General McChrystal denies claims of secret Knights of Malta military crusade against Islam

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal denies there is a secret military crusade against Islam. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press

McChrystal denies claims of secret military crusade against Islam

Stars and Stripes | Jan 21, 2011

By Jeff Schogol

WASHINGTON — Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he is not part of a religious order waging war on Islam despite recent assertions by acclaimed journalist Seymour Hersh.

Speaking in Qatar earlier this week, Hersh claimed that McChrystal and current members of the special operations community are members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei, both Catholic organizations, according to the blog Foreign Policy.

“They do see what they’re doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally,” Foreign Policy quoted Hersh as saying. “They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims [as in] the 13th century. And this is their function.”

Hersh won a Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the subsequent military coverup.

But McChrystal’s spokesman, David Bolger, said Hersh was way off base in this case.

“The allegations recently made by Seymour Hersh relating to General McChrystal’s involvement with an organization called The Knights of Malta are completely false and without basis in fact,” Bolger said in an e-mail. “General McChrystal is not and has never been a member of that organization.”

Prior to his stint as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, McChrystal served as the head of Joint Special Operations Command.

Officials with U.S. Special Operations Command declined to comment on Hersh’s allegations.

Stars and Stripes was unable to reach the officials with the Knights of Malta, but a spokesman for Opus Dei said the group is meant to help Christians find God, not to fight Islam.

“We have a number of activities: So it would be classes on Catholic doctrine, teaching people about the Catholic faith, and there’s classes about how to live that faith in the everyday world,” said group spokesman David Gallagher. “We have weekend retreats.”

Opus Dei was portrayed in “The Da Vinci Code” as a secret society, but Gallagher noted that it has a website and an office in Manhattan.

“I don’t think it’s too secret,” he said.

Hersh told Stars and Stripes he has proof to back up his claims but he declined to provide any because he is writing a book that will touch on the subject and revealing his evidence before the book is published would be “unethical.”

He added that it is impossible to be around special operations troops and not notice just how religious they are.

But one former Green Beret and defense official disputed the notion that there is a religious cabal inside special operations.

Religion is considered very personal and rarely discussed among special operators, said Kalev “Gunner” Sepp, a Special Forces officer from 1986 to 1999 and deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and counterterrorism from 2007 to 2009.

There have been exceptions, such as one Special Forces commander who gave church sermons while in uniform, but such practices have not been widely embraced, Sepp said.

“Zealotry is viewed as being unprofessional,” he said. “Anyone who professes religion in an open way like that is suspect to where their real loyalties lie.”

21 responses to “General McChrystal denies claims of secret Knights of Malta military crusade against Islam

  1. In 1962,Generals Sheperd, del Valle,Byers,Willoughby,Admirals Sir Edward Domville,Baker, de la Houssayes,Porter, Admirals Sir Domville,Baker,de la Houssaye,Porter, Marquis de vAmodio,and other Knights of Malta of different faiths were selected to serve on the ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem as shown on Page 103 of “The Captain’s Polygraph” copyrighted by this author. These Knights were singled out for their brilliant and outstanding careers as Soldiers of Christ.
    In 1962 there were Knights of Malta of Catholic origin,
    masonic York and Scottish rite and others internationally. Some were simultaneously Knights in other orders. Some of the Knights were right wing but all motivated with charity. There are threads to racism and JFK

  2. Clyde, can we have some sources? Links, articles, books etc


  3. Relative to the Pennsylvania Knights of Malta, there is a document listing the Officers of the Supreme Council,Supreme Court of the Order on Page 104,”The Captain’s Polygraph”,ISBN 978-142690310-6. On Page 101,there is a copy of a letter,dated Sept,11,1959 from Chas.L.T.Pichel ,OSJ to Maj.Gen. Charles A. Willoughby containing congratulations in being selected as one of the 500 eminent Christain laymen in the US. There is ,on page 108,a letter to Lieut- Gen Albert c. Wedemyer. from Pichel expressing regret over his resignation from thre order. On Page 109 ,theres is a letter ,datedSept 4,1965, from Paul M. Winter,Ph.D. toMaj Gen. Willoughby citing a disgraceful take over of Wash,DC by negroes and blaming the door of the White House. There is a member letter on Page 111 from (Dr.) James A. Jacobs,O.S.J. citing his Catholosism and citing their membership cost at$1000 “passage money” and $200 annual dues for the Papal order.

  4. Thank you Clyde.

    Does the name Adolf Tscheppe Weidenbach ring a bell?

    In 1936 he was appointed as an instructor in the Infantry School at Fort Benning. Later he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. He developed extreme right-wing views and once delivered a speech to Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco at a lunch in Madrid. He also praised Benito Mussolini: “Historical judgment, freed from the emotional haze of the moment, will credit Mussolini with wiping out a memory of defeat by re-establishing the traditional military supremacy of the white race.”

    Willoughby became logistics officer in the Headquarters of the Philippine Department in Manila where he served under General Douglas MacArthur. Promoted to the rank of major general, Willoughby served as General MacArthur’s Chief of Intelligence in the General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area (1941-1951).

    Willoughby accompanied Douglas MacArthur to Tokyo for the occupation of Japan. When attempts to suppress news to the United States ended in failure, he labeled reporters who defied him, as “Communists”. A Cold War warrior he was a strong supporter of the activities of Joseph McCarthy. He also lobbied the US Congress to authorize $100 million for General Franco’s government in Spain. MacArthur once described the six-foot, three-inch, Willoughby as “my little Fascist”.

  5. In Who’s Who in America,1950-51 edition, Gen. Willoughby is given as the son of Baron T. von T scheppe-Weidenbach and Emma von T scheppe-Weidenbach.nee Emma Willoughby from whence the General obtained his latter name. He was a member of the Massonic Scottish rite.

  6. A telephone call related to the JFK assassination from Mexico city, two days later, was monitored as coming from Emilio Nunez Portuondo,prime minister of Cuba in 1958 and the Latin Affairs Editor of Willoughby’s “Foreign Intelligence”. Col Philip J. Corso,a member of the Knight’s of Malta, Armed Services Committee, was assigned to Warren Commission member,Senator Richard Russell.

  7. And Shickshinny Knight Col. Corso of course was given the task of convincing us that everything from transistors to lasers and fiber optics were back-engineered from the alleged Roswell UFO crash.

  8. Ah so there is another bit of info that corroborates the fact that Masons can be Papal Knights and vice versa, against the virulent protests of Masons and Knights I hear all the time who do not wish the general public to know this.

  9. In 1962,all joint Chiefs of Staff members approved Operation Northwoods,and were high degree Masons. All members of the Warren Commission were Masons. In Great Britian, the Grand Lodge ofMasonic Blue Lodges(3d degree) does not recognize the higher degree Masonic entities but does not punish its members from joining them according to Wikipedia,the free Encyclopedia.

  10. Among the members of the Pennslyvania Knights of Malta Armed Services Committee were General Willoughby,Col. Corso, and (Rear Admiral) FRANCIS T. SPELLMAN ,USN, Ret.,64 Thornton RD.,Chestnut Hill 67,Mass. Who was attacking the Knights of Malta,who were the Knights of Malta planning on attacking,what and who were the Knights of Malta defending against? The Knights of Malta knew!

  11. The US military oath of enlistment includes supporting and defending the Constitution agains all enemies,foreing and domestic, and obedience to the orders of the President of the United States. The commissioned officers oath includes supporting and defending the Constitution against all enemies ,domestic and foreign. Enlisted military personnel do not know with any certainty that their superior officers are obeying the President unless they carry a military lawyer around in their backpack or duffel bag.

  12. THE FOLLOWING RELEVANT QUESTION WERE ASKED AND SUBJECT’S ANSWERS RECORDING. 1.During 1962,did you make up a story about Colonel Dozier’s proposing a resolution at your National Sojourner’s chapter, opposing President Kennedy. ANS:NO. 2. Did you make up a story about that President Kennedy proposed resolution being treasonous in your opinion? QANS:NO 3.Did you make up a story about orally objecting to that 1962 President Kennedy resolution because it was treasonous in your opinion? ANS:NO. 4. During latter 1962, did you make up a story about Colonel JohnPalmer telling you a similar treasonous Kennedy resolution had been proposed at his chapter of National Sojourners?ANS:NO. After careful evaluation and numerical analysis it is the opinion of the examiner that subject’s responses to the above relevant questions asked and answers recorded were truthful. The REID MGQT Technique was utilized during the examination wherein three polygrams were recorded,duly signed by the subject, and made a permanent part of this file along with other related data. SIGNED:James W. Mofford. This polygraph was taken voluntarily ,and paid for,on 6/12/92, by Clyde H. Stagner. The adjective ,”political” was not included in any of the four polygraph questions asked nor was the word politics, or any of its derivatives contained, in the Resolution read by Col. Dozier. “To join with other organizations in opposing President Kennedy” was included in Col. Dozier’s Resolution.

  13. The St. Francis Commandery, Priory of the Pacific, of The Order of St John,Knights Hospitaller is located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its members consist mainly of US officers serving on active duty or retired US military officers including US Allies.This organization was existant and in communication with, in the 1960’s, the Pa Knights of Malta prior to their relocation to Malta in 1976

  14. Clyde,

    Keep the info coming along with any sources you might wish to disclose. In particular, I would like to see a list of US military officers’ names who are members. Kind of a Wikileaks dump if you will.


  15. The PA,or Shickashinny, Knights of Malta moved from Pa to NY and thence to Malta in 1976. There is a list of military members cica 1962-5’with objectives,should you desire. There exists two Knights organizations in the U.S.:Priory of the Pacific with Ca incorporation,membership by invitation,composed of MILITARY members;Priory of the Potomac was incorporated in NY in 1957,membership is bestowed only by Queen Elizabeth II of GB,primary activity is operation of a successful charitable MEDICAL hospital in Jerusalem.

  16. My notes of years past contain the date,11 Aug 1976, of a telephone call ,1-200-224-1700 (Senate Intelligence Committee) answered by “Mike Murphy” who adamantly rejected my rejection of treasonous officers opposition to President Kennedy. Also in the notes:Senator Church,202-224-3121,and another unidentified 202-555-1212.

  17. Sounds like you were working with the Pentagon during the Northwoods scandal. Seems you refer to Lemnitzer and others, but which others?

  18. Did a quick search on Priory of the Potomac. Obviously not well known at all which shows you have been exposed to some less than public information. Anyway, here is one thing I found,an email from none other than Alfred von Habsburg-Hohenberg:

    Major Robert W. Formhals and Prince Troubetzkoy established their branch in California as The Priory of the Pacific. It should be mentioned that Crolian Edelen of California, Charles Thourot Pichel (from Pennsylvania) and Dr. James A. Jacobs (Washington, D.C.) established their own branches (i.e. The Priory of the Potomac).

    and yes I would like to see that list of military members circa 1962-5 with objectives

  19. During March-May 1962,during Northwoods Operation, my assignment was Department of Defense Radiological Safety Officer,Nevada Test Site, for the last nuclear surface test,etc.This military life experience was displayed in the movie,”Blue Sky”, scripted by my daughter,Rama Laurie Stagner: verification contained in non fiction newspaper feature article,”Soulful view of human nature;movie captured Tucsonan’ordeal!”,by Tom Turner,The Arizona Daily Star,Teusday,Oct 4,1994. This article was reprinted in the non fiction,”The Captain’sPolygraph” ,page 82-3.

  20. Knights of MaltaI: 1. This is a permanent ecumenical body or committeee composed of twenty or more of the most outstanding patriarchs,primates,metropolitans,archbishops,bishops,and prelates,etc., with or without apostolic succession,representing the principal Christain Religions Denominations. 2. Each accepted member must be qualified and authorized to represent,defend and act as a spokesman for a particular religious denomination or geographical section thereof. 3. All prelates agree to protect their church by vigorously combating and opposing any and every form of anti-Christain activity by any person,group or movement,while seriously helping to plan ways and means of bringing about a meaningful Christain unity,agreeable to all devoted Christains.

  21. In 1951,my superior had been an aid to Brig. Gen.Yount and had attended with Gen Yount a meeting of the ARMY GENERALS the previous year at Fort Monroe where the future generals to lead the US Army were determined. Officially,generals are promoted by Congress.

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