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    #3659 |

    Crolian William Edelen, 1st Grand Prior of the

    Today’s most visible SMOTJ ( list their first Grand Prior on their website as: Grand Prior I: Chev. Crolian William Edelen (Deceased) Served 1962-1965 (Source: ). This Order, the OSMTJ, is not connected to the in anyway but merely presents the facts we uncover.

    According to the real Order of Malta’s web site, Corlian was the 5th Grand Master of a fake, self-styled Order of Malta from 1966 until 1978: (Source: ). After he retired as Grand Master of this order of Malta, he remained a member of their Supreme Council. Crolian William Edelen styled himself: “Count de Burgh, descendant of Frankish kings of Jerusalem, of the emperors of Byzantium, of Charlemagne, etc.etc” (Source: go 13 paragraphs down: ). We can not verify Corlian’s outlandish hereditary claims of nobility but when one claims without proof to be related to the ancient kings of Jerusalem and as a descendant of Charlemagne himself (born 742 A.D.) as Edelen did, it’s best to be very skeptical. It’s no surprise then that Edelen was an officer of various independent “orders of chivalry“.

    This spurious “Order of Malta” was created by a con-man and close associate of Crolian William Edelen de Burgh, who had spent time in jail for dealing narcotics: Charles Pichel. The site for this Fake Order of Malta still exists today:

    Crolian Edelen de Burgh. In a letter addressed to Harrison Smith, the Historian to the King Peter Order in Malta, 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 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 Brett-Crowther M.Sc., Ph.D., D.I.C. S.Th. , Dr. Michael Richard. Orders of Chivalry under the Aegis of the Church. Lambeth Diploma of Student in Theology (S.Th.) Thesis, 1st December 1990, pages 102 & 103. (Source: )

    From the above letter, it seems clear that Edelen was aware of the fraud Charles Pichel had committed in creating the history of this spurious Order of Malta but continued serving as it’s Grand Master anyway. Notice that Edelen admitted to an active role in his letter of helping Pichel fabricate this fraudulent Order of Malta: “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…”

    On 15 February 1960 De Sousa Fontes died. His son, Fernando de Sousa Fontes, succeeded him, assuming the title of “Prince Regent.” In the meantime, the Grand Prior of Switzerland, Anton Leuprecht, had been receiving Americans into the Swiss Grand Priory. As more Americans joined the Order, an American Grand Priory was formed but this was not done with official recognition yet from the OSMTH Order they wished to join. One of them was Crolian William Edelen. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, and was with Signal Intelligence in the India-Burma theatre of World War II. He actively pursued memberships numerous Orders and he was involved with the Sons of the American Revolution.

    Edelen had been the first Grand Prior and founder of the New Jersey branch of the U.S. Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (, and held the Grand Cross from the autonomous Priory of Switzerland and from the Regent in Porto, Portugal. The Corporate Charter for the American Grand Priory was signed on 4 June 1962 by Edelen, William Y. Pryor, Herschel S. Murphy, Warren S. Hall, Jr., John D. Leet, Lawrence Stratton and George J. Deyo. The Grand Priory was incorporated in the State of New Jersey on 29 June. Edelen was chosen the first Grand Prior. However, official recognition for this new Autonomous Grand Priory of the United States by their Prince Regent, Fernando de Sousa Fontes, didn’t come until 1967. This means that their incorporation in New Jersey in 1962 was an act on their own and they didn’t become an official part of the OSMTH Order with a charter directly from the Order’s leader until five years later in 1967.

    In his 1995 Interview with Attorney Wayne Bachus, Crolian William Edelen (1st Grand Prior & Founder of the described his rivalry with Forest Ernest Barber who had also purchased the rights to a United States SMOTJ (“Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem”) Grand Priory from Fernando de Sousa Fontes in 1964, just two years after Edelen had. Barber’s SMOTJ was based in California while Edelen’s was in New Jersey. Edelen explained that it was his rival Barber who had the relationship with King Peter II of Yugoslavia (who was also a resident of California) and Barber’s 1964 SMOTJ that secured King Peter’s recognition in 1965. Today’s, who hold Edelen as their founder, wrongly claim that they were recognized by King Peter II of Yugoslavia but this wasn’t the case as it was Barber’s SMOTJ who possessed that recognition. After 1966, Edelen did became acquainted with King Peter II as the two worked together in their spurious Order of Malta which one can still see online today and view Edelen’s name listed here if you scroll down to “1960-1973”:

    Read more about Grand Prior Forest Ernest Barber here:

    ——————- Sources ——————
    1) About Crolian:
    3) Crolian’s was the’s first Grand Prior:
    4) Crolian’s claim to be a “Count” and his fake Order of Malta:

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