Rhodes: Papanicolaou and Jerry Boykin Induct Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff Into Chivalric Order

At Gates of Vienna, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff recounts a recent visit to Rhodes, where she was invested as a “Dame of Grace of the Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta — The Ecumenical Order”:

In March of this year, during the launch of “The United West”, I had the great pleasure of sitting next to the Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Nicholas Papanicolaou. After my speech, Mr. Papanicolaou invited me to join the Order in recognition of my efforts to inform the public about the Islamization of the West, in particular that of Europe. It was an invitation I immediately accepted.

Sabaditsch-Wolff spoke at an English Defence League rally in February, and in June she signed a letter rebuking Pamela Geller for (temporarily) repudiating the organisation; the EDL website is publicising the event under the headline “Friend of the EDL, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Honoured by Knights Hospitallers in Rhodes”. Also in February, Sabaditsch-Wolff was found guilty by an Austrian court of  “denigrating the teachings of a legally recognised religion” for denouncing Muhammad as a paedophile.

Papanicolaou and his “Order” have featured on this blog previously: while he is the “Grand Master”, the “Grand Chancellor” is none other than General William “Jerry” Boykin, who back in August was boasting about how Rick Perry had “very humbly stood before” a group of evangelical leaders, which included himself, to explain that his high-profile “Response” prayer event was “not a political ploy” (Perry announced his Presidential bid a few days after the event). Boykin can be seen in a picture posted as part of the Gates of Vienna report, and his “Grand Chancellor” title appears in the order of service.

Another member of the Order, listed as “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council”, is the neo-Pentecostal evangelist Rick Joyner, and Joyner claims that his books are in part responsible for a “spiritual renewal” in the Order. Boykin and Papanicolaou are in turn both members of Joyner’s “Oak Initiative” Christian Right organisation, and Papanicolaou recently wrote a book for the Oak Initiative’s publishing house, called Islam vs the United States. Joyner is a neo-Pentecostal, and back in March,  following the Fukushima earthquake, he prophesied economic meltdown in the USA and an earthquake in California.

The “Ecumenical Order” has no connection with the better-known Roman Catholic Knights of Malta, properly known as the “Sovereign Military Order of Malta”. Sabaditsch-Wolff reports that

SMOM very recently lost a lawsuit in a United States court against the Order of St. John. Not only was the Order of St. John vindicated, but SMOM also lost all of its copyrights in the United States. 

The “International Headquarters of the Order, and Seat of the Supreme Council” is given as “Castello Dei Baroni Wardija SPB 07, Malta GC”, although the contact address is the less imposing “Grand Magisterial Chancery, 700 South Dixie Hwy, Suite 107, West Palm Beach, Fl. 33401”. The organisation has an Italian-language website here, and two English-language websites here and here.

I previously blogged on the world of “chivalric orders” here.

Footnote: A further odd connection is that Papanicolaou is also a co-founder of an organisation called the “World Public Forum”, which held a “Dialogue of Civilizations” conference on Rhodes just a few days after the investiture. Curiously, however, Papanicolaou was not listed as being involved in this event, despite being on the island at around the same time [UPDATE: A photo on the WPF shows that he was present].

The World Public Forum exists in a rather different milieu from the US Christian Right and “counter-jihad” polemics: it attracts international mainstream academic, religious, and political figures, and Papanicolaou’s fellow co-founder is Vladimir Yakunin, who runs Russia’s railways and is a confidante of Vladimir Putin. Yakunin made a speech at the conference, noting “incompatibility between the neo-liberal interpretation of the system of human rights and the system of human values”, and that “the universal urge to have the ‘freedom’ to say ‘anything and in any form’ has a temporary character and is beginning to fade away”.