posted on Sep, 5 2010 @ 10:41 PM
Hi guys, first time poster here on ATS.
Being myself involved with the SMOM (the real one). Allow me to clarify a few points, and re-inforce what others have said.
Yes, SMOM is a sovreign entity with Observer status at most international forums, similarly to the Red Cross movement.
Yes, it does have the power to issue passports, stamps, vehicle licence plates and coins. Typically however, there are very few of these ever issues.
At most there would be 5-10 people in the entire world who hold SMOM Passports. Stamps are very rarely used. There are a minute amount of vehicles
with SMOM plates. Aircraft are leased from the Italian Military but carry SMOM Markings and Call signs. Coins are mostly only issued for decorative
purposes. The small "army" that we do retain is in fact a constituent part of the Italian Military and is only used within the city of Rome for the
security of our two extraterritorial buildings, the Villa Malta, and the Palazzo di Malta.
Yes, we are a religious order of sorts. However we are unique in that our leader is not ordained. He is a professed Knight, taking vows of chastity
obedience and poverty.
No, we are not the orchestrators of a new world order.
No, we are not a secret society.
No, you do not have to be a captain of industry or a millionaire banker to join. In fact, the majority of Knights that I know are simple working men
and women who dedicated their lives to the sick, disabled, or poor through the works of the Organisation, many of them being qualified Nurses or
Yes, there are many other organisations with similar names, or symbols to which we have no affiliation. These organisations often lay claim to being
linked with us, and this simply is not true.
Yes, we do a huge amount of International Relief work through our agency Malteser International.
Yes, we have some strange traditions, and our Knights and Dame's wear unusual clothing at official events. This is no different to a lot of old
organisations which hold onto their traditions and dress.
Yes, it is hard to become a Knight. This is not because we are guarding some kind of conspiratorial secrets, but because to become a Knight is a huge
huge privilege, and it's only right that those who give the most of themselves through helping the poor and sick should receive this privilege. In a
world where people expect instant gratitude, it may seem hard for some people to comprehend a lack of instant reward for hard work.
If anyone has any questions, please do get in touch. I've studied the history of the Order to a fair degree and might be able to help people who are
looking into doing some research. Also, having met HMEH Fra' Matthew Festing, the Prince and Grand Master of the SMOM only last week, let me just say
that he came across as quite a nice person, and not the cult leader that some would believe him to be.