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I refuse to believe this.

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ (better known as the Knights Templar) have just launched a legal action against the Pope: among other things they want him to recognize the seizure of assets worth an estimated €100Bn, and restore the good name of the order. (More here.)

No. Just, no. This is too silly. Back in 2001 we obviously changed Cosmic Scriptwriter, with a new team consisting of the ghosts of Eric Blair and Philip K. Dick taking over from the previous incumbents — but this? The Pythons aren't even dead, yet! (Well, most of them.)



The icing on the cake is that this is going through a Spanish court.


Well, Dave, one on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.


The only question is - which summer blockbuster is this viral marketing for?


new cosmic scriptwriter= Umberto Eco. Which is an even more terrifying proposition.


Actually, all this proves is that God is a lawyer.



Your theme music is here.


An action against the Pope? In a Spanish court? Involving the Templars? You know what means, don't you? Of course not... NO one expects the Sp.... /argh... /choke...


"We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church"

What's wrong with this objective? I, for one, would welcome it.


The new scriptwriters have to have been in by November 2000. 9/11 was not when the silliness started. Robert Mugabe offering to send electoral observers?


I don't get it. They're suing the Catholic Church, the body which founded them and made them immensely rich. Shouldn't they be suing the French government, the successor of the body which dissolved them and killed their people for their money?

(Or are they just thinking that the Pope makes a more impressive target than the French, as well as having slightly worse lawyers? I mean, people sue national governments all the time...)



'That'd be excellent for a TV advert. "Have you had a slip or fall at work? Were your forbears mutilated or killed by the Spanish Inquisition?"'


This combined with the fact that there are a non-zero number of Zeppelins pootling about London, are clear indications that we are in a parallel world now.


I'm with Gi@8.


Gi@8 an Jim@13.

Well one minor backwash would be the Knights Templar would then have similar economic and political clout.

Now depending on which stories of the KT you believe could depend on how their 'descendants' act, and it mightn't be purdy.

At least the current squad are slowly slipping away.


I guess the KT were just too enticed by those sub-prime ads and having found themselves in negative equity are just doing what anyone else would do in their position. Sue someone with more money!


Jacques de Molay, thou art amused...


I, for one, welcome our new metal clad gnostic overlords.


Is this some sort of alternate reality? Charlie, what have you done now? Perhaps you could call on the Laundry to fix things?


Typical silliness from the sort of people who believe the rubbish put out by fraudsters. There's a rich seam of this sort of thing right here in Scotland. The "Templars" have links to jacobite causes, people flogging monomolecular gold (Ormus), new age religion, and deluded fuckwits of all kinds.

The bloke claiming to be the last descendant of the house of Stewart ran away last year, after the Taxman started taking an interest in his affairs. Unfortunately the rest of them are still around, often dressed in tartan plaids and carrying pretend swords.


They can't sue the French government, because it is not the same entity that was at fault. Though their chances of winning would be better - I don't think the French government could find 100 billion euro. However, the Vatican may have that set aside for tea money.

This, while with so many overtones of ridiculous, is just a big splash with tiny ripples in pond. They won't even get a letter saying "Sorry about that 'burnt at the stake' thing, but it was the times. You know." Then again, if they even got a few million or more euros, they win. But its likely the Vatican will simply snow them in with lawyers, appeals, challenges, and legal tactics until another seven centuries havfe passed.


But your making the same mistake lots of people do, which is that there is any legitimate grounds for suing the organisation, and that these descendants are somehow entitled to some of the money. As far as I am aware, the Templars didn't exactly hand land on to their children even before they were dissolved...


Weren't the original Knights Templar supposed to be sworn to chastity? That would make the whole "legitimate descendants" thing a bit sticky. (Of course being sworn to poverty didn't seem to get in the way of their amassing huge swathes of land, castles, and vast sums of money. Funny how these things go.)


cDave@12 - There are zeppelins flying over London? for real? No Cybermen, yet, I hope?


The interesting point is that the financial aspect of the suit seems to be secondary to the defamation aspect -- they want their name clearing.


Charile @24:

It brings up the interesting question of exactly how one goes about clearing your ancestors of being 'enemies of the state'. I'm sure I don't know.


Exactly Clifton. However, the poverty thing was very interesting in the 13th century- it was one reason there were various problems within the early Franciscans, over arguments about whether the organisation could own stuff and the member have the use, or whether the only things the member, and by extension the organisation, was allowed to have were the bare minimum to keep him alive.


OK - a quick check on that organ of ultimate truth wikipedia.......

Apparently the Catholic chucrh already apologised and "cleared" the templars back in the 17th century.

Thier property was distributed to the Hospitalers - who most of the disbanded sect apparently joined.

It's the silly season, time to get out your aluminium propeller beanies.

Now for sects that were utterly destroyed as opposed to amalgameted you really need those old favourites, the Cathars!


cDave @12, are you sure they were zeps, not blimps? We got blimps back here in Manassas (weren't allowed to fly over DC, but can now fly closer, and they fly from here). The most recent blimp was advertising MetLife and covering some sports thing.


the zep I saw was free flying - advertising something or other last weekend-a-go, keeping south of the river, fairly dinky, - we know that blimps over london look like


29: I think the distinction is that a zeppelin has a rigid hull and a blimp doesn't, not that a blimp is tethered and a zeppelin is free-flying. Certainly there are a fair number of blimps around London.


Andy W @ 27. The Cathars exterminated? Surely not. Et in Arcadia Ego . . .

Those French royalist journalists certainly aren't smoking Gauloises any more.


They are real Zeppelins, made by the Zeppelin company in Friedrichshafen, Germany (on the Bodensee, whatever that is called in English) since approx 1990. You can book very expensive sightseeing flights in them. One or two of them are in London right now and, you guessed right, you can book some really expensive sightseeing-flights. More info at Seen them fly quite a few times over the lake, looks really cool. If you ever happen to be in the Friedrichshafen-area, be sure to visit the Zeppelin-museum!


The correct taxonomy of LTA craft is: rigid, semi-rigid, or dirigible. Rigid ones -- like the original pre-1939 Zeppelins from Friedrichshafen -- had a geodesic aluminium skeleton, covered by a smooth skin, and for lift generation the skeleton held spherical lift volumes (baloons). Dirigible airships are much more common these days because fabric technology makes them lighter and simpler; there's an outer lift baloon (cigar-shaped), and its pressure is typically controlled by an inner bladder (which can be inflated or deflated under control from the gondola). Semi-rigids are an intermediate form -- a dirigible with additional structural stiffening elements.

The "blimp" nickname originated, IIRC, with British Navy airships of the WW1 era, which were semi-rigid. (They tended to be smaller than Zeppelin's products, and were used for maritime reconnaisance and anti-submarine surveillance.)


Also, the popular 1970's model made of Led. [ducks]


Isn't there some sort of statute of limitations on having your religious order dismantled? Three of four hundred years sounds right.

And if they're the real children of the Templars, they can produce the Holy Grail as evidence, right?


OK, Charlie...

The Zeppelins never used geodesic construction. Barnes Wallis used a precursor for the R100 aidship, built at Howden, which didn't crash. However, there were some problems with the way the structure supported the fabric skin.

(Models of the R100, the R101, and the Cardington airship shed, can be downloaded from here. There are several other airships, and also some unusual rockets.)

The term "dirigible" is a generic for all airships. It means you can steer the thing, rather than just move with the wind.

"blimps" are non-rigid airships, not semi-rigid.

The RNAS Coastal blimps used the envelope design of the French Astra-Torres airships, with internal bracing wires giving a 3-lobe cross-section to the envelope. One problem was that the nose tended to flatten out at speed.


@11:They can run it here in Israel- since there are literally millions of people to which it applies here they could probably get several dozen suckers to sign on.


"And if they're the real children of the Templars, they can produce the Holy Grail as evidence, right?"

The judge looks long and hard at the witness.

"You," he says, "have chosen poorly."


Dave Bell: s/geodesic/structual trusses/

An oversimplification, yes.


Boy, those guys really know how to hold a grudge, don't they?


Can we hope that the pilgrims will again be protected on their trips to jeruselum. Peraps they will be offering package tours.


I imagine if all goes well they are going to want their name cleared by having banners towed behind all the Zeppelins over London.

(At least for a start).



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on August 5, 2008 3:45 AM.

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