Re: ARE THEY WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE? And that is...?
I beg to differ, Yeoshua: http://www.orderofmalta.org/index.asp?idlingua=5
It may be a 9th degree in the York Rite, but only by name. This is the true order: aka the Hospitallers.
I'm truly surprised you didn't know this. These guys, along with the masons, tend to get implicated in almost everything.
As far as it being the 9th degree in the York Rite, does that mean that the Templars are still in existence through that same Rite, or is it some revamped hybrid ceremonial thing in honor of the old order?
One thing's for certain, the 9th degree ain't the real deal.