“We do not consider this ‘Templar church’ to be a church at all,” said Chevalier James R. Reese, Grand Prior of the United States for the Scottish Knights Templar. “In our opinion, it is nothing but a business. It has no building, and it has no congregation.”
Chev. Reese said that Mr. Beaver was illegally ordained by a Mr. Lionel Fanthorpe, a resident of Cardiff, Wales, who claims to be a part-time Anglican priest. “Anyone familiar with the canon law of the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion in general, knows that a priest cannot ordain another priest, or even a deacon. A bishop must preside over such an ordination, and Mr. Fanthorpe is by no stretch of imagination a bishop in the Church of England, or in any Anglican church in communion with Canterbury.”
According to Chev. Reese, Mr. Fanthorpe is well known in “British UFO and ‘Bigfoot’” circles. “We refer to his ‘Templar Church’ as the ‘Flying Saucer Church,’ because of Mr. Fanthorpe’s devotion to UFO lore. In fact, Mr. Fanthorpe once sued the former director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Plains, Georgia, USA, in order to obtain details of a conversation then President Carter supposedly had with a space alien. A federal court dismissed the lawsuit.”
He added that his Order, which is headquartered in Scotland, has sent a formal protest to the See of Canterbury to demand that the Church of England formally repudiate what he calls an “illegal and illicit” ordination.
“We are especially concerned about Mr. Beaver being ordained under the auspices of the Church of England,” said Chev. Reese. “As a result of this false aura of authority and legitimacy provided by someone claiming to be an Anglican priest, Mr. Beaver has engaged in what we feel are abuses committed in the name of a church. We know that he has contacted at least one social agency in another country, using his ‘archbishop’s letterhead,’ in order to prompt an investigation of a former supporter. As a result of such actions, a former supporter filed an official complaint of criminal harassment against him.”
Chev. Reese said that Mr. Beaver’s Web site for his “Templar Church” features “infantile accusations” made against the former follower.
“It is absolutely inconceivable,” said Chev. Reese, “that a legitimate cleric of a legitimate church would post such shameful drivel on an official church Web site.” He added, “As our Lord said, ‘You shall know them by their fruits.’”
Chev. Reese said that it “grieved his Order” that someone like Mr. Beaver was “using the Templar name” in such a shameful fashion.
“Our Order has gone through many trials and tribulations in defense of the church and of Christendom in general,” said Chev. Reese. “We strongly object to the use of this sacred name by someone claiming to be an archbishop of a ‘Templar church.’ And as far as we know, he has never had any theological training outside Sunday School, so we feel that no one who hasn’t even been to a seminary should be an ‘archbishop’ for any church.”
The lack of any real theological training and experience showed, according to Chev. Reese, when Mr. Beaver was asked to conduct a mass by the nuns in a cathedral he was visiting as an “archbishop.” “He refused,” said Chev. Reese. “It was a dead giveaway that he wasn’t someone with a true archbishop’s credentials.”
Chev. Reese stated that Mr. Beaver’s “archbishop antics” have gotten him banned from conducting any more “services” in a number of churches, such as Holloway Chapel at the University of London.
According to Chev. Reese, Mr. Beaver has also styled himself as a member of the English nobility. “Mr. Beaver has variously passed himself off as Baron Richecourt, the Marquis of Aulnois, and Viscount Newport,” he said. “According to authoritative sources in the United Kingdom, the first two have no basis in legitimacy, and the second was allegedly misappropriated from the ‘real’ Viscount Newport, who had a writ issued against Mr. Beaver for this alleged violation of the law dealing with titles of nobility.”
Chev. Reese said that neither he nor the Scottish Knights Templar bore any ill will toward Mr. Beaver. “We would hope that Mr. Beaver would dissolve his ‘church’ and submit himself to the authority and discipline of a legitimate Christian church,” he said. “We feel that this so-called ‘Templar church’ is a paving stone on the path to Perdition for any of its followers, and especially for its leader. No good can come out of something which has had such unholy beginnings.”
He added that there were several things Mr. Beaver needed to do. “First,” he said, “Mr. Beaver needs to let any former follower depart gracefully, and to stop what we hold are harassment and threats communicated in the name of a church—regardless of the high opinion he holds of himself, he is not authorized to conduct his own ‘Inquisition.’ Secondly, he should cease any and all attempts to destroy our Order. We have survived for 886 years, and we will survive until the Second Coming.
“Lastly, we must all accept that you can not buy honor and respect. Titles and ranks that can be bought are worthless—that’s why knighthoods are not for sale by our Order at any price. Honor and respect have to be earned. Furthermore, we must approach our Lord in all humility, and never puff ourselves up with pride. The Book of Proverbs tells us that ‘pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.’ Let us all remember that false pride and a sense of self-righteousness caused the religious leaders of Jesus’ day to be blind to His divinity. If any of us would take up our own Cross and follow Jesus, we must first lay aside all pretenses and false pride.
“Thus we call upon Mr. Beaver to lay aside this so-called ‘Templar church.’ Mr. Beaver apparently feels that as the head of his own ‘church,’ that he is answerable to no one, and that he may treat others any way he wants to. He is, however, answerable to Almighty God, and he will one day have to give account for those actions committed in our Lord’s name. I pray that he will dissolve this ‘Templar church,’ for it is coming between him and God. Judging by the exodus of departing members, his former followers have seen this ‘church’ as an impediment, not an aid, to their relationship with God. We pray that Mr. Beaver will come to this same conclusion before it is too late.”