High-ranking members of US military part of 'Knights of Malta', 'Opus Dei'
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January 21, 2011: Article alleges that current and former high-ranking members of the US military (such as General Stanley McChrystal, and Vice Admiral William McRaven) are secretly members of the Knights of Malta and/or Opus Dei. It goes on to claim that the US government has essentially been covertly overthrown by agents of these secretive religious orders (including many in George W. Bush's administration), and that the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are religiously-motivated. This modern-day Crusade allegedly has the goal of replacing mosques with cathedrals, in addition to securing oil for the West.

Related Pages:


: The Sovereign Military Order of Malta - the Catholic one : The Venerable Order of St John - the sort of Protestant One (Usually encountered as the St. John's Ambulance Organisation)

Game and Story Use

  • Great little nugget for use in a game laden with government conspiracies… these religious groups are trying to manipulate the byzantine corridors of government to spread their own religion. Or, as history has shown repeatedly, to gain power and wealth.
  • See the articles above concerning the Knights of Malta. Terrifying conspirators all.
    • Admittedly, they do look for all the world like a completely innocuous charitable organization. But then again, most government conspiracies are just one guy bribing the other, and most UFO sightings probably aren't aliens even if you believe some of them are. Gaming isn't about the truth, it's about the dramatic and entertaining, which needs just a tiny bit of plausibility to suspend disbelief and seal the deal. If Dan Brown can insist that Opus Dei has albino assassins amongst it's ranks hiding the secret of Christ's bloodline in The Da Vinci Code, then GMs can certainly do the same (or worse) in their campaign worlds. :)
    • If it helps "Knight of Malta" is a degree in York Rite Freemasonry, which is, confusingly, associated with the Templars, not the Hostpitallers. Entirely possible for a conspiracy theorist to have got the wrong end of the stick (and very useful for RPG plotting) - and the existence of Masons in the US Forces should be no surprise to anyone.
  • Even better for use in a story or campaign of the horror genre, such as Call of Cthulhu or Vampire The Masquerade.
    • Such groups might be conducting a war to cover their struggle against some dark evil. Whether this makes them the white hats, or just another shade of gray, is largely a matter of campaign theme and personal preference. It's also dependent on the level of Collateral Damage done, and just how potent or wide-spread the evil they are fighting is.
      • Maybe Opus Dei has learned about the Assamite clan of vampires (from V:TM), and is taking extreme measures to put several hundred blood-suckers to the torch.
    • Or the religious groups might be the evil. Perhaps they're an apocalyptic cult trying to fulfill scriptural or prophetic needs building towards biblical Armageddon. If the war continues, it's the end of the world as we know it.
  • As always, when dealing with religious issues in your game, it's wise to really know your players first. You don't want your "big reveal" to offend anyone at the table. Sometimes it's better to warn people when the campaign starts about exactly what type of game you're running, rather than surprise them a dozen sessions in with a plot device they might take as a slam against their religion.
    • Even if no-one's offended, you might end up feeling very silly when your players look at you and ask why they're expected to fight these people … replacing mosques with cathedrals and securing the West's oil supply are going to look like pretty reasonable objectives to a lot of people.
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