"The self-styled Orders of Saint John (Part III)
© Guy Stair Sainty
(14) A "priory of the Holy Savior" of the "order of St John of Jerusalem, knights Hospitallers of Malta" based in Kentucky and organized by a certain ("Bishop") Christopher Stanley, emerged from a group of defectors from the Pichel group in 1960. Stanley later promoted himself to Archbishop and styled himself Count of Durazzo and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, moving from Kentucky to Seattle and thence to Texas where he died. 
(14A) This group may be associated with the "Priory of Saint John" based in North Carolina (see 8D) and is now directed by a Father James Wathen and an associated, Fr Bitzer. A related group in Benton, Tennessee is led by a Dr John L. Grady.  These priests, one of whom was ordained by the late Archbishop Lefebvre, attempt to continue to maintain the pre Vatican II Catholic tradition celebrating the Tridentine rite - however they are not considered by the Holy See to be in communion with Rome. One member of this "order" (who has since seen the light and resigned) wrote describing "the Italian body of "Knights" (sic, i.e. the SMHOM), who represented themselves as the Order of Malta in 1801 had absolutely no claim to be the ancient Order......". Whether this gentleman actually believed the pseudo-historical drivel apparently fed to him by the Fr Wathen who recruited him or not, it is sad that presumably intelligent individuals can be taken in by such bizarre versions of history without sight of one authentic document to back up statements which run in the face of well-documented history. They claim fidelity to Pius XII while failing to recognize that before his election to the Papacy, as Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli he was a Bailiff Grand Cross of Honor and Devotion of the SMOM. They formerly maintained a web site at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5449/osj.htm According to the latest report of the False Orders Committee of the Alliance Orders, Grady is now "Prince Grand Master" and the Grand Marshal is a certain Nicholas Nazarenko, the Grand Hospitaller Mr Leslie B. Reynolds, while its Prior of Malta and Grand Chancellor is a certain Salvino A. Beck, of Marshall Court Block 'E' Apt, 87 Victoria Street, Gzira, Malta.
(14B) A group whose exact connections are unknown known as the Sovereign Order of the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem in the State of Florida in 1994 gave donation to the charity helping survivors of Hurricane Andrew. Its prior is a Mr Nigel Marix and the Chancellor a Mr Edward Rutherfurd.
(15) A group now separated from (8) above (of which its patron was sometime "protector"), is an "international langue of the O.S.J." whose "Imperial and Royal Protector" is an Italian, reputedly once a hairdresser in Genoa (which he denies), Enrico Vigo,  otherwise styled "H.I.& R.H. Prince Henry III Constantine de Vigo Lascaris Aleramico Paleologus de Montferrat, Hereditary Emperor of Byzantium, Prince of Thessaly, etc", formerly resident in Munich and most recently living in Cannes.  He is also the founder of an "Order of the Cross of Constantinople" and a "Byzantine Constantinian Order of Saint George";  His organization may still be connected with Mr Avery, see above (8). Vigo's group has been active in the United States and has organized large social events in Palm Beach at which many dubious decorations are worn. As "Enrico de Vigo Aleramico Paleologo" Mr Vigo sued Jean Cyrille Godefroy and Patrice Chairoff  for defamation and although his case was rejected initially, he subsequently obtained a judgment in his favor when the defendants failed to respond.  The Nîmes court where the case was first held found that Mr Vigo's evidence of his ancestry was no more than "photocopies of passages from unnamed works whose authors and credibility could not be established". Since then he has claimed that the French Courts have recognized his descent and his pretensions that he "has inherited the right to confer honours" and that he is "Emperor in exile". The consequences of this case have no relevance to proving his descent and the rights to names or titles are carefully regulated under an entirely different branch of French law; inquiries from the French government and from the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor disclose that the French Republic does not and never will recognize "Prince" Henri as claimant to any Imperial title nor any of the dubious honors he distributes. To celebrate his "great victory" Vigo has promised to "confer a few titles of Baron and Count"; one may wonder what the response of the French or any other European government might be to those who try to use such titles in official public documents.
Mr Vigo has not succeeded in establishing his claims to be descended from the Byzantine Emperors by the production of original documents proving such descent. Nonetheless, his supporters cite supposed recognitions by the Emperor Charles VI (dated April 5th, 1720) and the Roman Senate (December 2nd, 1869, for his purported great-grandfather). He has also asserted that his father, "Prince Cesare, was recognized on October 31, 1961, by the Italian Court of Justice  as Head of an ex-reigning House having the right to confer titles of nobility and chivalry".  The legal procedure by which such "recognitions" have been obtained has led to other bizarre claims to fantastic titles, including several to the Byzantine throne. This procedure is only possible because the Italian Republic does not recognize any titles of nobility and abolished the laws and bodies concerned with such matters that existed under the Kings of Italy, so the decisions by the Courts do not have any standing in Italian law which does not recognize the titles that are "recognized" by these methods. Mr Vigo has not been able to prove a generation by generation link with properly attested documents to the alleged recipients of these recognitions, let alone back to the Byzantine Empire. This author, in an exchange of correspondence with one of his aides published in the Malta Independent in 1994, challenged Mr Vigo to produce documentary evidence of this purported descent and of various grants of titles and recognitions purportedly given to his ancestors, but he has failed to do so. According to the SMHOM False Orders Newsletter, a Belgian architect was persuaded to part with a substantial sum of money in return for a patent purporting to create him "Count of Salomo"; this gentleman was also made a knight commander in Vigo's pseudo Saint John Order. The architect apparently resigned after being informed of the truth. Mr Vigo has several adherents in Malta including a Mr E. Cumbo, and a Dr A. Agius (LLD/PhD), while a notable pain therapist, Lt-Col "Count" Charles A. Gauci, author of a book on the Maltese nobility, has also defended Vigo's pretensions. Mr Vigo also claims that his "Constantinian Order" is the only legitimate one and the Bourbon Order of that name (see Part III, Chapter .. earlier) is false! Another associate of Mr Vigo is "Prince" George King "de Santorini, Count de Florina", and George Howarth, "Duke of Corinth." There is also a "permanent diplomatic delegation of the Byzantine Empire" on the Fulham Road and a Priory of Asia based in Japan.  For a more detailed essay on this subject, see the article THE SURVIVAL OF THE JUS HONORUM
(16) Early in 1981 there appeared a bizarre manifestation of the Russian "Order", the "American grand priory of the sovereign order of Saint John, knights of Malta" under the "Imperial Protection" of "H.I. & R.H. the Czarevich and Grand Duke of Russia Alexis Nicolaievich Romanoff", actually Michael Goleniewski, a Pole who fled to the west and appeared to believe that he was the incarnation of the unfortunate Czarevich Alexis Nicolaievich who had been murdered in 1918.
(17) Another group whose connection with any of the above is uncertain is known as the "Grand Priory of Podolia" and is a revival of an organization which had been dissolved by the Italian courts in 1951; the new version, founded in about 1981, is directed by a certain "Duke" Jaime de Alvarez-Sinta y Aragon and "Marquis" Gerhardt von Kreuzberg.
(18) An Order of Saint John the Baptist was founded in France in the mid-1970s. This subsequently split into two factions, one headed by a "count" René Peslier de Kersoison, the other by a Colonel "count" Poziemski. It has not had great success.
(18B) A further "Order of St John the Baptist" not claiming to be an old foundation was, according to Formhals, allegedly incorporated by a charter from Congress in 1923 (Formhals suggests that this charter may no longer be valid; indeed its very existence may be questioned). Since 1939 it has been based in southern California. The heads of this group, styled "grand masters", were Dr Francis Nicholas (1923-1939), Lt-Col Federico M. Dimas-Aruti (1939-1945), and Major Alan Weaver-Hazelton (1945-1951); in 1951 the title "Governor-General" was substituted for "grand master" and Hazelton continued to hold the post until 1974 when he was succeeded by Robert Gamble. Hazelton was also one of the high officials of the "order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem" and Mr Gamble is also a Saint Lazarus member and knight of the Castro Constantinian Order. 
(19) An Order dedicated to Saint John but which has not assumed the famous eight-pointed cross, is the Order of Saint John the Baptist of Puerto Rico, founded on that island in 1929 by a group descended from Spanish noblemen and long-resident on the island. The first Grand Master was Francisco Ramirez de Arellano y Conti, from 1929-1936, and in 1950 the Grand Master was Acisclo Marxuach y de Echavarria, elected in 1945, at which time there were twenty Grand Crosses (including "Exc.mo Sr Umberto de Savoia", more properly H.M. King Umberto II of Italy), nine commanders and twenty-six knights.
(20) Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (Knights of Malta) Priory of Famagusta under its Prior, "Prince" Yves-Amaury de Lusignan-Antioche, who claims descent from the extinct family of Lusignan, Kings of Jerusalem. The headquarters are in the Netherlands. 
(21) Ordo Sancti Joannis Hospitalis Hierosolymitani is an independent enterprise started by the Archduchess Michaela of Austria and her former husband, E. Alba-Teran, pseudo "Duke of Antin". Sadly, and probably influenced by her husband (from whom she is now divorced), the Archduchess Michaela, a younger daughter of the Archduke Otto, Head of the Imperial House of Austria, was persuaded to involve herself in this enterprise. This couple, after a prolonged residence in the New York Hyatt hotel persuaded a Japanese businessman, Tamaki Sasaki (see earlier, for his association with the Petrucci Order), to pay their bills in return for being nominated the Order's Ambassador in South East Asia. She started the "Habsburg Foundation" and, on October 22nd, 1991, appointed Tamaki Sasaki to join the board of Trustees. In a letter dated Munich, 1 May 1992, the director of the Habsburg Archives, D. Mattena, wrote that "all matters pertaining to the Habsburg Foundation (Europe) as well as the Latin American (Panama) end of the Foundation is under the jurisdiction of Princess Michaela von Habsburg-Lothringen. The Orders of Chivalry as well as the Chairmanship of the new Habsburg Library depend directly from the authority of the Princess. Only matters concerning the Toison d'Or and direct Family concerns are those with which we all turn to H.I. & R.H. Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen". The status of Mr Mattena has not been determined. The Archduchess has now divorced her husband and remarried and happily no longer has any connection with such dubious bodies.
(22) The most recent foundation, an "Order of Saint John of Jerusalem", was founded circa 1985 by a Mr George Cook Lyon, self-styled Archbishop of the Holy Episcopal Church in America who lives in West Palm Beach.  He is a retired psychiatrist who appears to have assumed his Episcopal rank without consecration by a Bishop in Apostolic Succession. According to his own publicity material, he "will accept application for ordination from any who feel that they are qualified and render all the information they will need to carry out their works rightly, orderly and lawfully. We ask for a small donation of $100 to cover our costs etc........ the Order of Saint John is also available by mail and for a $100 minimum donation".
(23) This author was recently informed that a private body calling itself the Polish Nobility Association has also been awarding an Order of Saint John, although by what authority it claims to do so I have not as yet discovered.
The charitable purposes of these self-styled "Orders of Chivalry" is generally confined to the occasional gift, varying according to the generosity of each group, despite the fact that the very basis for the existence of the genuine Orders of Saint John is to serve the poor and sick. When challenged their partisans claim that they are merely trying to fulfill an honorable and worthwhile desire to serve humanity, or the church, or some other cause and that the criticisms are unfair. Some may claim that the Sovereign Military Order is actually a recent Papal foundation which is jealous of their "ancient history" and, when it is pointed out that their "Order" is unrecognized by the Vatican or by any Sovereign State in which the Order of Saint John historically functioned, they will respond by stating that they do not want such "recognition".
To this there is a simple answer: the only Orders of Saint John which can be regarded as legitimate Orders of Chivalry are, firstly, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, whose continual existence since its foundation in the Holy Land is widely accepted, which, as a Religious Order, depends on the Bull of 1113 and the subsequent Papal confirmation thereof, and whose Sovereignty, deriving from its status as an Entity in International Law, is acknowledged by fifty-two sovereign states with which it enjoys full reciprocal diplomatic relations; and the Most Venerable Order and the three Johanniter Orders, which compose the Alliance, and which are recognized as Orders of Chivalry by the Sovereigns and Governments of the states in which their headquarters are based. If the members of the self-styled "Orders" of Saint John wish to demonstrate a truly charitable and humanitarian spirit, but they are not qualified for membership in the Alliance Orders, then surely they should be just as willing to give their time and money to those many other worthy causes which would be glad of such help.
In a special category because it does not pretend to be a continuation or successor of the Crusader Order is the Real y Benemerita Instruccion de Caballeros Hospitalarios de San Juan Bautista. The oldest of the bodies to assume the Saint John name it was the result of a schism in the Spanish Red Cross Society in 1875 or 1876. The Spanish Langues of the Order having become Spanish Royal Orders under the Grand Magistery of the Sovereign following the loss of Malta, one of the Spanish knights, D. Eduardo Palou y Flores, a Senator and member of ther Council of the Red Cross, determined to found an active Hospitaller mission for their Order but independent of both the Royal Order and the Lieutenant Grand Master in Rome as the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John the Baptist. Supported by others keen to take an active role the founded an ambulance brigade and undertook support of the Hospital of Our Lady of Atocha in Madrid. The statutes received royal approval as a charitable body in 1876 and certain privileges were accorded by Pope Leo XIII on April 27, 1880 but the Hospitallers were not considered to be an Order of Chivalry. The badge was a red enameled medallion charged with the white eight pointed Maltese cross with fleurs de lys between the arms and ensigned with a royal crown. It was suspended from a chain around the neck or on a black ribbon bordered in white. Because of protests by the members of the Royal Order of Saint John the badge was amended by the insertion of a small "H" in the center of the cross.
When the Spanish Order was reconciled with the newly restored Grand Magistery in Rome in 1885, the Hospitaller Knights once again modified their insignia eliminating the medallion and fleurs de lys but assuming the eight pointed cross with a larger "H" in the center, red rays in the angles and a wreath instead of a crown. With the revival of the Spanish Assembly of the Order of Malta the Hospitallers disappeared through lack of support and Senator Palou's death.
In 1911 a group of amateur heraldists who had formed Heraldic Academy of Madrid attempted to re-establish the Hospitallers, but as a pseudo Order rather than worthy charitable body. Branches were set up in Berlin and Paris, the former being run by the same "baron" Johann Moser de Vega who was to become involved with the foundation of the self-styled Order of Saint Lazarus. When the Germans investigated they found Moser's title to be false and the subsequent scandal seriously compromised the reputation of the Cronista Kings of Arms whose status was reviewed by the government with important reforms introduced.  The Hospitallers then disappeared and Moser transferred his activities to Saint Lazarus, eventually committing suicide.
In 1952 a new group revised the earlier statutes of the Hospitallers and after their approval by the Ministries of the interior and health they resumed functioning as a purely charitable body, operating a hospital in Cadiz but not pretending to be an Order of Chivalry.
 See Formhals, Op.cit., p.200.
 My thanks to the Rev William W. Jenkins for this information.
 Mr Vigo was born on December 4th, 1918, in Genoa, and on his first birth records was described as the son of a Ms Agalgisa Paci, a twenty year old unmarried woman. On July 14th, 1926 he was recognized as the son of Cesare Vigo and Adelgisa Evangelisti, who had married two and a half years after his birth on July 14th, 1921. On July 16th, 1940, the Genoa Civil Tribunal rectified his birth record to name his mother as Adalgisa Evangelisti. Enrico Vigo married on September 9th, 1940, Emma Porzani. This marriage ended in divorce and in 1964 he remarried to Marie-Luise Ficker; on this occasion the name Paleologo appears on his marriage certificate. The birth certificate of his daughter, Graziella, however, does not include this name. I am grateful for Derk Kinnane Roelofsma for providing me with these documents.
 Boite Postale 89, F-06404 Cannes-Cedex, France.
 See Chaffanjon and Galimard Flavigny, Op.cit., p.189; also Chairoff, Op.cit., pp.91, 92, 104, 156, 180, 181, 236.
 Vrai Chevaliers, Faux Gogos.
 The initial judgment was before the Court of Appeal of Aix-en-Provence at Nîmes, 9 June 1987, and was appealed to the Court of Cassation, Paris; judgment October 9th, 1990.
 The same Court procedure was employed to obtain "recognition" of "Prince" Henri's self-styled titles in a decision of March 24, 1964.
 In the "Court Journal, of the House of H.I. & R.H. Prince Henri Constantinine Paleologus & His Dynastic Orders of Knighthood, Toall (sic) our Dames and Knights: Greetings". Undated but annoucning a forthcoming "Imperial and Byzantine Ball and Investiture" in Palm Beach on April 24, 1993.
 767 Fulham Road, London SW6 5HA; the Priory of Asia headed by Dr Kang-Shick Lee is based at 2-8-17 Ginza, Tokyo, Japan and CPO Box 5498, Seoul, Korea.
 Mention should also be made of the several Masonic organizations which describe themselves as Orders while not actually pretending to be Orders of Chivalry. The most important of those claiming a Saint John connections is the so-called "United, Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple of Saint John, of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta, in England and Wales and Provinces Overseas". As of 17 May 1978 the "Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master" was a Mr Harold Devereux Still, the "Very High and Eminent Great Seneschal" was Lord Swansea, and other officers included a "Great Prelate", "Great Chancellor", "Great Prior of Malta", and "Great Priors" of Ireland (the Marquess of Donegall), Scotland, Canada, U.S.A., Helvetia, France, Sweden (Prince Bertil of Sweden), and Denmark.
 c/o "Imperial Dutch College of Arms, Postbus 5065, 2900 Eb Capelle Upon Yssel, Netherlands.
 The "Orders" headquarters are c/o PO Box 867, Benton, Arizona, 72015. I am grateful to Mr James Algrant for this information.
 It was the same Spanish King of Arms who confirmed the wholly invented genealogy of Prince Basil d'Anjou Durazzo Durassow, the alleged father of Alexis Brimeyer.