The Moscow News website reports that ‘Kultura’ – the Russian equivalent of PBS – broadcast a round table discussion about a Templar organisation that was terminated by Stalin in 1930 in the era of the great purges.
‘The Knights Templar in Soviet Russia’ recalled how seventeen of the leading Templars were arrested in that year by the OGPU-NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB.
The programme stated that this was not a fantasy counter-revolutionary organisation dreamt up by the secret police but something a lot more real – or as Moscow News put it, more Umberto Eco than Dan Brown.
I suspect it was more Franz Kafka than either Brown or Eco. It certainly shows the boundless paranoia that Stalin experienced when he imagined that even the Knights Templar were out to get him!