22 March 2013
TALLINN, March 22 (RIA Novosti)
Several high-ranking military officers in the
Baltic nation of Estonia have been exposed as members of a
The Eesti Ekspress reported this week that the 27 members of the Estonian
branch of the
Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani
include the Chief of Defense, as well as several retired military
officers and former defense officials.
The order drew the attention of the Estonian security agency in 2011, when
Norwegian mass killer
Anders Breivik claimed to be a Knight Templar and was known
to have visited Estonia.
Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu on Friday downplayed the revelations,
however, saying that,
"officers could join free associations
without being accused of violating ethical principles."
The Estonian Templars keep low profile and
describe themselves as,
"Christian military officers who uphold the
Christian world outlook."
Chief of Defense Maj. Gen. Riho Terras
told Eesti Ekspress that OSMTH members strive to cultivate moral and
spiritual values among their subordinates and,
"are involved in various charities in the
interest of education and culture."
The Estonian Templars have set up the
Carolin Illenzeer Foundation in support of
families of Estonian soldiers killed or gravely injured in military
The Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH) was established in
1804 in the spirit of the 12th century Knights Templar.
There are many
groups around the world that claim the association with OSMTH and the order
exists in each country under different jurisdictions.