The International Commission on Nobility and Royalty
TITLE OF NOBILITY SCAMS
Pope St. Felix III declared an important truth. He said: "Not to oppose error is to approve it, and not to defend the truth is to suppress it."
We do not want to be guilty of implied consent to any falsehood or charlatan in the field we hold near and dear to us. All the impersonators whether self-deceived or involved in fraud and deception detract from what is real, genuine and true.
INDEX to this article:
Questionable Claims or Practices
We, as a Commission, are not here to hurt the true royals or nobles of any nation or kingdom on earth. We are here to protect and support them. We will be glad to honor and respect what is true and authentic. The problem is, we live in a time of falsehoods and imposters. Please do not allow yourself to be duped. Consider the following questions and answers:
(1) What about someone claiming he is the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire?
Please see the article, "Sovereignty in the Holy Roman Empire." It is impossible, even absurd, that such a person could be authentic. This article makes that eminently clear and unmistakable. Hence, such a person would be an imposter or counterfeit.
Sadly, all the people he has deceived into sending him large amounts of money for empty titles, that have no validity and the phony knighthoods, he has sold for donations. He has set up an expanding culture of falsehoods and deceptions, wherein he has deceitfully fooled a large amount of people into thinking he is real and authentic.
(2) What about micronations?
No micronation has any real, genuine or authentic right to bestow titles of nobility or bestow knighthoods. They are fantasy countries---"These nations usually exist only on paper, on the Internet, or in the minds of their creators." (http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/Micronations) They are make-believe with no recognized or actual authority or foundation in reality.
(3) Does a government in exile have sovereign rights to give out titles and knighthoods?
If a government in exile was legitimate, it would have "de jure" internal sovereignty and therefore authority to do many things. However, the problem is, anyone can say anything they want to on the internet. Fabrications abound and false claims sadly appear to be on the increase. Just because some organization claims to be a government in exile, does not make it so. Claims need to be researched and verified by reliable sources. Also, read "Orders of Chivalry" --- orders of merit are not knighthoods. True knighthood is inseparably connected to Royalty, not to tribal or republican sovereignty.
(4) What about the principalities and dukedoms that are on the internet advertising titles and knighthoods?
The first thing to remember is that what they present on the internet may be completely and totally false. Deception is prevails. They do not tell you how unlikely their claim is. This is hidden behind an impressive front. They may present well, but underneath, there is nothing solid or authentic. Hence, they are built on a myth.
We have noted a number of dubious claims through the years, such as:
(a) a man claiming to be a prince who could not prove his genealogy, and his claim supposedly came through a female line 10 generations ago in a salic land. In other words, no right to title existed. Did this deter him? No, he went ahead and made the claim anyway.
(b) a man who fabricated his genealogy, and deceived a lot of people with his lies. Finally he was discovered and discredited, but hurt a lot of people in the interim.
(c) a man whose ancestors totally lost all their royal rights, through non-use, but still claimed royalty in spite of it.
(d) a man who fabricated everything and started successfully selling titles and made up several for himself to use, but eventual was exposed and is now in hiding. He robbed people of more than $2,000,000.00.
(e) several men who claimed principalities that belonged to them, but these principalities were their royal patrimony of either the Imperial and Royal House of Prussia or Austria. They still sell their falsehoods to this day.
(f) several men who claimed royal rights they don't have, because those rights were legally ceded away or permanently forfeited and lost many years ago --- one in 1955 and another on September 11, 1962. Yet in spite of having lost all, they make the false claim anyway and one sells knighthoods and titles that have no validity.
(g) a man who bought his title from a phony Emperor and then started selling made up titles himself.
(h) a man who bought a non-sovereign title from a non-existent Patriarch --- from a man who never lived, and then set up knighthoods and freely sells his falsehoods to make a living on his lies and deceptions.
(i) another man and a separate woman, both who claimed descent from a royal house, but their family names are not to be found anywhere in the royal genealogy, because the claims were fabricated. These facts however, do not deter them. They continued to misrepresent themselves, even though they were exposed.
(k) a man who claims royalty and an imperial title from an elective house that did not have a hereditary right to pass those titles or honors down to their posterity. In other words, there were no rights to claim, because the honors were elective, not hereditary. You can't get water from an empty well.
(l) a man who claims honors from a self-styled government in exile from a government that never had sovereignty. You can't create sovereignty out of nothing.
(j) a man who legally changed his name to a royal one with title and then began to impersonate or mimic royalty that neither he nor his family ever had.
(k) a man, who without proof, but only a family legend that turned out to be merely a family fairy tale, began to consider and introduce himself to be a royal prince, which of course is to lie to others and misrepresent reality.
(l) a man who found out he descended from royalty from a line hundreds of years ago, so he wrongly assumed that he must be a royal prince and started styling himself as such.
(m) a man whose cousins had a higher hereditary right. He usurped their claims. This of course is an act of theft. It is ethically and morally wrong. Justice demands that, ". . . all men are to restore what they are possessed of, if another is proved to be the rightful owner." (Hugo Grotius, On the Law of War and Peace, Book II, Chapter 10:1: www.constitution.org/gro/djbp_210.htm)
(o) despite the fact that there is only one truth, one justice and consequently only one rightful sovereignty, on man set himself up in contradiction to the rightful prince, and continues to put the true royal line down.
The list of abuses and wrongs could go on and on and then on some more --- full of questionable, shady practices that have very little likelihood of being authentic and genuine. Most are not only questionable, but downright dishonest and deceitful reflecting little or no ethical truth or reality.
The most important thing to do when contemplating any claim is to be skeptical. This is not a time to be gullible or easy prey. The shady nature of their claims are kept hidden. They do not want you to find out or discover their secrets. They do not want to be exposed.
We have observed that most, if not all, of these royal or princely claimants on the internet, are false. A number of them claim ancient territories that belong to other royal houses or to be members of old royal houses that are extinct, died out hundreds of years ago, and no longer exist. Obviously, many claims are sheer nonsense --- not only improbable, but impossible. Buyer please beware!
A major distinguish factor for falsehood is if they claim that the royal house has been restored! You can't restore something you do not own the rights to.
(5) How can I tell between a true prince and a false one?
This is a most important and serious question if you want to be spared the shame of being taken and deceived by the various scams, which are abundant and plentiful. So what are the markers, the warning signs or red flags to help us identify the fakes?
First of all, please do not think you can discern the true from the false without knowledge. There is the saying that "the truth will make you free" --- free from mistakes, free from being swindled or taken advantage of, free from the shame and embarrassment, and free to use your money on better things. Throwing money away is never good.
You must educate yourself and seek advice. (See: "Fake Titles and Counterfeits") You might also email us and see if we know anything about a particular group. But true royals as a general rule that can relied upon:
will not be selling titles of nobility or royalty for money or donation
will not be selling knighthoods either
will have proven and confirmed genealogy proving their lineage usually recorded and archived by various royal genealogical organizations that can readily be retrieved
their parents and ancestors will have titles and will have use them from the day of their ennoblement in ancient times all the way to the present; that is, their ancestors will have obeyed the law of "prescription" as it pertains to "de jure" or rightful sovereignty:
When it comes to a non-reigning or deposed royal princes, it must be remembered that according to international law, all "de jure" royal or imperial rights are permanently and unalterably lost if one generation (meaning a rightful claimant and any of his or her potential heirs who are living at the time) fails to properly perpetuate the royal claim. And if this precious privilege is lost, it cannot be retrieved, reclaimed later on or resurrected. It is forfeited forever. And all rights immediately revert to the "defacto" ruler, the usurper or new subsequent government with very few allowable exceptions. This is according to international law as it applies to royal and/or sovereign families. (Please read both: "Sovereignty & The Future of Nobility and Royalty" and to ensure you are not deceived)
There are two grand keys to enable one to discern valid claims from fake ones:
(1) All direct line ancestors will have consistently used their titles and the symbols of their sovereign rights to the throne throughout all their generations,
(2) A claim of "restoration" of the royal house or royal rights is an admission that number one was not complied with. Hence, the claim is false.
(6) What if the claimant cannot prove he or she is legitimate?
This is a sure sign that this person's claim is faulty and unacceptable. Not a single person, who is fake, can prove their genealogy or that their so-called right is authentic and genuine. The need for incontrovertible proof is thousands of years old. When a remnant of the children of Israel came back from the Babylonian captivity, the descendants of one particular priestly family failed to keep evidence of their hereditary right to the honors of the Levitical priesthood. "These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood." (Ezra 2:62) That is, their hereditary right could not be proven, therefore they lost their rights permanently and completely. This same principle was reiterated by one of the founding fathers of international law and justice. Emerich de Vattel wrote:
. . . Immemorial prescription [long possession of a territory for over 100 years] secures the possessor's right [the current "defacto" sovereign’s right to rule without question and it is] beyond the power of [ loss or legitimate challenge] . . . for, it affords a legal presumption that he [the current ruling government] is the [true and rightful] proprietor, as long as the adverse party [the "de jure" claimant] fails to adduce substantial reasons [or adequate evidence of protest] in support of his claim: and, indeed, [how could such] . . . be derived, since the origin [all proof] of the possession is lost in the obscurity [or uncertainty of the distant past and no longer exists] . . . [that is, all] means of proving [it valid has been] . . . destroyed by time. . . . Immemorial possession [possessing a kingdom for a long, uncontested, undisputed period of time—hundreds or thousands of years], therefore, is [or creates] an irrefragable title [in other words, sovereign ownership that is impossible to refute or is indisputable], and immemorial prescription admits of no exception: both are founded on a presumption which the law of nature directs us to receive as an incontestable truth [truth that cannot be impeached]. (The Law of Nations, Book II, #143)
Therefore, it is set in concrete of the hardest kind and cannot come back to life, which is why all who claim to have restored a royal house are false. Why? Because providing proof that each generation maintained their claim, their titles, their rights is impossible in most cases for hundreds and hundreds of years have past away and the proof no longer exists. No proof equals no rights, no valid claim, no authority, royalty or sovereignty, no fountain of honor, no right to establish an order of chivalry. In such a case, by the ancient and modern laws, the individual is a commoner with no entitlements.
If a claim is built on sand, it cannot stand. Every claim will sooner or later be exposed for what it really is. If it is built on rock, then it is solid and sturdy and is acceptable. But, do not merely take the persons word for it. We ask people to prove their claims. Most do not accept this offer because they know their claims are invalid and do not want to be exposed as charlatans or have their fantasy ruined by reality. But if a claim is built on make believe or cloud cuckoo land or is malicious and treacherous like a con artist's claims, it will only bring heartache and ruin.
The idea of no proof, no rightful, genuine claim or rights, protects us from the fact that we would be inundated with even more fake claims if proof was not required. Anyone could say things like, "King Richard had an illegitimate child and I am his descendant, therefore, I claim the right to be king of England." But as Vattel declared, a claimant must ". . . prove his right. . . . He must have a title [indisputable proof of ownership]: and people are not obliged to respect that title any farther than he shows its validity." (The Law of Nations, Book II, chapter 18, No. 337)
(7) Is a proven genealogy line certified by a genealogist sufficient for the right to titles and royalty?
Obviously not, because there is a statistical probability that if you are of original European stock, you are most likely a descendant of Mohammed or Charlemagne. (See the article: "Royal and Noble Genealogy") Being a royal or noble or having right to an exalted title is exclusive, not inclusive of everyone. For example, failure to use titles means the permanent loss of titles, especially if the letters patent has disappeared for nobility. For royalty, in most cases, all royal rights are lost forever if there is a failure to use one's titles in every generation. The answer to this questions is that genealogy is not enough even if that genealogy is solid and unquestionable.
(8) What if the prince or claimant has recognitions from the Pope, Queen Elizabeth II or some other royal?
Common sense tells you that, ". . . Sovereignty is neither created by recognition nor destroyed by nonrecognition.” (The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, edition 15, part 3, vol 17, 1981, p. 312) International law denies that diplomatic or political recognition confers sovereignty. Common sense tell you the same thing. Recognition cannot make something false into something true or real. (See: "DEPOSED SOVEREIGNTY AND ROYALTY: how to preserve it and how to lose it")
Also, in the past many bogus title holders purposely wrote letters to various royals and got them to write back using their titles. They also joined knighthoods, even genuine ones when they could, so that the order would address them with their titles. These tricks cannot make a fake count into a real one. Those who have false claims are still false. Recognition cannot correct a defect so great as to magically make a lie into a truth.
Practically all royals and most orders did not investigate the claims of those who join. Such letters are merely courtesies, courtesy letters, not certifications of fact. They do not make a claim true or false.
A new trick is being used by fake title holders, by getting so-called apostolic blessings from the Pope from various companies, who do not check anything out, but use whatever name or title you give them, thus making it look like the Pope has certified them as real. This same phony ploy was used with Queen Elizabeth II, who gets thousands of letters each day and tries to return every single letter. No one has time to check them out. They use the identifying information they are given to write back. Obviously, such a letter or blessing certificate is meaningless in terms of title, validity and authenticity.
In addition, phony princes love to honor each other thinking that somehow, this makes their claims real and genuine. Also, some associations have been created that accept any claim as valid even if it is not. They do not discriminate, check things out or make sure that the claims are real or even factually accurate. Such associations do everyone a disservice, or an injustice, by making things look authentic and real when there is a good likelihood that they are total hogwash, counterfeits or fairy tales.
Again, we live in a day of imposters and falsehoods. Great care must be taken in order not to be deceived. We know of some royals who were taken in by a false claim that was later proved fraudulent.
(9) Does renown or popularity or general acceptance create a sure sign of authenticity?
Yes and no. Remember as Francis Barrymore Smith wrote, ". . . The vote of the whole world can not make wrong right, falsehood truth, robbery honest, or usurpation other than usurpation." (Radical artisan, William James Linton, 1812-97, 1973, p. 220) Concerning the liar, he wrote, "If the whole world believe his lie, would that alter the nature of falsehood?" (Ibid.) The Commission has run into a well-known and widely accepted family that have usurped the true line of a royal house. So popularity and acceptance although usually a reliable source are not always the perfect foundation for ones decisions and beliefs.
Most Americans and the people of Great Britain accepted that Iraq under Sadam was harboring weapons of mass destruction, justifying entering into a war with him. Later this claim proved to be false and involved some guile on the part of the politicians. We have to be careful in this day of deceptions and false appearances. What is real and true is not always readily available or easy to see.
(10) But what about Ecclesiastical Orders of Chivalry?
Please see the article "Orders of Chivalry." With the exception of the Pope, who is a sovereign prince of an independent little country, no other religious leaders can be a genuine secular fons honorum or fountain of honors, which is the exclusive right of a reigning or "de jure" sovereign house. Like any other private organization, religions can have orders, clubs or fraternities, but they are not orders of chivalry and should not mimic, copy or imitate the symbols of true orders or use their private decorations in public.
(11) What about adoptions?
This is one of the tricks or gimmicks that charlatans use to cheat people and take their money. Unless those adoptions are sustained and upheld by a "de jure" and rightful sovereign, they are nothing but empty name changes. No real honors are conveyed. No real titles are given. It is merely another dishonest hoax or ploy used to take advantage of others who do not understand that they are being cheated and robbed by con artists. They are not given real titles only a change in name.
(12) Court decrees surely are valid and provide absolute assurances, don't they?
Unfortunately, this is one of the major tricks or cons used to cheat people out of their money. For instance, one group advertised "the Marquisate of Belfronte which was given by Royal Decree in 1817 to Don Calcedonio Navanteri Da Siracusa (Syracuse) by Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies." The title is probably real historically, but then they revealed themselves and their scheme, "The title is vacant and ready for assignation through decision of a court of justice." That is the scam. They take an extinct title and will sell it to you and have a justice declare, by some contrived means, that it is your title somehow by magic.
Even if a Court of Law did declare it, it does not make it genuine or real. We have not been able to determine if these swindlers give you a fabricated court decree or bribe a judge or what, but the point is, a judge cannot legitimately confer a title of nobility on another person. The only title they can give you is that of "felon."
Guy Stair Sainty, a well-known expert on nobility and royalty, declared, ". . . the Italian Courts have been persuaded to consider numerous claims to titles of nobility without actually applying nobiliary law, leading to some bizarre decisions." (www.chivalricorders.org/royalty/royal.htm) "According to a November  poll by Euromedia research group, only 16 percent of Italians fully trust it [their court system]; just two years ago, the figure was 28 percent. And Italian civil rights groups are intense in their criticism of what they view as kangaroo courts." (www.everyonegroup.com
_in_Italy.html) The point is, courts, especially European courts, can come up with falsehoods. Studies point out that, "In the US, proof is an objective, science-like affair. On the continent, proof is holistic and subjective. . . . [They too often] come up with an assessment [a final judgment or decision] even if the evidence is patently incomplete," which would be considered judicial misconduct in the United States. (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1283503)
One swindler even bragged how he got a Republic of San Marino court to rule the he was the rightful count of something or other when it was a big fat lie and he knew it, but he was delighted with what he got away with. The Republic no longer allows this kind of thing, but it was once widely used by counterfeiters to lie and deceive others into thinking they were legit. Court decrees are not to be trusted or relied upon when they use "preponderance of evidence" rules, (51% assurance) which means their decisions have almost as much likelihood of being wrong as they have of being right depending on what evidence is presented and what evidence is hidden, disguised or never introduced, so as to trick or manipulate the court into making a certain decision.
(13) How can I tell the difference between a true order of chivalry and a self-styled or self-assumed one?
They long ago were suppressed by the Holy See, protector of mediaeval Western military religious orders in the Holy Land or on the Iberian Peninsula. [Official Statement of the Holy See on Self-Styled Orders: www.heraldica.org/topics/orders/popebg.htm];
They claim to be under the high protection of or to be headed by Episcopi
They are linked closely to bearers of false titles of nobility.
A true order will have an authentic "fons honorum," which means "fountain of honor." An order of chivalry must be from a true reigning or true "de jure" sovereign and not be a club or fraternity. Otherwise, the order has no foundation in truth as an genuine order of chivalry.
An ecclesiastical order is not a true order of chivalry, because secular sovereignty is missing. The only ecclesiastical orders under a true sovereign are maintained by the Pope, who is a rightful monarch over a genuine independent sovereign nation --- the littlest in the world --- Vatican City.
To help in identifying the true from the false, please see the list in the article "Orders of Chivalry" and go to the website of the "International Commission on Orders of Chivalry" (ICOC) at www.icocregister.org. This important private, unofficial, non-governmental organization keeps a list of valid orders. Although their list is not complete, if an order is not on their list of valid orders, great caution and care must be taken to ensure that the order is not an imitation masquerading as something real. Guy Stair Sainty, an expert in this field, has written several articles exposing some of the self-styled or self-proclaimed orders. Do not get mixed up in any of these. (See: www.chivalricorders.org/orders/self-styled/selfstyl.htm)
The question whether an order is a legitimate Chivalric order or a self-styled [self-proclaimed or phony] order coincides with the fons honorum. A legitimate fount of honour is a person who held sovereignty either at or before the moment when the order was established. (Holding sovereignty before the founding of an order is considered effective in creation of a genuine chivalric order only if the former sovereign had not abdicated his sovereignty before the foundation of the order but, instead, had been deposed or had otherwise lost power.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fount_of_honour)
Conclusion: It is tricky business trying to tell what is true from what is false, but very important, if you are interested in what is real and true rather than false, bogus or imitation monarchy, royalty, nobility or chivalry. Validity and authenticity are not always easy to discern. The shady salesmen wants your money and are very willing, eager and happy to lie to you to get it. You must be very careful. Never depart with or give any money away unless, you have incontrovertible proof that their claims are valid. In fact, if they get angry or stop communicating with you, if you question them, that is a good sign that they are hiding something.
What to Do if you have been Conned
Everyone makes a mistake once in awhile. this is not a time to feel embarrassed. Scammers are good at what they do. They take advantage of innocent, unsuspecting people. this is a time to help protect others. Edmund Burke once said, "All that is needed for the forces of evil to win is for good men to do nothing."
If you do not feel you can sue those who cheated you, there is still the important option of reporting them:
(1) File a police report where the alleged scammer is located.
(2) Go to the following website and click on the appropriate country to get information on who you should make a report to, whether it is in England or Germany or the United States:
Remember, as Edmund Burke once declared, "All that is needed for the forces of evil to win is for good men to do nothing."
We encourage you to read and enjoy the articles that follow, which are informative and can deepen one's understanding of the whys and wherefores as well as the true and permanent rights of royalty, nobility and chivalry. The following articles are considered to be especially important and valuable:
For "Contact" information or to join the Commission as a contributor or apply for certification for titles, knighthood, status or ancestry, please first read the "Disclaimer and Obligatory Contract." If you fully agree with them, you are welcome to contact us, make contributions, answer our survey and/or become a part of this important cause. Our goals and mission are to protect the public from counterfeit titles, phony knighthoods and fake genealogies. We also want to certify the true and the genuine as well as promote chivalry, royalty and nobility. We need your support. There is so much that needs to be done. We invite you to contribute and join with us.
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