The recent discovery of a nail by Lord Macklin's organisation, claimed to be used to crucify Jesus Christ, has attracted media attention in the UK.
Conspiracy theories concerning the Knights Templar have been rife since the publication of Dan Brown's immensely popular, though critically panned, The Da Vinci Code franchise, and the resulting critically panned Hollywood blockbusters.
Modern organisations with links to the Knights Templar are frequently implicated in these conspiracy theories, and are often looked upon with a substantial amount of skepticism.
Lord Macklin has travelled to Dharamsala to seek an audience with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
TPI: Can you introduce yourself briefly?
Lord Christopher Macklin: Certainly, my name's Lord Christopher Macklin, I'm a council member at the top of the Knights Templar of Britannia. This is one of 36 orders throughout England which the Vatican has studied in the past, and in fact our order is the only order which has a grandmaster that has ancestral links to the ancient grandmasters of before. So it is a proper order and we therefore have ancient knowledge that the Knights Templars had going back thousands of years, and also artifacts which we have kept secret up until now.
What is the purpose of the Knights Templar of Britannia? Is it devoted to a religious or spiritual cause?
The Knights Templars are historically spiritual. They are originally the Knights of the Temples, and these 'Temples' were the pyramids. The Knights Templar used to guard the pyramids. These pyramids were very special to the Knights Templar and we are going to release the reasons why in the future.
What are the intentions of the current Knights Templar?
The Knights Templar are basically very spiritual people. They have complete integrity. They do many good works throughout the world. They get involved in humanitarian projects, and also within the order we have many different projects in England.
[People] have to have integrity when they join the Knights Templar. People, if they want to, can be trained as a Knight. To be trained they have to become spiritual. [There are] many different aspects of becoming a Knight, which are spiritual abilities, for example manifestations.
When was the organisation established?
It was established a long time ago. It's been around for many years - I think it's 700 years old. It comes from the ancient Knights Templar. In 1300 the Knights Templar disbanded. Because of the order of the pope, the grandmaster at the time, Jacques de Molay, was slow-roasted at the stake. The pope ordered this because the King of France put pressure on the pope to disband the Knights Templars, because he had borrowed so much money from them that he couldn't afford to pay it back.
That's why, once the grandmaster was killed, some Knights Templars disbanded into the Knights Hospitalice, and others jumped onto ships and set sail with all the artifacts and all the gold they had and dispersed throughout the world.
And who are the employers of the Knight Templars?
Er... there's no employment. It's a spiritual organization which is completely charitable. People get involved in the Knights Templar on a charitable basis.
How do people get involved in the Knights Templar of Britannia?
Some are very involved and have missions out all over the world in Africa. There are things going on in America - some are looking after soup kitchens. People get involved all over the world, but people can be as involved or uninvolved as they like.
But are there any conditions to join? Any requirements, Christianity?
No. It's not a Christian organization - it's a spiritual organization. We understand how all the religions come together, and how everything fits together. That's why we're looking at writing a book about the Knights templar. We recognize all religions.
How are the Knights Templar of Britannia interested in Tibetan issues?
We don't like to see the humanitarian problems which Tibet is having at the moment, and therefore we support His Holiness and the Tibetan people to try and free themselves of their problems. We're hoping to release a big fund of money in the next three or four months. One thing you'll learn about the Knights Templar is that the determination [that we have] is huge. Once we set a goal we achieve it. Part of Buddhist teaching is that if you believe something and you manifest it, it will happen. I believe, along with my colleagues at the Knights Templar, that we are going to make this fund available. [We] have manifested it and it will happen.
700 years of history is not a short period of time, so what have been your main successes in the 21st century?
We've had many successes. What we realize is that there's a lot of darkness at the moment which is engineered from monetary greed. This seems to be controlling the world at the moment. Greed seems to have manifested within people all over the world. What we're trying to do is educate people to step back and think "the world is not about money, it's about helping people." It's about waking the spirituality within people, to get them to start helping. That's really important to us.
You have to remember that the world's money is held by the very few, and they're pulling all the strings. It's our mission to try and turn that around, and get people feeling positive again. People live in fear at the moment, because the economic situation in the Western countries is very poor - people are in debt or can't pay their bills - and because of that, because of the fear factor and the negativity within them, they can't become spiritual. What we hope to do is to reeducate them to let go of that money-side and help them to become spiritual. We have some ideas for [doing] that in the future, which will be released.
You flew from the UK to Dharamshala to meet Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Why is it important to meet His Holiness for your organization?
It's most important because His Holiness has great wisdom, as you know. We have wisdom also, and I think [ours] is in symbiosis with His Holiness' ideas, therefore I'm very keen to meet His Holiness to get some focus on how we can help him and the Tibetan people, as well as how he can help us to move forward with the projects we are doing, of which there are many, and [which] are going to be huge.
You've mentioned that you've already met some officials from the Central Tibetan Government.
I've met the secretary who was excited to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister in April. It's my mission to come back, because with His Holiness and the Prime Minister behind what we're doing, I think we can do some great work together.
Getting spirituality back and getting the Tibetan people to manifest for the humanitarian problems to be over is important. We're hoping to make the fund available which we're starting to manifest now in various forms, so hopefully in the next three months we'll be able to help monetary-wise as well.
If you couldn't meet with His Holiness this time, would you be discouraged?
I never get discouraged. One thing about [myself], as I said, is when I set a goal I achieve it, and I think His Holiness would back me up on this because he is a spiritual person of equal standing for myself... I think we're two people with the ability to perform some amazing things in the future, and that's why I'm very excited to meet his Holiness. I know His Holiness will meet me in the future, for sure, because he is a very beautiful spirit.
You've had some media attention over the discovery of a "Holy Nail", could you tell us about that?
When Jack de Molay was slow-roasted at the stake, and [the Knights Templar's] ships set sail all over the world, one of the fleet went via Madeira, and they set new commandries up all over the world to keep the Knights' Temple alive. Our order manifested out of that. The "Holy Nail" was in a box with particular Temple symbols which [corresponds] to our records. We identified the nail as Christ's crucifixion nail, which we've been guarding for over 2000 years.
Now we've got joint ownership with the Prince of Pontinha, so we're very excited about this find. I think it's one of our momentous finds.
Is that the photo [of the nail] in your hand?
It is. It's about four inches long.
Yeah, I can see that in the photo.
When Christ was crucified, not many people know this, but with crucifixion what they normally did was they strapped [the victim's] arms up, then put the nail through the bottom part of the arm to cause more pain.
Archaeologists confirm that the nail is from the first or second century, and also that it had been handled in a careful way by many people over a long period of time. Obviously they can't confirm that it was Christ's nail, but from our records we can confirm that it was the nail which was lost in the fleet.
And where is the nail now?
Well, I can't really tell you! It's with our security.