980's.

[28] It also claims the "high spiritual protection" of the Orthodox Church in all America and Canada and the Russia Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

[29] The "hereditary family commanders" are listed as Prince Serge S. Belosselsky-Belozersky+, Count Nicholas A. Bobrinskoy, Prince Wladimir Galitzine, Paul Rodzianko III, Prince Kyril Scherbatow, Prince Serge G. Troubetzkoy, and Prince Andrei Wolkonsky. The Grand Councilor is named as John Davis Lodge, the Counsel General is William J. Lee, the Lieutenant-Grand Prior is John Edward Allen III and the name of the "ambassador plenipotentiary to the United Nations" has been deleted. The address is given as 39 Parkway East, Mt Vernon, NY 10052. The "Order" was established on 20 April 1977 in the state of New York with tax-exempt status, no 13800308, issued January 1978.

[30] For a history of this group see E. Reitzel-Nielsen, The Danish Order of Saint John since the Reformation, published in English by the "Sovereign Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem of Denmark", Copenhagen 1976; this work, whose author is or was an officer of the Danish "Order", is designed to promote its legitimacy.

[31] According to Reitzel-Nielsen, as no 1985 of Danish Law no 100 of 31 March 1926.

[32] According to information provided by James Algrant, Wenck had been authorized by the Grand Duke Andrew in a letter dated October 19, 1938, to form a Priory of Denmark. He was succeeded by John K. Ostenfeld (1957-1971), Sandberg Storje (1968-1969), Helmuth Kieldsen (1969-1971), John K. Ostenfeld, again (1971-1972), Eric Foss (1972-1983) and, most recently, Keld Tving, in 1983.

[33] See Formhals, Op.cit.

[34] See Chairoff, Op.cit., p.155.

[35] See Chairoff, Op.cit., p.155.

[36] Its Chancery is at Kärragarda Säteri 2600, S-260 80 Munka Ljungby, Sweden.

[37] Formhals, Op. cit., p.200.

[38] For the most complete summary of King Peter's involvement with self-styled "Orders of Saint John", see Formhals, Op.cit., pp.146-171.

[39] "Le Prince Héritier a également fait savoir que son pêre, S.M. le Feu Roi Pierre II de Yougoslavie, six mois avant son décès, dans une lettre du général Melitchovitch, Ancien Conseiller du Roi, avait renoncé à toute participation, revoqué toute constitution et protection, etc, concernant ces differentes associations dont vous parlez, dites de Saint-Jean de Jerusalem. Je vous sauria donc gré de bien vouloir faire comprendre à toute personne qui fait partie des ces associations l'opposition du Prince Héritier de Yougoslavie. Comme vous pouvez le comprendre, toutes ces machinations portent atteinte au credit de la Maison Royale de Yougoslavie". I am grateful to Baron Foran, Duke of Saint Bar, for providing me with a copy of the above letter.

[40] In a letter to the author dated 11 January 1991, Baron Thomas Foran, Personal Representative of H.R.H. Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia to the SMHOM, wrote that "after H.M. the late King Peter II entered the hospital he never signed any documents whatsoever. I was with the King before he died and can attest to this without any question of a doubt".

[41] The address given of the "Grand Magisterium" is a modest apartment in a North London suburb, 372 Preston Road, Preston Court, Harrow, Middlesex HA3 OQL. The Lieutenant Grand Master is identified as being a Mr A. S. Zammit, the Patron-Protector Prince Karl-Vladimir of Yugoslavia (i.e. Karageorgevich, Prince Vladimir - the Karl is a recent addition - is the second son of the late Prince Andrew and was born in 1964. Exactly what use this young man's patronage or protection could be is unknown), and the Grand Commander "on behalf of the Executive Council" is a Mr V. Usher. The Secretary of the Priory of Malta is unnamed, but his address is given as Loch Lea, Triq Is-Slielem, High Ridge, St Andrews (Malta?). The announcement reads: This began "The attention of the members of the Russian Grand Priory of Malta, situated at 223 St Paul's Street, Valletta, advised all its members in Malta and abroad, with a circular over the signature of the late Grand Prior Bailiff Dr V. Captur MD, that, at its council meeting on 9th August 1990, it had been decided to sever all relations with and seceding from the Sovereign Council of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, under Royal Charter of the late King Peter II of Yugoslavia. By this action, once the secession from the Order had taken place, all members of the Russian Grand Priory of Malta became isolated from all Grand Priories of the Order throughout the world, and ended up without a Grand Master or Protector. This action also went against all principles referred to in the Constitution granted to the Order by its Grand Master and Protector, the late King Peter II. Therefore in view of the above, and as far as the undersigned are concerned, those persons, forming part of the Russian Grand Priory of Malta, can no longer be considered as having any connection whatsoever with the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, under the Royal Charter of King Peter II."

[42] Resident at Flat 4, 6 Frognal, Hampstead, London NW3 6AJ.

[43] Of 16 Fairfield Avenue, Edgeware, Middlesex HA8 9AQ

[44] 223 St Paul Street, Valletta, Malta.

[45] 10/4 Avenue Albert Giraud, Bruxelles, Belgium.

[46] 2125 Glenwood Avenue, Yougnstown, Ohio 44511; Tel: 216-788-8735.

[47] This gentleman's precise connection with the Yugoslavian knights is unknown, his address was given as 40 Weston Road, Gloucester, GL1 5AX

[48] Whether Prince Troubetzkoy still maintains this "Order" separately from (1A) above under the title of "Lieutenant of the Grand Master" which he used in the early 1970's is unclear as he has apparently been associated with several different groups at different times. Various persons have been associated with King Peter's "orders", including in particular George L. Wilson III, Prince Alexis Scherbatoff, Count Christian Orssich, Prince Ivan Czartoryski, Prince Kyril Scherbatoff, Count Leonid Ignatieff, Prince Michael Cantacuzene, Paul Chernychev, Prince Roman Vorontzov-Dashkov, Herbert Stuber "count" de Caboga, Major Ronald Podesta ("prior of Australia" in the Tonna-Barthet group, see below), Mauritz de Wulf, and Frederick L. Friestadt. Some of the above are now associated with 1A, the so-called Russian or Orthodox "Order" run today by Count Bobrinskoy. See Formhals, Op.cit

[49] See Formhals, Op.cit., pp.200-201 for a history of this group.

[50] This lady is the daughter of a cousin of the late King Peter II and has been twice married; Princesses of the Royal House of Yugoslavia do not retain their royal styles or titles after marriage.

[51] At 223 St Paul Street, Valletta, Malta, Tel: 230712.

[52] The Grand Prior is described as being Dr Victor Captur, and other officers were named as C.G. Bonello, Ronald H. Norris, Victor M. Xuereb, Vincent Ciacio, Carol Marguerat, Albert J. Delia, J.S. Clark and the Rev Fr Marius Zerafa.

[53] Its sponsor, according to Chaffanjon and Galimard Flavigny (p.188, Op.cit.), also founded his own "Orthodox Order of the Holy Sepulcher" and a pseudo "Constantinian Order of Saint George".


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